Another film brought to you by ML

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Dave Thomas

Jun 2, 2012, 2:31:54 AM6/2/12
Last weekend was my first time as DP on a film production.  This was a short film done on 16mm but I've gotten so proficient on my 550D with ML, it made an excellent communication tool to communicate with the director.  I used it to stage camera movements, set up framing, and check lighting.  It was totally indispensable.

The awshit moment came when I got vastly different meter readings from the lightmeter we were provided (a little sekonic) from what I got from my DSLR.  And the disparity was dramatic.  After lighting the whole scene with my gaffer, the sekonic said we should shoot at 1.4, but the picture I saw on the 550D looked right at 2.8.  

To make matters more complex, I used the new ISO exposure compensation to achieve ISO 500 - this matched the Kodak 500T we were shooting on (to say nothing of manual kelvin adjustments - doesn't exist on this camera without ML thanks to you).  

With the whole crew waiting and the producer anxiously pointing out we were 2 hours behind schedule, knowing that with this old arriflex 16mm camera (no video tap) I wouldn't get the results back until days later, I made the risky judgement call to shoot at 2.8.

Would I ruin the whole picture?  Should we hedge our bets and push process a half stop?

We just got the results back, and ... NO!  Director says exposure is great.  Even a tad bright in some places for a scene intended to be dim but nothing the immense latitude the film can't handle.  I can't wan't to see it myself.

Jim Burnes

Jun 5, 2012, 5:18:31 PM6/5/12

Could you have mis-dialed your sekonic settings?  I shot our whole film on the 550d w/o ML and except for a couple issues, the few times I double checked exposure on my sekonic they were very close to what my monitor and eyes were telling me. 

My only issues came from when I got distracted and blew the exposure.  Fortunately they were underexposures and still within After Effects post fixup capabilities.

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Dave Thomas

Jun 17, 2012, 11:52:58 PM6/17/12
Good question, but I'm very sure I set the sekonic correctly.  It was an L308, I think the DC, and they're not complicated machines.  You put in the ISO - which was 500 - and the shutter speed or angle - which was 180 degrees, and it tells you the amount of light falling as aperture in full stops with fraction for partial.

I had an L308S for years and I never had exposure problems with it.  I generally shot slide film in daylight on medium format, and the little Sekonic was my only tool for metering light, as my camera (Mamiya 645 with the ordinary viewfinder) didn't even have a reflective meter.   Occasionally I would use the matrix meter on my A2e film camera as backup.  

Matrix meters are very dependable once you learn their limitations and the great little A2e had a matrix, spot, and incident setting just like the modern 550D.  Any time I got had a variance between the two it was usually a subject that didn't have enough contrast so as to confuse the matrix, so I would switch to use the spot meter with a gray card to settle the matter.

In this case, I got 2 whole stops different from the reflective meter (set to spot) on the 550D when pointed at 18% gray!  What would you do?

Under pressure I decided that a modern digital camera known to be reliable and precise should trump a reflective meter of an unknown source with batteries I didn't think were fresh.

I'm really glad I made that call.

George Galban

Jun 25, 2012, 11:29:18 PM6/25/12
Hi everybody I'm very gladt with ml , it's a great work and I loved
what we can do , thanks to all the team working on it.
Now I have problem with the mail , from some days ago i did not get
no one mail from the list , need some help please ???
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