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10-09-2012, 02:56 PM   #16
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There is actually a thing on the market called a Wallace Exposure Disc. You fix it on the end of a lens and it allows you to take incident light readings like a hand held meter. Far more accurate and reliable than in camera reflected readings. It would turn your nikon into a meter basicly lol.Far better with a proper meter though.

10-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #17
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I do primarily studio shooting, so I find a good flash meter to be essential. Outdoors, I still prefer using an incident meter where the subject will be.

I've owned a Sekonic L358 for about 5 years (one with the PW transmitter built in) and have used other people's Minoltas in the past. Both are good products.
10-09-2012, 07:35 PM   #18

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QuoteOriginally posted by SCADjacket Quote
My Pentax LX is out for a repair and CLA, so I've been shooting with my Nikon FE2. Last week I borrowed a Bronica ETRSI from a friend to mess around with medium format for the first time.
It has no internal metering, so I'm using a combination of the Sunny16 rule and guessing. We'll see how the film comes out.

With that, what are everyones thoughts on light meters?
New? Used? There are a bunch of old ones on Ebay and Etsy for cheap. Or is it better to spring for a new fancy model?
What about the iPhone/Android apps? Do they work well?
If you decide to do a lot of shooting with meterless cameras a hand-held meter is a good investment. I've used several incident meters over the years. The Sekonic L-318 is very competent. I have seen it for quite reasonable prices used. I also like the L-358 and L-398 for different reasons. Gossen has made some good incident meters as well, but I prefer Sekonic.

Hand-held spot meters can be very useful but require more thinking than incident meters.

For the newcomer I am inclined to favour newer meters, particularly those with digital readouts. My experience, at least with Sekonics, is that they are more accurate, reliable and easier to use than analog ones- especially if (note to self) you set the ISO correctly.

Can't comment on phone apps- I have half a dozen very good hand-held meters, so it hasn't been relevant.
10-09-2012, 08:03 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by John Poirier Quote
Can't comment on phone apps-
I have tried several light meter apps for Android and to be honest, they all sucked. I stand with Jussi (Nesster) in recommending a used meter. Unless you need something special, a good meter with decent sensitivity and supporting both incident and reflected light can be had for well under $100 USD.

Again, it all depends on what you need and how much room you have in your bag. I have two handheld meters. One is a Gossen Luna Lux that has excellent low-light sensitivity but is a pretty bulky. I think I paid about $55 for the Luna Lux.

The other is a Sekonic L-208 that I bought new (Sekonic L-208 Twin Mate Meter 401-208 B&H Photo Video). The L-208 is capable of incident readings and is pocketable. I just wish that its build quality was in line with its price, which I consider to be high for what you actually get. Unfortunately, it and the rival Gossen Digisix (also with chintzy plastic construction) represent the low end price-wise for new meters.

My favorite meter (now deceased) was a Vivitar Model 24 Clip-on CdS meter. For a detailed discussion of it and other compact meters, see my post on Hin's blog:
Hin's Tech Corner: Newest, Most Favorite Gadget: Compact Exposure Meters

I think I paid $15 for the Vivitar.


Last edited by stevebrot; 10-09-2012 at 08:09 PM.
10-14-2012, 03:41 PM   #20
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Some Gossen meters are large and heavy. I have pocket 35mm cameras smaller than some.

10-14-2012, 04:13 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Some Gossen meters are large and heavy. I have pocket 35mm cameras smaller than some.

Yep...My Luna Lux (above) is bigger than my Olympus XA.

10-16-2012, 04:53 AM   #22
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I think it's worth getting a good incident meter and learning to use it. (Incident has the white dome instead of a regular sensor.) Placing that dome into your scene, where you imagine it doubling for your subjects face, helps me pay attention to the direction and quality of light, to easily read the difference between light and shadow sides, and to get accurate metering that doesn't wander around because of changes in reflectivity or colour of your subject.

I recommended a newish used meter. The meter cell will be accurate and responsive, and you won't wonder if the readings are correct. In my 20 years of shooting motion picture film and stills, Sekonic meters have always proven most accurate to me. I have others but won't shoot a job without my Sekonic Digilite F.
11-06-2012, 11:36 AM   #23
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. It really helped.

I shot a local state fair and used the Nikon FE2 to meter each shot. I'm going to drop off the film today so we'll see how it turned out.
It seemed to work ok, but it was a bit cumbersome. The Bronica, my bag, lenses, film backs, etc. were all in the mix, so having the Nikon around my neck just to meter was another item to keep up with.

The next day I ordered a used Sekonic L-208 off Amazon and shot a few rolls the day it arrived (will drop those off today as well)

Once again, seemed to work fine, certainly less cumbersome. But like some mentioned, the build isn't great. Glad I didn't buy new at full price.
Over all it should suit my needs for the time being.

I'll worry about getting one with more features when I graduate to flashes, strobes, etc.

The two biggest issues I have are remembering which way to point it for a reading, and remembering to adjust the ISO on the meter when I switch film backs.
Both I kept screwing up.

11-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #24
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My favorite for old cameras is the Voigtlander VC Meter II:
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It is expensive, but fits in the hotshoe of many classic cameras without bulk. Accurate and sensitive.

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