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Newbie questions: lightmeter and film


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#1 henry jameson

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 10:16 AM

Hi all, i'm a professional digital video operator and i would like to experiment with 16mm film.
I really have tons of questions, but 2 are the most important and urgent.
I mainly film race cars, so i work in daylight (mostly sunny thankfully). I'd like to shoot footage at 48fps and have it telecined to see how slo-mo works.
From what i've read, you can't trust internal lightmeters, so i need an external one.
I can't take spot readings of my subjects, because they usually travel at >100mph...
What kind of lightmeter do i need for these situations?
These are 3 stills from footage i usually film with DV

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Also, what kind of film do you recommend ? Considering final destination will be MiniDV . I would really like to get nice saturated colors, as my subjects are so colourfull....

Thanks.
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#2 ryan_bennett

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 11:11 AM

First, I don't think El Barto is your actual name, as the policy of the forums please change it to your actualy First Name and Last name.

Reality, you can use internal or external. External is better but considering your situation it's probably easier, or use an external incident meter to get a good approximation, most incident light meters have the option to work either or ways. The problem with relying on internal is that sometimes the meter can be thrown off as it doesn't know what you want to exposed for, also depending on the camera you're using, the meters aren't trustworthy. Just do a serach here or on google to learn more about intricities of the light meter. There's also many books.

FilmStock reccommendations are another spotty thing because there is no one right or wrong filmstock. Kodak 200T is pretty good, maybe a daylight stock such as 50D if not a lot a light then I suggest something like 250D and use ND filters if needed, plus don't forget Fuji stocks so really. The stocks are colorful to begin with what really makes the colors pop is what colors you put on the screen and also some degree in the color correction during telecine. Maybe check out some reversal too but personally like the control of negative.

I think my best suggestion is first just go out there with some b&w plus-x or tri-x reversal and shoot some tests to learn then move on to more expensive stuff. Also remember running at 48fps you need another stop from 24fps. Really the easiest way to learn is go out there and shoot and experiment, we can lend you some help but really, go out and shoot.

Edited by ryan_bennett, 07 August 2007 - 11:13 AM.

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#3 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 11:41 AM

I mainly film race cars, so i work in daylight (mostly sunny thankfully). I'd like to shoot footage at 48fps and have it telecined to see how slo-mo works.
From what i've read, you can't trust internal lightmeters, so i need an external one.
I can't take spot readings of my subjects, because they usually travel at >100mph...
What kind of lightmeter do i need for these situations?

Hi There "el".

One typicaly would use an incident meter, where you aim the meter at the light source. This avoids the problem of having to guess where to aim a spot meter. If you do use a spot meter, the way out is to use it on an 18% grey card, that is receiving the same light as the subject. From there you can add or subtract exposure to compensate for the subjects as needed.

At 48FPS, your effective shutter speed is going to be close to 1/100th of a second, so you should not need an extremly fast film. In fact if it is a sunny day, even at that spped you can probaly do quite well with 50D (64D in the fuji line) Since you exposure will be in the f8 - f11 range. and you won't need to add any filters. Fuji has a relatively new film out Eterna Vivid 160T (16mm Type 8643) which is suposed to have VERY high colour saturation. it will require an 85 filter in daylight, which will give you an EI of 100. In sunshine that will likly give you f16. at 48FPS using the famous "sunny 16" rule.

By all means use some B&W reversal for practice on your first go out. it will show errors in exposure much better than negative stock, and is relativly inexpensive. if you have access to a projector you can even look at it directly, thus avoiding the need to have it transfered to video.

The Ekatchrome and Fuji reversal stocks may also be of interest for "popping colours" but they may be harder to handle.
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#4 henry jameson

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 10:58 AM

sorry for the name... it was on my "to do" list before posting but then i missed it...
i'm not really fond of B/W but as you say, it's cheaper and for the first test reels i'll avoid colour.
I've just remebered that i still have 2 pentax photo cameras that had a quite reliable internal light meter... maybe i'll start using them as a reference to what the internal meter says and see what happens... We are so lucky with video cameras to have "zebra" patterns.....

Charles, what's the ' famous "sunny 16" rule ' ?

thanks.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 11:31 AM

The sunny 16 rule is that at a given ASA, your exposure in full sun will be an aperture of f16 and a shutter speed of 1/ the asa of your film. So with a film camera running at 24fps, this would be 50 asa film and f16. You can shift the asa and shutter speed around to get the combination of the two that work for you.
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Aerial Filmworks

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Glidecam

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