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05-12-2011, 06:17 AM   #1
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K-5 – the perfect lighting capturer – if only…

I have had my K-5 for almost 2 weeks now. It has been wonderful, and fun. Also got a 16-45 F4 lens, and a D FA 50mm macro to supplement my old lenses – a DA 18-55 AL II (to be sold) and a DA 55-300. I also ended up buying a 18-55mm WR from the marketplace as well. I read all the debate about it in terms of how “good” or “not” it is, but the idea of having one WR lens was attractive, plus I like the compactness and range of this lens for “casual” family photography. For $100 versus 4-5x that for an alternative sealed the deal.


Well – last night I had the perfect opportunity to take advantage of my latest lens (1 week newer than the other ;-)). My dog started acting restless around 3:30 am, and sure enough thundering and lighting started shortly after. Big time lighting and pouring rain. Every 30 seconds or so for several minutes. Dog is freaked out and I am twisting and turning…


I then have the “Wake Up Daddy” moment (if you know the game you can picture it!). K-5 + WR + Thunder & Lighting = photo opportunity. I rush out of bed, and my wife is asking what I am doing. I tell her I am going out the take pictures of lighting. She hasn’t said anything yet, but she already thinks I have gone crazy after I got my new camera – getting up at 5 am on weekends to take pictures, and now this?!? I can tell she is considering her options now…


Anyway - I ignore those ramifications and I rush downstairs to grab the camera, and the tripod, and find the IR remote. Then I grab a jacket and run outside. It is POURING. OK - well maybe not pouring, but it is raining, and I would never have brought my K-x out in this. BEAUTIFUL. Get the camera set up on the tripod, switches to MU+Remote mode, switches to B, and set the aperture to 8. Thinking I love the controls and how it easy it to operate all this even though I can’t see a darn thing other than the screen on the back.


Now standing back under the roof overhang, and presses the remote. Looks like the camera does something, as back LCD goes black for a few seconds, but then return. Big lighting. Hmm. Missed that one. Tries again. Same thing. Another big lighting, but no picture preview. Shoot – something is wrong. Ahh. Auto ISO! Quickly changes ISO to 200 (again marveling at the ease of control). Missed another lighting. Tries again. Nothing. What if press the shutter? Nope. Nothing. Maybe try manual instead? Switches to manual and set shutter to 4”. Presses the shutter. Nothing. Panic is slowly taking over… Tries the remote. Nothing. Switches to just MU. Nothing. Changes more settings. Still nothing. Checks the pictures – nope – all from earlier. Realizes that I am not seeing the frequent lighting any more. Sh….t… Damn fancy camera…


Calm down, I tell myself. Is it focus? Exposure mode? By now the lighting has clearly subsided, and I am WET, and no longer in the mood to take cool pictures of lighting with my weather proof fancy camera. I pack up, go inside, wipe down the camera (that is still cool, but then I am reminded I didn’t get a single exposure). Oh well. Heading back to bed.

Guess who is reading the manual this evening? I actually looked briefly at it this morning, but saw nothing under BULB or trouble shooting that would indicate what I did wrong. I am sure someone here will know exactly what I did wrong, and I will say OF COURSE – stupid me. I am guessing it has something to do with the Mirror Up mode – I can’t remember if I ever changed to regular drive mode.


Anyway – it WOULD have been the perfect showcase for my K-5

05-12-2011, 06:23 AM   #2
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Bulb will keep the shutter open AS LONG AS YOU PRESS IT. Impossible to do with the wireless remote. In your situation, you either need to get a wired shutter release with a lock (not WR) or simply close the aperture a lot, lower the ISO, use ND filters if you have any, and expose for something like 20-30 seconds.

Doing just that, and shooting through a window and mosquito screen, got me a lightning shot worthy of the PPG.

Good luck next time!
05-12-2011, 06:28 AM   #3
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I thought there was a bulb setting where one press of the remote opened the shutter and the second click shut it and finished the shot.
05-12-2011, 06:29 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Bulb will keep the shutter open AS LONG AS YOU PRESS IT. Impossible to do with the wireless remote. In your situation, you either need to get a wired shutter release with a lock (not WR) or simply close the aperture a lot, lower the ISO, use ND filters if you have any, and expose for something like 20-30 seconds.

Doing just that, and shooting through a window and mosquito screen, got me a lightning shot worthy of the PPG.

Good luck next time!

not sure about that...as Im I think I read somewhere that a Wireless remote will work with Bulb..as one press opens the shutter..and another press will close it..

Edit..

just seen Clinton's reply..LOL


op

if using MLU shooting mode it will still be in that shooting mode regardless of what program mode your in.

a common mistake when using MLU is to press the shutter button and not realize that all that is happening is the mirror is being raised..its not until the second shutter movement that the shutter is raised...and its at that point if using a remote..you need to keep the trigger locked down if using the Bulb program mode


Last edited by Tommot1965; 05-12-2011 at 06:37 AM.
05-12-2011, 06:30 AM   #5
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Lens cap?




Are you sure you got the timing correct? I've done few storms like that and out of a good 50 shots I was able to get only 5 timed correctly.

