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10-09-2012, 09:15 AM   #1
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Thoughts on Light Meters?

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?

10-09-2012, 09:23 AM   #2
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been using a polaris flash meter for decades... dead accurate (even tested it side by side with sekonics and minoltas... not the best performance for low light abient readings but still very usable..

everybody should learn to use a meter!
especially handy for photo/video switch hitters....
10-09-2012, 09:24 AM   #3
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The newer models are pretty smart with triggering remote devices and can read flash values. If you are using remote flash triggers, research how you can integrate your flash meters via external sync ports or embedded transmitters to see if this is something you'd like to use. In my opinion, being able to pop flashes to read light conditions before burning what may be the last known roll of E6 could be invaluable.

I use a Gossen Digipro F and it serves my needs very well.
10-09-2012, 10:22 AM   #4
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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?
Why not use the light meter in the FE 2?

10-09-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCADjacket Quote
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?
I have always had good success with the Minolta Auto Meters (I have a III F and a IV F). They work great in the field as well as for measuring flash. They are pretty rugged and they are very easy to read and operate. Of the two, I'd go for the IV F since the battery is less expensive and the unit has a straight-forward power button.

As for the smart phone app -- I had that on my android and got wildly different results (even comparing it against itself). Nice idea I suppose, but frankly pretty goofy and unreliable in the end.
10-09-2012, 10:48 AM   #6
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I used and recently sold lol the Seconic L358. A superb meter. Just as accurate for flash too. I recon they are all good though to be honnest. Ive always used Seconic meters but I doubt I would be too dissapointed by any of them.
10-09-2012, 10:57 AM   #7
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When shootging MF (1980 Hasselblad + Tri-X), I Use the PENTAX Digital Spotmeter, ti's gem!
10-09-2012, 11:07 AM   #8
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When doing MF shoot, I have my Spotmeter V or K20D as spot meter or Gossen Digisix

10-09-2012, 11:21 AM   #9
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I bought the light meter to use with my Bronica ETRs too. I did not like the AE head so I chose and used the Rotary angle finder and added the speed grip. I shot a lot of slide film with it, which demands a lot of accuracy. I cant ever remember getting a duff one. I later used it along with the Bronica RF645 with the same results. So a light meter is highly recommended. Saves a fortune not to have to bracket too lol
10-09-2012, 01:28 PM   #10
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I guess technically I could do that.
The last few times I went out I left the Nikon in the car and just took the Bronica.
But I'll give it a try.

QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Why not use the light meter in the FE 2?
10-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #11
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This one has the waist level finder, which is ok, but it does take some getting use to when you are so use to a pentaprism. What was it you didn't like about the AE?

QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
I bought the light meter to use with my Bronica ETRs too. I did not like the AE head so I chose and used the Rotary angle finder and added the speed grip. I shot a lot of slide film with it, which demands a lot of accuracy. I cant ever remember getting a duff one. I later used it along with the Bronica RF645 with the same results. So a light meter is highly recommended. Saves a fortune not to have to bracket too lol
10-09-2012, 01:32 PM   #12
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Thanks for the feedback everyone.
Gives me a direction to go in.
10-09-2012, 01:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCADjacket Quote
This one has the waist level finder, which is ok, but it does take some getting use to when you are so use to a pentaprism. What was it you didn't like about the AE?
Oh it was just the fact it was at eye level. It was not a very sophisticated meter either. The rotary viewfinder is superb if you can find one. It corrects the mirror image of course and allows you to turn the camera on its side simply. Just my preferable way of shooting really. Superb for low level too of course. It worked nicely basicly. Loved it !
10-09-2012, 02:17 PM   #14
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I'll represent the contrary viewpoint. Vintage meters are cheap and work just fine in most situations. You can get a selenium job (don't need a battery) but give up low light sensitivity. Or if you get a battery operated one, check to make sure the battery is still available - many aren't. You really don't have to spend big bucks, well under $50 or $25 should get you a really nice one. With a hand held meter you have a choice of what to point it at - and can point at something close by if it is lit like a distant thing.

I've got to the point where I seldom meter at all, that is if the camera doesn't have the dang meter right there in the view finder. Sometimes I just take a baseline reading and go from there.
10-09-2012, 02:39 PM   #15
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Though I have always owned handheld exposure meters I seldom use one.
When possible l prefer to use the exposure meter built into my camera (i.e. the one I'm shooting with).
In most lighting conditions it's at least as accurate, much faster and more convenient to use than a handheld.

OTOH using the built-in meter in one camera, then transferring the readings to another camera sounds like an even bigger PITA...

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 10-09-2012 at 02:46 PM.
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