Advice on Light Meter

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Commonman, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    I'm using a camera that has not built in light meter. I've been using a really cheap light meter that gives me a general reading.

    I'd like to start using a spotmeter and was looking at a used Pentax Digital Spotmeter. However, I cannot afford the high price (It was $511).

    I think this particular meter may be over priced because Ansel Adams used one like it.

    Can anyone recommend a more affordable spotmeter or is this just one of those areas in which you "get what you pay for?"

    Please recommend a brand, make, source of a good meter and, discuss meters in general if you like.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Check out Minolta or Sekonic.

    Actually, I think that true 'spot' meters are fairly expensive. Often, there is a 'spot' attachment that can be purchased separately for various meters...but those attachments are not cheap either.
     
  3. myopia

    myopia TPF Noob!

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    i dont have a light meter in my mamiya 645 either. i am looking into ****. give me some feedback on what u tried out and i will do the same.
     
  4. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use an old Luna Pro with a battery converter to permit the use of modern batteries. The meter is not a 'spot' meter, but it is accurate, dependable and has a very wide range. As many of my exposures are taken from a tripod, I have the luxury of moving to a particular shadow or highlight area and metering it. Reading a gray card converts the meter into an 'incidence' meter, if I so choose. The meter [used, ebay] and battery kit [B&H] combined would fall within your price range.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I don't think the price has anything to do with AA. Light meters aren't in much demand; I mean, these days does even 1 in 1000, or maybe even 10000, photographers own one? If they could sell one to every single photog they'd be $75 for a really nice one.

    Check out Polaris brand meters. They work fine, and are usually cheaper than the more popular brands. Make sure you get one that has all the features/modes you'll need in the future too. It's cheaper to get one with all the metering modes (spot, flash, etc...), than to later end up buying 2 or 3 light meters.
     
  6. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    Someone in this forum said light meters are not very much in demand. Yes, that may be true but I'm still finding that they are not cheap. The last one two I looked at were $250 for an ambient and $500 for a spot. What kind of spot meter can I get for $75? This would be in my price range but would it be better than just using my the light meter built into my Nikon FA3 photomic? To the person who has the Mamiya, I have not been able to gather too much info at this point. But I will check back.
     
  7. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Before you buy a spot meter make sure you really need one. It is useful under very difficult light conditions or if you use the zone system. I would think that in at least 95% of cases a simpler meter such as the Sekonic L-308s (incident and reflective measurements) is enough and probably much easier to use. However, if you take your exposure very seriously a spot meter is the most accurate solution, if used properly.
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  9. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    Well, I am thinking about using the zone system. It makes a lot of sense to me. I'm also considering using a grey card. Right now I'm using a very cheap meter but it seems to get me in an okay realm.
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    My point was that if they were in more demand, manufacturers would make and sell more of them, driving the price lower. Because they aren't in demand, less are made, and the costs are higher. It's not a general tool, it's a specialized tool.

    You probably won't find a spot meter for $75, but yes, you can use a 35mm SLR with in-camera meter as a spot meter. The longer the focal length, the tighter of an area you will be able to meter.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have the Sekonic L-308 flashmate.... has everything I ever needed in a handheld meter. Probably one of the most affordable but no spotmeter (those are expensive).... Takes AAAs too...
     
  12. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    ks, I would think that using the basic supply and demand economics theory, since there is less of a demand, the supply of USED light meters would be relatively constant and therefore, they would get cheaper, all other things being equal.

    I noticed someone else stated that I could use my 35 mm as a spot meter. This is very interesting. Would a Nikon FA3 read like a spot meter? Are you saying it takes light readings from specific areas like a spot meter?
     

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