I have one of these Gossen flash meters to sell http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-gossen-digisky-exposure-meter/p1524493 I bought it from the Flash Centre last year. Hardly been used so in "as new" condition. Perfect for triggering Elinchrom lights too. I have 2 other flash meters so this is available.
If you feel £130 for a fairly advanced, very well made, and somewhat essential piece of studio oriented technology isn't for you then perhaps photography may not be the hobby that's best suited to you considering the comparative cost of everything else photography related.
To go any cheaper, I can only recommend a Lastolite Xpobalance (~35) and use it with histograms (I use them by getting the 'spike' of the white as far to the right of the histogram without actually clipping it), though it'll be far from accurate, or consistent.
Bear in mind as well that £130 is only the cost of a model working to high levels for 2-3 hours. Again, not much in the scheme of things and Sekonic meters last for years (my dad's one from the mid 1960s still works fine)
But seriously, completely agree with Redchecker - a decent exposure meter/flashmeter is invaluable and as he says, a small price to pay in comparison. You may also want to consider a second hand Minolta Autometer 6 if you can find one, although I have no idea on price (even though I have one myself, along with a never opened or used Minolta Autometer VF)
Hi I have a Calumet DFM3 in excellent condition with soft case. Owned from new. V good condition. Make an offer. I won't promise the manual but if you are interested I will turn the house upside down to try to find it. Pete
I have a Gossen Lunasix F, which I have been asked to sell by a friend. When it was given to me, the battery had corroded, but it's in a separate compartment, so there is no damage to the circuitry. I replaced the battery connector lead and it now works well. Otherwise it's in excellent condition, hardly used and comes with lanyard, leather case, instructions and box. How does £60, plus postage sound? Regards,
I use two Courtenay FM3 meters.....one new from the 80s, one s/h a few years ago from eBay. £10 ish if I remember right. Both perform perfectly, measure to 1/3 a stop, and will probably outlast me!! Might still be cheap on eBay. A bit basic, but if used intelligently......