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Which Light Meter


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#1 Jacqueline Donaldson

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 05:45 AM

Hi there guys,

Not a first time film-maker, but first time Cinematographer looking for a well priced second hand light meter that will take me through my first few years of experimentation and learning. Can anyone give me any advice on what I should go for, I know many DP's have their preferences. Also, is it worth investing in a spot meter at this stage or even a comined meter? Thanks, great to be here!
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#2 Greg Gross

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 09:39 AM

I would suggest a Spectra 4a. Decent light meter to start with and dependable.
I would say get some experience first before using spot meter. The spot meter
will isolate a particular area of your subject and give you a reflectance value al-
so you may hear some people use the term "ev's". The Spectra is priced reason-
ably. You will probably get lots of advice here now for which meter to use. For
use in still work an analog spotmeter will show you fstop opposite "ev" on a scale.
Of course you must set proper ASA on spotmeter. I have never used one for mot-
ion picture work. I have done extremely fine work with a spotmeter and 4X5 cam-
era. I converted the spotmeter for use with the "zone system".

Greg Gross
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#3 Jacqueline Donaldson

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 02:47 AM

Thanks, I have been eying the Spectra's seriously. Whats the difference between a Spectra 4 A and the SPECTRA PRO IV DIGITAL LIGHT METER , I recently seen the latter for sale and don't know if its the same etc...? Any idea about this?? Cheers
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#4 Greg Gross

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 05:18 AM

You know I'm not familiar with the digital four,but I'm assuming its a digital
read out. I'll research it and come back and post.

Greg Gross
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#5 Greg Gross

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 05:29 AM

Spectra Pro IV Digital:
f-stop range of f-0.5 to f-90
10th increments for f-stop
fps 2 to 360
Illuminated liquid crystal display,and displays:
film speed
fps
foot candles
lux

Greg Gross
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#6 Rik Andino

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 06:54 PM

What's your budget for the meter...?

You don't really need a spot meter if you're just learning to use a light meter...
It helps to have one cause the sooner you learn to take spot readings the better you are.
It's sorta like learning to drive stick rather than just automatic.

So you could get a very good incident meter that will help you very much
Or you could get a very good spot & incident meter for a little more--
Something like the Sekonic 558Cine.


If you continue on your career as a cinematographer for several years
You're going to need to get a spot meter sooner or later.
So it might be wise to spend the money now and not have to spend it later
& also spending the time learning to use it when you don't have that much time to spend.
It depends on how much you're willing to invest...and your needs are.


Eitherways
Good Luck
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#7 Jacqueline Donaldson

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 02:01 AM

Thanks, budget is not too much of a problem right now as I'm teaching in Hong Kong and make good money, I'm just worried about investing in an more expensive or a new meter and after a week I decide I actually don't like the handling, or the way it works etc..( I hope this make sense) and it's a bit of a nightmare trying to find meters out here to get a feel for something, so I'd be pretty much investing blindly. I think the three main contenders Ive been looking at online have been the Spectra 4 A and the Sekonic 558 cine, and the 608? ( I think?) , I've heard the Spectra can give you a reading in really low light (f1), where as the Sekonic can't, is that because of the combined spot meter?

My thinking is that I'll start with a cheaper second hand one and then as my needs progress I can keep that as my back up and invest in something newer. Also how often should I get it calibrated, and where do I get this done?
Also I anyone knows where in Hong Kong I can go and look at lightmeters I would be grateful, I've searched the internet, but found nothing.

thanks for all your help!
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