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best lightmeter for 200-300$

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hamid ghodrati
best lightmeter for 200-300$
on Mar 9, 2013 at 10:26:33 am

hello everyone

I'm going to by a light meter, my budget is around 200-300$
Ive found "Sekonic L-308s Light Meter" a good option.
do you have any other suggestion for best result for light-metering ?

Thanks a lot


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Rick Wise
Re: best lightmeter for 200-300$
on Mar 9, 2013 at 7:03:43 pm

That's a perfectly good little meter. However, the dome is extremely small so it is hard to see how the light is falling on it and adjust correctly. A better bet for some more money but just a tiny bit over your budget is the Sekonic L-358. You have to be careful about not changing the frame rate -- too easy to do if your hand brushes the large wheel. A significant advantage: you can retract the ball to measure individual lights, or push it out to take an overall reading.

My favorite incident meter is the Spectra lV-A. My favorite spot meter in the Pentax Digital Spot, which is no longer made but widely available used for between $250-900 on eBay. If I had to be limited to one meter, I would chose the Pentax Spot because it works so well with the Zone system.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Todd Terry
Re: best lightmeter for 200-300$
on Mar 9, 2013 at 8:25:29 pm

Like Rick, I too LOVE the Pentax Spot.

I had one for about ten years, then I foolishly let it go as part of a package deal when I sold my 35mm camera gear a few months ago. I don't know what I was thinking... I've been kicking myself ever sense.

Great meter.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Rick Wise
Re: best lightmeter for 200-300$
on Mar 9, 2013 at 11:35:41 pm

Todd, no doubt you meant, "ever since senseless." Compression! (No doubt the pain of selling away your beloved 35mm gear kicked in here.)

Well, you can always buy another meter.... And if you need Zone sticker overlays, I have a good one. Let me know.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Bob Cole
Re: best lightmeter for 200-300$
on Mar 10, 2013 at 6:46:57 pm

[Rick Wise] "it works so well with the Zone system."

I thought the Zone System had mainly to do with black and white photography. Do you use it for cinematography/videography?


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Rick Wise
Re: best lightmeter for 200-300$
on Mar 10, 2013 at 8:05:58 pm

[Bob Cole] " I thought the Zone System had mainly to do with black and white photography. Do you use it for cinematography/videography?"

All, all, all the time! While it has its limitations, it's a great way to think about the darkness/lightness of elements of a scene. Let's say you have figured out that your correct exposure is f/4. There's a shadowy area that you know will contain key elements in the scene as it unravels. Setting the f/stop on the meter to f/4, then reading the EV number in the shadow, and then reading where that number falls on the zone sticker overlay tells you immediately if that area is too dark, or just right. Generally, we'd want that shadow area to fall in Zone lll, fully textured black, or higher, depending on taste.

Of course, with video, with its penchant to boost shadows (except the top-of-the-line cameras) you may end up deciding to drop that shadow area even lower, maybe even down to Zone ll.

The Zone system is a great starting point for thinking about exposure of all the elements in the scene. While you can use it to determine overall exposure (point it at a gray card) its main usefulness is to evaluate all the piece you have lit or not lit.

Once addicted to this meter, you are likely to use it until they pry it from your dead cold hands.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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hamid ghodrati
Re: best lightmeter for 200-300$
on Mar 10, 2013 at 7:43:00 pm

thanks a lot Rick and Todd.
very helpful information.


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Mark Suszko
Re: best lightmeter for 200-300$
on Mar 11, 2013 at 2:56:56 pm

Before you drop that money, consider the app called cinemeter

http://www.adamwilt.com/cinemeter/index.html


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hamid ghodrati
Re: best lightmeter for 200-300$
on Mar 11, 2013 at 7:17:59 pm

Thanks mark
amazing app for low to no budget ($4.99) user'


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