Incident metering is always best (almost, they are real bad metering stained glass windows for example). Spot meters are most accurate if you have the time to take a highlight and shadow reading and expose according to the latitude of your film, i.e., highlight bias for transparencies and shadow for negative film.
If your definition of a good meter is one that gets you a good exposure most of the time without taking to long to think about it a "matrix" type meter is best. I'm sure that includes Nikon and Canon and others. I've gotten amazingly good results with a Leica R8 and transparency film, which I kind of didn't expect.
Nikkormat FTn or the Leica M5. Just my 2 cents based on experience.
We all have our favourites.
For me in the 80s, the Olympus OM4 with multi-spot metering was a trailblazer for its time and second hand specimens of this camera are still highly sought after by pros educated in highlight and shadow control. It was the camera I stepped up to after a few years hauling a Nikon F3HP about!
Next up I would say the Canon T90. Nikon's F90x and FA also rate respected mention. Overall, however, your skill as a photographer determines how well you are able to use any onboard metering, which after all is only a recommendation, no gospel. Nowadays I am less interested in onboard metering and more focused on incident or multi-spot handheld readings. Remember large format doesn't have the luxury of evaluative, matrix or whatnot metering, so foundation skills are essential.
I wish I could say it's the F3HP (since that's my all-time favorite camera), but I'll have to toss in my "vote" for the FA.
Aberdeen, WA USA
My film cameras are all Nikons
: F3HP, F4s, N90s, N8008, N8008s.
For me the T90, EOS 3 and EOS 1V are right on the money, every time. As others have said, understanding what the meter is telling you and how to adjust to get what you want is the key. Even a camera with a primitive meter can give you the results you want if you know how to interpret it. That said, I have a pair of handheld meters I don't know how to use; my objective this year is to figure that out so I can better use my meterless cameras.
Right now in Spain they're holding the Running of the Bulls,
followed by the Soiling of the Pants,
and the Burying of the Idiots.
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Originally Posted by flatulent1
Oi! You forgot the 1N / 1NRS. They are all dependable. Elsewhere I've spoken for the much-loved T90. Many pros down here believe the 1V to be "overendowed" with technology and quite a few old EOS 1, 1Ns and 1NRS bodies are still in heavy use. And what's that around their neck?... why, it's a meter "just to challenge authority", of course!
One thing not commonly realized about the OM-2S, OM-3, OM-4, OM-3Ti and OM-4Ti is that all metering is done within the mirror chamber itself. The focus-screen is not used at all for exposure determination. This means that you can change focus screens or allow bright light to enter the eyepiece without it affecting the exposure reading at all.
The OM-2S does not have multi-spot metering, but for speedy handheld use, I prefer it to the 3(Ti)/4(Ti) bodies because in manual exposure mode, it is a live spot meter. The 3(Ti)/4(Ti) is centerweight averaging until you press the spot button.
The original OM-4 and the OM-2S are battery hogs. Even when turned off, they have a slight bit of battery drain. In actual operation they aren't any worse than any other OM body, but it's the slow leakage that will irritate you. Even so, I only go through two sets of batteries a year--big scary deal.
The OM-2S is also regarded as the least reliable from an electronics perspective. This is a bit misleading, though. The OM-2S experienced a larger percentage of failures in the first couple of years of operation. Once you get past that early failure point, they are probably as reliable as any other OM body. I've had mine since January 1986 and it has over 100,000 pictures on it and it'll probably work until there is no more film.
The center weighted meter first popularized in the Nikon FTn and continued in the the FM series is the best in a manual focus camera. Very simple to use and accurate, I have been using this system since my first Nikon FTn in the 1960's through to the lastest and sadly the last Nikon Fm3a. Point the center area to what you think should be the correct area to expose for, adjust the shutter/aperture and then compose and shoot. The FM3a also gives you AUTO shutter if you want with a convenient exposure hold button.
You can listen to all the 'experts' about this and that, but if you want simple, accurate, there is no better system. Until I got my Leica M7's and M6, i used a Nikon Fm as my exposure meter for my Leica M3, the meter being much more accurate and easier to use than the Leica MR4 attachment.-Dick
My OM-2n has right on Metering all the time.
Well, you could try a Spotmatic, but I strongly reccomend a handheld meter. It comes in handy when you don't ahave a metering camera anyway.