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02-23-2009, 01:09 AM   #16
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I'd rather be shooting through an FA35 at 2.0 or an FA50 at 2.0 than the DA40 at 2.8 in low light...but those are just my choices. Also, I'd try sticking to Auto 100-400 and go from there, unless there is a lot of movement...if no movement, I would stick to iso 100 and use a tripod..

I guess it all depends on more factors other than "low light, interior" to help you in your preferences of settings, but I stick by my lens choices for no matter the conditions.

Jason

02-23-2009, 12:38 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Is it possible you simply missed focus? If you're using AF, there is no way to be absolutely sure the camera is focusing on the eye (not even by selecting a focus point - they are too broad for that level of precision).
Thanks for your reply! Turned out I'm noob... after close inspection of the pictures taken, I think you are right about misfocus. All the "bad" pictures were taken under tungsten light while the "good" pictures mostly under other (fluorescent or natural sun) light. Looks like the AF system could not always find 100% focus on her skin under tungsten light - still might be due to user error of course.

QuoteQuote:
Right. You'd be *way* better off using ISO 1600 to get a faster shutter speed.
I don't like the noise at ISO 1600 and in some cases even at ISO 1000. Yes, unfortunately I seem to be one of those pixel peep freaks who wants perfect result in 100% view on the monitor. Shooting raw and postprocess is also want I don't want to do, using pc at work for 10-12 hours is more than enough for me, don't want to waste any of my precious free time on the computer, rather spend it with my family.

QuoteQuote:
But if you're in situations wher flash is OK, and you don't mind using it, by all means, solve the problem that way instead.
Bouncing off the ceiling seemed to work fine with Nikon D70 + SB800, gave me enough shutter speed to freeze any movement and the pictures looked better overall. So I'm still thinking whether to buy a Metz 48 flash or a faster 2.8 lens (DA 40 or Sigma 18-50) for 2x price of the flash. But I don't want to derail this topic, so I'll post my own about it in the beginners section later
Thanks for your help again!
02-23-2009, 12:52 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by simico Quote
Thanks for your reply! Turned out I'm noob... after close inspection of the pictures taken, I think you are right about misfocus. All the "bad" pictures were taken under tungsten light while the "good" pictures mostly under other (fluorescent or natural sun) light. Looks like the AF system could not always find 100% focus on her skin under tungsten light - still might be due to user error of course.
Hmmm... I've heard it said that DSLRs have difficulty focusing under yellow light such as tungsten. I mostly ignored that person based on their popularity around the net, but I've also noticed that many of MY Tungsten shots are OOF. Although it could also be subject movement from moment of focus capture to shutter close. Tungsten shots tend to be low-light compated to more natural light and therefore have slower shutter speeds.

- Andrew
02-23-2009, 03:05 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by simico Quote
I don't like the noise at ISO 1600 and in some cases even at ISO 1000. Yes, unfortunately I seem to be one of those pixel peep freaks who wants perfect result in 100% view on the monitor. Shooting raw and postprocess is also want I don't want to do, using pc at work for 10-12 hours is more than enough for me, don't want to waste any of my precious free time on the computer, rather spend it with my family.
OK, but then, couldn't you save precious time by not blowing up your pictures to 100% for no reason? :-)

Seriously, running a batch NR process take no time at all.

02-23-2009, 03:51 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
Marc, I know you posted some pics of ISO 1600 with the DA40 Ltd on the K200D (my current setup). Would you mind posting a few more? I find that when it's darker, there's a lot more noise... and am wondering if the loss in detail becomes really significant.
I'm confused - don't take this the wrong way, but if you have the same setup, what pictures do you want me to post that you couldn't take yourself? Don't get me wrong - I'm always happy to post pictures; I'm just trying to understand what kind of pictures I should be posting, to make what kind of point, etc.

I do agree that the worse the light, the worse the noise. Noise is always most visible in dark areas that you are trying to push in PP to "average" brightness. It's less visible in areas that were exposed more brightly in camera - toward the right side of the histogram.

If the scene has true light and shadow areas, and you're able to expose it so the light area is toward the right side of the histogram, then you'll see little noise in the light, and unless you try to bring up the shadow levels artificially, you won;t notice the noise there too much either. You can even apply a curve to push the shadows (and with them, the noise) down even further. I do this very often. Works great if the part of the subject you care subject has light on it and you don't need to see much detail in the shadows.

If the subject does *not* have light on it, though, it's all in shadow, and you'll naturally want to push the shadows brighter to see detail. And these are the situations where f/2.8 at ISO 1600 isn't bright enough to actually expose the shadows toward the side of the histogram without risking blur. So you end up underexposing and pushing in PP, and thus exacerbating the noise.

My sense is that these situations - where the subject has no direct light on it - also make for uninteresting photos even if I were able to make them noise free. So I figure noise is the least of my problems. I'll take the picture just to have it, but it;s hard to get too worried about the noise when the pciture is likely to be pretty flat even if I clean up the noise. I do have the free trial of Neat Image and have used it with considerable success to clean up this type of image. Sure, it loses detail, but the K200D has detail to spare, which is nice. I normally prefer not to mess with that, but I'm happy it works as well as it does.

