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#1 David Chandler

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:53 PM

I have found out that light meters are rather expensive. Seeing as how I didn't really pay much for my film camera (found at an auction for $25), I don't think it would be worth it to pay for a new light meter.

With that in mind, is there any substitute or way to Macgyver a light reading? I was tinkering around with my Digital camera today in the manual mode and I was able to change the f-stop and focal distance settings. I'm wondering if those settings could apply to what I could set on my 16mm cam?

Thanks.

David
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#2 Frank Barrera

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 11:06 PM

With that in mind, is there any substitute or way to Macgyver a light reading? I was tinkering around with my Digital camera today in the manual mode and I was able to change the f-stop and focal distance settings. I'm wondering if those settings could apply to what I could set on my 16mm cam?


Perhaps you could figure out a convoluted way of matching what your Digital camera reads to what a professional spot meter would read. I suppose you would need to borrow a pro spot meter and "calibrate" your digi cam to it by shooting some zone tests with a grey card to figure out where your exposures fall. But then you'd only have a spot reading and never an incident reading. And although there are some exceptions, almost all film is exposed by using incident readings. On the other hand if you are coming at this from a hobbiest point of view and not a pro one then you could get away with not having an incident meter. Something else to keep in mind is that most people have more than one meter so as to have somthing to check your meter's accuarcy with. ie: I have three incidents and one spot. When I shoot film I check my Spectra IV against my other meters to make sure everyone is reading the same thing and then I put the rest away for the day and only use the Spectra.


I once forgot my meter for a small commercial job in a remote location but had my 35MM Canon AE-1 with me so I lit the scenes by eye and then did some spot readings with the still camera and then opened up a full stop. This was with 16mm color negative and the results were excellent. But I wasted a lot of time working this way and I never forgot my meter ever again.

Edited by Frank Barrera, 21 January 2007 - 11:07 PM.

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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:17 AM

OR you could sell your digital camera and get a quality light meter!

;)

You can get a quality Minolta IV F on eBay for under $200

You could do it with your Digital Camera, providing you spend more than half the cost of a new light meter on tests to figure out what your camera reads compared to the emulsions you want to use.
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#4 David Sweetman

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:41 AM

First there's this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_16

It would be a hassle, but you could probably use your digital camera by matching the framing, especially if you can change the ISO setting on your digital camera (if it's a still camera). If not, you'll have to figure out what it's rated at (maybe 320?) and add or subtract the appropriate number of stops, so if your digital is rated 320 and you're shooting 500 speed film stock, you'll have to close down 2 stops (I believe) from what your digital camera reads, since the film is two stops faster than the digital camera.

As far as light meters, all you need is an incident meter. You can probably find one pretty cheap on ebay.
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#5 David Sweetman

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:53 AM

(I think that sunny 16 rule would only work with 50 speed film stock, that is if you have a 180 degree shutter.)
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#6 Nick Mulder

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 05:09 AM

(I think that sunny 16 rule would only work with 50 speed film stock, that is if you have a 180 degree shutter.)

Compare your shutter exposure time ((1/fps)*(angle/360)) to you ASA and you can come up with your own 'sunny f/stop' rule ...

eg.

say you are shooting 24fps with a 180deg shutter that equals 1/48 sec exposure per frame - now say yer shooting 100asa stock - 48 goes into 100 roughly 2 times in terms of 'stops' so your rule becomes a 'sunny 22', 'cloudy 16' etc...

I often decide when going out with my bolex for a days shooting student protests and horse washing to do a quick bit of math with my stock ASA, shutter angle and likely shooting speeds and come up with a 'sunny rule' for the rest of the day... the lightmeter usually confirms the guess %90 of the time, it is helpful with indoors and the end of the day when light is falling fast though ...
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#7 Bob Hayes

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 11:28 AM

Your slr camera is a great spot meter. Set the ASA and you?re there. The cheapest light meter is to buy a roll of still film with the speed of your motion picture film. Then look at the little paper that comes inside the still box. There are little pictures of a bright sun, a cloudy day, etc with the proper F-Stop. It will get you close.
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#8 David Chandler

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 07:15 AM

Your slr camera is a great spot meter. Set the ASA and you?re there. The cheapest light meter is to buy a roll of still film with the speed of your motion picture film. Then look at the little paper that comes inside the still box. There are little pictures of a bright sun, a cloudy day, etc with the proper F-Stop. It will get you close.


Cool! Thanks!

You guys rock!
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#9 Greg Gross

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 10:00 AM

Sunny day rule:

ASA=100,f16,1/100,ASA=200,f16,1/200,ASA=400,f16,1/400 etc. .

You can adjust the aperture for a more cloudy day,slightly less sunny,overcast etc. .
This rule here that I've posted applies to still cameras. Its not an absolutely perfect
science and you have to interpolate at times. Generally though(consider lattitude of
film) it works well. You'll have to adjust for motion picture camera shutter speeds. By
using Kodak's,Fuji's spec. sheet that comes with the film you should be able to adjust
adequately. Train your eye to work without a meter. You'll be surprised how well you
can do and how competent you'll become. Of course for video you will not need a meter
at all. You will sort of catalog in your mind and your eye's hard drive the most common
light set ups you work with.

Greg Gross











Greg Gross
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 02:01 PM

Hi,

What? C'mon, I got my meter for £50 and it's taught me a lot about exposure and the relationship between lux and F-stops.

Get a basic one.

Phil
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#11 John Holland

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 02:07 PM

Phil , Lux is a thing i have never got into , always foot candles . John .
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#12 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 02:55 PM

Hi,

What? C'mon, I got my meter for £50 and it's taught me a lot about exposure and the relationship between lux and F-stops.

Get a basic one.

Phil


Word!
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#13 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:19 PM

(I think that sunny 16 rule would only work with 50 speed film stock, that is if you have a 180 degree shutter.)


Were you in the cloakroom smoking during arithmetic classes?

I'm consistently shocked at the math illiteracy displayed in this forum.
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#14 Greg Gross

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 09:34 PM

I believe I said that the rule I was posting applied to still photography and that some
interpolation was required. I also mentioned that it would have to be adjusted for the
motion picture camera. I was not in the cloak room but I might have been in the dark
room as I'm most competent and comfortable there.The sunny day rule is basic pho-
tography and I'm a little surprised that you are not familiar with it.

Greg Gross
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#15 Hal Smith

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 10:05 PM

I was a Physics Teacher in the 70's when calculators were getting smarter, and cheaper. There was a real concern back then that there would come a day when many otherwise intelligent people wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to do mental math, they wouldn't have any feel whatsoever for numbers and their meaning. Looks like that day has arrived, sadly. :(
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#16 David Chandler

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:11 AM

Okay, here's a picture of my film box...

http://www.439commun...s.com/kodak.jpg

...and here's a picture of my emulsion lense...

http://www.439commun...om/emulsion.jpg

What should be the proper setting on the emulsion lense?

Thanks for the help guys! I appreciate the responses!

David

OR you could sell your digital camera and get a quality light meter!

;)

You can get a quality Minolta IV F on eBay for under $200

You could do it with your Digital Camera, providing you spend more than half the cost of a new light meter on tests to figure out what your camera reads compared to the emulsions you want to use.



How about a Sekonic L-448? Is it pretty good?

Thanks!

David
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies