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Old Apr 9, 2009, 11:21 PM   #1
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:|Hey all,

I'm a fairly seasoned photographerand I've spent most of my career photographing outdoors and utilize mainly ambient light sources. I'm wanting to move into the studio more for portraiture work and I'm having to purchase extra equipment (light meters, lighting equipment, backgrounds, etc...)

What I need is some input on the light meters specifically. Has anyone here used a relatively cheap light meter (say.. Sekonic, Gossen) and can you give me some insight into which is more reliable? Do you know of other reliable, cost effective meters?

Thanks for your time and input...
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Old May 7, 2009, 9:42 AM   #2
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I use a Sekonic L-358, rarely use the bodies built in meter indoors or out.
Also carry a Sekonic L-398 as backup (needs no batteries, but can't read strobes)

In the past I tried a Sheppard FM-990 but it proved totally unreliable varied by +/- 3 stops from pop to pop.

Last edited by PeterP; May 7, 2009 at 10:05 AM.
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Old May 8, 2009, 8:58 AM   #3
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Although I have no way to verify it, from posts I've seen around the net from users, Kenko bought the light meter technology from Konica Minolta and rebranded the old Minolta meters (which were well liked by users).

So, you may want to look into those, too. It looks like vendors like B&H stock them. Here is more info on them:

Kenko KFM-1100

Kenko KFM-2100

Kenko KFM-3100
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Old May 8, 2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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Yes, the Minolta meters used to be very good!

If this is true and Kenko did not try to improve them by reducing parts quality/costs then they should deserve a good consideration!
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Old Aug 20, 2009, 5:12 AM   #5
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Features to look for in order of importance (to me)

1. Ambient and flash metering
2. Cord and cordless flash metering
3. Reflective and incident metering
4. Memory and lighting ratio comparisons
5. A good reputation, history of being used by pros
*accuracy assumed

My top picks:

1. Sekonic L-358 Flash Meter = $260
So many features itís hard to use them all. Uses a CR123A Lithium battery, harder to find than the AA size others use. Backlit display. Intuitive.

2. Gossen Digipro F = $240
Built like a brick, basic features may be easiest to understand w/o reading the manual but the display has no light, lightweight.

Cheaper alternative:

Sekonic L-308S = $189
A solid performer that does not have a swivel head and lacks the memory features and lighting ratio info that can be derived from that feature(s). Have to use your brain. A money saver that performs well.

Others:

Kenko KFM0-1100 = $260 (reflective attachment is extra)
A copycat of the discontinued Minolta meters. No display light, tons of buttons make the learning curve a little higher. No memory features and lighting ratio info that can be derived from that feature(s). Worry about, but have no direct knowledge of Kenkos support and refinements after taking over from Minolta.

In my 35 years of photography Iíve used Gossen, Minolta, Sekonic, Shepard/Polaris & Wein. Have not used Interfit, Kenko, Novatron or Visatec.

I currently own and use a Gossen Digipro F (older model).

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Old Aug 20, 2009, 4:00 PM   #6
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Thanks Africa, that was a great post and very helpful. I'll be in the market for a light meter soon as well, printed your post for reference.
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