Well I never! An Aussie light meter!

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rick_drawbridge, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. This turned up yesterday, the only example I've come across of a Palec PE1 Exposure meter.
  2. Made by Paton Electrical Pty. of Sydney, Australia some time in the 1950's, it's a pretty awe-inspiring piece of work. For a start, it weighs more than my Gossens Luna Pro though it's only about two-thirds the size, and it has just about the most crowded face of any meter in my possession. In dim light the figures are almost illegible. It is very solidly built and nicely finished, and has a sort of indestructible feel about it, with a light baffle that folds down and changes the high/low light readings in the meter window, in much the same fashion as the Weston meters. I find this much more satisfactory than the meters that have two pointers, one for the high and one for the low ranges. To my surprise, the meter is functioning and accurate and it came with it's leather case and a copy of the instructions. Attached to the rear is a fine conversion table for the various film speed systems.
  3. To my surprise, the meter is functioning and accurate and it came with it's leather case and a copy of the instructions.
  4. Paton Industries seem to have manufactured mainly electrical testing equipment, though this meter was followed by a similar model with a simplified dial, which would have been a great improvement. Perhaps these abound in Australia, but this is the first one I've seen in New Zealand, and I'd suspect that not too many could be found internationally. If someone has knowledge of any other exposure meters designed and manufactured in Australia, I'd be interested to learn about them.
  5. An interesting find, Rick. And a good job of describing it as well. I wonder how many were actually made. Thanks for sharing.
  6. Wow! I want one now Rick. Thanks for the great photos and background info.
  7. I will be in NZ in December. Should I look for them?
  8. Ace! Mate.
  9. In dim light the figures are almost illegible.​
    So it includes a secondary extinction meter? Cunning! :)
  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Very interesting – what a gem.
    The Company still exists – albeit post merger. Seems that they operate from Western Australia now. When I was at College (1970’s) Paton ("Palec") was renowned for their Multimeters (which I used) and also radio test gear and similar; I didn’t know that they made a Lightmeter, though.
    I found some history here: http://www.universitypaton.com.au/AboutUs.htm
  11. Looks very much like my old GE meter.
  12. Aha, we do make stuff! Great little meter Rick, and I must admit that I didn't know about it all...shame! I have seen the Palec multimeters though, so the company is somewhat familiar.
    Thanks for the post on this little gem.
  13. Very funny WilliamW.... built-in extinction meter...haha. I, like the others have no knowledge of this and it did bring to mind
    the GE meters I've seen... I suffer from meter paranoia. I have 2 or three weston meters. I also have a LunaSix and a
    Ikophot T(battery) and they all are not really too far off but they don't ever agree with each other every time. Like many I
    trust some of my base exposures on Sunny 16 but I do like a meter to read open shade or simply to confirm my "feeling" .
    Lately I trust my little digicam meter though it gives unlikely settings for old hardware .. ie F2.8 /250 or f8/400 etc.. You can
    of course convert it to the hardware you have...
  14. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Very funny WilliamW.... built-in extinction meter...haha.​
    Credit to Richard.
  15. Thanks for the interest! I might feature other old meters in future posts, as they seem to fascinate many of our members, myself included. Very droll, Richard; I'll try to remember your comment when I'm struggling to put my reading specs on with one hand so I can read the meter in the twilight... Tony, I was as much in the dark as you, so to speak, having never come across one of Paton's meters before, either in the flesh or in print. In light of that, Glen, I think Australia might be a better hunting ground than New Zealand.
  16. I just come across a white one but i cant find much information on it
  17. Another resurrection of an interesting thread that I would never have thought to look for.

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