Can anyone recommend me a light meter?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by tron_, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    So I have been doing some push shooting lately (1600 on XP2 Super) as well as long exposures with my Mamiya RZ67. The problem is that the Dejur Dual Professional meter I have been using only goes up to 800 and does not have very clear low light readings.

    Therefore I decided it might be time to look into a nice electronic light meter (possibly Sekonic). Can anyone recommend me a meter that is in the $250 range? I really do not want to spend more than that on a meter :smile:
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Used Sekonics to look at are the 358 and smaller, less expensive 308. Either are within your price range. Both are tough, reliable and accurate.
     
  3. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Sekonic L-308.... S, maybe? I think the versions are B, S, and D? Anyway, I have a 308B, earlier version, and it is my daily meter. Goes in a jacket pocket, always ready to be pulled out to check. I use it on incident all the time. Large simple readout. I set a shutter speed based on my basic shooting conditions and do the math if I need to make a change. Meaning that, for example, if it tells me that at 1/125 I should be shooting at 2.0, and I want to shoot at f5.6, I use 1/15. Simple enough... well, it works for me, a simple readout of a shutter speed and an aperture. Some people might prefer dials and such.
     
  4. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    Do you want spot or incident or both? I wanted both 1 degree spot and incident and ended up purchasing a Sekonic L-508. They don't make them anymore, but you can pick one up used on ebay.
     
  5. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    There is nothing that beats an old Luna Pro for low light metering. Decent ones, plus the battery converter, will be well within your price range. Reflected plus incident reading.

    If the calculator doesn't go high enough figuring out a 1-stop or 2-stop adjustment is easy enough to do in one's head.

    But haven't we dealt with this question before or am I having dejavu all over again????
     
  6. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    The Olde Luna Pro is the way to go !
    I eBayed a Luna Pro, and Spot Attachment for less than $30.00.
    I use the Radio Shack Zinc Air batteries, no adapters necessary.
    I keep trying to find an excuse to upgrade to a more expensive meter ...

    Ron
    .
     
  7. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    A few years ago I "upgraded" to a more expensive "does everything" meter (Sekonic L-558) and only get value from that upgrade when doing flash or 1-degree spot metering. I probably could have done just as well continuing to use the Gossen 7/15 deg spot attachment and cheap flash meter.
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Good luck with that. I've been looking for the same excuse since the last millenium....:smile:
     
  9. dnjl

    dnjl Member

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    I have a Sekonic L-308S and I would definitely recommend it if you don't need spot metering. It does incident and reflected metering, as well as flash. Relatively small and light and fairly robust, even though it feels plasticky. The meter takes readily available batteries which last for ages. It's cheap, too.
     
  10. Timestep

    Timestep Member

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    Gossen Digi-Pro F: Incident or reflectance. Flash if ever needed. AA battery.
    Put that in a Lowe FS10 belt pouch.
     
  11. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Not much bigger than the Sekonic 308 is the 408 - another discontinued model you can find on eBay. It does incident, reflected, 5-degree spot and flash. Uses a single AA battery, and is weatherproof and somewhat ruggedized (no, you don't want to repeatedly bounce it off rocks - it will break like any other - but the occasional bump and bang will do it little to no harm. I have two of them (one's a backup) and they've both been dragged around and knocked into stuff and come through with flying colors). They can also be user calibrated to match personal preferences or another meter. This is a big plus if you sometimes use an in-camera meter, or you have standardized your exposure/development routine around another meter which you are replacing with this.
     
  12. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys, I appreciate the help. I will look into the Sekonic L-308S and L-408. I don't really need spot metering because I rarely (if ever) use it. I will be fine with incident and reflected metering. Flash would be a bonus.

    I think it's safe to say that whatever I go with will be better than toting around my DSLR and using it for long exposure metering haha.
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Especially for shooting long time exposures, a DSLR is bad because digital doesn't have reciprocity, so it's easy to forget that you need to calculate it if you use the DSLR as a pseudo-Polaroid.
     
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  15. Ali-C

    Ali-C Member

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    I got an L408 off of ebay for £125, okay it has a 5 degree instead of a 1 degree spot, but if you can't stretch to the 508 or the 758 it's very good for the money. TheFlyingCamera pretty much covered it all in his post.
     
  16. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    I have been using Gossen Digisix since about 3 years and it is a great little device. VERY simple to use, once you measured the EV value you get all possible shutter-aperture combinations at the same time. and it does reflected metering with about 30 degree cone. And it is tiny, has built-in countdown timer, clock alarm and thermometer (should you need any of those additional features)

    It is one of very few things in photography I got new and kept this long :smile:
     
  17. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    That is a very good point, does the L-408 compensate for reciprocity? Or is there a built in feature for it? (I understand that reciprocity is different for each film so I'm going to assume no but I've been surprised before).
     
  18. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Good assumption. I know of no meter that compensates for reciprocity. I'd be surprised, as in REALLY SURPRISED, if someone knows of one that does.
     
  19. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    With today fast microprocessor it's not difficult to build such a meter but you would have to program in the reciprocity characteristic of the film you use as they are all different. But then as film use isn't that much popular any more it would be hard to recoup the development cost.
     
  20. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    So, you can use a basic LunaPro and the reciprocity chart from your film's datasheet, or develop a meter containing a microprocessor. To borrow a line from Thomas Earnshaw, it seems like going around back of a house and breaking open the back door while the front door stands open. That is, finding the most complex solution available for a dirt-simple problem.
     
  21. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Actually, it wouldn't be very hard to program something like that at all- there's already several light meter apps for the iPhone. wouldn't be hard to modify one of them to let you select a film type and automatically curve the exposure.
     
  22. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Using an iphone as a meter is yet another example of needless and counterproductive complication.
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I would recommend the Gossen Digi Pro F , it has a 30 degree acceptance for reflected light, it's lightweight,slim and pocketable, very quick and easy to use, runs off a single AA battery, has an analogue as well as a digital display to 1/10th of a stop, and has a way of easily assessing scene contrast, above all it's deadly accurate
    http://www.wexphotographic.com/Home...L-_-_cat:wexphotographic.com&gclid=CJOc-vvirb
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2012
  24. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    Thanks for the tip onto the Gossen DigiPro F. I'm pretty sure I've narrowed my choices down to the Sekonic L-408, L-308S, and the Gossen DigiPro F. Considering these are all in my budget, which one do you guys feel would be the best bang for the buck?

    Also, as an engineer, I wouldn't mind coming up with a little light meter that accounts for reciprocity :smile: it actually wouldn't be too difficult, you could perform a curve-fitting analysis on each films reciprocity curve, and then use the function to interpolate and convert the metered readings through the function, and output the accounted-for exposure :smile:
     
  25. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    You can get Gossen Digisix and spend the rest money on film and paper.

    Reflective Metering: Can follow Minor White's technique to start with.

    Incident Metering: BTZS.

    Viele Gruesse.
     
  26. Frank C

    Frank C Member

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