Which lightmeter?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by ron_hughes, Feb 2, 1998.

  1. Apologies, if this query annoys any large format purists ...

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    I've been taking photographs since the 50s. I've used 35mm cameras for about 30 years, have recently extended down to APS, and up to medium format. I have a darkroom and do my own B&W processing.

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    Now I'm making a tentative foray into large format - I've just bought several second-hand 4 x 5 film holders, for use in a large format pinhole camera that I'm making!

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    :)

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    My question is: what lightmeter would you recommend for this purpose?

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    It is many years since I used a lightmeter - all three of the cameras that I currently own have lightmeters built in. I vaguely remember owning a Weston (?) lightmeter long ago ...
     
  2. Although I haven't done any pinhole work, I suspect that, unless you're a whiz when it comes to micro-machining, the diameter (and hence the f-number) of your pinholes is likely to be somewhat approximate. In addition, you might well be into exposures that are long enough so that you've got to do some guessing and experimenting to deal with reciprocity. Put this all together, and I would think that there's no real point to striving for a high degree of precision in measuring light--you'll just lose the precision anyway when it comes to making the exposure. Any meter (including the ones built into your 35mm cameras) would do.

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    Perhaps some people with pinhole experience can have a better suggestion, and will tell me that I'm totally off base here.
     
  3. Might I suggest a Gossen Luna Pro, these can often be picked up used at a reasonable price. They are very sensitive, giving reading up to 8 hours. I use mine for determining the exposure at night for star trails and pre-dawn exposures.
     
  4. Many thanks for recommending a Gossen Luna Pro - it sounds ideal. What do you consider to be a "reasonable" price?
     
  5. My wife uses a Leonardo pinhole camera (very nice!) and just guesses the exposure. Also, you might try T-Max 400 because of its superior reciprocity characteristics.
     

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