Polaris flash meter troubleshooting

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by JustJazzie, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    first off, please forgive any typos I am discovering the wonders of voice to text.

    I have a Polaris light meter I do not know the model number and I’ve used it for three or so years now. I just pulled it out and it is not reading low flashes.

    Four instance if I turn my flash up to full power ISO 100 it is giving me an F stop, when I turn the flash power down and increase my ISO to meet the same exposure Then re-measuring, the meter it is not recognizing the flash output at all.
    I’ve tried incident and reflective measuring, I have also tried replacing the batteries twice. It is measuring low light just fine in ambient mode. I have also tried tethering it straight to my strobe to trigger from the flash meter and it gives me an EU error.
    I also tried turning off all of the ambient light in dimming the room to make the flash more apparent.


    Any ideas, or is my light meter toast?


     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What is the lowest exposure and furthest distance at which it will reliably read?
     
  3. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    With my strobe at half power I can get a reading of F8 Iso 1600 at 4 feet away. At 5 feet, I get an EU Error At 6 feet away it will not even recognize the strobe has gone off and Still Flashing. If I turn my flash up to full power at 5 feet away I get a reading of F11 Iso 1600 At full power -11 1/2 feet away 1600 I so it gives me F8
     
  4. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If I move my strobe down to court or power and set the meter to iso 6400 I get no flash recognition until I hit 3 feet away and then it tells me f16
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What's the GN for your strobe?

    The ISO your meter is set to has no bearing (or should have no bearing) on its ability to detect a strobe discharge. Those readings do sound a bit out whack.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    This makes me suspect that at elevated ISO levels, the Polaris meter can NOT handle the resulting flash pop and the corresponding exposure settings.

    ALL light meters have a high-end limit and a low-end exposure limit.

    I've always viewed the Polaris as an economy meter, and perhaps after three years, the unit is no longer working properly. Maybe the batteries need to be cleaned with solvent and placed in using gloved hands or with a cloth? Depends on the battery and the size of the battery contact area in the device.

    I have had issues with the flash being TOO powerful for my Minolta to read.

    The ISO level of 1600 might be a factor...can you lower the ISO on the meter, and get better readings?

    No offense is intended, but your original post was somewhat difficult for me to follow. I'm not quite sure why you'd be metering flash at ISO 1600, 11.5 feet away, and getting an f/8 reading...

    MAYBE the ISO 1600 and the flash at full power is simply "too bright" to give a reading until the flash is moved back, away from the meter, so as to be able to get to f/8.
     
  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good point; never even thought of that!
     
  8. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sorry @Darrel I’m much better at typing been talking so me and voice to text aren’t getting along very well.

    The most important factor is that when I go outside my meters range I get an error code, acknowledging the flash went off but alerting me it can’t give a reading. For some reason unless my flash is at or near full power, or it is it a low power and the meter is right up against the light, Then the flash icon continues blinking and the meter acts like it is still waiting for the flash to go off. It is not acknowledging any sort of discharge unless It is at some high f-stop like F8 to F-16. This is also unusual to the unit as I have never had issues with it in the past.
     
  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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  10. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Siri please insert sad face emoji
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  11. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Use a GN calc to determine what the exposure should be at a given distance at a normal studio ISO; 100-400, and then compare that to what your meter is giving you.
     
  12. JustJazzie

    JustJazzie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I am probably going to have to get pretty good at this for the moment as my Foreseeable Photography budget was Recently burned on a camera.
     

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