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SBM light meter


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#1 greg ocallaghan

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 07:13 AM

Hi folks,

I'm looking to buy an SBM soon..

Why an SBM? It's spring driven, and it's got the heavy bayonet mount.

There's one thing i need to figure out yet that I couldn't get an answer on by searching these forums and the internet..

Is there an internal light meter on the SBM? I've read that the Vario-Switar lenses have built in light meters, but how do they work?

I'm gonna get an SBM with a lens, but I will definitely want to use my 35mm SLR lenses too (with adapters of couse) so am I gonna need an external light meter as well? Or is there an exposure needle or something like that inside the bolex?

Thanks.
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#2 David Auner aac

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 07:49 AM

I'm gonna get an SBM with a lens, but I will definitely want to use my 35mm SLR lenses too (with adapters of couse) so am I gonna need an external light meter as well? Or is there an exposure needle or something like that inside the bolex?


Hi Greg,

nope there is no internal meter in the SBM. AFAIK only the EL has one. But IMO it's much better to use an external light meter anyways. By using an external meter you can place your exposure much more deliberately. In case of internal meters you'd have to live with the centre weighted (middle 35% of the viewfinder image in the EL's case) metering common in cameras of that vintage. I use a Minolta Flash Meter VI with my Bolex. I really like the combo of incident and spot in one neat package!

Cheers, Dave
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#3 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 07:27 PM

When I bought my sbm the lens that it came with had a light meter in it. All the functions of the meter are on the outside of the lens - including the meter scale. That meter can be used for auto exposure. The lens doens't have a normal aperture ring with f-stops. Rather, the aperture is set by the place of the needle in the light meter scale. To use the lens on manual you limit the range of the auto exposure to zero (which would only make sense if you knew the lens). I tend not to use that lens, but rather an old som-berthiot (spelling?) compact zoom. I do have a pentax to c-mount adapter which (when fitted to the bayonet adapter) means I can mount pentax lenses on my sbm, but I must say I don't think using 35mm still camera lenses and adapters is generally useful. The focus is all wrong when you do that due to the space that the adapter takes up. I wouldn't count on doing that at all. If you don't want to use the Vario-Swittar but rather want to use other bolex c-mount zooms, then the SBM with a bayonet adapter is great. If you want to use several different prime c-mount lenses, then buy a Rex 5 instead of an SBM. In my opinion the SBM has some nicer features over the REX 5 like the improved filter slide and the film door closer - but these are trivial compared to the question of whether you want to use the vario-swittar bayonet lens, or bayonet adapters and other c-mount lenses. I repeat, I really dont think you should consider using 35mm lenses a viable option. And without that, there is nothing wrong with c-mount lenses rather than the very limited range of bayonet lenses.
richard
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