Fooling the system

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by matt_tompsett, May 2, 2007.

  1. Hi All,

    I have just become the proud owner of a Mamiya 6MF with 75mm lens and I will be
    playing with it as soon as I get the chance. I have been reading a lot about the
    rangefinder and how it seems to be easily fooled on this camera usually
    underexposing images (I have never used a rangefinder before). Is there any
    mileage in using the 'incorrect' ISO setting to fool the rangefinder? So, if I
    have a 400 speed film in, and I set the camera to 200, does anyone know if that
    will give me the right exposures whilst using recommended values that the camera
    gives in the viewfinder?
  2. try yours. If you get underexposure, then adjust the iso downward.

    If you allow the meter to see a lot of sky, it will think the scene is brighter than it really is. ALL internal camera meters and reflected light meters do this. Aim the camera down to include less sky.

    Incident light meter is the cure. Expo disc is also a fix. It changes the camera into an incident meter, but you must stand in the same illunation light as the subject and turn 180 degrees. Same with an incident meter.
  3. You might want to review Ken Rockwells suggestions at: . As Ken describes, the meters center weighting effect depends on focal length of attached lens (wide vs tele). Underexposure is often due to a bright sky in frame, thus foreground and closer subjects suffer. It also matters whether your intended end use are projected slides or wall art. If wall art, do you scan film and post-process. My own experience is mostly with 7II which has a different (pseudo-spot) built-in metering system. But both cameras allow +/- 2 stops exposure adjustment. Experiment using this feature instead of changing the ISO setting. For slower paced shooting, static subjects or tripod etc., using a good handheld light meter is a pricy but best solution. Many good brands/models, here is Sekonics site: .
  4. The meter in the Mamiya 6 doesn't work so well for quick and casual shooting in the manner
    of a good matrix meter. That said, if it is understood it is extremely accurate, and if you do
    some testing you'll learn how to use it reliably. This means isolating and metering important
    tones and setting exposure manually or carefully selecting your middle grey tone and using
    the AE-Lock feature. I find that I use my hand a lot to shade the finder from bright light
    sources too. You've got a great camera there that will make you very happy if you learn to
    work with it's particular peculiarities.
  5. I just hate the meter in the M6, so I don't use it. My advice would be to get an external meter and use it.
  6. I never use my meter on auto. I shoot black and white and because the meter is center weighted it will give the wrong exposure every time. There is no way to tell what the meter is pointed at. Thats ok in evenly illuminated scenes but anything with a touch of contrast will be a problem. Rather I keep in on manual and find an area that is close to middle grey and meter on that. Works fine but it takes some trial and error to get used to it. Why Mamiya took away the spot is beyond me.
  7. The center weighted meter is not weighted at the center. Hold it up to a light bulb at night
    and wave it around -- you will discover where the meter's center is relative to the
    viewfinder center. Mine is one frame lower and a half frame to the right. I use that
    imaginary window for measuring. If I used the optical center of the VF, it would be around
    1-stop off.

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