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Light Meter Use - a poll

Light meter use among digital film makers  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you tend to use a separate light meter when working with digital video cameras?

    • Yes - From very often to all of the time
    • Yes - but it's more of an occasional thing
    • No - I never use a light meter

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i still use one, cos the chicks dig it :P 


its one of those old analog sekonic ones from when i was shooting film,....


i still use it because i like to have a base reading off of which i can fiddle with, and when i find what i want to expose for, i dont have to faff about with the trial and error to get what i want, even though it doesnt cost anything on digital.


i find i work faster if i meter, then decide if i want to go up or down, then set and shoot, as opposed to shoot, nah a bit more , shoot, nah a bit more , shoot , ah ok.


i:m probably wrong and it's actually more time consuming, but i like not having to rely on the camera,..


this is probably me being old fashioned, but i once read someone say that photography is everything that happens before the shutter opens, and i'm inclined to agree.

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I may not use one if it's a simple set up like an interview, but if I'm lighting a set or location with blocking through a space, an incident light meter is absolutely critical, especially when trimming the lights or changing angle where there is some change in the lighting set up.  I don't set the aperture with one, but rely on one of the newer electronic gismos available today.  I love my spot meter, but don't use it on electronic shoots, however, knowing the zone system helps me a great deal in understanding exposure and the various gammas available in some cameras.

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Interesting results so far, 7 yes and 10 no, with quite an even split between the "all the time" and the "occasionally".


Personally, it all depends on the project. Last thing I shot was in Monaco, I was running and gunning as they say, just using histogram and protecting highlights and trying to fill the range evenly. I had no time to meter or double check.


BUT for setups I think it's useful. Someone else can be fooling with cameras, or you can not even have it set yet, and wandering around putting up lights and metering you can know, before you switch the thing on, that it looks good, as well as the difference in stops between to parts of a frame


No running back and forth between a camera and a light! Pretty handy in the right situation... but it all depends on the project for me.

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So I pulled out my trusty Sekonic Studio Deluxe on a shoot the other day & I'm glad I did. I was able to expose for the "hot spots" and got some amazing results. I had my laptop on hand & double checked some test shots on scopes & the highlights were exactly at the 80 mark. Perfect. Why haven't I been using this thing more often?
The histogram on the Gh2 is nice, but an incident meter is superior. They go for around $50 on ebay & are worth thier weight in gold. There shouldn't even be a debate on this subject. Go get one.

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