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#1 David Mooney

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:08 PM

Hi folks,


Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this but i need some help using a Bolex H-16. I shot some footage last week on 7265 film stock, it was a bright morning when i shot and there was snow everywhere, i was not using an ND filter. I got my film back, and was essentially all white, totally overexposed, and mostly unusable. After talking to some people I determined i was definately not compensating enough for the amount of light.

My question is how do i avoid this overexposer? I am reshooting tomorrow in the afternoon, when it will still be fairly sunny. There might be less snow, but im not sure. I WILL have ND filters this time. Can anybody reccomend a 'ballpark' idea for how to set my exposure for these conditions. I have a sekonic light meter, but unfortunately it confuses me, especially everything with the high slide. Sorry if this is all too vague, but i GREATLY appreciate any advice that anyone can give....

Thanks guys...
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#2 Mike Rizos

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 12:25 AM

Are you using a reflex Bolex or a non reflex.
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#3 David Mooney

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 12:28 AM

Are you using a reflex Bolex or a non reflex.


Its a reflex
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#4 Mike Rizos

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 12:38 AM

Then the effective shutter speed is about 1/85 sec. at 24fps. Set your light meter for the ASA speed of the film you're using.(7265 is rated 100ASA). Use 1/90 of a sec for the shutter speed(very close to the actual 1/85) and read the aperture your meter gives you, and simply set the aperture of the lens on that number. For a sunny day you should get about f16.
You really need to understand your light meter, which one are you using?
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#5 David Mooney

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 12:47 AM

the meter im using is a Sekonic Studio Deluxe II L-398m. All of the filming ive done up to this point in the semester has been indoor with lighting kits, so the high slide is a bit of mystery for me.

Thanks a ton for your help
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#6 Jon Schweigart

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 03:25 AM

With the highslide in you meter it the same but you line up the footcandle reading with the Red H arrow instead of the black arrow.
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#7 Ira Ratner

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:35 AM

The last thing your film should usually be in snow is overexposed. It's more likely to be UNDEREXPOSED:

The bright white fools the meter into a smaller aperture because of all of that light that it thinks it sees.

Something is screwy here. If it was overexposed, it means if you were compensating, you were compensating too much, or something else is wrong. This is where a spot meter is invaluable.
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#8 Jon Schweigart

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 02:28 PM

Yes usually outdoor shooting with snow results in underexposure because the light meter gives you a reading for middle gray so the snow doesn't come out white. You need to compensate for this. Did you adjust the meter to it's outdoor ASA? I'm guessing it was mainly not reading the meter correctly for the high slide that caused your overexposure.
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#9 David Mooney

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 03:42 PM

Yes usually outdoor shooting with snow results in underexposure because the light meter gives you a reading for middle gray so the snow doesn't come out white. You need to compensate for this. Did you adjust the meter to it's outdoor ASA? I'm guessing it was mainly not reading the meter correctly for the high slide that caused your overexposure.


Im guessing you are right. Additionally, i used an embarrasingly incorrect exposure for most of the shoot. I took a bit of a crash course on how to use the sekonic today, and i think there will be a lot less snow this time around, so hopefully i'll do it properly.

Thanks to everyone for your input, much appreciated
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#10 Jon Schweigart

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 12:12 AM

There's no shame in that. Using that Sekonic is tricky at first and takes some getting used to. Getting out there and trying it is the only way to learn and get comfortable with it. Like Ira said using a spot meter should make this shooting scenario a little easier but that Sekonic is a good meter and will also give you good results.
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#11 Ira Ratner

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 10:16 AM

Dave--do you know what I'm going to be doing because film is just too expensive to mess around with?

Mind you--I'm a total amateur myself, but I have a background in 35mm still work:

I'm going to get into the habit of using a digital camera with manual mode to confirm my readings.

My K3 has internal metering, and I got a good deal on an old Minolta analog spot meter on eBay (50 bucks). So I'm going to take my readings using both, set the digital camera, take a shot, and see what I got.

Granted, I don't expect a 100% match-up between the various meterings, especially since the spot is so sensitive to its 1-degree reading, but I at least want to know I'm in the ballpark before pulling the film trigger.
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