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

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    The Minolta and digital Pentax read identically. I've had both, and find the Pentax a lot faster and more intuitive to read, and more rugged too. My oldest one is now nearly 50 yrs old, has gone through hell, and is held together with black electrical tape, but still reads correctly! (It was recalibrated twice over those years). I have several. My latest was purchased "like new" a few years ago for only $200. Lucky find.

  2. #12

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

    I use the Sekonic 508. Zoom spot. I use it also in the studio as a flash meter, or an incident light meter.
    I own the gear, but those don't make masterpieces. My everyday experience.

  3. #13
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    I have used a Minolta Autometer IV f for years with a 5 deg spot attachment. Works for me.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  4. #14

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

    ill buy your broken meter for parts?... $25

    .

  5. #15
    Niels
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    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    Risking opening a can of worms here, but are you (OP) using the Zone System?
    In my limited experience with Large Format photography I fail to find a spotmeter essential when not implementing the Zone System.
    I have a Pentax Spotmeter III and a tiny Sekonic L-308 and have observed that an incident reading with the proper adjustments based on personal experience will arrive at the same result as when I do multiple spotmeter readings and calculate exposure.
    The latter just takes longer and the spotmeter adds another half kilo to my field load.

    Other people's experiences will likely vary, but I am personally not convinced that a spotmeter is a necessity for large format.
    ----
    Niels

  6. #16

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

    Helloes,
    and thanks to each one that has replied to my questions.

    @ fotopfw:
    thanks, but again I repeat: the Sekonixcs are fantastic machines, and by muyself I have already underlined that they seems to me fitting better in a studio environment. For my own use in the field they are too much large, plus the rotating/retracting dome is too much delicate, protruding from the main body I fear that they'll last a few minutes in my hands

    @ Drew Bedo:
    thanks Drew. In facts 5 degrees are too much a wide reading area. In case, I would havce already bought a Sekonik L-408 (that would have been the perfect choise if it was not for the 5 degrees reading area).

    @ Paul Ron
    thanks, but I want to try a repair. In any case I am located in Italy...

    @ nitroplait
    Yes: you kicked the point: I am a Zone System aficionado.
    Apart from exposing each single sheet after having evaluated the scene contrast and havig defined the specific exposure index that I think would fit better etc., I apply myself mostly to landscape photography, and I am also wayting for a Malefic 617 camera. So, not only I apply the ZS approach, but also when I shoot roll film I find that far objects over a wide field of view call for a spot lightmeter.

    @ abruzzi
    How did it happen that you chose such a nickname ?
    I ask so because not only, as just told above, I am located in Italy... but -more specifically- I am located in Abruzzo !

    @ all
    in any case, tonight I won a bidding on a Spotmeter V in good shape. Shipping and import taxes will make it not very cheap, but the overall cost has been decent. Also analog devices can be very delicate (the moving needle can be put out of service from a shock), but I like that, while looking trough the finder, I can read in real time the EV values coming from each spot in the scene and literally understand the EV differences from the needle's movement. I found that it is a better choise even in cold cionditions (LCD does not react happily in such environment).

    So, thanks again to all, and back to shooting.

    My best from Italy.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Jacksonville Florida
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    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    For incident readings (as well as reflected) the most reliable meter I have is American made. It has military grade movement (yes it is analogue). It is/was made by Zalco INC of/in Oregon, its known as the ZLM1. I bought it new (about $180) ages ago. I found another one on Ebay a few years later for $5. I don't think most people new what it was. Both meters are still working flawlessly. Although I prefer to use the Sekonic L-508 for reflected spot measurement, the ZLM1 is always available as a backup.

  8. #18

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gianluca-LFP View Post
    @ abruzzi
    How did it happen that you chose such a nickname ?
    I ask so because not only, as just told above, I am located in Italy... but -more specifically- I am located in Abruzzo !
    Thats my last name! I'm an American, but my great grandfather on my father's side was an immigrant from Campobasso back in about 1905. My understanding is that back then Campobasso was in Abruzzo at the time, then later Molise was split off? Back then the Italian immigration to the US was so huge that lots of shortcuts were taken, and the 1910 census had my great grandfather named Isadore Abruzzese. I don't know what his last name was originally, but we suspect that everyone on the boat was from Abruzzo and they gave everyone that name (this is all geneological research I did a long time ago.) Later census' his last name was changed to Abruzzi.

    EDIT: oh, and ~5 years ago I visited Italy for the first time, and spent some time in L'Aquilla, Campobasso, and several other towns in the Abruzzo region.

  9. #19
    Arca-Swiss
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    May 2002
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    The issue with Soligor Spotmeters is they used CDS cells which had issues. The Pentax Digital used a GaspD cell that did not have memory like the CDS did. For Zone system, the Pentax V, was the best as you could put a zone dial marking on it, which made the Zone system very simple. Also both the Pentax Digital and the Minolta digital spot, allowed the user to meter through a filter, but many of the rest did not with consistent accuracy.

    The Sekonic meters are accurate, but not easy, in my opinion, to use for Zone work and calculate the exposure and then see the development required for the film.

    The Zone VI meters, were calibrated for TRI-X exposure and development curves, but seemed to be fine on most films.

    Rod
    Rod Klukas
    US Representative
    Arca-Swiss International
    480-755-3364


    Digital Camera Solutions including R-series Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras and Ballheads. 480-755-3364

  10. #20
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: which Spot lightmeter for field use (dead Spotmeter V) ?

    The spectral sensitivity of the SPD's on the Pentaxes and Minoltas is relatively symmetrical, and reaches its peak on green just like the normal human eye. Metering through colored contrast filters is always questionable because the meter itself responds differently from film, and even pan films differs from one another somewhat in spectral sensitivity. Not a good idea in general, and no realistic substitute for determining up front the relevant filter factors for any specific combination. But mfg spec sheets generally give a starting filter factor for the most common filter colors for any respective film of theirs.

    As far as Soligor spotmeters go, they don't have the same quality lens coatings as the Pentax either, so are more susceptible to flare. But I use rubber lens shades on my spotmeters regardless.

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