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using light meters


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#1 jon lawrence

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 03:44 PM

Hey, I've finaly decided to invest in a light meter. I thinking of buying a sekonic l-358 as it's fairly cheap and seems to have the features a begginner needs. I've used a light meter before, but I've never measured the distance between the camera and subject. Obviously this is something i need to start doing so my question is where does this come in when using a light meter? I know you have to input the film speed and fps. Where does distance come in and does this anyone know if you can do it with a sekonic l-358? Do you have to input the distance in cm/feet/ metres before you take a reading?
Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Jon.
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#2 Frank Barrera

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 05:20 PM

when using an incident light meter you need only place the meter with photosphere towards the camera in the exact spot in which you need the reading. In other words, if you are shooting a subject sitting at a table, you place the meter as close as possible to their face towards the camera's lens. This will give you an averaged reading of the light falling on the subject's face. The distance is not a quantity that you must concern yourself with since you're placing the meter where you desire the reading.
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#3 jon lawrence

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 05:25 PM

Thanks alot for clearing that up. My brain feels much better now.

Jon
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#4 Sam Kim

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 12:53 AM

if you're a student check out mac on campus. they give decent discounts and i just picked up a new sekonic 758 cine. but there's no need to get such an expensive one unless you need all the functions. picking up a used one from someone you trust might even be worth it (like a cinematography student who wants to upgrade their light meter).

try to get something with a spot meter. it's convenient and will really help you out in the long run. you use the incident for the majority and spot check with a spot meter to check your shadows and highlights.
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#5 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 03:12 AM

I've used a light meter before, but I've never measured the distance between the camera and subject. Obviously this is something i need to start doing so my question is where does this come in when using a light meter?
Thanks, Jon.


Hi Jon,

As explained in the previous post, you really don't need to worry about distance in most shooting situations, but if you start doing a lot of close focus work, you should consider giving additional exposure. From the American Cinematographer Manual (Ninth Edition), page 598: When a lens is focused closer than ten times its focal length, its effective aperture, rather than its marked aperture, must be taken into consideration.

When you start focusing close to an object it has the same effect as, say, moving a movie projector farther away from the screen: the size of the image becomes larger, but it also becomes dimmer. There are various charts in the Manual that list the required exposure compensation based on format (16mm/35mm etc.), lens focal length and distance from film to subject.

Fran
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#6 Antonio Bunt

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 06:43 PM

This may not be the thread but how about measuring for underwater filming? Thanks!
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#7 jon lawrence

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 11:25 AM

Thanks so much for the replies. Can anyone recommend a good light meter? I was going to go for the sekonic l-358 (for £100 on ebay) as it is the cheapest one I can find that works in fps. Are there better ones out there for this kind of money?

Thanks, Jon
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#8 Sam Kim

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 01:13 PM

Thanks so much for the replies. Can anyone recommend a good light meter? I was going to go for the sekonic l-358 (for £100 on ebay) as it is the cheapest one I can find that works in fps. Are there better ones out there for this kind of money?

Thanks, Jon


that'll do if all you want is an incident. if you're taking the used ebay route you might want to save a few more pounds and get a 508 or 558. they have spots built into them.
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#9 Ian Takahashi SOC

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 09:17 PM

This may not be the thread but how about measuring for underwater filming? Thanks!


What are you measuring, distance for focus, or light

Light is measured the same way, just use a housing on over your meter. You should also double check with a spot-meter, just to see what to see how much light is going to be absorbed by the water as is travels back to your lense.

Distance is just the same, with a flat-port everything is 33% bigger, so you focus 25% closer. 12' away, focus at 9'.

that'll do if all you want is an incident. if you're taking the used ebay route you might want to save a few more pounds and get a 508 or 558. they have spots built into them.



I had a Sekonic 608 for a few years, but now I keep a Minolta F spot meter, and a Spectra IV incident. I like having seperate meters, and they fit into Hydroflex underwater housings. Both are great meters.
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