Help Choosing Handheld Light Meter.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by snegron, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I recently began using old film cameras that I had stored away for years and I discovered that their light meters are either not working properly or not working at all. I would like to purchase a hand held light meter, however, I am not sure what to look for. Most of my shots will be of candid subjects outdoors, so I am not sure that getting them to hold a meter for me would produce the natural looking results I want. I would like to meter from my camera without having to walk up to the subject to get an exposure reading. Would a spot meter help me? Any suggestions?
     
  2. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    There's one product from Cosina, you can set it on a hotshoe if you want to mount it on a camera instead of hand-holding it.

    http://www.cameraquest.com/voivcmet.htm
     
  3. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    A lot depends on how much you want to spend. There have been numerous discussions here on the subject, though, so searching the archives will turn up a lot of excellent alternatives.
     
  4. bob01721

    bob01721 Member

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    It sounds like a spot meter is exactly what you're looking for.
     
  5. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Good afternoon snegron,

    I have a few old meterless folder cameras I use with a hand held meter. Basically, if you meter for the light falling in a certain area, then you just set the aperture and shutter and go with it. Usually in daylight situations I just take an open shade meter reading and a sunlight meter reading when I start, then just check it an hour of so later. Even using those with a 1937 AGFA Jsollette and transparency film, I rarely ever get a wrong exposure, and it is often quite close enough to use.

    I think you could do this with an inexpensive meter, like an old Sekonic or Gossen incidence meter. The one I use is a Sekonic L-358, since it stores several readings. However, I have that meter for work, and it might be more than you want to spend on, or more than you want to carry (light weight, but not very compact). The old L-398 might be better, and certainly cheaper. If you want really small, or something to mount on the accessory shoe, look into a Gossen DigiSix.

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2006
  6. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    As Bob suggests, a spot meter, intelligently used, should do very well. I still use ancient selenium cell GE, Weston, and Norwood meters. With care, they also do well. How you use a meter is more important than the type or brand.
     
  7. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    If budget permit I would get a spot/incident meter. A lot of time you can take an incident reading ahead of time and not at the subject position. Spotmetering I feel is too slow for candid shots.
     
  8. seadrive

    seadrive Member

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    For outdoor candids, I would go with an inexpensive incident meter. It's like photojournalism: f/8 and be there. :smile:
     
  9. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    A spot meter sounds right. Suggest something in the range Sekonic 508/608/558.