Pentax/Zone VI Spotmeter Good News!

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Changeling1, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    Here's the reply I received this morning from Calumet's direct sales department regarding the Zone VI/Pentax Digital Spotmeter-

    "We will still be getting them in - the wait is just very long for them. I
    would suggest if you are able to wait the 6+ months for one, place an order
    for one and get on the list. We do not charge your credit card for the item
    until we actually ship it to you and if you need to cancel during the wait
    time there is no penalty. With the number of people looking for this model,
    it is unlikely that we will have any "on the shelf" any time in the
    foreseable future. Please let me know if you have any additional questions."

    Michelle Biesiadecki
    Direct Sales / Internet Sales
    Calumet Photographic, Inc

    Apparently there's a good number of people wanting this item and Calumet is stepping up to the plate! This contradicts reports that Pentax meters are a thing of the past!
     
  2. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Although I have never really understood the need for a spot meter, this is encouraging news. I think it may be another piece of evidence in support of the hypothesis that we are currently experiencing a very real and significant resurgence of interest in and the use of large format.
     
  3. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    When I selected the Pentax, it was the only model at the store I did not have to keep removing from my eye to read sequential areas.
     
  4. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    More from Calumet re- Pentax Meters

    When I asked the direct sales rep about Pentax no longer making light meters she wrote"
    "James,
    The Pentax discontinuation rumor has been going around for about a year and
    a half now. So far we are still getting them from Pentax as is the company
    that does the actual alterations to make it the ZVI version. The problem is
    that production is ridiculously slow. For every 3 orders we get, we are
    getting 1 unit in. We are fufilling the orders- it is just a matter of
    waiting unit your place in line comes up. We just got some last week- both
    modified and not - so I do not see any validity to the rumor. At some point
    it might happen but there is no sign of it yet.

    Michelle Biesiadecki
    Direct Sales / Internet Sales
    Calumet Photographic, Inc.
     
  5. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    I own a Pentax Digital modified meter. I hope it lasts forever, but it's nice to know that I've got an SEI Photometer as backup. It's been around for about 50 years and it only needs a D-Cell battery to operate. It was recently modified to replace the internal bulb with an LED diode. It'll outlive me most likely.

    -Mike
     
  6. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    that is good news. Especially for someone like me who's equipment seems to have an affinity for water. On a recent trip my Pentax Zone VI fell out of my vest pocket into the pool I was shooting around. The great old camera repairman nearby dried it out, cleaned it up, calibrated it, and resurrected it from the death I was certain it had suffered, and its good as new. This time!
     
  7. laz

    laz Member

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    Can someone enlighten (pun intended) this newbie as to what the Zone VI modification is? I've just a foggy understanding of Zone VI so feel free to tell me to learn more about it and I'll know the answer to my question.
     
  8. laz

    laz Member

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    Okay doaky, Googled my way to an answer to my own questions. My search also turned up some questions re: the modifications and whether they make any real world difference. My guess is that those who buy 'em swear by 'em and those that don't, well don't think it makes enough difference relative to the $$
     
  9. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    laz127

    I think they do make a difference. Example, if you shoot with filters, if you use a Z6 meter you can meter through the filter to determine your exposure without having to guess filter factors. This is very handy. I think this is the main difference: that the meter is spectrally balanced for BW and not overly influenced by infrared light (which some meters using silicon photo diodes may be). Z6 also used to add extra baffling. This was to help in metering contrasty scenes. I don't know if this is still true.

    Can one live w/o the Z6 benefits? Yes. I used standard Pentax spot meters for years and did just fine. Didn't want to part with the extra money. Now I'm using a Pocket Spot meter which has all the spectral balancing and extra baffles and filters as standard equipment that any Z6 and it's cheaper (as a new product ... not available used ).
     
  10. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    This: http://www.butzi.net/articles/zone VI worth it.htm is the only attempt I have seen to independently assess the claims of the modified Pentax (just don't read what he has to say about switching from silver to inkjet printing :wink: )...

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  11. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    I bought 2 Zone VI Pentax digital spot meters back in the Fred Picker days. They have had an easy life, but have now drifted to be 1+1/3 stops apart (and 1+2/3 stops at high light levels) and neither is within a stop of many other meters which all agree with each other (Minolta spot, Nikons, leica m6 etc). I just adjust the film speed to get them to agree with normal meters. But I agree with the ergonomics and the readout: the best!

    I have read the info from Paul Butzi and I wonder if the Zone_VI mod is particularly useful (The Zone_VI mod was advertised as making readings through filters just right with one film only: Tri-X sheet film). I also wonder if the Zone_VI mod is the cause of my drifting readings.
     
  12. laz

    laz Member

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    Yup, that's the article that gave me the most pause (and it's too late to warn me about the inkjet article!)
     
  13. laz

    laz Member

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    That is a very good point regarding the poket spot; it does make the price much more reasonable doesn't it? In fact, looking around at the prices of what is for sale out there in the way of ZVI modified, even used, the PS becomes a damn good choice.

    But it seems to me that there must be some drawbacks to the PS that I need to be discussed as objectivly as possible. I think I'll hop over to the PS thread in LF and read over what has been said.
    -B
     
  14. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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  15. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    Yup! Just buy a couple or three of everything... then, if you were almost a teenager during the Summer of Love, you'll be set until you tip-over!
     
  16. hortense

    hortense Member

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    In the Spring of 2001, I attended John's workshop. Of the nine in attendance (all with Pentax Spotmeters), none differed by even 1/3rd EV. However, I don't recall if any had non-modified Pentax Spotmeters - and, this was a just a general field test. Personally I am satisfied with my results using the Zone VI meter through the gel filters that I use.
     
  17. p krentz

    p krentz Member

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    a pistol lanyard around your neck and hooked to the spot meter will prevent the dropping. Pat
     
  18. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    i use the IV analog version of the pentax spot and like it very much to work with.

    Somebody replied that he did not see the advantage to use a spotmeter??
    When using large format, its better to see where your zones are and what will be visible on the picture afterwards or what wil become black or white.
     
  19. fotod69

    fotod69 Member

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    Zone VI meter

    Last week when I checked the Calumet site the Zone VI modified meters were no longer on the site. I inquired with an email about availability and the sales dept. wrote back that regretably the modified spot meter was no longer available. Has anyone herd otherwise?
    fotod69
     
  20. mmcclellan

    mmcclellan Subscriber

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    I've been using a Zone VI modified meter for years and I swear by it! It is simply never wrong -- all tones are spot on (no pun intended), what I read is exactly what I get in the final print, and by metering through the filters I am always able to predict exactly what the final effect will be in the print.

    In my experience, they are worth every penny. I don't know what a new one costs, but I would spend 500 or 600 dollars on a new one in a heartbeat if I did not already have one.

    Incidentally, I've been using this one for some about 15 years and it's still as good as new. Great device!