Old Light meter how to

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by afrank, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. afrank

    afrank Member

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    Hi! I was wondering if someone had an idea on how to use an Old Yashica Yem-15 light meter!


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    "YEM-15 light meter" you think you can decipher this little bugger!?

    I dont know how to interpret this values on the dial. The readings seem ok and the needle moves in a linear/normal fashion consistent with my other readers.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2012
  2. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Looks to be a selenium cell meter. Originally self powered; no battery needed.

    Most of the time the cell has lost its sensitivity due to old age , or its delicate contact areas have corroded.

    If working, the meter needle moved in response to the amount of light the cell 'saw' You followed the black or silver band from the meter needle position to a numbered scale, with the scale first set to correspond to the speed of film in use. The film speed might be calibrated in asa, or din values or both.

    The meter reading then usually gave you the fastest shutter speed and effective aperture to use for that sensitivity of flim.

    You, the user, set the exposure dial and aperture lever or dial to suit that reading, or set it to an equivalent slower shutter and smaller aperture that gives and equivalent exposure.

    Hope this helps your comprehension. I have seen a half dozen of these meant for Polariods, etc. None I have seen have ever worked past 1990.
     
  3. afrank

    afrank Member

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    Mine still works as it has been kept on the dark and still reads through the entire scale without a problem. My issue is reading the fstop and shutter speed of the dial. I can rotate the outter ring but that is it. On my other older meters I can set the film speed on a third inner dail and then the outer is straigth forward. This one on the other
     
  4. afrank

    afrank Member

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    "The meter reading then usually gave you the fastest shutter speed and effective aperture to use for that sensitivity of flim." thanks a lot! Still I dont know how to interpret this values on the dial.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'm going to guess a bit here.

    Turn the dial until the shutter speed you are using is adjacent to the film speed (EI) you are using.

    As the needle moves in response to light, it will point to a number adjacent to an f/stop.

    The f/stop is the one you need to set on your camera (assuming the meter is accurate).

    If the dial rotates appropriately, you may be able to start off instead by setting the f/stop you intend to use adjacent to the film EI, and read the shutter speed closest to the needle.

    Actually quite an elegant approach.
     
  6. afrank

    afrank Member

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    Ty for the input! I just tested that reading technique and it seems consistent, sadly only for reading above a certain threshold, only well lid situations.
    I cannot, if you see the image, set speeds at low lights like 2.8 @ 1/60. For example, for using an fstop of f/1.4
    I would need to use a speed of 1/1000 @ ASA 400, because the needle will be on the very left border and setting the f1.4 on it would cause tthe 1/1000 to fall on the ASA 400, which is clearly a false reading, since a needle all the way to the left is very low light and a lower ~1/30 sec is needed at ~1.8 but not close to the needed value for f/1.4.

    Maybe there is a hybrid technique?
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Small selenium meters tend to be challenged by low light levels.
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    How about this:

    Set the ASA (image shows you are shooting 125 ASA Plus-X)
    Point to light and read look at the needle.
    Read the number (EV) the needle is pointing to (13 in the image)
    Set EV 13 on your Rollei's Compur Synchro shutter.
     
  9. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Check here , you might find the owner's manual for what you are looking for............good luck.
     
  10. afrank

    afrank Member

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    Sorry I dont get that last step.

    I aslo thought the same, first read the EV value but then what to do with it (using the same dail).

    Thanks! Did not find it there but found other useful manuals!
     
  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Sorry for being obtuse. The Synchro Compur used on Rollei and a few other cameras in the 1950 and 1960's had an interlock device on which one could set the EV number and it would lock all aperture-shutter speed combinations from which the photographer could choose. It was intended to be an aid to the photographer. I like it but a lot of folks found it to be annoying.
     
  12. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    If one doesn't ahve a shutter with an EV interlock, I think the way to read the meter is as follows:

    The image shows EV13. EV13 is defined as... for 100 ASA, 1/60 at f/11. See Table 2 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposure_value

    These settings are seen on your image. 1/60 is next to 100 ASA, and f/11 is next to the EV13.

    If you are using 200 ASA film, see the shutter speed next to 200. Use the same aperture.

    This shutter speed & aperture combination is just a starting point from which you can figure out the combination that best suits your image and shooting conditions. For example: If you need a faster shutter speed you can do that as long as you adjust the aperture accordingly for the same exposure.
     
