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simonSE15
11-03-2008, 04:28
Hi,
I bought an Oly 35SP off eVilBay and the light meter is dead: the needle doesnt move. it has a 625 type battery in it.

will it still take pictures in manual at the correct shutter speed?

MichaelW
11-03-2008, 04:58
Yes, it will make correct exposures if you choose the right aperture & shutter speeds. You can use sunny 16 or an external meter.
I bought an SPn a few years back & it came without a battery. I was eager to test it & also my own exposure assessment skills so I loaded a roll of slide film & made all the exposures by eye. The majority were correct or pretty close.

Chances are that the battery in the camera is really old. These are from the days of mercury batteries. There's a lot of info about your options re new batteries vs the old ones. I bought the correct mercury type off ebay & it's still going well. It's an excellent camera & capable of producing really pleasing photos.

simonSE15
11-03-2008, 05:05
thanks Michael. I thought it would as the longer shutter speeds are audibly longer.

unfortunately I bought new batteries so think the meter is totally kaput.

on the plus side it gives me the opportunity to practise using a light meter. :-)

kuzano
11-03-2008, 08:38
thanks Michael. I thought it would as the longer shutter speeds are audibly longer.

unfortunately I bought new batteries so think the meter is totally kaput.

on the plus side it gives me the opportunity to practise using a light meter. :-)

The closest thing to a proper battery in the absence of mercury battery, is the Wein Cell (Zinc Air) 1.35v
that are readily available from a couple of sellers on eBay. I get them in about 3 days. They are correct voltage and flat discharge curve, even if the life span is a bit shorter. I manage to get about 9 months out of Wein Cells by proper battery management. If the camera is going to sit for some time, I pull the battery and tape the side with the holes to reduce the chemical process.

The Wein Celll Part Number is MRB625

The camera has full manual override and the battery only powers the meter. But the spot meter function on that particular camera makes it very unique. Also check the battery chamber for any residue of batteries left in, and clean it up, particularly exposing bare clean metal on the contacts.

Otherwise... shoot away on Sunny 16 or handheld meter. The camera is astonishing in it's image quality, all other factors operating correctly.

Beemermark
11-03-2008, 09:23
My SP is 1/2 stop off with a new 675 alkaline battery. I also have the C.R.I.S. adapter which works really well with standard A76 silver oxide batteries. My meter was also dead when I got it a few years ago so I gave it to a local repair shop for a CLA. The $80 was well worth it. I like using it auto mode and the spot meter is the whole reason for being.

AzzA
11-03-2008, 14:15
Beemermark, do you have any more details as to how they fixed your light meter?
One of the SP's i have has a very temperamental light meter. Sometimes it decides to work, other times it doesnt do anything. Im suspecting a loose connection possibly.

oftheherd
11-03-2008, 15:25
thanks Michael. I thought it would as the longer shutter speeds are audibly longer.

unfortunately I bought new batteries so think the meter is totally kaput.

on the plus side it gives me the opportunity to practise using a light meter. :-)

Not to insult your intelligence, but are you sure you have it set right? I had one that I thought had a bad meter, and was ready to send it off for repair. Then I chanced to really read the manual I had gotten off the i'net, perhaps Butkus, I don't remember. Anyway, what I had thought were the correct settings were not. It looked right.

I don't have it in front of me so I don't want to tell you and be wrong, but there are marks you would think were the ones to use, but aren't.

simonSE15
11-03-2008, 23:59
Not to insult your intelligence, but are you sure you have it set right? I had one that I thought had a bad meter, and was ready to send it off for repair. Then I chanced to really read the manual I had gotten off the i'net, perhaps Butkus, I don't remember. Anyway, what I had thought were the correct settings were not. It looked right.

I don't have it in front of me so I don't want to tell you and be wrong, but there are marks you would think were the ones to use, but aren't.

