Built in Meter? Yes? No?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by maliha, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. maliha

    maliha Member

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    Currently I am using a Pentax 6x7 medium format camera for my designated photo-shoots, which unfortunately does not have a built in meter. My usual routine is to use my digital camera first to see what shutter speed I will require and then set the speed dial on my Pentax accordingly. So far this has worked just fine, but the problem arises when I am trying to do "quick" shoots and do not have the luxury to spend hours playing on my digital camera before switching to analog for the actual photos.

    My question: Do you know of any "cheap" medium format camera that has a built in meter that you would recommend? I looked at Bronica ETRS and seems they do not have a meter either. Does Mamiya RB series cameras come with built in meters? I know for sure that Mamiya RZ cameras do, but they are too hard on my wallet!

    I know that buying a meter would solve the problem easily, but the lazy person that I am, I want to know if there is anything that may already have a built in meter. Any help would be highly appreciated!

    Thanks.

    Maliha
     
  2. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Hi

    The Bronica and RB67(and probably the RZ too) don't have built in meters (IF you use the WLF), BUT have prism finders that can meter. There are metering prisms for P67 too, maybe you can look into that too, intead of going for a whole new system....
     
  3. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    How about getting a metered prism for your Pentax?
     
  4. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I have the Pentax 67 and frequently meter out-of-range with an L758 e.g. 6, 10, 15, 20, 30secs. The 67 meter(or a Mamiya's or a Bronica's) certainly isn't going to meter down in low light, unless you are using high speed film (mine is Velvia 100F, Provia 100F or Velvia 50 at EI40). Once you get to the limit of the meter's range at a certain point you'll need a separate meter anyway, or pass up the scene (for me, that's not an option!). What would you prefer? The TTL prism meter is fine for bright light, but there is no substitute with a spot / incident meter and a swag of experience.
     
  5. maliha

    maliha Member

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    I didn't even know you get metered prism. I'm still a noob-head!!! BUT... thank you so much for the information. I will definitely look into that.

    Also, looks like I will need a spotmeter for low light conditions. Fortunately I like to have plenty of light during my shoots (mostly shoot outdoors in broad daylight, not much of a night shooter, or indoors with strobe), so a separate meter may not be essential right away. =)
     
  6. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    What kind of cell phone do you have? I have several free light meter apps on my iPhone that work great.
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    mamiya6
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Why not get a handheld meter?

    Metered prisms are ok but they do require some interpretation and learning.

    You don't say what the subjects are; are you photographing people, achetechture, landscape, studio work, product shots, weddings?

    Modern handheld incident meters are in my opinion the fastest, easiest, and most reliable way to meter.

    They don't get fooled easily and are quick to learn; turn it on, extend the dome, set the ISO, touch it to your subjects nose while pointed at the camera, dial the suggested setting into the camera, shoot.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2012
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I'd agree with you Mark, I actually find it quicker to use a hand held meter, and it's more accurate.

    Ian
     
  10. alex66

    alex66 Member

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    I just bought a meter head for my Mamiya 645, I find it handy when you want to get the shot quickly. If there is the time the hand held meter will come out. Sometimes the meter heads don't cost you much more than the unmetered head.
     
  11. himself

    himself Member

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    I'd just go with a hand held meter too you know, no slower than a built in meter really... and I'll also qualify my statement by saying that I'm pretty lazy
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I use a metering prism on the RB. But for best versatility, I'd just pick up a handheld meter, There might be a good hotshoe version that'd work for you too.

    Not cheap.
     
  13. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    +1 to this. The app I uses I use (Light Meter and Fotometer Pro) are both highly accurate and very simple to use.
     
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  15. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    I have the AEII for my Bronica ETRS and it gives me excellent results. The later AEIII overcomes some of the limits of use of the II. I find the metered prism to be faster than using a handheld, as it converts the camera to AE mode.

    I find that I use my handheld meters about 75% of the time, easier to work with if wanting to be a bit more creative. I could easily live with the AEII full time due to results but to be creative requires adjusting the iso, etc., just easier to go handheld. Plus easier to go handheld if wanting to meter other than the area the in-camera meter covers which for me is very often.

    Considering the average price of most metered prisms, a hendhald can be had for bargain pricing and can be used with other cameras. I use mine to meter my dslr as the dslr is just too much information overload when using its meter, detracting from the composing and developing the emption of the photo taking experience.

    Neither of my meters cost over about $50 so it does not take big bucks to get an excellent meter; mine are are a Metrastar and Weston Ranger.
     
  16. stavrosk

    stavrosk Member

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    I don’t think there is any way to replace bulb metering with the camera’s internal meter. Maybe if you shoot landscapes with little contrast you will be fine but if you shoot portraits, backlight, details etc. a light meter is irreplaceable.
     
  17. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I will go for a handheld meter also.

    Jeff
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'd recommend a handheld meter, but if you want to look for a medium format camera with built in meter, I'd suggest a Mamiya 645e.

    In my mind, built in meters are most valuable if you do macro/close focus work.
     
  19. mbsmith

    mbsmith Member

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    I'm not sure what you are considering "cheap," but you can find Bronica SQ-A kits with ME prism for between $300-$400. Although it looks like you're leaning toward 6x7 and 645... then you'd have to add a 645 back for the SQ.
     
  20. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    TTL prism meters for the 67 (new versions have an auto-off after 20 seconds) can often be found mint/new for around USD$350. They are surprisingly heavy though. You'll be carrying extra weight anyhow — by way of a handheld meter! :tongue:
     
  21. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    A handheld meter will give you the ability to do both reflected and incident metering, as well as meter strobes. The Sekonic Flashmate is a great choice, inexpensive and the size of a deck of cards.


    A metered prism only gives you reflected readings, which are nearly useless in a studio. The handheld meter is a far more practical choice for the photographer.
     
  22. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    Handheld Meter hands down
     
  23. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    ^ :laugh:
     
  24. smolk

    smolk Member

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    Ah, thank you so much! I was completely unaware of this. Have now found several options, and found an article useful which I cannot yet post but is found by Googling tutsplus quick tip iphone lightmeter .
    Perhaps the last one featured is not a true incident meter, but the apps are useful as you probably always carry a phone. I do anyway. Although I raerly use it for phonecalls :wink: I detest phones. But the apps and email are handy
     
  25. fotch

    fotch Member

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    If you can have only one meter, I would choose a handheld meter. That said, it is handy sometimes to have a built in meter, however, I have more confidense when I use a handheld meter or can check the built in meter with it, if time permits.
     
  26. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    One of the advantages of hand held meters is that you only have to learn one meter and the guessing goes away.

    To use an analogy think of it this way.

    If you have one clock you know the time, if you have two and they disagree, there is doubt as to which to believe.

    I have an F100, several N90s's, an FM, an RB with a metered prism, the "i" apps, and a Sekonic L358.

    Make no mistake, all are capable of good readings with proper understanding.

    But by a significant margin, the Sekonic incident meter is the most reliable at producing good negatives. In fact almost I find it almost infallible in my little world. I literally can't remember a single exposure failure when I have used it in the last few years.