As someone said, yeah, just buy LyleB's 124G. The G is fine, the 124 might be cheaper if you see one.
Originally Posted by h.v.
I don't feel like pasting all that I'd need to paste to answer these inline so:
1. Luna Pro SBC is just what I have. The Luna Pro F is the same, except it also works as a flash meter. There are many other good meters available. The earlier Luna Pro was designed for mercury cell batteries that are no longer available. There are work arounds to use them but the SBC uses a 9v battery, available anywhere. The point is to just be sure you can get batteries for your meter. The Luna Pros are very large though. Definitely a hand full, and for street shooting you might want to get something smaller. There are many on the market. Watch the classifieds here. Also as a direct answer to your question:
But as I said, that's a pretty physically large meter. Take a look at some currently available new:
EDIT: Oops, that's an older LunaPro, not an SBC. My mistake.
Something like this is small and should work fine:
Or if you prefer digital:
You can get a good meter for less money used, of course.
They do look strange to people who aren't photographers and most will have no idea what they are or what you are doing. But I never stick my meter in the face of someone I don't know well enough, either. Just meter something else in the same light - but it sounds like you are new enough to manually metering that this may take some practice. It's easy.
2. Any 124 or 124G will have a lens. The lens is not interchangeable so they don't list it separately. Likewise the WLF. It's an 80mm f/3.5, roughly equivalent to a 50mm on a 35mm camera. They also all have a WLF. That's just how they are made - it's built in. The Yashica also has a pop out magnifier that, by holding your eye close to the magnifier, gives an enlarged view of the ground glass. It also has a "sports finder" which is really just a framing aid. You can focus separately then use the sports finder to frame a shot from eye level.
The magnifier doesn't give a zoom effect. You can see all the way to the edge of the ground glass and the edge of your image, it just makes what you see look larger and thus easier to judge critical sharpness.
Download the manual if you're really interested in these cameras. It will make a lot of things more clear. The 124 and 124G also differ in how the pressure plate is set for 120 or 220 film. I have a 124 so I don't recall how the G works, but both will use both 120 and 220 film. This isn't a big thing nowadays as not much film is available in 220, though the excellent Kodak Portras ARE.
Manual can be downloaded here for the 124:
here for the 124G:
3. Metering - you don't "point a laser" at anything! For a reflected light reading you point the meter at the subject, or more specifically at a part of the subject you wish to render as a medium gray shade. An incident reading is taken (with a different meter or by setting a versatile meter for such) by holding the meter at the subject, pointing it at the camera, and reading the light falling on, rather than reflected off, the subject. By taking a reflected reading of a calibrated gray card (available online) you get the same reading as an incident reading and you're sure you're measuring a value that is the shade the meter is giving you an exposure for. By "metering for prevailing light" I just mean, well, just that. Meter a medium gray value, or a gray card, in the light like the subject and if the light is about the same you don't have to take another reading for each shot. I often just keep a guesstimate exposure set and "wing it" if I don't have time to meter it. This does take some practice and experience, though.
If it's really important to have more than 12 shots (or 15 for a 645 format camera) you can get 220 film in the Portras and some Fujis (mostly aimed at those wedding photographers who still use film) with twice as much film and thus exposures on the roll. A roll of 120 is a bit cheaper, usually, than 36 exposures of 35mm but not greatly as it has nearly the same surface area coated with emulsion. You can also, as discussed here, carry an extra back, pre-loaded inserts, or just an extra camera depending on the type of camera.
4. The reason MF has less depth of field has to do with the lenses. A normal lens for 6x6 cm, like on my Yashica, is 80mm. It will have the same DOF as an 80mm lens would on a 35mm camera but that would be a short tele on a 35mm but normal on a 6x6. A 50mm lens on a 6x6 camera like the SQ-B would have the same depth of field as a 50mm on a 35 camera, but it would be a wide angle instead of a normal, and would have less depth of field than the 28mm lens on a 35mm camera that would give about the same amount of subject in the frame.
I've bought a fair amount of stuff from KEH and never had a problem. But I think it would help you a lot to see some of this gear, if there's a local club or something where you could meet others that shoot MF.
Last edited by Roger Cole; 12-05-2011 at 11:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.