Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-07-2011, 01:15 PM   #1
Veteran Member
littledrawe's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Red Rock
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,514
How do you use your dial

I am curious about what modes everyone shoots in? The typical answer, I know, is going to be "Well, it depends." But we are creatures of habit and I want to know what you rely on and why or if there is a mode you always use in a certain situation. I think it may be a good way to see how other people get their shots and some of us can learn a thing or two.

For example when I am shooting with my Tamron Adaptall-2 300mm f2.8 + 1.7X AFA I default to (M)anual mode because it seems like the easiest way to change the shutter speed for proper exposure.
But maybe there is a better way to get the most out of this setup?

09-07-2011, 01:24 PM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
TER-OR's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dundee, IL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,533
I'm shooting in TAv mode most of the time. I want to keep the shutter speed high and stop down the aperture a bit. I'm shooting wildlife a lot, and with a 100mm macro a lot. I'll move to Tv if it's sunny and I want to bump my shutter speed really high.

Of course, if I'm shooting with a fully-manual lens that changes things.
09-07-2011, 01:25 PM   #3
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 49,614
I'm usually in P mode as I rarely use manual lenses, and there I take advantage of hyper program and override the camera's shutter speed or aperture when needed, or shift the EV if exposure needs adjustment. For special applications, such as macro or sports, I may switch to Av or Tv, and when I need to shoot in low light, TAv comes in handy.

Adam Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography) server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover these costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, KEH, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

09-07-2011, 01:58 PM   #4
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,714
Like Adam, I shoot primarily in P mode. However I use the dial mostly to adjust the shutter speed (ie Tc like mode) because I shoot dynamic scenes for which I have now a good feel for the required shutter speeds.

Hope that the comment may be of interest.

09-07-2011, 02:58 PM   #5
kiwi_jono's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,996
I'm about 50 / 50 for automatic versus manual lenses so:
1. If Auto: use P mode and shift with E wheel as needed. M for night shots.
2. If Manual: use M or Av mode (Av works Ok with M42 lenses).
09-07-2011, 03:38 PM   #6
Forum Member
neurocyclist's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: New York
Photos: Albums
Posts: 72
I usually go between M and Av the most. The reason I like M, is because if I'm in a constant lighting situation, I can basically set the parameters in M, and know they won't change. If in any of the auto modes, there is a chance that the shutter speed, aperture or ISO change, even if the lighting conditions don't (if the camera meters on a light instead of a wall). I also tend to use the flash when I'm inside, and generally find that I like my metering better than the camera's. If I find myself moving between varying lighting conditions (outdoors - shady to sunny to shady), I'll move over to Av, and hope the camera's metering can handle the situations. I have been burned once or twice with the camera dragging the shutter to get to the right exposure. Now I make sure to underexpose in Av mode just to make sure my shutter speeds stay reasonable. I haven't played too much with TAv, simply because I like keeping my ISO range fairly narrow. Is there a way I can tell the camera to max out at an ISO of 800 in TAv mode?
09-07-2011, 03:40 PM   #7
Veteran Member
littledrawe's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Red Rock
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,514
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
hyper program
Is this new on the K-5 or do other models have it?
09-07-2011, 03:52 PM   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 10,118
QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
hyper program Is this new on the K-5 or do other models have it?
hyper program has been on film cameras ( I forget which ones) and is a really handy feature of pentax cameras.I hardly ever use it though I prefer full manual - or TAv mode if i'm feeling lazy.

09-07-2011, 04:11 PM   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Ex Finn.'s Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern Maryland.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,798
P with no dials most of the time. Full manual is my second most used mode. The rare air-show is Tv. trying to freeze the action.
09-07-2011, 04:21 PM   #10

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 4,627
I use Av most often and auto ISO. In sunlight I'll stay stopped down around f8 for good depth of field. If things get a little darker or I shoot faster action then I'll open up the aperture enough to maintain shutter speed and reasonably low ISO.

For astrophotography, my latest interest, all Manual.
09-07-2011, 05:35 PM   #11

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: WA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,055
I use Av mode when I need metering and M mode when I don't. In Av mode, I use the dials to adjust aperture and ISO - I also use exposure compensation.
09-07-2011, 06:48 PM   #12
Senior Member
AOShep's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Eastern PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 293
My dial seems to be stuck on M. Whenever I change it, it seems to always return home to manual. I guess if it was good enough for my MX it is good enough for my K5.
In reality, old habits are hard to break and whenever I try to learn to use one of the auto modes it does something I wasn't expecting or didn't want so I go back to M. I do, however, find the Tav a very nice mode.
09-07-2011, 07:43 PM   #13
noblepa's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Bay Village, Ohio USA
Posts: 1,112
QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
Is this new on the K-5 or do other models have it?

My K10D has it. Its handy. Its almost as flexible as manual mode. I just half-press to let the camera pick a "proper" exposure. Then I use the e-dials to override it, while still maintaining an equivalent "correct" exposure.
09-07-2011, 08:10 PM   #14
Veteran Member
enoxatnep's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The edge of nowhere, Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 467
My K20D is on Av mode 95% of the time since my biggest concern is controlling depth of field. I don't like my camera setting its own ISO since noise is an issue on the K20D even at ISO 400.
09-07-2011, 08:11 PM   #15
Veteran Member
maxfield_photo's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,214
I shoot full manual, except for auto focus, which I have on a separate control from my shutter. I'll take consistency over 100% correct exposure.

Last edited by maxfield_photo; 09-07-2011 at 08:19 PM.

  • 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, mode, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pentax K-r E-dial Retsiger Pentax K-r 120 11-28-2011 10:46 AM
K-x e-dial! amidtb994 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11 04-19-2011 09:11 AM
K7 Rear Dial GoldenRGuy Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 8 01-29-2011 02:03 PM
K-7 exposure dial not going down? Help please netuser Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 8 07-26-2010 11:20 AM
Sun Dial tpeace Monthly Photo Contests 2 01-10-2010 05:01 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:55 PM. | See also:, 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?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]