Light Meters/Older Cameras


TPF Noob!
Apr 25, 2003
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I have a Pentax K-1000, and I learned to love it. Still, I want a new camera. Are the newer cameras equiped with much better light meters are just slightly better meters ? I want to get the Pentax ZX-L but I am not sure how much better the light meter is. I dont want to really get a new camera is the light meter isn't much beteter. Can anybody help ?

I love my k1000. In my opinion, it's the best camera of the five slrs I own. I have not had any problems with the light meter. In fact I like it better than the new electronic-display ones in some of my other bodies. It's pretty accurate also. It seems to be good enough for shooting slides, so that's good enough for me. If you want an incident/spot/flash meter, then you'll have to buy a hand-held meter. But the K1000's meter should be fine for almost every situation.
Most of the older cameras like your K-1000 has cds light meters and were not as responsive to changes in light as the newer cells. I have and old medium format camera that I use my hand held incident meter with. Incident light metering is the most accurate type of metering that you can get. Look at the Gossen Digisix for just a little over $100 or look on the used market if money is an issue.
You're right about incident meters being better general-use meters, but if I do say so, if you know how to use a reflected light meter well, there's almost no situation that you will be stuck for want of a better meter. Sure, it would be NICE, but come on.
As a side note, I shot a friend's band during a live performance, and after my initial meter reading with my zx-m, I shot six rolls without touching my settings once. Every one was indeed either dead-on or within a stop of where it needed to be. Light meters are definitely useful, but I dont think at this point in time that I have a use for a $500 all-in-one flash-reflected-incident-spot meter. Maybe when I'm Ansel frickin Adams or something :D

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