Are such things no longer manufactured?
In a recent thread the mention of film plane metering was brought up. Suggesting that metering on the ground glass was an easy way to circumvent the gadgets and math normally used to figure bellows factors or corrections. Well, when I read that, it started me thinking (alway a bad thing) about exposure meters back in my day, and those available today. It seems like only yesterday that several major players in camera business offered models or adapters to modify their brand of meters to read exposure
from LF focusing panels. I had one made/sold by Calumet with their brand on it that worked very well through the 60's and 70's. Since I seldom used a meter for studio work, I gave it to a friend. He loved it.
To night I went on a search looking for a modern up to speed ground glass metering system. Now I admit it was more of a casual search to simply check out what might be available. But the bottom line is that I couldn't find anything, new or used that mentioned being able to meter light from the rear
of an LF box. Have they gone the way of Kodak paper? Is no one making such items, or did I just completely miss them in my search?
I am not really interested in purchasing one of these meters but would like to know if they are still available? With the popularity and renascence of LF today it seems to me it could be a very profitable venture for some company.
They did a wonderful job of telling you the starting place for figuring your exposure, bellows compensation included. Would appreciate you thoughts and input.
No personal experience of this, but check this out:
I believe Sinar still offers metering backs.
Sinar Bron USA - backs
bellows factor isn't hard to calculate
Whilst a bellows factor isn't hard to calculate, falloff is a bit of an issue sometimes and a reading off the glass will tell you if you are stretching things a bit.
I am not a LF photographer, but in another life I did more than my share of 4x5 & 8x10 repro and studio work.
I myself have a Gossen Profi-Six meter and one of the attachments I have is the Flexi-pro, I think it's called that.
Anyway it's a fibre optic attachment about 200mm long, designed to measure light in small places, directionally, or off the GG of a LF camera. Or the screen on my Nikon F3 camera to see how different the metering is, pretty much the same, for what it's worth.
It can also be used to measure film step wedges or for testing shutter accuracy by reading density diferences.
Quite an interesting piece of equipment for $20.00 secondhand, about 15 years ago.
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You can always get a "chip-and-scale" from Calumet. You place the 1"X1" chip, black on one side and white on the other, in your shot, than read the size of the chip on the groundglass with the scale, to get the bellows factor. Cheap, simple and effective. Just remember to remove the chip before exposure.
I used the Sinar metering system at a studio I once worked at. I kinda thought it was a pain in the neck. I used to unhook the meter from the probe and use it as a conventional flash meter. When the boss wasn't around, that is. Dean
I use quickdisk - sounds similar but free. I printed the PDF, laminated it, and cut out the disk and measuring ruler.
Don't forget to remove it from the scene!
Mike: I didn't know about the Quickdisk. Thanks for the tip. Dean
On all of my LF cameras, I have a table for converting magnification factor to exposure factor. I can usually estimate the magnification factor by comparing the size of the object at the plane of focus to the size on the groundglass, or sometimes I'll measure it with a ruler or just put a ruler in the scene and compare it to the width of the format for the purpose of measurement.
I have a Minolta Booster II for groundglass readings, but I don't use it too often. It's easier just to compute the exposure factor and I usually just dial it into the ASA setting on my meter, along with filter factors, and in the field it can be hard to avoid stray light under the darkcloth, which interferes with the reading.
Figuring bellows factor was not my question, my questions was, is anyone still manufacturing a ground glass metering system?
Sinar and Horsesman seem to still be offering them, but that is a far cry from just a few years back.
Thanks for the input, I somehow have trouble understanding how good and well thought out systems can just disappear. Perhaps a new accessory will be introduced to LF'ers tomorrow.