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Calibrate Canon 1014 E/XL-S light meter & fps


Niels kakelveld
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Is there a way to calibrate the light meter inside the Canon 1014 Electronic and XL-S? Their electronics are fairly old so I assume their meters are off. Pro8mm says they notice a variance between units of several stops

But I haven't found anywhere on the internet how to do It. I did find a service manual for the 1014 Electronic or XL-S but i could not find anything about the light meter 

 

While at it, is there also a way to determine exact FPS and a way to adjust if this is off?

Regards

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Hi. Yes, virtually all light metering systems in any camera can be adjusted.  Some are easier than others, but your CANON will require you to open the side panel to access the circuitry and tweak the exposure potentiometer.  These are set at the factory and then usually set in position using some red or green adhesive.  It breaks freely easily enough, and you normally would just a small non metallic screwdriver in the center slot to adjust this.  Generally, turning it to the right means more sensitive and to the left less sensitive.  However, you will need to refer to the repair manual schematic to see where it's located.  Often, it is coupled with another or two other potentiometers which if there, are to offset the high and low exposure settings.

BUT BEFORE you do anything....first conduct an exposure test.  Read your User's Manual for the camera for how to set and determine Manual Exposure.  You will need a cartridge in the film chamber of the camera to key the metering system and let the camera know a cartridge is loaded.  You do not have to actually film with it.   Turn the camera on, and using an 18% gray card see if the exposure matches the Instruction Book Reference for determining manual exposure.  If you don't have an 18% gray card, then you could use white, off gray, or brown etc, or the palm of your hand.   These can be used via metering them with the same illumination as testing the meter in the camera, but measuring the reading with a known working camera's meter [still or other type], hand held exposure meter, or using a Light Meter App on your cellphone.  Compare the reading the camera gives you to that of the other meter reading, compensating for change in exposure via the viewing system loss as explained in most Camera Instruction Manuals [often anywhere from 1/2 Stop to 1.5 Stops drop or increase due to the light being diverted to the meter, film, and viewfinder systems].   For example, the camera instruction manual might state on a large zoom lens camera like both of yours, to increase exposure by 1-Stop.  So, your hand held or other light meter reads the card at F/8, so you'd have to adjust it to F/5.6 for manual exposure. 

On AUTOMATIC, the camera should show you this in the viewfinder aperture display.....which would probably then read F/4 possibly.  There are other variables involved here since the CANON XLS is an "XL" low light camera with a large shutter opening and Fast Len....and the CANON 1014 Electronic is older with a small shutter opening vane and slightly slower lens.  On AUTOMATIC, if all is fine, the camera will be in agreement with a known accurate light metering device [camera meter, hand held meter, cellphone app meter etc], minus the exposure increase and thus lower reading due to the viewfinder and meter light diversion system.   IF all is fine.....leave the camera alone and don't worry about opening it up to make any adjustments.  Unless you film in Automatic often, and the image density is too dense or too light for your preferences, then perhaps a tweak is in order.  But if all is fine after testing it out light I described......you could just end up having more problems just trying to open the camera up, which is complex enough.

Determining the film/run speed accuracy would require a special strobe light and/or sensor setup.   A cheap way would be to pull down 18 or 24 frames of film, mark a Large X prior to pulling it down, and a large X afterward.  If you need to, you can draw a line on a couple frames before and afterward.  Then push the film back up into the cartridge until you get to the first X mark or one frame before it.  Either way, it'll be visible in the cartridge window.   Insert the film into the camera, and set your desired running speed test....18fps or 24fps.  Using a stop watch or any accurate timing device.......set the camera up on Lock Run Mode with the Power Off if possible....and using a separate Remote Switch to run it.....or set it likewise and use a cable release.  When you view the Timer where you want to start it.....depress the camera and stop it after 1 second.  Open the camera, remove the cartridge and you should see the 2nd X mark in the cartridge window gate.   If dead accurate it'll be in the center....if slightly too fast it'll be below and if too slow it'll be above.  If you don't see it at all, pull the film back up slightly to see how many frames down it when.   You could also draw a line from the First X mark to the Second X mark and a little past it....or  make extra 3rd and 4th X marks.  These will help you observe where the mark is.  A synchronized setup would be more accurate whereby the Timer begins when the camera starts.....but with some care, you can measure it quite accurately with this method.  If you don't have an old junker cartridge, you can use a new one, since you're only going to use a tiny bit of it for speed testing, and can use if for filming whatever once you've done your testing.  You can do this test quite a few times if necessary and still have plenty of film left to use, so you're not wasting much.

Regarding adjustment of the Running Speed.....this works also with a speed control potentiometer on the circuit board......left is slower and right is faster.  Usually each speed will have it's own, except for slow motion which often is the maximum default speed.

Hope this helps.  Good luck!

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I thought about measuring the FPS, and it may be possible with a sound recording? assuming each revolution of the shutter and/or pulldown claw has a distinct sound pattern it should be possible to figure out the amount of revolutions per second?

Edited by Niels kakelveld
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I'm not familiar with that type of measuring.  But....another way would be to put a small mag light or similar in the film chamber aimed at the film gate, and then using a App if available or digital camera etc, film the light coming thru the lens and count the frames and compare the speed to a digital counter etc.  I'm a life long analog guy and am used to using various analog methods.  There are other ways like filming a pattern placed on a record player and then examing the process film,  but that's a longer process and costlier. With the cost of film and processing at most places these days, I would use some other testing method that didn't eat up film, unless it was some old junk film that I didn't have to pay a lot for.

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I think the "Video Tachometer" app (Iphone only) would be suitable for this- I've used it this week to check the Steenbeck speed.

It uses a variable frame rate rather than the phone's LED. Assuming you can see the claw, or shutter, you'd shine a light on it (or through the lens as per Martin's method) then adjust the frame rate on the app until the part was stationary. That would be the running speed.

Incidentally it's just told me that my K3 speed is off. Easier to see the shutter with the lens off, of course. But it works.

Edited by Mark Dunn
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