Being creative in aperture priority

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Mike Kennedy, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Just picked up a Pentax ESII & SMC Takumar 2.5/135mm lens in minty condition.Since the purchase was made locally I was able to check out the camera/lens combo before laying down my $.Nice to be able to kick the tires,so to speak.
    Besides shifting the depth of field is there any other way to be creative with the ESII?

    Thank You
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Of course, there's the exposure over-ride below the rewind crank that allows you to give additional or less exposure. In practice there are no reasons why you can't be as creative with an ESII as with any other 35mm SLR.

    Ian
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Lying about the film speed is usually the way to add some more control to an automatic camera. You do this manually, with an exposure compensation feature if the camera has it, or with both. I change the EI on my Yashica Electro 35 all the time. I simply view it as my roundabout shutter speed control. (However, even at box speed, the meter that looks like it should be really cheesy works very well. It is very low tech. All changing the film speed does is to change the size of an aperture over the meter.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2009
  4. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree. Creativity is your domain, the camera is along for the ride. It may take the form of creatively out witting an automatic feature, or shooting sharp and strait with more emphasis on physical composition rather than subject isolation through DOF. Being pushed to see in new ways can be very enlightening.
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    You have come across a nice camera, and has been said, you have some measure of control. Use it well! Your lens is really nice, by the way. Pentax fixed focal length lenses are very tasty indeed in my experience. I love the out of focus qualities.

    Have fun!

    - Thomas
     
  6. eddym

    eddym Member

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    You're looking in the wrong place for creativity. It has nothing to do with your camera, and everything to do with your imagination. You can be creative with a brick.
     
  7. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    "Besides shifting the depth of field is there any other way to be creative with the ESII?"

    Nope, thats about it.. aperture priority, you are controlling the depth of field mainly. And that is the majority of what photographers want to use. If you want to blur motion you can stop down but in bright light the camera may still use a fast enough shutter speed so you dont get the effect.

    Also, take into account that a normal or telephoto lens is usually sharpest when stopped down 2 or more stops.
    Wide angle lenses usually need to be stopped down quite a bit to correct aberrations.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Not correct :D

    The camera can be used manually for shutter speeds between 1/60th & 1/1000th. While the camera is aperture priority on Auto you still have full control over the shutter sped used because the exposure is related to the Aperture & Shutter speed, there's also +2 & +4 as well as -½ of exposure factor.

    Any form of auto is always a compromise but it should never hinder creativity were a degree of over-ride is possible.

    Ian
     
  9. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    ???? Are you serious, darinwc ???

    I'm somewhat addled by this - I thought I was considerably closer to the majority of photographers, and depth of field as a "tool in the box" is certainly NOT my dominant obsession, although I have used it before.

    Uh ... the amount of certitude implied here tends to drag this from a statement of opinion to an established fact...?? Where did you get this information ? - I'd like to attempt to duplicate your line of reasoning.
     
  10. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Aperture priority gives you as much "creative" capability as manual. At the end of the day your film needs a specific "quantity" of light to be correctly exposed. Your own EI tests will determine how much. With AE you have the same control over DoF or shutter speed as you do in manual. If you open the aperture - you must shorten the shutter speed - as you do in manual. If you need a slower shutter speed than the lighting permits you need an ND filter - as you do in manual. Even if you want to use a separate incident meter you can set your preferred aperture and adjust ISO to achieve the shutter speed indicated by the incident meter. Sure, this is a little more cumbersome, but you still have the same controls as with any other 35mm camera.

    At least it seems that way to me.

    BobH
     
  11. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    My Minolta X-700 has program, aperture priority and manual (no shutter priority). I keep it on aperture priority most of the time and only switch to manual on rare occasions. It has worked out well for 24 years. The creativity comes from the mind not the camera.
     
  12. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Actually I'd like to revise my statement to say that all photographers, including pros, amateurs, and soccer moms want aperture priority.

    Seriously man, take it easy.
     
  13. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Sorry about that. I seem to have lost my notification that you were now Boss, Pronouncer of Ultimate Truths, and Supreme Representative of ... ME!

    I'll take this easily: I HAVE NO preference for aperture prority - or shutter speed, or depth-of-field, or phases of the moon. What works, works, and I'm going to stay flexible enough to use it, whatever it is.
     
  14. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    The sad fact for me, is that most manual modes besides the oldschool scale-matching systems are actually more confusing than liberating.

    I use aperture priority 90% of the time because I don't have any cameras that have what i consider a good manual mode. A good manual mode is either a match-needle setup like the Canon AT-1/Olympus OM-1, or a match-LED setup like the Pentax LX. With a manual mode this good, there is no reason to use aperture priority mode. IMO many manual modes on auto-exposure cameras are tacked-on and too slow for anything but tripod use. LED scales (like my Nikon F801), numerical "+/-" readouts (Pentax Program A), or having to press buttons to match the meter (as on the Pentax ME Super) is too slow and just doesn't cut it. Even the F100's meter readout is too fiddly for me, despite the fast aperture and shutter dials. So on most of my cameras (which are mainly Pentaxen) I use aperture-priority mode, plus the very quick-to-use exposure compensation dial. Most of the time I'm using a Pentax ME, in which case it's aperture priority+exposure compensation, or nothing.
     
  15. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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  16. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    This is absolutely true. In current cameras, manual mode and metering is achieved as a sort of "work-around." Cameras like the Nikon FE were designed as manual cameras with the "auto" function as almost an add-on.

    I use programme, aperture priority and shutter priority almost exclusively when shooting 35mm - except with studio strobes, where I use manual, of course. When I run film speed tests I use programme mode and vary the exposure via the compensation dial. In the field, it is the same meter - whether I use progamme, shutter priority or aperture priority.

    I really don't feel I lose creativity because I use programme mode. A given situation requires one exposure. I decide whether it is the DoF or the shutter speed which is most important for that particular image. Whichever I choose, the other is what it has to be. I can't have a fast shutter speed and great DoF.

    I'm a great believer in letting technology do for us what it can - AE, AF etc. That doesn't mean I submit to it because I retain ultimate control. (just don't tell the wife:D)

    Bob H
     
  17. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Mike,
    You can be as creative with the ESII as you can with any camera, but being an aperture priority auto camera you just go about things in a slightly different way, selecting the aperture you want for the depth of field you need or selecting the appropriate aperture to force the camera to give you the shutter speed you need. The exposure compensation settings are useful at times but don't (ahem!) forget to reset the dial to (ahem!) 1X when you've done with the shot. Believe it or not, a friend of mine (cough!) once went on to shoot half a roll at 1/2X, 2X or whatever it was. You'd never catch me doing that.........
    Steve:wink:
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Don't worry about it. You are fine. A priority mode used with EC/EI adjustments to obtain the desired settings entails the same basic thought process as does using manual mode. It is program mode that is the Devil, not priority modes. It can be used as a good tool, but can screw you in many, many situations. I have used program mode for three or four shots in my life, and it was just recently, since I just got my first camera that has the feature (an AE-1 Program). However, I only used it once in very good light with a fast film, so it had no possibility whatsoever of giving me a stupidly low shutter speed, and a few other times with a wide lens in almost no light in a night club, with the camera set on the edge of the stage pointing out into the audience. I used program mode simply in the interest of speed all of these cases, not because I actually believe it is a trustworthy option for constant use. However, even in program mode, you can set a shot to over or under expose by changing the EI.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2009
  19. jongcelebes

    jongcelebes Member

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    Aperture Priority and pre-focus. I use it most in street. I'm using Nikon EM. Until now, no one asking my camera setup.