A quick spot meter question...

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by reellis67, May 31, 2006.

  1. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I was looking at CHEAP options for a spot meter and found these two options: 1) the Minolta 5 degree spot attachment for my existing light meter, or 2) A Gossen Luna Pro with the 7/15 degree spot attachment. What I was wondering was has anyone had any experience with either of these, and if so, could you recommend either one over the other? Or do you recommend not getting either until I can afford something better (if that day ever comes). My budget is no more than $75, and preferably around $50, so both of these should fit the bill, used of course. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    - Randy
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Depends on why you want a spot meter I guess.

    Do you have a 35mm? The cheap way to get a spot meter is to use a 35mm body with spot metering and a longish lens. It's a bit of a pain to use but you'll end up with a smaller spot.

    If you already have a lens then it's only a matter of finding a cheap body that supports spot metering. Neither the lens or the body needs to be fancy.
     
  3. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Most people who use spot meters prefer the 1 degree models. The 5 degree and 7.5 degree models cover enough area that it's hard to be really selective about small area luminances as in a way that provides the information most are looking for. A comparison of the area covered (as opposed to the diameter of the reading circle) is instructive. A 5 degree circle covers 25 times as much area as a 1 degree reading. I have a 7.5/15 attachment for a Luna Pro, but if I really want a selective reading, I always use a Minolta 1 degree spot meter. I bought the Minolta because the Luna Pro attachment was often a little too wide for what I wanted to meter.

    Lee
     
  4. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    If you can get it cheap, I think the Minolta 5 degree attachment is OK. Your meter is probably one of the digital version so I rather have that than the Gossen combo. These attachment besides from being larger than a true 1 degree, they do suffer a certain degree of paralax problem as well as making the meter less sensitive.
     
  5. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    The use of a 35mm camera is a good suggestion. This is how I started with 4x5 & E6. If you are shooting B&W it won't be a problem with the wider coverage, but for really precise readings and E6, a 1 degree is best.

    With a 35mm and some practice, you should be able to try whatever you need. Light is fairly constant at different times of the year, so some practice and note taking will allow you to read light to shoot in most scenes. A gray card can be your best friend here. tim
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    In the end, you'll probaly buy a 1 deg spotmeter anyway. They are the best. I like the Pentax Digital Spotmeter (still made), the same AA used. It the most flexible for Zone System work, but I have a Minolta Spotmeter (no longer made) for testing, because it's more precise.

    Both should be available for about $200 used. If that's too much now. Get the 5 deg adaptor, that will work OK for now. Christmas is coming up fast :smile:
     
  7. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I have used an SLR in the past for this type of work, but with the weight of an 8x10, or even the smaller 4x5, I can't really lug that much extra weight around very easily. I've tried a few times, but I find it too limiting on longer hikes. I like the weight of the Gossen, and the Minolta is not that much more really, but another camera and lens would be over the top for some of the places I am planning on going.

    The comparison of area covered was very interesting; I knew that it would vary, but was surprised by how much! More control is better I suppose, but I guess I will have to spend some time considering to what degree (ouch!) will a 1 degree circle and a 5 degree circle will matter to me under most conditions. In any event, my budget is primarily dedicated to consumables rather than more gear, so a 1 degree meter is likely outside my option list.

    Thanks to all for your suggestions!

    - Randy
     
  8. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    A really cheap spot metering adaptor for a reflected light meter is a set of cardboards in varying values of grey. The area to be metered is viewed through a small hole in the corner of whichever cardboard that best matches the area. That cardboard is metered to get the exposure.
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Take your 35mm with a zoom lens. Different focal lengths will give you different spot sizes. You'll have to do some math but it'll let you compare without buying anything.
     
  10. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Randy,

    In answer to your question, yes, there can be a substantial difference between a reading with 1 or 5 degree spot readings especially for taking readings for expensive large Chromes). You may also want to consider finding the Soligor Digital Spot meter either new or on eBay. These may still be available through Adorama and rebranded under their logo. Yes they are much larger than the Pentax Digital Spotmeter. I personally have one of the old Zone VI modified Soligor Digital spot meter. The standard Soligor Digital Spot meters are known for being inexpensive, rather rugged, and reliable.

    Rich
     
  11. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Agreed with Rich. I generally use 1 degree (my meter also does 3 degrees as well). However, there are times I just use the 3D matrix meter on my Nikon F5 (no zoom) - generally only when the light or subject is changing too fast to spot meter.
     
  12. donbga

    donbga Member

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    I used the L. Pro 7/15 degree attachment for many years and once you learn how to use it, it can be used very effectively. Most 1 degree meters aren't exactly meter 1 degree anyway and all exhibit some degree of flare. But back to the point, the L. Pro with spot attachment can be picked up for peanuts these days on e-Bay. You could certainly do a lot worse. The meter is excellent by anyones standards.

    My 2 cents,