Spot Meters

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by David Ruby, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. David Ruby

    David Ruby Member

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    I'm reading Ansel Adams' "The Print" and was curious how many of you LF APUG'ers use a spot meter. I have and use a simple Luna Pro meter, but I can see where this would prevent someone from really getting a handle on the various "zones" as Ansel preaches. I'm not wanting to discuss the zone system, but I can see and have thought about the benefits of a spot meter. Is it possible to get an affordable spot meter? I think I got my Luna Pro for around $30 off of Ebay a couple years back. Thanks.
     
  2. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    I have been using a Sekonic Dual-Spot (1 and 5 degrees) meter for 8 years now and it is reliable and is serving me extremely well. I like to measure every single piece of information in a scene and this meter allows me to do that.
     
  3. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    I am using a Minolta Spotmeter F. I don't use flash, so most of it's functions go unused. I, too, like to read most everything in a scene. I can hold the meter to my eye, sweep the scene, and read the EV values right in the viewfinder. The Minolta is a little big though.
     
  4. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I use a Pentax spot. Simple enough to use (idiot proof), very well made etc.
     
  5. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I've got a couple that I use. My primary meter is a dual-spot (1 and 3 degrees) meter (can't think of the make off hand - I'll look it up later). I also have an old Minolta Flash III. The Minolta is a neat meter, I have an attachment for it that allows me to take meter readings directly off the ground glass - really neat for close ups.
     
  6. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council

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    Pentax 1 degree analog spot meter. All else is folly IMHO.
    I just don't get how ambient light can be used to establish exposure. The light falling on a black kitty and white kitty is the same but the reflective light is different and as far as I know I'm photographing the reflective light, the luminance.
     
  7. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I've used a Soligor analogue 1 degree spot for 25 years, the shadows can be difficult to read in low light situations but it's never let me down in spite of having been dropped into rivers and waterfalls several times. I just opened it up and placed it on the mantle shelf above the coal fire in our non centrally heated house and a couple of days later it worked.
     
  8. Peter Hogan

    Peter Hogan Member

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    I use a Pentax analogue spotmeter. I keep dropping it on hard, cathedral floors. I dropped it in the sea, and had to empty the water out. (I dried it in the oven.) I cracked the mirror. It still works fine. Btw, does anyone have one they want to sell?
     
  9. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I own and have used the Pentax digital 1 degree spot. I have switched to using an incident meter for most of my work. My exposures are more straightforward using the incident meter.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My analogue Pentax spotmeter keeps falling apart, calculator dial drops off, it's the sorry state of British roads
     
  11. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I have both a Minolta Autometer with a 5 degree spot attachment, and an analog Pentax V. The spot attachment on the minolta is too wide for my use. When I do use a spot, it is the old Pentax, but like Don, I find I use my incident meter much more. My exposures are closer with it.
     
  12. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Brian, do you use the incident for the final exposure determination, but use a spot to measure SBR to determine N+ etc?

    I used an incident meter exclusively for many years but have only just recently started using the spot meter a lot.
     
  13. bmac

    bmac Member

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  15. Deniz

    Deniz Member

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    I use a sekonic Studio incident meter. It is probably the most popular meter ever produced. doesnt even use batteris and serves me extremely well. But i want to try out the zone system so i am in the market for a spot meter right now, carrying a nikon SLR for that job is rediculus..
     
  16. voceumana

    voceumana Member

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    I have a Zone VI modified Pentax digital spotmeter. I like it. However, I bought it when the meter was $180 new. I'm not sure I'd spend that much today.

    These things have become absurdly expensive. I went for digital just because an analog meter movement is inherently a little fragile.

    I also have a Sekonic incident meter (I wanted something to rely on without requiring batteries) and a Polaris flash meter.

    Charlie
     
  17. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    Like Les, I use the Soligor 1 degree meter except it's branded by Adorama (there are several other vendors that sell the soligor under their own house label as well.) It's been an excellent tool for the 7 or 8 years I've had it. ( I had a choice of digital or analog versions and expected to buy the analog one for a bit less money, but the salesman observed that it would be easier to see the illuminated EV # in low light rather than the analog needle, so that's the one I chose....my first and only digital purchase ;-)
     
  18. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I have enough trouble remembering to pack my tripod... no mental calculations here :smile:
     
  19. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    I use a 5 degree attachment on my Gossen meter.

    One of the features that I like more and more each time is that I can hold a button, sweep the scene and it will show me the contrast range. By making sure my shadows are getting good exposure for the scene, I can judge exposure and development with ease...

    I had a Zone VI modified anolog meter, but never felt comfortable with it. The little attachment for my digital meter is much better for the way I like to work.

    joe :smile:
     
  20. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    I use a Zone VI-modified Pentax digital meter I've had since I purchased it new in 1984. It's worked very well, both for b&w and chromes. Measuring the luminance extremes and working placements from there seems natural to me. YMMV.

    Also have an SEI photometer I've enjoyed using. Wish it weren't so darn heavy, though!

    Will
     
  21. papagene

    papagene Membership Council

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    David,
    I use a Luna Pro F with the Vari-Angle attachment (7.5 & 15 degrees) and am pleased with it's performance. Tho I would love a 1 degree spot, but no $$$$$$$$$$ at this time.
    I think the Luna Pro can take a 1 degree attachment.
    gene
     
  22. Ted Harris

    Ted Harris Subscriber

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    I use a Pentax Digital Spot most of the time. I have been using one sort of spotmeter or another for 30 years and the zone system for as long so a lot of it is intuitive. I find the Pentax to be the easiest and fastest to use.

    Working in the studio with complex lighting setups and the ability to totally control and maintain what I have created (as far as lighting goes) I tend to use a flash meter and an assortment of incident readings all tested with polaroids more than a spot meter.
     
  23. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    Pentax- analouge of course! No d*****l goes anywhere near my photography!
    Long exposures? 75 yr old railroad pocket watch :smile:

    Matt
     
  24. argentic

    argentic Subscriber

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    Pentax digital spotmeter for Zone System measurements. I'm very satisfied.

    G.
     
  25. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I'm using the Pocket Spot one degree meter. First meter I've used that is compensated ("modified") for the BW film spectrum. That's a nice feature. I like the small size, too.
     
  26. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    For many years I used a Seconic Apex meter - reflected/incident averaging meter. Bought it about 25 years ago after the meter in my old Mamiya-Sekor 1000DTL SLR packed up - it was ancient at the time and the dealer gave me a good deal on it just to get it out of the display case. It works very well but it has two drawbacks. First, it is not a spot meter. What that means is that I have walk up to the subject to make a "spot" meausrement - gasp! The dreaded exercise! Of course, if you read the news the last couple of days, use middle-aged guys (and gals) need to do a little more exercis as well as take our Lipitor.

    The other problem is that the Seconic uses PX625 mercury batteries. I stocked up on a trip to Asia a few years ago, so that's not an immediate problem, but it's still something to worry about.

    So a few weeks ago I dropped into Adorama in NYC to treat myself to a new meter. Chose the Adorama digital (the same as the Soligor except that Soligor is no more). So far I am very pleased with it and the convenience is refreshing. But I suspect that the reduction in exercise will cause me to increase the Lipitor dosage.