Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/09/18

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Consistent underexposure problem
From: Mark Rabiner <>
Date: Sat, 18 Sep 1999 11:02:08 -0700

Harrison McClary wrote:
> On 9/18/99 4:54 AM Anthony Atkielski wrote:
> >Uh... this worries me.  Are you saying that after spending $3000 on a camera
> >body, I have to check it to see if the factory spent the few minutes
> >necessary
> >to calibrate the meter??  Does Leica routinely defraud its customers of their
> Following is how I determine the EI to rate my film:
> The best thing to do is to run a test and see where the exposure falls
> using your meter and your cameras.  Every meter works differently, every
> person meters slightly differently.
> It is very easy to determine the best EI for your metering style/meter
> performance/exposing method.  Take a legal pad and mark on pages 0, 1/2,
> 1, 1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2, 3, then -1/2, -1, -1 1/2, -2, -2 1/2, -3.  Take a
> reading in your normal method.  Take a shot at the 0 page. Then open up
> 1/2 stop take a photo of the 1/2 this in 1/2 stop increments
> up to 3 then go to -1/2 and stop down 1/2 stop and do that till the -3
> setting.  Afterwards look at the developed film and see which is best for
> the way you like them to look.
> Oh and one last thing even after doing all of this you should bracket on
> important shots if time allows, if not get a snip test pulled of the film
> because labs can run from 1/3 to 1/2 or more stops different from day to
> day........
> Best regards,
> Harrison McClary

I do as Harrison does above when getting into shooting slides. There are several
Pro Labs in Portland that I could use to run them. I think of it as finding out
what the Labs ASA is not the cameras but everything is of course involved. Most
times if I happen to be in the neighborhood of a different lab so I drop if off
there, it is a disaster. Stick with the same Lab and find out what their ASA for
your camera/meter is.
I think with an M6 you should be able to point it at most things, Center the
reading and do OK.
And as Harrison and others are saying: with slides its good to bracket as each
density can have it's own viability.
I"ll pick less dense slides for light table use, but denser better exposures for
printing and other reproduction as well as projection. The best dupe is done at
the time in the camera. That's why the winder is sometimes nice.
Mark Rabiner