I've tried a number of meters and keep coming back to 2; a Weston Ranger and a Metrastar. They seem easier to use unless you want to start taking multiple readings and averaging them but, that is what an averaging meter is made for. The Ranger has an acc'y incident attachment and for those Zone lovers a replacement Zone dial. The Metrastar feels like it is made out on a single piece of metal and you could use it to hammer nails. Neither are plastic wimps. While both originally used the 625 mercury cell each works spot on with the CHRIS adaptor and S-6 battery. Battery drain on each in minimal. Oh, the Metrastar has a built in incident dome that is permanently attached so it will never get lost.
The Ranger is a little easier work with because of the viewing port placement.
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Maybe this will help narrow down the selections. As this is my first hand held meter Im trying to find something that isnt to complicated. I will mostly be shooting people and sometimes scenery but not huge landscapes mostly just stuff. Thanks again!
Another option to look for, a used Sekonic 408. Incident, reflected, 5 degree spot, and flash if you need it (eventually you will, and most of the better meters have flash capability built-in). It's relatively small, pocketable, it can be user-calibrated (helpful if you do go down the zone system route, or you're used to your in-camera meter readings and want to make sure your hand-held matches them). It's also weatherproof and fairly rugged, and it runs on one AA battery, which is very helpful if your battery conks out when you're on the road. I haven't shopped for one lately (I have two of them, one for my studio and one to carry around) but I'd suspect you can get one somewhere in the neighborhood of $200).
I still have an older minolta autometer IV, it works without a glitch. I haven't really dived into digital anyway, so Im not 100% sure if the newer ones would do a better job there but Im sure it will still do a good job regardless.
If you know what your doing with them, I don't see why a meter that you can use with metering studio equipment or natural light with an ambient and reflected mode wont do the job. The only thing I can't do with my meter is spot, but I've never really needed that function thus far.
I suggest you consider a Gossen Digisix - Rae bought me one after the Undertoad at Salmon Beach devoured my Lunasix - I did not wade in after it as the Australian Southern Ocean Undertoad is not something to argue with
This meter is tiny, uses a standardish battery, has a 20 degree angle of view, is easy to read, has a simple dial to translate the EV numbers the meter shows (EVs can put straight on to your Hasselblad, Rollei or Vitessa) - It will tell you the time, time Polaroid processing, be an alarm clock and give you current and max/min temperatures - All in the size of a matchbox
The only bad thing I have read about these little meters is Karen Nakamura's complaint that her's died a year after going through a washing machine in her jeans
My Digisix has has replaced almost all my other meters, except for studio flash
The new one even read flash and is blue, if it was pink Rae would buy herself one, rather than get me to shout exposure times for her pinhole pix across the landscape
Undertoad... :) I had to look it up.
If I had any money, I'd buy a Sekonic L-358, use it a lot and then decide if I would care for a spotmeter attachment. I am currently using a Sekonic L-398 which is a different beast all together, for daytime exposure outdoors.
For a simple inexpensive meter to be used outdoors I suggest a Sekonic L-398....no battery!
Then, for just a little more versatility I suggest a Gossen Digisix as it is inexpensive, very small and easy to use.