Nikon FM3A low light AE mode anomality.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by anton_chang, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. anton_chang

    anton_chang Member

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    Dear user,
    I have a nikon FM3a which I tried the longest shutter release in low light with aperture priority (AE) setting.
    I set the aperture at 22 and shoot a black canvas in dark room.
    The exposure is taking up to 4 minutes.
    Is this normal for FM3a? because when i check the manual, the longest exposure is only 8 second in AE mode.

    Can anyone have any clue or suggestion toward this matter?

    Thank you
     
  2. Markster

    Markster Member

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    Dark room, black subject, F/22 aperature, it's compensating with a VERY long shutter time to make up for the lack of light. That's my guess.
     
  3. lns

    lns Member

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    Huh?

    The camera is telling you there's not enough light in a dark room to shoot at f22 except with an extremely long exposure. Are you testing the camera to see if it works? Better to take pictures in a variety of normal situations, using the meter on manual and automatic exposure, and see if they turn out. You could test the meter against an external meter or another camera if you have doubts.

    I am sorry I can't answer your question any better. I don't think I know what you are trying to accomplish. Why are you shooting a black canvas in a dark room? Why at f22? Even at ISO 800 or 1600 you'd need f2 to get a reasonable shutter speed in a dimly lit interior.

    -Laura
     
  4. Paul Green

    Paul Green Member

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    I believe that he was just testing to see how long the camera would hold the shutter open for using an automatic mode In extreme conditons.
     
  5. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    'Is this normal for FM3a?' Yes, perfectly normal. It would be interesting to learn just how long of an exposure the FM3a can accurately meter. I've not yet tried it but shall keep it in mind next time it's loaded. I recall doing very long exposures with the FE2 (a few minutes, longer?) in ap-priority and even longer exposures with the F3HP. Reciprocity failure is the biggest obstacle.
     
  6. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    I have successfully auto exposed negatives with a >3 minute exposure on my FM3A (as well as F3, FA and FE2) so I don't see a problem with 4minutes. I have also gotten >45 minutes with my Pentax LX and Olympus OM-4T so I have known good references but haven't tried extra long exposures on my Nikons just yet.

    To test if your meter is accurate, you need a know good reference - another camera or light meter, steady light and a gray card. If you get 4minutes at f22, then do you should get 2 minutes @ f16, 1 minute @ f11, 30 seconds @f8, 15 seconds @ f5.6, 8 seconds @ f4.0, 4 seconds @ f2.8. This will assure you that your meter is at least responding consistently.

    Interesting that some cameras will check exposure at the time of shutter, some will automatically cutoff after a certain time and then some will continuously monitor the scene and change exposure time accordingly.
     
  7. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Though with most films, times over a second or so induce an ever increasing reciprocity failure.

    IMHO, those situations really call for an external meter and some thought....
     
  8. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    I am not aware of any meter - handheld or in-camera, that has the EV range of the Pentax LX which is EV - 6.5 to EV 20. Most all other in-camera meters are only in the range of EV 1 to 18 and the Sekonic 758 is only EV -2 to EV 22.9.

    The effect of reciprocity - as opposed to reciprocity failure, should be experienced . . . ;-)
     
  9. anton_chang

    anton_chang Member

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    Thank you for your reply.
    What I mean is that my FM3a in AE mode, the shutter release can go up to more than 4 minutes, mean while in the manual said it is only up to 8 second in AE mode.
    My testing is to test this shutter release time.
    I'm not testing the exposure in the film, but rather the shutter release time.

    Thank you again for the reply.
     
  10. anton_chang

    anton_chang Member

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    That is my purpose. thanks Paul.