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10-21-2020, 02:39 AM   #16
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For a time when I shot film I used a miniature tape recorder to note the place, time, and exposure values. It was the same one that I used at work in meetings and it only needed one hand to use. I believe there are solid state equivalents today.

10-21-2020, 03:07 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lord Lucan Quote
For a time when I shot film I used a miniature tape recorder to note the place, time, and exposure values. It was the same one that I used at work in meetings and it only needed one hand to use. I believe there are solid state equivalents today.
These days any smartphone is likely to have an app for that.

Incidentally, there is no way to record the focal length of a lens mounted via an adapter on my Samsung NX1. I have always considered it a shortcoming but I live with it. I find that bit of information to be more useful on old pictures than exposure numbers.
10-21-2020, 07:35 AM   #18
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I used the Moleskin reporter notebooks. Fits into the pocket and is quite sturdy.

One year ago I switched to an app for my andriod mobile called Exif Notes. Quite good app, but no real advantage compared to the notebook.

Next thing I will try is the Analogbook notebook.

I was thinking about the tape recorder solution of Lord Lucan as well, but haven't had the time to find a good app for my phone yet.

What I really would like, is the possibility to set the f-stop in M-Mode - when using an lens without the "A" setting. Then I would be able to set it for legacy lenses used on a digital camera.

Last edited by Papa_Joe; 10-21-2020 at 07:41 AM.
10-21-2020, 09:42 AM   #19
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I would suggest a small audio recorder, a digital equivalent of a microcassette recorder. You can of course do the same with a smartphone but that is very fiddly and impractical unless you are shooting at a very leisurely pace and don't mind that. With the digital recorder there is just one button to press and then you speak the frame number, time and settings. SOme recorders will also automatically timestamp and they are small as a keychain so you can even hang it on the camera strap.

Alternatively a tiny keychain camera could also be used. Again this would need just one button press, or possibly two if it doesn't switch on automatically on pressing the shutter button. You could just take a photo of the top of the camera showing the exposure settings and even which lens is mounted. A second photo replicating approximately what you shot would also be helpful to make sure the pictured settings are of the actual photo they are meant to belong to. I've occasionally used such a camera attached to the camera strap when using adapted lenses. It is way more convenient than using the smartphone.

10-21-2020, 12:08 PM - 1 Like   #20
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The Canon EOS-1D X actually has a voice note record feature. You can thank me later.

10-23-2020, 05:23 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Papa_Joe Quote
What I really would like, is the possibility to set the f-stop in M-Mode - when using an lens without the "A" setting. Then I would be able to set it for legacy lenses used on a digital camera.
Do you mean:
1) to be able to select the lens aperture from the dial even when the lens is M or K

Or

2) to be able to input an aperture as well (as a focal length) during shooting so your m42, M, K etc lenses exif could be recorded? Ideally being able to adjust lens focal length without powering off and on the camera.

If you mean 1, I think that's unlikely. The travel of the arm is different for A vs M or K lenses. Also calibration would have to involve setting a lens max and min aperture each time the lens was changed.

If you mean 2, I think that's a pretty good feature with little downside to Ricoh. It's easy enough to see how it might be useful. You could even have a user mode option to confirm f stop after each shot.
10-23-2020, 05:59 PM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
** I also suggest you use a weighted average or spot meter, initially. As the matrix metering which attempts to account for unbalanced light and dark areas uses rules based on lots of pictures and a fuzzy logic that cannot always be understood. Later you can use matrix metering.
I have not encountered your bad experience with the matrix metering, but I have had plenty of experience troubleshooting unacceptable results with users on this site who attempt to use spot metering without the knowledge to appropriately place exposure. It is a specialized and advanced skill that not many have sufficient understanding to leverage. A hand-held meter and purchase of a gray card might be a better suggestion.

With KA and newer lenses, I use matrix metering almost exclusively and for others center-weighted averaging. I would use spot when I want to place exposure except that I have a Katzeye screen that interferes with that option. A hand-held meter (incident + reflected) is always in the bag as is a gray card for both light and color reference.


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10-23-2020, 06:05 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
Everybody says to write it down but why? Is this to improve your intuitition? If not why care?
Good question, though there are good reasons. Say one is trying to get a handle on just what f/2.0 means with an 85mm lens on APS-C. The apparent DOF using DOF preview in the viewfinder or live view is no real indication and keeping track will provide a clue that fine focus is devilishly hard for that combination of aperture and focal length. Another good reason might be because the giants of photography often keep detailed field notes as well as notes for darkroom processing and printing. I might mention that Edward Weston was not one of them. He relied on memory and genius. Cartier-Bresson was also not one of them. He was pretty well off and is famous for dropping his film with his darkroom people and telling them to make the results good.


