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Thread: No Light Meter

  1. #1

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    No Light Meter

    I have recently purchased a Bronica SQ-A with standard waist-level viewer, and hence no internal light meter. I assumed that as I do not have a light meter that I could use my 35ml camera (Pentax MZ-50) instead until I can save up enough to buy one. Thus I set the Sigma zoom lense to 50, standard on the 35ml SLR, to approximate the 80ml lense on my Bronica (standard of 6x6 MF). Determined the exposure I wanted on the 35ml and transfered this to the MF. However the negatives, when I developed the file (HP4 in HC110[B]) were excessively over-exposed.

    Is anyone able to explain to me why this occured. More importantly, can anyone explain how I can use my 35ml camera, with internal light meter, as an interim light meter for my Bronica until I can afford to buy a proper meter?

    Thanks
    Michael
    Michael K

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    Is the zoom constant aperture or variable? If it's variable did you check the actual aperture?

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    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Did your Pentax have film in it? If not, its meter would have defaulted to ISO 100 (assuming you did not have any film speed correction dialed in).

    Regards,

    David

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    Try shooting a roll outdoors using the sunny 16 rule, always the same exposure but a variety of different shutter speed/aperture combinations as a sanity check on both the shutter and aperture. For grins, use the same film/exposure settings and do the same with your Pentax MZ then process the films together, see if they look similar....

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    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Michael, pm me with your email address & I'll send you a Word file with my full set of "Sunny 16" rule cards. I have a set for all 'sun' conditions and most major film types. I print them out & cut them to size & seal them in clear contact paper. They end up being close to 4"x7".
    Let me kn ow if you want them!
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

  6. #6

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    You may need to apply a correction factor between the two cameras. Try doing a bracketed sequence.

    All of my medium format shots are done using either a digital P&S camera or my ancient Canon SLR.

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    Peter Black's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkiernan View Post
    I have recently purchased a Bronica SQ-A with standard waist-level viewer, and hence no internal light meter. I assumed that as I do not have a light meter that I could use my 35ml camera (Pentax MZ-50) instead until I can save up enough to buy one. Thus I set the Sigma zoom lense to 50, standard on the 35ml SLR, to approximate the 80ml lense on my Bronica (standard of 6x6 MF). Determined the exposure I wanted on the 35ml and transfered this to the MF. However the negatives, when I developed the file (HP4 in HC110[b]) were excessively over-exposed.

    Is anyone able to explain to me why this occured. More importantly, can anyone explain how I can use my 35ml camera, with internal light meter, as an interim light meter for my Bronica until I can afford to buy a proper meter?

    Thanks
    Michael
    A couple of considerations. First would be to check the battery in the SQA to make sure it is OK and not liable to be the source of any problem. The second would be to look into the SQA lens and make sure it was actually stopping down when you fire the shutter. The third would be to switch the Pentax to manual metering and focus. I can't see why that should make a difference, but these are all cheap/free items to check before going any further.

    There is an item on dry firing the Bronica on the link below, along with other tips/problems.

    http://www.camerahobby.com/Photo-Bronica_Tips.htm

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWGirl View Post
    Michael, pm me with your email address & I'll send you a Word file with my full set of "Sunny 16" rule cards. I have a set for all 'sun' conditions and most major film types. I print them out & cut them to size & seal them in clear contact paper. They end up being close to 4"x7".
    Let me kn ow if you want them!
    great suggestion!

    i only use a meter when i am on assignment, otherwise
    i judge light and use sunny 11, after about a year i have gotten
    as good or better than my meter.

    john

  9. #9

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    In my experience, this occurs because of a combination of field of view and average metering on the part of the 35mm. Approximating lens lengths doesn't necessarily do the job. While a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera is roughly approximate to an 80mm lens on a MF, the field of view still differs greatly by format size; i.e. although the lenses are roughly equivalent, the overall field of view is going to change greatly between 645, 66/67, and 69. The field of view of your 50mm lens is much closer to an 80mm on a 645 than on a 6x6. This was the problem I experienced when trying to use my ME Super to meter for my 6x9 graflex. Essentially, if the 35mm meters for a particular subject (this is especially true outdoors) and averages the metering, it's going to overexpose because the wider field of view on the 6x6 will let more light in. I would suggest that if you want to use your 35mm to meter for the Bronica, then switch to a wide-angle lens.

  10. #10
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    You're assuming the shutter on your Bronica is working perfectly. It may not be. Lots of variables here. But your thinking is sound. When I first started in medium format with my Mamiya Universal I bought a twin camera platform and the Mamiya was sitting on the same tripod as the Nikon. I'd meter the chromes with filters and all and usually also take the photo with the Nikon, then I'd put the filters on the Mamiya and have it simply do the same as the Nikon did. Shot lots of good Velvia that way.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

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