Which new (spot-) exposure meter?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by hadeer, May 12, 2010.

  1. hadeer

    hadeer Member

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    I am looking for a good exposure meter. Preferably it should do 1° spotmetering, incident metering and flash metering. I definitely am looking for a new commercially available meter. I've seen Kenko, Minolta, Gossen and maybe there are more, but find it very difficult to make a choice based on the manufacturers information. I am working in medium format, black and white onely.
    Any one with advice? Thanks a lot.
     
  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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  3. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Whatever people are using is what they will recommend. Personally I have a Pentax, Gossen, Minolta and Sekonic. All 1 degree spot meters. Actually the Gossen might be just less than 1 degree but it's not that critical. They all work great but in the end I use my Sekonic the most because it also does incident readings.
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I seem to recall that the Sekonic does reflected flash metering, but Gossen, Minolta and Pentax do not.
     
  5. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    The Gossen Starlite 'multi-meter' does flash in reflected mode (including spot) too.
    I don't know whether it is the best of the bunch though.
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    My Minolta Spotmeter F does reflected flash, and so does my Gossen Starlite 2. The Minolta is dated, the Gossen is brand new. My Pentax Digital Spotmeter does not read flash, but it's my favorite for the Zone System. My Gossen Gossen Lunastar F2 does, but it's not a spotmeter, however, it's my favorite in the Studio.

    I suggest to go to a local camera dealer or camera club and look at a few meter. As others have said, people recommend what they use, but that also means that all brand name meters are good. It comes down to convenience and the way you like to work.
     
  7. noumin

    noumin Guest

    The Kenko KFM 2100 does 1° spotmetering, ambient and flash.
    It has all the bells and whistles one can think of, but in turn
    you have to read the manual and use it a lot to get used to it.
    Once you know the buttons it´s a nice meter. Not really suited for
    the zone system.

    Gossen Starlite does 1°and 5° spotmetering, ambient and flash.
    Simpler to operate than the Kenko, but I found the lens prone
    to flare, measure the heap of coal in a snowfield and you will
    get stunning results (i.e. something like 2 stops between coal and snow),
    don´t know if the new Starlite 2 still has this problem. There´s a zone
    system mode. Expensive !

    Considering the costs, if this is possible for you, it would really
    be a good idea to have a look at them to find out which one your
    comfortable with.
     
  8. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

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    I use a Gossen Digipro F incident meter and a Pentax Digital Spotmeter (Zone IV modified version). I can not recommend it enough.
    The Pentax is the smallest spot meter i could find and provides very easy working. I had a look at the Gossen and aside from it being 5x the price of the Pentax (i paid about $350AU) it is also more than twice the size.
    I also had a Minolta Spotmeter F and it had the same problem - dicky digital readout and bulky. Not what i want when travelling overseas.
     
  9. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Sekonic L758D, with incident, multispot/bal., reflected, ambient, corded/uncorded flash and various baseline point adjustments (like other Sekonics, it will also take PocketWizard Tx/Rx console). It's an expensive brute but lethally accurate, particularly with reversal film tracking changing light; you do of course have much more leeway with monochrome both in metering and post-prod (darkroom). I would stress that what others are using should not be your only guide; your experience and knowledge of how meters behave and where you will go in terms of that knowledge down the line will have a greater bearing; I used a simple Polaris 308 meter for more than 15 years until it was stolen in 2003. Really, it's no good buying the super-souped bells-and-whistles model and not being able to understand it. Perhaps hire a meter you are interested in and get to know it before committing to a purchase.
     
  10. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    It was nicely affirming, at the last Melbourne APUG get together, that at least 4 of us had variants of the Sekonic L758D. I also have the old Minolta Spotmeter F, but I've found the Sekonic so fiendishly handy and accurate, that it's pretty much all I use now. That said, Ralph's suggestion to actually try out a few is exactly what I did, and I suppose I liked the "ergonomics" of the Sekonic over the Gossen Starlite 2 more than anything... but since then I've used the pocket wizard functionality HEAPS, so I'm very glad...

    Marc!
     
  11. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I too am pondering this question

    The two meters I have narrowed it down to are the Kenko 2100 and the Sekonic 758.

