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Lightmeter help


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#1 Nick Centera

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 01:06 PM

Hey, I am beginning to use film and I will probably be using the light meter a lot, so are there any tutorials on how to use light meters, anything that can help me use it correctly? Thank you

Nick
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#2 David Regan

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 03:42 PM

Try doing a search on the subject on here, I know it's come up before several times (I think once or twice by me a while ago). You should find plenty of good answers.

In short however, you will use likely either an incident meter, or reflected meter. If you take an incident meter reading, the resultant f-stop you get is telling you: In this light, if you shoot at this stop, you whites will be white, grays gray, blacks black etc...

With a reflected meter, if you point it at a subject, the reading tells you that if you expose at that stop, the object/surface you metered will be rendered as middle gray. So if you take a reflected reading of a black surface, it will want you to overexpose to get that black to read as gray. And conversely to underexpose if you meter a white surface for the same result.

These are the fundamentals of what the meter is telling you, it is not a rule, it is only information, you take that information and base your exposure on how you want your scene to look. There are many factors when you take a meter reading, most importantly where you are metering.

But yes, do a search and you should find a bunch more on the subject.
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#3 David Rakoczy

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 03:44 PM

Get this book FILM LIGHTING and begin your career ;)
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#4 Nick Centera

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 05:04 PM

The light meter I have is ambient, or at least that's what the ASC manual says about it. What does that mean for using it on set?
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#5 David Rakoczy

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 06:33 PM

Read the Book.
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#6 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 03:26 PM

The light meter I have is ambient, What does that mean for using it on set?


Is it a light meter made for photography? The usual photographic terms are incident, reflective, or spot; there are many other lightmeters out there for other purposes. I would stick with a lightmeter designed for photography at least, if not one made specifically for cinema. The most useful for cinema is the incident type. A spotmeter may be a useful addition, they are reflective (the 18% gray thing). I think Sekonic makes a nice electronic combo (incident/reflective/spot) meter. If that's too expensive the old Spectra incident meters were pretty much the industry standard, available cheap on ebay.

Also, whatever light meter you end up using you should be sure it's calibrated so you know it's accurate. I like George at Quality Light-Metric Co.
7095 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 467-2265

Oh yea, and follow David's Film Lighting advice. He gives it a lot, but he's right.

Have fun,

Bruce Taylor
www.indi35.com
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#7 boy yniguez

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 06:12 AM

The light meter I have is ambient, or at least that's what the ASC manual says about it. What does that mean for using it on set?



ambient is one of the settings for a flashmeter, the others being cord or no cord. all it means is that it is reading continuous light, not a pop of a strobe. go ahead, use it. i use one too!
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#8 Tom Jensen

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 06:15 PM

Hey, I am beginning to use film and I will probably be using the light meter a lot, so are there any tutorials on how to use light meters, anything that can help me use it correctly? Thank you

Nick


Read the manual that comes with the meter.
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