Nikon F2 - Meter for 1 sec shutter speed?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by joematthewstech, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Hello! My name is Joe and I am new to the forum. I did a search on the topic, but maybe I am typing in the wrong keywords. Please link related content in the info if available!

    I just bought a black Nikon F2 with DP-1 from an original owner. The meter was not working at the time of purchase so I popped in two 675 batteries based on Lex Jenkins recommendation here. The meter now appears to be working! Test, aperture, and shutter speeds all affect the meter as it should.

    The Issue:
    The meter does not work for 'B' and 1 second shutter speeds. The needle stays to the right and does not move. I can understand why 'B' would be unnecessary, but why doesn't 1 second work?

    Also, related,
    I tested the meter on a brick wall in the shade on a clear day. The DP-1 reads exposure is 1/500 at 2.8, 400 iso. Using two popular light meters for iOS, Pocket Light Meter and myLightMeter, the correct exposure may be 1/1000, 2.8, 400.

    My theory?
    I think the DP-1 ASA/Shutter Speed connector may be off a stop? So it reads 1 as 'B' -- 1/2 as 1 -- 1000 as 500, etc.
    Anyone ever heard of this? Or am I just going crazy? I am okay with stepping up the shutter speed when using the meter, but I feel like (if there is an issue) this problem may be easily fixed?
    My equipment:
    Nikon F2 DP-1
    K Focusing Screen
    Vivitar 35mm 2.8. -- Anyone have a 1.8 or 2 prime they don't need? :)
    00dOAT-557599384.jpg
     
  2. Okay, here's an update on the problem:
    My meter will stop working based on the aperture. The meter on 1 second shutter will shut off when using 5.6 or wider aperture. And, meter on 'B' shuts off when using 8 aperture or wider.
    I am now thinking the Vivitar 35mm's bunny ear linkage may be the issue? I think I will replace it with a Nikkor prime and see if that fixes this problem.
    Hopefully this post may be useful for others with this weird issue?
     
  3. The DP1 is supposed to go to EV1, which would be, i think, one second at F 1.4, and if I read the old book correctly, with a two second maximum when set at "B." But it is not uncommon for those meters to have a bad spot in their variable resistor and drop out at certain points. Does the needle jump at all in other places?
    Can we assume that, though new to the genre, you are aware that you have to index the lens on this model? If not, then make sure that after mounting, you twist the aperture ring all the way to the max, then back again. On the Photomic FTn, there's a little indicator on the front of the finder that confirms the indexing, but I don't know if there is anything on the F2.
    I've had a couple of lenses that were reluctant to latch onto the index point, and required a very firm hand or multiple tries. It's possible that the Vivitar is one of those, and needs a little extra shove to get it indexed.
     
  4. I think you are right about the EV limits. If I increase the film speed then I lose the meter on more shutter positions. For example the meter does not work if I set the shutter speed to anything below 1/30 at 6400 iso.
    So, I guess this is fuss for nothing? Hah.
    Thanks.
     
  5. Why the 675 batteries? I believed the F2 was designed for 2 silver oxide (SR44).
     
  6. Nikon designed the meter so that it refuses to work if the light level is below its rated level unlike other brands which simply works but unreliable.
     
  7. Agree with BeBu--change those 675s out for 357s or 303s--aren't 675s higher voltage?
    Paul
     
  8. It's a 357 battery camera. And 1 second is asking too much put of these old cameras.
     
  9. Joe
    You should be able to meter 1 sec with that camera and finder rather easily. Mine reads a somewhat dim room, lit by a few scattered end table lamps (after sunset), at 1 sec / F5.6 this same reading verified by my Luna Pro F. If I close the lens down the meter moves as well as when I open the lens up....having set the camera on 400 ASA. Be certain that the red arrow on the shutter speed dial is on 400...and I also have "357" batteries in it. The F2 camera and DP-1 finder where CLA'd by the late Pete Smith about 7 yeas ago.
     
  10. Joe-
    As stated, the DP-1 finder was designed for silver oxide batteries (1.55V each) not 675 batteries (1.4V each, i.e. hearing aid batteries).
    See here for background -
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/nikonf2/prisms/dp1/index.htm#cell
    Basically what you have is an F2 body and a DP-1 meter prism which = a Nikon F2 Photomic, as I understand it. That is the Nikon with which I started so many moons ago, circa 1974. You will find low light reading accurate but sluggish compared to more modern silicon diode metering systems. But forget not, in a manner of speaking, this was a breakthru camera in its day.
    Jim
     
  11. It's a 357 battery camera. And 1 second is asking too much put of these old cameras.​
    I don't think my F5 with an f/2.8 lens would do f/2.8, ISO 400 and 1 second either. It's not about old camera. In fact the DP-2 (DP-3 and DP12) would beat most modern cameras.
     
  12. As has been stated the meter in the DP-1 has limits as do all meters. I suspect you've simply exceeded those limits. I recall having done the same once in a while but it's still a competent unit and works in 90% or better of any situations I use it for. I've been using F2's of one or another version since about 1976, currently have a DP-1 and an AS version.
    Rick H.
     
