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04-26-2010, 03:58 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I don't have an option on one of my cameras All lenses are M42 and therefore I use M mode all the time.
With M42 you also have the option of Av. In fact, I have never understood why people use M with M42 lenses, unless they're thnking "I paid good money for this green button and by Jiminey I'm going to use it!" I only go to M for flash or long exposures. Even when I use a K-mount lens I am so unaccustomed to the other modes that quite frankly they baffle me and I just stick with Av. As mentioned by others: aperture on the front wheel and ISO on the rear. Although with M42 lenses that means the front wheel is as useless to me as teats on a boar hog.

04-26-2010, 07:15 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I use, as many know, an M 400 manual focus lens, which through the lack of an A setting on the aperture ring, requires manual exposure. I find that manual exposure is far better in cases such as you describe. I don't need to change anything because of a change in background, once I have selected my parameters. I have used manual exposure by choice with every lens I own.

On the other hand, when out for the day, I will often set my mode dial to P and adjust after if the subject waits long enough. With Pentax, P mode can be either aperture or shutter priority at the flick of an e-dial. If I need a smaller aperture, spin the front dial. If I need a faster shutter speed, spin the back dial.
Hi Albert,

I was being quite simplistic about some of the conditions encountered, and while your procedure set might work for a number of these shots and situations (even a majority of them), it's just not adequate for what has developed as my style of shooting. I shoot AF lenses only (or most likely a combo with the AFA), and usually am looking around for my next subject, which might appear anywhere. In addition to the three conditions I mentioned, it might be in partial shadow, or backlit by the sun instead of just the sky or clouds, or it might be a partly cloudy day with the clouds blocking direct sunlight intermittently, or on the water with the sun shining from just about any direction.

When I'm wandering around with the handheld combo, the next shot could be in any direction -- wherever the birds land -- and there many times when there is no baseline "correct" exposure. One shot might be at f14 and 1/500, ISO 200 and the next might be f6.7 and 1/60, ISO 1250. With 3 seconds or less to spot the bird, find it with the narrow FOV of a 510 or 714mm lens (moving slowly to not spook the little guys), focus, and take the shot. I fiddle with the different wheels by feel while bringing the camera up to my eye (or my eye to the VF) and while sighting the bird, focusing and composing. With AE and AI working to get me in the ballpark, I really only have to deal with Ev comp for the specific lighting conditions and bright feathers, and I can concentrate on finding the bird and getting critical focus. If I can get more than one shot because the bird is cooperating, I glance at the exposure info or chimp a shot (I already have an idea how slow the shutter speed might be by the sound and VF blackout time) and deal with the ISO range if necessary while refocusing and composing the next shot -- it can get pretty frantic.

This is not to say that it's always like this, but when it is, I need a procedure set that will accommodate this fast action, as well as the situations when all this fiddling is overkill. Even when shooting around feeders, there are always birds staging in the bushes and trees, waiting their turn. I prefer shooting these as they are in "natural" settings, but I will still shoot the guys at or around the feeders in the meantime, so there are settings that need to be changed from one series to the next. As time goes by at the same site, things get a lot easier as I dial in some of these lighting situations, but there's no advantage to changing the mode I'm shooting as that would only add confusion -- and I'm easily confused. . .

I could have mentioned all of this, but thought it would just add more to what I thought might be an already confusing post.

Scott
04-26-2010, 10:41 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
With M42 you also have the option of Av. In fact, I have never understood why people use M with M42 lenses, unless they're thnking "I paid good money for this green button and by Jiminey I'm going to use it!" I only go to M for flash or long exposures. Even when I use a K-mount lens I am so unaccustomed to the other modes that quite frankly they baffle me and I just stick with Av. As mentioned by others: aperture on the front wheel and ISO on the rear. Although with M42 lenses that means the front wheel is as useless to me as teats on a boar hog.
Did not know about Av with manual lenses, thanks. Might play with it one day although at this stage I don't see how it would work (not a question).
04-27-2010, 01:16 AM   #19
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About 60-70% of the time. I always adjust the speed, aperture, and ISO.
If using a M42 lens, it will be always changing.
The camera does not know if I need to maximize shutter speed or depth of field or go to a higher ISO so I can use a smaller aperture or faster speed. Therefore the need for the change.

