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03-14-2022, 10:35 PM   #1
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K200D auto ISO issues driving me batty!

Hi there,
New to the forum and first post. I couldn't see a specific forum for K200D's or similar, so posting here.
I used to have a Ricoh KR10M SLR and had no trouble working out all my manual settings.
I've never quite cracked it with my Pentax DSLR.
I thought I was getting there, but suddenly, since the start of the year, I've noticed incredibly terrible grain in photos that shouldn't have any! I'm talking beautiful blue skies and sunshine that really should produce perfect shots!
Now to be honest, I've never really had all the tech specs explained to me, so I'm learning a lot right now and doing my best to follow it all.

I've checked my AE metering spot and have it on the lowest (smallest dot) setting as I was advised - no difference.
I've tried stopping using auto - no difference.
I also did a reset of the custom functions - no difference
Tried difference lenses - no difference.
I tried some test shots today and realised that when I manually set the TV and AV settings, the ISO was auto setting to 1600! I found this out when looking at the info on the laptop. In a light that at worst would have needed 200! When I only manually set the ISO to 100, I had no problems!
But I thought getting the light right was all about the balance of these 3 settings. How can I balance them when it wants to push the ISO up to a range I'd use in low light theatre shots! (I was outdoors taking flower shots in bright shade when I discovered this.)
It never seemed to do this before, so I'm not sure what's going on with it.
Have I been deluded all this time in thinking that on this model I could control all 3 as individual settings at the same time? Or has it always auto set the ISO when I'm manually setting the AV and TV? Again - I really don't know much about the tech specs of this camera even though I've had it for years!
Any help and ideas appreciated, but please don't use too technical jargon so I can follow.
Cheers

03-15-2022, 12:45 AM   #2
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See pages 77 and 83 of the manual if you have access to it. The right button on the four-way controller should bring you to the Auto sensitivity menu. You can choose an AUTO setting but limit the range of acceptable ISOs (so you can force it to not go higher than, say, 400 if you want). You can turn AUTO ISO off altogether but I remember that being a mysterious setting. My K200D doesn't have charged batteries at the moment but I'm sure someone will chime in with the solution...
03-15-2022, 01:05 AM   #3
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Can you post am image with exif intact where the AUTO ISO is using too high a setting.
03-15-2022, 03:02 AM   #4
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The user manual is available here Operation Manuals Download : Support & Service | RICOH IMAGING … you'll need to go into the Discontinued Models section to find it.
The ISO setting is indeed available on right button on the four-way controller, you'll need to press the Fn (Function) button first to activate the settings.
With the latest firmware installed (if that makes any difference) there's simply a list of ISO settings to choose from with Auto at the top of the list.
As mentioned, if you can post an unedited image somewhere, further analysis can be made from the EXIF … it's possible you had some exposure compensation activated, but we'll need to be able to examine the image to know.

03-15-2022, 03:13 AM   #5
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I have two K-200d bodies, and they both produce consistent results with the settings I use. Because I'm doing birds with a long telephoto, I need a fast shutter speed. Using the camera's Program mode (which is skewed towards fast shutter speeds), I take the ISO off of Auto, and set it to 1600. There is a custom function for noise reduction, and I set it to the mildest of three available settings. I find the results to be quite pleasing.

I know this is far removed from how you are using the camera, but thought it might provide some food for thought. You can certainly take the ISO off of Auto and manually lock in a lower ISO to see what happens with the graininess. But I'd probably start by doing another reset and carefully check every setting. As I mentioned above, even at ISO 1600, my results don't seem to produce "incredibly horrible grain" (imho), so something else might be at play. Hope it gets worked out to your satisfaction.

Edit: Perhaps after doing a reset, first try using all the default settings with the camera on Program (assuming you have an 'A' or newer lens), and see what the baseline results are. And one more thing - try using a set of brand new Energizer Lithium batteries. Without a doubt, my K-200s function at their best if I stick to Energizer Lithiums - and put them in before you do the reset!

