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02-09-2010, 04:47 AM   #1
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Light meters -- what's good, cheap, simple and easy to get?

Hah, I guess nothing would satisfy all of those requirements! I'm looking for a second light meter for my new not-quite-a-folder Braun Gloria. Recommend something that's reliable and cheap!

I have a Gossen Lunapro F for my Mamiya 645 Super (which spends its time at my dad's place, which is why I need a second). I'm having a bit of trouble with that one. I swear it underexposes severely in inside lighting at least. However, the only calibration guide I can find for it is that the needle should rest on a green mark when it's not in use, which it does. Am I just using it wrong?

02-09-2010, 05:11 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by brkl Quote
Hah, I guess nothing would satisfy all of those requirements! I'm looking for a second light meter for my new not-quite-a-folder Braun Gloria. Recommend something that's reliable and cheap!
"Cheap" is always a debateble thing. Some suggestions:
Gossen Digisix
Polaris Digital light meter
Sekonic L-208 Twinmaster
Sekonic L-398 (the latest version of the classic modell)
Sekonic L-308B II (digital)

TZhere are also some cheap modells branded by Vivitar or Soligor, which are nevertheless fine.

QuoteOriginally posted by brkl Quote
I have a Gossen Lunapro F for my Mamiya 645 Super (which spends its time at my dad's place, which is why I need a second). I'm having a bit of trouble with that one. I swear it underexposes severely in inside lighting at least. However, the only calibration guide I can find for it is that the needle should rest on a green mark when it's not in use, which it does. Am I just using it wrong?
Perhaps you are using it wrong. How can we know? To uise a light meter needs some practice and knowledge, otherwise you'll get wrong readings. Is the underexposure there for incident or reflected light readings? I think, the easist way to confirm a fault, would be, to take some reflective readings off a grey card under different illumination and see, whether these lead to correct exposure or not. If these are off, I would send it in for a repair, it is a good meter.

Ben

Last edited by Ben_Edict; 02-09-2010 at 08:51 AM.
02-09-2010, 05:26 AM   #3
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Gossen Lunasix 3
02-09-2010, 05:49 AM   #4
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Sekonic L-308S.

02-09-2010, 08:10 AM   #5
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Sekonic L-208 looks nice. Gossen Digisix too. I would prefer to get a used one (that works...) Just because of the price. Maybe I'll get a cheaper Vivitar. I've been making too many purchases...

Thanks a lot for the suggestions, guys! I have to look closer at the Lunapro to make sure I'm using it right.
02-09-2010, 08:32 AM   #6
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With older meters, check the battery type before committing - as many use mercury batteries.

There's a series of Gossen Luna Lux (I have the SBC) that are large, sensitive, and take a standard 9v battery (the kind you put in a smoke detector).

I've ended up with some selenium meters - a Gossen Pilot and a GE PR-1 from the 50s - that work well in good light, but as soon as it gets dim they get sluggish.

I had one of the Vivitars, it worked great but as it was my 4th meter I gave it away to someone needing it.
02-09-2010, 10:41 AM   #7
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The Lunapro takes a 9V so the problem is certainly not there. I'd want one that takes a proper battery (I'm so tired of dealing with obscure batteries) and won't get one that doesn't need a battery, since there's a good chance they're dead or inaccurate by now. If a Vivitar was good enough for you, I'm sure one would be good enough for me too!
02-10-2010, 09:37 AM   #8
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If you're looking for an incident meter, I recommend Sekonic L-398 photo deluxe (any version of it, do a quick search online). It's cheap (~$50 locally on craigslist), reliable, and doesn't need battery for operation.

02-10-2010, 10:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Sekonic L-308S.
not "super cheap" ~ $180. but being digital is a lot faster to use than most. has an EV display (useful for ev-linked rolleis and hasselblad c lenses) as well as F-stop and Shutter speed in Tv priority. also has many flash functions that i have no idea how to use. uses a single AA battery which can always be replaced.
02-10-2010, 09:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Sekonic L-308S.
+2

Used for $100.00. Doubles as a flash meter. Worth every penny.

woof!
02-11-2010, 08:56 AM   #11
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At the risk of feeling the flames, I'm tempted to say a digital SLR.

However, in the pure film days, I had good luck with the inexpensive Sekonics, which I still own and use.
02-11-2010, 10:58 AM   #12
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Sure, if you can sell me one that fits in my palm and costs about 50€.
02-11-2010, 12:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by brkl Quote
Sure, if you can sell me one that fits in my palm and costs about 50.
The palm part would be tough. The cost for some of these meters and a used DSLR might not be far off.
02-12-2010, 12:43 PM   #14
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I have a Weston Master 715 from 1939. Apparently ansel Adams had one of these and the quality shows... took me a little while to figure it out as it's an uncoupled meter & exposure calculator but it's within a stop of my dSLR so I can't complain!
02-12-2010, 03:49 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote
I have a Weston Master 715 from 1939. Apparently ansel Adams had one of these and the quality shows... took me a little while to figure it out as it's an uncoupled meter & exposure calculator but it's within a stop of my dSLR so I can't complain!
You are lucky, most of the old selenium cell meters have deterioted beyond usefullness. But you could still get replacements by a company in the UK, that services the old Weston Masters....

Ben
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