Why older cameras are better

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Dallas, May 27, 2004.

  1. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    For the first time in ages I shot some film in my EOS 30 (Kodak TCN400).
    Took me a while to get through the whole roll, but I eventually got my
    prints back today and one thing was immediately apparent:

    With all my recent use of old things, like the Canon F1 & A1, plus the
    Nikon F2, I forgot about the "wonder" called matrix/evaluative metering
    and how when using it, the camera pretty much decides on exposure based on
    what is in the viewfinder and not in the photographers mind.

    All my strongly backlit subjects came out underexposed, instead of
    vice-versa - as would have been the case had I been using good old
    centre-weighted metering.

    Doh!
     
    Dallas, May 27, 2004
    #1
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  2. Say, did you know the EOS 30 has centre weighted metering as an option too?

    Strange but true!
     
    Martin Francis, May 27, 2004
    #2
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  3. Dallas

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    So why didn't you use center weighted with the EOS 30? I''ve owned two
    Elans and know the entire line has center weighted metering - from original
    to the latest model.
    If you are lazy enough to simply let the camera make the decisions in a
    tricky light situation you probably would have done the same thing with your
    clunkers too.
     
    Tony Spadaro, May 27, 2004
    #3
  4. Dallas

    DM Guest

    I've been less than impressed with the metering on my Elan-7. The
    center weighted metering in it is far more reliable than eval metering.
    Backlit subjects ALWAYS come out underexposed. CW deals with it better.
    My old Elan-II evaluative metering was far better in my experience.
     
    DM, May 28, 2004
    #4
  5. Dallas

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: Why older cameras are better
    Hey! I thought I'm the one that's strange but true ;-)
     
    Lewis Lang, May 29, 2004
    #5
  6. Dallas

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: Why older cameras are better
    Whether the camera only has center weighted, or evaluative or spot I almost
    always try to take a close up reading of the subject (when time/circumstances
    allow) therefore getting either an equivalent of a spot reading or a spot
    reading. No surprises that way. I prefer my surprises in my vision and
    subject's actions, not in my camera. Evaluative, even centerweighted, when used
    without a mind (especially under contrasty lighting) is a sure recipe for
    (exposure) disaster _especially with slide film_. If I want to be lazy I don't
    take any photos at all or shoot color neg and overexpose at least 1 stop. But
    when I do "real photography" I try to put my expsoure where my assets (meter
    reading is). Unselective technmique begets unselective results. Evaluative
    metering (in my opinion) is most times a crutch for a lazy mind. And laziness
    is only a short cut to bad results regardless of camera type. Most people have
    a hard enough time trying to decide what it is they want in their photography
    or their life, it is sheer folly to let some programmed computer in a camera do
    it for you.

    <GETS OFF OF HIGH HORSE, BUT IS STRANGELY ABLE TO GALLOP AWAY WITH A MIDGET'S
    HELIUM BALLOONS' VOICE TO YESTERYEAR CLACKING TOGETHER TWO COCONUTS WHILE
    DAYDREAMING HE IS IN A STRANGE MONTY PYTHON FILM CALLED "BLAZING HOLY GRAIL
    TRAILS".... "HI HO SILVER!... HI HO VICODIN... AND LITHIUM AND HELIUM TOO/>
     
    Lewis Lang, May 29, 2004
    #6
  7. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    Tony Spadaro said:
    Because I'm a dumb sonofabitch who momentarily forgot how different matrix
    metering is compared to centre-weighted (which I've been using a lot of
    recently because it is the only mode on my manual cameras).
    "Clunkers"? Nah.

    "Lazy"? Nah.

    "Stupid"? Yes.
     
    Dallas, May 29, 2004
    #7
  8. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    Martin Francis said:
    Yes, I know that, Forrest.
     
    Dallas, May 29, 2004
    #8
  9. Dallas

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Whatever - I used nothing but center weighted with my Elan until just a few
    years ago. Yep I had to re-learn about backlighting - which is the only
    situation I know of that evaluative metering is not at least as good at as I
    am. According to a friend with a Nikon F100 (the equivalent to my EOS 3) he
    feels the same way about his cameras meter. Sometimes a blacklit subject
    will work with evaluative metering but there is no substitute for bracketing
    the tricky stuff.
     
    Tony Spadaro, May 29, 2004
    #9
  10. For years an old Nikon Ftn was my only camera, and now it is an othen used
    backup to an F4. I also use a 4x5 monorail and a Russian panoramic, neither
    of which has a meter. So I have a wide range of metering "experiences"
    available. Because two of my cameras don't have meters, I have a minolta
    meter with a 5 degree (spot) metering head. In addition it does flash and
    incident as well as reflected readings.

    A few observations:

    (1) With a handheld meter that can do incident and reflected readings, there
    is no "impossible" metering situatuation. Backlit subjects are not a
    challenge.
    (2) Sometimes (like when the situation is fleeting) there isn't time enough
    to meter carefully. Just guess and bracket.
    (3) Old cameras are fun. Where I live, winter photos may mean shooting
    at -10 (F) or below. My Nikon F4 just hates that weather, but the old Ftn
    will keep on chugging. I take it everwhere without fear. And it still is
    one of the best performing cameras around - and affordable.
     
    Pieter Litchfield, May 30, 2004
    #10
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