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11-25-2012, 04:05 PM   #1
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New Pentax Owner

I decided to jump on the Black Friday deals as I've been looking into a DSLR with better lens (currently own a Sony NEX-5N):

Pentax K-5 ($749)
Pentax 50-135 Lens ($749)
Lightroom 4 ($80 PC Download)

I did a quick search on recommended K-5 settings, but was wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance.

11-25-2012, 04:09 PM   #2
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Well done on choosing this combination. You might need a wide-normal zoom to complement the 50-135.
There are no recommended settings, each scene requires its own to create the exposure and effect the photographer desires.
If you're not sure, flick to green mode, or if you want to shoot in RAW, then use P mode and enjoy your photographic journey.
11-25-2012, 04:13 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard! If you've never used a K-5 before, you may want to take a look at the walkthrough within our K-5 review:
Pentax K-5 Camera Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

Pentax's user interface is generally pretty intuitive, though (much more so than Canon or Nikon's), so I'm sure you'll be able to find your way around!

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11-25-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
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Not sure anyone can tell you how to set it up for you as everyone seems to customize it to fit their style of shooting. And you really need to run through the manual and spend some time learning the camera before making some of those decisions.

But here are a few things I have set on mine: (they may not work for you though) Also I shoot only RAW so I do not use any of the jpeg settings
  1. File format: RAW dng
  2. Color space: AdobeRGB
  3. RAW Format: DNG
  4. Instant review: 1 sec
  5. Button customization: RAW/Fx set to GPS so it doesn't do anything as it is too easy to hit when shooting portrait
  6. Button customization: AF Button: Enabled
  7. Button customization: Shutter button half press: OFF
  8. Copyright info: on
  9. Auto power off: 30 minutes
  10. EV steps: '2' (half stops)
  11. Sensitivity steps: '2' (same as EV stops)
  12. Expanded sensitivity: '2' (on)
  13. One push bracketing: '2' (on)
  14. Save menu location: '2' (on)
  15. Catch in focus: '2' (on)
  16. AF Fine adjustment: '2' (on)
  17. Using aperture ring: '2' (on)
Your question did make me think of all the things I have customized and what would happen if I had to do a factory reset. So thanks for spurring me to write all these down, just in case.


One word of caution: please don't just blindly jump in and set yours the same without really really understanding what those setting do. For example I have my camera set to AF using the AF button, not the shutter button. Not everyone will want to do that and if you set and don't understand what you did you will think the camera is no longer working properly.


I will say you just bought arguably the best APS-C camera out there and one of the most highly regarded lenses for it.

11-25-2012, 06:48 PM   #5
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All I'll say is to have fun, take lots of shots, and regard each one that is blown as a learning opportunity. The camera will do exactly what you tell it to do, with some rare exceptions.
11-25-2012, 08:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Color space: AdobeRGB
OP should only use this setting if s/he knows what they are doing.
Otherwise the next thread will be: 'why are my K-5 colours all wrong'.

Also welcome aboard. There are a few NEX and K-5 shooters around. The two systems can live and play together quite well.
11-28-2012, 10:57 AM   #7
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I, too, am new to Pentax. Just waiting for my K-5 to arrive. I'm thrilled about the many features that improves usability of a camera. The biggest thing I like about K-5 is the in-camera image stabilization with horizon correction. I hope this will eliminate the horizon correction step I do in post.
I sure hope FF comes out in 2013!
11-28-2012, 04:41 PM   #8
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Congrats on the new K-5, I just love using mine, one thing to remember when it comes to camera settings-dont worry about it just yet, basically read the manual and keep it with you at all times if possible, the individual settings on the camera will come to you in time and bit by bit.
When I first got my K-5 I too asked the same questions and so I basically left the camera in default and slowly made my changes here and there and not I have my camera pretty much where I want it, however there are a lot of buttons on it that I havent even dealed with and are still set to default, I imagine one day when I need those particular buttons, they will be there at the ready.

One thing I found helpful with this camera is the addition of the battery grip, you might want to look into getting one and giving one a try, they are probably one of the biggest and most useful additions to your camera.

12-03-2012, 07:37 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Not sure anyone can tell you how to set it up for you as everyone seems to customize it to fit their style of shooting. And you really need to run through the manual and spend some time learning the camera before making some of those decisions.

But here are a few things I have set on mine: (they may not work for you though) Also I shoot only RAW so I do not use any of the jpeg settings
  1. File format: RAW dng
  2. Color space: AdobeRGB
  3. RAW Format: DNG
  4. Instant review: 1 sec
  5. Button customization: RAW/Fx set to GPS so it doesn't do anything as it is too easy to hit when shooting portrait
  6. Button customization: AF Button: Enabled
  7. Button customization: Shutter button half press: OFF
  8. Copyright info: on
  9. Auto power off: 30 minutes
  10. EV steps: '2' (half stops)
  11. Sensitivity steps: '2' (same as EV stops)
  12. Expanded sensitivity: '2' (on)
  13. One push bracketing: '2' (on)
  14. Save menu location: '2' (on)
  15. Catch in focus: '2' (on)
  16. AF Fine adjustment: '2' (on)
  17. Using aperture ring: '2' (on)
Your question did make me think of all the things I have customized and what would happen if I had to do a factory reset. So thanks for spurring me to write all these down, just in case.


