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Gossen Pilot II - has anyone tried it?
Old 12-24-2009   #1
spystyle
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Gossen Pilot II - has anyone tried it?

Hello from Maine

OK I am soon to shoot with Argus rangefinders AF and C4, I also ordered a
"Gossen Pilot II".

Have any of you guys used that? Do you have any tips?

This will be my first hand held meter and rangefinder. I am actually going backwards in technology starting with 2006 dSLR and ending with 1937 viewfinder The latter will of course need the hand held meter.

Thanks,
Craig
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Old 12-24-2009   #2
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A good basic set-up is what you've described. Enjoy!
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Old 12-24-2009   #3
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I terms of 'tips'... since you are in Maine I have only one: wear mittens and compensate your exposure for the white snow!
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Old 12-24-2009   #4
Richard G
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The Pilot II still has a Selenium meter which is fine in good illumination outdoors. It will struggle in other settings. A modern rangefinder (leaving aside that most now have a built in meter) is not much different to a 50 year old one but meters have come a long way. I used the CdS Super Pilot (Sixtar in Europe and Australia) from the '70s until recently and it was frustrating in low light of any sort. It still works fine but I do not use it. Might take it out on a bright day. Useless indoors unless you have loads of time. The Silicon blue diode meters give instant readings including in low light. I now have the Gossen Digipro F but most swear by one of the modern Sekonic meters. Worth considering.
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Old 12-24-2009   #5
nikon_sam
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I have a Gossen Pilot and had it serviced by George @ QLM last year...The selenium cell went bad and he replaced it...I would recommend comparing it to another light meter or camera...if it hasn't been serviced recently I wouldn't completely trust it's readings...
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Old 12-25-2009   #6
spystyle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
I terms of 'tips'... since you are in Maine I have only one: wear mittens and compensate your exposure for the white snow!
Ah that's a good tip - add one stop of exposure for snow pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
The Pilot II still has a Selenium meter which is fine in good illumination outdoors. It will struggle in other settings...
OK, I will use it outside only

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon_sam View Post
I have a Gossen Pilot and had it serviced by George @ QLM last year...The selenium cell went bad and he replaced it...I would recommend comparing it to another light meter or camera...if it hasn't been serviced recently I wouldn't completely trust it's readings...
OK I'll compare it to my Nikon D40.

Thanks all for the replies

Last edited by spystyle : 12-25-2009 at 01:27.
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Old 12-25-2009   #7
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IMHO the Pilot II is inferior to the Sekonic Studio Deluxe or Weston Master - the handling, when it works, is nice, with a match needle rather than the value lookup and transfer on Sekonic and Weston meters, but its incident diffusor is flat and of limited use, and the directivity in reflected mode is pretty arbitrary too.

And the reliability is less than stellar. Gossen never managed to seal their selenium cells to a reliability anywhere near that of the Weston and Sekonic circular cells. I've recently bought a variety of nice and clean looking Gossen selenium meters as the cheapest source (at any rate here in Germany) of relatively young rectangular cells for a Super Ikonta repair, but five out of six were dead, while all dead Westons and Sekonics I've come across were visibly wasted and decayed.

Compare it with a known good meter or metering camera, and if it does not match up to one f stop, toss it and get a better one. Working Norwoods and Westons tend to be 20€ a piece - there is no good reason not to get one.
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Old 12-25-2009   #8
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I have had good luck with the couple of Pilot II's I've owned. Outdoors, at least, it works as well as any meter I've used (and that includes some very expensive ones). Neither of mine have ever been serviced and the cells still work fine and the meters are accurate. Small, handy...no complaints.
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Old 12-25-2009   #9
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IMHO itīs not bad but also not the best exposure meter available today. The only problem with selenium meters is their poor (some would say null) performance in low light (typically exposures longer than 1/30 or 1/15 sec at f2 or 2.8 are beyond their capabilities). I have one and it worked OK for as long as the cell was in good shape, so no complaints. Best of all, it doesnīt require any batteries.
The most important thing to take care of is cell aging, which takes place at a slow pace so you donīt get noticed inmediately. Check it from time to time with a known accurate meter if possible, to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Good luck with yours, and enjoy it!
Cheers
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Old 12-25-2009   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErnestoJL View Post
IMHO itīs not bad but also not the best exposure meter available today. The only problem with selenium meters is their poor (some would say null) performance in low light (typically exposures longer than 1/30 or 1/15 sec at f2 or 2.8 are beyond their capabilities).
Well, there are a couple of exceptions. The Sekonic 398 reaches down to EV2 (which amounts to 1/4s @ f/2 @ 100 ASA), the Weston Master V/Euro to EV3. And in out electrically lit times, low light of that dimension usually comes coupled with extremely high contrast, where a spot meter is highly desirable in any case.

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Old 12-27-2009   #11
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Sevo:
Youīre right with those models, but at the expense of a big selenium cell.
The Sixtino or Pilot II has a small cell like those found in old RFs so it needs a high sensitivity moving coil meter (which is expensive).
I agree with you in regard of spot metering which, BTW, is allways better than average metering.

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Old 12-30-2009   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
The Pilot II still has a Selenium meter which is fine in good illumination outdoors. It will struggle in other settings......The Silicon blue diode meters give instant readings including in low light.....
OK, thanks for the info

I bought a Shepherd DM-170 which has silicon Blue diode guts It was $54 shipped



It looks pretty cool with it's digital display, I don't have a 9volt battery at the moment to try it out and I can't find any onfo on it or the Shepherd company. But I read a few positive reviews about it. It was probably one of the lowest cost "silicon blue diode" meters available.

Last edited by spystyle : 12-30-2009 at 13:48.
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Old 01-06-2010   #13
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Oh no! I need help with my new meter, I don't know how to use it

It gives me EV numbers (I think) and I don't know what to do.

Here is how I use it :

1. I set my ISO to 400 (that's the film I have)

2. I set my aperture to 2 (that's the lens I have)

3. Without the dome, I point the (bare) meter at the subject and press the button

4. The meter says "5.5"

What does that mean?

Thank you for the help
Craig



p.s. In other news, the Gossen Pilot 2 I received was in perfect shape, and it works fine too I just used it to take two completely manual exposures with my dSLR









My dSLR is the Nikon D40 and it won't meter with lenses other than Nikon's expensive ones, AF-S. But now that I have a hand held meter I can use old F-mount glass. Also with adapters M42 and similar.

But Nikon's registration distance is not very good, Canon's is better for using a bunch of odd adapted glass.

Also "Canon EF" will meter anything, literally. Here with Nikon AF :



... and Nikon manual lens :



... and here with Kodak Brownie lens on M42 bellows :


Last edited by spystyle : 01-06-2010 at 11:07.
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Old 01-06-2010   #14
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The meter tells you the Exposure Value (EV) - you are supposed to align the red (or blue - don't know why there are two, but one two might be for incident, the other for reflected) arrow to the corresponding red number on the calculator wheel, and read the associated time/aperture pairs off the other half of the scale.
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Old 01-06-2010   #15
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http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm
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Old 01-06-2010   #16
spystyle
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Thanks for the replies fellas, sadly I still don't get it. The Gossen is self-explanatory and works a treat - but the Shepherd is shrouded in mystery - I can't figure out how to use it, I can't find a manual, or even a company website.

It's perplexing and puzzling
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Old 01-06-2010   #17
sevo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spystyle View Post
Thanks for the replies fellas, sadly I still don't get it. The Gossen is self-explanatory and works a treat - but the Shepherd is shrouded in mystery - I can't figure out how to use it, I can't find a manual, or even a company website.
The principle is pretty old - light meters split in one half with scale matching (in early exposure meter history, Norwood style) and another with value transfer (Weston style). This is one of the latter species.

