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Thread: Light Meter for Large Format (4x5) Landscape Photography

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Suwanee, GA

    Re: Light Meter for Large Format (4x5) Landscape Photography

    Save up and buy a SPOT, flash, and Incident combo meter like the Sekonic L508, L558, L608, or L758 (used). You will likely only ever need the one meter no matter what type of photography you do, Except maybe very low light. If you happen to need low light there are incident light models that will go as low as -4EV @ ISO 100. Sekonic L448.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart

  2. #22
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Light Meter for Large Format (4x5) Landscape Photography

    where is the monolith

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Europe, Switzerland

    Re: Light Meter for Large Format (4x5) Landscape Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    I prefer Sekonic, too, especially the L28c2. It costs ~40 USD on ebay ... They work accurately without battery. Even when it's cold or hot. Incident light with Rodinal 1+100 or HC110 H 1+63 is quite uncomplicated.

    But the Gossen Mastersix / Ultra Pro is a very useful device, too, on which you can put a 7,5 tele attachment.

  4. #24
    Ironage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Groton, Connecticut

    Re: Light Meter for Large Format (4x5) Landscape Photography

    +1 on the Sekonic L28. Simple, incident, no battery.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  5. #25
    pendennis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Southeast Michigan

    Re: Light Meter for Large Format (4x5) Landscape Photography

    I own several -
    • Pentax Digital Spot Zone VI converted
    • Soligor Spot Zone VI converted
    • Soligor Spot (unconverted)
    • Sekonic L508
    • Gossen Luna Pro SBC

    The purpose built spot meters are all accurate to within 1/3 EV (tested against a known grey background and constant illumination.

    A good Soligor can be had on eBay, for around $70. The Pentaxes, whether analogue or digital, are reaching "astronomical" prices. However, I managed to find my Sekonic for $100 on Craig's List, and it really does great.

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    La Luz del Oeste, Albuquerque NM

    Re: Light Meter for Large Format (4x5) Landscape Photography

    Pentax DIGITAL spotmeter. I have a friend who dropped his Pentax analog while photographing in Europe. Became a big problem.
    Peter Collins

    On the intent of the First Amendment: The press was to serve the governed, not the governors --Opinion, Hugo Black, Judge, Supreme Court, 1971 re the "Pentagon Papers."

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Apr 2020

    Re: Light Meter for Large Format (4x5) Landscape Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by lassethomas View Post
    I think my struggles with spot meters is the actually process. It takes too long time, and it makes you focus too much on technical issues and parts of the composition, instead of the being in the place and taking in the whole composition. If that makes any sense..
    I must be doing something wrong. I picked up an analog Cambron (ie, Soligor) spot meter in good condition (Still in the carry case, where it has obviously lived most of it's life), and metering has always been fairly simple, or at least, the way I approach it.

    For the vast majority of scenes, I meter the darkest and lightest areas of the composition, determine the EV range of the scene, and assuming there are fewer than 7 stops of range, I split the difference, and use the midpoint for my exposure. I realize there are scenes that I might want to capture that will challenge this method, but so far every shot I've metered this way has come out fine.

    Personally, it's only a few seconds to get the readings, and then do a quick lookup (Eventually, I'll learn the tables, but for now, I have to look up the aperture/speed combinations).

    I think working with the EV numbers simplifies the process tremendously. My only complaint with the meter is I can't read it in the dark (analog meter instead of digital readout).

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Europe, Switzerland

    Re: Light Meter for Large Format (4x5) Landscape Photography

    Hi, it seems that really all modern light meters since 1980 are suitable, and above all they are not expensive, because current cameras all have a built-in light meter with many refinements .

    Today I was in our local forest in pouring rain. I wanted to take pictures of trees in the fog, without shadows or background structures, in black and white. Despite the huge golf umbrella, which I attached to my tripod with a Manfrotto clamp, the equipment got a little wet. It seems that the humidity of the air condensed on the cold equipment.

    In this setting the light meter had to meet several requirements that I don't think about that often, as I remarked today.

    1. it had to have enough surface area to stick on tables that listed the Schwarzschild/reciprocity factors for each film on the one hand, and the prolongation factors for macro extensions and filters on different lenses on the other. Especially in the rain, you don't want to calculate too much anymore.

    2. it must be reasonably waterproof. Sure, you can also put it in a nylon bag. But that falsifies the measurement.

    3. it must display contrast ranges quickly and easily, especially for multiple measurements with averaging.

    4. it must have a telephoto or spot function so that you can stay under the umbrella.

    5. it needs a cord to hang the light meter around your neck because you only have two hands and your hands are wet.

    If you really want to spend 150 USD, you should consider the Sekonic L408, for example.

    This light meter is waterproof, has 5 spot as a fixed telescope, averaging, light metering, it shows contrast ranges on an aperture scale, it has a cord, and it has enough space to attach all kinds of additional information on it, which makes it more valuable. It is also very light and more compact than the big L508, L558 or L758 with the rotating head that can break off. It runs on standard AA batteries, which can be purchased anywhere. It is a pity that such a thing is no longer produced today.

    The Sekonic L408 can be used with restrictions for the zone system. The first limitation is the measuring angle of 5. The second is the averaging, which only takes 3 measurements into account. But this is enough to measure III and VII.

    If you like backuping, also in terms of exposure meters, you could put a L408 together with an even lighter Sekonic L308 in your photo bag. The L308 - the little brother of the L408, is very small, and it seems to me that it is one of the lightest light meters available today. Both light meters are very reliable.

  9. #29

    Re: Light Meter for Large Format (4x5) Landscape Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoffitt1990 View Post
    The *bay lmao...Is that a faux pas in these forums?

    Where can I send it out to get calibrated?
    I've used Quality Light Metric in the past with great service. They're out of CA.

  10. #30
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Light Meter for Large Format (4x5) Landscape Photography

    Spotmeters with readable dials are the fastest and most intuitive of all, at least if you want accuracy. But which ever method you choose, sheer familiarity and practice are what count. The Zone System is something else entirely; and it and spotmeters are not necessarily married together. Hollywood uses more spotmeters than all of us put together. That's why Quality Light Metric is in the same area. And just look at the IRE scale on the Pentax.

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