One word of caution: please don't just blindly jump in and set yours the same without really really understanding what those setting do. For example I have my camera set to AF using the AF button, not the shutter button. Not everyone will want to do that and if you set and don't understand what you did you will think the camera is no longer working properly.


I will say you just bought arguably the best APS-C camera out there and one of the most highly regarded lenses for it.
QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
OP should only use this setting if s/he knows what they are doing.
Otherwise the next thread will be: 'why are my K-5 colours all wrong'.

Also welcome aboard. There are a few NEX and K-5 shooters around. The two systems can live and play together quite well.
Why is the in camera color space important if you shoot only in raw? I thought it would only affect the jpeg preview in the camera, am I wrong?
I understand the issues if you are shooting jpegs, but I always shoot raw and really don't worry about the color space.
Can someone clarify this for me?
Thanks.
12-03-2012, 07:58 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by OK5 Quote
Can someone clarify this for me?
Shooting in AdobeRGB may be fine in RAW [but even then: is the benefit real?].

My main point was that all the printers, monitors, laptops, web browsers and flickrs in the world know sRGB, but don't always play well with Adobe RGB - ie the colours will look wrong if Adobe RGB is used.

So it can be a trap for the unwary to start their imaging workflow with Adobe RGB if they aren't aware of it's pitfalls when generating output JPGs for the world outside of their PC, where sRGB should generally be used.
12-03-2012, 10:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by OK5 Quote
Why is the in camera color space important if you shoot only in raw? I thought it would only affect the jpeg preview in the camera, am I wrong? I understand the issues if you are shooting jpegs, but I always shoot raw and really don't worry about the color space. Can someone clarify this for me?
I import into Lightroom using AdobeRBG because it has a little more room to work with within Lightroom. I don't think it makes any difference in the camera since I'm shooting RAW but since that is what I work with on the computer that's what I set the camera for.

When I export from Lightroom I do so in sRBG because as noted that plays nicer with the client's printers or screen or whatever.

I'm not an expert on this, just what I've found that seems to work for me. If anyone with better knowledge has a recommendation I would love to hear the best way to do this.
12-03-2012, 05:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Shooting in AdobeRGB may be fine in RAW [but even then: is the benefit real?]
Thank you rawr and jatrax for your responses.
Rawr, could you expound just a little about what benefit is real or only perceived?
Basically my methodology is quite similar to that of jatrax.

Thank you again.
12-03-2012, 08:49 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by OK5 Quote
Rawr, could you expound just a little about what benefit is real or only perceived?
LOL. The great debate...
'Don't ever use Adobe RGB'

'Adobe RGB is irrelevant for real photography. sRGB gives better (more consistent) results and the same, or brighter, colors.'
sRGB vs. Adobe RGB

etc etc
Working Space Comparison: sRGB vs. Adobe RGB 1998
The Great sRGB Versus Adobe RGB Debate - Photo Tips @ Earthbound Light

tl;dr - I don't use Adobe RGB, it seems too complicated and introduces workflow issues without adding much visible improvement to my colours.

I also shoot RAW+JPEG all the time, and I don't want Adobe RGB JPEGs floating around on my PC because I might use them on the web or in print somewhere, and then forget to convert them to sRGB, and so end up with mysteriously muddy colours.
12-04-2012, 05:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
LOL. The great debate...
'Don't ever use Adobe RGB'
sRGB vs AdobeRGB - YouTube

'Adobe RGB is irrelevant for real photography. sRGB gives better (more consistent) results and the same, or brighter, colors.'
sRGB vs. Adobe RGB

etc etc
Working Space Comparison: sRGB vs. Adobe RGB 1998
The Great sRGB Versus Adobe RGB Debate - Photo Tips @ Earthbound Light

tl;dr - I don't use Adobe RGB, it seems too complicated and introduces workflow issues without adding much visible improvement to my colours.

I also shoot RAW+JPEG all the time, and I don't want Adobe RGB JPEGs floating around on my PC because I might use them on the web or in print somewhere, and then forget to convert them to sRGB, and so end up with mysteriously muddy colours.
Thank you rawr.
Your help was greatly appreciated.
I believe I finally understand this color space conundrum.
12-12-2012, 09:34 PM   #15
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I must say after taking the Pentax K-5 out the first time this weekend, I was a little disappointed. My first shot turned out very blurry.

Today my 50-135 was not able to focus on an item 5 feet away. After changing a few of the AF settings, changing lens to MF back to AF. Turning it off/on a few times, some how it started focusing again. Whew. But this still doesn't sit we'll with me as I don't know if this focus thing will become a bigger issue later on.

My sony nex-5n was able to focus and take a better picture at lower ISO. The pentax while was on auto ISO was constantly at 3200+ and the exposure still looked very dark.
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