Bought a Weston Master II over the weekend

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I Bought a Weston Master II over the weekend for $6 at the thrift store. I seems to work. Does anybody have experience with one? It looks like it's it excellent condition.
     
  2. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    I've seen a lot of those old Weston meters, but none of them were accurate anymore. The Selenium cells were worn out, so they didn't read high enough. They were neat meters, with a great calculator dial that had marks for the highlight and shadow placements. An incident light dome that looks like an inverted cone was made for them; as the description suggests, Weston called the attachment an Invercone!
     
  3. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    I have a Westonmaster II and a couple of III's. I think they are awesome and trust them as much as any modern camera matrix or center weighted meter. Obviously, the best way to see what you think is to take it for a spin and see what results you get.
     
  4. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Hey thanks! I'll have to take it for a spin and compare it to my new Sekonic. With all this new solar technology, I'm surprised that camera manufacturers don't make an updated version with photovoltiacs. I have a selenium cell meter on my Zeiss Super Ikonta IV still works well. It's not coupled with my camera though.
     
  5. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    I have a II. The II uses the weston scale not ASA. Weston = 0.8 asa so 320 weston = 400 asa
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I still use a Weston III (two of them). Just check it against a meter known to be relibale and if it works OK then use and enjoy it.
     
  7. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    I have a Master II w/invercone. I had the cell replaced and calibrated by Quality Light Metric. It works great. I get a few questions about it every time I use it in public.
     
  8. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Looks like we need to start a group.

    Rushed out the door yesterday and grabbed the Weston II and some Pentax gear for a dayhike with some kids... They didn't even see it. Guess it looks enough like a compass or cell phone, it didn't draw any attention.

    MartinCrabtree, I'll try to post pictures of the Zone System dial for you.

    A cool thing about the old meters, when you hear of Tungsten speeds versus Daylight speeds, yeah - these meters are to blame for that. Have you seen how that needle dances when you get it near a light bulb. But the fact it is more sensitive in Tungsten isn't a serious problem, it's just something to get used to. In low light, meter a white sheet of paper and compensate...
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have a couple of IIIs which are accurate.

    For many years my father was a weekend wedding photographer and a week day central heating engineer. Apart from light meters, Sangamo Weston also made central heating timers.

    Every time their sales representative called, he would bring my father a new meter.


    Steve.
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have a Weston Euro master 11, it's still accurate but Iv'e retired it to my sock draw together with my Gossen Lunapro SBC for the present because I prefer my modern digital meters.
     
  11. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I have several Master IIs, and some are still accurate enough for regular use. Aside from selenium cell deterioration, the most common problem may be imbalance of the armature. To check for this, cover the cell and rotate the meter with its dial in a vertical plane. The needle should remain on zero. If it moves as you rotate the meter, the armature is unbalanced. I've used meters with this problem by holding the meter so the imbalance is nulled out. If the needle remains steady but off of the zero point, that can be corrected by a screw on the back of the meter. Norwood and GE also made selenium cell meters that I find still useful.
     
  12. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Catman, Quality Light Metric has been mentioned once, I think, so far in this thread. There's a law of nature that a newly purchased used light meter is always off calibration.

    QLM does outstanding work, here's http://www.whitepages.com/business/quality-light-metric-co-los-angeles-ca-1 a link with their contact information.

    If you want to use the meter, have it overhauled properly, don't go for any of the half-assed expedients that we all love.
     
  13. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    The other common problem is oxidization of the contact strip on the back side of the selenium cell. Some folks have DIY repaired non-working Westons by disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly. Some have even had "accurate-enough" working meters result from this "half-assed expedient". :laugh:
     
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  15. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    How much do they typically charge for such work? I imagine not inexpensive as it's hard to make a living if they were to charge not too much. How much is the cost compared to buying a new meter?
     
  16. Griz

    Griz Member

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    Hi Chan, when I had George at QLM refurb my Master V, the cost, including shipping both ways, was around $100 US. He does excellent work, and actually called me twice, once to verify he received it, and three days later, to let me know it was finished, and on its' way home.

    Griz
     
  17. GregW

    GregW Member

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    I have a Weston Master, the original version, lovely bakelite case and a nice heft to it. I love using it, both of my "modern" meters have gone on the fritz, This one just keeps on going. BTW on this one if you're using series VI filters you can check the exposure factor easily -if you've forgotten what it is. They fit perfectly in the recessed cell area.
     
  18. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I have a Weston Master II, which I have had for many years but seldom used. I also have an invacone for it and a clip-in neutral density filter that if required you can clip in underneath the invacone when the flap with the holes in it is clipped open.
     
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I spoke to George about 8 or 10 years ago and asked that question. My memory remembers $60 to $80 for a complete overhaul and calibration. Too much for me, so I threw it out and bought another on ebay that metered good enough.
     
  20. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    For almost $100 to repair the Weston Master II plus a few dollars to buy the meter. I think I rather buy a Gossen Digisix or the Sekonic L-208 for a bit over $100. I know many here swear by the Weston accuracy but I never thought so but then I only had 1 Weston Master II. May be I have a bad sample.
     
  21. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    I've a similar meter (it may be the same, but it's in a very inaccessible spot in the spare room right now so I can't check). It seems as accurate as the built-in meters of two early 80s cameras I have. What are the odds all three are off by the same amount?

    It is a very nice meter, though if you are not in bright light, the dials can be a bit difficult to read (in other words, I may need bifocals).
     
  22. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Tested the meter tonight. It's accurate. It's pretty amazing for it's age. No batteries needed! A bargain for $6.
     
  23. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    I have bought several second-hand Weston meters and they have not worked for long - they seem to be particularly fragile. At least compared to my Ikophot and Leningrad meters which I have had for several years now and both get regular use. And both are in agreement with my modern Canon 650D's internal meter so I can see no need to pay for calibration.
     
  24. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Ha ha ha... Chan, you and I seem to think alike. After getting that bid I threw out the bad meter, bought a replacement that worked, and then spent $500 on a Sekonic L-558. Much better than spending $100 fixing up an old meter. :laugh:
     
  25. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    That's wierd, really wierd. I got a Master III sometime around 1985~ and liked it so much I bought another, new-in-box, as a spare. Well, I'm still using that first one, and it's still accurate. Wierd.:blink:
     
  26. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    The Weston Master III I used in the 1960s survived much abuse. The meter glass got bashed in, and the only handy replacement was a fragment of a broken ground glass. This might have been the only Weston Master III with a non-glare meter, which was no improvement. The calculator dial got broken off, but calculating the shutter speed and aperture from the meter reading involves only basic math. The meter was otherwise working fine when the camera kit was stolen in 1969. The last time I checked, one Weston Master from the 1930s was still accurate, but the Master II and III are more compact and sensitive. A bit of history: the company that made the Weston meters was founded by an engineer named Edward Weston, no relative to the photographer Edward H. Weston.