Vintage Light Meters
all photos copyright Joseph Greco
Wynne's Infallible Meter
Wynne's Infallible Exposure Meter, (c.1893-1915). Actinometer, made in England. The lists of speed plates for this one are dated 1913. Like the Watkins Bee Meter these are pocket watch sized meters that used Printing Out Paper (POP) to measure light intensity. A disc of light sensitive POP paper is placed inside the case and a small area of the paper is exposed in the small window. The paper darkens on exposure and is compared to a fixed shade strip that is provided. To take a reading, the user first rotates the paper disc to expose a fresh area, and measures the time (by counting) taken for the paper to darken to match the fixed shade. This time, together with the film or plate speed and the desired lens aperture, is used to determine the exposure time with the meter's scale.
Watkins Bee Meter
Watkins Bee Exposure Meter (c.1902-1930). Early twentieth century actinometer invented by Alfred Watkins, an English businessman, photographer, self-taught archaeologist and an authority on beekeeping.
Zeiss Ikon Diaphot
Zeiss Ikon Diaphot Exposure Meter, (1926-1934), extinction meter with leather pouch. Same design as the original ICA diaphot which was introduced in 1921 (complete with ICA 5-point star logo). In 1926 Contessa-Nettel AG of Stuttgart, Ernemann AG of Dresden, Optische Anstalt C. P. Goerz of Berlin, and Ica AG of Dresden merged with Zeiss to form Zeiss Ikon.
Weston Universal Exposure Meter, Master Model 715 (1939-1945). Selenium cell. The first in the Master series of fine Weston light meters made famous by Ansel Adams. This is the meter he couldn't find when he made his famous Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico photograph in 1941.