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Nizo 561 Macro – Broken light meter or dead batteries?


Levi Boldock
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Hello.

I'm new to the forum, and new to Super 8. I recently bought a Canon 310XL and shot a few things with it. I'm totally in love with the results! Links are attached below.

Anyway, I'm wanting to do a time-lapse of a single location at night with a tripod. More specifically, I want the footage to be fast paced with trails and have a ghostly look to it. I have heard the Nizo 561 Macro's "autom.B" feature with the red lever on the side locked into "B" position can help me achieve this kind of effect. Is that correct? 

Well, I bought one to try this out but I'm a little worried about the light meter. The eBay seller said it is working, but the needle won't go past 5.6 on automatic, or manual – even when I twist the dial all the way around and point the camera directly at the sun. Is the meter broken or do the batteries need replacing? 

Thank you for any help.

Levi  

 

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The NIZO S-561 Macro, when using the Manual Exposure knob, should allow you to adjust it full to either side.  In Automatic mode, if pointing a very low light level it should go fully to the under expose side, and if pointing at bright light to the other, F/16 etc side.   IF it does not as you mentioned, then either the batteries for the meter are weak, or there is a problem with the camera.  Sometimes, when shipped, the meter needle can become slightly dislodged, since packages often take a beating.  After first checking to see that the meter batteries are okay or using fresh batteries, double check the Manual Exposure knob again....if still no movement past F/5.6, try thumbing the camera against one hand that is wrapped with a towel and check again.  Set the camera to Automatic and see if there's a change....if not...the camera will have to repaired by someone that knows what they're doing.

As for the effects you are looking to create with the NIZO, please note, the Automatic-B setting is for automatic exposures in low light where the camera uses a small photo cell on the front, and coupled with the Time Lapse unit, will automatically adjust the time exposure interval to the light level.  The problem with the Automatic-B setting is that should there be any stray light introduced, such as a car passing....the exposure rate per frame will decrease, which causes the frame speed rate to increase as well.   Just using the Time Lapse alone if in such an environment and an exposure calculator or external light meter, will avoid that variation. 

Anyhow, first get the camera in working order of course.  Thanks for sharing your footage.

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19 hours ago, Martin Baumgarten said:

The NIZO S-561 Macro, when using the Manual Exposure knob, should allow you to adjust it full to either side.  In Automatic mode, if pointing a very low light level it should go fully to the under expose side, and if pointing at bright light to the other, F/16 etc side.   IF it does not as you mentioned, then either the batteries for the meter are weak, or there is a problem with the camera.  Sometimes, when shipped, the meter needle can become slightly dislodged, since packages often take a beating.  After first checking to see that the meter batteries are okay or using fresh batteries, double check the Manual Exposure knob again....if still no movement past F/5.6, try thumbing the camera against one hand that is wrapped with a towel and check again.  Set the camera to Automatic and see if there's a change....if not...the camera will have to repaired by someone that knows what they're doing.

As for the effects you are looking to create with the NIZO, please note, the Automatic-B setting is for automatic exposures in low light where the camera uses a small photo cell on the front, and coupled with the Time Lapse unit, will automatically adjust the time exposure interval to the light level.  The problem with the Automatic-B setting is that should there be any stray light introduced, such as a car passing....the exposure rate per frame will decrease, which causes the frame speed rate to increase as well.   Just using the Time Lapse alone if in such an environment and an exposure calculator or external light meter, will avoid that variation. 

Excellent and valuable information, Martin. Thank you very much.

The location I want to do the time-lapse in is pretty isolated, so there's very little chance of any stray light pouring in. Now, to clarify, the Automatic B feature with the red lever locked into "B" position will help me achieve the ghostly/trails effect I want, yes? Or should I do it another way? 

Levi

Edited by Levi Boldock
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New light meter batteries arrived today and that seems to have fixed the issue of the needle not going past 5.6! It now goes all the way to 22 with the manual exposure dial. Not sure how old the batteries are that were in the camera previously, but they looked pretty beat up. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Automatic B is just that, it uses the front photo cell on the camera to determine the exposure automatically when coupled with the Time Lapse.  The only problem with this like I mentioned, is that IF any stray light hits that cell, it makes the camera run faster, thus a shorter exposure per frame to compensate.   You can use the Automatic B setting to determine what the exposure setting should be [unless using a fine external light meter].  Upon testing and running it in Automatic B mode....note the frame rate......count the timing.  For example if it seem likes it's 30 seconds between frames.....you can set the Timer Interval to 30 seconds manually for forgo using the Automatic B for actual filming......IF there's any stray light that might show up. 

IF not, and you're fine......go for it with Automatic B.  Keep in mind, that the light meter, as all light meters, is calibrated based on rendering scene exposure to correctly expose and 18% Gray Card.   So, if you have dark areas and you want to look more natural, you'll need to adjust your exposure manually to compensate since the Automatic B will want to increase exposure to lighten darker than 18% Gray subjects.  Likewise, it works the other way also....of course.....lighter subjects will be rendered darker, like a white wall would look dark gray.  But you desire to film in low light so that most likely will not be an issue.  Sorry, but I only just noticed your question today, November 2.

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