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02-09-2010, 02:37 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrossStealth Quote
I don't have ev mode. I do have
m - manual exposure
av - aperture priority w/ auto exposure
tv. - shutter priority w/ auto exposure
sv - sensitivity priority w/auto exposure
p - program w/auto exposure
night scene
portrait
landscape
Macro
Moving object
Night scene portrait
flash off

What is sensitivity priority by the way?
And what mode is best to start on that is like ev?
I think, for a basic understanding of these modes and of the camera and its workings, it would be a good idea, to really read through the manual. The Pentax camera manuals are really helpful and will provide all the info you need for a start.

Later, you can always read more specialised literature, if you want to know more.

Ben

02-10-2010, 02:56 AM   #17
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I only have time for a quick response but I will respond in more detail in a bit. I already read the whole 300 page manual 2 times. I do generally know what aperture iso shutter speed and exposure are and I do know what the modes do. just not fully grasping them which is why I came here for help. When I was in manual no matter what I put shutter speed on and no matter what I put iso on the exposure stayed below -3 on the meter thats why I originally posted. I have been using P mode more and it is easier but I like Manual a lot and enjoy controlling every value. The only way I was able to get the exposure meter above -3 was to get the 1 second shutter speed. I did not realize it did not take the flash into account though. Any other tips or responses that can further my learning?

Oh and thank you to everyone who wrote here
02-10-2010, 03:56 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrossStealth Quote
I only have time for a quick response but I will respond in more detail in a bit. I already read the whole 300 page manual 2 times. I do generally know what aperture iso shutter speed and exposure are and I do know what the modes do. just not fully grasping them which is why I came here for help. When I was in manual no matter what I put shutter speed on and no matter what I put iso on the exposure stayed below -3 on the meter thats why I originally posted. I have been using P mode more and it is easier but I like Manual a lot and enjoy controlling every value. The only way I was able to get the exposure meter above -3 was to get the 1 second shutter speed. I did not realize it did not take the flash into account though. Any other tips or responses that can further my learning?

Oh and thank you to everyone who wrote here
It would be good to have more specific info: How high did you actually raise the ISO setting, how low was the ambient lighing - only a cozy candle light on the table or a room with usual tungsten illumination, etc.

Anyway, the possible solutions to your problems have been summarized in my original answer, directly following your initial post. There is nothing, that you can do (given a fixed illumination), than to change your camera to higher ISO or/and use a wider aperture. If the kit lens does not allow that, you need a "faster" lens.

Also, to reduce camera shake, dial in a short expsoure time or use X-sync and let the flash provide the light.

Ben
02-10-2010, 12:47 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrossStealth Quote
I only have time for a quick response but I will respond in more detail in a bit. I already read the whole 300 page manual 2 times. I do generally know what aperture iso shutter speed and exposure are and I do know what the modes do. just not fully grasping them which is why I came here for help.
And what I'm suggesting is, visit a library or bookstore and get a book on photography. Not a camera manual - that just tells you how to control things, not what they are or why you'd want to. This answer is not meant to be glib or denigrating. Exposure is kind of a big subject - maybe not a whole book worth necessarily (although there are whole books on the subject), but a whole chapter, easily. A forum like this is a place to learn the basics you say you already know. To go beyond that, you need more in depth info that can eaisly be provided in a forum posting, but the good news is, you don't need someone to write that up just for you. it's already been written up, in just about every book on photography. So that should be your starting place.

QuoteQuote:
When I was in manual no matter what I put shutter speed on and no matter what I put iso on the exposure stayed below -3 on the meter thats why I originally posted.
Then you didn't try a slow enough shutter speed, a large enough aperture, or high enough ISO. Simple as that. There is absolutely nothing more to it.

The reason it doesn't take flash into account, BTW, is that with flash, it will *always* come out at 0 no matter what settings you use, because the camera will adjust the flash output to*make* that true. So the meter is trying to show you how hard the flash is going to have to work. If you get the meter to 0, then the flash will barely fire at all. With the meter at -1, the flash will fire just enough to make up the difference. And so on. You use this info to help you figure out how how to get the balance you want between the ambient light and the flash.

02-10-2010, 02:02 PM   #20
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If it ain't incident metering, it's not correct.

Manual mode is the ESSENTIAL mode for accurate exposure. The best metering is the incident light meter. EVERY other method of metering is affected by the tone of the subject. I do not own an incident light meter, but I sure can use "Sunny 16" and its variations, and do for much of my outdoor photography. Using an incident meter and/or sunny 16, the tone of the subject has no effect on the exposure. Any in camera meter averages the tone of the subject and assumes the scene is reflecting 18% of the light that strikes it.

If one is using a reflective meter, such as the one in the camera, or the even more exotic Pentax 1 degree hand held spot meter, the trick is to use a subject with reflectance that you know and have tested and have with you. The bold print is for those that prefer the 18% grey card. I have no idea how many of them I lost before I started using one I always have with me. A good starting exposure can be metered from the palm of my caucasian hand by adding one stop. My palm is very close to 36% grey reflectance. I cannot use the back of my hand, because its reflectance is quite high in early spring, and much less in late fall. It's called tanning. I usually have the palm of my hand with me. Except in winter when it is black gloves. Then I use snow and add two stops as a starting exposure.