  13. First, I would get the correct batteries as previously mentioned. Second, the Vivitar may not transmit light at fully 2.8, actual T value might be a little slower, so it is possible that the lens is resulting in a lower shutter speed.
    To check the meter, I would get a 50mm/f2 or 1.4 Nikon lens from somewhere. The good thing is that with the DP-1, pretty much any Nikon manual focus lens will be compatible, as long as it has rabbit ears to couple. You don't have to have AI lenses. Then, compare to a known good meter in reasonably strong daylight, probably in the shade, so that the available light is somewhere in the middle of the meter range. When I used these cameras, I often put a little offset on the ISO setting to tweak, especially for a little underexposure when using slide film.
    Print film is more forgiving of slight overexposure, your meter appears to be accurate enough for it.
     
  14. Wow, thank you all for the responses!
    I bought the batteries late at night the day I picked up the camera. I searched for F2 batteries on my phone and none of the batteries mentioned were available in the store. I saw one response about 675s and went with it and never thought about it again. I will definitely pick up some 357 batteries the next time I am out. The pack of 675s were on sale for $5, so not too much money spent, but I guess the question is now...what am I going to with 16 hearing aid batteries?

    I hope to pick up a nikkor-s prime for cheap. The lens doesn't have to be perfect because I plan to push ilford hp5 to 3200 anyways.

    Thanks again
     
  15. I would ignore those smartphone apps as any accurate indication of light. They use the little sensor on the phone that's just designed to keep the display brightness in line with ambient lighting conditions. It was never meant to be an accurate light sensor, and those "lightmeter" apps are no more than toys. Either compare the camera to a proper photographic lightmeter or compare it to the "Sunny 16" rule - which is more like the Sunny 11 rule outside of the tropics.
     
  16. According to the Nikon F2, DP-1 owners guide, the range of this meter with 50mm F1.4 lens and the meter set to 100 ASA (ISO) is F1.4 at 1 sec to F8 at 2000th sec.
    So the meter is more than capable of taking an accurate and quick measurement at 1 sec...and as I posted earlier, one that is in proper operating condition with good batteries installed in the camera will do it effortlessly (as mine does).
     
  17. According to the Nikon F2, DP-1 owners guide, the range of this meter with 50mm F1.4 lens and the meter set to 100 ASA (ISO) is F1.4 at 1 sec to F8 at 2000th sec.
    So the meter is more than capable[​IMG] of taking an accurate and quick measurement at 1 sec...and as I posted earlier, one that is in proper operating condition with good batteries installed in the camera will do it effortlessly (as mine does).​
    But I believed the OP wanted to do measurement at 1 sec but at ISO400 and with an f/2.8 lens. That exceeds the meter capability and most of today's DSLR also.
     
  18. You are correct BeBu. Next time I have
    the camera out I will try it.
     
  19. I would ignore those smartphone apps as any accurate indication of light. They use the little sensor on the phone that's just designed to keep the display brightness in line with ambient lighting conditions. It was never meant to be an accurate light sensor, and those "lightmeter" apps are no more than toys. Either compare the camera to a proper photographic lightmeter or compare it to the "Sunny 16" rule - which is more like the Sunny 11 rule outside of the tropics.​
    For awhile I was using a meter-less Pentax SV until the film advance lever locked up. Sunny 16 served me well then, but I used the iPhone apps because they let me more easily meter with 'aperture priority'. Good tip about Sunny 11, I will definitely try that if I pick up a waist level finder (I really like the look of the waist level finder).
    First, I would get the correct batteries as previously mentioned. Second, the Vivitar may not transmit light at fully 2.8, actual T value might be a little slower, so it is possible that the lens is resulting in a lower shutter speed.
    To check the meter, I would get a 50mm/f2 or 1.4Nikon lens from somewhere. The good thing is that with the DP-1, pretty much any Nikon manual focus lens will be compatible, as long as it has rabbit ears to couple. You don't have to have AI lenses. Then, compare to a known good meter in reasonably strong daylight, probably in the shade, so that the available light is somewhere in the middle of the meter range. When I used these cameras, I often put a little offset on the ISO setting to tweak, especially for a little underexposure when using slide film.​
    I bought two 357s for the Nikon and one for the Olympus XA I am picking up tomorrow. I haven't noticed a difference in metering after the change.

    I am currently half way through a roll of film using the DP-1. I'm confident the meter is working fine as is, but if not, I'll take your suggestion and adjust the ISO.

    I just bought a 50mm 1.4 AI off eBay for $50. Looks like it's in great condition, has a filter/protector and both vintage caps. One of the non-AI versions was sniped away from me at the last second, but I'm glad I picked up the AI type in case I try out other bodies or a dp-12 falls into my lap (you never know?).
    00dOJ4-557615584.jpg
     
  20. EDIT: I guess the lens above is not AI. It just has different lettering. Ah well...
     
  21. If it's a cheap lens and not minty and collectible, it's not that hard to mill the aperture ring or have it milled to work as AI. I would not bother until or unless you need it, but it's worth considering. As I recall, Jim at Vermont Camera Works can do this for a pretty reasonable price if you balk at doing it yourself.
     
  22. If it's a cheap lens and not minty and collectible, it's not that hard to mill the aperture ring or have it milled to work as AI. I would not bother until or unless you need it, but it's worth considering. As I recall, Jim at Vermont Camera Works can do this for a pretty reasonable price if you balk at doing it yourself.​
    Great to know. I am definitely enjoying the lens as is and probably wouldn't be comfortable doing the work myself, but it is nice to know I can 'upgrade' the lens if needed for a newer viewfinder or body.
     

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