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Recommended low budget meters

 
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mfmike



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 1
Location: Pacific NW, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another fledgling graphic enthusiast here, looking for advice on light meters that won't exceed my almost non-existant discretionary budget!

As I want to shoot scenics, streetscapes, and the occasional family portrait, I'm looking for both an incident/reflected meter and a spot meter. I've been watching we-Pay for quite some time, and the sheer number of choices is overwhelming, as are the prices of the spotmeters and combos.

Obviously, I'm aware that on my beer-budget I won't get the latest bells and whistles, but I hope I can find a couple reliable workhorses which will allow me to get started on the right foot and not set me back a couple months wages.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll throw out my two cents here, as everyone knows I'm pretty quick to get rid of my money
You don't mention what your budget is and I don't really follow spot meter prices. Overall, my hands-down recomendation for a meter is the Gossen Luna Pro F. Does incident, reflected and flash. With an attachment it'll do 7.5 and 15 degree spot. And there's even a fiber optic probe that will measure off the GG. You can get the meter between 100 and 175. But I don't think you can get a better meter.

My opinion of spot meters is kind-of on the fence. They can be useful, but more often than not they're too much work and confuse the issue. Unless you're a die hard Zone System person, but then you'd already own a spot... From what I've seen, decent spots like the Pentax model V 1 degree go for about 200 or so. Anything better, or digital goes for much more up to 500 or so. I personally just don't see the sense of it. I've got an old Minolta Auto-Spot 1 degree here (the one with the motorized scale) and just never use it... Maybe if I had a smaller one I would now and then, but a spot is no replacement for the Luna Pro and how many meters am I going to carry? Just my opinion...

Oh yeah, you mentioned incident reading. That would limit your spot meter choices down to one or two. I only know of one off hand, a Sekonic I think. But you'll have to pay for the options...

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"Ya just can't have too many GVIIs"
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[ This Message was edited by: RichS on 2003-06-14 15:25 ]
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1889
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2003-06-14 06:33, mfmike wrote:
Another fledgling graphic enthusiast here, looking for advice on light meters that won't exceed my almost non-existant discretionary budget!

As I want to shoot scenics, streetscapes, and the occasional family portrait, I'm looking for both an incident/reflected meter and a spot meter. I've been watching we-Pay for quite some time, and the sheer number of choices is overwhelming, as are the prices of the spotmeters and combos.

Obviously, I'm aware that on my beer-budget I won't get the latest bells and whistles, but I hope I can find a couple reliable workhorses which will allow me to get started on the right foot and not set me back a couple months wages.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
Um, if you want advice you can act on, please tell us how much you spend on beer.

Before you decide that a used meter will do for you, remember that used ones need to be recalibrated.

To get an idea of how much that might cost, I just paid Quality Light Metric $42 plus postage (and I paid for postage to them) to overhaul and calibrate my Weston Master V. Small job, the cell was still good. Meter plus Invercone (incident light attachment) cost me $35. After the Master gets back my LunaPro (= LunaSix 3) will go to Bogen for overhaul and recalibration. Got the meter for free some years ago, the work will likely cost $50-60 if I'm lucky.

If I were in your position and didn't have to meter in dim light, I'd get a new Gossen Scout II. I think that's the current one. Tiny thing, around $90 at B&H.

Cheers,

Dan
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1889
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2003-06-14 06:33, mfmike wrote:
Another fledgling graphic enthusiast here, looking for advice on light meters that won't exceed my almost non-existant discretionary budget!

As I want to shoot scenics, streetscapes, and the occasional family portrait, I'm looking for both an incident/reflected meter and a spot meter. I've been watching we-Pay for quite some time, and the sheer number of choices is overwhelming, as are the prices of the spotmeters and combos.

Obviously, I'm aware that on my beer-budget I won't get the latest bells and whistles, but I hope I can find a couple reliable workhorses which will allow me to get started on the right foot and not set me back a couple months wages.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
Sorry, I typed Scout, meant Pilot. The selenium cell one with the tiny gray plastic case.

Apologies,

Dan
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1443
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Gossen LunaProF has given real good service. Mine was a gift. I obtained a free xerox copy of the instruction book direct from the Bogen folks in NJ. The meter didn't need recalibration; it checked out on the Kodak 18% gray card with other meters of known accuracy. It also has a zero adjust if you need to cut it any finer. It takes a standard 9V battery, and turns itself off so the battery lasts a long time. It can do incident, reflected, and flash just as it comes.

But my workhorse meter for outdoor and other bright light situations is a GE DW-68. No battery needed; it also has a zero adjust. It is calibrated in Graphex shutter speeds (1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, etc.) so I don't have to convert from 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60 etc. as with the LunaPro. Got the GE for $15 (mint) at a swap meet. It's the same vintage as my Century (c. 1954).

With these two meters I do virtually all of my photography.
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disemjg



Joined: 10 Jan 2002
Posts: 469
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know you said you wanted a spot meter, but I suggest that you forgo that idea if you are really on a tight budget. As some of the earlier posts indicate, you can get some good older meters for very reasonable prices if you are careful. The Gossen Pilot II discussed earlier is excellent, and quite sensitive for a selenium cell meter. I got mine used for 35. Used Luna Pros are found frequently, and can usually be had for 50 ~ 70. And you can always dredge up an old Weston Master II for 10 ~ 20 (I have bought them as cheap as 2, but do not count on that). Buy from a dealer with a warranty, and compare to other known meters before you choose a used meter. Note that variances up to about a stop are expected between meters, so do not expect them all to agree.

And if you do wind up with an old Weston, remember that they are not calibrated in ASA but in Degrees Weston; this translates into 80% of the ASA setting.
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Jim23



Joined: 08 Sep 2001
Posts: 128
Location: US/Greater Cincinnati, Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two meters I really like:
Gossen Luna Pro Digital F - Exposures are right-on and it runs on a single AA battery that can be found anywhere! Roger Hicks reviewed it in one of his books on exposure.

Sekonic Selenium Meter - Auto-Lumi - L158 - Cheap and accurate ($60)....not very sensitive, requires no battery. I bought this one after my 30-year-old Gossen Pilot quit (abused). I bought a new (now $90) Pilot to replace it, and returned two defective new units, finally got my money back (Gossen has lost quality control on this product of late).
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No clue if it will work, and I certainly don't expect it to work in low light, but I just won a GE DW-68 for $6.10 including S&H one ebay.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1443
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice going, Les! If it works, I predict you'll like it. Otherwise it'll make a nice looking paperweight.

I have the original instruction book that came with my DW-68. Let me know if you want a copy.

By the way, I just checked oBoy under search term "DW-68" and came up with six listings with opening bids between $1.99 and $9.99.

By the way again, if you need a case for your DW-68, the Tamrac cell phone case no. MX-5323 is a perfect fit. It has a Velcro cover flap, and the cut-out for the phone antenna lets you pass the meter's neck strap through. There's a snap fastener/Velcro belt loop on the back of the case, too. Couldn't be better!

[ This Message was edited by: Henry on 2003-07-02 10:57 ]
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
By the way again, if you need a case for your DW-68, the Tamrac cell phone case no. MX-5323 is a perfect fit. It has a Velcro cover flap, and the cut-out for the phone antenna lets you pass the meter's neck strap through. There's a snap fastener/Velcro belt loop on the back of the case, too. Couldn't be better!


cool!
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