Looking For a New spot meter
Well dropped my pentax digital spot meter pretty good last night and something is broken inside and of course does not work now.. Not sure if it can be or is worth it to fix. So starting to look at alternatives. I was thinking of going a little more modern this time and the two models I am looking at are the Sekonic L-758DR and the Gossen Starlite 2. I shoot mostly MF , 4X5 and 8X10 so a spot meter is crucial. The gossen is more than I want to spend but it seems to have a better zone system application. But both can do it I guess. I would value anybodys experience with these lightmeters as it pertains to shooting film and the zone system. Can the Seconic be calibrated to film as it can DSLR's?
I love my Sekonic 558. It preceded the 758 and does pretty much the same dance. They're easily available used in nice condition for around 300 bucks. The 558R came with the flash trigger module, as does the 758DR. You can get the 758D(minus module)as a gray market import(Sekonic USA doesn't import them into N. America). The 558 didn't come with a trigger module, either. These can be added later to either model. The only trick is to make sure the meter and module match: FCC frequency meters need FCC modules; CE frequecy meters need CE modules. I've not heard consistent reports on the greatness of the sensor-matching program and procedure on the 758DR. Most people bitch about the pricey cardboard calibration target and yet another USB-powered, computer-dependent piece of hardware.
Here's the "cooking show" explaining how the calibration works for a DSLR but film???
You might try contacting these folks for repair before giving up on it:
Quality Light–Metric Co.
7095 Hollywood Blvd Ste 550
Los Angeles, CA 90028
They serviced mine 2 years ago and are well known throughout the industry.
I think you will find the Gossen has a much easier/faster learning curve.
I can see the value of having both a 1 & 5 degree spot capability of the Gossen.
Also, I am intrigued by the multiple flash-unit/position, incident comparison feature on the Gossen, for portraiture.
I read that the Gossen Starlite doesn't have radio triggering for incident readings during portraiture set-up.
My Gossen Luna Pro,and recently acquired Minolta VI don't either,
but I get around that with cheap Chinese triggers velcro'd to the meters w/sync cords.
My Minolta VI is giving me a far easier learning curve than any digital Sekonic I have ever tried.
Very sad to hear of your Pentax Spot mishap. Until I master the Minolta, I would feel
very lost without my old analogue Pentax V for landscapes,
but I think the Minolta is going to replace my Gossen and the Pentax.
After I dropped my spotmeter it did not work any more. I opened it, set all misplaced things right, resoldered a contact, and now works almost as before (I actually lost some segments of the decimal value display in the viewfinder, but the values display correctly in the external display).
So my advice is: if you don't plan to bring it to a repairer, before giving up on it try to open it and see if you can bring it back to work. It could just be a small problem such as a missplaced interruptor, some contacts not contacting any more, something that just needs to be realigned.
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I love my ancient, color corrected Soligar, which is similar to the old Pentax and is no longer available. But I also have have a Sekonic, which is excellent. I also have an older Gossens meter. I prefer the Sekonic, which is more flexible and may be a bit easier to use. It also has a narrower minimum spot. The zoom spot on the Sekonic is sometimes handy. The newer Sekonics use lithium batteries, which last a bit longer than the AA cells used previously but are more expensive and harder to find.
Don't completely write off downloadable apps for iPod/iPhone--I have a couple of friends that have been using one and they're very happy with it. For laughs, I tested it vs. my Pentax, and always (always? Well, most of the time) the readings were so close as to make no practical difference.
I think theirs was free, from nuwaste studios.
I have a nice Pentax digital I'd ship to you for $280, if you decide you want to stay with the Pentax. Sorry for the ad.
Thanks for the reply's. I will try and fix the one I have first then take it from there.
There was a very nice Sekonic digital spot meter in the classifieds recently, you may want to have a look at that.
And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"