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Thread: Pentax Spotmeter with Zone VI mods?

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Pentax Spotmeter with Zone VI mods?

    I've always used a light meter just to double check in camera meters and for when I wanted full manual. I had a Gossen Luna Pro for years but it died and I went to abasic Sekonic L-398, no batteries and simple. But I'm starting to think I would like for the M8 and the Nocti at night a really good spot meter and today that looks like a used Pentax digital. I'm also considering get one with the Zone VI mods.

    Anyone using the Pentax with or without the Zone VI mods? What do you think of it. How good is it in very low light? Would the Zone VI mods be worth while for B&W landscape?

    Thoughts, suggestions, other I should look at?

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax Spotmeter with Zone VI mods?

    Metered Light makes a small digital spot meter that has been favorably compared to the Pentax, but will fit in your pocket. A review with a comparison to the Pentax is here: http://www.butzi.net/reviews/pocketspot.htm

    Metered Light is a small operation. They can be reached at 415.452.9923, or [email protected].

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax Spotmeter with Zone VI mods?

    Thank, I'll give them a call next week... I saw Butzi's article but had assumed they were out of business.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax Spotmeter with Zone VI mods?

    I have the Pentax and have used them for years with 4x5. IMO it is probably he best meter for film and landscape, period. The zone tape makes for real quick and accurate metering in difficult lighting situations. HOWEVER, with the great histogram found on most digital cameras, the spot meter is totally un-necessary IMO.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Pentax Spotmeter with Zone VI mods?

    Just listed Pentax Zone VI spotmeter for sale over at Buy Sell in case anyone is interested.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax Spotmeter with Zone VI mods?

    I have tried the Metered Light device, wasn't that impressed. Small, probably accurate (better be for that price), but very basic in functionality. For me, spotmeter use goes far beyond single spot reading.

    My favorite meter was my Sekonic 778 until it broke from sheer physical abuse. Being able to pick a few readings like three midtones, two highlights and two shadows, get the average, then see range of +- 2.5 stops around the average was a great function when working with slide film.

    HOWEVER, shooting digital it's all about avoiding clipped highlights. Jack is right, the histo in the camera does the job just fine, why carry more devices?

    Instead, learn to fully understand the meter in the M8, and to trust it. That way you can workt at a higher level and focus on the image creation.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Pentax Spotmeter with Zone VI mods?

    Lars,
    For outdoor shooting with ambient light I get by fine without a meter. Once I bring lights into the equation the histo does not tell the whole story. For that I break out my Sekonic meter and get my ratios. I suspect the most likely user for the Pentax Spotmeter is someone who's still shooting film, especially if they're shooting with a zone metering camera like the Hassy 205.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax Spotmeter with Zone VI mods?

    If your white balance is properly set -- and that is an important "IF" -- then the histo will be the most accurate meter you can use with a digital camera in any light, including studio -- at least as respects determining a good exposure. However I agree that a good meter in the studio will help you set ratios that the histo won't, so for sure it is an important tool for studio or complex lighting sets in that respect.
    Jack
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    Re: Pentax Spotmeter with Zone VI mods?

    jack: do use the over/under exposure warning feature in the image review? i find the histo is good for overall exposure, as you said, but not so hot if you are trying to have a few specular highlights go over, but still hold normal highlights. same for deep shadows and true black

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax Spotmeter with Zone VI mods?

    Hi John:

    Excellent question! In normal shooting, and depending on the subject matter, I'll use either the highlight blink or the histo or both, depending on the image. As you know, for example when shooting near water, you may have a significant portion of your image showing "blown" on the histo due to speculars, though have an ideal exposure for that scene --- that's where the blink comes in handy. What I really want is a simple feature added to the histo that shows how much data is being clipped on each end -- just a simple percent number at each end would be huge.

    Back to in use, on my MF camera I can switch to spot metering on the fly, so not a huge issue to meter accurately to begin with. But for the M8, you have to kind of interpret the metering in difficult light then confirm with the histo. I still think that is faster however than using a hand-held spot meter with the M8...

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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