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Color meter suggestions
  
 
sungphoto
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Color meter suggestions


I've been doing a lot of photography in mixed lighting situations this last year, and I'm ready to finally get a color meter to help reduce some of my post processing work.

Any recos on solid pro-grade color meters? I'm looking to spend under $300, and would prefer something standalone (i.e. something that doesnt require syncing to a smartphone).

Thanks in advance! I posed a similar question in regards to light meter recos early this year, and the sekonic l-358 that was recommended is something I never leave home without now (along with my x-rite color checker).



Aug 13, 2017 at 08:40 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Color meter suggestions


Budget of $300? Buy used, or (phone unfortunately) this: https://lu.mu/

Or, rental options:

https://www.borrowlenses.com/product/Sekonic-Prodigi-Color-C-500R-Color-Meter

http://www.adoramarentals.com/p-rgmnclrmtr3f/minolta-color-meter-iiif



Aug 13, 2017 at 10:59 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Color meter suggestions


Yeah used is fine for me - looks like my best option for a standalone meter is the sekonic c500r, which seems to go for around $300 used.

Hmm that smartphone one is looking more and more attractive haha

jlafferty wrote:
Budget of $300? Buy used, or (phone unfortunately) this: https://lu.mu/

Or, rental options:

https://www.borrowlenses.com/product/Sekonic-Prodigi-Color-C-500R-Color-Meter

http://www.adoramarentals.com/p-rgmnclrmtr3f/minolta-color-meter-iiif




Aug 14, 2017 at 03:40 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Color meter suggestions


If you're just going to measure tungsten, daylight or electronic flash, an older used unit will probably be okay, but if you think you're going to have to measure LED panels or lights, three hundred ain't going to cut it. This is way more than three hundred clams but it's also the best you can get for reasonable scratch. Go watch some of the youtube vids on it. Pretty amazing.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&O=&Q=&ap=y&c3api=1876%2C%7Bcreative%7D%2C%7Bkeyword%7D&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIytyY3OTd1QIVlJd-Ch3iUwUlEAQYASABEgLp8vD_BwE&is=REG&m=Y&sku=1292747



Aug 17, 2017 at 07:53 AM
rico
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Color meter suggestions


I have the Sekonic C-500 and it will certainly serve for OP, but it's more than $300 in any condition.


Aug 17, 2017 at 12:48 PM
stuuke
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Color meter suggestions


Has anyone tried the smartphone options?


Aug 17, 2017 at 02:34 PM
Michael White
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Color meter suggestions


Have you looked into the x-rite color passport?


Aug 18, 2017 at 11:23 AM
GumaRodak
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Color meter suggestions


I have the color passport, its a great tool to get exposure, colors and wb correct. Where i see issues with it is the green fluerescent light bulbs that are flickering.. if i shoot 3 pictures of the color checker under flurescent, each image has different color since they are flickering...i hate this light


Aug 20, 2017 at 11:18 AM
jlafferty
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Color meter suggestions


Color checkers like the passport address a different issue than what a meter does. In theory you could assess differences in light color by measuring readings of different sources using a passport but that's not how it's done and frankly would be a clumsy solution in practice.


Aug 20, 2017 at 12:50 PM
neoshazam
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Color meter suggestions


Peter Figen wrote:
If you're just going to measure tungsten, daylight or electronic flash, an older used unit will probably be okay, but if you think you're going to have to measure LED panels or lights, three hundred ain't going to cut it. This is way more than three hundred clams but it's also the best you can get for reasonable scratch. Go watch some of the youtube vids on it. Pretty amazing.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&O=&Q=&ap=y&c3api=1876%2C%7Bcreative%7D%2C%7Bkeyword%7D&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIytyY3OTd1QIVlJd-Ch3iUwUlEAQYASABEgLp8vD_BwE&is=REG&m=Y&sku=1292747


It's really nice. I've mainly just used it for family candids and boom is it accurate.
Hoping to use it as a stepping stone to get more "pleasing" colors.



Aug 21, 2017 at 04:55 AM
 

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Peter Figen
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Color meter suggestions


"Hoping to use it as a stepping stone to get more "pleasing" colors."

If you're shooting raw images, you really don't need a color meter, you just need a good raw processor and a calibrated monitor. If you're shooting in camera jpegs, then, perhaps, a color meter *could* get you closer to a neutral color, assuming neutral is really what you want. Often neutral is clinical and boring. Also the Auto White Balance of the latest cameras is much much better than even just the generation of cameras before.



Aug 21, 2017 at 06:34 AM
jlafferty
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Color meter suggestions


This isn't accurate. A color meter is for matching light sources to one another, or matching multiple light sources to a target, or for testing to see how much of a color shift a light source produces at different output levels. The point of a color meter and a calibrated, white balance workflow have some overlap but neither excludes the other.

