James's Light Meter Collection: GM Labs Skan View-Finder Deluxe
GM Labs Skan View-Finder Deluxe meter USAclick for manual
Maker: G-M Labs
Model: Skan SM-4 View-Finder (Deluxe)
Circa: 1952
Price (new): $22.95
Designer:Archie McMaster
US Patent: 2,472,381
Cell type: Selenium
Measure type: Reflecting/Averaging

click for larger imageThe big brother to my little point-n-read Skan. This one came with the original box, instructions and warranty card, so I know a little more about this than the other. G-M Labs didn't advertise much and they don't get much ink in the columns, so information is particularly hard to come by.

This one offers a feature that's somewhat unique for the time: a "viewfinder" that's supposed to make it easier to see what the meter sees (and thus get a more accurate reading). The bad part is that it's a chest-level finder and about the size of fingernail, the type where the image forms on the surface of the glass so it takes some getting used to.

Beyond that, it seems to me to be "inspired" by the Weston Masters. The side has a slide-switch so you can flip a different scale into place on the meter, and the back has a large calculator dial. Like the Weston Masters, it's calibrated in 1/3rd stop increments for both ƒ-stops and shutter speeds, and calls each out fully. Most makers only marked full stops and put hash marks in-between.

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