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 :)
Thanks for any advice!
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.
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).
Here is a link you can try, if you want to order one of these..they work really well in FTB, my dad has. It is the same voltage as the mercury - 1.35V.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
There's also the possibility of buying an adapter. There some available, although I don't remember the specific vendors.