Anyhow, here are some more miscellaneous samples that I don't think I've posted on this forum before. These are very dark scenes overall but have light areas within them. Normally, that's good news, but in these cases, the detail one might want to see is not in the light areas - it's in the shadows, where the noise lurks. I can live with the amount of shadow noise I see in these - and I think I did push the shadows *a little* to bring out detail (using curves and/or "Light EQ" in ACDSee Pro). Sure, if I pushed the shadows enough to really bring out the detail, noise would be pretty bad. But I think the shots work well enough as they are.

In this one (a self-portrait!), I wanted to be a silhouette, so no loss there. I probably could have pushed my face deeper into shadow and had less noise and been just as happy with the overall effect:


In this one, I could have ended up with less noise in the ceiling and shadow areas had I simply exposed higher - but then I'd have blown out all the interesting colored lights. In order to get any detail in the lights, I needed to underexpose the rest and push harder than I'd have preferred, but I still like the image well enough as is. Someone who was more noise-averse than I could run the original through Neat Image and clean this up a lot without lsoign any dtail that would be visible at this size (although it would be clear enough at 100%):


Again, light sources in the picture that I wanted to capture without blowing out too badly, which meant underexposing the rest of the scene and pushing the dark areas in PP. Luckily, the lights individually weren't *that* much brighter than the rest of the scene, so i didn't have to push too hard, meaning the noise is less of a sn issue than in the previous picture:
02-23-2009, 10:39 PM   #21
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QuoteQuote:
m confused - don't take this the wrong way, but if you have the same setup, what pictures do you want me to post that you couldn't take yourself? Don't get me wrong - I'm always happy to post pictures; I'm just trying to understand what kind of pictures I should be posting, to make what kind of point, etc
Oops! sorry, I had a weird moment there! Guess I just wanted to see how another person interprets and uses a similar setup, and the resulting pictures.
02-24-2009, 02:19 AM   #22
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Sorry Marc, but I kind of disagree with you.
I love DA40, and it's stunning lens, but tha last three pics you posted would be all unacceptable for me! I'd rather blow the higlhlights a bit, and then try to resurrect them as much as I can during PPing, then doing it the other way round. Then noise in all three pics from your last post is just too high, even at this size/compression. I could live with it in first pic after converting it to B&W but I'd reshoot the other two...
just my 2p
BR
02-24-2009, 12:31 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Sorry Marc, but I kind of disagree with you.
I love DA40, and it's stunning lens, but tha last three pics you posted would be all unacceptable for me! I'd rather blow the higlhlights a bit, and then try to resurrect them as much as I can during PPing, then doing it the other way round.
Well, like I said, we all have different tolerances for noise. I posted those as examples of the types of pictures in which noise is *most* problematic. I still prefer that type of picture from the results one gets by applying aggressive detail-smudging NR, or from the type of pictures that result from blowing highlights *if* the picture is supposed to be in part about the lights, but it's a personal/aesthetic judgment, to be sure.

In most of my shots that includes lights I'm more than happy to blow them out and recover what I can, but these struck me as wanting a different approach, and I'd do it the same way again. But I can totally see why others might choose differently. That's why photography is an art, not (just) a science - there is room for individual and subjective aesthetic judgment.

02-24-2009, 03:23 PM   #24
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I've got the 50/1.4, the 35/2.0, and the 40/2.8, and I find the 35 the sharpest and most useful.

That extra stop and 5mm difference in focal length make it a much more versatile lens for me than the 40. While I love the 40, and have found it extremely sharp and a joy to use, the extra stop with the 35 frequently makes the difference between ISO 1600 and 3200 (which is a pretty huge jump in noise).

The 35 at 2.0 is also quite forgiving in terms of DOF - remember that depth of field is also a function of focal length, so the lower focal length widens it a bit for you. While I botch shots all the time with the 50 at 1.4 or 2.0, I don't have nearly as much difficulty nailing focus with the 35@2.0.

All 3 lenses are a steal, and all 3 have specific strengths. The 35 just stands out to me as having that slightly more perfect combination.
02-24-2009, 04:21 PM   #25
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^^^^ I wasn't planning on posting in this thread, but as long as Eigengrau posted my feelings exactly, I figured I'd chime in to agree with him. The FA 35/2 is just a slam dunk--focal length, speed, sharpness, bokeh, lightness, etc. (it just lacks the "limited" cachet and build quality). The DA 40 is awesome, and so unique, that I love it also. The FA 50/1.4 is also great, but just doesn't do as much for me anymore as the other two. But it remains an excellent lens and a real bargain at $200.
11-23-2016, 11:02 PM   #26
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Sorry for dig this thread up again, I see the review of this Pentax DA40 ltd. and Sigma 30 1.4 Art in PF and think that two of them are really good but there're still some points that make me confused:
The Sigma has advantage of max aperture but it seems quite bad in AF speed. Is the focal length 40mm of Pentax suitable for shooting my infant daughter or it should be little shorter like the Sigma?
So who has experience with both lens can give me some advice. I really appreciate your help.
11-24-2016, 11:48 AM   #27
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Handheld, F 3.2, iso 3200, available light



Amazing lens.

Cheers,
Cameron
11-25-2016, 02:33 AM   #28
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Thanks Cambo. That shot is really really amazing, how did you de-noise that?
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