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Sekonic L-398 newbie


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#1 michael1972

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 03:28 AM

hi,
i now own a S16mm bolex, i wanted to buy a good light meter not only to use but primarily to learn from as well about film.So i bought a classic Sekonic L398
Problem is i dont have all the cards that are available for the light meter so when i get a reading of a subject on a sunny day 24 fps using 64d stock for example i get some pretty strange readings.
Me being a total newbie and not doing it right is no way out of the question but i dont want to ruin any more film or money, so if any of the more experienced legends out there i would love to hear what you may say on this matter.
Also i want to shoot surfing in the water, usually on sunny days what would be the best way to get a safe reading from land?
Thanks guys for any wisdom. Mike
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#2 Nick Mulder

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 04:11 AM

hi,
i now own a S16mm bolex, i wanted to buy a good light meter not only to use but primarily to learn from as well about film.So i bought a classic Sekonic L398
Problem is i dont have all the cards that are available for the light meter so when i get a reading of a subject on a sunny day 24 fps using 64d stock for example i get some pretty strange readings.
Me being a total newbie and not doing it right is no way out of the question but i dont want to ruin any more film or money, so if any of the more experienced legends out there i would love to hear what you may say on this matter.
Also i want to shoot surfing in the water, usually on sunny days what would be the best way to get a safe reading from land?
Thanks guys for any wisdom. Mike


I'm no legend but...

Cards ? as in %18 grey ? or info cards, like spinny wheel like thingys that tell you your bolex shutter angle and prism adjustments ? or maybe daylight/tungsten adjustment calcs ?

Firstly, you dont need %18 grey cards for a incident meter like the L398 - hmmm, and what are the strange readings you are getting ?

For the surf its not too hard as the surf will be under the same lighting conditions as you are outdoors (away from shade or otherwise) - so just take a reading there and then... take it with the meter oriented towards the direction that the camera will be... ie. most prob some angle away from the water.

I could type for ages, but its probably easier that we understand what the problems are you are experiencing and what you mean by 'cards' (unless I'm about to get an education myself ?)

oh, and welcome to Team Bolex! :lol:
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#3 michael1972

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 04:27 AM

sorry,
slides as in direct reading slides.
Thank you for the response, can you suggest a good film to shoot 64 fps in sunny conditions?
thanks again
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#4 Nick Mulder

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 05:57 AM

sorry,
slides as in direct reading slides.
Thank you for the response, can you suggest a good film to shoot 64 fps in sunny conditions?
thanks again

I dont know about the slides ... I've either used an older sekonic incident or my new L758 - you'll have to wait for another L398 user to help you out there.

As for 64fps on a bolex with a 135deg shutter (or 170 on the EBM and EL) - on a sunny day you should be fine with even 7201 (50D) especially if you have the faster Kern primes for any shadows areas you have to get right...

A rule you can get approx values from is the sunny 16 rule - if its sunny set your aperture at f16 and your shutter speed should be set at the reciprocal of your film speed (eg, 50ASA = 1/50sec exposure) ...

Now this rule wont work directly with cine work as its almost always fps priority so there is shutter angles to work with to convert fps to shutter times this way and that - and then chuck in a polarizer and the rest - Still nothing a bit of math cant bash out in a few minutes...
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#5 Robert Hughes

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:55 PM

Hi, Mike. The L398 is a straightforward incident light meter, years ago every film student carried one. You need the white globe and the high slide; anything else is gravy. Sekonic still supplies globes, discs and high slides for the L398 if you need. If you have questions about whether it is calibrated properly, take it outside on a sunny midday with the high slide inserted and globe facing the sun. Using the "sunny 16" exposure rule, you can get a good estimate of proper exposure by reading the exposure time at f/16: it should be the inverse of the ASA rating you've dialed up. For example, if your meter is set to ASA 100, at f/16 you should read around 1/100 second.

Give it a try. If you don't have a high slide, sorry, you're out of luck.
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 02:20 PM

I have an L398. Watch the screws in the back, they fall out and are hard to replace.

I like it very much; it intrinsically teaches you a lot about the relationships between the various aspects of exposure.

Phil
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