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  1. #1
    S.larsson's Avatar
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    Compensating for Filter Factor

    Hi,

    I am currently using a Nikon FM which doesn't meter through the lens and I've just mounted a Circular Polarizer which has a filter factor of between 2.3 to 2.8. To simplify things lets average this number to 2.5. The film in my camera is 400 ISO, so in theory I can directly compensate by changing the ISO so the filter factor which equates to about 1 1/3 stops. Can somebody tell me if I'm on the right path? What would I have to change my ISO setting to on my camera for it to meter correctly?

    Regards,

    Stephan

    P.S hope I didn't write that in a overly confusing way :P

  2. #2
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    It does meter through the lens so you shouldn't need to alter the ISO setting.

    I would usually use two stops of compensation for a polariser so take it outside and meter the same scene with and without the polariser and see what the difference is.


    Steve.
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 05-04-2012 at 08:49 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  3. #3
    S.larsson's Avatar
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    Really? I thought the light meter took light from the little hole between the bottom of the prism and the lens mount?

  4. #4
    S.larsson's Avatar
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    Aha, perhaps thats just for the aperture reading...

  5. #5
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I think that's so you can see the aperture reading in the viewfinder (I'm guessing as I don't own an FM).


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  6. #6
    S.larsson's Avatar
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    Yes, thats what it is, Thanks Steve!

  7. #7
    ROL
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    This is only a complete answer to your question from someone who both owns an FM and has verified the question both with the original manual and empirically, so of course it is only opinion :


    • The Nikon FM meters through the lens (TTL). The FM will meter anything you put in front of the lens, including light transmitting filters.
    • Additional exposure compensations, as stated, will underexpose your film if relying on the FM's on board meter. Your strategy will work, though I would prefer to make exposure adjustments with speed or aperture, if either using the camera and lens to meter a scene w/o filter, or using a separate light meter – though one may also meter through the correctly rotated polarizer off camera (a subject of much debate in itself), as we do with cameras without meters (e.g., LF)
    • The FM shows the user all exposure information directly in the viewfinder, one reason, along with its all mechanical workings, this magnificent little camera was so popular. The aperture, in particular is mirrored from an overhang on the viewfinder prism housing up from the lens barrel to the top of the viewfinder.
    • Polarizers in general will require an additional 1.5 to 2.5 stops, depending on the light in any composition. They are only useful in polarizing light when directed at right angles to the direction of the light, or in the case of reducing specular highlights. They may also be used to reduce exposure generally, in lieu of neutral density filters.

  8. #8
    andrew.roos's Avatar
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    If the FM didn't have TTL metering, then you would need to set the camera ISO to 400 / 2.5 = 160 (where 400 is the film speed and 2.5 is the filter factor).

  9. #9
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    I am very surprised by the suggestion of more than 2 stops compensation for a circular polariser at the full setting. The maximum should not be any more than +1.5 or +1.6.
    Hand metering with a baseline calibration of the filter factor is the most reliable and takes away the known hit-and-miss of TTL meters. A hand meter will also allow you to rise above the undesired effect of completely flattening illumination (resulting in a dark, flat and overall unsatisfactory exposure) by analysing the light either with spot- or incident metering.
    “The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
    Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
    the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see."
    ~Edward Weston, 1922.

  10. #10
    S.larsson's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your answers! As for the questionable filter factor, i just took the numbers off B+W's website... https://www.schneideroptics.com/ecom...D=606&IID=5631

    So to clear it up once and for all, will my camera meter correctly through the filter in the link above without having to go out and by a hand held meter (seikonic etc)?

    Regards from Germany

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