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  1. #1

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    Buying an Analog Light Meter

    So I'm looking to buy a new light meter. Currently I use an old Soviet Sverdlosk 4 meter, which is actually fairly accurate, but it's got a few faults. One being that the only options for its batteries are motherboard batteries or a AA adapter that doubles its size. think an upgrade might be due. I'm a big fan analog light meters, so I would like to get one in a that style. I'm currently looking at the Sekonic L-208, which has the added feature of being able to be shoe mounted. Is this a good meter, or are there others that I should be looking at. Also, I noticed that the L-208 does not have a viewfinder, so what is a good strategy for metering with it?

  2. #2
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    That Sekonic is pretty good. Unless I'm spot metering (in which I use my Sekonic L-508) I'll use an old classic: a GE PR-1. Cheap and they seem to never stop working.
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  3. #3
    jp498's Avatar
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    I have the 208 and use it most of the time. (Minolta flashmeter IV is the alternative) I like it. It uses the 2032 battery, which is also a motherboard battery, but it lasts well; mine is about two years old now.

    It's super lightweight which is my favorite thing about it. I don't even know it's around my neck or in my pocket. Some of the old meters are heavy. Despite it being light, it's also super rugged. I don't know how but it is.

    The shoe thing is impractical.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jp498 View Post
    It uses the 2032 battery, which is also a motherboard battery, but it lasts well; mine is about two years old now.
    When I said motherboard battery, I meant the kind that's usually soldered onto the board. The Sverdlosk's original mercury batteries haven't been made since the Soviet Union collapsed.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jp498 View Post
    I have the 208 and use it most of the time. (Minolta flashmeter IV is the alternative) I like it. It uses the 2032 battery, which is also a motherboard battery, but it lasts well; mine is about two years old now.

    It's super lightweight which is my favorite thing about it. I don't even know it's around my neck or in my pocket. Some of the old meters are heavy. Despite it being light, it's also super rugged. I don't know how but it is.

    The shoe thing is impractical.
    Well the shoe mount appealed to me because I'm getting into the Hasselblad V system and it should fit nicely on the grip I bought. So when you use the 208, how do you determine what you are metering if there is no viewfinder?

  6. #6

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    Watching this with interest, I also use a Sverdlovsk and I don't quite like the way it handles. I have a spot meter for tripod-based landscape photography already so the viewfinder on the sverdlovsk isn't really convenient. What I need is a compact, "palmable" light meter for reflective and incident, small enough to put in your pocket, preferably cheap as well. I've been looking at the L-208 as well as the Gossen Digisix/Digiflash (with a Digiflash I could sell my current Prolinca PFM flash meter, which is a bit limited...).

    As for metering without a viewfinder, you simply have to get a feel for the measuring angle of the meter and then point it in the general direction of your subject. Depeding on lighting conditions (as well as the meter itself and the subject) you might want to tilt it down a little to avoid getting too much of the sky "in view", as that would underexpose your scene.
    "Art is is a picture of some dude I never met smoking under a lamppost at 6400 ISO and in BW."

  7. #7
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    That's what it is! I saw one of these in a country antiques store (Dunolly, Victoria), battered, worn, faded and having seen much service, origin unknown and with a name that was unreasable but looked Cyrillic to me (having seen this post, it is a Russian job). I would suggest now diversifying in equipment and skills and upgrading to a spot/incident/reflective meter. The amount you would need to learn, to understand, would be considerable initially, but with experience you will be turning out exposures that are bang-on perfect, with no loss of detail or muggy shadows — but you have to learn how to do this.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  8. #8

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    The 208 is a nice small meter, but I've heard of problems over time regarding the durability. If you're rough w/ equipment it may not be the best, but I have no personal experience on this. What I use are a Sekonic L 188 for nearly everything that requires a hand held meter that's not in real low light. It's tiny, amazingly simple and easy to read, and very light. About 30 bucks or less.

    For more critical low light situations I use a bigger, but still manageable (about the size of a pack of smokes) Gossen SBC Super Pilot which has a silicon cell and offers very accurate metering in low light. There seems to be several different versions of the SBC Super Pilot, but here's one that's exactly like mine. It's very rugged, super accurate, easy to read, and has a bridge circuit so it can take 1.35V or 1.5V batteries.

    http://www.jollinger.com/photo/meter...onic_l188.html

    http://www.keh.com/camera/Light-Mete...990048920?r=FE

  9. #9
    AgX
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    Gossen Profisix

    -) unique and intuitive way of "placing" luminances

    -) high sensitive
    Last edited by AgX; 12-27-2013 at 09:25 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    That's what it is! I saw one of these in a country antiques store (Dunolly, Victoria), battered, worn, faded and having seen much service, origin unknown and with a name that was unreasable but looked Cyrillic to me (having seen this post, it is a Russian job). I would suggest now diversifying in equipment and skills and upgrading to a spot/incident/reflective meter. The amount you would need to learn, to understand, would be considerable initially, but with experience you will be turning out exposures that are bang-on perfect, with no loss of detail or muggy shadows — but you have to learn how to do this.
    I got mine off of ebay, needed one that was cheap and had measurements for movie cameras and this one came up. It's alright, though my main problem with it now is that it's very difficult to get a reading in the bright light. Not because it's insensitive, but because you can't see the LED that tells you to stop turning the wheel. I do large format photography as well, and for that I use a Pentax V spot meter.

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