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05-21-2007, 12:25 PM   #1
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Please help me learn manual mode!

Hi everyone..

I've been trying to understand how to use manual mode on my K10d but I haven't got around to it. Would someone be so kind as to explain how I can tackle this mode?

I would also appreciate if someone could help me understand the P mode......what situations does it tackle, what can and can't be done in P mode?


A lens question...can an autofocus lens be manually focussed?



Thanks and Best Regards

05-21-2007, 01:19 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chilichoco Quote
Hi everyone..

I've been trying to understand how to use manual mode on my K10d but I haven't got around to it. Would someone be so kind as to explain how I can tackle this mode?

I would also appreciate if someone could help me understand the P mode......what situations does it tackle, what can and can't be done in P mode?


A lens question...can an autofocus lens be manually focussed?



Thanks and Best Regards
Wow, there's an open-ended topic. Books and books have been written about photography, which is what you're asking when you ask about using manual mode. For the definitions of each mode, I'd suggest reading the manual. For actually putting them to use, read a good, basic photography book and then go out and try them. For me, I never really learn it until I try it and screw it up for myself. Then I can figure out what went wrong and do it again, hopefully better this time.

As for the lens question, yes, an AF lens can be focused manually if you set it to manual focus on the camera body. If not, you can strip the gears inside the lens. Newer Pentax lenses with "Quick Shift" focusing allow you to manually adjust the focus of an autofocus lens without switching to manual focus. They have a clutch built into the lens specifically for this purpose and it can come in handy. No other lenses on the Pentax do this, AFAIK.
05-21-2007, 02:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chilichoco Quote
Hi everyone..

I've been trying to understand how to use manual mode on my K10d but I haven't got around to it. Would someone be so kind as to explain how I can tackle this mode?

I would also appreciate if someone could help me understand the P mode......what situations does it tackle, what can and can't be done in P mode?


A lens question...can an autofocus lens be manually focussed?



Thanks and Best Regards
The way I learned is by doing exactly what was mentioned above....just do it. I began by putting my camera in Av mode, setting the apeture I wanted, then taking a reading. I would then switch to M mode and set those settings. After a while I learned what Av and Tv settings worked well together in whatever lighting I was using. There is really no exact science on how to use M mode. It all depends on how you want to capture what you see. That's M mode main purpose. To give you the ability/option to change the way you want to capture, besides using the settings the camera recommends. I hardly ever use M mode anymore. I either use Av mode or Tav mode (K10D).
05-21-2007, 02:59 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chilichoco Quote
Hi everyone..

I've been trying to understand how to use manual mode on my K10d but I haven't got around to it. Would someone be so kind as to explain how I can tackle this mode?
Manual mode: Full control. You (and maybe your external light meter) decide what aperture and what shutter speed you want to use. Good in all situations where the built in metering will have problems. Example: Stage show with rapidly changing light situations and different light sources, but overall similar light levels. You will get better exposures sticking to manual exposure values in a combination carefully selected. Tons of other examples possible ...

QuoteQuote:
I would also appreciate if someone could help me understand the P mode......what situations does it tackle, what can and can't be done in P mode?
P(rogram) mode: When you don't have time to adjust to a situations - for the quick pic, for the "unforeseen" scene. Less control over the exposure than in all other modes, but very fast.

QuoteQuote:
A lens question...can an autofocus lens be manually focussed?
A clear yes. Every AF lens I know of can be manually focused.

Phil

05-21-2007, 04:36 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chilichoco Quote
I've been trying to understand how to use manual mode on my K10d but I haven't got around to it. Would someone be so kind as to explain how I can tackle this mode?
As has been noted already, this is something of a "what's the meaning of life?" question. However, since I happen to know the meaning of life, I may be able to help you with this question, too. :-)

As philzucker says, M(anual) mode = full control. What I would like to do is suggest that you think of it the other way around, though. M means the camera doesn't do any thinking for you at all. If the photo comes out lousy, it's your fault, and that's all there is to it.

