James's Light Meter Collection: James photometer
James photometer French flag iconClick for instruction manual (close enough)
Maker: James
Model: optical photometer
Circa: 1944
Measure type: Extinction

This meter had my name on it—how could I not buy it?

This is one of the few French meters I have. According to one of my reference books, they have two listings for this meter, identical as far I can tell; one from 1941 and the other from 1947. The manual I have, which is in French, lists the dates as 1943-44, so I'm going with that. I take it that it was made in Vichy France.

Man with dark hair and toothbrush moustache demonstrates useThe instruction manual is in French but I've been using Google to translate it, with mediocre results. The amusing thing to me is the line drawing of the man holding it to his eye to demonstrate its use (page 6 of the PDF). The hair isn't quite right, but the toothbrush moustache makes me think it's der Führer.

This is a little different than the other extinction meters I've got. Usually there's a scale of graduated density; you peep in and see whichever numeral or letter is just visible, and then look it up on a table that's either in a booklet or printed on the meter case. For this particular unit, there's a slot that widens out as you turn the barrel. At fully open you can see a large dot in the center of view. Hold the barrel and turn the end of the tube until the dot just disappears. Then look at the barrel and you can read your fƒstop-shutter-speed combinations.

Nice, rugged aluminum (I believe) body meter. Comes in a cylindrical metal case with a cap and the instruction book wrapped inside, which is probably why it's survived all this time in good shape.