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01-04-2013, 11:53 PM   #1
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K-5 in Use

After a long 3 years run with a K-x (please see Kx in Use ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page) )
I succumbed and bought a K-5 (original) over a K-30 which I had been aiming for - because the K-5 price had dropped substantially and was really only about $85 more than the low street price of the K-30.

I know the K-5 can be considered old news - but because of the encouragement over on the K-x thread when I announce that it was one of the last post there due to my acquisition of the K-5.

Thursday night (Jan/3) was my first use of the K-5 in earnest
at the regular jazz club where the conditions are so dark in places it was literally below both the metering and AF limits of the K-x.

So did my new K-5 fare better?

Yes, and a BIG NO.

Yes in that the K-5 felt faster and more confident in focusing - and was so much more refined and quieter in use - even when it hunted in focusing - it sounded quieter - don't ask me why -
because when the K-x hunts - I am acutely and embarrassingly aware of it, since the room is usually very quiet.

The AF assist light was a double edge sword - it can be annoying to see it when I was pretty sure I picked a spot which I knew the K-x probably could have focused on -
but it was also a life saver when it was too dark to focus on anything

I'll leave some suspense over the NO until later - with examples.

Thursday Jan/3 was exceptional even when I regard the gig to be exceptional in the first place - unbeknownst to me there was a jazz conference in town and literally an embarrassing abundance of players came to sit in -
I thought my head was going to explode - a new K-5 (still with the two humblest kit zooms) was both a joy to have, as well as causing some stress because it was still new and I had not figured out all of its characteristics/behavior or idiosyncrasies -
and it was one of those that caused me to say a NO to it being all better than the K-x.....

Anyway proof of the pudding, as they say:


























So why the big NO?

Well it comes down to the fact the venue is so dark in places, it is below both the metering and AF limits of almost any camera.

I found from usage the K-x actually seems to be able to focus and meter quite a bit below the spec'd limit -
I actually did a test to see where the lowest metering limits were on the K-x -
please see Post #132 (linked in the K-x thread).

Well without having done any similar testing on the K-5 -
I use it at the dark venue fully expecting the K-5 to perform as well, if not better than the K-x -
focusing it most certainly did - and I was very pleased -
but metering and exposure it did not -
well I'd better qualify that -



Original resized only EXIF attached:


Metering segment LVs:




Original resized only EXIF attached:


Metering segments LV:


Both these shots are pretty dark - so why did the EXIF show the K-5 took these at 1/15 and 1/13 @f/3.5, ISO5000?
when on the K-x it probably would have been 1/5 to 1/4?

The K-x appeared to be able to meter and expose down to 1/4 sec -
whereas the K-5 once it reaches the spec'd metering limit it sets that exposure - in this case 1/13 sec for -1/3 compensation or 1/15 -2/3 compensation.
This may seem overly complex - basically @ ISO5000 f/3.5 and 0 compensation the exposure would have been 1/8 sec - which is still not quite as good as the K-x's 1/4 sec - a whole stop difference.

One can forgive this kind of behavior, since I am pushing the limits/boundaries on both cameras - but the K-x's out of limit behavior is much better than the K-5.

But there are too many other advantages to the K-5 for me to revert back to the K-x - I have already figured out how to mitigate this out of limits behavior on the K-5.

As I noted the slowest shutter speed/lowest meter limit actually reacts to the exposure compensation - I now know to dial in +1 to +2/3 stop compensation when I see the shutter speed 1/13 at my usual -1/3 comp - that would result in a better out of limits exposure..........

(note: I have done the metering with lens cap on, and can confirm that the slowest shutter speed on the K-5 @ISO5000, f/3.5 is 1/8 sec for 0 comp, or 1/13 for -1/3 comp)

I want to thank all the people who encouraged me in the K-x thread to start a similar K-5 thread - I hope what I found out was useful to others.


