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Nikon F External Exposure Meter Inquiries: Model 2 vs Model 3

nikon f light meter external light meter nikon f light meter exposure meter nikon f exposure meter

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#1
ChaoticCameras

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Hello fellow filmheads!

 

I'm starting a new topic on the Nikon F exposure meter, in particular all that suit the original Nikon F 35mm SLR body (1959-1973), with regard to preferred models and their pros + cons. 

 

My F which I recently bought, after a long while dreaming of one, )a serial number 708xxxx, dating form between 2/1970 - 4/1970) came fitted with a Photomic FTN finder in excellent condition, although I am yet to put a roll of film through the body to test it's accuracy. Whilst this is an excellent finder/exposure meter unit in general, it is quite bulky and makes the camera tricky to hold in some shooting circumstances I have encountered. (I am predominantly a street photographer.) 

 

I am looking to fit the camera with a standard and or waist level finder, and an external exposure meter for general street use, and save the Photomic FTN for portraiture and planned exposures on the tripod.

 

I have consulted W.D Emanuel's handy 'Nikon F Guide: Fourth edition,' and have not found the information I am looking for, this being the pros/cons of the model 2 vs model 3 exposure meter for the F. 

 

From what I can tell, I am leaning towards the model 3, due to being more user friendly, a bonus in the hectic situations I sometimes come across, and being possibly lighter owing to the smaller light cells. However, it is this fact, the seemingly smaller light cells that has me intrigued as to whether the model 2 is more accurate in it's readings. I cannot remember which specific cells each model uses and how this might affect the performance of each model respectively. 

 

I'm fairly new to the world of the F, coming of a mint Nikkormat FT with complete kit which I inherited (very much a user-centric photographic experience, with no where near the ability to fine tune the equipment for the circumstance), and I am slightly bewildered the seemingly endless combinations of accessories for the F, just trying to figure out what is going to suit my specific situation the best. Despite being aware of the many accessories produced for this model...

 

Any information on either of these models, or others that might be more suited to hectic city streets would be appreciated.



#2
Merco_61

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All three versions use Selenium cells. The I is ultra-rare as it was only producent for about a year. The II can’t  use a booster, unlike the I and III. The III is by far the easiest to find as they were sold in the greatest numbers. 
 

The selenium cells degrade over time and are getting difficult to find replacements for. The variable resistor that is used to read the aperture setting wears with time and is another weakness. These spare parts ran out in the 80-s.

I would much rather have a modern Gossen or Sekonic hand-held meter than any selenium meter.



#3
ChaoticCameras

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Thanks for the info, I suspected this may be the case.



#4
Ron

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I don't have anything to add to what Peter said... when necessary, I personally use a Minolta AutoMeter II which has (knock on wood) been great since I bought it oh so many years ago. In any case, I do agree with his choices, which are much easier to find, use, and (should it become necessary), repair.

 

However, since you mention that you're a street photographer, I'm wondering what film you use.

 

--Ron



#5
Merco_61

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If you want a meter that can be mounted on the hotshoe, the Sekonic L-208 Twinmate is hard to beat. Its only fault is the fact that it uses button cells instead of larger capacity and less fiddly batteries.

 

The other really good option for street is a Gossen Digisix 2. Easily pocketable, 40 grams and uses a 9V battery.



#6
ChaoticCameras

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Thanks Merco, I have since done some research into it and noticed the Sekonic Twinmate, I will probably acquire one when the budget permits. 

 

To answer your question Ron, primarily Kodak Ultramax 400, (because its cheap and readily available...a great combination as a studying visual art student.) I also shoot the occasional roll of Ilford, usually HP5, and I have tended to use Kodak TMAX 3200 at 1600 ISO due to the unavailability of 1600, and not wanting to push 800, as well as due to the limitations of the F in low light settings; which is primarily what the meter is for. As well as metering in some tricky situations in dark alleys where the conditions can change from shot to shot. 

 

The only *real* advantage I can see to the model 2 and 3 meters is their compactness, which is sometimes useful in some of the tricky shooting positions, but I also have a slight problem with collecting early Nikon SLR bits and pieces.


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#7
tonyzoc

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A nice hotshoe mounting meter I recently purchased is made by TTArtisan. They sell for around $50. On the F or F2 you'd need to get the AS-1 hotshoe adapter. The meter is small and pretty accurate. It takes one CR2032 battery. If you're shooting negative film you can probably get buy easy enough with the sunny 16 rule.

I have 2 Nikon Fs...one early one (67xxxxx) with a meterless prism and a late model "Apollo" version with the Photomic FTn finder. I've recently been buying early nikkor lenses with the knurled aperture ring (as opposed to the later scalped style versions).

Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk

#8
Brian

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52176908858_db062f335f_o.jpgNikonF_CliponMeter by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

 

Mine is still working. I keep it on the camera in the fitted case, so it spends most of the time in the dark.

 

Selenium Cells do best when kept in the case, rather than being out on a shelf. I also like my Weston Meters, the oldest being from the 1940s, kept in the case or box, still work.

 

The one meter I picked up that does not work- the Nikon RF meter. Worth restoring, someday. I will probably use a Silicon cell and put a hot mirror over it.

 

Just 'cause...

 

52177155124_17b5d4131c_o.jpgNikkor24_f28_2 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

 

I bought this one over 40 years ago now. Literally the corner camera store. They liked me, I liked them!


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#9
Ron

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Such a beautiful "F." Hardly looks it's age. And, I have an affinity for those scalloped focusing ring lenses...

 

--Ron







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