Light Meters

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by j_mcquillen, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. j_mcquillen

    j_mcquillen TPF Noob!

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    Anyone out there reccomend a good light meter? Preferably one that combines ambient and spot metering...

    what sort of price range are we looking at?
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    What sort of price range do you want?

    It all depends on how good a light meter you want. One with a wide range and is accurate costs.
    Spot metering is usually found only on the more expensive ones - as an extra gizmo.

    What are you intending to use it for?
     
  3. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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  4. ksmattfish

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

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    I use a Sekonic 508 (probably some other letters in there, but that's the model). It has an incident meter, adjustable spot meter, flash meter, and assorted memory and averaging functions. It has served me very well.

    There is a similar model called the 408 that is pretty much the same but a little smaller and with out the adjustability on the spot meter; I'm sure it goes for less, and would've served me just as well. I got mine when it was top of the line for $399, but by now there's probably a 708 model, so hopefully it would be cheaper.

    The meters that contain different kinds of metering are expensive, but usually cheaper than buying 2 or 3 seperate meters in the long run if you are going to use them.
     
  5. paul rond

    paul rond TPF Noob!

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    Meters can be as complicated with gizmos and gagets, digital vs analog, built in spot and attachment spot some have flash features adn others read color balance as well. The prices range from $30 to $1500, used as well as new.

    I have a 35 year old Gosen Luna Pro with a "vari angle 5°/15°" spot attachment that I had since new that is still as accurate as the day I bought it and I don't use the special battery adapter either since mercury batteries aren't made anymore. I did make a modification to the dial so I can do Zone System calculations for developement adjustments. It can be found at KEH used for about $80 and maybe another $30 for the spot attachemnt.

    I also have a digital Minolta IIIF Autometer ambiant/flash metering as well as many attachments available for it including spot and fiber optic metering. It measures in 1/10 stops and is fairly sensative in low light. I paid $85 for this 20 year old meter.

    I compared both meters and they are only 1/2 stop off from eachother... but that isn't the best part yet. I actually prefer the analog meter because it has the dial I modified for the zone system as well as being able to see all my possable combinations where a digital dosen't show that, you have to step up or down to each stop or speed. Zone system on the digital will become a thought process where it was once a twist of the dial.

    The flash metering is cool. I hardly ever use a flash but this meter will make that a no brainer if you are using a manual flash or studio flashes like my 40 year old Balcars which are manually adjusted for power range.

    Now you have to ask yourself what type of photography are you intending to use the meter for? Are you mainly shooting color and need CC correction for color balance? Manual flash? Zone system? Averaging? Reflectance?

    What is your budget and how soon will you need it?
     
  6. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I use a very old Weston Euro for landscape - makes life easy. And a Seconik flash/ambient for studio (accurate to 1/10th of a stop!). I check the Weston with it.
    Spot meters were designed to save photographers from walking around to take readings. I don't mind the exercise :)
     

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