Light Meter

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Curt, May 14, 2006.

  1. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Looking for the best light meter lead me to a dead end.

    What's the best light or one that you think is the best?
     
  2. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Used Weston Master (III, IV, V, Euromaster) for many years, favorite now is Sekonic L308 (silm and easy to operate), also have Gossen Digiflash, which is fantastic for its size, however, as it is small, so are the figures on the dial, and you need to transfer the reading from one dial to another manually
     
  3. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I purchased a used Pentax/Zone VI modified spot meter that I like very much. Compact, accurate, easy to use, and tough: it survived falling out of my vest pocket into a pond!
     
  4. mono

    mono Subscriber

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    I like mine, too!
    Would always recommend it.
     
  5. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    It all depends what your photographic interest are, and what sort of equipment you want to use it with IMHO. I know we all have our favorites that work for us, and you will probably get almost as many opinions as we have members.
     
  6. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    Gossen Lunasix 3. Industry standard for many years. I still use one as my main handheld meter. I have a 7 and 15 degree spot attachment for it. They are available on ebay for reasonable $$.
     
  7. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    I carry two meters. One is a Gossen LunaPro SBC, for general use. The other is a Sekonic L-508, for spot readings; it also doubles as a great incident meter and as a flash meter for (the rare times) when I use strobes. I could probably live with just the Sekonic. It's really a great meter. Dean
     
  8. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I love my little Sekonic L-328 flash meter, works great, small enough to carry in my pocket and never lets me down, I used to carry a Minolta III and it was two bulky, I also have a Soligor Zone modified spot for times that require it.

    Dave
     
  9. darr

    darr Subscriber

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    For 4x5" landscape work, I have been using the Pentax Digital Spotmeter for years and find it to be perfect for outside situations. I purchased a Sekonic 558R Dualmaster for studio work last year to replace an old and inaccurate Gossen Luna-Pro F and absolutely love it. Light meters have definitely gotten better over the years.
     
  10. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I've had every manner and brand of meter go through my hands over the years and they all had their own positive features. I've become most comfortable and had the most consistent, predictable results with incident metering. The meter that I use the most is the Sekonic L-718. It seems to be less known but is really full-featured and reliable. They're also seen going through the auction site at moderate selling prices. I keep the 5° spot attachment in my bag for occasional use but would guess that 95% of the time, it's in incident mode. It has flash capability, multiple sensor covers (reflective, directional incident, dome incident + the mentioned spot attachment). The spot attachment angle is a bit wide at 5° but when needed, it seems easy enough to work around that factor. Here's a quick-guide showing its primary features:

    Sekonic-L718

    The analog scale is quite easy to do basic zone work on, too. The important factor to me is that with chromes, the results have been dead-on accurate. It's also very intuitive and logical in operation and the most-used functions are very easy to operate without distraction.
     
  11. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    I have used a Pentax Analog Zone VI modified meter for 20 years. When Calumet stopped selling Zone VI modified meters last year, I purchased a Pentax Digital modified meter on EBay for a backup. I like the analog meter better. I also have a Gossen Luna Pro SBC that I use for 35mm photography. The Gossen is good for incident readings and would be great for BTZ users.

    John
     
  12. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Member

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    Second that...

    I agree with David on the Gossen Digiflash. Although small, it's dead on for reflected, incident, and flash readings; has a thermometer and alarm. Best of all, there is a standard 1/4" female tripod screw fitting on the bottom. Couple this with a Manfrotto 3298 shoe adapter for Nikon ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=WishList.jsp&A=details&Q=&sku=92403&is=REG ) and you have a very convenient attachable flash to a body hot shoe or grip shoe.

    Another winner is the Minolta Spotmeter F. A 1 degree field that averages, stores in memory, and computes flash as well. Can be picked up quite reasonable on the bay and other places.
     

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  13. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    My favorite meter is still a Weston Master II. The Master III is also good. The GE DW-48, DW-58, and DW-68 might not be a sensitive nor as compact, but usually suffice. Even the original Weston Master is quite functional, but is as bulky as the above mentione GEs. The GE PR-1 is compact, but less sensitive than the Westons. A Norwood Director with all accessories is an odd, but versatile, meter. The GE has one advantage over the Westons and Norwoods: the axis of the meter movement is vertical, so a slight imbalance of the armature is not the problem it is with the others.

