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Mario Zorzi

Nizo 801 macro light meter batteries

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Hello!

I've got a question about the batteries used by the light meter.
The nizo 801 macro light meter uses his own batteries so I've always used the kind I attached to this post.

My question is: I've bought a pair in february and so far I've used the camera with just one super 8 cartridge. The rest of the time the camera was on my shelf, switched off. Yesterday I tried to use it and the light meter was dead. So, is it normal? I mean, in 6 months I used the camera once and the rest of the time it was resting, switched off, on my shelf. With very low usage is the lifespan of this batteries around 6 months?

I am just wondering if maybe I can extend the life by just keep the batteries out of the camera.

thank you very much for the help!

Mario

Cattura.JPG

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Those Zinc Air batteries have a fairly short life span once activated!  I don't bother using them anymore unless it's in something I will use consistently before they wear down.  You can use the Alkaline cells which are 1.5 volt, but only in Manual mode since in Auto Exposure they will underexpose since their voltage is higher.

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Martin thank you very much!!!
do you think an adapter wich convert the voltage (they say with a chip) from 1.5 to 1.35 is reliable? has anyone experience in using this adapter?

 I've also found an adapter for the 1.4 zinc air battery whithout the voltage conversion.. do you think the 0.05 difference in voltage will producen well of course will produce wrong light meter reading, but I mean, do you think this will be a neglectable difference?

thank you very much!!

 

Mario

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As Martin said, this camera is amazing but has a few drawbacks, one of which is using these annoying batteries. The thing with these "Air" batteries is that they kinda "dry out" or something. Notice how when you buy them, they have a little sticker over the flat side? That preserves them. So whenever I'm not using my Nizo 801, I take out these batteries (and maybe the AA but not required) and then reapply the sticker or at least some tape to the flat side. This generally does the trick.

Also as Martin said, other voltages will give incorrect readings in the meter so aren't recommended. But the manual mode won't work without batteries so you could do it that way. There are adapters, to answer your question. Underexposure is not ideal for negative film. If it overexposed then I'd say no big deal but under is not good. Up to you I guess. I find Super 8 film too expensive to risk it over $10 of batteries.

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Hello Nick! thank you very much for all these information!! I definitely gonna try the tape trick on the batteries.

Do you think that different voltages, 1.5 or 1.4, can mess up with the camera circuits?

 

again guys thank you very much!!

Mario

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Back in the day some years ago, decades really, the PX625 and similar 1.3 volt batteries powered most metering systems in many many cameras, both movie cameras and still film cameras.  The adapters which have a built in resister to lower the voltage is probably the best method to use if you want to use those older cameras on Automatic.  Otherwise, as Nick states.....film and processing etc is just too expensive to risk making unnecessary exposure mistakes.  There will be plenty of filming errors, focus, movement, composition, lighting etc, no need to add camera technical problems to our own mistakes we make when making films.

The extra voltage is slight and will not mess up the electronics of the cameras, since those are all analog electronic systems.  It's also quite possible to adjust the meter's circuit potentiometer so the camera meters correctly with the 1.5 volt batteries. But, this involves opening up the control side of the camera and using a non metal tool to tweak the pot until the exposure is where it should be.  Not for the faint of heart of course, and this can actually be done for a variety of the older Super 8mm cameras.  There are some photos and instructions out on the Internet showing how to do this on some cameras.  I don't have any links available, but search and you'll find how it's done.  While not complex, you will need to to know how much to adjust for, and this will involve having a cartridge in the camera to index the meter Then using an 18% Gray Card (or white wall could work also) and comparing the exposure obtained prior to adjustment, and knowing how far off it is, thus comparing that to a known standard such as a decent hand held meter (and factoring in what the actual exposure should be with any camera prism, lens setup light loss). 

Anyhow, at least there are viable options to consider.   I still use many older cameras that originally didn't meter for some of the modern films available now, via such adjustment methods.

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Martin! thank you very much for your explanation! I do not think my heart is strong enough to open the camera 😄
I will continue using the px625 putting the sticker back in place to preserve the life of the batteries.

thank you very much guys for the help!

ciao!

Mario

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