James's Light Meter Collection: Lentar EE-201 Meter
Lentar EE-201 meter JapanOwner's manual at Butkus.org
Maker: Lentar
Model: EE-201
Circa: 1965
Cell type: CdS
Measure type: Combination Reflecting/Averaging and 3D Incident
Battery: two AA

I haven't acquired a new meter in a long time. This started out because Marcus Rowland asked me if I knew anything about his Prinzlite Compmatic. I didn't, but was able to find it in a reference book and it was the same as the Toshiba EE-101, and that lead to this Lentar EE-201, which I found on eBay for a very reasonable price—which is a rareity on eBay these days.

Lentar sold a number of photo products under their name; like Vivitar, they were a brand, not a manufacturer. The fact that this same meter shows up under the Toshiba and Prinz brands, means it was probably offered to anyone who wanted to sell it under house brands. I have the original box and it's branded "gaf Lenco Photo Products, Inc.," so I assume they were owned or distributed in the USA by our friends GAF (formerly ANSCO). My guess is that Toshiba made it, as they were an actual electrical / electronics firm, but I doubt we'll ever know for sure.

This meter is unusual in that it's one of the very few that I've seen that use LEDs as over / on / under indicators of exposure. In-camera meters sometimes did it, but not hand-held meters. I assume they probably pulled too much juice from the batteries.

Unlike most CdS meters from this era which use little button batteries (mercury cells), this one uses two AAs, which means you can get modern batteries at the local store and drop them in and they work. No adapters. No adjustments. Even though the AAs are a lot bulkier, this is till a reasonably sized meter that isn't heavy at all.

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