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complete beginner to using a light meter


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#1 s. amed hussaini

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 08:12 PM

.. but I'm a true beginner when it comes to f/stops.

is there a basic guide somewhere that ties it all together?

example: so.. i'd take a reading with the light meter.. i assume it'll spit out some numbers... now then, i have 250 daylight film.., how do i then figure out what f/stop to use?

is there a guide somewhere that walks a newbie through this complete process?

thanks!
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#2 Michael Collier

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 08:48 PM

If you get a digi light meter, then the guide is the light meter. You enter your framerate and ISO (what your rating the film at, not the manufacturers tested rating) into your light meter and then hit a button. The meter will read out with the F-stop needed to make an 18% grey card expose to the middle density (assuming you did not under or overrate your film. that will under or overexpose your film)

What you need to learn is what to meter. What measurements do you need to get the look you want. What level of over or underexposure do you want from your highlights and shadows, the contrast range of the scene. You will learn that through experimenting.

In general light meters are cake to understand. I got my first one about 5 months ago, and within the first 10 minutes I had 90% of the features mastered. Then it was only a matter of figureing out the little stuff it can do, but doesn't advertise on its box (found out my incident meter can also be a 45 degree reflected light meter by removing the photosphere. bonus.)
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#3 s. amed hussaini

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 11:50 AM

If you get a digi light meter, then the guide is the light meter. You enter your framerate and ISO (what your rating the film at, not the manufacturers tested rating) into your light meter and then hit a button. The meter will read out with the F-stop needed to make an 18% grey card expose to the middle density (assuming you did not under or overrate your film. that will under or overexpose your film)

What you need to learn is what to meter. What measurements do you need to get the look you want. What level of over or underexposure do you want from your highlights and shadows, the contrast range of the scene. You will learn that through experimenting.

In general light meters are cake to understand. I got my first one about 5 months ago, and within the first 10 minutes I had 90% of the features mastered. Then it was only a matter of figureing out the little stuff it can do, but doesn't advertise on its box (found out my incident meter can also be a 45 degree reflected light meter by removing the photosphere. bonus.)


Thanksfor the informative post. One question: How do I rate the film myself? If I have 200T... I shouldn't use that rating, but one I come up wit myself? If so, how?
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rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Technodolly

Glidecam

Visual Products