Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-04-2010, 04:32 AM   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Flushing NY
Photos: Albums
Posts: 412
Defective meter on my new k7?

Hi all. I've had my K7 less than a week, and everything seemed fine until this situation started:

In low light levels the camera starts acting exactly as if the lens cap is still on. (It's not!! ) That is, all the indicators are flashing in the viewfinder. This happens in every mode, it seems. (I'm haven't really checked with the green mode). For example, If I'm in Av, and almost wide open - "almost", because the kit lens, at 18mm is sticking at f4 when it should go to 3.5 -- at the highest ISO (1600 or 3200, either one, or at any ISO) the camera simply stops choosing shutter speeds. It might stop at 1/15 of a second, or 1/5, or 1'' -- there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. If I then dial in a narrower aperture, then the slower shutter speeds will start being chosen, but of course the lights are still flashing because the camera still isn't finding the right exposure.

Similar things happen in the other modes. In TV, when I dial in a long exposure, the aperture is stuck at a high f-stop. In other modes, the ISO might get stuck at 100. On manual, again I can't get the camera to accept the settings I need. Just now, with ISO at 1600, manual mode only got what seems to be correct exposure with 1", f7.1! Anyway, the exposure compensation dial is centered, picture seems ok, but the lights still never stop flashing. Then a little later, it looked like the issue was gone, lights stopped flashing, in manual no over or under exp was indicated, but I ended up with a black picture.

if I point the camera toward better light, it'll stop flashing, and the exposure looks ok, but the settings will still be bizarre -- it might refuse to let me set a lower ISO, even though the camera has chosen very high shutter speeds, for example.

Now, for days I was happily shooting in very similar, or even dimmer, light without a problem. (though once on my first night using the camera this sort of thing did seem to happen, but I assumed it was just user error, due to me misunderstanding what the modes, and eventually the problem went away, until today.)

I tried resetting all custom functions, but that didn't help. If anyone is wondering, I haven't done the firmware update -- and I'd rather not, because even if the problem seemed to go away after the update, I wouldn't know for sure if the update fixed it. (Unless this is a known issue?) Also, I have about a week left to return the camera to Adorama, and I'm not sure whether I should be messing with firmware in the meantime (does anyone know what their policy is on that?)

It can't be an over-heating issue; it's been quite cool here.
Switching between matrix and center-weighted makes no difference.
Switching between shooting RAW and jpeg makes no difference.
Just now, I tried moving the switch from AF to MF and back, doesn't help.
It doesn't seem to be a lens issue; happens with three different lenses.

I'm absolutely in love with the camera, and if all this is caused by my missing something stupid and obvious, I will be more grateful than embarrassed if someone enlightens me. But it looks to me like I just got a lemon. Has anyone experienced something like this with the K7?

Thanks for any help you can give.

- Bruce

07-04-2010, 06:06 AM   #2
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Posts: 10,193
I expect you are running out of metering range. This is not a problem, just a limitation of the metering cell.
At some point, there isn't enough light for the meter to work.
07-04-2010, 06:29 AM   #3
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Flushing NY
Photos: Albums
Posts: 412
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I expect you are running out of metering range. This is not a problem, just a limitation of the metering cell.
At some point, there isn't enough light for the meter to work.
Thanks for the quick reply. That's what I was assuming at first -- but it wasn't that dark. As I said, I'd shot before in similar conditions. Even darker ones. I can't understand what the use of high ISO is if the metering range is so paltry. And as I said, it's acting flaky in normal lighting sometimes too.

Note: my Nikon D40 is metering fine in exactly the same light, at least in aperture priority, giving a 25 second exposure at f4.5. Could the K7 really be that much less capable?

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by pentup; 07-04-2010 at 06:56 AM. Reason: reconsidered some sentences.
07-04-2010, 06:31 AM   #4
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 43,694
Take some sample shots and post them to an album here- we'll theb check the exposure and exif.

07-04-2010, 06:41 AM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 923
The K-7 can meter correctly down to light which is almost too dark to see with your eyes. Below that, the exposure indicators will just flash. Any normal lighted room will meter just fine.

1. Check what is your Auto ISO range setting - you can see from the status screen
2. Check whether you have Auto EV compensation accidentally set On (Custom menu 1.9). This mode if set on will lock you out of an underexposed shot.
3. Try a shot in Green Mode - this should override any unusual Custom settings you may have accidentally set. If you get a flashing exposure indicator in decent light e.g a normal lighted room and in Green Mode, then its likely you have a faulty camera.
If Green Mode is OK, but some other modes give you problems, its likely you have accidentally set an unusual customisation.
The K-7 has Tons of Customisation available, for advanced users, but some of them can give you a lot of trouble if mistakenly set.

Last edited by kittykat46; 07-04-2010 at 06:48 AM.
07-04-2010, 06:44 AM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NYC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,071
What were your settings? Manual? 800ISO? etc.
07-04-2010, 07:03 AM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Flushing NY
Photos: Albums
Posts: 412
Original Poster
QuoteQuote:
Note: my Nikon D40 is metering fine in exactly the same light, at least in aperture priority, giving a 25 second exposure at f4.5. Could the K7 really be that much less capable?
Correction: It was 15 secs at 3.5, on auto iso with the Nikon.
07-04-2010, 07:19 AM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 923
QuoteOriginally posted by pentup Quote
Correction: It was 15 secs at 3.5, on auto iso with the Nikon.
You didn't mention the actual ISO (unless I'm mistaken) but if its 15 secs af f/3.5 at ISO 3200, its too dark for the K-7's auto exposure (eg.P, Av, Tv, Sv) modes. 15 secs f/3.5 ISO3200 is really very dim light.

You can still switch to Manual , hit the green button and let the light meter give you guidance on the correct exposure.

07-04-2010, 07:19 AM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Flushing NY
Photos: Albums
Posts: 412
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by kittykat46 Quote

1. Check what is your Auto ISO range setting - you can see from the status screen
2. Check whether you have Auto EV compensation accidentally set On (Custom menu 1.9). This mode if set on will lock you out of an underexposed shot.
3. Try a shot in Green Mode - this should override any unusual Custom settings you may have accidentally set. If you get a flashing exposure indicator in decent light e.g a normal lighted room and in Green Mode, then its likely you have a faulty camera.
If Green Mode is OK, but some other modes give you problems, its likely you have accidentally set an unusual customisation.
The K-7 has Tons of Customisation available, for advanced users, but some of them can give you a lot of trouble if mistakenly set.
As I wrote in my OP, I reset all custom functions. I forgot to mention that I had also checked the auto EV compensation. On or off, no change. As for auto ISO, that wouldn't affect manual mode shooting, would it? Anyway, it's at the defaults, but I also tried extended sensitivity, various other combos, all to no avail (and every time I made a customization that didn't seem to help, I reset everything to defaults again.)

QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
What were your settings? Manual? 800ISO? etc.
As I said, I tried lots of modes. SV, TAV, AV, TV and manual.

Thanks everyone.
07-04-2010, 08:27 AM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Flushing NY
Photos: Albums
Posts: 412
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by kittykat46 Quote
You didn't mention the actual ISO (unless I'm mistaken) but if its 15 secs af f/3.5 at ISO 3200, its too dark for the K-7's auto exposure (eg.P, Av, Tv, Sv) modes. 15 secs f/3.5 ISO3200 is really very dim light.
It was 1600. I wonder if that's still outside the range? Forgive my ignorance, but I'm still surprised that the Nikon D40, a much more modest camera, isn't having this difficulty. And as I noted in the OP, I saw an issue like this a few days ago, but in completely normal, but subdued, light, where I shot happily at low shutter speeds -- usually at 1600 -- really enjoying the SR, until for no apparent reason the camera started either flashing at me or setting bizarre combinations that I couldn't change. The behavior went away after a while (I wonder if just turning the camera off for a long period sorts things out?)

QuoteQuote:
You can still switch to Manual , hit the green button and let the light meter give you guidance on the correct exposure.
Tried that, and I find the result interesting:
At the last point where the camera doesn't flash (this is in a bathroom with no lighting other than some daylight coming the door from the windows in the living room) the green button in manual mode gives me this:

1/15 sec at f3.5 at ISO 6400. (or 1/20 secs -- it'll vary from shot to shot)

And the exposure is fine. What was confusing me I suppose is that an infinitesimal change in the lighting from that point (just by closing the door an extra milimeter or so) starts the flashing. So right there I guess I found the exact limit of metering? So, I can't, say, get a meter reading of 1/8 of a second at the same aperture.) With practice, I could guestimate if I really needed the shot.

Where I'm still worried is that, and I swear I didn't imagine this, when I first starting seeing all the flashing (this would be in Av or Tv mode) and I assumed it was just too dark (which it was), I then pointed the camera into the light, and the flashing continued. When it finally stopped after I fiddled with this or that, I still seemed to get strange things happening, as if the camera were momentarily as confused as I was. ;-)

I'm beginning to understand, I think. Probably a case of user absurdity, not the fault of the camera. But it intrigues me that my humble D40 meters in auto just fine. Pity the ISO range is only 200 to 1600 (well, there's some "Hi" setting beyond that which is unusable.)

Thanks kittykat!

Last edited by pentup; 07-04-2010 at 08:41 AM. Reason: reconsidered sentences
07-04-2010, 12:18 PM   #11
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
If the D40 didn't have this problem at that light level, it surely would at just a tiny bit lower level. All cameras have lower limits on metering. You're talking *extremely* low light levels here.

As for your issues with manual mode, you might want to explain them better. How was the camera limiting you to f/7.1? That would either be a camera defect, or else a case of you not using M mode correctly.
07-04-2010, 12:30 PM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Flushing NY
Photos: Albums
Posts: 412
Original Poster
Well, I'm smacking my forehead now. I just tried with an old 50mm f1.7, and found the meter's sensitivity much improved. Doh! Well, of course. It was pointless for me to try to this with a slow lens. When I had the kit zoom on, I got 1/15 sec at f3.5, ISO6400 (the point at which the flashing stopped) I plugged those into the Light Value calculator found here:

and it showed 1.4 LV, which seemed a little high to me. With the faster lens, the display didn't start blinking until the room was noticeably darker, and every shutter/aperture/iso combination I tried produced an LV of about 0 in the calculator, which I'm assuming is in line with the K7's reported metering range of EV 0 to whatever. (I'm very unclear about LV and EV, as you can tell).
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dslr, exposure, help, iso, issue, lights, modes, photography, shutter, speeds, update
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
BG3 Defective? Nick SD Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 3 01-27-2010 07:48 PM
Defective K100D Brian Wahl Pentax DSLR Discussion 38 11-17-2008 12:22 AM
Defective DA* 50-135mm? lripplinger Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 09-15-2008 10:25 PM
Defective 16-50 2.8 flyer Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 04-25-2008 10:31 AM
Defective AF540FGZ? Boo! sholtzma Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 7 12-01-2007 09:24 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:38 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top