AbelCine EL Zone Master Class sessions with cinematographer Ed Lachman ASC

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AbelCine is conducting two upcoming EL Zone Master Class sessions with cinematographer Ed Lachman ASC.

What is the EL Zone exposure system?

The EL Zone exposure system which was designed by cinematographer Ed Lachman, ASC, is an innovative tool for displaying exposure values using stops. EL Zone is similar to false color, however, it doesn’t have to be mapped to a particular camera, and it allows for higher precision, greater consistency, and more intuitive on-set communication.

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EL Zone can be found in most SmallHD monitors that are running the latest PageOS 5 operating system. EI Zone is only possible to use if you are feeding your SmallHD monitor a Log signal. It doesn’t work if you are inputting a signal with a LUT enabled.

False color and waveform assist tools are based on IRE values, which track percentages in voltage. The problem with false color on most monitors is that it isn’t mapped to any particular camera, so you are not getting accurate tools to use. At least on monitors from SmallHD, you can set up your own false color scale or you the pre-mapped ARRI one which is what I do. Using false color on any monitor that hasn’t been mapped to a particular camera is a crap shoot. If you own or use an ARRi, then great, false color works well when combined with a SmallHD monitor, but if you are using anything else, good luck.

EI Zone is a system based on 18% gray, which is a universal standard for photography. This way your camera can be your lightmeter or you could also use an external lightmeter as they will be consistent with each other. The great aspect of EL Zone is that you can take a frame grab of a scene to precisely match exposure and lighting at a later date for pickup shots or reshoots.

EL Zone is incorporated into the Panasonic VariCam LT and 35, SmallHD PageOS 5, and Colourlab Ai. Adoption is going to continue and I think we may well find more cameras and software starting to adopt it.

What will you learn in the Master Class?

Ed will illustrate practical examples, cite specific use cases, and explain why EL Zone is so essential for any modern filmmaker.

In addition to discussing his exposure practices and techniques, Ed will also include a study on the differences when exposing for monochromatic sensors. He will also share his experience with his upcoming Netflix feature El Conde, filmed on ALEXA Mini LF Monochrome.

When & where?

The master class sessions will take place in both LA and New York on the following dates:

LA – March 8 (Early Bird pricing until March 6)
NY – March 27 (Early Bird pricing until March 20)

How much does it cost?

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A place at the EL Zone Master Class can currently be purchased for $350 USD.

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