What flash meter for an semi-old fart?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by JBrunner, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ok, I'm getting a little studio back up and running here in a month or so, and I will be going back to the packs. I haven't had had a flash meter in a long time. My cine meters have gotten me by outside, the interior film projects I have lit tungsten using OPM, and most of the other stuff I've done inside was D-younowat, so I've got by there with the in camera metering. I'm not going to use it as a meter. The day is coming where I will never have to pick up the damn thing again:smile: :smile: :smile: :smile: :smile: .

    I don't like combi meters. I like simple. Old is fine, new is fine.

    I'll be looking mostly for an incident meter, but I wouldn't mind hearing about spots as well.

    What do you use? What do you like about it? What sucks?
     
  2. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Hell, I haven't used a flash in years but when I did use flash a lot, I used a Minolta meter. IIIF? IVF? I don't remember the model but any of the Minolta meters were considered really good back back in the last century.
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    First choice: Minolta.

    Second: Sekonic.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've been using a Minolta Flashmeter III for years. Haven't found any reason to upgrade to a newer meter, which would only add features that aren't really necessary (averaging, memory, etc.).
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I use a Gossen Profisix with a flash meter attachment. It works great, and I can leave the flash meter with the flashes.

    In the USA, I think it is called a Luna Pro SBC.

    If I were to buy new, I'd probably look long and hard at a Gossen digiflash, because I like the size.

    Matt
     
  6. blaze-on

    blaze-on Member

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    Beano Brand-semiflash-orama - for semi-old farts :smile:

    Sekonic for those who won't admit it..
     
  7. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I have a Sekonic L-358 and it is accurate & easy to use.
    The Minoltas are also good.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    For incident/reflected only, the Sekonic 308/328. It will of course also do non-flash, but this is a good thing, because when used with a PC sync cord, it will compensate for the mix of ambient and strobe light together. If you want spot in addition, look for a used Sekonic 408. It has a 5 degree spot as well as incident and reflected metering. Another good used option is a Minolta Spotmeter F. It is a dedicated 1-degree spot.
     
  9. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    My preference is for an older Gossen, the Ascor II, generally found cheaply on ebay, though I've lost a few due to somebody really wanting one. It just works, simple as pie. I have a Multipro and have had an ultrapro, and numerous Minolta's, yet in a studio environment, I fall back to the Ascor.


    erie
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    A 358 if you're REALLY sure you don't want spot. The 558 if you do. Used prices on the 358 seem high to me. Not much point paying 90+% of new for a used meter. The 558 is so new that finding used would be tough.
     
  11. rorye

    rorye Subscriber

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    I couldn't agree more. It's a really reliable workhorse.
    Best,
    rory
     
  12. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Another vote for the Minolta Flashmeter III. I've had mine at least 20 years, and it's never failed me.
     
  13. catem

    catem Member

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    It doesn't seem to get such a wide press, but I have been using a Polaris for years - ambient, reflected, - existing light & EV mode and flash - manual and triggered, You can get a spot meter attachment for it, & can calibrate it up or down a couple of stops if need be.
     
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  15. BradS

    BradS Member

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    I don't know if they're still available but, the Gossen Luna Pro digital F is a nice, reliable and compact meter that goes both ways (incident or reflected, flash or not).

    I've also got one of the old analog Luna Pro F meters...nice. Has all the little Zone System markings and everything else right on the dial computer thingy...but it is a bit chunky by comparison.
     
  16. spijker

    spijker Subscriber

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  17. r-brian

    r-brian Member

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    Another vote for the Polaris. It's my main meter that I compare everything else against. Does reflective, ambient, flash and multiple flash.
     
  18. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Sekonic for ease of use, accuracy and value.
     
  19. Ted Harris

    Ted Harris Subscriber

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    I use a Sekonic 718. I believe this meter was discontinued a couple of years ago but you can still find them new sometimes. It is a simple, straightforward incident meter with a rotating head making it easy to place. It will work corded or cordless. Mine has been utterly reliable for years.
     