Last edited by bobore; 03-15-2022 at 03:36 AM.
03-15-2022, 02:06 PM   #6
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Are you using a manual lens without an A setting on the aperture ring? I don't think auto iso is available with those lenses in manual mode.
03-15-2022, 09:30 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosliwmit Quote
See pages 77 and 83 of the manual if you have access to it. The right button on the four-way controller should bring you to the Auto sensitivity menu. You can choose an AUTO setting but limit the range of acceptable ISOs (so you can force it to not go higher than, say, 400 if you want). You can turn AUTO ISO off altogether but I remember that being a mysterious setting. My K200D doesn't have charged batteries at the moment but I'm sure someone will chime in with the solution...
Thank you! I actually spent hours yesterday trawling through the manual online and found that myself.
I've reset it to something more manageable!

03-15-2022, 09:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
Are you using a manual lens without an A setting on the aperture ring? I don't think auto iso is available with those lenses in manual mode.
It appears none of my lenses have the A setting!
And indeed, the auto ISO is not available in the manual setting, but is in the P setting. I'm assuming this will help me?
03-15-2022, 09:36 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobore Quote
I have two K-200d bodies, and they both produce consistent results with the settings I use. Because I'm doing birds with a long telephoto, I need a fast shutter speed. Using the camera's Program mode (which is skewed towards fast shutter speeds), I take the ISO off of Auto, and set it to 1600. There is a custom function for noise reduction, and I set it to the mildest of three available settings. I find the results to be quite pleasing.

I know this is far removed from how you are using the camera, but thought it might provide some food for thought. You can certainly take the ISO off of Auto and manually lock in a lower ISO to see what happens with the graininess. But I'd probably start by doing another reset and carefully check every setting. As I mentioned above, even at ISO 1600, my results don't seem to produce "incredibly horrible grain" (imho), so something else might be at play. Hope it gets worked out to your satisfaction.

Edit: Perhaps after doing a reset, first try using all the default settings with the camera on Program (assuming you have an 'A' or newer lens), and see what the baseline results are. And one more thing - try using a set of brand new Energizer Lithium batteries. Without a doubt, my K-200s function at their best if I stick to Energizer Lithiums - and put them in before you do the reset!
Unfortunately no A settings on any lenses.
And this camera stopped working on anything but lithium AA batteries a few years back! Used to work on any AA, but now only lithium! Go figure!
03-15-2022, 09:46 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kypfer Quote
The user manual is available here Operation Manuals Download : Support & Service | RICOH IMAGING … you'll need to go into the Discontinued Models section to find it.
The ISO setting is indeed available on right button on the four-way controller, you'll need to press the Fn (Function) button first to activate the settings.
With the latest firmware installed (if that makes any difference) there's simply a list of ISO settings to choose from with Auto at the top of the list.
As mentioned, if you can post an unedited image somewhere, further analysis can be made from the EXIF … it's possible you had some exposure compensation activated, but we'll need to be able to examine the image to know.
What a doofus I am - had no idea there were firmware updates! Trouble now is that I have to find my lead - it was lost some years back and I bought. a generic replacement which didn't seem to want to work on my Dell computer, but would on my husband's Mac. Thankfully I now have that Mac, so hopefully I can find the new lead again as I' basically just ditched using it and transferred all my data by SD card directly.
I'll post a pic taken in said conditions with no editing.You'll also see the amount of crud I'm dealing with on my sensor - I'm about to buy a sensor cleaning kit. First thing I process is always getting rid of that!
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K200D  Photo 
03-16-2022, 01:50 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BelDel Quote
What a doofus I am - had no idea there were firmware updates! Trouble now is that I have to find my lead - it was lost some years back and I bought. a generic replacement which didn't seem to want to work on my Dell computer, but would on my husband's Mac. Thankfully I now have that Mac, so hopefully I can find the new lead again as I' basically just ditched using it and transferred all my data by SD card directly.
I'll post a pic taken in said conditions with no editing.You'll also see the amount of crud I'm dealing with on my sensor - I'm about to buy a sensor cleaning kit. First thing I process is always getting rid of that!
You don't need a lead for a firmware update, just download the file to your computer, unpack it to retrieve the .bin file inside, copy this file to the root of your SD card, re-fit the card in the camera then switch on the camera with the menu button depressed to update the firmware.
The only important criteria is that the process MUST be performed with fully-charged batteries.
FWIW, as recommended by many, I use eneloop rechargeable AA batteries in my Pentax cameras that require AA batteries … they're totally reliable and once the initial outlay for charger and batteries has been made they'll last for very many years
I see from your image EXIF that you're using a fully auto lens, so it won't have an "A" setting 'cos it doesn't have a manual aperture ring
Also from the EXIF, ISO 1600 shouldn't be necessary in good light under normal circumstances. If the shutter speed and/or the aperture were reduced by two stops (or one of each, say 1/500 @ f/11) the ISO would come down to 400 and you'd get a much less noisy image
Enjoy

