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Color meter suggestions?


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#1 Salil Sundresh

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 02:21 PM

Any suggedtions? Cheaper the better. Are there any features that are handy to have besides that it measures in kelvin?
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#2 Steve London

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 02:58 PM

Any suggedtions? Cheaper the better. Are there any features that are handy to have besides that it measures in kelvin?

The only cheap ones I know about (~$100) are those old Gossen Sixticolors from the 50s or so. They measure at two wavelengths and use selenium sensors so don't need a battery. They seem like they would be passe but people say good things about them still. I think even the new three color jobs need a continuous spectrum source to give you a respectable reading.

Can you white balance under the illumination you have and let the camera tell you the color temperature?
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:04 PM

Can you white balance under the illumination you have and let the camera tell you the color temperature?


Or buy an inexpensive video camera just for that purpose. When you get a color temperature reading, what are you going to use it for?





-- J.S.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:38 PM

Color meters are quite useful as, at least the one I just got for a good price (used from another poster here) gives you LB and CC filters based on your color readings. Mostly I find a color meter isn't as important for a big scene, which can be corrected in post, but rather for finding slight variations between different instruments (such as HMIs) and the proper gel combos to bring them back into balance with each other.
Look for some used Minolta meters and then send them out for a calibration.
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#5 Salil Sundresh

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 06:53 PM

Color meters are quite useful as, at least the one I just got for a good price (used from another poster here) gives you LB and CC filters based on your color readings. Mostly I find a color meter isn't as important for a big scene, which can be corrected in post, but rather for finding slight variations between different instruments (such as HMIs) and the proper gel combos to bring them back into balance with each other.
Look for some used Minolta meters and then send them out for a calibration.

Any specific models to look at? I'd like to spend less than $350. I need it mostly for checking hmis during load in and such. I want to start doing more best boy electric work soon and this seems to be a necessary tool especially when checking out hmis prior to production. (when loading the production van/testing all lights).
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 08:49 AM

Any specific models to look at? I'd like to spend less than $350. I need it mostly for checking hmis during load in and such. I want to start doing more best boy electric work soon and this seems to be a necessary tool especially when checking out hmis prior to production. (when loading the production van/testing all lights).



I bought a used Minolta Color Meter II for 200 bucks on Ebay a few years ago and it works great.

Best

Tim
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 09:08 AM

I also have a Color Meter II
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#8 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 10:14 AM

I also have a Color Meter II




Have you guys ever compared your readings to another meter? I have a Minolta Color Meter II which I had recalibrated
last year. It seems that when I check with people with older meters, most get different readings. I think that when you get
to know how a particular meter tends to read, it does turn out that the meter is consistent in its deviation. However, until I
get a new meter, I use mine more for reference from light to light than for flat out checking a single light.
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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 10:17 AM

I actually just picked mine up and after some very non scientific testing it seems to be slightly off; but honestly, I haven't had the time to get it calibrated (where did you send yours to?) or run it up against proper 3200K or 5600K instruments yet. Just seems to read things slightly warmer than they are, but we'll see.
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#10 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 10:26 AM

I actually just picked mine up and after some very non scientific testing it seems to be slightly off; but honestly, I haven't had the time to get it calibrated (where did you send yours to?) or run it up against proper 3200K or 5600K instruments yet. Just seems to read things slightly warmer than they are, but we'll see.



That's what mine does too. I sent it and my Spectra to Spectra in Burbank and they did a good job, good price, fast turnaround.

I've checked with a lot of other people and it seems that older color meters just don't match up with each other. I've had a couple of
seasoned rental shop guys chuckle about about how serious I was on the subject. That still puzzles me a bit but I guess that maybe
they figure that if the meter is in the ballpark then consistency from light to light when say checking HMIs is what matters. What if you're just
using one or two lights in a shot though?
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 10:28 AM

I bet a lot of it, Tim, has to do with the ability to control quality in production. I'm not talking about making a crappy product, but rather, in those earlier days of building these types of electronic gadgets, a small deviation up front in the computation and or measurement would be harder to detect at the factory when it's being built, and perhaps could compound itself in the end. All just conjectrue mind you, but I wonder how closely multiple 1990s era light meters would match up from a single manufacturer. I know my 2 Sekonics are pretty close, with the 758 being a bit more accurate than my Studio II. I'll have to send it out to Spectra.
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#12 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 11:23 AM

I bet a lot of it, Tim, has to do with the ability to control quality in production. I'm not talking about making a crappy product, but rather, in those earlier days of building these types of electronic gadgets, a small deviation up front in the computation and or measurement would be harder to detect at the factory when it's being built, and perhaps could compound itself in the end. All just conjectrue mind you, but I wonder how closely multiple 1990s era light meters would match up from a single manufacturer. I know my 2 Sekonics are pretty close, with the 758 being a bit more accurate than my Studio II. I'll have to send it out to Spectra.