Get the Gossen Digisix manual - it should be available online, and it uses pretty much the same principle.
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Old 01-06-2010   #18
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spystyle,

On the Shepherd, I think you need to align the blue arrow with the red number 5.5 (exposure value) on the center dial's outside rim and you can read off all equivalent exposures. Now it might be the red arrow instead, aligned with the red outside rim 5.5. That may be for incidence metering, not reflective. Is there a manual?
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Old 01-06-2010   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spystyle View Post
Thanks for the replies fellas, sadly I still don't get it. The Gossen is self-explanatory and works a treat - but the Shepherd is shrouded in mystery - I can't figure out how to use it, I can't find a manual, or even a company website.

It's perplexing and puzzling
Hmm... it's not terribly complex. When you meter something, and the LCD comes up with something like "11" or "9.5", you simply turn the dial with the red pointer to point at the the red "11" or "9.5" on the outermost ring. After that, you have all of the exposure combinations possible. The "time" scale on the inner ring corresponds to your shutter speed. The white numbers on the outer ring correspond to f-stops. So, as an example, let's say your meter reads a scene as "15". You turn the red pointer to the red 15 on the outer dial. Then, you decide you'd like to use f/16, so you look for the white "16" on the outermost dial. The number corresponding with the white "16" on the inner dial will be your shutter speed, which in this case will be "500" (which is 1/500th of a second).

See, it's not too hard. Just have to be smarter than the meter!
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Old 01-06-2010   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burninfilm View Post
...When you meter something, and the LCD comes up with something like "11" or "9.5", you simply turn the dial with the red pointer to point at the the red "11" or "9.5" on the outermost ring. After that, you have all of the exposure combinations possible. The "time" scale on the inner ring corresponds to your shutter speed. The white numbers on the outer ring correspond to f-stops...
DOH !!!

OK, you speak my language You must have a lot of "challenged" kids in your neighborhood.

Now I get it

Here is a snapshot of my little buddy, metered with the Shepherd DM-170 :



It seems like both my meters work, that's pretty amazing considering I bought them from fleaBay How often do fleaBay purchases actually work?

Thank you for the clue Dan
Craig

Last edited by spystyle : 01-07-2010 at 03:23.
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Old 01-09-2010   #21
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Hey I love having an accurate hand-held meter with "silicone diode". I can test all the other cameras to make sure they have accurate meters

I used my handheld meter to test the meter in my new 1979 Nikon EM evil-SLR and was pleased to see that it's metering is accurate.

But then I saw on Wikipedia that the Nikon EM has a "silicone" meter too (click), yikes they had this all the way back in 1979 ? And I thought I was so high tech ...
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Old 09-15-2010   #22
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Interesting reading. all the above. I have the Shepherd DM 170, and worked out how to use it, as there was no instruction leaflet with it. Has anyone come across instructions for the DM 170 on the internet ? The Shepherd meters are made in Japan, but I do not know where the English name comes from. Originally they sold new for just below Ģ100.00 in the '90s. Have used it for medium format work, and it has been accurate.
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Old 09-15-2010   #23
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Here are the instructions for using the Shepherd DM-170 light meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by burninfilm View Post
...When you meter something, and the LCD comes up with something like "11" or "9.5", you simply turn the dial with the red pointer to point at the the red "11" or "9.5" on the outermost ring. After that, you have all of the exposure combinations possible. The "time" scale on the inner ring corresponds to your shutter speed. The white numbers on the outer ring correspond to f-stops. So, as an example, let's say your meter reads a scene as "15". You turn the red pointer to the red 15 on the outer dial. Then, you decide you'd like to use f/16, so you look for the white "16" on the outermost dial. The number corresponding with the white "16" on the inner dial will be your shutter speed, which in this case will be "500" (which is 1/500th of a second).

See, it's not too hard. Just have to be smarter than the meter!
Here is a chart of f/stops that I think is wonderful

http://www.photographyuncapped.com/a...peeds-f-stops/

I like the Shepherd meter so much I also bought the Shepherd flash meter for calculating exposure of bounce flash

Have fun!
Craig
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