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Thread: Gossen Digisix

  1. #1
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I posted this in a rec.photo.equipment.35mm in response to a request for info on the Digisix. I thought that I would post it here on APUG just for general interest purposes.
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    I bought a DigiSix several months ago to replace an old Pilot which was nicely small but I found it difficult to line the needles up accurately especially at the extremes and the incident fuctionality was seriously in question.

    The DigiSix is a nice, tiny, high quality meter. At 1.5 ounces, I don't think there's anything lighter. It reads 25 degree reflected as well as incident. From comparisons to trusted meters and regular use, it's accuracy is as good as anything else that I use. It is always on, no switch. It displays the EV digitally in third stops, you transfer that to an analog dial to read the possible speeed/aperture combinations. Personally, this method is my preference so I'm happy. It is the only non-analog meter that I use so I can't compare it to other digitals.

    One very handy feature is it's abilty to read exposure range. For example, if you read the shadow area of a scene and continue to hold down the button, you can then read the highlights (or anything else) and it will continuously read out the difference, plus or minus, in stops between the readings.

    As for non photo features, it has all the functions of a cheap digital watch, time, timer, alarm, stopwatch etc. But the oddest feature is a built in Max/Min thermometer that I actually find myself using regularly (Go figure).

    One complaint that I have heard is has a "plastic" feel and I can see where this comes from. It's shell is sturdy enough but the analog ring feels a little cheap. Functionally, this is no problem at all and doesn't bother me but it lacks the solid, smooth action of a classic Gossen Luna Pro or Pilot that incorporate metal parts in the works of their dials. My own peeve is that the neoprene case is soft enough to allow the buttons to be inadvertantly pressed while closed so that the meter may not be in the same mode as when you used it last.
    Overall, I am very happy with the meter. It is uniquely small, I can hold it in my palm and close my fingers completely around it yet the simple controls are fast and easy to operate even with my big, fat fingers, it fits my needs precisely, is an excellent functional tool and my few complaints are easily overlooked.

    Oops I almost forgot. Here&#39;s a secret heads-up, don&#39;t tell anybody <g>.

    I was at at Bogen HQ last week having a tripod repaired (they are handily right down the street from my home) and while I was waiting in the lobby I noticed some advertising material for the Digi_FLASH_, a Digisix with flash reading capability. I can&#39;t find it mentioned anywhere, even the German Gossen web site, but there is glossy promotional literature, printed in English floating around. If that is feature you are interested in, you should definitely look into it.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  2. #2

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    What do you think of the Sekonic L-208? I&#39;m leaning towards this one.

  3. #3
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Can&#39;t compare. I haven&#39;t even seen one, but it looks more like it competes more against the Pilot than a Digisix. I&#39;d probably choose it fast over the selenium Pilot.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  4. #4
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  5. #5
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Aggie, I followed your&#39; link to the Metrolux site a while back. That meter looks totally sharp.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  6. #6

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    I had a 508 and didn&#39;t like the "feel" of the meter. After destroying 7 Gossen meters (including 2 Starlites), I ended up with my 608 for serious work and my old 358 + PME45 for travel/location (and personal) work.

    I&#39;ve always hated analogue meters, took too much time to do something and too easily affected by temperature (anybody ever got a sticky needle because it was too cold??) I think the 208 sucks (for a few bucks more, you can get a good used digital meter, with the silicon cell instead of selenium (which drifts with age and temp changes))

    The best "beginner" meter is a 358, which you can find used for about &#036;100. The 308BII is also a great beginner meter.

    I&#39;ve always hated Gossen meters, never had one last more than 8 months (normal usage). The Digisix is nice, though, the timer and temp is great (especially if you shoot alot of Polaroids&#33 AND it has EV&#33;&#33;&#33;

    The best part is the cold-shoe attachment, so you can attach it to your camera when shooting, keeps it from getting lost in piles of gear, and from hitting you in the n**z because the length of the neck cord is >>just<< long enough to put the meter there&#33;

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I just picked up a Digisix. I've long been an advocate of owning one or maybe two meters for different functions and calibrating everything to the same meter, but I wanted something smaller and more compact than my trusty Minolta Flashmeter III for travel and casual use with my various folding cameras. The incident readings match perfectly with the Flashmeter III, and I like the extras. I've been wearing a pocket watch regularly for the past several years, but I can leave that at home when I'm using the Digisix (does using a light meter as a pocket watch look more geeky than using a pocket watch?). The alarm clock isn't terribly loud, but under a pillow it might be loud enough as a travel alarm.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #8
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    David, I have been very happy with mine.

    I originally bought mine to use with my tiny Leitz Minolta CL system but found it so small, accurate and convenient that I carry it constantly and use it with all of my cameras. Like you, I wear it pocketwatch style, with it's cord hooked on a belt loop and the meter in my hip pocket when not in use. I always forget to turn off the alarm so every day at noon I find myself asking "What the h*ll is that d*mned beeping noise?"

    Recently, the top button started getting a little unreliable, (I think this was due to condensation from bringing inside after using it to check the minimum temperature one sub-zero Winter night). I dropped it off at Bogen with only my name and telephone number jotted on a piece of paper and they called me the following morning that it was ready. I wish that all photo repairs could be done so casually, quickly and cheaply. I've had similar excellent service from them over the years with a couple of tripod repairs.

    Good luck with it.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  9. #9
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Thanks, Neal. Sure enough, today I left my watch at home, and remembered that my Digisix was in my briefcase with the folding camera I've been carrying around lately, so I used the meter as my watch. My students probably thought it was strange that I was checking my light meter (if they recognized it as such) toward the end of class, but professors are supposed to be eccentric.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #10

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    ya david... im not professor yet lol, but in philosophical discussians it is very important to have some ecentric behaviour, it is like a time out...lol.
    about the digisix... im talking about the one with flash reading (it is about the same) and i have to tell - it si simply great, especially outdoors with a wide angle camera( it does not have of course the light metter in it). it is
    1.very small and very orgonomic
    2. very accurate and has very inuitive light reading for me (in incident light which i rarely use, and the most important in the reflective reading). the flash reading is very good as well (when u use one flash - handheld or shoe, through the walls and cells it is just erfect).
    3. the logic behind the weel of this metter is just great - very intuitive and very fast - just turn to the ev of the reading and u have all the combinations in a glance.
    so along with other gossen light metter with the spot reading, you have everything u may need for light evaluastion. one very fast and very intuitive, and the other very scientific...lol.
    victor



 

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