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04-06-2009, 12:25 PM   #1
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Problem shooting in MF

I apologize if this is an ignorant or frequently asked question. I have not been able to find an answer.

I am trying to shoot in MF on my k-m and am having problems. I am having this problem both with the kit 18-55mm lens and a Pentax-M 135mm. When I try and shoot in MF, the pictures come out almost black or completely black if my flash is down. However, if I put the flash up and cover it with my hand, the images turns out almost fine. What am I missing? Obviously it's not a lighting problem because this is happening is broad daylight. Any help is graciously appreciated.

04-06-2009, 02:56 PM   #2
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

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What mode are you shooting in? If you are using "M" mode - as you must in order to use the 135 - then you have to set the exposure yourself, or ask the camera to choose an exposure for you by pressing the Green button (or whatever other button is appropriate for your particular model). And you must have set an appropriate ISO and aperture (using the aperture ring on the lens) first.
04-06-2009, 03:54 PM   #3
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Yes, it definitely sounds like you have an exposure problem. When the flash is up the camera forces the shutter speed to no faster than 1/180 (I think) so that it will synchronize with the flash. If the other pictures are coming out black it sounds like you have the shutter speed set pretty high.

I assume by "MF" you mean "manual focus" mode. Your mode dial (on the top of the camera) doesn't need to be on "M" to do that (to state the obvious, but I've learned not to rule anything out).
04-06-2009, 04:54 PM   #4
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Original Poster
ok. thank you guys. it's starting to get better. i am now just having a problem with the images being blurry. i will upload some samples soon. i guess i am more of a newbie than i thought. but here's a bonus. my dad just found a Pentax-M 55mm f2 in the closet! my lens collection just got a little bigger

04-07-2009, 07:12 AM   #5
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You might want to pick up a book or two on photography basics. "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson did a good job of explaining some of this stuff to me when I started up.
04-09-2009, 12:52 PM   #6
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

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Blurry images are usually caused by one of five things:

1) you didn't focus well enough
2) you focused well on one objects, but the DOF is too shallow (too large an aperture), so other objects are not in focus
3) too slow a shutter speed to stop camera shake
4) too slow a shutter speed to stop subject motion
5) bad lens

In the absence of any other information, I'm going to guess #2 and/or a combination of #3 & #4. But pictures will help (especially if accompanied by EXIF information showing the exposure settings).

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