I’ve been using my little Pocket Spot Meter now for a few months and I really like it, except for when I am trying to read value next to another value with a huge different in brightness… think snow in the sun next to a deep shadow from a tree. The narrowness of the tree makes a perfect reading difficult if you follow the direction that came with the meter for normal operation (“hold the meter 12 inches from your eye and sight through the hole”)…
Today I came up with a better solution… just tip the meter up a bit and put more of the circle in the value you are trying to meter. Placing the 1 degree viewing sight exactly above or below the dividing line between to extremes values will result in a bad reading but doing what the photos below illustrate works perfect… note how in photo 2 the viewing hole is now somewhat elipical in nature… this is what you want. I checked this process out against my trusted Pentax Digital Spot Meter and my Sekonic L758DR Spot meter and in both cases all three meters were in agreement… yeah!
I just finished tweaking the Acros in Caffenol C and yes an EI of 1600 is very possible, as the sample image below shows… 3200 is just a tad past my liking but for some shots it would be usable. Click on both images to see a larger view.
The dark barn boards above the windows were placed at Zone 3… they were EV 0. The detail outside the window fell on Zone 14. The detail image below is a 3″ x 3″ crop from a 20″ x 20″ print… pretty impressive.
My metering technique for these images is a stripped-down Zone approach that will be outlined in some detail in my next book The Photographers Coffee Break … I feel it fits the Caffenol C process quite well.