I am planning to remove the meter circuit...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by baachitraka, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    and the meter needle completely from my Olympus OM-1n camera to have an unobstructed view through the view finder and replace with an external meter.

    what meter would be the best choice for landscape photography?

    Spot or incident.
     
  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    The spot metering of the OM-4T is accurate like my Sekonic 758DR and you won't need to remove the needle as Oly already did it for you . . . :smile:

    Also, I don't have one but I believe the OM-3 has the same metering setup as the OM-4.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2012
  3. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Well, I only own few of OM-1ns and an OM-2sp. One of the OM-1n require CLA. So, I may ask the repairer to remove the metering circuit completely.

    OM-3(Ti) are very expensive indeed, with that money I can buy a good spot-meter and a couple of other gear.
     
  4. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Your signature also shows an OM-2SP which I understand uses the same/similar metering system as the OM-3 and 4. If it is in good working order then that can also be your spot meter.
     
  5. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    The idea to remove the metering circuit including needle is to have a camera with clear view finder. CW metering is rather sub-optimal in most cases.

    OM-2sp is one cute camera but it eats batteries like crazy. Further, I have no interest to acquire electronic OM's anymore.

    A good spot meter with/without incident capabilities should be fine I guess...I will be delighted to hear some of your experiences.
     
  6. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear baachitraka,

    If you are willing to make the step to tripods and spotmeters, why alter your OM-1? It is a well sought after camera and you will only reduce the value. An inexpensive 645 will make much better photos and you can keep the OM-1 for those times when a tripod is inappropriate. Trust me on this one (I sometimes use an old press camera for walking around when I'm willing to put up with the questions), a spotmeter (or any non-coupled meter) is not nearly as handy if you ever need to work quickly. I suggest trying it out a few times before modifying your camera. You can sometimes find an old Soligor spotmeter for well under $100. I have one and, while it's not as good at low light as the better models, I have made plenty of good exposures at all times of the day.

    Good luck,

    Neal Wydra
     
  7. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Hi baachitraka,

    I use OM-1 without utilizing its meter. I just take the battery out.

    I find I am able to ignore the needle.

    But I get it... I appreciate uncluttered finders. Plus when you take pictures you really _aren't_ supposed to be ignoring what is in the finder.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Averaging meter.

    Spot meter requires you to determine a shade of gray so many stops below the average of a scene and assign that to the meter reading. The averaging reflected meter does that for you.
    Incident meter can be very difficult to calibrate for landscape. You will get many different readings depending on how the light hits the dome. You can calibrate it for a sunlight reading or a shadow reading.Works best with flat copywork where you know the range is five stops from white paper to black paper or paint.
     
  9. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Hello Mr. Neal,

    Well, may be I should learn not to look the meter needle while composing. Okay, I will keep these gems unmodified except CLA.

    My only question is, if I meter the desired shadow(mostly landscapes) and place it two stop below which is eventually Zone III(I try not to go to Zone System), will this method work for 35mm too?
     
  10. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Hi ic-racer,

    I'm surprised you recommend averaging, but then a lot of exposures have been averaged with reasonable results.

    In the thread "What is the Relationship between Film Speed and Camera Exposure?" we are discussing why averaging metering "works".

    I can't reconcile the ideas of using statistical average when I could quickly spot shadow and highlight and know the actual average.

    baachitraka,

    Spot metering a significant shadow works for 35mm black and white negative film. You can also use the "vocabulary" of Zone System to check other spots, for example placing caucasian skin on Zone VI.

    Many darkroom workers use the capability of multigrade papers to deal with the highlights.
     
  11. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    That is very nice, may be I will pick on nice spot-meter. Unfortunately, new ones are pretty expensive.
     
  12. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Why ruin the OLy and kill the value. Yes, I know it and the lenses are great but seems a shame. I'd suggest if you want a clear viewfinder look for an slr sans meter. An Asahi S1a or such is a very reliable tank that can had for nil and the m42 lens catalog is extensive and most of the lenses are fantastic values on a cost vs performance scale as well as just be excellent lenses. An Exacta with the removable viewfinder allowing either waist level or eye level finders likewise are excellent with some great glass available for the line. These can be had in excellent condition with a standard lens probably for less than paying someone to strip the meter from the OM-1. If your OM-1 had a non-functional meter my advice might be different.

