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Meter Reading for Digital.


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#1 Tom Sykes

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:07 PM

I was contemplating buying a light meter and started to research into which one would be more beneficial for my current situation; I come across this quite interesting comment on dvxuser and was wondering what experiences you guys have had in relation to it etc.

"Has anyone else watched the 2009 camera assessment series? There was a section on light meters. All these DP's were setting the exposure of their digital camera (RED, viper, f35, etc) based on their light meter readings, and finding them to be a full stop, sometimes even two, completely off. The conclusion they eventually came to was that the light meters out there were designed to emulate the near-logarithmic response of silver halide film, and are more or less useless for setting exposure of a digital sensor. (adjusting lighting ratios on the other hand, that's a different story. Always useful!) They recommended to ALWAYS set exposure for a digital imaging system based on waveform, and histogram if you have access to such."

I often myself read the histogram to expose more efficiently prior to doing the eyework, although I do want to become more efficient at balancing the shots in the scene instead of tweaking settings in camera to expose, I wonder now if it is good practice to learn how to meter properly by biting the bullet and buying one or waiting until I can afford to shoot film or waiting to observe a more experienced DP in the field.

Tar.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:08 PM

Light meters are one of best investments you can make. Period. Not just when you are shooting, but when you are scouting the location. I highly recommend purchasing one and learning how to use it.
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#3 Tom Sykes

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 04:54 PM

I thought this may be the case.

Nice one dude, gonna get an analogue I reckon to hone the skills a little tighter ;)
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 05:39 PM

I love my Studio Deluxe II from Sekonic; because it's cheap and doesn't need batteries. I always keep it in my bag along with my 758 Cine (which takes an odd battery and sometimes goes dead in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere...) as a backup meter ;) A worthy investment.
Also If you can find one of the old Minolta meters, the IVF; it'll treat you well forever. It was my first meter before I gave her away to a friend.
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#5 Justin Cary

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:31 PM

I use a Minolta Flash Meter VI... It has both incident and spot.

I guess we need to start looking at Digital Sensors like we look at Film Stocks. I expose different film stocks differently based on personal experience with the stock. I know most negative film stocks will hold if I open up a stop or two and I choose to open up a little more when shooting faster stocks to help reduce grain in shadows and help with DI.

If a RED One MX sensor is set to 320 but needs to be metered at a 250 then that's where I'd start. I've personally done some tests and have noticed the RED One MX eats light like crazy... I open up at least a stop to compensate. The great thing about shooting R3D is the minimal amount of noise you get when adjusting ISO in post, so that can save your a$$ from time to time.

With that aside. Light by eye... start your metering to get the contrast and fine tune from there. A DoP paints with light, and knowing exactly light is hitting the film stock or sensor is our job.

Buy a light meter and learn how to use it! You'll never leave the house without it.

Justin
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Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies