FM2N - working around a 0.5 overexposing meter

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by raymondc, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Hi, after some series of test I come to conclude my FM2N is 0.5 stop overexposing.
    The FM2N allows ISO to be set in thirds but I need halves. What now?
    Do I just shoot as the normal ISO, get the balance reading in the viewfinder and then underexpose it by a half stop aperture.
    Can I make it more auto than that? I thought about changing the ISO purposely and just shoot when the viewfinder says 0. But if the ISO selector is not in halves, then I can't right .... If I were to use that I would be 0.2 stop off right? 0.5 mnus 0.2.
  2. One half is 3/6, one third is 2/6, so you'd be 3/6 - 2/6 = 1/6 stop off. Do you really think you'd be able to tell?
  3. Craig, thanks for that.
    Can someone check my maths. For 64 speed film, if I choose 80, it will be 1/6 lighter, if I chose 100 it would be 1/6 darker?
  4. 80 is a slight underexposure, 100 is slightly more. I'd just shoot 80 and be happy...
  5. Chris ..
    The meter is overexposing 0.5.
    If 64 film is rated at 80 I only under 1/3 right? Meter was 0.5 over. So that's still half minus 1/3 = ?? overexposing right. If that makes sense.
  6. SCL


    If your film is slide film, especially if you're metering off highlights, you might want to slightly underexpose the shot for more saturated colors.
  7. Yes, slide - Kodachrome.
  8. I set my F100 to 1/2 stop steps. F100 @ ISO 64. I get F/3.3 and 1/8.
    My FM2N @ ISO 100. I get the same. All figured now.
    I also set the FM2N @ ISO 80. I get almost to 2.8. More like 3.2. It's so small anyway .....
  9. With Kodachrome, yup, you'll definitely see differences as little as 1/3 EV in exposure so it's good to have some tricks to finesse the exposures.
    Just fiddle with the ISO dial and in-between settings on the aperture ring. For best results use a lens that allows you to nudge the aperture ring between the f/stop detents. When I shot more color slide film I normally used only a handful of lenses that wouldn't fight me when I wanted to use the in-between stops. Preset lenses are great for this, but some auto-diaphragm lenses will work as well.
    And if you don't mind some really involved testing, you might commit a roll of ISO 100 color print film to testing the shutter and auto-diaphragm variations in your camera body and lens. You won't be able to see 1/3 deviations on prints because the lab will probably compensate, but you can examine the negatives. However your FM2N is probably very close to original factory specs in the shutter speeds so I wouldn't worry about that. Might be worth checking your lenses for deviations over 1/3 between apertures before committing to that roll of Kodachrome.
  10. I would just set the ISO a tad over and work with that. ISO64 then set it at 80. How would you know if your shutter speeds are correct anyway. I just recently purchased a FM2n and shot about 5 rolls in the thing and decided my meter was a half stop over also. I sent it in for a CLA and the technisican said my meter was dead on. Shutter speeds correct also. I figured I must be spoiled from using the matrix meter on my others camera's. I should get my camera back early next week.
  11. Nothing about film cameras or the film that went into them was that accurate, honestly... not the meters, not the shutter speeds, not the film speeds. It's a wonder we got pictures at all.
    If you feel by looking at the actual pictures that your camera under or overexposes a little, which would not be unusual at all, you can just take that into account when you choose manual exposure settings, use compensation in semi-auto mode, or just adjust the ISO setting to correspond. Now, if you really think that half clicks vs 1/3 clicks in ISO will make a significant difference when it all comes together to make the picture, nothing you can do on the camera can help you.
  12. I've only put B&W or color neg through my FM2n so I don't worry about at all. I would likey use my F801 if I was really into slide films. I've always felt that matrix metering maybe provides good exposures for slide films but I've always felt they were a bit under for how I like my B&W negs.
  13. I shoot slides with the F100, I read books before (even thou digital made me lazy) the F100 comes out fine.
    Do the same to the FM2N with just normal slide like Provia and it blows out. I did bracket some shots on my first roll on the FM2N. I shot the Nikon D70 side/side with the FM2N it was overblown adjusting the film's 100 to the D70's ISO 200.
    If I meter accordinly with the F100 or D70 and just translate the settings to the FM2N they are fine.
    All sorted now. Did some bracket. Once or twice I did shot the D70 side/side after doing the settings on the FM2N. Film 64 -> ISO 200 (D70) is approx 2 stop diff and then under 1/3.
    With digital been a lazy 3D matrix histogram person, F100 been a spot meter dude, then comes FM2N a CW person but that should be fine ... the centre is biased so I think the technique should be ok, shall see when they get returned :)
  14. If the difference is because of the CW meter, then it could just be metering technique that is causing the difference. Some scenes do best when just metering for the whole scene, some do best when centering the meter on the subject itself and locking it there before recomposing.
  15. The trick with any kind of meter is to understand how it determines "correct" exposure and knowing how to compensate when needed. I dislike matrix metering because it's too complex; I find it hard to predict just what it will do, which makes it difficult to figure out when it will need compensation and how much. Center-weighted or spot metering is much easier to work with.
  16. In his review of the FM2n Thom Hogan says that the overexposure tendency you have seen is typical of the model.
  17. I couldn't locate a service manual for the FM2n but I have one for the F3 which I believe to be generally more accurate shutter speed wise. The adjustment procedure for the F3 allows the manual shutter speed to be off by +/- 1/3 stop and for the auto shutter speed and the meter is +/- 1/2 stop. You can't expect the 1/6 stop accuracy.
    I do have the manual for the F5 as well as its specs also call for only +/- 1/3 stop. Kodak also claims that their actual film speed can vary by +/- 1/3 stop and only for some film like Professional Kodachrome (which is no longer available) that the film speed is within +/- 1/5 stop if the film is kept refrigerated until just before use. So both camera and film accuracy isn't any where near the 1/6 stop accuracy.
  18. Without a densitomer, it is very unlikely you would be able to tell the difference in 1/3 stop. Your shutter may not even be that accurate. If you are exposing negative film, go with the ISO minus 2/3, if you are exposing transparency film, underexpose 1/3 stop. Or, just underexpose both by 1/3 stop.

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