Question about Olympus OM-2 automatic exposure
I'm new to the forum, and I have a brief question concerning the automatic exposure setting on the Olympus OM-2.
My experience with analog cameras only counts manual exposure photography, but recently I obtained an OM-2 which has the option for automatic exposure. My question, which may sound somewhat stupid, goes: Is the automatic exposure mode "suggestive", in the way that it suggests an exposure value on the display, and you have to set the exposure ring yourself, or is it "informative" in the way the exposure diplayed just informing you which exposure it it going to use?
Thank you very much!
The 'auto' setting is aperture preferred, the camera controls the shutter based on that, and film speed selected. You don't even need the meter turned on for the camera to function, as soon as you release the shutter a second photo cell reads the light striking the film and makes the apropriate adjustments in real time. The exposure setting you see in the viewfinder therefore, is suggested.
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Thank you very much for your answer, it was quite helpful. Just to be 100% sure about this, if I use the 'auto' setting I only have to select the correct film speed and adjust the desired aperture?
This is mostly out of general interest by the way, as I generally find it more fun to use manual settings
Yes, that's right. You set the film speed and aperture, and the camera will set the shutter speed and tell you what that shutter speed will be through the needle-on-scale readout in the viewfinder.
Originally Posted by internetmanden
Strictly speaking, in the OM-2 the shutter speed readout in the viewfinder is only approximate. The OM-2 is unusual in having two complete metering systems. In manual mode, the camera behaves exactly like on OM-1: meter cells in the viewfinder measure the brightness of the focusing screen and provide a "match needle" readout that you can use as a guide to setting an aperture/shutter speed combination that is appropriate for the subject. Of course, you're also free to ignore the meter's advice and set the exposure using an external meter, or based on experience or on rules of thumb like "sunny f/16". In automatic mode, the camera provides a shutter speed readout that is detemined by the viewfinder meter cells, but the actual shutter speed set by the camera will be determined by a separate meter cell in the mirror box that reads the light reflected from the shutter curtains and, for long exposures, the film surface itself. In some situations the off-the-film reading will give you an actual exposure that's a bit different from what is indicated by the readout from the meter cells in the finder. But that's a subtlety that you normally shouldn't need to worry about.
Welcome to APUG!
If you combine the automatic exposure system on the OM-2 and the exposure compensation dial, you gain the benefit of both the quick automatic response and the ability to exercise judgment - it can be a very flexible and intuitive way to work.
By the way, if you have an appropriate compatible flash, the OM-2's auto exposure function can be used with flash as well.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
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