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About to shoot my fisrt roll of Super8! First post! Help on Light meters needed...


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#1 James Millward

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 07:17 AM

My dad put his first roll of super8 through his camera in 1967, and in 2008 im about to do the same!!

Ive got some rolls of Ektachrome 64t coming, but what I dont want to do is waste them with aimless shoting. I want to learn to expose correctly and shoot some test footage on these test rolls under different lighting conditions.

Ive read various things on light meteres but I must confess I am still confused. Have I got the folloeing correct:

1) I input the film speed in to the meter (ie 64 asa)

2) I take a reading (relfective or incident)

3) Push the button, and the meter will tell me the correct 'stop' value to shoot at??

I will be shooting on a quarz windup cam. does this work with 64t?? or doesnt it matter as long as I use an external light meter and follow the proceedure above??

What I dont understand aswell is how does the light meter know what is 'correct' exposure??

Lets say I shoot a bright sunny day and the meter says to shoot at f8 then I shoot a dark basement and the meter says to be wide open. WHat is the meter trying to do? Is it trying to provide the same illumination through to the film for both scenes? BUT what if im shooting a dark scene the chances are I want the basement to maintain its dark look (for atmospherics). If I expose at the reading the meter gave, wouldnt the basement scene appear too bright??

How does the meter know what is 'correct'??

Hope you can help guys, many thanks
Jim
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#2 wolfgang haak

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 01:56 PM

How does the meter know what is 'correct'??


Jim,

a lot of light meters like the sekonic ones have shuuter speed for SLR cameras and and fps setting. On an open shutter on the camera (180 deg) the speed is

E = (fps * 360) / 180.

So the light meter assumes that this is the corect shutter speed.

It's all nicely explained here: http://en.wikipedia....i/Shutter_angle
But in principal your setup is correct. Bear in mind, the Exposure meter can't guess in what lighting conditions you are filming, a lot of them assume an 18% grey (mid grey)
Check out Sekonic's Website for more info.

regards,
Wolfgang
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#3 Ira Ratner

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:24 PM

James, this will hopefully diminish your fear of getting proper exposure:

Remember that all you can adjust is the aperture, so for the same exact scene, obey your meter reading and shoot for 10 seconds. Then close down 1/2 stop and shoot for 10 seconds, and OPEN 1/2 stop for 10 seconds. Your first roll is your TEST roll. There are a myriad of ways to determine your reading--but remember, again, that it's only one little stupid dial you're adjusting.

This will raise your fear of getting proper exposure:

It depends on the meter, whether it's averaging, more center-weighted to give you that reading, and the biggest hell of all:

You take your reading, and by the time you pull the trigger, the light conditions have changed and you're all messed up.

Fear this:


You don't want to be a stop off in either direction with reversal film. It will either be underexposed, or washed out from overexposure. MAYBE a stop, but you're getting into dangerous territory.

And did you know this?


You can't take Ektachrome balanced tungsten outdoors or under "normal" lights without a special filter. It's meant to be shot under tungsten balanced lights, and if you don't, everything will look way too blue.

Just shoot for a few seconds at a time, send that reel out for processing, and take it from there.

Edited by Ira Ratner, 09 September 2008 - 06:26 PM.

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#4 James Millward

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 03:26 PM

Many thanks for taking the time to reply guys. It is much appreciated.

I must confess, I am still a little confused, but I think im getting there.

I will be shooting on reversal film (ie Ektachrome 64t) to begin with so it sounds like thre need for correct exposure is more detrimental. I cant afford to waste film, so i'm going get a light meter and run some tests.

Can I ask, what test shots you shoot?

I understand the idea of shooting 10 secs and 0 then 10 secs at +1, +2 etc to see the effect it has on the film in relation to what the meter has given me, BUT what CONDITIONS would you try the above with?? ie

Bright sunny day
Overcast day
Dark afternoon
Dark rainy afternoon
Bright sunny day indoor
Overcast day indoor no lights

Etc etc??

Am I on the right track? There are so many different lighting conditions, and lux levels, where would you sytart if shooting test rolls??

Lastly, Does adding a filter to the lens, say when using tungsten film outdoors, change the asa of the film? Is it still 64asa?? Or do I need to change the setting on the light meter??


Many thanks again
James

Edited by James Millward, 10 September 2008 - 03:30 PM.

