What is a good spot meter?

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What is a good spot meter to buy?

Thanks, Bryan

-- Bryan (photoville@yahoo.com), January 09, 2001


I use a Pentax Spotmeter V analog. It is simple and accurate. It is about half the cost of a digital, but does the same job. They cost about $150-$200 used in good shape. The only drawback is that it is large.

I was using the 80/20 center weighted meter in my Nikon's before I had a spot meter. I just attached a telephoto lens to the Nikon body.The results were about the same, but a discrete spotmeter is more convenient.

-- Joseph Wasko (jwasko@erols.com), January 09, 2001.

I agree with the Pentax V analog. I have found mine to be dead accurate for my purposes and the price is defintiely reasonable. My only complaint is that the light for the lower end of the scale is sort of dim.

-- David N. VanMeter (davidvanmeter@columbus.rr.com), January 09, 2001.

Another vote for the Pentax. Doesn't have all of the digital bells and whistles, but certainly is accurate. Watch on Ebay for good deals in the $150 - $200 range.

-- bill youmans (bill@knobbles.com), January 09, 2001.

Bryan, up until a few months ago I was using the Pentax V but I finally treated myself to the Pentax Digital spot which is a dream to carry and use. So light and compact it slips into the coat pocket and you hardly know its there. However I will not part with the Pentax V it's an excellent meter and has never let me down in over 20 years service and I've only had to change the batteries once in that time!!! I only went for the digital because its so compact. Regards,

-- Trevor Crone (trevor.crone@uk.dreamcast.com), January 09, 2001.

Another option are the meters made by Soligor (which are apparently sold by Adorama under its own brand name). They are a little more than half the price of the Pentaxes ($250 for the Soligor digital and $200 for the analog at B&H). They are bulkier than the Pentax digital but more compact than the Pentax analog. My readings in the field (I have the digital model) have always seemed to match those of photographers standing next to me with Pentaxes. People say that the Soligor is more prone to flare, and maybe it is, but this hasn't been a big problem for me; I get good results with it. Despite four years of unconcsionable treatment, mine is still working well.

-- Chris Patti (cmpatti@aol.com), January 09, 2001.

Pentax digital. No bells and whistles but a most accurate, practical tool which lets you see the reading through the viewfinder (EV) as you take it and in addition has a zone system built-in.

-- Julio Fernandez (gluemax@ora.auracom.com), January 09, 2001.

If you purchase used, be sure to check the meter's alignment.

Do this by taking a reading of a dark area that borders on a light area. As you monitor the reading, edge the sensitive area from the dark area to the light area and back again. Make sure that the meter reading changes at the same time that the sensitive area of the meter begins to encroach on the light area. If not, then the sensor is out of alignment with the indicated sensitive area in the meter.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), January 10, 2001.

Bryan, although all the meters above will work fine, if you want utopia in a spot meter, which causes the least inconveince in the field, look for all information viewable through the viewfinder, which rules out analog, EV readings, flash modes, 1 - 5 deg readings, small in size, filter factors, time and f stop priority. These are probably limited to Pentax digital, Sekonik 778, Gossen spot. You will pay for these added features though... Robert White and Badger Graphics usually has much better prices on these meters.

-- Bill Glickman (bglick@pclv.com), January 10, 2001.

Stay away from the Gossen spot meter. I hear of accuracy problems and it has no readout on the outside. You have to look through it to get a reading. The Soligors are okay, but the lens is uncoated (flare prone) and they have a cheap feel. I like and use the Pentax V.

-- William Marderness (wmarderness@hotmail.com), January 10, 2001.

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