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A good basic light meter?
Old 07-20-2005, 11:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm just getting started, but I know that "light" will make or break a shot. I am really just learning how different light works on a subject, and I'm looking for a good basic light meter on Ebay but needed some suggestions. Obviously something high-end would be nice, but the money isn't there and I would probably only know how to use 10% of the functions.

Any help would be much appreciated. BTW, I'm shooting with a K1000 so "vintage" is no problem (don't care how it looks, as long as it works).

-Matt
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Re: A good basic light meter?
Old 07-20-2005, 11:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you're not using strobes and vintage is appealing... Gossen Luna Pro... Luna Pro F does flash. Ther're are a lot of good Selonics out there but I don't know much about them; seems like a lot of folks favor the L-358.

I used to use nothing but a Nikon FM and a Pentax Spotmeter V... but that's a little eccentric. I was shooting all outdoors and had a pretty good feel for what surfaces I wanted to be middle grey.
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Re: A good basic light meter?
Old 07-20-2005, 12:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can get a pretty good and inexpensive one for ambient light only. I would suggest just spending a little more and getting one that will work with strobe lights on a cordless function. I spent around $160 on an ambient light meter 10 years ago, and wished I had just spent more and got the flash version.

I've got the Sekonic L-558 and the L-398. I also have a version of the L398 made back in the early 1970's that I inherited from my father--30 years later it is just as accurate as the other two. My L-558 can be used with flash, has a spot meter, and does great with ambient lighting. It is also probably overkill, but the store was out of L-358's.

The nice thing about my L-558 is that it will measure ambient and flash at the same time and give you the percentage of the exposure which is flash. It will measure apertures in 1/10 stops as well. I'm sure the L-358 will do this as well.

Although I'm extremely happy with my Sekonic, I'm looking at the Gossen Luna F2.
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Norwood Director
Old 07-20-2005, 12:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I used a Norwood Director for a while before upgrading to a Minolta IV. The Norwoods are tough and cheap (usually less than $15), just be careful, they have a big honkin magnet in them (don't get it too close to computers, digital cameras, flash cards, etc). The main drawback is that it only reads available light, not flash.
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Re: A good basic light meter?
Old 07-20-2005, 03:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a Sekonic L-308 that I have used for some time. It doesn't take a lot of work to get used to it and it will do flash and ambient.

Bill
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Re: A good basic light meter?
Old 07-20-2005, 04:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I still use a Honeywell/Wien bought 5 for under $50 AU 4 not working a quick check with a meter and repaired all 5 the best i kept the others were sold
very simple to use and when checked with a sekonic digital meter spot on.
when coupled with a laptop direct upload the histogram can be then viewed and exposure adjusted accordingly. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Re: A good basic light meter?
Old 07-20-2005, 04:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Either a gray card, or a black/gray/white calibration target will allow you to get exact exposures using it and the Camera's histogram.
Cheers,
rfs
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Re: A good basic light meter?
Old 07-20-2005, 06:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Gotta agree with what most have said here -- pretty much any Gossen or Sekonic and you can't go wrong, IMO. I use a Sekonic L-358 for most color studio stuff. Been using a Gossen Ultra-Spot 2 spot meter for most of my black & white stuff lately, though (highly recommended if you're ever looking for a good spot meter).

Sam
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Re: A good basic light meter?
Old 07-25-2005, 05:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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thanks guys for all the input.

-Matt
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Re: A good basic light meter?
Old 07-30-2005, 01:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I've been using the Sekonic L308, great small light meter for the money. It handles reflected and incident light readings, plus will sync with strobes, either corded or cordless. For under $200, can't go wrong. I've had mine for probably 6 or 7 years and havent had any problems. Plus the incident filter slides out of the way but stays attached to the meter unlike some other models, no tiny pieces to lose.
-Robert
Droogs Night Out
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