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  1. #1

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    Awww, for Pete's sake... I dropped the friggin' light meter!

    So I've got this still life going on with a sheep skull and an extremely drippy candle that took about 10 days worth of dripping and a half dozen candles to get the right level of drippiness. I spend a solid 45 minutes setting these two up, adjusting their relative positions, adjusting the light, focusing, messing with depth of field and finally I think I have it right. Take a highlight reading, take a shadow reading, re-check the ground glass to make sure I had read the correct shadow and decide all is well. As I stand up my brain takes a coffee break and I confuse the light meter with the loupe hanging from a lanyard around my neck. Problem is, the light meter is NOT on a lanyard! It hits the ground and the front faceplate/trigger unit pops off.

    After a momentary panic I inspect it and see that the LCD is still displaying but a wire is free floating. I replace the faceplate and pull the trigger. The LCD still shows the shadow reading but doesn't change. I turn the meter off and on, still seems to be working. At least I had taken a good reading so I went ahead and took the shot, twice (for redundancy) at f/32 and twice at f/16 because the short depth of field looked pretty nifty. I am now hoping and praying that rather than an expensive repair or replacement all I have to do is enlist someone to re-solder the connection to the trigger. I just bought a 5x7 camera so I'll be short on funds for repair until I make a new budget and sell my 4x5 cams. Anyone have the schematics for a Sekonic L-488 so we can make sure everything else is OK inside? :rolleyes:

    I'd appreciate your stories of equipment mishaps so that I don't feel so bad if I need to replace the meter.

    - Justin

  2. #2

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    Nope, never did anything of the sort, everything always works out and never F***ed up my favorite lens by stupidly tripping over my shadow and jarring it out of it's holder. Then not noticing as it slid around the pack getting scratched all to hell. So, no never screwed up any equipment.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  3. #3

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    Two stories.

    I was once photographing a tree in the middle of this big field with grass that was up to my midsection. I pulled out my camera bag and hiked through all of this grass, get there, set up my 8x10, figure out the shot, spend all kinds of time getting right, go to get my light meter and its gone. I didn't zipper my bag up all the way and it fell out somewhere between me and the car...in about 500 feet of 4.5 foot tall grass. I walked back and forth for probably two hours just staring at the ground and hoping I would stumble upon it. I eventually did and contributed it to being nothing short of a miracle.

    Second story. I was in Mexico in January with a friend who also shoots LF. We were sitting in this little city outside of Oaxaca and talking about something, and I asked him if he had ever dropped his camera. He said no, thank god, and we kept talking. Not 1 minute later, the leg to his tripod collapsed and down it went with his camera on top of it. Not so much damage that he couldn't keep shooting, but I continue to feel bad about it to this day.

  4. #4

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    Not me. I never dropped a brand new LCD "stick"-type thermometer into a 50 gallon steamjacketed kettle full of demi-glace. Nor have I tripped going down a stair and used my camera bag to break my fall. To say nothing of mis-hearing the snap count as nose tackle (and of course it was 4th and inches at the goal line), diving over the center and hitting the QB hard enough to get ejected from the game.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    I set up my 8x10 in Cascade Creek, Yosemite Valley a couple years ago. I just about knocked it over but managed to grab it...but in doing so, dropped my Pentax Digital Spot into the creek. I fished it out within a couple of seconds before it got swept down the creek.

    I pulled out the battery right away (no water poured out -- a good sign). I was taking a last photo as I was leaving the park, so I did not need to use it anymore that trip (I did not take the photo...I took it as a sign that I was truely done photographing that trip!) A couple days later I finally got brave enough to put the battery back in to see if it still worked. Worked (and still works) fine.

    I have dropped a lens cap or two down cliffs (one of those times was just this past March in Yosemite.)

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  6. #6
    RoBBo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dc1215 View Post
    Two stories.
    That's how far a friend of mine dropped his meter (same model) about two weeks ago.
    In a panic he ran down to check on it, then yelled back up at me my probable shadow reading from below.
    Works great.
    Surprised to hear yours popped open so fast?

    The rear plate comes off of my Minolta Spot F quite often after minor bangs but it just pops back in without any impact on the insides of the thing.

  7. #7
    tac
    tac is offline

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    Y'all make me feel downright graceful! Of course there was that time I set down my Wide Angle 35mm f/1.4 Summilux M (currently $3,895.00 at B&H) on a wall and walked away. Bummer.

  8. #8
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I was using my nice Zone VI modified Pentax spot meter at the edge of some water. I bent over for some reason, and heard what I thought was a frog jumping into the water in front of me. Then noticed bubbles coming up from the water. Frogs, I think to myself, do not make bubbles. And that frog sure looks like the bottom plate of my spot meter. Sure enough, it had fallen out of my vest pocket. I dried it out as best I could on the trip home, dropped it off with my favorite camera repair guy, and after he disassembled and finished drying it out, it works fine to this day.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  9. #9

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    Jul 2003
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    I had a great time at a park taking pictures of this fine old man. When I was packing everything up, in my car, I laid my light meter on top of the Jeep.

    I left the sort of bumpy parking lot, turned right, turned left, turned right, left again, right into a parking spot, went into a store for a quick buy, backed out, pulled off, left again, then left into a gas station. I got out to pump gas and when I leaned over to open the cap, there on top of my car lay my light meter. God had mercy! I'm the sort that needs it.

    I've had a favorite lens just come apart and just fall out of my camera. Believe-it-or-not, my s-i-l took a look, put it back together, and it worked fine (for a while).

  10. #10
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    A few months ago I slid down a muddy slope with my M645 slung over my shoulder. Got a lens cap caked with mud, but otherwise fine.

    .... or so I thought. The Sekonic L-188 that came down the slope with me reads a stop too slow now. Took a roll of Fortia to find out :^P
    Those who know, shoot film

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