Canon TL light meter...trust it???

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by joeyk49, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    I recently picked up a Canon TL for my son to learn he basics on. After buying a new battery for the light meter, I took it out for a test ride with a roll of Pan F.

    Here's the thing: The light outside was admittedly overcast, but I found that when focusing on a subject and moving between f1.8 and 16 on the Canon FL 50 mm lens, I really didn't get much response from the light meter. Only when I pointed in dark shadows or brighter light did I get any significant movement with repsect to the meter's needle and aperture.

    My question is: Was it the overcast day that was causing the lack of response or the meter? Should I trust it or have Jr. carry a hand held with him???
     
  2. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    I really miss the solid feeling of an older 35 in my hands...they sure don't make em like that anymore...
     
  3. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    Its probably close to 30 years old at this point. Can be a little bit springy. My 25 year old OM-1 was like that until I had it CLA'ed ($100).

    The easiest way is to take a gray card and a handheld light meter or another camera and compare the readings. Make sure the gray card fills the frame.

    If you are trying to teach him you will need something that works well or he will be really frustrated.
     
  4. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    IIRC, the TL used a 1.35V battery, the 675 mercury, no longer available. The new 675 batteries, mostly alkaline, are 1.5V. That might account for some meter inaccuracy, although it certainly doesn't rule out other causes. There's a zinc-air Wein 675 cell with the correct voltage that might work for you, although it's got a shorter life, especially in arid conditons. You can re-use the washer from the Wein cell with hearing aid zinc-air 675 batteries, or you can use the same batteries with an O-ring (#13 ?), or a thin slice of 1/2" CPVC pipe to center them in the battery chamber. There's also a CRIS MR-9 (google it) adapter, about $30 and re-usable, for dropping 1.5V 386 and similar 1.5V batteries to the correct voltage for the camera.

    As I said, you may be seeing other effects, but if you have the wrong battery voltage, you'll be perhaps a couple of stops off from that alone, and won't be able to accurately judge meter behaviour.

    Lee
     
  5. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    I'll try the gray card test to verify that here's a problem.

    While I'd prefer he learn to use a hand held, I think that it would prove to be one too many steps in the process for a nine year old (For whom instant gratification rules the world).

    I didn't know about the difference in voltage. The battery adapter will be the next step after the gray card. While a CLA is always a good idea, a $100. cleaning for a $25. camera just tugs a little too hard at my cheap strings (for now)...

    Thanks guys! This thread alone makes the subscription to APUG a no brainer.
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Hi Joe,
    The battery is a PX625 or PX13 @ 1.35V not 675. It's quite possible that old age has finally caught up with it.
    Have you checked out the contact in the battery compartment? You can clean them with an eraser if they are slightly dirty, tarnished or corroded.
     
  7. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Mea culpa. Sorry about the numbering confusion. It's what I get for posting without double-checking after a week on vacation. The old mercury battery was a 625, but the current 675 hearing aid air-zinc battery with an O-ring or PVC spacer will supply a proper voltage for the meter to work correctly.

    Lee
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Joe,
    Just realized last night that if you have a TL it's stop down metering. You need to push the self timer lever towards the lens mount to activate it.
    If you have the TLb it's wide open metering & doesn't require this action.