Before I embarked on the 52 cameras project I used the Nikon F from my dad. The kit includes a Weston Master IV Model 745 meter but alas, the selenium cell is dead.
A lot of older cameras have built-in meters that have dead cells, aren’t accurate any more, or take obsolete mercury batteries. For some you can substitute zinc-air hearing aid batteries or use some other kludge but even with power the meter may or may not be accurate.
Thankfully, I found this amazing exposure aid, the Exposure-Mat by Dave Harris. You make it out of card stock, it’s available in two sizes, and it’s free for personal use. Click on the graphic to open the site in another window.
There is a more in-depth look at this and some other exposure calculators at Figital Revolution.
Another FR page puts it together with a framing card, human rangefinder, and other tools. A very cool, totally manual, addition to any camera kit.
One of these days, I’ll take the plunge and get a good modern meter. Until then, I use an exposure calculator and/or something else I usually have with me any way, my phone. The best metering app I’ve seen so far is Pocket Light Meter. It’s free with ads or 99 cents to turn them off. Seriously though, use the in-app purchase and buy the guy a pint. It’s a really good meter.
Since Pocket Light Meter is able to use both cameras, you can turn your phone into an incident light meter using a piece of typing paper. ** 19 October 2016 ** Sadly, this link is dead.
You can also take it to the next level and get a Luxi, a nice looking diffusion dome for the iPhone and Pocket Light Meter.
I don’t have any financial stake in plugging any of these products or sites, these are just some tools I’ve found to be really useful.