Posts Tagged ‘meter’

New When is a meter…

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While metering the RAW is a good reference point, in my experience there is more to the story.

IMHO the best way to get exposures that match your intent is to run a simple test. This will not be a definitive technical measurement but it will help you to learn the relationships between the various tools like false color and the histograms. Get a feel for what the monitor tap puts out versus a processed RAW image, etc.

1) Medium shot of a human subject, a test chart or gray card, the background should be a mixture of colors, have some hard light and a softer source.

2) Set the camera ASA/ISO to 320 (yes Viginia, it is a bit slower than that) and set a fat stop like F4 on the lens, remember this is only a test - seeing the effects of over and/or under exposure is good information.

3) Mess around with every exposure tool there is: light meter (incident and spot reading galore), histograms, RGB stoplight, false color, etc and repeat any on camera readings in RedSpace, Rec. 709 and RAW. (Disclaimer: the version of RAW the camera is showing you may be gamma encoded and has been reported as variable depending on which firmware build you are running. For specific information on this matter please ask Stuart English as he knows the details a thousand times better than I do.)

4) Roll short clips at F2.8, 4 and 5.6. Open the clips in RedAlert, RedCine or Scratch. Look at the histogram! Play with all the controls and see the results with your own eyes. Make some 4K TIFF stills and open them in Photoshop if that is a familiar working environment for you.

After you have taken the best exposed clip and adjusted it to suit your taste compare the processed image on your monitor to the RedSpace monitor tap live off of the camera. Using the same stop as the best exposed clip reference image, run through the various exposure measurement aids and judge their accuracy for yourself.

My personal working style has evolved to using false color in RedSpace as my primary exposure reference. While I don’t care to dispute those who claim that the only reliable information is linear light RAW I work in the real world where RedSpace output is the most client friendly choice. By training my eye to know what RedSpace false color readings mean in reference to what I will have to work with when grading the RedCode RAW data in Scratch (or RedAlert) I get excellent results. YMMV.

Blair S. Paulsen
4K Ninja, RedOne #19

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