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Light meters - the best ones ones


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#1 Peter Emery

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 05:00 PM

I have a Gossen Starlite worth over £400. I don't trust it, it gives strange readings from time to time. I also feel that its cheaply made.

I have friends that own the Sekonic cine meters. I think they are cheaply made too. I've noticed bits falling off and the surface text rubbing off.

These are expensive bits of kit. I don't understand, why can't someone make a well made quality instrument that reflects the price. Something that I can trust and will last.

Does anyone agree?
What are the best meters?
I need a new one

Peter
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 05:11 PM

Personally the only complaint I can give of my Sekonic is that I broke the zipper on the pouch. It's one of the new L758 cine's and she's treated me wonderfully thus far. I have to agree, though, that I'm not a fan of the Gossens.
Spectra is also a good brand, but I don't believe they have a spot meter.
I still have an old Minolta that feels cheap, but been going strong for many years now.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 06:39 PM

I have a Spectra IV incident meter, and a Pentax Digital Spot meter, both of which I adore.

If solid construction is what you're looking for. The Pentax meter is about as good as it gets. The Spectra I have feels like it's made of weak plastic, but it's over 10 years old and doesn't have a scratch or crack on it.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 06:42 PM

My minolta autometer 4 is the best one I've owned. Tough as nails, runs on AA batteries, and it fits comfortably in a pocket. Oh, I dropped it off of a 25 or 30 foot rock overhang and it's fine after a calibration.
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#5 John Brawley

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 07:04 PM

Does anyone agree?
What are the best meters?
I need a new one

Peter



It's been discussed a few time here if you care to look in the archives.

The spectra's certainly do feel like cheap plastic but they can sure take a beating. I own two (one for backup) and have done some horrible things to them. The still keep working. Long ago, a DP I was assiting walked through a river with his on and it didn't miss a beat !

I also own a sekonic 778 Spot which I've had to repair a few times due to electrical troubles. I also own a minolta colour temp and their incident meters are pretty good to, just not quite as cine friendly...

So for me you can't go past the spectra. Ive seen meters sent to them for repair come back like almost new even though only a calibration was required.

jb
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#6 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 07:43 PM

GO SPECTRA CINE METERS!

(need I say more?)
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#7 Peter Emery

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 03:37 AM

It's looking like a Spectra. It seems you can only get them as an import from the US.

GO SPECTRA CINE METERS!

(need I say more?)


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#8 Christian Appelt

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 11:29 AM

I agree with Chris about Minolta's Autometer IV - easy to use and very rugged. Have been using one for years and it has taken numerous shocks and drops...still works fine.

Edited by Christian Appelt, 28 July 2008 - 11:33 AM.

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#9 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:11 PM

It's looking like a Spectra. It seems you can only get them as an import from the US.


Spectra meters are made in California only (one of few companies out there refusing to ship their manufacturing plants overseas).

They are really great meters. Industry standard, to be sure. You won't be disappointed (if you are you pbly will have to start your own light meter enterprise to be pleased), AND they come in a variety of pretty colors to boot. :lol:

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 28 July 2008 - 12:14 PM.

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#10 Brian Rose

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 01:06 PM

I got started on a Spectra Pro, and I still use it today. Simple, quick and it's never failed me. You would want to get one that has been recently serviced, and it's not exactly built like a tank, so you have to exercise care. For more precise work, I have a Minolta M Digital spotmeter. No moving parts so it can take a beating, and it's accurate to a tenth of a stop. One drawback is it doesn't have a cine speed (1/48 or 1/50), so you have to use 1/60, and then convert using a handy chart printed on the inside of the battery cover.

Hope this helps
Best,
BR
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