What things do you control? Well, when you switch to M, you take control of the following three things:
  1. aperture
  2. shutter speed
  3. sensitivity (ISO)
The green button on the top of the K10D will give you what it (the camera) recommends as a technically correct exposure. So it's a great place to start. Switch to M, press the green button, and click the shutter. Voila! You're shooting in full manual mode. Congratulations.

Now, take a look at the result. If it's spot on, great. Spend a second or two and think about what you've just done. Look at the scene with your own eyes, then look at the settings you used for aperture, shutter and ISO, and try to get the sense of how these things all fit together.

And if the picture is decently exposed (because you were wise enough to take the camera's humble suggestion), well, now you can start practicing the reciprocity rule. If the camera produces a "correct" exposure at, say, iso 400, shutter = 1/60 second, and aperture = f/8, then it should also create a correct exposure if you adjust any of those settings one stop in the right direction. That is, if you leave the iso at 400, then

f/8 + 1/60 second =
f/11 + 1/30 second =
f/5.6 + 1/125 second

Remember that if you make the aperture bigger and let in more light, you have to make the shutter FASTER so that the light hits the sensor for less time. If you move one setting without adjust the other, you'll be moving the photo in the direction of over or under exposure.

The equals sign above means "equals in terms of exposure." It definitely does NOT mean you get the same photo! When you make the aperture smaller (going from f/8 to f/11), you get more depth of field, and if make the aperture bigger (going from f/8 to f/5.6) you get LESS depth of field. And if you make the shutter slower (and the aperture smaller), you might find that a moving subject gets blurred. So, if the subject is reasonably still, you think mainly in terms of what aperture you should set in order to get the depth of field you want. On the other hand, if the subject is moving, think about how fast the shutter has to be to freeze the motion acceptably, and let the aperture adjustment be secondary.

I do NOT use M mode a whole lot. Since most of the time, I'm THINKING in terms of aperture priority or shutter priority, I generally use one of those modes, and possibly adjust the EV a bit if necessary. There's nothing special about M mode. You get full marks for a great picture taken in Av or Tv. Remember, we're all using the camera's exposure meter at least to get our bearings at first. Av and Tv (or TAv) require pretty much the same understanding but are a tad easier to use, especially when your lighting conditions are changing.

In theory, that's about all there is to it! Sounds simple, no? If only it were. Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure is a very good book that will take you into the subject more deeply and show you that it's not as easy as it sounds. I'm also fond of Chris Weston's book Exposure, which covers much of the same ground but in a rather different manner. The books complement one another nicely, in my opinion.

Will
05-22-2007, 01:36 AM   #6
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Hi and thanks. BIG thanks WMBP

Yeah I agree this was like..."What is the meaning of life?"

What I was asking was the technical details......the step-wise how to.....because I can't seem to get how to change my aperture or shutter speed or ISO in the manual mode........so I wanted you to tell me which button or dial will do it. Manuals confuse me.....I find it better to ask questions.

I've been reading Bryan Peterson's understanding exposure,and it says when you focus on your subject,your camera will 'tell' you that the exposure is correct. Does the K10 d do that? WMBP....is that what the green button does?

First,please just tell me,in manual mode, which controls to use for:

1. Aperture
2. Shutter
3. ISO


I've been using the Tav mode mostly. Also,in the P mode, I can adjust the EV compensation. Is there anything else that can be adjusted in this mode?



Thanks and Regards
05-22-2007, 05:17 AM   #7
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That's another open ended question. Our cameras are so customizable that I'm pretty sure every one of us have configured the menu system so that the buttons and dials do something different.

I could tell you what I do, but it won't work for you because I've changed my buttons and dials to do something different than the manufacture default settings. Unless our cameras are setup exactly the same, what I tell you I do will result in completely different things on your camera. I'm not even sure what the default settings were, but for sure, there is a menu option to take one back to them.

