Light meter options for meter-less Bronica

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by dugrant153, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    So I'm the proud owner of a beautiful Bronica camera :smile: 645 ETRS! So far, it's quite a beast of a beauty!

    My photography is documentary in style and so I'm usually "outside looking in" and not doing too many posed portraits.

    I'm currently using a Pentax MZ-5 with a 50mm lens as my "meter" for now. So far, it seems to be doing okay, but I'm wondering if I really need to upgrade to one of the awesome Sekonic light meters?

    Given that I don't think I'll be wanting to place a white dome in front of a wedding couple while they're saying their vows, I figure something with a spot meter would be beneficial?
     
  2. R gould

    R gould Member

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    If you can get hold of a good weston master V then that would be one of the best, great for documetry style photography, but unless you are planning to do a lot of landscape photography, and want to try the zone system then you really do not need a spot meter, Congrats on the camera, they are great to use and not overly heavy to carry, Richard
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Something like a Gossen Luna Pro would be ideal, with a 7°/15° spot attachment, also has the cone diffuser as well.

    Ian
     
  4. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    That's the perfect combination! I was able to eBay the meter, and spot attachment
    for less than $20.00 w/ shipping. It just takes patience, and persistence!


    Ron
    .
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Ron, these are also great meters for low light levels, very accurate, which is why I suggested one.

    The original batteries aren't available any longer for some models but there's a cheap adapter that works perfectly with modern batteries.

    Ian
     
  6. CGW

    CGW Member

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    If you like Sekonic and want a true 1 degree spot meter, look into the 508 or slightly pricier(and newer)558. Since film and developing aren't getting any cheaper, I'm not a fan of antique meters, whatever their historical reputation for accuracy, that require battery hacks or tack-on "spot" attachments limited to 10-15 degrees coverage.
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I have a Sekonic 758DR that does both spot and incident. A bit pricey but I have no regret in buying this meter. I usually use it in incident mode but having an ability to do both has come in handy many times. In regards to metering incident, while you don't want to walk right up in middle of the wedding and put it right up to the bride's face, you can always meter at that location before the actual process or even do it where you are standing provided the lighting condition is essentially the same.

    One thing 758DR won't do where your camera based metering will do is average metering and matrix metering. (former, you can meter multiple place and hit the average button) When you do "spot", you will have to know what you are metering and why (unless you are using gray card but then I'd just use incident....)

    I like the flexibility my meter offers me. Rest is my skill in using it.
     
  8. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    My recommention also.

    Jeff
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Averaged, multiple spot readings are DIY matrix metering.
     
  10. TSSPro

    TSSPro Member

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    Agree on the 758DR- take meter readings before the ceremony starts and write them down on a sticky pad/note pad and reference them as the bride and groom go through the ceremony. On averaging spot meter readings, the 758dr lets you log the individual readings into the memory and displays them on an ev or f/stop scale so you can have a recording of dynamic range, or press the average button and average everything out.

    All the best in your choice-
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    In the circumstances the OP's talking about there's a need for a fast, almost fool proof meter. Simplicity is the key, it's not about vintage or I'd have said get a meter like my late 1930's AVO meter, which happens to be accurate :D

    Sure some Gossen Luna Pro's/Lunasix's are older than others but they are built like Leica's to last, and the official battery converter is not a hack. No they aren't spotmeters but the 7°/15° attachment is very useful at times.

    I mainly use Spotmeters (I have 3) but I also use Gossen Luna Pro's (I have 2), both types give me the same exposure settings, but that's because I know how to interpret their readings.

    In a fast working situation where light's variable I'd far rather use a meter like the Luna Pro, a Weston V or Euromaster, or equivalent, that's why I've always had a meter like these for the past 35+ years.

    Ian
     
  12. CGW

    CGW Member

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    The Sekonic 508/558/758 are straightforward as any meter I've used. A simpler, incident-only Sekonic is the 308(about as simple as it gets), which I use as often as the 558 when I don't need spot metering. Some of the oldies work flawlessly but others don't due to age-related problems. The OP can buy what he likes but there's a bit of a false economy in older meters I'd rather avoid by buying the newest model I could afford.
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I got a Gossen Luna Lux SBC with case from KEH.com for around $100. It allows you to compensate for filter and use the Zone method, if you chose.

    Steve
     
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  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I wouldn't want to be limited to a pure spot meter for wedding work. When I was shooting weddings, I used my meter (a Gossen Profisix/Luna Pro SBC) in incident mode mostly.