Peter Figen wrote:
"Hoping to use it as a stepping stone to get more "pleasing" colors."

If you're shooting raw images, you really don't need a color meter, you just need a good raw processor and a calibrated monitor. If you're shooting in camera jpegs, then, perhaps, a color meter *could* get you closer to a neutral color, assuming neutral is really what you want. Often neutral is clinical and boring. Also the Auto White Balance of the latest cameras is much much better than even just the generation of cameras before.




Aug 21, 2017 at 02:32 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Color meter suggestions


Just to give you two real world examples of how a color meter could be used:

Shooting an environmental portrait in an office with large windows where you want to use ambient to light the room but bring in a Kino for key light. The color meter will tell you how much of a gel you'll need on the Kino to match the daylight.

Or say you have two identical strobes and know they drift about 200K from 1/1 to 1/64. If you plan to use ratios, with one as fill, but want your images to be color precise, you need to find out the precise color shift for a given output ratio and gel one of the lights to bring them both in line.



Aug 21, 2017 at 02:39 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Color meter suggestions


jlafferty wrote:
Just to give you two real world examples of how a color meter could be used:

Shooting an environmental portrait in an office with large windows where you want to use ambient to light the room but bring in a Kino for key light. The color meter will tell you how much of a gel you'll need on the Kino to match the daylight.

Or say you have two identical strobes and know they drift about 200K from 1/1 to 1/64. If you plan to use ratios, with one as fill, but want your images to be color precise, you need to
...Show more

A simple test shot before the client shows up will tell you how much it has shifted, gel accordingly.

It is very rare I have been required to nail the K with every light source, there are times when a bare reflector and a soft box are not the same but again, a test shot and gel can get you very close. In 30+ years of shooting commercially, I have not required the need of a colour meter. I can post edit in PS minor differences using layer masks. Time shooting is at a premium and post skills are a must today.



Aug 23, 2017 at 01:03 AM
jlafferty
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Color meter suggestions


Sure. I can do all this stuff too. Many ways to solve similar issues - just a matter of workflow preferences. Congrats on 30 years color meter free.


JBPhotog wrote:
A simple test shot before the client shows up will tell you how much it has shifted, gel accordingly.

It is very rare I have been required to nail the K with every light source, there are times when a bare reflector and a soft box are not the same but again, a test shot and gel can get you very close. In 30+ years of shooting commercially, I have not required the need of a colour meter. I can post edit in PS minor differences using layer masks. Time shooting is at a premium and post skills are a must
...Show more



Aug 23, 2017 at 02:37 AM
c.d.embrey
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Color meter suggestions


JBPhotog wrote:
... and post skills are a must today.


I'm colorblind. Must I do my own color correction




Aug 23, 2017 at 03:52 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Color meter suggestions


I'm color defiencent myself I've relied on tech to do my color correction


Aug 24, 2017 at 10:27 PM
Carlos Salcedo
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Color meter suggestions


I've been using the Lumu Power for about 6-weeks and I love it. I am 65% red-green deficient and I am learning to rely on the Lumu more and more. Especially in those horrible high school football stadiums.


Aug 29, 2017 at 04:14 AM
sungphoto
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Color meter suggestions


jlafferty wrote:
Just to give you two real world examples of how a color meter could be used:

Shooting an environmental portrait in an office with large windows where you want to use ambient to light the room but bring in a Kino for key light. The color meter will tell you how much of a gel you'll need on the Kino to match the daylight.

Or say you have two identical strobes and know they drift about 200K from 1/1 to 1/64. If you plan to use ratios, with one as fill, but want your images to be color precise, you need to
...Show more

Sorry dropped off this thread for a bit, was mid-move and multiple big shoots.

Anyways - yes you are exactly right - for me it's more about the former than the latter. I am however on the fence now about investing close to $500 or so for a dedicated color meter now that I've researched what's available more I don't doubt its usefulness, but for a lot of my more time-pressure commercial shoots, I don't necessarily have time to get my key dialed in perfectly with the dominate color temp, and the clients have enough budget to do a lot of corrective work in post. I am always trying to spend less time in front of a computer, but looking at the production schedule for my next shoot this week, I am starting to feel like the good ol "correct in post" is gonna apply for the foreseeable future



Aug 30, 2017 at 04:38 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Color meter suggestions


Shoot the passport build the profile automatically the send it to lr and ps for post takes a minute or so in front of the camera then less 'than 5 minutes in post to get the profile then lr does the rest

I look at cost is post production time cheaper than the equipment or time to do it right in camera if it is thenpost it is



Aug 30, 2017 at 11:21 PM
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