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View Poll Results: What is your favorite <compact> Light Meter?
Sekonic (Twin-mate, or other small models) 272 36.61%
Gossen (Pilot, or other diminutive types) 220 29.61%
Weston (don't know the models) 58 7.81%
Minolta (are there any small ones?) 20 2.69%
Pentax (any small ones?) 4 0.54%
Leica Meter 35 4.71%
CV Meter 121 16.29%
Brand X (no offense intended) 58 7.81%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 743. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-28-2007   #41
lawrence
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I love the Digiflash and carry it everywhere but I just wish they'd left off all the silly multifunction stuff. If I need to know the time I carry a watch; if I need to know the temperature I carry a thermometer etc.
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Old 12-02-2007   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul T.
I use the VC II, but next time I'm in the US I'm buying the Sekonic 208. The VC's ASA setting keeps getting knocked out of position on my M3 (altho not on my Kiev II) - almost invariably when I'm guessing an exposure and the meter reading is radically different, it's because the meter got knocked out of whack.
Paul,

I feel your pain. I usually tape the dial with some scotch tape. It's kludgy but it works.

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Old 12-02-2007   #43
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I have the Gossen Digisix, and mine is eating batteries. At least draining them in around a month, while they're supposed to last longer than that. I also think there is a bad connection to the battery in it, since sometimes it resets itself when in use.

Also, the big function button is too easy to press. When I take it out of a pocket, it's usually showing the temperture or something else other than the EV.

When I think about it, I think it's the single most annoying electronic device I own.
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Old 12-02-2007   #44
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I have the Sekonic 208, the Digisix, and the Sekonic 308b. The 308b is a wonderful studio meter, as long as you don't need spot reading. Of the compact meters, I prefer the Sekonic 208 because the ergonomics of the Digisix are not as convenient IMO. However, the ISO setting on the 208 is pretty coarse, almost too small for a dial-type scale, and the Digisix is more precise in that department.
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Old 12-02-2007   #45
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I'm in the market for a small meter.
I've sort of settled on the VCII because I'd like to use it on a cold shoe.
How does the digisix compare to the VCII in that application?
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Old 12-02-2007   #46
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I have an old GE meter from the 50s or 60s and highly doubt it's accuracy. I use an old Leningrad 6 and it seems to be pretty good, eventhough I sometimes question the user. I would like to have a good one sometime but I don't really know much about them.
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Old 12-03-2007   #47
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To operate the Digisix, you have to push one of two similar sized buttons on the top of the meter: i.e. not terrifically convenient if you try to do it when the meter is in a cold shoe and you are framing a shot. If you press the wrong button the meter goes into another function mode. I have not looked closely at the VC meter specs but they are probably better for on-camera use. The Digisix mounted on top of a camera would also look like a miniature, plastic, black tortoise compared with the little metallic VC meter.
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Old 12-03-2007   #48
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Im in the same situation as dazedgonebye. I want a compact meter for the coldshoe but im probly gonna have to just save up for the VCII anyone know a cheaper option?
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Old 12-07-2007   #49
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Another vote for Brand X. Quantum Calcu-lite XP. Bought it back in college 30 years ago. I am another fan of its low light level capabilities. If I really want to go small, I use a Leica MR meter either on my M2 or as a handheld. It is not near as easy to use as the Calcu-lite.
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Digisix, not perfect but works for me
Old 12-07-2007   #50
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Digisix, not perfect but works for me

Another vote for the Gossen Digi-Six here,
I use it only for wide angle shots, where the TTL metering covers such a large area that is more by chance than actual metering. Mine doesn't eat the batteries and yes I'm also annoyed by tipsy buttons which get pushed while carrying it in a pocket. I will put some foam rubber around it - but that not high up there on the priority list before X-mas .
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Incident DigiSix
Old 12-07-2007   #51
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Incident DigiSix

It is the DigiSix used as an incident meter for me. A Euromaster is the more deliberate choice for premeditated photo project.

yours
FPJ

Last edited by FPjohn : 10-23-2009 at 10:49.
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Old 12-10-2007   #52
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Just last week I picked up a Gossen Pilot and a Weston Master II...
The Weston is spot on with my Luna Pro SBC...haven't really tested the Pilot...
The Weston being close to 60 years old is in Like New condition and it came with the box, case and instruction manual...
I paid $8 for the Weston and $5 for the Pilot...
The Weston is my newest favorite for now...
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Old 12-15-2007   #53
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I use the old Sekonic L-308 (the selenium one).
But my "dream" meter is the tiny Petri meter that can be mounted on the flash-shoe. I want the round one, not the boxy ones they sell on the bay.
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Old 12-15-2007   #54
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I prefer the VC-II, although somtimes my LeicaMeter gets out on the M3. The only problem with the VC is the ASA dial, that can (and will, exactly in the instant when it shouldn't) be knocked off easily.

