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TOPIC: Old Light Meters

Old Light Meters 8 years 3 weeks ago #1

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I've been acquainting myself with my film cameras lately, specifically my Pentax Spotmatic and Canonet GIII QL19. Since it's winter, many of the pictures I've been taking include a lot of snow.

This got me wondering: what does the light meter in these cameras evaluate? Especially the Spotmatic, which is circa 1968 and one of the first cameras with an integrated light meter. Is it akin to what's currently referred to as center-weighted? Spot? Something else? Am I unwittingly under-exposing all the shots that have a bunch of snow in them?

I have yet to finish a roll of film in either camera, so I haven't developed them to see what my results look like. But it would be good to know how these cameras' light meters work so I can keep their limitations in mind.
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Re: Old Light Meters 8 years 3 weeks ago #2

  • Leighgion
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As I understand it, all the meters of that era are going to be centerweight type, though they will vary in exactly how they're tuned. Spot metering was always a specialized function not for general use and matrix metering wasn't developed until the 80's.

So yes, the old school advice of dialing up a stop or two of exposure compensation for snow would apply with these cameras. I still do some of this even for modern matrix metering cameras.
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