Canon FTb Mercury Batteries...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Mark_Minard, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Mark_Minard

    Mark_Minard Member

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    Hi all,

    I was wondering if anyone has noticed any significant problems in metering with silver oxide batteries vs. mercury. I recently bought this old camera, and found out that its meter is calibrated for the 1.35V mercury batteries, which are no longer made. The alkaline and silver batteries are 1.5V.

    What kind of metering discrepancies are we talking about here? I can live with @1 stop since I always bracket when I shoot 35 :smile:

    Thanks for any advice!

    Mark
     
  2. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I'll tell you, Mark. opinions abound but after looking at the alternatives, I just put the 1.5v silvers into my Nikon F. I compared it to a new, trusted meter and changed the ISO on the F's meter to get the same readings. I guess that I should check it over the life of the batteries and adjust for voltage changes but you are right, brackets should cover any problems.

    Not the most elegant solution available but it works fine and you can't beat the price.
     
  3. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    The silver batteries have a much more stable voltage over life, so I would use them and not the alkaline.
    The ASA setting calibration shall be ok for all practical purposes with silver.

    Just as a curio, the Spotmatics (up to the F) are not sensitive to battery voltage, so no ASA setting change is necessary (but the battery shall be placed in the compartment inverted, since mercury polarity was opposite to silver/alkaline).

    Jorge O
     
  4. photomc

    photomc Member

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  5. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Don't bother with the zinc batteries. take your camera into a repair place and get them to recalibrate it for the new batteries. Cheap and painless. My photo buddy did this to her Canon F1 and it works like a charm. No hassle finding batteries now.
     
  6. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    I had a similar problem with the little Rollei 35. I bought an adapter. Follow this link and see if they have one for your Canon.

    www.rolleicamera.com Go to "Stop Press"
     
  7. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Member

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    I use the Wein air cells, and if I get caught with a dead one, I just use my handheld meters. Being a manual and mechanical camera, the FTb does not need any battery at all to work anyway.
     
  8. pierre

    pierre Member

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    One possibility is using the larger 1.4 volt hearing aid batteries. They are smaller than the battery chamber, but even if they move around, they will still be in contact with the electrical contacts. I've tried this on an old Konica Autoreflex TC and it works fine. Available in drugstores, along with all the camera batteries.
     
  9. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    The main problem with zinc-air batteries (and Wien cells or hearing aid ones are this kind) is short life.
    Once one removes the seal, they will die in some 3 months even if left unused.
    Otherwise, they are fine.

    Jorge O
     
  10. pierre

    pierre Member

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    There's also the possibility of buying an adapter. There some available, although I don't remember the specific vendors.
     
  11. SteveB

    SteveB Member

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    merc batteries

    Better yet, do a search on web for PX625 batteries and buy some. I think one site was Called simply PX625.com. I bought about a dozen and have them in the freezer, so I expect I will never run out of the right power for my old F1.
     
  12. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Steve,

    these are actually HG13 cells, not PX675. I have a stock of these packs - EXACTLY the same package design!- dating back to the mid 1990s (they were dirt cheap then) and I don´t think they are "real" mercury oxide cells. Their "working life" is much shorter than mercury oxide cells, their voltage output is higher than 1,4V and -what is worse- I had a few leaking in their seals while stored in my fridge, about 2 cells per pack of 10. Real mercury cells rarely ever leak.

    Since my stock is depleting fast, I decided to switch over to hearing aid zinc/air cells for 2,50EUR for a blister of 6 cells.

    Out of curiosity, I couldn´t find a price on that website you mention - what do they quote for these cells?