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Question regarding timing B function / slow photography
Old 09-06-2018   #1
bulevardi
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Question regarding timing B function / slow photography

Hi all !


I'm looking for a new camera and need your advice.

Already 17 years ago I loved shooting the Lomo LC-A camera.
I like the way it automatically sets the shutter time according to the available light.
Certainly for night shots, you don't know in advance how long it will take, if you're using a slow 100 iso film, you can be there waiting a minute to get it exposed sufficiently.

The only negative point I have using this camera is when setting it to 'auto' it puts the aperture as large as possible (f2.8) to suck as much light as fast as possible. However, f2.8 isn't that sharp for long shuttertimes on a lomo. When setting the aperture priority to something else like f5.6, the meter isn't calculating the time automatically anymore but instead, the shutter gets fixed to 1/60 I read. This way it won't get exposed the right way.

So, I'm wondering if there are cameras that fix this problem.

I'm looking to small cameras to carry around, e.g. rangefinders like:
- BeLomo Orion EE
- Yashica 35 CC
- Minox 35
- Canonet QL
- Fed Micron / Chaika / Vilia / Kiev 35 / ...
(There are also cute halfframes like the Canon Demi or Olympus Pen that take even less space with the lens... But I'm not convinced yet.)

I prefer cameras with CdS meter and battery, as old selenium meters won't work for decades anymore I guess...

With the Canonet QL17 for example, I see there is aperture priority aswel as shutter priority, but the shutter goes from 1/500 to 1/4 and B. (same for the Orion EE, from 1/250 to 1/30 and B).
When you have a slow film and want to shoot at f16 at night, does it calculate the shuttertime itself if you put it on 'B' function? Will it stop automatically when it's sufficiently exposed or do you have to count the timing yourself?

Any help to solve this would be very appreciated. Share your experiences!
Looking forward to have some advice on this here!

I already have a DSLR that can do this, but it's heavy to carry around all time and looking for something like the LC-A ... a RangeFinder can maybe help !
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Old 09-06-2018   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
... if you put it on 'B' function [...] Will it stop automatically when it's sufficiently exposed or do you have to count the timing yourself?
in B (bulb) mode you need to do self timing, based on meter or estimation...

"At" mode would allow you to set the aperture (and ISO) and let the camera calculate the duration.

One of the best film cameras I have used in for long exposures is the Nikon F3 / F3P where you can also input + or - compensation depending on what you are looking for with the results.
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Old 09-06-2018   #3
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Originally Posted by shimokita View Post
in B (bulb) mode you need to do self timing, based on meter or estimation...

"At" mode would allow you to set the aperture (and ISO) and let the camera calculate the duration.
Alright, super! It's the "AT" mode I'm looking for
Any rangefinders or small cameras that have this function?

(I already have a SLR that I can use for this, but I'm looking for something more discrete, smaller, lightweight to carry along)
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Old 09-06-2018   #4
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Olympus XA.
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Old 09-06-2018   #5
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Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post

The only negative pointI have using this camera is when setting it to 'auto' it puts the aperture as large as possible (f2.8) to suck as much light as fast as possible. However, f2.8 isn't that sharp for long shuttertimes on a lomo. When setting the aperture priority to something else like f5.6, the meter isn't calculating the time automatically anymore but instead, the shutter gets fixed to 1/60 I read. This way it won't get exposed the right way.
The bold text above doesn't sound right to me. Aperture Priority means just that: you set the aperture and that becomes the priority for the camera to calculate the proper exposure time. So if you set the lens to f8 for instance, the camera will decide the proper exposure timing for you, from 2m to 1/500s. If it's not doing that there is something wrong with your camera.

But if your camera has a "B" setting you should be fine anyway. If your camera meter isn't satisfactory you can use an app on your phone, another hand held meter, a printed paper exposure guide downloaded from the internet, etc. Night photography is fun to experiment with. Have fun!
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Old 09-06-2018   #6
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The bold text above doesn't sound right to me. Aperture Priority means just that: you set the aperture and that becomes the priority for the camera to calculate the proper exposure time. So if you set the lens to f8 for instance, the camera will decide the proper exposure timing for you, from 2m to 1/500s. If it's not doing that there is something wrong with your camera.
That's exactly what I wanted to say, it's the "problem" with the Lomo LC-A, this aperture priority doesn't work like it should, or like regular cameras do.

That's the reason why I was looking for other cameras.

This limitation is explained here too:
http://www.kataan.org/lomofaq/
"The LC-A has another setting on the front on the left side looking at the camera. When set to A, the shutter behaves as above. When set to 2.8/5.6/8/11/16, the shutter speed is locked at 1/60th second for flash photography."
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Old 09-06-2018   #7
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Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
Olympus XA.
Alright, super... Yes, why did I overlook this one every time... even though I know the existence of this one already for years.
Perhaps because I maybe don't like the slider to open/close. I don't know...
Anyway, it goes to 10 seconds, which is already good.

