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Thread: Which lightmeter?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 1998
    Posts
    19

    Which lightmeter?

    Apologies, if this query annoys any large format purists ...

    I've been taking photographs since the 50s. I've used 35mm cameras for about 30 years, have recently extended down to APS, and up to medium format. I have a da rkroom and do my own B&W processing.

    Now I'm making a tentative foray into large format - I've just bought several se cond-hand 4 x 5 film holders, for use in a large format pinhole camera that I'm making!

    :-)

    My question is: what lightmeter would you recommend for this purpose?

    It is many years since I used a lightmeter - all three of the cameras that I cur rently own have lightmeters built in. I vaguely remember owning a Weston (?) li ghtmeter long ago ...

  2. #2

    Which lightmeter?

    Although I haven't done any pinhole work, I suspect that, unless you're a whiz w hen it comes to micro-machining, the diameter (and hence the f-number) of your p inholes is likely to be somewhat approximate. In addition, you might well be in to exposures that are long enough so that you've got to do some guessing and exp erimenting to deal with reciprocity. Put this all together, and I would think t hat there's no real point to striving for a high degree of precision in measurin g light--you'll just lose the precision anyway when it comes to making the expos ure. Any meter (including the ones built into your 35mm cameras) would do.

    Perhaps some people with pinhole experience can have a better suggestion, and wi ll tell me that I'm totally off base here.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 1998
    Posts
    19

    Which lightmeter?

    Many thanks for your reply:

    A search on the Yahoo! server returned an amazing number of URLs concerned with pinhole photography ...

    Precision pinholes are available (http://www.yatcom.com/pinhole/PINHOLE.html). The Pinhole Resource offers 11 precision pinholes laser "drilled" in brass shim (ranging from 0.10mm - 0.76mm) and 12 micro-drilled in stainless steel (ranging from 0.0039" - 0.0276").

    I take your point about reciprocity failure, and clearly some experimentation wi ll be necessary. However, tables of optimum focal lengths, best aperture diamet ers, equivalent f-stops and exposure factor for f/22 are available (http://photo .net/photo/pinhole/pinhole.htm).

    As regards using the lightmeters in my cameras, just for the record, they're not all 35mm models: (1) APS (2) 35mm (3) medium format. I suppose I could use the light meter in my Canon EOS, but it would be a bit cumbersome - however, I feel that a handheld lightmeter would be more useful.

  4. #4

    Which lightmeter?

    Might I suggest a Gossen Luna Pro, these can often be picked up used at a reason able price. They are very sensitive, giving reading up to 8 hours. I use mine for determining the exposure at night for star trails and pre-dawn exposures.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 1998
    Posts
    19

    Which lightmeter?

    Many thanks for recommending a Gossen Luna Pro - it sounds ideal. What do you c onsider to be a "reasonable" price?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 1998
    Posts
    19

    Which lightmeter?

    By the way, I've discovered that there are at least two companies that market pi nhole cameras on a commercial basis - one in the USA, and other is Rigby (www.bo brigby.com) in the UK. The latter specifically recommends the use of a good lig htmeter. I think I would prefer to spend my money on a good lightmeter, and mak e my own camera.

  7. #7

    Which lightmeter?

    My wife uses a Leonardo pinhole camera (very nice!) and just guesses the exposur e. Also, you might try T-Max 400 because of its superior reciprocity characteris tics.

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