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Contax Aria light meter problem

blumesan

Well-Known Member
I have just purchased a used Aria. The camera seems to be in near mint condition and everything works except:
I checked out the auto exposure settings in all modes, using a hand held light meter. Under a wide range of "normal" lighting conditions the camera's meter was right on. However in very low light (like in a dark room with the lens cap in place) the camera still shows a permissible exposure (f1.7 at 1.0 sec.) regardless of exposure or metering mode. Do I need to send the camera for repair?
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Call it a design flaw, but that's normal behavior. When low-light capability of the Aria meter is exceeded, no indication is given. Same story for the high-end RTSIII.
 

blumesan

Well-Known Member
Rico,
Thanks, I feel better now. The qestion remains: At what light level do I stop trusting the camera's meter? The obvious answer is carry a hand held meter. Any other suggestions?
 

rico

Well-Known Member
At ISO 100, center-weighted metering reaches EV 2, or 1sec @ f/2. This is lower than office or home lighting situations. If you can't see the subject well enough to focus - or bat guano is falling on your head - use the hand-held! Otherwise, the camera meter should serve.

If you don't have a manual, download it from the Kyocera web site.
 

blumesan

Well-Known Member
I did not get a manual with the camera, and I did download one from the Kyocera web site. Although it is better than nothing, I must say that this is the worst ex&le of technical writing and overall organization that I have ever encountered in any instruction manual.
 
O

ou1954

>Posted by M. R. Blume (Blumesan) on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 1:50 am: > >I did not get a manual with the camera, and I did download one from >the Kyocera web site. Although it is better than nothing, I must say >that this is the worst ex&le of technical writing and overall >organization that I have ever encountered in any instruction manual.

It's clear that you have never read the instruction manuals for computer systems or mother boards manufactured in Japan or China. They are a thing of beauty, that is in their way of not explaining things.

DAW
 

blumesan

Well-Known Member
Hi Don,
On the contrary, I have read several manuals for computer systems & motherboards made in Japan. The Aria manual ranks right up there wtih them.

I also received your response to my question about diopters (in another thread) and thanks for the reply. Since I am an MD I know more about presbyopia than I need to. What I lack is information about the optics of viewfinders. Are they designed for minimal accomodation in an individual with normal vision?

I am really impressed with this forum. Everyone seems eager to help and is very courteous.

Mike.
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
> I did not get a manual with the camera, and I did download one from > the Kyocera web site. Although it is better than nothing, I must say > that this is the worst ex&le of technical writing and overall > organization that I have ever encountered in any instruction manual.

My only complaint with the Contax manuals is they have different languages interdispersed...other than that, they are quite informative, and quite complete. Which operation/function are you not finding enough information in the manual about?

Regards,

Austin
 

wilsonlaidlaw

Well-Known Member
Austin,

Whereas I do agree that the manuals are quite complete, they would score pretty low on any scale of readability and logic of layout. I appreciate that to keep the downloads at reasonable size, they had to scan at pretty low resolution, but why not offer a high resolution scan in colour or even better get the original publishers file and distil it into Acrobat, which takes up much less space than a scanned file. It also annoys me that on cameras in the price range of Contax, they cannot be bothered to get a native tongue speaker to proof read their respective sections. When I was last at a camera club meeting in France, a Contax enthusiast, I met there, was also complaining about the multiple errors in the French language sections. If they wanted to see how they should do it - sorry to have to say this but just look at Leica manuals for best practice. For a start, the separate languages are in separate booklets, the photos accompanying the words are excellent, as are the explanations and layout. We can learn from competitors! Wilson
 

blumesan

Well-Known Member
Austin & others,
It is not that I was unable to extract needed information from the Aria manual. Fortunately I have enough experience, both photographic and scientific, to read between the lines and decipher what they were trying to say. I feel sorry for someone less knowledgable.
In addition there are some outright false statements as well as counterintuitive assertion:

On page 128 it states: "In manual exposure mode (M) exposure cannot be corrected using exposure compensation." Well just try it and see for yourself. Dial in the desired compensation and then just zero the meter.

On page 106 in the section "Precautions on Auto Exposure (Av, Tv, P)" It suggests adjusting the aperture if the overexposure/underexposure mark blinks. Obviously if you are in Tv or P mode the aperture has already been adjusted to its limit by the camera's program. So in fact these precautions only apply to aperture priority mode.

Well, that's a s&le. And Mr. Laidlaw is correct, they could have hired someone with better language skills to proof the text.

So much for my opinion. However I'm still mighty pleased with the camera.

Mike.
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
Hi Michael,

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't get from your original post that you meant technical inaccuracies. I agree, they should have proofed their manual for technical inaccuracies (and native language correctness), it simply isn't that hard to do.

Personally, I don't read the manuals to such a degree that I would have found the things you did (I have an Aria with manual)...I just look up specific things that I have in question...though, there are some things in some of these cameras that aren't obvious (at least to me, like the custom functions), and I do find my self finding new "features" (meaning both enhancements and limitations) every now and then for one of my Contax bodies by perusing the manuals...obviously, the more complex the camera, like the AX and G series, the more operation information there is.

