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View Full Version : Which light meter and why


Koanut
08-28-2007, 20:05
Do you figure exposure with a meter (which one?) or do you rely on the old "sunny 16" rule.

John Noble
08-28-2007, 20:16
The archives are full of good advice, but I use a meter in incident mode for my CL and I like it a lot better than in-camera metering. Which meter? Sekonic L-308S: small, quick to use, and has decent flash modes.

mfunnell
08-28-2007, 20:27
My metering requirements are pretty basic: all I want is something to "sanity check" my Sunny16 guestimates. I've found the VC II meter is good enough for that and comes in a nice convenient little package that is equally at home in my pocket or on an accessory shoe. If I had more complex requirements, or were shooting slide film etc. then I'd probably want something a little more fancy.

...Mike

Dr. Strangelove
08-29-2007, 08:31
My metering requirements are pretty basic: all I want is something to "sanity check" my Sunny16 guestimates. I've found the VC II meter is good enough for that and comes in a nice convenient little package that is equally at home in my pocket or on an accessory shoe. If I had more complex requirements, or were shooting slide film etc. then I'd probably want something a little more fancy.

...Mike
Sekonic L-188 Auto Leader. Very simple, easy-to-use and small. Not very sensitive due to CdS cell; it only goes down to EV 3. Reflected light only, no flash metering. It's an amateur meter, no question about it, but I have shot even slides with it and the results were in general quite good. I use it with my Kiev 4 (even though the meter of my Kiev 4 is accurate, it only goes down to about EV 8) and my MF folders.

RayPA
08-29-2007, 08:59
I prefer something with a digital or LCD readout, as opposed to needle matching. I have a Calculite XP, which has pretty good low-light capabilities and is a decent size (deck of cards). I use also use it to sanity-check my eye/assumptions. However, I use it quite a bit when I shoot, generally to check the exposure range or exposure at angles.

oftheherd
08-29-2007, 09:19
I started out with a Sekonic Micro Leader which I really liked. Then got the Sekonic L28c2 which is really great. Although it did both incident and reflected, I thought it worked better as an incident meter. Unfortunately it got dropped one to many times and only works when held sideways. Now I have Gossen's Luna Pro and Luna Pro SBC. I like the former for its size, and the later for its SBC. For some reason, I tend to think the Luna Pro is better with reflected light, and the SBC for incident. Although I used to be pretty good with a data sheet and my eyes, I prefer to use a light meter since I think my eyes need recalibrating.

charjohncarter
08-29-2007, 09:19
I rely on both a meter and 'sunny 16.' Mostly, I use a meter though, I have an old Sekonic Weston look-a-like. I gives me the whole view; zone system, E.V.s, f stops and shutter speeds, and the relative amount of light in a scene.

Glenn2
08-29-2007, 09:24
My favorite meter was the Zeiss Ikophot until it started giving crazy readings. Replaced the Zeiss with a Sekonic L308S and have been very pleased with the results. A big plus is that the Sekonic uses a single AA cell, not something weird and expensive. Have checked the readings against my Minolta spotmeter and they compare right on.

Mainly use the meter for difficult lighting situations, if outside sunny 16 along with some Kentucky windage is the norm.

Glenn

einolu
08-29-2007, 09:25
options for a digital light meter under $100? used sekonic 308... anything else?

Windwalker57
08-29-2007, 09:40
My all time most reliable meter was the Gossen Luna Pro I purchased in 1973 and used constantly since. I have recently sold it to a photo student and replaced it with a Minolta Autometer IV F. The Luna Pro was iffy with incident readings, but was super at reflected light reading. A friend and I once checked its low light threshold, would you believe one candle at 100 yards? It took the meter more than a minute to register.

kuvvy
08-29-2007, 11:40
Used a Weston Master V meter too when I was a wedding photographer. Very reliable. Now have the tiny Digisix. Small, light and accurate. Either of these are recomended.

spyder2000
08-29-2007, 11:43
Am I the only one left with a Spectra Combi 500?

I can drop in the shutter speed slides and direct read the f stop right off the needle.

rbsinto
08-29-2007, 12:06
Minolta Flashmeter III.
I bought it new about 25 years ago and consider it to be among the most worthwhile photogear purchases I ever made.
I never go out without it, and while experience has taught me to estimate exposure, I still check the light frequently regardless of conditions or the metering system in the camera (if it has one) that I'm using at the time.

Ash
08-29-2007, 12:38
My Leningrad-8 has been serving me well. I've upgraded to a Gossen Polysix, bought earlier today. I'm hoping it to be accurate enough in all light conditions :)

dexdog
08-29-2007, 14:00
options for a digital light meter under $100? used sekonic 308... anything else?

I have a used Gossen Luna Star F that I bought on eBay for $100. It is a very accurate meter, and has a very big 9mm digital display of the shutter speed and aperture. Also, it takes a 9 volt battery.

Ash
08-29-2007, 14:10
Not exactly digital, but LED/electronic... that's the midway I guess? The Gossen I bought today was up for 50 in the window, but I haggled down to 35 :)

There are a couple more on the bay (for $40-$80 I think).

HuubL
08-29-2007, 22:21
I agree on the Weston Master V! Works perfectly, no batteries, and it's got STYLE!

Creagerj
08-29-2007, 23:11
Minolta auto meter II

Chriscrawfordphoto
08-29-2007, 23:43
If I'm shooting with my Olympus OM-4T bodies I use the built in spot meter, which is incredibly accurate. If I'm using any other camera I own, even if the camera has a meter, I use my Sekonic 508. I use the incident meter for transparency and when I shoot digital, and i use the spot meter for negative films (usually black and white).

TheHub
08-30-2007, 05:30
Mostly a VC II since it fits in accesory shoes so easily. I use a Sekonic L-188 Auto-Leader. I use them with slide & negative film and rarely get undesirable results.

I have a Minolta Flash Meter III but don't know how to use it properly ...

mike goldberg
08-30-2007, 06:02
In light that I know, such as outdoors in Jerusalem, it's "sunny 16." This often works out to 1/500 at f8. Otherwise it's a Gossen Luna Pro.