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Spot Meters


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#1 Ira Ratner

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 07:08 AM

Although my K-3 has its internal meter, I'm nervous that I'll screw up with all of these lenses I have with different metering techniques (stop down and such).

Do any of you guys use a spot meter, like a 1-degree, on a regular basis?

Although I used meters in the medieval days of 35mm still work, I never worked with a spot meter. Can I assume that I take my various readings of the scene and then extrapolate the optimum f-stop for what I want to do?

My other fear is that I have no idea how the K-3's meter behaves--whether it's averaging, more center-weighted, etc. It just seems safer from the get-go to spend some bucks on a decent meter when we're talking about blowing $100 for two bad reels of 100' anyway. (Not to mention the time lost.)

I was thinking spot because I want a cool thing that I can look through and appear important to all of those insignificant passers-by.

Edited by Ira Ratner, 18 October 2008 - 07:09 AM.

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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 07:35 PM

Spot meters are the way to go -for certain situations, like zone system type metering, etc- IF you know the shutter angle of the movie camera in question.

Of course if your K3 internal light meter is working PROPERLY you can figure out what shutter angle it has by pointing the camera and the meter at the same object (18% gray) and matching the settings on both until by process of elimination you reach a conclusion.
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#3 Ira Ratner

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 08:14 PM

Spot meters are the way to go -for certain situations, like zone system type metering, etc- IF you know the shutter angle of the movie camera in question.

Of course if your K3 internal light meter is working PROPERLY you can figure out what shutter angle it has by pointing the camera and the meter at the same object (18% gray) and matching the settings on both until by process of elimination you reach a conclusion.


Uhhhh...okay.

I totally believe you, but I still don't know what the hell I'm supposed to exactly do here.

I'm a retard with the this stuff--remember?

Edited by Ira Ratner, 18 October 2008 - 08:16 PM.

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#4 John Brawley

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Posted 19 October 2008 - 12:11 AM

Although my K-3 has its internal meter, I'm nervous that I'll screw up with all of these lenses I have with different metering techniques (stop down and such).


The idea is that a spot is a more accurate way to meter, providing you read and interpret the readings correctly. You have to take into account if you're pointing it at something white or black. IN fact that's why you do it usually, and decided what you want to expose for in a given scene, and what you want to let go. An in camera meter will average everything together and go for the safe middile ground. It will give you a picture, but not maybe what you want to se (or not see).

It also allows you to meter places you could never go with an ambient meter, like, the sky, the top of a building, and to measure the fall off on a blue or greenscreen.

jb
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#5 Ira Ratner

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Posted 19 October 2008 - 09:34 AM

That's the way I was thinking, John. If I'm in the Everglades and shooting with a long lens, that would seem to be the best way to go to expose for the gator.

It's when I'm doing closer stuff with shorter lenses that I'm confused about. For a medium shot of a person, I'm gonna get way different spot readings for the face than say the shirt. So in an instance like this, am I safer to just take the reading off a grey card?

I guess I'd better brush up on my zone system.
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#6 John Brawley

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Posted 19 October 2008 - 11:11 AM

. So in an instance like this, am I safer to just take the reading off a grey card?

I guess I'd better brush up on my zone system.


Hi Ira..

that what I was saying about knowing how to read and interpret.

What do you want to expose for ? Where do you want it to be exposed in your available exposure range ?

The meter doesn't tell you where to set exposure. It tells you a range of values as you spot around and you *decide* how you want to map or re-map those exposures.

If you were shooting into the just set sky and wanted a silhouette then the value you get from metering someone's face isn't where you want to expose. You'd want to meter the sky so their face went dark right ? If however, you DID want to see their face, and didn't really care about where the sky was, you'd set the exposure for the value of their face...make sense ??

In the above example, the metered value of the sky or someone's face doesn't change. Only your decision about what's important changes. Welcome to Cinematography :-)

jb
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