small meter adaptation

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by mysteryscribe, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]Since I had a problem remembering which of the arrows to set up on I made a slight correction to a retro meter. I'm sorry but GE should have done this to begin with. I guess people were smarter back in 1930.. any way this is what it looks like.

    Since they used real metal back then it was just scratch out the paint and then recolor the existing groove.

    This is a heck of a nice meter by the way. It reads very low light without a battery of any kind. Course it won't make coffee or wake you up in the morning.
     
  2. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I thought I would add now that I have used this about a month, I was so dumb not to have done it earlier. Those two little color spots have saved me probably ten negative already.

    Wonder why the manufacturer couldn't have done that in the beginning. Surely the photographers weren't any smarter back then. It is amazing to me how much difference such a small change in the design actually makes. The meter is a lot easier to use so I use it more.
     
  3. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    What exactly did you do? The only meters I own are built into my SLRs, so I'm totally ignorant.
     
  4. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    The hand held meter came with three identical red arrows one was for strong light (cover closed) one for medium light (cover open) third was for cover off (very low light) The meter is one of the ones with no battery that can still read very very low light. I would put a red arrow on the number and get the wrong reading... kept forgetting to make sure i had the CORRECT arrow.

    So after about a year with this retro meter I scraped the read off two of them and painted them different colors... green for out of doors.... yellow for indoor light... and left the red for very low light....

    Since then I haven't had a problem knowing which arrow to point at the number... Im serious there is nothing worse than looking at your ruined negative and saying oh crap i read the meter wrong. why the devil they didn't do something like it from the factory is beyond me. Oh course I have really old eyes to lol
     
  5. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    I gotcha. I need to build myself a meter. Have you seen the prices for those things! Holey Moley!
     
  6. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Go retro young man ...go retro.... Some GE and Weston meters are very good with low light... You cant just point them though, you actually have to walk up and point them at what you want to shoot. Unless you are just shooting the whole thing.

    It's like this. If I'm going to make a picture of my grandson in his back yard playing, all i need to know is what the light outside is like that day. Ie average lighting conditions all over.

    However if my grandson steps into the shade of a tree, the average outdoor light won't be right. So I need to go to where he is and read the light. Then go back to where I was and setup the camera.

    If part of him is in sunshine and part in shadow... Ie the sun is on one said throwing a shadow across his face.. If i shoot the average I get a dark shadow on one side of his face. So I want to walk up to him and read the shadow and figure something inbetween the two. Same is true of a back lighted person or subject of any kind.

    Now a modern meter lets you do that from a distance the old retro meters didn't. You had to actually walk up and point the meter in the area you were going to shoot. And of course they aren't digital readout, but they are pretty darn acurate. You can get a ge like the one in the picture for about ten bucks on eby shipping included. I bought a low light there last week for $1 plus eight bucks shipping. They aren't as convenient as the modern meter but they work pretty good, if you ask me.

    The same things are true indoors as well. The meter just has to be able to function in low light. The ones I have do a pretty darn good job, but the newer ones are better I'm sure.
     

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