Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-13-2008, 03:17 PM   #1
Pentaxian
cardinal43's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,371
Shooting In Manual Question

I have a question about shooting in manual mode, and hopefuully, I won't feel like an idiot if I get the answer.

I was reading Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" last night. Actually, I was "re-reading" it, and he talked about learning to shoot entirely in Manual, which I have done very little of, so I decided to try it today after work. I have the K100D, and I took about 15 shots in manual mode, and not one of them showed up. The light came on to show it was writting to the card, but the lcd is pitch black. The pics do show up (for a 1 or 2 seconds) when I shoot in Tv and Av, but not in Manual. I was using the 18-55 kit lens, but I don't see where that would make any difference. I tried AF and MF, but nothing happening. Might be a dumb question, but if I'm shooting in Manual, should the lens always be in MF? Does it matter? TIA for your help.

06-13-2008, 03:52 PM   #2
Senior Member
Groundloop's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 236
If you're shooting in Manual (exposure mode), you don't have to set the lens to MF. Actually it doesn't matter what exposure mode you're in. Exposure and focus mode are completely independent.

My guess is that when you were shooting in Manual, you grossly underexposed. Can you post a pic, and a description of what you were trying to shoot and what the lighting was like?
06-13-2008, 03:55 PM   #3
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 2
Silly question but you're adjusting the aperture or shutter controls to center the exposure indicator in your viewfinder, right?
06-13-2008, 04:51 PM   #4
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,496
QuoteOriginally posted by cardinal43 Quote
I have a question about shooting in manual mode, and hopefuully, I won't feel like an idiot if I get the answer.

I was reading Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" last night. Actually, I was "re-reading" it, and he talked about learning to shoot entirely in Manual, which I have done very little of, so I decided to try it today after work. I have the K100D, and I took about 15 shots in manual mode, and not one of them showed up. The light came on to show it was writting to the card, but the lcd is pitch black. The pics do show up (for a 1 or 2 seconds) when I shoot in Tv and Av, but not in Manual. I was using the 18-55 kit lens, but I don't see where that would make any difference. I tried AF and MF, but nothing happening. Might be a dumb question, but if I'm shooting in Manual, should the lens always be in MF? Does it matter? TIA for your help.

I'm tempted to say that, in full manual mode, you have to remove the lens cap yourself, but I won't say that because it would be cute and I'm never cute.

So instead I'll try to be useful.

I shoot in M mode most of the time and I've never observed any problem with pictures not showing up in review, unless I did something dumb (which of course has NEVER EVER happened, but I mention it just, you know, hypothetically).

Try this. I am here assuming that there's a reasonable amount of available light, enough to take a picture, or that you've got the flash popped up or attached.
  1. Set camera to M mode
  2. Check the ISO and make sure it's set to something reasonable, by which I mean, if you're in a dark room, you should move it up from 100.
  3. CLICK THE GREEN BUTTON once. The green button on the K10D/K20D is just to the left of the shutter button as you hold the camera ready to shoot.
  4. Click the shutter to take your picture.
Assuming you aren't shooting in the dark, you should now be able to review a photo whose exposure is technically "correct" (might be horrible but the histogram should be centered).

Now repeat the experiment, and after you do step 3 above, look through the finder and observe the meter. You should see something like this:

. . . | . . .

The green button gives you a nominally or technically correct exposure to start with, and you can then deviate from there. If you move the shutter two clicks to the right, moving the aperture e-dial two clicks to the left will keep the exposure dial balanced in the same place. If you move one dial more than the other, then you'll be biasing the exposure one way or the other. It's that easy.

Try it and let us know.

Will

06-13-2008, 05:39 PM   #5
Pentaxian
cardinal43's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,371
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Groundloop Quote
If you're shooting in Manual (exposure mode), you don't have to set the lens to MF. Actually it doesn't matter what exposure mode you're in. Exposure and focus mode are completely independent.

My guess is that when you were shooting in Manual, you grossly underexposed. Can you post a pic, and a description of what you were trying to shoot and what the lighting was like?

I kind of, sort of, thought that might be what was happening, and I went back and played around with the setting and realized that they were unbeliveably underexposed. I'll try to upload a before and after to show what I was talking about.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pendrell Quote
Silly question but you're adjusting the aperture or shutter controls to center the exposure indicator in your viewfinder, right?
I'm not sure I'm understanding this part. Could you enlighten me a bit? Thanks.



QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I'm tempted to say that, in full manual mode, you have to remove the lens cap yourself, but I won't say that because it would be cute and I'm never cute.

So instead I'll try to be useful.

I shoot in M mode most of the time and I've never observed any problem with pictures not showing up in review, unless I did something dumb (which of course has NEVER EVER happened, but I mention it just, you know, hypothetically).

Try this. I am here assuming that there's a reasonable amount of available light, enough to take a picture, or that you've got the flash popped up or attached.
  1. Set camera to M mode
  2. Check the ISO and make sure it's set to something reasonable, by which I mean, if you're in a dark room, you should move it up from 100.
  3. CLICK THE GREEN BUTTON once. The green button on the K10D/K20D is just to the left of the shutter button as you hold the camera ready to shoot.
  4. Click the shutter to take your picture.
Assuming you aren't shooting in the dark, you should now be able to review a photo whose exposure is technically "correct" (might be horrible but the histogram should be centered).

Now repeat the experiment, and after you do step 3 above, look through the finder and observe the meter. You should see something like this:

. . . | . . .

The green button gives you a nominally or technically correct exposure to start with, and you can then deviate from there. If you move the shutter two clicks to the right, moving the aperture e-dial two clicks to the left will keep the exposure dial balanced in the same place. If you move one dial more than the other, then you'll be biasing the exposure one way or the other. It's that easy.

Try it and let us know.

Will
Believe it or not, checking to make sure the lens cap was off was one of the first things I checked -- and it was off.

I have the K100D, and not the K20D. I don't have a "green button" unless you are talking about the green mode (think this is Program?) on the selection dial. But, I do understand that most of the things you suggested can be done with the K100D also.

I'm going to continue to play around with this tonight and see how it works out. I normally shoot in Av, but wanted to learn how to shoot Manual, just so I can become much more educated about my camera.

Thanks to all of you.
06-13-2008, 05:50 PM   #6
Veteran Member
Fritz's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Tillamook, OR
Posts: 1,168
Since you don't have the green button, try the AE-L button. Same results, but different name on a K100d.
06-13-2008, 06:03 PM   #7
Site Supporter
SpecialK's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: So California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,901
Contrary to popular and frequently expressed opinion, there is no difference in image quality if the camera sets the exposure (in one of the semi-auto modes such as Av or Tv) or you do it manually - as long as it is the correct exposure.

There is nothing to be "learned" by setting the aperture and shutter.

The important thing is interpretation of the exposure meter. Backlighting, or large dark or light areas, and reflections will fool a meter and, in a semi-auto mode, mess up the exposure. That is what the Exposure Value Compensation feature is for - correcting the semi-automatic camera exposure to what you think/want it to be. And, EV comp does not work in Manual mode, by the way.

The "advantage" of Manual mode is that you will get a consistent exposure - right or wrong as you have found out.
06-13-2008, 08:19 PM   #8
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,496
QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Contrary to popular and frequently expressed opinion, there is no difference in image quality if the camera sets the exposure (in one of the semi-auto modes such as Av or Tv) or you do it manually - as long as it is the correct exposure.

There is nothing to be "learned" by setting the aperture and shutter.

The important thing is interpretation of the exposure meter. Backlighting, or large dark or light areas, and reflections will fool a meter and, in a semi-auto mode, mess up the exposure. That is what the Exposure Value Compensation feature is for - correcting the semi-automatic camera exposure to what you think/want it to be. And, EV comp does not work in Manual mode, by the way.

The "advantage" of Manual mode is that you will get a consistent exposure - right or wrong as you have found out.
I can't really tell if SpecialK and I agree or disagree. I think we disagree, but perhaps not.

There's no special credit due the photographer for shooting in manual mode. A great photo is a great photo even if it was taken in green (fully auto) mode on the K10D/K20D - for that matter, even if it was taken with a point and shoot. I think SpecialK would agree with that.

I'd go further and say that, if you know what you're doing and can get the right exposure, shooting in P - especially in P on the K10D/K20D which has some special properties - or Av or Tv, it's all fine, so long as you understand what you're doing. I think SpecialK would agree with that.

But there are advantages to shooting in M, at least to shooting in M often enough to feel completely comfortable with it.

First, I think there really is something to be learned from shooting in M. Having to control everything is the only sure way to learn to THINK about everything.

Taking a technically good shot isn't just a matter of getting the meter's exposure indicator right in the middle (or the desired distance from the middle to the left or right). It's about getting the right exposure using the right aperture and shutter speed, to freeze the action and/or provide depth of field as needed. In other words, if 1/200th sec and f/8 makes the camera's meter happy, 1/800th sec and f/4 is going to make the meter equally happy. But these pairs of settings will NOT produce the same photo! And it's often NOT an either/or question (am I interested in depth of field OR am I interested in freezing - or blurring - the action?) but a matter of balancing them both just right. You can't really learn to juggle if you practice with just one ball, and you can't really learn to master the balance of aperture, shutter speed (and ISO) if you only think about one of these at a time - or if you think your job is to get the meter into the right spot.

So I think that shooting in M is without question the best way to learn to be in charge of every aspect of every shot, every time. You can almost do it all in P mode or Av or Tv, if you really know what you're doing - but it's harder to do things that way. Thinking in terms of EV is like using a mechanical arm to pick up a stuffed doll inside one of those arcade challenges: it's much harder than it would be to just pick up the doll with your hands. Getting the right combination of aperture and shutter speed by futzing with +/- compenation - even on the K10D/K20D - isn't as easy as simply moving the aperture or shutter e-dials. It's harder to do it in P in part because holding down +/- with your thumb while moving an e-dial is not as easy as just moving an e-dial; but also because P (and Tv and Av) don't always work as you'd like. There are times - when the light isn't perfect or the scene has a high dynamic range - when I want, for example, to get a certain combination of aperture and shutter that the camera just won't give me in P, unless I fiddle with the +/- button a good bit. And while using +/- for minor adjustments in generally good light is easy enough, using +/- to gain complete control over aperture and shutter simply isn't as easy as using M. It just isn't. I am all for easy, I really am. But sometimes, the method that LOOKS easier really isn't, not even in the short run.

I think hyperprogram (P) mode on the K10D/K20D is brilliant. (And I know that the OP has a K100D, so I'm sorry about going on about this.) I have actually spent the last couple of months giving P the old college try, as a break from shooting mostly M. But I've about given up. I'm back to using P only when I know I'm going to have to shoot fast and really don't expect to have ANY time to think about anything other than trying to get the subject into the middle of the lens. If the light is a bit iffy, I switch from M to TAv (on the K10D/K20D) and let the camera adjust the ISO as needed. But if the exposure seems to change from shot to shot (because sometimes I'm shooting directly toward bright lights and one second later I'm shooting a shadowy scene), then I use P. I almost never use Av or Tv any more, since P (on the K10D/K20D) gives me access to those modes: I just have to move the aperture or shutter e-dial in P mode and I'm effectively in Av or Tv mode. But this is a small percentage of my shooting.

But on the third hand, I want to return to where I started. There's no special prize for shooting in M mode. I'm rather fond of Ken Rockwell. He's controversial, but I think it's obvious that he TRIES to be controversial - not just because he enjoys the attention but because he's a teacher and he's trying to make points. "Why your camera does not matter" is a classic essay with a brilliant and important point and I was stunned that the folks at Luminous Landscape, smart guys (including Sean Reid!) seem so totally to miss Rockwell's point. Anyway, Rockwell has another essay, called Modern Exposure. I think he's throwing cold water on the idea of using M mode. So I suspect that, if he were to reply to me, he'd tell me I'm wrong. I don't think I'm wrong but I want to concede that his point is more important than mine. If you can get the right photo, and get it consistently, then it doesn't matter what mode you use - and if you can learn to maintain complete control at all times over aperture, shutter AND ISO and you can do it in any mode other than M, then you are doing everything a good photographer needs to do.

Will

06-13-2008, 08:45 PM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Minnesota
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,530
Since I have the K100D and have been shooting almost exclusively in M and Av modes the last couple of days here is something that I have found fairly useful. When looking in the view finder in the bottom right hand corner there is a flashing number that ranges from -3.0 to 3.0. Set your shutter speed, aperture and ISO and press sthe shutter button down halfway to bring up the viewfinder HUD. That number is the difference of the appropriate exposure or EV value (pgs 144-145 in the manual). When the number is 0.0 that should be the appropriate EV value for you to take your picture. I have found that if I take a picture when that number is flashing -3.0 that my picture with be a black screen. If it is flashing 3.0 i have a really bright mess. I ve also found that pressing the AE-L button will change the the shutter speed and aperature if pressed while in (M)anual mode but it will not lock the exposure (pg 148 of the manual).

I'm still trying to learn how the combination of shutter speeds and aperture values equate to "stops" and how that effects the EV but I find that if I take a couple shots and fine tune the settings that I am able to get the exposure that I am looking for. So far I have a bunch of pictures and a bit of a learning curve but I am really enjoying learning how shutter speed, aperature and ISO effect my images. Hope this helps and good luck!
06-13-2008, 09:24 PM   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,535
QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
I'm still trying to learn how the combination of shutter speeds and aperture values equate to "stops" and how that effects the EV but I find that if I take a couple shots and fine tune the settings that I am able to get the exposure that I am looking for. So far I have a bunch of pictures and a bit of a learning curve but I am really enjoying learning how shutter speed, aperature and ISO effect my images. Hope this helps and good luck!
One "stop" is a doubling or halving of an exposure value. The name comes from the days when one put a slide with a hole of the right size in the focal path. These days, we are lucky enough to have variable size holes, using the aperture control.

If you open the aperture one stop ( f/5.6 > f/4 for example) you double the intensity of the light striking the film or sensor. To maintain the same exposure while using the new aperture setting, you must halve the amount of time the shutter is open. 1/250 > 1/500 for example.

Now you can change the ISO - we used to do it by changing film - in the same way. ISO 400/27 film needs 1/4 the exposure of ISO 100 film. Two stops difference.

In short, if you change any one of the three exposure controls by one stop, you change one of the other two in the opposite effect. You can leave the ISO constant (the same as a roll of film), keep the aperture the same because you are trying for depth of field, and change only the shutter speed to affect the overall exposure. The camera does this in Av mode.

Clear as mud? Enjoy your camera.
06-13-2008, 10:29 PM   #11
Veteran Member
Jewelltrail's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Photos: Albums
Posts: 4,180
QuoteQuote:
WMPB But there are advantages to shooting in M, at least to shooting in M often enough to feel completely comfortable with it.

First, I think there really is something to be learned from shooting in M. Having to control everything is the only sure way to learn to THINK about everything.
I can not agree more with much of WMPB's erudite discussion on M-mode. WMPB is onto something when he discusses M mode--it forces the shooter to THINK. Not only to think, which is always done in whatever mode you shoot, but to think in terms of the big picture--pun intended, sorry, couldn't resist.

Seriously, M mode forces the photographer, as WMPB so eloquently puts it, to juggle all the balls at once. Now it surely is nice to delegate one of the balls to the camera, thus allowing our mind less supervisory responsibilities, but this comes at a cost. By cost, I mean the photographer misses the chance to fully develop his/her appreciation for, and understanding of, the entire "Photographic Triangle," as Peterson calls it.

Now, probably most jugglers start off with one ball, master it, then move up to two. Eventually, they peak when they have all the balls in their control. So, a one-ball act functions nicely as a means to an end for the juggler, but not as an end in itself. Much in the same way, do other camera modes serve the Master--M-mode.

I agree that are great shot is a great shot--it does not matter how it was obtained.......................that is, to the observer of the shot. But to the maker of the shot, I would beg to differ. I have to believe, photographers being much like artists, that a photographer is infintely more intrinsically satisfied with a great shot obtained in M mode, than he/she is with one obtained in Green mode. It is, after all, why we graduate from Point and Shoots and move "up" to DSLRS--is it not?

The only point on which I disagree with WMPB is his comment that there is "no special prize" for shooting in M-mode. I would argure there is a prize, but it is not one bestowed by the outside world upon the photographer--no--it is a much more valued prize--it is the one a photogrpher's inside bestows upon him/her self.


Regards,

Ernest



"Humanity subdues inhumanity as water subdues fire."

Mencius 6A:18.
06-14-2008, 01:05 AM   #12
New Member
fullkoll's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: North of Sweden
Posts: 11
QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote

But there are advantages to shooting in M, at least to shooting in M often enough to feel completely comfortable with it.


Will
I have with very much interest read your posts and find them extremely instructive!
You are a very good instructor!

I havenīt used M-mode much, but I got curious and I am learning how to get the most out of it. I have both a K10D and a K100D Super but I most frequently use my K10D.


But............ which of the three metering modes do you use when you use M-mode?


/Kjell
06-14-2008, 05:44 AM   #13
Senior Member
Groundloop's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 236
Snip...

QuoteOriginally posted by fullkoll Quote
But............ which of the three metering modes do you use when you use M-mode?


/Kjell
I think the answer to that might be, "Whichever is appropriate for the situation". Normally I leave the camera in Centre Weighted mode. There are a couple of reasons for this:

1) Every camera I've owned in the last 25+ years, if it had a built in meter, that meter had a Centre Weighted pattern, so I have a reasonable idea of how the meter is seeing a scene, and I can usually make appropriate adjustments.

2) I haven't seen a marked improvement in accuracy using Multi Segment mode, but the caveat there is I haven't used it very often (see above), so I should do some testing.

I also use the Spot mode for backlit subjects.
06-14-2008, 06:00 AM   #14
Pentaxian
danielchtong's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 848
QuoteOriginally posted by cardinal43 Quote
I was reading Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" last night. Actually, I was "re-reading" it, and he talked about learning to shoot entirely in Manual, which I have done very little of, so I decided to try it today after work. I have the K100D, and I took about 15 shots in manual mode, and not one of them showed up. The light came on to show it was writting to the card, but the lcd is pitch black. The pics do show up (for a 1 or 2 seconds) when I shoot in Tv and Av, but not in Manual.
Easy to correct. Your K100D has a built in light meter. When you set manual and point to a bright area it will show on the VF +3 (lower right corner). When you point to a dark corner, it will show -3. Adjust you manual setting until it reaches 0. That is it


QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I can not agree more with much of WMPB's erudite discussion on M-mode. WMPB is onto something when he discusses M mode--it forces the shooter to THINK. Not only to think, which is always done in whatever mode you shoot, but to think in terms of the big picture--pun intended, sorry, couldn't resist.

Seriously, M mode forces the photographer, as WMPB so eloquently puts it, to juggle all the balls at once. Now it surely is nice to delegate one of the balls to the camera, thus allowing our mind less supervisory responsibilities, but this comes at a cost.
Ernest
WMPB, Ernest

I want to chime in and provide another aspect about shooting M mode. For me and maybe a few people doing very very fast sport (e.g. BIF), it is required in the case of Pentax. I cannot even delegate one aspect of the control to the AF or metering function to the camera out of necessity.
A lot of people may not be aware. My K100D and I believe the K20D as well, can only do at best , if lucky , 1 fps in the case of tough bif shots. The camera could be hunting for focus and metering all the time when I do bif.
In all my bif , I had to do manual all re this long thread

BIF ok with manual focus lens: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

It was a good discussion before dpreview is bogged down with crap.


I agree this is a special case though. But it does applies to all fast sport shooting as well. Unless Pentax has its predictive focus tracking on track or at par with the most updated, I am afraid that M mode still prevails over that of AF. To me every split (1/3) second counts.

QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
The only point on which I disagree with WMPB is his comment that there is "no special prize" for shooting in M-mode.
There is as I said. Either you make it with full manual or you do not even make the shot with AF and Av.

Do not trust those blind test confirming that magical 3fps. In real life for fast spot Pentax shooter, even 1 fps is a godsend. A lot of time it is 0 if you go for AF and Av before the bird flies out.

Daniel

Last edited by danielchtong; 06-14-2008 at 10:11 AM.
06-14-2008, 06:28 AM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Minnesota
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,530
QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Clear as mud? Enjoy your camera.
Yup! Thanks for the info. I have been enjoying this camera ever since I took my first photo with it. I havr plenty to grow into and have no doubt that when I am ready to move up that Pentax will be my system of choice. Thanks!
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, lens, mf, mode, photography, question
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Shooting manual lenses on Pentax DSLRs F-- Robert S Donovan Pentax Lens Articles 2 03-25-2013 05:58 PM
New Social Group - Shooting Manual koguma Travel, Events, and Groups 1 08-19-2010 12:04 AM
Manual Shooting Problem tarsus Pentax DSLR Discussion 6 12-04-2009 02:06 PM
When Shooting a manual lens with tele extender and SR on wll Pentax DSLR Discussion 10 06-24-2009 09:56 AM
shooting in manual SA Photo Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 38 02-03-2009 06:04 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:59 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