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  1. #1

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    battery-free light meter needed

    Can anyone give me suggestions of a good, cheap (ebay....) batteryless light meter? I was getting ready to shoot my brother's surprise wedding yesterday (he surprised us, not the other way around), and as I pull out the 6x6 & gossen digi-six, I notice it's out of battery... And I'm 4-5 hours away from home (and the spare battery)!

    Well, I managed to borrow someone's ae-1 and get a good guestimate on lighting, but I really need a back-up light meter. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with Leningrads, Westons, anything else at all. New Sekonics etc. are out of the question, I don't want to spend more than 30 bucks (and that's stretching it). I just want a meter that will be precise on daytime-evening lighting... you know, a back-up.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2
    Jeremy's Avatar
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    I think the cheapest thing would be to carry extra batteries in your camera bag (that's what I do). If you do get one of the battery-less meters make sure you check it up against your current meter because odds are the exposures the suggest will be different and you will know how much and in what direction to compensate.
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  3. #3
    Shesh's Avatar
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    I use a gossen pilot, that may be a good backup meter for you. very inexpensive on eBay and there are always pilot and Pilot2 coming up for sale.
    Cheers, Shesh

    Not to know what happened before one was born is always to be a child - Cicero

  4. #4
    Stan. L-B's Avatar
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    I use as back up, a thirty year old Wrist Strap Hasselblad Meter. Very good except for low light condition.

  5. #5
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I use a Sekonic 398 Studio Deluxe.
    Not particularly cheap new but they have been making them forever so the older they are, the cheaper they can be found.

    I bought mine new and it is right on but I have heard that selenium meters can lose accuracy over many years. Rather than poking and hoping to get a good, cheap one on ebay I tend to agree with Jeremy, the wisest solution might be just to carry spare batteries for your other meters.

    If you go for a selenium remember that they are also powerful magnets, so be careful to keep it isolated from any digital equipment that you might have and don't put it in your pocket next to you credit and atm cards.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  6. #6
    Shesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam
    If you go for a selenium remember that they are also powerful magnets, so be careful to keep it isolated from any digital equipment that you might have and don't put it in your pocket next to you credit and atm cards.
    Good to know! I took my meter around my compass and tested it. It is indeed a powerful magnet.
    Cheers, Shesh

    Not to know what happened before one was born is always to be a child - Cicero

  7. #7
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shesh
    Good to know! I took my meter around my compass and tested it. It is indeed a powerful magnet.
    Another good point. If you decide to orienteer to a remote photographic location and you notice that your compass always indicates that your camera bag is due north, you are probably lost
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  8. #8

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    I do have, and usually carry, extra batteries with my camera bag, but this time I was caught off guard, and left most of my things at home... I think I'm going to risk a leningrad meter, for under 10 bucks, and see how that goes.

    People, keep in mind that I'm a cheap bastard. I use surplus film, on used cameras, and develop in diafine just because I can re-use it a lot. I can't help it, its genetic.

    Thanks for the magnet advice, though.

  9. #9
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    I have a gossen Scout2 that I bought eons ago. It is still accurate in bright light and down to open shade. It's (indoors) low light capabilities are not to be trusted.
    I do check it every now and then to my Luna proF for outdoor accuracy.
    gene
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  10. #10
    roy
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    When I do not use my spotmeter, I use a Weston Master 5. This is batteryless and will measure ambient and incident light. They can usually be picked up fairly cheaply on ebay.
    Roy Groombridge.

    Cogito, ergo sum.
    (Descartes)

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