James's Light Meter Collection: Minolta View Meter 9
Minolta View Meter 9 exposure meter Japanclick for manual
Maker: Minolta
Model: View Meter 9
Circa: 1966
Price (new): $54.95
Cell type: CdS
Battery: one PX1 or two PX13 with a conducting spacer

Measure type: Narrow field (9°) reflecting / averaging
Modern Photography Review: March 1965

click for larger adIf you have an eye for meters, or if you've been reading the rest of this site, you may notice that this bears a striking resemblance to the Weston Ranger 9. Don't believe me? Try this—click the link the Ranger 9 (it should open a new window) and look at them side-by-side. Consider:

They look alike. They're not twins the way the Horvex 2 and the Argus L3 are, but they're very close as meters go.

They both came out the same year. They both have two ranges and the same turn-switch. They have the same viewfinder--a circular field with a bulls-eye in the center.

The Weston has an 18° angle and this Minolta has a 9° angle. I don't think that's a big difference, and I think it truly explains Weston's name for the meter (and they changed it to 18° after).

They both take the same batteries. The Minolta's battery loads in front and the Weston's in the back, the Minolta has a button battery check, the Weston a slide switch. Calculator dials are different. And the overall shape is different (Minolta is trapazoidal where the Weston is more of a rounded rectangle). Still, I think the similarities are striking and the differences are cosmetic.

What does it mean? If you believe that the Weston was made in USA (as it claims), then likely it was at least designed by the same company that made this. Perhaps Weston licensed the design; maybe Minolta did. Whether Minolta made this in-house or purchased it from a vendor is unknown. My guess is that it's a Japanese design and Weston licensed a version of it, and purposely tried to make it look different. But that's just my guess.

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