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XA as lightmeter?
Old 07-27-2009   #1
MarkoKovacevic
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XA as lightmeter?

I'm thinking of using my screwmount Leica to shoot slide film, and I'm not accurate enough to estimate for slides, at least not yet!
Therefore, I need a lightmeter to use. I have a Pentax Spotmeter V, but it is far too large to carry around everywhere, plus it is pretty conspicuous.

I've been thinking of using the XA as a meter, setting the ISO of the film on the XA, selecting a aperture, and reading the shutter speed in the VF. I've compared it to my spotmeter, and it is pretty accurate, though obviously slightly less so because of the wider area. However, exposures checked using a DSLR turned out well.

So, do you think this is a viable option, at least until I save enough for a Gossen Digisix or something similar in size?
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Old 07-27-2009   #2
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I think that should work. I did expose one Velvia 100 for testing when I got my XA - and the exposures were fairly good. But you will soon find out that a dedicated lightmeter - like the Digisix you have mentioned - is easier to use. I know - I have one and use it with my Rolleiflex. But still - nothing can beat a nice built-in AE mode ...
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Old 07-27-2009   #3
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Depends on the accuracy of the XA. My XA likes to overexpose by about one stop.
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Old 07-27-2009   #4
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Sell something and buy a light meter, there is a reason why there is still a market for them when most (modern/ish) camera's have meter's built in.

Using another camera as a meter is PITA without the kebab to be honest. If it hasn't got film in it, FIO.
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Old 07-31-2009   #5
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Seems a really complicated way to solve a simple problem, and a real faff to boot. A plenty accurate Leningrad IV or Zeiss Ikophot or Sekonic can be found for a few dollars on ebay - and the presentation of the information will be much more useable.
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Old 07-31-2009   #6
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While it might work, why do this?

Buy a proper meter. There are tons of lightweight handheld meters on the new and used market.

And by the way, I've found that my XA exposes properly but indicates the incorrect shutter speed in the viewfinder.
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Old 07-31-2009   #7
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And, if you aren't going to use a real lightmeter, why not use a small digi camera (I'm sure you can find one smaller than the XA) that has all three meter modes to play with as well as a histogram?
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Old 07-31-2009   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackigator View Post
And, if you aren't going to use a real lightmeter, why not use a small digi camera (I'm sure you can find one smaller than the XA) that has all three meter modes to play with as well as a histogram?
hmm, I actually never thought of that! I might be getting a P&S to use for color so maybe!
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Old 08-01-2009   #9
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Buy a functioning and accurate Weston Master IV or V with the incident attachment. Only slightly larger than the XA, and far more versatile. Note that I am an avid Oly fan and own three XAs. But in this situation, I would use my Weston. It needs no batteries, is durable, can still be serviced if necessary, and is cheap on the used market. Did I mention it needs no batteries ... just like your Leica? Somehow seems appropriate.
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Old 08-01-2009   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trius View Post
Buy a functioning and accurate Weston Master IV or V with the incident attachment. Only slightly larger than the XA, and far more versatile. Note that I am an avid Oly can and own three XAs. But in this situation, I would use my Weston. It needs no batteries, is durable, can still be serviced if necessary, and is cheap on the used market. Did I mention it needs no batteries ... just like your Leica? Somehow seems appropriate.
No batteries? Does that mean its selenium, or is there a different lightmeter sensor apart from that without the need for batteries?
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Old 08-01-2009   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackigator View Post
And, if you aren't going to use a real lightmeter, why not use a small digi camera (I'm sure you can find one smaller than the XA) that has all three meter modes to play with as well as a histogram?
I actually did that with a full auto P&S a few times for my TLR, it worked (albeit with some mental arithmetic needed). My normal metering solution wasn't much classier; just used my DSLR.
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Old 08-01-2009   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkoKovacevic View Post
No batteries? Does that mean its selenium, or is there a different lightmeter sensor apart from that without the need for batteries?
Right, it's selenium. So, low light capability is limited, but you're not likely to be doing a lot of low light work with chrome. If you are, then it becomes a whole different discussion. At that point you probably need a silicon blue cell meter, and I am not up on what is available. As good as the Gossen SBC is, it's not small.
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Old 08-11-2009   #13
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The little Weston Masters are beautiful & accurate & can be found cheaply.
Get one with an Invercone (for incident readings), like Trius said.
Turn the dial to the given exposure number & all your shutter speed/aperture combinations are displayed there in front of you.
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