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11-20-2015, 06:44 AM   #1
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New to me K5ii

I own a K-30 & K-50 and have been fighting with low light focusing issues. I was looking into purchasing the K3 but the price has not dropped fast enough for me so, I purchased a used K5ii from a fellow PF member, very nice camera. Maybe you guy that own the K5 can give me a little advice on some starter settings would be greatly appreciated

11-20-2015, 07:03 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Starter settings depends on the lens. Generally, switch to RAW shooting when you have some software for processing and you won't have to worry about the in-camera JPG processing. I prefer to keep colors natural, not oversaturated because I find that look...un-natural.

I shoot most of the time in TAv mode. Set the aperture to a good range for the lens and your subject, then adjust shutter speed with the front wheel to keep ISO in a comfortable range. The K5 sensor gives you great results up to ISO 1600, very good to 6400. So you can balance your requirements and noise risk.

You'll enjoy the K5II, I'm sure. My K5 has really been a workhorse, and has endured some shocks which I'm sure would have killed a lesser camera. It's amazing something which surely is a precision instrument can be so robust.
11-20-2015, 07:18 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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Also recommend back button focus, here's how

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/115-pentax-k-5/198871-back-button-focusing.html
11-20-2015, 07:49 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by timb64 Quote

I've only recently become proficient with back-button focusing, and it has made a *huge* difference for me - particularly when taking multiple shots of both static (set and leave focus) and moving (continuous focus) subjects... Takes a bit of getting used to, and I'm still getting used to thumb placement when using the grip in portrait orientation - but well worth the effort.


Last edited by BigMackCam; 11-20-2015 at 08:53 AM.
11-20-2015, 07:58 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Enjoy the new camera!
11-20-2015, 08:12 AM - 1 Like   #6
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yeah, back-button focusing really does work. It also tends to smudge my glasses...
11-20-2015, 08:46 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
yeah, back-button focusing really does work. It also tends to smudge my glasses...
I take mine off to shoot and have the diopter adjusted accordingly, although I've been thinking of getting a limited supply of daily disposable contact lenses for those days where I'm doing photography... it's a pain having to take my glasses on and off. I've tried wearing them while shooting, but (a) with the O-ME53 magnifying eye-cup, I find I need to get close in to see all the info in the viewfinder, and (b) I keep clattering the lenses against the body, which I'm sure won't do them any good!
11-20-2015, 10:42 AM   #8
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I use B&L multi focal monthly wear contacts in one eye. I find for driving that using one in each eye tends to blur the signage a bit. This way I can read and see distance perfectly since my cataracts have been swapped out. I use them in alternate eyes - two weeks left, two weeks right. Even though the lenses are rated high oxygen transfer, I'm a bit anal about letting my eyes breath. I know what it's like to be blind: before the cataract surgery my vision needed -4.75 diopters in one eye and -5.25 in the other.

11-20-2015, 02:19 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I shoot most of the time in TAv mode. Set the aperture to a good range for the lens and your subject, then adjust shutter speed with the front wheel to keep ISO in a comfortable range. The K5 sensor gives you great results up to ISO 1600, very good to 6400. So you can balance your requirements and noise risk.
I too shoot mostly with TAv on my K5IIs and find that it often overexposes, so I back off the ev one stop and make corrections in processing if necessary. TAv is a very handy mode when in changing light that requires a fast response in speed/aperture without having to worry about ISO.

You should be very happy with your new K5II, they are wonderful cameras, the best Pentax I have ever owned by far!

Enjoy!

Forgot to mention....using the backside AF button is wonderful! In my technical ignorance I have only recently started using this method and find it works wonders when using my Bigma......that tends to hunt like a houndog. You should give it a try and see what you think.
Regards!

