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  1. #1
    digiconvert's Avatar
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    Trying to get a light meter that does what I want !

    After playing at MF for a year now and with some cash from relatives for Christmas (Seasons greetings all ) I have been looking at the possibility of getting a meter to complement/replace my Weston III/Calcuflash gear.
    I mainly shoot landscapes, architecture (particularly 'ex-architecture') and occasionally photograph people and still life indoors. I only shoot studio flash at college and use the Calcuflash for thinking about fill in most of the time.
    I have decided that I want a meter that will give a reading at a lower light level than the Weston (not too difficult !) and in order to make things worthwhile I should be able to use it to get spot readings when I am doing landscapes, those who know them will understand that the Weston is not at its best trying to meter a tree against a bright sky 100 yards away (IMHO).

    So I get excited and start looking and find the following;
    Gossen - The lunastar is still going but the price is realy extortionatw, and getting a spot attachment is not going to be easy. The Variosix F2 (Luna six in N America ?) has a 5 deg spot attachment and a reasonable feature set but a lot of stuff I don't need and with a spot attachment it's close to £300.
    It also seems to be identical to the digipro F if I don't want the spot but is over £100 dearer. (there is a non flash version but it has no spot facility)

    Sekonic- Some very basic, cheapish meters and of course the Studio but that offers nothing over the Weston. The High end stuff is designed around studio work , the basic model being the 358 which offers lots of flash analysis bu needs another £100 for the spot attachment.

    The onlyother thing I even feel is worth consideration is the Polaris Dual 5 which has a built in 5 deg finder and costs £160 or so, but a friend at college has one and I dread the thought of taking it out into a muddy field - I suspect it will not take the abuse the Weston does.

    Are meters a dying item now that digi allows you to shoot and delete until you get it right ? I ENJOY taking the time to meter a scene , usually by reflected light since now I like to get some contrast into the shot as my experience has grown.

    So anyone any suggestions as to my dream meter ? Looks like second hand again ! I've seen a couple of Soligor's on e-bay and a few MinoltaAuto III/IV at dealers in my price range (£150 - 200) (with 5 deg spot attachments cheap) and I am also considering an L228 and a Mastersix (I know the latter has bells and whistles but it looks like fun !) or do I take the plunge and get the L-608 that a dealer has lurking for just shy of £300 even if I'll never use most of the functions.

    Cheers and Happy Shooting;
    Chris Benton
    Hmm- Wonder if she'd notice if I bought that :)

  2. #2

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    Sounds complicated.

    Personally, I just use my 10-year old (or is it older than that???) Sekonic Flashmate L-308B (always in incident mode for daylight). It's never let me down, the AA battery lasts forever, and it's bang-on in flash mode.

    I ceased using spot meters and went entirely "incident" when I realized how much easier and faster it is, and all the frames on the proof sheet are consistent. Works well for me.

    Good luck in finding the meter of your dreams. To each his own.

    Pat

  3. #3

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    I wouldn't suggest the 358 with the add on spot. The combined cost will be pretty close to the 558 or the new model. No idea about UK prices but the 558 or the newer model [758DR??] aren't much more then $450 US or about 200 pounds. If you can handle buying from the USA I'd consider that option.

  4. #4
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    I have a Sekonic L-558 and use it for landscape and interior flash (in fact, I was using it 5 mins ago to shoot a still-life). It is water resistant (sealed buttons) but I'm not sure I would want to drop it on to concrete (too many bits sticking out) but it does give 1 degree spot and incident in both ambient and flash (and mixed) lighting. The memories can be useful when checking subject brightness range etc. I think the new L-758 is much the same but with a few more bells and whistles thrown in for what looks like much the same price (a smidgeon over 340 beer tokens). You may be able to find a deal on an L-558 if you can find one.

    Good luck, Bob.
    Last edited by Bob F.; 12-28-2006 at 12:37 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: price...

  5. #5
    Lopaka's Avatar
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    I'll add to the recommendation for the Sekonic. I have a slightly older L-508 that does everything I can want it to do. The only difference between the L-508 and L-558 is the L-508 does not have the option of installing a pocketwizard transmitter.

    Bob
    "I always take a camera, That way I never have to say 'Gee, look at that - I wish I had a camera'" -Joe Clark, H.B.S.S.

  6. #6
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Hi Bob F--

    Do you know if your 558 has a receptacle that would accept the Minolta Booster II--it is a 3.5mm plug. Helen mentioned in an earlier post that her 508 has this receptacle, but the newer 758 did not. I was wondering about the 558.

    Thanks!
    —Eric

  7. #7
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    The best advice I can give is to ditch the incident meter all together, and get a dedicated spot meter. I use a Pentax. You will be a much better photographer in short order. (After screwing the pooch a few times.) Yes, this is totally contrary to the advice above. Incident meters can be faster and easier at first, but correspondingly less accurate for a given situation, in general terms. I now find spot metering to be as convienient and easy as using the bubble. You sound like you have flash metering covered, for what you do.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 12-28-2006 at 01:18 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by resummerfield View Post
    Hi Bob F--

    Do you know if your 558 has a receptacle that would accept the Minolta Booster II--it is a 3.5mm plug. Helen mentioned in an earlier post that her 508 has this receptacle, but the newer 758 did not. I was wondering about the 558.

    Thanks!
    Nope: the 558 does not have the facility for an accessory for metering off the GG screen like the 508 has (Sekonic sold an accessory for the 508 - there isn't one, nor a socket for one, on the 558).

    Cheers, Bob.
    Last edited by Bob F.; 12-28-2006 at 01:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    digiconvert's Avatar
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    Thanks for the addvice folks, amazing how sekonic seems to have taken over the world in terms of flash metering - what hapenned to Gossen ? Presumably you use them as incident meters for 'close up' work and switch to spot for landscapes etc. One meter that does it all does sound nice.

    Just missed out on an L-228 from the states by $1 to a sniper :-( it was only $50 including postage too. It's keep looking I guess !

    Cheers ; Chris Benton
    Hmm- Wonder if she'd notice if I bought that :)

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    The best advice I can give is to ditch the incident meter all together, and get a dedicated spot meter. I use a Pentax. You will be a much better photographer in short order. (After screwing the pooch a few times.) Yes, this is totally contrary to the advice above. Incident meters can be faster and easier at first, but correspondingly less accurate for a given situation, in general terms. I now find spot metering to be as convienient and easy as using the bubble. You sound like you have flash metering covered, for what you do.
    Unless you know how to make adjustments to exposure using an incident meter. Which is quite easy to do even on the fly. Quite simple actually.

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