View Full Version : JUST a spot meter.

13-Oct-2009, 10:59
Does anyone use ONLY a spot meter?

I currently have a L-358 but now feel justified in getting a spot meter.

I'm trying to think of a situation where I would still need the L-358.

I assume my spot will have a sync port.

13-Oct-2009, 11:12
I use a Pentax Digital Spot meter. I have other types but in the almost 30 years I’ve never needed another meter. I suppose it has a lot to do with the type of photography one does. My personal work is all 4x5 and 5x7 B&W landscapes.

And I don't know what a sync port is!

13-Oct-2009, 11:17
I use the Pentax V analog meter and also have a Sekonic DR 758. I prefer the Pentax for available light photography, 97% of my work, and use the Sekonic for flash. One helpful hint about the Sekonic is that you can use the spot meter in memory mode just like you would for reflected mode. You can use the spot meter to read the highlight/key and fill lights. Good used analog meters can be had for between $100 (Soligor spot sensor) and up. Used Pentax V go for up to US$300 which is what I paid for mine when new 30 years ago!!!! After testing the meters appear to be off by about half a stop.

Bruce Watson
13-Oct-2009, 11:24
I use a Pentax Digital Spot meter.

Yep. Me too. Only meter I've got.

Clement Apffel
13-Oct-2009, 11:30
With a spot meter, you can make incident metering by aiming a 18% gray scale.
Therefore, if you own a spot meter you'll never need a incident meter again.
Just bring a little grayscale cut to size to fit in your spotmeter case.

my 2 cents.

13-Oct-2009, 11:32
I only use a Pentax spot meter, wouldn't know how to make photos without it. I did have a Soligor spot meter before which, for me, was easier to use than the Pentax and I wouldn't hesitate in getting this cheaper option if my Pentax were to pack in.

Steve Gledhill
13-Oct-2009, 12:11
And I don't know what a sync port is!

I can help you there - it's one of either Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover or Sandwich. Strictly speaking they are the Cinque Ports located on the English Channel - wikipedia will help if you really want to know ... ;)

Oh, and I only use my Pentax Spotmeter - no need for anything else.

evan clarke
13-Oct-2009, 12:12
Yes, A Gossen Ultra Spot 2...Evan Clarke

douglas antonio
13-Oct-2009, 12:26
i have a minolta spotmeter f.
maybe i didn't know how to use my minolta autometer III correctly so i had a lot of wrong exposures in the past. ever since using the spotmeter f all exposures come out right. i rely on it for portraits, landscapes, stills readings with natural light or studio flashes.

13-Oct-2009, 13:05
Thanx all for the feedback.

What I'm calling a sync port is a place to plug the PC Sync cable coming from a flash head. That way you can meter flash.

You may have one of these on your shutter too.

13-Oct-2009, 13:31
I have used my Pentax Digital Spot meter for at least 15 years. I had a large Sekonic as well that could do "everything" but I never used it much and eventually sold it. The Pentax gives me consistently good exposures.

13-Oct-2009, 13:36
I use my Pentax Digital Spot 99% of the time. But I keep my Luna Pro SBC in my kit for those very dark night/dark interior moments (or if I am out and about with the Rolleiflex.)


13-Oct-2009, 14:29
For large-format work, I use a Pentax Spotmeter V and have never needed or desired anything else.

But for studio work, or for work with medium-format, I need a flash meter and for that I used a Sekonic L-718. I also use that as an incident meter for situations where that form of metering is preferred, such as in a studio situation without using flash.

With digital, I use the meter in the camera, and then study the histogram of a test image. That takes less time than spot metering, and reports similar information.

I also have a Minolta Spotmeter F that I use occasionally. I got it cheap at a camera show. It will meter flash, but by the time I meter flash using a spot meter the sitter is likely to be blind, or certainly annoyed. I prefer the Pentax because the dial scale makes it easier to implement the Zone System.

Rick "who carries only one meter in the LF kit" Denney

Robert Hughes
13-Oct-2009, 14:42
I use that white spot on the back of my hand. If it turns red in 5 minutes, I'm f/16 at 100. Works every time! YMMV...

13-Oct-2009, 14:45
As you are already are familiar with the Sekonic L358, you might consider upgrading to the Sekonic L558, or L758, or L609. They all operate similarly and have sync ports for metering flash. I'm not too sure all of the other spot meters have the ability to meter flash.

I use a L609, and rarely ever use it in any other mode than spot metering (except when using flash mode). I've played around with the Pentax spot meters also, and personally would not trade my Sekonic for one (love its versatility).

13-Oct-2009, 15:20
I have both the analog and digital Pentax spot meters. ALWAYS use the V analog.


Drew Wiley
13-Oct-2009, 15:56
I use the Pentax digital meter for everything - large format, MF, even for the Nikon.
Compact and realiable. However, after using these for thirty years with no incident,
I have somehow managed to drop two of these meters in high country creeks in the
same summer. Although both are now repaired and working perfectly, I sure do feel dumb. In the meantime, I completed both trips using no light meter at all - just did the
exposures from my memory of analgous settings, and the shots came out perfectly.

13-Oct-2009, 19:44
Ok, for those of you that have multiple Pentax meters; who wants to sell me one!!!



14-Oct-2009, 08:22
I have only used a spot meter since I started in 1975. The exception is a flash meter that keeps me from shooting polaroids. or fujiroids.

I found a pentax digital spot with zone 6 calibration on craigs list last week for 125.00. Looked brand new but was a stop off from my 20years old one. I took them to a repairman yesterday and was informed my old was off a third and my new was off 2 thirds the other way. He is calibrating the new one. I don't know if these ever die. My old pentax digital spot is a battle ax and is scarred up and worn smooth and still always works perfectly.
Dennis Purdy

Ken Lee
14-Oct-2009, 09:35
Only a spot meter... Here's why (http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/index.html#SpotMeter)

14-Oct-2009, 09:54
...I have somehow managed to drop two of these meters in high country creeks in the same summer.

Did the same with mine in Cascade Creek in Yosemite. It was either the meter or my 8x10...I choose the 8x10. But I could grab the meter before it got swept away. Took the batteries out and let it dry our over a couple of weeks and it was fine (It was one last photo as I was heading out of the park and towards home).

A fellow on a workshop that I was assisting was not so lucky -- he dropped his into the ocean. Even with a dunk in fresh water, partial disassembly and a blow-dry, it worked but not accurately.


14-Oct-2009, 10:02

PM me if you're still looking for a Pentax Digital...


Rick Moore
14-Oct-2009, 15:37
I use a Gossen Ultra Spot for most of my metering, with a Weston Master III and Master V for those times that the battery in the Ultra Spot dies.

Frank Petronio
14-Oct-2009, 16:26
The Nikon I use has a spot and a broader meter, and I can even figure out flash using it ;-)