    For a little more you could even go into medium format with something like a Bronica ETR series camera and if you want to stay with 35mm get either or both the 35N normal back or the 35W panaramic back. These had non-metered prisms, rotary prism and waist level finder as well as 2 metered versions. It also, of course, is a 1st rate mf camera so, the best of both film sizes.

    For metering landscapes depending on type either a spot or averaging meter works; just need to make sure you do not pick up too much sky with an averaging meter. I found the Weston Ranger with a metering of abount 12 degrees that is between the spot and averaging is excellent as it has an aiming lens similar to a spot. Also, the Metrastar has a similar angle of metering and uses an aiming lens. The Ranger is larger, and uses 2 batteries and does not feel like you could drive nails with it compared to the Metrastar but, the Zone System dial available for it is a great acc'y if you are planning to use it. I use both and like them equally. Neither costs an arm and a leg on the used market and as good as far more expensive meters. The company that made the Metrastar also made the Leica meters if you are not familiar with the company and I'm sure Weston needs no introduction.
     
  13. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    I will keep my OM-1n as it is, apart from CLA. I thought it might bring leica like feeling without meter...hmm...seems, I'm wrong.

    Asahi Pentax Spotmeter V looks very interesting.
     
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  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Yes, the 3 and 4 have the same spotmetering systems. The 3 makes a very good spotmeter with a 200mm lens.:smile:
     
  16. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Hmm...OM-3 alone costing more than new spot-mete ;-)
     
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    My OM-3 was "free". If you leave the battery out, you get an uncluttered viewfinder.
     
  18. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Haaa...free OM-3 sounds like more than a freedom. I do not know where to hunt for such a luck...
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Are you using silver-oxide cells with your OM-2S? They tend to last a lot longer in my OM-2S than the alkaline versions.

    I have had good results with batteries from here: http://www.sr44.com/batteries.php
     
  20. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Hi Matt,

    That camera came with 2-pairs of LR44, the first pair did not last long. Still using the second pair...

    Now, I have ordered 4 pairs of Varta V357.
     
  21. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear baachitraka,

    Choosing which tone to put in a given zone is something that you will determine with time. There are many good references if you feel you need some (and they look great on your darkroom bookshelf. ;>) ). You will eventually find a method that gives you the exposures you need. Going through the effort is often a good deal of fun.

    Good shooting,

    Neal Wydra
     
  22. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    If your OM-1 is not good cosmetically, I see no problem with removing the meter. The repair person can use the meter components in another OM-1, so nothing is lost. I would not take the meter out of an OM-1 in really nice cosmetic condition, but otherwise I don't see a problem with doing it. It's not like they are rare.
    The resale value would be affected, though.
     
  23. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    OM-1n is in great condition, except it needs a CLA and a little service to shutter which require two or three stroke to cock it.

    Nevertheless, I'm still not decided whether to keep the meter or to have a clear view finder.

    May be I research a bit to see what cameras have been used by great masters in the past and try to correlate whether meter/meter needle have any impact on composition.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2012
  24. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I use averaging on my Sekonic L-508 all the time, and have no problems.
     
  25. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    The camera is only a tool and I suspect you'll not find "masters" who found the in-camera meter to affect their work though you'll find most had a preference for film size, type, film speed and either type of camera (tlr, slr, rangefinder etc.) or brand (usually a result of a look of the lenses or b/c of something like building a system and not wanting to diviate).

    Go to the local camera shop and try some different types in the used department and see if it makes a difference. I suspect you'll find it makes a bigger difference viewing through a waist level tlr and a non-slr and slr than whether the in-camera meter is visible. Also, many cameras with in-camera meters had readouts that are actually difficult to see in the viewfinder, you need to look way off to some side and almost strain to see it. Back then it usually yielded a negative comment from reviewers but, might be a plus for you.
     
  26. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    I got the camera with meter/bracket needle removed and it looks different. :smile: Going to use only for flash photography. ;-)