K10D exposure indicator oddity

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by paul_noble, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. I've had my K10D almost a year now, and I love it. I just noticed something odd today. I don't know if this is new, or if
    it has always done this.

    Recently, I started shooting in RAW and using manual exposure mode more. In M mode, there are two exposure
    indicators, one in the viewfinder and one on the top LCD. I'm referring to the little horizontal indicators that tell you
    that the exposure is over, under or right on.

    The oddity is that I was shooting in my backyard, just fooling around, and I noticed that the two indicators don't
    agree. When metering the same scene, with the same lens and the same shutter speed and aperture, they differ by
    two stops. IOW, if the indicator in the VF says I'm right on, the one on top says I'm two stops overexposed. If the
    one on top says I'm OK, the one in the VF says I'm two stops under.

    I tried all ISO settings and two different lenses, one the 18-55mm kit lens; the other a 28-200mm Tamron zoom. The
    results are always consistent. The two indicators differ by exactly two stops.

    Of course, since it is M mode, there is no EV compensation to confuse the issue.

    The one in the VF seems to be the more accurate exposure. At least, judging by the back LCD preview screen. If I
    expose when the VF says okay, the picture seems to be properly exposed. If I use the top LCD, it is very

    I was careful to make sure that I was metering the same scene in both cases. There is a tendency to tilt the camera
    lens up a little when viewing the top LCD. You get a better view of the LCD, but the lens would take in more sky,
    which would naturally be a brighter scene. I tried very hard to avoid this.

    Paul Noble
  2. Ok, Paul, here is my WAG on this. I suppose that you are introducing light from the viewfinder when you're looking at the top reading that is causing the metering to skew. At least in the old days, light coming in from the viewfinder would skew the measurements unless your eye was right up against it and hence blocking any extra light from coming in. Here's a way to check -- take a look at the top readings with a dark card placed over the viewfinder to keep any light from coming in the back door. Now, look into the viewfinder and see the readings there. They should match. If in doubt and you don't have an external lightmeter, always trust what you see in the viewfinder and not what is on top of the camera. If you take long exposure photos, you should block off the viewfinder to make sure you have an accurate reading of the scene since your eye is not against the viewfinder. And, always, always, bracket your exposures by +/- 0.5 EV if possible. Cheers, Jeff
  3. I'm thinking something similar to Jeffs idea.
  4. Yes I think Jeff is correct. To be sure you should set the camera on a tripod, look through the VF and set the reading to 0 Ev. Then use the VF cover to see what the top screen says.
  5. @Paul, I have the same issue with my k10d but didnt think it was a big deal since, but I'm glad you asked about it and now we have answers thanks to Jeff, Justin and Peter!

    Now I should try and find that dang little eye cup cover that comes with the camera.....
  6. As Homer Simpson might say, "Doh!". I should have thought of that. Its dark now, but I'll try that tomorrow in the daylight.

    Thanks for all the responses.

    Paul Noble
  7. Another quick way is to use the AE-L button.

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