Apart from that, is much more precise than my LeicaMeter, especially in low light. I tend to use no meter when using the M3 on B&W, just take a read once in a while to check my "assumptions"...
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Old 12-15-2007   #55
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Said it before, and I'll say it again.

Panasonic FX-01.

Smaller than most small meters, with a spot capability. And it takes pictures.

It's what I check the light with when I set out with my IIIc or M2. I then work from that as a starting point, plus applied Sunny f11 (in the UK).

Works for me.

Regards.

Bill
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Old 12-19-2007   #56
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( Is there any thing I DON'T collect ???)

I have about 2-dozen light-meters...

The one that is probably the best and most accurate is a Gossen Luna-Six (1960's). It is bulky.

Prior to that, my workhorse was a Weston Master III (stainless-steel); still pretty accurate. I recently scrounged an invercone incident light attachment for it. These are bulky too, and the case is a bit of a pain, having to flip-open both the front AND the back to take a reading.

I also have a couple of the GE DY "art-deco" meters; they're quaint.

I really like the GE PR-1 (early '50s: "The meter with a memory! "), with it's knob-set low/hi range, and "trident" pointer.... easy to use; not sure how accurate they are as senior citizens.

Other users are: Norwood Director (fiddly, with those slide-in masks, domes, etc.); Sekonic Leader L-VI; Soligor Spot-Sensor (1 st series).

( Then there's the big box o' "toy" meters & curiosities)

I would like to find a reasonably accurate, small, shoe-mount meter to use with my LTMs...
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light meters
Old 12-22-2007   #57
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light meters

Gossen Luna Pro "F"
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Old 12-22-2007   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thawkins
Gossen Luna Pro "F"
A great meter but 'compact'?
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Old 12-22-2007   #59
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Compared to my Minolta Auto-Spot II it is
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Old 12-22-2007   #60
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RE: Bill P raises something I've been wondering about

Can anyone tell me why I shouldn't use my smallish digital camera as a light meter? I have a Weston Master II and a Master IV, both working.

But I find my Lumix LX1 with its choices of spot, matrix, center weighted to work pretty well, too. It's main liability is its inability to use a shutter speed longer than 60 secs or an f stop above f8, so I end up calculating long night exposures in my head sometimes. I end up using the LX1 quite a bit to meter or proof for a film shot in situations where I have time to set up.
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Old 12-22-2007   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackigator
RE: Bill P raises something I've been wondering about

Can anyone tell me why I shouldn't use my smallish digital camera as a light meter? I have a Weston Master II and a Master IV, both working.

But I find my Lumix LX1 with its choices of spot, matrix, center weighted to work pretty well, too. It's main liability is its inability to use a shutter speed longer than 60 secs or an f stop above f8, so I end up calculating long night exposures in my head sometimes. I end up using the LX1 quite a bit to meter or proof for a film shot in situations where I have time to set up.
Hoorah! Another who has seen the light!!

Regards,

Bill
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Resurrected Gossen pilot
Old 12-22-2007   #62
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Resurrected Gossen pilot

The Gossen Pilot is just the handiest thing since sliced bread. Small, light unobtrusive and for most situations, accurate. It was a recent purcase from e-bay, a grey cased version. It arrived DOA. After much debate, I disassembled, cleaned all of the light path surfaces with eye glass cleaner, and reassembled it. Amazingly, it works and in average light reads in between my two Gossen Luna Pros. Maybe the selenium celled light meters that are no longer accurate just have a film of grundge built up on the interior surfaces. Maybe even the dead ones could be revivied as mine was?

I have a thing for exposure meters so I have three hand helds at this time and none agree!. They all read close, within one stop total spread. For you guys with multiple meters, how much variance between meters is typical?

