Light Meter: Sekonic vs Minolta

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by W Chan, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. W Chan

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Well written. I had a Gossen meter until I sat on it one day and cracked it
    badly. I rented several different meters prior to going for the Sekonic L-358.
    It has proved reliable. Other gear is a different matter, and a check of most
    rentals places reveals what professionals often choose for equipment. If gear
    can survive rental use, then it is often a good choice to get in permanent
    The Pentax spot meter is definitely one of the easiest to use of that type. I
    don't know what happened to Gossen, they just seem a bit tougher to find around
    the last few years.
    Gordon Moat, Mar 10, 2005
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  2. W Chan

    Alan Browne Guest

    Much more than that too!

    Alan Browne, Mar 10, 2005
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  3. W Chan

    Alan Browne Guest

    Incident for the meter. Dome straight at the lens.

    Reflected (grey card) for the Max 9 spot meter. Grey card perpendicular
    to the lens axis.

    Max9 = Minolta VF meter (w/i 0.1 stops)

    Max9 shows 1/3 stop open v. the 508. (Going by memory now, I sold the
    meter about 2 years ago).

    Another test: Min VF direct clear sunlight = 1/100 f/16.
    Max 9 with a white coffee cup over the lens pointing at
    the sun, meter: 1/100 f/16 (within a 1/3 stop anyway... I posted about
    this months ago).
    (I never checked sunny 16 with the Sekonic, alas).

    I trust them both equally when used appropriately.

    Depends on the light. If the light is covering the front of the subject
    (+/- 70 degrees or so), then the incident meter is always best ... in
    cross lighting (around 90°) I can just look at the dome to decide if
    I'll go as read (lighter shaddows, hot highlights) or close down a bit
    to emphasize the textures gen'd by the x-lighting and darken the
    shaddows and tame the highlights.

    If I don't have the incident meter, then I look for something light,
    pref white, spot-meter and open up 1.7 to 2 stops, or a mid-tone and
    expose at that.

    For backlight, the spot meter in the Max 9 is the only working solution
    that I have and it does a fine job if I guess at the highlight tone well
    (for example a backlit yellow leaf goes about zone VI, backlit red goes
    right at V, dark green (backlit) goes VII... etc. In a backlit, if I
    want "shaddow side" to be readable, I incident meter for it.

    (I should have kept the Sekonic, it had a great zoom 1-4°spot meter)

    Alan Browne, Mar 10, 2005
  4. W Chan

    Michael Zhao Guest

    The difference between 12.5% and 14% is 0.33 stop.

    Michael Zhao, Mar 10, 2005
  5. W Chan

    Alan Browne Guest

    Thanks, I keep forgetting how to base the equation. This suggests that
    the Minolta meter is (possibly) calibrated at 14 and the Sekonic at 12.5.

    eh? ert?...
    Alan Browne, Mar 10, 2005
  6. W Chan

    W Chan Guest

    Does anyone know the sync speed (external flash/strobes) for D70? I think
    it's 1/500 seconds...?

    W Chan, Mar 11, 2005
  7. W Chan

    Alan Browne Guest

    Alan Browne, Mar 11, 2005
  8. W Chan

    Bubbabob Guest

    Yep. 1/500 sec.
    Bubbabob, Mar 11, 2005
  9. W Chan

    Bandicoot Guest

    find around the last few years.
    You don't think it's just you they're hiding from then?


    Bandicoot, Mar 11, 2005
  10. W Chan

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Okay, so incident to spot reading.
    Really an unusual comparison. I guess the question should be when is an 18% grey card not
    just 18% grey.
    My comparison was incident reading to incident reading, Minolta to Sekonic. Both had the
    same incident readings, numerous times. A rented Gossen and a rented Sekonic performed the
    same in a comparison of incident readings. I guess had I compared spot readings to
    incident, maybe I would have found more difference. I think it is tough to place a blanket
    assessment on performance from either of our experiences.
    Understanding light is different than going by meter readings. The only possible exception
    is flash to ambient, since the human eye is not a good judge of short flash bursts.
    I took a zone workshop, and I am familiar with the choices. However, I find that I do not
    have a need to use that, and have largely replaced that with knowledge gained from
    experience. I am not putting down that method, but I don't think it applies to everyone in
    all situations.
    I have debated getting the add-on spot meter for my L-358, though it is nearly as large as
    the meter. Also, a spot meter is one of the quickest ways to ruin film.
    Gordon Moat, Mar 11, 2005
  11. W Chan

    Gordon Moat Guest

    It was an accident . . . really . . .
    Gordon Moat, Mar 11, 2005
  12. W Chan

    Alan Browne Guest

    Agree, got to get everyone together with their meters and use the same
    light, same targets, etc. I've got this notion in my head that the
    Sekonics and the Minolta's are 1/3 stop apart though...

    I was at the photo club I used to belong to last night (there was a
    presentation on portrait shooting), and I had hoped to compare the VF to
    the 508 that one of the members has. For once he had left his meter at
    home. (I punished him by letting him play with my new camera. I'll bet
    he's phoning around right now...).
    My eye isn't good with any flash bursts. I have to tediously measure
    the ambient and the flash and figure it all out. Slowly, lest I screw up.
    I've found myself to be a very bad judge of how contrast will look on
    the image as opposed to what I see in the scene. In a contrasty scene I
    have to meter to have some idea of what the image will look like ... and
    even then...
    I use my spot meter (in-camera) all of the time, esp. with slide film.
    When I rented the 500CM last year I had to use my SLR as the spot meter.

    Alan Browne, Mar 11, 2005
  13. W Chan

    Lisa Horton Guest

    One thing you might want to consider is that the different brands of
    meters use different ways to show partial stops. One method or another
    may be more to your preference. I use the Minolta, for various reasons,
    but actually prefer the way Sekonic shows partial stops.

    Lisa Horton, Mar 11, 2005
  14. W Chan

    Alan Browne Guest

    In what way Lisa? I have a Min VF and I had a L508. They both show
    partial stops in 0.1 EV steps. (Unless you mean the meter scale, in
    which case the VF shows half-stop jumps (irritating), I don't recall
    what the Sekonic showed).

    Alan Browne, Mar 11, 2005
  15. W Chan

    Joe Makowiec Guest

    All the way up to. It'll also fake it at higher speeds; I haven't tried
    it, but read somewhere that the results aren't good.
    Joe Makowiec, Mar 11, 2005
  16. W Chan

    adm Guest

    Well - it's actually any speed UP TO 1/500th.
    adm, Mar 11, 2005
  17. W Chan

    Lisa Horton Guest

    It's been a while since I've looked at any meter besides my own, like,
    years. But as I recall, it's what you mentioned, the graphical
    representation of partial stops. I used to have a Sekonic L-328, and it
    had a sort of a dial representation that I thought was much clearer at a
    glance than the bar on the Minolta. Consider the source though, I find
    analog timepieces better for getting a quick, approximate, time.

    Lisa Horton, Mar 12, 2005
  18. W Chan

    Owamanga Guest

    And beyond if you put a bit of black electrical tape over one of the
    contacts (google it) with an external SB-800 or SB-600 - or use a
    non-nikon flash.

    I've never tried - prefer waiting for the hacked firmware to remove
    this limit. Results may not be good either way.
    Owamanga, Mar 12, 2005
  19. W Chan

    ian lincoln Guest

    lol ;)
    ian lincoln, Mar 12, 2005
  20. For more info on faster than 1/500 sync speeds on the D70, see the
    thread starting with this message:

    Christoph Breitkopf, Mar 14, 2005
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