View Full Version : Using a Lightmeter
01-21-2008, 07:20 AM
Sorry if this sounds a bit odd, but is it necessary to use a light meter with the RED to get a proper exposure (and set the ISO) or are there tools available to assist you in the LCD / EVF?
If it is necessary, could some one recommend an affordable, but functional, light meter?
01-21-2008, 07:31 AM
It depends on what your trying to do, in my opinion.
Technically, no, but you need to keep in mind what your ultimate look will be, once contrast is added, so I think using a light meter is a good idea personally, especially given the fact that you need to mess around with the highlights in post to make them smoothly blow out into pure white. If you simply expose to the right all the time (based on what the histogram shows you) without this in mind, you might find yourself in trouble once you hit post.
I never leave home without my trusty Sekonic L-758 Cine Digital Master light meter ;)
01-21-2008, 08:03 AM
especially given the fact that you need to mess around with the highlights in post to make them smoothly blow out into pure white.
Thanks! Could you explain what you mean by this a little more? Is it to do with the blown out whites clipping to that strange black/purple color? I thought that issue had been solved?
01-21-2008, 11:44 AM
No, it has to do with gently rolling into pure white. This applies to any RAW format really. You are capturing linearly, so the raw footage is going to look pretty low contrast. To make it look more rich, you add contrast, typically via a curves tool. The most common shape for a curve is a gentle "S" like shape. The problem with not taking this "S" shape into consideration is that you might find shadow and highlight details you wanted to keep, suddenly become lost (crushed and blown out). You should figure out what type of contrast you want, then spot meter to check and be sure you are lighting everything to that ultimate contrast, in a nut shell.
01-21-2008, 12:08 PM
Phew.. I was hoping that was what you meant.
I've heard some nasty things about white clipping on this forum. Pulling the curves is something I expected to have to do.
01-21-2008, 12:23 PM
the RED has a spot meter (the spot area is adjustable & reads IRE ) .. you can read area's smaller then any current 1 degree spot meters ...
but you need to know something about ire & exposure ...
or you switch to luminance/historgram meter ... and learn how to use it ..
sometimes i use a light meter and sometimes not ...
however if lighting a set i use a light meter .. then i'll do a little checking with the red spot meter ....
01-23-2008, 12:10 PM
Spotmeter is good if you are lighting a set as you may want to check exposure without having to look through the camera.
Also useful for location recces and pre-lights
01-27-2008, 04:25 PM
Then there is the false color option to help guide you but it's based on the ISO you set in camera.
Most folks underexpose RAW by a 1/3 to 1 stop to help save highlights.
Philip Allister Anderson
12-26-2011, 07:36 PM
The use of an incident meter and spot meter help to maintain consistency throughout the production. Generally speaking I use an incident meter to rough in a lighting setup and a spot meter to maintain consistency throughout the different setups in the shoot. While the Red camera has some amazing tools to set exposure with, you can slow down production by lighting through the camera. When you light through the camera your operator, AC, and dolly grip are not able to get marks and practice the shot with while you light.