Last edited by Papa Smurf : 12-23-2007 at 15:24. Reason: Typos
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Old 12-22-2007   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Smurf
For you guys with multiple meters, how much variance between meters is typical?
I recently tested five meters (mostly in-camera) and, like you, got a variation of about a stop:

Nikon FM2 <EI 800>
Bessa T <EI 800>
M6TTL <EI 640>
Gossen Profisix <EI 560>
M5 <EI 400>
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Old 12-22-2007   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Smurf
The Gossen Pilot is just the handest thing since sliced bread. Small, light unobtrusive and for most situations, accurate....

I have a thing for exposure meters so I have three hand helds at this time and none agree!. They all read close, within one stop total spread. For you guys with multiple meters, how much variance between meters is typical?
I purchased a Gossen Luna-Pro F when I started shooting rangefinders. I bought it from ebay, and had no idea it was so large before it arrived. I've been very pleased with the operation of the Luna-Pro, and the accuracy. My version has the 9v battery-- that was important, because I didn't want to futz around with Wein cells, or alterations. I think it uses a Silicon Blue Cell. But the size? It's huge. Just about as big as my Leica IIIf.

That's when I posted this thread. I needed a compact meter. I ended up with a Gossen Pilot. It's the one with a grey case. Blue felt lining, selenium cell, probably the same version you just got. It seems pretty accurate. Sometimes it reads about 1 stop below the Luna-Pro. I've also compared the 2 handhelds to one of my Canon F-1s (old F-1), because I've learned to trust them. The Luna-Pro is always very close to the F-1. I have wondered if the discrepancy between the Pilot and Luna-Pro is due to difference in angle. The Pilot, with it's bumpy glass lens is probably gathering light from a fairly wide angle, and averaging it. At least, that was my assumption. Anyway, I would tend to agree with your findings. Generally both are within plus/minus 1 stop, although I have seen 2 stops difference. And of course, the Luna-Pro is more sensitive, so I can't fault the Pilot there. You can only do so much with Selenium.
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Thank you Lawrence and crawdiddy
Old 12-23-2007   #65
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Thank you Lawrence and crawdiddy

Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdiddy
And of course, the Luna-Pro is more sensitive, so I can't fault the Pilot there. You can only do so much with Selenium.
That was my assessment as well. Selenium does have its limitations, that might be why it is hardly used these days. On my Pilot, it was the lens assembly that seemed to be the culprit with a light film on the backside of the lenes. Darned time consuming to clean each and every one through the mask!

Thank you Lawrence for your test results, I too have checked my cameras against my handhelds and it is gratifying to know that someone else had similar results, about one stop plus or minus. One never knows if bad luck and fate has left one with bad examples of whatever they are testing.

Last edited by Papa Smurf : 12-23-2007 at 15:25.
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Old 12-23-2007   #66
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My wife just surprised me with my Christmas present early, a Sekonic Twinnmate L-208! My Gossen was all beat up and she noticed. So naturally I have to vote for what I have. The meter is tiny.
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Weston Master V
Old 12-24-2007   #67
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Weston Master V

This is what's in my bag most of the time. I have the incident dome and after sending it to Quality Light Metric it works like new. I like seeing all of the shutter and aperture options at a glance on the dial. I also have a Sekonic 308s for flash and studio work.
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Old 12-24-2007   #68
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Interesting experience, Papa Smurf. I've heard others say that old Selenium meters can be repaired simply by "cleaning the crud" off the translucent surfaces. I may give that a try with mine.

I also have a couple of Canon 7's with Selenium meters. The meters work, and they're pretty accurate in low to medium light. However in bright light, they register on the dim side, resulting in overexposure. I'm tempted to try refurbishing them, but I've been chicken so far.
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Old 12-24-2007   #69
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I like the Sekonic L-398. I just seem to get a better percentage of good exposures with an incident meter. It is a small meter, and I like way that the swivelling head makes it easier to take a reading while keeping the calculator dial visible.

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Rewarding endeavor
Old 12-26-2007   #70
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Rewarding endeavor

Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdiddy
Interesting experience, Papa Smurf. I've heard others say that old Selenium meters can be repaired simply by "cleaning the crud" off the translucent surfaces. I may give that a try with mine.

I also have a couple of Canon 7's with Selenium meters. The meters work, and they're pretty accurate in low to medium light. However in bright light, they register on the dim side, resulting in overexposure. I'm tempted to try refurbishing them, but I've been chicken so far.
Somewhere I read that if the selenium cell IS dead, that it can be replaced with an appropriate sized solar cell from a pocket calculator. Opaque paint can be used to tone down the cell's out put until it is in balance with the meter. Probably swapping out the resistor and capacitor for ones with the proper load charateristics would be a more professional way to do it. I have long ago parted with that kind of testing equipment so if cleaning did not work, I was prepared to cannablize an old calculator and just paint away untill it was callibrated.

