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07-08-2017, 09:58 PM   #1
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K-5 and Lee Big Stopper

Hi Guys,

Its been a while since I have been away from using my K-5 in combination with the popular Lee Big Stopper(10 stops) filter. So now when I put my camera on a solid tripod, click on the MUP with my remote for the required calculated amount of seconds as per the Lee time chart, it seems like its on its way to take a picture, but the results are always total black! That never happened before a long time(2 years) ago when I was good at it. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for any help.
v13

07-09-2017, 04:50 AM   #2
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Are you sure the remote is working the way you think it is? Repeat your procedure but without the Lee filter and: 1) listen carefully for the sound of the shutter opening and then closing; 2) watch from the front to see when the aperture of the lens closes and re-opens. Those sounds & sights should be spaced by the expected time.

Also check your "Remote Control in Bulb" settings in the Customer Setting menu #3.
07-09-2017, 05:56 AM   #3
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It would be great to have someone write the exact procedure for any Pentax with a lee big stopper. One can easily go to the Lee website and learn, but they are with other camera makes, and I haven't seen the Pentax - Lee big stopper combination anywhere on the web.
Photooptimist - Thanks for your message. The remote is working fine, but even if I wont have a remote, it should work I guess.
Here is my procedure - After focusing and composing, I put on the Lee filter and then click on the remote once. The camera is set on the MUP mode. The mirror opens, a beep sounds every second denoting that the photo is being made, then when the time is up, I press the remote again, the mirror falls back and the photo is complete. The photo then appears shortly but in my case, totally black!
Perhaps my process is flawed somewhere. That's why it would be awesome, not just for this thread, if someone writes a short summary of exactly how to take a photo with the K-5(or any other Pentax should do) and Lee big stopper.
07-09-2017, 06:27 AM   #4
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Ah ha! In MUP mode, the first button press only lifts the mirror. It does NOT start the exposure. The beeping means the camera just waiting to start the exposure (just like the beeping during the self-timer). The second button press starts the exposure and if you are in Bulb mode, there's a good chance it's only exposing for the duration of the second button press.

07-09-2017, 08:18 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Ah ha! In MUP mode, the first button press only lifts the mirror. It does NOT start the exposure. The beeping means the camera just waiting to start the exposure (just like the beeping during the self-timer). The second button press starts the exposure and if you are in Bulb mode, there's a good chance it's only exposing for the duration of the second button press.
Here is the thing Photoptimist, when I press the remote the first time, the mirror goes up and it beeps every second, then when the remote is pressed again(after 15 secs), according to you the exposure should start now, but then instead, I see that the photo is done because I see the final result along with the blinking on the screen(blinking due to the heavily underexposed exposure courtsey of the big stopper)
The bulb mode doesn't come into play here as the exposure was for 15 seconds and bulb mode is for over 30 seconds.
07-09-2017, 08:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by voyager13 Quote
Here is the thing Photoptimist, when I press the remote the first time, the mirror goes up and it beeps every second, then when the remote is pressed again(after 15 secs), according to you the exposure should start now, but then instead, I see that the photo is done because I see the final result along with the blinking on the screen(blinking due to the heavily underexposed exposure courtsey of the big stopper) The bulb mode doesn't come into play here as the exposure was for 15 seconds and bulb mode is for over 30 seconds.
There are 2 things in the camera: a mirror and a shutter. In bulb mode and mirrorlockup, you define the exposure time yourself be pressing the remote three times.
1) The first time you press the remote the mirror goes up, you hear the beeps.
2) The second time you press the remote, the shutter opens.
3) The third time you press the remote, the shutter closes.
The exposure time is the time between 2) and 3). If you want a 15 seconds exposure, you should wait 15 seconds between 2) and 3).
How long should you wait between 1) and 2)? A couple of seconds is fine.
07-09-2017, 08:46 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by voyager13 Quote
Here is the thing Photoptimist, when I press the remote the first time, the mirror goes up and it beeps every second, then when the remote is pressed again(after 15 secs), according to you the exposure should start now, but then instead, I see that the photo is done because I see the final result along with the blinking on the screen(blinking due to the heavily underexposed exposure courtsey of the big stopper)
The bulb mode doesn't come into play here as the exposure was for 15 seconds and bulb mode is for over 30 seconds.
Hmmmm... Strange.....

Any chance the camera is set 1/15 sec instead of 15 seconds?

What does the EXIF say about the dark images?

What happens if you set the exposure time to 1 second and boost the ISO by 15X (e.g., from 100 to 1600?)?

