Thanks for the explanation Ken. I can see why you opt for manual (with the live viewfinder) and will give your approach a try next time I take out my Minolta A2.
Yes, with my Minolta A2 (a prosumer) I always have to set exposure compensation to -0.7 or even -1 stop when doing extreme close-up.
Although I've not tried manual yet, I really love the immediate feedback available thru the electronic, live-viewfinder. I use it to determine exposure before pressing the shutter release and to check the result immediately after taking the shot (the live viewfinder is MUCH clearer in the field than any LCD).
I generally set the camera to Aperture Priority and use visual confirmation of associated shutter speed in the viewfinder to make sure I can hand-hold ok. The live viewfinder is the feature I miss most of all when using my new Nikon D80.