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  1. #21
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Kansas View Post
    I've had a Nikon FE2 for several years that wants to overexpose my pictures so I usually shoot on manual mode using a separate hand-held incident meter. Checking the Nikon's meter against my incident meter and a grey card, and comparing it to my Olympus OM-2 and a couple of Pentax cameras with accurate meters, the FE2 is overexposing by exactly one stop.

    I took the FE2 to a local repair shop and the fellow checked it out and said the meter was right, but it might be a 1/4 stop off. That didn't seem right, so I took it to a different shop and that fellow said it's close, but about 1/2 stop off. I still think it's a full stop off.

    So my questions:
    Is the testing equipment used in camera repair shops only accurate within 1/2 or 3/4 stop? I have no idea how their equipment functions, but presume there must be some sort of calibrated light source.

    Does the testing equipment need to be calibrated periodically?

    Why is the FE2 off when it is probably my newest camera?

    And for those of you who also have inaccurate camera meters do you get it fixed, or do you just determine how much off it is and adjust ISO accordingly, or simply shoot in manual mode using a separate meter?

    Thanks much,

    Dave
    This always reminds me of the old saying: "A man with one clock always knows the time; a man with several clocks is never sure."

    All my camera meters vary somewhat, most of them in linear fashion +/- across the range. But they are reflected light meters with somewhat different metering patterns. Most of my Nikons allow compensation adjustment. If your FE2 is over-exposing, just dial-in the adjustment. Incident and reflected in-camera readings won't be identical. Taking a reflected handheld meter reading off a gray card might get you closer to baseline accuracy for comparison's sake.

  2. #22

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    I have to admit that I once had several cameras out in the driveway pointing at different subjects (garage doors, side of car, and other scenes) and got different readings on three different cameras. It makes one wonder "which is correct?" I thought my test last week was a little more accurate, but maybe not.

    Sometimes I feel that cameras should not have built in meters. Half of my cameras don't have them and they work perfectly fine without. Then again, the metering on my OM-2 and my Mamiya 645 works very well. The Mamiya seems to be especially good.

    I appreciate all the comments and info.

    Dave

  3. #23

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    I check my meters, both hand held and in camera by going to a shaded area with a brick wall of uniform gradation and metering it after posting a target on the wall to center on. This obviates the issue of how large the metering area is and as it is shaded because I did i fairly fast, little or no issue of changing light. I also found the area worked with both incident and reflective metering. While the mortar between the bricks can affect the spot metering care in aiming it can reduce the adverse effects. An issue with meters is some are calibrated to read 18% grey and others 16% gray but many spec sheets do not disclose which the meter is calibrated for. An alternative is a gray card but it needs to be large enough to cover an averaging meter's coverage. I have a 8x10 for this and simply set it up under a set of lights in the house to get away from the issue of changing sunlight. Another alternative is to simply go outside to a thick patch of green grass hold each meter in a hand and meter the grass. As the testing is done at the same time not an issue with changing light. The of course works better with handhoeld meters unless the camera is set up on a tripod. I've been pretty lucky with my meters both hand held and in camera. Usually within a 1/2 f/stop of my Weston Ranger that I use as my standard and in use seems very accurate.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Kansas View Post
    I have to admit that I once had several cameras out in the driveway pointing at different subjects (garage doors, side of car, and other scenes) and got different readings on three different cameras. It makes one wonder "which is correct?" I thought my test last week was a little more accurate, but maybe not.

    Sometimes I feel that cameras should not have built in meters. Half of my cameras don't have them and they work perfectly fine without. Then again, the metering on my OM-2 and my Mamiya 645 works very well. The Mamiya seems to be especially good.

    I appreciate all the comments and info.

    Dave
    A man who has one watch knows what time it is, a man with several is never sure
    Ben

  5. #25
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    A man who has one watch knows what time it is, a man with several is never sure
    Bingo!
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

  6. #26
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    I almost never use the camera's meter.

    I have a couple of handheld meters that I sent to Quality Light Metrics, and I use them instead.

    But if you know that it is one stop off, then just compensate and spend the savings in the repair bill on film or paper or chemicals. Put a little sticker on the camera to remind yourself if it isn't your regular camera.

    That's my 2 cents worth of advice.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  7. #27
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    Meters are merely a 'suggestion' because of the fact that the meter manufacturer can choose a Constant for the calibration equation which VARIES WITHIN A RANGE OF VALUES stated within the ISO standard!!! You might get three meters of the same brand and model to all agree, but trying to get three different meters of different brands and models to agree (even if targeting the identical 18% tonality target) is idealism which is not built into the ISO standard for metering. As this Wikipedia discussion points out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_meter, the K factor can be any value between 10.6 and 13.4, a variance of 1/6 EV

    Add in the variability of shutter speed in the camera and aperture diameter in the lens, and you have further reason that precision in metering is not quite equally achievable in actual exposure in camera.

  8. #28

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    " the K factor can be any value between 10.6 and 13.4

    They actually vary a little more than that but still you're talking 1/6 EV and not 1 EV. Besides if you know which factor the manufacturer is using (most modern meters have spec sheet that indicate this) then you do know what it is measuring. And yes in camera meter don't have K factor published.

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