is a little page about Wata accessory rangefinders. There are others,
but I didn't find better ones. These are easy to use, they have good
quality mirrors and they can easily be readjusted. They are sold for
reasonable prices. So if your folder has no rangefinder, they are a big
side, from top to bottom: old WataCombiMeter, newer WataCombiMeter,
newer WataMeter (Super), older WataMeter (Super) and Präzisa
rangefinder for comparison.
Back (eyepiece) side.
Seen from above.
are 3 versions of the WataMeter: I, II and Super. The I is an ordinary
rangefinder, you make the two images coincide via turning the wheel and
read the result from the wheel. The II has a scale well visible inside
the rangefinder, no need to look at small numbers on a wheel. So it has
no numbering on the wheel. This is what the inside scale looks like:
The distance set between 3 and 4 meters.
WataMeter Super has the features of the II pus a scale on the wheel for
close-ups between 30 and 50 cm (12 to 20"). It works very well, but
going this close creates a problem: The camera distance setting in the
old days was calculated from the last element of the lens, the meter
calculates it from its mirror, that is the middle of its housing. So
you have to measure the distance between the lens of your camera and
the meter installed once and then always subtract this value from your
WataMeters can easily be calibrated
horizontally, there is a screw in the middle of the wheel. If the
images do not coincide vertically, this doesn't influence the result,
but you might not want it nevertheless. There is a small wheel on the
left side (seen from above) of the housing of the newer models, on the
older ones it's a screw hidden under the leathering.
WataCombiMeter is an ordinary rangefinder like the model I with
addition of an extiction light meter in a very simple version, visible
in the second eyepiece. It only works between 17 and 23 DIN or 40 to
160 ISO (17 to 21 on the old one). Extinction meters are more a guess
than measuring. This is what you see:
have to direct the meter towards your subject and look into the second
eyepiece from a distance between 20 - 30 cm. There are numbers from 3
to 7. You take the lowest number you can see, it's the 4 on the photo.
On the scale at the top there are three scenes, indoor, cloudy and
sunny with 3 DIN/ISO settings each. Put the according point on the
scale on the number you read and it will show you the shutter/aperture
combinations. As I said, it's a guess, but maybe better than nothing.
The instruction notice in English, German and French is here and in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian it's here, the image will open in a new window.
you buy a rangefinder, check, whether the mirrors are fine. I have a
lot of dead rangefinders, like the Präzisa on the picture. It's better
to buy from a professional or even better to check with your eyes.