You really have to spend some time in the manual. It is all explained in there. And, don't be afraid to experiment. Try something out for awhile. If you don't like it, change it to something else. Unless we were to sit down together, there is no way to explain to you what to do, or it would take 'hours' in text editing to explain.

Are you in Southern California? If so, I'd be more than willing for a get-together.
05-22-2007, 05:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chilichoco Quote
I've been reading Bryan Peterson's understanding exposure,and it says when you focus on your subject,your camera will 'tell' you that the exposure is correct. Does the K10 d do that? WMBP....is that what the green button does?
The K10D will tell you what the exposure is either + or - (overexposed or underexposed. With your camera in M-mode, look in the viewfinder (or on the top LCD panel), look at the EV bar. It will indicate whether the scene is overexposed or underexposed with the bar +/-, something like this ....|.... being at 0.

read my responses below to see how to change the +/- in M-mode.

QuoteQuote:
First,please just tell me,in manual mode, which controls to use for:

1. Aperture
2. Shutter
3. ISO
All of these answers are assuming you have the camera in "default" settings.
1. To change the aperture (depth of field) (in any mode), use the rear "e-dial" (located above the "AF" and "+/-" buttons.

2. To change the shutter speed, use the front "e-dial."

3. You can either hit the "FN" button and then the right arrow button on the rear pad. Or, hold down the "OK" button and you can change it with the front "e-dial." To set it back to Auto-ISO, hold "OK" button and hit the "green" button (Auto-ISO is not available in M-mode).

Just go out with your camera and try looking in the viewfinder and changing the EV bar +/- with the front and rear "e-dials." After a while you will get a feel for what shutter speeds and aperture settings are needed. If you know you want depth of field then set the aperture first and go from there. If you know your shutter speed set that first and change the aperture for the correct exposure.

QuoteQuote:
I've been using the Tav mode mostly. Also,in the P mode, I can adjust the EV compensation. Is there anything else that can be adjusted in this mode?
TAv mode is a good way to learn M-mode. If the subject is too bright or too dark, the shutter speed and aperture setting will blink in the viewfinder and on the top LCD. Just use the "e-dials" to change which one or both shutter speed (front), and aperture (rear). You can also change the ISO Auto or manually selecting with #3 above.

NOTE: All of this is assuming your camera has the default settings.

NOTE: The "e-dials" can be programmed to do different things. Switch front to back, back to front, do nothing, change EV value, change ISO.

About the green button, the aperture and shutter speed are automatically adjusted to the appropriate exposure when pressed. The green button can also be programmed differently.

Hope that works!

05-22-2007, 06:44 AM   #9
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open ended topic???? no kidding. practice and time will help.
just be glad you are learning on a digital so you don't have to take notes and wait a week for the results to come back. everything is there for you in the exif info.
05-22-2007, 08:07 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chilichoco Quote
I've been reading Bryan Peterson's understanding exposure,and it says when you focus on your subject,your camera will 'tell' you that the exposure is correct. Does the K10 d do that? WMBP....is that what the green button does?
No. The green button does not tell you if the settings you have chosen are correct. It SETS the settings to something that the camera thinks is correct. Now, if you remember what I said about the relationship of aperture to shutter speed, you'll see that there is seldom just one technically correct exposure. By default, the camera picks a technically correct exposure that is sort of in the middle of the options, say, f/8 and 1/125 second.

And what if you set the dials yourself? The camera DOES tell you whether it thinks your exposure is correct. In the viewfinder, sort of on the right side, you'll see a little gauge that looks sort of like this:

. . . |
| | | | | | |
- . . . . . +

When the moving bar at the top is right in the center (as in my example above), the camera thinks you've got a "correct" exposure. If the camera thinks that you are underexposing the photo (meaning that the photo will come out too dark when you look at it), you'll see one or more bars stretching from the center off to the left in the direction of the minus (-) sign, sort of like this:

. . |||
| | | | | | |
- . . . . . +

Overexposure would show bars going in the other direction. More bars means more seriously "incorrect" exposure.

