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12-07-2017, 07:14 PM   #1
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Help with Pentax-A 50mm f2 on Pentax ME Super

I recently bought a Pentax-A 50mm f2 to use with the Pentax ME Super I bought the same day. I'm a beginner when it comes to film cameras and manual cameras in general.

From what I can see, the aperture doesn't change when it's on the camera. I've noticed that the aperture blades in the lens won't move at all once it's attached to the camera. When it isn't, or when the lens isn't completely locked into the camera, I can move the aperture ring and see aperture blades moving as well. Once it's fully locked on though, it seems to stay open at f2. From what I can see, the aperture doesn't change when it's on the camera. Is this normal for the lens; is it supposed to do that?

12-07-2017, 07:38 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Does the aperture close when you actually depress the shutter button to take a photo ?
12-07-2017, 08:26 PM   #3
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The is normal behavior for a Pentax K-mount camera with a K-mount auto lens. All Pentax K-mount SLRs use auto (open) aperture metering so the aperture remains open at all times except when DOF preview (where available) or during the exposure.

Without film in the camera set the aperture to to smallest (f/22 or f/32) and the shutter speed to "B". Press and hold down the shutter button and look through the front of the lens. The diaphragm should be closed down.

The user manual can be downloaded here:
http://www.butkus.org/chinon/pentax/pentax_me_super/pentax_me_super.htm
12-07-2017, 11:11 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilmfan Quote
Does the aperture close when you actually depress the shutter button to take a photo ?
I don't know actually. I'll take a look next time I'm using it.

12-07-2017, 11:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
The is normal behavior for a Pentax K-mount camera with a K-mount auto lens. All Pentax K-mount SLRs use auto (open) aperture metering so the aperture remains open at all times except when DOF preview (where available) or during the exposure.

Without film in the camera set the aperture to to smallest (f/22 or f/32) and the shutter speed to "B". Press and hold down the shutter button and look through the front of the lens. The diaphragm should be closed down.

The user manual can be downloaded here:
Pentax ME Super instruction manual, user manual, PDF manual, free manuals
Oh. Ok. This explanation really helps a lot. I'll be sure to look at it next time I'm using my camera.
12-07-2017, 11:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by amonarch Quote
Oh. Ok. This explanation really helps a lot. I'll be sure to look at it next time I'm using my camera.
And you will get a selfie !
12-08-2017, 01:49 AM   #7
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This caught me off guard early on, too. The blades only stop down during the actual exposure!

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12-08-2017, 07:16 AM   #8
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Note also with an "A" lens you have to press the little button on the ring to release the ring from the "A" mode. Unless of course the little leaf springs have come loose and the ring may jam or be difficult to turn.

12-08-2017, 10:54 AM - 1 Like   #9
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If you're a beginner with a manual film camera, I thought I'd clarify a few things. Cameras use open-aperture metering so there is enough light in the viewfinder to compose and focus the frame. If the camera allows the aperture blades to stop down when you adjust the aperture ring from f/2 to f/22, the viewfinder would be nearly black, if not all black due to not enough light coming through the lens. We wouldn't be able to see our subject to compose the frame and focus the lens. Cameras are designed to meter and focus with the aperture all the way open. When you press the shutter release button, several things happen: the mirror flips up, then the lens stops down to your chosen aperture, the shutter curtain opens and closes, the lens opens back up to the widest aperture, then the mirror returns down. In a digital camera, the same steps occur, but one more is added: the sensor records the image once the shutter curtain opens. Film automatically records the image when light hits the film at this stage.

Second, an ME Super isn't new enough to have aperture priority work with the A 50 lens. This means the "A" setting on the aperture ring should not be used, as the camera can't control the aperture. If you want a film camera to use the A setting, you need a Super Program or other camera which allows this functionality. The question of manually adjusting aperture when the ring is set to A is asked occasionally, so some time ago I put together a list of Pentax film cameras that control aperture from the body: aperture controlling bodies? - Page 3 - PentaxForums.com.
12-08-2017, 11:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by HYS Quote
And you will get a selfie !
Haha yeah. I just tried it myself!

---------- Post added 12-08-17 at 12:40 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
This caught me off guard early on, too. The blades only stop down during the actual exposure!
Oh ok! Yeah I was sort of confused at first but I get it now haha!

---------- Post added 12-08-17 at 12:46 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
If you're a beginner with a manual film camera, I thought I'd clarify a few things. Cameras use open-aperture metering so there is enough light in the viewfinder to compose and focus the frame. If the camera allows the aperture blades to stop down when you adjust the aperture ring from f/2 to f/22, the viewfinder would be nearly black, if not all black due to not enough light coming through the lens. We wouldn't be able to see our subject to compose the frame and focus the lens. Cameras are designed to meter and focus with the aperture all the way open. When you press the shutter release button, several things happen: the mirror flips up, then the lens stops down to your chosen aperture, the shutter curtain opens and closes, the lens opens back up to the widest aperture, then the mirror returns down. In a digital camera, the same steps occur, but one more is added: the sensor records the image once the shutter curtain opens. Film automatically records the image when light hits the film at this stage.

Second, an ME Super isn't new enough to have aperture priority work with the A 50 lens. This means the "A" setting on the aperture ring should not be used, as the camera can't control the aperture. If you want a film camera to use the A setting, you need a Super Program or other camera which allows this functionality. The question of manually adjusting aperture when the ring is set to A is asked occasionally, so some time ago I put together a list of Pentax film cameras that control aperture from the body: aperture controlling bodies? - Page 3 - PentaxForums.com.
Alright. Thanks for clarifying things. I mainly manually adjust the aperture and wanted to figure out if this stuff was normal.
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