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1950s SEI Photographic Exposure Spot Photometer

1950s SEI Photographic Exposure Spot Photometer

SEI Salford Electrical Instruments

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1950s SEI Photographic Exposure Spot Photometer

This 1950s SEI Photographic Exposure Spot Photometer is a very rare piece of vintage Photographic/Cinematographic equipment. It is being sold as a collectible, for display only, and has not been tested.

Approximate Size:

  • Length: 17.7 cm (excluding wires)
  • Diameter: 4 cm

In good condition for its age, with a few surface blemishes, the lens is dusty and no longer totally clear. It comes with its original polystyrene box which is in fair condition with some scuffs, discolouration and scratches commensurate with age and use.

Made by Salford Electrical Instruments, (part of GEC), Peel Works, Silk Street, Salford, Lancashire, between 1948 and 1960, the instrument measures light by comparing the brightness of a subject with the brightness of the lamp inside the meter. The brightness of the subject can be assessed against that of the lamp, and correlated with the correct exposure.

The patent mentioned on the top of the meter, GB Patent 582 673, dates to 1944 and was filed by George Seymour Platt.

The base can be removed revealing the bulb compartment which provided the light source for the photometer. It would have taken a battery but has been professionally converted to take an external electrical source. The wiring needs replacing as it has stuck to the polystyrene and part of the protective wiring sleeve is missing.

It measures the light in Log Foot Lamberts, a unit of luminance (brightness) more commonly used in the USA and often associated with the Motion Picture Industry. You can also set:

  • Relative Density 
  • Exposure Time (secs)
  • Lens Aperture
  • A.S.A Index

Beautifully engineered from a chromed non-ferrous metal, the photometer is marked: 

SEL Exposure Photometer

Made in England

Apparently, it's not easy to use but gives such accurate readings that it is still used in some movie studios!

Here is an original advert for the photometer (not included):-

A great find for the vintage photography/cinematography collector!

Please click on the following link for more vintage photographic and imaging equipment. 

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