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#1 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 11:21 PM

Hello,

 

I'm gearing up to do some initial filming with a Bolex H16 S16 Rx5. Did a lot of filming in the 70's and 80's with Super 8 cameras, and a little bit of filming with a non reflex 16mm and hand held light meter. I don't have the old light meter any more. Apart from some camcorder videoing, I've done no filmmaking since about 1986 so am basically starting from new. My first project, a 100' music video, featuring a colleague of mine, probably walking along beside the river with his guitar and suitably evocative afternoon light shots with sunlight reflections off the water; plus some shots inside an old wooden church hall, light streaming through the windows if we can manage it. If you've got any tips, I'm all ears (or should I say eyes).

 

Can anyone advise on some good choices for a light meter, either new or second hand, and what one can expect to pay. The old light meter I had years ago was I think a Weston. I gather there are now digital light meters. Is there much difference between the types of light meter for basic 16mm cinematography?

 

Also, while on the topic, can anyone suggest a good tripod to use with a Bolex? Are new cheapo tripods made for video cameras fine - as in the attaching screw on the head being suitable for a Bolex? There's much I don't know, so any advice will be very welcome. Thank you.


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#2 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 12:40 AM

The Sekonic studio delux was a great analogue meter,  and cheap as now.  Some guys may still keep one in their kit as a backup.

 

Re tripods,  normally go heavier than you might initially think.  Plenty of old tripods around.  In Aussi there must be a lot of old Millers with wooden legs.  Wooden legs are good,  no problem.  The Miller heads,  if you don't abuse it,  can last many many years.  Make sure it works OK though when you get it.

 

What about making friends with other fringe dwelling film makers and sharing,  borrowing,  co-operating.


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#3 tom lombard

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 09:01 AM

Jon - I'm going thru similar growing pains but with a Bolex EL.  After looking around at light meter options, I started watching eBay for Sekonic Studio Deluxe and got an L-398M really cheap.  They (and model variations) show up very frequently so you can lowball & eventually get one or find a low BINow if you keep watching.  I doubt if there is anything better for the money.  And I echo the sentiment for getting  heavier duty tripod.  I had a couple of the cheaper, light weight tripods and there was a degree of functionality but it was a world of difference now after a friend gave me a loan of a Bogen 3040/3063 combination.  It's so much more solid & stable that it would pain me to have to try & use one of the cheap tripods again.  The Bogen and the Bolex just look & feel like they belong together.


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#4 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 04:34 PM

Thanks, your advice is really appreciated. I know what type of light meter to get now. Regarding the tripod, and also Gregg's good idea of teaming up with locals, I introduced myself to a filmmaker here a few months ago, he's into digital only. He showed me his cameras, tripods and editing studio. I might ask if I can rent one of his fluid head tripods for a brief shoot. There's not much I could reciprocate with as he's not into film. Will just have to shell out for a nice tripod soon. Maybe get by on the first reel with handheld or some sort of monopod or cheap tripod. There's a nice Miller fluid head tripod on gumtree in Sydney (I think) for 350, wooden legs, but it's a 'junior' model, I think designed for super 8.


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#5 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 05:43 PM

Jon,  there are probably several older meters and tripods that would be ok.  

 

Probably worth reading up on how reflected,  spot or incident meters are used....


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#6 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 06:44 PM

Sure, will do.


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#7 Ryan Williams

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 04:03 AM

Jon,

I'd recommend what Gregg said about reading up on the types of meters and metering, even if you got your eye on a specific meter already!

Personal plug here, but I am trying to sell my Sekonic L-358 Light Meter and would be willing to discuss finding a new home for it in Brissy if you are interested. :)  The sale post is up on DVX and here on the Cinematography.com sale forums.

Best of luck in your new endeavor, regardless!


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#8 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 04:26 PM

Thank you! I've been reading the section on light meters in 'Independent Filmmaking' by Lenny Lipton and I'm wondering if a reflective light meter might be best, as at this stage I plan to do most of my filming outdoors in natural light, and occasionally indoors using light coming in through the window. According to Lipton, an incident light meter is best for int. studio lighting, so maybe a reflective meter would be best? But if a light meter like the Sekonic mentioned above is still the best way to go, sure I will get one of those. Can anyone advise on reflective vs incident light metering for mostly ext. filming?


Edited by Jon O'Brien, 06 October 2017 - 04:27 PM.

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#9 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 06:30 PM

I'd go with the incident light meter for outdoors as the general meter.


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#10 David Mawson

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 06:42 AM

 

 

Also, while on the topic, can anyone suggest a good tripod to use with a Bolex? Are new cheapo tripods made for video cameras fine - as in the attaching screw on the head being suitable for a Bolex? There's much I don't know, so any advice will be very welcome. Thank you.

 

There are two sorts of tripod screw;  3/8 inch 16 and 1/4 inch 20 UNC. You can get adaptors either way on ebay and amazon.  

 

Cheap tripods, especially cheap fluid heads - for smooth panning - are usually a disaster. Buy higher quality and used.

 

An option you may not have thought of is a really solid monopod with a video foot and fluid head. I really like my Benro. If you are on a budget you may be able to get away without the fluid head, depending on what you want to do. (A video foot is a thing that kicks out three legs and has a fluid damped joint for camera movements.) This type of thing -

 


Edited by David Mawson, 07 October 2017 - 06:45 AM.

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#11 David Mawson

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 07:04 AM

..If you do go with a monopod, NEVER extend a section all the way - always leave 2 or 3 inches overlap or you'll get wobbles at the joint.s Another useful video

 


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#12 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:47 PM

Thanks for the excellent info on tripods. I know what I need to get now.

 

Regarding light meters, sorry to keep harping on this topic, but I want to make sure I get the best one for the price. Can anyone advise on the various models of Sekonic Studio Deluxe? There seems to be a bewildering variety ... Deluxe II and Deluxe III, models ending with M and models ending with L ...

 

Are they all fine? It doesn't matter which one I get?

 

Thanks!


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#13 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 04:43 PM

I found out all the answers. For the benefit of fellow travellers upon this road:

 

http://camera-wiki.o...i/Sekonic_L-398


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#14 Samuel Berger

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 12:35 PM

I have the Spectra Cine P-251 but lost all the slides and they want to charge $20 per slide.

 

I might as well buy a Sekonic L-308DC-U DigiCineMate for the price of those slides. I'm not getting the L-398 because it requires calibration and I don't want to send it in every year.


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#15 tom lombard

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 01:23 PM

I've got an L-398 and not sure what you mean by needing to send it in for calibration every year.  I did some Googling and didn't turn up anything in that regard.  If you are talking about the zero adjustment, it looks pretty easy and likely a good thing to do every now & then.  This is from the manual...

 

"With stopper button in released position, cover light sensor

with hand or black cloth to completely block light. Check that
meter needle correctly indi- cates zero position. If the indication deviates from zero, while observing meter indication, use a coin or similar tool to turn the

rear zero adjust screw and adjust for zero indication."


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#16 Samuel Berger

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 04:53 PM

Ended up buying the Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478D-U to take advantage of the shutter angle feature.

 

Good to see the L-398 working for you. I'm just tired of my ISO slides disappearing.


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#17 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 05:31 PM

I ended up buying an L-398 too. Hopefully it arrives next week - about the same time as a roll of 50D. That shutter angle feature sounds really nice.


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