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Which Light Meter


Thanks to everyone with their advice about my Leica M6 in extreme cold. Here's another question related to the same trip next year to Sweden in February (so plenty of white snow and hopefully sun). Should I rely on my M6's meter, or take my Minolta Auto Meter 111, or Weston Master 1V?
I find that all three give different readings in same light conditions and so I'd appreciate any advice on how to calibrate them. I'll be using B&W film. Thanks.


Well-Known Member
Michael, I would calibrate 2 of your meters to read the same as the first. Choose the "first" meter as the one that gives you the correct exposure (what "you" view as 'correct' that is) The Weston has a "zero" setting screw on the back side.Make sure the needle rests at zero when no light falls upon the cell. If the Weston is not the "first" meter, then calibrate this zero screw to read in unison with whatever meter the "first" is. The Leica meter can of course be "corrected" by changing the ISO setting so that it too reads with the "first" meter. I have absolutely no idea about the Minolta meter...never held one.(Needle or LCD/LED readout?)It MAY have a zero setting adjustment if needle. Again, if this is not the "first" meter, then adjust as per the Weston or ISO if no zero setting screw.
My experience would suggest that if you are in bright, sunny, snowy conditions, then the Weston in Incident mode(i.e. the Invercone attached) will give 100% accurate readings. NO BRACKETING REQUIRED. (ymmv).
During my 10 years in Canada's Arctic, I relied almost solely on my Weston meter. In less bright conditions, I used my Leicaflex meter.
If your "first" meter is not the Leica M6, it may be worth your while to send it to Leica and have it calibrated in accordance with your tastes. For ex&le, if you always have to set the ISO to 1 step lower than the film rating, have Leica adjust the meter so that it reads 1/3rd under exposure from their setting.
Hope this is clear???


Active Member

If you will be shooting scenes with white snow, I would suggest that you use a quality incident meter. Personally, I use a Sekonic L-358 meter when shooting in snow. A camera's metering will often be fooled by white snow scenes so this is where the incident meter comes in handy. If you are shooting with transparency film in white snow, you may prefer the look of minus half a stop, which will bring a bit more contrast. If using negative film, this probably won't be an issue.

With incident meters, it is not a bad idea to have the meter calibrated for accuracy every two to three years depending on meter use and abuse.



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for info on checking the accuracy of the Weston Master meter. You can do it easily and quiclkly yourself. This is John D esq's site. He has useful info on the meters and a lot besides.