Light meter - any suggestion?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mirko Lazzarin, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Mirko Lazzarin

    Mirko Lazzarin Member

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    Hello everyone,
    I recently approached to medium format photography, buying a Mamiya C220 and a Rollecord IV..Therefore I am an aboslute beginner..At the moment, I measure the exposure through one of my SLR and I am now trying to buy a proper hand light meter.
    Would you have any type to suggest? Would it be better choice a incident light or reflective light meter??
    I am kinda lost :confused:
    Thanks for your kind support!!
    Mirko
     
  2. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Hi Mirko,
    Lots of them out there.Why don't you use our Forum pages to find one that may work for you?
    Click forums,scroll down to exposure and type in "meters".Better minds than mine have posted their thoughts.

    Mike
     
  3. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Hi Mirko,
    A while back I acquired a Rolleiflex T and Weston Master V meter as part of a package. The meter was still in its original packaging with a price sticker of £13 and an odd number of pence that suggested the price was a decimal conversion from a previous price in pounds, shillings and pence and put the date therefore at around the time of UK decimilisation - 1969/70/71. Given that the meter was 35+ years old, I approached it cautiously, but I needn't have worried as the negatives from the Rollei were as well exposed as one would hope. Like Mike, I'm not professing any great knowledge of hand-held meters, but can only say that that combination worked for me!
    Best wishes,
    Steve
     
  4. Mirko Lazzarin

    Mirko Lazzarin Member

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    Hi Mike,
    Yep, that could be the easiest way!
    Thanks a lot, I will go to have a look right now!
    Thanks
    Mirko
     
  5. Polybun

    Polybun Guest


    Anything that says Gossen! :D

    No seriously... anything that says Gossen, if you can afford things that say gossen. That said, the cheap little seikonics work good, i'm told.

    I've got a Gossen Super Pilot in CDS (god i want one in sds isntead!). CDS meters will probably still be acurate, but are slow slow slow in low light. SDS is prefered i'm told.. i dunno.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Meters do appear frequently in the classifieds here. If you can find a modern Gossen theyb are always a good choice.

    Beware Westons, the Selenium cells are often shot and will cost you £60 to get fixed, although you might be lucky like Steve.

    Ian
     
  7. Michael Finder

    Michael Finder Member

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    I've used a Minolta IVF (incident and flash meter) with a reflective spot meter attachment for 10 years with great results. I recommend it with no hesitation.
     
  8. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    The question is whether you want an incident light meter or reflected (usually spot) light meter. Shortly after I got my Rolleiflex T I got myself the Gossen Digisix. I would have prefered to have also a spot metering mode (Digisix is incident + 30 degree reflected meter), but icident metering is the one I use most of the time and the meter is extremely easy to use. It is also very small (you just do not notice those few grams hanging around your neck) and offeres another features like clock, timer and thermometer. I am satisfied.
     
  9. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Most meters except for the most basic can do incident or reflective readings. The Gossens are more convienient than many of the Westons and Sekonics as the diffuser for incident reading is built in, rather than a separate piece.
    The later model Gossen Lunasix (not sure of the specific designation) uses currently available 9V batteries which is a big advantage over the older meters that require mercury cells, unless they've been modified.
    As Ian points out, used market Selenium cell meters are a little risky, but if you find a good one they are great, since there are no battery worries.
    Recently I bought a lot of 5 old Westons to obtain one particular one in the lot, but none of them are accurate.
    My recommendation would be a Lunasix or Luna Pro SBC (the U.S. name for it).
     
  10. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'd recommend the Sekonic 308S - great little meter that can do incident, reflected, and flash. I believe there MAY be a spot meter attachment available for it, but if you just want something pocketable, highly functional, and inexpensive, the 308S is the ticket. Uses a single AA battery (nothing exotic or proprietary), and is accurate to 1/10th fstop (might seem overkill for negatives, but if you shoot transparencies, it's a must). New they're available for under $200 USD from B&H. If the used market is your thing, Sekonic made another meter that was a step up from the 308, the 408, but it is now discontinued. The 408 can do spot metering with a 5 degree spot for both flash and ambient, as well as incident and standard reflected metering. It has a more rugged, weatherproof housing, and a memory function to make it easier to determine contrast ranges. Not quite sure what they're going for on Ebay these days, but they shouldn't be too terribly much more than a new 308S.
     
