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01-03-2014, 10:51 PM   #1
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Pentax Asahi Spotmatic F light meter help

Hi so Im going to be purchasing a Pentax Asahi Spotmatic F real soon around tomorrow and the seller has said that the battery for the light meter needs replacing but the light meter itself is essential. As for someone like me who has never shot film before and is heading into that direction I find that the light meter is essential to me. What does he mean? sorry for the noob question and also how will I know the correct shutter speed if I don't use the light meter? and is replacing the battery easy? thank you in advance and sorry if this is in the wrong direction. First time posting

01-04-2014, 08:17 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

I don't know why he said the light meter was 'essential' (probably meant 'not essential'), but the battery is only required for the light meter and the camera functions fully without it. You should check though that the problem is with the battery and not the light meter itself.

There are various ways of metering light without using the inbuilt meter, you can look for a handheld meter or use another camera set to the same ISO as a guide. You can guess (you'll get better at guessing with experience) or use the guides that used to come on the film packet for sunny, slightly sunny, cloudy, very cloudy etc (don't know if they still print these).

You can also use the 'Sunny 16' rule: Set the shutter speed to be the reciprocal of the film speed (i.e. 1/125th for ISO 100, 1/500th for ISO 400 etc) and f/16 for full sun and open the aperture up a stop for every time the light gets a bit duller (you'll have to guess this but f/11 for slightly cloudy etc). Print film has a wide tolerance to exposure errors (called 'latitude') because you can compensate for errors at the printing/scanning process. Transparency film has to be accurately exposed though.

It's all part of the learning process. The meters in the Spotmatics are quite rudimentary compared to a DSLR, they really only provide a guide as to exposure and you will eventually develop a 'feel' for how to use them for the effects you're looking for.

Hope this helps.

John.

Last edited by johnha; 01-04-2014 at 08:19 AM. Reason: Minor clarification 'correct this' to 'compensate for'.
01-04-2014, 10:47 AM   #3
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The camera works perfectly without lightmeter, but one of the cool things of the Spotmatic F is the open lens lightmeter so there is no point in buying one without that feature IMO: a normal Spotty or an SP1000 would work too.... if you are going to get one be sure that the lightmeter works, that it comes with a lens that allows open aperture reading (the rubber covered 55mm f1.8, f2.0 or the 50 mm f1.4 will do the trick, but also it seems all super multi coated work too) and with the nice case that by the way does have a small compartment for a spare battery.

Changing the battery is trivial: you need a coin to open the port and insert a normal LR44 that you can find anywhere.



I love my Spotty F, this self portray has been taken in low light with the lens completely open and at 1/30. the lightmeter was perfectly horizontal.

Last edited by Cuthbert; 01-04-2014 at 10:54 AM.
01-06-2014, 02:22 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
Welcome to the forum.

I don't know why he said the light meter was 'essential' (probably meant 'not essential'), but the battery is only required for the light meter and the camera functions fully without it. You should check though that the problem is with the battery and not the light meter itself.

There are various ways of metering light without using the inbuilt meter, you can look for a handheld meter or use another camera set to the same ISO as a guide. You can guess (you'll get better at guessing with experience) or use the guides that used to come on the film packet for sunny, slightly sunny, cloudy, very cloudy etc (don't know if they still print these).

You can also use the 'Sunny 16' rule: Set the shutter speed to be the reciprocal of the film speed (i.e. 1/125th for ISO 100, 1/500th for ISO 400 etc) and f/16 for full sun and open the aperture up a stop for every time the light gets a bit duller (you'll have to guess this but f/11 for slightly cloudy etc). Print film has a wide tolerance to exposure errors (called 'latitude') because you can compensate for errors at the printing/scanning process. Transparency film has to be accurately exposed though.

It's all part of the learning process. The meters in the Spotmatics are quite rudimentary compared to a DSLR, they really only provide a guide as to exposure and you will eventually develop a 'feel' for how to use them for the effects you're looking for.

Hope this helps.

John.
Yes it did, cheers mate

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