Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-18-2012, 08:18 AM   #1
Site Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,142
Pentax clip-on meter cells

I like to use the clip-on meters with the early non-metered SV, H1a, etc. even though they add bulk to the camera. They couple to the shutter speed dials, and let you simply read the nominal f-stop from the top, where it is easy to set the lens appropriately before raising the camera. I find I don't "over-tweek" the exposure with an external meter like I tend to with display in the finder, so I get better timing on my shots.
The original "Round Top" meter is very nicely made, and I like it better than the subsequent "square top" meters, but it's hard to find this early model that still works.
Name:  Pentax Meter 1.jpg
Views: 1581
Size:  265.4 KB
I had found a couple that were pristine, where the meter circuits worked fine (per the battery-check response) once the switch contacts were cleaned, but they barely reacted to light, and then only on the "Low" setting. I finally found one that works very well, and then noticed the difference while looking at the CDS cells. The one that works well has a clear coating over the cell so you can still see the circuit grid as you normally can on meter cells.
Name:  Good Cell.jpg
Views: 717
Size:  240.3 KB
On the ones that don't work it looks like the cell coating has darkened and turned opaque.
Name:  Bad Cell.jpg
Views: 629
Size:  204.5 KB
I'm going to experiment to see if this is a surface coating issue that can be cleaned, or if I can find a suitable replacement cell.
In any case, if you find one of these meters, unscrew the front lens and switch the meter to "Low" so you can see the cell. If it has turned opaque, it won't work properly.
The later Square Top meters don't seem to have this problem, and usually can be made to work well by cleaning the switch contacts inside.

02-18-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 42,850
Thanks for sharing this insight! Considering their age, it's great to see that these things still work to an except. I might actually have one buried away know what happens when you have LBA + CBA ...

Adam Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)'s high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:


  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, cell, cells, clip-on, contacts, couple, meter, meters, switch
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to meter if you don't have a light meter? LFLee Pentax Medium Format 25 02-09-2012 11:45 AM
living cells mde1970 Monthly Photo Contests 0 11-11-2011 01:06 PM
Clip-on Hood for SMC Pentax-M 80-200mm F4.5 AaronBHicks Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 02-08-2011 05:13 AM
a short clip of Pentax Cebu opiedog Pentax DSLR Discussion 8 09-04-2010 09:37 AM
K-x music clip SebastianP Video and Pentax HDSLRs 3 05-08-2010 10:01 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:26 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]