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View Full Version : Using Zebras - I am a little confused



x-angel
01-24-2006, 11:21 AM
I have noticed a few other "snowboarding " threads, but I thought I would start out with a more basic question:

With the Canon GL2 I have, I ahve the zebras set to 90, and at EV 0, almost all the snow is "zebra-ed". And when I take the exposure down , it of course looks too dark on the final output. I did some of it on the ND filter only, and that looked okay.. still dark...

What is exactly is the zebra measuring? I know that if you see the zebra lines, then that area is over exposed. But what is the zebra setting a measurement of?

I am asking this because we area supposed to go out again this weekend because Kosovo just got like another foot of good snow.. so Iwant to go out and shoot again, and now that I knwo what area I am going to.. I want to be able to get better footage than what I got.

I know zebras are important, but I just want to know the proper use of them.

Luis Caffesse
01-24-2006, 11:32 AM
What is exactly is the zebra measuring? I know that if you see the zebra lines, then that area is over exposed. But what is the zebra setting a measurement of?

Zebra stripes measure the brightness of the frame according to IRE levels (though I'm not sure exactly how the GL2 does it). It's like what you would see on a waveform monitor.

When you see the zebras - don't automatically assume that it means that area is overexposed.

For example - you have your zebras set at 90, but you can go up to 100 on the IRE scale before things really start to clip (turn pure white). The zebras are showing you everything in the frame that is at 90 and above, not necessarily everything that is overexposed. If you're shooting snow, for example, I could see the snow hitting 90 IRE in a proper exposure.

x-angel
01-24-2006, 11:46 AM
IRE = ???

I googled it and got a "video ampliutude".

so if I see zebras on snow...I shouldn't sweat? IT's real hard to review the footage during the day...even though the EVF)

I would rather be just a tad under exposed that way over exposed.

Luis Caffesse
01-24-2006, 11:49 AM
I just found this article online. (http://www.greatdv.com/cameras/Zebra.htm)
It might be able to help explain things a little clearer than I can.

x-angel
01-24-2006, 11:56 AM
thanks

Ralph Oshiro
02-11-2006, 02:33 AM
News shooters typically use zebras in the following fashion:

1. Set zebra 1 at 70% IRE.
2. Set zebra 2 at 100% IRE.
3. Iris your caucasian subject until you have about 10%-30% zebras on his/her face for a typical "good" exposure.
4. If I have a color picture monitor to look at, I'll typically iris as hot as I can go before losing detail in the highlights in their face. This can result in as much as 40%-60% zebras on a caucasian face--it depends on complection, oilyness of skin, etc. on how hot you can go.

LouCap
03-03-2006, 06:23 PM
I have the zebras on my camera set at 80% and 100%. that way I can see which areas are at 100 IRE and back off a bit if need be.