Last edited by UnknownVT; 01-05-2013 at 12:13 AM.
01-05-2013, 12:56 AM   #2
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The K-5 IIs addresses all of the issues you are speaking of. However, I realize it may be out of your budget. But if it's anywhere close to it, it might be easier than struggling the way you are right now.

Are these hand-held shots? I can't see any EXIF data, so I don't know what mode you're shooting in. But if you are shooting hand-held, I'm wondering how you can ever get clear shots at 1/4 or 1/5 sec? In my experience, SR is ineffective below 1/13 sec. on any Pentax DSLR but the IIs (and maybe the II - the IIs is good down to ~1/6s). The IIs also allows you to go 1/2 to 1 stop higher than the K-5 in ISO while getting the same amount of noise in the image. And of course the K-5 II/IIs AF works in lower light than any other DSLR on the market (I believe this includes FF too, but certainly includes all APS-C cameras).
01-05-2013, 12:36 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
The K-5 IIs addresses all of the issues you are speaking of. However, I realize it may be out of your budget. But if it's anywhere close to it, it might be easier than struggling the way you are right now.
Thank you for telling me that.

However not be an ingrate - how can the K-5II manage to set exposure when the light level is below the specified metering limit?
Pentax K-5II meter specs taken from page 316-7 of the manual -


K-5 (original) meter specs from page 358 of the manual:


Both cameras' lowest light level metering limit is 0LV, so the K-5II cannot meter any lower than the K-5 original.


QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Are these hand-held shots? I can't see any EXIF data, so I don't know what mode you're shooting in. But if you are shooting hand-held, I'm wondering how you can ever get clear shots at 1/4 or 1/5 sec? In my experience, SR is ineffective below 1/13 sec. on any Pentax DSLR but the IIs (and maybe the II - the IIs is good down to ~1/6s). The IIs also allows you to go 1/2 to 1 stop higher than the K-5 in ISO while getting the same amount of noise in the image. And of course the K-5 II/IIs AF works in lower light than any other DSLR on the market (I believe this includes FF too, but certainly includes all APS-C cameras).
Yes, all my posted photos are handheld including all the ones in the Kx in Use ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page) thread - there are some photos with EXIF attached -
there were two photo the resized originals with EXIF attached and labeled as such in my opening post that you were replying to -
but they show 1/13 and 1/15 sec exposures - and that was the main difference I was trying to point out.

This is a K-x shot posted in post #368 (link) of that K-x thread -
@ 1/4sec- EXIF is attached to the smaller resized original - as labeled -

the playing here was so spirited I had to try to get a shot - almost nothing to focus on - I think in the end I had to use either the fire extinguisher label or the sign above pointing to it.

Original resized only EXIF attached:


metering LV segments:
01-05-2013, 01:36 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
note: I have done the metering with lens cap on, and can confirm that the slowest shutter speed on the K-5 @ISO5000, f/3.5 is 1/8 sec for 0 comp, or 1/13 for -1/3 comp
Was that with the viewfinder covered or open? I tried your settings and was getting 0.4" shutter speed

Cheers.

01-05-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Was that with the viewfinder covered or open? I tried your settings and was getting 0.4" shutter speed.
Good point!
I just tried it with the eye-piece properly covered -
but the readings were the same ISO5000, f/3.5, lens cap on, P or Av mode gave 1/13 sec with -0.3 comp
or 1/8 sec with 0 comp.

Is there some setting that I am not aware of that will allow the K-5 to get those lower light level metering?

If it's of any relevance my Firmware is 1.13.23.25 ( the latest version - since my K-5 actually came with 1.01.00.21 despite manufacture date of 7/23/2012)

Thanks.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 01-05-2013 at 02:17 PM.
01-05-2013, 02:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Good point!
I just tried it with the eye-piece properly covered -
but the readings were the same ISO5000, f/3.5, lens cap on, P or Av mode gave 1/13 sec with -0.3 comp
or 1/8 sec with 0 comp.

Is there some setting that I am not aware of that will allow the K-5 to get those lower light level metering?

If it's of any relevance my Firmware is 1.13.23.25 ( the latest version - since my K-5 actually came with 1.01.00.21 despite manufacture date of 7/23/2012)

Thanks.
Well, my first try was with the 16-50. I just slapped the kit 18-55 on the camera and tried again. This time I could only achieve 1/4 of an second max. shutter time, weird.

edit: this is just a WAG but, maybe there is something in the camera software that enables longer shutter speeds with faster lens.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 01-05-2013 at 02:32 PM.
01-05-2013, 02:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
However not be an ingrate - how can the K-5II manage to set exposure when the light level is below the specified metering limit?
Pentax K-5II meter specs taken from page 316-7 of the manual -


K-5 (original) meter specs from page 358 of the manual:


Both cameras' lowest light level metering limit is 0LV, so the K-5II cannot meter any lower than the K-5 original.
I haven't had my K-x since the K-5 was released, so I can't compare them anymore. And I haven't tried directly comparing the actual exposure on my K-5 and K-5 IIs. But the IIs unquestionably gives better AF performance (in both good and very low light), lower high-ISO noise, and better SR.

Adam has stated that the only thing changed in the K-5 II/IIs manual from the K-5 manual is the addition of a page which references the new AF Expansion area. But we know there were a number of technical improvements, so perhaps the specs weren't updated?


If I saw them full size (or even 50% size) I suspect those 1/4s and 1/5s K-x shots would be a little more blurry than I like. But they are still very impressive, and better than I can ever remember getting on my K-x at such low shutter speeds.

Last edited by DSims; 01-05-2013 at 02:42 PM.
01-05-2013, 03:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Well, my first try was with the 16-50. I just slapped the kit 18-55 on the camera and tried again. This time I could only achieve 1/4 of an second max. shutter time, weird.
1/4 sec with the kit lens is all that I was hoping for - so how did you achieve this with the K-5?

My K-x would do that
but not my new K-5 (FW 1.13.23.25)

QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
edit: this is just a WAG but, maybe there is something in the camera software that enables longer shutter speeds with faster lens.
My guess - a faster lens actually physically lets in more light so it is capable of metering to a lower ambient light level - hence the slower shutter speed -
1/4 for f/3.5 kit zoom to 0.4" at f/2.8 16-50 seems about right

Thank you


Last edited by UnknownVT; 01-05-2013 at 03:08 PM.
01-05-2013, 03:29 PM   #9
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A fast lens is essential. Shooting a show like this with a kit lens is nearly impossible. I use my DA35mm F2.4 and my Sigma 24-60mm F2.8 for close shots and my DA* 50-135mm F2.8 for farther subjects. Not sure why you're using a kit when the DA 35mm F2.4 is so cheap.

Please forgive me but I think you are way over thinking this. All of these shots (accept the last one) were captured between ISO 3200 and ISO 4000 on my KX with center metering and spot focus on manual mode.

This is a list of shows that I have done with my KX, K200D and Sony HX30V.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnrudolph/collections/72157624492303549/

