Dropped my lightmeter!

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by Obtong, May 28, 2010.

  1. Obtong

    Obtong Member

    Messages:
    97
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi All. I was out on a shoot yesterday and had tucked my Sekonic L-158 into my back pocket. Somehow the meter worked its way out of my pocket and fell to the floor. The needle is now stuck in the middle of the scale. I have opened up the meter, and although the needle moves freely, but haven't found what's wrong with the meter itself. I am now in the market for a new lightmeter. I already have a Sekonic L-358 for studio/flash work, but I really want a smallish lightmeter I can fit in my pocket for when I don't want to carry arouond a lot of gear. Suggestions?

    ~Dom
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have used those meters, and honestly, unless you are really in love with it, and really get great results from it all the time, I would not reapir it. I suggest replacing it with a Sekonic L-208 Twinmaster. $110 from Freestyle (http://www.freestylephoto.biz/40120...r-Compact-Incident-and-Reflective-Light-Meter), and you have a "better" meter than the 158, that can do incident or reflected readings. In that budget range, it's the best bang for the buck in a light meter IMHO.

    If you can afford it, I'd go for this guy: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/401399-Sekonic-Light-Meter-L-398A-Studio-Deluxe-III. Mine from the 1950s still works just fine, and is my main light meter for everything I shoot that does not involve flash or very low light levels. I have never once been disappointed with the results.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2010
  3. R gould

    R gould Member

    Messages:
    430
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Jersey Chann
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'd go for a weston, perhaps a master 5 or euromaster, they seem to be plentyfull, and if the 5 I have is anything to go by then they are one of the best and most accurate arouund Richard
     
  4. onepuff

    onepuff Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    Scotland
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Re Meter

    I would concur with the Weston choice. They are cheap enough, easy to use, very durable and pretty accurate. I have a Euro-Master from the 70's and it still works flawlessly. The Master IV, Euro-Master and Euro-Master II are the pick of the bunch. Just avoid the Master 6 which was Japanese made under licence and is rather plasticky.
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,463
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dom,
    Take a look at the coil spring that loads the needle. It's at the pivot point. if impact has caused the spring to bind, one section may have climbed atop another. The needle would still move manually but the galvanometer doesn't have enough torque to move it.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,123
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've had a few Weston's 2 V's and a Euromaster, great meters but beware a great many second-hand Weston's now have very poor Selenium cells that don't react fully. The Selenium cell can be replaced by the manufacturer but it may make an uneconomic proposition unless you pay very little for the meter in the first place.

    Ian
     
  7. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Admittedly, I am a dinosaur, but I like my Westons. I have two Master Vs which I have had completely overhauled (including new cells) and calibrated. That set me back about ninety bucks each--but to me, they are worth it. I got my first Weston V, brand new, in 1962, for 19.95. It worked perfectly for ten years until my new bride dropped it and we could not afford to get it fixed.
    I also have a Euromaster I. Simpler dial setting, but just like a Master V.
    And an early mentor told me that understanding the Weston dial was the best introduction to film exposure going.
     
  8. Obtong

    Obtong Member

    Messages:
    97
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks for the replies. I have checked the coil spring and it looks OK, but maybe I'm not seeing what's binding. Anyway, yesterday I stopped by Value Village and looked through the cameras they had piled up on a shelf. Among them was what looked like a 110 camera with a long lanyard. As I pushed it aside I noticed what looked like an EV scale so I picked it up for a closer look. It was a Sekonic L-438 Spot Meter! I paid the 99 cents they were asking for it and rushed home to put a battery in the thing.

    The meter appears to work, and compared too my L-358, the L-438 appears (pardon the pun) spot on! However, the EV reading in the viewfinder doesn't match the reading on the main EV scale on the body.

    I'm going to try out my new Sekonic L-438 this week, but I still think I'll want a smaller handheld incident/reflective meter as well. The Luna Pro / Weston V appear to be the best bet. I'll keep an eye on ebay...

    This is what the Sekonic L-438 looks like:
    http://www.geocities.jp/qqbjj485/Photo/camera/L438.jpg
    (Not my actual meter, but an image I found online.)

    Thanks!