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07-03-2009, 02:28 AM   #1
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K10d - what are my options for correct exposure with manual lenses?

While the exposure errors with using manual lenses on the K10 are well documented, I seem to be having a hard time finding a clear answer on how to fix them. The only thing I've heard that is a definite fix is to use a 60 series focus screen. Are there any other screens that are a definite fix? How about a firmware hack? Are there other options?

Honestly I find this whole situation very frustrating. I bought this camera brand new a few months ago from a Ritz store that was closing only to find out it doesn't meter right. Pentax's marketing department sold me on this camera a few years ago, telling me (through advertising) that all of my old lenses would work. Sorry, but I don't consider the wrong-more-often-than-right metering of the K10 to be working. My ~30 year old Super Program can get it right, so why can't my K10? Pardon my language, but what a bunch of bullshit. The most expensive camera I've ever purchased has the least accurate meter. The sad part is that other than the meter problem I absolutely adore it. Sorry for the rant.

07-03-2009, 04:00 AM   #2
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Snap off a digital preview, look at the histogram and adjust accordingly and your done. Itís not such a big deal in my opinion. Usually you have to check the histogram and adjust the exposure even with modern lenses anyhow so the work flow is pretty much the same.
07-03-2009, 05:54 AM   #3
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i found this very frustrating, especially when you consider they stopped software upgrades only 1 year after the camera was introduced, and the camera has a 2 year warranty.

At present, I am using a chineese split image screen, but metering is not very good, in fact it is worse on spot metering, due to the split image.

I am not sure what I will do in the long term, because I am also considering a K7 which has a --60 screen, nad from members who have tested it, it meters much better.

one thing you should do is plot out alll your different lenses, based upon exposure vs aperture. I use a grey block wall for metering, and measure greyscale in the central 10-20% of the frame. At least I know how they will perform
07-03-2009, 06:33 AM   #4
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Pre A series lenses are usable on Pentax DSLR cameras, but don't expect reliable metering with them.
Either go the digital preview route or buy a good light meter and use manual exposure.

07-04-2009, 12:32 AM   #5
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While I understand what you guys are saying, none of it solves my problem. I am looking for a solution that will meter correctly 95+% of the time. Is it possible?
07-04-2009, 12:52 AM   #6
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Well, --60 screens are the only sure way to go... Quite cheap, and it solved the metering problem in a very satisfying measure for me (I had 4 manual lenses, m42 or PK-M)...

It even solved the underexposing of my FA50/1.4...

Maybe Katzeye screens are good too, but I never could acertain for myself.
07-04-2009, 12:24 PM   #7
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Just to clarify, do 60 series screens meter properly on all lenses, old and new? So if I acquire a lf-60 and pop it into my K10 my exposure problems will be gone, and no new ones will arise?
07-04-2009, 03:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
While I understand what you guys are saying, none of it solves my problem. I am looking for a solution that will meter correctly 95+% of the time. Is it possible?
Generally, I would have to answer:
No, it is not possible
However, some users have reported miraculous success using a *ist screen, though others have suggested that this adversely affected non-stopped down metering with A-contact lenses. For myself, I am resigned to adjusting my exposure to fit the situation (test shot, chimp, repeat). That works well for me and the type of photography I usually do.

As for your camera not "metering right"...you have a very good point. Blame it on the "crippled" mount, the "optimized" screen design, and the correction factors that are applied to the meter output by the camera to make it work properly with A-contact lenses. If it is any consolation, Pentax is not the only brand with these problems. By report, stop-down metering is broken on both Nikon and Canon as well.

Steve

P.S. I have experience with the Katzeye (both Optibrite and non-Optibrite versions) and can report that the behavior is different with the Katzeye, but the problem still remains.

P.P.S I would give my eye teeth for a dSLR without the <expletive deleted> crippled mount...


Last edited by stevebrot; 07-04-2009 at 03:54 PM.
07-04-2009, 03:56 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Just to clarify, do 60 series screens meter properly on all lenses, old and new? So if I acquire a lf-60 and pop it into my K10 my exposure problems will be gone, and no new ones will arise?
You can always give it a try. The screen is cheap enough. As the old saying goes..."Your mileage may vary...".

Steve
07-04-2009, 04:07 PM   #10
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Get to know the lenses. Once you know how much they tend to be off, you can adjust accordingly. That should give you your 95%.
07-04-2009, 11:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Just to clarify, do 60 series screens meter properly on all lenses, old and new? So if I acquire a lf-60 and pop it into my K10 my exposure problems will be gone, and no new ones will arise?
Correct.

I have an LL-60 screen for each of my 2 K10D bodies.

I have a bunch of old lenses (Takumar M42, Vivitar M42 and PK, Pentax PK, Ricoh, Chinon M42 and PK, Nikkor) and a bunch of new lenses (Pentax PKA and PKAF, Sigma PKAF, Tamron PKAF, Promaster PKA). The problem of metering of the LL-60, if any, is not noticeable.
07-05-2009, 11:57 AM   #12
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The -60 screen helps, yes. Will the metering "problems" be cured 100%? Depends on how you meter.

Remember that using center (aka spot) metering is like a 2-degree beam. Older film cams like the MX have the same deal, requiring a meter reading from the high- and low-contrast areas to provide an average. Normal scenes are less of an issue.

Overall, the -60 screen provides a more "even" reading. Still, you will have overexposure and gross underexposure depending on metering "method" since with M42s and Ms it reverts to spot...

Oh...and the more the lens stops down, the further the potential of error. In normal light, an M at f/8 does ok. A darker scene with the same lens setting will most likely underexpose. That's just the nature of the crippled mount.
07-05-2009, 03:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
Overall, the -60 screen provides a more "even" reading. Still, you will have overexposure and gross underexposure depending on metering "method" since with M42s and Ms it reverts to spot...

Oh...and the more the lens stops down, the further the potential of error. In normal light, an M at f/8 does ok. A darker scene with the same lens setting will most likely underexpose. That's just the nature of the crippled mount.
This is new to me.

I haven't use much M42 lenses recently, but I don't have the problem of underexposure at any aperture with Nikkor lenses, which require stop-down metering.

No problem with PK mount lenses (open-aperture metering) either.
07-05-2009, 05:40 PM   #14
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Just bracket your shots by 0.5 or 1 EV?

I do that for any of my new or old lenses where the exposure may be tricky.
07-05-2009, 05:52 PM   #15
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I realize this is not a popular option, rarely mentioned in posts such as this one (& I, of course, understand why), but you could avail yourself of a separate hand held meter, as I do, and avoid the convoluted fixes. I've been using hand held meters for decades with a wide variety of cameras and, such being the case, the second nature familiarity & positive aspects of this method outweighs the negatives for me.
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