The needle is stuck in the middle on EV 9. I put it in A & A, nothing. I move the ASA dial, nothing. Any other setting, nothing. I'm pretty sure it's defunct.

simonSE15
11-04-2008, 00:02
the spot meter is the whole reason for being.

this is the reason I bought it and I may take it apart in the near future. but at the moment the fact that the meter doesnt work is serving a useful purpose for me. if I find it takes decent pics then it will be a dilemma whether or not to try to fix it.

thanks everyone for your replies.

simonSE15
11-05-2008, 01:15
here's a couple of shots using external meter. think the exposures were ok-ish, for a dull day. the scans suck though. t-max 400 in rodinal for 10 minutes.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3139/3005223086_7a572d17ba.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3013/3005221532_51a1805bd3.jpg?v=0

simonSE15
11-05-2008, 10:13
one more for Remembrance Sunday on 9th November

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3270/3005342111_caefbba4ed.jpg?v=0

shadowfox
11-06-2008, 10:36
Hey there Simon, you did alright without the meter, nice crisp pictures!

For me, the whole reason for getting a 35SP is to get the glass. The meter is secondary.

A friend of mine who is a camera expert (and have gone into the camera) once commented that the "spot-metering" was crudely designed and he's amazed that it works at all.

simonSE15
11-07-2008, 00:49
Thanks Will.

Nice to have another take on it.

The camera was also supposed to be an upgrade from the XA. Whilst I have loved using my XAs for the past year I sometimes want better image quality. Ive also decided it's time to move beyond auto-exposure too.

I bought the SP back in April and it has sat on the shelf till now because of the meter not working. A photographer who's pictures I admire said that they should make a digital camera without auto-exposure so you are forced to learn it. This made me remember my SP and it seemed the perfect tool for learning on. Obvioulsy I didnt get it perfect first time but I got a usable negative and have improved my photographic knowledge, so I'm moving forward.

If I re-sell it on eBay as "meter not working" I'll get next to nothing for it anyway so I might as well make the most of it. :-)

shadowfox
11-07-2008, 08:12
Simon, I think you're choosing the right tool to learn manual exposure. The next step is to understand how to use Sunny-16 rules effectively.

As a bonus, that Zuiko lens on the 35SP is a stunner. This is one of the picture from mine (not trying to hijack your thread, just as a reference):

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2217/1876826557_c41fe71033.jpg

The clarity of the details is so much, I'd put this lens in the same class as the Cosina-Voigtlander easily.

kuzano
11-07-2008, 08:23
A photographer who's pictures I admire said that they should make a digital camera without auto-exposure so you are forced to learn it.

Actually, this is quite easy and I have modified a couple of digital cameras thusly:

Put the mode dial on M (manual) and run a bead of "Gorilla Glue" under the edges of the Mode dial. I am planning to do this when I get my new Sony A900 24Mp DSLR.

I may also use some Gorilla Glue on the AF/MF switch to put it perpetually in manual focus. ... Or, just get a bunch of legacy Minolta primes.

ruben
11-07-2008, 09:12
Hi Simon,

Perhaps you should know that there is an opinion (mine) saying that the light metering design of the Oly SP is a disgrace. I have wrote about it several times so the neighbourhood may be quite tired to hear it once again. So I will be very short.

The scale in the viewfinder indicates Exposure Values, that in order to know what are you doing, you will have to take your eye out of the viewfinder, adjust the aperture and speed rings and then have the full range of options available. All these equals to a relatively slow manipulation, that in my personal case stress my nerves. The other use you can have is just to know you are not off the limits. Then, the other use of the auto light metering in the SP is the Program. But this is a very specific program favouring aperture at extreme costs regarding speed.

As for the spot metering....hmmm, well it gives you some correction over the general reading, but hardly it can be compared with the spot metering of the OMs, or a spot meter. It gives you something, it is true, and something is better than nothing, but it is not a big deal which is out of your imagination.

All in all, I would say that concerning light metering, with a simple and cheap Konica Auto S2, or a Canonet, you are much more better off.

Fine, this opinion is very much controversial. But at the same time this opinion tells you can enjoy very much the SP disregarding its light metering features. The optics are among the best Olympus manufactured. And since this is a high quality camera that lasts, the lack of a proper light metering system, even with the cameras that it is working, like mine, should not stand in your way.

Now, I am not among the dexterous beach boys who can do without a hand meter. If you are like me, I urge you to leave aside any repair of the Oly meter and buy instead a small Sekonic digital meter, which will enable you to use any meterless camera, and will enhance the capabilities of any built in meter camera you may have, with the incident white dome no camera has.

The combination of a Sekonic digi and the Oly SP, is a first class winner.

Cheers,
Ruben

simonSE15
11-08-2008, 04:06
shadowfix, nice photo. :-)

I printed off the sunny 16 calculator from http://squit.co.uk/photo/exposurecalc.html and am exposing the current roll according to that and no meter. Its all part of the learning curve. Will post an example once Ive had it developed.

Ruben, the meter I have is a Sekonic L-758D. It cost me about 4x what I paid for the SP! I bought that for my digital flash photography and it also has been sat collecting dust for the past year. So basically these two unused items have been brought together in a beautiful marriage. :-D

ruben
11-08-2008, 04:49
shadowfix, nice photo. :-)

Ruben, the meter I have is a Sekonic L-758D. It cost me about 4x what I paid for the SP! I bought that for my digital flash photography and it also has been sat collecting dust for the past year. So basically these two unused items have been brought together in a beautiful marriage. :-D

Hi Simon,

The Sekonic I recommended you is the flashmates. Now, what you have is a spot meter. I also own a spot digital Sekonic, but a previous version, the L-408 (or something like that).

I have arranged a small leather wrist to each of those meters. I walk with the meter pending from my wrist and it is no obstacle to "drop" it after the reading and handle the camera with the same hand. This ways goes for both meters.

Of course I have no idea if your spot meter is much bigger than mine, nor about what you like to photograph and your other likes and dis-likes.

As it concerns me, I own several other highly good light meters, but the sekonics are those I use for being the fastest for street photography - that is what I like.

Yes, I do have many many other items and cameras sitting, but the SP nor the Sekonic meters are among them. Each one with its own.

Cheers,
Ruben

simonSE15
11-08-2008, 13:08
Ruben the L-758 is actually combined spot & incident meter. I used it in incident mode for the shots I posted. It is excessivley large for street photography but it I cant justify buying another meter right now.

Thanks for your advice, I appreciate your input. :)

Henryzx
11-09-2008, 09:49
criscam adapter is the way to go... silver cell are cheap and reliable. the two combo will wake up your SP meter.

simonSE15
11-14-2008, 01:40
well my first try at meterless sunny 16 wasn't great. on an overcast day in London, using Sensia 400 at EV12 (1/250, F8) I was at least a stop underexposed. these cloudy days are tough, one minute it's sunny, then next it's cloudy and you've lost 4 stops. what I've learnt is that I still have a lot to learn!

at the end of the roll I cheated and used the sekonic and got these:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3236/3028460226_a2889bc596.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3277/3028364510_c27ce25cdf.jpg?v=1226610021

John Hermanson
12-04-2008, 05:03
New parts for the SP and SPn are long gone. Dead meter could be caused by a corroded battery wire, but often it is due to a dead cds cell or open meter movement. Only fix for those 2 problems is to swap in parts from a working camera. John, www.zuiko.com

simonSE15
02-13-2009, 12:41
learning to love this camera :-)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3313/3276378647_843fd0c32d.jpg?v=0

Anno
02-15-2009, 06:44
John, Are the meters for SP and Spn interchangeable? I have a mint SP which has non-working meters and an average used SPn with working meters. The plastic tip of the rewind for SPn is also missing. If they are interchangeable, I then have the problem of whether I should sacrifice the SPn for SP. What a bummer!