I like bookshops… and the Weston V

I like bookshops, but I’m guilty as the rest of us buying off online stores. Not because I want to. It’s just that I see a review, think ,that looks interesting, but can’t find it anywhere in my local bookstore. However, the reason I like bookshops is that they give me a choice. Amazon has choice, but it’s limited to your own knowledge. Sometimes it’s nice to browse the shelves and come across a book you’d not normally consider. Something draws you in, the cover perhaps, and in exploring a topic you’d not pick, widens your knowledge.

Likewise, when I’m travelling I usually pick up a book at a shop at the train station or airport as their limited selection forces me to try something new. Sometimes choice isn’t so good.

It’s also why I like the Weston V light meter. Unlike modern light meters and cameras, you have to dial everything in manually. And when you do, everything is plain to see. All shutter speeds and apertures at the chosen ISO. It’s a great way to learn. Unlike modern gadgetry which just gives you the setting you have chosen. It’s like a shelf in a bookshop, giving you all the options.
The Exposure triangle

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t use it much nowadays, but when I was learning to use a camera, the Weston V coupled with a Pentax K1000 was a great way to understand the fundamentals. A grounding which  has been invaluable. And it doesn’t need batteries.  I’m now doubting myself as to why I don’t carry it with me more often!

The Weston V shows all the options

Set your ISO. Take your reading, Match up the dials and voila, all options are visible.

Right, enough, back to the book.

A modern light meter alongside the Weston V


  1. I couldn't agree with you more about seeing everything in one place. I've got a newer Gosson that has everything pretty plain to see, though it's not a fun as the Weston, to be sure.

    I've always been leery about buying older light meters with selenium cells. Good to know that yours is still working!

    Thanks for doing this blog, love your work! Did the wetplate project ever happen?

  2. I've never had any issues with selenium cells. My Weston V still gives the same reading as my Sekonic. Most have come to me as hand-me-downs and are still working.

    My mate is still doing wet-plate but we didn't have any takers from the Derby community, maybe, one day.



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