6x6 and metering

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by dylan_green, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Hey guys,
    Sorry in advance for a question which probably has been answered, but my poor searching skills didn't reveal much. Please point me towards any resources if they exist already.
    Anyways, I'm looking for a MF camera with 2 requirements
    1) 6x6 back (or easily obtainable 6x6 back if normally another size)
    2) no need for a handheld meter
    Any combination of bodies and viewfinders would be great and again, sorry for the n00bie question.
  2. Hasselblad, Bronica, Mamiya 6 and Rolleiflex are common 6x6 cameras. Some models meter internally, some externally, others use meters in the viewing prism. I have two Hasselblads with TTL metering, and still prefer an hand-held meter, for control and predictability.
  3. Dylan
    If you look at the www.keh.com website you will be able to see all of these bodies, backs, lenses etc. for sale. This will give you a good idea of the availability for each brand.
  4. How about an RZ? Good ones are cheap as is metering prism and 6x6 back.
  5. Rollei 6008 (and perhaps some other 6000 series models) and the Hy6/AFi are the only 6x6 cameras with built in metering. In other words, the metering is available regardless of the viewfinder you choose.
  6. I don't know about all these cameras/brands, but the good question would be "have they a coupled meter ?", that is a meter that responds directly to changes in the (aperture/speed) settings of the camera body.
    Some MF cameras that I know have built-in meters but you have to do the measuremement and then "manually copy" the results on the (aperture/speed) controls of the camera body/lens ; this is not better than using a separate hand-held meter (I find it even worse).
    Others (like for instance the Pentax 6x7) have metering prisms or built-in meters that are mechanically coupled both to the speed ans aperture controls. These are useful since you can frame your pictures and set your exposure without quitting the viewfinder.
  7. Get what ever you want, but you have ruled out the best medium format has to offer by wanting a build in meter. Non of the built in meters are any where near as accurate as a handheld meter. With a hanheld meter you are in control of what you meter and how you meter it.
    Manual cameras to me are about complete control by the photographer.....not the device. You don't need photoshop and automatic cameras if you know what you are doing....also the best way to learn is by having complete control.
  8. So much of it depends on what you're taking pictures of, and what type of film you're using. It doesn't take that long to learn the characteristics of the film you're using. For example, with most 400 films (with a full-speed developer for B&W, or any color film), I don't need a meter to tell me that 1/500@11 works in full sun and 1/60@f5.6 is open shade. (Sunny-16 underexposes IMO.) Cloudy? 1/500@f8.
    The main reasons I would use a meter now are 1. with studio flash 2. marginal conditions, such a dusk or other low light. You might find that a metering prism for the big brands are heavy or cumbersome to use, or eat batteries, or just primitive. Point them at a pale face and they'll underexpose. Etc. Just get a cheap incident meter and you won't need a built-in meter. And then pretty soon you won't need the incident meter either.
  9. Get a meter of some sort.
    The "Sunny something" rule of thumb is woefully inprecise (notice the "Sunny-16 underexposes IMO" in the very same posts that suggests using such a rule instead of a meter).
    If and when it works, it does so (as the name suggests) only in full sunlight.
    How often do you encounter such conditions? And do you really only want to take photos in those conditions?
    What the rule doesn't say is that it also only 'works' in full sunlight near the middle of the day.
    And sunlight varies considerably across the world and across seasons:
    A "Cloudy something" rule makes no sense at all, because lighting conditions vary a lot with cloud cover density.
    So forget about such cheap rules, and do get a decent meter.
  10. For some situations a built-in meter came be invaluable. A few months ago I photographed a parade at one of our local Filipino-American events. It was a sunny afternoon and the participants were moving into and out of deep shade as they marched. I took my Rollei MX (no built-in meter) and was shooting Astia. I was very busy juggling my hand held meter as well as color correction filters to deal with the combination of late afternoon sun and deep shade. I wish I had taken my 3.5F with its built-in meter instead.
  11. "The "Sunny something" rule of thumb is woefully inprecise (notice the "Sunny-16 underexposes IMO" in the very same posts that suggests using such a rule instead of a meter).
    If and when it works, it does so (as the name suggests) only in full sunlight.
    How often do you encounter such conditions? And do you really only want to take photos in those conditions?
    What the rule doesn't say is that it also only 'works' in full sunlight near the middle of the day."
    I'd have to disagree, probably due to where I live--the inter-mountain west. Sunny-11 works here to within 30 minutes of sun-up or sun-down. Due to the lack of humidity or pollution here, there is very little of the transition that one would find in, say, the midwest (mountains block the sun from being right on the horizon). And for half the year, we don't have a cloud in the sky.
  12. Just a note, Graham -- the Hy6 and Rollei 6000 series cameras are definitely not the only 6x6 cameras with internal metering! The Hasselblad 203FE and 205TCC/FCC cameras both are 6x6 and have internal meters, so does the Mamiya 6, various Rollei TLR's (specifically the newer ones), the Yashica 124G, the Fuji GF670 (does both 6x7 and 6x6) and maybe more. That is just what I can think of off the top of my head.
  13. Hi Stuart, thanks for the correction! In my head I was thinking of "real" TTL auto exposure rather than just metering. I guess the rangefinder and TLR meters are non-TTL (and even needle only in some cases?) The 205TCC is spot metering only and the 203FE is centre metering only, although they both do have TTL-driven AE modes. The 6008/Hy6 metering system still has an advantage with different level with different metering modes. Anyway, thanks again - I learned something new today!
  14. Q.G: A meter helps, for sure, but experience with (local even easier) lighting conditions soon makes it redundant. I am of course talking about outdoors/landskape shooting exclusively.
    My take? Read this article, practice and practice again and no need for any meter at all...
    Fred put in to words what experience will already teach anyone with a keen eye. Good on him.
  15. Ingemar,
    You can read as many articles, and practice as much as you like: light doesn't care that you do or don't. Light is a very variable thing. Your eye is the worst judge of light, and (!) situations.
    Those rules of thumb are good for people who do not mind that most of the time their butts are saved by the latitude of negative film, or that often enough too that doesn't even get them out a predicament they need not have been in had they just done the sensible thing, and used a meter.
    Go ahead and indulge in that "Look at me! No hands" posturing if you like.
    But the only sensible advise for anyone who takes his exposure seriously is to ignore that nonsense and get a meter.
  16. Hasselblad 200 series cameras permit AE exposure only in shutter-priority mode, and only with the focal plane shutter. I don't know what the Rollei 6008 does. Unless you have an "E" lens, you must first stop the lens down using the DOF control (or do a little mental arithmetic and subtract the number of stops down from full open you are using).
    None of the Hasselblad prism meters offer AE, but it is not big deal to take the reading and transfer it to the camera. Unlike the built-in meters, it works on any body with either shutter. You don't have to stop down for the reading, but you do have to enter the maximum aperture of the lens you're using. These meters read in EV numbers, which are engraved on the lens, and are coordinated with the aperture and shutter speed on both shuttered and non-shuttered lenses.
    The latest PME45 and PME90 prisms are the most flexible, having several sensitivity patterns plus incident mode. They work on any camera (Hasselblad) and with any lens. Older prisms use a center-weighted pattern, biased to the upper half of the finder. The pattern on some changes with the focal length of the lens. As with any meter, you have to be aware of its limitations and use it accordingly.
    I prefer spot or incident readings over center-weighted reflective readings, neither of which are convenient when the camera is on a tripod. My hand-held Sekonic L-508 works with flash too.
  17. Q.G.,
    Not to belabor the point, but I don't think anyone's suggesting the OP just expose by guidelines. The real point is that in many real-world situations, once one knows the film, local climate, and equipment, one can reasonably expect to get within one stop or less without pulling out a meter. I said that sunny-11 works for me; here are two different example. The first is a digital shot at 7000' on a sunny winter day on snow. I know the meter would be fooled easily, so I used sunny-11. The second is around 4:30pm, late October in Iowa. Also sunny 11.
  18. And Fuji 160:
  19. Sorry, try again:
  20. Yes, Scott, somebody was indeed suggesting that using that silly rule is quite o.k.
    And that somebody was you.
    You can of course get good results that way. You can get good results without even bothering to follow any rule, just setting exposure blindly. The question is how often.
    So nice photos you've posted here. But how many did you not get right?
    Or, in short: they did not invent those meters just for the fun of it.
    Don't be a fool, use one.
  21. The first is a digital shot at 7000' on a sunny winter day on snow. I know the meter would be fooled easily, so I used sunny-11.
    Meters aren't fooled. The "fooled" part is attached to the meter ;-) The moral is, "Pick the right tool for the job, and learn how to use it."
  22. I wouldn't say 'Sunny 16' (or Sunny 11, etc) is silly, it's a rough guide if you need it. But a meter makes a lot of sense when using medium
    format, where the main point in doing it is quality of image. Being dead on with exposure- even with a film with a lot of latitude- can
    make a significant difference in the final outcome.
  23. Q.G, of course I have a light meter. And yes, I use it on occasion. Most of the time it seems just to confirm the EV value I was going to use in the first place.
    As for seriousness, sure. But sometimes it is nice to use intuition and not to be too serious - especially if there happens to be a good result! Besides, we should all consume more film to keep the industry going...:). Seriously on seriousness, my point is: one doesn't have to be that damn serious all the time. At least not if photography is just a hobby, as it is in my case.
    Here is an example of what "look no hands posturing" can produce. And, most importantly, I was having fun during the whole process, from the loading of the film until hanging the roll up to dry in my kitchen. And even now (personally that is - it may not please everyone), looking at the result...
  24. stp


    I still like to carry a gray card around. If I'm in the same light as the subject, I have a lot of confidence in it, and I've been rewarded by that confidence -- the exposures are spot on. I'll use the gray card with an in-camera meter (Pentax 645 NII) and with an external meter (Sekonic, for use with a Hasselblad 501cm without a metered prism).
  25. Folks,
    I had a intention to buy a prism for my 500c..I have a Minolta handheld...and the reason is go out with one combo..Hassel + Prism w/ TTL metering..but after this post I would like to hear from you if makes sense, if the quality is good, etc...Also..where can I find one prism to buy in Chicago?
  26. The metering prisms are good. No worries. I use them a lot too.
    Like with any good meter, whether you get good results depends on how you use it. But it's not difficult.
    I don't know where to get one for a good price.

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