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#5 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 04:09 PM

I understand the idea of shooting 10 secs and 0 then 10 secs at +1, +2 etc to see the effect it has on the film in relation to what the meter has given me, BUT what CONDITIONS would you try the above with?? ie

Bright sunny day
Overcast day
Dark afternoon
Dark rainy afternoon
Bright sunny day indoor
Overcast day indoor no lights

Etc etc??


Any and all - whatever conditions you have. The light meter recommends an f-stop that will achieve an average of 18% grey (considered "normal") in each instance. The main reason you are testing is to see how much light is lost in transmission with your particular camera: the light meter will give you an "f-stop", which is pure theory. In reality some light is lost in the lens and the viewfinder system. Taking that into account you arrive at a "T-stop". I prefer to use the camera's internal meter (assuming it works) as it gives me T-stops from the get-go. So start with your meter reading, run some tests bracketed on each side, and determine the best compensation for that camera. If you want to save a bit of time and film I would start by opening up about 1/3 of a stop from the meter reading as a starting point though not knowing your viewfinder system that is just a guesstimate on my part.

Lastly, Does adding a filter to the lens, say when using tungsten film outdoors, change the asa of the film? Is it still 64asa?? Or do I need to change the setting on the light meter??


You'll see on the film cartridge that the film is rated at 40 ISO when filtered so set your meter there to account for the light lost by the filter. Another reason I like the itnernal light meter: it accounts for this automatically.

Rick
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#6 James Millward

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:09 PM

Any and all - whatever conditions you have. The light meter recommends an f-stop that will achieve an average of 18% grey (considered "normal") in each instance. The main reason you are testing is to see how much light is lost in transmission with your particular camera: the light meter will give you an "f-stop", which is pure theory. In reality some light is lost in the lens and the viewfinder system. Taking that into account you arrive at a "T-stop". I prefer to use the camera's internal meter (assuming it works) as it gives me T-stops from the get-go. So start with your meter reading, run some tests bracketed on each side, and determine the best compensation for that camera. If you want to save a bit of time and film I would start by opening up about 1/3 of a stop from the meter reading as a starting point though not knowing your viewfinder system that is just a guesstimate on my part.



You'll see on the film cartridge that the film is rated at 40 ISO when filtered so set your meter there to account for the light lost by the filter. Another reason I like the itnernal light meter: it accounts for this automatically.

Rick


Many thanks for the reply. One thing I am confused about is the difference between setting the exposure of the camera to match the film speed and setting the apature for the scene you are shooting.

On a 35mm slr lens you have focus adjustment and apature adjustment actually on the lens, AND I can set the camera for the correct film speed im using via a different knob. But on my super 8 Kinoflex/quarz I only have one knob which ranges form 0 to +1/+2 and -1/-2

Presumably this is the same as the apature control on a 35mm slr?

Can someone explain the difference between settin the cam for the film stock, and adjusting the apature??

Thanks again
James
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#7 James Millward

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:15 PM

Just though, am I right in saying that when I put my 64t film into the cam I should make no adjustment to the cams settings? Instead, I input the film speed into the meter and that determines the correct apature to shoot at (in theory)??

How do I quantify the controls on my cam in terms of F stops values??

My Kinoflex/quarz only has 0 and +1/+2 -1/-2

If my meter throws up say F8, how does this equate to my cam??

Many thanks
James
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#8 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 06:08 PM

Just though, am I right in saying that when I put my 64t film into the cam I should make no adjustment to the cams settings? Instead, I input the film speed into the meter and that determines the correct apature to shoot at (in theory)??

How do I quantify the controls on my cam in terms of F stops values??

My Kinoflex/quarz only has 0 and +1/+2 -1/-2

If my meter throws up say F8, how does this equate to my cam??

Many thanks
James


On the left side of the camera you should see a dial with an "A" (for auto exposure) and "M" (for manaul). "A" is an on/off setting but if you go to M you'll see you have room to move and if you look through the viewfinder you'll see the f-stop markings and moving the dial in the M zone you'll see you can set the pointer to the desired f-stop. IOW, take a reading wthi your meter and once you have decided on an f-stop turn that dial to set it.

The 0 +1/+2 etc dial is if you are using the internal light meter. This camera (I believe but could be off) defaults to 40 ISO and you use the + and - dial to compnesate based on the speed you are shooting so the internal meter reading remains accurate.

Hope that helps
Rick
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