what lightmeter is recommended?
I've recently bought some antique cameras and would like to get a lightmeter. A quick check on ebay sees lots of Sekonic but the thing is many are digital - which kind of misses the point - I really wouldnt want to use a digital product to work out correct exposure for Tri X....
If it helps I live in the UAE so many of the pics I take are in really bright sunlight (& I've already guessed that downrating the film to ASA 125, stopping down to F22 & reducing development by 30% would probably give me a workable neg) but I would like to get exposure spot on.
I guess my budget is circa $200. Any pointers greatefully recieved
I really like a Lunasix 3, although it uses some batteries that are no longer sold. Anyway, I plan to buy the adapter for current batteries as soon as the battery in it dies.
There is a very small Sekonic that is not digital, but I've not tried it.
For serious work (typically Large Format for me), I'm more keen of my spotmeter, but it's a Digital one (although very simple).
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I will go with the Lunasix F, no probs with my one, it is how you read into what you see.
Lunasix or ProfiSix from Gossen.
Get one with localy available batteries, e.i. AA, AAA or 9V.
Although a Sekonic Studio would do a very good job in the Middle East as it's needs no batteries and is reliable.
I would go for B&W for a 125 ASA film, that is plenty, find a film that can work with the contrast well, I think that is more important
than a lightmeter. I have been to Riyadh myself in the '80's and shot color mostly.
The classic Gossen Luna-Pro!
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You think there are no batteries in the UAE???
Originally Posted by archphoto
Any of the Luna Pro Gossen series meters are great for your needs. However, keep in mind that many of those meters were designed to use mercury batteries. You can still get them to work with silver-oxide batteries + a Gossen battery adapter, but that's going to raise the total cost of your meter. My advice would be to find a Gossen meter that uses AA batteries, or alternatively, you might try the Sekonic L-208, which I have and really like. It's cheap and very small.
One thing that can really screw you in a bright lighting situation is a reflected meter. IMO, forget about them unless you want to make tonal placements, and go for an incident meter if you want a general-purpose, direct reading meter. Averaging reflected meters read directly will get you OK exposures an OK amount of the time, but that's it.
For new light meters, I would look at the Sekonic L-208 Twinmaster (reflected/incident) and the Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III (incident, though it does have a way to make a reflected reading if you want). They are good, simple, cheap, and reliable.
I would also not use anything other than box speed and recommended development, unless you have a tested reason to do so. I'd manually overexpose and underdevelop if you have a scene that you think exceeds a 10 EV range. However, a blind across the board downrating of your film speed is a pretty general approach to taming contrast, and won't teach you how to make shot-to-shot lighting judgments and exposure decisions based on the conditions. All you have to do is learn how to meter well, and to make rough judgments of luminance ranges. An across the board downrating without personal film speed testing is equivalent to using a shotgun when a rifle is called for. That's my two fils, at any rate.
P.S. The L-398 requires no batteries, and the L-208 does require them.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 05-20-2009 at 01:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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To match an antique camera, and accuracy is a must, I recommend a Weston IV or V. You can buy in in excellent physical condition for a few dollars, and have it tuned to perfection, including a new selenium cell, by Quality Light Metric. Total outlay around $75. These meters are a pleasure to look at and to hold, as well, a great match for a classic camera.
Another handy option, though harder to come by, is a Zeiss Ikophot—with quality service, a great meter.
I use a Gossen LunaLux - basically it's a simplified LunaPro SBC that takes 9V batteries.