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  1. #1

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    Simple metering solution.

    I am in a bit of a dilemma in regards to metering. A friend of mine has "come in from the cold", shelved her digi and picked up a nice little Pentax K-1000.I have no problem with instructing her in film development and basic darkroom tecniques but my personal way of metering has left her cold.
    Over the past number of years I have tweaked the standard metering tecniques to suit my tastes.Its extremely difficult to teach to a very structured thinking person. Any thoughts on a "one-size-fits-all" metering solution?
    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2

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    Mike,

    I have a handful of the same camera's. I usually meter off the most important subject, set camera controls and then reframe the shot. Maybe a quick class on using the meter needle and how it apply's to image tones??? Is she going to be using a handheld meter??

    I started 3 years ago using pentax K1000 and after self teaching how the thing worked, average film developing times and chemicals, then really got into what would happen when I played with the metering of subjects by a stop or two, keeping things real simple to start until I got a basic understanding of the how's and why's.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]The Center for Desease Control just called. I have pegged the needle on their machines with this photography bug I have.[/FONT]

    Michael J. Taylor

  3. #3
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    If you are doing B&W, you will increase the success rate of beginners ( not to mention old pros ) by using generous exposure and slightly less than normal development. This gives you a 'margin of error' so that metering doesn't have to be 'perfect'.

    Time honored: cut the ISO rating of a 400 speed film in half. Use D-76, or Diafine. You'll print on a #3 most of the time, but so what ?

    Of course, if you're shooting color neg, the film has 4 to 5 stops of overexposure latitude built in, so no problem.

    Do this, she'll think you're a genius.

    Which, of course, you are !

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  4. #4
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    As I recall, a Pentax K1000 has averaging metering (not even center-weighted), which is without doubt the hardest type of metering to explain to a beginner (the readout for a landscape scene will of course vary wildly depending on how much sky you have in the frame). Is it possible to remove the battery from the camera and have your friend use a separate meter? If so. incident-light metering is about the closest thing to "one size fits all" that I know and would be a great place to start - you can then gradually deal with the exceptions to the rule where a little compensation would be useful (subjects which are light all over, dark all over or strongly backlit). What is fact is the metering technique which you use yourself?

    Regards,

    David

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    Of course, if you're shooting color neg, the film has 4 to 5 stops of overexposure latitude built in, so no problem.
    Most B&W films have a 3 stop overexposure latitude.

  6. #6

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    What I do with such cameras as the K-1000 when dealing with scenes that contain sky is to meter on the scene without including any sky and then recompose for exposure.

  7. #7
    Daniel Lawton's Avatar
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    I have a K1000 and when time and conditions permit I meter off a gray card to work around the camera's very rudimentary metering system and make my exposures as accurate as possible. Obviously this doesn't lend itself very well to spur-of-the-moment shooting in which case all you can do is rely on your eyes.

  8. #8

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    Grey Card!

    Thanks to all for their advice.Guess I will dig out my old grey card and instruct my "student" on its use. Actually thats what I started with way back when. I tend to forget just how puzzling the concept of "full manual metering" was.
    Mike

  9. #9
    wiseowl's Avatar
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    Why not use the cameras suggested exposure, and then explain why some didn't work out properly once the film has been developed. Take the teaching in little, steps not one big leap.

    Martin

  10. #10

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    Yes, grey card. This is probably the best answer. If all else fails, use the K1000's meter when shooting outside, and be sure to aim slightly down to avoid the high value bias that the sky will give. Tell your student to pay attention to lighting situations which might become overwhelming (ie, backlighting, bright subject on dark background etc.).

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