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I don't understand my light meter :-(


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#1 JoanneLou

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 12:00 PM

Hello!

I sent a post yesterday regarding my underexposed indoor footage on tri-x and 64T film from my Nizo Professional and kindly received some fab advice regarding the lens aperture. I have had a look today and have discovered how to make the needle on my light meter move manually within an indoor environment.

My next hurdle is that I don't understand how to read my light meter. Where should the needle lie in order to gain good indoor exposure? I'm not sure if all light meters are the same so I have listed below how mine looks through the eye piece:

22 16 11 8(this is in red) 5.6 4 2.8 1.8

Sorry if this seems a very basic question... I'm new and am having problems understanding the terminology!

Jo
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 12:09 PM

Hello!

I sent a post yesterday regarding my underexposed indoor footage on tri-x and 64T film from my Nizo Professional and kindly received some fab advice regarding the lens aperture. I have had a look today and have discovered how to make the needle on my light meter move manually within an indoor environment.

My next hurdle is that I don't understand how to read my light meter. Where should the needle lie in order to gain good indoor exposure? I'm not sure if all light meters are the same so I have listed below how mine looks through the eye piece:

22 16 11 8(this is in red) 5.6 4 2.8 1.8

Sorry if this seems a very basic question... I'm new and am having problems understanding the terminology!

Jo


There are all different. First of all, you have to assume that the camera is correctly reading the ASA from the cartridge notch. I don't know if 100D stock is being read by the camera as being 64 ASA, for example. Or maybe your camera allows manual ASA input (most don't, they read the cartridge notch so you need to have some film loaded.)

You may want to read this about cartridge notching (just note that Martin's list of stocks is now outdated):
http://lavender.fort...mmcartspec.html
http://en.wikipedia....Super_8_mm_film
http://www.nanolab.com.au/notches.htm
http://super8wiki.co..._in_old_cameras

It sounds like the red area is the average f-stop it is shooting at for a correct exposure. Your camera may have an exposure lock so you can keep it at that setting so that it doesn't change as you pan around. Basically as you have it in auto mode, the numbers should get towards the higher end (f/16, f/11, f/8, etc.) when pointed at something bright and drop to the lower end as you pan into a dark area (f/4, f/2.8, etc.) If you hit f/22, it may be too bright for the film stock you have and you'll either need a slower speed stock or some sort of filter on the camera that darkens the image (ND filter or Pola, etc.) If you hit f/1.8, you may need a faster stock or more light because the actual correct exposure may be below f/1.8.
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#3 JoanneLou

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 12:21 PM

I can't thank you enough for explaining this to me in a way which I can understand... Why doesn't the manual explain it like that?! :D

I feel so much more at ease now about what to look for when i'm next shooting film. Hopefully this will be the end of my unexposure days!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Jo
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#4 Justin Donoghue

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 10:26 AM

Hello!

I sent a post yesterday regarding my underexposed indoor footage on tri-x and 64T film from my Nizo Professional and kindly received some fab advice regarding the lens aperture. I have had a look today and have discovered how to make the needle on my light meter move manually within an indoor environment.

My next hurdle is that I don't understand how to read my light meter. Where should the needle lie in order to gain good indoor exposure? I'm not sure if all light meters are the same so I have listed below how mine looks through the eye piece:

22 16 11 8(this is in red) 5.6 4 2.8 1.8

Sorry if this seems a very basic question... I'm new and am having problems understanding the terminology!

Jo


I have a Nizo Pro and it will read Kodaks new 100D fine. That will allow you some extra leverage indoors in daylight as it doesn't need as much light as 64T. Reversal film (100D, 64T) requires very accurate exposure otherwise it will look either under or over exposed quite quickly compared to negative film which is much more tolerant of this.

You should always check your meter reading before you start shooting otherwise it's a wasted roll and if you're a beginner it's best to just rely on the auto light meter for a while so you get comfortable and more confident with the camera. I know it can be quite annoying when you send off film, wait in anticipation for it to come back and then get an anti climax of under exposed film!

The Nizo Pro will read Kodaks Vision 200T negative film fine also but obviously you can't project this film. The Nizo Pro is one of the better Super8 cameras and has some great features including a variable shutter which is relatively rare on a super8 camera. The 8mm forum here is a great resource also for all things 8mm.
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Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

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The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Opal

Glidecam

CineLab

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS