I've considered it, but I heard it drains the battery quite a bit. Actually, I was thinking of going waist level finder at first when I got the Bronica, but found that the prism finder is less confusing (no need to reverse composition in my head) and quicker to use. My eyesight is pretty harsh too, so I'd be poking that waist level finder into my eye before I could see really clearly So prism finder it is.
Originally Posted by tkamiya
So the metered prism is an option, but yeah... the battery drain is my main concern. I figure without the metered prism my battery (SR44) should last a year or two, and I should be able to get more accurate metering with a light meter... dependent on my technique of course.
I think you can easily solve your battery problem by carrying a spare or two.... if in fact the rumor is true. (I have no idea) It's all depending on your goal and priorities. External meter is accurate if/when used correctly but so as built-in meters to a great extent. Personally, I pull out my Sekonic 758DR when I want to be absolutely certain or in very tricky situations. In those cases, I take my time measuring and making sure. It's not, pull it out, point, click, set, and shoot kind of thing most of the time. If it is a normal scene and measuring in incident mode, it can be close to that.
It doesn't sound like this is your intent or goal.
I just think, it's an option worth exploring in depth.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Regarding the Gossen Luna Pro: The original batteries are no longer available, so the meter is unusable until you decide on your battery solution, then you have to get it calibrated. I did the same thing-- didn't really think ahead and got one with the attachments for about $20. Now it's at Manfrotto for the battery holder upgrade, clean and adjust. About $100. I'm sure it will be a great meter. I have a couple of Westons, they work nicely, and George at Quality Light Metric will get them back into shape for about $60.
Hmm... you know, I think if I go for a light meter, I'll probably go for a newer one. I think this will be one of those "long-term" purchases, where I don't mind paying a bit more change to get something that I know will last me years and years (not like computers!).
Seeing as how I shoot "normal" lenses mostly (75mm on 645 format), don't think I'll need a spot meter that much as I can probably incident read the scene. Combining all this, I'm thinking... Sekonic L-308S?
Even using my Pentax MZ-5 as a meter has me really thinking about light a lot more. This is good as this is how I want to be growing.
I wouldn't upgrade to one of the awesome new Sekonic light meters, because IMO they are actually less awesome than Sekonic's old standard for the past 60 or so years, the Studio Deluxe. They are reliable, simple, compact, battery-less, well-built, and time tested. They are also very inexpensive compared to the digital ones. For the work you mention, I would suggest a Studio Deluxe L-398a and the accessory slide kit for direct aperture readings. You will spend under $300, and you will have a light meter for life. I have used the fancy multi-everything ones, and they feel awkward to me, and like a good fart would break them. Not what I expect for 5 or 6 or 7 hundred dollars.
If you do want to get a digital one, I suggest the L-308s. It is more slim, compact, inexpensive, and simple than the gangly do-everything-with the push of-12-buttons models. And it will meter flash if you ever need it. The 308 is way easier to use than the fancy models, and the only thing of possibly high value that you lose is the spot meter, which is not a ton of help for the photography you describe.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 03-08-2011 at 02:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Another option is the Gossen adapter kit that comes with two SR-44 batteries and a battery compartment insert that adjusts the voltage for about $40. With the adapter there is no recalibration necessary, and you just switch to using commonly available batteries.
Originally Posted by btaylor
And for those not familiar with the Gossen line, the commonly found LunaPro SBC and LunaProF are later models that do not need a battery conversion. European versions of these meters went by different names.
The European names apply in Canada as well - the LunaPro SBC is/was a Profisix here.
Originally Posted by Lee L
I could be wrong, but the LunaPro F may have had the same name worldwide.
They both take a 9 volt battery (the commonly available chunky ones that used to be used in transistor radios).
There is also a LunaLux meter that is similar, but IMHO less desirable, because it gives less information in a "Zone System" environment.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
To me, these are certainly the most appealing meters available.
I found one of these on Craigslist:
Sekonic Auto Lumi L-158 Light Meter
Solar powered - just line it up with the dial... if no sun, means no meter? LOL
I'm borrowing someone's Sekonic L-308 right now and it's really good... and accurate. No more black and white overexposure/underexposure (ugh) from reflected readings. However, I can see how my workflow will have to change. I'm used to metering from a distance.
(So on a side note, does anyone have any links or tips or a thread link that talks about how to ambient meter while on the go during a wedding... especially with my documentary style?)
One thing that constantly amazes me is how predictable and stable lighting normally is.
When you walk into a room, walk around and take your readings in the directions you will be shooting then you are good to go until something significant changes.
The other thing is simply experience. In time you can get to a point where you understand how bright certain situations are.
This is a good example of that idea http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm
Many wedding shooters get to the point where the only thing they do with a meter is verify what they know.
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin