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02-10-2007, 10:46 AM   #1
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aperture ring: what's the point?

What's the point of the 'aperture ring' that people keep talking about? All I ever hear anybody say is 'put it on A'. What other options are there and why are they there, if A is the only option anybody would want to use.

Will

02-10-2007, 10:54 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
What's the point of the 'aperture ring' that people keep talking about? All I ever hear anybody say is 'put it on A'. What other options are there and why are they there, if A is the only option anybody would want to use.

Will
Well, older cameras don't have the ability to control the aperture via controls on the camera body, so you have to be able to set the lens aperture on the lens.

Second, some people just like the feel of setting the aperture on the lens and therefore set the camera menu to allow the use of the aperture ring.

The reason so many novices are told to set the aperture ring to "A" is because it's easier to make the camera work like a point-and-shoot if the camera can select the aperture. If the aperture ring is set to any position other than "A" then the camera cannot control the aperture.
02-10-2007, 10:59 AM   #3
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It is there for the good old times sake

When these F and FA lenses were published, Pentax bodies had an coupler to connect the aperture ring to body. This coupling relayde the user set aperture information to body for exposure calculations. Time was set from body wheel and aperture was set from aperture ring. If you wanted that aperture was set automatically by body, you turned the ring to A. If you wated to set aperture youself, you turned the riong to this value. Bodies didnt have the aperture wheel yet.

Nowadays bodies dont have this coupler anymore but they have aperture wheel. In these new bodies we have now, you have to for automatic modes setting also the aperture or to set aperture manually, have the aperture ring to be set to A.

Shortly: in newer bodies it is historical relic. Newer lenses dont have it anymore.
02-10-2007, 10:59 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
What's the point of the 'aperture ring' that people keep talking about? All I ever hear anybody say is 'put it on A'. What other options are there and why are they there, if A is the only option anybody would want to use.

Will
I find it more convenient (debatable) to change the apetures
easier to set your lens when you are in both manual focus and manual exposure when using the Depth of field preview on my K10. If my fingers were x2 as long then I don't think it would be an issue

PS putting it on "A" means it is on automatic, if you want to change the apetures you just turn to the F number you want on the apeture dial.

cheers

randy

02-10-2007, 11:00 AM   #5
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Looks like you guys got your posts in before me
Here's my overly-long explanation:

Before the digital/computer age, all Pentax lenses had an aperture ring. Literally, the point if it is to select the desired aperture when shooting.

In the 70's, the "A" setting was introduced to Pentax lenses, thus allowing Tv and P mode on select bodies. When a lens was away from "A", the camera could still mechanically feel the setting on the aperture ring and shoot with the user-selected aperture.

The use of the aperture ring dramatically changed when the *ist and *ist D were introduced in 2003. Both of these cameras had a "crippled" mount, meaning that they cannot mechanically feel the setting on the aperture ring if it is away from "A." Up until this point, all Pentax lenses had aperture rings (K, M, M*, A, A*, F, F*, FA, FA* series). In 2003, however, the FAJ series was introduced. This series of lenses did not feature the aperture ring, thus being easier to use on the *ist and *ist D. The lack of the aperture ring, however, prevented the use of these lenses on older manual bodies.

The DA series also lacks the aperture ring, but this is justified because these lenses can't be used on the film cameras anyway.

The aperture value on current Pentax DSLRs can only be set electronically through the camera because of their "crippled" lens mounts. The crippled mount also makes manual (K, M) lenses harder to use because they need to be manually stopped down first.

To answer your second question- it is much easier to set the aperture via the aperture ring than electronically through the camera (on non-crippled film bodies). Most of those that are used to older film bodies never messed with the wheel on the back of the camera (which was actually not always available) when selecting an aperture value, but it's become necessary on the Pentax DSLRs.

Adam
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02-10-2007, 11:05 AM   #6
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there is nothing to be gained by not useing the A position.. the lens just becomes an older fully manual lens when u dont..

trog
02-10-2007, 11:18 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote

To answer your second question- it is much easier to set the aperture via the aperture ring than electronically through the camera. Those that are used to older film bodies never messed with the wheel on the back of the camera (which was actually not available on all modern bodies) when selecting an aperture value, but it's become necessary on the Pentax DSLRs.
You should qualify this remark with something along the lines of "Some people find it easier to set the aperature via the aperature ring.. blah blah blah.." because the generalization you used isn't correct

*I* certainly don't find it easier to select the aperature via the aperature ring (and I used my old A-50mm f/1.7 on a fully manual body for a long time). I find it much much much easier to select it via the body.

It all comes down to user preference.
02-10-2007, 11:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
:

Before the digital/computer age.
Time marches on.

The new DA "Digitally Optimized" lens have done away with the Aperature ring completely. Composition, and exposure, can be done never having to look at anything on the camera but the viewfinder.

It is a shame, though, that the Modern SLRs will only read the aperature when set in "A"

Some of us, I'm sure, can still remember when all metering was done with an off camera light meter. Wonder how exposure was determined proir to that?

Some of us old dogs are required to learn new tricks.

02-10-2007, 11:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Artyste Quote
You should qualify this remark with something along the lines of "Some people find it easier to set the aperature via the aperature ring.. blah blah blah.." because the generalization you used isn't correct

*I* certainly don't find it easier to select the aperature via the aperature ring (and I used my old A-50mm f/1.7 on a fully manual body for a long time). I find it much much much easier to select it via the body.

It all comes down to user preference.
Fixed.

I guess it all is user preference, but personally I'm still not happy with Pentax for introducing the crippled KAF mounts...

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02-10-2007, 11:55 AM   #10
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I think everything has been mentioned. Personally I don't care where to set the aperture as long as the aperture gets stopped down correctly and the light meter knows what's going on.

One thing though: Mount the lens to a cheap extender to do some macros (the 50/1.7 will do really well) and you'll be happy to find the aperture ring fully working.
02-10-2007, 12:43 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=EddyinGA;25463Wonder how exposure was determined proir to that?[/QUOTE]


By using the eyes to evaluate the light and the brain to calculate the desired aperture/shutter speed combination.

It can still be done that way. Ultimate Exposure Computer
02-10-2007, 01:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
By using the eyes to evaluate the light and the brain to calculate the desired aperture/shutter speed combination.

It can still be done that way. Ultimate Exposure Computer
I bookmarked that and will have a good look see later.
02-10-2007, 01:44 PM   #13
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Wow, I'm not sure whether I asked a GOOD question, but I'm glad to have flushed out so many good answers. Thanks to everybody.

I've got a Tamron 28-75 lens to use with my K100D. How then do you recommend that I use it? I gather that some folks here LIKE adjusting the aperture on the lens and I can respect that. But I think, for my own sanity, that it's better to get comfortable doing every task just one way - and since my other lenses don't give me the option of changing the f/stop on the lens, I guess that means that I should continue to change the aperture on the camera body as I have been doing, by using the selector wheel (with the Av button next to the shutter depressed if necessary in P, Tv or M modes). Given all that, am I right then to leave the aperture ring on the lens set to A? And do I need to change anything inside the camera using the menu settings? Or, with the lens's aperture ring on A, will it work just like all the rest of my lenses automatically?

Thanks again,

Will
02-10-2007, 01:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by trog100 Quote
there is nothing to be gained by not useing the A position.. the lens just becomes an older fully manual lens when u dont..

trog
I don't have an apeture ring on my sigma.... I really miss it....
but can't you set your preferred F-stop with the ring and then the camera will automatically choose which shutter in the proper mode?

I know my old SLR did this....

randy
02-10-2007, 02:23 PM   #15
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Question (maybe a dumb one): I have the Pentax 50mm 1.7 "M" lens and have always had trouble focusing it. I have never used the aperture ring on the lens (which goes from 1.7 to 22, as many of you know). Should I have been using the aperture instead of letting the K100D camera do it. Freddy
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