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  1. #1
    R/D
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    Low Light Meter Advice

    Hello, this is my first post here. I first learned about this amazing site from the owner of a darkroom/studio I am currently taking a darkroom class at. http://www.thedarkroomstudios.com/index.html

    I am a digital shooter about to delve into the wonderful and sometimes confounding world of MF photography. I just received a beautiful RB67 ( I don't think they're all that heavy) and all I need now is a light meter. I went through many of the "light meter" threads in this section and have learned quite a bit. My concern is that my subject matter is a bit different from most shooters here. Many of my exposure times will need to be upwards of 4,6 and 8 seconds and possibly more. I will not be using flash but eventually I would like to get into the studio for some portraits. Here are a few digital examples of what I will be shooting:

    http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y64...rchVertweb.jpg


    http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y64...MG_5524web.jpg


    http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y64...=Looms1web.jpg


    Another like minded photographer suggested the Gossen Luna Pro, would this be a good choice ? The least expensive the better. I also like the old school look of the analog meters and they seem to be readily available used online.

    Any advice would be great. Thank You.


    Joe

  2. #2
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome, Joe. Most resaonable light meters won't have problems with low light scenes like that. You can usually get a reading which you may need to extrapolate back to the settings you wish to use, but once you get into the longish exposures, you should also take account of reciprocity failure (you will find a lot of info about that).

  3. #3
    keithwms's Avatar
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    I sometimes use a dslr as a meter... hey, you get colour matrix metering, colour temp, histogram etc. Best meter money can buy I consider it very useful when metering for colour slide.

    The gossen you mention would be a good 'traditional' choice. You can make up some reciprocity charts to take in the field. I use a gossen digipro and like it. Simple and easy, can do flash metering and contrast etc.

    One side note on the rb: you can actually shoot 3.25" sheet film with it. There is a back for that. In situations that metering is tough, sheet film is your friend! You can take two shots, use one to determine the optimal dev time, and then nail the development on the 2nd. Of course you can do clip tests on roll film too but developing individual sheets by hand is very easy.

    One final comment is that since you are new to MF, let me advise getting an instant packfilm back for the rb, with which you can shoot the fuji stuff. This can remove any doubt you have about metering and it may be important for you to play a bit if you've not worked with a bellows-focusing camera before. Now, the instant film will not have the same reciprocity as the film, but for many situations instant film is very helpful.

    Yet another final comment... I really like the metering prism on my rb. Quite useful, especially for macro. I just don't have the patience to look at the little bellows factor indicator every time I recompose. With a metering prism the rb is even bigger and badder... and quicker!
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  4. #4

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    Actually any modern battery powered light meter should be able to meter in very low light. Much better than the selenium meters of old.

  5. #5
    jd callow's Avatar
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    the Luna pro SBC is what I use.

    *

  6. #6
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    Good morning, R/D;

    JD Callow's suggestion for the Gossen LunaPro SBC is one I can echo. It will certainly go low enough.

    From your comment about exposures of 4 to 8 seconds, my initial reaction was; "Is he doing astrophotography?" Now I see that you are doing low light level architectural photography in older unoccupied buildings, perhaps f 16 for 4 to 8 seconds. For that light level, just about any of the Gossen light meters in the "Luna" series will work fine at that exposure value. Sekonic has some similar meters also.

    When you need a flashlight (or a torch) to read the light meter is when you need to worry about the low light level sensitivity of the more recent light leters with cadmium-sulfide (CdS) or silicon photo cells.
    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

    When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
    just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."

  7. #7
    AgX
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    The Luna Pro (Lunasix 3s), the Luna SBC (Profisix) and the Mastersix are the most sensitive meters out of the Gossen range. They are the most sensitive meters anyway, except for a Minolta meter with added Booster.

    THe Luna SBC has a very intuitive zero-adjust balance reading.



    (`intuitive´ just means that I'm too idiot to read the other type of displays...)
    Last edited by AgX; 01-15-2009 at 05:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    R/D
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    Thanks for the advice folks. I think Im going to go with the Luna Pro SBC. Wish me luck !

  9. #9

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    I'll second Mr. Ralph Javins advice. It's spot on.
    I use a Minola Autometer IVF. I wish the LCD display had a backlight. Otherwise it's a great meter. It'll calculate your exposure down to 30 minutes.
    Also with the autometer ivf, after you take your reading you can indeed use a flashlight and not have the stray light affect your reading.

    There's a gossen luna star or digipro that has a beautiful backlit lcd screen.

  10. #10

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    Another vote for the LunaPro. I have many meters new and old, but none are as good for low light as the LunaPro. It can measure in moonlight and can measure up to 8 hour exposures. For night shooting it can't be beat. I wish my newfangled Pentax digital spotmeter could measure nearly as low.

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