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Thread: metering for theater lighting

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    195

    metering for theater lighting

    Does anyone have experience metering for a stage play where various colored hous e lights are in use? Is it possible to take a photograph under these conditions and come out with a good negative of the true colors of the set and costumes? Th anks, David

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 1998
    Posts
    1,972

    metering for theater lighting

    Use a tungsten balanced film: Ektachrome 320T is my standard for photographing stage productions (Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Dance Coalition) various touring concert performances). It is a little grainy but the color is accurate and it pushes well. Unfortunately it only comes in 35mm (maybe medium format but I've never seen it.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    10

    metering for theater lighting

    David,

    It is possible to get good results but you are at the mercy of the lighting designer. I'm not sure what you mean by 'true colors.' I've been happy with my results but wouldn't try to shoot a clothing catalogue under such conditions. I generally take a spot meter reading from the face of the performer and open up 1.5 stops. I normally find 800 speed film to be about right with fast lenses.

    Since you asked in this forum, I'm curious if you are planning on doing this with large format gear. I think it would be very difficult to photograph moving people in such low light and changing lighting conditions with a LF camera.

    Mark Meyer

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Farmington, MI
    Posts
    203

    metering for theater lighting

    Fuji NPL works well uder these conditions. It handles the long exposure with minimal reciprocity failure, deals well with the odd light sources due to it's tungsten balance and extra emulsion layer, and can be color balanced in the printing stage as required.

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