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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Ian-Partridge.Com

Weston Lightmeters:

Question: "Do you offer a Guarantee on Weston meters you sell and restore"?

Answer: Yes. Should your meter develop a fault then I am happy to rectify at no charge.

Question: "How do I tell if my Weston meter is working correctly? The needle moves, but the high and low scales don't agree"?

Answer:  Unless your meter had a new cell fitted within the last few years, it is very probable your Weston meter now has an under-performing cell.
The Weston V's (and Euro-masters) were all manufactured with glued-in multi-facetted lenses and for cosmetic reasons they left a small gap unglued where
the atmosphere could easily penetrate to the cell. This hastened deterioration of the lacquer coating and inevitable loss of light sensitivity.
All the original Weston IV's and V's are now 50 years old and they all have insensitive cells.

To test whether your meter is still accurate:
Set your meter rating to 100 ISO/ASA. With the unclouded sun behind you, (your shadow should be longer than your height, and grey, not black), take a normal reading of the general view before you. Adjust the calculator dial to the number given and read off 100th sec. It will give F16. Set the speed to 200 ASA, adjust the calculator dial to the number given and read off 200th sec. It will give F16 again. And so on. With meter film speed set to other film speeds, it will correspond to the f.16 rule.

When your meter needle drops below 10 on the scale, the divisions are bunched together on the scale and difficult to read accurately. Therefore
open up the baffle for low-light readings.

Question: "How long should I expect a new selenium cell to last"?

Answer:  So long as your meter is well cared for, and kept away from damp and extremes of temperature, then the cell should last for a many years to come. It is the protective lacquer coating that eventually failed on all the old Weston meter cells. Particularly the Master V, and Euro-Masters. For cosmetic reasons during manufacture, glue sealant was not applied to all of the multi-faceted lens, allowing the ingres of moisture from the atmosphere to degrade the cells over time. All of the meters I restore have this small gap sealed-up properly.

Question: "I notice that the price of buying one of your restored Weston meters is almost the same as for a Weston repair. Why is this? Can you offer me a discount if I send you my old meter"?

Answer:  Your old worn Weston meter, with a dead or under-performing cell, cracked invercone, and perished leather case, may not be worth the cost of Special Delivery or Airmail postage. Any saving may be cancelled out. Consider your own meter is in near-perfect cosmetic condition, then it is worthwhile me restoring it. (Check for a perfect needle set button and surround). If your Weston has gone through the years and you have developed a fond attachment to it, then it is worthwhile. I am happy to restore it with most of its' original parts.

Question: "Can you supply me a new selenium cell for my dead Weston meter, as I believe I can repair the meter myself and save money"?

Answer: No. At present, ~MAY 2017 ~ I am unable to supply new selenium cells. I do hope to offer this service in future. My selenium cells are carefully manufactured to specification, and are then graded and matched. I have to conserve those new cells that I have so that I can continue to offer restored Weston meters and repairs. My charge for a full Weston meter restore with new cell fitted and replacement parts is not expensive.

Question: "I am overseas. How do I prepare and pack my meter to send it to you for repair"?

Answer: With leather case fitted, and inside a well-padded 'Jiffy' bag is sufficient despatched via regular post as Small Packet Airmail. Remember to label your meter with your name and return address. Set the needle button in the lock-down position. If you are ouside the European Union, then it is important to clearly mark the customs declaration: "SENT BY OWNER FOR REPAIR"

Question: "When my meter is not in use, is it better to leave the needle set button in the free or lock down position"?

Answer: Leave the needle free. Prolonged contact with the dial scale surface may cause the red paint of the needle to adhere to the scale surface.

Question: "When my meter is not in use, how do I best store it"?

Answer: Avoid storing your meter in plastic bags or boxes, unless absolutely necessary to avoid humidity or damp. Plastics such as Polythene 'sweat' and over time will cause a cloudy residue to form inside camera lenses, for instance. The best environment is to keep in a desk drawer or bookshelf where you live as the temperature will then be relatively constant. It is vital to avoid temperature extremes especially lofts, store rooms that will cause the selenium cell surface lacquer to reticulate and cell sensitivity to drop. It is the crazing of the cell laquer over time that has de-sensitised all the Weston meters.

Question: "What are the differences between the Weston Master V and Weston Euro-master "?

Answer: The only differences are the Light Scale and Calculator Ring. With the Master V the Light Scale numbers are upright and the all the shutter speeds and f stops are displayed in red with the intermediate ones in black. On the Euro-master the Light Scale numbers are sideways and appear upright when taking a reading. However if you happen to be left-handed, then the numbers will appear upside down! For the Euro-master Weston also revised the calculator ring and simplified the shutter speeds and f stops shown, so for instance, 125th sec is shown but 100th sec is not. Also the intermediate F stops are not shown. Personally I did not like my Euro-master as I had to paint a mark representing "50th of a second" on the dial, when shooting cine, for instance.

Question: "My Euro-Master received safe and sound this morning. Thank you. Very pleased to have this back in working order. One question: what is the best way to store the meter when not it use to ensure long life"?

Answer: It is best to keep it on a bookshelf in a living room or somewhere with you that it will not be exposed to damp or extreme fluctuations in temperature. The cell is good for many years to come. It is the lacquer coating that can 'craze' so it is best to preserve in a moderate environment and the sensitivity will then not diminish over the years.

 

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