Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Calibrating a Zone VI Pentax Digital Spotmeter  (Read 6378 times)
SeanPerry
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


« on: May 28, 2010, 11:14:02 PM »
ReplyReply

hi..
I was fortunate to recently acquire a Pentax Digital Spot with the Zone VI modifications. I imagine a calibration is in order and would welcome any insight on who is recommended, especially if you happen to have the same meter. Mr. Ritter comes to mind, has anyone utilized his services?

Many thanks in advance + all best-
sean
Logged
Tom Montgomery
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 78


WWW
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2010, 07:30:29 PM »
ReplyReply

I have owned and used one of those meters for more than 15 years, and it has never given me any reason to think it might be inaccurate.  I suspect that, unless yours has been mistreated, it is still accurate; thing is, you'll never know for sure until you have it verified!  
Logged
SeanPerry
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2010, 01:31:27 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks Tom.. appreciate your answer. I agree it is most likely accurate and has been well taken care of.. however being new to me I would like to start from square one. I also use a PME45 that I know to be in tune, so will soon be able to compare. Is your meter a Zone VI variety?
Logged
Tom Montgomery
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 78


WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2010, 07:13:55 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: SeanPerry
[...] Is your meter a Zone VI variety?
It is. I've never had the occasion to check its response against an unmodified Pentax meter. Somewhere around here I have Fred Picker's newsletter that explains the modifications and the reasons for them in detail. Apparently he convinced me!  (I was a big fan of Picker's style and methods of working. He convinced me to abandon my random, slipshod approach to darkroom work, and that's when I really began to enjoy large format photography.)
Logged
feppe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2909

Oh this shows up in here!


WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2010, 07:20:25 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Tom Montgomery
It is. I've never had the occasion to check its response against an unmodified Pentax meter. Somewhere around here I have Fred Picker's newsletter that explains the modifications and the reasons for them in detail. Apparently he convinced me!  (I was a big fan of Picker's style and methods of working. He convinced me to abandon my random, slipshod approach to darkroom work, and that's when I really began to enjoy large format photography.)

I did some research on this a while back, and this convinced the Zone VI mod is pure snake-oil - and the writer did compare both modified and unmodified meters.
Logged

Tom Montgomery
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 78


WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2010, 07:40:48 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: feppe
I did some research on this a while back, and this convinced the Zone VI mod is pure snake-oil - and the writer did compare both modified and unmodified meters.
Very likely that a good measure of snake oil was mixed into Fred's catalog description!  He would even admit this himself, on occasion...  I think what convinced me to spend the extra $$ on the Zone VI meter, without thinking too deeply about it, was the issue of infrared response. I was fooling around with infrared film at the time, and it was obvious that green foliage was a strong emitter of IR.  It sounded plausible that this could upset unfiltered meters.  But, as I mentioned, I never tested this myself.  I'm not sure that the green patch on a Macbeth chart acts in the same way as natural foliage, though, and the butzi article doesn't specifically mention testing this...  

Bottom line:  the Zone VI has proven to be an excellent light meter all these years, and has outlasted two Sekonics I've owned over the same period.
Logged
tomhamp
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4


« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2010, 08:45:56 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: SeanPerry
hi..
I was fortunate to recently acquire a Pentax Digital Spot with the Zone VI modifications. I imagine a calibration is in order and would welcome any insight on who is recommended, especially if you happen to have the same meter. Mr. Ritter comes to mind, has anyone utilized his services?

Many thanks in advance + all best-
sean

Hi Sean,

I have recently had a Zone VI meter calibrated by Mr. Ritter on a friend's recommendation...a little light on the communication, but Mr. Ritter did communicate all that was necessary.  Provided a before and after calibration statement, showing the amount of adjustment.

Highly recommended for peace of mind, and not expensive.

Cheers,
Tom
Logged
SeanPerry
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2010, 11:52:12 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: tomhamp
I have recently had a Zone VI meter calibrated by Mr. Ritter on a friend's recommendation...a little light on the communication, but Mr. Ritter did communicate all that was necessary.  Provided a before and after calibration statement, showing the amount of adjustment.

Highly recommended for peace of mind, and not expensive.

