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Forums Sony Cameras What to set ISO to when reading light meter?

  • What to set ISO to when reading light meter?

     Bob Cole updated 4 years, 7 months ago 7 Members · 10 Posts
  • Dominick Pietrzak

    September 30, 2010 at 3:31 am

    This might seem like a silly question, but I don’t know what my ISO setting should be on my light meter when checking for f-stop. I am using a PMW-EX1 with a Letus 35mm Adapter and Zeiss glass, if that matters. I am using the Spectra Cine Professional IV-A. Maybe I’m just overlooking something.

    Please help!

  • Thomas Kist

    September 30, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Don’t use the meter, use the zebra.
    You are looking through 3 optical units (Prime, Letus , Sony zoom)
    Then its very difficult to precisely set and use a meter.
    The zebra tells you exactly what amount of light reaches the sensor.

    Thomas Kist
    Freelance D.o.P
    Amsterdam,The Netherlands

  • Dominick Pietrzak

    October 1, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Oh alright, now I see how that can be useful. So there’s no use for my Light Meter? I’d really hate to not be able to use it since I already have it. What if I do that 18% Gray calibration thing that I found on a google search?

  • Rafael Amador

    October 1, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Hi Domick,
    Sure you can use it, but but you will need to learn how to translate the measures of the light meter to this camera because the parameters differs from a still/film camera. Here ISO doesn’t exist, but Gain.
    But make a a Google search because in the past I’ve read few things about how to use the lightmeter with video cameras.
    Well, I just found this article:

  • Jim McNally

    October 7, 2010 at 2:49 am

    The meter can still be useful for lighting ratios but for actual exposure the ultimate decision is inside the camera which you can already see with the zebras. The days of having to have one to nail your film exposure and then waiting for processing to see if you had are thankfully long gone.

    Setting your key, fill, back ratios can be done by meter if you need that level of setting and don’t want to eyeball it.

    Jim McNally
    The Commercial Factory

  • Dominick Pietrzak

    October 7, 2010 at 2:57 am

    Alright, I see. I’ll just use the zebra function. Guess I’ll have to sell my light meter since I don’t think I’ll be doing such precise measurements. Although, I am planning to get the Epic next year, so maybe it’ll find a use. Ugh, I’ll just keep it. Haha, I love my film equipment.

    Thanks for all the helpful replies!

  • Thomas Kist

    October 7, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Never sell your meter.
    It is not worth getting little money for it.
    be like the rest of us end end up with loads of little handy tools lying around.
    you never know when they might come in usefull.
    my cupboards are full of them.
    and btw the zebra’s allows for pretty precise measurements through the lens.

    Thomas Kist
    Freelance D.o.P
    Amsterdam,The Netherlands

  • Steve Wargo

    October 7, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Maybe I’m missing something but this seems like a case of using some common sense to arrive at a somewhat simple answer.

    It would seem to me that you could set the lens to a certain F-stop like 5.6. Then, change the ISO on your meter until it tells you that your lens should be properly set at 5.6. Note your ISO and use that in the future.

    The problem with using the zebra is that you have to move the camera around in order to check exposure.

    Steve Wargo
    Tempe, Arizona
    It’s a dry heat!

    Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
    5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
    Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
    2-Sony EX-1 HD .

    Ask me how to Market Yourself using Send Out Cards

  • Malcolm Bernard

    October 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Using a modified version of Steve’s technique, I think the EX1R comes in at ISO 320. I used an 18% gray card, lit evenly, and adjusted my aperture so that the camera’s brightness meter read the card at 50%. Based on a spot reading of the card, and using the same aperture setting and frame rate as my camera, my trusty Sekonic 758DR reported an ISO of 320.

    Has anyone else tried anything similar?

  • Bob Cole

    July 11, 2016 at 1:14 am

    [Malcolm Bernard] “so that the camera’s brightness meter read the card at 50%.”

    I know this is an old post, but I’m curious – how does the EX1R’s brightness meter indicate 50%?


    Bob C

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