Metering with a second camera?
The batteries in the Seagull have died, and I can't find the same batteries locally. So now, I can't use the internal metering. It's no problem for long exposure night shots, but for day, that's another matter. Have you heard of using one camera to act as the meter for another? So, if I find that for my KM, 100iso, f2.8, 1/125 is fine, then I could set my Seagull to f2.8, 1/125 with 100iso film, and feel pretty confident that it should work out much of the time? If you haven't tried it, don't go out now, for my benefit, I'll probably give it a go myself later this month, anyway (depending on what other have to say, here).
As long as you're not using filters, that'll work pretty well. If you use filters you have to have the same filter on your metering camera (or adjust accordingly).
If you're going to try it "later this month", though, don't you have time to get some batteries? I've gotten batteries from China in less than two weeks.
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?
If the meter in your other camera is accurate, and the framing is similar, it works. But hand held meters are much lighter and easier to use than another camera. Of course, if you will have the other camera along anyways, there's nothing wrong with using it to meter.
I don't know what kind, I don't have the originals anymore and I can't find a (free) online manual that can tell me what kind. I'm also worried about possible electrical corrosion if I use the wrong kind (I think that's possible). The batteries themselves are simple watch battery looking, but uncertain about the chemical type.
Originally Posted by PhotoJim
Oh, if I use, for instance, a Minolta MD 35-70mm and Minolta AF 50mm 1.4, there oughtn't be problems in compatibility for metering? (of course each lens on appropriate camera).
Chemical type will not matter, as long as the voltage is correct. Most likely it is a 1.3v battery.
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I'm pretty sure that the Seagull Camera that you are looking at uses standard 76 or the same size 44 button cells. It won't matter if you use Silver Oxide (S76) or Alkaline (A76) other than the Silver cells will cost more, last longer, and work better in freezing temperatures. You should just buy one of these 76 or 44 size batteries and try it. The worst consequence is that you'll have wasted $2 on the wrong battery.
Basically, this Seagull camera is a chinese copy/update of a Minolta SRT-200, and the main update is to use modern batteries, as above.
If you are using a different camera to meter, different lenses don't matter. An f4 is always an f4, f8 is always f8, no matter what the lens.
I do this pretty routinely, but usually with a d*****l camera. It's a bit like using a Polaroid as a proof before taking the picture: You get to see an approximation of what the meter reading actually means and adjust if necessary. I claim that this doesn't violate any APUG principles, since the silicon device isn't producing the final image but being used as a convenient accessory.
 That said, I don't make it a religious principle to throw the "proof" image away or anything. Sorry. :-)
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
Thanks all for the help, it's appreciated. I never ever thought that a 35mm can be used to spot meter for a 'blad.
I have tried other batteries, but they don't work. So, I guess moisture, corrosion, or rats have got to the electrics. I sort of have attempted to open it up myself to see, and see if there's something I could fix myself, but I'm not sure how to get the knobs and bits off first, to get the case off. If that can be done, then possibly (and hopefully) mystery can be solved. But I don't want to break anything.
Last edited by winjeel; 07-02-2009 at 12:07 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: adding battery info
The readings are the same if you use the 50/1.4 and the 35-70 zoom. The only concern is to make the zoom see exactly what the 50mm does, which means that you have to set the zoom at 50mm too.
I also use, for a part of my B&W (which is the only photography I do at this time), a digicam to get readings (average, center weighted, or spot) and to check contrast and composition (replacing this way the polaroid). It is a cheap, pocket size digicam, and I put its readings in the computer of a deceased luna-six (separated from the dead light meter and mounted on a smaller base). This way, I get very easy any workable aperture-time combination. Finally, I keep some of the JPGs only as proofs for the way the project or the idea evolved and achieved.
Last edited by phenix; 07-02-2009 at 12:37 AM. Click to view previous post history.
B&W is silver.
That’s a tactic that I’ve used at times by using a 35mm SLR to get exposures for my Mamiya RB67. It usually works fine. If you get an older SLR that doesn’t read DX, then you simplify the process by setting the ISO to whatever you have in the other camera.