Bad placement of exposure compensation release button. (gripe)

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    On a few cameras I own, the exposure compensation dial is around the rewind crank. Moving it requires pressing a button that is on top of the camera, towards the rear, just between the dial and the prism. About where your thumb would be if you tried to turn the dial with your left hand.

    I think this is on my Nikon FE2 and Canon F1N.

    Is it just me, or is this the absolute worst place to put the release button?


    I have to press the button with my thumb, which either covers the mark for the dial or puts pressure on the dial making it hard to turn. And with my thumb pressing down, I have no resistance on the backside of my camera so its very hard to turn the dial with my index finger.

    Maybe I'm just clumsy. Or maybe there is a trick to it that I have not learned. But it certainly feels like I need a third hand just to use the exposure compensation.

    I think there was an old thread here about badly designed features. This should certainly be added.
     
  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    If you're not sure, then it's a sign you have too many cameras . . . but I'm not here to judge . . . ;-)

    Actually my Pentax LX/ME Super, Canon A-1, Nikon F3/FA/FE2/FG, Minolta XD11/X-GM and Ricoh Ricoh KR-5 Super II all have the same arrangement - same location, and it doesn't bother me at all. The Olympus OM2 and OM4 each have a different arrangement. My solution, I don't use it. Instead, I learn the over and under range of the film I'm using and how the camera's meter indicates an over and under range, and adjust shutter or aperture to suit. If I want to over or under expose the whole roll, then I would adjust the ISO speed.
     
  3. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The F3 is not easy. The button is small diameter, sharp edged and strongly sprung, and must be pressed to move the dial any increment. Very secure as a result. The LX is better shaped, larger, softer sprung, and only needs to be pressed when moving off or past 0. It's possible though not easy to nudge it off a compensation setting. The ME Super has no locking button at all, the dial's edges are shaped so they don't get caught on anything, and the dial takes enough effort to turn that it requires a finger on either side.

    I shoot manually, so it doesn't matter to me, but it's interesting to me that the ME Super lock-less design seems to work as well as any other.
     
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  4. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    It is going back many years since I was an enthusiastic owner of an Olympus OM4 with motordrive, and my most prominent gripe with that camera, as with the F3HP was the exposure compensation dial (again, that is an entirely alien beast on the F3HP). My guess is that it is an acquired skill to effectively learn to initiate compensation without getting arthritic or temperamental. Lots of OM cameras had an awkward ISO/compensation dial layout (howabout the OM2N!).
     
  5. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Probably dictated by intellectual property rights but I would like to think of it as "character" of the design. In hindsight, if Canon put it's film advance crank on top of the Canonflex like a "normal camera", would it have proven a better success compared to the Nikon F?

    Personally, I think a bad design has more to do with planned obsolescence or use of a lesser quality material so that it is guaranteed to break constitutes a bad design. The Canonflex film advance crank underneath is a character . . .
     
  6. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Yes I do have too many cameras. But im thinning them down =]

    But iirc the FG the button is toward the front and you can press it with your index finger, then move the dial with your thumb... and was much easier that way. Also the minolta XD-11 had a lever of sorts that was fairly easy to use with one finger.
     
  7. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Eh? In my opinion the om2/n is totally straightforward and easy to use. The knob can be a little stiff but otherwise its a breeze to use.

    And regarding the OM4.. I would use the multispot metering over compensation myself.