Is there a way to test an SLR's meter without a lens attached (or with a mismatching lens)?

by bvy   Last Updated June 12, 2017 00:18 AM

I recently purchased a Sigma SA-9 and two SA-7n's. These are SLR (film) cameras. With the kit lens that came with it, they are all registering two to three stops under for just about any scene in good, constant light (i.e. no backlighting). I checked it against two known working cameras (one film, one digital) and a Sekonic light meter. All three of those agree within 1/3 stop. I installed fresh batteries and checked all the settings (ISO, EC, metering, etc.). I can't understand how three different camera bodies could all have the same problem.

Unfortunately I only have the one SA-mount lens that I mentioned -- a Sigma 28-80 AF lens, and I tested across the entire aperture range. Could the lens be the culprit here? And if so, is there a way to test the cameras' meters without the lens? I don't have another SA-mount lens, but I do have some Pentax and Olympus lenses.

Thank you.

Answers 1

Since the lens is an important part of the metering process, no, you can't really test it without a lens mounted.

If I understand your question correctly, you have three bodies but one lens; if all three bodies show the same incorrect meter value, then the lens is most likely your culprit.

In your situation, I would do some testing, with a controlled scene and bracketed exposures, to confirm the incorrect readings; from this, you might be able to derive an offset to use.

Beyond that, you're going to have to acquire an additional lens or three to see if anything is different.

July 03, 2017 19:00 PM

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