  11. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    I have a digisix too, great little meter but keep extra batteries on hand as the stock battery is probably only good for a few months. You should get about a year out of each replacement battery. Batteries are a 2025 or 2032 (can't remember which) coin cell that you can pick up many places. I modified mine for pinhole exposures by moving the scale and adding to it, there is a picture somewhere in here.
     
  12. 23mjm

    23mjm Member

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    I would just look round eBay--- I have gotten 3 light meters off eBay all good Sekonic 558 Spot, Gossen Luna ProF w/5&10 degree spot attachment and Gossen Scout II. I would recommend all of them 100%. The Scout is a fun little meter I paid $9 with shipping and it is with in 1/3 stop of all my other meters, it's tiny and uses no battery--I keep it with my C330 kit now and it has worked wonderfully.
     
  13. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Just as info: 7.5 and 15 degree attachment

    Lee
     
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  15. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Gossens were very popular with pros and amateurs in the 60's and 70's, Minoltas were very popular with pros and amateurs in the 80's and 90's, Sekonics are very popular with pros and amateurs now.
     
  16. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I'd suggest the 358 over the 308. The 308 IIRC can't do aperture prefered. For me that was a deal maker. Plus at the time the 358 wasn't much more money then the 308.

    OTOH what features do you need? I've got old Westons that work just fine. Even if one of them predates ASA film speeds. But that doesn't mean all the older ones will work. You can always carry a 35mm with it's builtin meter with you.
     
  17. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Why do you suppose there is such a shift in popularity? Is it fad, or fact driving it?
     
  18. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Well, one fact driving it is that Minolta meters are no longer made. Kenko makes the designs under license, but they're labeled Kenko, and they cost even more than they did when Minolta made them with their own name. Gossen meters, at least the modern ones, just aren't quite as sexy looking as the Sekonics, although they perform similar functions. Plus the fact that (to the best of my awareness) the Gossen meters don't support PocketWizard wireless triggers, not built-in, anyway.
     
  19. Polybun

    Polybun Guest

    I think cost has allot to do with it. To my knowledge gossen doesn't make pocket meters anymore. The minolta made some spetacular meters that are very reasonably priced, now seikonic makes some fantasticly small pocket meters that are spot on acurate thanks to modern silicon cells.
     
  20. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Gossen Digisix (now replaced with the horribly over priced Digiflash) is about as small as a meter can be and still be usable.
     
  21. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Not sure how you're qualifying "pocket meters", but surely the Digisix and Digiflash would qualify. Their other offerings aren't that different in size from the Lunasix/LunaPro SBC/F series.

    Lee
     
  22. PBrooks

    PBrooks Member

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    it could be because of MAC on campus. They offer reduced rates for Mamiya, Sekonic ....
     
  23. Cattrall

    Cattrall Member

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    I like the Sekonic L-208. It's about the size of the Digisix but works in a more analog way and the batteries last. It has both incident and reflective and is small enough to have with you in a pocket.

    Bill
     
  24. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I'm partial to my Minolta Autometer IVf. Before this I too used a 35mm slr, and a selenium Sekonic meter that was off by 4 stops.

    I wanted the Sekonic to work well but it was off by 2-4 stops and it wasn't linear.. I bought the Minolta at least 7 years ago, haven't needed or wanted another meter since. 1 AA battery lasts 6 months to a year. It's easy to read and use.

    A lot of people are partial to the analogs and they work well, for many they are faster but I like the digital display and find it easier.

    Just my 2 cents.. I paid $100 for it from KEH, I consider it my best purchase aside from a good enlarger and a means to align the enlarger.

    ps- I've also used a Gossen lunasix pro digital (nice!), I liked it a lot. And i've used a fancy Sekonic that also had a spot meter and did a lot of stuff. That I did not like as it was not easy to use at all. The less buttons the better!
     
  25. Erik L

    Erik L Subscriber

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  26. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    I second Bill's opinion. I have it with me all the times while photographing. It has a separate leg letting you attach it to the camera's shoe. I use my old Russian 35mm rangefinders and Yashica Mat that way. The light meter of Yashica still works but I prefer to use the modern, more reliable Sekonic meter... It's more than 3 years old and the batteries still check 100%.

    Regards,
    Loris.