I normally shoot in Av mode. If I need a faster shutter speed, I either change to a wider aperture or a higher ISO. Sometimes when I am lazy, I will use the preset button of the cam, as this are rarely been used.

Cheers.

04-27-2010, 04:30 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
In fact, I have never understood why people use M with M42 lenses, unless they're thnking "I paid good money for this green button and by Jiminey I'm going to use it!"
I don't have any M42 lenses, but since I also use M with my DA and all others lenses, I can't imagine why I'd suddenly want to turn over control of exposure to the camera just because I got myself an M42 lens. I shoot M because *I* want to control exposure.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 04-30-2010 at 09:30 PM.
04-29-2010, 09:39 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
If you are doing anything but the most trivial, do you adjust the camera settings for a picture or do you let the camera decide? When do you put it in manual? When do you decide you know better than the auto settings on the dslr?
Well, let's deal with that last question first. It's never a question of who knows better. That's like asking, "Who knows better what to do with the nail: me, or the hammer?" Like the hammer, the camera doesn't know squat. It's a tool. The question is, do you know how to use it?

So let's say you're in ordinary P mode—where you let the camera determine your exposure settings. Using P mode on your camera, your settings will change with practically every shot. YOU aren't changing them, they're changing automatically. That's what P does.

Now, using P is a perfectly reasonable thing to do for many photographers. It's like using automatic transmission on your car as you drive around the city day to day. On the other hand, I may be wrong (know nothing about NASCAR) but I bet professional race-car drivers do NOT use automatic transmission. And professional photographers generally don't use ordinary P mode.*

Why not? Well, it's not because pros are unwilling to make things easy on themselves! Personally I would be delighted to shoot in P mode—if it allowed me to get what I want. The problem is, the camera doesn't KNOW how I want to take the picture, any more than the hammer knows where I want to bang the nail. The camera doesn't know that this shot is a portrait and I want just the eyes in focus. It doesn't know that the next shot is of a kid doing a somersault. It doesn't know that I don't care about the strong backlighting that's overwhelming the meter and that what really matters to me is the face of the subject.

For most amateurs, the main challenge—indeed, the ONLY challenge they're interested in—is picking the moment of capture (i.e. when to click the shutter) and perhaps composing the shot. Many people are happy with those challenges forever, and that's cool. But if you start to care about other elements of the photo, then you MUST exert control over what the camera is doing, and you must do it ON EVERY SINGLE SHOT. Controlling the settings of every single shot does not mean that you must CHANGE the settings constantly! It just means that you must constantly be aware of the settings you're chosen and be prepared to change them when necessary.

And it doesn't matter whether you do this in Av and Tv mode, with or without using EC, or whether you do it in M. Some of the most famous photographers in the world (I can think of several) stay in Av mode 90% of the time. Others insist on using nothing but M. Doesn't matter. What matters is being in control.

Will


*I call it "ordinary P mode" to make it clear to owners of the K10D/K20D or K-7 that I'm not talking about hyperprogram (P) mode on their cameras. Hyperprogram (P) is basically just a way to switch into effective Av or Tv mode without having to change the mode dial. In other words, while in "ordinary P mode," the camera really is making the decisions, in hyperprogram (P) mode, the photographer can make the decisions.
04-29-2010, 10:07 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
If you are doing anything but the most trivial, do you adjust the camera settings for a picture or do you let the camera decide? When do you put it in manual? When do you decide you know better than the auto settings on the dslr?

Thanks.
Cameras can adjust the settings for you?

