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06-03-2011, 04:32 AM   #1
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Light Meter Recommendations

Hi Guys, I'm using a 67 for some portraiture and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for a light meter. Cheers

06-03-2011, 06:44 AM   #2
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Gossen Luna Pro SBC
06-03-2011, 07:19 AM   #3
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First question: do you want the latest and greatest with flash metering and spot and so on? Or is an older used model OK?

I second the Gossen recommendation - I have a Luna Lux SBC and it is accurate and has a great range.

With any older model, from any make, make sure to check what batteries it uses, and that these are still available. My Luna Lux uses a standard 9v battery, the kind that goes into smoke alarms, and runs on on for years and years, it seems.


06-03-2011, 07:21 AM   #4
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Do you want to do flash measurement as well or just measure ambient light for your portraits.

For flash work I use the Sekonic 358 which also measures ambient light very well. Otherwise I have an ancient Sekonic Auto leader which works well without any additional power source.

06-03-2011, 07:22 AM   #5
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I just bought a used Sekonic L-758 and it's fantastic, but a new one will set you back a pretty penny. If you're only doing studio work, you may not need the spotmeter feature, in which case the L-358 might be a better choice, but I'd rather spend a bit more to get the extra functionality.

I have an old Gossen (not sure of the model atm), and it's fun and retro, but be careful, mine only meters continuous light sources, not flash. Also, my understanding is that the photocells on older meters can lose sensitivity over time.
06-03-2011, 07:35 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
photocells on older meters can lose sensitivity over time.
???????

Might be true of some selenium meters, though I have seen examples made in the 40s (Weston and others) that are still quite functional and accurate. For vintage meters, here are a few bullet points:
  • Take care regarding batteries. Many require the no-longer-available mercury button cells. The good news is that adapters and other options (Wein cells and such) are available.
  • Selenium cells do not need batteries, but generally lack low light sensitivity
  • CdS cells have decent response and sensitivity
  • SPD cells (silicon blue cell, as in SBC) have excellent low-light sensitivity and are much preferred ($$)


Steve
06-03-2011, 03:57 PM   #7
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Thanks guys, I wish to measure ambient light primarily however, I would also like to learn to measure flash as well. I've had a look at all the recommendations here. I like the idea of buying a vintage unit as I'm into recycling but I see the
Gossen Luna Pro SBC requires several accessories for complete functionality and I'm wondering how difficult these will be to locate. Ebay has a second hand Sekonic L-758 which I've added to my watch list. The listing had a run down of 15 features offered by this thing and I could only recognize two! Cheers!
06-03-2011, 05:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joburger Quote
Gossen Luna Pro SBC requires several accessories for complete functionality
However, for incident or reflected light you don't need any of the accessories. For portraiture you're fine with one as is.

06-03-2011, 06:42 PM   #9
Brooke Meyer
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Gossen DigiSix

Can't do flash but a Gossen Digisix can be bought new ( got mine used at KEH) and uses modern batteries you can find at the drugstore. It is small and therefore handy to use. Cheap date on the flash meter is Polaris.

Last edited by Brooke Meyer; 06-03-2011 at 06:42 PM. Reason: Spelling
06-03-2011, 09:05 PM   #10
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The Sekonic 398A is a battery-less light meter kind of old-school. Does both reflective and incident but requires replacing a dome. I use it on occasion but prefer my one-degree Pentax Spotmeter V. Neither of those does flash of course but the one-dgree is really good for people pictures in ambient light. From a distance you meter easily and quickly by taking one reading off a person's face which is often the most import thing with people pictures. Depending on how dark their skin is you can either place that one or two stop above middle gray or at middle gray and shoot.

I've compared the one-degree to an incident meter a few times and the incident meter will often place the skin values kind of low for my taste in BW shots.

Last edited by tuco; 06-03-2011 at 09:11 PM.
06-03-2011, 10:24 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the advice guys, I just bought a Sekonic L358. Cheers
06-04-2011, 02:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hummingbird Quote
Thanks for all the advice guys, I just bought a Sekonic L358. Cheers


Great meter!


Steve
06-04-2011, 04:10 PM   #13
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If all you need is spot metering, and no flash metering, and you have a smart phone, they have apps for that. On my iPhone, I have an app called "Light Meter" for free that is very accurate. It uses the phone's camera, you select the f/stop, ISO, and/or shutter speed and it will calculate the exposure for you. Like I said, it's pretty accurate.

*Edit*: Didn't see that you already bought a meter when I posted that. I should really pay more attention next time.
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