Which you use, automatic or manual?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Soulreaver, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. Soulreaver

    Soulreaver TPF Noob!

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    Just wondering.
    I am taking a course and for the duration I shall have to use manual mode for exposure.Trouble is, I still take way too long to adjust, and by the time I'm done, the decisive moment is long past.
    I heard photojournalists and the like use automatic for exposure, dont know about other kind of photographers nowadays.
    How about you people?
     
  2. Pamela

    Pamela TPF Noob!

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    I had never used manual before, but I am in the last week of a 6 week photography class, and have been using manual the whole time. I don't like auto anymore. It didn't take me any time to adjust because I understand apertures and shutter speed and the light meter, but I had never bothered figuring out how to do that on my camera before this class.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The majority of the cameras I use don't have any auto-exposure modes, or even an in-camera meter.

    Just like anything the more you use it, the more you get used to it, and the faster you are. When I started using a 4x5 camera it sometimes took me up to 30 minutes just to get set up for the shot. Now I can go from camera in the backpack to camera on the tripod, image composed and metered, film loaded and ready to expose in a few minutes as long as it's a fairly straight shot without a lot of view camera movements necessary.
     
  4. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    On the Yashicamat, there is no auto, so it's manual all the way.
    Manual on the Minolta as well...
    I shoot apeture priority with the D70 and use the Exposure +/- button to get what I want out of a specific lighting situation.
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My old Pentax ME is an aperture-priority camera, so when I'm shooting it (for infrared only) I'm in AV mode. I shot that camera for years thinking I had an old manual camera. Not true!

    My newer, loaded-for-bear Pentax MZ stays in Manual mode, all the time. I love the control. It's no bother once you're used to it, and I enjoy being forced to think my shots through. :)
     
  6. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    I use manual, aperture priority or shutter priority, depending on what I'm shooting. When I have time to adjust everything and get exactly what I want, or when I'm using a flash, I'm in Manual mode.

    If I'm in a hurry, then I use either Aperture- or shutter-priority, depending on which I want to control.
     
  7. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    I use aperture priority most of the time. Manual settings all other times with my 10D. Any other camera I use - manual setting.
     
  8. Soulreaver

    Soulreaver TPF Noob!

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    Lol, having to use manual makes things slower.I like most to shoot candids or freeze action, and by the time I finish setting not only my subject is aware, might be glaring too :p Or I might have to run ahead and recompose the shot.
    Also I got into my head to use the central spot meter in my camera, so sometimes I have to take 2 readings and average them, which takes longer still.
    But we live and we learn.

    I read once , dont remember if it was here, that a photographer called Gary Winogrand would walk a street taking photos all the time, apparently only fiddling with the camera.Perhaps someday...
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    But eventually all of these concepts that take too much of your time become instinct, and the actions are second nature. I've been using an old medium format folder (the cam in my avatar) for my carry around, point-n-shoot type camera for the last year and a half or so. It has no meter so I the minute I leave the house I begin evaluating the light using Sunny 16 as a rough guide. It has no focus indicator, so I use my knowledge of DOF and hyper-focusing to set focus where I'm most likely to need it. I've learned to anticipate the potential photograph, and make any adjustments for changes in lighting, subject distance, etc... on the fly.

    I picked up my auto-focus 35mm SLR for the first time in about a year to shoot at a B-day party, and found it unbearably slow! I had to switch back to my antique camera :D
     
  10. Soulreaver

    Soulreaver TPF Noob!

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    Mmm, that will be the day, when I can do it without having to think.
    But I cant help wondering if my camera wouldnt do a better job than me, especially when I blew a pic.
    It has a matrix of 10 sections and over 100K combinations of lighting conditions.I am aware it overexposes blacks and underexposes whites, but on average it might do a better job, i dont know.Faster for sure at the moment.
    But , alas, wont get better if I rely on automatic :wink:

    PS - MF must really be something.I saw an old yashica bi reflex for 80 dollars ( converted from local currency) , and tought it would look good on me 8) . A girl in our course has one, image looked quite good.
    It's 120mm, I think.Is that MF too?
     
  11. malachite

    malachite Heavily Medicated For Your Protection

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    Learn to do everything manually. It takes as much, if not more brain power to figure out which auto setting to use given a certain circumstance or personal preference. +1EV, -2EV, Priority this, Priority that. 10 segment this, 5 segment that, 21 Zone this with AE lock. Where'd the FUN button go? Can't I just get mirror lock-up with my one thousand and one gizmo camera? And what's wrong with AA batteries?


    Where's that damn Polaroid?........................


    [/tantrum]
     

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indicate one circumstance when it would be better to choose the manual flash mode over either the automatic or dedicated