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12-17-2018, 03:59 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Common E-Dial settings seem backwards to me

To pass a restless night, I was just tinkering with my beloved K-1. It's just back from service, with all settings returned to defaults. One of those defaults always bothered me, so it was first priority to reset.

Every two-dial camera I've ever bought comes with the front dial set to control the shutter in Manual Mode, and the rear dial setting the aperture. That seems utterly contrary to me, since the aperture sits several inches in front of the shutter. How did this custom get started? Is there any practical reason for it? Do you reset yours the logical way, as I do?

12-17-2018, 04:13 AM   #2
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If every camera defaults to those settings, it's probably because it's the most used and most comfortable position for those using it.


I don't have a K-1, but as far as I know, every Pentax DSLR with 2 dials, have the option to change the default, and I don't see what the physical position of the shutter or aperture have to do with it, it's simply a matter of general usage, IMO
12-17-2018, 04:37 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
Is there any practical reason for it? Do you reset yours the logical way, as I do?
Experience told me that having the exposure compensation at the front was a bad idea, because I sometimes hit the front wheel while carrying the camera.
Having the front wheel assigned to shutter speed when in Tv mode, or assigned to Av when in Av mode, with the rear dial being always assigned to exposure compensation for Tv and Av modes.
For the TAv mode and M mode, I have the font wheel assigned to shutter speed and back wheel assigned to aperture, because I usually set aperture for a kind of shooting (back wheel) and use the front wheel to adjust every shoot to make the most of SR. Eventually using the smart dial to set ISO on a given weather condition. I found that the front wheel is more prone to accidental change of settings, that's why I considered the front wheel to be the one supposed to be checked more often before shooting.
12-17-2018, 04:52 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I was sort of thinking like you, tried having the two reversed for a while, but ultimately went back to the standard setting.
Here's why: I tend to make way more adjustments to shutter time than to aperture, and also, when i do, those adjustments have a bigger range for shutter time - meaning i roll the wheel a lot further.
And this i find easier to do with my index finger, since it's more agile, than with my thumb.
Try it.

12-17-2018, 04:53 AM   #5
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Is there another way to change shutter speed without the wheel? I've never given it any thought but I've found myself accidentally turning that front wheel when I didn't mean to, thus changing the shutter speed. I always catch it before shooting the next shot, but what If I didn't and got the wrong speed?
12-17-2018, 05:40 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
Is there another way to change shutter speed without the wheel?
I use m mode and have the green button set to Tv-Shift, so when i press it, the camera sets the shutter time according to the set aperture. Superfast working in m mode this way
12-17-2018, 05:44 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
Do you reset yours the logical way, as I do?
Yes, from my first use of Pentax digital, I also thought this made more sense. It was probably more natural for me because of the decades of shooting older film cameras. The rear dial is close the position of an old shutter speed dial whereas the front seems to feel right for adjusting aperture since my fingers used to go forward to set an aperture ring. Since I'm most often using Manual I feel little need to ever change one of the dials for compensation.
12-17-2018, 06:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bromberger Quote
I use m mode and have the green button set to Tv-Shift, so when i press it, the camera sets the shutter time according to the set aperture. Superfast working in m mode this way
I could never get the green button to work right for me when using manual mode and manual lenses. Perhaps I didn't the have green button set correctly. So I always just did what I always did when using film cameras, set the aperture and the shutter speed myself and never bothered with the green button. People tell me that doesn't work, but, what can I say, my photos prove it does.

12-17-2018, 06:58 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
To pass a restless night, I was just tinkering with my beloved K-1. It's just back from service, with all settings returned to defaults. One of those defaults always bothered me, so it was first priority to reset.