    All of these meters have selenium cells, and don't require batteries. The most common failures are armature imbalance, selenium cell failure, or, in the Weston, an occasional failed soldered connection. However, they are usually reliable. I've had more problems with newer meters.
     
  14. tom_micklin

    tom_micklin Member

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    I got my first Pentax Spot Meter 30 years ago and loved it. But it went the way of all things, so I replaced it with a Pentax digital in the late 1970s and it is still going strong.
    If you can relate to using a spotmeter, either Pentax, digi or analog will work beautifully.
    Regards,
    Tom
     
  15. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Thanks all, I have a Zone VI modified Soligor with that leather holster I bought from Fred Picker a long time ago and it works great and is very accurate. I also have a Sekonic Studio Deluxe and a Sekonic L206, which doesn't have a battery; the old battery was mercury.

    I am trying to get a Metered Light Pocket Spot but they are not available and I don't know if I will be able to get one. I would feel better if I had a backup meter that was as accurate as the Soligor but a little smaller. I took a look at the Spectra-Cine Digital Spot but at over a grand it's out of the question. I do like the Sekonic meters but the corrected Zone VI Soligor reads through filters and is color blind.

    Curt
     
  16. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    I feel the best spot meter is the Metered Light POCKET SPOT. It is the size of a match book, and is by far my favorite piece of equiptment I own. They read a greater range of EV values (lower light and brighter light) and they are also color corrected, so you can meter dirrect thru your filters to get the correct exposure. Not to mention they are also a solid block of aluminum and are nearly indestructable.

    The downside to the meters....they are VERY difficult to find. Metered Light company only makes so many each year, and they usually sell out right away. My suggestion, get their number off the site and call them every single day for several months until you finally get lucky to catch someone there. It took me nearly 6 months to get in touch with those people, just to get on a waiting list for the meter. However...I finally got one! :smile:

    www.MeteredLight.com
     
  17. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Currently using a Sekonic L-358, which meets my needs for several different cameras, not just large format. Works well under low light conditions, and I like the flash to ambient and memory storage features. The optional spot metering attachments are nearly as large as the meter, so I would not pick this combination for a compact set-up, though the L-358 by itself is a reasonable size.

    I saw that Sekonic updated their 398 recently, which is a very long running old style type of meter. Some prefer that reading a scale, compared to squared off numbers on some new meters.

    Really small are the Gossen Digi6 and DigiFlash, which you could wear around your neck nearly without noticing them. Price level is quite nice for new gear. Unfortunately, no spot metering option.

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  18. rossb

    rossb Member

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    Sekonic L-608

    I have used many meters over the last 30 odd years, and purchased a Sekonic L-608 about five years ago. use it for everything, but I carry an older Weston as a backup in the field
    Ross
     
  19. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Zone VI digital. Simple and accurate.
     
  20. Danpv

    Danpv Member

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    Another vote for the Pentax digital spot meter. Accurate, durable and couldn't be easier to use. I have two, a Zone modified version which I use routinely; the other is unmodified, kept as a spare.
     
  21. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    The most sensitive and accurate incident meter for photographers is the meter that is the #1 choice for cinematographers and can be found on virtually all movie sets. It is the SPECTRA Professional or Combi 500 and they are still calibrated at the company headquarters in California. Until a friend of mine that is an Art Center grad with 35 years of professional experience turned me on to them, I had not a clue and would have responded like the many others with Weston, Sekonic, Gossen, Pentax or the like. About a year ago I purchased a Sekonic 558 and have two Pentax spot meters and they play second fiddle to the Spectra since I became a BTZS affectionado. I hope one of these days I can thank Phil Davis in person for making my life much easier. The Zone system was (unintentionally) holding me back in a big way.

    It is never crowded on the road less traveled. Try it.

    Cheers!
     
  22. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I would agree with what Michael has said. It really is a heck of a lot easier this way. I make more consistant exposures and better prints.