  20. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Exposure Meter Advice

    After all these years, it has finally happened - My Gossen Ultra Pro meter has finally gone erratic (see Note 1). It is the one piece of equipment that is not "back-upped", other than the possibility of using my Olympus OM-4 metering system ... which, to tell the truth, I think is a superior system, saving the inability to meter "flash".

    I've searched, diligently, to find a repair shop, to work on the Ultra Pro. Apparently, the classic idea that, if a repair equals 1/3 or 30% of the cost of replacement, it is better to replace with new, is widely recognized ... most flat-rate estimates of repair exceed those numbers - easily. I have not received answers from all my inquiries yet - and any advice regarding a good, reliable repair shop, will be GREATLY appreciated!

    In the meantime, back at the Ranch...

    It is time to "back up"! I've given a LOT of thought to my modus operandi, and what bells and whistles were, and were not used/ useful. I work - a LOT - with studio flash, so "flash capability" is a must. I've rarely (can't think of once) employ multiple "pops". "Ratios" - I invariably will make a Polaroid as a final test of a lighting set-up. "Spot metering" - a definite consideration out of the studio - but in practice, again, rare.

    I've researched many - one thing is sure - there IS such a thing as "overkill". I have NO idea why I would want the USB interface to my PC, as afforded by the Sekonic 758 series ... to do WHAT??? Something about modification of sensitivity curves to match the response of d*****l camera sensors?
    I don't HAVE d******l sensors, nor do I need remote triggering - plugging the synch cable into the meter has worked FINE.

    Soooo ...

    I am one nanosecond, and one micrometer away from springing for a Sekonic 308S. Simple, reportedly reliable and accurate.

    Anyone have any comments/ information/ experiences with this puppy? I will be listening, intently, to ALL.


    Note 1: "Erratic" = bad. OTOH - "Erotic" - well ...l
     
  21. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It's right up the alley I'm looking at... except... I prefer a larger dome (don't say it!!)

    The reason I like a bigger dome is when metering outside I have learned to read allot about the ratio and the exposure I choose based on not only the meter reading, but on the way the light falls ont the dome, i.e., I can see that I am metering against the light, for example, and the reading is biased because of a little hot hit comming from the back left, which I may or may not disregard, and I might move the meter to add more or less and see how things change in the overall incedent reading.
     
  22. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I skipped the 308 because I wanted a meter to use for non flash also. The 308 IIRC lacks aperture priority readings. The mode you pick an F/stop and the meter tells you the shutter speed. I think it also lacks a few other minor things but I may not be remembering correctly. The 358 wasn't much more at the time. Maybe $20 and did everything but spot. Today the 558 adds even spot.

    The USB cable can be used for film curves too. I think it's the sort of thing some one with years of expierence does in their head. I plugged the cable in once or twice to see if it worked then decided it was too much effort to figure out at the time.
     
  23. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Ed, I feel your pain, my UltraPro was "borrowed" and never returned, the multi pro I replaced it with is nearly identical, except for the timer function (which I miss dearly). I'd think that you can find a used multipro for cheap. (mine was around $40 or so)


    erie
     
  24. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I've used a Minolta Flashmeter III for years - and - I'm a COF
     
  25. Jun.C

    Jun.C Member

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    hello, I recently got hold of a bowens flashmeter (similar to this item: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150475187264&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT). the flashmeter is working fine - the needle on the meter moves and registers a value when hooked to a flash, the needle points to a value [1-9], which I gather you use to match the aperture on the top numbers of a dial - but I can't quite figure out how to read the dial - what does the numbers at the bottom scale correspond to? any help will be appreciated.

    Update: Figured it out, flashmeter working good!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2010
  26. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    This thread has been asleep since Dec 1, 2007, close to three years. I suspect Jason (the OP) has settled on a flash meter by now.