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Who likes to use reflectance readings rather than incident?


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#1 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 07:58 AM

I've always been quite closed minded to using a reflectance reading for more than just checking contrast, but I have crossed paths recently with a few cinematographers who embrace their spot meeter and the zone system as their primary source of measuring, just wondered who else was into this?

Curiously I was looking at some Fuji promo material which included notes of all the reflectance readings, and for me I found it quite tricky to decipher, felt almost silly at times, in one instance they were spot reading directly into a lamp that was in shot - but then manufactures, film and digital want to best numbers so can I understand how this came about.

So curious to know what other's feeling were on this?
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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 01:45 PM

I think wandering around set with your spot meter to your eye can look kind of cool, but unless you have a firm grasp of the reflectance values of the things you're metering, it's very easy to get confused. The Zone system is helpful, but it can be tricky using it with color values. It's also only half the story as far as Ansel Adam's exposure technique goes.

I use an incident meter for 90% of the time, and the spot meter for things like reflections on glass, or sunlight on distant objects.
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#3 Tom Jensen

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:48 PM

I would suggest you read Ansel Adams books on Exposure and the Negative. Rent a spot meter. Get the user manual and play with it. A spot meter is an indispensable tool.
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#4 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 07:12 AM

I think wandering around set with your spot meter to your eye can look kind of cool, but unless you have a firm grasp of the reflectance values of the things you're metering, it's very easy to get confused. The Zone system is helpful, but it can be tricky using it with color values. It's also only half the story as far as Ansel Adam's exposure technique goes.

I use an incident meter for 90% of the time, and the spot meter for things like reflections on glass, or sunlight on distant objects.



Yes Stuart, unless your totally familiar with the system I suppose it can be dangerous and over complicated. I suppose it pays to keep it simple.

I do find a spot meter useful when you're behind the camera and you just one to check ratios for continuity quickly.
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