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02-24-2015, 06:07 PM   #1
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Lack of Light Meter in Av mode?

Hello all,

I am a recent convert to the ways of Pentax/Ricoh. I sold my Nikon kit and have already massed a small collection of lenses to go with my inherited K-5. One thing I liked about my Nikon was when I was in Aperture Priority Mode or Shutter Priority Mode, I could focus on something and get a reading on the light meter in the viewfinder. For example, if I had my shutter speed locked in at 125, and the maximum my aperture could open up to was f/4, and I was set at 100 ISO, the camera could tell me through the light meter that my settings were too dark and that I'd need to change something.

On my K-5, it doesn't show this. The only way I get a light meter reading in the viewfinder is if the camera is set to Manual.

Is there a way to change or enable the light meter within the viewfinder in Tv, Av, or TAv mode?

For clarification, what I think of as the "light meter bar" is also called the E/V bar. See in green here:



I sure hope this is possible!

Thanks,
Chris

02-24-2015, 06:58 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by MaskedWallaby Quote
I sure hope this is possible!
Unfortunately, it is not possible. However if your exposure settings are incorrect, the Autoexpsoure variable(shutter,ISO or Aperture) will blink, indicating that you need to change the manually controlled variable depending on the AE program you are using. Also pentax cameras do not have a low shutter speed warning so AE can go all the way to 30s before it will stop.
02-24-2015, 07:05 PM   #3
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I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish. In Av mode, the camera continuously meters and adapts the shutter speed (and ISO, if you have that set to auto) for whatever weighting you have set. You can't lock in a shutter speed unless you hit "AE lock," which you only use if you want to meter in one place and recompose.

You can tie the AE point to the AF point. That will accomplish mostly what you want. You can then use the AE lock button and recompose as you see fit. You can set the length of the lock in the menu somewhere.

But the parameters float depending on what mode you are in. It sounds like you are describing manual mode--you've set the ISO, shutter, and aperture. You can't set the shutter speed in Av mode because that's the whole point of Av mode. TAv mode (a Pentax exclusive) will let you fix shutter speed and aperture but not let you set ISO--because that's the only difference from manual mode.
02-24-2015, 07:14 PM   #4
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Chris is referring to Nikon's style of popping up the light meter in any mode if you make an adjustment that doesn't meter correctly. So for his example, 1/125, f4 ISO 100... if it's 1 stop too dark from "0EV" the light meter will pop up and indicate how far off it is.

As digitalis said... the only way to know is it will flash at you (but gives you no indication of how far off you are).

02-24-2015, 07:24 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by phoned Quote
Chris is referring to Nikon's style of popping up the light meter in any mode if you make an adjustment that doesn't meter correctly. So for his example, 1/125, f4 ISO 100... if it's 1 stop too dark from "0EV" the light meter will pop up and indicate how far off it is.
I guess that's the difference: each mode features one non-adjustable parameter. You can't adjust the shutter speed in Av mode because that's the point of Av mode--it will just override you and set it. The Av mode will always adjust the shutter speed to where it thinks 0EV is because that's the point of the mode.

Basically, the ability to adjust any parameter and have it stick is only possible in hyperprogram mode (P).

In M mode, how far off you are will display as EV.
02-24-2015, 07:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
I guess that's the difference: each mode features one non-adjustable parameter. You can't adjust the shutter speed in Av mode because that's the point of Av mode--it will just override you and set it. The Av mode will always adjust the shutter speed to where it thinks 0EV is because that's the point of the mode.
Yup. Other systems let you set a minimum shutter speed though as well, so that's where these types of things can come into play.
02-24-2015, 08:36 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by phoned Quote
Yup. Other systems let you set a minimum shutter speed though as well, so that's where these types of things can come into play.
You can fiddle with the auto settings in the menu as well. You can choose it to bias high or low ISO, for instance. If you choose it to bias to low ISO, obviously the shutter speeds will decrease. It's as close as you get with Pentax's system.
02-25-2015, 11:19 AM   #8
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Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