I keep putting "correct" and "incorrect" in quotations because the terms are not themselves technically appropriate. Practically the whole point of the exercise here is learning when to disagree with the camera. The camera tells you what it thinks, giving the amount of light coming into its metering sensor, and given the type of metering that you've selected up on the top left side of the K10D. But the camera's "correct" exposure is never more than a mechanical recommendation. Part of your job as a photographer is to be able to see that you need to adjust the exposure one way or the other in order to get the egret's feathers or the bride's white dress to show some texture and detail, or to bring out the details in that clump of shady trees that have a big bright sky between them.


QuoteQuote:
First,please just tell me,in manual mode, which controls to use for:

1. Aperture
2. Shutter
3. ISO
Let's start with #3, ISO. First, touch the shutter button just slightly to tell the camera that you are now thinking about shooting a photo. Now, on the back of the K10D, click on the Fn button, then right click on the four-way controller to select ISO. Then use the four-way controller to move the ISO setting up and down. Click OK twice to save your choice and get out of the Fn menus.

Now, back to the other two.

On the K10D, in most modes, you control the aperture using the rear e-dial, the dial at the upper right corner of the back of the camera, the one that's easiest to reach with your right thumb. NOTE: If you are in Tv (shutter priority), this dial has no effect. Why not? Because in Tv mode, the point is that you set the shutter speed, and the camera sets the aperture.

On the K10D, in most modes, you control the shutter speed using the front e-dial, the one in front of the shutter button that's easy to reach with your right index finger. NOTE: If you are in Av (aperture priority) mode, the front e-dial has no effect. Why not? Because in Av mode, the point is that you set the aperture, and the camera sets the shutter speed.

In Tv mode, if you disagree with the camera's aperture choice, put your right thumb on the +/- button just under the rear e-dial, then use your right index finger to move the front e-dial. As you do, look at the lcd panel on the top of the camera and notice as the exposure meter shows you the effect you are having on the exposure. If you think that the camera's suggested exposure is actually going to be too bright, then you want to make the indicator move to the LEFT on that gauge.

In Av mode, if you disagree with the camera's shutter speed choice, see the preceding paragraph and do the same thing.


QuoteQuote:
I've been using the Tav mode mostly.
Hmm. I like TAv mode a lot - for certain purposes. I use it especially when I'm shooting basketball and volleyball games in poorly lit school gymnasiums. I want to set the aperture very wide, so that I can also set the shutter as high as possible.

But I do not recommend TAv mode as a way of learning how to achieve technically correct exposures. Why not? Because using TAv is like being a kid whose homework is corrected by your parents when you go to bed. You set the shutter and the aperture, which gives you the impression that you're in charge, and you are, sort of. But then, invisibly, the camera fixes things by adjusting the ISO. Well, it's not really invisible, because the ISO is displayed in the LCD panel (where the number of remaining exposures is usually displayed). Nevertheless, I think this is a bad mode for beginners to use. Generally speaking, ISO is the setting that you will LEAST OFTEN want to mess with. All things being equal, most of us, most of the time, want to use the lowest possible ISO.

What you really want to learn is the answers to these two simple (but very complicated!) questions. First, what ISO is appropriate for the light I am shooting in? And second, given that ISO, what are the right aperture and shutter speed settings?

How do you figure out what is the right ISO? Try this:

ISO 100: The ideal. Use in bright daylight, or when using a good flash, and sometimes indoors if there is really good lighting.

ISO 800: Low light indoors without flash, very low light outside.

The other ISO options lie somewhere around those. If you can't get the aperture and/or shutter speed you want outdoors at ISO 100, increase the ISO to 200 and try again. And so on.

Will
05-22-2007, 10:14 AM   #11
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A couple follow-up notes to my last post.

First, as WildSioux already noted: there are LOTS of options here. My notes also assume that your camera is set to the defaults. Odds are that it is and you should probably LEAVE things as they are for now. You can customize the buttons and dials on the K10D when you've mastered everything and no longer need to ask for help.


QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I keep putting "correct" and "incorrect" in quotations because the terms are not themselves technically appropriate. Practically the whole point of the exercise here is learning when to disagree with the camera. The camera tells you what it thinks, giving the amount of light coming into its metering sensor, and given the type of metering that you've selected up on the top left side of the K10D. But the camera's "correct" exposure is never more than a mechanical recommendation.
Actually, it's worse than that. Ask the camera for an exposure recommendation and it gives you one thing; ask it again, it might give you something different. Why? Well, for at least three reasons.

First, it matters where the camera is pointing at the instant the camera's meter takes its reading. Move the camera even slightly and you might get a different reading.

Second, the exposure settings recommended by the camera are dependent on the type of metering you are doing. You have three choices here. This gets a bit complicated and takes us away from the already too-large subject that you asked about. You can and should experiment. But if you want to make things easy on yourself, then for the moment, set the metering mode lever to multi-segment metering and leave it there for a day (or as long as you like). The metering mode lever is on the top of the camera, on the left, UNDER the mode dial. Multi-segment metering is the option with the green icon. Nothing wrong with the other two metering modes. But multi-segment metering is the safest option to start with.

Third, especially when you are shooting outdoors, light changes, often quite suddenly. The sun might come out from behind the clouds, or go behind the clouds, or a big truck might drive by and block the sun, etc.

Anyway, the point is, the camera's own recommendation about aperture and shutter speed is contingent on external variables like where you're pointing the camera, what metering mode you're using, and the light available at the moment you press the shutter button half way and take the reading.


QuoteQuote:
But then (in TAv mode), invisibly, the camera fixes things by adjusting the ISO. Well, it's not really invisible, because the ISO is displayed in the LCD panel (where the number of remaining exposures is usually displayed). Nevertheless, I think this is a bad mode for beginners to use. Generally speaking, ISO is the setting that you will LEAST OFTEN want to mess with. All things being equal, most of us, most of the time, want to use the lowest possible ISO.
Note that, in TAv mode, the camera actually will set the ISO as low as it can, within the range you specify. Nevertheless, I stand by my suggestion that TAv is a special-case mode, and not the best way to learn how to exposure photos effectively. There's a reason that the ISO is a bit more of a hassle to change than the shutter and the aperture.

Will
05-22-2007, 11:54 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP:
But I do not recommend TAv mode as a way of learning how to achieve technically correct exposures. Why not? Because using TAv is like being a kid whose homework is corrected by your parents when you go to bed. You set the shutter and the aperture, which gives you the impression that you're in charge, and you are, sort of. But then, invisibly, the camera fixes things by adjusting the ISO. Well, it's not really invisible, because the ISO is displayed in the LCD panel (where the number of remaining exposures is usually displayed). Nevertheless, I think this is a bad mode for beginners to use. Generally speaking, ISO is the setting that you will LEAST OFTEN want to mess with. All things being equal, most of us, most of the time, want to use the lowest possible ISO.

Will
I am going to have to disagree here. TAv is basically manual mode but with Auto-ISO. I see it as a way of learning manual mode because you set the shutter speed and aperture setting and let the camera choose the ISO setting. Yes, it is auto and you aren't learning what ISO you need for the exposure needed.

But, that is what makes it a good tool for learning the ISO...you can go back and look at your pictures and see what the ISO settings were for each shot. And in the case of the K10D, you get ISO 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600 in 1/3 steps (which is what I have). It also has them in 1/2 steps.

You also have the option to limit the range. So you could limit it from 100 to 400 for outdoor shots.

Although I know how cameras work and how to get the best exposure. Sometimes when using Manual mode I am not quite sure what ISO to set. That is when I use TAv and just let the camera choose.
05-23-2007, 12:41 AM   #13
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Oh Dear God!!! I should've seen this coming!!!......


Thank you so so much WMBP ,wildsioux,Roy.........I have to sit down, take a deep breath, and start reading!!!! Will get back when I start breathing again!!!!




Many many thanks!!!
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