Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-12-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 719
How Manual Is Manual?

I've been thinking about getting some primes but I'm hoping to get some of the older manual lenses. The only thing I've wondered is... well... how manual is manual? Am I completely on my own? Do I just set the camera to full manual mode and mess around with the settings until I get something that works? It sounds like it could be a whole lot of fun, but not very practical. My understanding is that I would have to set my own shutter speed and my own aperture for every shot?

Can any of you guys that use the old manual lenses explain how it works and/or provide any tips on how to use them? I would like to get some information on them before I start buying any. Even though they're not as expensive as the newer lenses, I haven't been able to find any prices that would make me be ok with buying a lens just to test it out.

Thanks.

02-12-2012, 11:59 AM   #2
Pentaxian
bluestringer's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Cotton fields of South Georgia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,398
What camera? You can use the green button metering to set exposure, then all you do is focus and shoot. You can also leave the camera in AF and use catch-in-focus to fire the camera when you have focus on the subject.
02-12-2012, 12:05 PM   #3
Pentaxian
Pablom's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Jerusalem
Posts: 1,940
different lenses have different characteristics. Lenses with the A contacts (all Pentax-A lenses, but not only) can do everything that current lenses do besides AF. other K mount Manual lenses with auto aperture will meter fine (varies with camera) with the green button as described above. these lenses will also work on Av mode but only at the largest aperture (not sure if it works on every Pentax model). I am also a fan of catch-in-focus.
02-12-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 719
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by bluestringer Quote
What camera? You can use the green button metering to set exposure, then all you do is focus and shoot. You can also leave the camera in AF and use catch-in-focus to fire the camera when you have focus on the subject.
I have a Kr. I've read before about using the green button for setting exposure, but since I've never owned a manual lens, I can't really visualize this. Is this something I can do with my newer lenses to get a feel for it? Does anyone know of any videos or other tutorials that explain how this process works?

Also, Do you find that catch-in-focus works pretty well? Thanks.

02-12-2012, 12:06 PM   #5
axl
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,181
With Pentax cameras you can use green button. So:
You set camera to M, select aperture and press M button. The camera will stop the lens down, engage meter and set time value for you. Problem is it's not very accurate with wide and small f stops, my old lenses were reliable with this method between f2.8 and f5.6 wider than 2.8 I had to appl +Ev compensation as much as 1.5 f stop when using f1.2 lens, and below f5.6 -Ev was needed. These values will vary with camera-focusing screen-lens combination but you'll work it out. If you prefer shooting wide open just leave the camera in Av and apply +Ev depending on how fast your lens is. Focusing is manual but you have green hexagon confirmation which might be of help.

On top of it with non A lenses you can't use the matrix metering, only spot or centre weighed
02-12-2012, 12:07 PM   #6
Veteran Member
Anvh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,616
What you set is Shutterspeed, Aperture, ISO, focus and if you want you can also set the white balance.

It really depends on where you're shooting, i shoot so good as everything in manual except when the lighting changes too frequently.
I do this to get most of the files to match eachother so i can batch process them on the computer afterwards or i want to have everything in controll.

Pentax does deliver you one handy tool and that's the green button, press it and it will do a metering for you also with older lenses i believe.
02-12-2012, 12:22 PM - 1 Like   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,421
If you buy an A lens, you can do everything that you normally do with an AF lens (control everything from the body), except of course, auto focus.

If you buy an M lens, you set the mode dial to M, focus and compose the shot, turn aperture ring to aperture opening size you want, press the green button to obtain metering and shoot. Pressing the green button closes the lens down to the aperture value you have set to obtain the proper meter reading, releasing the shutter does the same plus opening and closing the shutter across the sensor to capture image.

If you buy an M42 lens, you will need an M42 to K mount adapter. Set the mode dial to Av (most Pentax DSLR defaults to Av mode), focus and compose, turn the aperture ring on lens to an aperture value you want to shoot at (the viewfinder will darken as you stop the aperture ring down), the camera meters in real time constantly in Av mode with an M42 lens. Click the shutter to capture image.

There are other modes and things to consider when using MF lenses, such as CIF mode, exposure compensation, split prism focus screens, viewfinder magnifiers etc. These thing should be used by the shooter as he/she sees fit.
02-12-2012, 12:24 PM   #8
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,167
How manual is manual? Depends on the lens and on the camera.

Assuming you will be mounting to a modern dSLR and working backward in history in the Pentax line:
  • Pentax-FA and -F -- Full support for all camera functions
  • Pentax-A -- You will have to work the focus, all exposure modes supported
  • Pentax-M and -K -- No AF, green button stop-down metering only in M mode or hand-held meter
  • Adapted M42 Screw -- No AF, stop-down metering in M or Av mode (M mode being most accurate for current product line), must manually stop down lens aperture before shooting
That about sums it up. Manual focus can be a challenge with the stock focus screen and manual stop-down with M42 glass is simply clumsy, though very doable. (I have a collection of M42 lenses that I like and prefer for certain subjects.)


Steve

02-12-2012, 12:32 PM   #9
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 719
Original Poster
Just grabbed one of my lenses, set it to manual, and pressed the green button. It worked. Thanks for all of the help guys. I feel like this just removed most of my manual lens fears.

Hoping you guys can elaborate on what axl mentioned. So with older lenses where I will have to set the aperture on the lens, my camera will be able to accurately set the shutter speed for me?
02-12-2012, 12:37 PM   #10
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 719
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
How manual is manual? Depends on the lens and on the camera.

