Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/11/17

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: RE: [Leica] M exposure metering with W/A lenses.
From: Jeffrey Hausner <>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 14:04:13 -0500

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Dr James Harper []
> Sent:	Tuesday, November 17, 1998 1:29 PM
> To:	Leica User Group
> Subject:	[Leica] M exposure metering with W/A  lenses.
> I have a query.  Several replies mentioned a metering problem, which I
> understood, perhaps  wrongly, to be the possibility of incorrect exposure
> because the meter's measuring angle covers a too large  (or was it too
> small?) area of the scene.  If that is so, the solution is presumably to
> be
> even more careful about exactly what you select to meter on.  But is that
> possible with a very wide angle lens?    If the meter is being presented
> with a whole landscape, it must be difficult for it to decide what the
> important parts are.  Only a spot meter would cope, I imagine.  In what
> conditions is the problem, if it exists, most likely to occur?
	Dr. Harper,

		You are correct in your assessment of metering problems with
extreme wide angle lenses.  The area covered by the lens often- especially
outdoors- covers a wide variety of exposures.  I for one find it difficult
to imagine the area of the scene being measured by the metering spot on the
M6 shutter curtain.  The only solution I have is to rely on my own
experience and estimate the correct exposure for the area I want exposed
properly (yes, I know, exposed properly is a pretty subjective statement).
After years of using the same equipment and emulsions I can generally
estimate the exposure pretty well within the latitude of the film.  Since I
don't like to be reliant on any meter, I generally use films with the widest
exposure latitude such as XP-2 or HP.

		Other possible solutions are carrying a hand-held meter,
especially a spot meter, or to carry a 16% gray card.  You can also meter
off of some nearby object to which you can get close enough to know that it
covers the metering area, such as the pavement or a broad shadow.  If the
lighting is fairly even, you can meter off the gray card and get a fairly
good exposure estimate.  You can also bracket exposures if your subject is
standing still.  Of course, all the rules change when shooting with chromes
or T-Max, for which exposures have to be spot-on.

		In any case, one shouldn't be scared off by metering
problems with a 21; with experience and not too much practice you'll adopt
your own solutions and its practical use will become second nature.

		Buzz Hausner