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02-12-2013, 06:54 AM   #1
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Light Reading

Hello All, I'm new to the forum and after reading many of them, there seems to be many knowlegeable people here. I hope someone sees this that can give me some insite on my problem. After using my K20 for about a year, it began reading light thru the view finder. If the light behind the camera is stronger than where I'm shooting, I get a darkened result. This happens in any of the mode settings and with live view on or off. The easy fix is to cap the view finder when using a tripod, and only shoot thru the view finder and not use the lcd. Is there something inside the camera that flipes up the moment I touch the chutter release that blocks the light through the view finder? Has that has stopped working? If so, can it be repaired? If not, what else could be the problem? Thank you for any help and info.

02-12-2013, 08:04 AM   #2
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The light meter is inside the viewfinder, it's located above the eye piece.
The mirrors inside the mirror box and viewfinder reflect light coming from the eye piece, it's just how the camera is made so not an malfunction.
All DSLR have this problem.

That's the reason you get a special cap for the viewfinder when you bought the camera, to preent this problem.
02-12-2013, 08:47 AM   #3
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This has been typical since the Pentax Spotmatic in 1964, which had the same behavior. It affects even non-tripod use if there is bright light behind the camera - especially for us who wear glasses. With manual metering you can block the light to the eyepiece by cupping your hand while metering, set the exposure, then ignore the meter. There are also special eye-cups for glasses wearers.
Best solution for tripod use is to use manual exposure setting so the exposure won't change when you move away from the eyepiece.
I use manual exposure mode nearly all the time so I don't have to treat such cases as special.
02-12-2013, 09:43 AM   #4
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I use an extra large eyecup, mainly because it gives me a perfectly darkened view of my scene, but as an added bonus, my eye socket completely shuts out any light from coming in through the VF to the light meters above the pentaprism. Also because I have a somewhat large nose, I don't have to cram it onto the LCD to see the VF, or get oils from my nose on the LCD. It's a beautiful thing all around. Hoodman makes a very large eyecup, although mine is a generic. Make sure it's designed to fit your camera though.

02-12-2013, 11:33 AM   #5
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Seems as though I have nothing to worry about. I thought something had failed inside the camera since I had had no problem in the past. I always used the cap on my ME supers. I thought things were different with a dslr. Thanks forr everyones help.
02-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #6
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Yes they are actually.
As far as i understand film camera actually meters from the film so the meter is inside the mirrorbox and not inside the viewfinder housing.
02-12-2013, 02:43 PM - 1 Like   #7
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The LX metered off the film, but the Spotmatic, MX, and most other Pentax film cameras had meter cells on the prism that metered off the focusing screen. Some other makes had cells in the body, in the mirror, behind the focusing screen, etc - but metering off the film was rare.
02-12-2013, 06:16 PM   #8
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thank you for your wisdom =]

02-13-2013, 08:09 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
The LX metered off the film, but the Spotmatic, MX, and most other Pentax film cameras had meter cells on the prism that metered off the focusing screen. Some other makes had cells in the body, in the mirror, behind the focusing screen, etc - but metering off the film was rare.
Ditto for the Super Program. Available light photography was metered at the focusing screen (mirror down), only TTL flash photography was metered at the film plane (mirror up). I drilled two small holes in my tiny little Pentax supplied viewfinder blind and sewed it like a button to the inside of the camera strap so it was always handy. I used this religiously whenever I pressed the shutter with my face away from the viewfinder (typically tripod mounted shots).

I was rather perturbed to discover the Pentax did not supply a viewfinder blind with the K-r body - especially since Pentax recommends using one when your face isn't at the optical viewfinder blocking extraneous light. I was also outraged at how much Pentax wanted for their little bit of injection molded plastic and I told them so. Pentax sent me one gratis. It too is now sewed to the inside of my camera strap. You have to remove the K-r's eye cup to mount it, but it is worth the trouble to do so for more accurate metering.
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