Shoe mount? Hand held? What type of meter are you using?

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Joe Grodis

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I love my vintage RF's but the light meter has always had me fumbling with too much stuff in hand. About 2 years ago I came across a Kodak Kodalux-L shoe mount light meter. Those of you not familiar with this little gem the Kodalux is a very nicely built stainless steel shoe mount meter that is surprisingly accurate and is a very nice meter to have for vintage RF's. Trouble is finding one in good condition is almost nonexistent. See, what I want to do is find affordable classic looking shoe mount light meters for my RF's. I use about 6 different RF's regularly and don't want to be swapping my Kodalux over and over.
So, what are you guy using? Any advice / sources for nice shoe mount meters?
 

fotch

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I have two Leica meters, one working, however, I don't like having to use the camera to meter. Prefer a hand held meter, even when using a SLR. Different strokes for .....:smile:
 

d.sge

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For when I find myself doubting sunny 16 extrapolation, I dig the VC meter II. Unfortunately, the battery door has a tendency to unlatch (fixed with electrical tape) and the materials proved to be a bit soft (slightly bent aperture wheel after a three foot fall onto concrete. Keeping it on the shoe mount rather than in my pocket would have been wise). Otherwise, it's great!

...and I use an old Minolta III for studio work.
 
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Joe Grodis

Joe Grodis

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Yeah that Voigtlander VC Meter II is SWEET... but $200? After a bit of digging around I found a Sekonic L-208 Twin Mate Light Meter (shoe mount) for $99... I don't know much about them but the price aint too scary. See I was looking to buy 3, so $200 a piece is a bit of a show-stopper for me.
 

d.sge

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It's definitely pricey (read: overpriced). Were it not for the VC's highly inconspicuous size, I probably would have went the L-208 or Digisix route, too. Though, apparently the latter won't hold up to hard use after a couple of years, as described on Photoethnography.
 

EASmithV

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I use a Sekonic L-508 for everything. Sometimes cumbersome, always worth it.
 

jmcd

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I use hand held meters, either Gossen Luna Pro or Weston IV or V. For me, the trick is having a good pocket or camera bag so that the meter is easily stowed and retrieved. I haven't tried the camera mounted units.

I like the Gossen because it is easy to switch between reflective and incident, and the null metering readout is great for rapidly changing light.

The Westons (IV and V) are great, especially in bright light, because you can watch the needle and adjust the dial as you pan the meter in reflective mode; and in reflective mode, the meter is small. I take the meter out of its case, as it easier to use, with less fiddling to swing the case flaps open and shut. The incident mode works well, too, but it takes a little juggling to switch between modes with the separate invercone diffuser. In low light it can be a bit of a fiddle to flip open the light hatch to switch to sensitive, low light mode.

Mostly this is a good system, but at times the separate meter does seem like one too many things to handle.
 

elekm

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My everyday meter is a Zeiss Ikon Ikophot T, which takes a 9-volt battery that lasts for a long time (18 months and counting). It can do reflective and incident. I have it set to incident for nearly everything. Accurate, well made and cost me less than $40.
 

Smudger

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Re the meter pictured by elekm : it was marketed in my part of the world as the Jonan COM.
I had one for a while , it was accurate,and had an unusually narrow measuring angle.
They come up occasionally on the auction sites.
 
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Joe Grodis

Joe Grodis

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Well during my meter hunt I found a source for about a dozen or so Leica-M shoe mount light meters. They're nice vintage meters in excellent shape but... most of them are inoperative. I've had a fair amount of success in repairing light meters so I'm going to pick up the whole lot of them and give it a go. I have 30+ years experience in the electronics field so this shouldn't be too bad. I'll keep all posted on the repairs and if it's wort it or not.
 

Chaplain Jeff

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Voightlander Series I meter on my M3. I also have a Minolta IVF hand held that I carry in the bag and use for "important" portraiture and when I don't believe the Voightander or the M5's spot meter.
 
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The best light meter for rangefinder cameras that have the old shutter times is the Sekonic L208, that allow to use also the ancient shutter times and have the plus of the silicon cell and both incident and reflected measurements. The only drawback is the quality of construction: the plastic body is a little bit too light. For the rangefinder cameras with normal shutter times is very good the VC Meter II, but is lacking of incident light measurement.
Ciao.
Vincenzo
 
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Joe Grodis

Joe Grodis

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I settled for the Leica-M meter. I bought a few and managed to get 2 operational so far . The Leica-M meter is built very well and can me refurbished. I replaced the old cells with solar cells from those cheap solar powered calculators. The project isn't recommended for the average person. If you have soldering skills, a steady hand, and good eyes it isn't too hard. Calibration was done using a Radio Shack 10k micro trimmer and my Nikon F5 as a reference.
 

Rol_Lei Nut

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A Kodak Kodalux-L (2 out of 2 working)... ;-)

The Gossen Sixtino is also shoe-mountable (at least with an accessory), but is much larger, uglier and less accurate than the Kodalux.

There are a number of Metraphot (maker of the Kodalux?) shoe-mountable meters, but few (or none) seem to work anymore.

Bewi made a number of interesting-looking small shoe-mountables, but I have no direct experience with one (same can be said about the modern CV & Gossen Digimatic meters)...

Leicameter MR (CdS) worked very well (on M cameras only of course). Main problem was that it was fiddly to take off when I wanted to use an external viewfinder: Main reason for upgrading to an M6.

So in my experience so far, it's either the Kodalux or a hand-held.
 
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