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Bessa metering questions
Old 12-03-2012   #1
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magicianhisoka is offline
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Bessa metering questions

Hi guys,

just a quick question. How accurate is the bessa meter on the R3A range? Have a copy but sometimes I feel as if the metering is bouncing up and down (adjusts itself by 1-2 stops in situations that look like the lighting is the same) and it is getting me concerned.

Do you use your bessa with exposure compensation? I've heard that adjusting -0.5 EV compensation is necessary for bright days.

Any comments would be welcome

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Old 12-03-2012   #2
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Their meters are good at measuring the amount of light ... but as always it's the photographer who is responsible for the exposure
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Old 12-03-2012   #3
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How do your negatives and prints look? If the results are consistent, then the meter is working as it should. As Sparrow pointed out, the meter reads the light, the photographer determines exposure, unless you're leaving it on auto exposure all the time.
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Old 12-03-2012   #4
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Have to agree with Sparrow and presspass.
I will add a bit:
First, I don't have an R3A but I have used an R2A for several years and I think the metering system is the same for both.
With my camera, one thing I noticed is that(especially outdoor daylight and with wide angle lenses) the meter would act as you describe depending on how much or how little sky was in the frame. Which really means, I think, on just where I was pointing the camera. In other words, while the over all light looks much the same, it demonstrably is not equal. In practical terms this meant that my meter readings could change quite a bit if I angled the camera more or less towards the sky or the foreground. Or from a sunlit area to a shaded area.

Rather than chasing the meter, I have generally tried to meter my subject and not worry too much about the background or other areas in the frame that might not give the same meter reading.
When I was using the camera in auto exposure mode, I would meter my subject, then use the AE lock button.

Most of my cameras are meterless and since I have been able to get good results with out a meter, I don't get too upset when the meter in my Bessas jumps a little.

Hope this helps!

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Old 12-03-2012   #5
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A thing you should know is that the Bessa metering pattern is "lower-left-corner-weighted" (camera held horizontally), so when you hold it vertically the shutter release should be up - at least for landscape with sky, otherwise you get too much sky in your meter reading
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