Help in shopping for a new light meter

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by veriwide, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. veriwide

    veriwide Member

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    Two years ago I finnaly gave up my blood fued against electronics, got rid of my Weston Master II's, and put a Gossen Luna Pro SBC in my pack. It has been a reliable meter, but it has given up the ghost. Now I have a lot of attachments for a meter I can not use.

    I know I'm going to get a range of responces, but what meters do you trust. I'm leaning in the Minolta IV or Sekonic L508 direction. If ya'll can help in that area it would be appreciated. Any info on older or newer models of the same lines would be helpful as well.

    Thanks,

    Patrick Pitzer
     
  2. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I use a Pentax digital spot meter and it works great for me. I also have a Digisix (Gossen I think) that is used when I want a small incident meter (like for my folders). I think the simpler the meter is the better it is - as long as it is accurate. The Pentax fits this perfectly.
     
  3. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    I have got the Minolta VF with spot attachment and I must say it is very accurate and can measure both ambient and flashlight.
    Hans
     
  4. Deniz

    Deniz Member

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    I use a Seconic L-398 Studio Deluxe and i am extremely happy. My only complaint would be it is not very sensitive to very low light work. But other than that, i am loving the batteryless operation..
     
  5. DrPhil

    DrPhil Member

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    I will second the recommendation for a pentax digital spot meter.
     
  6. steve simmons

    steve simmons Inactive

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    On our web site in the free articles section there is an article on Zoning with the Multi-Tasking Meter.

    www.viewcamera.com

    If you do daylight work and any strobe in the studio these meters can be very useful

    steve simmons
     
  7. rjs003

    rjs003 Subscriber

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    I'll second that!
     
  8. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I have a Sekonic 508 and absolutely love it. The new ones seem to be a lot better as this was the first of the dual meters. If you can afford one, get it.

    You wont find anything in the view camera article that is not better explained in the instruction manual. So read the manual, it is very helpful.
     
  9. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I've got the minolta, it's simple and works well. The spot accesory is a joke though. 5 or 10 degrees depending on the model you get. Too wide for me. I also cary a Pentax spot meter for when I need it.

    Brian
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Pentax Spotmeter (analog version). Love it! I use it about 95% of the time, because I am usually measuring SBRs.

    I also have a Gossen Luna Pro SBC that has provided long and faithful service.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i'll third that!
     
  12. Brian Bullen

    Brian Bullen Member

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    Patrick, I have a Sekonic L508 and I love it maybe as much as Jorge loves his. A tear comes to my eye whenever I loan it to a friend, for fear of what might happen to my baby. Seriously this thing is the do it all meter and has been very reliable. I've also used a Gossen Luna Star and a Minolta spotmeter, the sekonic IMO takes the cake. Good luck
     
  13. steve simmons

    steve simmons Inactive

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    You wont find anything in the view camera article that is not better explained in the instruction manual. So read the manual, it is very helpful.
    __________________
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


    We wrote the article in View Camera because people were coming to ur workshops not knowing how to operate the meter even after going through the manual. Having another resource never hurts.

    Try the free artiucle on the View Camera web site. If you have any questions just let me know

    steve simmons
    largformat@aol.com
     
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  15. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Without an indication of the budget you're on, I love my Gossen Starlight meter and would recommend it to anyone. Have a look into one as another option on top of the Minolta, Pentax and Sekonics.

    Cheers,
     
  16. photomc

    photomc Member

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    I use a Polaris with a 5 spot attachment, as BMAC, said pretty much a joke, but the meter is good and easy to use. Have not checked prices, but at the time it was $100 USD less than the Minolta, so I bought it. The reason, I was a putts and sold my old analog Pentax spot meter - wish I had it back....
     
  17. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    The pentax spot meter (I have the digital) takes some beating and is of course simple, ergonomically perfect and has no features I do not need. It also has superb build quality. Perfect for field use if that is the application.

    Tom
     
  18. jbj

    jbj Member

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    The Adorama digital spot meter is very simple, reliable, and rugged. It costs significantly less than the Pentax meters (~469$ pentax vs. ~249 adororama). Not to mention that the batteries used in the adorama are much cheaper and easier to find. I have no reservations recommending the adorama digital spot meter. good luck.
     
  19. fingel

    fingel Member

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    I use the Minolta and it is a great meter, I bought the booster2 attachment for it and now I can take direct readings off the ground glass of my view camera. It is a nice feature for those times when you wish you had TTL metering for the view camera. :smile:
     
  20. matthew

    matthew Member

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    I'll stick with my old Luna Pro....still works perfect. I refuse to spend several hundred dollars on a light meter.
     
  21. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    The Minolta. Would not trade it. Very accurate.
     
  22. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Down the years I've collected a bagful of meters for still and movie work. Here are my brief opinions on a few of them.

    I have the L508C and use it with the Minolta Booster II - they are compatible. The only thing I don't like about it is the lack of readout in the viewfinder, otherwise it is a great all-round meter. I believe that the newer versions have a viewfinder display.

    I also have the Minolta Spotmeter F and the Pentax Digital. The Pentax is good and simple. The Minolta is versatile, and it has the most useful (to me) viewfinder display. It's the one I trust the least in low light (I wonder if it is over-sensitive to IR).

    I love the Sekonic Studio Master if there is enough light, and I usually use it with the Minolta Spotmeter in preference to my Spectra. The direct reading slides are neat.

    Best,
    Helen
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2004
  23. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Sekonic l-508, not especially compact but water resistant & pretty durable.
     
  24. sanking

    sanking Member

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    The Sekonic L-508, which is really two meters in one, one incident the other a spotmeter adjustable from 1 to 4 degrees, is really hard to beat, and the fact that uses commonly available AA batteries is a real advantage.

    However, persons interested in doing traditional zone type photograhy might want to consider one of the meters that will allow puting a functional zone scale on the meter. You can not do this with most modern digital meters, including the L-508.

    I generally prefer to meter by taking incident readings and I use the L-508 but there are times when I still do zone readings and in those cases I find the visual scale on my Pentax 1 degree spotmeter to be very useful.

    Sandy King
     
  25. jantman

    jantman Member

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    I've heard a lot of good things about the Pentax Digital Spotmeter, especially the Zone IV version. However, I shoot lots of chrome too (in addition to B&W) so I opted for a lightly used Minolta Spotmeter IV. I've had it for about a year and a half, and love it. It's never let me down, and is still on its first set of batteries - after a year and a half of use, and many hours/days of inadvertantly being left on. The readings are dead on as far as I'm concerned, and it agrees with my other meter (a tiny pocketsize Sekonic L-308) and my eye.

    It has memory and a whole slew of other features that most people never use (like averaging), a backlight (a good idea) and perhaps best, it hasn't had flash sync problems with amy of my flashes or cables. And can take the 60+ V from my Black Line packs.
     
  26. edz

    edz Member

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    Why? I'm not quite sure which Spectra you have but I can't see an advantage to the Sekonic over any of the Spectras. More related to the Norwood design (and Sekonic Studio) is/was their Combi-II which, although out of production (replaced by the digital IV series of meters), is still, I think, among the nicest analog battery driven light meter ever made. It even has the possibility to have an average metering of both incident and reflected light. Its needs, like most modern meters, a battery--- even the Spectra Combi-500 needed a battery for low light levels-- but is relatively flexible in its selection. Spot meters have been quite hip over the last 30 years or so--- and all of the Spectras have had some form of accessory to convert them for Spot use--- but I've hardly noticed ever the need, especially in still work, for spot meters. And even for "zone stuff", since we are talking here about large format cameras I'd suggest instead of spot one would be better served by ground glass metering--- again something the Spectras can do quite well.