35 mm = Spotmeter?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi all, I would prefer that the most possible way to get an good spotmeter is use an older 35mm camera with build in spotmeter + tele lens. Can you tell me witch older 35 cams. have spotmeter?



-- Martin Kapostas (martin.kapostas@asdo.com), January 19, 2001


Older models? None of them, to my knowledge. True spot metering wasn't built into 35mm cameras until AF and matrix type metering was introduced about 1990. Even then, the sensitivity of these meters is often insufficient to get shadow readings.

PS. Don't be taken in by names like 'Spotmatic'. Those Pentax models just have centre-weighted metering.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), January 19, 2001.

A Mamaya 1000 DTL has a "spotmeter" in their cameras that takes up about 10% of the frame. It has a switch that allows you to toggle between the two modes, spot and regular metering. It uses a Pentax screw mount.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), January 19, 2001.

Martin: If you visit a few photography equipment swap meets you will find that you can buy a used spot meter cheaper than you can buy a used 35mm with telephoto lens. The spot meter will be lighter and more sensitive. If you intend to shoot 35mm and LF at the same time, the 35mm will work for both, but you are gonna have to get a later model 35mm camera, which isn't cheap.


-- Doug Paramore (dougmary@alaweb.com), January 19, 2001.

Unless you like to bring a 35mm camera to shoot 35mm alongside LF, you are probably better off with a regular spotmeter (lighter, more compact, more flexibility as a meter, etc.).

If you do decide to bring a 35mm camera, the Canon F-1N ("New" F-1, not the F-1n or the old F-1) will spotmeter, if you have a spot-metering focusing screen. Also the Canon T-90 has switchable metering modes, including spot metering. Either of these cameras will cost substantially more used than a used Pentax Spotmeter.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), January 19, 2001.

Martin, the increase in weight and bulk over a spotmeter like the Pentax digital will be considerable. Also if you practice the zone system it will be very difficult with just a camera, at least with a seperate spotmeter it is so easy to attach a homemade zone scale so one can easily compare the various options in zones. Regards,

-- Trevor Crone (trevor.crone@uk.dreamcast.com), January 19, 2001.

Possible - yes. Practical - no.

As mentioned above there are a number of pre-1990 35mm SLR cameras with spot-metering capability.

Even my 20 year old Leica R4 (and also I believe its predecessor the R3 from 1976) can selectively meter from a central 7mm diameter circle (about 5% of the frame) - although this only starts to approach a one degree angle of measurement when the camera is used with a 250mm or longer lens.

When I read your question, I wondered how the R4 camera plus 250mm lens combination would compare to my Minolta Spotmeter F. It actually works surprisingly well, measuring highlight and shadow readings within half a stop of the spotmeter (although with a somewhat shorter overall measuring range) but it weighs nearly 2kg and measures 25cm in length - not something that would easily slip into your pocket.

-- Philip Y. Graham (PYG@plastsurg.com), January 19, 2001.

I use a Zuiko 135mm f/3.5 tele on my OM-4 body as the meter for my LF endeavours. One advantage of the OM system is that it is a lot smaller and lighter than other more modern and more highly regarded systems. I carry my Technika; 90, 150 & 300mm lenses plus OM-4 with 28, 50, and 135 lenses all in one bag (not forgetting 5 DD and sundry filters etc).

If you've already got the 35mm kit (like I had) then use it. If you're looking to purchase a 35mm with spot-meter, then you are probably better off buying a dedicated meter.

All the best.

Carey Bird http://homepages.tig.com.au/~cbird

-- Carey Bird (careybird@hotmail.com), January 19, 2001.

With some spotmeters like the Pentax digital you also get a zone system built in that is a most useful feature. I use it for colour. You do not get such features in camera built-in meters. Additionally, what in cameras is usually called 'spot' is not your 1 degree angle that you find in a true spot meter but something larger, often much larger. The idea of taking a 300mm telephoto laden 35mm so you can get a 'spot meter' reading strikes me as impractical.

-- Julio Fernandez (gluemax@ora.auracom.com), January 21, 2001.

Like Carey Bird, I use a 135mm lens on an Olympus body. I have an older (and cheaper) OM2-S which according to the specs meters in spot mode on 2% of the film area. With a 135mm lens this works out to a 1 degree circle, comparable to the a stand-alone spot meter. (With a 50mm lens the meter reads from a 2.7 degree circle). Since I already had the OM system, I saved several hundred $. Also the LF equipment is already pretty heavy the addition of a 35mm SLR seemed to add relatively little weight..

-- Simon Rodan (simon.rodan@kedros.net), January 25, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