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VARIOUS LIGHT METERS

[ INCIDENT & REFLECTIVE, FLASH & NON-FLASH LIGHT METERS ]

LIGHT METERS

Below are the light meters I have owned and/or used:

GOSSEN LUNA PRO F
MINOLTA AUTO METER IVF
MINOLTA SPOTMETER F [ YES ]
PENTAX DIGITAL SPOTMETER [ YES ]
POCKET SPOT BY METERED LIGHT [ YES ]
SEKONIC L-308B FLASHMATE
SEKONIC L-488 DIGI-SPOT
SEKONIC L-558R DUALMASTER
[ YES ]
LIGHT METER IMAGE GALLERY

LITERATURE AVAILABLE:
SEKONIC L-308B FLASHMATE & OTHER MODELS: SALES BROCHURE
SEKONIC L-488 DIGI-SPOT: SALES BROCHURE
SEKONIC L-558 DUALMASTER: SALES BROCHURE

GOSSEN LUNA PRO F

GOSSEN LUNA PRO F

The Gossen Luna Pro F was my first light meter. I still have the original I acquired while in photography school and do not want to let go of it. It has been used mostly for studio lighting, but in all honesty, I stopped using it decades ago, but I keep it as a backup for the studio and measure with it from time to time; it’s a classic. It is a precise and quality meter. I check its calibration against my DualMaster L-558R and it stays within range. It has many options for use and lots of numbers across its big wheel. Overall, it was an excellent light meter to learn lighting with. Here is the Gossen Luna Pro F Light Meter – Crash Course video by Michael Raso from the Film Photography Project. If you need to see how to operate the Luna Pro F, watch the video or check out a pdf version of its manual from butkus.org.

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SEKONIC L-558R DUALMASTER

The Sekonic L-558 Dualmaster is my studio workhorse. The Dualmaster is an incident flash meter and a 1° spotmeter. It does equally well outside the studio as it does inside the studio. The “R” stands for Radio Transmitter/Remote, as it can trigger studio lights with the correct PocketWizard card installed. I have used this meter for over a decade, and although the buttons and finish show their age, the electronics keep going. I could not find a video dedicated to the Dualmaster L-558R other than using it as a spot meter. I have used it as a spotmeter, and it has a gorgeous viewfinder when using its spotmeter option, but I wouldn’t say I like taking this meter outside the studio as I have dedicated spotmeters for that use. When I started using the L-558R, I used it for inside and outside use, but eventually, it found its place in the studio.

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SEKONIC L-558R DUAL MASTER

SEKONIC L-488 DIGI-SPOT

SEKONIC L-488 DIGI-SPOT

I had two Sekonic L-488 Digi-Spot meters. They were my on-location workhorses for special event photography and corporate portraiture. They did a lot of work during the fifteen years I used them. At the time, I was firing four Vivitar HV 285 for on-location large group shooting. Imagine a corporate or special event with over twenty people posed for a group shot. I aimed the L-488’s ambient spot to meter the wall behind the subjects, set the shutter speed to the reading, adjusted the strategically placed flashes for one aperture stop over, and dragged the shutter on my Hasselblad. I shot for a warm atmosphere for portrait backgrounds with cold flashes. The L-488 offers spot flash reading, an excellent light metering tool. Both L-488 meters ended up in the repair shop when they got dropped, as the connection to the battery would become compromised. Looking back, the L-488 was a valuable workhorse as long as it was not dropped.

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SEKONIC L-308B FLASHMATE

 

I used the Sekonic L-308B Flashmate for on-location studio portraiture for a decade. It was a small and consistent flash meter that never faltered. When I taught studio lighting in the classroom full time, I chose the L-308S Flashmate (an updated model) for student studio assignments and tutorials. It was a perfect choice. Students quickly understood the basics of apertured controlled studio lighting with the aid of the L-308S Flashmate. Pictured to the right is my original L-308B Flashmate when I photographed it for sale on the used market. I would not hesitate to own one again.

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SEKONIC L-308S FLASHMATE

PENTAX DIGITAL SPOTMETER

PENTAX DIGITAL SPOTMETER
The Pentax Digital Spotmeter (PDS) is my most used meter outside the studio. (My quick review).

I have a hobby that began after I retired from portraiture and special event photography: black & white (BW) landscape photography. I also enjoy creating color and BW abstract photography and shooting color digital nature and landscapes while out and about with my Fuji and medium format digital. Still, BW landscape is a love of mine. The meter I use for this is the PDS. I was an early adopter of the Zone System method for metering and film development, and the PDS is a meter that supports the method well. I have a zone label stuck on the meter to aid in my metering, but it falls off, and I need to do something about that! You can read how I use the Zone System here. The best video I can offer is Nick Carver’s BGWG: #1 Light Meters (starting at 9:24). Nick offers a paid manual light metering course, which I have seen and can recommend if you are having difficulty learning zone metering out of a book. Nick uses slightly different terminology, but it means the same thing as zones. What I love the most about the PDS is its simple operation.

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POCKET SPOT BY METEREDLIGHT

The Pocket Spot (PS) by MeteredLight is a small dedicated BW spotmeter. It is easy to use and fits in a pocket comfortably. I leave it in a small fanny pack with a few other essential photography tools in my camper van just in case a tool acts up while I shoot. The PS is a popular meter and is hard to locate since the company stopped manufacturing them about a decade ago. The battery in the PS seems to last forever. I have only changed it once since I acquired it from the manufacturer in 2008-2009. The viewfinder is easy to read and uses EV numbers, which I prefer. I cannot say anything bad about this meter. Here is a video review of the PS by Stephen Schaub of FigalRevolution(com).

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POCKET SPOT BY METEREDLIGHT

MINOLTA SPOTMETER F

MINOLTA SPOTMETER F
The Minolta Spotmeter F is a popular 1° spotmeter. The F stands for flash. There is a similar model called the Minolta Spotmeter, which does not have the flash reading option. I acquired mine as a backup to my Pentax. The only problem is that it does not get used very often. I find it to be a great overall meter for averaging light. Here is a video explaining it: Minolta Spot Meter F by Carl Bozza.
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MINOLTA AUTO METER IVF & MORE

The Minolta Auto Meter IVF was discovered in the gear closet of a classroom I taught. It worked but eventually developed issues with powering up. It was a good meter, but after it started shutting down after turning it on too many times (fresh batteries installed did not cure it), I went ahead and ordered a new meter replacement, the Sekonic L-308S. During the time I was a student in photography school, I got to work with a Minolta Color meter and quickly discovered how metering can be very technical. Minolta has always been known for its quality light meters but is no longer in the business after it merged with Konica. Then Konica Minolta sold the photography part of their business to Sony.
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