    The tiny Gossen Digiflash that I'm using mostly now is very nice, and for wedding work, offers flash metering and fits well in a suit-coat pocket.
     
  16. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Spot meters may seem to be answer to all your exposure problems, but in the hands of novices are very dangerous weapons, because the result depends on where the meter operator points the spot, how he interprets the reading, and how much he knows about the principals of exposure.
     
  17. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    Yes, again. But I would add that a Luna Pro SBC model is preferable.
     
  18. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    +1 for SBC
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    + & - 1 for a Luna Pro SBC :D

    I have both, the SBC in the UK and a plain Luna Pro/ProfiSix here in Turkey. Both are excellent meters but the Luna Pro SBC is chunkier (larger & heavier), I like both, can use either and still get consistent results.

    Ian
     
  20. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Just a thought.... if speed is of an essence, why not get a metering prism for your Bronica? True, it won't be universally useful but it'll be fast and less thing to carry around in fast paced weddings....
     
  21. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    With my SQ-A I use either a Gossen Digisix, which I bought new a few years back, or a Sekonic L-508 picked up used. But then, I don't go anywhere near weddings if I can help it! :D

    For most things I find incident readings with the Digisix sufficient. But to get really serious, the L-508 adjusts to a spot from 4º down to 1º, and it looks cool as all get-out to awe bystanders! (I'm still waiting to be asked if it's a video camera.)
     
  22. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    I've considered it, but I heard it drains the battery quite a bit. Actually, I was thinking of going waist level finder at first when I got the Bronica, but found that the prism finder is less confusing (no need to reverse composition in my head) and quicker to use. My eyesight is pretty harsh too, so I'd be poking that waist level finder into my eye before I could see really clearly :blink: So prism finder it is.

    So the metered prism is an option, but yeah... the battery drain is my main concern. I figure without the metered prism my battery (SR44) should last a year or two, and I should be able to get more accurate metering with a light meter... dependent on my technique of course.
     
  23. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I think you can easily solve your battery problem by carrying a spare or two.... if in fact the rumor is true. (I have no idea) It's all depending on your goal and priorities. External meter is accurate if/when used correctly but so as built-in meters to a great extent. Personally, I pull out my Sekonic 758DR when I want to be absolutely certain or in very tricky situations. In those cases, I take my time measuring and making sure. It's not, pull it out, point, click, set, and shoot kind of thing most of the time. If it is a normal scene and measuring in incident mode, it can be close to that.

    It doesn't sound like this is your intent or goal.

    I just think, it's an option worth exploring in depth.
     
  24. btaylor

    btaylor Subscriber

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    Regarding the Gossen Luna Pro: The original batteries are no longer available, so the meter is unusable until you decide on your battery solution, then you have to get it calibrated. I did the same thing-- didn't really think ahead and got one with the attachments for about $20. Now it's at Manfrotto for the battery holder upgrade, clean and adjust. About $100. I'm sure it will be a great meter. I have a couple of Westons, they work nicely, and George at Quality Light Metric will get them back into shape for about $60.
     
  25. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Hmm... you know, I think if I go for a light meter, I'll probably go for a newer one. I think this will be one of those "long-term" purchases, where I don't mind paying a bit more change to get something that I know will last me years and years (not like computers!).
    Seeing as how I shoot "normal" lenses mostly (75mm on 645 format), don't think I'll need a spot meter that much as I can probably incident read the scene. Combining all this, I'm thinking... Sekonic L-308S?
    Even using my Pentax MZ-5 as a meter has me really thinking about light a lot more. This is good as this is how I want to be growing.
     
  26. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I wouldn't upgrade to one of the awesome new Sekonic light meters, because IMO they are actually less awesome than Sekonic's old standard for the past 60 or so years, the Studio Deluxe. They are reliable, simple, compact, battery-less, well-built, and time tested. They are also very inexpensive compared to the digital ones. For the work you mention, I would suggest a Studio Deluxe L-398a and the accessory slide kit for direct aperture readings. You will spend under $300, and you will have a light meter for life. I have used the fancy multi-everything ones, and they feel awkward to me, and like a good fart would break them. Not what I expect for 5 or 6 or 7 hundred dollars.

    If you do want to get a digital one, I suggest the L-308s. It is more slim, compact, inexpensive, and simple than the gangly do-everything-with the push of-12-buttons models. And it will meter flash if you ever need it. The 308 is way easier to use than the fancy models, and the only thing of possibly high value that you lose is the spot meter, which is not a ton of help for the photography you describe.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2011