James's Light Meter Collection: Bertram Bewi Automat B
Bertram Bewi Automat B
Maker: Bertram
Model: Bewi Automat B
Circa: 1958
Price (new): $29.95
Cell type: Selenium
Measure type: Reflecting / Averaging

click for larger adI love Bertram meters: they have character. They may not be the best, but they're fun to look at and fool with. So many other meters are functional but dull.

This one's also a beauty. A shiny black case and a white-on-black-on-bronze dial. A real sweetie. Except I can't figure out how it works. It might be broken—it might be just me. What you do is put the big button on the side with your thumb, then release it. The dial spins and stops on an EV number (it's the band of white in the photo). If your camera uses EV numbers, you set it accordingly, else you can read the time and ƒ/stop pairs below it.

That's all well and good, but how to set the film speed? The indicators are along the dial on top (DIN on the black band, ASA on the bronze). They're hard to see, but there are hash marks in the center of the dial glass where the film speed is indicated. But how do you set it?

On the side of the case there's a recessed thumb-wheel (you can't see it in the photo), but turning it hasn't done anything that I can see. I think it's supposed to turn the bronze dial face around, which would calibrate everything. That's my theory. I'll open it up someday to see for myself...

©opyright by James Ollinger. All Rights Reserved.

Company names and models are registered trademarks of their respective owners
and are not affiliated with this website in any way.