The Lime II light meter and the Bolex

The Lime II light meter and the Bolex

The Bolex is a fascinating device: reliability and functionality combined with beautiful design in leather and chrome make it one of the most desirable film cameras. But how do you measure exposure in 2024 in a simple way? If you disregard the elaborate TTL retrofits that a company in the Netherlands once carried out in the past, all you have left is the Gossen light meter supplied at the time, any hand-held light meter or a smartphone with an app. Since I film a lot with the Bolex myself, my Gossen knife has been defective for a long time and I didn’t like its mercury battery anyway, I looked for alternatives.

I came across the Lime II clip-on exposure meter from Hedeco and ordered it. It was invented by Johannes Heberlein from Nuremberg. It can be inserted perfectly into the top of the camera, it is just as wide on the left as the sensitive aperture ends of the Switar optics protrude. Then press the button on the right-hand side and activate it.

For example, when filming with the H8 REX3 at 18 frames per second, I set the exposure time to 1/60 using the rotary dial, inserted ASA100 film and the correct aperture was immediately determined. You can read the bright measurement results amazingly well from behind. The measurement results are then transferred to the lens and a well-exposed result is achieved. Aperture corrections (e.g. when using filters or when filming in the snow) can also be easily set.

As you can see, exposure metering is possible in many different ways, and every filmmaker certainly has its own approach. But if, like me, you shoot a lot handheld and don’t have a hand free for the external light meter, you can definitely take a look at the Lime II, which blends harmoniously into the elegant Bolex design.

Text & Photos: Patrick Müller

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