If you find any other "inaccuracies" in the manual, I, for one, would like to hear about them. Perhaps emailing Kyocera with your findings would be the most beneficial.

Regards,

Austin
 
J

jerzy

Just for clarification:
"In manual exposure mode (M) exposure cannot be corrected using exposure compensation." Well just try it"
I have tried. I 've set in Manual mode time for 1 sec and aperture for max and fired the shutter with 0, -2 and +2 Ev compensation via dial. Nothing has changed, three times the same time and aperture. The diference is only in exposure info in the viewfinder, not in actual settings.

Regards,

Jerzy
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
Hi Jerzy,

> Just for clarification: > "In manual exposure mode (M) exposure cannot be corrected using > exposure compensation." Well just try it" > I have tried. I 've set in Manual mode time for 1 sec and aperture for > max and fired the shutter with 0, -2 and +2 Ev compensation via dial. > Nothing has changed, three times the same time and aperture. The > diference is only in exposure info in the viewfinder, not in actual > settings.

But, changing the info in the viewfinder means the exposure compensation is taken into consideration in the metering, and if you meter so the exposure is "correct" (zero'd out in the viewfinder), while the exposure compensation dial is set to, say, -1, you'll get a -1 exposure. So, to me, that means exposure compensation does in fact work in manual mode.

Regards,

Austin
 
C

cesco

>I can confirm what Austin said. Dailing in a exposition compensation the camera will behave exactly as you described. Try this: meter a scene in manual mode and change the aperture and shutter settings until the viewfinder shows correct exposure. Now dial in say -1 exposure compensation via compensation dial; the viewfinder will show a 1 stop overexposure which will be zero'd be changing accordingly the aperture or shutter setting. > Regards

Francesco M. Basso
 
W

wojo

I must be crazy to get into this thread, but have to add some more fuel to the fire.
In manual mode the exposure compensation doesn't change the exposure. Exposure meaning the amount of light reaching the film.
It does change the indicated exposure, that meaning what is shown in the viewfinder.

************** EXCEPT ****************
In manual mode the compensation will change the light provided by a flash with TTL capability.
****************************************

JW
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
> In manual mode the exposure compensation doesn't change the exposure. > Exposure meaning the amount of light reaching the film. > It does change the indicated exposure, that meaning what is shown in > the viewfinder.

Wouldn't stopping down, or opening up, or lowering/raising the shutter speed in order to center the meter, in response to usinging the exposure compensation dial, change the amount of light reaching the film, just like it does with used in any of the automatic mode?

Regards,

Austin
 
W

wojo

If I meant to change the shutter speed or the aperture to match the viewfinder I'd have said that.
I explicitly said "In manual mode the exposure compensation doesn't change the exposure. Exposure meaning the amount of light reaching the film"
JW
 
C

cesco

>"In manual mode the exposure compensation doesn't >change the exposure. Exposure meaning the amount of light reaching the >film". >

This is correct if you're saying that in manual mode the exposure compensation does not work automatically. You do have to accomodate manually the aperture or the shutter settings to achieve the compensation set on the dial. This because you are in manual mode. But dialing in an exposure compensation the camera via it's viewfinder displays the metering including the compensation. It can't do more than that. In manual mode it's up to you to change the settings, isn't it.

Regards

Francesco M. Basso
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
JW,

> If I meant to change the shutter speed or the aperture to match the > viewfinder I'd have said that. > I explicitly said "In manual mode the exposure compensation doesn't > change the exposure. Exposure meaning the amount of light reaching the > film"

I have no idea what the point is you are trying to make...perhaps I'm just dense, and don't get the subtle intricacy contained in your comment.

In manual mode only you are changing the amount of light by directly setting the aperture and shutter speed, so you are the only one who can effect a change on "the amount of light that reaches the film", and your decision is based on what information you have to adjust these settings. Most people typically do so, in manual mode, by adjusting the exposure to match what the meter indicates as the correct exposure...so in effect, at least to me, the exposure compensation DOES change the exposure, simply via my setting of it, based on the "adjusted" metering information. Exposure compensation changes the exposure in the exact same way changing the ISO setting does...it's all in the meter.

Both manual and automatic exposure are based on the exact same thing, compensation or not. When you are in an automatic mode, just like in manual mode...the display shows the actual shutter speed and aperture it's going to use.

How else would you want/expect compensation to work in manual mode?

Regards,

Austin
 

blumesan

Well-Known Member
Hi Guys,
Well I started this thing, so I may as well add my 2 cents: Manual mode is just what it says it is, and any exposure compensation must be performed manually, by adjusting shutter or aperture. The question then is: how do you perform this manual operation to obtain the amount of compensation you desire? The instruction book suggests that you adjust shutter/aperture while counting the little blips on the viewfinder exposure meter. I only meant to point out that there is an alternative method. Dial in the desired exposure compensation and then make your MANUAL adjustment to shutter/aperture until the viewfinder meter shows zero deviation. Anyhow it was a lively discussion. Thanks everyone for your input.
Mike.
 
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