Last edited by kypfer; 03-16-2022 at 01:57 AM.
03-16-2022, 06:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BelDel Quote
Unfortunately no A settings on any lenses.
And this camera stopped working on anything but lithium AA batteries a few years back! Used to work on any AA, but now only lithium! Go figure!
That is interesting, it is the same with my K200D. I purchased it recently as it had a very low shuttercount so I couldn't resist.
But when it arrived it came with ordinary AA Alkaline batteries and worked with those, resisted all my Eneloops.


As I have the external powersupply which works perfect it was clean that it must be a contact problem and when I checked it was clear:
The previous owner had cleaned all battery contacts but there were leftovers of a battery leak.
So I got 50% back and changed the contacts of the bottom battery door (one can use ONLY the contacts of another K200D, those of an *istD, K100D or Km will not work, have minimal different dimensions! but I had a few here). It is better but not perfect.

So I chose to buy a load of Energizer Lithium Ultimate which are perfect for the K200D, I can leave it in my car (well protected against humidity though) with some special SMC Pentax A-lenses and modified Pentax 360-I flash (also with the Energizer Lithiums Ultimate).

Quite a good solution, the K200D is a great body.

I highly can recommend some SMC-Pentax A lenses:
- A 70-210/4 ... very cheap to be found and almost as good as the

- A 35-105/3,5 (stack of primes)

and for the lower end I use the venerable DA16-45

and as a fast prime a heavy used FA50/1,7
03-16-2022, 10:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BelDel Quote
It appears none of my lenses have the A setting!
And indeed, the auto ISO is not available in the manual setting, but is in the P setting. I'm assuming this will help me?
If the lens is completely manual (no A setting or contacts on the lens) the camera cannot communicate with it. Using M-mode with green button (stop down) metering works for me.


How to Use Manual Lenses on Pentax DSLRs - Tutorial Videos | PentaxForums.com

How to use/meter Manual & M42 Lenses on all Pentax DSLRs (K-1, K-3, K-5, K-30, etc) - PentaxForums.com
03-16-2022, 02:38 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
If the lens is completely manual (no A setting or contacts on the lens) the camera cannot communicate with it. Using M-mode with green button (stop down) metering works for me.
A quick look at the EXIF shows the picture to have been taken with a Samsung/Schneider D-XENON 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED, which of course is a rebadged Pentax lens. The reason there's no "A" setting is 'cos it's fully automatic no aperture ring
03-16-2022, 03:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BelDel Quote
Unfortunately no A settings on any lenses.
Specifically, which lens(es) do you use? If they are more modern-designed AF (autofocus) lenses, and have NO aperture ring for setting aperture manually on the lens, there would of course be no "A" setting. I am not familiar with that Samsung lens.

The K200D is a good camera, and as your example shows, can deliver good results, even at its highest ISO setting of 1600. But whether such results are satisfactory depends on the user's call. Each must determine the standard for acceptable noise. I almost always set my own ISO, not having the camera automatically involved. It is very easy to switch over to your choosing the ISO. If you primarily shoot in good lighting, and do not need extremely high shutter speeds to freeze motion, then you'd not have need for higher ISO settings. You will have to determine how high you can go and still be satisfied with noise from your camera. Quality is generally better at lower ISO, but there will be a point to where you can increase as needed, yet still get fine results. You must be in control, not the camera.

Last edited by mikesbike; 03-16-2022 at 03:53 PM.
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