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Author Topic: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?  (Read 4282 times)

JoeKitchen

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Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« on: November 21, 2012, 12:32:03 PM »

I usally try to gel all of my lights to match the average color temp of the ambiant light.  To do this, I usally eyeball it on the computer and make adjustments/change gels.  However, the other day I was racing to get a shot before the sun set and did not have time to really examine the shot on screen.  The color temp of my lights was off in the shot and I now have to correct it digitally.  Is there a good color light meter someone can recommend to help me out with both accuracy and speeding up the process (more than guess and check would)?
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Joe Kitchen
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 02:32:22 PM »

I usally try to gel all of my lights to match the average color temp of the ambiant light.  To do this, I usally eyeball it on the computer and make adjustments/change gels.  However, the other day I was racing to get a shot before the sun set and did not have time to really examine the shot on screen.  The color temp of my lights was off in the shot and I now have to correct it digitally.  Is there a good color light meter someone can recommend to help me out with both accuracy and speeding up the process (more than guess and check would)?

Hi Joe,

The Sekonic C-500R ProDigi Color looks attractive because it also has a specific setting for digital sensors instead of only film. I unfortunately have no firsthand experience with them (one with and one without radio control), so I cannot comment about how they handle in actual use.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 03:39:45 PM by BartvanderWolf »
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amsp

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 02:42:35 PM »

Why can't you combine a light meter and color meter in the same device? That would be really nice.
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digitaldog

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 03:06:43 PM »

For the price of that Seconic (is that right, $1300?), you could get an EyeOne Pro2 Spectrophotometer that could read the light with more useful precision (spectral data), that would allow you to end up with any RGB value if that's your goal PLUS profile your display, your printer, take spot readings, profile projectors and show you the spectral plot of the light. But you'll have to haul around a laptop.
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Andrew Rodney
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skimasks

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 03:12:32 PM »

@Digitaldog  Wow... did not know that you could do that.

@JoeKitchen  When mixing strobes or even bicolor LED panels I use the Broncolor FCC meter for color and flash duration. For intensity of light/exposure evaluation I use the standard light meter in my camera or if shooting mfd I guess and check with lcd/histogram if I'm so inclined. Hope this helps!

ChristopherBarrett

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 05:08:17 PM »

I also gauge this on the laptop, always shooting tethered, but I usually go by RGB values rather than visually.  I carry CTO, CTB & Plus Green in 1/4 increments (also 1/8 on the green).  I can usually nail the ambient color and I'm mixing Tungsten, Strobe, HMI and Kinos.

I tried a Gossen Color Meter years ago shooting film.  It was crap.  I've never tried another one.

CB
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HarperPhotos

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Simon Harper
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haefnerphoto

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 07:58:12 PM »

I usally try to gel all of my lights to match the average color temp of the ambiant light.  To do this, I usally eyeball it on the computer and make adjustments/change gels.  However, the other day I was racing to get a shot before the sun set and did not have time to really examine the shot on screen.  The color temp of my lights was off in the shot and I now have to correct it digitally.  Is there a good color light meter someone can recommend to help me out with both accuracy and speeding up the process (more than guess and check would)?

Joe, What's wrong with doing it digitally?  Jim

K.C.

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 11:11:06 PM »

Joe, What's wrong with doing it digitally?  Jim

Nothing, but why not fix it before you shoot.

I'm still using my Minolta color meter II with the separate flash head that you have to swap for the ambient head. It's never failed me in over 2 decades and I don't shoot mixed light without it.

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studio347

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2012, 06:56:34 PM »

I think minolta color meter is, kind of, standard here in this town, nyc, from the film days.
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TMARK

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2012, 12:18:51 PM »

Minoltas are rock solid.  I've used it for film, motion picture film, digital, digital video, since 1999, mixing ambient, practicals, HMI, strobe blah blah blah.  It just works and has only needed calibration once, and even then it wasn't really that off.
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AlDoori

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 03:24:39 PM »

the broncolor FCC is very nice.
it meassures colour temp, lux and flash time t 0.1.
second hand only.
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digitaldog

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 03:46:44 PM »

Depending on how picky you are, or what data you wish to obtain, keep in mind that any product that only provides you a value in Kelvin isn't telling you a lot because any Kelvin values are a range of colors (sometimes a pretty significant range). Spectral data gives you a precise and exact measurement of the color of the light.
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Andrew Rodney
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K.C.

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 11:56:10 PM »

Oh so now you tell me.  ::)

After 20+ years of using my Minolta and getting color correct images on film and now digital.

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KevinA

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 08:19:09 AM »

I also gauge this on the laptop, always shooting tethered, but I usually go by RGB values rather than visually.  I carry CTO, CTB & Plus Green in 1/4 increments (also 1/8 on the green).  I can usually nail the ambient color and I'm mixing Tungsten, Strobe, HMI and Kinos.

I tried a Gossen Color Meter years ago shooting film.  It was crap.  I've never tried another one.

CB
I think the Gossen only read two colours, others could measure 3 colours. The Gossen could make a stab at ambient daylight, I believe meters like the Minolta could get you in the ball park for tubes and tungsten. That's just from my failing memory so I could be wildly wrong.

Kevin.
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digitaldog

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2012, 10:11:26 AM »

Oh so now you tell me.  ::)
After 20+ years of using my Minolta and getting color correct images on film and now digital.

You might be getting perfectly wonderful color. But the point is, the values provided are not at all exacting. Take two differing meters providing the same K value and you'll likely see a large numeric value difference which may make zero effect on your film and digital images but the facts remain. A Spectrophotometer doesn't have this issue (well to be honest, unless they follow the new M series, they can differ from manufacturer but the numbers are tiny compared to using a meter reporting K values).
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Andrew Rodney
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2012, 10:27:36 AM »

A Spectrophotometer doesn't have this issue (well to be honest, unless they follow the new M series, they can differ from manufacturer but the numbers are tiny compared to using a meter reporting K values).

Hi Andrew,

Of course nothing beats the accuracy of a spectro. However, color meters are productivity tools, which immediately give a reading expressed in the required color filtration, and because they are so portable, it takes little time to get a whole scene covered from daylight mixed with ambient interior light, to esoteric fluorescent tubes regardless of the aging of their phosphors. Productivity and portability (even if a ladder is required) versus absolute accuracy (which also requires to lug along a laptop with additional software).

Cheers,
Bart
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Color Light Meter, Recomedations?
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2012, 12:08:30 PM »

Thank you all for responding.  I think the best light meter would be one that gives spectrum data, or one that gives both Light Temp and Color Hue, similar to what Capture's toggles refer to. 

Joe
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
“Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner
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