Every two-dial camera I've ever bought comes with the front dial set to control the shutter in Manual Mode, and the rear dial setting the aperture. That seems utterly contrary to me, since the aperture sits several inches in front of the shutter. How did this custom get started? Is there any practical reason for it? Do you reset yours the logical way, as I do?
Who said your configuration is more practical or logical and who exactly stops to think about where the aperture is in relation to the shutter? The common practice is for the shutter e-dial to be the front one and the aperture to be the rear one. Set it the way you want, they make the e-dial programming configurable for people with different likes.
12-17-2018, 07:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatridger Quote
To pass a restless night, I was just tinkering with my beloved K-1. It's just back from service, with all settings returned to defaults. One of those defaults always bothered me, so it was first priority to reset.

Every two-dial camera I've ever bought comes with the front dial set to control the shutter in Manual Mode, and the rear dial setting the aperture. That seems utterly contrary to me, since the aperture sits several inches in front of the shutter. How did this custom get started? Is there any practical reason for it? Do you reset yours the logical way, as I do?
In the days of film, I adjusted aperture with my left hand on the aperture dial; I had to lower my camera from my eye to do that; my cameras had various ways to adjust shutter speed, with some requiring that I lower the camera from my eye. 1995-2015 I used Canon cameras that required I lower the camera from my eye to adjust aperture and/or shutter speed. My Pentax digital cameras are the first that reliably allow me to adjust shutter speed and aperture while I'm looking through the viewfinder; my new KP is the first that allows me to adjust ISO while looking through the viewfinder, so I am totally comfortable using front e-dial to adjust shutter speed and rear e-dial to adjust aperture.

Last edited by reh321; 12-17-2018 at 07:41 AM.
12-17-2018, 09:01 AM   #11
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As far as I can tell the first Pentax camera with two eDials is the *istD. Before that the Z series (Z-20 on) had only one eDial on the front behind or above the shutter button. The MZ-S had a large dial around a LCD screen that could be turned with the thumb, like a top dial with thumb and finger or possible (rather clumsily IMO) index finger. The *ist SLR has a small eDial on the right top rear.

I would speculate the rear eDial was defaulted to aperture control because:
most people Pentax surveyed
  • like to keep their finger on the shutter button
  • use the Av mode most often

Of course like me you could keep your index finger on the shutter button and use your middle finger on the front eDial. But then you still need to use your index finger to reach the top buttons.
12-17-2018, 09:16 AM   #12
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I tend to shoot Av mode. As a result, the default e-dial assignment on two-dial Pentax dSLRs makes perfect sense in that the index finger is left free to work the shutter. The cool thing is that both assignment and wheel direction may be user-defined.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 12-17-2018 at 09:40 AM.
12-17-2018, 09:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
My Pentax digital cameras are the first that reliably allow me to adjust shutter speed and aperture while I'm looking through the viewfinder;
When you mentioned film cameras, I immediately thought about the three 35mm SLRs on my shelf having full-information displays and how it is that only one has a shutter speed dial that may be turned easily with fingertip pressure. Of the other 35mm cameras (rangefinders included), only three have shutter speeds that are easily changed and five have dials that require a lift-n-turn action which should only be done with the shutter cocked**.

We have it very, very good.


Steve

* The Ricoh XR7 dial is designed for easy movement. Those on my Ricoh XR-2s and Pentax KX, much less so.

** Ironically, the easiest is my meterless 1960-vintage Canon P. The next easiest are the Minolta SRT 101 and Ricoh Singlex TLS. The ones with misery dials are my two Exaktas and the FSU rangefinders.
12-17-2018, 12:48 PM   #14
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Another mostly Av mode shooter (via hyper program) here and I find the back scroll wheel a little easier to use - so happy with default arrangement.

On another note, I wish B, M and P were beside each other as I mostly commonly switch between these. Pentax hyper program mode (basically rolling P, Av and Tv into one) is fantastic for general walk around use IMO. I could happily live without Av, Tv, Tav and user modes but everyone is different.
12-17-2018, 01:09 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The cool thing is that both assignment and wheel direction may be user-defined.
Yeah, the bottom line is it doesn't matter if you can customize it to your preferences. I can't change the direction on my K10D. I just remember to the Left = Lower. Good that you can change this on later models. Do I hear someone screaming for a firmware upgrade in the background? lol!
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