Rolleicord troubles...

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Chris Nielsen, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Hi all

    Shot a classic car show recently with my Rolleicord (mode III I believe). I used a hand held meter (Sekonic L-208) in my normal way which usually produces very consistent results, but a good number of the resulting images look at least a stop underexposed. I only shot print film but it was pretty obvious the exposure was all over the show. Some of the frames are usable but not many. Thinking back, the day was very bright and a lot the cars were under trees in deep shadow so I used reflective mode on my meter and metered close to those shadowed cars so the meter only saw the shadow. The readings looked reasonable at the time but the negs are pretty bad.

    Question is, should I be blaming user error or do we think maybe the speeds are off on the camera?? I bought it used a couple years ago and I'd be surprised if it has ever had a CLA - I certainly haven't taken it for one seeing as it was a cheap camera to start with.

    Thanks all...

    Chris
     
  2. jolefler

    jolefler Member

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    Hi Chris!

    Reflective metering of general scenes can be very tricky. The meter is designed to suggest a value off an 18% grey card. If you meter lighter subjects, it'll suggest an lesser exposure than needed. You can substitute a grassy portion of the area to be captured, or the palm of your hand instead of a grey card and be reasonably accurate.

    As for a CLA, before you do, listen carefully to the speeds as you cycle the camera through it's shutter speed range. If they sound like they increase or decrease linearly, you may be OK. Also make sure the iris opens and closes as it it should.

    The Rolleicord is anything but a cheap camera! It's worth a CLA if needed, but for maximum fun try it without if the speeds and iris look good.

    Jo
     
  3. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Sorry, Chris, you can blame yourself. (or the meter if you wish....)

    A leaf-shutter that needs a CLA goes slower, thus overexposing, not faster and underexposing.
    As Jolefler mentioned run through the shutterspeeds by ear and check the iris (aperture)

    Peter
     
  4. OP
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    Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Yeah, I was thinking about speeds being off after I posted the message and it hit me that it would give me overexposure not under. D'oh!!

    Time to practise with the meter methinks :smile:
     
  5. Ronald Butler

    Ronald Butler Member

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    Could you have the wrong film speed programed into your exposure meter?
     
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    Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    LOL, anything's possible with me!!!
     
  7. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    You might want to try using the incident feature on your meter. Metering shiny cars parked under trees on a sunny day is a bit of a nightmare - specular reflections can throw the metering off resulting, as you have found, in underexposure.
     
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    Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Hmmm, I thought I shouldn't use the incident mode because of all the bright light floating round behind me, but I suppose I should really have just stuck my meter right next to one of the cars... Thanks for the hint, now I'll know for next time!!!!
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    It's not foolproof but I generally find that if these shutters work correctly and smoothly on the one second setting then all the faster speeds are usually correct too.



    Steve.
     
  10. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    You are right Steve, that's the time when I pick-up my tools and give the shutter a CLA: when the 1 second is off.
    > I do it my self for the past 30 years, have my own shutterspeed tester and so on.

    Peter
     
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    Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Yeah, I think we've established it's the fault of the loose nut behind the wheel. Sadly.. :smile: