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09-28-2019, 06:23 PM   #1
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Any reason to keep a Pentax digital spotmeter when I only have a K-1 now?

I am selling off all my film stuff and that includes my Pentax digital spotmeter because I figure the K-1 already has a spotmeter function built in and I don't realistically see myself all that often taking the time to Ansel Adams a scene to bits with the meter before I shoot it even if it were somehow better.
Does that sound logical or is there some amazing need for the spotmeter that I am not thinking of. Considering the ridiculous price to buy a used one now (I can't believe they have gone even higher) and the fact that I don't intend to get anywhere near that for mine I won't be buying another one ever again.
I am reluctant to sell it mainly for the coolness factor of it, they are annoying to get a hold of now since it sorta has that inflated Ansel Adams cult status but I would rather have the money than a thing I don't use.

09-28-2019, 06:28 PM   #2
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Sell it now; demand is high so it's a seller's market and that isn't guaranteed to last. If you ever decide you need a handheld spotmeter later you'll have lots of options.
09-28-2019, 07:57 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
I am selling off all my film stuff and that includes my Pentax digital spotmeter because I figure the K-1 already has a spotmeter function built in
Question #1: Do you use the spot meter on your K-5?

Question #2: Do anticipate lighting conditions with your K-1 similar to those that you use the spotmeter for with your film gear.



Steve

(...prices have been high for Pentax Spotmeters, digital and analog for the last decade...why I don't own one...If I had not already overspent this month on camera stuff, your aggressively-priced item would be winging its way to me...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-28-2019 at 08:04 PM.
09-28-2019, 10:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for reminding me about my signature. I don't get online much anymore (no time for photography) and the K-5 with some lenses is long gone to a new user at a cheap price. Cleared out everything that from the signature that will soon be gone.

As far as previously using the spotmeter with my K-5 there were some situations with drastically different lighting in the same scene where I would spot meter a few places to try work out what could be pushed or pulled to get it all in a single exposure.
I was a little more careful with the film stuff since you couldn't instantly see what you just did and it was a little costly to bracket the hell out of anything questionable.
Now I am a lazy photographer. I usually shoot in P and just push settings around to get the motion or depth of field I want, but some days its little better than a point and shoot. I think it helps that the K-1 seems to be much smarter about metering a whole scene at once and not getting fooled by small parts.

09-28-2019, 11:15 PM   #5
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I have a Spotmeter V Zone VI modified. I think they get nearly a small mortgage payment now but I’m torn. My K-1 regularly blows highlights in bright overcast sky but I can manually correct for that with the handheld meter. I could probably do the same with the camera but why bother?

Besides I still have and intend to keep a KX, MX and LX. If I were you I’d keep it, but if you are really leaving film forever let someone give you a lot of money for it.
09-29-2019, 12:45 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
I am selling off all my film stuff and that includes my Pentax digital spotmeter because I figure the K-1 already has a spotmeter function built in and I don't realistically see myself all that often taking the time to Ansel Adams a scene to bits with the meter before I shoot it even if it were somehow better.
Having a standalone spot meter is useful to troubleshoot exposure issues with new digital cameras. For example , when you just bought a new camera that doesn't expose correctly, having a spot meter can help provide a first diagnostic before sending the camera for repair. In the same line of thinking, having two camera bodies and/or two lenses helps troubleshoot AF issues, such as answering the question: should I send the lens for repair or should I send the camera body for repair? So if your digital spot meter is still working accurately, and the selling price is small, I'd keep it as part of my ILC kit.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 09-29-2019 at 12:52 AM.
09-29-2019, 07:14 AM   #7
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BTW...In case nobody has noticed, the OP has the entire kit listed on the Marketplace and pricing is attractive.


Steve
09-29-2019, 06:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
prices have been high for Pentax Spotmeters

There is still a market out there for people who use spotmeters, they aren't just finding their way into the hands of collectors who will shun them if they don't have their original documentation and packaging. I have had three students this year alone purchase spotmeters - one was lucky to score a Zone VI modified Pentax spotmeter...I recall that set him back quite a bit.

09-30-2019, 01:52 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I have a K1 and I also have a newish Sekonic L 398 Studio Master meter. No, it's not a spotmeter, but every so often I like to switch the camera to manual, and use my handheld light meter and gray card to determine my settings. I also have a few vintage film cameras, some have meters, some don't , some have non working meter, and I use it with those cameras.

I do like going manual and do like my handheld meter...think it's the 'sort of Luddite' in me, as I do like the older, traditional ways.

