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Old Aug 26, 2015, 9:40 PM   #1
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Default Yashica FX3 Super 2000--

Question to my photography friends, ~my daughter is taking a b/w 35mm film class with traditional film SLR's (she has an OMD E-M10 but isn't an advanced shooter.) I found a rather mint Yashica FX3 Super with 50mm f1.9 lens and flash and purchased it. Everything appears nearly mint which is remarkable for a 30+ year old camera......
....my question is, when the lens is unmounted I can change the aperture via the aperture ring as it should be, but every time I mount the lens on the camera it opens to wide open and I cannot close down the aperture.......is this normal? If so- how does the internal light meter operate with the lens in the wide open position?
If I slightly dismount the lens but leave it on the camera I can adjust the aperture and it stays at the setting -which feels right to me but as stated earlier, if I try to lock the lens in place it again opens to full open- what do you guys think?
I should state that when the shutter is depressed the lens does in-fact stop down to whatever aperture I've set the lens to but how does one meter for correct exposure if the lens stays wide open?
Thanks guys- really lost on this old film camera!
Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
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Old Aug 26, 2015, 10:13 PM   #2
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I can't be 100% certain, but I believe that this is correct for the camera. The metering circuit is calibrated to read at fully open aperture. This allows maximum light for you to be able to see the image in the viewfinder. There may be a button or switch on the side of the lens mount which will let the lens stop down to the selected aperture, though, for checking depth of field.
Pretty normal operation for SLRs.

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Old Aug 27, 2015, 6:20 AM   #3
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I agree. The diaphragm closes with the operation of the aperture ring when the lens is not attached to the camera, but once it is attached to the camera, the setting of the aperture ring is used to set the exposure to be used once you press the shutter release button, but until that time the diaphragm remains fully open, providing the brightest possible view through the optical viewfinder.

You can check this quite simply by shooting and developing a roll of film, which isn't a bad idea under any set of circumstances. Use a variety of settings for aperture and shutter speed to make sure everything is working properly, before she tries to used it for class and maybe finds out that it won't do what she needs.
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Old Aug 27, 2015, 6:40 AM   #4
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... my daughter is taking a b/w 35mm film class with traditional film SLR's ...
In Heaven's name, why?

Does this school also offer creative writing classes in which students must submit papers prepared with manual typewriters?

Perhaps courses in Visual Communications in which students must use VCRs and vacuum tube televisions?

Graphic Design classes where the students must use drafting tables and T-squares?

Engineering classes in which the students must arrive at their answers using slide rules?

I freely admit to believing that the wheel needs to be re-invented every now and again, just to remind us where we came from and how we got here. But it's just an intellectual exercise and nothing that students should be graded on, let alone be a required course in a modern curriculum.
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Old Aug 27, 2015, 9:50 AM   #5
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There is an art to taking photos in B&W, and processing your own film. It is a bit out of date, though. Somewhat akin to asking people to learn how to ride a horse in a time of automobiles.
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Old Aug 27, 2015, 9:59 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies guys.
You guys are correct- I've found out this is called index metering and the camera does in fact take into account the aperture changes despite the aperture not showing as being closed.....indexed metering this is called.

As for the film class- I agree it's old tech and really isn't applicable in todays world but the "art" of film developing is a different matter- and my daughter finds it interesting so hence her enrollment. I'm hoping the teacher goes into composition and techniques but unsure if that will be covered.

Thanks again for the replies- all much appreciated.

Cheers
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Old Aug 27, 2015, 1:37 PM   #7
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The tech may be old, but if she approaches the class with the right attitude, she will learn to slow down and pay more attention to composition and exposure - since you have to wait for the results, getting it right the first time is immeasurably more important.
Good luck to her.
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Old Aug 27, 2015, 2:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
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There is an art to taking photos in B&W ...
True, but there's nothing about it that you can't do with a digital camera. ... better!

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... and processing your own film.
No. There's no art to processing film. That's why machines do it.

If you're talking about having another crack at composition or exposure, sure. But it's still easier and more precise to do it on a computer than with an enlarger and 'dodge and burn'.

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It is a bit out of date, though. Somewhat akin to asking people to learn how to ride a horse in a time of automobiles.
For the most part, those horses are pets.

It's more akin to asking an engineer to use a slide rule. ... if they remember how. ... or if they ever learned in the first place. ... and if they can find a complete, working slide rule on eBay.
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Old Aug 27, 2015, 4:13 PM   #9
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Sure, machines process film and create prints from it. They don't do it as well as someone who is interested in the process and in making the best print possible. Machines make furniture as well, but people seem to prefer, and are willing to pay a premium for that which is hand crafted. Machines make ammunition, but can't tune it to an individual rifle or pistol for maximum accuracy.
IMO, teaching an engineer to use a slide rule is still a good idea, because it requires keeping track at least of the orders of magnitude of the results, and prevents some of the impossible solutions to problems which I have seen from some who unthinkingly key in wrong information and blindly believe the results. This doesn't mean I think photography should still be all wet process, or that engineers shouldn't use calculators and CAD programs.
(BTW, I still own a working slide rule, and even get it out to use occasionally)
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Old Aug 27, 2015, 7:35 PM   #10
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I believe both my slide rules were in the attic of the house my mother sold 25 years ago.

Speaking of out-of-date technology, I tried to find a vernier caliper on eBay a few years ago.

Zip. Goose egg. Nada.

There were lots of "digital vernier calipers" to be had, though.
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