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Christy Elton
color meter
on Aug 29, 2008 at 5:00:09 pm

Does anyone have anyfeed back about using a color meter? I am looking at Sekonic Prodigi Color C-500 Color Meter. Is this just another toy or would this be a great tool?



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Rick Wise
Re: color meter
on Aug 29, 2008 at 5:44:37 pm

The answer depends largely on what you plan to shoot, and how. I still use my trusty old Minolta Color Meter to double-check what my eye tells me. In general, I use 1/2 the correction that the meter tells me to use. Where such a meter is particularly useful is going on location where there are existing fluorescents of uncertain characteristics. With experience, you eye will tell you if they are cool whites (roughly daylight) or warm whites (roughly tungsten.) All of them will have a green spike. That means either you will want to add about 1/4 minus green to the existing fluorescents, or add 1/4 plus green to your lights. (If the fluroexcents are tungsten, you'd use tungsten lights to supplement; daylight would require daylight lights, or else adding at least 1/2 CTB.)

So, is this meter essential? For we film shooters, back in the old days when we walked to school in our bare feet through 2 feet of snow, it was essential. We shot reversal 16mm film (a standard for 16mm) and 35mm negative. Both had a very poor tolerance of light variations. Now days, all the stocks handle "off temperature" light sources very, very well, and what doesn't look right can be usually amended in post. Nevertheless, on full-up film shoots, either I or the gaffer checks very light, especially HMIs, to make sure there is no color shift from what we want.

If you are comfortable reading what kind of fluorescents are in place with your eye, or evaluating the color via the LCD screen (a very rough approximation, varying by camera to camera) I would say that in general, it is NOT worth spending $1,000 for this meter. However, if you do buy it, you will use it, and it will help you to sharpen your ability to see color shifts.

Rick Wise
director of photography
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Michael Palmer
Re: color meter
on Aug 29, 2008 at 5:53:56 pm

this is not a toy
It is a great tool if your budget permits
I have an old Minolta color meter that has served me well, I'm glad you posted this as I had no idea Sekonic offered such a great meter and I my have to pick ip one a soon

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Christy Elton
Re: color meter
on Aug 29, 2008 at 7:13:01 pm

Thanks, that helps. I do not mind investing in tools that have longevity, will improve my skills, my ability and my professionalism.



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