Leica MR4 Meter?
Old 06-16-2019   #1
ktmrider
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Leica MR4 Meter?

I just swapped my M5 for an M2. The M2 was mine until two years ago when I acquired the M5. My friend with the M2 wanted to try the M5 and I was anxious to get another classic body. We may swap back six months down the road.

However, both my light meters are packed away (selling house and moving to Alaska) in some poorly labeled box in storage so I have an M2 without a meter. Now I know the sunny f16 rule (more like f11 IMHO) but indoors or in unusual light?

B&H has a MR4 meter which is operational. I know it has meters the equivalent of a 90mm lens. Should I get it? Batteries? etc. Had the Voigtlander meter but not real happy with it. Suggestions or hints?
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Old 06-16-2019   #2
Gregm61
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The Wein cell powers it..

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._Zinc_Air.html

The Voigtlander silicon diode metering system should be superior. I never read up on the specs, angle of measure, etc. I have an MR4 for my M4 but prefer just using my handheld Sekonic L-308S that allows for both reflected and incident reading methods.
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Old 06-16-2019   #3
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I use a silver oxide battery with a Cris adapter in mine.
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Old 06-16-2019   #4
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I have one, had it professionally overhauled in Germany (the only company that still have the original Metrawatt spare parts) and still don`t use it because it adds lots of bulk and blocks the mounting shoe.


A light meter app on a smartphone is all that I use since a couple of years now.The only limiting factor is the sensitivity of the smartphone camera but also the old MR4 is very limited in low light conditions.
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Old 06-16-2019   #5
Larry Cloetta
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Plenty accurate for any film use outside of someone wanting to be within a third stop for transparencies. Day to day, I haven’t found mine to be any less on the money than the meter in the M5, or my small, low end, sekonic. Perhaps rigidly disciplined testing might show the M5 metering to be better, but for taking photos on the go the MR4 has been everything I could ask for. It adds all the metering I really need and the increase in bulk and change in the “esthetics” of the body (camera, it’s a tool!) don’t affect me as much as I have been told they would. Or, at all. YMMV.
I had mine calibrated by the person at Quality Light Metric, whose name escapes me momentarily, though it was actually pretty accurate before I sent it in, so not sure that was even necessary. (I did have another one in the past, however, that was “off”). I use a normal, long lasting 625 battery with the pradthei adapter.
But.....my biggest like of the MR4, as opposed to a handheld meter, is that it is coupled to the shutter speed dial. In use, this turns the camera into one having an aperture priority mode, more or less, which can speed things up. Or, shutter priority, if you set the shutter speed before you look at the indicator needle.
When I sold my M2, I kept my MR4, “just in case”, and now it has ended up on an M3.
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Old 06-16-2019   #6
Larry Cloetta
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BTW, moving from El Paso to Alaska, you are going to need some new clothes.
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Old 06-17-2019   #7
ktmrider
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Thanks for the tips. I have cancelled the order for the meter as I had forgotten about the light meter apps for the phone. I don't really need another piece of gear.
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Old 06-17-2019   #8
leicapixie
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Mine and all my buddies had major problems with meter..
No service, no parts, mercury battery the problem, released a gas..

Phone app best!
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Old 06-17-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
Mine and all my buddies had major problems with meter..
No service, no parts, mercury battery the problem, released a gas..

Phone app best!
No Service=Quality Light Metric can service them without issue.

No Parts= Chances that this will need a "part" is slim to none. It's not the kind of thing which undergoes mechanical wear and thus needs "parts". They do need calibration to be perfectly accurate, not parts.

Mercury battery the problem=No, it's not. Use an adapter.

Released a gas= whatever.

Phone app best=Neither a phone app or any handheld meter will turn an M body into a body having both aperture priority and shutter priority modes, in effect, like the MR4 does. May not matter to everyone, but it's there regardless.

MR4=Nice if brought up to as new operating capacity, which is certainly possible even today. No reason at all for "major problems".
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Old 06-17-2019   #10
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I love my MR not sure which exact model it is but I used it when I shot ektachrome, everything was pretty spot on. I had mine overhauled and adjusted for my battery adapter by Sherry Krauter. I like the extra leverage it gives on the shutter speed dial. For B&W I just meter by eye, film is pretty forgiving as you may know
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Old 06-17-2019   #11
mpaniagua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
Thanks for the tips. I have cancelled the order for the meter as I had forgotten about the light meter apps for the phone. I don't really need another piece of gear.
Good thinking. I got one and it really add bulk to the camera, and, IMHO, it make it kinda ugly (used sometimes on my M4-P).

Regards.

Marcelo
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Old 06-17-2019   #12
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The MR-4 is typically for the M4 and later bodies but I can't remember what the difference between it and the earlier models is.