If you watch the camera from the front, does the lens stop down and if so does it stop down too far to the narrowest setting? (Aperture block failure)
07-09-2017, 09:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
There are 2 things in the camera: a mirror and a shutter. In bulb mode and mirrorlockup, you define the exposure time yourself be pressing the remote three times.
1) The first time you press the remote the mirror goes up, you hear the beeps.
2) The second time you press the remote, the shutter opens.
3) The third time you press the remote, the shutter closes.
The exposure time is the time between 2) and 3). If you want a 15 seconds exposure, you should wait 15 seconds between 2) and 3).
How long should you wait between 1) and 2)? A couple of seconds is fine.
I understand your point and that's how it should be but it seems that I dont get to press the third time because when I press the remote the second time the photo gets finalized because I can see the ugly result on the back panel. At this point, if I press the remote once again, it starts again with the mirror opening sound and the beeping commencing! That makes me wonder why am I not able to get a third press of the remote? What must be wrong here? Can the mirror and the shutter open on the same remote first-time press?

07-09-2017, 12:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by voyager13 Quote
I understand your point and that's how it should be but it seems that I dont get to press the third time because when I press the remote the second time the photo gets finalized because I can see the ugly result on the back panel. At this point, if I press the remote once again, it starts again with the mirror opening sound and the beeping commencing! That makes me wonder why am I not able to get a third press of the remote? What must be wrong here? Can the mirror and the shutter open on the same remote first-time press?
That because there are two different modes for starting and stopping the exposure. It is written in the K5 user manual page 116.
The default mode is that the shutter remains open as long as the shutter button remain pressed, that means for a 15 sec. exposure the shutter button (or remote) should be pressed for 15 seconds.
The other mode that can be programmed by the user, is that the first press of shutter (or remote) starts the exposure , and another press of the shutter button stops the exposure.

If you are using mirror lockup, this adds one more press of the shutter button of remote.

A) Bulb mode default:
1) press shutter or remote one time , the mirror goes up, you hear the beep
2) press the shutter or remote continuously for 15 seconds

B) Bulb mode with separated start and stop
1) press shutter or remote one time, mirror goes up, hear the beep
2) press shutter one time , the shutter opens, exposure starts
3) wait 15 seconds
4) press the shutter or remote one more time, the shutter closes and this ends the exposure.

Selection A or B can be done via menu C3-19
07-09-2017, 08:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
That because there are two different modes for starting and stopping the exposure. It is written in the K5 user manual page 116.
The default mode is that the shutter remains open as long as the shutter button remain pressed, that means for a 15 sec. exposure the shutter button (or remote) should be pressed for 15 seconds.
The other mode that can be programmed by the user, is that the first press of shutter (or remote) starts the exposure , and another press of the shutter button stops the exposure.

If you are using mirror lockup, this adds one more press of the shutter button of remote.

A) Bulb mode default:
1) press shutter or remote one time , the mirror goes up, you hear the beep
2) press the shutter or remote continuously for 15 seconds

B) Bulb mode with separated start and stop
1) press shutter or remote one time, mirror goes up, hear the beep
2) press shutter one time , the shutter opens, exposure starts
3) wait 15 seconds
4) press the shutter or remote one more time, the shutter closes and this ends the exposure.

Selection A or B can be done via menu C3-19
I am aware of that setting and have set it on the second setting(pressing once with the remote starts the exposure and pressing again ends it), but that's for the bulb mode. My exposure is not over 30 secs, hence I am using the M mode all this time. I have also, just to try it out, gone into the bulb mode for the same 15 sec exposure, just to see what I get, but its the exact same result of a black photo with blinking under-exposure intimation.

Is there anywhere on Pentax forums where someone has written a long-exposure write-up so that I can match my actions step-by-step? That can be a way to find out what's happening with my camera or where I am doing something different.
07-09-2017, 10:07 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by voyager13 Quote
I am aware of that setting and have set it on the second setting(pressing once with the remote starts the exposure and pressing again ends it), but that's for the bulb mode. My exposure is not over 30 secs, hence I am using the M mode all this time. I have also, just to try it out, gone into the bulb mode for the same 15 sec exposure, just to see what I get, but its the exact same result of a black photo with blinking under-exposure intimation.
Then , if your camera can take picture without the big stopper Lee filter, I can only imaging a wrong calculation of exposure time. 10 stops is... 10 stops.

---------- Post added 10-07-17 at 07:13 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by voyager13 Quote
but its the exact same result of a black photo with blinking under-exposure intimation
That's for sure, with a 10 stops filter , the camera isn't going to tell you that exposure is fine, in manual mode it monitors exposure within +-5ev, beyond that amount the camera will always indicate underexposure (<-5ev) or overexposure (>+5ev). That for all camera the same, that's why Lee filter provide a chart.

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Hmmmm... Strange..... Any chance the camera is set 1/15 sec instead of 15 seconds? What does the EXIF say about the dark images? What happens if you set the exposure time to 1 second and boost the ISO by 15X (e.g., from 100 to 1600?)? If you watch the camera from the front, does the lens stop down and if so does it stop down too far to the narrowest setting? (Aperture block failure)
Those are good questions, I'd investigate those first.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 07-09-2017 at 10:28 PM.
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