Accessories: Light Meters

Although the Sunny f/16 rule is enormously helpful, if one is going to do serious photography, one needs a light meter.  There are four possible options for obtaining a serviceable meter: A new light meter- the most expensive option. A used light meter from a photographic dealer.  A guaranteed product, often at a reasonable price. An older model meter with a CdS  sensor, often originally designed around a mercury battery.   These can be excellent meters and may often be obtained at a reasonable price on eBay.  However, as mercury batteries are no longer obtainable, they need to be recalibrated  to use modern batteries; this costs approximately $60 at a good camera repair shop.  Wein cells (zinc-air batteries) have been marketed…Continue Reading

Accessories: Focusing Aids

There are a few simple accessories that greatly facilitate focusing with vintage cameras. Focusing Screen Magnifier: A magnifier is an extremely helpful accessory for determining optimum focus on the ground glass.  Many photographers use a standard hand-held loupe for this purpose.  However, for those cameras with handy pop-up viewing screen hoods, inserting a loupe into the hood on a 4×5 camera is challenging, and with a 2×3 format camera, using a loupe of the usual size is virtually impossible.  A simple magnifier on a handle can be easily fabricated from an inexpensive pocket magnifier and a short piece of brass or aluminum square tubular rod. Simple pocket magnifiers of the type shown are available in various quality levels on eBay…Continue Reading