Developing an Ear for Exposure

Pentax ME Super - Photo by Derrick Story

I have a Pentax ME Super that was gifted to me by a family member. (Who else would they give it to, right?) I really like the camera, and it works well except for the LED readout in the viewfinder. The situation is that I can set the aperture manually, but I never really know what the corresponding shutter speed is because the LEDs don't display properly.

Fortunately, over the years I've developed an ear for exposure. I have a good idea when the shutter speed is fast enough for handheld photography, and when it sounds a bit too long. When I get that longish flip-flap sound, I either open up the aperture or find my tripod.

This ability has served me well with older cameras. Not only has it saved me with the Pentax, but I also use this technique for vintage Canons and Minoltas that don't have shutter readouts in the viewfinder. There are times when I don't want to take my eye away from the scene to read the top dial.

I don't know if you've thought about this much. If you have, maybe add a comment to this post. Meanwhile, I'm going to go take some more shots with that Pentax...

-Derrick

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