O.k. I'm finally getting a new light meter. Right now I am using a Sekonic reflected/incident and a very old Honeywell/Pentax spotmeter. As well as a cheapy $30.00 flash meter.
So I have my eye on one of these new "all-in-one" meters. The kind that do flash/ambi/reflect/spot/etc.
Maybe a Sekonic L-608. Although that is a lot to spend on one meter.
My questions are this -
1 - Should I go with an all-in-one or split the function up between two or three meters?
2 - Any brand recommendations?
3 - New or used? I can see a meter taking a ton of abuse (hanging by that string around somebodies neck is just ASKING for it).
Official Photo.net Villain
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]
Go for the Sekonic, I have the L 508 and I absolutely love it! The 608 is even better as you can calibrate it, the 508 has to be calibrated at the factory. So if you got one that was calibrated at 18% (like me) you were on easy street, of you got one that was at 12% you were SOL. That is why many people hated them when they first came out. I have to say, Sekonic did not respond very well to this critizism, but they fix it in the 608, if I could afford it I would go for it.
I currently use a L-358 and a Minolta Auto-Spot II, but I was thinking about getting a used L-508 so that I wouldn't have to carry them both around. How would I know if it was calibrated at 12 or 18%?
I have a 508 and like it for its do all capabilities but I have had the opertunity to use a Pentax spot and like it better for spot. Used to have a Minolta and liked it for flash better and I still have an old studio deluxe with analoge meter that I like a lot better than digital.
Point is that there are better individual meters (for me) but I don't want to carry them all and the 508 does all the jobs ok.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
For less money then the 608 you could get the 358 and a separate pentax spotmeter.
There were two main things that I wanted in my next meter. 1) a meter that provides spot flash, and 2) one that will give me consistent readings in low light. At first I had my eye on an old Minolta Spot Meter F, but then the Sekonic 508 and 608 caught my eye because I could have the capabilities of both my current meters in one. Don't get me wrong....my Minolta Auto Spot II is great in most situations, but it bounces around in low light. Also I've tired to take readings of density for film tests with it and it can't tell the difference between my base exposure, Zone I exposure, and half the +/- half stops by it. Any suggestions?
The only way to know if it was calibrated at 12% or 18% that I know of is taking meter readings and compare them with a known meter. I also have the Gossen Ultra spot so I compared them before I bought the meter.
Another way is to take a reading in a clear sunny day at noon and compare with the sunny sixteen rule, but this is less accurate.
So the results are, if you take a reading of an 18% gray card one with your "known" meter and one with the L 508, if the L 508 shows exposures which are 1 stop faster then it is a 12% calibration. You can adjust for this by lowering your ASA, but that is half assed.
As with everything some people have trouble learning how to use it, some not. I was using within 5 minutes after they showed it to me in the store. To me its functions were intuitive and I did not even need to read the manual, but then after using the gossen ultra spot, any metter is easy to use...:P
As a aside note, many people sent their meters back to Sekonic complaning about this, and their response was, "well it is well within standard industry specs"..lol..not very good customer relations IMO.
Now, that is interesting ... I wonder what "Industry Standard" Sekonic claims to use. The only accuracy claims I've ever seen were for the Pentax 1/21, plus or minus one half "stop"; and for the Gossen Ultra-Pro, plus or minus one-third "stop".
Originally Posted by Jorge
Given the meter tolerances and the environmetal and technique vagaries, I always cringe when I hear someone claim, "I always expose **precisely** ... I'm NEVER "off" as much as one-tenth of a stop either way ....
Once one gets into calibrating high-end Photometers in industry, using Intralaboratory calibrated Standard Lamps from the National Bureau of Standards, Constant-AMPERAGE Power Supplies - and such ... the problems of "in-the-field" exposure determination - considering light intensity alone - become abundantly clear.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
I have no idea Ed. These were quotes from people I knew who had talked to Sekonic.
I agree there seems to be people who think the controls have to be up to space flight specs. When I belonged to the camera club in texas, I went out to photograph with a member who was a PhD in Chemistry. When we got back to the darkroom to develop the film, he was trying to control the temperature to 1/4 of a degree.....I laughed and he never went out with me again......