Sit down & maybe learn something!

I have tried to place these meters in chronological order. Please tell me if you notice any errors. Q) Why measure light?????????... A) Good question. Maybe at the workshop the union boss needs to know when its too dark to thread the needles! Maybe we need to check sufficient light around the security fence! Maybe useful to help in plant growth, remember the greenhouse in "Saving Grace"! Maybe to check your headlights on your annual MOT! Maybe to enable your films to come back from the chemists correctly exposed! Maybe in TV or film studios to ensure the talent don't get blacked out! But most importantly to inform the umpire on the cricket field when "bad light stops play". I am sorry to announce that Megatron in Tottenham UK will no longer sell you a digital umpire meter for around $200. They purchased the stock list from Weston & made a Euro Master2 & even supplied new selenium cells. I have been informed by Martin Amstell that they are no longer trading, shame they didn't measure for sticky wickets! I make a living from photography & I have a confession to make.. photographers & film makers need light or they revert to working in radio. All we need is light & we all take it for granted. Q) Why did Edward Faraday Weston patent his first light meter in 1931........???? ? A) He was busy before that helping his dad make dynamos, magnets, light bulbs, amp meters, volt meters etc. etc. Ever since Bezelius discovered selenium in 1871 inventors made busy trying to find a method to capture the "magic eye". Selenium comes from the latin word selene, meaning moon. It was Weston who coated the "moonbeam" selenium cells & sealed them against moisture which stabilized their usage in the early light meters. Selenium gave us the photoelectric cell, Ed Faraday Weston probably gave his first light meter to his dad (also named Edward ) who was a keen photographer. Weston today work in the Aerospace industry & have long ceased producing light meters but there seem to be more Westons on ebay than any other meter. You can still find accurate vintage selenium models out there but alas they will one day be moistening (drying) up. Selenium meters are still made today & are useful in extreme temperatures as standard batteries may not be stable. BTW My Weston Ranger Cds will only give accurate results with exactly 2.7v..... Q) What's incident or reflective light reading? A) Exposure may be measured by light falling on a subject (incident) or light reflected from it (reflective). INCIDENT= waving your invercone or photosphere around your subject sometimes facing the cone towards the camera position. REFLECTIVE= measuring light from your camera position towards the subject. This is the lazy way, trying to hide behind your tripod & not be noticed. Therefore meters built into slr cameras use a segmented matrix or spotmeter or a form of reflective metering. Usually INCIDENT is more accurate. The problem is there is no firm black or white..there is also GREY. Q)Why does the lightmeter lie????.. A) Maybe because their response to low or high light or varying colours may not match that of your film. Maybe the selenium cell meters work poorly under dim light. Maybe the film speed (asa/din/gost/scheiner etc.) are over-rated! If you are filming in the snow or sand you will have to compensate your readings, with this in mind we tell a white lie to our camera. In other words black & white lies are made both by us. I often told my camera that it had 200asa film inside when I used 125 or 100asa. Now if you are still confused just learn to "bracket". Most new cameras will give you 3 frames one after the other.. under, over & in the middle. I bracketed my way in the days of film to great expense. Today with digital media we can all work more efficiently. One rainy day I hope to invite you all to my home to examine my collection close-hand, meanwhile its sunny outside so please be patient. Cds= Cadnium Sulphide. some film ratings... Sch= Scheiner. Gost= Gosstandard of Russia. Din= Deutsch Institut fur Normung. Asa= American Standard Asscn. H&D= Hurter Drifield. ..... .... .... ..... .... ..... ...... If you have an interesting light meter you don't want please tell me. MANY THANKS to Itzhak Shabatov & Uri Shimoni for gifting me their unused meters (WestonV & Gossen Sixtomat). (c) Barry Levinson 2014

Valuable links

the "Best Weston" site: thanks..
Corfield "British invention": thanks to Harold Levinson, Sydney, an ex agent/distributor.
Simon A. Spaans (click slideshow): this guy has the "ultimate" collection.
Ilford light meters: thanks to Maurice Fisher

Barry Levinson private collection (c)
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