Lightmeters

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Lightmeters

Postby Reschsmooth on Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:25 pm

I am in a bit of a quandary - I use a couple of cameras which have inaccurate, reflected light meters and am also trying to rely more and more on the Zone exposure system when shooting with film.

I am therefore looking at lightmeters. I am watching a Pentax (non-digital) spotmeter on e-bay, but the current price is getting up there. The digital spotmeters are selling for more than $400.

The alternative is the Sekonic L-758 (not sure of the difference between the D & DR except the latter can profile the DR of specific cameras and fire off PWs remotely, plus the $95 difference in price), which has a 1' spotmeter plus incident and reflected average metering.

I am not sure if I look at the older, second hand Pentax (for, say, $150 - not sure if that is over-paying or not) or the much more expensive Sekonic (which ranges in price from $405 + $80 P&P to $514 via Poon).

Any guidance would be helpful.

Where we are at the moment:

We don't have PWs yet.
We don't shoot a lot of multi-light shots, yet.
The meter in the D200 and any future DXXX cameras seem reasonable.
Digital sucks and I prefer shooting MF slide & B&W film :D which means I need a meter.
I don't currently make any money from photos, yet (my wife does, but she wouldn't use a handheld meter, at this stage at least).

Thanks
Regards, Patrick

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Re: Lightmeters

Postby PiroStitch on Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:07 pm

Wise man said to me buy once, buy right. I chose not to listen and ended up having to upgrade....having learnt that lesson, I'm following that saying :)

Go for something that will last you, in this case if it's the Sekonic, then go for it. Otherwise have a look at the Minolta Flashmeter IV, V or VI.

Sounds like you need a meter which reads incident light more than reflective, which also lets you read reflective - provided there's an attachment for it. I have the Flashmeter IV and there's an attachment for me to measure reflected light, however I don't find it of much use as I usually just use the camera meter.
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Re: Lightmeters

Postby sirhc55 on Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:37 pm

Patrick - there are three models in the 758 range. The L-758D, L-758DR and L-758cine.

The L-758D and L-758DR are absolutely identical models in function. But obviously there is one difference. The L-758DR has the wireless module installed and the L-758D does not. You can upgrade the L-758D to the DR model by buying the optional module but it costs around $130.00.

Both models can be calibrated to individual cameras. The only problem with the calibration is that the optional calibration card is around $100US and I’ve seen it in Australia for an absolutely stupid $320.

I have the L-758D and can attest to its excellence.
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Re: Lightmeters

Postby Reschsmooth on Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:09 pm

PiroStitch wrote:Wise man said to me...


Mustn't have been anyone on this forum, right?? :D

Seriously, I am leaning towards the L-758 (D or DR), because, apart from the wizz-bang features, it appears to have the spotmeter function I need. For the two [effectively] non-metered cameras we use, I would probably use a combination of spot and incident metering (needing to properly learn to apply incident metering).

Can I see myself using it in the future for flash metering in multi-strobe situations? Possibly. When that time comes, will the L-758 be insufficient compared to the newer models that will be available in 2, 5 or 10 years? Of course not. Do I hate it when people ask questions that they then answer? You betcha!

So, I am leaning towards the Sekonic, even though I have to wait a bit longer to get the readies for it (after funding a scanner and a few bulk lots of film and a wide angle lens for the Bronica and...)

Thanks for the info, guys. Chris, I figured you would have a kind word for the Sekonic. :)
Regards, Patrick

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Re: Lightmeters

Postby Matt. K on Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:41 pm

Minolta meters have a great reputation. However...incident light meter or reflected light meter when used with skill will both give the same reading.
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Re: Lightmeters

Postby sirhc55 on Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:54 pm

Matt. K wrote:Minolta meters have a great reputation. However...incident light meter or reflected light meter when used with skill will both give the same reading.



Matt, you left out the word ”bloody” before skill and full to skill :mrgreen: :lol:
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Re: Lightmeters

Postby sirhc55 on Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:05 pm

 BTW Matt that is only true if measuring an 18% grey card as both incident and reflected light should read the same. But in real life no scene has an 18% grey overall dominance so one would have to be very skillfull in their interpretation of light. In photographing a bride and groom, the bride in white and the groom in black, a reflected reading will give a much better reading than incident.
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Re: Lightmeters

Postby Reschsmooth on Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:44 am

Thanks for the assistance, Chris & Matt. However, as mentioned, my main need at the moment is for a good spotmeter, which I know the L-758 has, however, for an extra $450-500, is the spotmeter capability that much better than the Pentax spotmeter I am looking at.

At this very moment, I am not sure I would be using all the other capabilities of the Sekonic to justify the additional expense, although know that those capabilities would be fantastic. That $450 could get me 30 rolls of Velvia 220 film, or a lot more B&W film!

Incidentally (and I don't mean to be loading this post up with a bunch of puns), from what I have seen, the Minoltas aren't that much cheaper than the Sekonic.

So, whilst the likes of the Sekonic & Minolta are very good, for their spotmetering capabilities, are they that much better than the Pentax? (I accept I can not verify the exact condition of the Pentax as it is second hand, and I have to factor that risk into my assessment).
Regards, Patrick

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Re: Lightmeters

Postby Matt. K on Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:13 pm

Chris
Most scenes would be within a stop unless they contained predominant black or white subjects, then the photographer would have to compensate. Given digital cameras histograms and preview I would see little advantage in using an incident light meter over a reflective light meter. There is a well known strong psychological comfort in using the incident meter and the amount of comfort is in direct proportion to the cost of the meter. New discussion begins. :D :D :D
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Re: Lightmeters

Postby sirhc55 on Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:59 pm

Instead of a discussion I have stomped into the corner, put my nose to the wall and started to recite the Koran :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Lightmeters

Postby Reschsmooth on Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:42 pm

Getting back on topic......oh, don't worry about it. :D
Regards, Patrick

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Re: Lightmeters

Postby Matt. K on Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:07 pm

Patrick
Getting back on topic I have used the Minolta V for many years and it was accurate and reliable. I'm happy to recommend it.
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Re: Lightmeters

Postby Antsl on Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:19 pm

Matt. K wrote:Patrick
Getting back on topic I have used the Minolta V for many years and it was accurate and reliable. I'm happy to recommend it.

I can vouch for this meter... I think it is one of the best meters Minolta ever designed and built, the only regret is that it is not being made anymore. I actually tried to convince PiroStitch to get one of these but he didn't listen to me.... need I say more!
What makes this meter special is that it is very simple but very clever design that automatically drops into whatever mode you need it in... it even beeps to let you know that it has received a flash pulse... very useful if you are working with flash in daylight and you are uncertain with the reading you are looking at really is factoring in the flash component.

I know you are looking for a good spot meter Patrick and so I would be going for the Minolta Spotmeter F ... and oldy but a goodie.
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Re: Lightmeters

Postby Reschsmooth on Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:04 am

Thanks for the information guys. I ended up getting the Pentax spotmeter. For what I need a meter for the most, and given budgetary constraints, it will serve my purposes well. In time, I will get the L-758.
Regards, Patrick

Two or three lights, any lens on a light-tight box are sufficient for the realisation of the most convincing image. Man Ray 1935.
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Re: Lightmeters

Postby PiroStitch on Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:29 am

Antsl wrote:
Matt. K wrote: I actually tried to convince PiroStitch to get one of these but he didn't listen to me.... need I say more!


That's 'cos I couldn't source one out at the time :P So I settled for the IV :mrgreen:
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