Shutter speed help!


hsmith

Link Posted 29/04/2021 - 12:59
Hi everyone, I would be really grateful for some help! I have a Pentax ME SLR film camera and i'm having some trouble with the shutter speed.
When I first got the camera everything was absolutely fine and I love using it. The batteries recently went on it and, therefore, the light meter stopped working. I replaced the batteries and everything started working as normal, however I noticed a slight change in how the camera was functioning.
When I am taking a picture when its slightly darker, on the Auto setting the camera is adjusting the shutter speed accordingly. I can appreciate this is a great little thing it does, however, if you're not using a tripod or have the camera on self timer etc the pictures are, as you can imagine, coming out blurry due to the hand movement!
The camera had never done this before and i'm wondering if there is a way to stop it doing this?
As I don't have the ME super, it doesn't have a manual setting so i'm a bit stuck with what to do! I did wonder if setting it at a higher ISO when i'm taking photos in a darker environment may trick the camera into assuming the film was more sensitive to light and would therefore leave the shutter speed alone? I have no idea if this would actually have any effect.. i'm certainly no expert! Any help would be hugely appreciated!

tigershoot

Link Posted 29/04/2021 - 13:15
What lens are you using. The more zoomed in you are it greatly increases your chance of motion blur. Is it maybe the case that you are now using a telephoto lens, whereas before it was wide-angle for example?
Using faster film would help, although it tends to be grainier.
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pschlute

Link Posted 29/04/2021 - 13:19
Are you saying the shutter speed the camera selects is too slow ? If so your pictures will be overexposed.

A slow shutter speed by itself does not indicate a problem. When shooting in dark conditions you need to use a faster film ASA/ISO and a wider aperture on the lens to keep the shutter speed higher. Setting a higher ISO on the dial by itself will lead to underexposed film.

What lens are you using on the camera ?

I would first move the ISO dial around through all its movement while looking at the meter...does the exposure adjust correctly? Do the same for the exposure compensation dial. You can also check if the meter is functioning by testing it against a light meter and a uniform light source. If you don't have one, you can download an app for your phone which can replicate it quite well.
Peter



My Flickr page

hsmith

Link Posted 29/04/2021 - 14:17
tigershoot wrote:
What lens are you using. The more zoomed in you are it greatly increases your chance of motion blur. Is it maybe the case that you are now using a telephoto lens, whereas before it was wide-angle for example?
Using faster film would help, although it tends to be grainier.

Thank you for the reply! i am using 50mm lens and have never changed this so before when i wasn't having this issue the same lens was on the camera.
I can't understand why the camera has started adjusting the shutter speed automatically as i haven't changed any of the settings etc, only added new batteries. all of my photos that are taken in good lighting conditions come out great, its just when its slightly darker and the shutter speed is slower that they're blurred due to movement whilst the shutter is open.

hsmith

Link Posted 29/04/2021 - 14:29
pschlute wrote:
Are you saying the shutter speed the camera selects is too slow ? If so your pictures will be overexposed.

A slow shutter speed by itself does not indicate a problem. When shooting in dark conditions you need to use a faster film ASA/ISO and a wider aperture on the lens to keep the shutter speed higher. Setting a higher ISO on the dial by itself will lead to underexposed film.

What lens are you using on the camera ?

I would first move the ISO dial around through all its movement while looking at the meter...does the exposure adjust correctly? Do the same for the exposure compensation dial. You can also check if the meter is functioning by testing it against a light meter and a uniform light source. If you don't have one, you can download an app for your phone which can replicate it quite well.

Thank you for the reply!

Yes the camera is automatically adjusting the shutter speed to a slower setting. it's only doing this when it's slightly darker, i have no problems in good light. I am assuming this is as a result of it being on the auto setting but I'm just slightly confused as to why it is now doing this as it has never done before, its only since i changed the batteries after the last ones died.

I will try and fiddle with aperture a bit more in darker conditions and see if this helps, although I have had it set on the lower side since i started using the camera again after changing the batteries.

Im currently using a 50mm lens and have never changed this. Had a fiddle with the ISO dial and all seems to be working fine in terms of changes in the light meter when i move the number it up/down.

Thank you again!
Last Edited by hsmith on 29/04/2021 - 14:35

davidstorm

Link Posted 29/04/2021 - 14:42
It does sound to me that the camera is actually working correctly, it should reduce the shutter speed to a lower value if it is darker. The only thing you can do is open up the aperture as far as possible to keep the shutter speed higher.

Regards
David
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Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

hsmith

Link Posted 29/04/2021 - 15:02
davidstorm wrote:
It does sound to me that the camera is actually working correctly, it should reduce the shutter speed to a lower value if it is darker. The only thing you can do is open up the aperture as far as possible to keep the shutter speed higher.

Regards
David

Hi David,

Yes i thought that could be the case and it does make sense! It's just unusual that it has only just started doing this now yet i've been using the camera since last summer! Will try and fiddle with aperture more!

don't suppose you know if there is a setting i can use to prevent the camera adjusting the shutter speed?

Thanks for you advice,

Hannah
Last Edited by hsmith on 29/04/2021 - 15:03

womble

Link Posted 29/04/2021 - 15:36
[If I have misunderstood the problem, and am teaching grandma to suck eggs, please ignore what is written below.]

If you don't adjust the shutter speed the pictures will be under-exposed.

Let us for the moment assume there is a "correct exposure" for an image. Lets say you have 100 ISO film loaded and the aperture set to f/8. The camera will choose the correct shutter speed for that combination to give you a correct exposure. For the moment, let's assume that is 1/125. So:

ISO 100 f/8 1/125

In terms of exposure this is the same as

ISO 100, f/11, 1/60
ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/250

and so on. With the ME you load your film (ISO 100) and pick an aperture on your lens (f/ and the camera sets the shutter speed which is indicated in the viewfinder with an LED.

Now let us say the light is dim, and with ISO 100 film at f/8 the camera is giving us a shutter speed of 1/30, which is the same as:

ISO 100, f/11, 1/15
ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/60

and so on. Assuming you have a 50mm lens, you want to keep the shutter speed at 1/60 or above, you need to open up the lens (make the aperture larger) until you do. In this case pick f/5.6.

If the light is even worse than that, you might find that you get to a maximum aperture, say f/1.7, and still not be able to have a shutter speed of 1/60 or faster. In that case you have a choice:

a) use a tripod or find some other way to brace/support the camera
b) use a flash
c) if you don't already have some film loaded, use a faster film.

You cannot change the ISO in the middle of a roll. One of the advantages of digital is being able to change ISO on the fly. Alternatively, given how cheap film bodies are these days, have several bodies with different types of film loaded.

Hope this helps.

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.

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pschlute

Link Posted 29/04/2021 - 21:10
Sounds to me that the camera is working properly.

If you take pictures in dark conditions you need to use high speed film or a wider aperture (or both). Increasing the shutter speed on its own to avoid camera shake will lead to under-exposed pictures.
Peter



My Flickr page
Last Edited by pschlute on 29/04/2021 - 21:10
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