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Light meter recommendations

Light meter Student price range

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#1 Martijn Vandenborne

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 02:27 PM

Hey,

My name is Martijn and I study film and television in Belgium and the past year I have discovered that I'm very into cinematography. And lately I started thinking about maybe buying a lightmeter. Now I was wondering if there were any specific models that you guys would recommend a film student? And the price of a professional light meter is pretty steep but is it worth the investment? 

Thanks in advance,
Martijn


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 03:04 PM

Sure it's well worth the investment. A sekonic L758 Cine will last you a long long time, but start with a 398 (Studio Deluxe IIA, I think it's called) which is an analog meter from Sekonic which i always keep as my backup just in case anything ever happens to my main meter (like it getting stolen)


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#3 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 04:25 PM

Now it's the L-398A Studio Deluxe III.  Same meter, jazzier name.


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#4 John E Clark

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:33 PM

Hey,

My name is Martijn and I study film and television in Belgium and the past year I have discovered that I'm very into cinematography. And lately I started thinking about maybe buying a lightmeter. Now I was wondering if there were any specific models that you guys would recommend a film student? And the price of a professional light meter is pretty steep but is it worth the investment? 

Thanks in advance,
Martijn

 

I've had my Minolta Spot meter for about 20 years, and before that I used the Pentax Spot meter. Since I've gotten in to 'moving pictures', I bought the Sekonic L-308DC meter, which has a 'footcandle/lux' read out. Since most pro 'light' data is given in terms of footcandle/lux it makes it easier for analyzing and adjusting lights.

 

I find using a light meter on location scouting to be of benefit as well.


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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:55 PM

Get a digital meter, they are more accurate, more sensitive in low light, and less prone to losing calibration.

For an incident meter, the Spectra Cine Pro IV is a good one. For a dedicated spot meter, the Minolta Spotmeter F. For a spot meter/incident meter combo, the Sekonic L-508/608/558/758 series are fine.

You can get used meters on eBay - the important thing is to get it calibrated before use. Quality Light Metric used to be the place to go, not sure if they're still in business. Try them here:

Quality Light Metric
(323) 467-2265

For the Sekonic spot/incident combo meters, you need to specify that the spot meter be calibrated to 18% grey so that it matches the incident reading. They are factory calibrated to 11% for some reason.
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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:59 PM

Just noticed that you are in Europe. Not sure which company calibrates meters out there, maybe someone else has a recommendation?
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#7 Martijn Vandenborne

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 02:25 PM

Thanks Satsuki that was very helpful! I just saw you were the first camera assistant on "I believe in Unicorns", beautiful trailer. I really like the Super 16 look! I can't wait to see it!


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#8 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:30 PM

Thanks! I only day played a few days on it. Jeremy Wong was the 1st AC for 95% of the movie. He also was the 1st AC on 'Fruitvale Station.'
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