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  1. #1
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Any experiences with Leicameters?

    I am thinking about buying a Leicameter to go on a Leica M2. Brief research on e-bay seems to indicate that later models (MR, with CdS cell) are going for silly prices, while the earlier models (M, MC, with selenium cell) are hard to find with a working cell. My question therefore is: Has anyone managed to get a Leicameter fitted with a new cell (I believe the meters were made by METRAWATT) or are they no longer available?

    Regards,

    David

  2. #2
    vanspaendonck's Avatar
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    A few years ago I had two selenium cells with the three wires attached custom made to mount in my dead MC meters, but I never got round to soldering them in. They were supplied by a company in England, but I forgot their name and what I paid. (80 something, but I forgot whether these were euro's or pounds).

    I hope I can still find them, because I stored them away in a dark place to prevent the photons knocking electrons out of the selenium grid: this is what makes these meters work, but ultimately causes them to die.

    I will be away to France untill July 25 (and hope to visit Arles!), but if you are interested, send me a PM.

  3. #3
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanspaendonck View Post
    A few years ago I had two selenium cells with the three wires attached custom made to mount in my dead MC meters, but I never got round to soldering them in. They were supplied by a company in England, but I forgot their name and what I paid. (80 something, but I forgot whether these were euro's or pounds).

    I hope I can still find them, because I stored them away in a dark place to prevent the photons knocking electrons out of the selenium grid: this is what makes these meters work, but ultimately causes them to die.

    I will be away to France untill July 25 (and hope to visit Arles!), but if you are interested, send me a PM.
    Thanks for your reponse. It would seem that a suitable cell array can be assembled from generic components. I shall wait and see if I need a new cell (I'm bidding on a Leicameter which is supposed to be working!), thanks for your kind offer in any case.

    Best regards,

    David

  4. #4

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    Dear David,

    A word of warning about MR-meters, if ever you are tempted. The switch contacts are not invariably reliable. I had an MR from new and eventually got rid of it for this very reason.

    MCs are not outstandingly sensitive but you could, if memory serves, attach a booster 'flag'. These too, alas, often suffer from dead cells.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  5. #5
    mmcclellan's Avatar
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    I used two of them way back when and thought they were worthless. Cute collector's items, sure, and they looked nice atop my M4s, but I'll take a separate hand meter any day over those. Virtually any decent hand meter will give you much more accurate readings and will be more useful for Zone System work if you're into that. In addition, the Leica meters are kind of "clunky" and since you still have to transfer the readings to the lens, might as well have a good Gossen around your neck and do it right.
    Michael McClellan
    Documentary Photographer
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    http://www.MichaelMcClellan.com

  6. #6
    erikg's Avatar
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    If you are just looking for a shoe mount meter what about one of the VC meters? http://www.cameraquest.com/voivcmet2.htm

    I've been thinking about one of those to use on my fuji 6x9's.

    Seems like they would be better meters than any selenium cell, even a fully restored one, unless of course the idea is to have a proper leica match.

  7. #7
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmcclellan View Post
    I used two of them way back when and thought they were worthless. Cute collector's items, sure, and they looked nice atop my M4s, but I'll take a separate hand meter any day over those. Virtually any decent hand meter will give you much more accurate readings and will be more useful for Zone System work if you're into that. In addition, the Leica meters are kind of "clunky" and since you still have to transfer the readings to the lens, might as well have a good Gossen around your neck and do it right.
    I do actually own quite a number of separate meters! I owned a Leicameter MC a while back when I had an M3 and found it as accurate as any other wide-angle selenium cell meter - its two USPs were 1) it was very compact and fits in the camera accessory shoe and 2) it allowed you to take a meter reading with the camera at waist level before raising it to your eye, which is a big plus for street photography - no point in getting perfectly exposed shots of people turning their backs! Furthermore, Leicameters are coupled to the shutter speed dial and so are semi-auto. All in all, far from worthless in my view!

    Regards,

    David

  8. #8
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikg View Post
    If you are just looking for a shoe mount meter what about one of the VC meters? http://www.cameraquest.com/voivcmet2.htm

    I've been thinking about one of those to use on my fuji 6x9's.

    Seems like they would be better meters than any selenium cell, even a fully restored one, unless of course the idea is to have a proper leica match.
    This would be a practical proposition, but if I were to go in this direction, I do already own a Gossen Digiflash which has a removable accessory shoe fitting, so would probably use this. As I said earlier, the slight additional attraction of a Leicameter is that it is semi-coupled (which also makes it sit more stbaly on top of the camera).

    Regards,

    David



 

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