Replacement for the dreaded Mercury batteries

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
EmmaNems Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Why bother?

CortoPA wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

The camera's mechanical. It only needs a battery to operate a near-useless meter. Built-in meters suck. Get a good incident meter and forget the camera batteries.

I get excellent results with the meter in my Canon FT and prefer not to haul around any more gear if I can avoid it. It is pretty accurate.

A reflected meter cannot tell the difference between a change in reflectance and a change in illumination. One requires a change in exposure, the other does not. This is inarguable.

CortoPA
CortoPA Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: Why bother?
4

EmmaNems wrote:

CortoPA wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

The camera's mechanical. It only needs a battery to operate a near-useless meter. Built-in meters suck. Get a good incident meter and forget the camera batteries.

I get excellent results with the meter in my Canon FT and prefer not to haul around any more gear if I can avoid it. It is pretty accurate.

A reflected meter cannot tell the difference between a change in reflectance and a change in illumination. One requires a change in exposure, the other does not. This is inarguable.

I'm not arguing anything. I have positive first hand experiences and base my observations on that. My keeper rate is certainly not affected by the built in meter.

To me, that's all that matters.

Overrank Contributing Member • Posts: 861
Re: Why bother?
1

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

The camera's mechanical. It only needs a battery to operate a near-useless meter. Built-in meters suck. Get a good incident meter and forget the camera batteries.

Given that it’s so easy to fix why bother buying and carrying an external meter and dialling in the setting each time?

Using sunny-16 is of course a different thing, that would avoid having to carry anything, but not always so good.

Because, as said, built-in meters suck.

Opinion with no evidence

A reflected meter only works accurately when you get lucky.

Define accuracy

An incident meter works all the time.

Not if the batteries are flat

tassienick Senior Member • Posts: 1,329
Re: Why bother?
4

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

The camera's mechanical. It only needs a battery to operate a near-useless meter. Built-in meters suck. Get a good incident meter and forget the camera batteries.

Given that it’s so easy to fix why bother buying and carrying an external meter and dialling in the setting each time?

Using sunny-16 is of course a different thing, that would avoid having to carry anything, but not always so good.

Because, as said, built-in meters suck. A reflected meter only works accurately when you get lucky.

Alternatively, a reflected meter works when you know how to use it...

An incident meter works all the time.

Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 34,957
Re: Why bother?

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

The camera's mechanical. It only needs a battery to operate a near-useless meter. Built-in meters suck. Get a good incident meter and forget the camera batteries.

Given that it’s so easy to fix why bother buying and carrying an external meter and dialling in the setting each time?

Using sunny-16 is of course a different thing, that would avoid having to carry anything, but not always so good.

Because, as said, built-in meters suck.

Opinion with no evidence

A reflected meter only works accurately when you get lucky.

Define accuracy

An incident meter works all the time.

Not if the batteries are flat

Aha! My old 1960 vintage incident light meter (Sekonic-Brockway I think is the name) has no battery, it still works and seems pretty accurate. It's a selenium cell but of course not much good in extremely low light.

Of course now with digital there's no use at all any more for an external meter unless using a more modern flash meter to set up a multiple flash outfit.

As for slide film days and meters, amongst my friends in 1960-1962 era there were a few cameras (before inbuilt meters) so they had hand-held ones - and the ones who had the most exposure failures were the ones with reflected light meters.

I had much more success with my incident light meter, rarely a problem.

One friend who did a lot of cheap or free travel as he worked for an airline, always got good results wherever he carried his camera.

Q: "What meter do you use?" A: "The cardboard one".

Yes, he used the advice printed on the inside of the film cardboard box and always got it right.

 Guy Parsons's gear list:Guy Parsons's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-PL5 Olympus PEN E-P5 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II +5 more
EmmaNems Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Why bother?

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

The camera's mechanical. It only needs a battery to operate a near-useless meter. Built-in meters suck. Get a good incident meter and forget the camera batteries.

Given that it’s so easy to fix why bother buying and carrying an external meter and dialling in the setting each time?

Using sunny-16 is of course a different thing, that would avoid having to carry anything, but not always so good.

Because, as said, built-in meters suck.

Opinion with no evidence

A reflected meter only works accurately when you get lucky.

Define accuracy

An incident meter works all the time.

Not if the batteries are flat

Exposure is determined by illumination. A built-in meter cannot measure illumination. A reflected reading can be used to determine exposure if one knows the reflectance of what the reading is taken from. A built-in meter can't know that. One could also do it by choosing what value to place the reading on by what value one wants it to be. A camera meter can't do that by itself. It needs a human.