Using the M 400, for example, I do not change exposure between great blue herons, swans, ruddy ducks and coots. I either "sunny 16" and chimp or meter the palm of my caucasian hand, which is about 36% grey, and add one stop of exposure. In the case of the coot, I might have to give a tiny bit, about 1/3 or 1/2 stop, to get detail in the feathers. This will, of course, make the bird's surrounding overexposed, so I must keep the additional exposure to a minimum.

The metered exposure difference between a white swan and a coot (black with a tiny orange beak with a tiny bit of blue at the base of the beak) is usually between 2 and 3 stops, depending on where the swan has been feeding - swans change colour with the water they have been swimming in.

If I believed my reflective meter (the one in the camera), the only bird that would be properly exposed is the great blue heron, whose feathers approximate 18% grey, and then only if I spot metered it in camera, with the bird filling the centre brackets completely.

If you believe sincerely that centre weighted exposure meters are better than matrix meters, try one on an image of land and sky. Take one image with the camera taking in only a sliver of the sky, repeat it with the matrix meter. Take a second image where the sky makes up 2/3 or more of the image using the centre weighted meter and the matrix. Check the image data for all four images. The matrix meter will have much less variation than the centre weighted meter.

If the sky is blue, and it is summer, and you are pointed north when you press the shutter button, and the land area is green grass, the two will be fairly close. Now face West and do the same thing, or take an image of a recently plowed field.
02-10-2010, 05:04 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
It would be good to have more specific info: How high did you actually raise the ISO setting, how low was the ambient lighing - only a cozy candle light on the table or a room with usual tungsten illumination, etc.

Anyway, the possible solutions to your problems have been summarized in my original answer, directly following your initial post. There is nothing, that you can do (given a fixed illumination), than to change your camera to higher ISO or/and use a wider aperture. If the kit lens does not allow that, you need a "faster" lens.

Also, to reduce camera shake, dial in a short expsoure time or use X-sync and let the flash provide the light.

Ben
I did not change the white light balance. Its set to auto the aperture was on 4.0 which is the lowest it would go the iso was on 6400 the highest it would go and the shutter speed needed to be on 1 secibd to capture but I would get a lot of motion blur. I think you are right on the faster lens so I am looking into the Pentax-m 50mm 1.4.


QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
And what I'm suggesting is, visit a library or bookstore and get a book on photography. Not a camera manual - that just tells you how to control things, not what they are or why you'd want to. This answer is not meant to be glib or denigrating. Exposure is kind of a big subject - maybe not a whole book worth necessarily (although there are whole books on the subject), but a whole chapter, easily. A forum like this is a place to learn the basics you say you already know. To go beyond that, you need more in depth info that can eaisly be provided in a forum posting, but the good news is, you don't need someone to write that up just for you. it's already been written up, in just about every book on photography. So that should be your starting place.



Then you didn't try a slow enough shutter speed, a large enough aperture, or high enough ISO. Simple as that. There is absolutely nothing more to it.

The reason it doesn't take flash into account, BTW, is that with flash, it will *always* come out at 0 no matter what settings you use, because the camera will adjust the flash output to*make* that true. So the meter is trying to show you how hard the flash is going to have to work. If you get the meter to 0, then the flash will barely fire at all. With the meter at -1, the flash will fire just enough to make up the difference. And so on. You use this info to help you figure out how how to get the balance you want between the ambient light and the flash.
Thank you for the advice for the reading material. As soon as I get some time to head to the Library I will check out a few books on exposure and please see above for the settings I had.
02-11-2010, 05:49 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrossStealth Quote
the aperture was on 4.0 which is the lowest it would go the iso was on 6400 the highest it would go and the shutter speed needed to be on 1 secibd to capture but I would get a lot of motion blur.
Are you trying to shoot in complete darkness? In any "normal" setting - say enogh light to recognize faces by - I'd expect ISO 6400 and f/4 to yield shutter speeds much faster than that. Could you post a sample? Even if you had a faster lens and could gets a faster shutter speed, if there is no light to speak of, your pictures will generally not be very good anyhow.
02-13-2010, 08:34 AM   #23
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the 50 will make a difference @ 1.4 but your going to see there are a lot of issues with that as well. it is not a "cure all". i'm still new to this, have posted similar questions, and have a fast 50...... so take my word on it.

the low light is b/c your indoors...so you're going to find the 50 to be too long. it will certainly work and you'll be able to get some sharper images...but your depth of field will be very small.

furthermore...even with the faster 50 in low light, you'll find that you're going to be bumping up the iso, which in effect will force you to change the aperture, and then changing your shutter speed.....which in the end is what you could've done with the lens your using if you knew more about the exposure trianlge discussed in that book.

don't worry though....most people in here probably struggle with one aspect of photography or another. just on different levels. unfortunately, i seem struggle with all of them.

02-14-2010, 05:21 AM   #24
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I was on vacation when I posted this and sure i will post some examples as soon as my camera is unpacked and I can duplicate what I have stated. One thing Id like to mention is I could see the image clearly but the meter on the camera said it was below -3 for exposure. But i will post my new pictures as soon as I have a chance to take some.
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