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08-13-2013, 10:29 AM   #1
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From Caveman Paint (film) ...to...K5IIs......The jump into reality has hit !

Im so excited and yet as lost as Ive ever been ! I guess Im a very late bloomer ? I have taken the plunge from Medium format (Mamiya RZ67 Pro IIe) that was sitting unused for almost 10 years.....Then it was mid level point and shoot Cannons.....Now Its a K5IIs ! Im sooooooo Lost !
I need help BAD ! Im no noob to film , but this late bloomer is overwhelmed by about 350 pages of K5IIs mass confusion !
After 5 hrs I finally figured out how to get my camera to fire Takumars on manual , then all the settings (some of which I had no clue). My beautiful K5II s is sitting there starring at me with a look of severe intimidation with all the settings. Its like Pandoras box ! Im not sure whats in there but Ive opened it up ! Did I get it right ? Do I have something set incorrectly ? How do I get back to this setting ..... or that Menu.....Where was the menu for Bulb.....How do I set bracketing on my function setting ? Oh God.....This is a huge switch and Im not so sure Im going to survive the cranial overload ! Has anyone else suffered a huge level of stress trying to get it all figured out when doing the big switch ?
Is there help ? Any online basic tutorials ? Classes that are recommended ? I know F-I-L-M ......Not digital !
My main question is .....Am I Normal ? I took it in little bits and tiny pieces for years , then took a flying leap off the Film cliff right into digital........If you listen closely you probably heard a big splat a week ago......lol
There must be others that are really late bloomers ? How did you adapt to the switch ? Any recomendations ?

08-13-2013, 10:44 AM   #2
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I made the same transition from film to K10D in 2006. The settings and menus aren't really all that much more complex for a K5IIs other than LiveView. My secret - I read manuals.

Cover. To. Cover.

Then I play with Menus.

Every. Single. Menu. Item.

In my case I reset my camera to factory spec (there is a Reset Function in the menu) and shot only Av for at least six months before branching out. I did that because I shot mostly Av with my film cameras. I really haven't used Green Mode on any camera ever.

My first experiment was 300mm sports - TAv, AF,C at 1/500 @ f/8 or f/10 with floating ISO. I read up on that before I tried, failed miserably a lot, but got better

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
08-13-2013, 10:44 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by az1895 Quote
There must be others that are really late bloomers ? How did you adapt to the switch ? Any recomendations ?
In 2007, I bought my K10D. My previous history was similar to yours. I had done film work since the late '60s and was doing digital with a Canon G2. Happily, working with the dSLR was not a huge jump.
  • Read through the manual
  • Enable the aperture ring (required for all vintage glass, but it sounds like you already know this)
  • Treat it like a camera
I know that last point sounds glib, but the bottom line is that your new camera is fundamentally no different than the professional film cameras you used in the past. While it can be used as a point-n-shoot, you have the option for fully manual operation and everything in between.
  • Think in terms of the basic tasks for capturing an image
  • Find out how to do those tasks using your new tool
  • Ask questions on this forum if your get stuck
  • Enjoy the experience of discovery


Steve
08-13-2013, 10:53 AM   #4
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Its all the settings...menus.....

I have no problem with APS-C conversion factor , lenses , shutter speed , ISO , focal length , depth of field , etc. Its all the settings that are confusing me.......just plain overload. Menus IN Menus. Yes....Ive reset 3 times in a week. At least Im familiar with that....lol.
I only shoot in manual in the past , unless Im just having fun then will use program mode or Av. Its just all the settings that are driving me nuts. Im sure like everything else practice will make it familiar down the road.......I hope.

08-13-2013, 11:08 AM   #5
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I was in the same boat at the end of May when I got my first DSLR (K-30) after using an Olympus C2040 digital for years and three Pentax film SLRs before that. So many buttons, so many menus, so much to learn and try to remember (I have an illness that sometimes causes short-term memory issues which doesn't help). It all does come together (sometimes in a lump) and as others have said read the manual and take lots of photos for practice. The photos don't need to be 'keepers' but just experimenting with the various modes and settings around the house and garden is a great way to build an understanding very quickly.

I keep my paper manual in my camera bag and I have a PDF version of it on the computer which is great as it is 'search-able' when you want to find something fast. In addition to the Pentax manual I also purchased an e-book (PDF) on the recommendation of many here and I found that the e-book in combination with the Pentax manual really shortened the learning curve.

If you don't already have it the PDF manual for your camera can be found here: Ricoh Imaging Canada | Operating Manuals for Ricoh Imaging Products (use the drop-down menu to select your camera)

I got the e-book from the author's site: AlettA Photographic

It doesn't look like the K5IIs has been covered yet but he does have the K5 e-book although I'm not sure just how much different the K5IIs is.

EDIT: I just checked the page for the K5 and it does indeed cover the full K5 range (K5, K5II, K5IIs)

Last edited by Tako Kichi; 08-13-2013 at 11:13 AM.
08-13-2013, 11:51 AM   #6
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The K7 Magic Lantern guide is also very good. I don't think there's one for the K5 series, but the K7 has identical menus.
There are just a couple things you need to do to use manual lenses well, there's a good beginners post for that.

Otherwise, I wouldn't change the jpg engine much. Set it to do RAW+ so you have good "negatives" for posterity and shoot in TAv so you can quickly alter the aperture and shutter speed. This is essentially similar to program mode, but allows ISO to float on its own. I find it most convenient and gives the best general control.
08-13-2013, 12:21 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by az1895 Quote
I need help BAD ! Im no noob to film , but this late bloomer is overwhelmed by about 350 pages of K5IIs mass confusion !
I transitioned from MX to K100DS in late 2007.

I sympathize with your feeling about the manual. The manual for the K100DS is so badly written that I could not find out how to use the cobination of buttons to use a K mount lens.

This made me think about the problem of the manual and compare manuals for old cameras with new. (butkus site is great for this!)

What I discovered was that all the pre-digital manuals were written using what the modern software engineers call 'use case' type approach (expressed in human language). Essentially - 'you want to do this with the camera' THEN ''operate these controls in this way and have the settings like so". The MX manual was written this way.

All the digital camera manuals have copied the style from the (almost monopoly software maker's help menus - the judge said they had a monopoly so they must) and give a reference manual for what each control or menu item does. They then leave it to the user to integrate all the bits into ways to do things users want to do. The problem with this is that if you do not know the magic word the maker named an action with you will never find out that a particular action can be done or how to do it.

Since there is so much sw in a camera the design of the interface was done using usecases. The manual writers should take the use cases and translate them into normal people's language and print the book.

BTW: the famous software maker's help menus are pretty useless except for use strictly as a 'reference' to things you already know about. The help menu tells you useless stuff if you click 'help->about' - but it does not tell you the maker's description of what the package is for. And tell me where logical page 1 is so I can start at logical page 1 and at the bottom click on 'next' and when I have read about all the things I think I want to do with the product I stop. Then I could give the package to my grandma and say 'find out for yourself', and many of grandma's misconceptions and belief that computing is arcane would go away.

Sad to say, the only feature of my vey nice car I dislike intensely is the manual. I could not even find a simple direct statement of what octane rating of petrol I should use. I had to go to the advertising brochure which I still had.
08-13-2013, 01:23 PM   #8
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Hey there, welcome to the forum. DSLRs are intimidating, for sure. Especially the high-tier ones like the K-5.
But I think you will manage. A lot of things are similar to SLRs. For example, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, P Av Tv mode,.. and thats almost everything you need at first.
I suggest you just take it easy and start with P mode, then slowly work your way up. The menus will make sense eventually. You will learn everything on the way - white balance, jpeg processing, AF types,.. this forum is also a great resource, so feel free to search for anything that is confusing, or just make a new thread.

Btw, I also didnt read the manual at first. I mostly read forum posts and experimented. When I stumbled on a problem, I tried to find out what Im doing wrong. A great thing to do is download the camera manual in pdf format and keep it on a mobile device. Then you can just browse it whenever you need answers.

08-13-2013, 04:44 PM   #9
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As Tako Kichi stated above about AlettA Photographic, I learned a lot about the K10 from Yvonne Bourques book. He goes through each menu item and explains what they do. Good luck with the camera and have fun.
08-13-2013, 05:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jack Quote
As Tako Kichi stated above about AlettA Photographic, I learned a lot about the K10 from Yvonne Bourques book. He goes through each menu item and explains what they do. Good luck with the camera and have fun.
"Yvonne" is a French female name. But who knows....here in America=The Land of Opportunity I met few male Ashleys
08-13-2013, 06:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by atarget Quote
"Yvonne" is a French female name. But who knows....here in America=The Land of Opportunity I met few male Ashleys
'Yvonne' is indeed a female name and I have a female cousin with that name. The author of the Pentax books has the masculine version of the name which is 'Yvon'.
08-13-2013, 08:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
'Yvonne' is indeed a female name and I have a female cousin with that name. The author of the Pentax books has the masculine version of the name which is 'Yvon'.
So American female version of Ashley should be Ashleya ?
Anyways, my original intention when I replied to Jack's post was showing an example of LADIES who know a lot about photography, too.
08-14-2013, 05:41 AM   #13
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Yvonne | Learn everything there is to know about Yvonne at Reference.com

(to further hijack the thread)

The advice to start simple is certainly the best. don't let the potential complexity deter you from getting outside and taking pictures.
08-14-2013, 07:00 AM   #14
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I think I let the technical complexity somehow fool me into thinking there was somehow too much to do. Im one that always thinks if something is there , then that "something" always needs to be used , set , manipulated , or changed. IM JUST GOING TO SET IT AND FORGET IT !
I have problems with memory too. Was hit by a drunk driver in 2000 and its very hard with learning new things sometimes. I did manage to get some fantastic macro images indoors last night , but white balance was way off (florescent). Now I know what needs to be adjusted.......but gotta go find it ! My images were so sharp I was shocked ! Rikenon XR 28mm reversed....WOW ! Wow ...WOW !
My whole world just opened up to a new dimension I never knew existed. Its not coming easy yet though.....lots of work to get it right.
08-14-2013, 07:10 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Make sure you record RAW files, they can easily be manipulated for exposure and color balance. I upgraded to Lightroom 4 last year, and now I find it indispensable. I try to get it right to start with, of course.

Most of the time my camera is in TAv mode, but I did set up a "fast shot mode" as well, where the camera does essentially no processing so I can take rapid-fire images. This is useful for sports, dogs, and wildlife.
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