That is a good hypothesis. I wonder also if it might be inherently more difficult to make accurate color temperature meters
as compared to other meters because of some aspect of measuring color temperature. When I've checked readings from my
analog Spectra Professional with other people's readings from analog and digital meters on various sets, those meters match
up much more than color temperature readings.
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#13 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 11:28 AM

I'd say it certainly is as with a color meter you're dealing with trying to quantify specific wavelengths of light to a higher degree of accuracy -v- a light meter which is just basically a simple photovoltaic methos (x photons make y voltage which = z footcandles).
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#14 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 11:48 AM

I'd say it certainly is as with a color meter you're dealing with trying to quantify specific wavelengths of light to a higher degree of accuracy -v- a light meter which is just basically a simple photovoltaic methos (x photons make y voltage which = z footcandles).



I think that It was John Sprung on here who had a good suggestion for checking a light's spectrum
when you're without a meter. Hold a DVD under a light and it will work like a prism. If you angle it to
catch the light and you see the rainbow of light then that is a good indication that you're looking at a
full spectrum light.

I would like to get a brand new meter though.
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#15 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 11:51 AM

You know I actually tried that but I couldn't make sense of the "results," myself. Not saying it doesn't work, rather that i just don't "get it." Another option mentioned was just grabbing a cheap point and shoot you can set up with cutsom wb and just shoot your sources and see how they render.
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#16 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 05:25 PM

You know I actually tried that but I couldn't make sense of the "results," myself. Not saying it doesn't work, rather that i just don't "get it." Another option mentioned was just grabbing a cheap point and shoot you can set up with cutsom wb and just shoot your sources and see how they render.




Did you use a DVD of a color movie or black and white?

I couldn't read too much into it but I tested it on lots of fluorescents and those which looked best for
video also seemed to be the ones that gave the richest prism/rainbow displays. As a general test
it seems handy if you have nothing else to go on.

Just changed a tire on my car and the tire gauge on the air hose seemed to read high to me
so I checked it against my cheapo gauge that I had in the glove compartment. The expensive gauge
was about ten pounds high and yes consistently on every tire but ten pounds high when you want to
get to 32 psi is a lot. I used my gauge that cost $2.99 to fill my tires and that seemed far more accurate to me.

Even a gauge that is off but off consistently isn't necessarily handy all the time. Maybe also we need some
kind of MIREDs for tire pressure.
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#17 aapo lettinen

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:23 PM

Have you guys ever compared your readings to another meter? I have a Minolta Color Meter II which I had recalibrated
last year. It seems that when I check with people with older meters, most get different readings. I think that when you get
to know how a particular meter tends to read, it does turn out that the meter is consistent in its deviation. However, until I
get a new meter, I use mine more for reference from light to light than for flat out checking a single light.

I also just bought a Color Meter II.

It seems to get readings about from 49 to 51 mireds too low, tested by measuring the light coming from a calibrated computer display :ph34r:

Have to get it recalibrated, just taped 1/2 ctb over the sensor to be able to use it right away. Just have to remember it's still about +13 mireds off :rolleyes:
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#18 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:20 PM

A computer monitor is possibly the worst method to try to check a meter. A monitor produces white light by blending narrow wavelengths of Red, Green and Blue, therefore you end up with a white light that has a completely discontinuous spectrum. Color meters are not designed to measure lights with a discontinuous spectrum, which is why they perform poorly with completely wacked out readings with Colour Mixing led lamps like the Gekko Kelvin Tile.

These meters are designed for use with lamps that have a continuous or near continuous spectrum like Tungsten, HMI and Fluros. Even with that considered, the Color Meter IIIf is reported to have problems getting accurate readings from T8 tubes.

Edited by Matthew Parnell, 31 January 2012 - 10:21 PM.

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