Steve

10-23-2020, 06:15 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
These days, I am of the belief that highlights should be preserved in my images. I would rather let the shadows go dark than have blow a highlight.
I understand what your are saying and don't disagree, but I tend to work the other direction. Capture of both tonal and detail information takes light and with digital capture, the lowest supported EV have the least number of tones*, whereas the last stop has literally thousands. I own a copy of RawDigger and very few images are actually clipped in the highlights, meaning that they are usually quite redeemable in PP.


Steve

* The bottom three bits (equivalent to EV) define exactly 8 steps + black.
10-24-2020, 11:21 AM - 2 Likes   #25
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Thanks all

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions - this thread got way more responses than I could have hoped for, and I appreciate the community effort to help me improve!

One clarification - I know sunny 16 and the basics of using a lightmeter (whether it's the one built in to my MX, the one in my A7, or a phone app I sometimes use as backup). Shooting digital, I know how to do bracketing, and since I can immediately see the result, it's rare that I walk away without the shot I wanted. But with film....

To Swanlefitte's point, when I have been shooting film (I'm now about 3-4 rolls in), I always try to quiz myself to see if I can get the settings right before I check with the meter. But "right" here means "agrees with meter," not "photo turned out right".

It's because of the time lag between taking the photo and seeing the result that I want to track the settings. If 3 pictures come out great and 3 are underexposed, it's hard to learn if I have no idea what I did that made the 3 good vs the other 3 not good. For example, say I'm taking a picture with a bright sky background. I know I'll need to adjust from what the meter is saying if I want any detail in the foreground, so I shoot two stops over the meter's suggestion. Then a week later, I get the pictures back, but I've forgotten whether I followed the meter or deviated, or by how much. How do I remember the settings so I can learn whether the guess to shoot two stops over was right, or whether I should have shot 3 over or gone with the meter?

I'm appreciate the notebook suggestions, but I want to carry around as little gear as possible. I'm not a pro shooting in a studio, but more a guy walking around a city with a camera after work and on lunch breaks. I've been only shooting on one prime lens per roll - no need for a camera bag, and I like the challenge of finding opportunities that work for the lens, rather than just trying to capture anything I think is interesting. I have the chance to revisit all the same places the next day with a different lens if I really want. FWIW, so far, I've been using my Pentax-A 50mm 1.4 and my Pentax-M 100mm F4 (which I really like, at least until I can afford an 85mm).

I think the answer for me personally is the suggestions from lister6520 (plus Lord Lucan (tape is same idea), Wasp (though I don't have a canon, that's super cool to know about) and Stevebrot) to get a cheap solid-state voice record keychain I can attach to the camera and just narrate the settings and thought process. That's light-weight, easy/convenient, and lets me capture not just the settings but a sentence or two on what I'm thinking. Perfect!

Again, thanks for everyone's suggestions!
3 Days Ago - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Do you mean:
1) to be able to select the lens aperture from the dial even when the lens is M or K

Or

2) to be able to input an aperture as well (as a focal length) during shooting so your m42, M, K etc lenses exif could be recorded? Ideally being able to adjust lens focal length without powering off and on the camera.

If you mean 1, I think that's unlikely. The travel of the arm is different for A vs M or K lenses. Also calibration would have to involve setting a lens max and min aperture each time the lens was changed.

If you mean 2, I think that's a pretty good feature with little downside to Ricoh. It's easy enough to see how it might be useful. You could even have a user mode option to confirm f stop after each shot.
Sorry, for the late response. I always miss when I'am, quoted.
I meant the option 2. That would of course have no influence to exposure, but the f-stop would be recorded in camera. Great idea to include setting the focal lengt as well. Ricoh could add this as an option for the third wheel. I would propably buy a KP or K3 III if they add this via firmwareupdate.
1 Hour Ago   #27
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"'m contemplating just carrying a notebook, but I feel like stopping to write down my settings between each picture is kind of a pain, plus now I have to carry more stuff and make sure I have a pen, etc. I've seen some folks using a gopro for this, but that seems like a lot of gear as well."

Carrying a notebook, or notepad is what we all did during film days while learning. Of course there was always the issue of Shutter-priority and Aperture-priority. Some of the more modern film cameras would let you set your aperture, or shutter speed, then the camera itself would choose the proper shutter speed or aperture so you could get a properly exposed shot. The only problem with that is that you had to press the shutter button half-way down then look inside the viewfinder to see what shutter/speed/aperture the camera chose for you. I think Pentax DSLR cameras use the aperture-priority mode with older lenses such as the M42, M43 etc. and I'm not sure if the chosen shutter speed ever displays on the camera ? I could be wrong...

Last edited by hjoseph7; 50 Minutes Ago at 05:52 PM.
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