Need a meter

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by David Brown, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I need recommendations for a good all around meter. Flash/ambient; reflected/incident, you know the drill.

    At present, I have a spot meter, a Gossen Luna Pro SBC, an old Wein flash meter and half of my cameras have built-ins of various abilities.

    Still, not all of the cameras have meters, the spot meter is only good for, well, spot metering, and I'm just uncomfortable with the Gossen. (Don't know why - maybe I'll sell it)

    Something like the Minolta IV or V or VI? Sekonic? Gossen? Am I going to have to spend $500? :surprised: (None, and I mean none, of my cameras have cost that much!!!)

    Thanks in advance.

    David
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    My little Sekonic Digi Light F L328 only cost me about $250 brand new, and has been a great meter, I am sure you could find one on the used market for around $125, small compact, and very good, has not let me down for over 5 years now.

    Dave
     
  3. dsisaacs

    dsisaacs Member

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    I am looking for the multibeam attachment (also labelled Profi Spot) for the Gossen Luna Pro. Is that what you have? Or do you have the variable angle attachment?
     
  4. dsisaacs

    dsisaacs Member

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    or did I misread you and you have three meters ?

    old age ...
     
  5. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Yep, 3 separate meters.
     
  6. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I got, in June of this year, the Sekonic L-558R at B&H for $450. So far it has not failed me and it reads by EVs, by f-Stops or by Time. It has three kinds of flash readings, and can be used as either Spot or Ambient. It also will average about 9 readings and you can store 2 different ISO ratings. It's a lot of meter and it is small.
     
  7. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    That Sekonic L-558R does look very good. I've got the Gossen Starlite and love it - I'd buy another one tomorrow if I lost mine.

    Unfortunately, if you want a meter which does the lot, you'll need to pay for it. The good news is you will be able to use it with all your cameras, current and future. It will be worth the investment.

    Cheers,
     
  8. photomc

    photomc Member

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    David, would have to agree the Sekonic 508/558/608 look good, but those $$...being that I am somewhat cheap, ended up replacing my polaris with another one..at around $150 new and another $45 for a 5 degree spot attachment it was just closer to my budget. They have another model with a built in spot attachment, and it will give you EV's and flash readings as well. Not the best one out there, but found the replacement (like new) for $100 so for about a 1/3 of what one of the Sekonics cost..well it just worked for me. Sekonic does have a 308 I think that is very close to the Polaris in pirce (or is it the 358...I can't remember)
     
  9. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Minolta Vf has my vote. Light to carry around, accurate and both flash and ambient. Not cheap..but then again you get what you pay for.

    Hans
     
  10. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Get a Gossen Luna Pro. Best all around meter I can think of.

    Ooops! Hmmm...
    Uncomfortable? Maybe you just need to spend some time with it...get to know eaach other....???

    I mean no offense but...you have a Gossen. I'm confused. How would any of these be any different from what you already have?
     
  11. RichSBV

    RichSBV Member

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    I'm with Brad. You've got a Gossen....

    I'll admit that I don't have an SBC, but do have the LunaPro-F so it does flash readings easier. On the other hand, the only time I actually do flash readings is when I get a new auto flash and want to test it... I would be happy with an SBC. I am however, happier with the LunaPro-F ;-)
     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    David,

    I know you said you're uncomfortable with the Luna Pro SBC, but don't know why. Maybe you should try to answer the "why" question so that you have some idea what it is you'd prefer. What part of the process with the SBC is the uncomfortable part? What would you like it to do differently? I love the way my Luna Pro F works, graphical stop relationships marked in thirds, the entire range of correct f-stop shutter speed combos displayed, easy placement of readings along the stop markings, etc. My only wish is that it was smaller, in which case I'd carry it more often. I got a Gossen Digiflash to carry with my used meterless cameras recently, and I love it. It's small, accurate, and once I choose a setting for a situation, I only monitor the changes in EV and adjust accordingly from my base setting without twisting the meter dial. I posted a quick review of it here on APUG.

    In any case, maybe you should take a look at what specifically you don't like about the SBC as you use it. That would point the way to what you'd prefer, or help us make better suggestions.

    Lee
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2005
  13. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    OK. For one thing, it doesn't do flash, although that's not a deal breaker. I just thought if I'm going to get yet another meter, it will do flash, too.

    I'm actually pretty comfortable with a "match needle" meter. I used a Sekonic Auto Leader for years, so the operation of the Gossen is not foriegn. What bugs me is the switch, or the lack of one to turn it off. Yes, I know that it turns itself off a few seconds after making a reading, but it appears that in rattling around in a bag or my backpack, the bid red button gets pushed down enough times to run the battery down. (No, I don't have a case for it. Anyone got one? I might buy it.) Once, the button even locked down.

    Also, the ISO setting tends to slip, as does the EV adjustments.

    I know it's a dang good meter, and I will advertise it as such if I sell it. :wink:

    Appreciate all the comments so far. :smile: Just looking for suggestions, you know.
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I have the flash metering accessory for my Gossen Profisix (essentially the same as the SBC, except in Canada we got the European version) and it works very well.

    The case makes a big difference - it protects the button from accidental pressure. The 9 volt battery is so easy to get and (relatively) inexpensive, so it is easy to carry extras.

    I have had my Profisix for years, and the ISO and EV adjustments don't slip - in fact they are stiff and sometimes hard to change. It may be that your meter needs a mechanical adjustment.
     
  15. chiller

    chiller Member

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    Gossen Sixtomat - flash

    My vote is for the gossen Sixtomat.

    I also have a spot meter but the Gossen is so quick and reliable the spot meter is used very rarely.

    A single AA battery Large display and very precise controls.

    Can average a scene's highlight and shadow readings if you require.

    I have had Gossen meters for nearly 30 years and the only unconfortable thing for me is that the incident dome is not located like a Seckonic 398.

    Still it is a small price to pay for an amazingly light strong meter.

    Steve
     
  16. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    I have a Luna-pro Digital that I use for incident or general reflective metering. It's pretty good and I'm pretty happy with it, although I find the aperture priority mode to be worthless (because the meter expresses light levels as a shutter speed plus an aperture accurate to 1/10th of a stop, this means that when you say "I want f/8" you actually get back values anywhere from f/8.0 to f/8.9; but this is a personal thing).

    For spot metering, I bought one of the Adorama ones, which is a Soligor. I'm reasonably happy with it, too.
     
  17. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If you don't need spot try the Sekonic 358. It's a little more money then the 328 but adds a few features. If you need spot and everything else rolled into one it gets expensive.
     
  18. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Hi all

    it is kind of tough to be critical of what one likes or doesn't like, ain't it ?

    I began as many do with Gossen. Throughout the '70s, I saw more and more Minoltas in friends' studios. I bought an Ultra pro when it came out, but about that time had a chance to use a Minolta IIIf... for shooting people, the III was faster, and more comfortable for the same reason it was modeled on the old norwood pattern. I bought the IIIf.

    Today, I use a Minolta Vf, and love it. I looked hard at the sekonics, but I've become used to the way the Minolta handles. And it fits in a pocket, or inside a sweater. Love it.

    I've been uncomfortable with the meters which incorporate a lens system. They aren't spot meters, they aren't compact... and to a simple minded guy like me, too complicated to use on the run.
     
  19. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    David, I vote for the Minolta VF!! A great meter!!
    It doesn't come with a spot meter, for which I bought the attachment.
    I don't leave home without it!!!
     
  20. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I would consider getting the flash attachment for the Luna Pro SBC. I used a Luna Pro F for many years (Nathan Smith has it now) before I got a Gossen Ultra Pro. In many ways, I like the Luna Pro F more than the Ultra-Pro, but I really like the 1/5/10 degree spot attachment for the Profi system Gossens (Luna Pro SBC, Ultra Pro, etc). I also have the color temperature attachment and the Luna Sphere attachment which makes incident readings much easier than the standard Luna Pro "slide the bubble over" method.

    My other meters include Weston Master II and, since this past Sunday, a Sekonic L398.
     
  21. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I have a Sekonic 308 and find it great and handy. Great for almost anything except spot metering. And cheap, too.

    Sekonic quality in a budget meter.
     
  22. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    Take a look at the Sekonic L-718. They slip through the auction site at very moderate prices. I've had one since they first came out and it is very accurate in all modes. I have the spot attachment (5°) which serves those occasional needs well enough, too. Perhaps a common feature now but at the time of purchase, I recall a somewhat unique feature being the ability to set a shutter speed in flash mode to adjust for long duration strobes and ambient light levels. I had some White Lightnings back then and they used to warn about not every flash meter being able to cope with the longish flash duration. It runs on AA cells, too.
     
  23. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    Hi David:

    I would recommend a Weston meter to go with your spot meter. The Weston is about the ideal integrating meter. It is as precise as you want to be, or as quick and dirty. The meter dial on a Weston is engineered to allow quick and easy reference to real and usable information regarding over and under exposure. They are rugged and dependable. You can try one cheap too as Master II's rtight now are going for less than $10 on ebay.

    I use a Spectra Professional incident meter for portraiture, a Pentax digital spotmeter for shooting in the field, a Pentax V spotmeter for doing critical zone system work, and have 6 or seven Westons. The Weston meters are the cheapest meters I own but they are definitely my favorites.

    Barry Young