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12-20-2007, 08:11 AM   #1
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External exposure meter

An oldish Gnossen Lunasix has just come into my possession. How useful will this be with a K100D in terms of quality photography? And where can i get a manual (Lunasix is all the meter says. not Lunasix 3 or F).

12-20-2007, 08:23 AM   #2
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Google for a manufacturor site first and poke around for older equipment and manuals, then a more general search for one of several sites that reproduce legacy manuals. The quality of resultant photography will depend to a great extent on your ability to interprete the readings of a light meter-internal or external--there are no magic bullets.


QuoteOriginally posted by chris hall Quote
An oldish Gnossen Lunasix has just come into my possession. How useful will this be with a K100D in terms of quality photography? And where can i get a manual (Lunasix is all the meter says. not Lunasix 3 or F).
12-20-2007, 08:25 AM   #3
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You can download the manual here.
12-20-2007, 09:03 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by chris hall Quote
An oldish Gnossen Lunasix has just come into my possession. How useful will this be with a K100D in terms of quality photography?
As others have answered the manual question I will throw 2 cents at the issue of useful in terms of quality photography.

The specific response is it's all up to you. If you take the time to learn about the operation of the light meter, and how to apply it to photography correctly, it will probably make you a better photographer, not because it is better or worse than your K100D but simply that the time you take to consider the lighting will force you to think. This is the biggest problem today with all cameras. All of the features make them easy for the new user to get an acceptable photo, but the problem is, we rely too heavily on these features and never learn what is behind them.

That is why, for example the K10D has no modes for sport, landscape, macro etc. It assumes (perhaps wrongly) that people who get the top of the line camera know what they are doing. Perhaps I digress too far here.

As I said, the light meter will probably make you better, to be blunt, I don't really know what you are capable of at this time, but the more you learn, and apply the better you will become.

12-20-2007, 11:10 AM   #5
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Here's another site that's excellent for manuals: http://www.butkus.org/chinon/flashes_meters.htm

Conventional wisdom would hold that hand-held meters are somewhat of a dying breed...until you look at the prices commanded by used meters! I lucked out and bought a circa 1952-53 Norwood Director Type C Colormatic (in original box...from a museum, no less!) that didn't work and only needed the selenium cell's edges cleaned to restore operation. Score!

http://www.johndesq.com/director/ <-- Cool Norwood site
12-24-2007, 07:55 AM   #6
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thanks for the comments

Thank eveybody for their helpful comments. I have been practising with the lightmeter and find that it really does help me to make decisions more authoritatively than without. I am not a photographer per se but an artist working in photomontage so all possible variations are interesting to me.
12-24-2007, 03:57 PM   #7
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I have a Gossen LunaPro SBC (Silicon Blue Cell) that I received along with my late fathers 4x5 monorail. When I first started out in photography I purchased a Sekonic light meter also. Just sitting down and playing with the dials provides some unique insight into the fickle nature of light.

The LunaPro is a very nice machine (the manual survived too). If your model has a incedent light diffuser - try playing with that too. Put the K10D on a tripd - set it to manual and see what you can come up with.

One of these days during the spring - I am going out with the 4x5 - really I am - I have 50 sheets of Ilford ISO 50 B&W film too. It's just that the camera, tripod, carrying case and light meter runs about 50 pounds in all to lug around. My wife has already said that her middle name is not "Sherpa". So it goes.

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL
12-24-2007, 05:08 PM   #8
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Sadly, many of these older analog light meters are horribly inaccurate due to the effects of aging - desensitized photo resister/diodes, discolored plastic lenses over the photo resister/diodes, discolored spherical diffusing screens, and so on. The photo resistor/diodes and discolored parts could be replaced, but the cost for doing so is usually too high to be worthwhile. By the way, before someone asks (a common question), the zero adjustment screws found on these meters are useless for correcting inaccuracies caused by anything other than meter zeroing.

stewart

12-24-2007, 05:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote
Sadly, many of these older analog light meters are horribly inaccurate due to the effects of aging - desensitized photo resister/diodes, discolored plastic lenses over the photo resister/diodes, discolored spherical diffusing screens, and so on. The photo resistor/diodes and discolored parts could be replaced, but the cost for doing so is usually too high to be worthwhile. By the way, before someone asks (a common question), the zero adjustment screws found on these meters are useless for correcting inaccuracies caused by anything other than meter zeroing.

stewart
Yes, but they are quite easy to calibrate in the sense of knowing how much they are off. If incident, wait until sunny day, and meter a front lit subject (meter dome to sun). That should be 1/ISO @ f/16. If it reads f/5,6, then you know it's out two stops. If reflective, go to the park on the same sunny day, and meter a scene with the sun at your back. Same correction applies.
12-25-2007, 01:56 PM   #10
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I'm so accustomed to using handheld meters for shooting with my old meterless cameras, I alternately use them with my *ist DS. Ironically, it's actually easier to learn nowadays, primarily because of the instant feedback you get on the screen. In the old days, you had to develop the film before the results were apparent, carefully recording your settings & recalling the conditions under which the photos were taken, then matching those statistics up with the developed photo.
12-25-2007, 08:08 PM   #11
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What you say is true, Albert. Assuming those photo resister/diodes are still working at all, of course. I have a couple of old cameras in that condition, with oddball electronics that can't be replaced because of no modern equivalent.

In response to raymeedc, quite a few still routinely use light meters. A ambient/flash meter with spot attachment is part of my basic everyday kit, used in many complex lighting situations.

stewart
12-26-2007, 12:13 AM   #12
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You have instant review and a histogram. I can't imagine anything else is really required :-)
12-26-2007, 05:16 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
You have instant review and a histogram. I can't imagine anything else is really required :-)
I think pretty much the same way.

I do have a Minolta IVF that i use when shooting B&W winter landscapes, mostly with the 6x7. I find that using the meter for the film shots works fine. If i forget to bring it, i just open up 2 stops from the camera meter and that works well to. You may want to keep it for this purpose alone.

Its a tool i would most definetly keep around as a just in case.

Dave
12-26-2007, 08:32 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
You have instant review and a histogram. I can't imagine anything else is really required :-)

Handheld light meters simply add to, instead of replacing, the camera's built-in light meter. That, of course, means they're more a matter of convenience, or even preference, than a necessity. Many, for example, find a handheld meter easier to use for measuring multiple light sources falling on a subject to determine the ratio of light coming from one versus the others. The same with measuring two differently lit areas in a scene and averaging to discover the best overall exposure. A meter within the camera can certainly do all these things, but perhaps not as easily in some situations.

Flash meters can provide the actual settings for a given scene lit by flash, something the camera's meter cannot do beforehand (or at all with manual flash units in the studio or elsewhere). Flash meters with a multi-flash feature make it much easier to calculate cumulative light from multiple flash bursts, basically allowing you to increase the power of a flash unit.

I could go on to describe other examples, but the purpose is to point out why some might prefer to use a handheld light meter rather than to provide an intro to that. The few examples I've already given should accomplish that purpose.

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12-26-2007, 09:51 AM   #15
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Should have added to my last post, i use it for checking flash settings indoors like recording studios, etc.

Dave
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