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11-10-2011, 10:26 PM   #1
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Getting started with the K-5

Please excuse my somewhat stupid question.

How should I get started with my just acquired K5/Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 ?

I understand how images are made and measuring incident and reflective lighting but the K5 manual is loaded with histogram and white balance jargon/menus etc of which I am clueless but desire to learn.

My photographic hobby background:

Years ago my Grandpa gave me 2 cameras and 3 books which I have enjoyed.
A Pentax K2 DMD 1.4/50 and a Leica M3with an Elmar 3.5/35 and Summicron 2/50
The Camera, the Negative and the Print (dog ear'd)

My interests are in landscapes and candid portraiture. My passion is with image quality. I have a darkroom.

Thank you for all advice

11-10-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
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The simplest:
Charge the battery.
Insert ful charged battery and SD card in the camera.
put the lens on the camera body
Put the dial mode to Green - the Green mod is the simplest
Then shoot...

Lately, DO read the instruction Manual.

Hope the comment will help...
11-10-2011, 10:34 PM   #3
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Skim the manual to see the find the major sections. Read the basics of use.

Go use your camera for a few days in different modes Av, Tv and P. Try M if you want. Shoot close and far, large and small aperture.

Review sections of manual that pertain to the questions you have about camera operation. Perhaps change some custom settings. After using the camera few times it will start to make more sense.

Ask specific questions about anything on the forum.
11-10-2011, 11:47 PM   #4
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Take off the DA prime and start shooting with your old 1.4 - 50 in M mode.

Use it like the K2 DMD until you are comfy with the K5, then try that DA prime in Av and spot focus.
Buy Adobe Lightroom, study and enjoy.

11-11-2011, 12:16 AM   #5
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If you can shoot manually with a film camera, then you will get the hang of the k-5 quickly, as the basics are the same. Start in green mode, and then once you've gotten it to take a picture or two, experiment with P Tv Av and M!
11-11-2011, 04:37 PM   #6
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Thanks Y'all have been doing as suggested and starting to explore the many "settings" choices/menus. So far M and a low ISO is giving me what I want.

I am having a HELL of a time discerning the focus point to lock with the K-5 prism screen ..

Is there a better screen, split-screen/microprism, I can buy or have installed?
but I am open and can try to learn a high-tech focus method other than my eye.
11-11-2011, 06:41 PM   #7
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Look for a thread about Canon ee-S.

11-11-2011, 07:26 PM   #8
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My suggestions for getting started are............
play with your new camera
come here to read and ask questions
11-11-2011, 10:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bri92262 Quote
I am having a HELL of a time discerning the focus point to lock with the K-5 prism screen ..
What do you mean by 'discerning' the focus point (sorry, english is not my native language). If it implies that you can't see the focus point clearly, did you adjust the diopter of the viewfinder? See page 61 of the english manual.

For manual focus, there are replacement split prism screens like katzeye, and a third one whose name I forgot. Also see the earlier mentioned thread. They can make life a lot easier for manual focus but they might require calibration. The K5 is the first camera (I also have a K100D and a K10D) where I seem to be able to manual focus accurately without a split prism.
11-12-2011, 12:50 AM   #10
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I know that reading the K5's manual is not 'that' easy! A so to little, poorly printed and bound, hard to manipulate booklet is a real pain to read and that you are reluctant consult it.
This is a wrong economy by Pentax and is contra productive! Good tools only work the right way if they are handled the right way!
That's why I recommend you to look for the pdf version of the manual, it's on one of the DVD's in the box, and go to a descent copy centre and have it duplex printed on A4 formant and bound with those plastic rings system (it cost me only € 5).
So, you will have a nice and easy to manipulate 'book', to search in for the right information, and some large borders for notes, a real pleasure!
Anyway, do reed the manual...
11-12-2011, 11:29 PM   #11
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Thank you ALL for your time assisting me.. this forum is wonderful and so full of direct and indirect pointers for every issue.
  1. I can see buying a second body for my landscapes and nature hikes, it will have a custom focus screen for sure.
  2. The K-5 is perfect for the holiday season's needs, I find it an inexpensive alternative to a Leica M for 'walk, shoot and family'.
    I picked up a couple of class 10/32gb SD and have decided to avoid jpg format and fully comprehend Lightroom.
  3. I have exported the manual to Word and parsed for the essential pages then printed in punched paper to an indexed book.
think, dangerous, -- the K-5 is targeted to the AF, Zoom oriented. However it easily shifts by pushing a few buttons and twisting a lens mount.
11-13-2011, 04:25 AM   #12
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Unlike a Leica M, K5 autofocus indicator will light up or beep (i turn mine off) when in focus. Maintain the shutter release button half depressed even after recomposing till shutter released. With Leica, you only press the shutter release button when you are ready to take the picture, that is in focus. You will get use to autofocus quickly.

If you have used a Canikon before, you will find K5 so much easier to use..
Start shooting in Av or green mode and learn the rest as you play with it...


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