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08-11-2014, 12:31 PM   #1
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confused by blinking iso/aperture/shutter speed

Hi - I have had the K-3 for a few weeks now, read the manual and played around with it. I shoot mostly in manual mode. I did a search through the pentax forums and it looks like in other pentax dslr, when the shutter speed/iso/aperture blink on the lcd panel and display screen it means the settings won't give you a correct exposure, but this doesn't happen all the time, sometimes it blinks and sometimes not, when exposure it way off. And I have never seen anything about it blinking in manual mode. This is my first pentax since I had the K1000, and I only had one other digital camera so I don't have a huge amount of experience with digital dslr. Is this something really simple I am overlooking or is something wrong with the camera? Thanks for any clues.

08-11-2014, 12:47 PM   #2
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THe selected combo of ISO/AV/Speed isn't matching the exposure recommended by the camera

An example: If you turn it on with a cap on the lens it will blink
08-11-2014, 12:53 PM   #3
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Manual mode is manual mode, the automation is shut off and therefore also the blinking.
08-11-2014, 12:57 PM   #4
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That is what I figured, but it seems odd to me that it does it in manual mode. It was trying to take photos of the moon last night and it was going crazy, and I couldn't understand why sometimes it would blink and sometimes it wouldn't!

08-11-2014, 12:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Manual mode is manual mode, the automation is shut off and therefore also the blinking.
It might be metering warning.
08-11-2014, 12:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Manual mode is manual mode, the automation is shut off and therefore also the blinking.
So I am right there is something weird with my camera! LOL. I always shoot in manual mode since I got the camera, so found it odd it blinked.
08-11-2014, 01:01 PM   #7
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In M the only blinky will be the exposure scale that will blink a 5 on either end if your settings are off the scale.
To the OP, are you sure you did not see the blinks when you were in another setting besides M?
08-11-2014, 01:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by AldaCZ Quote
It might be metering warning.
I was using spot metering, trying to take photos of the moon. However it wouldn't do it all the time. It said the photo was underexposed. I am wondering if it was just the spot metering?

---------- Post added 08-11-14 at 04:07 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
In M the only blinky will be the exposure scale that will blink a 5 on either end if your settings are off the scale.
To the OP, are you sure you did not see the blinks when you were in another setting besides M?
Nope, I have never moved it off manual mode. It was all the settings blinking. I was using spot metering, taking photos of the moon, so it was saying it was underexposed. I played with the exposure to what the camera registered as correctly metered and it would be fine, then start doing it again. My camera was on a tripod, and I didn't adjust anything except to try to get it to stop blinking.

---------- Post added 08-11-14 at 04:15 PM ----------

Maybe I have got it - but not sure, I just was trying to recreate the issue. It does blink with the lens cap on, so maybe it was so dark outside, it thought the lens cap was on?

No matter what other setting I put it on, it didn't blink (I was holding it in a room, with cloudy daylight, and setting it to be severely underexposed and no blinking occured)

08-11-2014, 01:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
Maybe I have got it - but not sure, I just was trying to recreate the issue. It does blink with the lens cap on, so maybe it was so dark outside, it thought the lens cap was on?
My K30 does the same.
08-11-2014, 01:27 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
I was using spot metering, trying to take photos of the moon. However it wouldn't do it all the time. It said the photo was underexposed. I am wondering if it was just the spot metering?

---------- Post added 08-11-14 at 04:07 PM ----------


Nope, I have never moved it off manual mode. It was all the settings blinking. I was using spot metering, taking photos of the moon, so it was saying it was underexposed. I played with the exposure to what the camera registered as correctly metered and it would be fine, then start doing it again. My camera was on a tripod, and I didn't adjust anything except to try to get it to stop blinking.
Shooting the moon, just ignore the meter. I do 100%, of the time, even when it's not the moon. .

A full moon on a clear night is EV14 ( assuming ISO100). That means its like a hazy sunny day, 1 stop less than a bright Sunny Day aka Sunny 16 aka EV15 (ISO100 or the Shutter / ISO reciprocal).

Before you walk outside, in Manual Mode, set ISO 1/100, f8 ( probably sharpest for your lens) and shutter speed of 1/200 or 1/250 (close is okay) because the Earth is moving. Focus and shoot. Hazy sky, check your histogram, open up a stop with ISO 200.

Ignore the meter. Here's a much better explanation Ultimate Exposure Computer


08-11-2014, 02:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
Shooting the moon, just ignore the meter. I do 100%, of the time, even when it's not the moon. .

A full moon on a clear night is EV14 ( assuming ISO100). That means its like a hazy sunny day, 1 stop less than a bright Sunny Day aka Sunny 16 aka EV15 (ISO100 or the Shutter / ISO reciprocal).

Before you walk outside, in Manual Mode, set ISO 1/100, f8 ( probably sharpest for your lens) and shutter speed of 1/200 or 1/250 (close is okay) because the Earth is moving. Focus and shoot. Hazy sky, check your histogram, open up a stop with ISO 200.

Ignore the meter. Here's a much better explanation Ultimate Exposure Computer

Thanks for the link, that is a good reminder. I actually have a degree in photography, that is why I mentioned earlier I always tend to shoot in manual mode, but I am most familiar with the K1000, pretty limited on the choices for exposure and when the battery for the meter died I never replaced it! I just have limited experience with digital cameras and why this camera would blink the metering information, even in manual mode. But now I am thinking that is its warning you may be shooting with the lens cap on, I guess?! LOL, I am just trying to think of the reasoning it would blink. I also have an older nikon dslr and I don't remember it doing that but I admit I didn't use it very much.
08-11-2014, 05:58 PM   #12
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Ok, I am stumped, I just took a large amount of photos in a dark aquarium and it blinked a couple of times but didn't do it when I pressed the shutter with the lens cap on. It only did it once in the darkest of areas, the rest of the areas had more light. My photos turned out though. I may just contact pentax and ask.
08-12-2014, 03:41 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Blinking indicates the camera metering is outside its operating parameters.

It will do this in any mode including manual

The cameras metering capabilities are published in the spec
Sensitivity range: EV -3 to 20 (ISO 100, 50mm F1.4)

Therefore you can see if your using the 18-55 kit lens you can exceed metering even at ev2-3

At which point a camera sourced exposure solution is no longer possible and the camera will warn you that it is by blinking the exposure parameters.

The only solutions are
1 use your knowledge and select a correct exposure to suit
2 use a light meter that can operate in your environment.
3 fit a faster lens so the camera can meter the subject.

The way Pentax cameras behave differs from Nikon and Canon in that once there is no valid solution a Pentax camera will flash and not give a non valid solution, Nikon and Canon will acknowledge the solution is no longer valid but still offer it.

So in summary your camera is telling you the exposure solution is outside it's metering range, Which if your in manual and using self knowledge you can safely ignore.

Last edited by awaldram; 08-12-2014 at 03:54 AM.
08-12-2014, 12:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
Blinking indicates the camera metering is outside its operating parameters.

It will do this in any mode including manual

The cameras metering capabilities are published in the spec
Sensitivity range: EV -3 to 20 (ISO 100, 50mm F1.4)

Therefore you can see if your using the 18-55 kit lens you can exceed metering even at ev2-3

At which point a camera sourced exposure solution is no longer possible and the camera will warn you that it is by blinking the exposure parameters.

The only solutions are
1 use your knowledge and select a correct exposure to suit
2 use a light meter that can operate in your environment.
3 fit a faster lens so the camera can meter the subject.

The way Pentax cameras behave differs from Nikon and Canon in that once there is no valid solution a Pentax camera will flash and not give a non valid solution, Nikon and Canon will acknowledge the solution is no longer valid but still offer it.

So in summary your camera is telling you the exposure solution is outside it's metering range, Which if your in manual and using self knowledge you can safely ignore.
Thank you for the explanation!
08-12-2014, 12:54 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
Blinking indicates the camera metering is outside its operating parameters.

It will do this in any mode including manual

The cameras metering capabilities are published in the spec
Sensitivity range: EV -3 to 20 (ISO 100, 50mm F1.4)

Therefore you can see if your using the 18-55 kit lens you can exceed metering even at ev2-3

At which point a camera sourced exposure solution is no longer possible and the camera will warn you that it is by blinking the exposure parameters.

The only solutions are
1 use your knowledge and select a correct exposure to suit
2 use a light meter that can operate in your environment.
3 fit a faster lens so the camera can meter the subject.

The way Pentax cameras behave differs from Nikon and Canon in that once there is no valid solution a Pentax camera will flash and not give a non valid solution, Nikon and Canon will acknowledge the solution is no longer valid but still offer it.

So in summary your camera is telling you the exposure solution is outside it's metering range, Which if your in manual and using self knowledge you can safely ignore.
A much better answer than mine. I spent so much time in theaters where the meter is useless, I got so all I could do was shoot manual. I knew the blinking was a warning but it was just a nuisance, like every time I accidentally pushed "Live View".
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