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07-18-2016, 07:44 PM   #1
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Dumb LX viewfinder/meter question

There was a good looking moon rising tonight, and I didn't have my digital, so I loaded some film into my LX with 300 mf Tak and tripod, and headed outside.

I have never shot at night using a viewfinder with reading scale before, and had a very difficult time seeing the scale. (I was using my Tak with a M42 adapter, so I couldn't simply set the speed dial to automatic.) I even had to grab a small flashlight so I could even see the shutter speed dial.

Anyone have any tricks they would care to share?

07-18-2016, 07:46 PM   #2
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Shutter = 1/film speed at f5.6 or f8
Set before you walk outside - that's my thinking.
07-18-2016, 08:09 PM   #3
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The film is Portra 160. (I still have a few rolls in the fridge.)

I shot 1/30 at F4. The lens is pretty sharp wide open at F4, so I went for it.

I'm curious to see if it turns out, (but I have to finish the rest of the roll first).
07-18-2016, 09:24 PM - 1 Like   #4
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You may have heard of "sunny 16"? Well, for shots of the moon, the rule is "looney 11". The surface of the moon is, after all, a sunlit landscape, though with a somewhat lower albedo, hence f/11 rather than f/16. So...

Aperture: f/11
Shutter: 1/160s

-- or --

Aperture: f/11
Shutter: f/125

for 1/3 stop overexposure (should be fine)


Steve

07-19-2016, 02:37 AM   #5
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The LX meter scale is illegible in various light conditions. In very bright light the LEDs may seem too dim to see, and in the dark the scale markings are obscured. My Leica R4 has similar problems with a mix of LEDs and markings. Both cameras seemed to be primarily intended for automatic exposure, which is how I used them in tricky light.
In dark conditions I much preferred the simple LED display of the MX (or Leica R6), and in bright light the old match needle of the Spotmatic or K1000 is hard to beat.
Of course the LX meter range is best for low light long exposures in automatic mode.
07-19-2016, 03:10 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Unless your Tak was a long tele and had a LOT of the moon surface in frame, it wouldn't have really mattered having the Auto available. The LX would have attempted to meter and expose for the entire scene and your moon would have been just a white disc.
07-19-2016, 03:51 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
In dark conditions I much preferred the simple LED display of the MX
If its so dark that you need LEDs to be able to see the light meter readout, then there's no way the MX meter is going to be accurate anyway...
07-19-2016, 06:13 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
If its so dark that you need LEDs to be able to see the light meter readout, then there's no way the MX meter is going to be accurate anyway...
Indoors, available light, often the subject is lit more than the edges of the frame, and when the edges are dark the LX text becomes unreadable. The MX does fine in these conditions, but of course a Leica M6 rangefinder is easier and faster to focus in dim light, so I tend to use it most. The M6 has 2 LED arrows at the bottom of the VF frame, when both are lit equal brightness the central limited area is metering neutral, and each arrow dims to half brightness a half stop off. Of course, no VF readout of aperture or shutter, but I've never missed these.
I prefer clean and simple meter readouts.

07-19-2016, 07:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
You may have heard of "sunny 16"? Well, for shots of the moon, the rule is "looney 11". The surface of the moon is, after all, a sunlit landscape, though with a somewhat lower albedo, hence f/11 rather than f/16. So...

Aperture: f/11
Shutter: 1/160s

-- or --

Aperture: f/11
Shutter: f/125

for 1/3 stop overexposure (should be fine)


Steve
It should be clear again tonight, so I will try it again, and compare results.

---------- Post added Jul 19th, 2016 at 10:04 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Unless your Tak was a long tele and had a LOT of the moon surface in frame, it wouldn't have really mattered having the Auto available. The LX would have attempted to meter and expose for the entire scene and your moon would have been just a white disc.
So I gather you are saying center-weighted on an LX averages out more than center-weighted on digital?
07-19-2016, 12:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Davep Quote
It should be clear again tonight, so I will try it again, and compare results.

---------- Post added Jul 19th, 2016 at 10:04 AM ----------



So I gather you are saying center-weighted on an LX averages out more than center-weighted on digital?
Well I really don't know what your frame looked like. In my experience a bright moon against a dark sky turns the moon into a white disc no matter the camera if it's left up to the camera simply based on how much of that bright moon fills in the frame, regardless of what camera is doing the "thinking".
07-19-2016, 12:38 PM   #11
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In my day they always told me f/8 and 1/film speed for moon - it's what I have used mostly.

This site is more comprehensive and a darn site more interesting. Per this both rules are wrong. In this case you need to know the location of the moon as well. My last moon shots were made at f/5.6 at ISO 800 and 1/800th of a second. Turns out this is pretty close to the 1/1250th it recommends and that high in the sky that same ISO combo and 1/1250th requires f/11. Interesting indeed. In any case I prefer f/8 to f/11 with the moon due to potential diffraction on my K-3 - in fact f/5.6 may be better but the difference is small.

Overall shoot in raw, pick something between f/5.6 and f/11 and use 1/ISO for your shutter speed unless you are including objects that need to be rendered in the foreground and you don't mind the moon being blown out. (or use an HDR approach and merge multiple exposures later. Essentially metering is not required. Take the shot, chimp it and move on in Digital. Or take the shot, bracket, and move on with film.
07-20-2016, 07:56 AM   #12
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Thanks for all of the suggestions everyone.

There was a little haze last night, so I didn't bother to shoot, but I'm going to try these suggestions. The is an astrophotography film article that I will read through too.
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