Last edited by Rupert; 11-20-2015 at 02:36 PM. Reason: add
11-20-2015, 02:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I use B&L multi focal monthly wear contacts in one eye. I find for driving that using one in each eye tends to blur the signage a bit. This way I can read and see distance perfectly since my cataracts have been swapped out. I use them in alternate eyes - two weeks left, two weeks right. Even though the lenses are rated high oxygen transfer, I'm a bit anal about letting my eyes breath. I know what it's like to be blind: before the cataract surgery my vision needed -4.75 diopters in one eye and -5.25 in the other.
Wow, Albert... I bet the cataract surgery was an eye-opener for you (pun entirely intended!! ). Seriously, though, it must have made a wonderful improvement. A few years ago I was on business in India for the first time, and I was very careful with food and drink. I got to the end of my 10 day stint without any trace of upset stomach, and was delighted - thinking I had avoided any problems. But, on the last day there, I noticed the white of one eye had gone pink and felt dry / sore. 24 hours later, back in the UK, it was bright red and painful, so I went to Moorfields eye hospital in London (near where I worked at the time). They figured it was an infection and gave me something, but it got worse and spread to the other eye. I could barely see. After another trip to Moorfields I was told I'd had an insect bite in the first eye, and had picked up a virus. It ran it's course, but for over a year after that, I couldn't look at bright lights, and when driving at night I had to wear sun-glasses, plus the street lights and traffic signals had halos around them. It caused me quite a few problems with photography too. Thankfully all of that has disappeared now!

That's an interesting strategy - alternating eyes for the contacts! So, do you swap between which eye you use for the viewfinder?
11-20-2015, 04:44 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Wow, Albert... I bet the cataract surgery was an eye-opener for you (pun entirely intended!! ).
That's an interesting strategy - alternating eyes for the contacts! So, do you swap between which eye you use for the viewfinder?
That must have been a horrible experience. I wore "coke bottle" lenses for years and years, but never needed a magnifying glass - I could focus in to about 2 inches - but could only focus out to about 10.

I alternate the contacts from one eye to the other so that the corneas have lots of oxygenation, particularly since they stay in for the whole two weeks or 15 days. I don't alternate eyes on the camera; the viewfinder is at about 1 metre, so no problem. For example, right now I am typing with the monitor at about 1 metre (arm's length) and both eyes see the screen clearly. The viewfinder is the same thing. Either eye works just fine. The contacts I am using are the premium B&L and are very, very thin. As I wear one it gradually collects deposits from the tears - called protein build up - and after a couple of weeks it gets a tiny bit stiff and slightly uncomfortable. That's the day I change eyes. I put the new one in, throw away the old one, and am off to the races. After 60 years of being blind without glasses, I really appreciate being able to see without them. On a trip I carry a spare contact and drug store reading glasses just in case.
11-20-2015, 06:14 PM   #12
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Was there a reason Pentax had the JPG quality default set at three stars and not four ?
11-21-2015, 06:13 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjphilippona Quote
Was there a reason Pentax had the JPG quality default set at three stars and not four ?
I think that's a bit like the old Spinal Tap joke about the amp going up to 11!
11-21-2015, 06:36 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjphilippona Quote
Was there a reason Pentax had the JPG quality default set at three stars and not four ?
The jpeg compression settings on the k5 are all pretty generous in terms of quality and as you go up in star rating the file size ramps up quickly with little perceptible change in quality.

A 'fun' exercise is to take a photo in raw and use the cameras jpeg engine to output a photo at each star rating. Flip back and forth between them on the computer and see if you can tell which is which (even try this at full magnification). Repeat for a few different images (one heavy on texture, one heavy on colour gradients, etc.). Then compare the file sizes (in megabytes) and decide if the highest star rating is worth it for your purposes. Or just set it to 4 and forget about it, memory is pretty cheap these days.

Here's an analogous comparison with lightroom's jpeg quality settings, you can see how the choice between the highest quality settings start to have large penalties on file size with small increases in quality Jeffrey Friedl's Blog
11-22-2015, 10:23 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by timb64 Quote
Also recommend back button focus, here's how
I want to thank you for that post! I followed it and the links and it has made a world of difference in shooting my newest Bigma 50-500. I have been fighting focus hunting ever since I got it and it is even worse than my old Bigma 50-500. I've tried everything, including buying several flavors of Bigma Hound Hunting Biscuits on Amazon...and not much has helped.

I went to back button focus and disabled half-press and now my hunting has been almost eliminated. It is another reminder that I should spend less time opening my big mouth and more time reading and listening here. I am certainly glad I read and followed your post, thank you very much! It will greatly increase my Bigma shooting pleasure!

Here is my first squirrel using the back AF button....normally the Bigma would hunt a while before finally settling down and locking focus. On this one and others I have tried, it locked on right away...and the focus even seems to be more accurate too!

Using the backside AF button.....


I am nowhere close to being an educated or top notch shooter.....but most of what I have learned I have learned here at PF, and if I was more serious and less lazy, I might even be half decent instead of half-ass as a shooter. Wonderful place to learn.....just read and listen or ask questions, the answers are all here if you want them.

Best Regards & Thanks again!
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