Light meter

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Raffay, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Raffay

    Raffay Member

    Messages:
    158
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Islamabad, P
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hello,

    I am getting a Mamiya RZ67 PRO II, yes I am very excited!!! Since I would be using the WLF, I assume I would have to meter independently. Any suggestions for a good light meter, I always wanted a Pentax spot meter but it is way outside budget for now, any cheaper alternative that will do the job decently.

    Cheers
    Raffay


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  2. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,108
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Location:
    St Louis
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I like the gossen luna pro F, also known a the lunasix f. You can get attachments that narrow it to 15 and 7 degree. Thats not the 1 degree you get from a spot, but you can get a set for not too much with patience. It uses 9 volt batteries, does ambient, incident and flash metering.

    You could also use a Nikon F80 / N80 that has matric/spot/center weight if you have any nikon AF lenses.
     
  3. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Here's my thought. If you plan to spend a lot of money to buy a very good camera, spend a bit more to buy a decent meter. A good light meter is a purchase for life. That is, buy a good meter - even if it costs a bit more than you planned to spend - and you never have to buy another.

    I bought a Sekonic L-508 about 10 years ago. It's an excellent meter. It can do reflective, incident, spot and flash. I think the newer model is the L-558, but the L-508 is so good that there is no reason to replace it.

    The Gossen meters also are very highly rated.

    I am also using a much older meter from the 1960s-70s - a Zeiss Ikon Ikophot T.
     
  4. rsank

    rsank Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have a Polaris Dual 5 (incident and spot meter), it's not as well made as the sekonic but quite a bit cheaper. It seems to be holding up after a year of careful use. You get what you pay for.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  5. David Allen

    David Allen Member

    Messages:
    771
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    Berlin
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    The most important thing with any light meter is not that it is accurate to 1/10th stop, how many buttons or accessories it has nor its price. THE most important thing is that it is CONSISTENT. I have been using Weston meters all of my life and they have always been consistent and, in my opinion, respond to different colours in a very similar way to film. My current meter is a Weston V but I also still have several Weston III meters that still work well (albeit the dial is harder to read now that I am getting on a bit). You will also find that the Weston Meter instruction manuals give a great deal of in-depth advice about exposure and reveal how useful the dial on the meter can be. Have a look here:

    http://www.cameramanuals.org/flashes_meters/weston_master_v.pdf

    The key to using a Weston meter is to get very close to the area you want to meter (in my case the most important shadow area where I wish to maintain detail) or, if this is not possible, then meter in close on some area that is equivalent to what you would like to meter but is out of range.

    Whilst you may yearn after a Pentax Spotmeter, it generally is not needed and, if used incorrectly, can give you false readings. Also, every spot meter that uses a lens needs to be specifically tested to find out how the internal flare of the spot meter varies from that in your camera (thereby giving inaccurate exposures). Generally, making some form of light shade (such as attaching the inner portion of a toilet roll) can improve the working qualities of most spot meters.

    You should be able to find a working model of the Weston V meter for around $30 on auction sites.

    Bests,

    David.
    www.dsallen.de
     
  6. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

    Messages:
    568
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Durban, Sout
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you don't plan on using flash then I recommend the Gossen Luna-Pro SBC because:

    1. It is one of the most sensitive light meters available, great for pre-dawn and after-dusk photography.

    2. It has a 1/5/10 degree spot attachment that, although bulky, works very well and that was much cheaper for me than a dedicated spot meter.

    3. I love the way the meter reads 3 EV above to 3 EV below the current dial setting. This is great for Zone System use as you can place a reading where you want to and then see where other readings fall.

    4. It uses a standard 9V PP3 battery not a mercury cell like many older meters.

    5. It has other funky attachments like the Lab adapter that allows it to measure light levels on an enlarger baseboard making it a poor person's densitometer.

    If you need flash then the Luna-pro F recommended above is the same meter with built in flash but it is a few EV less sensitive and won't take the more esoteric attachments like the 1/5/10 degree spot meter.

    Andrew
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,248
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Pentax Digital Spotmeter is hard to beat;no wonder AAliked it so much;highlt recommend it;get a used one if you can;You won't be sorry.:D
     
  8. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,751
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use a couple of differnt meters, Luna Pro, Weston Ranger 9, Weston Master IV, and old Soilgaer 1% spot meter when I am in zone frame of mind. Of late the Weston IV has been my main meter. I agree the other posts, buy a good modern meter.
     
  9. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,456
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Well a Weston II or III is so cheap that you can have one in every gbag.

    They don't need batteries and can do reflective, incident and zone...

    They don't do moonlight shadows...
     
  10. alexfoto

    alexfoto Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Location:
    Greece
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    -I have use many of them and i have now the Lunasix f and the sekonic studio deluxe.
    -I take always now the sekonic for many reasons, no need a battery, have this big analog disc with needle which is very important for understand the light from shadows to high light as the needle moves, its small, best ergonomic ever, excellent quality from the past (as always..), the only problem its not good for low light (every light meter with celinium cell),but if you use it outdoor its the best.
    -If you see the directors in cinematography all have one like this in their neck, they now better.. :wink: (a hundred meters of film is very expensive for every wrong..).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
  11. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

    Messages:
    2,051
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Since the Pentax digital spot meter is out of your budget and you want a spot meter you might take a look at the analog Pentax Spotmeter V or a Soligor.
     
  12. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

    Messages:
    493
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Sounds great!

    I don't know what kind of photography you will do with the RZ. If you are working in environments with varying light, it could be better to get a metered prism. That will allow you to shoot faster and with less hassle. The RZ67 is quite a lot of camera to handle even without holding a light meter. If on the other hand you will be shooting slow/static or in controlled lighting, no issue with hand-held meter.

