In Camera Meter

Since we are on the topic of Metering and Rating film last week, I thought it is essential that we also cover the different metering modes.  Most of the film cameras we purchase or ones that were past down from parents or grandparents are missing one very important piece of information:  User's Manual.  If you don't have a User's Manual for your film camera, please google it online and download a copy.  It will save you so much time! Yes I know, you just want to dive right in and load some film.  And what's so different between an old Nikon film camera from DSLR anyways?  The old film camera has a meter that works just like my brand new Nikon 4Ds, doesn't it?

Well...not exactly!

Let's take the in-camera meter for example...You see, most of the old film cameras do not have some of the modern metering features like the one we are used to in a DSLR.  For example, you are probably used to this:

Metering Modes

However, if you are lucky to get a proper working meter in an old film camera, you are probably going to get this:

Metering Modes2

And, if you have a more modern SLR or medium format from the 1980's, you might even get this:

Metering Modes3

So, my point is, unless you are shooting with a modern 35mm or medium format SLR, you are limited to the metering mode that's available.  Besides, film photographers are known to be old camera "collectors", we need to have a proper working light meter with any camera of any condition at any time.  This is the reason why it is essential to own a handheld meter so you know you'll always have a reliable partner when you are out shooting that dream $10,000.000 wedding that is sure to grace the pages of Martha Stewart Wedding magazine ;)