Light meter.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Mike Kennedy, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Looks like I have to invest in a light meter. Approx. 80% of my cameras are meterless (no big deal) but I now have a second person who wants to learn the magical world of B&W. Another dissatisfied customer from the pixel mob.
    Guess I should be looking for an incident meter. Can anyone suggest a good choice?
    Remember: Price IS AN OBJECT!!

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    Look for a used analog 1% Soligor Spot meter. Attach a Zone Scale to the barrel and you'll be good to go. They are selling for $70 to $100 (approximately) on ebb.
    If you want a new Pentax or Zone V1 Pentax spot meter, you can get on a waiting list for one from Calumet. The wait time is about 6 months. New prices are $430 and $579.
     
  3. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    Mike:

    Price is always an issue with me...

    Keep your eyes on ebay. I picked up a Gossen Lunasix 3 (not the youngest of instruments) for about $20.00. Its easy to use and easy to read.

    It's incident metering only and doesn't have d*g*tal readouts or lcd screens and it can't be used with an electron microscope (at least I don't think so...) but it works fine and is always in my camera bag.

    If you're not in a hurry, you should be able to pick up a decent one for a song...or maybe a dance...
     
  4. RichSBV

    RichSBV Member

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    If I could have only one meter, it would be a Gossen Luna Pro F... Incident, reflective, spot, flash, ground glass... Does it all...
     
  5. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    Either that or a Profisix.
     
  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Light meters are really pretty easy to pick up on ebay Mike, and I would say most of the Gossens are great meters, I quite often see them go for $25 US or less...

    Dave
     
  7. brent8927

    brent8927 Member

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    I used two analog light meters (sekonic and gossen) but I found that they weren't very accurate. I can safely say that this isn't the case for all analog meters, but I wanted to buy a new meter that I could trust so I bought a Sekonic ... something... can't remember the numbers, but it was digital and about $160; it was definetely worth it, I can't tell you how many times I've dropped it, gone through rain, abuse, etc, and it's still working great. What's nice about it is that the lens (or whatever you call it... light sensitive thingie...) is fixed, so it's much more stable than the meters with rotating heads. This also makes it worse for taking reflected light readings (the Gossen Luna meter is much better for that) but almost every reading I do is an incident reading, so it works super for me.

    But if price is an issue, like everyone says, you can pick up a meter for less than $20 on ebay; just make sure that they're accurate!
     
  8. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Mike, my experience with used meters has been less thangood. Three of three have looked nice, functioned, and been in very rough agreement with my metered SLRs (three of 'em) at high noon. But in less than bright light, they've all been off.

    The meter shops I've sent 'em to have found not so good problems with all three. Lunasix 2 to Empire. LunaPro (= Lunasix 3) to Bogen. And Master V to Quality Light Metric.

    So my advice is to buy a meter that functions for as little as possible and budget for a trip to the shop.

    Lunasixes, including the 3, offer incident and reflected metering. Weston Masters do reflected, require a diffuser (Invercone, in Weston-speak) to do incident. The first model of Invercone fits, IIRC, Master I, II, and III. The second model, IIRC, fits IV, V, and both Euromasters.

    Another possibility the I remember fondly from the days of my youth when ... is the GR PR-3. Selenium cell like the Westons, has an incident adapter that's often been lost. But nice little meter.

    Good luck, whatever you do don't look back,

    Dan
     
  9. LeonardT

    LeonardT Member

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    I've been using an original Lunasix for over 25 years. The only problem I ever had was finding replacement batteries when the original ones became obsolete. I guess I'm just lucky. I had a Weston Master V go bad after 2 years. Both were very accurate. I wish I had another Weston though, great little meter.

    Good Luck
     
  10. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I have the Gosson Profi Six. I bought it new 20 years ago and have slowly but very cheaply, added the accessories to make it into a complete system meter.

    I have the 1º 5º 10º spotmeter attachment. The attachment is a bit bulky, but at $25.00 worth it.

    The darkroom attachment, which converts the meter into an enlarging exposure meter, $5.00 at a photo flea market, works exceptionally well!

    The profi flex, fibre optic measuring attachment. This turns the meter into a ground glass TTL meter for large format, or measuring stuff in tiny holes, $15.00. (also turns the meter into a densitometer)

    The Repro attachment, designed for measuring light falling onto a flat painting or art surface, for reproduction work, $5.00.

    In all, there are ten accessory attachments that really make the meter work for all facets of photography.

    One of the most popular accessories, is the 7.5º - 15º semi spot meter attachment. This is often traded for about $25.00.

