View Full Version : Sinar Metering Probe

10-Apr-2010, 22:57

I just got myself a Sinar P2 8x10, and it came with a metering back. At least I think so as there's a little lever on the side, and i can rotate this sort of wheel with a hole in the middle, and there's a metal flap on the lens side of the GG where the probe would go through and end up against the GG on the lens side. I imagine the non-metering back doesn't have any of this?

So, assuming I have a metering back, I am now going down the rabbit hole and am fancying myself doing some zone system style spot metering with the probe and doubly benefitting by not having to calculate bellows extensions.

What are my options for metering probe systems? I know that there is the Gossen Lunasix one, and then there's a super fancy digital one (probably out of my price range).

What are my options? Are there any that are so old I should stay away from them?

Are there special longer probes for 8x10, or are they all the same?

I use flash a lot -- do I have to watch out to make sure I get something with flash capability? I guess I just need to be able to trigger a pocket wizard and I'll be ok.

I also have a Sekonic 758DR... i imagine there aren't Sinar probes that will work with that, are there?

Sorry for so many questions; any advice appreciated.


Frank Petronio
10-Apr-2010, 23:24
A small piece of black gaffer's tape over that hole will save you a lot of time, money, and headaches. Did anyone outside of Switzerland or Singapore ever use those things?

Seriously (?) watch German eBay.de because there isn't much of that stuff here, it never was that popular because it was expensive and people bracketed their film anyway. It made a lot more sense to buy a good meter that you could use with all your sets and cameras.

The Sinar ideal was to make the entire large format photography process very consistent and precise, so that a (very anal) catalog photographer could deliver perfectly matched grey backgrounds months apart, with chromes containing a tonal range of precisely 5-stops. They also wanted you to drop $20K on their auto shutter and DB-mounted lenses, etc....

BTW I am jealous of your P2, congrats ;-)

11-Apr-2010, 11:42
Thanks Frank; this huge camera seems pretty cool so far. I'll go over onto german ebay.

As far as bracketing, with color films at $10 a sheet, I'm feeling anal about exposure :)

David McNiven
11-Apr-2010, 11:58
I don't know anything about the sekonic, sorry.
All the probes I've seen were long enough for 8x10 - I don't recall seeing a 4x5 version.
Minolta made a probe as well as Gossen, called the Booster 1. Sinar put their name on both I think.
See them occasionally on the Bay. Not cheap and the Gossen usually makes much more. Saw a Sinar electronic shutter, back & probe listing yesterday.
Not much to choose between the probes, the connector & cable is the weak point with all of them.
There may be a cheap alternative if you're handy. Minolta Booster 2 can be found cheaply and could be modified by moving the SPD sensor to the end of a probe - Booster 2 has a dial for calibration which makes things easy. Still need the meter though. Booster 2 is versatile in its own right - check the manual on Mike Butkus' site.
Gossen Profi Select probe works with ambient, flash or mixed and can be used with other Gossens too - my favourite is the Mastersix.
Minota Booster does the same job with Minolta meters (and now Kenko I believe). I use the old Flashmeter 1V.
It's a slow way of working so I nearly always use a handheld spot meter - outdoors at least. The probe can mark the GG too.
If the probe is parked in the vertical slot & the back is in good order there's no light-trap problem - the lever doesn't always lock the disc as it should though and it's a risk when the probe isn't there.

12-Apr-2010, 03:39
A small piece of black gaffer's tape over that hole will save you a lot of time, money, and headaches. Did anyone outside of Switzerland or Singapore ever use those things?

I did/do use a FM IV with Booster for studio close-up work. But I quit using it for outdoor and non-flash work rather soon - it really is a studio device.

Armin Seeholzer
12-Apr-2010, 04:26
I have the Broncolor FM II with probe and it works with flash, also the Gossen Mastersix with probe works with flash and I think the Minolta with the probe also!
The older Sinar six with probe is a pain in the ass and does not work with flash!!!!

Hope it helps I only use it for macro but also not much anymore, its nice to have but I would not buy one anymore!


Allen in Montreal
12-Apr-2010, 04:39
In the mid 90s I had one of these probes,
If you had the right attachments, they connected to the Minolta Auto Meter lll.
Which is a great meter in the studio because it calculates multiple flash bursts if you need 11 pops of the flash to get to F90 etc.
The Minolta lll has a pc cord fitting and the probe fits into the spot where the white dome is.

12-Apr-2010, 11:07
I just got a deal on a booster 1, and i'm picking up a minolta flashmeter IV this afternoon.

Thanks for all of the advice!