More often than not I shoot manual. Suits me better and I seem to do less post.
04-29-2010, 10:18 AM   #23
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Hi Scott - well written post.

My comment on out for the day shooting was specifically aimed at lenses such as my 16-50 and 50-135, just wandering about, not knowing what I was going to get. My program line is set to MTF most often, so the camera tends to keep my shutter speed up while still staying a stop or two down from wide open.

With the 50-135 and 1.7X, my version of the 70-210, (examples on my Flickr site), I will often be just walking along a road or through a field or up a mountain not expecting anything, but trying to be prepared for everything. That's when I select P mode. On nice bright days, I set ISO 100. On dull days I might go as far as ISO 400. In the dark woods, I might need to up the ISO even more, but I prefer to stay as low as possible. I will often use manual exposure with this combination, because, as you clearly point out, it is I who knows what I want, not Mr. Pentax. This of course slows the shooting speed down a bit, so P leaves me prepared for the grab shot, while still allowing me to change the aperture or shutter speed as required quickly.

04-29-2010, 10:44 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I don't have an option on one of my cameras All lenses are M42 and therefore I use M mode all the time.
With M42 lens (with A/M switch set to M), Av mode works better for me - dial +EV for ETTR...
04-29-2010, 10:56 AM   #25
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QuoteQuote:
Did not know about Av with manual lenses, thanks. Might play with it one day although at this stage I don't see how it would work (not a question).
I have a 500mm mirror and recently got an old 800mm manual lens. I use Av mode with them (the 500mm is always f6.3 which makes it easy) and the 800mm is variable from f8-32. I have to rotate the aperture ring to the desired f-stop and then get the exposure, but it works fine...

Otherwise, normally P mode, and shooting RAW. The K20D front and rear dials allow quick (and accidental) shifting into other modes easily enough. Other than ISO, most settings have no effect.
04-29-2010, 11:16 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
If you are doing anything but the most trivial, do you adjust the camera settings for a picture or do you let the camera decide? When do you put it in manual? When do you decide you know better than the auto settings on the dslr?

Thanks.
Like many others who have responded I shoot in Aperture Priority with the front e-dial set to EV compensation. Depth of field is important to me and I am trying to improve my ability to capture a well exposed picture. The introductory workshops I have attended have always encouraged me to take control of as much as possible and take as many pictures as possible just to learn. That's the big advantage of digital - you can always delete! I have spent a lot of time shooting rather unispiring subjects at a variety of settings just to see how things come out. I also found that once I started shooting in RAW I became more confident about which factors I could worry about later and which were critical to catch in camera. My primary interest is landscape so I often have the luxury of taking several shots with, say different aperture settings so I can chose the best later. I see myself as still on a steep learning curve but that's the fun.
05-06-2010, 06:37 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
For most amateurs, the main challenge—indeed, the ONLY challenge they're interested in—is picking the moment of capture (i.e. when to click the shutter) and perhaps composing the shot. Many people are happy with those challenges forever, and that's cool. But if you start to care about other elements of the photo, then you MUST exert control over what the camera is doing, and you must do it ON EVERY SINGLE SHOT. Controlling the settings of every single shot does not mean that you must CHANGE the settings constantly! It just means that you must constantly be aware of the settings you're chosen and be prepared to change them when necessary. Will.

Great post Will!

I'm pretty much an noob to photography, and out of the box I played aroud on automatic, letting the camera do the ajusting. But pretty soon I started tweaking and ajusting for diffent pictures and then...oh boy was I overwelmed!

