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08-29-2012, 01:23 PM - 1 Like   #1
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HDR Panorama with K-5 - must use manual lens

To take properly shot HDR panoramas using the Pentax K-5 you need to use old manual lenses. If you use lenses with automatic aperture and exposure time capability using bracketed drive mode will vary both the aperture and exposure time in Manual Mode. Proper HDR technique requires constant aperture and the same exposure times throughout the shooting sequence. If you elect to use Aperture mode than the base exposure will be reset every time you aim your camera at a different location. The only way to use the bracketed drive mode, with a constant aperture and take the same time exposures as you reposition the K-5 is to use an old manual lens.

My hope is that Pentax improves the bracketed shot drive mode in the replacement for the K-5 so that the newer automatic lenses, probably with better resolution and color reproduction that some of the older manual lenses, can be used for HDR Panorama Photography.

08-29-2012, 02:01 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
To take properly shot HDR panoramas using the Pentax K-5 you need to use old manual lenses. If you use lenses with automatic aperture and exposure time capability using bracketed drive mode will vary both the aperture and exposure time in Manual Mode.
This is incorrect. You can set the K-5 to only vary the shutter speed by selecting "Tv Shift" for the Green Button fuction (Rec mode menu, under "e-dial programming".) By default it's set to program line.
08-29-2012, 02:14 PM   #3
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Hey Karl - thanks for the correction. I think I found the section in the manual - page 284 but I just cannot figure out how I set this up. Say I want to set the aperture at f8 and set an exposure time to use for all HDR sequences. Could you help me understand how to use the green button function so that when I set the drive mode to bracketing with 5 exposures the only change through the bracketing sequence is time, with aperture remaining constant. Pentax support said I needed to use a lens with an aperture ring which means the old lenses or the three limited lenses still offered by Pentax. Thanks again for your help.
08-29-2012, 02:19 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
Hey Karl - thanks for the correction. I think I found the section in the manual - page 284 but I just cannot figure out how I set this up. Say I want to set the aperture at f8 and set an exposure time to use for all HDR sequences. Could you help me understand how to use the green button function so that when I set the drive mode to bracketing with 5 exposures the only change through the bracketing sequence is time, with aperture remaining constant. Pentax support said I needed to use a lens with an aperture ring which means the old lenses or the three limited lenses still offered by Pentax. Thanks again for your help.
Put your camera in Av and set your aperature, then you are set I don't know why you would want to use the green button for this?

08-29-2012, 02:26 PM   #5
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In Av mode the camera will change exposure time as you move the camera in pitch and yaw to make a panorama photograph. A spherical HDR Panorama requires that the aperture and exposure times both remain the same for each 5 shot bracketed sequence. I think if I used Av I would have to use exposure compensation to get the same baseline exposure time for the 5 bracketed shots. In the case of a 35mm lens on the K-5 this is around 250-300 5 shot bracketed exposures (1200 to 1500 shots) and doing this adjustment would be cumbersome.
08-29-2012, 03:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
In Av mode the camera will change exposure time as you move the camera in pitch and yaw to make a panorama photograph. A spherical HDR Panorama requires that the aperture and exposure times both remain the same for each 5 shot bracketed sequence. I think if I used Av I would have to use exposure compensation to get the same baseline exposure time for the 5 bracketed shots. In the case of a 35mm lens on the K-5 this is around 250-300 5 shot bracketed exposures (1200 to 1500 shots) and doing this adjustment would be cumbersome.
I think there may be a difference in terms being used...I was assumming you were "bracketing exposure", meaning that you meter your scene, and the camera automatically varies either aperture or shutter speed (or both?) in order to get -2 EV, -1 EV, 0, +1 EV, +2 EV.
08-29-2012, 04:07 PM   #7
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The problem is that camera can not meter the whole panorama scene, just the one in the viewfinder. The 0 EV shot of the shadows and the bright lights would be different. What you would like is for example f:8 s:125 / f:8 s:250 / f:8 s:500 etc. for all the shots regardless of the scene.
08-29-2012, 07:36 PM - 3 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
Hey Karl - thanks for the correction. I think I found the section in the manual - page 284 but I just cannot figure out how I set this up.
No problem, glad to be of help. The manual isn't terribly helpful with this. It's an undocumented feature, so (while disappointing) it's not surprising that Pentax support didn't know about it.

What's probably confusing you is the mention of the green button - you don't actually use the green button, but the setting for the green button affects what the camera does when you're bracketing in M.

So the sequence is simple:
1. Make sure "green button" is set to "Tv Shift" (Camera menu 5 -> E-dial programming 2 -> M)
2. Set camera to mode to "M"
3. Select aperture f/8, and shutter speed of (eg.) 1/250 (or whatever you want for your scene.)
4. Set drive mode to bracketing
5. Take your bracketed set.
6. Recompose for the next set
7. Repeat steps 5-6 until you've got your pano sets.

That's it. The camera will keep the aperture the same for all bracketed shots, varying only the shutter speed. Don't press the green button between sets, or it will change the shutter speed (but you can reset it back to your preferred value as normal.)

08-30-2012, 04:40 AM   #9
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Karl - Thank you very much for this information. This will let me use my DA* 16-50 lens. I've been pulling my hair out trying to figure this out. I corresponded with Pentax support and they did not know how to do this and said I need a manual lens with an aperture ring. This forum with the help of experienced people like you is a great benefit. Thanks again.
08-30-2012, 12:43 PM   #10
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You're very welcome.. I hope you'll post some of your panoramas to the forums so we can all see them.
10-09-2012, 04:01 PM   #11
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If its anything like the k-7 it shouldn't shift aperture until it absolutely has to. Ie: a 30 second exposure isn't long enough for the ev value it needs. I find this forces me to manually bracket night panos if hdr is a consideration. I just got the k-5. I will have to test this out.
10-10-2012, 04:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by zosxavius Quote
If its anything like the k-7 it shouldn't shift aperture until it absolutely has to. Ie: a 30 second exposure isn't long enough for the ev value it needs.
You are mistaken. By default, the K7 will use the program line for bracketing in M, and thus vary both shutter and aperture for all exposures in the bracketed set - I know this because it's the absolute first thing I checked when I bought my K7. The Green Button function can be changed on the K7 from Custom Setting 4 menu, but I don't know whether this will affect bracketing exposures.

I have never seen a Pentax camera that operated the way you describe. Every Pentax I've used will vary both shutter and aperture for bracketed images by default. Although some (like the K5 and Km) can be configured to vary only one or the other, I have never seen any setting to tell the camera to vary only shutter or aperture unless it can't achieve the necessary EV.
10-10-2012, 06:26 PM   #13
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Ohhhhhh.....that's why it shifted sometimes! Duh. I never could figure why it would shift aperture in Av mode. Seemed kind of counter intuitive. You can change the shift on the k-7 too? Thanks I will have to check that out. And here I thought I learned nearly everything about that body! Lol. Thanks. I am wrong sometimes. It just rarely shifted aperture. I never did think of a way around that until now. Much testing will commence soon.
10-10-2012, 06:28 PM   #14
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I found bracketing night panoramas very hard and required manual bracketing. No mistakes! Lol. This will help tremendously if it works as advertised down to 30s.
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