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Light Meter Settings


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#1 Kevin W Wilson

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 06:22 PM

All the hype surrounding the new digital camera releases and silly me, I went out and bought three rolls of Fuji Vivid 160T 16mm film.

I'll be shooting a short camera test next week on an unmodified K3, It's a proof of concept test for a title sequence. Haven't shot with the Vivid 160T before but am looking forward to testing it out. One thing I can't seem to get a straight answer on from anyone is how to set my light meter to show the compensation for any filters I pile on the camera. I plan on using an 85 filter so that kills a 2/3 stop putting me at 100, correct? Then let's say I add an ND.3, now I'm down to 50 ASA, right? Is it okay to just set my light meter to 50 ASA instead of doing the math for the filter compensation in my head? I just want to be sure my readings are still accurate even though I'm not actually rating the film at 50 ASA or whatever I end up at. I've been a 2nd A.C. for a few years now, rarely do I see anyone pull out a light meter anymore. Just wanted a straight answer from a trustworthy group.

My light meter is a Kenko KFM-1100 and this will be scanned to either SD or HD Pro Res files most likely.

Thanks.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 06:59 PM

Correct; I just rate on the meter for Filter Factors, so as not to confuse myself with extra in-head math.
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#3 Kevin W Wilson

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:11 PM

Thanks Adrian. It's always nice when you get that confirmation that your not going about a task in a ridiculous way.
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#4 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 09:27 AM

One thing I can't seem to get a straight answer on from anyone is how to set my light meter to show the compensation for any filters I pile on the camera. I plan on using an 85 filter so that kills a 2/3 stop putting me at 100, correct? Then let's say I add an ND.3, now I'm down to 50 ASA, right? Is it okay to just set my light meter to 50 ASA instead of doing the math for the filter compensation in my head? I just want to be sure my readings are still accurate even though I'm not actually rating the film at 50 ASA or whatever I end up at.


That's correct and that's how I've seen it done more frequently, though I know and worked with DPs who give the "basic stop" and then it's up to the assistant to do the math and compensate. What I've seen more often than not is that the DP calls the ASA and dials that value on the light meter, unless he wants some specific filters, and then gives the shooting stop.
For instance, yesterday we were shooting with Kodak 7213 outside, using 81EF (2/3 of a stop), ND6 (2 stops) and a Circular POLA (2 stops): he called "8 ASA" and then called the t/stop for that setup. After that, he called "4 ASA", and we replaced the ND6 with a ND9. And then he called "8 ASA" again, but without pola, so we took that and the N6 out and had ND9 + ND3 along with the 81EF. I've seen the same thing happening with digital cameras like Red and Alexa, and personally I guess I'm more a shooting stop kind of guy instead of basic stop, though I have no problem working with those DPs who choose that method.
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