Best of luck with your Canon 7. I have read that they are a nice user camera and I have wanted one for some time.

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Old 12-31-2007   #71
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Sekonic L-508 - not small but fits in my back pocket - has zoom spot, flash, and dual ASA modes. There are times I would like something smaller but this works so well that I have stuck with it.
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Old 12-31-2007   #72
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Is there no love for the Sekonic L-208?
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Sekonic L-508
Old 12-31-2007   #73
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Sekonic L-508

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rjackson
Sekonic L-508 - not small but fits in my back pocket - has zoom spot, flash, and dual ASA modes. There are times I would like something smaller but this works so well that I have stuck with it.
I just bought that one (used), too. The zoom spot together with the memory- and average function is awsome ! It is not small, but I want to use it with my Hasselblad and tripod so not big problem. For everyday use the Gossen Digisix really does the job.

Happy New Year to everybody !!

Cheers,

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Old 01-07-2008   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikhaugsby
Is there no love for the Sekonic L-208?
I will have one by the end of the week
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Old 01-07-2008   #75
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Favourite may be a different thing to best/accurate - For me you just cant beat a Lenningrad especially if you can get one with that beautiful leather case.

They work (within limits) are dead easy to use and for most shots unless i have the time to spend taking multiple spot readings with a pentax then for rangefinder use and especially manual RF use they are very fast to use - check it every now and again as i move about and just make sure that shutter speed and aperture are then always set to a "useable" for my first shot
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Old 01-09-2008   #76
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I too am in the market for a reliable compact hand-held or shoe-mount meter since mine died recently. I have a Gossens Bisix 2 in the cupboard whose needle seems to
move over the whole range. However I seriously question the accuracy or even usability of these old selenium meters in low light. At ISO 400, the slowest shutter speed it seems to meter at f/2 is 1/125s. Slower than that and you're quickly off the scale. But almost any dimly lit indoor setting will require greater exposure than that.

Given this, I'm wondering whether the analogue Sekonic L-208 is any different. Any experiences in low light, good or bad? Aesthetically and pricewise, this looks to me like the pick of the offering but it would have to work indoors otherwise it's useless to me.


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Old 01-12-2008   #77
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Weston Master IV here, with a III for backup should I need it. They give the same readings and agree within maybe 1/2 a stop with other meters I have (in-built in a FED 4, FED 5, Minolta X-700 and my digital). The III doesn't agree at very high levels (unrealistically high ones, like direct sun). If I adjust any meters I tend to take the X-700 as the "reference".
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Old 01-12-2008   #78
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[quote=Papa Smurf]Somewhere I read that if the selenium cell IS dead, that it can be replaced with an appropriate sized solar cell from a pocket calculator. Opaque paint can be used to tone down the cell's out put until it is in balance with the meter. Probably swapping out the resistor and capacitor for ones with the proper load charateristics would be a more professional way to do it. I have long ago parted with that kind of testing equipment so if cleaning did not work, I was prepared to cannablize an old calculator and just paint away untill it was callibrated.
[quote]

There is a downside to using a calculator cell. They're designed to produce maximum output, regardless of lighting conditions. This means they're blue-sensitive, a characteristic of the silicon cell. Selenium meters are good because the cell "sees" light in a very similar way to film. Putting a calculator cell in might render it over-sensitive to blue and under-sensitive to red.

Commercial silicon photo sensors have a blue-filter (often built in to to the actual sensor to tailor the light-response - hence the silicon "blue" diodes in cameras).
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Another Weston Master V
Old 01-15-2008   #79
Anglekat
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Another Weston Master V

Got it dirt cheap & near mint (less than a tenner) with a case & cone.

Compared with my other meters (2 in camera) it`s probably no more than half a stop out either way.

It`s made of shiney metal & a beautiful object, i get a lot of pleasure from using it.
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Old 01-15-2008   #80
Nokton48
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Minolta Autometer II. It's an incident type meter, that I used twenty years ago with fantastic success, with my old Leica M2. I recently bought four of these (cheaply) on ebay last year. Took them to my local repair guy, and none of them work correctly, or can be fixed. Just bought a -perfect- one from the RFF Classifieds (for $50).

The perfect compliment to my -perfect- new button wind Rapidwinder-equipped Leica M2. WHIR-WHIR....
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