Gossen lightmeter (Zone meter)
Has anyone used The Gossen Starlite Lightmeter Zone system function of the meter?
Last edited by Peterpan; 03-09-2008 at 12:46 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I don't know if this helps, but I have used for years Gossen spotmeter 2 meter's zone system function and I have found it really useful.
When I take photo, I first look at the scene and decide which I want to be zone II or zone III, then take reading from it and move it on the light meter's scale to the right zone (II or III).
Then I check where other zones will fall. If result does not macth with my visualization, I use light meters expansion/contraction functions.
This way it is easy to find right process (N-2, .... N, ... N+2).
At first, I was bit sceptic about the exposure reading that light meter give me after expansion/contraction and took final exposure directly from the scene. But as time passed, I found that there was virtually no difference, so now I happily use exposure time given by light meter´s zone system function.
I've got a Starlite, and have tried using the Zone system functionality, but find it too finicky. It's annoying having to first switch to Zone mode, take the readings, and then switch back to F or T mode to get the required f-stop and time combination.
Nowadays, I keep it on EV mode, and use the pseudo-analog scale at the bottom to determine the f-stop. You measure the lightest and darkest items - in the same way as the zone system - set the time to an appropriate value, and then set the f-stop to +2 (or whatever suits you) above the reading for the darkest value. For example, if the time is 1/30 sec and the readings on the scale range from 2.8 to 32, I would set the f-stop to 5.6. (I am talking about B/W, of course!)
(Digital meters are great in some ways - with spot metering, multiple readings, etc - but I really miss the good-old, user-friendly dial on the Weston Euro Master.)
I found the Starlite to be a great learning tool. I use the zone feature and just walk around useing it to place zone 3 and then memorizing and comparing the other tones in the scene. Over time I get an appreciation of varied contrast situations and the values of different tones. Now I can read the scene better before I metre.
The two step procedure forces you to make three choices. Where to put Zone 3, what f stop to use and what speed to use.
I like it because it stops me from being lazy and taking short cuts.
If I outgrow this feature the metre still works however else I choose EV, TV, AV, Flash and all the other stuff I don,t understand.
I like it