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Minolta Auto Meter IIIF

wayne g , Jan 13, 2005; 03:04 p.m.

Hello, I have a chance to pick up a nice Minolta Auto Meter IIIF for $79.00. Comes with 10o spot attachment and instructions. I know it is an older model and was wondering if anyone out there still uses it and if it can be operated with one hand. I have three F2's that I use and I would not use the meter very often...maybe for some B&W zone and to double check exposures in difficult lighting situations. Would like to know what are your likes/dislikes with this model and how convenient it is to use. Thanks!



Jim Heikkinen , Jan 13, 2005; 03:23 p.m.

It's no problem operating it with one hand. It's a good meter. No extra features besides the averaging function. A little plasticky perhaps.

The only thing I'm missing is the ability to let the shutter speeds step in 1/10 stops instead of the aperture, but with an older Nikon where he shutter only has full stops that's not a problem.

I have no experience with the spot attachment though, although I think ten degrees sound a bit much to be really usable.

In that price range I'd also consider the Gossen Digisix (or Digiflash if you need flash metering). The Minolta has much better user interface but the Gossen is really small and easy to carry everywhere. It doesn't have spot metering either.

Jim Strutz - Anchorage, AK , Jan 13, 2005; 05:16 p.m.

I still use mine. About the only thing I reguarly use it for is flash metering, but it works well and is simple to use. It also has easy access to the calibration pot if you should ever need to adjust it. I don't have the spot attachment for it, but I do have the more common reflective light disk. I almost always just use the standard incident dome though. $80 is a good price.

The only thing I don't like is the battery. Finding a AA or 9 volt battery woud be easier, but the one it uses is still fairly common. But since the flash has no "OFF" switch, there seems to be a very slight drain on it all the time. After more than a few months of relative inactivity, I would usually find the battery to be dead. So I started putting a very small piece of thin cardboard between the battery and one of the end contacts. I just pull it out when I want to use the meter. So far the battery is three years old and still going strong.

Roy Des Ruisseaux , Jan 13, 2005; 10:47 p.m.

I got one a couple of years ago off e bay. I think I paid $75.00 The dome locking tabs were missing so I used a few small pieces of velcro to hold it in, works fine. As good a meter as I've ever used. Used to own a Lunipro years back. It's nice 'cause you can read flash with it. I also agree the battery will wear out if you leave it in without using it. I've gotten the batteries at Radio Shack. I keep my meter in a small pouch like you see in the photo dept of Target or K or Wal Mart. Fits well and has a small zippered compartment where I put my battery when the meter's going to sit.

Roger Krueger , Jan 14, 2005; 12:46 a.m.

Great meter, still use mine all the time. Big drawback is no "off" switch, combined with an activation button than protrudes from the body. Something shifts and leans up against it in your camera bag and it's metering all night. I bought the 10 degree spot about five years ago. I've used it twice. I do have/use the flat diffuser sometimes, though.

This meter has no sync connection, a minor inconvenience when metering studio flash, but this doesn't sound like your situation.

I've mostly ignored my in-camera meters since I got my IIIf.

Harvey Edelstein , Jan 14, 2005; 01:42 a.m.

For what its worth, I understand Minolta no longer services this model with support. This is not to say that some others don't still repair and calibrate but parts that need to be replaced means finding other meters for parts. I would go for the IVf.

Tom Thumbnail , Oct 08, 2010; 07:07 p.m.

I don't think Minolta is supporting any of their meters anymore. From what I understand, Sony took over support, but Sony will be ending their support on December 31, 2010.

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