I have a Nikon D3200. I am experimenting with manual focusing on my kit lens. One thing I noticed was that when I am in manual focusing mode I don't see the exposure meter in the viewfinder. This creates problems in understanding the required exposure while shooting in less time. How can we deal with this problem?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Really? They are unrelated things, you should be able to see what you are focusing on and the EC indicator. Are you sure you did not also turn the camera into Manual exposure too? \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Jan 24, 2017 at 21:51

2 Answers 2


Nikon D3200, being an entry-level camera, doesn't meter with manual focus lenses that don't have CPU contacts in them, so you can use it only in manual exposure mode.

To deal with this limitation you can:

  • Use a dedicated external light meter, a light meter app for a smartphone, or meter the exposure using another camera
  • Use "Sunny 16" rule
  • Guess the exposure
  • Make test shots and correct the exposure using preview and histogram on the camera screen as a guide
  • Get a higher level camera body that supports metering with non-CPU lenses

I suppose your are shooting in both manual exposure mode AND manual focus. In this case, the telemeter replaces the lightmeter in the viewfinder and will not show on the info display.

You have 3 options :

  1. Use Aperture (A) or Shutter speed (S) priority exposure mode instead of Manual (M). This way you won't need the lightmeter.
  2. Switch to autofocus to read the lightmeter, set the manual exposure, then switch back to manual focus,
  3. Use a hand-held lightmeter (Sekonic or Minolta)


Keep in mind that the Nikon D3200 is an entry-level camera designed to work only with modern motorized focus lenses (AF-S G series). Its support of previous lenses (AF-S D and older) is not the standing point of this marketing range. Solutions to your issue with manual lenses will always be workarounds and tweaks unless you switch to a "prosumer" camera body, with more options and control.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't the Info display also show the exposure meter? \$\endgroup\$
    – WayneF
    Jan 24, 2017 at 22:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "...while shooting in less time." Taking one's eye away from the viewfinder to check an info display often results in missing the shot in a dynamic (as opposed to static) situation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jan 25, 2017 at 4:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ The lens I am using is not having AF. I don't have a lightmeter as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – tushar
    Jan 25, 2017 at 10:16

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