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King of Light Meters


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#1 Nick Norton

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 02:26 PM

I'm looking to purchase a light meter for uses in 8mm and 16mm film projects, 35mm photography, and medium to large format photography.

However, i know nothing about light meters.

Should i be looking for only one light meter to accomplish everything i need, or should i get one for film and another for photography?

I am looking for the light meter i'll take to my grave... not one i'll need to update/replace in a year or two.

Any help would be awesome-

Nicholas
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 03:44 PM

I'm looking to purchase a light meter for uses in 8mm and 16mm film projects, 35mm photography, and medium to large format photography.
Nicholas

My vote (and purchase) was for a Spectra IV-A. It's very film friendly, has ranges and settings that are good for both still and motion work, and is widely used in professional circles. It's so widely used that you can always find someone this Forum (or others) that can help you use it. It won a Technical Academy Award when it was introduced, that should tell you something about how working professionals feel about it.

Many pros have a IV-A, spot meter, possibly even a color meter but for starters the IV-A will serve you well.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 03:55 PM

I suppose you'll also want to use it for FLASH photography as well? So, you'd want one with that hookup.

Most Sekonic digital meters have the flash hookup so that'd probably be your best option. L758 would probably be your best and top of the line option.

Minoltas are good I hear, but I don't know what their manufacturer maintenance situation is now.
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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 05:28 PM

I've had a Minolta IV-F for about 12 years now. It's a great meter, with flash capability as well. It was replaced by the V-F, which I'm sure was also good, but as Jonathan points out, servicing may be an issue with Minolta out of the Photography market.
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#5 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:31 PM

My personal favorite is the Sekonic L-358. It has flash module capabilities, still settings, cine settings, flash photography settings, ISO memory, and is relatively an inexpensive incident meter. The nice thing about it too is rather than shading, you can retract the lumisphere for directional measurements. You can also swap out the lumisphere for a spot accessory ( there's a few actually, I think ranging from 45° to 10° ) for reflected metering. At a good price, it's a great meter.
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#6 John Brawley

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:48 PM

I must agree with Hal.

I find the spectra is the meter of choice for me. The sekonic's look great on paper, but for me they are sooo friggin complicated and fiddly with too many buttons to get in the way when the sun's going down and the directors screaming for the shot....

I have seen it happen a few times where DOP's have two different ASA's punched in, forget which is which and get it wrong. Take incident readings when they think they're doing reflected. You don't want your meter to have to get in the way of just taking a reading. Having so many features and options means you have to be on top of what's programmed in.

The Spectra is so simple. And although it feels plasticky it's incredibly resilient. One DOP i know walked though a river with it on his belt, got it totally wet and it still worked. I've dropped mine and knocked it about. The only down side would be if you wanted flash.

Other than that, go for simple and fast. Get a Spectra.

Edited by John Brawley, 26 July 2007 - 08:49 PM.

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#7 e gustavo petersen

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 10:00 PM

I have more meters than I should admit. I'm a big fan of the Sekonic meters ever since I was shooting still photography after high school. Right now my "weapons of choice" are my L758 Cine (I use it for still and motion picture photography) and my Pentex Digital Spotmeter (which I use mostly for Blue and Green screen work). I can't say that I've ever had a problems with the multitude of options the meter offer and it certainly hasn't slowed me down on set.
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#8 Nick Norton

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 09:36 AM

What about shutter angle?

I am looking to purchase a Canon 1014XLS 8mm camera which has variable shutter angles.

Is there something on the light meter to compensate for this? Do you need to compensate for this?

Thanks-
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#9 e gustavo petersen

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 06:45 PM

I don't know how other meters are set-up by the Sekonic can compensate for shutter angle changes. You can download the manual to all their light meters and see if which will cover your needs.
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