Saturday, July 16, 2005

Forward, Into the Past! II

To run the Welti, you really need a lightmeter. It's cumbersome enough to operate such a primitive device with its fiddly little levers without carrying a second camera and using that to meter, and then transfering the settings over to the Welti. (If you have to bring along a more capable camera, then why even bother carrying the Welti?)

So: my father's Luna-Pro? The mercury batteries are finally dead. Replacing the mercury cells with incorrect (higher)-voltage (but legal...) batteries and then re-zeroing it would be certain to give me existential white nights of Doubting the Eternal Verities such as the Truth of My Reference Meter. (And if you can't trust your Luna-Pro, what on earth CAN one trust?) Gossen sells a step-down voltage adapter - - but it's something like $40? bucks. For forty bucks, you can buy a whole new meter. And once again, turning to eBay, we find a $15 bag of junk that happens to also contain a Gossen Scout.

There's a certain elegance to using a selenium meter, not least of which is being reminded of Einstein's explanation of the photoelectric effect every time you pick it up. This Scout also happens to agree with my various Nikon meters, which is a comfort. So I trust it enough to run a roll of Kodachrome through the Welti. Now I just have to trust the shutter speeds of a 65-70-year-old Compur Rapid.

But for now, I've rediscovered the joys of hand-held lightmeters - - and it's back to eBay to buy a newer Luna Pro, one that doesn't need mercury cells - their SBC uses a nine-volt. Oh, and might as well pick up a new-in-box Pilot as long as I'm thinking of it. So, now I seem to have accidently acquired a whole bagful of meters, but at least I didn't buy the voltage adaptor...

[And the best thing about Gossen is that they put up a statue of Ohm at the factory gate.]

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