In my mind, there is no better spotmeter for the Zone System than the Pentax Digital Spotmeter.
I feel the same about the Gossen Spotmaster.
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
Have you had a chance to compare the two, Ralph?
I, alas, haven't.
Yes I did. As I said before, much is down to personal preference. I like how small and light the Pentax Spotmeter is. I like the external dial and how I can visually evaluate the subject brightness range. I find it extremely simple to operate, especially when I add my self-designed sticker to it. The Gossen Spotmaster does not have these features, but it has other benefits like the built-in Zone System mode, better shielding against flare and finer measurement increments.
Originally Posted by Q.G.
For incident measurements, by the way, I prefer the Gossen meters, but for landscapes the Pentax is it for me.
The one thing I don't like are the one-type-does-it-all meters.
B&W and Zone System - Look for the Weston Ranger 9 with the Zone System dial that was an accessory. Thhe dial was developed by Ansel Adams as he used the Ranger 9 as his meter. I have a 9 with both the original and accessory dials and it is great. It does use a pair of 625s that are no longer available and I've replaced mine with a pair of CHRIS MR9 adaptors and the meter is dead on. I've owned and used the meter for some 30 years. Originally they with the incident meter dome attachment and while most have been misplaced they do come up once in awhile.
The meter was the only non-selenium meter made by Weston and when produced was not inexpensive. Today, they do not seem to be as well known and prices are below value IMHO.
Another of my favorites that seems to be known by many but does not go for lots of bucks is the Metrastar. This meter again used the 625 and the CHRIS adaptor is the fix. I like this meter as it is housed in an all metal housing I think was designed to deflect tank canon shells. You can hammer nails with it. It is smaller than the Weston and the incident dome is attached so harder to get lost. It does not have the ease of use for the Zone System but other than a Modified Pentax Spot meter from Zone VI I'm not aware of any meter other than these 2 set up for the Zone system but I'm sure there must be.
I really like using the Weston with the Zone scale as within a short time the whole process become quite intuitive and as easy as metering for transparencies or color negative film. About the only time I do not carry it is when I am walking around with my Leica. The smaller Metrastar seems more appropriate for the Leica but, of course, Metrawatt made the Leica meter.
If you want to go all out, then look for Adam's favorite meter, the SEI Photometer. It is designed to measure not for grey but for the deepest shawdows for negative film. Knowing the range of the film and the SEI can put you dead on the zones you want. I'm not sure what they go for today but some years ago I was offered almost a crazy amount for mine but it was just not for sale and at the time I was using it almost for all my shooting. If you think a handheld meter will slow you down, the SEI will bring you to a crawl but, once you understand it and how it works, I do not think there is a better meter out there. It was shelved and gotten less use since geting the Ranger not because the Ranger is better, just faster to use and it is S-O-O much lighter.