Tom-

Thank you for your reply, exactly what I was looking for.. seems that is my most suitable solution. Just curious, had yours drifted much? Are you happy with the meter? I decided to buy the Zone VI version seeing no real downside and priced near what an unmodified version would cost. Had wanted for years, delighted to have finally found one.

all best to you-
sean
Logged
Rod.Klukas
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 134


WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2010, 10:25:59 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: SeanPerry
Tom-

Thank you for your reply, exactly what I was looking for.. seems that is my most suitable solution. Just curious, had yours drifted much? Are you happy with the meter? I decided to buy the Zone VI version seeing no real downside and priced near what an unmodified version would cost. Had wanted for years, delighted to have finally found one.

all best to you-
sean
To you and whom it may concern:
The zone vi meter does have an advantage in some circumstances.  It is set to the curve for tri-x or general black and white films.  I notice that my
exposures were much more consistant with the mod meter.  I use a sensitometer to test exposure and development time for the zone system.
I will also say that due to the modification of my meter, it is not consistant when shooting color transparency material.  I use an unmodified for color if I shoot that film.  As noted above the B&W curve setting seems to be somewhat divergent from the color curve.  
In B&W verses my students meters, I note I tend to get more exposure in the shadows than they do with the unmodified meters.
I have had mine for 20 years + and have hauled it from Canada to Antartica with never a glitch, even after a couple of drops.
So you have, for B&W or color negative, a great meter.  Take great care of it.
Rod
Logged

Rod Klukas
US Representative
Arca-Swiss International
480-755-3364
rod.klukas@arca-swiss.com



Arca-Swiss Digital Camera Solutions including R-series Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, and Ballheads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1 & Z2.
SeanPerry
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2010, 03:52:58 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Rod.Klukas
So you have, for B&W or color negative, a great meter.  Take great care of it.
Rod

Rod-

Thank you for your thoughts, I'm delighted to have finally found one. As it turns out, I've shot nothing but Tri-X for last 10 years, another reason I decided to seek out the Zone VI version. Glad you love yours and appreciate you taking the time to answer.

all best-
sean
Logged
coles
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 16


« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2010, 07:35:20 PM »
ReplyReply

Having a Pentax digital spotmeter, I'd probably hold off paying someone to mess around with it until I did some tests of my own. In other words, having it serviced just to have it serviced.

It's interesting that the original justification for its modification was for shooting tri-x, which is so incredibly forgiving. I could understand modifying it for slide film accuracy, but Tri-X?
I just shoot at 200 and it's always fine. Or 250, or 320, or 400.

The best thing to do, unless $$ is burning a hole in your pocket, is just to conduct some simple tests of exposure and see if the meter is close enough. With Tri-X, there is unlikely to be one absolutely "correct" reading anyway for a spot meter.
Logged
rey castaneda
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4


« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2012, 10:28:09 AM »
ReplyReply

to mr. tomhamp,
        Sir, I would like to know who mr. Ritter is because I have a pentax spotmeter that needs calibration. would appreciate if you can give me his mailing address, or email address or anyway I can send queries about it. I am from philippines, practicing photographer. My meter is at Rhode Island already with my cousin. and they could not find someone who can do the calibration in their area. would appreciate if you respond to this letter favorably. thanks very much.

rey castaneda
blanconegro8rc@yahoo.com
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 10:31:17 AM by rey castaneda » Logged
Kirk Gittings
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1550


WWW
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2012, 11:14:44 AM »
ReplyReply

I did some research on this a while back, and this convinced the Zone VI mod is pure snake-oil - and the writer did compare both modified and unmodified meters.

I am mentioned quite prominently in that article. I had both a regular and modified meter. The modified meter performed so much better that I got the other one (my backup) modified too. By the time Paul (who did some honest testing for sure) got into this issue I only had two modified meters and could no longer do a comparison. But I also am a hard working professional photographer with little time to waste and didn't particularly care whether Paul or anyone else agreed with my earlier findings or not. Paul compared two meters which may or may not represent all such meters. Richard Ritter (see below) says that the modification filters can become dislodged and need repair. To this day I still own and use one of my meters and meter just as Alan Ross suggest in his article. It works perfectly as designed and modified.

Every couple of years I get mine calibrated-by Richard Ritter who is a real craftsman and who worked for Picker on the modifications but calibrates them all.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 11:18:35 AM by Kirk Gittings » Logged

Thanks,
Kirk

Kirk Gittings
Architecture and Landscape Photography
WWW.GITTINGSPHOTO.COM

LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)
rey castaneda
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4


« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2012, 07:29:04 PM »
ReplyReply

Thank you very much Kirk Gittings! This will surely help!
Logged
rey castaneda
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4


« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2012, 07:42:16 PM »
ReplyReply

Great works, Kirk Gittings!
Logged
Peter McLennan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1695


« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2012, 07:55:26 PM »
ReplyReply

I used two of these meters for at least 20 years.  To see if they were still accurate, I'd take a reading on blue sky near the zenith.  If it still read EV 13, I knew I was good to go.

It always did. Smiley

Logged
rey castaneda
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4


« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2012, 07:59:52 PM »
ReplyReply

thanks, Peter!
Logged
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad