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09-18-2010, 09:09 AM   #1
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Help - Metering issue

Hi All - My new Pentax K-x started doing something odd today and I am wondering if there is anything I can do or if I should look into a warranty repair/exchange.

When I am using a manual lens in manual mode, if I hit the exposure button to meter, if it is pointed at a bright object, like clouds reflecting sun, or white vehicles or buildings, it sets the shutter speed to 0.3" which is ridiculously long for daylight, and the opposite of what you would expect. If I point to less bright objects, it gets closer to correct, and it seems that if I close the aperture some it also meters in a more sane range.

This doesn't happen with my auto lens, but I suspect this could be because it is automatically going to a smaller aperture to compensate for the brightness.

What's going on here?? Please help. Thanks in advance.

09-18-2010, 09:47 AM   #2
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I got my first manual prime on Thursday, and hit the same issue on Friday (except mine goes to 0.4", not 0.3"). It seems to be what the K-x does when it gives up. Whether the scene is too dark or too light, it goes to 0.4".

In my case I had set the ISO to 1600 for a previous dark shot, then forgotten to reduce it for a better lit one. At ISO 200 the camera could cope. Reducing the aperture also worked - anything that gets the exposure down to what the camera can handle. It may be a bit surprising (it might be more logical if it displayed the maximum shutter speed instead of the manual minimum for an over-bright scene), but I don't think it reflects a fault in the camera. The point is, there is a maximum shutter speed, and with manual lens and mode the shutter speed is all the camera can change.

It might be better if it changed the ISO as well as shutter speed, but M-mode is documented as manual ISO.

Last edited by Brangdon; 09-18-2010 at 09:54 AM.
09-18-2010, 09:52 AM   #3
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Good to hear I'm not the only one, I guess, but I should note that I haven't had any problems with this up to this point. I've used this lens a lot over the last couple weeks and never had a problem until now. And today isn't even that bright, it's kind of gloomy here.
09-18-2010, 09:55 AM   #4
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Plus, it just doesn't make sense. The camera must know the difference between too bright to handle and really dark. Why would it set the shutter speed so slow? Why not just leave it as fast as it can go and flash like it is supposed to when it reaches the bounds of what the current settings can handle?

09-18-2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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What is your ISO set at?
What is your aperture set at?
It's possible that you are going outside the metering range of the camera, and as a previous poster mentioned, this is what it does when it "gives up".
09-18-2010, 11:42 AM   #6
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I was able to produce the effect at ISOs ranging from 200 to 1600, though, clearly it was easier to make it happen at higher ISO.
09-18-2010, 11:43 AM   #7
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Same deal with apertures... I was able to produce it as small as f8, maybe smaller if I tried.
09-18-2010, 12:52 PM   #8
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Check your exposures where the "problem" starts against the EV chart on Wikipedia.
Exposure value - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'm betting you are hitting the high side of your metering range and the camera is defaulting to it's "error code" exposure.
Your camera is rated to ev 21.5, but there is probably as much as a stop of wiggle room in the specification.

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