    Mick.
     
  11. stephen

    stephen Member

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    I'm still using an original Lunasix that I bought 40 years ago. Gossen make an adaptor that converts it from Mallory PX13 mercury batteries to the modern silver ones.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Posts in this thread might be a little confusing. The Gossen meters can have different names depending on where you purchase them. A Gossen Luna Pro SBC could have been purchased under that name in the USA, and under the name Gossen Profisix in Canada and, I believe, in Europe.

    I believe, but am really unsure, that a Luna Pro F is the same as a Profisix F.
     
  13. Trivette

    Trivette Member

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    Whenever practical I prefer purely analog devices to digital, even to the extent of using a slide rule instead of an electronic calculator when slide rule accuracy is adequate. However, I don't think having a digital readout on a meter in any way compromises a pure approach to analog photography. I use a Sekonic L 308BII with my unmetered Leica rangefinders. Being farsighted, I use reading glasses for reading and the computer but not for photography. It is a strain to read some analog meters without glasses, but this digital Sekonic is not only extremely accurate but it's no problem making out the numbers in the readout.
     
  14. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    One of the things not to go cheap on is a light meter. The second is optics. Inaccurate readings, short ranges, color insensitivity or over sensitivity, ease of use, reparability, repeatability, these are some of the problems with cheap used light meters. Sometimes it's better to follow the guide on the film box than to rely on a meter that is misleading you.

    You will start changing the developing time, change films, change developers etc. while the meter is all over the place. Finally you will even "bracket" exposures to try and catch the correct exposure.

    Get the best you can absolutely afford from the beginning and you'll be ahead of the game. In wood working there is a saying; "you can't do great work without great tools".

    Regards,
    Curt
     
  15. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    Totally agree! I love my Lunasix F which I think is the same as the Luna Pro F. An added advantage is that it takes a standard 9V battery instead of the banned mercury cell of the older Lunasix's. One disadvantage is that it's quite large and bulky compared with the Westons and newer Sekonic meters.

    Mike
     
  16. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I currently use an old Gossen Luna Pro and a Sekonic and both are exellent. I would also recommend a Minolta if you're interested in an incident meter. I had a IIIF years ago that was as accurate as anything I've ever used and seemed to be indestructible as well.
     
  17. gbroadbridge

    gbroadbridge Member

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    Have you considered that a light meter may not even be necessary?

    What are you photographing?

    What about the f16 rule?? That has worked for years and years. Have you tried it?\


    Graham.
     
  18. LeonardT

    LeonardT Member

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    I found a replacement called a Wein Cell MRB625 at B&H. It comes with a collar adapter as well. It's described as a Zinc/Air battery. I don't know if it will last as long as the PX13. I'll let you know in about 10 years.
     
  19. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    The Wein will not last nearly as long as the old mercury cell. Depending on local weather, it will last from a couple of months to a year or slightly longer.

    Save the washer ring from around the Wein cell, it will slip off with some force. Then replace the Wein battery cell with a 675 zinc-air hearing aid battery, available at your pharmacist or local convenience store. The 675 will just slip into the Wein washer. The hearing aid cells are much cheaper than the Wein cell, probably 6 or more for the price of one Wein cell.

    Lee
     
  20. scott k

    scott k Member

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    Lee L,

    Why couldn't you just get an o-ring to fit around the hearing aid battery to center it in the battery compartment and use that instead of the remains of the old Wein Cell?
     
  21. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    You can if your camera makes contact with the flat faces of the battery. Some cameras make contact with the battery edge, and an O-ring won't complete that circuit. Those include the Leica CL and the Icarex 35S among many others.

    Lee
     
  22. RichSBV

    RichSBV Member

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    That's the problem with this no-smoking generation...

    In the old days when we needed such a thing, we'd simply crush up some of the ciggarette wrapper foil and custom fit something. It's amazing how many things that thin foil could fix and I can't believe why nobody ever marketed just the foil...
     
  23. scott k

    scott k Member

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    Thanks Lee L,

    I found this the other day dealing with the mercury batteries (http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-111.html). In my Yashica Mat 124G the battery contacts the sides so I can use single strand 12AWG wire stripped of insulation and wrapped around the battery to make up the space and complete the circuit. I got the camera from Mark Hama just yesterday and he adjusted the meter to work correctly with a 1.5V cell. The tlr meter agrees with the meter in my Nikon N80, we'll see what the slides look like... I'm sure I'll end up with a hand held meter in the future.