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Thread: Light meter?

  1. #1
    VedranRapo's Avatar
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    Light meter?

    i am in need of an light meter... as my student budget isnt to big, can anybody tell me what meter to get...

    something in range of Konica-minolta VF ... but i would need spot too... thx

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    rbarker's Avatar
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    A lot depends on what you are shooting, how you are shooting it, and whether you're really hooked on photography. If you are really hooked, you might consider the meter a multi-decade investment and go for the best (most versatile) you get with a moderate amount of budgetary pain. Otherwise, you'll probably buy several over time, and cumulatively end up spending more.

    I'd suggest looking at one of the multi-function meters such as Sekonic or Milolta, that do spot (1°), incident, and electronic flash. Look on the used market for a Sekonic L-508, for example, or a similar Minolta meter.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

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    I agree with Ralph. I have a 508. I used the spot with zone system, and now incident for btzs.

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    VedranRapo's Avatar
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    well first of all, i am very much hooked with photography (film).

    i was thinking of that 508.

    well i am a cinematographer, and i need both sopt and ambi. meter.

    can u tell me your opinions on that L-508

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    rbarker's Avatar
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    The Sekonic L-508 (which I use, BTW) is IMHO the foundation of Sekonic's do-it-all meter line. It combines zoom spot (down to 1°) with incident, handles electronic flash in all modes, and has a memory function that records up to 3 readings for averaging, along with other functions. Subsequent models add more bells and whistles, like seeing the scale in the zoom-spot viewer, radio-slave functions, etc. It's an excellent meter for moderately-low to bright ambient light, and is handy for use with strobes. Had it been available 40 years ago, I could have saved a bunch of money by not switching to GEICO, but buying the L-508 instead.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

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    If you are a cinematographer and on a tight budget, the only answer is the Spectra Professional or the Combi 500 analog. Marvelous precise light leasuring instruments to say the least and they are designed for cinematographers. Most accurate and dependable light meter I have ever used - PERIOD. I have owned Sekonic, Pentax, Gossen and others. They are the standard for the movie industry and go for a song on the auction house in the range of $30-$40. A new one goes for $450 at their web site.

    I lost the Zone system fiddling around and expose LF and ULF with the Spectra using the BTZS indicent system and have never had better results. Save the money you would spend on a meter for film.

    Cheers!

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    Please forgive me for "piggy-backing" onto this thread, but it raised a question in my mind - I hope you folks could help me with. I noticed the phrase "in moderate to bright light" in one of the threads - I shoot a lot of low light situations, so I would require a meter that can basically meter it if I can see it. Would the 508 be able to do that for me? I assume it can be no worse than a built in meter in even a pretty good slr, like my New F1 for example, but that statement alarmed me a bit so I thought I'd ask. Again, sorry for the hi-jacking!

    Peter.

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    The Spectra is so sensitive that it will provide you with an accurage incident meter in a dark inner room closet with the lights turned off outside of and inside the closet. It blows away any other meter I have tried in this regard and it can be calibrated at the company headquarters in California. A seasoned professional Art Center Grad turned me on to it as I had no clue as to its existance let alone its capabilities. Largest light dome you will find.

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    edz
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    Quote Originally Posted by VedranRapo
    i am in need of an light meter... as my student budget isnt to big, can anybody tell me what meter to get...

    something in range of Konica-minolta VF ... but i would need spot too... thx
    Do you really need spot? While I may respect the robustness of digital meters I don't really like using them and prefer analog swinging meters. My current "big" meter is a Spectra Combi-II. Its a bit like the Sekonic/Brockway/Norwood but on steroids and powered by a easy to find 6v Silver or Lithium battery. It does incident and reflected and can average both. Linearity is quite good and sensitivity to practicaly absurd levels (I don't think I've seen a more sensitive handheld lightmeter outside of a lab). In contrast to the Spectra Pro and Combi-500 (and for that matter the IV) its direct (and conventional) f-stop/speed and so also better suited to still photographic applications (in cine both the shutter angle and speed are fixed, whence exposure, so only the aperture can be used to controll exposure). For "pure cine" they made the "Cine Special" based upon the same basic electrics--- it got them in 1979 a "Technical Achievement Award" of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences as the first wide range exposure meter designed exclusively for cine.
    Edward C. Zimmermann
    BSn R&D // http://www.nonmonotonic.net

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    rbarker's Avatar
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    Peter - the L-508's range is down to EV -2 in incident mode and EV 3 in reflected mode. While that hasn't been a problem for me, it's not up to taking readings at midnight in dark closets on a moonless night.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

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