Light meter recommendations

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by stradibarrius, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    The auction site has a zillion light meters listed and the big camera houses also have a bunch.

    What is a good, simple inexpensive meter to get as a first meter?
     
  2. msdemanche

    msdemanche Member

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    I really like my luna pro. They are non digital, can be modified for zones, and give ev numbers along with all the other goodies anyone needs. They are sturdy and I find very user friendly. I have a luna pro and a luna six, both bought off of ebay.
    I also have a sektonic, which I never felt as comfortable with as the luna pro.

    michel
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Another thumbs up for the Luna Pro, or similar Gossen meter, great meters to use, accurate and can be foud second hand at very reasonable prices. I bought mine through this sites classifies.

    Ian
     
  4. Windscale

    Windscale Member

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    I have used a Sekonic L308B for well over 20 years. I added an L308S a couple of years ago as a spare. They are in fact the same meter with only cosmetic changes. I wouldn't leave home without one or both of them. I like its small size, ability to do incident (which I use most of the time), reflected, EV and flash and takes 1 AA battery and not to mention spot on accuracy (as I do quite a bit of slides).
     
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    stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    What about the Gossen Lunasix 3?
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's a Luna Pro, the meters have different names in the US.

    Ian
     
  7. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I prefer a spot, either Pentax V or Digital. I have both and like the V better.

    If you don't want a spot, I wouldn't trade my Luna Pro SBC.

    Mike
     
  8. Frank Szabo

    Frank Szabo Member

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    Luna Pro F - it'll do anything you wish - even meter flash.
     
  9. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    Seems that the gossen luna has only good feedbacks. Is it compact enough for have it in a pocket?
    I'd get one when I upgrade to MF with a TLR (Rolleicord possibly) and later, LF (won't happen in some years though). But at the money no budget for climbing up, and no excuse since my OM1 has the meter alive and running. Though they're running cheap.
    By the way, this meter uses old mercury batteries? Buying a MR9 adapt. costs more than the meter itself. And possibly reduces accuracy, I've read; Not nice, since I would like to use it for shoot slide film.
     
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  10. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I'll second the Sekonic L308. It's not TOO expensive, takes normal batteries, compact, and pretty flexible. I do wish at times it had a second ISO setting, but that's just nitpicking.
     
  11. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I have the good old Luna-Pro--still running on mercury batteries. Most often, though, I use a Weston Master V and a Weston Euro-master. None of them are the most easily pocketable. For that I had a Leningrad IV. That little dude cost me the equivalent of 14 bucks in Czechoslovakia in 1978 and was still going strong when last summer a gal on our Danube cruise boat found out her Nikon EM was kaput and would only work on the flash synch setting--it was not batteries, btw.
    I gave her my funky, trusty, Leningrad IV, showed her how to use it; and she did fine the rest of the trip.
    Having cut my teeth on the Weston V, I have a great regard for it. And one of my mentors told me that "if you understand the Weston dial, you have all you need to know about exposure." He was right; but I did not know why at the time--at that juncture, it was actually Zone Five, middle grey, all the way, only I did not know that. All I saw was a big red V. I have learned a little since then.
    I've also owned and used a coupla other Gossens; a GE; a Bewi; Norwood Director (still going strong as a Sekonic) two Weston Ranger 9s. I really liked the Ranger 9s, but they kept breaking on me.
    Since OP's info request was for first meters, I ASS u ME cost is a factor. For me, at this juncture, if I had to replace all my meters with something new, it would probably be a Pentax Spot meter or similar. Unless i got a good buy on a brace of Weston Vs (vbg)
     
  12. calexg

    calexg Member

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    I have an old Kodaluk L meter. It's absolutely beautiful and can be bought on eBay for less than $25.

    Good luck!
     
  13. spwong

    spwong Member

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    I have a Luna Pro, non SBC, bought in the 80's and it needs mercury batteries, which you can't get readily or legally (?) in the US. If you want accuracy now because the voltage curve is not steady over the life of the battery, you will need to buy a Gossen adapter or one of several other ones. Here is a link to an extremely in-depth article (and plug for his adapters) about mercury batteries. You can use hearing aid batteries, but there are pros and cons of that.
     
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  15. spwong

    spwong Member

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  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The proper adapter isn't very expensive, there's a link somewhere here on APUG. I bought one via Ebay and as it comes with a pair of batteries it's quite reasonable. It's far better than using Wein cells or fudging it to work with the wrong batteries which is what were fitted in mine when I bought it. It was fine at lowish light levels but way off here in the bright sunlight of the Aegean region.

    Ian
     
  17. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The Luna-Pro meters tend to be about the size of a pack of cigarettes.
    For the money look at the Luna-Pro F. incident, reflected and flash reading but the best part is they use a commonly available 9V battery.
    Sekonic is also a good brand to look at. Most of their meters run on AA batteries.
    I have a Sekonic 308 which give a digital display but prefer the way the Luna-Pro works with a "null' design.
     
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    stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Anybody had any experience with a Sekonic L-208?
     
  19. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    +1 on the Sekonic 308S, smaller than a pack of smokes, 1 AA battery and extremely accurate, incident/reflected, quite reasonable also.

    I might add that the lanyard once got tangled in the dog's tail and the meter went for quite a ride before being rescued. No damage, still works as well as the day I bought it.

    -Fred
     
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  20. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Add one vote from me in favor of the Sekonic L308S Flashmate. It is replacing a Gossen UltraPro, and while it doesn't have all of the Gossen's light measuring scales, I can find NO complaints in its Studio application.

    If anything, The Sekonic is even more stable and precise.
     
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    stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I won an auction for a Luna Pro F. The Sekonic 308 look great as well but great deal on the Luna Pro F.

    Thanks for the help. This site has great people and information!
     
  22. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    The Luna Pro SBC also uses a 9 volt battery. This meter is called by another name in the rest of the world, but I don't recall what it is.

    Mike
     
  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    PP9, Mike.

    Ian
     
  24. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I have had two that bit the dust - meter needle movement stuck, the usual bane of meters.

    I have an early Luna digital that needs to be opened up every few years to clean off the rubber keyboard contacts. It also eats a battery every 6 months, even when off, but the battery is a single AA so no big deal if I have a spare, which I usually don't and it's 10 miles back up the trail and then 30 miles down a rocky twisting road to the nearest drugstore.

    The ones that have given me no trouble are a Sekonic Studio (Norwood Director clone), a cute little Hasselblad/Gossen knob meter and a Pentax digital spot. A first Pentax analog spot quickly developed a sticky needle, a second one is working (almost) OK - the metering switch is noisy.
     
  25. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Another vote for the Sekonic L308. I've owned two; the original model (which unfortunately met a concrete sidewalk from far too high up-entirely my fault), and the current L308s I bought to replace it.

    I've also used several older match-needle meters, both Sekonic and Gossen, and I like these meters with dials, as they are great tools for actually learning exposure. Some like the Sekonic L86 (my very first light meter, long out of production) even work without batteries by using a selenium photo cell.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2009
  26. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    You're mistaken Ian, but It's an easy mistake to make, the PP9 is 9 Volts but is 78mm high, far too big to go in a lightmeter they are more commonly used in old radios, my Profisix ( Lunapro in the US ) uses PP3 9 Volt batteries.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2009