I bought one about a decade ago when I bought my last M filmbody, had QLM clean and calibrate it, and fitted a silver oxide battery with an adapter. Works perfectly on the M4-2, although I prefer a hand-held incident meter. I have a raft of good iPhone light meter apps too.

I still prefer my Sekonic L-358 or L-478 meters, use them probably 20:1 over the iPhone app or the MR-4.

G
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Old 06-17-2019   #13
Phil_F_NM
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The switch to take a reading on the MR-4 is on top of the meter to allow rewinding with the M4 rewind mechanism.
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Old 06-17-2019   #14
Robert Lai
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MR-4 is a CdS meter with the activation switch on the top to clear the canted rewind knob / lever of the M4.
Earlier MR meter had a lever that stuck out on the side, and it was OK with the rewind knob on the M3 / M2.

The advantages of the MR-4 meter: semi-spot metering.
Use the 90mm frame line and you know what area you are metering.

Second, it makes the shutter speed dial on these cameras useable.
The shutter knob on the MR-4 overhangs the camera, in similar fashion to the M5 shutter dial. Then you can easily change shutter speeds with the meter on the camera. It also allows you to use the intermediate shutter speeds that Leica cameras are capable of. You can use the needle to center the exposure, regardless of whether the shutter dial is on a detente or not.

Very useful with the older M3 which have the older shutter speed scale.

I have an MR-4 on every one of my unmetered Leicas.
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Old 06-17-2019   #15
Colin Corneau
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Don't bother with an old meter that may or may not be accurate -- I got myself a Gossen Digisix meter. Highly recommend: incident and reflected readings, same size as the MR4, uses easily found inexpensive batteries, deadly accurate readings. Even has a thermometer and an alarm in it...about $100 new.
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Old 06-17-2019   #16
ktmrider
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Have two great meters including a Gossen DigiSix and a Minolta flash meter but again they are in storage awaiting a move to Alaska. Don't know which box they are in so the app on the phone is great.
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Old 06-17-2019   #17
David Hughes
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Well, I like and use the older MC meter on my M2 and it only takes a second or two to see if a meter is working because we (all) have digital cameras...


Regards, David


PS And "No Batteries Required"...
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Old 06-21-2019   #18
Hari
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Hi!

I recently bought an MR-4 meter for the M2 and got the
Criss adaptor which also works with the Sinarsix ground glass
meter for 4x5,5x7 and 8x10 cameras. Sometimes I carry it
in its case to use with my pocket Leica II. Also own and use
a Spotmeter F (also a spot meter for flash), a Weston V and
a Luna-Lux, depending on the situation. The MR-4 works
great as a hand meter. No phone apps.
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Old 06-21-2019   #19
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Leica RF were made for fast, decisive shooting. Having a separate hand held meter makes the use of the camera awkward. Tough to hold both a handheld meter and camera and then take a reading, and then transfer it to the camera. With the MR-4 meter you only need to make one adjustment, either move the shutter speed dial OR the aperture to center the dial.


The MR-4 meter circuit will compensate for a the decay curve of a silver oxide battery. Generally all you need to do is adjust the screw on the bottom to zero the meter. I've had a number of the meters over the years and this generally works though sometimes you can't zero the meter. In that case you need to use an adapter.


I use hand held meters when I shoot 4x5, not 35mm. The only downside for me with the use of the MR-4 is using wide angle lenses that require a separate VF.
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Old 06-21-2019   #20
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Old Leica meters are something odd. Scratching camera top and makes it bulky.

I used Sekonic Twinmate for years, until I learned the exposure. Indoors is nothing special and light is always light as long as you choose priority spot.
Just get lightmeter app and start to measure if not sure and memorize.
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Old 06-21-2019   #21
Larry Cloetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Old Leica meters are something odd. Scratching camera top and makes it bulky.
There is an adjustment described the manual to set up the meter so it sits perfectly parallel with the top of the camera body, without touching it. It will stay here, so they only scratch the camera tops if we want them to. I put some gaffer tape on the bottom of mine anyway, though it’s never been needed.

Bulkier, well there’s that, but the camera with meter still is pretty small, as cameras go. My cameras, anyway.

Leicameters are nice options to have, even if not a necessity. To each his own.
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Old 06-21-2019   #22
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Slip a business card between the meter and camera top when installing or removing and you'll never scratch the top. Works on assembling a 1911 also.
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Old 06-21-2019   #23
ktmrider
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Again, just to get an idea of the quantity of light indoors or someplace sunny 16 does not work, free apps on the I-phone work great.
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Old 06-21-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
Slip a business card between the meter and camera top when installing or removing and you'll never scratch the top. Works on assembling a 1911 also.
As a newbie who's exploring the possibility of buying an Mr-4.. what is a 1911? I realise it's probably nothing to do with the meter, I'm just curious
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