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Best metered M42 body which doesn't take an obsolete battery?

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by Kitchen10, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    I can't say I've noticed any differences over the years - and I shoot slide film and black and white.

    M42 Prakticas may be solidly built and not as light as, say, an OM-1, but they take the knocks and keep working - and mine have taken a few knocks in the course of hiking in mountainous regions.

    As for repairs, I think it's down to there being quite a few former Pentacon employees in the Dresden area who, having once put the camers together, know them inside-out and are more than happy to supplement their pensions by repairing those models for which spares are still available. Pentacon's role is, I suspect, more of a clearing house.

    Kitchen10 likes this.
  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    So do I; the Cosina every time. I hated my FM2.
  3. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Kitchen10 likes this.
  4. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Agreed batteries aren't the commonest. Another problem I've just found is that the PLC will stop down with Pentacon non-electric lenses, but not other makes. Tried with Helios 44, Sigma zoom & Saitex 28mm, none worked the meter. Odd. Wonder if they are all like that, or just mine.

    Can't argue with the MTL line though. Must say the MTL 50 has the advantage, for me, that the LED metering is easier to see than the needle in most situations.

    Kitchen10 likes this.
  5. Kitchen10

    Kitchen10 Well-Known Member

    I agree. My L has been across 5 continents with its previous owner and it soldiers on just fine.

    How bizarre. I wonder what's going on there!
  6. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Can't say I can understand how that could possibly happen, to be honest. My first Praktica was a PLC3 bought from Comet body-only - they were stopping selling SLRs, and I got it for £32 brand new. Used it for a long time. I had a couple of preset lenses which metered OK, a 135mm Zeiss Jena S (non-electric) and a 28mm Tosner - both these lenses stopped down fine, and metered without problems.
    I would personally agree.
  7. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Think I've just worked it out.

    The non-Pentacon lenses I have don't have a manual facility - they only stop down when the shutter button is pressed to work the little cam inside the body.

    The meter needs the lens to be stopped down with non-electric lenses, so pre-sets should work fine.

    Hope that makes sense.

    So, it looks like either an MTL-series, or a PLC with pre-sets or electrics.

    This is a handy site, by the way:



    ps if your lenses are electric, Kitch, I'd go for the PLC. Being able to see the meter at all times is great!
  8. Kitchen10

    Kitchen10 Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, none of my lenses are electric.
  9. Kitchen10

    Kitchen10 Well-Known Member

    I have another quick question I've been meaning to ask. I have a small selection of rangefinder cameras, only one of which has an accurate meter (my FED 4, but I still don't trust it). What do you recommend as the best walkaround light meter? I'd prefer a shoe mounted meter just so that I don't have to dig around in my pockets, but the only options that I have seen which can be shoe mounted are the Voigtlaender VC meter series, Gossen Digisix and the Sekonic L208 TwinMate. The VCs have good reviews but they are quite pricey, and the L208 has very mixed reviews. Can you suggest a shoe-mount meter, or am I better off with a pocket meter? I don't need flash measurement capabilities as I never use flash. I need a new meter either way as my ancient Leningrad 4 is wildly inaccurate at the moment.

  10. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    I've got a Wesson Euromaster silicon and my dad's old Jessops DIIIB - and he died in 1978! Both going strong.
    Lots of people say that silicon meters die after a few years, the only ones I've had go have been due to corroded connections. In fact, I've more dead CdS meters than silicon.

    Kitchen10 likes this.
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The Digisix is a nice little meter.
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  12. Kitchen10

    Kitchen10 Well-Known Member

    Is the D-IIIB accurate with a modern battery? I've heard that a lot of meters are way off with alkalines or silver oxides. Also, do you mean Weston rather than Wesson and selenium rather than silicon? :)

  13. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Sorry, not functioning well today, got a cold and spending most of the time dozing.
    The Jessops jobby is fine, forget what the battery is, but it is spot on with the other things. And yes, I did mean Weston and selenium. Brain full of mush.*
    Don't forget selenium meters don't need a battery.

    *Who said "No change there, then"?

    Kitchen10 likes this.
  14. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I've actually got quite a few meters, but the one I prefer for rangefinder use is the tiny Digisix. My Weston is great, but a bit bulky.
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  15. Kitchen10

    Kitchen10 Well-Known Member

    I know the feeling! I'd get a Weston were it not for the fact that their low-light performance leaves much to be desired in comparison to CdS or other photoresistive meters.
  16. Kitchen10

    Kitchen10 Well-Known Member

    Looks like the Digisix is the way to go. Is there any advantage to getting a Digisix II or should I go for a Digisix I?
  17. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    I'm very pleased with my L208 that I've had for a couple of years, although I've never actually used it as a shoemount. A simple sliding diffuser cover to switch from reflected to incident is quite convenient. The "hold reading" time is about right for me, and the battery life seems good - I'm still on the original.

    I don't shoot transparencies, so I'm not certain of absolute accuracy, but my negatives shot using it are of nice consistent density - better than some of my Sunny 16 guestimates, anyway!
  18. swanseadave

    swanseadave Well-Known Member

    I`ve picked up on this thread rather late.(don`t get online very much these days with other things having to take priority)
    I recently picked up a Leningrad 7 meter in almost mint condition.Well for a fiver it was worth a punt.I use it with my equally recent Zorki 4.

    Using my Alpha 350 as a comparison it is,surprisingly,very accurate.I believe the 7 dates back to 1984,being an update of the 6.Oh,and no batteries,just a selenium cell.
  19. EdReardon

    EdReardon Member

    To be frank, I've put all sorts of things in my old bodies.

    When the meters start to misbehave I put a new cell in.

    I know (and fully understand) the merits of using mercury-type cells, however for me, shooting mono-film with these bodies the perceived loss of meter accuracy isn't that much of an issue. Most of this light meters are no-doubt desperately out of calibration anyway and even with the correct cell should only be taken, as we say in the instrumentation industry 'for indication only."

    To be honest, I'll keep doing it. I whip the Sekonic out if I'm that concerned.
  20. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    I have a Chinon rangefinder. I use hearing aid batteries in it...there's about a 5-10% difference in the voltage from what the original mercury cell was and it don't half over expose (by about 1/2 a stop) ... but easily correctable with modern software.

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