nikon fa meter is one stop different

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by denada, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. denada

    denada No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    hi. my nikon fa meter thinks i should overexpose shots by one stop compared to a handheld meter and my canon rc 35. what’s up with that? is the meter broken? is there anything i can do about that? google says you shouldn’t set exposure compensation when using the matrix metering.

    thanks


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Like anything else, meters aren't perfect. Put a roll through it, log all the exposures. Shoot everything from 2 over to 2 under in 1/3 stop increments and then determine what compensation, if any, you need.
     
  3. timor

    timor Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Is the one stop over exposure consistent thru the whole range ? Are your negatives equally over exposed when shooting stopped down and wide open ? If so maybe you should set the ISO manually and see, how this will work.
     
  4. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Like all things film, nothing is absolute. Bracket your exposures, develop as normal, then pick a frame that meets your needs and wants. Adjust your exposure accordingly and start firing away.
     
  5. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What's a canon rc 35?

    Handheld meters and in-camera meters often don't agree. You didn't tell us what kind of handheld meter you're using but most of them measure incident light while all in-camera meter which measure reflected light. There can be a big difference between the two depending on the scene.

    Nikon's matrix meters are usually quite accurate.
     
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  6. snowbear

    snowbear Big Furball Supporting Member

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    What's the original battery spec? Some of the older mercury batteries had a higher voltage than the equivalent sized non-mercury cells.
     
  7. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Other way round. Mercury cells produce 1.35 volts while alkaline batteries produce 1.5 volts and silver oxide batteries 1.6 volts.
     
  8. Dave Colangelo

    Dave Colangelo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just to be sure, is your compensation exposure set to +1? The FA's have a kind of small exposure comp adjuster and its worth double checking. If your meter is consistently the problem setting it to -1 may counteract the issue but its worth trying to figure out exactly whats going on first. You should also make sure your camera and meters are set to the same ISO rating.

    The FA should work just fine with 2X 1.5V cells, I like the 3V cells as they are clean and self contained. My F3, FA and EM have all worked just fine with the 2X 1.5 or 3V cells.

    Dave
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The FA is a 2 x 1.5 volt E-76 type of camera ,as far as meter batteries go.

    When the FA was introduced, before DX coding on film canisters, MOST amateurs who would have bought and used a Matrix metering camera would have been shooting color negative (AKA color print film) film. Color neg film and Matrix metering? Solution is almost always to over-expose.

    Still...who knows...there are a number of possible reasons for the discrepancy. Metering varies with the lens focal length and the angle of view of the lens. hand-held meters need to be used in 'a certain manner'. You're a fairly new shooter, and it's possible there is a mitigating factor or two in the mix here...
     
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  10. snowbear

    snowbear Big Furball Supporting Member

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    AH, yes, but but still a voltage difference that can affect the meter.
     
  11. pendennis

    pendennis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The battery specs for the FA call for 1.5 volt batteries, either alkaline, lithium, or silver. When cameras switched from direct voltage via the 1.35v mercury cells, the makers added a voltage regulator and/or transistor between the battery and its electronics to insure consistent voltage flow.

    The advantages of mercury cells was that their unregulated voltage was relatively flat over 95% of its life.
     
  12. pendennis

    pendennis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The matrix metering system will increase exposure when compared to the center-weighted mode. It could be that the meter is reading shadow areas which may be more dominant in a particular scene.

    A handheld meter, set for reflective light readings will not yield the same results. If your handheld has an incident setting, it's measuring the total light falling on the scene, ignoring shadows.

    As others have mentioned, it would be helpful if we knew what type of handheld you're using. If you're using an older type Gossen i.e., they typically used mercury cells, so the reading could be off if you've substituted 1.5v cells.
     

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