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Metering light for digital


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#1 Nick Norton

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 03:49 PM

I've started shooting with an HD Sony, and own a Spectra IV light meter.

However, i'm not sure how to use it with this camera. What do i set the film speed at etc.



Thanks-

Nicholas
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 04:10 PM

Basically HD cameras don't have a real ASA/ISO. Their sensitivity will vary based on what's around, and what you're doing to the image later on . Normally you would set exposure based on zebras in the viewfinder and/or a waveform monitor.
However, if you want to use your meter for an evaluation of the scene (w/o camera or whatever) you should illuminate a 18% grey card, meter it (spot) and see how it reads, and then zoom in with your camera and set the aperture on it until it appears neutral grey as well. Then you fiddle with your ASA till your meter reads the same as the camera's F-stop. This is your "effective," or "evaluation," ASA. That's how I do it.
Generally try around 200 at first, I have found most cameras to be in the 200~400 asa range.
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#3 Bob Hayes

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 12:53 AM

A meter is a good way to keep your lighting levels even on a large set and also make sure you are not under exposed on big night exteriors. The earlier post gave the correct way to rate your camera. One trick thing about using a meter is that the cameras are so adjustable these days. Adjusting the gamma for example changes where your 18% would fall in your over all exposure of the image.
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#4 Ralph Keyser

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 12:27 PM

Generally try around 200 at first, I have found most cameras to be in the 200~400 asa range.

Also, be aware that your effective ASA rating may change as conditions change. Many digital cameras behave differently in bright light vs. dim light even if the gain remains unchanged.
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#5 Matteo Castelli

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 02:58 AM

I don't think the most important issues is "what asa is my camera"..
The lightmeter is useful to control the light ratios all over the scene and you can do it with the footcandles readings of your lightmeter..
after that you can set the right aperture direclty thru the lens/viewfinder, as I suppose you've always done since now..

what do you think about it?
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CineLab

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

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Visual Products

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera