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06-03-2011, 08:49 PM   #1
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shooting the distance

i recently bought a k5 and a 43mm f1.9 limited lens. this is my very first dslr, and i must say that i am very much enjoying it! using the k5 + 43mm combo has helped me take pictures that i am very happy with. however, i admit that these pictures that have turned out to be real keepers for me, are the ones i've taken at a close distance. for example, taking a shot of a flower or some random object i can get close to.

this leads me to my question. i am wondering if anyone has advice for capturing photos at more of a distance with this lens on the k5. from what i understand, the focal length of the lens gives you a perspective on what your taking a picture of. so i figure i should be able to take some snazzy shots of objects which are more distant, just as i can with those that are close. i think i just need to learn the right technique given the 43mm point of view.

i've attached some photos below of shots that i am not overly happy with. i feel like they are missing "something". heh, sorry i am having trouble being more specific here, but i am more looking for your opinions, and perhaps any tips you are willing to share to help me in this distance-shooting-improving endeavor. however, if i had to quantify why i am perhaps not as happy with these types of shots, i would maybe say that they lack focus/sharpness?

thanks in advance!

323.jpg => f/22, iso800, 1/100sec
362.jpg => f/10, iso80, 1/3sec
418.jpg => f/8, iso100, 1/3sec

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06-03-2011, 11:21 PM   #2
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You may consider in the future to post your shots at "Post your photo":
Post your photos! -

You will get some specific feedback and can be very helpful.
06-04-2011, 12:43 AM   #3
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Distant subject will of course remain small in your images with the 43 ltd. This lens is good for capturing a closer subject with a distant background, for good subject isolation. But for getting detail of a distant subject, you will have to consider getting a telephoto lens, the focal range of which will be determined by how far away you want to shoot from. Alternatively it's even better if you get closer to your intended subject. Not sure if this helps, but I hope it does somewhat.
06-04-2011, 01:20 AM   #4
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Regardless of the distance, good composition of the subject in the frame is important. In your first two shots there is no ground to anchor the trees, and the branches themselves are not much of an interest.

In the cloud shot, which seems to already have been cropped, the expanse of dark sky above takes away from the pink clouds. Cropping more off the top will give a better balance.

06-04-2011, 01:52 AM   #5
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Eric, for sure you have some great gear to work with!
But if you "miss something" in your shots I suggest that at first you should ask yourself what you wanted to express with the shot your are not satisfied with. In many cases you will probably find that composition is the area which leaves most room for improvement. There are lots of good articles and books available to cover this area. I still love the old books by Andreas Feininger.

Also typically a selection of low ISO and long shutter speed will only work when you use a tripod and only for a really steady subject (unless you want motion blur for what you want to express).

And by the way: welcome to the forum!
06-04-2011, 02:06 AM   #6
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The FA43 is a superb lens - nothing wrong with its ability to capture distant scenes. I've often used it to capture scenery.

The first photo was shot at f/22. At such small apertures, you will have a lot of diffraction effects, regardless of how good the lens is optically. Fine detail, especially, will be lost.

The last two were shot at 1/3 secs. Were these taken from a tripod or handheld ? I think you could get a reasonably steady shot handheld down to 1/5 secs on a 43mm lens , but 1/3 secs is really pushing the limits - I'm not surprised the photos didn't turn out as intended.
06-04-2011, 03:41 AM   #7
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The problems that stand out most for those photos are the exposure settings, as kittykat46 mentioned. f/22 is too small, and 1/3s is far too slow. Both will dramatically decrease the sharpness of the photos, especially the slow shutter speed. If you're going to handhold the camera, try to keep the shutter speed at least around 1/f (where f is the focal length) or faster. So for the 43, try to keep the shutter speed at least 1/50s. SR will help if you want to go a bit slower, but it has limitations, and it's best not to rely on it unless really necessary. f/5.6 or f/8 are generally good apertures for long distance/infinity shots.

In terms of composition, for these types of photos consider perspective. Without any kind of reference, the trees look kind of flat and floating in space. Having the ground in the frame can help the viewer get a sense of depth and orientation. Also, in the second photo, I assume this is on a tree lined path. Looking down the path gives an interesting "subject" to draw the viewer's attention and establish perspective, rather than just random stuff scattered about the frame.

If you're just starting out, I would not worry too much about fiddling with the exposure settings. The camera has a whole host of automatic shooting modes to help out with that. It's more important to get an eye for composition first. I recommend you start off using P mode, P-line set to "Normal", auto ISO 80-3200 (or 6400 if you don't mind some noise). This will give you reasonable settings for most situations, and allow you to concentrate on getting interesting photos without getting bogged down in exposure settings. And if you want to experiment with some of the settings, the K-5 makes it easy with hyper-program; just remember to reset auto ISO with the green button if you change that, as it won't revert by itself, and that can really mess with your settings (as I know all too well).

Last edited by Cannikin; 06-04-2011 at 05:31 AM.
06-04-2011, 04:27 AM   #8
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dear k5erazzi,

thanks for the great replies, and thanks for the heads up on the photo-board!

i will surely test out the suggestions that you all have posted, and yes, i should have realized about the shutter, i think the 1/f is actually mentioned somewhere in the manual if i recall correctly as for the f/22, i was more or less experimenting to see if i could get a feel for the different apertures. but no i did not use a tripod for any shots.

and it's true that getting closer to my subject gives me results i really like. here i am sort of playing with trying to capture "in the large". so maybe having all the detail won't happen, but my goal is to understand how the k5+43mm best achieves this

undoubtedly i have a lot to learn in terms of composition, thanks for mention of Feininger, i will have to do some research!

Last edited by montreal.eric; 06-04-2011 at 08:17 AM. Reason: typo

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