View Full Version : Small Thought About Sellenium Meters
Based only on my personal experience with some of these meters, I find that the trouble with them, provided they work, is that they demmand brighter range of luminosity within which they can give accurate exposures.
why matter at all with those oldies? Because some of them are quite compact, and it goes with the land I am more prong to think with them than with digital instant coffee meters.
up - they have a limited range of accuracy - and need time to adjust / wake up - but I love the magic of light making them work - and outside the range - I can usually guess right well enough !
But , as with the new cameras - it's for fun - and it's fun sqeezing a result from a decades old camera and old selenium meter.
I love these meters also. I have a Contax IIIa with a new sellenium cell and it easily measures indoors (ASA400 film) by table lamp light. My late model Weston meters and my Sekonic Studio Deluxe II purchased new about 10 years ago are quite peppy. I suspect age and not sellenium per se is the cause of most problems. No it wont compete with a Luna Pro (which is so named because it is sensitive enough to read by moon light) but for normal applications they are quite handy.
I must say mine several ones, are quick to respond, if there is enough light for them.
They never need batteries. Send to Quality Light Metric in Hollywood, Ca and George will make `em new.
I am willing only to put batteries only in my Pentax Digi Spot meter or flash meter.
I think the copper substrate of the cell is the thing that goes, just corrodes in the atmosphere and the selenium separates.
Isn't there something about selenium meters that makes them better in certian light, such as red-heavy light when the sun is low? Something about their response is more accurate than silicone at long wavelengths or what.
I would specially recall those, not overhauled or anything inside my 2 Lynx 1000, which work spot on withing their actual range of brightness. And the ultracompact Gossen Pilot. There is another not ultra but compact one, the Gossen Sixtar I own, from the paleonthological age, which I am going to test soon.
And within a disassembled Kiev from the sixties, the meter is working too !
So I am not sure it is age, or perhaps aging of these meters is not by the calendar but according to other rules.
How the system works without battery is cool. Magic indeed.
On the other hand, as a person lacking sense in science or mechanics, I like the system more for aesthetical reason. I have a Kodak Retinette, an Oly Trip 35, and a Minolta AL-S. The curious shiny selenium cells give these cameras extra visual appeal. Obviously such "physical" beauty would last long after the meters cease to function!
They are neat things, but I generally don't bother with them. Provided there is enough light for the meter to work, setting the exposure on the basis of experience is usually at least as accurate using as a selenium meter.
I do have a Gossen Sixticolor selenium color temperature meter that I use occasionally. I don't find it very accurate for normal household tungsten lighting, but for daylight it's pretty good, when I want to figure out if I'd be better off with an 81A, B, or C, etc.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT BUYING SELLENIUM METERS OR SELLENIUM METERED CAMERAS.
In case you intend to buy one of these cutes, I strongly recommend you to do it only if you have already a digital meter. The reason is that only with a digital meter you will be able to find the exact working range of your new sellenium "magic". And on the contrary, without a digital meter for checking, most of the chances are you will condemn your sellenium one as faulty, before fair trial.
Mine are definitely not too great in low light conditions, but they're fine in good light and I love them - I just love the idea of going out shooting with no need for batteries. But yes, they do need to be checked against a modern meter before use (I checked mine using the meter in my OM1).
vBulletin® v3.6.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.