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  1. #1
    Markok765's Avatar
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    Dropped pentax Spotmatic off tripod, lightmeter is broken, what to do?

    I got a new tripod, see other thread, and I dropped my camera off the tripod.

    I accidentally opened the quick release.

    My lightmeter inside is now broken, and it will take a while to save enough for a new body. I will have to carry my large pentax spotmeter V around for metering now. It won't be so bad because I will be using the tripod most of the time.

    What can I do? Can I fix it, is it gone?

    Thank you!

    PS. This is slightly a good thing because it will FORCE me to use the camera slower, and make better photos. My exposure will be better with the spotmeter too.
    Marko Kovacevic
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  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    For now, use your handheld meter, and see if you can learn to expose without the meter. Observe the lighting conditions around you and guess before you check with your spotmeter, and you'll start noticing patterns. Exposure is pretty constant under certain lighting conditions--full sun, overcast, open shade on a sunny day, normal room light that you could read by, a floodlit building at night, etc.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3
    Markok765's Avatar
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    Thanks David! I used to be able to guess exposure. I'll try that when I am not shooting with flash/on a tripod. I'll try to carry the meter.
    Marko Kovacevic
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  4. #4
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Hey, Marko, David is spot on here. Be observant and take this opportunity to make good from apparent disaster. Teach yourself by learning what conditions produce what sort of light and learn to listen to your gut that way, when in a pinch down the road you won't be left hanging. (Apparently my answer is yourself for dropping the camera) Sorry but 1.) be more careful in the future and 2.) take this chance to broaden your photographic mentality.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about this Marko.

    If it is any comfort, there are probably very few of us here on APUG who haven't had a camera go for a tumble or two, and sometimes with even more disastrous results.

    David's suggestion is excellent. If I can add a slight refinement, I would suggest finding an old cheap incident meter, and learn to use it as well.

    Incident meters actually measure the light levels, rather than the light reflecting back from the subject. Spot meters are almost exactly the reverse. IMHO, careful observation of light, supplemented with incident light readings to check, are a great way of improving your photographic skills.

    Matt

  6. #6
    Markok765's Avatar
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    So, why would a incident meter be better than a spotmeter for improving my photos?
    Marko Kovacevic
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  7. #7
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    a good tool to aid in guessing exposure

    found on the web, and since used extensively with my stable of old non-metered cameras. I take the tables and feed them into excel, and edit them to exclude shutter speeds or apertures that the camera does not support. I edit them to fit the size of the camera back, laminate them with tape, and then stick them into the camera bag or case.

    I also have one in my wallet at all times.

    It works surprisingly well.
    Attached Files

  8. #8
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Hey Marko!
    If you 'pm' me your email address, I'll send you my set of "Sunny 16" cards. I have them for most film speeds & they cover more than just 'sunny' (since it is rarely sunny here these days)! hahaha
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

  9. #9
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Work with the light...

    Quote Originally Posted by Markok765 View Post
    So, why would a incident meter be better than a spotmeter for improving my photos?
    Marko:

    Because use of an incident meter teaches you more about observing and evaluating light levels and the photograph as a whole.

    What I tend to do is observe the scene and come to a "guestimate" about the light, including its intensity, character and direction. I then use the incident meter to confirm or correct my guestimate. That gives me my basic exposure, plus some information on likely contrast. Finally, I consider the main subject of the photo and, if it is unusually dark, or unusually light, I might adjust further.

    Like you, I only shoot roll film, so I'm not able to tailor the development of individual negatives. If I was shooting sheet film, I would be more likely to want to use a spotmeter, as the ability to adjust development means it makes sense to focus more on the SBR ("Subject Brightness Range") and less on the light illuminating the subject.

    This is easier to observe in real life than it is to describe here. As an example, say you wanted to take photos of a bunch of your friends on an overcast day with high and even light. Your friends may have different coloured clothes, different coloured hair, and different complexions. If the light is even and consistent, most likely the best results would be obtained if you used essentially the same exposure for each photo. An incident meter would give you that. A spotmeter would, however, most likely indicate different exposure for different friends, depending on their clothes, their hair or their complexion, and where you took your meter readings from.

    When I photograph, I look first for the light.

    Hope this helps.

    Matt

  10. #10
    Markok765's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    Marko:

    Because use of an incident meter teaches you more about observing and evaluating light levels and the photograph as a whole.

    What I tend to do is observe the scene and come to a "guestimate" about the light, including its intensity, character and direction. I then use the incident meter to confirm or correct my guestimate. That gives me my basic exposure, plus some information on likely contrast. Finally, I consider the main subject of the photo and, if it is unusually dark, or unusually light, I might adjust further.

    Like you, I only shoot roll film, so I'm not able to tailor the development of individual negatives. If I was shooting sheet film, I would be more likely to want to use a spotmeter, as the ability to adjust development means it makes sense to focus more on the SBR ("Subject Brightness Range") and less on the light illuminating the subject.

    This is easier to observe in real life than it is to describe here. As an example, say you wanted to take photos of a bunch of your friends on an overcast day with high and even light. Your friends may have different coloured clothes, different coloured hair, and different complexions. If the light is even and consistent, most likely the best results would be obtained if you used essentially the same exposure for each photo. An incident meter would give you that. A spotmeter would, however, most likely indicate different exposure for different friends, depending on their clothes, their hair or their complexion, and where you took your meter readings from.

    When I photograph, I look first for the light.

    Hope this helps.

    Matt
    Thank you very much! I am trying to now look at light, whereas I had been just focusing on the subject. Would shooting a grey card/some grey thing work as well?

    Mike, I used to have that in my camera bag!

    Do you think the Nikon F series is tougher than the Pentax screwmounts?

    EDIT: My filter thread is a bit bent, can I fix it?
    Last edited by Markok765; 02-11-2008 at 03:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Marko Kovacevic
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