battery-free light meter needed

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Andre R. de Avillez, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Can anyone give me suggestions of a good, cheap (ebay....) batteryless light meter? I was getting ready to shoot my brother's surprise wedding yesterday (he surprised us, not the other way around), and as I pull out the 6x6 & gossen digi-six, I notice it's out of battery... And I'm 4-5 hours away from home (and the spare battery)!

    Well, I managed to borrow someone's ae-1 and get a good guestimate on lighting, but I really need a back-up light meter. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with Leningrads, Westons, anything else at all. New Sekonics etc. are out of the question, I don't want to spend more than 30 bucks (and that's stretching it). I just want a meter that will be precise on daytime-evening lighting... you know, a back-up.

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I think the cheapest thing would be to carry extra batteries in your camera bag (that's what I do). If you do get one of the battery-less meters make sure you check it up against your current meter because odds are the exposures the suggest will be different and you will know how much and in what direction to compensate.
     
  3. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    I use a gossen pilot, that may be a good backup meter for you. very inexpensive on eBay and there are always pilot and Pilot2 coming up for sale.
     
  4. Stan. L-B

    Stan. L-B Member

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    I use as back up, a thirty year old Wrist Strap Hasselblad Meter. Very good except for low light condition.
     
  5. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I use a Sekonic 398 Studio Deluxe.
    Not particularly cheap new but they have been making them forever so the older they are, the cheaper they can be found.

    I bought mine new and it is right on but I have heard that selenium meters can lose accuracy over many years. Rather than poking and hoping to get a good, cheap one on ebay I tend to agree with Jeremy, the wisest solution might be just to carry spare batteries for your other meters.

    If you go for a selenium remember that they are also powerful magnets, so be careful to keep it isolated from any digital equipment that you might have and don't put it in your pocket next to you credit and atm cards.
     
  6. Shesh

    Shesh Member

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    Good to know! I took my meter around my compass and tested it. It is indeed a powerful magnet.
     
  7. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Another good point. If you decide to orienteer to a remote photographic location and you notice that your compass always indicates that your camera bag is due north, you are probably lost :smile:
     
  8. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    I do have, and usually carry, extra batteries with my camera bag, but this time I was caught off guard, and left most of my things at home... I think I'm going to risk a leningrad meter, for under 10 bucks, and see how that goes.

    People, keep in mind that I'm a cheap bastard. I use surplus film, on used cameras, and develop in diafine just because I can re-use it a lot. I can't help it, its genetic.

    Thanks for the magnet advice, though.
     
  9. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    I have a gossen Scout2 that I bought eons ago. It is still accurate in bright light and down to open shade. It's (indoors) low light capabilities are not to be trusted.
    I do check it every now and then to my Luna proF for outdoor accuracy.
    gene
     
  10. roy

    roy Subscriber

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    When I do not use my spotmeter, I use a Weston Master 5. This is batteryless and will measure ambient and incident light. They can usually be picked up fairly cheaply on ebay.
     
  11. gma

    gma Member

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    You can't be any cheaper than me. I have a Vivitar non-battery meter that I bought at least 30 years ago. It has a #30 silver label on the back. I suppose that is the model number. I would still be using the Sekonic non-battery meter that I bought in 1964, but I dropped and broke it.
     
  12. ThomHarrop

    ThomHarrop Member

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    Sekonic L-398. Best one I have used.