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  1. #1
    Jaime Marin's Avatar
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    Light meter suggestions?

    Im looking for a good light meter to use for working outside, usually in the sun or indoors. I currently have no need for flashes so any light meters that support that isnt a priority. I do however use a yellow (tiffen 8) filter for my B&W and I also use an ND filter (Tiffen .6) so I would need something that i can dial in to compensate for the filtering. My budget I would say is 300 max Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaime Marin View Post
    Im looking for a good light meter to use for working outside, usually in the sun or indoors. I currently have no need for flashes so any light meters that support that isnt a priority. I do however use a yellow (tiffen 8) filter for my B&W and I also use an ND filter (Tiffen .6) so I would need something that i can dial in to compensate for the filtering. My budget I would say is 300 max Any suggestions?
    Easy. Shop for a clean used(or new) Sekonic 358. The twin ISO settings let you dial-in your comp factor on the second ISO. Just push it for the adjusted reading.

    Get the newest meter possible within your budget. Avoid relic/antique meters. Too many issues with batteries, non-linear readings, accuracy, repairs, etc. Film, processing and printing are getting sufficiently pricey to make them a false economy.
    Last edited by CGW; 08-08-2011 at 05:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Easy. Shop for a clean used Sekonic 358. The twin ISO settings let you dial-in your comp factor on the second ISO. Just push it for the adjusted reading.

    Get the newest meter possible within your budget. Avoid relic/antique meters.
    +1!
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  4. #4

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    My personal preference is a spotmeter although I also have an old Gossen Luna Pro and Gossen Ultra Pro. The last two have the capability of taking incident readings. You can compensate for filters by changing your setting on the camera by the filter factor, changing the ISO on the meter and in some cases take the reading through the filter itself since the published filter factor may be slightly off for you filters or the subject you are reading from can also be an influencing factor. The Ultra Pro can work as a flash meter. If you are using 35mm your camera probably has a built-in meter with perhaps several modes (?).

    I'm sure you will get additional advice here as well as this.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  5. #5

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    Within your budget you can get a good used Sekonic L-558. Although the L-358 can make spot measurement with an adapter but you have to get the adapter. It seems that within your budget you should be able to get a new meter that can measure both spot and incident but there aren't any as all of them have flash capability and demand higher price.

  6. #6
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    $300 is a nice budge for one, you can get most new or used in that price. Now you have to think about portability and future uses. I use a Polaris 5, which has a spot meter, though 5% coverage and not 1% =[... but it works great, its small and light, and is holding up very well. the damage? ~150 bucks used LNIB. I carry it with me almost everyday. It doesnt have any fancy gizmos for filter factors, I just remember it tweak the ISO, but it does have all the options in any other comparable sekonic meters (non spot) at that price or slightly higher.

  7. #7
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Jaime,

    You may want to do some research on both incident and reflective (including spot) metering. If you get a good book on exposure like Dunn & Wakefield's exposure manual version 3 or 4, used ones can be found for under $10, it will help in your decision.

    A big part of the decision in which meter type is dependent upon you subject. For pictures of people and products, pegging the mid-tones is IMO the best choice and incident meters excel here. Typically incident meters give you the camera reading directly.

    Reflective meters have the advantage of being able to meter at a distance. The problem with reflective metering is that it can easily trick you, the meters reading need to be translated into a usable number.

    With practice both methods can do very respectable jobs.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #8
    CGW
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    You can also split the difference and look at the slightly older Sekonic 508, now going for well under your budget limit. It's a bit of a Swiss Army knife meter by handling spot/incident/flash in one package for around 225-250 used, about the same as the newer 358 which lacks spot metering.

  9. #9

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    I agree with the getting the Sekonic 508. I have had mine for years and love it. The spot meter is adjustable between 1-4 degrees. You will love it for taking zone readings.

  10. #10
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    FWIW, I picked up a Gossen Luna Pro F for a hair under $100. The "F" means it is capable of flash metering, but it's also more convenient since the "F" runs on a 9V battery rather than some esoteric battery that you'll never find anywhere in a pinch. It has an adjustment so you can dial in your filter factors, as well. The only thing is that spot metering is done via a separately-sold attachment, and it's either 15 or 7.5 degrees rather than a 1-degree circle.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST
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