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11-19-2020, 07:40 AM   #1
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Incorrect aperture showing in viewfinder

Hi all,

Can anyone help with this?
I'm using a film camera, Program A.
Paired with a SMC Pentax-A lens, 50mm 1.7.
Also tried with a different lens and had the same issue (vivitar 28mm 2.8).

I'm shooting in aperture priority.
The aperture appears to show in reverse, i.e.displays 1.7 when it's 22 (& vice versa), and the same with everything in between.
I'm lining it up correctly and presuming the shutter speed is correct which it appears to be it confirms that the aperture display is incorrect (shutter speed increases when aperture is 1. 7).
I tried shooting on manual but then just get a flashing 'E'. I have changed the roll of film and all seems fine in that regard.

Any suggestions massively appreciated.
Thanks, Gemma

11-19-2020, 08:14 AM   #2
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Download the user manual from here:
Pentax Manuals

In any mode but "AUTO" if the aperture ring is set to "A" the display will show "E".

In Aperture Priority mode ("AUTO") ring set to desired f-stop there is no indication of the f-stop in the viewfinder.

In Manual Mode ("Man.") the viewfinder will show selected shutter speed and EV +/- (max/min +/-3EV). Set shutter speed with buttons, f-stop with ring until EV shows zero (0).
11-19-2020, 10:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GemmaPhoto Quote
The aperture appears to show in reverse, i.e.displays 1.7 when it's 22 (& vice versa), and the same with everything in between.
If the display shows anything other than +/- a number or "0" in M-mode or "E" in P mode when the aperture ring is off the "A" position, there is a problem.

The above is struck out because I went by memory and not by the camera manual. This expected display, by mode is:
  • Program AE: both aperture and shutter speed, camera chooses both
  • Aperture-priority AE: shutter speed only displayed
  • M: Shutter speed (user chosen) and +/- advice displayed
  • 100⚡ : 100⚡ is displayed
  • B: "B" is displayed
"E" is displayed when the mode dial is other than "Auto" and the aperture ring is on "A".

The usual suggestion is to clean the mount contacts on both lens and camera using a microfiber cloth. With any luck that will provide a solution.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-19-2020 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Gross error!!!
11-19-2020, 11:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by GemmaPhoto Quote
that the aperture display is incorrect (shutter speed increases when aperture is 1. 7).
As you open up the lens, the shutter speed should increase.

11-19-2020, 12:26 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
As you open up the lens, the shutter speed should increase.
You are so very correct and my comment above is so very INCORRECT! I knew the Super A did not support both Av and Tv modes, but forgot which and chose the wrong one. To make things worse, I had the manual open on the screen in front of me...


Steve

(...the cone of shame chafes my neck...)
11-19-2020, 11:07 PM   #6
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Super A *does* support both Av and Tv modes.

---------- Post added 11-19-20 at 11:08 PM ----------

"E" is shown when you have it set to A on the lens and shutter speed on B.

---------- Post added 11-19-20 at 11:12 PM ----------

"E" is also shown when you have the shutter speed on B, and the self-timer enabled.
11-20-2020, 03:28 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
As you open up the lens, the shutter speed should increase.
Hi, yes, it appears to do that - i.e. shutter speed increases when aperture is opened up on the lens.
So for example, shutter speed will increase when LENS is set to 1.7, but in the viewfinder, despite the shutter speed increases, it will say f22.
Thisi indicates that the lens is correct - as it should be - but he info in the viewfinder is incorrect - this is what I want to know how to fix.

---------- Post added 11-20-20 at 03:30 AM ----------

Thank you.
The problem is that 'E' shows in manual mode, even when the lens is NOT set to A (& no self timer enabled).
It means I can't set shutter speed and aperture manually - or at least without correct settings showing in the viewfinder.
Any ideas?

---------- Post added 11-20-20 at 03:35 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Download the user manual from here:
Pentax Manuals

In any mode but "AUTO" if the aperture ring is set to "A" the display will show "E".

In Aperture Priority mode ("AUTO") ring set to desired f-stop there is no indication of the f-stop in the viewfinder.

In Manual Mode ("Man.") the viewfinder will show selected shutter speed and EV +/- (max/min +/-3EV). Set shutter speed with buttons, f-stop with ring until EV shows zero (0).
Thanks.
I'm just focused on Aperture Priority for now...
"In Aperture Priority mode ("AUTO") ring set to desired f-stop there is no indication of the f-stop in the viewfinder."

This isn't the case... it does show both shutter speed and aperture in this mode, just not correctly in my case.

---------- Post added 11-20-20 at 03:40 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
If the display shows anything other than +/- a number or "0" in M-mode or "E" in P mode when the aperture ring is off the "A" position, there is a problem.

The above is struck out because I went by memory and not by the camera manual. This expected display, by mode is:
  • Program AE: both aperture and shutter speed, camera chooses both
  • Aperture-priority AE: shutter speed only displayed
  • M: Shutter speed (user chosen) and +/- advice displayed
  • 100⚡ : 100⚡ is displayed
  • B: "B" is displayed
"E" is displayed when the mode dial is other than "Auto" and the aperture ring is on "A".

The usual suggestion is to clean the mount contacts on both lens and camera using a microfiber cloth. With any luck that will provide a solution.


Steve
Hi Steve,
Thanks for looking into this!
TBH, I'm thoroughly confused, (not an account of you!) but this is the issue in a nutshell... I know how the camera should work, there's clearly a fault - and giving the mounts a clean unfortunately hasn't worked.

The camera itself I think works correctly (will find out when some film is developed), for example the shutter speed increases as it it should do when aperture is opened up on the lens.
So for example, shutter speed will increase when LENS is set to 1.7, but in the viewfinder, despite the shutter speed increases, it will say f22.
This indicates to me that the lens setting is correct - as it should be - but the info in the viewfinder is incorrect - this is what I want to know how to fix.
Maybe it just needs to go to a shop to be looked at!
11-20-2020, 04:14 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GemmaPhoto Quote
The camera itself I think works correctly (will find out when some film is developed), for example the shutter speed increases as it it should do when aperture is opened up on the lens.
So for example, shutter speed will increase when LENS is set to 1.7, but in the viewfinder, despite the shutter speed increases, it will say f22.
This indicates to me that the lens setting is correct - as it should be - but the info in the viewfinder is incorrect - this is what I want to know how to fix.
Maybe it just needs to go to a shop to be looked at!



From the sounds of it the aged electronics inside are a bit confused as to what mode it is in. If you get correct exposure in Av mode I would just stick to that mode.

repairing these older cameras with issues like yours will usually involve you buying a donor camera for spares. You would probably be better off simply trying to find another working copy of the camera.

11-20-2020, 09:27 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GemmaPhoto Quote
So for example, shutter speed will increase when LENS is set to 1.7, but in the viewfinder, despite the shutter speed increases, it will say f22.
This indicates to me that the lens setting is correct - as it should be - but the info in the viewfinder is incorrect - this is what I want to know how to fix.
If the viewfinder shows an aperture setting, it means the camera thinks it is in program autoexposure mode (camera controls aperture). The viewfinder on your camera should NEVER show an aperture setting you make. Good luck going forward. Conventional wisdom is that when the electronics go flaky there are almost no options for repair that are even remotely cost-effective. If you like the Program A, a replacement in better working order should not be hard to find.


Steve
11-23-2020, 08:21 AM - 1 Like   #10
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The problem could be as simple as failure on the mode dial to some other failure in the circuitry. Failure in the dial might be "fixable", anything else probably means replacing the circuit board. It would be more cost effective and simpler to replace the camera with a working example.
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