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05-21-2009, 09:02 AM   #1
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LR44 vs SR44--metering concerns

I've been reading up on this, and I've found that many people say the LR44 batteries will cause inaccurate meter readings due to their sloping voltage output curve. Has anyone here actually experienced this?

Second question: has anyone here bought some of those $10-for-50 LR44 batteries off of eBay, and if so, do they work at least well enough to be worth the $10?

05-21-2009, 09:49 AM   #2
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I've not experienced it with alkaline batteries in my cameras because I don't use them in my cameras. I guess the easiest way to describe it though is to think about a flashlight using alkaline batteries which I have experienced as have most of us. At first, the light is really bright when you put in new alkaline batteries but as the flashlight is used and the batteries drop in power, the light gets dimmer and dimmer. This is what is happening to your light meter if alkaline batteries are used...as the power diminishes, the error in metering becomes greater and greater.

As for the batteries on e-bay, would I spend $10 on them plus shipping? No, because you don't know how old they really are. Caveat emptor!

CW
05-21-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
I've not experienced it with alkaline batteries in my cameras because I don't use them in my cameras. I guess the easiest way to describe it though is to think about a flashlight using alkaline batteries which I have experienced as have most of us. At first, the light is really bright when you put in new alkaline batteries but as the flashlight is used and the batteries drop in power, the light gets dimmer and dimmer. This is what is happening to your light meter if alkaline batteries are used...as the power diminishes, the error in metering becomes greater and greater.

As for the batteries on e-bay, would I spend $10 on them plus shipping? No, because you don't know how old they really are. Caveat emptor!

CW
Light meters have voltage regulators, something lacking in flashlights.
05-21-2009, 12:14 PM   #4
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Wheatfield, so your saying that as the power drops in an alkaline battery, the voltage regulator in the camera boosts it back up to 1.5v? Darned if I knew that.

CW

05-21-2009, 01:32 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Light meters have voltage regulators, something lacking in flashlights.
*Some* do, by the way, not by any means all. I believe this isn't a big problem with Pentax, but many old cameras and hand meters were in fact designed around the steady voltage output of mercury cells. (If you love really-old Canons and Luna-Pros, welll. Heh. ) )

If they were designed around the little silver ones, you can put other types in OK. If they were designed around mercury cells, then you must watch out.
05-21-2009, 01:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
as the power drops in an alkaline battery, the voltage regulator in the camera boosts it back up to 1.5v?
Depends on the light meter. Some use a voltage regulator, some (such as the galvanometer circuit in a K1000) are inherently insensitive to battery voltage:

K1000 Light Meter Circuit

and some (from what I've read, typically in old consumer rangefinders) are indeed voltage-sensitive.
05-21-2009, 01:59 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
Wheatfield, so your saying that as the power drops in an alkaline battery, the voltage regulator in the camera boosts it back up to 1.5v? Darned if I knew that.

CW
I've never gone into this kind of detail, but usually a voltage regulator in the system means they'll generally step *down* the voltage and the system just runs on less. Like with old Canons, they made the relatively-rare EF for the same button cells as the rest of the line, but you needed two of them. Originally this probably wasn't about battery compatibility, but has the same effect.
05-21-2009, 03:48 PM   #8
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If your eBay Chinese bargain cells don't fit right, don't last long, or leak in your camera, are they really a good value?

Look closely and you'll see many aren't actually 44/76/357 size, but something that fits "close enough".
Unless you check the specifications you can't even know what to expect in terms of service life.

I trust only name-brand silver oxide cells. IMO they're worth the extra money. BTW these too are available at discount on eBay...

Chris

05-21-2009, 05:30 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
Wheatfield, so your saying that as the power drops in an alkaline battery, the voltage regulator in the camera boosts it back up to 1.5v? Darned if I knew that.

CW
Except, as noted, with cameras that used mercury cells. I didn't bother mentioning that as anything that will use an SR44 battery will either have a regulator or will be like the K1000 and just not care.
As soon as camera makers went to silver oxide cells, they had to start putting regulators into the circuit.
I think the biggest difference you will see between a silver oxide battery and an alkaline will be service life. The silver oxide cells will provide longer service.
05-21-2009, 06:46 PM   #10
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I'd agree with Wheatfield, by the way, and you may as well use the silvers on an older camera. I'm not sure I remember well, but when we were selling like Super Programs new in the store, I'm pretty sure lithiums were fine, if not recommended. I think it was even those that came in a little 3v cell the same size as two button cells.

I've chosen to get some silvers for like my ME Super here and a Mamiya of similar vintage, though, mostly just cause said Mamiya seems a little off in the speeds and I may as well eliminate that possible variable. (I really don't know if that could possibly affect things) The way I shoot film, these days, I'm just not likely to drain the things that quickly, anyway.
05-21-2009, 09:00 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info, guys. Ordered a 10-pack of SR44s for $10 shipped.
05-21-2009, 11:39 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I'm not sure I remember well, but when we were selling like Super Programs new in the store, I'm pretty sure lithiums were fine,
if not recommended. I think it was even those that came in a little 3v cell the same size as two button cells.
FWIW I asked Eric about this. He says the 3V lithium cells are okay to use in Pentax cameras.

Chris
05-25-2009, 12:55 AM   #13
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I have used those cheap LR44 (10 for 2.5 Euro) in my Nikon FE, and in the MESuper
The pics come out perfectly fine, and even though the batteries last less than the ones I used to buy with brand (Energizer, Duracell or even better Renata) the price difference makes up for it.

Just keep an extra pair handy (in a pocket or in the camera bag)
02-12-2016, 09:38 PM   #14
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You can buy a 4-pack of LR44 batteries for $1 at your local Dollar Tree. That's Dollar "Tree," not "General" or "Family Dollar," etc.
02-13-2016, 04:44 AM   #15
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You need to down load the user manual for your camera.
Which maybe wrong most early Pentax used bridge or differential circuits and will work with mercury, silver, alkaline, or zinc air cells.
You may need a plumbers O ring to fit a zinc cell.
The cameras that say silver cells need silver (or lithium to replace two silver) few have regulators.

If you have a camera that needs Mercury you need it:

- modified
- an adapter to use silver
- a zinc cell and ring in rubber or metal

Using an alkaline not accurate for E6.

Many CdS cells are old and way off calibration needing replacement. You need to test in bright and dim light against a known good meter.
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