Helpful Posts: 0
23rd May 2013, 06:12 PM
I have recently purchased a Gossen Variosix F2 (e-bay) light meter and was curious as to know if anyone has any previous experience with one of these?
With it being a few years old I wondered if age effects accuracy etc.
Any input would be welcome.
24th May 2013, 11:34 AM
Accuracy in a non-scientific light meter, intended for photography use, mostly is a moot point, as all light meters and methods must be calibrated before they may be considered "accurate". However, consistency and reciprocity are important, and all electrical components may change with age. Gossen always used quality components and they also were meticulous about consistency and reciprocity in their light meters. Generally old meters work well, although age can take its toll, changing the parameters of components, so that readings may become less reciprocal than before. It is particularly the photocell that may alter its response, although mostly any change still is reciprocal, so it is easily fixed by your calibration.
I don't have that meter, so I cannot say much about it. The only Gossen meter I have is a Sixtomat electronic, which still works wonderfully, as does also other quality light meters that I have. When CdS cells degrade, they mostly do so rather rapidly and soon attain infinite resistance. Thus, if the meter works at all, it should be expected to work correctly. However that does not imply that readings would be "correct" unless you adjust them to your method and photosensitive material.
There is no simple method of testing the accuracy of a light meter other than measuring a lamp with constant output at varying distances in a suitably large room without too much wall reflectance. Reciprocity is checked by measuring at distance intervals of the square root of 2.
In practical photography, these meters mostly are not needed, unless you shoot with film.
24th May 2013, 12:25 PM
Urban - the Variosix F2 is actually a flash meter. I know that there is a lot of debate on how to set the lights when shooting strobes. I prefer doing so with a flash meter versus trial and error to set my ratios. I use a Sekonic L-358.
24th May 2013, 04:09 PM
My Gossen Starlight still seems spot on after 10 years or so. I even have a very old (c. 1960) Gossen colour temperature meter that still seems to work, if not that sensitive (it uses selenium cells)
Gossen offer repair and calibration services, though I don't know the cost.
28th May 2013, 04:42 PM
The F2 is both an incident as well as a flash meter. If in good condition it should be very reliable. Check the calibration accuracy against another known meter, or by using a grey card and a known camera meter.