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Old March 30th, 2004, 02:03 PM   #1
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Light meter w/ the DVX questions

Hi all. Could anybody who uses a hand held light meter with the DVX tell me what ISO they set it at? I read in the XL1 forum that they rec. 320. Also, my meter allows me to set the frame rate. Do I use 24, since I'm shooting 24pA or 30 because, gremlins working their magic in the camera aside, tape in NTSC land is 30. The meter allows for 24, 25, 30, etc. to be selected.

Any feedback is most appreciated.
Marcia
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Old March 30th, 2004, 08:50 PM   #2
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lightmeter calibration

Hello Marcia,


24 frames should be ok with the DVX recording 24 frames but writing them in a NTSC tape compatible sequence. Concerning the ISO value however, I would suggest tuning the device to the desired DVX operational mode. So take your output device or - better - a calibrated monitor, connect the DVX and do a series of test exposure, recording also the values recommended by the lightmeter, and find out the matching range. For example, having a rather dark environment at zero gain, the DVX would give an acceptable picture with the iris at F2.8. The light meter will give you the same number at 160 degrees ISO. The relative sensibility of the DVX will change with gain or filters engaged, so keep your notes for future reference. More coming when my PAL DVX arrives and I calibrate it.
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Old March 30th, 2004, 10:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for writing, Lucia. I confess I'm a bit confused insofar as the tests you mention, but I look forward to reading more when your DVX arrives, as you say.
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Old March 30th, 2004, 10:50 PM   #4
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The DVX tests at 640 ASA in 24P mode, zero gain, 1/50th shutter.
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Old March 30th, 2004, 10:54 PM   #5
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Speaking of light meters, I'm shooting with film again (still motordrive, new test coming later this week) and though the metering in camera is excellent, I would like to use a light meter at times.

However, it's been 15 years since I used one and have completely forgotten how to use one. What's a good source for a thorough tutorial on light meter usage and what's a good pro meter to use?
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Old March 31st, 2004, 08:59 AM   #6
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Thanks Barry! Will try those settings today.

Stephen, I hope someone posts an answer for a "thorough tutorial," cuz I could sure use one. :-) Insofar as a "good pro meter to use," others are more qualified than I to answer that as well. For me, my budget looms big in the equation. I wanted one, but couldn't afford much. I've seen plenty in the $500 to $1000 range. But I picked up a Konica Minolta Auto Meter VF for $249 at Filmtools, in Burbank (www.filmtools.com), and am very happy with it. I wanted some added security for interview shots. For my run and gun moments it's largely useless, but I put it through a bunch of tests yesterday, and I found that my "eye" wanted to overexpose on interiors. Much more pleasing indoor clips when relying on the meter. So bottom line, for the money, this little meter does what I need it to, and it fits comfortably in my hand. (I like the model that was one up from this one, actually about twice the price, as it had a dial for adjustments, but it felt much more clunky in my palm.)

Good luck shopping!
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Old March 31st, 2004, 12:44 PM   #7
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The Sekonic L508C (or L508Cine) is a very comprehensive meter. It is both a spot meter and an incident meter, and when in incident mode it can read as a flat or a dome meter. It reads out in footcandles or f-stops, and has full support for cinematography needs as well: you can set the shutter speed for still-camera use, or as frames-per-second and you can dial in the exact shutter angle.

I got mine off ebay brand new a couple of years ago, I think it was about $350, don't know what they go for now.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 12:52 PM   #8
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Thanks Barry and Marcia:

I will look for those and see what I can find. If I come across a tutorial, I will let you know. I'm off to pick up the scans for my latest motordrive test.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 05:27 PM   #9
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shutter speed vs. mirror angle

Marcia, please check also whether your meter offers multiple angle settings (45 to 180 degrees) or not. Traditional film cameras have no shutter but a constantly swinging mirror, projecting the image alternately to the film and the ocular optics. Thus a full swing - 180 degrees - is comparable to the DVX 1/50th shutter, a half swing - 90 degrees - would nearly equal the 1/100th setting and a quarter swing would be similar to the 1/250 speed. As only more sophisticated film cameras have the different mirror angles option, most general purpose light meters assume the mirror to be fixed at 180 degrees. Therefore I suggested a thorough calibration for quick reference.
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