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10-22-2010, 12:57 AM   #1
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Rookie question about exposure settings

Hi people, i am new to the analog scene and has some stupid questions...
When i take photos indoor i usually find the pictures a bit dull or dark, under exposed.
My gear is an Pentax ME Super and i usually shoot with a Pentax-M 28mm F2 or Pentax-M 50 F1.4 attached to it. Film is ASA 400 and the ASA dial is set to 400. The apurture is set low, around 1.4 on the 50 and low on the 28mm.
The shutter speed meeter shows green light...

There is no blur. They are just underexposed a bit.
Should i set the exposure compensation dial to 2x or use a flash instead?
What are your recommendations?

The outdoor pictures looks great and it is just me doing something wrong i believe.

Thankfull for any help.

Many thanks and kind regards,

10-22-2010, 02:22 AM   #2
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Hi Thomas. Posting scanned examples would help us direct advice more appropriately.

I can guess that your indoor subjects are dark whilst the camera may be metering something bright in the frame. Could this be possible? If so, a flash to balance the light indoors (or simply exposing only for your subject) would help correct your exposure issue.
10-22-2010, 04:09 AM   #3
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Thanks, i do not really know if i can do spot metering with the camera i have. Probably not? Will try to find out. otherwise i will give the flash a go.
I love the lenses and the viewfinder of this old camera. But the flash i am not sure about....
I guess i will learn =)

10-22-2010, 04:09 AM   #4
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This may be a scanning/printing issue, I'm assuming these are minilab developed/scanned/printed?

10-22-2010, 06:36 AM   #5
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It is a small fotocentral where they do develop their own pictures, but i am not sure what they are using. It is an Fujifilm center somehow that has been around for 40 years or so.

On the "film bag" they had written underexposed....
10-22-2010, 06:44 AM   #6
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That is a bit strange - if the camera meter was indicating correct exposure I would expect the worst case would be well exposed but motion blurred photos. So something is causing the under exposure, perhaps as Ash says. You can try the + exposure compensation...

The AF-xxx-T Pentax flashes of the era are fantastic and very affordable and give some amount of dedication with your camera.
10-22-2010, 01:52 PM   #7
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As already mentioned, seeing a sample of these pictures might help. What I'm thinking of is : if there is any window in the frame, or artificial lights inside the frame, then this will surely fool the metering. The ME Super can't do spot metering and doesn't have AE lock so you'll have to use exposure compensation in Auto mode or switch to manual mode. Both are a little bit awkward to use with this camera, especially manual mode but it works like this: switch to M, half-press the shutter pointing to your subject but avoiding the bright spots (windows etc) and take a note of the shutter speed indicated. Then use the buttons to set this speed. Then recompose and shoot.
If you do this you shouldn't need to use flash because you have nice and fast lenses, especially the 1.4 one. You might notice that shutter speeds could be somewhat slower than what you noticed before.
10-23-2010, 01:41 AM   #8
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Let's see if we can help.
- Are the negatives very thin (i.e. image very hard to see)?
If yes then they are underxposed.
If no then is a mistake by the lab.

Are you shooting in AUTO or in manual?
If you are in Auto then apply the 2x compensation will give you a bit better results

If you are in Manual then add 1 stop to what the metering system is telling you

ME Super does not spot meter; it has a center-weighted lightmeter; so if there were light sources those will fool the metering system.
The green/yellow/red lights are only to let you know of camera shake so be not afraid to be int he 1/30 or 1/15 range if you hold the camera stable enough.

Good luck

10-23-2010, 10:02 AM   #9
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Thank you all for the reply's. It is appreciated.
I will look at the negatives and try the different suggestions, thanks.
Have a nice weekend now.
Cheers, Thomas

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