  13. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I'd say this, though... there are certainly easier-to-use light meters on the market!
     
  14. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Certainly easier to comprehend or more familiar interfaces...

    But how many light meters can you simply look at and read off the f/stop -or- turn it so you simply look at and read off the shutter speed.

    After you spin the dial, you can leave it. You don't even need to touch the meter to push a read button.
     
  15. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    The ease-of-use of a meter is largely determined by experience using it. When using old meters I much prefer the Luna Pro... but that's simply my preference.
     
  16. afrank

    afrank Member

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    After Days of trying still cant get consistent results for low and good light conditions. atm
     
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    EV doesn't need a film speed to be defined as it is just a function of aperture and shutter speed and is not a measure of the light.

    Light Value (LV) however, is a light measurement. at ISO 100 LV = EV.


    Steve.
     
  18. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Let's see if we can figute it out:

    Aim the meter at the subject to be photographed.

    The meter needle will move and settle.

    Turn the dial so the f/stop you want to use or the shutter speed you want alignes with the needle.

    Read the shutter speed or, f/stop that alignes with the ASA (ISO) rating of the film you want to use.

    That is it. Nice and simple. The meter works the same as say a Weston III or II or most other selenium meters such as the Pilot/Pilot II or GE PR-2. All are similar in how to use.

    The drawback of the selenium meter is the cell responds better and faster as the light lumens increase. Not a meter for low level use. I used Weston seleniums for quite a few years and if the meter reads right they can be as good as anything out there. I only switched after picking up some CDS cell meters at a bargain price. For better, you can pick up early analog meters using the 625 cell that is no longer available and use an adaptor to use a newer battery. I use a pair that back when made were very well respected by professionals; a Weston Ranger and Metrastar (made by the company that made the external meters for Leica). Each was bought for less than $25 and physically in like new condition and measured within a .25 stop of my Bronica metered prism and each other.

    If you want to keep and use the meter and it is off, try Quality Light Meteric in Hollywood, CA for repairs. He can cut a new cell. He is the go to guy for Westons and does others as well. He maintains the meters for the Hollywood studios so ain't no beginner. I'd have disposed of my Westons but, held onto them thinking of sending them to him to refurb.
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    the best way to use the meter is
    set the dial to the asa / iso value if whatever film you are using

    point and turn the dial .. look at the dial and then

    interpret the dial using this
    http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm
     
  20. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Perhaps technically correct, but "yawn". The OP is asking how to use a light meter and probably isn't interested in technicalities of terms. Thanks, though, for the clarification.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2012
  21. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    One other thing to consider is the aiming. A general purpose light meter GENERALLY has an acceptance angle of 30 degrees. How the meter is oriented can introduce more or less sky, for instance, causing the readings to be variable. One needs to be aware of what is being measured.
     
  22. lacavol

    lacavol Member

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  23. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Let's say the needle indicates LV=15.
    Let's say you have a 100 ASA (ISO) film.
    By rotating the dial, align the shutter speed you want to use with the mark of the ASA speed you are using.
    For instance, align 125 (as in 1/125th of a second) with 100 ASA.
    You will then immediately read, following the black, or white area, above the LV number indicated by the needle, the corresponding aperture for that ASA speed and that shutter speed, which should be f/16.
    If you change the preferred shutter speed, e.g. 250, aligning it with 100 ASA, the corresponding aperture reading above LV 15 will be f/11. If you align 60 with 100 ASA, the f/value corresponding to the LV indicated by the needle (LV=15) will be f/22.

    With practice you will soon find that the direct reading of LV is of more value than the explicit indication of a certain exposure "couple", and you will soon just read "LV=15" and in your mind you will know that, with 100 ISO, that means 125@f/16 = 250@f/8 = 500@f/5,6 etc.

    Fabrizio
     
  24. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    If you look closely at the photo thre is no preset for the ASA as with battery operated meters or some other seleniums. Using the EV and setting it on the camera just duplicates the meter settings. If not metering for each frame and light conditions are consistent then setting the EV is okay but in my experience better just to meter each frame and transfer the readings. Ot seems easier and faster for me though my Rolleiflex T shutter is designed for using the EV system as the the primary method.