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Thread: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2021
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    Italy
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    6

    which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    Helloes.

    Abruptly my old Pentax Spotmeter V ceased to function: when I push the "battery check button" the index moves in the expected position; but the reading button cause the needle to just move a little bit (from the right far end of the scale toward the extreme right); moving the finder trought a scene has no effects: the needle moves just a little bit, and sticks to its "new" position, on the extreme right of the reading scale.

    I'll open and try to check it: in the meantime I need an alternative, and I am searching for something that, like the Spotemeter V, is robust and rugged, simple and easy to read and use.
    But there are not many alternatives...
    The Pentax digital spotmeter is quite expensive and, wishing to pay a premium price, I would prefer to buy a new unit instead of another used lightmeter.

    Searchng between the brand new units, I have found only fully featured digital lightmeters which (apart from offering too many functions and buttons for my needs) to the spot reading trought a finder add telescopic domes and rotating heads that are a no-no for my use in the field: for me they are really too much large and cumbersome.

    I was thinking to update my media and start using an Android phone app... but I would consider this as a backup solution, and not as my new standard procedure.

    On the bay I have also seen a simple spot-meter from China: a boxy plastic spotmeter at little more than USD 100: it could be fine for me, but I have not found clear specs list s nor any reports.

    So, I am here begging for help... I would ask:

    - which spot lightmeter are today offered, and there are any without too many bell and whistles (resembling the Pentax Spotmeter V) ?
    - which alternatives cwould you suggest (Android app, old spot lightmeter models...) ?

    Thanks for any suggestions that you'll offer me.

    Gianluca

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    Forest Grove, Ore.
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    4,143

    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    Of course, Pentax Digital spot meters are excellent. I just purchased a Zone VI modified version.

    As a result, I sold a Minolta Digital Spotmeter F that I thought was good.

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...al-Spotmeter-F

    I might have stuck with it, but I have a functioning Pentax V (modified) that I use for testing, and I wanted its digital counter part for field use.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Jacksonville Florida
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    165

    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    Back in the late nineties I had earned about $600 from some photos I had taken around my home town for a book by an outfit that sold advertising space in a book about the town (turned out to be some kind of scam). At that time the Sekonic L508 was being sold as the last meter you will ever need. That's where my $600 dollars went. I still have it and it is a good field meter with its 1 degree spot very useful for the zone system and it has an averaging feature with multiple readings.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
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    928

    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    The sekonic meters are quite useful whether you need all the functions are not. I just set it to EV mode and use the SPOT option. Another issue is how low an EV will a meter go for low light shooting for those few times you may need it, some only go as low as EV3 vs some EV-1. I agree the digital touch screens like the 800 series are probably not the best for general field use, but the 500-700 series screens are fine in any light and back lit when needed.

    Phone apps are likely to expire as the phone software changes. I have lost two expensive apps because the authors could not keep up with Apple.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Italy
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    6

    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    thanks to all for your thought and suggestions.

    I agree with you all, and surely I like very much Sekonics.
    In facts, I was very tempted from the SEKONIC L-408: but its 5 degree spot is too wide, otherwise it would have been perfecdt for me: small, regular shape amnd without moving parts.

    But, I repeat: I would strongly prefer a unit without a rotating top section (the one hosting the lumosphere): maybe such a mount makes the meter very versatile in studio when on a tripod. But it makes it too fragile for my own use.

    Maybe I have to just buy another Spotmeter V, or bite the bullet and buy a Pentax digital Spotmeter...

    G.

  6. #6

    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    I don't see where anyone has mentioned the Reveni Labs spotmeter. I haven't given mine a thorough workout yet, but from what little experience I have it does seem to work as advertised. There are some youtube reviews out there by Mat Marrash and Nick Carver. It is very light and compact.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Italy
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    6

    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    The Reveni is based on a "īnfinite projected" reading spot: its functioning principle is the same that you can find on Korea war era airfighter cockpit, or red-dot finder; amateur astronomers and also theater light technicians use a Telrad pointer on their telescope or bull's eye.

    Now: the priciple in itself is smart.
    But -at now lacking detailed feedbacks - I fear that such an interesting meter asks for careful operation.
    Surely I am wrong, but my fear is that some error could be introduced in pointing/reading when used from a tired subject in less than ideal situations. My experience comes from having noted that a sensible fraction of people has problems when observing with binoculars: most needs just to be accostumed to the new viewing experience, some have a residual strabism or a strabism caused from lacking of the same references coming from both eyes.

    I mean: I like the Reveni, but I would also be sure that it can always be pointed and read with the same accuracy and consistency as we can do by using the "traditional" spot meters based on a beamsplitter finder.

    G.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Rondo, Missouri
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    2,100

    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    Either the Pentax Digital Spotmeter or one of the Soligor 1 degree spot meters will be good. Soligor put out both an analog and a digital version of their spot meter. Both were good performers.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,229

    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    Been using a Minolta spot meter F for decades, works good.

    Recently got a Kenko KFM-2200 combo spot/incident light meter, works good too as a combo spot/incident light meter for ambient and strobe/flash.
    https://kenkousa.com/products/kfm-22...nd-flash-meter

    In all cases the flash/strobe meter is mandatory as strobe/flash is often used and very often combined with ambient lighting.


    Bernice

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    329

    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    I like having the fallback of incident metering as well, so I mostly use a Sekonic L-508. When I got it ~4 years ago they could be had for $150-$200, but they seem to have risen in price. I did recently get a Minolta Spotmeter F, for $150, so they seem to have held their price down a bit. Like you I'd have loved the the Sekonc L-408--just the right size, and incident as a fall back, but the 5 degree just seems a little too wide for my use. I may try the Reveni after they've been out a little longer with real user feedback.

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