Tag Archives: exposure meter

Gossen Sixtomat

Sixtomat exposure meter.

The Sixtomat, manufactured  by Gossen in Erlangen Germany, is a exposure meter  to be used for photographic and cine purposes. The meter only measures reflected light. The sensor can be shut off for light by a metal rolling blind. This roller blind protects the sensitive parts of the meter like the sensor and the glass of the reading scale. The blind is made  of special V2a rustles steel.

The Sixtomat has been made in different versions and also in different colors. Most common is the black version rare are the dark blue and dark red versions. The first production date is around 1950 and since then a large number of these meter have been made. Later on this meter has been improved and merged into the Sixtomat J the Sixtomat X2 and the Sixtomat X3. There are some minor differences in the production versions like the color of the scale on the film sensitivity knob and the knob itself. The meter has been developed shortly after the Sixtus 2. The Sixtus 2 is the first post WW2 meter since 1936. The Sixtomat is a complete new design after the well known bakelite versions.

An application for the German patent was done on December 24 1949, the USA patent for the Sixtomat was requested at June 2 1950 by P. Gossen & Co. GMBH Erlangen Germany under number 2,699,087. The inventors are the son of Paul Gossen, Hans Gossen and Erwin Pfaffenberger.

In December 1950 the American Cinematographer has placed an article in their magazine presenting this meter;  “Sixtomat. New, Automatic Exposure Meter.” The Sixtomat is being imported and distributed in the USA by the Mitropa Corporation, New York City and the retail price in that time was about US $32.50. This article describes the function of the meter extensively.

It is clearly an automated version of his predecessors, the Photolux, Ombrux, Blendux, Cimbrux,  Sixtus, Ombrux 2 and Sixtus 2. The red button for changing the sensitivity of the meter is now incorporated in the mechanism. When rotating the knob, you can see the scale changing from red to black or vice versa. A internal switch changes this sensitivity accordingly, replacing manual pressing the button. It is a meter of the next generation of Gossen exposure meters for photographic and cine purposes, measuring reflected and incident light (some of them) by use of what Gossen called the ‘rollo’ a movable blind. The electrical function of the Sixtomat is still based on the older predecessors with the red button on top. This button enables the meter to measure with different light sensitivity. This function is incorporated into the Sixtomat but invisible for the user because it is mounted on the axle were also the knob is mounted. The sensitivity changes when the scale goes from black to red and vice versa. In the newer versions of the Sixtomat this function has been removed. The notch on the axle is still there but the switch has been removed at the same time the metal roller blind has been replaced by a diffuse one enabling the meter to measure reflected light en when the blind is in front of the sensor. also to measure incident light.

The first Sixtomat exposure meter, from the early fifties and still available in the early seventies so it last for more than two decades. In a Gossen brochure from 1971 it still available and in the meantime, more than 1.500.000 meters have been produced. The types that are manufactured are as far as we know the Sixtomat, the Sixtomat X2, The Sixtomat X3, the Sixtomat Deluxe I, the Sixtomat J. Even between the meters of the same type, there are differences in manufacturing. Also there are meters made in different colors but of the same model, like the Sixtomat normally in black is also in dark blue and even in dark red. The Sixtomat X3 has been made with a complete transparent housing.

There are several versions of the Sixtomat from 1950 to the 1970th onwards;

Sixtomat, first Sixtomat with metal roller curtain only for reflected light.
Sixtomat, as above but with a ‘L’ on the read out scale and different exposure times, for Leica?
Sixtomat-I deluxe, the metal curtain has been changed to a plastic one enabling measurement of incident light
Sixtomat J, still figuring out what exactly the differences are
Sixtomat Dual,
Sixtomat X2, predecessor of the Sixtomat X3 except for the color finder
Sixtomat X3, Final Sixtomat for measuring reflected light, incident light and color temperature. Sold until the seventies.
Sixtomat X3, version in a transparent housing
Sixtomat X3 with ‘Tower’ label’,  version for Sears.

See versions for an overview.
Gossen and Leica.

During time, gossen has made several Leica versions of their meters. Some of them are recognisable by the word Leica or just the “L” on the sacle or the meter itself but some others have no special mark but can be recognised by the values on the scale.

Special thanks to Richard W Holzman and Simon Spaans for additional information and articles.

via Gossen Sixtomat.


