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underexposed reading from Minolta IV F flash/light meter

Nathan James , Apr 22, 2009; 02:21 p.m.

Hi all,
So i was looking buy a light/flash meter recently, most probably a sekonic L358, in till i was given a Minolta IV F from a friend all for free! So i thought theres no point in my forking out hundreds of my hard earned cash just yet to buy something (granted it is better) which i have just gotten. But the problem is it seems to be giving my underexposed readings most of the time...
I went out testing it on a nice day last week along with my dslr and it was constantly giving me ambient readings that were, not largely, but slightly underexposed... I was doing incident readings. The images where coming out really dark, it was just clearly not working! and it was the same when testing the flash readings too. Now can anyone run me through how exactly an incident reading should be taken so i know i have it correct (as i am very new to light/flash meters)? is there a specific mode i need to select in order to do one? I mostly wanted a meter to measure flash lighting.
I was quite disappointed as i am eager to get to using it...
So if anyone can help with this... or give me ANY info what so ever about how i can correct this myself o simple inform me i would really appreciate it!!!
cheers
N

Responses

Andrew Gillis , Apr 22, 2009; 02:31 p.m.

If the meter is consistently underexposing, you can try two things: first, and easiest, set a lower ASA/ISO speed than the film speed or ISO on your digital camera on the meter. Change it until you get results that you like. You can also look for an adjustment screw on the back of the meter--most handheld meters have one, and then use a jewelers screwdriver to adjust it until you get accurate readings.
As for taking flash readings, put the meter in the same place as your subject and point the white dome back toward the camera and take a reading. Good luck.

Mark Allen , Apr 22, 2009; 04:11 p.m.

Nathan,
I also have a Minolta IV meter, which seems to underexpose ambient shots by about 1/3 to 1/2 - but it seems to nail my flash reading right on! So now I just do as Andrew says, and set my ISO about 1/3 under my camera ISO when taking ambient shots (at least when I dont forget). I think the IV does have some kind of adjustment ability but I wasn't willing to mess with it, especially since my flash readings seemed good.

mark schafer , Apr 22, 2009; 05:59 p.m.

Maybe the sensitivity of the camera chip is not what's advertised. Check the DxO site for their comparison. I found that with m 1Ds Mark II and now III that the 100 ASA setting was actually more like 64 and 80 ASA, aka about a third less, consistent with what the DxO guys found. Besides it's good to overexpose a bit and pull the exposure/RAW conversion for better shadow detail as highlights are reasonably easy to recover. Otherwise the IV F is an outstanding meter and some people who know what they're doing actually pay good money for good ones. I would get it serviced at Sony/Minolta asap before they run out of parts. The Sekonic in mixed light fill flash just doesn't cut it, so be proud of the little guy.

Bruce Cahn , Apr 22, 2009; 08:59 p.m.

Underexposure with that meter usually means the battery is failing.

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