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Photographer
EAHImages
Posts: 790
San Antonio, Florida, US


I just got a minolta hand held light meter in a group of photo items I got at a sale. My prob is the meter is not giving accurate readings. Before I spend money to be told "It just needs calibrating" I thought I would ask  here if that is so and how to do it.
I know dumb question right. I have never had a hand held before. Till now I have always just used the in camera meter. I really would like to put this to use Thanks in advance for any help you can be.
Sep 24 06 11:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
dysclover
Posts: 272


minolta meters are pretty consistant -but i guess it gets really cold then hot in america.
firstly make sure you're metering correctly
secondly rule out anything else... like camera settings etc
thirdly find out how many stops it's out by (test with another meter)
fourthly find out how to calibrate that particular meter
Sep 25 06 12:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EAHImages
Posts: 790
San Antonio, Florida, US


Aesthetics wrote:
minolta meters are pretty consistant -but i guess it gets really cold then hot in america.
firstly make sure you're metering correctly
secondly rule out anything else... like camera settings etc
thirdly find out how many stops it's out by (test with another meter)
fourthly find out how to calibrate that particular meter

thanks We tested it at my camera shop and realised it was way off. To make sure though we also took out a camera and set it the same way the meter was set 400 speed 60th of a sec. outdoor the meter got an F45 reading and the camera was 60th at about F11. one of the things I am asking here is how to calibrate it. I cant seem to locate it in the instruction manual. Thank you again for your suggestions I will look into those.

Sep 25 06 12:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
alexwh
Posts: 3,104
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


I have always owned a Minolta meter. I currently have a IV-F and a V-F. They are virtually the same except the V-F has a gold plated terminal for the flash cord.

I used to use (and still own ) a III-F. It had two flaws. One was that you could not connect a flash cord to it to trigger a studio flash. The other flaw was an expensive lithium battery.

But you should be aware that since it happened to me once with the III-F and once with the IV-F and that is that for no apperent reason (and Minolta wil not tell you) sometimes the meter will be way off and there is nothing you can do (I repeat, nothing you can do) but have the factory repair it.

You do not, I repeat, do not try to calibrate it. Your meter is not lacking in calibration. If it does not read F-16 and 1/125 on a sunny day at ISO 100 your meter is "broken".

The III-F, the IV and V-F all have a built in feauture that will attempt to mix existing light with your flash. To avoid that problem with the III-F you have a lightning bolt setting that is 1/125. When you set it there the meter will only read your flash.

I strongly suggest that you have your meter looked by someone who knows.

Why do I have two meters? In preparation for that day when one of them will give me that odd reading.

Alexwh
Sep 25 06 12:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J Schumacher
Posts: 1,220
Emeryville, California, US


I have the IIIF, and yes, this is a stupid question, but....

The hemispherical incident reflector is installed, and intact? And you have it set for reading existing light, and not flash?
Sep 25 06 12:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
alexwh
Posts: 3,104
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


J Schumacher wrote:
I have the IIIF, and yes, this is a stupid question, but....

The hemispherical incident reflector is installed, and intact? And you have it set for reading existing light, and not flash?

The hemispherical incident dome (not reflector) is pretty well permanent on your III-F unless you want the flat incident disc for measuring in ft candles. I believe there was an atachment for measuing reflected light but I never had it. The III-F has two Flash settings one is at 1/60 and the other at 1/125. If you use the latter as I explained above it will ignore existing light and only read flash.
Alexwh

Sep 25 06 12:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Le Beck Photography
Posts: 4,114
Los Angeles, California, US


Odd that it cannot be calibrated. Actually, of course you can't calibrate it. What would mean to the bottom line?
My Gossen and Pentax meters can be calibrated, they're analogue though. I can't speak for digital.
There is no standard for average reflectance. Different companies have different values calibrated into their meters. These vary from 12% to 18%. Cool huh?


There is a fairly simple explanation here, especially the last two paragraphs:
http://www.imx.nl/photosite/technical/e … meter.html
Sep 25 06 01:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J Schumacher
Posts: 1,220
Emeryville, California, US


alexwh wrote:
The hemispherical incident dome (not reflector) is pretty well permanent on your III-F unless you want the flat incident disc for measuring in ft candles. I believe there was an atachment for measuing reflected light but I never had it. The III-F has two Flash settings one is at 1/60 and the other at 1/125. If you use the latter as I explained above it will ignore existing light and only read flash.
Alexwh

Actually, it spins off... I have the spotmeter attachment for it.
Woops, you're right, I did say reflector, and it is incident.

Sep 25 06 01:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EAHImages
Posts: 790
San Antonio, Florida, US


J Schumacher wrote:

Actually, it spins off... I have the spotmeter attachment for it.

see All I have is the dome and I guess I will take it and  have it looked at. I wanted to make sure there was not something simple I could do before I went and took care of it.

Sep 25 06 01:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bill Gunter
Posts: 547
Daytona Beach, Florida, US


Look in the battery compartment and see if there is a litle disc that you can turn to adjust it. I know there is is some models.
Sep 25 06 09:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
alexwh
Posts: 3,104
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Bill Gunter wrote:
Look in the battery compartment and see if there is a litle disc that you can turn to adjust it. I know there is is some models.

Yes those Minolta flashmeter have that "calibration" screw inside.

But again I would not tamper with it.  Some years ago I was going to have one of my earlier Minolta's calibrated and I asked the service man how he did this. He showed me an ancient Wein flash meter and I left in a hurry. The problem with a "self"calibrating a meter is that you must have a standard.

I don't shoot digital but I shoot 120 Ektachrome. For at least 15 years I have never pulled, pushed my film, clip tested or bracketed. I have faithfully trusted my Minolta flash meters. Photograph is stressful enough to have to add to it a meter that I could not trust.
Alexwh

Sep 25 06 09:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EAHImages
Posts: 790
San Antonio, Florida, US


Bill Gunter wrote:
Look in the battery compartment and see if there is a litle disc that you can turn to adjust it. I know there is is some models.

Thanks I will take a look.

Sep 28 06 11:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
nwprophoto
Posts: 13,911
Kalibo, Western Visayas, Philippines


There should be a calibration screw in the battery compartment on the IIIF as mentioned above. If I remember right it is only good for a stop or so.
Sep 28 06 11:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EAHImages
Posts: 790
San Antonio, Florida, US


Bill Gunter wrote:
Look in the battery compartment and see if there is a litle disc that you can turn to adjust it. I know there is is some models.

Yep it has it. At least know I know it can be adjusted. Thank you so much. I will take it to a shop to have it done right. smile

Sep 28 06 11:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KHatch
Posts: 255
Utica, New York, US


I calibrate mine occassionally. I photograph a gray card (filling frame) in manual mode and adjust the exposure until the histogram has the spike right in the middle. I then adjust the calibration of the meter until it gives me the same reading as the camera was set at for the correct exposure.
Sep 29 06 05:29 am  Link  Quote 
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