In the mean time I found another one too, going to 15 seconds: Agfa Selectronic, and Optima Sensor seems also good:
http://www.camera.portraits.srv2.com/agfass.htm
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Old 09-06-2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
http://www.kataan.org/lomofaq/
"The LC-A has another setting on the front on the left side looking at the camera. When set to A, the shutter behaves as above. When set to 2.8/5.6/8/11/16, the shutter speed is locked at 1/60th second for flash photography."
I'm wondering if the Cosina CX (original camera) has the same problem... anyone experience with this?
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Old 09-06-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
That's exactly what I wanted to say, it's the "problem" with the Lomo LC-A, this aperture priority doesn't work like it should, or like regular cameras do.

That's the reason why I was looking for other cameras.

This limitation is explained here too:
http://www.kataan.org/lomofaq/
"The LC-A has another setting on the front on the left side looking at the camera. When set to A, the shutter behaves as above. When set to 2.8/5.6/8/11/16, the shutter speed is locked at 1/60th second for flash photography."
Oh I see, yes that's not aperture priority at all.
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Old 09-06-2018   #10
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The LC-A (and the Cosina CX) never had an aperture priority and itīs behaviour is not a problem. They are simply fully automatic cameras with one optional shutter speed for flash photography. This is btw the same system that is used in the Agfa Optima sensor electronic series or the Minox 35 models with the difference, that the dedicated flash shutter speed at the Agfa/Minox is set by sliding the flash into the hot shoe.
Most Minox models have a real Aperture priority mode without using the flash, but the longest possible shutter speed is dependent on the ISO setting. The higher the ISO setting the shorter the longest possible shutter speed (ISO 15 - 30s, ISO18 - 16s, ISO 21 - 8s, according to the manual of the Minox35GT).

All of these small full-AE cameras open the aperture first and lengthen the shutter speed after that. When the shutter stays open for seconds, the aperture is always full open.
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Old 09-06-2018   #11
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Have you considered a smaller film SLR like the Nikon FE? Set on auto, the camera will set the shutter speed for as long as it needs to correctly expose in low light, based on the aperture you select. Although the specs show a longest shutter time of 8 sec, I've used it to accurately expose shots for over 10 mins, and some have reported over an hour. Keep in mind that you do need to manually compensate for film reciprocity with long exposures, as this will vary for different films.

FE bodies are relatively cheap and plentiful (at least here in the US) and very reliable cameras.
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Old 09-06-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petronius View Post
The LC-A (and the Cosina CX) never had an aperture priority and itīs behaviour is not a problem. They are simply fully automatic cameras with one optional shutter speed for flash photography. This is btw the same system that is used in the Agfa Optima sensor electronic series or the Minox 35 models with the difference, that the dedicated flash shutter speed at the Agfa/Minox is set by sliding the flash into the hot shoe.
Alright, good to know.
So I guess the Agfa cameras with the "Selectronic Sensor" (that were sold alongside the ones with optima sensor) are different and keep the shutter open enough seconds to get correctly exposed, based on the aperture, with a maximum of 15 seconds.
If that's correct, it seems a perfect match for me
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Old 09-06-2018   #13
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Have you considered a smaller film SLR like the Nikon FE?
I already have a Canon AE-1 with a few lenses.
Although I'm more a Nikonian.
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Old 09-06-2018   #14
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Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
I already have a Canon AE-1 with a few lenses.
Although I'm more a Nikonian.

Try the FE. Or an F3.

I use my F3 for long exposures in the "A" mode; it works great as long as I remember not to put a streetlight within the central metering zone.
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Old 09-07-2018   #15
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Alright, good to know.
So I guess the Agfa cameras with the "Selectronic Sensor" (that were sold alongside the ones with optima sensor) are different and keep the shutter open enough seconds to get correctly exposed, based on the aperture, with a maximum of 15 seconds.
If that's correct, it seems a perfect match for me
You are right. The Selectronic sensor has an aperture priority shutter that goes up to 15 sec. (better get the Selectronic S sensor with the Solinar lens). These cameras require Mercury cells (or adapted substitutes)!
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Old 09-17-2018   #16
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Ok, found a good Selectronic S, works perfect.

Only, there's 2 levers on the front. One with 'R' to rewind the film, one with 'V'.
I'm wondering what that last one does.

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Old 09-17-2018   #17
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Ok, found a good Selectronic S, works perfect.
Went out at night yesterday to shoot a roll, the light meter doesn't seem to work when it's dark.
Or, the batteries are empty, although the guy who sold me put some new ones in... the "test" button on the back doesn't do anything, no light flashes.

don't know if this test button is broken, or the light is broken, or the batteries are empty, will have to test with new ones I guess :s

In daylight, the metering is working normal.
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Old 09-18-2018   #18
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V stands normally for "Vorlauf", that is the self timer.
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Old 09-20-2018   #19
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Apparently, the batteries were low. I put some new in and it works perfect now, the light bulb's go when low light condition or when testing.
So, tonight I'm going out again to shoot! ^^ *rock*

The V-function however is not working, but from what I've read on the internet, some guy tested a lot of Selectronic's and never had one where the V was working. So I suppose it's normal.
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