Voigtlander VCii Meter Review

Discussion in 'Equipment & Media' started by Hamish Gill, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    The Voigtlander VCii meter is a accessory shoe mountable lightmeter.
    Its range is from f1.4 to f/22, 1 to 2000th of a second and 25 to 3200 iso.

    It is easily the accessory lightmeter I have used most over the last few years, mainly due to it's size.
    It doesn't have the most comprehensive set of features, it is only capable of reflected readings, does nothing fancy like flash metering and is limited a little in it's range.

    [​IMG]

    But, it is tiny and it's seemingly pretty accurate. Certainly accurate enough for use with the sort of camera I believe it is intended for!

    [​IMG]

    I use it with my collection of vintage compact cameras, even some of the ones with a meter built in.
    The Sunny 16 rule is all well and good in the daytime, but this little beauty lets me use all my vintage compacts indoors, in the evening and any other situation where my ability to judge light is lacking!

    Correct exposure
    [​IMG]

    Slightly over
    [​IMG]

    Under
    [​IMG]

    So where does it fall short?
    Ignoring it's sparse feature set, it's biggest flaw is the crap plastic battery cover! I can't begin to remember how many times I have had to root around in my pocket to find the 2 lr44 batteries it takes after they have fallen out!
    It also doesn't quite feel as solid as some of it's older cousins (such as the Gossen Sixty), but it is smaller than any other meter I have come across so I let it off that.
    It is also a little loose in some shoes, but I have also found it tight in others ... I put this down to it being designed to fit the average and once again let it off! Besides, if it is too loose, just keep it in your pocket instead of on the camera!

    It's other issue is the price ... Tiny little thing like this, it didn't feel quite right parting with £110 for it! Looking now, it's more like £150! Despite feeling a little cheated when I bought it, I no longer feel the same. It's earned it's keep many times over! In fact I noticed the other day that my Weston Master 5 has been untouched for so long there was a good bit of dust on it!

    To sum up, it is by no means the perfect lightmeter for everyone!
    But, if you like your vintage compacts and Rangefinders, especially ones without built in meters, but don't want to carry a big lump of a meter with many superfluous features, I am unaware of a better alternative!
     
  2. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Very nice review as usual Hamish.

    An alternative might be the Digisix from Gossen. Tiny and can hooked on a key ring or the strap of the camera. Not mounted and as convenient but ueful and very pocketable.
     
  3. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

  4. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    They still make the Sixtomat Digital and this is a lot smaller than that. It is quite a nice little meter - if you can find it in your bag!! :)
     
  5. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    Not sure what would be worse, loosing that or loosing the batteries for the vcii ... its one thing i like about my gossen sixty... silenium!
     
  6. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Ah, got you. You mean the old one. I have a lovely old Sekonic Studio Master (almost identical to the L398A) but I don't really use it any more but I still mostly use Sekonic meters (L658D and its predecessor and their colour meters). I also have a Minolta IV which I bought S/H with accessories to allow measurement off screens and microscopes but have since bought the Sekonic attachments that do the same. I had brief 'affair' with the big Gossen meters but I prefer the Sekonic's although their Spotmeter II is wonderful.

    I've dug the Studio Master out and will try to take a couple of pictures of it (and maybe their old colour meter) and describe it for the site this evening.
     
  7. Austin O'Hara

    Austin O'Hara Member

    Voigtlander VCii shoe mount meter

    Hamish, In anticipation of delivery of my Vito B next week I have searched around for one of
    these meters without success. Did yours come with the camera when purchased?
    Also, do you use a range meter with your Vito B?
     
  8. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    Nope I bought it from Robert white (I think) although they don't seem to have them now ...
    Do you have an iPhone? Or smart phone of any type ... I know it's not exactly traditional photography, but there is a light meter app for the iPhone that I use ... That or a Weston (I have seen the other thread I'll come to that I a second)

    I have rangefinder cameras, but I don't use accessory ones...
    Because the vito b only has shutter speeds up to 300 or 500th of a second depending on year, you will find you are shooting at quite small apertures. Because of this guessing the distance is often more than adequate... And in fact you are often shooting within a large zone of focus rather than at a set distance!
     
  9. Austin O'Hara

    Austin O'Hara Member

    Thanks Hamish.
    You have saved me some £'s.
     
  10. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    If you have an iPhone the best one is made by nuwaste
     

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