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#1 Diego Obledo

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 09:42 PM

Hello all !

I am going to buy my first light meter. Which is the best and most affordable? Which speed would I set it on for 24fps? Thanks!
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#2 Tom Jensen

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 10:36 PM

Hello all !

I am going to buy my first light meter. Which is the best and most affordable? Which speed would I set it on for 24fps? Thanks!


Every light meter comes with a manual and there is some pretty good information in there.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 12:29 AM

If you are shooting at 24 fps with a 180 degree shutter, your shutter speed is 1/48th per frame, so you don't necessarily need a cine meter, you can use a still camera meter that inputs ASA and shutter speed and gives you an f-stop. Most still camera meters have a 1/50th shutter speed setting for cine work (close enough to 1/48th for exposing a shot), though sometimes you have to scroll way past the 1 sec, 2 sec, etc. marks before you find 1/50th.

The question is whether you want a spot meter (reflected readings) or an incident meter, or a combo meter. A basic incident meter would be cheapest.

I have two incident meters now, though for a long time I did everything with a basic Minolta, an older version of the Auto Meter V F you see here:
http://ca.konicamino...acc_meters.html

I used my Nikon still camera as a pseudo reflected meter when necessary, until I eventually sprung for a Minolta digital spot meter, which I still hardly use (I'm used to using an incident meter.)

Then figuring I should get a new meter so I had a spare, I got the basic Spectra Cine IV-A Meter:
http://www.spectraci.../product_2.html

Some people like the Sekonic combo (spot and incident) meters:
http://www.sekonic.com/products/

Since I already owned a separate spot meter, it didn't seem worth the extra money to get a combo meter, but if you're just starting out and don't own any meters, and have the money, you might go for it.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 12:37 AM

Most film meters will measure 24fps @180 degrees, which is to say 1/48th of a second, which is appropriate for most film cameras. Some you can change the shutter angle and it'll do the math for you, others you have to do the math yourself.
I like Sekonic Meters, of which I own two, the 758Cine, which while a bit pricey is well worth it, as well as the Studio Deluxe II (389-A) which is a great analog meter and I highly recommend picking it up if only to keep around forever as your backup meter (not always possible to run out for batteries!).
I have also used the Sekonic L-358 before, and it worked well for me when I was just getting started. I gave it away to a friend of mine when I picked up my newer meters.
Also, there was the old Minolta meter, the IVF, I think, that my dad swore by. It's no longer around, but if you can find one used, pick it up and send it out to get serviced and It'll serve you well.
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#5 Dustin Lane

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 03:39 PM

I own one of the Minolta IV's, it's been a great meter. I bought it used two years ago, and it now needs service. the +/- 2 stops calibration is no longer enough. Does anyone know where I can have the meter serviced? I'd hate to think it's beyond repair.
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 03:42 PM

I own one of the Minolta IV's, it's been a great meter. I bought it used two years ago, and it now needs service. the +/- 2 stops calibration is no longer enough. Does anyone know where I can have the meter serviced? I'd hate to think it's beyond repair.


I love my minolta VI. You'll be wanting Quality Light Metric. They're in hollywood. They're pretty much the standard for lightmeter calibrations and repair in the movie business.
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#7 Dustin Lane

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 07:26 PM

Thanks so much! I'm going to give them a call first thing tomorrow!
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#8 Diego Obledo

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 09:25 PM

If you are shooting at 24 fps with a 180 degree shutter, your shutter speed is 1/48th per frame, so you don't necessarily need a cine meter, you can use a still camera meter that inputs ASA and shutter speed and gives you an f-stop. Most still camera meters have a 1/50th shutter speed setting for cine work (close enough to 1/48th for exposing a shot), though sometimes you have to scroll way past the 1 sec, 2 sec, etc. marks before you find 1/50th.

The question is whether you want a spot meter (reflected readings) or an incident meter, or a combo meter. A basic incident meter would be cheapest.

I have two incident meters now, though for a long time I did everything with a basic Minolta, an older version of the Auto Meter V F you see here:
http://ca.konicamino...acc_meters.html

I used my Nikon still camera as a pseudo reflected meter when necessary, until I eventually sprung for a Minolta digital spot meter, which I still hardly use (I'm used to using an incident meter.)

Then figuring I should get a new meter so I had a spare, I got the basic Spectra Cine IV-A Meter:
http://www.spectraci.../product_2.html

Some people like the Sekonic combo (spot and incident) meters:
http://www.sekonic.com/products/

Since I already owned a separate spot meter, it didn't seem worth the extra money to get a combo meter, but if you're just starting out and don't own any meters, and have the money, you might go for it.



Mr Mullen,

A true master of light. Thank you so much for taking the time to help. Your guidance and direction is invaluable.
Many, many Thanks to you.

Diego
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#9 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 05:58 AM

Just a note on older meters and batteries, try to avoid getting a meter designed for 1.35 V mercury batteries as there is no real reliable alternative for these batteries on the market today, my first meter was a Gossen Lunasix 3, which took these batteries, and I remember the batteries costing more than the meter itself ($50+ for two 1.55V silver air cells).

Another note is that it is probably best to buy a cheap new light meter (like an entry level sekonic) before Christmas (their heavily discounted) they will probably still be sold out at the moment as all the photography students who start their courses in January get a light meter for Christmas, (Or at least it's like this at the moment in sydney, after checking at all the large photo stores in Sydney)

Fred
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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 07:56 AM

Just to add that Kenko now make the Minolta meters.
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#11 Ian Jackson

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:08 PM

Just to add that Kenko now make the Minolta meters.


Yeah you can buy these (In the UK) from Robert White based in Poole, Dorset.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

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Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport