Suggestions for a manual SLR with spot metering

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Mark Fisher, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    It is funny how we end up going full circle in life....I started with an OM-1 and "advanced" to an EOS system with auto-focus zoom lenses. Since then I've learned to love TLRs and 4x5 cameras for their simplicity and control. I've come to realize that, for me, 35mm is about low light, small and portable. This means fixed focal length lenses, no auto-focus and manual winding. Modern autofocus cameras miss the mark. There are quite a few that fit this description, but I'd really like one with spot metering. I use a spot meter with the LF and very rarely miss an exposure. This is not so true with my Canon with matrix or center weighted metering.

    My only thought is a later OM body, but I suspect there are other possibilities. Any suggestions?
     
  2. photomc

    photomc Member

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    You can always use a Canon New F1, IIRC there was an option to use spot meter by changing the view screen. One of the options was 3% spot metering...
     
  3. mawz

    mawz Member

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    Well, there's the Canon T90, the New F1 Can get a spot meter via a focus screen change (but must change focus screens to get other options), the Contax RTS-III and IIRC the last couple Leica R mdels also offer spot meters.

    It's one thing I definitely miss with my F3 and FA, but the centre-weighted metering on them is selective enough (80/20 and 75/25 respectively) that I can get by.
     
  4. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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    If low weight is the goal have a look at the Pentax MZ3 & MZ5n (ZX-5n). They both offer spot metering and you can turn the autofocus off. They're fully compatible with all of the k-mount lenses and M42 with the normal adapter. There is a conventional shutter speed dial on the top plate. Unfortunately the winder is built in.

    Seriously, although they are slightly larger than the Pentax MX (about as small as a 35mm SLR gets) they are about 20% lighter. They work happily with the M-series manual focus lenses which were all built with compact size and weight in mind.

    more details at http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/
     
  5. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    All Leica R models have spot metering as well as center-weighted averaging. The SL and SL-2 have spot metering. Only the original non-TTL metering Leicaflex did not have spot metering. Leica calls it selective metering, and it covers the central microprism and split image.

    Lee
     
  6. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    If you still have your OM-1 with lenses, try the OM-4 which has a spot, hightlight and shadow metering.
     
  7. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    The OM-3 is also a very nice body, has spot metering, and I believe will average a number of spot readings. However, it seems to go for a premium.

    Lee
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The OM2-S (or OM2-Sp) has a spot feature - in fact it is named for it.

    Make sure you get one from someone who offers returns. Some of them have circuit board problems. If you get one of those, they are un-repairable.

    I have had mine for years, and it's great.

    Matt
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Which mount? Ricoh XR-X for K mount. Not much money. It does have a built in power winder so it's not totally manual.
     
  10. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    OM3 - fully manual but has, and I quote from HERE "Center-weighted, average light measurement, switchable to spot measurement; spot measurement selective in three modes: multispot, highlight and shadow-based methods."
    They are, however rather pricey.

    Hope this helps,
    Lachlan
     
  11. wsriii

    wsriii Member

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    May I suggest the Nikon N6006. I saw that at least one other person suggested an autofocus camera with the autofocus turned off. The N6006 is a decent rugged Nikon autofocus which allows you to use Nikkor lens and turn off the autofocus. The spot meter works great and the camera can be had for a song these days.
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use the Canon New F-1. If you look for one, you might want to try to locate a spot metering focusing screen first. There's a seller on eBay who goes by "goKevincameras" who specializes in high-end Canon FD stuff, among other things, and often has them. Add a 50/1.2L and an 85/1.2L, and you'll have a great low-light kit. A particular attraction is that the regular focusing screens are really bright, and there are even brighter screens optimized for long and short lenses.

    The T-90 has switchable spot metering, so you get everything in the package. It's like an EOS camera for FD lenses.
     
  13. Vincent DiPietro

    Vincent DiPietro Member

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    The Contax slr S2 has only the Spot meter and is a completely manual camera. The RX and Aria, also manual cameras have options for both Spot and center weighted metering. In fact the Aria includes matrix metering as well. The S2 has a sibling which is the smoke colored S2B. The S2B has only center weighted metering and is very hard to find anyway. :smile: :cool:
     
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  15. Shawn Mielke

    Shawn Mielke Member

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    SLR cameras with spot meters are a little bit hard to find I've found, which is part of why I went with the Nikon F6. A bit extreme in your case perhaps, but you can wind the film manually (though not advance it), use manual focus lenses to your heart's content, plus have a big beautiful viewfinder with which to work.
     
  16. jimjm

    jimjm Subscriber

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    The Nikon F4 provides spot, matrix and 60/40 centerweighted metering capability with all Nikkor AI/AIS MF lenses, as well as AF lenses. Probably the best Nikon body available if you primarily use MF, but occasionally need AF as well. Unless you're shooting sports or fast action, in which case the F100, F5 or F6 have much improved AF systems
     
  17. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    I'm confused, how can you wind the film, but not advance it? I don't know the camera, but that sounds like the same thing.

    I would also vote for the Leica R series or the OM-3 or 4 (preferably the better and far more battery efficient Ti versions).

    David.
     
  18. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I think he meant you can "rewind" the film manually - so as so shoot partial rolls etc. But the advance is automatic via the built-in motor drive. The F6, much like the F5 and F4 predecessors will permit use of manual lenses and manual focus setting etc. But they are essentially auto film cameras. Amongst other things - they are battery-dependant.

    If that fact "bothers" you (I have no problem with it myself) then you should stay away from such models. Anyway, I don't think a F6 (or any modern Nikon film camera) would suit your needs.

    Anyone who mentions Leica R has already established their mindset - so just go for it.
     
  19. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    I used to use my EOS 650 largely because of the spot meter. I also used it pretty much exclusively with manual (M42) rather than autofocus lenses.

    It does have a motor drive though, and is fully battery dependent. In that sense it's like the Nikons already mentioned.

    Unfortunately, the shutter has started sticking occasionally.
     
  20. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Sticking with Nikon, I believe that the N90S allows you to switch between spot and average metering patterns even with the older manual focus lenses. It will not do matrix metering with non-AF lenses.
     
  21. goros

    goros Subscriber

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    I own a Nikon F4s that use only with manual focus primes and an Olympus OM4. Both of them have accurate spot meters but I feel more comfortable with the F4. The main reason is that the OM4 has the shutter and the spot metering buttons (plus the high light spot button and shadow spot button) quite small and very close altogether, making the operation a little difficult. It also lacks of viewfinder aperture display.

    On the other hand, the F4 has kingsize dials and buttons and full viewfinder data display plus other features that I like but are out of this topic.

    Cheers
     
  22. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    The Mamiya Sekor 1000 DTL and 500 DTL have spot and average metering. The DTL stands for dual, through lens metering. The camera has a switch for spot or average metering, and a shaded area in the viewfinder for the spot metering area. Screw mount lenses, all manual camera. Built like a tank. First SLR I ever owned, some 40 years ago. I recently bought one on the 'bay out of nostalgia. I find I use it quite a bit. IIRC, I paid $15 for it with a working meter. Lots of them available.
     
  23. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I was in retail when these were on the market new. They had the highest early failure rate of any SLR I knew of. I sold a number of them and had a very high percentage (relative to other makes) come back for repair within a year, so always recommended other brands, Minolta, Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Pentax, over them. My best friend's younger brother bought the 500 DTL to save $75 over a similar model from the other brands, and ended up with a camera beyond economical repair 9 months later on its second trip to the repair shop with metering and mechanical problems. Perhaps the ones that survived the first couple of years are keepers, or perhaps it was a QC issue with some well made/assembled, and others not.

    BTW, this thread has been revived after lying dormant for over a year. I suspect the OP has his camera by now, even if continued posts might be useful to others.

    Lee
     
  24. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    In the 42MM SM, Chion's 450 has a spot function, I dont know what the percentage of the meter area is. It also has an odd viewfinder with a small waist level finder on top of the eye level finder with a switch to change view from the eyelevel to the waist level. I saw one at a pawn shop last week no battery so I dont know if the meter worked or not, the wasit level to eye level finder did not seem very funcitonal.
     
  25. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    Olympus offers several nice choices. OM-2S does single spot metering in manual mode. The OM-4 / 4T / 4Ti allows you to take as many as 8 spot readings, the camera averages them together. T models have titanium top and bottom covers and are (imo) beautiful pieces of engineering. OM-3 / 3Ti also do 8 spot readings but offer full MECHANICAL shutter (not battery dependent. 3Ti also does otf flash with Olympus T flashes. OM-3 and 4 from early production had some battery drain issues. You are safest with any 4T or Ti. An OM-3Ti will suely set you back the most. Hope this helps.
    John, www.zuiko.com
     
  26. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    I use my Nikon F3HP (80/20 centre weighted) essentially as a spot meter and it never lets me down. If you do a weighted calculation based on 35mm film area, you'll see it is essentially a spot meter.

    IMO - for "real" spot metering, you can't beat a handheld 1 deg spot meter. Its a PITA moving a camera around to take spot readings, especially if you have your composition locked in and you are just monitoring light intensity when the light is changing quickly.