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07-17-2014, 03:15 AM - 1 Like   #1
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K5II vs fast action in low light

Hello,

I've had my K5II for a few months now and I'm loving it. Wish I had more shooting time.
One of the main resons to upgrade from K20 was High ISO performance since I frequently do low light events where flash is not allowed like church events and stage dance/ballet recitals.
I just photographed a ballet recital a few days ago and I'm really happy. I've learned over the years how challenging this is: Low light, white balance comma inducing nightmare lighting, very fast action.
In the past, with the K20 I'd shoot up to ISO 2500. A bit higher with the K-x.

All with K5II / F50 f1.7 / TAv mode


1/250 / f3.5 / ISO 2500 (Prints ordered)


1/250 / f3.5 / ISO 3200


1/200 / f3.5 / ISO 8000


1/200 / f3.5 / ISO 5000


1/200 / f3.5 / ISO 8000

I'm blown away by the hi ISO performance. I'm very happy!

Thanks,

07-17-2014, 06:19 AM   #2
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Top notch photography right there.
07-17-2014, 08:16 AM   #3
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I too have really been impressed with my K-5IIs low-light performance.....but your photos put an exclamation mark on that statement. Your ballet pixs should be the standard reply to anyone asking the "I'm not sure if I should get a K-5 or Brand X" question.

Very nice, I would be thrilled with those shots. How much or what type if any post production did you do?
07-18-2014, 03:47 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Thanks for the nice comments!

As for post processing, my workflow is usually as follows:
everything is shot in raw, auto white balance.
- First step is white balance adjustment. This is the main reason I shoot raw. Never bother with white balance in camera. A matter of personal preference.
- Depending on the noise I run Topaz Denoise. It can go from light to moderate. I've found K5II files work breautifully with Topaz.
- Unsharp mask: Light sharpening (concentrating on the eyes)
- Levels adjustment: Subtle shadow and highlight slider adjustment for a hint of contrast. Depending on the image, the midtone slider may get a slight positive bump (~1.2)
- Depending on the image, a linear contrast curve may be applied.
- Depending on the wardrobe, a slight bump in Saturation (~+8) sometimes helps. (Not used in these images.)
- Cropping as needed
- Depending on the image, a slight dark vignette may be applied before printing.
The key is subtle changes. Every change must be subtle, unless of course you are after a radically different look...

Thanks!

07-19-2014, 09:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
Hello,

I've had my K5II for a few months now and I'm loving it. Wish I had more shooting time.
One of the main resons to upgrade from K20 was High ISO performance since I frequently do low light events where flash is not allowed like church events and stage dance/ballet recitals.
I just photographed a ballet recital a few days ago and I'm really happy. I've learned over the years how challenging this is: Low light, white balance comma inducing nightmare lighting, very fast action.
In the past, with the K20 I'd shoot up to ISO 2500. A bit higher with the K-x.

All with K5II / F50 f1.7 / TAv mode


1/250 / f3.5 / ISO 2500 (Prints ordered)


1/250 / f3.5 / ISO 3200


1/200 / f3.5 / ISO 8000


1/200 / f3.5 / ISO 5000


1/200 / f3.5 / ISO 8000

I'm blown away by the hi ISO performance. I'm very happy!

Thanks,
Beautiful work.
07-22-2014, 12:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting. The pictures are amazing considering the ISO. I recently purchased a K-5 II myself, but never thought about going past 3200 which is the maximum I have used for indoor low-light events so far. I'm not seeing any color-bleed which happens often with high ISO. This is good news indeed.
08-06-2014, 04:38 PM   #7
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Question

I have a question. I see that all the aperture settings are at f/3.5. That suggests that you are using a kit lens?
08-06-2014, 06:38 PM   #8
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No. I used the F50 f1.7
A kit lens is only that wide at the widest focal lenght of 18mm. While not a bad lens for everyday use, a kit lens would not cut it here, especially if larger prints are to be sold. At those extreme parameters: widest focal lenght and widest aperture, the dancers would be small fuzzy dots.
For these events I usually go between f2.8 and f4 depending on the lighting conditions of each dance, trying to get appropriate DOF and to keep some control on ISO when using TAv mode.
On this particular event I found f3.5 to work well and used it a lot.
But here is a more extreme sample from this event, shot at f2.0:
This particular shot was un-imaginable for me just a few months ago:
Almost total darkness
Strong black lights illumination (yes, BLACK lights, not backlight)

1/160 / f2.0 / ISO8000

Just from the pure technical point of view it blows my mind away.....

Thanks,

08-08-2014, 03:33 PM   #9
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Looks like this Topaz Denoise is top-notch on my K-5 II, the noise becomes noticeable at 3200 and above, but your pictures look like they were taken at 800 ISO or below.
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