James's Light Meter Collection: Bertram Electro Bewi Super
Bertram Electro Super exposure meter
Maker: Bertram
Model: Electro Bewi Super
Circa: 1938
Cell type: Selenium
Measure type: Reflecting/Averaging

I think Bertram meters are great. From just before the war until about the mid-50s, they could always be counted on to come up with something usual and creative, and this is a great example.

Mine's seen better days, but you can still see what's what here. The main photo is the meter "closed," like a makeup compact. If you push the button on the front it pops open (move your mouse over the image). There's a little telescoping lens in the top, so what you do is hold this thing at waist level in the palm of your hand, and aim the lens at the scene you want to meter. As you look down, you can see the meter dial and face. Read the number, and turn a knob until the number shows up (bottom of the yellow band—three numbers are visible here), and there are your combinations. Two knobs: one to set the exposure index (in European Scheiner) and the other for the light value reading. The number in the lowest box is the exposure index setting.

Bertram made two versions of this: the Standard and the Super. I don't yet see what the differences between them are.

Mine is broken, which seems to be common on these models. Bertram made some neat meters, but the problem with complicated meters is that there are more things to break. So even though this thing has a lot more character and (arguably) a lot more fun than a Bewi Quick, these are lot less likely to be found in working condition, regardless of age.

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