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Light Meter Choice For K-3


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#1 James Gordon

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 03:28 PM

Hi I've searched the forums but still haven't found the information I'm looking for.

 

I'd like to buy a digital light meter to begin shooting with a Krasnogorsk K-3 16mm film camera. I'm willing to spend up to $400 dollars or so, and I want it to be a digital meter. 

 

Do i need a cine light meter specifically? Or will any normal photography meter do? 

 

If anyone has recommendations within that price range, that would be great. I've seen a few cine meters made by sekonic on amazon, but I want to hear others thoughts.


Edited by James Gordon, 21 May 2015 - 03:29 PM.

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#2 John E Clark

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 04:18 PM

Hi I've searched the forums but still haven't found the information I'm looking for.

 

I'd like to buy a digital light meter to begin shooting with a Krasnogorsk K-3 16mm film camera. I'm willing to spend up to $400 dollars or so, and I want it to be a digital meter. 

 

Do i need a cine light meter specifically? Or will any normal photography meter do? 

 

If anyone has recommendations within that price range, that would be great. I've seen a few cine meters made by sekonic on amazon, but I want to hear others thoughts.

 

I have used light meters for years for still photography, typically a spot meter. When I began to use a 'digital video' camera, I found that since the 'video' camera was design to make it easy for analog video camera people to change over. So, one would 'add' or 'subtract' gain, in dB, to adjust exposure... a meter was not very good, as the cameras never had an ISO value listed...

 

When motion picture Digital Film cameras, that is DSLRs, began to gain in capability, they were ISO values, and one could adjust ISO to change exposure... but even then... one needs to calibrate the meter reading with what is recorded at a given ISO setting...

 

Anyway, with motion picture lighting, most often it is given in Footcandles/Lux values, and, again the reflective lightmeter was problematic.

 

So, I bought the Sekonic L-308 DC, that gives the light in terms of footcandles as one option, but also has more 'cine' values for shutterspeeds and frames per second.

 

It's around $300 or so, and I'd recommend it.

 

It has both incident and reflective capability. The reflective is 'large aperture', so it is not as good as a 'spot' meter for measuring say the contrast ratio directly from a person's face. And the incident reading is also 'large' so one has to learn how to shade to get accurate readings in complex light conditions. In a studio, one can turn off lights to determine the contribution of a specific light. In the field sometimes things are a bit more complex.

 

But even with Film film based processes testing is needed to make sure the meter, film, your 'desired result' matches up.


Edited by John E Clark, 21 May 2015 - 04:21 PM.

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#3 Bruce Greene

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 07:51 PM

For film, I use both a spot and incident meter. I'm kind of old school and have a Minolta incident meter and a Pentax spot meter. Nieither is made for movies, but it isn't necessary.

These old meters might be hard to find, so you might look for a new combo spot/incident meter, but I think that might be over your budget a little bit.
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#4 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 01:05 PM

I've got a Spectra IV for cine, which is very trustworthy if a bit bulky, but I can certainly recommend it. For photography, I usually carry around an old GE PR-1 which is great because it's small, fits in my pocket, and uses a selenium cell, so no batteries required. The downside is that it's not very sensitive and has very few settings (definitely not to be used for cinematography).

 

So I've been messing around with Arduinos for the past year or two, and one day I was out taking photos and I got curious about the possibility of making a small, accurate, and cheap light meter. So I gave it a shot, and now I'm basically done! I just got a small 3d printer and I'm working on the case, but that's pretty much the last step. Here's a video I made a few weeks ago:

 

 

 

It's got some more functions now, but as you can see it does a range of shutter speeds, from 1/3000 second to minutes and does include many cine speeds. And of course I can add any speeds I want to the firmware. I've still got to put it all in a case and then calibrate it / test it for accuracy, but all the components and everything cost probably around $15-20. So if you're a tinkerer, it can be done for really cheap!


Edited by Josh Gladstone, 27 May 2015 - 01:06 PM.

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