Pentax SpotmeterV vs Soligor Spot Sensor II : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


Could someone please help me decide between Pentax SpotmeterV and Soligor Spot sensorII. I could not find any comprehensive review on Soligor spot sensor but the tech spec of both these spotmeters sound good enough for a serious hobbyist. Ofcourse, the cause of this dilemma is price. Soligor costs almost half the price of SpotmeterV. Thanks in advance.

-- Photon (, September 03, 1999


I was in the same quandry myself but wound up keeping my Luna Pro SBC with spot attachment. I had concluded to purchase the Soligor because of the price. Go on over to Ebay and watch the auctions, they both show up there from time to time and you can save even more $.

I know that Zone VI used to modify these as well as the Pentax, but goodness knows if they do now that Calumet has taken over.

-- Sean yates (, September 03, 1999.

I've never used the Soligor and can't comment on it. However several people do and are quite happy with it. The only reason I got the Pentax was that I managed to get a good enough deal on a used piece that there wasn't the usual price differential between them . Seriously, the Soligor may have no snob appeal but it will probably get the job done. I wouldn't even worry terribly if Zone VI doesn't modify the Soligors. Its pretty easy to make those little stickers yourself and paste it on your meter. You might even consider the digital version - its lighter and might be more rugged, no delicate little needle. DJ

-- N Dhananjay (, September 03, 1999.

There's a digital Soligor on E-bay right now that's up to $183.01.

The Zone VI modification theoretically involves(ed) more than just the sticker. I say theoretically because I've heard stories, but it is/was fairly involved and included adding a U.V. baffle and a filter pack to modify the meter's response to that of B&W film. If you want a complete run-down on this you might try the Calumet web-site. Or, I could e-mail you a verbaitim quote from the last Zone VI catalog.

I am not a Zone VI advocate or detractor, just relaying info.

-- Sean yates (, September 03, 1999.

Thanks for the clarification, Sean. From what I've heard, the Zone VI modification is to ensure that the spectral sensitivity of the meter cell matches that of Tri-X. Which might not be too helpful when one shoots a lot of other film. Not pro or con Zone VI myself either. DJ

-- N Dhananjay (, September 03, 1999.

I'm a LF newbie, as of this past spring, so I don't have a LOT of experience. But, I found a deal on a Minolta Spot F and have been using it all summer. I am very happy with its performance, durability and accuracy (not necessarily in that order). I am using the Zone System and have not run into any issues using the Minolta in this capacity. So you might want to add a third meter to your list of possibilities.

-- Scott Bacon (, September 03, 1999.

I have a Soligor digital spot meter that I've used (and abused) for about two years. It works fine. I personally see no reason to spend the extra money for the Pentax.

-- Chris Patti (, September 03, 1999.

Well, since we're all giving testimonials here... I have an analog Soligor, which I bought used for $99, and it suits me just fine. I'm sure that's it's off (on the minus side) by about a full stop, so I just set the shutter up a couple stops and get those nice, dense negatives I love. One day I'll actually adjust it...

-- Chad Jarvis (, September 03, 1999.

There's a Soligor digital going on the classifieds for $75. DJ

-- N Dhananjay (, September 04, 1999.

Calumet still sells the Zone-VI modified Pentax spotmeters. They are priced a little over $600 and are worth every penny. The modifications include: a series of baffles to eliminate flare; an ultra-black infrared absorbent coating to eliminate reflections; four corrective filters: infrared, UV, and visual range packs; a superior photo- electric cell; and calibration of the meter to within one-sixth of a stop of linearity over the entire metering range. These modifications have nothing to do with Tri-X (?!?). I've used this meter for over two years and would never use anything else.

-- john costo (, September 06, 1999.

If you want to lose any confidence you may have in your spot meter (except possibly a genuine Zone VI) read "Controls in Black and White Photography (2nd ed) by R. Henry (Focal Press 1988) p187+ Luckily, he has a method to check calibration you can use if you are paranoid about such things.

-- Richard C. Trochlil (, January 28, 2000.

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