Am I an idiot? Minolta Flash Meter incident Readings are Absurd
So I have a Minolta 5 degree spot for years that I love and have all but nearly destroyed and was recently handed a Minolta Flash Meter V from a friend who is trying to convert me to incident readings. BUT, in ambi mode, set at the right ISO and speed, the f-stops are waaaaaaay off. Sitting here with a single lamp for lighting at my desk, it reads f/2.8 @ 60, ISO 64. ...Right....and when I go outside it keeps showing stuff like f/90 @ 2000, ISO 64.
What the deuce is going on here? It has the round globe as well as the flat style attachment, both of which give me these erratic readings.
Any help would be delightful, and if no one knows what to do, any recommendations for places that might calibrate/repair a Minolta meter?
Are you sure it's not showing ev ratings? are you sure you have the iso set to 64, not 6400? are the batteries the right kind? If so, i'd think it probably needs to be re-calibrated. as to how to do this, i haven't an idea, but i would assume someone can fix them up.
your friend may be pranking you lol xD check if someones been fooling with adjustment button. the polaris spot meter i use has it under the battery cover. yours might be in the same spot.
if that doesnt work, try the shake test, and see if you hear anything loose rattling around, maybe a little piece of plastic floating around inside sphere and messing with readings?
if its really bonked out, it might be cheaper to buy a used meter than trying to send it for repairs.
I had the same problem. I was on a shoot using a Minolta flash meter and proofing with polaroid. The Polaroid indicated one exposure and the meter said another. My gut feeling was to go with the Polaroid exposure which was correct. I called Minolta to see how much it would cost for a repair and it's the same for all Minolta Flash meter IV because they replace the logic board for these repairs. Note. It was 15 years ago.
Not sure if this same issue affects the Minolta Flashmeter V, but it certainly does affect the Minolta Autometer IVf, its contemporary in the meter evolutionary chain:
On the Autometer IVf, there is a metal pin which is revealed when the hemisphere is removed. The pin is normally depressed by a raised surface on the underside of the black plastic ring around the white hemisphere. This same pin is NOT depressed by the reflected light attachment (hole in the center) black ring. The pin is actually a switch and it alters meter sensitivity and readings.
It sometimes occurs that the pin/switch stops functioning, so that the white hemisphere presses on the pin but the switch does not alter the readings. Sometimes, if the pin/switch stops functioning correctly, if you merely press and release the pin multiple times it starts working again (oxidation on the contacts of the switch?!?!). In other cases, it was necessary to send it to Minolta repair to have the switch replaced. My own Autometer IVf meter acted up a couple of times, and pressing and releasing the pin multiple times would fix it. I once was on a photo workshop with someone whose Autometer IVf would not resume proper switch behavior, and he had to send it in for repair.
This switch mechanism was changed in the Minolta Autometer Vf, so that a metal pin switch is not used in the Vf, but a new switch mechanism was substituted.
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Yes I am certain all the settings are correct and the little adjuster wheel in the back seemingly doesn't make a difference. I'll have to play around with the little pin described above. It's a shame; this came from a working professional and looks brand spanking new. What the deuce?!
Are you pointing the light receptor dome from the subject at the camera position in the correct way and not at the subject?
Last edited by benjiboy; 05-14-2011 at 08:57 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Resurrecting an old thread here. So, I've checked the connectors in the back, their spacing and etc. I think I understand how the system works (I work IT and deal with weird crap like this all the time) and here's the skibby: under lowlight situations it reads the proper incident reading and displays it like I would expect--yes it's in AMBI mode--but the moment I step into harsher light it jumps to extreme readings like f/90 @ 500 or so. I feel like I've read the manual a thousand times and even the guy who used this before me is scratching his head. Any thoughts again?
Are you sure the shutter speed isn't set for 60 seconds? In which case there is an S on top of the shutter speed. The pin to automatically switch from incident to reflected if not working correctly only gives you 2.7 stops error not as much as you say. The bias can be set on the meter but only 1 stop. Without having the meter in hand I must say thay your meter is in need of service. I can't think of user error that can cause that much of an error.
I am trying to think of all the user error possible.
1. the pin only gives you 2.7 stops off.
2. pointing the meter wrong way would give you lower reading and not higher reading.
3. Setting the meter adjustment only allowed for 1 stop.
4. Hemisphere getting old (I have this problem before) only gives you lower reading and generally less than 1 stop off.
I've had a Flashmeter III for years and just yesterday was getting some unreliable readings with the 5-deg finder for the first time ever, and today I played a bit with that pin under the dome finder, and that seems to have solved the problem. Probably just some corrosion or dust in the switch contacts.