You only need to change exposure when you change the source of illumination, not each time. Sunny 16 works exceptionally well because the Sun puts out consistent light, as it has done for millennia. But take a camera meter out in the direct sun and watch the exposure readings vary all over the place as you point it at different subjects.
The definition of proper exposure, and therefor accuracy, is when the exposure yields a value on film that prints at the match of the subject's reflectivity when exposed for the minimum time to produce maximum black through the film edge. On slide film you can measure directly on the slide.

Built-in meters suck for all these reasons and because they simply cannot tell the difference between a change in illumination and a change in reflectance. That alone proves their fatal flaw.

The reason so many people think their meters work accurately is because they don't realize what a proper exposure looks like.

CortoPA
CortoPA Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: Why bother?
3

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

The camera's mechanical. It only needs a battery to operate a near-useless meter. Built-in meters suck. Get a good incident meter and forget the camera batteries.

Given that it’s so easy to fix why bother buying and carrying an external meter and dialling in the setting each time?

Using sunny-16 is of course a different thing, that would avoid having to carry anything, but not always so good.

Because, as said, built-in meters suck.

Opinion with no evidence

A reflected meter only works accurately when you get lucky.

Define accuracy

An incident meter works all the time.

Not if the batteries are flat

Exposure is determined by illumination. A built-in meter cannot measure illumination. A reflected reading can be used to determine exposure if one knows the reflectance of what the reading is taken from. A built-in meter can't know that. One could also do it by choosing what value to place the reading on by what value one wants it to be. A camera meter can't do that by itself. It needs a human.

You only need to change exposure when you change the source of illumination, not each time. Sunny 16 works exceptionally well because the Sun puts out consistent light, as it has done for millennia. But take a camera meter out in the direct sun and watch the exposure readings vary all over the place as you point it at different subjects.
The definition of proper exposure, and therefor accuracy, is when the exposure yields a value on film that prints at the match of the subject's reflectivity when exposed for the minimum time to produce maximum black through the film edge. On slide film you can measure directly on the slide.

Built-in meters suck for all these reasons and because they simply cannot tell the difference between a change in illumination and a change in reflectance. That alone proves their fatal flaw.

The reason so many people think their meters work accurately is because they don't realize what a proper exposure looks like.

Now I feel sad for all those poor peons out there not realizing how inaccurate the exposure on their photographs really is. Terrible. I guess I can never use a camera light meter again..

i'm crying here LOL

EmmaNems Regular Member • Posts: 251
Have you ever asked yourself …

CortoPA wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

The camera's mechanical. It only needs a battery to operate a near-useless meter. Built-in meters suck. Get a good incident meter and forget the camera batteries.

Given that it’s so easy to fix why bother buying and carrying an external meter and dialling in the setting each time?

Using sunny-16 is of course a different thing, that would avoid having to carry anything, but not always so good.

Because, as said, built-in meters suck.

Opinion with no evidence

A reflected meter only works accurately when you get lucky.

Define accuracy

An incident meter works all the time.

Not if the batteries are flat

Exposure is determined by illumination. A built-in meter cannot measure illumination. A reflected reading can be used to determine exposure if one knows the reflectance of what the reading is taken from. A built-in meter can't know that. One could also do it by choosing what value to place the reading on by what value one wants it to be. A camera meter can't do that by itself. It needs a human.

You only need to change exposure when you change the source of illumination, not each time. Sunny 16 works exceptionally well because the Sun puts out consistent light, as it has done for millennia. But take a camera meter out in the direct sun and watch the exposure readings vary all over the place as you point it at different subjects.
The definition of proper exposure, and therefor accuracy, is when the exposure yields a value on film that prints at the match of the subject's reflectivity when exposed for the minimum time to produce maximum black through the film edge. On slide film you can measure directly on the slide.

Built-in meters suck for all these reasons and because they simply cannot tell the difference between a change in illumination and a change in reflectance. That alone proves their fatal flaw.

The reason so many people think their meters work accurately is because they don't realize what a proper exposure looks like.

Now I feel sad for all those poor peons out there not realizing how inaccurate the exposure on their photographs really is. Terrible. I guess I can never use a camera light meter again..

i'm crying here LOL

Have you ever asked yourself why cameras have exposure compensation dials and even elaborate auto-bracketing modes if built-in meters work so well?

