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Hello everyone,

I've been involved in video production for a while now and am now keen to learn more in depth about lighting and getting more experience in the field.  Reading about meters, I understand how helpful they are in determining contrast ratios and light levels on interiors and locations, and are especially beneficial when shooting film (I'm getting into shooting 35mm stills lately).

My max budget is around £200-400.  So far my eyes are on the Sekonic L308X for its footcandle/lux readings, easy-to-find battery and size.  However, the things holding me back are:

  • Lack of head rotation (not a good look on set?)
  • Flat disc accessory might be easy to lose
  • Lack of spot meter reading

Ideally, I'd love to have a 758 Cine, but I find they're hard to come by on ebay (plus can get a bit pricey if in a bidding war).  I could go for any of the high end photographic meters, but I'm unsure about the lack of footcandle/lux settings in a majority of them.  Is this a problem if I need to perform/communicate something quickly?  Would I be better off getting a cheaper lux meter separately?

Ultimately I hope to buy something that's reliable for starters, but will come in handy years down the line.

Thanks. 🙂

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My first lite meter and current lite meter is the 478

good balance between cost and functionality.   

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Thanks for the responses so far!

I thought about the Sekonic 478, although I’ve heard mixed things about the touch screen - how have you found it in your experience?

The Spectra is a possibility - can it be calibrated easily? What kind of battery does it take?

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I know it's a bit out of your budget, but I love my Sekonic L-858D. Having the spot and incident meter in one device is incredibly convenient. In 2 years of use I've never had any problems with it at all. 

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On 3/13/2020 at 12:55 PM, Will Davies said:

Thanks for the responses so far!

I thought about the Sekonic 478, although I’ve heard mixed things about the touch screen - how have you found it in your experience?

The Spectra is a possibility - can it be calibrated easily? What kind of battery does it take?

It gets the job done. Little funky sometimes but overall easy to setup and once you have your ASA and Shutter Angle set it’s a piece of cake to work with.

certainly there are better options out there but this is a great starting meter and will get you used to working with one.  Really improved the way I thought about lighting. 

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I have an 858. I hate it, only because it feel it takes me longer than with the scroll wheel. It's just my own pet-peeve (though I love that it's normal batteries). However, as for the touch screen; It's fine. As in OK. I don't LOVE it, I don't even really LIKE it, but its not like it doesn't work or has cause anything more than minor annoyances of "clicking" instead of using a scroll wheel.

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I have and love my Minolta Auto Meter VF.
In my opinion, one of the best overall incident meters.
Just incident, no illumination of the screen, no FC/LUX mode.
Simple AA battery.

A lot of them on ebay for a good price.

If you want a new, get the Kenko KFM-1100, the same meter.
(After Minolta ended it's manufacturing)

-------------------

For combined meter check out Minolta Flashmeter VI.
Incident + 1 degree spotmeter, big LCD screen, runs on one AA battery.
No FC/LUX mode.
Plenty available on ebay in relatively good shape from Japan.

It's re-branded version is the Kenko KFM-2100.
Discontinued.

Successor is the Kenko KFM-2200.
Illuminated LCD screen, some added functions, LUX metering (no FC).
Still one AA battery.

 

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Posted (edited)

BTW,  i watched recently the new stop motion movie
from Aardman Animations - "A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon" (TRAILER)

In one scene Shaun and his new Alien friend are in the spaceship and
Alien looks after something in a pile of stuff.
Various objects start to fly from the pile in front of Shaun and camera,
including a Minolta IVF/VF like lightmeter! 🙂

253134876_AShauntheSheep-Farmageddon-MinoltaLightMeter-38m52s.jpg.940a5fd7c1f128052632efe9245a766c.jpg

Nice homage for a filmmaking tool.  🙂



 

Edited by Igor Trajkovski
formatting
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The 308X is a great light meter. I bought it when I came out. It's compact enough for a pocket, which is awesome. It slips into a side pouch easy.

I do sometimes wish I had a one degree spot meter on it like the 758. Especially when im outside away from camera and need to meter the BG tree shade against the sky light, only to find it's 4 stops under when I place camera and look at it. But it's compact for a reason.

Non-swivel head hasn't bothered me one bit.

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