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Sekonic Meter Exposure Profiles


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#1 Michael Rivero

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 01:53 PM

One of the reason I invested $400 in a Sekonic meter was the claim, made on numerous websites, that Sekonic had pre-tested exposure profiles for common film stocks at their website. I am able to see a http://www.sekonic.com/profiles/ directory but cannot find out how to access it and get the index.

I need profiles for Kodak 5212, 5218, and 5205 stocks. I am amazed that given the prevalence of Sekonic meters that these profiles cannot be found, either at Sekonic or at Kodak.

Anyone have any suggestions before I have to buy a $90 test chart and blow a lot of bucks shooting wedges?
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:11 PM

I highly doubt that any motion picture stocks were included in that claim. We generally push filmstocks further than most still photogs and expect more of them. Specific effects require different exposure. Different people expose a given stock differently. They couldn't possibly do it and please everybody.

You're expecting someone to do the testing for you and they can't possibly. You have to put in the work to get the best out of film.
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#3 Patrick Neary

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 06:13 PM

Sekonic's exposure profiling seems more like a marketing dept. invention than useful tool...

Like Chris sez, there are so many variables in shooting (both stills and MP) that the idea of profiling a camera or stock seems a little nuts. But then I guess there are people out there who REALLY like to fidget with their meter! (and others who don't use a meter at all.)
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#4 Michael Rivero

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 09:09 AM

Sekonic's exposure profiling seems more like a marketing dept. invention than useful tool...

Like Chris sez, there are so many variables in shooting (both stills and MP) that the idea of profiling a camera or stock seems a little nuts. But then I guess there are people out there who REALLY like to fidget with their meter! (and others who don't use a meter at all.)



I understand what Chris is saying, but the character curves published by Kodak are not changing, ergo the dynamic range and clipping points are pretty much constant (minus the usual slight variations from batch to batch) on the characteristic curve for each ISO.

Once the stock is tested, the resulting profile should remain constant until the stock undergoes a formula change.

Anyway, thanks for the help.

Edited by Michael Rivero, 22 August 2007 - 09:09 AM.

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#5 Patrick Neary

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 10:31 AM

.....except that published curves are just your starting point, and are independent of any exposure, processing or storage or (most importantly) post-production variations that affect your final image.

I suppose you could test a stock through your production and post workflow and plug-in a profile based on that, but by then you'll already know that you're losing highlight detail at +4 and shadow detail at -3 so having your meter beep at you (or whatever it does) seems kind of redundant.

Sekonics are still great meters though!
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#6 e gustavo petersen

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 04:10 AM

As I understand it, the profiles only work with the 758 and only after a series of tests are perfomed in conjunction with Sekonic's Data Transfer Software. (I mention this only because I don't know which meter Micheal is referring to.) As others have already mentioned and like everything in cinematography, for the profiles to work, you have to do the testing as it relates to how you plan on exposing, processing and finishing your images - be it photochemical, digital or a combination thereof. The function is not merely a "marketing ploy" as someone suggested, but rather came at the request of digital photographs finding variances in senors even with cameras that are the same brand and model.

A camera's profile is generated after evaluation of a test image. That evaluation generates a series of test values that are input into the software and then a series of dynamic range parameters is generated for the entire ISO range of that particular sensor.

Let's not forget that these profiles, like the meter itself, are merely tools. What the meter says is the "correct" exposure may not be the "best" exposure. But if you're in need of a consistent, accurate and repeatable exposure, the time spent generating these profiles is very much worth it.
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#7 Patrick Neary

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 11:18 AM

Hi-

I don't mean to sound like I'm ragging on Sekonic, I'm not, (their meters are great) and realizing that everyone has their own way of working, (and their own balance of craft and art) I'm just having a hard time seeing what the profiling really adds to the metering or photographic process that you don't already have access to.

My spot meter has a very conservative averaging feature that's a vaguely similar idea, but I never use it because it's an extra step I don't really need.

Maybe there's a specific instance where it would be indispensable (man I love the spell-check feature here), I just can't think of any.

And I sure wouldn't download someone else's "pre-tested exposure profiles" and rely on that.
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