camera set-up


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 09:16
Hi to all,

Just a quick question.

How do you have your camera set-up on your walkabouts?
I know there are different variations to different cameras, but as a general rule the principles should be the same.

on my K20 I would be focusing with the af button,meter with the ael button and take the shot with the shutter button . I find this approach disciplines and makes me more aware of the surrounding values.
metering mode and shot count will relate to conditions at set times.
I shoot landscapes/portraits and accept a faster set-up for sports will be required.

Would be interesting to hear what other members do!




Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 09:50
K20: camera on 'P' mode (MTF) and press the shutter button to meter, focus and expose.

The rest of the time I probably use 'M' and autofocus with a half press of the shutter release.
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 10:24
K20D + grip + DA* 16-50, SR = on, AF-S, Centre focus point, pattern metering, Av mode with f8 to start with, ISO 100, focus on AF button, meter and take the shot using shutter button (AF on half press disabled).

I change none, some, or all of these to suit a specific situation but with my default setup its one press for focus, and another to take the shot.

Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 11:12
K-7 with Av or TAv mode. Or M mode for manual lenses.

SR on, AF-S, SEL focus point. Centre-weighted metering.

AF with shutter button half-press, usually. I have the alterntive AF setup in User mode.


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 11:22
deppends where I am, but generally

K10D + 80-320 with 16-45, 90 Macro and 50 1.4 in the bag, AF-S on half press, generally on SEL but with centre point picked (so I can change it fast if I want to). Av mode on f/8, ISO ~200 deppending on weather, time of day and anticipated subjects.

SR only ever gets turned off if I'm on a tripod.

metering on 16 segment for the most part although I'm starting to use spot and M mode for trickier landscapes and other subjects which wont move where the lighting plays a critical role in the shot.

For those who may be confused by my lens choice, the 80-320 stays on the camera because it's the one I'm most likely to want in a hurry. If I see a landscape or building I like I'll have time to swap to the 16-45.
you don't have to be mad to post here

but it does help
Last Edited by Mongoose on 10/02/2010 - 11:25


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 11:38
Mannesty wrote:
ISO 100.

Spain, eh? Hmmm. ISO 800 for Britain


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 13:51
P mode, auto-iso with my Pentax 18-250mm on my K-7.

If fiddling about in M mode will help me take photos with better composition, colour, texture and balance then I'd be all over that. Reality is that it doesn't so I save myself some grief and delegate to the camera. - Wedding and Portrait Photographer


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 14:30
I only ever use Av or manual. The camera is set to default to 100ASA, and centre spot focusing. The ISO is assigned to the front dial, aperture to the rear dial. I tried reassigning the AF to the AF button instead of the shutter button as recommended by someone on here (?Matt) but couldn't get on with it. SR on, and if I am using a tripod the remote control setting turns it off. Aperture, well whatever it was on last time I used it.

I am increasingly using manual lenses for which I change to M mode but with +1 ev dialled as in more often then not the meter underexposes with them.

Best wishes, Kris.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 14:51
iceblinker wrote:
Mannesty wrote:
ISO 100.

Spain, eh? Hmmm. ISO 800 for Britain

I also have it on ISO100 more often then not.
Camera in M-mode and most of the time f/4 or f/5.6, SR always on and always in RAW.
Spot metering and selective focus point.
Auto focus only under AF button so with my quick-shift lenses are always manual focus except when I press the AF button, very handy!

Metering I simply do with the green button that works like a on command Av mode, also very handy and that way I make sure a series of photos are all exposed the same, easy for batch processing.

Flash with +0.7 over exposed but 9/10 I use the flash in manual.

I don't think I've missed something...

K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
Last Edited by Anvh on 10/02/2010 - 14:53


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 14:58
AV (aperture rear dial ISO front) or manual, af on half shutter press, SR always on except when using tripod (or I forget to turn it off ) ISO 100 or up to 400 if neccessary. Invariably have ev comp at +1, centre weighted metering and centre focus point.
K5 + 8mm-500mm zooms and primes
Please feel free to play with any images I post.
My flickr: link


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 19:55
I read somewhere on the web (where, of course, everything is to be believed, but this was couched in such seriously arcane etchnical terms that it impressed) that the 6mp sensor in my K100 has its widest dynamic range at 400ASA so that's where I leave it, particularly in winter when the light's low.

As most lenses work best well away from aperture extremes, I use f8 to ensure reasonable depth of field. With "A" lenses I use aperture priority. With "M" lenses or M42 screw I use manual sometimes with an external lightmeter. All focus is manual, of course.

If I use the 18-55 AF standard lens it's because I'm feeling idle or distracted, so the camera is set on AF and Av. Probably aperture 5.6.

Pentax technicians fitted this camera with all those wonderful exposure modes and I use it like a 1970s ME. What a waste!


Best wishes,


"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference.  All of them can record what you are seeing.  But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
My website:


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 20:52
Well I just use Av and manual, just like my ES, or my ME Super, or my LX...

The results of a study some time back showed that 95% of people using Word used less than 5% of the features.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 20:52
For walkabout (landscape/buildings mainly) my K20 is set to manual focus, manual shutter & aperture (tend to take on f8 to f16), ISO100 (though find myself changing to 200 or 400 in lower light), spot metering, SR on, WB auto except indoors. Very occasionally I use AF & 'green' for snaps - normally use a P*******c compact for those. JPG (****) rather than RAW most of the time, though that's probably more to do with my limited skill in manipulating RAW images than a considered preference.

When I bought the camera I took a long series of shots with different brightness, saturation etc and after a lot of deliberation over the results (on the computer screen) set everything to 0. Pentax has the 'natural' mode at +1 for one of the settings, can't remember which.

I usually have an FA 24-90 mounted, which is acceptably light, versatile enough most of the time, and in my view sharper than the kit 18-55. I'm just about to invest in a 16-45 as a city walkabout.

Re Kris's comment on underexposure, I did have a couple of images that were unexpectedly underexposed in auto mode. However there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the meter when used in manual; if I have an underexposed shot it's because I've forgotten to compensate appropriately for contrast.

Agree with Andrew's comment about using it like an ME (mine was a Praktica MTL3 which I loved apart from the screw-on lenses).

K5IIs & ME Super with FA24-90, DA17-70, DA55-300, misc old primes; Fuji X20.


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 20:59
K20D, with the buttons doing whatever they're set to by default. I always have the camera set to M (I tend to use Av only in places or situations where I can't delay taking the shot for long - exhibitions, parties etc.). Other than that, I will typically use centre-weighted metering but if there are a lot of differently-lit areas in a scene (and I want one particular part of it to be 'right') then I'll switch to spot.


Link Posted 10/02/2010 - 21:07
For walkabouts I increasingly tend to go out with one prime on the camera and one or two in my pockets. Majority of what I have are manual focus.

K-7 usually set to ISO200 with highlight protection switched on.

I almost always shoot RAW (but have the USER setting set to best JPEG in natural tone with a bit of tweaking to sharpness and saturation).

If I am using SMC-A lenses (or anything newer), then I tend to use Av most of the time, with evaluative metering. Take a shot and the adjust the exposure if necessary (often not required with the K-7).

If using AF, I use centre point and half press of the shutter.

Some occasional random stuff at The Photographers Block: link
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