Appreciating the Weston Master II light meter

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jd_rose, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Hello, My wife's dad caught wind of my new found interest in Classic cameras and so he sent me his old stuff. I received some pedestrian cameras such as a K1000 and a Konica AF35. Also included was a Pentax 110 camera with 2 lenses. Hadn't seen one of those before, what a waste of the earth's precious resources; I hate the 110 format. Additionally, included were two light meters. A cheap Agfa meter and a Weston Master II. The Weston is an awesome chunk of american workmanship. Solid, hefty, metal and my example still works!! I own two of the newfangled Sekonic LCD meters, but I think I will treat myself to the Weston when I am snapping my classics. --- JDR
    00Fs3T-29190284.jpg
     
  2. "The Weston is an awesome chunk of american workmanship"...

    Have you checked the back of it ? Mine says it was built in Essex, UK :D

    And it clearly has the typical UK build style : "make it very large and unnecessarily heavy, just in case". It's about half the weight of the Leica III ! WHY did they needed such a *massive* ingot of metal as a frame ?

    So yeah it looks fantastic, but I prefer my Digisix when I have to carry one :D
     
  3. You can see a lot about Weston in this page.

    http://www.diaxa.com/weston/index.html
     
  4. Hi Michael,

    Mine says made in the USA. Newark, New Jersey.

    After doing a bit of research these things are very common. Perhaps they had a factory in the UK too.
     
  5. For years, I relied on my Weston V. Like you, I got another V and a IV as gifts.

    Using a selenium cell, they have a fast light response as opposed to the CdS cell. Very poor response in dim light. It is very easy to use the Weston V dial when you are geared towards the ZS. Also, easy to use with my Hasselblad as it has the EV numbers.

    ..."massive" ingot of metal as a frame?

    In order to protect the delicate clock work inside the meter.
     
  6. And mine is a Jersey meter(the New Jersey, not the old one)as well. I have only caught myself once or twice applying the Weston numbers instead of the ASA...as long as I remember its about 20 per 100 of ASA I'm good (100 ASA is about 80 Weston)....

    I checked mine on a photo shop's light board and it is still about as close as a light meter can get.

    As far as heavy goes...thats ok with me. It's not like the thing needs a pack-mule to carry it...

    John
     
  7. Mine is a model 735 as well, S/N 8266165. May I ask what your serial number is, just out of curiosity?
     
  8. The guy that invented the meter was British but most were produced in the USA. The last few models were made in the UK. I prefer my Zeiss Ikophot.
     
  9. There must have been many thousands of these circulating over the years, all of them I believe made either in the U.S or the U.K (before the Far East got into the act !)

    Any photographer worth his salt used one - and you often needed one before the advent of built-in exposure meters.

    They were substantionally built - which explains why so many are still in use - and they needed no batteries, nor charging, and were very accurate, if a bit weak in very low light.

    There was also a specially cine model made, much the same as the "photographer's" model, with dials which related to fps and other film-makers requirements.

    I've still got a couple of these relics somewhere in the back of the cupboard !

    TWTD ! (Which roughly translated means "Those were the days" !

    Ron Luxton
     
  10. There must have been many thousands of these circulating over the years, all of them I believe made either in the U.S or the U.K (before the Far East got into the act !)

    Any photographer worth his salt used one - and you often needed one before the advent of built-in exposure meters.

    They were substantionally built - which explains why so many are still in use - and they needed no batteries, nor charging, and were very accurate, if a bit weak in very low light.

    There was also a specially cine model made, much the same as the "photographer's" model, with dials which related to fps and other film-makers requirements.

    I've still got a couple of these relics somewhere in the back of the junk cupboard !

    TWTD ! (Which roughly translated means "Those were the days" !

    Ron Luxton
     
  11. Still have my Master II. I haven't checked the accuracy in some time. You have to be sure to use Weston film speeds, not ASA. Also I have a Konica C35 AF, with the distance dial on the lens mount. After you take the picture it gives you some idea where the focus locked in. Is this the model you have?
     
  12. I think the easiest way to tell whether you have a UK-made meter, or you have a US-made one, is to look at the color of the meter-scale: if it's black (as yours is), it's a US model; white, a UK one.
     
  13. Mine was as good as free...I spotted it in a display case at a flea market for $6. Mine also works great.

    It may be heavy, but it's small enough that I can fit it in my pocket and not notice that it's there. It also has a permanantly reserved pocket in my camera bag, even though all of my main cameras have excellent built-in meters. If I'm using my Argoflex TLR or one of my other meterless cameras, it's always either in my pocket or hanging from my kneck.

    One of these days, I'm going to pick up an invercone.
     
  14. Not only are they great meters, they are still in limited production in the U.K. check out megtron
    You can also get old ones repaired and refurbished, though I have no idea how much, by quality light metric co. As for me, I got a near mint Weston III silver model in the box at a flea market last year for a measly five bucks. It still works like a charm.
     
  15. I have a Weston V with case that has served me for many years. I recently acquired a gift of a Minolta IIIf meter, but the Weston is truly faster to use, no battery issues, and is dead on accurate. I've also used the earlier Universal Weston Meters as well with the same good results.
     
  16. I have a Master II with off-white paint in the measuring area. It says "Made In England" and, on the back, "Model S141/735". It's still accurate.
    00Fsgo-29202984.jpg
     
  17. These are without doubt the best and heaviest little meters ever made. I have one that Noah used on the Ark and it is more acurate than my Sekonic digital. Would not do without it.
     
  18. Unless they're incontrovertibly accurate and linear, oldies like the Westons are just curios from the dim past--quaint, evocative but useless. Sorry but unless film, processing and time spent have no value, inaccurate meters and sticky apertures don't cut it for me.
     
  19. Phew! Here I was waisting all my time using an inaccurate meter.....

    BTW, does anyone know if the UK made relic from the dim past have a upper and lower scale system like the US manufactured one does? I cant tell from the picture.
     
  20. Yes, it is identical....just white instead of black
     
  21. "Phew! Here I was wasting all my time using an inaccurate meter.

    Including myself; as well as Edward Weston (photographer), Minor White, E.Stieglitz, E. Steichen so on and so forth.
     
  22. Can someone more versed in the Weston tell me what an invercone does? I get the impression that it evenly distributes incoming light, but what does that do to improve the meters performance?
     
  23. The invercone turns the reflected light Weston meters into incident meters.

    Basically, the difference is that a reflected light meter measures the light that is being reflected by the subject, and an incident meter measures the light falling on the subject.

    Objects of different tonalities reflect different amounts of light, even though, in even light, they should all get the same theoretical exposure. Most reflected light meters are calibrated for 18% gray, which means that if you use the data directly in a properly calibrated system, whatever you point the meter at will register 18% gray, also called middle gray or zone V, on the film. The whole zone system is based around this.

    Incident meters are still very popular today, even with the digital people. Many times you'll see wedding photographers walking around with little ping pong ball like things on their meter...the ping pong ball serves the same purpose as the Weston Invercone.
     
  24. I'm quite fond of my Weston Master II, it's the perfect companion for medium format folders.
     
  25. I thougth I'd chime in on an old thread to say I agree with the love of Weston light meters. I've got a Weston Master IV that is a great companion to my '52 Rolleiflex.

    Does anybody happen to have an invercone around that they don't need??? I could really use one for my Master IV.

    Thanks,

    Brian
     
  26. I agree with Ron, those were the days! I still have a Weston II (1951) that I inherited, along with my first camera from high school, a Nikkormat FTN (1969). Still have days I prefer them both. ;)
     
  27. In its day, Weston meters weren't the kings of the hill -- the General Electric DW-68 was. About half the price of the Westons, it was extremely rugged and when the snoot was removed it read directly in foot candles. Also, they read in ASA not in the Weston scale.<P>Later, GE brought out the model PR-1 to compete with the Weston, but it was never the success that the DW-58/68 were.<P>I still use my EuroMaster when shooting Large Format, but don't believe that it's as rugged or as accurate as the earlier Westons.
     
  28. I have all the Weston Master meters except the Master 6. This one looks and feels a toy meter. However, if I see one sleeze bay and it's dirt cheap I may get it to round out the collection. I also like the Russian and German meters. Been collecting them for years. I've got one called the Bee Meter. Anyone remember that one? Back on topic, the only two Westons I still use are the EuroMaster and the EuroMaster II. George, at Quality Metric says those two meters and the Master V are the best that Weston ever made. Geez, the guy is a Weston Master himself. I figure he knows.
     
  29. Sorry to dig up a slightly old, slightly newish thread, but a couple of these posts talk about being sure to use Weston scale versus ASA. I just got a Weston 6 (sorry to hear someone thinks it's like a toy, but if it works what does it matter?) and it says ASA next to the window, so that means this one does ASA right? (I know it sounds like a stupid question but I don't know anything about these meters so if they use another scale I wouldn't know if they claimed it was still "ASA").
     
  30. I gave up on the Weston meters. I could only see the little numbers in bright light, where I could easily just guess exposure.
     
  31. ASA and Weston Scales:

    I just came across a "Camera Collecting and Restoration" site (below)that shows the ASA
    and Weston scales side-by side. The table also shows DIN and another scale for Ratios -
    I had not known about them.

    Hope it helps.
    http://www.daniel.mitchell.name/cameras/index.php?
    page=westonmtr&WEBMGR=a632109084ce93a0c0569e8fad672ab5
     

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