Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-09-2009, 09:24 AM   #1
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Minneapolis
Photos: Albums
Posts: 588
Manual camera metering

This website is evil. I bought a K200D a few months ago, really enjoying it. In the meantime I've been poking around the film SLR section, as I find the entire concept mystifying. Born in '81, my only 35mm experience is a couple of my parent's point and shoot 35mm zoom cameras from the 90's that they rarely let me use. I also had an olympus at one point around 2000 that had the goofy cartridges with ability to switch from C/H/P, whatever that was.

But I digress. I keep finding manual Pentax cameras on the local craigslist and kijiji, for minimal $$. Some bizarre nostalgia has me wanting to try it out. I understand the controls for the most part, aperture is on the lens, manual focus on the lens, shutter speed on the camera, but the metering escapes me.

Does the light meter in these older cameras take into account your film speed and aperture to suggest a shutter speed, sort of like an Av mode, or what is the protocol there? I honestly don't have the ambition to manually calculate exposure stops at different apertures and shutter speeds.

Appreciate any insights or links to a tutorial. Thanks much!

--Mike

01-09-2009, 09:38 AM   #2
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,264
QuoteOriginally posted by grainbelt Quote

...Does the light meter in these older cameras take into account your film speed and aperture to suggest a shutter speed, sort of like an Av mode, or what is the protocol there? I honestly don't have the ambition to manually calculate exposure stops at different apertures and shutter speeds...
It depends on the camera. Most Spotmatics meter through the lens with the lens stopped down. You center a needle between two marks. Film speed is set via a dial on the camera. No manual calculation is required. The most recent Spotmatics allow similar manual metering, but with the aperture full open. For the K-mount cameras, I would refer you to Dmitrov's K-mount Web site. It is enough to say that you can pretty much get any mix from metered manual, Av, and Programmed exposure depending on K-mount camera model.

Steve
01-09-2009, 09:40 AM   #3
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Minneapolis
Photos: Albums
Posts: 588
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
It depends on the camera. Most Spotmatics meter through the lens with the lens stopped down. You center a needle between two marks. Film speed is set via a dial on the camera. No manual calculation is required. The most recent Spotmatics allow similar manual metering, but with the aperture full open. For the K-mount cameras, I would refer you to Dmitrov's K-mount Web site. It is enough to say that you can pretty much get any mix from metered manual, Av, and Programmed exposure depending on K-mount camera model.

Steve
Thanks much! Exactly what I was curious about.
01-09-2009, 09:42 AM   #4
Pentaxian
Ratmagiclady's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: GA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 13,470
Well, Av mode is nothing new: there are plenty of older cameras that add some automation to an otherwise-manual camera: most of the manual metering you will find in older cameras will be coupled to the lens and shutter speed dial: you match up a combination that the meter indicates is good, (there's usually a needle or scale of lights or sometimes a digital display, they take a few different forms,) Older cameras still will have stopdown metering: the meter is coupled to the shutter speed and ISO settings just like more modern cameras, but turning on the meter actually stops the lens down to shooting aperture and thus changes the light that gets to the meter (instead of mechanically calculating it. )

If that didn't confuse you more.

01-09-2009, 10:11 AM   #5
Veteran Member
Nesster's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NJ USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 13,047
First, buy or borrow from a library a good book on exposure and metering.
Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition): Bryan Peterson: Books
is an excellent book on the topic.

The TTL metering SLRs are pretty easy - there are a couple of metaphors used in the view finder for manual metering.
1) 'center the needle' and its equivalent 'light the center LED' or some such.
2) 'match needles' and its electronic equivalents. One needle shows shutter speed and the other follows aperture.

The camera uses as input: ASA speed (you set when you load the film), aperture and shutter speed. I.e. the meters are 'fully coupled'. You change aperture or shutter speed to center or match needles. With match needle, changing shutter speed moves the shutter needle, and changing aperture moves the aperture needle. When the two are over each other, you have metered.

With the aperture priority automatics, you set the aperture on the lens and the camera sets the speed accordingly.
01-09-2009, 10:18 AM   #6
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Minneapolis
Photos: Albums
Posts: 588
Original Poster
Thanks all - makes perfect sense. I do need to pick up that book, it has been recommended a few times.

I just spent some time on the K-mount website, and now I have a vague understanding of what is going on. The K and M models are particularly intriguing.

Thanks again for all the comments.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
35mm, aperture, camera, cameras, film, lens, shutter
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Manual Metering on Pentax DSLRs with Manual and Automatic Lenses Adam Pentax DSLR and Camera Articles 20 01-06-2016 03:38 AM
K-7 LV metering with manual lenses Jadran Pentax DSLR Discussion 6 01-12-2010 12:57 PM
Metering with Manual lenses.. arbib Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 21 01-03-2010 10:22 PM
metering in manual zoeybird Pentax DSLR Discussion 14 02-07-2009 12:24 AM
Metering with manual lenses--exasperated! donutley Pentax DSLR Discussion 58 10-21-2008 05:43 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:42 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top