James's Light Meter Collection: Dorn Prixcolor
Dorn Prixcolor exposure meter West Germany
Maker: Dorn
Model: Prixcolor
Circa: 1962
Cell type: Selenium
Measure type: reflecting/averaging; 2D incident built-in

Dorn is a German company who made a number of meters of the years. One of their oft-repeated model names was Prix, though it was rebadged as Prize in the United States.

The majority of Dorn meters I've seen have an unusual configuration: the needle movement is set in a corner so the needle sweeps at an angle, instead of horizontally. I don't know if it's any better or worse, but it is distinctive.

This is a late model, however, and they went with something more conventional. This is a very pretty meter, much moreso than my mediocre photo here would indicate. The case is medium gray and the dial is metallic with the black concentric circles and splashes of color: the film speed indices are in red (at 4 and 8 o'clock on this photo) and the aperture scale is a deep burgundy.

The incident attachment (shown deployed in the photo) is on a hinge, so you just flick it with a fingernail and it flips out of the way for reflected readings. You don't have to take this machine out of the case for anything.

The one thing I don't care for is the bubbles over the shutter speed indicators (shutter on the left, frame rate on the right). It's like the little optical warts you sometimes see on wrist watches over the date window. It does make it larger and easier to read, but only if you're looking at it dead on. That's a feature I don't like on watches, either. Still in all, a very nice meter, and it's active after all these years.

This meter was a gift from Chuck Foreman in Germany. Danke schoen!

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