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#1 jaysonwilko

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:33 AM

I want to learn to use a light meter. But many peers tell me that with digital there is no use because you can check your exposure in the viewfinder or monitor. I'm still going to learn but am curious about what the differences are between film and digital I'm terms of using a light meter. Thoughts?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 12:28 PM

In general, with digital you can look at a monnitor, if it's set up properly and calibrated. Zebras and histograms are also very useful. The usage of a light meter, however, is to determine your contrast ratios without having to turn on a power hungry camera, or on a scout, ect. I would say a light meter is a vital tool to have regardless of what you're recording onto and to not know how to use it is short sighted. IN the end, the light meter's usage is just to tell you how much light you have around you, what you do with that information is totally up to you as DoP.
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#3 jaysonwilko

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 08:58 AM

Thanks Adrian. Didn't think of that. Excellent info. Any specific brands you like?
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:01 AM

Personally I'm a fan of the Sekonics, I love my 758 cine as it, well it works. I also have one of the analogue Studio sekonics just for when/if my batts die.
The Spectra meters are also very good though I always found them a bit bulky... maybe that's just me. If you can find it, an old Minlota IV is a nice incident meter and I'm pretty sure you can still get servicing for 'em.
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#5 Carter Dickson

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 01:30 PM

I'm pretty new to shooting film (Super 8) but I picked up a Sekonic L398M Studio Deluxe II. I found it easy to learn. And using the flat disc (versus the semi-sphere), I can easily measure footcandles in order to control the lighting ratios between my key and fill lights.

I still plan on shooting lots more tests for learning but the meter has been a great tool. Now I don't have to rely exclusively on the camera's internal meter.
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Wooden Camera

Glidecam

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Gamma Ray Digital Inc