    There is also a little trick that could tie you over if you get stuck without a light meter, an iPhone app called Pocket Light Meter:
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocket-light-meter/id381698089?mt=8

    It's surprisingly accurate and the extra benefit is that you can move the metering spot around, for instance in a scene with a lot of unevenly lit surfaces to get the exposure you want. I still use it in the field to check the readings on my older analog cameras that don't like modern batteries. I've also used it for medium format photography with good results.

    My guess, though, is that if you shoot a lot with the RZ67 and like to move around you'll get tired of using a hand-held meter and either start guestimating exposure settings or get a metered prism.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
  13. momus

    momus Member

    Messages:
    2,710
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Lower Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I find a digital readout on a meter slow to read. Much prefer an analog meter. Are you going to be in good light most of the time, w/ just an occasional foray into the indoors? Then I highly recommend a small and light Sekonic L-188. Very simple and clean interface, plenty accurate for what I described, and they go for about $25. Takes the ubiquitous and cheap 1.5V button batteries.

    Are you going to be shooting in low light a lot? My go-to meter for that is a little bigger (but still considerably smaller than a Lunasix), a Gossen SBC Super Pilot w/ a silicon cell and again, a simple and quick-to-read layout. VERY accurate in low light....the best hand held meter I've ever owned. About the size of a pack of unfiltered Camels. I paid about $30 for mine. It has a bridge circuit so it works on both 1.35V and 1.5V button batteries.

    Used to have a Sekonic L 308 meter and I hated it. Slow to read, and you had to point it while holding it upright like a Star Trek communicator. It attracted too much attention. A Pentax spot meter would be even worse in that regard. Like JP said, if you can get an accurate metered prism, that would be best perhaps. You're going to be carrying around a beast of a camera already, so think small and light to help on that issue.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

    Messages:
    2,004
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Enroute
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a Pentax spot meter that I had calibrated by Quality Light Metric last year but I only use it perhaps 5% of the time as I generally use a pair of tiny Gossen Digisix meters, one lives in my LF pack permanently and the other is a floater from my Leica bag to my Hassy bag. The meter will fit in the smallest pocket you can imagine, battery life is outstanding and the long scale is really nice to have when extrapolating for things like ND filters. They read in EV numbers which over time are a lot easier to use as they commit to memory like EV 12 is 250th @F4, etc...

    The spot meter app on the iPhone is also very good, works in a pinch every time.
     
  16. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,040
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    These sorts of thread questions will always produce at least one happy user for virtually every meter (or other piece of equipment) ever made.

    But the above advice is crucial. I happen to still be using a mid-1980s era Sekonic L-398 incident-only meter that continues to work perfectly. I had to (really, really) stretch at the time to buy it. But I've never had to buy another, so it's now arguably one of the least expensive purchases I've made.

    Don't skimp on one-off lifetime purchases.

    Ken
     
  17. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It only does reflective metering in spot mode, surely?
     
  18. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Correct, although it's a variable spot from 1 to 4 degrees.

    I use it in incident most about 90% of the time and in reflective/spot mode for the other 10%. I haven't used the flash meter - I just don't shoot that much flash, and to be truthful, I'm sort of dumb when it comes to measuring that.

    I still that my original comment about buying a quality light meter is the correct approach, especially if you plan to spend a large amount of money on a medium format camera. Buying such a camera means that you care about image quality, so cutting corners on the meter doesn't make sense, especially because a correctly (or incorrectly) metered scene will have a big impact on the resulting negative and print.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
  19. Raffay

    Raffay Member

    Messages:
    158
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Islamabad, P
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    So what is the verdict.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  20. Raffay

    Raffay Member

    Messages:
    158
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Islamabad, P
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    In terms of the cheapest that will do the trick, and the best recommendation.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  21. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

    Messages:
    671
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Any old analogue Pentax Spotmeter. Consistent, reliable, and nowadays inexpensive. I now have four, one for each bag so I never forget to take one with me. Not one of them exceeded £60 to buy and two of them were less than £30 each. They all give the same reading so that suits my way of working fine.

    I got each of them over time from eBay...

    RR
     
  22. jwatts

    jwatts Member

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Location:
    Huntington B
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I think something that is also important is simplicity, which is why I believe the pentax digital spot is still in high demand. I recently picked one up and it just clicked. The speed, simplicity and consistency in which I was able to pre visualize my exposures felt almost like magic. I was stumbling around trying to use the zone system with a incandescent meter and was only getting a third of the info I needed. I believe the sekonic spot meters would be a good option but they just had a ton of options that I would never use and don't need to be stumbling around to find the information that I need.
     
  23. Raffay

    Raffay Member

    Messages:
    158
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Islamabad, P
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    How about a Minolta IIIF


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  24. Raffay

    Raffay Member

    Messages:
    158
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Islamabad, P
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    What are color light meters? I saw this Gossen luna pro 3f very expensive.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  25. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,456
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
  26. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

    Messages:
    714
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey .
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use a Minolta IIIf with my RB67. It broke recently after 20+ years so I replaced it with another IIIf from ebay for around US$85. I also have a ten degree spot attachment for it. (There is also a 5 degree spot attachment availavle.) As you probably know its both incident and reflective and the f stand for flash readings. So you can use it in a sudio. It averages too. The only problem is there is no on off switch so the battery will drain if you leave it in for too many weeks. I believe the IVf has a power on-off switch. Verify that on-line. Here are pictures I've taken using that meter. But I must confess I also bracket my landscape shots. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/tags/rb67/