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01-03-2016, 05:26 PM   #1
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Does MX meter at slow exposures?

Attention MX users! The light meter of my MX does not work at 1/2sec and 1 sec exposures. The LED just falls to the bottom red 'under' LED regardless of the light condition. It works fine in all other speeds. Is this normal?

01-03-2016, 05:28 PM   #2
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Is it too dark perhaps? The meter in the MX isn't sensitive below 1EV.

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01-03-2016, 05:31 PM   #3
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OP does say "regardless of light condition".
01-03-2016, 06:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys.

At 1/2 and 1 exp It just seems to just become unresponsive regardless of how bright it is. As I mentioned above, the LED just falls to the bottom red LED and doesn't move. It's strange, because it's only for half second and whole second exposures. Luckily I don't usually shoot that slow, so it hasn't been a problem for me yet. But it just got me wondering weather this is normal for the MX or not.

01-03-2016, 06:46 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I believe the operable meter range of shutter speeds may depend on the film speed selected.
01-03-2016, 06:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
I believe the operable meter range of shutter speeds may depend on the film speed selected.
Ah that might make sense. I'm using 400 ASA. I'll try changing it to see if it makes a difference. Thanks.
01-03-2016, 06:56 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I think your Pentax MX is working correctly.
Please refer to the instruction manual page 22.

If you set iso (ASA) 100 the camera can pass exposure times to the shutter in the range 1 second to 1/1000 second. They called it "meter coupling range". The 3 Leds will be active.
But if you are using, for example iso 800 film, the exposure times are limited to a 1/8 second - meaning that the meter will not work for ..1/4, ..1/2 ...and slower

The MX was with limited electronics and the led just stays on the red "under" led when you are below the shutter speed range, ( for example below 1/8 on iso 800) regardless of light level changes.
01-03-2016, 07:24 PM   #8
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Thanks wombat2go. I guess it was a case of RTFM..

01-03-2016, 07:52 PM   #9
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de nada
One old K-mount slr in my collection that can automatically meter at very low light levels is the Ricoh KR_10 Super.
It gives no indication of what it is doing below 1 second, but it can set the shutter as low as 16 seconds.
So auto down around -1 EV terrain at f/2.8 or so !
I suppose there were Pentax bodies from the time that could do that too, perhaps someone on here knows.
01-04-2016, 05:32 AM   #10
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The Pentax ME claims to be able to meter down to eight seconds. I have shot it in the dark unloaded with the shutter speed LED indicator at that speed and it seems to do it on a rough count. I admit I forgot to note what ASA I had it set for.

How this sits with actual timing and film reciprocity would be the user's lookout. However, the ME is battery-dependent to be able to do this, whereas the MX was AFAIK the last of the Pentax film cameras that had a truly power-independent shutter across the entire speed range.
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