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04-10-2011, 03:47 PM   #1
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Can you spot meter with manual lenses?

so I am taking pictures and part is okay and part is blown out. I should have metered off the bright part (I guess). Can you do that with manual lenses? All I can really adjust is the aperture manually and the shutter with the dial so I guess it's just as good to do trial and error. Not sure what to do. For example, white clothes blown out.

04-10-2011, 03:53 PM   #2
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Did you meter the entire scene?
You can use any of the three metering methods in MF btw. though its quite common to take hold and adjust things along the way.
I method(I commonly use) is to grab the exposure compensation and shift things left or right as a quick and dirty means to take hold of highlights and shadows etc.
04-10-2011, 04:16 PM   #3
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I'm not sure with the Kx; on my K20D, using a manual lens shifts metering to center-weighted only. I think some here have suggested playing a tinfoil trick with the lens contacts to make the camera think you have an AF lens, and allow spot-metering.

I prefer a trick from Back In The Day when center-weighted was the best metering available: Don't meter the scene; meter the subject, or a substitute. If you can't get to the subject, meter something that's about the same brightness. So if I were to shoot someone with similar skin tone who's backlit, I'd meter off my hand, that sort of thing.
04-10-2011, 04:19 PM   #4
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I don't know about the KX, but the k10d and k20d would need exposure compensation depending on f-stop because of metering errors with non-A lenses. The focus screen of the modern cameras and lack of camera knowing the setting on the lens is the culprit. It might be worth checking to be sure. My old 400mm f5.6 vivitar would be overexposed by a good bit stopping it down to f8 on the k10d or k20d. I kind of thought those bodies were center weighted metering only with old lenses, but I might be wrong.

04-10-2011, 05:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I'm not sure with the Kx; on my K20D, using a manual lens shifts metering to center-weighted only. I think some here have suggested playing a tinfoil trick with the lens contacts to make the camera think you have an AF lens, and allow spot-metering.
I thought shooting with manual lenses disabled Matrix metering and defaulted to center-weighted metering, but I don't recall spot metering being disabled by manual lenses. I took a quick look through the manual for K20D but I can't find any reference to where spot metering is disabled when manual lens is mount on camera.

Thanks,
04-10-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
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I routinely spot meter with MF and Adaptall lenses with no problem except for the known adjustments needed with split prisms and M-class lenses. But I also normally calibrate specific lenses/equipment with any meter before use for best results and pre-meter and chimp when possible.

H2
04-10-2011, 08:31 PM   #7
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I agree with pacerr's post above.

Just tested with my K7 and K10D.

Spot metering with manual lens is possible. The shutter speed set by green button changes depending on the reflectivity of the object in the center circle.

Whether the metering is correct is a different issue.
04-10-2011, 09:18 PM   #8
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Yes, you can spot meter with manual lenses. When you say manual lenses, you are referring to lenses without the 'A' lens series contacts?

I have no problem using spot meter using my M and adapted lenses.

It also sounds like the scene that you are taking a picture of may be too contrasty so you may have to adjust your composition, or light the scene differently, or meter the subject and let the rest of the scene fall.

04-10-2011, 09:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by taurus9 Quote
Yes, you can spot meter with manual lenses. When you say manual lenses, you are referring to lenses without the 'A' lens series contacts?

I have no problem using spot meter using my M and adapted lenses.

It also sounds like the scene that you are taking a picture of may be too contrasty so you may have to adjust your composition, or light the scene differently, or meter the subject and let the rest of the scene fall.
I don't know. They are super tak m42 lenses. All i know is that one part was blown out and didn't know if I could have metered off of that one part. In reality the picture isn't horrible. i think I was just getting to technical and critical that anything "off" in the image was driving me crazy.

Most of my images have been terrible, mostly because of the photographer. I just keep moving the wheel to different shutter speeds based upon the histogram and what I can see of the image on the LCD. Sometimes I get the DOF wrong and sometimes I don't get my subject to lift their chin, the light isn't right (or I can't tell for sure), and so on....sorry for the rant and thanks.
04-10-2011, 10:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
They are super tak m42 lenses. All i know is that one part was blown out...
I don't know about the K-x, but the K10D and K20D are notorious for incorrect metering with manual lenses. In general, the error is toward overexposure, and the smaller the setting aperture, the more pronounced the error.

I just tested my K7. The error is not as severe as the K10D, but it's there nonetheless.

Why don't you do some simple testing and verify for yourself: attach a manual lens to the body, set the lens wide open, take a meter reading and note the shutter speed set by the camera. Now close the lens down one stop, take a meter reading and note the shutter speed. Keep doing that until you reach the smallest aperture of the lens. In theory, each time the shutter speed should be half of the previous setting. I think you'll find that's not the case.

Do that for each lens and you'll see that for each lens, at each aperture setting, you'll need to adjust the setting by a certain amount.

BTW, the workaround for the K10D and the K20D is to replace the stock focusing screen with one for the *ist series (LL-60, LI-60, ....). I don't know if there is a workaround for the K-x. I haven't yet found one for the K7.
04-11-2011, 05:36 AM   #11
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Just a simple clarification on metering.

All pentax cameras can spot meter with ANY lens. BUT if you attach any Non A lens, (k mount or M42) you do not have matrix metering, if you select matrix it defaults to center weighted.

Also note, depending on the body, there is no exposure compensation available in Manual mode. The K10D for example does not have this feature, so pressing the green button can give exposure errors.

the *istD and K7D allow for exposure compensation in manual. Cant answer on the others.

WIth respect to manual focus lenses in general, and the use of a split image focusing screen, this generally interferes with spot metering, making it unreliable.
04-11-2011, 07:05 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
WIth respect to manual focus lenses in general, and the use of a split image focusing screen, this generally interferes with spot metering, making it unreliable.
A split image focusing screen interfering with spot metering happens with any lens, not just manual focus lenses.
04-11-2011, 07:21 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
A split image focusing screen interfering with spot metering happens with any lens, not just manual focus lenses.
agreed, but since we are discussing here spot metering and manual lenses, and that otherwise spot metering works .....
04-11-2011, 07:22 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
BTW, the workaround for the K10D and the K20D is to replace the stock focusing screen with one for the *ist series (LL-60, LI-60, ....). I don't know if there is a workaround for the K-x. I haven't yet found one for the K7.
I was doing sunsets last night & on my K20D with a 35mm f/3.5 M42, the metering was way off. I switched over to spot, and no problem.



BTW, where can one purchase (LL-60, LI-60, or one that will work just as well, except for the katseye?
04-11-2011, 07:48 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
BTW, where can one purchase (LL-60, LI-60, or one that will work just as well, except for the katseye?
B&H has a few. Try this: pentax focus screen
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