Picture of Converting a Foot-Candle Meter for Photography
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For those of you amateur photographers out there who like shooting film, sometimes old cameras don't have the right light meter for getting the correct exposure.  Sometimes they are faulty, inaccurate or have no light meter at all!  Photographic light meters can be pretty expensive but analog foot-candle meters are cheap because they don't really have any photography purpose, until now.  Tthis guide will show you how to put it to work for photography.

Foot-candles are a unit of light that can be directly correlated to Exposure Values (EV) which are a list of simplified amounts of light and are often referenced to possible scenarios which you might find this amount of light in.  Paper exposure calculators work on the principle of manually identifying an exposure value based on the description and then aligning the EV scale with your film sensitivity to deduce shutter speed/aperture combinations for your camera.

FC and EV are directly related, so modifying the meter back-panel is all that is required to turn a FC meter into an EV meter, and it works great.  It takes all the guesswork out of using a paper exposure calculator which is great for beginners.
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rimar20002 years ago
I always say you are clever...
tholopotami2 years ago
Nice work!

Although I turned to digital photography I always appreciate a retro look to film technology. Standard films have a recording capacity of 50-150 lines/mm which is a superior resolution compared to 10Mb digital cameras (see my instructable on digitizing negatives) and the possibility of a smouth rendering of grey values due to the diffusion of Ag reaction.

I have a minor observation for your modification: I think you could include on the same scale of EV, another one with a different colour, showing the f number (e.g from 1.2 to 22) for a standard case e.g. ISO 100 and exposure 125. This would avoid the use of a converter at least for a range of situations. The user can then move up and down a specific number of stops in exposure or aperture depending on the ISO of his film.
mattthegamer463 (author)  tholopotami2 years ago
Not a bad idea, creating a meter specifically designed for your particular style of photography would be very cool and neat to have.
Very beautiful mind. Thanks