Also, maybe the NR was on and it takes longer for the camera to be ready. For instance, if you take a 30s exposure, it would take another 30s for the NR to do the magic (assuming it works like my K10D/Kx).
05-12-2011, 06:48 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Bulb will keep the shutter open AS LONG AS YOU PRESS IT. Impossible to do with the wireless remote.
Put the camera in bulb mode. Go to custom menu 19, make sure it's on Mode1: Push remote control release button once to start exposure and a second time to end. Set drive mode to remote control.

Then all you have to do is press the button on the wireless remote to start the exposure. The shutter stays open. Press the button on the wireless remote to end the exposure. DONE. And as someone who actually owns the K-5, I just tested it and yep, it works. Kind of blows the "impossible to do with the wireless remote" statement right out of the water.

As for what the OP is experiencing, how many times were you pressing the wireless remote? If you're in MLU mode, first press moves the mirror up, then the 2nd press starts the actual exposure. It probably isn't the issue, but it's a start.

^BBear above also makes some good points. Timing a shot to get lightning isn't all that easy, and at ISO 200, 4seconds, F8, all you might end up with are dark frames; although you did say "Checks the pictures – nope – all from earlier.", so that probably rules it out.

Last edited by pop4; 05-12-2011 at 07:01 AM.
05-12-2011, 07:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pop4 Quote
Put the camera in bulb mode. Go to custom menu 19, make sure it's on Mode1: Push remote control release button once to start exposure and a second time to end. Set drive mode to remote control. DONE.
Yes - you can use the remote with the double click, and that is how I was trying to use it. I don't have the camera here, but I am 99% certain that was how I set the camera up a week ago. Remember I also tried to use MU (no remote) with regular shutter. And yes. I pushed the shutter multiple times.

And no - I did not leave the lens cap on I was simply not able to get the camera to fire at all. I did not get a single exposure!

I am suddenly remembering that I had a similar problem a week trying to do macro photography, and the MU functionality did not work as expected, and I just moved on.

Like I said, I am sure I am doing something really stupid, but I don't think the comments so far is it...
05-12-2011, 07:17 AM   #8
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Why don't you just stop down enough that you have a 20 second exposure and shoot away. That usually works pretty well for me, if there is enough electricity in the air. Set iso to 100, aperture to f11 and hit the green button (in manual). Then, shoot away (probably manually focusing so that the camera doesn't have to deal with that either).

If you really want to capture lightning a lot, buy a lightning trigger.

05-12-2011, 07:20 AM   #9
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You'll get it next time......the Good News is that your K5 did not drown and did not require CPR!
Regards!
05-12-2011, 07:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Why don't you just stop down enough that you have a 20 second exposure and shoot away. That usually works pretty well for me, if there is enough electricity in the air. Set iso to 100, aperture to f11 and hit the green button (in manual). Then, shoot away (probably manually focusing so that the camera doesn't have to deal with that either).
Tried to get there. Tried Auto, tried Manual, tried AV. I think the problem is I never moved out of the Mirror Up mode. I am SURE i pressed the shutter multiple times, and should have gotten at least ONE exposure, but something locked the camera from exposing.

Will be figuring it out tonight, so I am not caught in bed again

Thunderstorms in the forecast for the next several days, so I am sure I will get another chance...
05-12-2011, 10:35 AM   #11
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Hmm....
If you were in Mirror Up mode, wouldnt pressing the remote once just kind of get the mirror up? and then the second press would take the picture. It would definitely defy the bulb mode, which uses the same 2 remote press function.

I would say test the camera bulb mode before you go out in the rain again .
05-12-2011, 11:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
Hmm....
If you were in Mirror Up mode, wouldnt pressing the remote once just kind of get the mirror up? and then the second press would take the picture. It would definitely defy the bulb mode, which uses the same 2 remote press function.

I would say test the camera bulb mode before you go out in the rain again .
Yes, just go in your basement and turn out the lights and try your settings. Should work fine....
05-12-2011, 11:38 AM   #13
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I got a pretty lightning shot around midnight about a month ago, shutter at 15s, aperture f4.5, iso 100 through a window. My approach was basically, open and pray that I'm pointed the right direction.
05-12-2011, 12:11 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Set iso to 100, aperture to f11 and hit the green button (in manual). Then, shoot away (probably manually focusing so that the camera doesn't have to deal with that either).
It CAN be done! Lightning storms are very rare around here, maybe once every year or two. So when I saw lightning activity right outside a convenient second-story window (yeah, my bedroom) in the middle of the night a couple of years ago, I ran to grab my camera, and set it up pretty much exactly as Rondec suggests: ISO 100, f/11, 30 seconds, with manual focus set to infinity.

I didn't have time to grab and set up a tripod, so I just set the camera on the cat condo in front of the window and activated the two-second timer to avoid shaking from pressing the shutter button.

These are with my K20D, Sigma 24-60, through double-pane window glass:



05-12-2011, 02:03 PM   #15
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I have done lighting before, and lots of fireworks, but always with a film camera. A digital camera will be SO much better. Keep firing w/o having to worry about cost of film (I was a poor student back then), plus the possibilty of immediately checking/adjusting the exposure for the surroundings and the sky.

IF only I can get my darn BULB setting working
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