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Dear all, 

I ‘d like to know how you shoot your meterless Ms ?

I have been shooting M6TTL/M7 for 20 years now, and digital Ms for 8 years now.

In the past years I mainly shot digital, and foolishly sold my M7 to fund my first digital M…

I used to shoot my M4 and M3 as well, but only in B&W, and using a Gossen Digisix + sunny 16.

I am now coming more back to film and my meterless Ms and re-thinking the best way to meter : I’d like to avoid using a handheld meter, and wonder if some of you use a Voigtlander meter in the hot shoe : how efficient and fast is it ?how reliable ? What angle does it cover ?

 

Thanks for sharing your experience

Didier 

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Like you, I also have a handheld Gossen digital (and an old Weston that's still reasonably accurate), but have tended to use Sunny 16 quite a bit. When my eye is in, I can usually estimate within a stop in normal daylight conditions, which is fine for negative film, especially if I err a little on the side of overexposure. It helps to practice when shooting a metered camera to see how well you can predict what it will read. I've thought of getting a shoe meter, especially with the recent availability of reasonably priced small digital meters and copies of the VC meter from China, but have never quite got round to it. Even when I do have a meter, I tend not to measure every shot, but take a baseline reading and leave the meter in my pocket until the light changes. A smaller meter like the Digisix could be worn around your neck on a lanyard without looking too silly (they also make a shoe mount if you still have the meter, though it doesn't look as neat as the VC and its clones). Depending on what phone you have, you may be able to get pretty accurate reading with an app, which would be another option.

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In reality all accessory meters are hand held even if they are attached to the camera, you still have point, look at the settings and do something with them. Personally it's easier for me to meter off a convenient tone with a separate hand held meter, a Sekonic 308, 208, or Gossen or whatever, than point the camera at the scene as with an MR meter or cold shoe mounted meter, it feels faster and if doing street photography more discreet.

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I use a Reveni Labs Meter. They are 3D printed nylon and not much larger than a sugar cube. I have found for my needs they are accurate and handy. The OLED screen on the back of the meter is easy to read and they offer a Wide ISO range from 1 to 12,800. If you go to the “I Love my M4” you can see an image of it mounted on my camera. They are 120 Canadian dollars and the tiny buttons take some getting used to. They will never replace a larger multi function meter but for something handy and easy to use, the little Reveni is hard to beat.

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I use the sekonic Studio Deluxe II because it does not need a battery and the incident cover is standard size, while the meter is small.  It is one of my favorite.  However, I also use the original Leica MR4 meter.  The “newest” models still work well.  The meter has a low light function that also works well and it couples with the shutter dial, much like the Nikon F2 meters.

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Having owned just about every meter mention, with the exception of the MR-4, they all have their positive and negative attributes. For the most part, all are really good meters but they require you to carry them around in addition to the camera. The Voigtlander and VC clones that fit in the accessory shoe work well, same as the MR-4. The MR meters are getting to be more than fifty years old and require battery adapters. Everyone will have their own opinions on what works best. Even the phone apps work well but I’m to the point of wanting to carry as little as possible.

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I occasionally still use a Gossen Luna Pro for incident light readings, or I'm still experimenting with my Iphone meter, but mostly I use a variant of a Sunny 16. I had an MR-4 for a number of years, but sold it once I bought the Gossen and felt comfortable with the Sunny 16 concept. I keep a Jiffy Exposure Calculator in my car and an extract from that in my wallet. I thought about getting a Voigtlander  or Raveni, but I doubt it would get much use with the tools I already have.

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I've ended up back where I started 47 years ago: "The Egg" - a.k.a Sekonic Studio DeLuxe L-28c.

For all my film photography (Hassy SWC, Leica M2, Rolleicord, even my Mamiya 6 (which has a not-very-reliable through-the-viewfinder reflected meter)).

Why?

1) My accessory-shoes are mostly permanently occupied by wide-angle viewfinders.

2) Reflected meters meter the subject (and turn it into medium gray no matter what tone it really was) - incident meters measure the light.

3) No &%$#ing batteries required. Powered by its own photovoltaic selenium sensor.

4) Fits in a pocket, and at 205g, lighter than most M "pocketable" lenses.

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Posted (edited)

Weston Master V (x2).  1 with the SQA, the other with the M4. A cheap Russian meter with the 6x17 and a Kenko KFM2100 spotmeter on the rare occasion when I want to meter different levels across a large area (not often used I admit!).

Not only do I have too many cameras, I probably have too many lightmeters also :)

Edited by Graham (G4FUJ)
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18 hours ago, adan said:

I've ended up back where I started 47 years ago: "The Egg" - a.k.a Sekonic Studio DeLuxe L-28c.

For all my film photography (Hassy SWC, Leica M2, Rolleicord, even my Mamiya 6 (which has a not-very-reliable through-the-viewfinder reflected meter)).

Why?

1) My accessory-shoes are mostly permanently occupied by wide-angle viewfinders.

2) Reflected meters meter the subject (and turn it into medium gray no matter what tone it really was) - incident meters measure the light.

3) No &%$#ing batteries required. Powered by its own photovoltaic selenium sensor.

4) Fits in a pocket, and at 205g, lighter than most M "pocketable" lenses.

Have been using one of these for the last 50+ years. Initially with various Hasselblads (till the advent of metered Blads) and later with Leica M6's. These days it only gets used with my Leica 111f. Great meter as Adan says, but not so good with the low light levels I inhabit these days.

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I think choosing a light meter has a lot to do with what you are shooting at the time.  For landscape work, where I have time, I really like either the Gossen Starlite or my favorite, the Sekonic L series - both with spot meters and incident.  Film or digital, it really helps figure out complex lighting and is weather resistant.  But, those take time to use well.

If I’m shooting a portrait, with flash, I’ll use the Sekonic because it has a flash meter built in, but I also use just a plain incident meter.

If I’m shooting while walking about, my preference is something like the MR-4 (which you can buy already altered for more current batteries), because of the small size, fit on the camera.  But, I also like to challenge myself with Sunny 16, and if it is critical, I just pocket the Studio Deluxe II, which has a high light slide in the back that I can quickly pull out and gives great low light performance inside.

It’s a preference, but its also the time to use that makes a difference.  Practice makes perfect regardless.

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6 hours ago, adan said:

I've ended up back where I started 47 years ago: "The Egg" - a.k.a Sekonic Studio DeLuxe L-28c.

For all my film photography (Hassy SWC, Leica M2, Rolleicord, even my Mamiya 6 (which has a not-very-reliable through-the-viewfinder reflected meter)).

Why?

1) My accessory-shoes are mostly permanently occupied by wide-angle viewfinders.

2) Reflected meters meter the subject (and turn it into medium gray no matter what tone it really was) - incident meters measure the light.

3) No &%$#ing batteries required. Powered by its own photovoltaic selenium sensor.

4) Fits in a pocket, and at 205g, lighter than most M "pocketable" lenses.

The meter I have tried so hard to love. Had the LC-28, 398, 398M and finally a 398A, everyone a great meter. Even had the direct reading slides for most of them. I enjoy using and may even end up with another at some point. Mostly, they get used for a while until I try a different meter. The last one was supplanted by a 308 when  I was using flash and sold it because I felt bad about letting such a nice meter sit.  There are a lot of things to love about the Studio Deluxe and it may call me back for one more try.

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I use a Gossen LunaPro Digital-F light meter.  Even when using my M6, I still use the Gossen meter, taking a reading from time to time as the light seems to change.  I set the shutter speed on the meter, and adjust the camera aperture according to Gossen's reading.  Works very reliably.

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I have been using the same Sekonic L358 since 2002, so it is now 20 years old. It is solid as a rock, the batteries last forever, and it is accurate and easy to read and use. Though it is a bit bigger than some, I think it is quick and more reliable in use than the hot shoe meters. I would suggest getting a smaller handheld meter and taking an incident reading in each substantially different lighting scenario. That, along with judgement and practice is going to be all you need for negative film, black and white or color. I have tried the hotshoe meters, but they are hard to judge because the field of the metering is not readily apparent, so it does not really give that reliable a result unless you are aware you are pointing it at something that is mostly grey. They are also a bit fiddly in my experience, especially ones like the older MR meters that clip in to the top plate. I think you get better results with a small incident meter that you can just slip in and out of your pocket.

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1 minute ago, Topsy said:

Have you seen the price of a new Sekonic L858/758?

Yes, still less than a CLA’d M3 in really good shape, although I was referring to the L-358.  

Most reasonable light meters are still much less than a good M or M lens.  It was meant mostly as humor.

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I use a smartphone app to set myself a baseline, open up another stop (perhaps more), and then guess. If I change locations significantly I might take another reading. I'm shooting mostly Delta 400, then scanning it, so there's plenty of room to compensate for errors.

I use the Photo Friend app - it doesn't just use a light sensor, it takes a picture with the phone camera so you can see the exposure it proposes and adjust accordingly.

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