Suggestions on Light Meter?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by magkelly, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    I want to get an inexpensive light meter and I'm on Ebay and a few other places looking but I can't decide what to get. I'm seeing some electronic digital ones for like $20 but I can't believe that they're that inexpensive and work well? They seem to cost a lot more on the photography store sites, same meters, so I figure something fishy must be up there.

    I've been looking a lot at the old hand held, non-digital ones. It seems there are many of them and that I can pick one of those up for less than $15, but I'm wondering which brand I should go for.

    I don't mind "old" really. My cameras are 40 and 50 years old respectively so I guess I can live with a 40 year old light meter too so long as it works.

    Any suggestions as to which old ones were decent?

    Thanks!
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Do you want to measure incident, reflected or strobed light? Or all 3?
     
  3. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    Any light inside or out. I don't have strobes yet. I'm talking a mainly makeshift setup. I use hardware lamps, natural light inside and out, and light from reflectors. My gear is pretty much foraged stuff. I won't have the $$$ for proper studio lights for a while. I shoot on a shoestring budget and make a lot of my props, backgrounds and so forth. I even made my own reflectors.
     
  4. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This would be a good light meter that should serve you well for quite some time if the cost is not too much right now.
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Sekonic-L-308s-Light-Meter-Black/dp/B000BTCJNG]Amazon.com: Sekonic L-308s Light Meter (Black): Camera & Photo[/ame]
     
  5. guitstik

    guitstik TPF Noob!

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  6. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    That second one is more my speed. $200 is about $150 more than I have in my pocket just now. ;P There are actually several of these listed actually on my favorite auction site and I don't have to use Pay Pal there, so I'm going to go for one of those, I think, but that gives me a head's up on the brand being okay. I don't mind non-digital if I can grab me one for well under $20. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  7. ifi

    ifi TPF Noob!

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    Would you mind sharing the website.
     
  8. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    It's Goodwill Auctions. Just Google them. It comes right up. They take all sorts of payments and they're a lot nicer there than Ebay! Go knock yourself out with my blessing!

    (Just leave me my currently at $5 Weston II light meter, will ya? I really NEED one and if it goes over $20 I'm so screwed!)

    They actually have some really great old cameras for a decent price sometimes. Pay particular attention to the stores on the West Coast, particularly the Seattle store. They get a lot of great old camera gear and some people there actually apparently know enough to check it out a bit before they list it! I'm always watching their auctions even when I can't afford to buy because they get such cool gear.

    It's not always better than Ebay in terms of people bidding. I've seen some really annoying people on there who seem to make a point of driving up bids way too much sometimes, usually just when I really want something, but overall you can do okay there if you watch carefully, and sometimes you can snag a real bargain if you're not too picky.

    They have a lot of good lenses, for instance and a fairly good selection of old Pentax gear at times, including some nice Takumars. (Drool!) But be warned those are popular. I still haven't snagged my 200MM Takumar yet at price I can actually afford but I think I just might one day if I keep watching long enough!

    You do need to watch though to make sure they have checked the lenses well for debris, scratches, and mold. Don't buy from a store that doesn't show you good pics. The one lens I lost $20 on? I was new at the time and I bought from a store on there with a so-so pic and they didn't take it back even though it was in awful shape. They won't always take things back. Depends upon which store and what their terms are so read the fine print for each store listing before you bid. Don't do like I did and assume all Goodwill stores are like my local one, which does take returns for bad stuff.

    Interesting non-photography related auction? They currently have a beautiful 1936 Mercedes listed at 10K. Gorgeous and well worth the look at the pics if you like old cars. It's BEAUTIFUL. I can't even imagine someone donating that, but I guess they did.



     
  9. ifi

    ifi TPF Noob!

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    Haha... you got it :thumbup:
     
  10. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    I bought a used ole Luna Pro light meter after much contemplation & balking at the new fandangled digital ones with some serious price tags...All I can say is that the darn thing works wonderfully & didn't give the piggy bank gas. Well, maybe a belch. That weston will serve you well.

    have a good one
    3Eo
     
  11. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    I hope so. I've got far better things I'd rather spend an imaginary $200 plus on than a digital light meter. Sure I'd like one, but if the old ones work well, do the job, then I'm not particularly daunted by the idea of using one.

    It's like the difference between using an electric can opener and an old style hand one. The electric one is nice to have, easier a bit for some, but the old one works as well for most of us, and it doesn't need any power which can come in handy besides.

    $20 or less is affordable.

    $200 that is the price of a low end K-series DSLR at KEH and I'm much rather have THAT at some point than the fancy digital readout on a light meter!


     
  12. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have an immaculate Weston Master II I bought for $15 and had reconditioned and calibrated for $88 (total $104). It is wonderful and learning to use the dial will help you understand exposure so clearly. I found out how far off my in camera meter is too. I highly recommend it.
     

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