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Nikon d90 as lightmeter


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#1 Matteo Cocco

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 07:32 AM

Does someone have any experience using the D90 for exposure references? It seems to give me results wich are very different from my sekonic lightmeter...
Thanks for your help,
Matteo
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 10:45 AM

Does someone have any experience using the D90 for exposure references? It seems to give me results wich are very different from my sekonic lightmeter...
Thanks for your help,
Matteo


I've tried it with a D40X, as a preview device. The thing is that you have to take it with a grain of salt because, for one thing, what are you judging the still image on? The LCD screen on the back of the camera? A histogram? A reference monitor?

The other thing is that you need to test a little to make sure you compensate for the difference between the digital image and the film one, and the difference between the lenses. Often digital stills shot in JPEG mode seem to need to be underexposed a bit compared to a film negative, so you may have to give your digital camera a different ASA rating than the film stock to get a system that works.

But I found the main problem to be viewing the still photo on the LCD screen on the back of the camera since I was using the still camera as a quick reference -- the brightness of the image depended on the viewing environment.
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#3 Oliver Gläser

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 03:04 PM

I have used my D80 for a couple of years as a lighting previewer, and apart from the lower latitude, its worked out well. I through F1.4 prime lens on, set the shutter speed to match my Movie camera's (1/50th for my NPR's 1/48th) which is normally close enough and set the ISO in the still camera to match that of the stock I am shooting. Although not perfect, it does often get me very close. The midtones are normally pretty accurate, but because of the lower latitude of the DSLR, it is always contrasty-er, so the shadows are crushed and the highlights blow out... but because before every shoot I test my stock (as I think everyone should... even if you have shot it a 1000 time before), how it reacts is freshly ingrained in my memory.

I use the camera especially when shooting Super 8mm negative on Docs. When things are run and gun and you are a one man camera crew, having a DSLR as your lightmeter has been a great asset to me. I know also that with Film I will have more latitude and therefore I don't worry to much about (in these less critical situations) over or underexposing a stop or so.

Best thing to do is shoot tests and compare your results when you transfer. Along with my Lightmeter it's another tool in my quiver.

Just my two cents.

Oliver
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