HOw to Check Exposure Metering in Nikon FM and FM2


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TimJohn

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Apr 16, 2008
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#1
Hi
I have recently purchased a FM and FM2 from a fellow CSer. The camera is in excellent condition but some how I get the feeling that the Exposure Meters of both cameras may not be functioning as it should.

I tried to test the meters using the method I best know how (or think I know how). I have taken readings with the same lens attached to the cameras and set identical shutter speeds and aperture settings, but somehow the exposure meter gives me different readings with both cameras.

I was told that the best thing to do is get the reading via a light meter but I don't have one. I would like to find out from the more experienced people here in CS what to do.

I know that sending the camera to the shops to be serviced is one option but that means spending $$$.

Anyone with advice or able to help?

Thanks

TJ
 

flipfreak

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2007
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#4
That's an Idea. I'll try it. use the read out in the compact Cam right?

Gratis.
yeah but take note of what iso ur digital camera is on as well as the f/stop. i am using a nikon compact to do metering wide open to check for shutter speed. it is not the same f/stop as my film camera so i just compensate accordingly.
 

TimJohn

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Apr 16, 2008
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#5
yeah but take note of what iso ur digital camera is on as well as the f/stop. i am using a nikon compact to do metering wide open to check for shutter speed. it is not the same f/stop as my film camera so i just compensate accordingly.
Will keep that in mind.

Thanks.
 

AJ23

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2003
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#6
If you are shooting with your FM and FM2 often, getting a light meter will save your grief and time. :)

You don't need an expensive meter to start, entry models like the Sekonic L308S will serve you well, new one is ard $300 or there abouts. There are even cheaper ones like Polaris, probably sub-$200+, but the Sekonic has slightly better built and slightly better accuracy.

Or you can try to get a 2nd-hand light meter as well.

But if you dun shoot that often (or dun do studio shoots often), you can try the compact camera method. :)
 

Feb 16, 2006
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#7
FM 2, from wat i know, uses center weight metering.

therefore, when compared w a modern DSLR w matrix metering, the readings may differ.

however, there is no "correct" exposure. it depends on which aspect of the scene is taken account when the reading is made.

if u shoot film, there is a wide exposure latitude. slide will be more demanding.
 

tkbonz

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Dec 11, 2006
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#8
I use a Nikon FE2 (same metering as FM2) and a D80. I wanted to check if the metering of the FE2 is working, but the metering is different for both cameras. Although the FE2/FM2 utilizes center metering, it is different from my D80's center weighted metering.

What i did to check was to get a large piece of uniform background, i used my room wall, in good lighting. I read the metering off the FE2 and used my D80 to meter (with center weighted metering). Results, damn accurate.

I use an uniform coloured background so that no matter what metering method I use, the metering values will be the same.

The above method is the "no light meter" method. Well it works!
 

tkbonz

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Dec 11, 2006
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#9
Furthermore, if it is comfirmed that the metering is the same and has not deteriorate. Use the metering on your FM2 to your hearts content. Even if you're suspicious of what the metering gives you, just shoot (of course after confirming that your metering is not faulty). Sometimes i lazy to check for exposure or rushed to shoot, trust your FM2's metering, its very reliable.

But of course do make intelligent adjustments in odd situations like shooting a sunset with the sun right smack in the center of your framing.
 

catchlights

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Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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#10
the best solution is send both of the cameras to service center to check the accuracy of the camera mater. so they can tell you is the camera meter is off or accurate

you can use the hand held meter to check, but do note the hand held meters are also subject to the accuracy by itself.

you can also can use a digital camera to check, but also wouldn't be that accurate, as the digital camera is using different medium, and each brand do produce different results.

you also need to know films has different exposure latitude, color and b&w negative have wider, transparency films are narrower.

Unless you are shooting transparency strictly and only stick to one lab, you need to get the exposure spot on, the best way to test is to shoot a roll of film on gray card together with color chart with different setting, and send it for normal processing, than you able to judge correct exposue base on the results, from there you should able to rate your transparency film at what ISO speed to produce best results. and you also need to test all the different types of transparency film you intent to use, so you know the truth ISO speed of each type of film. btw, I find the tolerance of correct exposure on 35 transparency film is half stop, on 120 transparency film is one third stop, on 4x5 transparency film is quarter stop.

If you are shooting with negative only, you have much wider exposure latitude, to produce good results on prints from negative, you need to overexposed the negative by one stop, "exposed for shadow, develop for highlight", the most simple way is just rate your film ISO speed one stop lower. btw, you wouldn't know how accurate is your camera meter or the way you do metering, as the person make your prints will compensate it.

hope this help.
 

TimJohn

New Member
Apr 16, 2008
67
0
0
Eastern Part of Singapore
#12
Hi
I have recently purchased a FM and FM2 from a fellow CSer. The camera is in excellent condition but some how I get the feeling that the Exposure Meters of both cameras may not be functioning as it should.

I tried to test the meters using the method I best know how (or think I know how). I have taken readings with the same lens attached to the cameras and set identical shutter speeds and aperture settings, but somehow the exposure meter gives me different readings with both cameras.

I was told that the best thing to do is get the reading via a light meter but I don't have one. I would like to find out from the more experienced people here in CS what to do.

I know that sending the camera to the shops to be serviced is one option but that means spending $$$.

Anyone with advice or able to help?

Thanks

TJ
Hi All,
Thanks for the many suggestions/solutions. I will try out as many of these as possible. But from what all of you tell me. the best way is still to continue shooting and see what I get. Once thanks again for the valuable inputs from all who have contributed.

TJ
 

Dream Merchant

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Staff member
Jan 11, 2007
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#13
The best solution was suggested by Catchlights. ;)

What you choose to do, however, is entirely your prerogative. :)
 

Oct 23, 2008
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#15
i still cant understand why people ask for opinion only after he/she bought the item.:dunno:
Maybe TS want to seek advice on his setting, what when wrong. But I have to agreed with you. Basic research of the product was required even before the buying the item. But is a lesson learn of all newbies like me. Research first b4 buying anything.
 

Dream Merchant

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Staff member
Jan 11, 2007
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#16
Sometimes it's a 'emotional' purchase, or perhaps it was a deal too good to be missed?

Sometimes, it's a matter of not knowing exactly what to check especially in older manual cameras ... remember that when TS purchased the camera, it appeared to be in "excellent condition".
 

denniskee

Senior Member
Oct 26, 2003
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#17
Sometimes it's a 'emotional' purchase, or perhaps it was a deal too good to be missed?

Sometimes, it's a matter of not knowing exactly what to check especially in older manual cameras ... remember that when TS purchased the camera, it appeared to be in "excellent condition".
no what, like when we buy used lens from shops or fellow cser, one needs to know what to check before commiting to buy, if not ask friends who have more experience in buying use eqpt to go along.

i remember when i bought my 1st dslr (used), i got my friend to bring down his lap top and his camera and lens (since i know his lens got no problem on his dslr as well as my film cameras). so can check if the camera got focusing issue, dead pixels as well as compare the metering.

anyway, its up to individuals.:)
 

Dream Merchant

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2007
9,660
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#18
no what, like when we buy used lens from shops or fellow cser, one needs to know what to check before commiting to buy, if not ask friends who have more experience in buying use eqpt to go along.

i remember when i bought my 1st dslr (used), i got my friend to bring down his lap top and his camera and lens (since i know his lens got no problem on his dslr as well as my film cameras). so can check if the camera got focusing issue, dead pixels as well as compare the metering.

anyway, its up to individuals.:)


I agree ... but not everyone is as experienced or informed as you Dennis.

It's good you shared so that others can have an idea of specifically what to look out for and what to check/do next time. ;)
 

TimJohn

New Member
Apr 16, 2008
67
0
0
Eastern Part of Singapore
#19
Hi
I have recently purchased a FM and FM2 from a fellow CSer. The camera is in excellent condition but some how I get the feeling that the Exposure Meters of both cameras may not be functioning as it should.

I tried to test the meters using the method I best know how (or think I know how). I have taken readings with the same lens attached to the cameras and set identical shutter speeds and aperture settings, but somehow the exposure meter gives me different readings with both cameras.

I was told that the best thing to do is get the reading via a light meter but I don't have one. I would like to find out from the more experienced people here in CS what to do.

I know that sending the camera to the shops to be serviced is one option but that means spending $$$.

Anyone with advice or able to help?

Thanks

TJ
Hi Everyone,
Thanks for the valuable responses and suggestions. I went out and bought a Light Meter. Will try using the Light Meter recommendation settings as well as both the camera's settings and compare the results. Appreciate all the helpful suggestions and tutoring.

TJ
 

G-man

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2006
2,280
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My House
#20
Have fun with your FM2, it's a darn reliable camera. The proverbial workhorse, if you will. It is my first SLR and I still enjoy using it every once in awhile.

Also remember to check the batteries and remove them from the camera when you're not using it for long periods (anything more than 1 month).
 

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