K-3 III How-to: Aperture Bracketing

How to use Aperture Bracketing with the K-3 III

By PF Staff in Articles and Tips on Jun 3, 2021

The K-3 Mark III is the second Pentax DSLR to offer aperture bracketing, the first one being the Pentax KP.

This feature is particular useful when shooting macro. It can be hard to evaluate whether or not you got the right depth of field by reviewing your images on the rear monitor when out in the field. A common technique to counter this is to shoot at several apertures and then select the frame with the right amount of depth of field when you get home to your computer monitor. We've always used that technique by painstakingly taking several shots at different apertures ("running the aperture").

With the K-3 Mark III you can automate this process and have the camera take three images at different apertures (but at the same exposure value) with one push of the shutter button.

Aperture bracketing is only available in Av and TAv mode; not in Hyper Program or any of the other exposure modes which do not allow for the camera to set the aperture.

Step 1: Set Av (or TAv) Exposure Mode

If you use Av exposure mode you'd also want to set the ISO (or set it to ISO Auto) - the camera will set the shutter speed.
If you use TAv mode you have to set the desired shutter speed - the camera will set the ISO.

Step 2: Set Your Baseline Aperture With the Rear E-dial

We usually start out from F5.6 when shooting flowers close up.

Step 3: Set Aperture Bracketing Mode

  • Hit the Drive Mode button on the four way controller
  • Select the upper most of the two drive mode groups (marked "A" below) to get to the Drive selection screen

  • Select the Aperture Bracketing option (marked "C" below)
  • Using the rear e-dial select the desired EV steps between shots (see "D" below). A positive value means that the aperture range will go from your baseline aperture towards smaller apertures (e.g. 5.6 - 8 - 11 if you set the EV step to +1). A negative value makes the aperture range go the other way (e.g. 5.6 - 4 - 2.8).
  • Hit OK.

Note how the flower icons above the EV step value illustrate the effect you'll get, in this example bracketing towards increased DOF.

You can select menu items by touching the screen or by the traditional use of the four-way controller and OK button.

The INFO screen will serve as a reminder that you have engaged aperture bracketing ("E" above).

Step 4: Compose, Focus and Shoot

The camera will take three images in short succession.

You can combine Aperture Bracketing with self timer or remote control. These options are selected from the main drive mode screen (see item "B" in the first screen shot above).




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