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  1. #41
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    The Sekonic L-398A 111 has a selenium photocell according to their spec. http://www.sekonic.com/Products/L-39...fications.aspx it's only the receptor that has a Silicon photo diode.
    Ben

  2. #42

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    I just repaired a Seconic L518 keyboard n love the way it works n all the bells n whistles it has, but to tell you the trueth.. I still love my good old Luna Pro n Luna Pro SBC.

    Can't beat mother's milk!

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    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    The Sekonic L-398A 111 has a selenium photocell according to their spec. http://www.sekonic.com/Products/L-39...fications.aspx it's only the receptor that has a Silicon photo diode.
    The specs are indeed ambiguous:

    'Light Receptor Element: Amorphous silicon photocell'

    'Battery(Power): Self-powered: Selenium photocell eliminates need for batteries'

    In German the last cite is:
    'Batterie (Leistung): Eigene Stromversorgung: Photozellenfühler beseitigt Notwendigkeit für Batterien'

    Nothing about selenium in the German text. The power is supplied by the photocell.

    I think, they missed this point with the update from selenium to silicon in the English version of the specs. There are no two cells in this light meter. I own one, so I can tell from visual inspection.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulrich Drolshagen View Post
    The specs are indeed ambiguous:

    'Light Receptor Element: Amorphous silicon photocell'

    'Battery(Power): Self-powered: Selenium photocell eliminates need for batteries'

    In German the last cite is:
    'Batterie (Leistung): Eigene Stromversorgung: Photozellenfühler beseitigt Notwendigkeit für Batterien'

    Nothing about selenium in the German text. The power is supplied by the photocell.

    I think, they missed this point with the update from selenium to silicon in the English version of the specs. There are no two cells in this light meter. I own one, so I can tell from visual inspection.
    Yes I have found that the Amorphous Silicon Photocell is a type of solar cell that its output current is linear to the illumination over a very wide range. Very interesting.

  5. #45
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    I suggest buying a second-hand light meter with a SBC or GaSP "cell".
    The real question you should ask is whether you want a light meter with an analogue scale or one with a digital display.
    Both have their pros and cons.
    An analogue scale will probably give you the EV value and a series of f/stop - shutter speed "couples" all in a glance. You will have to observe a dial, a disc, something a bit carefully.
    A digital display will give you a big number (for EV) or big numbers (for exposure "couples"). This will seem to be faster, more immediate to read, but that is not necessarily the case if you are not fast in mentally converting a certain EV in the desidered f-stop or desired shutter speed.
    I tend to "think" now in EV terms so the digital display is not bad but overall I don't consider it better than an analogue display.

    The ISO values (ASA-DIN in old instruments) should be clearly and evidently shown, and should not move by accident. Meters which have the reading depend from the ISO value (the "pointer" is the actual ISO value) are the best as you have to be "conscious" of the ISO film you are using at every reading.

    You should also consider whether you plan to use the light meter in low light conditions. In that case the EV range (which you will find in the technical specifications) will be of importance. The possibility to light the display in very low light conditions can also be useful (although if you take pictures in very low light conditions you probably carry a portable lamp with you). SBC will have a wider range but an instrument going down to EV -2 is obviously 4 times more sensitive than an instrument going down to EV 2.

    Another thing I would pay attention to is whether the light meter can do both incident and reflected light metering. Incident is a must, reflective is a nice bonus.

    I would avoid cheap light meters, especially selenium ones, such as the Gossen Sixtino II I have, as they tend to be quite unreliable and flirt with uselessness.

    Some meters will allow a measure without the dome (with a flat cover instead) which is useful for studio situation and in general when you have to accurately measure illumination ratio between sources of light.

    Some meters will compute averages for you, which can be handy (mental computations with photographic values can lead to mistakes).

    Some other will compute the combined effect of flash and ambient light and tell you directly the illumination ratio (useful for studio work).

    A good light meter is never wasted money. You can now buy for a few hundred dollars (or less) a light meter which would have costed a month wage 20 years ago. Go for quality, I say.
    Last edited by Diapositivo; 08-12-2012 at 04:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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  6. #46

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    I would avoid cheap light meters, especially selenium ones, such as the Gossen Sixtino II I have, as they tend to be quite unreliable and flirt with uselessness.

    Lots of technical and theory stuff in this thread. However, I have happily used Weston (Selenium) meters for over 40 years to good effect and will remain so. They are (now) very cheap, suit my needs and respond to light the same as B&W film.

    I have a Gossen Profisix (Luna Pro SBC) I retired to my sock draw about two years ago because modern digital light meters also have Silicon Blue Cells, often 2 and are much quicker and simpler to operate, can read the light to 1/10th of a stop

    Who on earth needs readings to 1/10 of a stop? and what could be quicker than the Weston's dial - meter, set arrow to appropriate setting, sorted.

