Cinematographer Tools are as important as the tools grips and electrics use on set. Investing in these will be very helpful to your work and ensure you are doing the best job possible.
This one is a bit of a no-brainer. A light meter will be a fantastic aid in lighting your scenes and especially for relighting, matching, inserts and close ups. All the Sekonic digital meters have a memory function, so you can take a reading of your keylight, backlight and fill and see all 3 readings displayed so you can compare their stop differences.
Sekonic Corporation 401-478 LITEMASTER PRO L-478D on Amazon
Even though it is called a “Gaffer’s Glass” it is still very handy for a DP. You wont always have a great gaffer and techs that can help aim lights for you, so often times you’ll have to stand on set instructing your crew. A Gaffer’s glass will allow you to look directly into the light fixture without damaging your vision.
Communication is really important on a film set and a laser pointer will really aid that. Often times you will have to explain a specific light position or show where you want a cut on a wall. A laser pointer is the most efficient way of doing so.
This fantastic app is a must have for tech scouting and shooting on location. It will allow you to see the course of the suns position through out the day. I find it very handy for windows too. By standing inside your location and pointing your phone’s camera toward a window you will be able to tell if the sun will be coming through at any point during the day and get a rough idea of the angle the light will be coming in at.
A director’s view finder will allow you to give your director an idea of the framing with out setting up the camera. I find it very handy especially if they are unsure of what shots they want. You can let you director hang on to it and play with some frames, or you can find a shoot with it yourself, then allow your director to see the shot.
A DSLR is great for a new cinematographer to own for many reasons. You can use your DSLR to get an idea of exposure and colour when shooting on film or even as an aid in story-boarding or finding shots of set. Not to mention that new DSLRs can shoot HD video.
Canon DSLRs on Amazon
American Cinematographer Manual
This book is a must own, especially for shooting film!
American Cinematographer Manual on Amazon
I hope this list of Cinematographer Tools has been helpful. More new stuff coming soon.