As noted above, Pentax does not provide the exposure bar in other than M mode unless exposure compensation has been added. Even in M mode it basically functions to show exposure compensation. It might be helpful to know if the set exposure is above or below the meter/settings range, but that is usually obvious by the viewfinder brightness


Steve

02-25-2015, 02:10 PM   #9
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I spoke with him and he didn't have ISO set to auto. I think this will help him even though it won't replace the camera light meter.
02-25-2015, 07:18 PM   #10
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That is disappointing that there is no possibility to get a light meter reading except in Manual mode. I relied on that a lot when using my Nikon. It helped me to see just how underexposed the image might be, rather than just being told that it would underexpose. I was playing with low light conditions a little tonight, and I see the flashing numbers thing you guys mentioned when the light is too low, but I actually found that pretty annoying. Auto ISO is kind of neat but isn't that what TAv mode is for?

Sorry I'm complaining so much… there seem to be a lot of things I'm not used to when it comes to Pentax. Some of the interface decisions they made I just don't get :\
09-28-2015, 09:05 AM   #11
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Sorry to resurrect an older thread, but I have a question pertaining to this and didn't want to create a brand new thread.

I recently got a K-3, and I understand that outside of manual mode, there is no active EV meter shown in the viewfinder. Instead, the automated values will blink if proper exposure cannot be attained. I've found that it can be difficult to find the right setting quickly and precisely for proper exposure. I am requesting for some tips on how you all set things up without wasting time.

For example, say I'm in TAv mode, shooting wide-open, 1/200, auto ISO range of 100-1600, no exposure compensation. The current scene is good at ISO 800. I turn around and see something I want to shoot before it disappears. Now the camera is blinking the ISO, and I know that the only thing I can do is lower the shutter speed. But I want to get the highest shutter speed at ISO 1600.

Question 1:
What is the quickest way to accomplish this? My thoughts are:
--> With the green button set to P-line, it'll change my TAv settings for the right lighting, but I want to keep shutter and aperture static at 1/200 and wide-open. So this may not really help me.
--> Turning the shutter speed dial as quick as I can will likely overshoot the settings, and before I know it may end up at something like 1/25 and ISO 400. Now I need to increase the shutter speed until it's at ISO 1600.
--> Change green button to Tv shift, and then ramp up the shutter speed until I hit ISO 1600. This seems the most forgiving, as I can at least see where I'm working up towards, rather than coming down to an unknown value where the ISO value might stop blinking.
--> Have M mode set up at ISO 1600 before I start walking around with the camera, and switch over from TAv in such a scenario?

Question 2:
What do you do if you are willing to accept a +1EV, -1EV, etc. exposure?
What I mean by this is, for my scenario, if the new scene was underexposed by -1EV, I may be willing to accept that shot without changing the settings, in the interest of just getting the shot. I don't think setting the exposure compensation to -1EV to see how the settings react wouldn't really help though, since the ISO value may still be blinking.

Is shooting manual mode the only way to go? I will say that this camera does make shooting M very easy and fun, and that's a testament to how well it is setup IMO. But regardless, I would really appreciate some advice on this.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by thehiko; 09-28-2015 at 09:23 AM. Reason: Added fourth thought for my first question
09-28-2015, 12:50 PM   #12
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I've read discussions about the K5 and K3 that say the camera creates ISOs over 1600 digitally - similar to how you'd do it in processing software. In any case the sensors respond well to processing.If you are shooting in RAW and this is true, in your example you could turn the shutter speed dial until you hit your minimum acceptable shutter speed or the ISO is 1600 and not blinking. Then take the shot and process it into something useful. I think that would work based on reading, not trying it myself. It should be quick.