But I read a lot here and there (a lot here!). I eventully got into an enthusiast leisure course, for fun and it's been great for me. Anyways, after all that, in my case, I almost always take my pictures in manual mode, ajusting aperture, speed, exposure, for evry picture. That way I have to think about what I want in my picture and how to get it. And that's most of the fun of photography, except when you really nail one...like you wanted it - thats top notch fun!
05-06-2010, 07:50 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by mba1971 Quote
... I almost always take my pictures in manual mode, ajusting aperture, speed, exposure, for evry picture. That way I have to think about what I want in my picture and how to get it. And that's most of the fun of photography, except when you really nail one...like you wanted it - thats top notch fun!
Right. Joe McNally has a book about some of his photos with a great title: "The Moment Ït Clicks." Kind of a pun, I guess. Obviously what he's really thinking, when it really clicks, when you nail one, when one comes out as good as you dared to hope it would.

It doesn't happen often for me. One of our forum colleagues here (miserere, alias Peter Zack) has a wonderful blog, "Enticing the Light." I recommend it. Wisdom + knowledge + fun: a killer combination. Anyway, one of his posts is titled 15 Truths About Photography. Truth #11:

Most of your pictures suck. So do everybody else's.

It reminds of something that Mike Johnston, a.k.a. The Online Photographer, said a good while ago. Can't find the post, but I remember vividly that he mentioned that he once had access to Ansel Adams' negatives. He said that he was surprised and somewhat heartened to learn that a lot of the negatives, well, sucked.

Which is probably why St Ansel is quoted as saying something like, "The way to take a good photo is to take 1000 bad ones."

Anyway, you're right: It's extremely satisfying when one clicks, when you nail one. If all you did was point the camera in the right direction and click the shutter at the right time, well, there's a GREAT DEAL to be said for that. I can't remember who said, it's better to be lucky than good. (Google says it was a WWII fighter pilot, which makes the saying even more meaningful.) Actually, that's about 99% of success in photo journalism.

But when your success was MORE than just a matter of luck, well, that is worth all the trouble.

Will
05-07-2010, 07:21 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Right. Joe McNally has a book about some of his photos with a great title: "The Moment Ït Clicks." Kind of a pun, I guess. Obviously what he's really thinking, when it really clicks, when you nail one, when one comes out as good as you dared to hope it would.

It doesn't happen often for me. One of our forum colleagues here (miserere, alias Peter Zack) has a wonderful blog, "Enticing the Light." I recommend it. Wisdom + knowledge + fun: a killer combination. Anyway, one of his posts is titled 15 Truths About Photography. Truth #11:

Most of your pictures suck. So do everybody else's.

It reminds of something that Mike Johnston, a.k.a. The Online Photographer, said a good while ago. Can't find the post, but I remember vividly that he mentioned that he once had access to Ansel Adams' negatives. He said that he was surprised and somewhat heartened to learn that a lot of the negatives, well, sucked.

Which is probably why St Ansel is quoted as saying something like, "The way to take a good photo is to take 1000 bad ones."

Anyway, you're right: It's extremely satisfying when one clicks, when you nail one. If all you did was point the camera in the right direction and click the shutter at the right time, well, there's a GREAT DEAL to be said for that. I can't remember who said, it's better to be lucky than good. (Google says it was a WWII fighter pilot, which makes the saying even more meaningful.) Actually, that's about 99% of success in photo journalism.

But when your success was MORE than just a matter of luck, well, that is worth all the trouble.

Will
thanks for taking the time to make these comments. removes discouragement.
05-07-2010, 07:34 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
...

Controlling the settings of every single shot does not mean that you must CHANGE the settings constantly! It just means that you must constantly be aware of the settings you're chosen and be prepared to change them when necessary.

Will
...
Thanks for this. I look at it when i am taking a picture to learn and felt like I must be doing something wrong because i wasn't actually changing them. Sometimes I would change them to see what happened but at least now I don't have to feel dumb for not changing every single shot... until i know what I am trying to accomplish.

I'm such a newbie and amateur that I just figured out IQ meant image quality (I had to search for it). I had been reading post after post and couldn't figure out why someone's camera had an intelligence quotient.

Last edited by justtakingpics; 05-07-2010 at 07:43 AM.
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