I picked up an F4s before heading to Costa Rica last December as my N80 was on the fritz (still is) and not dependable. I shot about 4 rolls of Velvia and 6 rolls of Fuji NPH. Every image was metered correctly--every one. Just luck--I don't know. I will deal with the weight of the F4 is I can get consistent images.
"We use t-stops in motion picture."
Yes. I know this. I was referring to still photography, as does the original question.
"You wont always get a 'normal' exposure from an incident meter, just 'correct' exposure for 18% grey under the given light, which can be a problem if youre shading part of the dome from the measured light, or measuring the shade, or away from the light source etc."
That is what I meant by a "normal" exposure...because that is what a "normal" exposure is.
If you are using poor technique, as described, then of course the meter will give you a foul exposure. The solution? Don't use poor technique, unless you want poor results.
"Incident meters blow hard for landscapes when you have to contend with the sky and other far away objects that put out a greater amount of light than the location you are shooting from."
Again, knowledge of how to use your meter is key. There are certainly situations in which getting a proper meter reading with an incident meter might be impossible, due to geographic locations (though IME they are quite rare)...and there is also being competent and experienced enough to recognize these situations and to either not use an incident meter in them, or to take your incident meter's reading and extrapolate how much you should adjust it.
On the other hand, an in-camera reflected meter must be adjusted for every single shot, unless every tone in the composition averages out to a mid tone, metering patterns considered. How often does this happen? IME, perhaps 2% of the time.
There are uses for both. Both require adjustment from time to time...but with an in-camera reflected meter, that "time to time" is almost every time.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
My Nikon F4S did not arrive today, so I must wait for next week. (What ever happened to "instant gratification" I wonder.) But a friend has loaned me his
F4S for a few days.
I must say, on such a cursory inspection that this is indeed a substantial camera. (Almost as substantial as my F2, so I'm impressed ) It takes all my old AIS lenses and for this I am grateful to Nikon.
I like the fact that the controls are easy to find and I don't have to search menus on LCD screens. The little "in focus" indicator at the top of the finder seems a redundancy at this point. I can't see using it too often. It takes a few more batteries than my unmotorized F2 and I certainly don't like this fact.
The weight seems inconsequential, at this point. We'll see how it is after I pack the thing a few KMs.
My, new to me, Nikon F4S arrived this morning. There are a few bumps and scrapes and the LCD screen has a small bit of the dreaded "bleed" but for the most part it seems OK. I've loaded some Fujicolor Pro 160 C into it and managed to run off 24 frames. Tomorrow the rest.
It seems very smooth compared to the F2 and the F3. Almost as if there were no mirror flapping around in it. Quite nice.
It's pity though that the finder is so much smaller than in F2/F3, also the focusing screens are only those pesky new laser matte screens, which have all kinds of problems. The only positive side of those screen is that they are brighter than the traditional screens with f5.6 zooms :-)
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Originally Posted by Paul Goutiere
Get a MB-20 handle for it, transforming the body from a F4S into a F4 vanilla. Only 4 batteries, same ergonomics, a *lot* lighter. Together with an MF-23 databack for printing shot data between frames, you'll have a superb camera. I've got two setup that way and they are used almost all the time. Pick up the handle and the back from the online place, they show up occasionally for a good price nowadays.
Noons (Nuno Souto)
I borrowed a MB-20 from a friend and installed it first thing. That MB-21 turns the camera into a bit of a AK47. As it is I burned up 24 or so frames.
Originally Posted by nsouto
The next thing is to get my own MB-20, but I'll not be spending the 95 to 100 dollars they were asking for it on Ebay. I'll endure the weight.
The data back interests me...perhaps later.
I like it with the vertical grip and shutter release. The weight makes it easier to handhold at lower shutter speeds. You can get different screens for it if you don't like the screen it comes with. I haven't bothered to change. The AA batteries last a very long time, so that's not an issue in my book. I rewind the film manually as well, to keep things quiet and conserve battery.
I'm curious how the meter compares with the f5. I'm sorta interested in the f5 so I can properly use G lenses.
I had an F4 with both grips for a while, and I will caution you to make sure that you use very fresh batteries when you are running the MB-20 handle. In fact, I would only run it with lithiums, myself. The camera was dead realiable as long as it was getting enough voltage, and "enough" for the F4 is apparently more than for my other nikon cameras. I have a theory that Nikon stopped selling the F4 without the MB-21 battery pack because the 4-cell handle was causing them reliability problems.
Get a MB-20 handle for it, transforming the body from a F4S into a F4 vanilla. Only 4 batteries, same ergonomics, a *lot* lighter
Take a look on Ebay and get yourself a used MB-23 Multi-Control back, I highly recommend it. Just unclip the standard back door and clip this one on.
As Nuno Souto says, it will do the date in between frames etc etc, but most importantly for shooting transparency it will BRACKET AUTOMATICALLY.
From the instruction manual let me spell out its main functions:
1/ Data Imprint Function (choose from many combinations of date/time/hour/frame/exposure in etc etc etc)
2/ Auto Exposure Bracketing (Up to 19 continuous frames, each with a different exposure. Center value is selectable.)
3/ Freeze Focus Function (shutter will fire automatically when a subject enters/moves into preset focus position)
4/ Interval Timer Function (Lets you take specified number of shots at specified intervals for a something something something)
5/ Exposure Delay Function (Lets you set remaining time before exposure and number of shots)
6/ Long Time Exposure Function (Lets you set exposure duration up to 999 in hours minutes or seconds)
7/ Daily Alarm, Film Alarm and Film Stop Functions
8/ Shutter speed/aperture and frame count indication
9/ Imprint Level Adjustment
I also stand by the MB-20 grip to make it a short wheel base F4.
Last edited by gamincurieux; 02-17-2010 at 07:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.