Assuming you will be mounting to a modern dSLR and working backward in history in the Pentax line:
  • Pentax-FA and -F -- Full support for all camera functions
  • Pentax-A -- You will have to work the focus, all exposure modes supported
  • Pentax-M and -K -- No AF, green button stop-down metering only in M mode or hand-held meter
  • Adapted M42 Screw -- No AF, stop-down metering in M or Av mode (M mode being most accurate for current product line), must manually stop down lens aperture before shooting
That about sums it up. Manual focus can be a challenge with the stock focus screen and manual stop-down with M42 glass is simply clumsy, though very doable. (I have a collection of M42 lenses that I like and prefer for certain subjects.)


Steve
From what I've read about M and M42 lenses, it seems like M42 lenses would be more practical because they allow for use in AV mode. Have your experiences shown them to be more practical?

I tried an F series lens right now in full manual, set the aperture on the lens (in m mode) and it was still setting the aperture on the camera. Is this because it's a "newer" lens?
02-12-2012, 12:38 PM   #11
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,167
QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
If you buy an M42 lens, you will need an M42 to K mount adapter. Set the mode dial to Av (most Pentax DSLR defaults to Av mode), focus and compose, turn the aperture ring on lens to an aperture value you want to shoot at (the viewfinder will darken as you stop the aperture ring down), the camera meters in real time constantly in Av mode with an M42 lens. Click the shutter to capture image.
With the K-r it is better to use M mode for metering (this is hidden deep in manual). Pentax applies a more appropriate exposure algorithm in that mode on the newer cameras. Av mode suffers from the same issues as my K10D...wild underexposure at apertures wider than about f/4 with most lenses.

One caution regarding stop-down metering and narrow apertures. There is a limit to meter sensitivity and a fully stopped down lens in moderately dim light may take the meter below its linear range. Although Pentax claims a lower sensitivity of EI(100) 1, my experience is that the real value is closer to EI(100) 2-2.5. Fortunately, with a dSLR, we get immediate feedback and can adjust the camera as needed.

One other exposure tip. You don't need to meter before every shot. My flow for stop-down metering with Pentax-K and Pentax-M lenses is to meter the subject, set the camera and shoot until either the subject or the light changes. Ditto for my M42 film cameras. There usually is little (no?) need to meter in real time. In fact, for certain subjects (stage lighting and birds in flight) you are better to put the meter for the subject illumination, put the camera in M mode and forget about it.


Steve
02-12-2012, 12:40 PM   #12
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 719
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
I tried an F series lens right now in full manual, set the aperture on the lens (in m mode) and it was still setting the aperture on the camera. Is this because it's a "newer" lens?
Nevermind. It seems like my camera was just acting funny. I turned the camera off, took the lens off, put it back on, and tried it again. Problem seemed to be solved. It was now allowing me to control the aperture from my lens. I'm starting to see why people really like these old lenses. They are a lot of fun. I just hope my family doesn't mind the neglect once I start getting some lenses.
02-12-2012, 12:42 PM   #13
Site Supporter
reivax's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 719
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
One caution regarding stop-down metering and narrow apertures.
Since I've got your ears right now, well your eyes actually, what is stop-down metering? I've seen that term a few times, but am not sure what it is.
02-12-2012, 12:45 PM   #14
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,167
QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
...I tried an F series lens right now in full manual, set the aperture on the lens (in m mode) and it was still setting the aperture on the camera. Is this because it's a "newer" lens?
That sounds strange. With the aperture ring off the "A" position, you should get F--- or something similar in the rear LCD.


Steve
02-12-2012, 12:55 PM - 1 Like   #15
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,167
QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
Since I've got your ears right now, well your eyes actually, what is stop-down metering? I've seen that term a few times, but am not sure what it is.
Stop-down metering: The lens is stopped down to the taking aperture for the meter reading. The meter "sees" exactly the same light as the film. This is the type of metering used in most M42 film cameras such as the Pentax Spotmatic. Those have a small button on the body that turns on the meter while stopping down the lens. Once stopped down, the photographer adjusts shutter speed and aperture to center a needle in the viewfinder. Once set, you turn the meter off, focus, and shoot.

Open-aperture metering: The lens is at maximum aperture for the meter reading. Supporting this feature requires either a physical coupling between the aperture ring and the camera body or control of the aperture by the body.

Your K-r supports open-aperture metering with all Pentax lenses that have electrical ("A") contacts on the mount. Since it lacks the physical coupler (due to the so-called crippled mount), you have to use stop-down metering with lenses that lack the "A" contacts. With K-mount lenses, this is done by using the green button technique. Pushing the button momentarily stops the lens down to take the meter reading. With M42 lenses, you must put the lens in manual aperture mode and manually stop the lens down to take the reading.


Steve
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, lenses, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Manual Metering on Pentax DSLRs with Manual and Automatic Lenses Adam Pentax DSLR and Camera Articles 20 01-06-2016 03:38 AM
Linear Polarizer in Manual with manual lens Den Photographic Technique 8 12-19-2012 11:10 PM
Do you use only manual focus lenses?Do a lot of folks use only manual lenses? heralu Pentax DSLR Discussion 12 01-05-2011 04:06 PM
K100ds and full manual mode w/manual lens dwhopson Pentax DSLR Discussion 10 11-06-2008 10:37 PM
Macro: Handheld, Manual Focus, Manual Stop-Down Mike Cash Post Your Photos! 2 06-19-2008 07:14 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:02 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top