exposure meter for digital (4 replies and 1 comment)

2 weeks ago
Vanniyan 2 weeks ago

Dear master roger everyone was using exposure meter whilst film period. But once digital occupy cinema most of the cinematographers don't like to use exposure meter. What's your way of working method. Do you still using light meter for digital. Once you said i judge the contrast by eye. How do you give proper consistency without measure lighting contrast ratios. What is the trick?


Mike V
1 week ago
Mike V 1 week ago

I am curious to this too

1 week ago
OMA 1 week ago

Not Roger here.

Even though I have a monitor that has false color and waveform, I still like to meter with a light meter because I trust it more I guess.

I think Roger might be at a level of expertise where he can judge exposure and ratios by eye and then use a meter to check if his judgement was correct.

I personally think knowing your way around a meter can be useful, and fun, especially if you want to shoot film at some point.

1 week ago
Nren 1 week ago

I like using a light meter because you can take measurements while moving around the set and even before the camera is ready. If you go by a waveform/ false colour you're relying on the camera to be on and ready to go, at that point moving and shifting light will take time.

If you have to pre-light multiple rooms before a camera is on set knowing how to use a light meter is extremely useful. Especially on location scouts if you want to know what available light is there to use.

I guess after doing it for decades you'll know what each contrast ratio looks like and you can do it by eye but it's always nice to be able to know different techniques so you don't rely on one method.

5 days ago

Hey Nren, when you're scouting and you walk into a room with your light meter and take measurements, how do you take that data and turn it into something useful?

Like if there's a window that gives into a room and you measure the incident light at 2000 lux, how does that inform you and what do you do with that data?

Or assuming you know you're working at ISO 800 at f/2.8 -- and then it says you're 2 stops over -- how does that translate into your equipment list? Like do you do math and calculate what you need?

I hope my question is clear!

Roger Deakins
6 days ago
Roger Deakins 6 days ago

I do carry my meter and I use it for some films quite a lot. However, when I am on a remote head, which is almost all of my shooting at present, I am by the DIT monitor and I judge from that. 

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