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Question About Light Meteres


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#1 Brandon Whiteside

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 11:13 AM

Hey guys and gals,

I have two questions:

1. I am in the market for a light meter and want to know where you think a good used one or a new inexpensive one would come from. I dont have $500 to spend, but i do understand that money will get me less problems, etc. What is your opinion on which meter I should get?

2. What ISO setting do I use for video, specifically using an XLH1 or XL2

Thanks!
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 11:52 AM

Video doesn't really have an ISO per say. In general, for video work I only use my meter on scouts to approximate the HD camera and get an idea of what the range is like in the location itself.
If you want to learn the "effective average Iso" of your video camera, you'd need a grey card, a light and a light meter. You expose the camera for the grey card, and make a note of the F stop. Then, you take a meter reading off of the grey card and adjsut the ISO on your meter till the F stop matches that of the camera. This is now your approximate ISO.
I highly recommend buying a new meter. It's an investment in your own career and in truth the meter isn't very expensive. I like Sekonic meters, and have used these:

http://www.sekonic.c...GITALMASTER.asp the L758 Cine which I use now as my main meter.

http://www.sekonic.c.....ELUXE III.asp the L398-A which is my backup meter (no batteries needed)

http://www.sekonic.c.....SH MASTER.asp The L-358 which is a nice little meter and served me well, which i eventually gave away to a friend.

I also used to use a Minolta meter, the name of which I forget now a days, and they no longer make as far as i know.
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#3 Brandon Whiteside

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 12:50 PM

Ok, so my next question is, is a meter actually necessary for video? I don't usually shoot anything on film yet. When I do that exposure thing with the grey card, will the ISO i land on always be the ISO for my camera, or will i need to re test it each time I expose?
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 01:29 PM

With video you wanna work off of the zebras/histogram or a waveform depending onwhat your camera offers. A meter for video, is a lot more about evaluation.
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#5 Jerry Rojas

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 08:37 PM

Video doesn't really have an ISO per say. In general, for video work I only use my meter on scouts to approximate the HD camera and get an idea of what the range is like in the location itself.
If you want to learn the "effective average Iso" of your video camera, you'd need a grey card, a light and a light meter. You expose the camera for the grey card, and make a note of the F stop. Then, you take a meter reading off of the grey card and adjsut the ISO on your meter till the F stop matches that of the camera. This is now your approximate ISO.


Hi Adrian..
Maybe this is a silly question, but in David Mullen's "in production posts" he refeers to the RED being 360 ISO, so he is only using it as a reference? or he actually uses his lightmeter when lighting?

Sorry for my spell and grammar, as you can see english is not my primary language (not even the 2nd i think jajaja)

Regards

JR
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 10:46 PM

yes, the RED has an "effective" asa, but that's because it's generally raw. with a video camera that's encoding things, and especially on some of the more advanced cameras (such as my own EX1) the ISO (ASA) changes based on what gamma curve you're using and anything else you're doing to the image "in camera." RED and other D-Cinema cameras generally don't process in camera, much like film, hence they have a "sweet spot" for how much light they need to render things properly. Even something like a XL1 or XL2 is still going to vary a bit in it's ISO (ASA) as the DV codec is a form of compression and how/what it compressed will vary based on scene content.
At least that is my understanding and has been my experience on video.
That all being said, even the RED and D-Cinema cameras should be exposed based off of their wave-forms (histograms/false color/zebras) as opposed to a meter reading, per say. And, all that being said having a meter is a great tool regardless of what you're shooting to be used for evaluations. It's really just an evaluational tool, even on film, how you expose is the art of Dp-ism ;)
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 12:23 AM

I doubt he said 360 though. . .

The full stops are 100 200 400 800.

Thirds of a stop go 100 125 160 200 250 320 400 500 640 800 1000.

So he probably said 320 ISO.
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#8 Jerry Rojas

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 08:21 AM

yes, the RED has an "effective" asa, but that's because it's generally raw. with a video camera that's encoding things, and especially on some of the more advanced cameras (such as my own EX1) the ISO (ASA) changes based on what gamma curve you're using and anything else you're doing to the image "in camera." RED and other D-Cinema cameras generally don't process in camera, much like film, hence they have a "sweet spot" for how much light they need to render things properly. Even something like a XL1 or XL2 is still going to vary a bit in it's ISO (ASA) as the DV codec is a form of compression and how/what it compressed will vary based on scene content.
At least that is my understanding and has been my experience on video.
That all being said, even the RED and D-Cinema cameras should be exposed based off of their wave-forms (histograms/false color/zebras) as opposed to a meter reading, per say. And, all that being said having a meter is a great tool regardless of what you're shooting to be used for evaluations. It's really just an evaluational tool, even on film, how you expose is the art of Dp-ism ;)


Hi David, thanks for your detailed explain...

Regards

JR
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#9 Jerry Rojas

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 08:23 AM

I doubt he said 360 though. . .

The full stops are 100 200 400 800.

Thirds of a stop go 100 125 160 200 250 320 400 500 640 800 1000.

So he probably said 320 ISO.


Ups, you are absolutly right Karl, he said 320, my mistake, sorry...

JR
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