    You should also consider whether you plan to use the light meter in low light conditions.

    No meter can be accurate at low light levels because you need to accommodate for reciprocity. For all my city night photography, I use the Weston to meter the brightest highlight, place it on Zone VIII and then apply the reciprocity factor. Using this method, I have never had a (technically) dud image.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
    D.S. Allen, fotograf.

    Neue 3D Ausstellung/New 3D exhibition: www.german-fine-arts.com/berlin.html
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  7. #47

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    I only have 1 Weston the Weston Master II. I don't want to comment on its accuracy but the its dial is quite difficult to use. I have a hard time setting the film speed and read the aperture/shutter speed due to the way the numerals are painted on the dial. I found that the dial on the Minolta view meter 9 which is similar but much easier to use.

  8. #48

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    Hi Chan Tran,

    Yes all of the Weston meters up to and including the Weston III have fussy dials - a classic case of too much information (you also need to be aware of the fact that, up to and including the Weston III, the settings are for Weston film speeds not ASA/ISO so you have to choose a speed that is one third of a stop slower when setting the speed of modern films on these meters. The Weston IV onwards use ASA/ISO ratings). However, their selenium cells do not deteriorate. The dials on the Weston V and Euro-Master are a huge improvement but it is (theoretically at least) possible for their selenium cells to deteriorate. It is for this reason that I keep my Weston III as my 'standard' to check newer meters against but use a Weston V with a Zone system for daily use.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
    D.S. Allen, fotograf.

    Neue 3D Ausstellung/New 3D exhibition: www.german-fine-arts.com/berlin.html
    Neue Fotos/New Photos: http://shop.german-fine-arts.com/d-s-allen.html
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  9. #49
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Allen View Post
    I would avoid cheap light meters, especially selenium ones, such as the Gossen Sixtino II I have, as they tend to be quite unreliable and flirt with uselessness.

    Lots of technical and theory stuff in this thread. However, I have happily used Weston (Selenium) meters for over 40 years to good effect and will remain so. They are (now) very cheap, suit my needs and respond to light the same as B&W film.

    I have a Gossen Profisix (Luna Pro SBC) I retired to my sock draw about two years ago because modern digital light meters also have Silicon Blue Cells, often 2 and are much quicker and simpler to operate, can read the light to 1/10th of a stop

    Who on earth needs readings to 1/10 of a stop? and what could be quicker than the Weston's dial - meter, set arrow to appropriate setting, sorted.

    You should also consider whether you plan to use the light meter in low light conditions.

    No meter can be accurate at low light levels because you need to accommodate for reciprocity. For all my city night photography, I use the Weston to meter the brightest highlight, place it on Zone VIII and then apply the reciprocity factor. Using this method, I have never had a (technically) dud image.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
    I also have a Western Euro master that I've had for about twenty five years that is also retired to my sock draw, I don't think you understand that you can set modern digital meters to read the light to the nearest 1/10th of a stop, 1/2 stop or full stop, you can also set them so the reading is aperture priority,shutter speed priority or in EV, these meters are also flash meters and the reason they read 1/10th of a stop is modern studio flashes output power can can be adjusted in 1/10 of a stop increments.
    Ben

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    I also have a Western Euro master that I've had for about twenty five years that is also retired to my sock draw, I don't think you understand that you can set modern digital meters to read the light to the nearest 1/10th of a stop, 1/2 stop or full stop, you can also set them so the reading is aperture priority,shutter speed priority or in EV, these meters are also flash meters and the reason they read 1/10th of a stop is modern studio flashes output power can can be adjusted in 1/10 of a stop increments.
    I fully understand how digital meters work:

    I just question the need for readings in 1/10 stop for normal analogue photography

    At a single glance, the Weston dial shows you all of the possible shutter/aperture combinations and EV without having to press any buttons, etc. It therefore provides for aperture priority, shutter priority, EV, Zone system, etc.

    Back in 1985, when I worked at the National Gallery making 10 x 8 reference transparencies, transparencies for books, infra-red, B&W, ultra-violet, x-ray photos of the collection, our Ellinchrome flash system had continuously variable light output. Even then, our flash meters were more than adequate for purpose.

    I am not trying to convince anyone that they should use the same equipment as I do (god wouldn't that be boring) rather I was responding to the OP's original question and suggesting that Westons were a good (and now cheap) option for a replacement light meter.

    At the end of the day the most important quality of a light meter is that it is totally consistent and the photographer has the ability to interpret the results that it provides to achieve the images that they want. For my personal needs I find digital light meters overly complicated and expensive.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
    Last edited by David Allen; 08-13-2012 at 05:48 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling error
    D.S. Allen, fotograf.

    Neue 3D Ausstellung/New 3D exhibition: www.german-fine-arts.com/berlin.html
    Neue Fotos/New Photos: http://shop.german-fine-arts.com/d-s-allen.html
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