RE:What is a good spot meter : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Thanks for all the previous responses.

Is the Zone IV meter worth the extra money?

-- Bryan (, January 09, 2001


No. It reads two zones too low! ;^)

-- Pete Andrews (, January 10, 2001.


The digital Pentax 1 degree spotmeter works great. I've used it in all sorts of weather and dropped it (not intentionally) several times and it keeps on ticking. I highly recommend it! I would not pay extra for the Zone VI modification. If you understand how the meter interprets color and luminance values, there's no need for the mod.


-- Pete Caluori (, January 10, 2001.

I have a related point/question concerning the Pentax digital spot. I was checking out the relative accuracy of a Gossen Luna-Pro and a Rolleiflex on board meter and noticed that the Pentax seems to be quite sensitive to polarization! Namely when metering the sky overhead, the reading changes by more than a full stop when I rotate the meter by 90 degrees. This convinced me to (i) never meter the sky directly again and (ii) never meter through a polarizer. I did not notice this effect when metering reflected light as in normal use.

I assume the optics and/or sensor in this meter are polarization dependent. Does the Zone VI modified meter correct this 'problem'??

-- Richard Ross (, January 10, 2001.

Bryan, I can't comment on the Modified meter but I do use an old Pentax (with the needle inside) and it works just fine. I've not been off with it yet. I've built a lens hood for it for flare and that's about it. The old Pentax shouldn't be that expensive to purchase anymore.

-- Dave Anton (, January 10, 2001.

Re: metering through a polarizer: you might need a circular polarizer for the Pentax digital, it depends on how the light is moved towards the photo cell. You could try it and see if you get similar results.

Regarding the meter: The Zone VI mods correct for some of the flare problems (at least Fred Picker said they did). I had mine modified a decade ago, just after I bought the meter. The meter was $190 and mod was $125. I haven't regreted it, but with today's prices, I would only do it if I were getting inconsistent results.

I have since then bought 2 other meters: a Sekonic selenium cell incident light meter (that saved me when my battery in the Zone VI conked out) and a Polaris flash/incident/reflected meter. I like both of these as well. For a basic approach, forgetting Zone System, the Sekonic incident approach has a lot going for it. The only real issue would be in high contrast scenes where you would have to modify your exposure to compensate. At around $200, not a bad option.

-- Charlie Strack (, January 10, 2001.

I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the Minolta Spotmeter F, widely regarded as an industry standard. Several years ago I investigated the range available and went for the Minolta, and found it to be a revelation: sophisticated (it has a very high degree of rejection of extraneous light outside the 1-degree measuring circle)yet simple to use, and very educational. When my equipment was stolen from a rental car in France, one of the first things I replaced was the Spot F, which I now regard as invaluable. Can't speak for the Pentax etc which others recommend, but do not neglect the Minolta.

-- Anthony Harrison (, January 11, 2001.

Anthony is dead on about the Minolta F. It's the only piece of Minolta I own, I love it, if it ever broke I'd replace it with the same thing immediately, and it's a bargain for the price.

-- Jim Galli (, January 14, 2001.

Hi, Here is another big fan of Minolta spotmeter F!

-- Khai Do. (, January 15, 2001.


What about the accuracy of Minolta Spotmeter M ?


-- Bruce Barelly (, April 19, 2001.

Another vote for the Minolta Spot Meter F! The Spotmeter is also a fine meter, both are accurate in both bright light and dim light situations. The difference between them is that the Spotmeter F also reads electronic flash.

-- Ellis Vener (, April 21, 2001.

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