|Kodak Kodalux L lightmeter and case|
One of the peculiarities of the (admittedly niche) popularity of film photography and the perceived value of older film cameras in recent years (and the attendant high prices of secondhand equipment-especially when certain cameras gain a fashionable cache) is the emergence of a new class of shoe-mounted lightmeters. A decade or so ago, this might have seemed an unlikely proposition, but thanks to new manufacturing techniques, there are now a number of meters, largely deriving their design principles from the Voigtländer VC Meter I and II from the early 2000s.For many years, I've used a hand-held Weston Master II whenever I've needed a lightmeter, although I do also use the 'sunny 16' rule relatively frequently, especially if I'm just taking snapshots when I'm not too concerned with critical accuracy in exposure. One of the features I've really appreciated about the Weston Master II is how low the ISO settings go, down to 2 ISO, useful for exposing photographic paper for paper negatives, and for the Kodak High Resolution Aerial Duplicating film, which I have been using at 2 ISO. However, when taking photographs in December, I dropped my lightmeter on the stone flags surrounding the Pole Hill obelisk on the day of the winter solstice-and it stopped working (it might simple be that the meter needle is stuck, but I have been wary so far in disassembling the Weston Master).
|Kodalux L meter - showing diffuser|
Being a 1950s meter, the Kodalux L is powered by a selenium cell, covered with a typical honeycomb-glass. As I've written in previous posts, selenium cells do attract some negative opinions expressed online, but in my own personal experience, with numerous cameras (and the Weston Master II), I don't think I've actually encountered a non-working selenium cell, and, in general, they have been accurate enough for my preferred photographic medium, black and white negative film. The main caveat is that in low-enough light levels, selenium cells are simply not sensitive enough, but this would generally mean night photography. In addition, the design of most selenium cell meters would make them incompatible with a zone-exposure approach.
|Kodalux L with case|
|Kodalux L meter - top view|
|Kodalux L showing zero setting screw|
|Kodalux L mounted on Kodak Retina IIa|