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07-19-2010, 11:53 PM   #1
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Bracketing on Pentax 67ii

Hi all,

I just took delivery of a Pentax 67ii body and am looking forward to going out and shooting with it. I do have a question though which hopefully someone here can help with.

I am in the habit of bracketing my exposures usually by 1/3 of a stop up and down. Previously with my Pentax 67i body I had to alter the aperture by the smallest 'click' on the lens (hopefully 1/3 or 1/2 stop) to get the appropriate bracketed exposure. This was because the shutter speed dial could only be adjusted by whole stops.

I see now with the Pentax 67ii there is an Exposure Compensation dial which has 1/3 stop measurements. Am I right in thinking now that in order to bracket effectively I can do the following:

1) Take original shot as indicated by lightmeter
2) Use the Exposure compensation dial to move up to +1/3 (one click) and take the bracketed (longer shutter speed)
3) Use the Exposure compensation dial to move down to -1/3 (one click) and take the bracketed (shorter shutter speed)

If so, does that mean that even though I myself cannot manually change the shutter speed by 1/3 stop on the shutter speed dial that the camera will work out the exact length of time needed to alter by 1/3 stop and adjust accordingly? I see that when I use the Exp. Compensation dial that on Aperture Priority mode the shutter speed in the viewfinder is changed to speeds which are not options on the Shutter Speed dial (eg, 1/6 second).

Thanks in advance for any help,

Rgds
Rick

07-20-2010, 02:21 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2010
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Posts: 481
Hi Rick,

Congratulations on your purchase - it's a fine camera and a worthy improvement on the original versions.

The Exposure Compensation dial works in the way you suggest (i.e. it adjusts exposure up or down from the metered exposure by adjusting the shutter speed in third-stop increments, with the aperture kept constant) but it only does this when you are shooting in Aperture Priority mode. In manual mode, the dial has (I think) no effect on the actual exposure - i.e. in manual mode the picture is always shot as per the the shutter speed and aperture you select.

So, to use the Exposure Compensation dial to bracket, you have to be in Aperture Priority mode - and, of course, the lighting has to be constant on the scene across the three exposures to be guaranteed a clean bracketing sequence. Although changes in lighting should be taken care of with the automatic exposure (before the compensation adjustment occurs) you cannot be certain that the automatic exposure would adjust without changing how the scene is interpreted in some way. So I would urge caution with this approach if your lighting is not constant - though this would, of course, also apply to manual bracketing.

On another point, if you want to bracket using shutter speeds in manual mode, you can have the 67ii modified by Pentax so that half stops (not thirds) are available in shutter speeds. I had this done on my 67ii bodies; it is one of the 'standard modifications' Pentax offers. If you have it done during a service, it is done at no extra charge. By the way, this was the case when I had it done perhaps 7 years ago - declining support for these bodies may have changed the availability of this modification service. But that's how it used to work. I found it a very useful modification to have on these cameras. They don't change the shutter speed dial - you simply select one of the full-stop shutter speeds then can 'shift' up or down from it using the slider on the top of the camera; if you make such a shift, the shutter speed used is displayed on the LCD panel. It's quite nifty!

Good luck.

Ed
07-21-2010, 12:10 AM   #3
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Original Poster
Thanks Ed

Thanks Ed, I think I am getting my head around this now. Looks like using bracketing in Aperture Priority mode is fairly easily accomplished with the camera as it comes from the factory just by using the exposure compensation dial. As is this will allow bracketing by steps of 1/3 stop. Doing this allows you to see exactly what shutter speed the camera is choosing by looking at the viewfinder/LCD.


However I initially understood that the exposure compensation dial could also be used in a similar way when in manual metering mode. But it appears that any changes on the dial in this metering mode do not actually have any effect on the exposure (shutter speed or aperture). So the only way to bracket in this mode is with the shutter speed dial (bracketing in whole stops) or using the ISO slider if the camera has had the mod done by Pentax (bracketing in half stops).
So assuming I can get the mods done here in Hong Kong by Pentax it sounds like after the mod:


1) In Aperture Priority mode you can bracket in 1/3 stops using the Exp. Comp. dial or 1/2 stops using the ISO slider
2) In Manual meter mode you can only bracket in 1/2 stops using the ISO slider
I hope I am finally getting this ! Just I would rather get this right before I put valuable film through it...


Thanks again,
Rick
07-21-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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Hi Rick,

You've got it - I agree with your synopsis. Only caveat I would add to your first paragraph is 'if the lighting remains constant across the bracketing sequence'.

Of course you could also bracket in smaller increments using the aperture ring (putting it in between the click stops) - but this would of course affect depth of field.

Ed

07-22-2010, 05:14 AM   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks

Thanks Ed. As you mentioned I prefer not to change the depth of field just to get the bracketing working as usually I will be choosing the depth of field/focus point for a reason (normally to get maximum depth of field in a nature/landscape shot).

