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Manual lenses and camera modes

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Hyubie, May 2, 2011.

  1. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Hi all,

    I have a Canon FD 50mm f/1.4, and reading through the adapted lenses thread over some time now, I've always thought that in order to use it (or any other manual lens), I had to put the camera in Aperture priority or Manual mode. I am not yet confident with using the M mode, so I always go for A mode, and my assumption is that the camera will make its own adjustments (shutter speed, etc.) based on the amount of light/aperture value.

    However, I've tried taking some test shots of the same subject using different apertures, and it got progressively darker the higher I go aperture-wise. It felt like the shutter speed wasn't changing, I even put the ISO in Auto mode. It seems that my initial assumption was wrong.

    So am I wrong, or I'm just doing something wrong? Is M mode the only option when using manual lenses?
  2. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I don't have this lens, but with other legacy lenses my E-PL1 works the way you expected - in A mode the shutter speed (and ISO in Auto mode) should vary as the light changes, whether that is from changing subject brightness or adjusting the aperture. Depending on the subject/light, it could still get darker as you stop down the aperture beyond a certain point.

    Do you have the display set so it gives you a "live" reading of the current shutter speed and ISO? Mine is constantly changing as I wave the camera around...
  3. The smaller the aperture the less accurate the metering will become. I find that it's usually accurate up to about f/11. Normally the camera will meter wide open (where it is more sensitive to changes in light) and adjust the shutter speed according to the aperture value set. Because you operate a legacy lens in stop-down mode you are reducing the light available for metering and (I guess) the metering becomes less sensitive and increasingly innaccurate. You might also find that particular lenses need exposure compensation. On my E-P1 I use 'P' mode and set the main thumbwheel to adjust exposure compensation i.e. so that it is a one-touch operation and I don't need to simultaneously press the exp comp button. That way I can adjust the exposure by the view in the LCD like Fin mentioned.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    Couldn't find a more recent thread on this.

    Feel free to all stand round in a circle chortling at me but because the GF-3 shows f0.0 when one is on, it was not until yesterday that I realized you could use Aperture Priority with an adapted lens.:blush:
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Don't beat yourself up over it.

    I only discovered today that I can click the wheel on my GF1 to bring up the magnified focus assist when using legacy glass. I've been clicking the left hand segment of my mode dial then clicking menu/ok to perform the same task. I also just found out that if the picture I've just taken shows overblown white highlights in review mode it's overexposed and I need to dial in a couple of notches of negative exposure to correct it.

    How much of a noob do you think I feel? :tongue:
    • Like Like x 1
  6. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2014
    I think M mode with a manual lens is the only way to go if you want consistent results. If the camera is doing all the work to pick the SS and the ISO it's going to bounce all over the place. Add auto WB and you have a mess on your hands in my opinion. My advice is pick an appropriate ISO and choose your desired f-stop on the lens. Then all you are adjusting is the SS dial until the shot looks good. I didn't see you specify what camera you have so it's a little hard to give you specific advice but this works for me.

    Mind that you are using a manual lens. Have fun and experiment with manual mode. You might really like it. It's just pixels ;) 
    • Like Like x 1
  7. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    I applaud you for adding to an older thread, regardless of how old, instead of starting a new one on the same subject. Very smart; Well done.
    I too find M mode the best, But I often use A mode when time is an issue and I need to be quick about it; in that case also I focus one stop above what I want to shoot at and then stop down one to it, to ensure focus.
  8. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2014
    Yep your right. A mode does work nicely too as long as everything else is locked down. Keep the variables down to a minimum. ;) 
  9. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    I also use 'A' mode with the ISO fixed at 200 ( or limited to 400 if the light is poor) so it's just like my old OM3:- set the f stop you want and adjust shutter to get correct exposure.
  10. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    That's not 'A' mode. You do not adjust the shutter in 'A' mode. The shutter is adjusted automatically by the camera to get the desired exposure, dependent on what Aperture you set the camera at. Which is why they call it 'A' mode (or Aperture priority). That is why it is a fast way to shoo, because you only adjust the Aperture and the camera sets the rest.
    What WasOM3user described is what one does in 'M' mode (Manual mode).You set the f stop that you want and adjust shutter to get correct exposure you want. Manually adjusting both aperture and shutter.
  11. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    I'm with NYartboy on this, manual all the way......it's a good learning curve. Try it with your native lenses too. Don't be scared, you won't break anything.
  12. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Personally I very often leave my G-1 in the P mode when using an adapted lens. The camera is smart enough to realize that is can't communicate with the lens and it behaves exactly like it was set in the A mode.
  13. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Agreed, I think everyone who wants to be serious with photography, or even semi-serious, should Force themselves to learn by just setting the camera in M mode and photographing with it for a long time that way.
    And don't worry about mistakes or taking bad shots, because that's what you want , Yes I said that's what you want. I believe anyone would best learn what the consciousnesses are for each adjustment, by making mistakes.
    God I loved my G1.. I am glad that I still have it here, in its box, since a failed sale transaction happened about 8 months ago. I am currently thinking of selling off my GH-2 and just going back to using my G1.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Do it. I went back to my old, but awesome PM1 because I could not fall in love with mt PM2.

    Oh, and yeah, M mode is cruise control for cool :p 
    • Like Like x 1
  15. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    "A" mode works just fine for me on every Olympus and Panasonic body I have tried, using K-mount lenses with adapters.

    However there are no fewer than four methods of SLR Aperture Control, which I have explained in the article just through that link.
  16. Screamin Scott

    Screamin Scott Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2014
    Atlanta Ga. Metro
    I'm using the A mode on my E-P3 until I get more comfortable with the camera, then I'll likely switch to M mode.... I just picked the camera up recently from Cameta Camera (refurbished)... I have many legacy lenses from assorted brands (mostly Nikon though) & just posted an image taken with a 300mm Nikkor on the camera. I did get a VF-4 as I don't like using the back LCD screen at arms length...
  17. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    Ah, I didn't force myself to go manual, I just spent a year not realizing you could use A mode with adapted lenses. But at least as a result I now get the point of the exposure compensation function.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Personally, I use A with spot metering and liberal applications of the AEL button I have set up on a Fn button. The wheel on my G3 is fine for most things, but not for keeping up with when I want to change SS on the fly. M is great for changing lighting conditions, or when I need to ensure at least a minimum shutter, but I usually use C1 to allow image review to be on (normally off), so I can cheat and gauge how far off exposures are. That is one thing that has me looking hard at something like the X-T1, is the ability to change shutter easier due to the larger wheel.
  19. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    A lot of people us aperture priority with manual lenses. After focus is set, adjust the lens aperture and the camera will adjust the shutter speed for you. I started out shooting that way, but now use manual mode. It gives me more control over the image. I even focus my AF lenses manually. Just old school I guess.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I tend to use 'A' mode on MFT (those few times I use legacy/MF glass), which usually works fine. If the lighting situation is relatively 'fixed' I use manual (you can still see the metering, after all). I tend to set the ISO speed manually. MF glass shooting tends to be a 'slower', more deliberate kind of shooting than AF, so I don't mind the slight extra faff.

    With my Sony, I've found myself shooting in shutter priority or manual (same thing really) with adapted glass quite often - simply because that often means the Voigtlander Nokton 35 f/1.2 in low light, and the lack of IBIS means the shutter speed is going to determine whether the shot is sharp. I float the ISO (auto ISO), aperture is set on the lens (duh), and use the dedicated exposure compensation dial (which I thought would be silly, but I'm actually growing to enjoy quite a bit) to bump overall exposure up or down a notch.
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