Spot Meter Disaster : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I dropped my Soligor Digital Spot Meter. I don't know it's history previous to mine but it was much more accurate than others I'd tried and had the Zone 6 stickers on it. Soooooooo, I dropped it, the 2nd meter in nearly 40 years of photography! And now it usually shows 0.0 in the eyepiece, although sometimes the numbers change to the correct reading and other times I get meaningless numbers. Does anybody know what part of this gismo is most sensitive to shock? Would disassembling it do any good? Does anybody repair these things?

-- Richard C. Trochlil (, October 12, 2000


If it had the Zone VI stickers, contact Calument photo about sending it to them for repair.

From Calumet Photo:

Calumet Photographic
attn: Zone VI Service
1111 N Cherry St
Chicago, IL 60622

-- Brian C. Miller (, October 12, 2000.

Quality Light Metric in Hollywood CA is the only place to send a broken meter. They do fabulous work on meters that are no longer supported by the manufacturer, for a reasonable price. Check them out on the person to person feedback for their address.

-- Jim McDonough (, October 12, 2000.

George Milton Quality Light-Metric 6922 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 210 Hollywood, California 90028 1-213-467-2265

We know George is good, he doesn't have e-mail!

-- David F. Stein (, October 12, 2000.

Richard: Send it to Richard Ritter. Contact him at: Richard most likely assembled your meter [that was his job at Zone VI, and after they closed, he set up shop for himself. He works on LF cameras and on meters. You can find his ads in Shutterbug. He's done work for me, and for some others I referred to him. All give him high marks for good work. Certainly not the fastest in the world, but his work is done right, and at most reasonable rates.

-- Alec (, October 12, 2000.


I've also had my Zone VI Soligor repaired. My experience may be helpful. First I sent it to Qulity Light Metrics, who repaired it incredibly quickly, but reset it to "factory specifications", meaning that it read completely differently than before. They recommended sending into Zone VI for "calibration". It appears that, although QLM is good, they aren't set up to deal with the Zone VI modified meters. So, I sent it in to Calumet, who sent it on to what is left of Zone VI in Vermont. I suspect it is some tech working out of his garage. After too long I received the meter back with no receipt, no detail of the work done and no indication of what calibrations/changes etc. had beed made. (Earlier, when Zone VI was alive, they would include before and after readings, deviations from linear and other useful info).

Shortly after that, I heard some rattling in my meter and, upon openint the battery compartment, found what was the remains of the famous Zone VI filter pack: three or four small CC filter disks. Upon testing through different filters I determined that, indeed, my newly repaired meter didn't function as intended.

This began a lengthy e-mail exchange with Bob Soelke at customer service at Calumet (who was singularly uninformed and unhelpful in this instance, although he has been very helpful to me in the past and since then wiht other matters unrelated to Zone VI). I eventually ended up sending in my Soligor meter again for repair, which took too long, and it is now back and working to specs. I was charged $150 on my credit card for the original work (still no receipt or invoice for work done), which everyone at Calumet customer service agrees was too much, but, after two years, cannot seem to figure out how to credit to my account. Even after numerous requests, I still have no invoice or receipt for the two repair jobs (at least I could deduct the overcharge from my taxes!).

I now no longer buy any "Zone VI" products from Calumet. The right hand just doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Zone VI is separat, but their customer interface is Calumet, who doesn't seem to know anything about what is left of Zone VI except selling the products. I'm used to being able to deal with the manufacturers when I have repair or malfunction problems. This isn't possible with Calucet/Zone VI.

So, as far as your repair goes:

Choice number one: Send it to Richard Ritter if you can confirm that he was indeed a tech who worked for the original Zone VI.

Choice number two: Send it to Calumet with a detailed description of the problem and after speaking with a customer service rep and pray.

Choce three: Send it to Quality Light Metrics and simply use it without the Zone VI modifications. That means recalibrating, etc and losing the features you purchased the meter for in the first place.

Good Luck, ;^D)

-- Doremus Scudder (, October 16, 2000.

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