Hand-held incident light meter recommendations

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Andrew Horodysky, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Hello Everyone,

    I'd like to know what others are using for a hand-held incident meter, and if I might have some recommendations for brands and models.

    It'll be used for portrait work with a Hasselblad (80mm and 150mm lenses), natural lighting -- indoor window, and outdoor -- and eventually with studio flash set-up.

    Thanks in advance.

    Andrew
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I think you've opened a can o worms here.
    Sekonic & Gossen are going to have a slug of supporters. Both brands offer multiple choices and most of them will incorporate a flashmeter capability.
    I'll start with a Sekonic 328, relatively inexpensive, durable and compact. I've had the 508 & it was just too bulky. The 328 fits a shirt pocket.
    Sekonic also made an incident meter using a silicon cell that was very popular. That was not a flash meter maybe #L-28?
     
  3. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    The closest you can get to the original meter designed for use with movies and movies still life photographers is the Sekonic L-398. I have one which is still going strong after about 30 years.
     
  4. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    As this will end up everybody recommending his or her own equipment, here´s my story: After using several rather antique light meters back from the time when communism was still an respected form of government over here :wink: (which all failed sooner or later btw), I decided to buy an all new and modern one.
    I use a Gossen Digipro F and am happy with it so far as the price was reasonable . It is very light. Functions are professional and it offers flash metering as well. The only thing which is annoying is the poor finish of the head, which can be turned 90 degrees foreward or backward. I think the mechanism won´t stand professional use for a long time. Also annoying is the plastic cap for incident light metering. It has to be removed every time you want to measure reflected light and easily goes lost. My advice would be to grab one used if the price is good, but it ain´t worth the original price.
    Greetz, Benjamin
     
  5. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    The main brands: Gossen, Sekonic and Minolta.
    I have the Gossen ProfiSix with flash attachment, and incedent metring attachment, works great.
    The other one I have is the Minolta Flashmeter IV with 5 degree attachment and mini-probe, great for close-up measurements.

    The only real advice I can give you: go to the sites of those 3 and have a look what comes close to your wishes.
    On ebay (yes) quite a few meters are on offer, try the bidding-ones, some Buy-now are way overpriced.

    @ Slixtiesix: from wich town are you ? I used to travel to Magdeburg frequently for a couple of years.
    Bin noch immer ein halber Ossie.......

    Peter
     
  6. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    :rolleyes:
    Yes indeed, it's not a straight-cut, black-and-white decision which meter you purchase. I chose the Sekonic L758D as an 'upgrade' to a long-serving POLARIS (Sekonic L308 copy) meter, and use this meter on-loc, in the studio (cordless flash) and for Uncle Ansel's ZS. Bought on eBay 2 years ago, the L758D has a bushell-basketfull of features, among EV, ambient, flash (corded/cordless: useful for studio work) and ambient/flash with percentage flash...and the ubiquitous spot meter, only of use to me with LF work most of the time now.

    Your budget commitment may be a factor; I've noted the L758D and its brethren has increased in price along with a great many other photographic goods (lenses, filters and film, among). Anyway, I made do with the small and relatively basic POLARIS for more than 15 years so a lot will depend on where your photography is now and where you're taking it in the future: for me, I'm not doing the same photography as I did in the last decade; it is more technical and deliberate.
     
  7. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    No good for flash, but I have the incident light "Invercone" for one of my Weston Master Vs."
     
  8. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    look for a sekonic 308s
    it is modern, and small and works well as an ambient meter
    as well as a flash meter. its just over 100$ ... i wish i had one!
    some of the meters mentioned
    so far are strictly ambient meters and will be of no use
    if you try to read a flash ...
    if you are in the used market .. look for a used
    minolta iv
    i got one for $25 used in mint condition.
    like the 308, it reads both flash and ambient, and
    can average a few readings .. and allow you to match
    your flash to ambient light .. but it is old and less $$ and doesn't
    take a AA battery ( it takes a stubby 1.5 volt i think ).

    good luck!
     
  10. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I've used both the Minolta IV and Spotmeter F sometimes both at the same time. The only hindrance with the IV was the accessory cones but you could get a flat diffuser which is nice. It's better to have the sliding cone I think. One thing that I always wanted was the ability to pop the flash(es) without using my infrared transmitter in hand. I think one of the units has a feature to do this in the meter if I remember right, but I think it's with a certain slave transmitter/receiver arrangement. Probably somewhat pricey but if you do alot of portraits I could see it as a useful accessory. I do like using a spot meter alone in certain situations. The F has the ability to pop the flash thru an attached synch cord.
     
  11. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    I've got and use the Minolta IV and it's done a great job for me. I have a Bronica SQ-B with 40mm, 80mm and 150mm lenses but, as I've only used the Bronnie for landscapes, I've never got round to checking how good (or otherwise) it is for flash.