Frequently Asked Questions
Many people rely on their camera's auto white balance to handle color. That's fine if you're in a hurry or like the simplicity. But for any serious work, you really need a color meter. And so many people don't.
Jay P. Morgan at the The Slanted Lens recently explained some of the best reasons for us, along with two reasons why you probably don't own a meter. You can read his article and watch the shocking video here: http://theslantedlens.com/2017/illuminati-light-color-meter/
* Outdoor shoots
* To average the practicals
* Match LEDs to the ambient light in the room
* Make LED lights more consistent
* Match strobe to ambient lightLast updated:
Yes! We added the first version of the "video" tab. See Update #5 for a screenshot. As always, we welcome any suggestions or ideas for new features.Last updated:
Theoretically, Bluetooth 4.0 has a range of 330 ft (100 m). In our open-air testing, (meaning in a large empty field) the meters will operate up to 80 ft (26 m). The antenna design hasn't been fully optimized either.
However, your phone's reception may be better or worse - not all phones are the same. Any objects between your phone and the meter will also reduce the usable distance. That includes your hand, a phone case, trees, people, walls, and other equipment.
Under normal conditions we'd expect to have a range of at least 40 ft (13 m).Last updated:
The current color diagram is not really useful for selecting filters. It's based on a scientific chart, the CIE 1931 xy chromaticity diagram. It's useful to our engineering team during development. It's almost useless to photographers for selecting color filters.
The good news is the current app is a prototype. Rest assured we have a MUCH better chart and color readouts in development - that's part of what the Kickstarter funding will support. We'll post screen shots once they're ready..
Nearly everyone at Illuminati Instruments is or was a professional photographer. Along with our color scientists, we understand you need information you can actually do something with.Last updated:
No, unfortunately there won't be a spot meter option for this first product.
A spot meter is essentially a single-pixel camera. As with cameras, measuring low light levels requires large lenses. Adding a spot capability would make the meter bulky, expensive, and more difficult to produce. These all detract from two major features - the convenience and low cost.
Spot meters are also typically handheld since you have to aim them. There's not much point to making a Bluetooth version. The Illuminati meter can actually do much of the work of a spot meter. It can be used to meter areas in a scene like you would with a spot meter. In fact, the Illuminati meter is superior in some ways, since its readings don't depend on the reflectance of the object you're metering. E.g. metering white objects and black objects. That said, spot meters are still useful and convenient for metering areas you can't physically reach. There's some overlap, but each has it's own benefits.
We're definitely looking at spot meter devices in the future.Last updated:
We do have plans and designs for a clip to attach the meter. It would allow people who are used to standard meters to use the Illuminati meter the same way.
We haven't completed the design, so we don't have a final cost or production schedule. Until we do, we won't be able to decide if the phone clip will be included with each meter or available as a separate accessory.
We'll be sure to share drawings and clip designs as the design progresses.Last updated:
The Illuminati meter does have a jack for a sync cord, so it can trigger a flash. When used with a cord, you can actually trigger the strobes from your smart phone or smart watch. That can be extremely handy on a large set.
The meter also supports slave/photocell triggering, so it can be triggered from your lights or on-camera flash.
The Illuminati meter currently will not support radio-controlled wireless triggering with accessories like Pocket Wizard or Phottix products. We may add support for them in the future, but the meter would have to be made larger and more costly to incorporate their radio modules. We wanted to keep the first meter small, low cost, and convenient.Last updated:
CRI and TLCI are computed from the full spectrum of the light. The Illuminati meter uses three sensors to measure red, green, and blue light, just like a camera. Unfortunately, that's not enough data to compute the CRI or TLCI.
The Illuminati meter does measure both the color temperature (blue/orange) and color shift (magenta/green). That's enough information to white balance most types of natural and artificial lights to each other. The main exception are sodium and mercury vapor lights, whose spectra is very peaky and has zero output at many important wavelengths.
Notice that way say you can "white balance the lights" and not "correct the color". Each material reflects each wavelength of light differently. Even if two lights both look white to your eye or a camera, there's no guarantee an object will look that same color under both lights. This effect is called metamerism - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metamerism_(color). We hope to share a lot more information on lighting, color constancy, and metamerism in the near future.Last updated:
Our targets are illuminance accuracy of 1/10th of a stop or better. The color temperature accuracy will be +/-50 K at 3000 K, increasing to +/- 2800 K at 20,000 K.
The allowable color temperature error increases with temperature because of how the color changes. An error of 50K at 3000K is noticeable but at 20,000K, 50 K error is imperceptible. Anyhow, standard photographic color meters have very similar specs.
We already achieve these levels of accuracy in our other products. There's every reason to believe we'll achieve the same or better with the Illuminati meter.Last updated:
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