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Advice 54011 lightmeterwinder knob


New Member
hi, i'm really quite new to photography, but i've been bitten by the bug, predominately b&w printing etc. i'm fortunate that i have access to dark room facilities and am experimentally/empirically working/learning my way through the massive scope of printing. i treated myself and recently become the proud owner of a clean 500cm of early 70s vintage. i'm looking into the 54011 photometer/winder knob as a period accessorie and functional meter too. i've seen these for sale described as excellent, but aren't cheap, in the region of 100 dollars. also i'm concerned about the 'expiring' issues with selenium based photometers i've read about. whats the deal with these? what should someone pay for a fist class ex&le and whats the realistic lifespan of them? these things could be over 3 decades old, how does the cell live up to that?

thanks in advance j.

I am not really an expert regarding selenium meters, but this is what I understand. The life span of one of these meters is pretty much indefinate, assuming that dirt doesn't get into the mechanism, and that it isn't damaged by water or impact damage.

Dave Odess

Factory trained Hasselblad technician
Julian, During my short "relationship with a Hasselblad,(mid '90's) I owned one of these meters and found it accurate. I also own Weston Master 11,1V,V and EuroMaster meters. While I admit the 11 is a little off, the others are spot on with each other and with my Polaris meter. The EuroMaster is at least 20 years old..I trust it implicitly for my incident readings
The life span of selenium cells depends on how long the air tight seal they have to be in is kept intact.
Seals tend to break, due to external mechanical damage, mechanical damage caused by thermal effects (be it ever so little, the leads leading in and out of the cell expand an contract. So does the cell itself), and corrosion.
Once the seal is gone, so is the cell (starts with losing accuracy, in the end it will do nothing at all).
The meter itself has that very fine mechanical micro&eremeter, susceptible to mechanical damage (as long as you don't open the meter and start prodding the immards, this will be restricted to knocks).

Apart from that, they can live forever. ;-)

Selenium meters are not very accurate at low levels. But in typical 'outdoor' situations, they are great.
Hello everyone
I'm sorry that I'm not experienced enough to know how to start a new string in the forum, so please forgive me for including my problem with this one.
I have a 500C/M with standard 80mm T* Planar lens. I have noticed recently that it does not appear to focus at infinity. Using the cross hairs in the centre of the screen, objects will not line up correctly at distances over about 100 metres.
Is this something I could fix, or would it be preferable to send the camera away for adjustment? Could anyone tell me where to send it in the UK?
Thanks in anticipation
Brian Parker
ps any information about starting a new string would be appreciated. Thanks