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Gossen Light Meter Overview

Gossen Starlite 2 All-in-One Light Meter
Replacing the Gossen Starlite, the Starlite 2 is Gossen’s latest all-in-one top of the line light meter offering unrivaled capabilities and multiple functions. Three individual meters are specially incorporated into this one precision-measuring instrument: An exposure meter for ambient and flash; A CINE meter for filming; A light measuring instrument for illumination intensities and luminances. Among its many metrological highlights, the Starlite 2 includes a broad range of high performance features for flash measurement. It’s capable of measuring individual flashes, calculating multiple flash illumination and analyzing flash and continuous illumination — even with several flash units in combination. The Starlite 2 provides the user with precise results, even for highly complex tasks.

Gossen Color-Pro 3F Light Meter
The Gossen Color-Pro 3F is specifically designed for measuring the photographic color temperature of flash and ambient light, and to indicate the measured results in degrees Kelvin (K). However, there is much more to it, after comparing the color temperature measured with the pre-selected color temperature of the film, in degrees Kelvin, the COLOR-PRO 3F calculates out the filter values required to achieve photographs without color casts. The resulting filter values can be expressed as light balancing values in Mired or Kodak WrattenTM values. In addition to the above the COLOR-PRO 3F will also indicate in CC filter values the correction required, for example when working with fluorescent lighting.

Gossen Digipro F Light Meter
Slim, sturdy and ready to twist! The Gossen Digipro F is the latest member of Gossen’s family of high-quality exposure meters for digital and analog photography. This high-precision exposure meter for flash and ambient light features a swivel head that makes measuring and reading a breeze for both professional photographers and dedicated amateurs. The stylish, lightweight Digipro F is small enough to sit comfortably in a shirt pocket. It features a user-friendly interface, which can be easily operated with one hand.

Gossen Mavolux 5032C Light Meter
The Mavolux 5032C is a handy, easy to use, highly accurate light meter capable of measuring illumination in either footcandles or lux. Candelas/m2 and footlamberts can also be measured with the optical luminance attachment. The Mavolux 5032C is equipped with color correction, so that its spectral response is matched to that of the human eye. Integrated cosine correction is included in order to ensure that oblique incident light is also evaluated correctly.

Gossen Mavo-Monitor Digital Illumination Level Meter
The Gossen Mavo-Monitor is a precision digital instrument for measuring luminance with the measuring sensor placed directly on a luminous or backlighted surface, for instance monitors (CRT/LCD), TV screens, light boxes, light panels, traffic signs and ground glass. An easy to handle, user-friendly measuring instrument for professional applications in industry and service, for special checks and certified testings according to the existing safety regulations, above all at work stations, in medical and office systems.

Gossen Digisix Light Meter
The Lightmeter that fits in the palm of your hand. Digisix is a Digital/Analog exposure meter. It’s great looking, great value and a true travel companion that’s packed with more features than you’d ever expect. The Digisix is small enough to sit comfortably on your camera’s hot shoe (with optional shoe adapter), and sports a digital read-out and analog scale for ambient light levels that can be measured in reflective or incident mode. Digital read-out in EV is easily transferred to a setting ring where all the shutter speed/f-stop combinations can be read at a glance. But the Digisix doesn’t stop there. Not only is it an exposure meter, but it also offers a functioning clock with alarm, a timer for timing long exposures, plus a precision digital thermometer which measures temperatures and stores a high and low value.

Gossen Digiflash Light Meter
The Digiflash offers all the features of the Digisix meter above, plus the added benefit of taking flash readings with a range of f/2 – f/32 at 100 ISO. The Digiflash is microprocessor controlled and runs on a Lithium battery type CR 2032. The meter weighs approximately 1.5 oz including battery, and comes with a carry case, strap and battery.

DIY Light meter without battery

Not for commercial use. DOWNLOAD HERE: Exposure Mat

Assembly Instructions

1 Print on 140 gsm card stock.

2 Lightly score fold lines A & B in 1.

3 Cut out centre rectangle from 1 using a craft knife and ruler.

4 Cut out 1 using craft knife and ruler.

5 Carefully fold 1 at A and B.

6 Cut out 2 using craft knife and ruler.

7 Assemble by sliding 2 into 1, check fit and adjust by timming bottom edge of 2 if neccesary.

8 Sparingly apply glue to marked section of 1, fold and leave to dry.

9 When dry slide 2 into 1 and follow use instructions.



Use Instructions

1 Align film speed with Exposure Value at top of window.

2 Read possible Aperture / Shutter Speed combinations at bottom of window.