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  1. #1
    Edimilson's Avatar
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    Older versus "modern" equipment dilemma

    Hello!

    I've just realized I find myself in a curious dilemma.
    I own an EOS 300V (known also as EOS Rebel Ti). This camera offers automatic film winding, automatic focus, if you want it, as well as automatic exposure.

    Problem is, I've been trying to really learn how to expose properly instead of letting my camera decide for me. In order to learn to expose properly, I thought it might be a good idea to buy a camera capable of spot metering - something that my Rebel Ti lacks.

    As a result I bought an Olympus OM 2000 with a Zuiko 50mm 1.4 lens on it some weeks ago. This camera, though perhaps not a great camera (?), at least offers spot metering. Now it's becoming clear that I've been getting more consistent negatives spot metering with the OM 2000 than I did when I relied on the Rebel's metering modes.

    My dilemma is: should I trust my instincts and let go of a "modern" camera like the Rebel Ti and stick to older equipment? I would lose fancy stuff like a continuous shooting mode, for instance. This thing with the continuous shooting mode really bothers me, silly as it may seem.

    Has anyone here ever been in a situation like this?

  2. #2
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Can't you use them in manual mode? If you can, do so. There's no real reason to get older gear, except maybe 'snob appeal'. The need for spot metering is a little dubious, I'd say... es-PECIALLY when it comes to the in-camera kind. If you really feel that you MUST do spotmetering - buy a Pentax V spotmeter. But I think you'd be much better off with a quality handheld meter, like a lunasix or a sekonic (not as good, IMO) or something.

  3. #3
    Edimilson's Avatar
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    I can use the Rebel Ti in manual mode, but I don't seem to get consistent results using partial metering or centerweighted average metering. Needless to say that evaluative metering has been a disappointment too. And I've had this camera for nearly 3 years now!

    Now spot metering with the Olympus - that I've been using for less than a month - my results have been better.

    Anyway, I agree that having a handheld meter is the way to go. I intend to get one as soon as I can.

  4. #4
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    I find it is not just ancient versus modern but also one camera against another with the same metering principle. I find that the center-weighted metering of Nikon F3 and Bessa R2a works great, the same metering principle in Leica R3 is basically accurate but easily thrown by difficult subjects, particularly with large light areas. Experiences with matrix metering have been positive (Leicaa R8, Pentax MZ5-N), in almost all cases as good as I could achieve twith a separate meter, as long as you remember that the metering is only semi-intelligent and is optimized for landscape-oriented shots. In-camera spot metering has confused a lot of people, obviously it seesm to work well for you.

  5. #5

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    My starting camera (well, sort of) was the Japanese model of Rebel XS (called kiss). It wasn't a bad camera, tho I had a few complaints and got rid of it. In terms of the meter, more recent models like 7 (Elan 7E in US) or 3 is better. But I'm curious what kind of scene you are taking. I don't recall too many cases where my kiss's evaluative mode failed badly enough for negative films.

    I think the question is whether you should learn more metering techniques that you can use when you think camera meter fails. This is true of any camera and any meter you buy, but of course the more pieces of equipment you have, the greater the number of possible techniques will be.

  6. #6

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    Like Ryuji said. It's about learning to understand when the meter might fail. Try looking at the screwed up exposures and figuring out why it failed.

    In todays market plenty of pro grade cameras that allow everything from full manual to full auto for not too much money. Nikons F4 isn't much more expensive then a similar age consumer grade camera.

  7. #7
    ath
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    My impression is, your problem is not old vs. new but spot meter or not. There are Canon AF cameras with spot meters, like the EOS5, the 3 and the 1 series. All are quite cheap nowadays.
    With "modern" cameras I find it important, that it is possible to switch off the automatics if I want it. I am the photographer, not the camera.
    The 3 digit Canons (like your 300V) are not the best for this. Take at least a 2 digit (e.g. EOS50 - my favourite for travel) or the 1 digit cameras.
    If you want to have full control over the exposure, the matrix metering is a nono.
    Regards,
    Andreas

  8. #8
    Edimilson's Avatar
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    Hello!

    Thank you for all your suggestions. You've helped me make up my mind. My dilemma is not about old versus new, as Ath mentioned, but it has to do with the degree of control I need. My Rebel Ti doesn't provide me with what I need and I don't think it would pay to adapt myself to its limitations.
    I agree, on the other hand, that it would be a good idea to learn how to deal with other metering modes, like centerweighted average metering, but I'd rather do that with another body. Canon EOS 3 and Nikon F4 are two possibilities I'll consider.

    Thanks again!

  9. #9
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    You might consider an EOS 650. It can use any lenses you have and it's light, can be used fully manually and has a partial metering mode with a 6.5 degree view. I'd recommend a 630 but it lacks that metering mode. I bought my 630 for studio work where small and manual were all I cared about.
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  10. #10
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Lots of Nikons have spot meters. F601, F70, F801s, F90, F90x, F100, F4, F5, F6... none save the F6 are terribly expensive.

    The Nikon spot meters tend to have a finer spot than the Canon ones (1% versus 3% if memory serves, but please research it and don't trust me - I know the 1% is accurate but I'm not sure about the 3%). If you don't have a lot invested in your Canon and Olympus systems, the Nikon one might be worth a look. One thing I particularly like about it is that you can, to some degree, mix and match autofocus and manual focus gear so that you can have the best of both worlds, old and new. (I often use my AF-S 17-35/2.8D ED on my F3HP - it seems wrong but the results are so right! And my 105/2.5 AI is just as delicious on my F5 as it is on a manual body.)

    You should ultimately use what works for you. I take different pictures when I use my manual gear. Are they better? Sometimes, sometimes not. I really do find AF to be a boon when shooting moving subjects, or when speed of shooting is of the essence. If I don't shoot movement or find myself under duress, I definitely prefer to use manual gear, though. Even if I can use AF gear manually, I still shoot differently with actual manual equipment.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

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