My suggestion, why don't you keep it, use it sometimes. You may regret it when it's gone.

But that's me and....yes....I realize I'm an old fogey.

Why, I still wish, I could go to a auto dealer and buy a vehicle with a 3 on the tree, manual transmission. I like shifting.
09-30-2019, 06:06 PM   #10
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I do full manual with the K-1 often, but it doesn't require any extra equipment to do so. Its actually faster and easier than the film cameras on their way out because everything is a quick finger or thumb flick on the dials including the film speed.

I like shifters too but unless you've been domesticated a shifter belongs on the floor and needs a minimum of four speeds.
What pisses me off is when I have a screen in the dash that wasn't optional that makes it take 10 minutes to turn the radio on and heater and AC controls that need 40 buttons and seperate zones for people sitting 3 feet apart, and sensors in the seats that remind me every 30 seconds that the stack of stuff on the passenger seat isn't belted in and so on and on and on. There's a reason a no option super economy car is 20k new now and a damn Jeep pickup costs 60k.
I drive a 90's 3/4 ton suburban by choice (though 88-93 would be better)

EDIT: Not worth bumping the thread but I sold the spotmeter to the person who bought my K1000 and all my other stuff locally. With a K1000 it will be much more useful to him as he is getting back into film photography. Also including the Ansel Adams 3 book set so he can make good use of it with the zone system if he wants.

Last edited by PPPPPP42; 10-01-2019 at 05:47 PM.
10-21-2019, 04:48 AM   #11
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I still wish I had used a spotmeter at times when the camera cannot figure out the right settings.
12-06-2019, 01:20 PM   #12
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A spotmeter is still used for any camera that has no built in meters. Most often it is used with large format film photography, but many different cameras don't have spot meters. The Pentax ones are highly sought after thanks to their high accuracy and Ansel's Adams recommendation of them in his series of books. A lot of people do use a digital camera as a spot meter especially if they are going to shoot with it as well, but some people like to keep it exactly the way it was done in the old days.
12-06-2019, 06:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by y0chang Quote
A spotmeter is still used for any camera that has no built in meters.
A spotmeter is used when one wishes to place exposure on a particular value within the frame. That is its sole utility. It is no more accurate nor appropriate unless that is one's aim. For general light measurement, a conventional hand-held meter with both incident and reflected abilities is superior. As far as "old days" is concerned, it all depends on what one shoots with and what one wants to do. Strange as it may seem, I place exposure on a regular basis with my K-3.


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12-13-2019, 07:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
Does that sound logical or is there some amazing need for the spotmeter that I am not thinking of.
Can it be used in an incident light metering mode as well?

Can it be used as a flash meter?

Do you sometimes do flash photography with more than one light?

If the answers to all those three questions is "yes" then I'd say there is a point in keeping the meter.

I feel that light meters have pretty much lost their justification in the digital age with the exception of one application: To establish lighting ratios between multiple light sources.
12-13-2019, 11:49 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
If the answers to all those three questions is "yes" then I'd say there is a point in keeping the meter.
I get your drift, except that those three criteria also apply equally to film photography with two of the three being specific to flash. That being said, I do multiple ratio flash with my dSLR, but don't own a flash meter; chimping is amazingly effective. That leaves only incident metering and even that might be addressed by bracketing with or without merging to HDR or by simply guessing.

So...why do I carry a non-flash incident/reflected meter when shooting with my dSLR? The rational goes something like this:
  • For when I really could use an incident reading and don't want the headache of doing the bracketing/HDR/guessing workaround. The in-body spot meter might also be a good option except that my camera has an aftermarket split-image screen and the spot option is sort of dead.
  • When working with lenses lacking support for body-controlled aperture. Stop-down metering except in live view is such a crap shoot, even on the K-3.
Of course, those two cases are high specific to how I use my camera and how it is set up. Getting back to the a dedicated spot meter and assuming that the in-camera version is a bit clumsy to use with any skill, there is one case that comes to mind where the ability to measure to place exposure might be useful, even in the digital world. That would be in regards to precision HDR to address the need for detail in several areas of the frame and where the scatter gun approach of three to five frames at set EV increments is a little coarse in regards to the task. Again, this case is pretty user specific, but that is how it always has been when considering a dedicated spot meter. That may be one of the reasons why prices and demand for the Pentax version have remained high in the current digital era and why the OP will have no problem moving theirs if they decide it is no longer useful.


Steve
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