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  1. #1
    ted_smith's Avatar
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    Can I check...Hasselblad 503CW's don't come with light meters?

    I am on the verge of taking the plunge and buying my first Hasselblad 503CW.

    However, whilst dong my research I have come to realise that without buying the prism that includes a light meter (which costs a few hundred more), the 503CW "kit" (body, WLF, 80mm CF Plannar lens etc) does not come with a light meter.

    So, when photographing a landscape scene, for example, I'd need a dedicated spot incident light meter like the Sekonic range. Or is there another way that photographers use? All the YouTube clips I've watched have not shown the photographers using a meter, unless they metered the scenes beforehand off camera.

    Can I just check that I am correct? I will need to buy a light meter, in addition to the Hasselblad? Or is there a way of determining exposure without one (without resorting to metering the scene with another camera and then applying the settings to the Blad)?

    Ted
    Ted Smith Photography
    Hasselblad 501CM...my 2nd love.

  2. #2

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    Yes. There is no inbuilt light meter.

  3. #3

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    You can certainly meter using another camera, but it can be cumbersome, mostly because the camera is significantly larger and heavier than any meter. A spot meter isn't a requirement.

    OTH, if you will generally have the other camera with you any time you're working with the Hasselblad, and, you're using the same film in both, it may work out for you.

    However, in switching back and forth, if you're used to eye-level viewing, and if you're likely to be working with a 35 or digi kit along with the Hasselblad most of the time, you may want a prism on the Hasselblad anyway. Otherwise you may go nuts adjusting to the reversed view in the WLF every time you switch cameras.

  4. #4

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    Any small light meter would be fine. You should be able to pick up something like a second hand Sekonic cheaply. Or even something like a Weston Euromaster, or other good quality analogue meter. Alternatively, if you have a smart phone (iPhone or Android) there are light-metering apps you can download that will turn your phone into a lightmeter and save you carrying another gadget.

    If you are shooting in daylight, you might not need a meter. Sunny-16 is pretty accurate if you are shooting black and white or colour print film.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_16_rule

    Personally, if I'm not in very changeable/mixed lighting conditions, I'm quite happy just guesstimating the light using Sunny-16 plus a few ad-hoc corrections.

  5. #5
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I have a PME for my Hasselblad 503CX, but when I need a spot meter, I use my Nikon F100.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
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    None of my medium format cameras do have a meter built in. One of my medium format cameras has a meter in the accessory prism finder.

    I have never used a true spot meter.

    I have four 35mm cameras with a choice of metering patterns - including one pattern that is fairly concentrated around the centre focussing aid.

    The medium format camera that has a meter in the accessory prism finder also offers a choice of metering patterns - including one pattern that is fairly concentrated around the centre focussing aid.

    I don't always use the meter in the cameras that have them.

    I do use a simple, small and relatively inexpensive hand meter in incident mode a lot.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  7. #7
    BradS's Avatar
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    like MattKing,
    none of my medium format cameras have a built in light meter.

    none of my large format cameras have one either.

    I have never used a spot meter and I don't see any reason what-so-ever that I ever would.

    I too make frequent use of a simple handheld incident light meter

    and sometimes, I even use gut feel to set the exposure - it is easier than you might think!

    You certainly DO NOT NEED a spot meter!

  8. #8
    wildbill's Avatar
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    I can't imagine shooting outdoors w/o a spotmeter. The light I find myself standing in isn't always the same light hitting the scene.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  9. #9
    polyglot's Avatar
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    The RZ is the same - the meter is in the optional prism, which I practically never use. Your options are:
    a) buy a meter ($200-600 probably)
    b) meter using another camera
    c) use the Sunny-16 rules
    d) use your smartphone as a meter (iOS and Android both have light metering apps that use the phone's camera)

    I do (c) 50% of the time, (d) maybe 40% of the time, with the remaining exposures either flash (a) or night shots (b; a DSLR set to high ISO).

  10. #10
    marco.taje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    a) buy a meter ($200-600 probably)
    Well, you can probably find a good -although simple- meter for less than that, I think. However, I use a sekonic L-398 let's say 70% of the times. For the rest, you can use the fabulous Ultimate Exposure Computer! http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm


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