Gossen lightmeter (Zone meter)

Discussion in 'UK All Regions' started by Peterpan, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Peterpan

    Peterpan Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Medium Format
    Hi All
    Has anyone used The Gossen Starlite Lightmeter Zone system function of the meter?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2008
  2. Usagi

    Usagi Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    Turku, Finla
    Multi Format
    I don't know if this helps, but I have used for years Gossen spotmeter 2 meter's zone system function and I have found it really useful.

    When I take photo, I first look at the scene and decide which I want to be zone II or zone III, then take reading from it and move it on the light meter's scale to the right zone (II or III).
    Then I check where other zones will fall. If result does not macth with my visualization, I use light meters expansion/contraction functions.
    This way it is easy to find right process (N-2, .... N, ... N+2).

    At first, I was bit sceptic about the exposure reading that light meter give me after expansion/contraction and took final exposure directly from the scene. But as time passed, I found that there was virtually no difference, so now I happily use exposure time given by light meter´s zone system function.
  3. Andrew4x5

    Andrew4x5 Member

    Mar 9, 2007
    4x5 Format
    I've got a Starlite, and have tried using the Zone system functionality, but find it too finicky. It's annoying having to first switch to Zone mode, take the readings, and then switch back to F or T mode to get the required f-stop and time combination.

    Nowadays, I keep it on EV mode, and use the pseudo-analog scale at the bottom to determine the f-stop. You measure the lightest and darkest items - in the same way as the zone system - set the time to an appropriate value, and then set the f-stop to +2 (or whatever suits you) above the reading for the darkest value. For example, if the time is 1/30 sec and the readings on the scale range from 2.8 to 32, I would set the f-stop to 5.6. (I am talking about B/W, of course!)

    (Digital meters are great in some ways - with spot metering, multiple readings, etc - but I really miss the good-old, user-friendly dial on the Weston Euro Master.)
  4. cowanw

    cowanw Member

    Aug 29, 2006
    Hamilton, On
    Large Format
    I found the Starlite to be a great learning tool. I use the zone feature and just walk around useing it to place zone 3 and then memorizing and comparing the other tones in the scene. Over time I get an appreciation of varied contrast situations and the values of different tones. Now I can read the scene better before I metre.
    The two step procedure forces you to make three choices. Where to put Zone 3, what f stop to use and what speed to use.
    I like it because it stops me from being lazy and taking short cuts.
    If I outgrow this feature the metre still works however else I choose EV, TV, AV, Flash and all the other stuff I don,t understand.
    I like it