Here's a hint: The people who designed the camera know its shortcomings even if you don't.

tassienick Senior Member • Posts: 1,329
Re: Have you ever asked yourself …
1

EmmaNems wrote:

CortoPA wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

The camera's mechanical. It only needs a battery to operate a near-useless meter. Built-in meters suck. Get a good incident meter and forget the camera batteries.

Given that it’s so easy to fix why bother buying and carrying an external meter and dialling in the setting each time?

Using sunny-16 is of course a different thing, that would avoid having to carry anything, but not always so good.

Because, as said, built-in meters suck.

Opinion with no evidence

A reflected meter only works accurately when you get lucky.

Define accuracy

An incident meter works all the time.

Not if the batteries are flat

Exposure is determined by illumination. A built-in meter cannot measure illumination. A reflected reading can be used to determine exposure if one knows the reflectance of what the reading is taken from. A built-in meter can't know that. One could also do it by choosing what value to place the reading on by what value one wants it to be. A camera meter can't do that by itself. It needs a human.

You only need to change exposure when you change the source of illumination, not each time. Sunny 16 works exceptionally well because the Sun puts out consistent light, as it has done for millennia. But take a camera meter out in the direct sun and watch the exposure readings vary all over the place as you point it at different subjects.
The definition of proper exposure, and therefor accuracy, is when the exposure yields a value on film that prints at the match of the subject's reflectivity when exposed for the minimum time to produce maximum black through the film edge. On slide film you can measure directly on the slide.

Built-in meters suck for all these reasons and because they simply cannot tell the difference between a change in illumination and a change in reflectance. That alone proves their fatal flaw.

The reason so many people think their meters work accurately is because they don't realize what a proper exposure looks like.

Now I feel sad for all those poor peons out there not realizing how inaccurate the exposure on their photographs really is. Terrible. I guess I can never use a camera light meter again..

i'm crying here LOL

Have you ever asked yourself why cameras have exposure compensation dials

So that photographers who know how reflective meters work can use them effectively and efficiently? Like they’ve been doing for decades...

and even elaborate auto-bracketing modes if built-in meters work so well?

To be fair, I know plenty of landscape photographers shooting slide film, metering with an incident meter and still bracketing.

Can’t say I’ve ever bracketed myself.

Here's a hint: The people who designed the camera know its shortcomings even if you don't.

KCK14 Contributing Member • Posts: 860
Re: Incident vs Reflective accuracy
4

As an old repairman, I find this amusing.  Very few shop had the equipment to calibrate an incident meter.  Every shop had a calibrated light box for adjusting reflective meters.  So we (and almost any other non-factory shop)  would put on the reflective disk and set the meter.  If your dome was new and not yellowed, your incident might be close.

But then some older film cameras and lenses had some wide tolerances compared to what we expect today. Also different companies had different ideas what the correct exposure should be.   Arguing over fractional stops was laughable.

 KCK14's gear list:KCK14's gear list
Nikon D7000 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro
just Tony
just Tony Senior Member • Posts: 2,891
Re: Why bother?
1

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

The camera's mechanical. It only needs a battery to operate a near-useless meter. Built-in meters suck. Get a good incident meter and forget the camera batteries.

Given that it’s so easy to fix why bother buying and carrying an external meter and dialling in the setting each time?

Using sunny-16 is of course a different thing, that would avoid having to carry anything, but not always so good.

Because, as said, built-in meters suck. A reflected meter only works accurately when you get lucky. An incident meter works all the time.

Different tools for different goals.

If Ansel Adams ever got good results with reflectance spot meters then the design concept might not have been completely wrong. His understanding of exposure went well beyond the merest basics - which are roughly the limit of where incident meters can take you.

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Wag more; bark less.

EmmaNems Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Why bother?

just Tony wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

Overrank wrote:

EmmaNems wrote:

The camera's mechanical. It only needs a battery to operate a near-useless meter. Built-in meters suck. Get a good incident meter and forget the camera batteries.

Given that it’s so easy to fix why bother buying and carrying an external meter and dialling in the setting each time?

Using sunny-16 is of course a different thing, that would avoid having to carry anything, but not always so good.

Because, as said, built-in meters suck. A reflected meter only works accurately when you get lucky. An incident meter works all the time.

Different tools for different goals.

If Ansel Adams ever got good results with reflectance spot meters then the design concept might not have been completely wrong. His understanding of exposure went well beyond the merest basics - which are roughly the limit of where incident meters can take you.

Ansel didn't use a camera with a built-in meter. He also knew how to place values on a zone scale. A built-in meter can't do that. It takes a human.

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