The Missing Program Mode

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
OP TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 6,179
Re: The Missing Program Mode

Fogel70 wrote:

TacticDesigns wrote:

Fogel70 wrote:

Tom_N wrote:

Fogel70 wrote:

TacticDesigns wrote:

As the aperture closes down to f/5.6, I want the camera to increase the ISO value so that although less light is coming in because of the smaller ratio of the aperture, I end up with a JPG that is the same brightness because the camera is increasing ISO to brighten up the picture to the same level.

What would the exact set-up of the Pentax dSLR be to achieve this without using any auto exposure mode.

If the camera automatically adjust exposure, you are in auto exposure mode. What you want is an auto exposure mode, but one that is disconnected from the metering in the camera.

You've just described what the Auto Exposure Lock button does. All that is missing is a simple mechanical lock ("click to hold; click again to release").

That is basically how metering in manual mode works on my Pentax cameras. You press the green button for the camera to adjust exposure after the metering, and the exposure will be locked until next press of the green button.


I use that on my Pentax K100d or ist DS when I am using my old Pentax-M 50mm f/2 lens.

But there is no "green" button on my camera. Instead I use the AE-L button.

But this doesn't get around the need to have a subject in front of you with the proper brightness to get a lock on.

For shooting cheer that is a problem.

Sometimes the athletes run onto the stage in darkness. And they don't turn on the lights until right before the routine starts.

So what that means is if I am doing this method, I am leaving setting my exposure settings to the last minute.

If the camera doesn't "choose" the settings I want, then I have to sit there trying to figure out how to "trick" the camera to get to the settings I want.

For a cheer routine, its only about 2 minutes long.

And I am trying to get pictures of as many athletes as possible for the yearbook.

So I chug through about 80-100 pictures per 2 minute routine.

The last thing I want to be doing is be fighting with the camera to get to the exposure settings I want, especially when I know what settings I want well before the routine starts.

That is one of the points of using spot metering. If you meter a small well defined part of the scene that you know the brightness of, it is easy to know how to set up the camera long before the shooting start.

But in my scenario, I know what settings I want (within 1/3 - 2/3 of a stop) before I even get to the cheer competition venue.

I don't take a meter reading at all before I set up the settings on my camera.

I set up the camera manually at home. Drive to the venue. Take a few test shots and then adjust 1/3 - 2/3 of a stop from there.

For me, that is more reliable and less frustrating then trying to find something in the scene that is 80% grey.

And it would be nice to turn off the camera between routines.

There are up to about 8 teams from our club that compete at an event. So I am there all day. And there could be hours between runs. So I turn off my camera to save battery power.

I belive most cameras remeber last used exposure settings in manual mode.


Yes. Exactly.

I'm just mentioning this because some people would say, just use auto-exposure-lock.

But using AE-L won't work on many cameras because the metering system turns off after a while.

I know. I tried it with my cameras. I'd trick the camera to get the exposure I wanted. Hit the AE-L button and then waited to see how long it was before the meter system turned off.

So . . . if I used that, I'd have to constantly have my finger on the AE-L (Nikon camera doesn't toggle like the Pentax cameras) and keep tapping the shutter button to stop the camera from going to sleep.

And then . . . when I wanted to swap cameras mid-routine . . . what do I do? LOL.

And then when one team is done and there is a 3 hour wait 'til the next team, what do I do? LOL.

That is one of the benefits of shooting manual exposure in my scenario.

Being able to set exposure manually and save it under a user setting means I set up my camera once in the morning and shoot those settings all day. And I don't have to wait for a scene to be the right LV in front of me to get a meter reading on. I am dialing in the settings manually so I don't need to wait for a properly lit scene.

This will only work if you shoot in the same conditions every time. FI shooting at the same place day after day.


Or . . . shooting indoor sports.

Shooting indoor sports in venues that do not have exterior windows (like old warehouses converted to gyms, convention centers or hockey arenas) the lighting stays the same from competition to competition.

I have been shooting gymnastics and cheer competitions since 2011 and the lighting has been within 1-stop across most of the venues for these past 8 years. LOL.

So . . . I have been shooting in the same conditions every time for the past 8 years. LOL.

But it is not a method I would use as rarely shoot the same place at same conditions two times. And even if I did I would not trust that light would be xactly the same, so I would not set exposure without input from light meter.


I would not argue that.

That is your shooting scenario and the way you approach taking pictures.

What I am describing (and why I want this "The Missing Program Mode") is because of the shooting scenario I am in and how I want to approach taking pictures.

There is no need for the two to be the same.

There is no right or wrong.

Just wants and needs. And the wants and needs can be as individual as the person shooting.

Getting back to the OP . . . the purpose of this "The Missing Program Mode" is so that each photographer can configure their camera to operate more like how they "want or need" it to operate, regardless of how other people use their camera, and regardless of how the manufacturer is currently deciding how to program their cameras.

Take care & Happy Shooting!


RE: Light Reading

1) For shooting indoor sports, my light reading is taking a shot at the settings I've chosen manually and just checking the histogram on the back. So I do do a meter reading. But because the flood lights on the athletes remains consistent, I only have to do that at the beginning of the competition. After that initial reading / test at the beginning of the competition, I don't really change my settings.

2) For shooting portraits with manual monolights, I take a light reading with my Gossen Variosix F flash light meter. But first I set the camera in manual exposure and get all the settings set up the way I want on the camera first. Then I set up the mono lights and change the settings on the lights (and testing with the flash meter) to match what I've already set up on the camera.

But thinking about this process . . . the reason this works is because my lenses are constant aperture lenses.

If I were shooting with variable aperture lenses and manual monolights, I'd be having to be changing EV+ISO settings as I changed focal length on the lens, just like the problem I would have changing focal length at a cheer competition.

So . . . "The Missing Program Mode" could totally come in handy if I were shooting manual mono lights with a variable aperture lens like a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 or a kit telephoto lens.

3) For paid portrait sessions I always have my Gossen Lunasix F light meter with me to take incident light meter readings which I find more reliable than using the in-camera light meter.

4) If not shooting the above, for the most part I use aperture priority. Most of the time with auto-ISO. But if I am concentrating on what I am doing, I'd switch to manual ISO.

5) And for vacation or family get togethers I will use P mode.

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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