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02-08-2010, 12:25 PM   #556
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I keep wondering what happened to all the photos that people have been taking. I would encourage posting them even if they are not up to your normal standard of excellence. The Sightseer is a wonderful precision tool, but it does have a steep learning curve. I found metering to be a particular challenge.

In the spirit of helping future users attain maximum success, here are Steve's Sightseer Tips:
  • Don't be afraid of the camera. It is all manual, but operation is essentially the same as even the newest dSLR.
  • The meter that is packed with the camera, while a good little unit, has poor sensitivity and slow response in low light. If you have access to a CdS or SBC meter (the kind that take batteries), use that instead. If you have neither, it may be worth using the meter on another camera to confirm readings. I used test shots with my K10D to determine exposure several times when took my turn with the SV.
  • Shoot at least two rolls of film, preferably ISO 100/400 B&W or ISO 200 color print film. Exposure latitude is your friend. Don't let the cost of film/processing get in the way of learning to use the camera. Shoot a third roll if possible.
  • Don't overestimate your ability to hand-hold at slower shutter speeds. A tripod or monopod is worth the trouble. Ditto for cable release for under 1/8s.
A few more points in regard to exposure and metering with a hand-held incident meter:
  • Meter your subject. This usually means getting fairly close to take the reading. The meter has a fairly wide angle of measurement. Avoid metering the sky when shooting landscapes (point the meter more towards the ground).
  • Remember to apply exposure compensation for back-lighting, very dark, or very light subjects. Meter off an 18% gray card if in doubt.
  • There is no need to take additional readings between shots unless the light changes. This is a hard one for those of use used to AE cameras. We are used to seeing the information in the viewfinder change between shots. Hard as it is to accept, that bouncing around is usually artifact of the metering system.
I hope this helps.

Steve

02-08-2010, 04:53 PM   #557
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Steve, great post! I'm going to bookmark it for my own used. My Spotmatic SPII has a sketchy meter, so I ended up using a handheld Weston to set my exposures. I'll second your comment about being used to the AE cameras changing settings w/ every shot; doesn't necessarily mean the light changed. All my shots turned out well (OK, correctly exposed) on my second roll through the SPII. (Underexposed the first roll so badly that nothing came out - I had guesstimated all the exposures incorrectly. It was a crushing blow to my ego, but it's keeping me humble <g>).

I'd also encourage participants to post anything they got regardless of IQ. I've avidly followed this thread from its inception. During the life of this thread, I've come into possession of my own SV (which is in need of some repairs that I ultimately plan on having done) and it would be great to know what to avoid with the camera in addition to seeing what it can do. I'll be perfectly frank with everyone and say that I really felt like a fish out of water shooting the SPII with the Weston. Also end up using the lightmeter with a Kodak Retina IIa rangefinder and have the same awkward feelings and the same mixed bag of results. It's going to be some time before I get consistently good results out of either camera. I admire all of you for being willing to run 3 rolls through a camera and then pass it on. Like anything else, you have to spend time with a piece of kit to really make it "sing". No one here with any experience at all would think the less of you as a photographer as Steve said if the pics aren't up to your usual standard of excellence. It's about the adventure of a unique shooting experience and sharing the joys as well as the disappointments.

Best to all,
Kevin
02-08-2010, 05:18 PM   #558
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OK, I have gone thru my first roll and I had 2 options: Either wait a few weeks to take them to my favorite lab, which is a 2 hour drive away, OR, my local Walgreens..... I couldn't wait.....
These scans are very poor and oversharpened because of the commercial and fast process. I'm sure that with a proper scan these images would give a DSLR a run for it.
There is absolutely no post process from my part in these. All pictures taken without any meter. Just the Sunny 16 rule in my mind.
Enough talking! Here are the pics!

Kodak Gold 100

Birthday party on Saturday Feb 6.


The slide was so bright it "burned" the film








My good friend Ben and our idea of winter




More to come in the next post.....

Thanks,
02-08-2010, 05:29 PM   #559
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Second part of first roll. Feb. 8 (Superbowl afternoon). The sea was very rough and surfers were having a blast!









My son was also having a good time......



And all of the following were with the 200mm f3.3 M42 Rexatar

Chistopher Columbus ships at the Lighthouse Park











At sunset from across the parking lot


My favorite of this series so far.....





I want to put one or two more rolls thru it, but I'm very busy during the week. I'm having a hard time finding B&W film locally, but I'd love to try one.

Thanks,


Last edited by ismaelg; 02-08-2010 at 05:34 PM.
02-08-2010, 05:42 PM   #560
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Isamael, thanks for the welcome relief from winter here in the northeast. The fact that you shot these with the Sightseer is just the icing on the cake. Bravo! And thanks for posting up the pics so rapidly. (I would have gone to Walgreens, too - I have no patience ). Also great job on metering out of your head - those exposures are bang on. It's a real treat to see some more photos in this thread. Looking forward to your next roll

Best,
Kevin
02-08-2010, 07:45 PM   #561
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Houston we have liftoff!

Woo! Hoo!

Pictures at last! Thank you Ismael!

Steve
02-08-2010, 07:46 PM   #562
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote

The slide was so bright it "burned" the film
That frame looks a little weird to me. Light leak or sticky shutter curtain?

Steve
02-08-2010, 07:48 PM   #563
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote

And all of the following were with the 200mm f3.3 M42 Rexatar
It looks like the Rexatar is a winner. Good work!

Steve

02-08-2010, 07:52 PM   #564
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QuoteOriginally posted by KJon Quote
...I really felt like a fish out of water shooting the SPII with the Weston. Also end up using the lightmeter with a Kodak Retina IIa rangefinder and have the same awkward feelings and the same mixed bag of results. It's going to be some time before I get consistently good results out of either camera...
I felt much the same when shooting with the Sightseer. Since then, I have acquired a couple of film cameras with broken or crummy meters. I bit the bullet and bought a Gossen Luna Lux SBC. I now do the majority of my readings using the white dome to measure incident light. Low light sensitivity is incredible. My only complaint is that the meter is the almost as big as the camera!

Steve
02-10-2010, 09:46 PM   #565
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Original Poster
QuoteQuote:
I'll be perfectly frank with everyone and say that I really felt like a fish out of water shooting the SPII with the Weston. Also end up using the lightmeter with a Kodak Retina IIa rangefinder and have the same awkward feelings and the same mixed bag of results.
Kevin, I understand this perfectly...

if you are committed to this, do yourself a favor and get a Sekonic 308S digital meter. Seriously. The awkwardness goes away with a fast and accurate digital meter. Sekonic L-308S FLASHMATE

I personally use one of these. Never fails me. Doubles as an excellent flash meter so it can easily do double duty with a digital camera as well in this capacity.

Or consider this meter... It's tiny and it can sit in a flash shoe on top of the camera. Sekonic L-208 TWINMATE it is a little more in keeping with the manual tradition.

woof!
02-10-2010, 11:35 PM   #566
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QuoteOriginally posted by woof Quote
...Or consider this meter... It's tiny and it can sit in a flash shoe on top of the camera. Sekonic L-208 TWINMATE it is a little more in keeping with the manual tradition.
I will likely get me one of these someday. I really like my Gossen Luna Lux, but would like something less bulky.

Steve
02-11-2010, 05:11 AM   #567
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Woof, great to see you posting again. Thanks for the link to the Sekonic - followed it and ended up finding Simonds Photographic as their listed dealer, which coincidentally is where I go locally for supplies. Convenient <g>. Looks like one more thing to add to my wishlist of gear. The fact that it doubles as a flashmeter is a real plus. I'm starting to get in touch with my inner strobist (Metz 48 and 58, just bought a small umbrella and mounting bracket and I've been playing with off-camera flash with my K10D) and starting to use flash with film. Any useful tool to help with that endeavour is a good thing. Also appreciate the endorsement from the voice of experience.

That being said, there's a kind of enjoyable retro feel to the Weston <g>. I've also been following the lightmeter thread a couple of posts down; ease-of-use has a tendency to trump "charming" <g>.

Best,
Kevin

Last edited by KJon; 02-11-2010 at 05:15 AM. Reason: Always have one more thing I should have said initially
02-11-2010, 08:45 PM   #568
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PICTURES! PICTURES! PICTURES!

OK, here we go. I searched high and low to find B&W film. At the end, the closest I got was Kodak Professional 400 CN which is a C-41 type film. Oh well, that will have to do. So I loaded a roll into the Sightseer and off I went again. This time, while some of the shots were done with the Sunny 16 rule, I took either my K1000 with a 50f2 or my K100DS as "meters".
Again, crappy scans from Walgreens, but here are some of them. No PP of any kind. Will eventually have them properly scanned.














With the m42 Rexatar 200mm



















Thanks,
02-11-2010, 09:03 PM   #569
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#2 in that set looks nice and retro, I've got old family photos that look similar.
02-11-2010, 10:18 PM   #570
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Wow!

Ismael delivers...and how!

I really like the retro look...you are making the Sightseer sing!

Steve
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