Just heard back from Pentax today and turns out they can make the mods for me. Just need to pass the camera to them for an hour or two... All for around GBP 35/HKD 400... Cool!

Rgds
Rick
07-26-2010, 12:16 PM   #6
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With 10 frames per 120 roll, the bracketing shotgun approach will have you changing film a lot for few unique pictures you'll take. Note too with most negative films you have some latitude. If you're shooting any BW film, I'd bracket one-stop as the minimum.

Though a one-degree spot meter is not a desirable meter to use in all situations, with it you won't need to bracket hardly ever at all once you tune up with it.
07-26-2010, 08:09 PM   #7
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Rick - just one other thing. When I had my 67ii's modified in this way, they had a list of standard modifications you could do. The way they charged then was a flat fee regardless of how many of the modifications you had done. So you could have one, several or all of them for one fee. I don't know if it still works that way, but if so, might be worth your considering what else you might like from the standard list.

I don't remember all the modifications on the list, but the other one I had done was adding an additional strap boss onto the grip - so that you could attach the strap in such a way that the camera hangs in the horizontal orientation rather than the vertical. I don't know why they don't just do it this way as standard, but once done, I found it a big improvement.

I seem to remember one of the other mods (which I didn't have done) was changing what information is shown electronically in the viewfinder. But not sure about that one!

Hope this helps,

Ed
07-26-2010, 11:04 PM   #8
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Bracketing/Mods

Actually Tuco I shoot mostly landscapes usually during the 'magic hours' when light is quite low and changing rapidly. I think a spot meter is regarded as the most accurate way to get the correct exposure in these scenes. Although it is not infallible so it's generally wise to bracket a 1/2 stop either way. I'd rather waste two frames of a roll on bracketed exposures after a half day hike to get to the best viewpoint on a mountain than take a chance and lose the shot after a lot of effort to get to the location, etc...


Ed, you are still correct, the Pentax Service Center here has 'outsourced' their services to another company here. After some initial confusion over what I wanted them to do (after all, this is an 'old' FILM camera) they contacted Pentax HQ and now seem to know what I require. They also said that all mods can be made at the same time for the same all-in charge... Although I have heard elsewhere that adding the extra 'strap lug' can take a longer time....

Rgds
Rick

07-27-2010, 12:25 AM   #9
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I know. I use a Pentax Spotmeter V exclusively. And it is a rare moment I ever bracket and I do a lot of low light and long exposures. And like I said with BW a 1/2 stop bracket is pretty much a waste of a shot from my experience given BW film has an easy latitude of one-stop.
07-28-2010, 01:16 PM   #10
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shutter speed dial

I have a question peripherally related to this thread. I was using a Pentax 6x7 for years, but then I began to experience problems with the film advance. It increasingly wouldn't advance the film completely, or at all, resulting in multiple exposure shots. I took it in for repairs, but the camera store said the parts were not available and it couldn't be repaired (I live in Yokohama-Tokyo area, and there are countless shops that sell and can service old cameras).

I recently got a Pentax 67 body and brought it all the way to San Francisco to shoot while on vacation, but just suddenly noticed that the shutter speed dial is extremely loose. There are no clicks when you turn it, nothing to keep it in place. It will actually spin if I give it a spin. It appears, however, that it is still functioning; when I take a light reading and turn the dial, the needle moves consistent with what the shutter speed indicates... still, if possible, I'm wondering if there is a way to 'fix' this shutter speed dial so that it stays firmly in place.

Thanks for your help,
Ry
07-28-2010, 10:52 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 38
Original Poster
Sorry

Koe, sorry but I'm no technician so wouldn't really know how to fix this but I did notice the following Pentax 67 service offered on ebay:

Pentax 6x7 (67) and 67II's, LX Repair Service - eBay (item 150464293880 end time Aug-04-10 20:21:40 PDT)

WARNING: I have never actually used this service myself and am in no way associated with the person who is offering this service... BUT they have received good feedback so maybe they can give you a quote on how much to fix your problem.

Actually I just noticed you are in Japan... There must be some Pentax repair shops in the main cities?

Rgds
Rick
07-28-2010, 11:23 PM   #12
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Location: Seattle
Posts: 7,017
There are 3 very, very small screws recessed around the outside of the shutter speed dial. Maybe they are loose. You'll need to go buy a very fine tip jeweler's screw driver no doubt. Check those.
07-30-2010, 12:58 PM   #13
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Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately, I think it is a larger problem than the screws; the dial spins freely and the shutter seems stuck on a 1/2 second exposure.

Lots of service stores in Japan, but the store will probably take it back since I just bought it and haven't been able to shoot it once. Too bad; I wanted to use it on vacation and probably should have tested it before I left...

-Ry
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