    Both seem to be superb meters.

    I ignored the Gossen because of the price premium.

    Having read the specifications and the user manuals of the Kenko and Sekonic, the only real difference I can find between the two meters is the Kenko results seem to based around a nominated shutter speed and the display will give you the appropriate aperture (shutter priority mode?)

    However, as Large Format user, I know what aperture I want to use (usually f/22 or there abouts) and adjust the shutter speed, so the Kenko output would require adjustment to show the displayed values I would choose.

    However, with the Sekonic, you can choose between aperture or speed priority.

    This might be important to you

    Just my $0.02

    Good luck

    Martin
     
  12. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    and/or/with EV, additional to Tv or Av, in clear, easily read numerals.
    The auto-backlight on the Sekonic's display is also very handy (on at <EV6), particularly in a contrasty rainforest environment.
     
  13. largeformat pat

    largeformat pat Member

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    Sekonic L358, Does all that you require.
     
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  15. Sim2

    Sim2 Member

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    The Kenko can do readouts in EV if one wants - I have one and use it in spot mode all the time. It is a rebadged Minolta meter, which in someways makes it old technology as it is from the '90's but was designed when film ruled the roost & is none the worse for that. The newer Sekonic ones seem to be biased for "dig" or is that just marketing hype !!!! :D Was tempted with a Sekonic but couldn't justify the extra £150 for a similar model.
    That said, I will admit that I would like a backlight display on the Kenko - I have a mini-maglite to illuminate the screen, but if I need to use this I also need it to see inside the camera bag so would have it with me anyway.
    Agree that the best thing is to try them out in a shop first, I did and based my decision on that comparison.
    Sim2.
     
  16. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    "biased for dig"!?
    That's just one very small application (and a mightily tedious one at that!). Besides, digital is dead, remember. Think positive. :D
     
  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    If you decide on the Kenko 2100 Martin Robert White is the cheapest place in the UK to buy it they are a huge £68 cheaper than my local pro dealer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2010
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    He wants one with a spot meter.
     
  19. TSSPro

    TSSPro Member

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    I've been pining over the mac-daddy Sekonic 758 for a while. I just havent run into a situation where I absolutely, undeniably NEED that meter. It sure would make my life easier, and I think I will give in one day, but I just grab a spare 35mm with a spot meter function and base exposures from there. For flash and incident I have perpetually borrowed a minolta III from a friend.

    [Perpetually Borrowed is not = to stealing, its the same guy I shoot weddings with and he has more meters than he knows what to do with, and condoned me using it]

    But from all reports and my drooling over the fancy Sekonic, I'de go with the 758. It fits the billl.

    All the best.
     
  20. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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  21. hadeer

    hadeer Member

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    Posted wirelessly.. (Palm TX)

    The zone system feature would be of interest to me, thanks for the hint. I will certainly consider the Gossen.
     
  22. hadeer

    hadeer Member

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    Posted wirelessly.. (Palm TX)

    Gossen, Seconic sound interesting, thanks for all the information. Also will consider the Kenko. I will still need some time to make the decision. Got to avoid loosing good images once more as I did last monday night when most of my night exposures at the idustrial heritage site in Dortmund turned out to be failures . Arrghh. The meter of my camera just didn't cut it.
     
  23. hadeer

    hadeer Member

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    After some further research my conclusion now is to go with the Gossen Starlight. Some considerations: it is small, light, has a special zone system mode and as a bonus does footcandle, lux and other intensity measurements. Only disadvantage, it's the most expensive of the three.
    For whom it interests, I have made a comparision chart on this link:
    http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AsBQ-j9czfSedDlwRWFwZGV2TmtqM1dJaTZYOGRQdmc&hl=en
    Thanks to everybody. Further comment welcome!
    Hans
     
  24. noumin

    noumin Guest

    Oops, forgot to mention something re the Starlight.
    At least in the first version, there are no values displayed in the finder. So
    you take a reading, take the meter off your eyes, have a look at the display,
    take another reading ...
    Some people don´t mind it, I do.
     
  25. hadeer

    hadeer Member

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    Thanks, is a good point. Do you know if the starlight II has the same setup?
    Hans
     
  26. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    The Pocket Spot by Metered Light.