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05-15-2011, 06:11 PM   #1
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Expanded Sensitivity

I've gotten comfortable enough with my K-5 that I have finally done an RTFM and am trying to sort out the significance of the 'expanded Sensitivity' mode (found as item 3 on the "C - Custom" menu.

The manual is totally unhelpful with respect the the use of the 'expanded Sensitivity' other than to warn you to expect more noise and to warn you of a special case
with respect to using low ISO's

My question is this: Assuming that I am going to take all of my photos
using an 'auto ISO range available in either mode---or at a fixed ISO available in either mode (say no lower than ISO 200 and no higher than ISO 12.8) does it make any difference whether the 'expanded mode' is enabled or not.

Stated another way: If I take a photo at say ISO 3200 with the expanded ISO mode 'enabled', will the result (or the camera behavior) be any different than
if I took the photo at ISO 3200 with the expanded ISO mode "disabled" --- (item 3 of the custom menu).??????

05-15-2011, 06:23 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
Stated another way: If I take a photo at say ISO 3200 with the expanded ISO mode 'enabled', will the result (or the camera behavior) be any different than
if I took the photo at ISO 3200 with the expanded ISO mode "disabled" --- (item 3 of the custom menu).??????
Expanded sensitivity opens up the range to allow for sensitivity from 80~51,200. The sensor is maximized for the available ISO range that is allowed when expanded is "disabled", enabling the expanded sensitivity allows you to go outside of the maximized range, being over or under.

To answer your question, no - meaning shooting @ 3200ISO will have the same effect if shooting with expanded enabled or disabled.





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05-15-2011, 07:54 PM   #3
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I was hoping that was the answer. Having grown into the photographic world where 'high speed film was ISO 160 I am still marveling at the ability to get photos routinely taken under conditions that 40years ago would have compelled push processing black and white, and even then if we pushed it past ISO 800 or so we were living pretty dangerously.
05-16-2011, 07:49 AM   #4
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The main advantage is having iso 80 at your choice. or when dynamic range expansion is on you can start at iso160.

05-18-2011, 12:33 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
The main advantage is having iso 80 at your choice. or when dynamic range expansion is on you can start at iso160.
This sort of illustrates how we are so different, and have so many different expectations of our equipment. While I've onlyl been pushing buttons on cameras for 45 years, I fully appreciate that many photographers have very real and legitimate reasons for wanting and using low ISO settings, I'm simply not one of those guys. When I started seriously taking photos in the 1960's my film of choice was Tri-x, not Panotomic-X. I"ve been a high ISO guy ever since.

When I need to slow things down, I'm more likely to grope for an N
D filter than I am to simply turn the ISO down. While I am sure it will horrify you (and demonstrate my ignorance), just as I used fast B/W film, HI speed Ektachrome, super speed Kodacolor, my K5 lives with settings that result in most photos being taken at ISO 3200.
05-18-2011, 04:17 AM   #6
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Well then, the K-5 seems to be the tool for you.
Though you may find better image quality (from improved dynamic range) if you just go against the grain and lower your ISO.
05-18-2011, 10:52 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
When I started seriously taking photos in the 1960's my film of choice was Tri-x, not Panotomic-X.
Panatomic-X? That grainy stuff! I was into Tech-Pan. ASA 16, if I remember. We landscape types can get obsessive.
05-18-2011, 11:24 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
I was hoping that was the answer. Having grown into the photographic world where 'high speed film was ISO 160 I am still marveling at the ability to get photos routinely taken under conditions that 40years ago would have compelled push processing black and white, and even then if we pushed it past ISO 800 or so we were living pretty dangerously.
i used to shoot for my old university here at Cal for the daily paper. i loved using kodak's ektapress 800. grainy, but high speed. this was in '99. years later i would use portra 800 to good success. nowdays with the K-5...i'm shooting at ISO 3200 at sporting events....and i'm just blown away. truly marvelous times. that being said.....might have to pick up some ektachrome E100G and run it thru my pz-1p one more time......

05-18-2011, 12:25 PM   #9
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It all depends on what you shoot. I am in studio with strobes most of the time and at ISO100 I sometimes have to turn the strobes down all the way to get the apertures I want. Back when I was doing weddings I was all about 400-800. For sports 3200 is a gem. What I love about this camera is that it shines no matter what ISO you need.
05-18-2011, 09:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Well then, the K-5 seems to be the tool for you.
Though you may find better image quality (from improved dynamic range) if you just go against the grain and lower your ISO.
understood though I have spent a lot of time doing close up / near macro work
on native plants (I have a whole herbarium of them at VanNatta Northwest Oregon Native Plant identification guide, and the ongoing issue of little flowers taken at very close range is trying to get enough depth of field I generally don't take the flowers to a studio (makeshift or otherwise) and there is often enough breeze that motion an be an issue, and depth of field is always an issue, both of which lead one to '
'buy some speed' at the ISO store.
05-19-2011, 02:27 AM   #11
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You're right with that. In those situations, it's better to try and control the conditions a little more, such as set up wind barriers around the subject, add flash or set up a tripod for longer exposure. High ISO does help, however there's a significant difference in image quality between ISO 100-400 and ISO 3200+.
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