Extremely dark jazz club with the 35mm F2.4



Extremely dark jazz club with the 50-135mm F2.8


Extremely dark rock and roll club with the Sigma 24-60mm F2.8


Shot with my point and shoot racked out to 500mm at ISO 800

Last edited by john5100; 01-05-2013 at 03:46 PM.
01-05-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by john5100 Quote
A fast lens is essential. Shooting a show like this with a kit lens is nearly impossible.
Thanks John - I've been shooting a that very dark jazz club for over 3 years now with the K-x and the two humblest kit zooms -
some places have light levels below both the AF and metering limits of both the K-x and K-5 -
and have not had too much problems because of the very good HighISO performance -
all the shots in the opening post were on the same kit zooms too on the K-5.
01-05-2013, 05:19 PM   #11
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okay, i didn't want to sound like a smart a$$ in my comment.
01-05-2013, 07:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
1/4 sec with the kit lens is all that I was hoping for - so how did you achieve this with the K-5?
Are you certain that the kit lens was set for 18mm and not for something just past that.
I had the camera trying to bump out of the f3.5 setting with the slightest pressure on front of the lens, while blocking it with a piece of black plastic.(OK kids, who lost my lens-cap).
When this was occurring, I could only get the shutter speeds that you experienced.
I have the same FW as you BTW.
01-05-2013, 09:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Are you certain that the kit lens was set for 18mm and not for something just past that.
I had the camera trying to bump out of the f3.5 setting with the slightest pressure on front of the lens, while blocking it with a piece of black plastic.(OK kids, who lost my lens-cap).
When this was occurring, I could only get the shutter speeds that you experienced.
I have the same FW as you BTW.
No, definitely at 18mm - my shots from the club that got 1/13 (-0.3comp) and 1/15 (-0.7comp) were all at 18mm f3.5.

The best I can get is 1/8 (0 comp) (=1/13 with -0.3comp) @f/3.5 ISO5000
I can get 1/4 sec with +1 comp - no pressure on lens as I am not touching it while lens cap is on.

I literally just took two shots with the lens cap on -
from EXIF data (IfranView):

-0.3 comp ISO5000 f/3.5 @ 1/13 sec
QuoteQuote:
Filename - IMGP0418.JPG
Make - PENTAX
Model - PENTAX K-5
Software - K-5 Ver 1.13
DateTime - 2013:01:05 22:50:27
ExposureTime - 1/13 seconds
FNumber - 3.50
ExposureProgram - Normal program
ISOSpeedRatings - 5000
ExposureBiasValue - -0.30
FocalLength - 18.00 mm
0 comp ISO5000 f/3.5 @ 1/8
QuoteQuote:
Filename - IMGP0419.JPG
Make - PENTAX
Model - PENTAX K-5
Software - K-5 Ver 1.13
DateTime - 2013:01:05 22:50:39
ExposureTime - 1/8 seconds
FNumber - 3.50
ExposureProgram - Normal program
ISOSpeedRatings - 5000
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
FocalLength - 18.00 mm

EDIT to ADD

just for completeness here's the lens cap on photo with full EXIF attached (I hosted this on ImagaShack.us so one can see all of the EXIF including the manufacturer's notes)


1/8sec f/3.5 ISO5000 (0comp) is actually LV1 which is not quite as low as the spec for Pentax K-5
which is LV0 - this is what Ex Finn is getting ie: 1/4 sec f/3.5 ISO5000.

So for some reason my copy of the K-5 does not seem quite to spec for the low light metering limit.

I checked and turned off things like Highlight Correction and Shadow Correction made no difference.

While Highlight Correction was off I switched to ISO100 and took a shot with lens cap on -
EXIF:
QuoteQuote:
Filename - IMGP0420.JPG
Make - PENTAX
Model - PENTAX K-5
Software - K-5 Ver 1.13
DateTime - 2013:01:05 23:59:29
ExposureTime - 5 seconds
FNumber - 3.50
ExposureProgram - Normal program
ISOSpeedRatings - 100
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
FocalLength - 18.00 mm
Lens Type - smc PENTAX-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
LV0 should be about 13 secs f/3.5 ISO100 -
so again this is about 1.3 stop out of spec for the lower metering limit ie: about LV1.3

the cap on exposure at ISO100 5sec f/3.5 18mm - EXIF attached:

Last edited by UnknownVT; 01-05-2013 at 10:29 PM.
01-06-2013, 02:49 AM   #14
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Why not just shoot in manual? :-)

Metering is unreliable at the limits. Also the camera is probably trying to keep shutter speeds at a manageable level. Meter in live view and see what that comes up with..
01-06-2013, 02:58 AM   #15
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Also just use 6400. It usable for anything but poster sized.
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