I think manual mode is the quickest way for me to adjust to a "it could be anything" scene. You get the Ev meter bar, the green button, and the camera doesn't lock you out of changing any parameter. I might switch to M, hit the green button, hit AE-L, set the aperture to wide open, then adjust ISO until I'm happy with shutter speed. I might decide on the fly that maybe I am super steady today, or why not try ISO 51200. It can't be the first time you put the dial in M - you really have to be familiar with the rules for any mode you use. Ideally you can find all the switches and buttons without taking your eye from the viewfinder in M, see what you need in the status line and blast away.
09-28-2015, 06:49 PM   #13
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Thank you for your input Dave. Regarding your first point of advice, that's what's difficult, for me at least. In a hurried moment, I'm likely going to be flicking the control dial as fast as I can to bring the shutter speed down. Finding that point where the ISO 1600 stops blinking would be easy with a live EV meter on the viewfinder. Is it just me? :-X

I think I agree with you about using the manual mode. Maybe that is my solution. Thankfully M mode on the K-3 is easy to manipulate. But if there was a way to make it easier with the other modes, that would be even better. I suppose I need to spend more time with it and try and see what works best. I mean hundreds of thousands of other people have been making it work for years right?
09-29-2015, 09:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by thehiko Quote
Sorry to resurrect an older thread, but I have a question pertaining to this and didn't want to create a brand new thread.

I recently got a K-3, and I understand that outside of manual mode, there is no active EV meter shown in the viewfinder. Instead, the automated values will blink if proper exposure cannot be attained. I've found that it can be difficult to find the right setting quickly and precisely for proper exposure. I am requesting for some tips on how you all set things up without wasting time.

For example, say I'm in TAv mode, shooting wide-open, 1/200, auto ISO range of 100-1600, no exposure compensation. The current scene is good at ISO 800. I turn around and see something I want to shoot before it disappears. Now the camera is blinking the ISO, and I know that the only thing I can do is lower the shutter speed. But I want to get the highest shutter speed at ISO 1600.

Question 1:
What is the quickest way to accomplish this? My thoughts are:
--> With the green button set to P-line, it'll change my TAv settings for the right lighting, but I want to keep shutter and aperture static at 1/200 and wide-open. So this may not really help me.
--> Turning the shutter speed dial as quick as I can will likely overshoot the settings, and before I know it may end up at something like 1/25 and ISO 400. Now I need to increase the shutter speed until it's at ISO 1600.
--> Change green button to Tv shift, and then ramp up the shutter speed until I hit ISO 1600. This seems the most forgiving, as I can at least see where I'm working up towards, rather than coming down to an unknown value where the ISO value might stop blinking.
--> Have M mode set up at ISO 1600 before I start walking around with the camera, and switch over from TAv in such a scenario?

Question 2:
What do you do if you are willing to accept a +1EV, -1EV, etc. exposure?
What I mean by this is, for my scenario, if the new scene was underexposed by -1EV, I may be willing to accept that shot without changing the settings, in the interest of just getting the shot. I don't think setting the exposure compensation to -1EV to see how the settings react wouldn't really help though, since the ISO value may still be blinking.

Is shooting manual mode the only way to go? I will say that this camera does make shooting M very easy and fun, and that's a testament to how well it is setup IMO. But regardless, I would really appreciate some advice on this.

Thanks in advance!

Clearly,Mir you are shooting wide open deliberately, I have to wonder why you are in Tav mode to begin with. I would go Av mode with auto ISO with no limits and let the camera follow a program line for highest shutter speed possible based on lens focal length in the program settings.

If you find yourself outside of the correct exposure range in Tav mode, what about pressing the green button. Will it give you a setting. If so, it's pretty quick
09-29-2015, 11:00 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Clearly,Mir you are shooting wide open deliberately, I have to wonder why you are in Tav mode to begin with. I would go Av mode with auto ISO with no limits and let the camera follow a program line for highest shutter speed possible based on lens focal length in the program settings.

If you find yourself outside of the correct exposure range in Tav mode, what about pressing the green button. Will it give you a setting. If so, it's pretty quick
Well for my scenario, I want to be able to specify shutter speeds for the given conditions and have aperture locked. Also, no limits on auto ISO would degrade image quality. I'd say it's a compromise, not necessarily a workaround.

Regarding the green button and program line, what I've noticed is that even when I've set it to the high speed program, it does not always give me what I want. In other words, it can be unpredictable. And I'm looking for predictability. Is it just me? Maybe I'm doing it wrong? But I've seen it set on high speed program line, and it has still dropped the ISO down to 200, shutter speed 1/8, for instance. If I'm doing it wrong, please do advise.
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