Looking for flash meter recommendations

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by 77seriesiii, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. 77seriesiii

    77seriesiii Member

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    so I've gone through the postings and did see exactly what I was looking for. We picked up some inexpensive studio flashes and are going to learn how to use them for product and portraits.

    Hitting my favorite store I noticed there are at least 15 different flash meters from inexpensive to just under $1K, w/ the more expensive ones incorporate a spot meter and flash triggering.

    I keep coming back to the Kenko 1100 or 2100 but just dont know enough about the features on these guys. I use spot and incident meters but just have never used a flash meter.

    Thanks

    erick
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've been using a Minolta Flashmeter III for ages. Anything more complicated probably has lots of features that aren't really necessary, like memory settings and such, and if you need those features you'll know it. Some current meters offer attractions like built-in Pocket Wizard triggers, so if you use a remote trigger system, you might look for a meter that's compatible.
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I'm guessing that incident is more commonly used with flash meters than reflected.
    If you're measuring lighting ratios it just may be easier. Opinions may differ a bit.
    I've used Sekonic and Gossen, The Gossen was match needle and Sekonic digital display. Both worked but I sorta liked the Gossen better.(liked playing with the dial):laugh:
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Sekonic L358.

    I'm to the point where I use it for nearly every shot, flash or normal.
     
  5. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I have a Sekonic 758DR. In flash mode, I measure using incident mode. Just walk up to the model (I do portrait a lot) and go BOOF! This thing can do A LOT but the most basic functions are handily and easily available with just a few button push.
     
  6. CGW

    CGW Member

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    If you've already got a spot meter, the Sekonic L-358 is tough to beat for features/value. The Kenko 1100 is a rebadged Minolta. I'm partial to Sekonic.
     
  7. kreeger

    kreeger Subscriber

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    Get yourself a Minolta Flashmeter III or IV. Plentiful on eBay, rock solid units. Standard of the industry before Minolta went under.

    I paid $175 for the FlashMeter IV I have now. I think they were $500 new. Yes, incident reading is the way to go with flash metering.
     
  8. stillsilver

    stillsilver Member

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    +1 for the Minolta III

    Mike
     
  9. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Minolta did not get under as far as I know. They just sold their photographic division to Sony.

    http://www.konicaminolta.com/
     
  10. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Kenko meters are the same as the last Minolta models. Flashmeter III and IVs are getting elderly and newer, better Minolta and Sekonic meters are all over the place now.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have an old minolta i got for 10-25$ like new ..
    it works great like david and the others have said
    BUT
    it eats batteries for breakfast, lunch and dinner !
    if you get one, make sure to remove your battery
    because it won't last very long if you don't -

    john
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I usually change the batteries in my Minolta III about once a year.
     
  13. 77seriesiii

    77seriesiii Member

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    One of the gripes on the sekonic 758DR was the voracious appetite in regards to batteries. Very cool i'll take a look at the minoltas and do some more research on the Kenko rebadged versions. Thanks for the help!

    ./e
     
  14. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Never heard that one before about Sekonics eating batteries--another urban legend? Batteries in my old 358 and current 558 lasted about 2 years--and that was with a good deal of low light work that powers up the backlighting on the LCD.
     
  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Meters tend to use power when they are actually taking a reading, so they are prone to battery drainage if they are left with the power on and the button used to take a reading is compressed in the case. A flash meter would use more power, I suspect, if you normally use it in the non-corded mode, when it is on and waits for the flash to give the reading. If you plug the meter into the strobe sync, and activate it with the button on the meter, it should use less power.
     
  16. CGW

    CGW Member

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    The recent Sekonics(e.g., 358/558/608/758)have an "auto-off" feature along with an "on/off" button you'd practically have to sit on to activate accidentally.
     
  17. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yeah my 358 is really easy on batteries too.

    One other point I'd like to make with regard to buying a meter is it's relative importance; my handheld meter, more than any other piece of equipment, is what allows me to shoot consistently well.
     
  18. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Amen. These days, they can consistently save you money by lowering the quotient of blown shots(exposure-wise, at least!). My teensy Sekonic 308 has long been my "go anywhere" meter--love it.
     
  19. erikg

    erikg Member

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    I use a couple of Sekonics, one of them daily in the studio and the other waits (and waits) in my bag for those rare days I can get out and shoot some stuff for myself. I have never had an issue with battery use in either meter. One thing I do like about them is that they use normal AA batteries, so if you are paranoid about being caught short by your gear (who isn't if you are shooting jobs on location?) that is one less thing to worry about. AAs can be found anywhere so I can check that off my OCD list.
     
  20. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I have a Shepherd and it's a lovely, no frills flash meter. They're well made, simple, affordable and yet no one has mentioned them.
     
  21. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    The Kenko (Minolta) meters run of a single AA battery have auto switches itself off if they are not used for ten minutes, a battery lasts for thirty hours continuous use, I'm still using the original battery that was supplied in the box of my Kenko KFM 2100 ( Minolta Auto meter V1) when I bought it new three years ago.
    The Gossen Digipro is also an excellent meter for flash use that has auto switch off and also runs on a single AA battery.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2011
  22. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Most people just use incident metering in the studio with flash

    You need to check for brightness ratio (bright side to low side) - but thats about it.

    You can spot meter in the studio in the same way you spot meter outside - just make sure you take the spot readings from the camera position and watch out for flare from the flash heads.

    If you use spot readings a lot outside then you perhaps might want the feature for flash.

    Personally, I use a lot of spot meter readings outside for landscapes but have almost never felt the need to spot meter in the studio

    The Kenko units are good, as are the Sekonic and Gossen units.

    Martin
     
  23. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    I have just switched from seconic 308 to a minolta flashmeter IV. So far I'm impressed.
     
  24. Billy Walker

    Billy Walker Member

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    I use a Sekonic 758DR but if you want to avoid the outlay get a Sekonic L358. Excellent meter and you can purchase the remote trigger capapbility as well.