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12-19-2013, 06:26 AM   #1
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Shooting square with K-5II

I became spoiled with the K-01 choice of shooting formats, and really like shooting square (1:1) images. I just got a new K-5II, and searched for an hour trying to find how to shoot square, but nothing about it in menus or manual, so I asked Adam. Adam says there is no available square format in any Pentax DSLR, but it can be done as cropping in post, by which I think he means in some kind of post-processing program such as Lightroom.

I am wondering why the K-01 offers this option, but not the DSLRs. Is there a technical reason? Or am I unusual in liking to compose and shoot in square format. The K-01 offers 16:9, 4:3, 3:2, and 1:1.

I thought it might be interesting to start a thread on square format, both native (in camera) and post processing. I would be interested in the reactions/preferences of others for square format, as well as any tips, procedures, etc., for cropping in post.

12-19-2013, 06:37 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I think with higher spec cameras, some form of post processing is assumed. Especially seeing as the default image format is raw. Where lower spec cameras people tend to take the jpg straight from the camera so those things are set prior to the shot being taken.

On top of that decisions such as crop is more flexible in post. Cropping a 7x5 image down to 16x9 allows for better framing options.
12-19-2013, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I think it is mostly because the DSLRs have an optical viewfinder, and the K-01 does not. So the K-01 can show you 1:1 or 16:9 ratio, and you can compose in that ratio and take shots in it. The K-5 or K-30 cannot show you what 1:1 crop would look like, so it doesn't even allow that option. At least, that is my guess.
I like square a lot, too. I would really like a K-02 with a square sensor. But I really doubt this will become reality anytime soon, since the sensor must be bought (lately its from Sony) and they mass produce it for many camera makers. This makes it cheaper, but it also means there is less customization available.
12-19-2013, 08:27 AM   #4
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Basically what ^ said.

12-19-2013, 09:29 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I miss it too, but I frequently pop into Cropping mode so I'm pretty quick about it. That lets you crop to the K-01's alternate ratios.
Other than the delay, it does separate the file # from the shutter count as each re-saved shot gets a new number.
12-19-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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Good points everyone is making--assumption of post processing (which is not me) and optical rather than digital viewfinder. I would not thought of these on my own, so thanks.
12-20-2013, 12:31 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I crop a lot to square and to 8x10 as both are still very common in some sections of the modeling and acting professions for headshots and portfolio print images.

I find clients also like 1:1 ratio for some wedding work as well , what you could try is using the image guides that you see through the viewfinder to compose for 1:1 so cropping (which you can do in any editing software free or paid for ) is easily done .

I always assume the reason for the option not being available is due for some reason to the fact that the bodies that offer it are all mirror less and have electronic rather than mechanical shutters so you can set what size you like when you design the software for the camera.
12-21-2013, 05:47 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I am quick to crop to a different aspect ratio, so I can sympathize with your desire. Would be great to be able to visualize it in-camera though. Na Horuk's comment re the optical VF makes sense...but why not allow it in live view mode?

In the end, I run pretty much everything through Lightroom, so in-camera 1:1 framing would only save me one step in post--but the framing aid would be nice.

12-21-2013, 08:56 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Can do what we did back in the old 6x6 cm days- etch the focusing screen with a straight edge and razor blade or exacto knife. That's part of the reason they are replaceable. Do it on the side that faces the pentaprism (top side). The etch will show up as a dark line.

I personally prefer the markings not too thick, so choose a thin blade, and the cut doesn't need to be too deep. Theoretically, you can always deepen (widen and darken) it afterward by making an additional pass over it. Because it will be magnified under the pentaprism its best to try for a very clean and consistent line. I imagine that the primary challenge will be in working with the small size of the APC-s focusing screen, and determining how much of the screen you actually see so that you can accurately get the proportions that you desire.
12-26-2013, 09:57 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the inputs.

All these responses were very helpful in understanding relationship of format to camera, etc. It is exactly what is so attractive about Pentax forum, the ability to learn from others in a (generally) pleasant and unstructured manner.

Upon further investigation, I did find how to crop in camera in the K-5II to produce square format results. However, so far as I am able to determine, the crop placement is always exactly in the dead center of the photo (center of the horizontal axis, I mean), and is not adjustable. In other words, it is not possible to select the specific portion of the photo that you want to appear as a square format, so one must shoot knowing how you want to crop.

Thanks everybody. (Off topic comment: Now I think I will brave the cold and try out the Pentax 10-17 for the first time on the new K-5II.)
12-26-2013, 02:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivanvernon Quote
Upon further investigation, I did find how to crop in camera in the K-5II to produce square format results. However, so far as I am able to determine, the crop placement is always exactly in the dead center of the photo (center of the horizontal axis, I mean), and is not adjustable. In other words, it is not possible to select the specific portion of the photo that you want to appear as a square format, so one must shoot knowing how you want to crop.
Sorry, I'm uncertain what you're referring to here. Do you mean cropping in-camera, post capture? You can crop to a square of adjustable size and position by pressing the down (Flash mode) button while in image review. Is this what you're talking about?
12-26-2013, 03:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by filoxophy Quote
Sorry, I'm uncertain what you're referring to here. Do you mean cropping in-camera, post capture? You can crop to a square of adjustable size and position by pressing the down (Flash mode) button while in image review. Is this what you're talking about?
I am referring to the in-camera cropping, not post-processing. Now I have finally figured it out completely. The part I was missing was use of the front wheel to move the crop position, and use of the left and right arrows to increase/decrease the size of the cropped area.
01-01-2014, 10:14 AM   #13
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Optimizing composition by cropping is an essential part of making an esthetically pleasing image whether via the darkroom enlarger/printing process or digital post processing.

Many pre-set crop ratios are based simply on efficient use of common commercially available paper sizes and the nuisance of building custom frames for non-standard prints. With many images being "displayed" only electronically (and with digital frames) I see no reason not to choose the "perfect" esthetic crop ratio while post processing.

That concept must certainly be frustrating to those who choose to challenge themselves with the idea that a proper image MUST be composed ONLY in the view finder. One wonders how those that shoot/shot 6x6 TLRs ever managed to produce a 'not-square' portrait or a panoramic landscape scene.

Free hand is a pre-set crop option -- take a peek at the actual pixel ratio of some of the images that seem to POP on screen for no apparent reason -- so try it.

H2

Imagine demanding that an "artist" confine himself to a 3:2 ratio canvas!
01-09-2014, 04:06 PM   #14
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For a contrarian point of view (different not better), working within a preset parameter can be a helpful creative tool. I shot landscapes using a Hasselblad for many years, and the square format enabled me to look and see in new ways. Just the other day I was wishing there was a square digital camera--and who better than Hasselblad to re-introduce it. Having just bought a K-01, I smiled when I read it had the option for squares!

For my entire freshman year in college we were required to submit our work printed as full-frame, and had cardboard inserts for negative carriers so we could print the black area around the negative frame. The idea behind this was to learn to shoot in camera, get closer, and not rely on cropping. A good training tool for beginners. I have long since cropped many, many images, but I still always try to see the scene I want in camera and fill the frame as much as I can from the outset. Cropping, however, is usually minimal.

Also, many artists *do* start out with predetermined canvas sizes. They buy pre-stretched canvas in standard sizes from art stores by the boatloads. I know....my wife is an artist.
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