Looking for a meter.
I need a meter for my Zorki and Spotmatic. I would like a small meter, preferably one I can fit into my jeans[hopefully smaller than a ipod classic]
I would like to be able to mount it on a flash shoe as well. Also, under $120 if possible. It would be nice if it was decently durable too.
Last edited by Markok765; 11-17-2008 at 04:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Is an iPod Classic larger or smaller than a breadbox?
$50 over budget, but close to fitting your requirements (apart from my appalling ignorance of iPod dimensions) is: http://cameraquest.com/voivcmet2.htm Reflectance only, sees the angle of view of a 90mm lens on 35mm film, so you can use your 90mm framelines.
Also over budget, the Gossen Digisix. Incident and reflected, somewhat awkward shoe mounting at extra cost.
Gossen Pilots would mostly fill the bill. They would be a bit lumpy in your jeans but there is a flash shoe adaptor for them that you can still buy from B&H.
I bought mine for 10 bucks off a sale table at the local camera shop. The selenium cell ones can be a bit iffy for function, but if you get one cheap you could likely get it serviced within your budget. The one I bought matches my Luna Pro almost exactly though.
I have an L-208 Sekonic Twinmate. It's a very nice small meter that can be shoe mounted, although I really prefer wearing it around my neck. Runs about $100.
Wont mount but pocketable and cheap is the Sverdlovsk-4 (http://cameras.alfredklomp.com/sverdlovsk4/) which I use as a carry around tiny pseudo-spot meter. Buy from a reputable seller like grizzlybear for maybe $20-45? I have also used the twinmate: good meter, mounts on shoe, ok for a jacket but not a jeans pocket :grin:
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Found battery for Sverdlovsk 4
This is related to this thread, so I decided not to start a new one. I have found a suitable replacement for the original Russian 3-RTs-53 battery. It is a Ni-MH Varta 3/V80H-SLF 3-Pin 3.6V battery. It fits perfectly and works perfectly, supplying adequate and steady voltage to the meter. I think that this battery can be used in other FSU electronic equipment, as well. Here's a link to the US supplier (I have no relation to the seller), but I know that this type of battery is sold in the EU, as well.
Sverdlovsk 4 is my favorite meter. It is small, accurate, and has a great little viewfinder. It is also very inexpensive. Mine has been working reliably for a couple of years now, but I always had to "hack" the batteries. Now, no more!
FWIW, I've also got a Sverdlovsk 4. It seems to be much more reliable than the selenium-cell meters I've also got (a couple of old GEs and a Leningrad 4). I don't have any of the more expensive meters like Luna Pros to compare with, but the Sverdlovsk gets the job done for me. My main gripe is that the film speed dial tends to get turned when I pocket the meter, so I've got to remember to check it before each use. I see several of these meters advertised on eBay right now, most with "Buy It Now" prices in the $50-$60 range, shipped.
If you want a Sverdlovsk 4 manual, somebody posted an English translation on the Web a few months ago.
Concerning batteries, if you search eBay on "1/2 AA battery" or "3.6v AA battery" you'll find half-AA-sized batteries that produce 3.6v. Radio Shack also has these (item #23-026), but they're much more expensive than most of the eBay sellers. These batteries work fine in the Sverdlovsk 4, although they're just a little bigger than optimum. (The bottom plate that covers the battery compartment tends to push out just a bit.)
Thanks for the link to the manual! Yes, I have the "1/2 AA battery" but it bugged me that the bottom plate couldn't close all the way. Too bad the prices are high for these right now. I bought mine for much less from a US seller two years ago. I also agree about the film speed dial, but it's a quirk I can live with.
Originally Posted by srs5694
The Leningrads have an outstanding reputation of uselessness and unreliability. One guy wrote a text describing its features and make quite well:
Originally Posted by srs5694
"After looking for it for a long time I could buy a Leningrad 4 lightmeter for a very low price from ebay. It is a handmade series, made in Russia. Due to manufacturing tolerances of roughly +/- 10mm each of these lightmeters is a unique copy, and if you have a chance to get a Leningrad 4, buy it.
The body of the Leningrad 4 consists mainly of fiber-reinforced corrugated cardboard with uranium ornaments. Behind a window made of bottle glass is the least light-sensitive sensor that ever had the pleasure to be built into a lightmeter of the Leningrad series. Connoissurs will recognize that the usability of light sensor was significantly reduced, even compared to the Leningrad 3 model.
The device comes with a stable case made of slightly radioactive blast-furnace slag. On top of the lightmeter there is a little wheel for the ISO setting, but as with all Leningrad series meters, it is functionless. It is so good to know that there are companies that remain true to themselves and preserve a tradition instead of following every trend.
2.) How to use it
First of all, a Leningrad lightmeter is not intended to be used. Instead, photographers display it as a decorative status symbol (russian: blingsky-blingsky), and it is not rated as bravado if you wear it with a golden necklace on high holidays.
If someone cannot put the idea of using a Leningrad 4 out of his mind, follow this instruction:
First, insert little nuclear fuel rod into the deuterium cartridge included. As soon as Leningrad 4 is at fusion temperature, it will dump some coolant. Then, take a bearing at the motif, and rely on the program mode of your camera.
3.) On-road test
In order to check reliablity of a Leningrad 4 I brought myself to switch it on. This masterpiece of gross mechanics has never failed at failing me. Professionals treasure it thanks to its accuracy of +/- 5 f-stops. This gives them more latitude for creativity.
The Leningrad 4 is, like its three forerunners, a beauty of disutility. Extensive testing has not unveiled disadvantages, as form does not follow function and vice versa. I can recommend it warmly to all committed photographers and even more, not to use it on all occasions.
A Leningrad wants to be exhibited and marveled at, it does not want to measure light.
We conducted a further test, and it revealed that 12 of 15 Leningrads have the ability to serve as a paper weight. Only 2 exemplars exploded during the test, and solely one burnt down to the geocenter."
Originally Posted by cmo
As humor, this is weak. As information, it's worse. I certainly wouldn't put a Leningrad 4 up against anything that cost $120 (Markok765's budget). A search on eBay suggests that most Leningrad 4s are selling in the $10-$20 range, although shipping will roughly double the price unless you buy something else from the seller and get a combined shipping rate. Compared to other low-cost selenium meters, the Leningrad 4 is about average, in my experience. (I've owned four hand-held selenium meters in total, plus a few built into cameras.) None of these meters is good in low light and they all tend to be a little inconsistent.
Ultimately, you've got to understand the limitations of any meter you use. Selenium meters -- and not just the Leningrad 4 -- are the most limited class. I only mentioned them in my earlier post as a point of comparison. Even such a meter is a useful tool when used within its limits, though.