James's Light Meter Collection: Nippon Kosoku Expo-Rite NE-2 Exposure Meter
Expo-Rite NE-2 Exposure Meter Japan
Maker: Nippon Kosoku
Model: Expo-Rite NE-2
Circa: 1958
Cell type: Selenium
Measure type: Reflecting / Averaging

Nippon Kosoku made several meters where were exported under various name, most commonly Accura and Bittco. The NE designation went to the meter style, regardless of the name. So the NE-1 was exported under the Accura and Bittco names, the NE-3 went out as a Bittco, Escot and Kinox, and so on.

This one only went by the name Expo-Rite. It's a cute little meter, very small (about an inch cubed), and it clips onto a camera's accessory shoe. Unlike most meters, there's no real fiddling with it: once you choose the proper scale for your film speed, you don't have to touch it again. As far as on-board meters go, it's as easy as you could ask for.

The meter exploits the German LVS (later EV) system, which was a standardized "light values" scale. The meter reads directly in EV and you set the lens directly in EV and you're good to go. My Voigtländer Vito B would work real well with this meter.

The gimmick that makes it work is that rotating metal plate on the top. Each side is calibrated for a different film speed, and there are two sides so you get eight speed options (the bad part is that this is the late 50s, the highest speed is ASA 200—you'll have to make allowances if you use faster modern films). It rotates freely and click-stops in place. If you need something on the other side, you hold the plate and turn the center post a quarter-turn and it unlocks the plate.

Mine also came with some little cards which suggest EV under different light conditions for a given film speed; so Kodachrome daylight (ASA 10) says Bright Sun (Sand/Snow) is EV 12.5, Bright Sun is EV 11.5, Hazy Sun is 10.5, Cloudy Bright is 9.5 and Open Shade is 8.5. Kodak's Tri-X (then rated at ASA 200) goes 17, 16, 15, 14 and 13 for the same conditions. And so on.

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