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02-29-2016, 07:15 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
True but looking at the exif in each case the Shutter speed was at a sufficient setting to stop motion so I took that into account when writing my post and mention only the aperture and distance for further consideration.
I think the shutter speeds are borderline, personally. As I mentioned earlier, 1/320s... 1/200s - yes, no problem, and those were arguably the better images... but 1/100s (which is roughly where a couple of the slightly less sharp images were taken) is pretty borderline if a child is moving. But, as I say, I do agree with your depth of field statements...

02-29-2016, 07:32 AM - 1 Like   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
All this talk about the K-5 series having lower noise than a K-3 is misguided. There are two reasons for this misconception.
  1. The K-5 series has non-optional noise reduction at ISO 1600 and above
  2. The K-3 series has more detail at every ISO. Noise reduction scrubs details to reduce noise
The answer is clear; the K-3 needs heavier noise reduction to equal the K-5 family noise performance, but the fact is, it does. Check the Pentax Forums In-depth review or DXOMark for confirmation.

QuoteQuote:
[*]The K-3 series has more detail at every ISO. Noise reduction scrubs details to reduce noise
QuoteQuote:
All this talk about the K-5 series having lower noise than a K-3 is misguided.
Hardly, it is a result of going through a couple thousand example images. Oh, what you mean is DxO is right and those of us who think the K-3 images are as clean or as useful are wrong. All I can say is, for my workflow, we have a clean K-5 image at 6400 ISO, we have clean K-3 image at 3200 ISO based on 1600 high ISO images in different shooting circumstances, from indoor low lamp light to out door twilight. How many images did the forum and DxO base their conclusions on?

So no, the K-3 does not have more detail at every ISO out in the real world, maybe in the lab. In fact the images look quite similar from a visual/techncial viewpoint...accept the K-3 image has more noise, and it was taken at a lower ISO.

K-5 3200 ISO


K-3 1600 ISO


The K-3 image has more noise and doesn't have noticeably higher resolution. I suspect that by the time I got rid of the noise on the K-3 image, it would have considerably less resolution. You can probably make up a bazillion justifications for that, but functionally, I don't care about what the forum reviewer, or DxO says. I produce images. This kind of knowledge helps me get the images I want. What DxO or the forum say is irrelevant to the process, most of the time The only thing relevant to my process in the end are the 16,000 images in my current library. 1600 of those image are high ISO and they give me a very good library to base my conclusions on, if you think the forum and DxO are a more reliable resource than that, go with it. It doesn't change what i see one bit.

At some point you have to forget what the test labs say, and just look at your images. You can get the same results the lab does, if you exactly follow their procedure. You can't do that. Time to move on. Now move on to the real world.

And there's absolutely no need to speculate on which one of us is mis-informed. That's a whole other mud slinging match.

Last edited by normhead; 02-29-2016 at 08:52 AM.
02-29-2016, 07:35 AM - 1 Like   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I think the shutter speeds are borderline, personally. As I mentioned earlier, 1/320s... 1/200s - yes, no problem, and those were arguably the better images... but 1/100s (which is roughly where a couple of the slightly less sharp images were taken) is pretty borderline if a child is moving. But, as I say, I do agree with your depth of field statements...
True, in all cases any of the photos could be sharpened slightly in post and render beautiful detail within the important area. The cameras used are more than capable, the lenses outstanding by many many users so to me that leaves settings & technique.
02-29-2016, 08:02 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
True, in all cases any of the photos could be sharpened slightly in post and render beautiful detail within the important area. The cameras used are more than capable, the lenses outstanding by many many users so to me that leaves settings & technique.
I have so much to learn Are you suggesting that i, increase my shutter speed, increase my distance from my subject and close my aperture to get sharper images. You were correct, the images with the FA77, i was very close, almost at minimum focus distance.

02-29-2016, 08:12 AM - 1 Like   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjphilippona Quote
I have so much to learn Are you suggesting that i, increase my shutter speed, increase my distance from my subject and close my aperture to get sharper images. You were correct, the images with the FA77, i was very close, almost at minimum focus distance.
Most of us have so much to learn (me very much included!). You are taking *great* photos - many wouldn't get the results you are already getting (heck, over half of my learning has been in the last couple of years ).

My suggestions were / are as follows:

- ensure your lenses are calibrated on each of your bodies, as we discussed (again, happy to help if you get stuck)
- make sure you are focusing on the eyes or the closest eye - unless you're specifically trying to get another part in sharpest focus
- try increasing your shutter speed; your best shots in that group had speeds of 1/200, 1/320 - and I think something like that (or higher still, if you can get away with it - such as in good outdoor light) would be best to ensure you freeze any unexpected movement
- as @Oldbayrunner mentioned, depth of field is important... the closer your subject, the shallower the depth of field at any given aperture - so, you could either step back from your subject, or close down the aperture a little more (you favour f/4-4.5 - how about f/5.6 - 7.1?)

On that last point, creative control comes into play - you may be happy to accept only part of your subject in critical focus in order to get that nice creamy blur behind and in front of the subject; that's up to you to decide. Obviously, increasing your shutter speed and stopping down means you're going to lose quite a bit of light, so you'll have to increase your ISO to compensate, but the cameras you're using have decent noise characteristics. You should be fine

EDIT: One more thing... I believe you said you're using face recognition for auto-focusing... I'll be honest, I don't use that feature. I tend to use spot focusing - more often than not, using the centre focus point, so I'll focus on the eyes then recompose, being careful not to move too much. That lets me get sharp focus on the eye (usually - not always ). I'm not sure how effective face detection is at focusing on the eye (if indeed it does that at all). I have another brand of camera that definitely does this, but I'm not sure whether Pentax's face detection and AF works the same way. So, you may want to play with spot focusing too...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-29-2016 at 08:23 AM.
02-29-2016, 08:33 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Most of us have so much to learn (me very much included!). You are taking *great* photos - many wouldn't get the results you are already getting (heck, over half of my learning has been in the last couple of years ).

My suggestions were / are as follows:

- ensure your lenses are calibrated on each of your bodies, as we discussed (again, happy to help if you get stuck)
- make sure you are focusing on the eyes or the closest eye - unless you're specifically trying to get another part in sharpest focus
- try increasing your shutter speed; your best shots in that group had speeds of 1/200, 1/320 - and I think something like that (or higher still, if you can get away with it - such as in good outdoor light) would be best to ensure you freeze any unexpected movement
- as @Oldbayrunner mentioned, depth of field is important... the closer your subject, the shallower the depth of field at any given aperture - so, you could either step back from your subject, or close down the aperture a little more (you favour f/4-4.5 - how about f/5.6 - 7.1?)

On that last point, creative control comes into play - you may be happy to accept only part of your subject in critical focus in order to get that nice creamy blur behind and in front of the subject; that's up to you to decide. Obviously, increasing your shutter speed and stopping down means you're going to lose quite a bit of light, so you'll have to increase your ISO to compensate, but the cameras you're using have decent noise characteristics. You should be fine

EDIT: One more thing... I believe you said you're using face recognition for auto-focusing... I'll be honest, I don't use that feature. I tend to use spot focusing - more often than not, using the centre focus point, so I'll focus on the eyes then recompose, being careful not to move too much. That lets me get sharp focus on the eye (usually - not always ). I'm not sure how effective face detection is at focusing on the eye (if indeed it does that at all). I have another brand of camera that definitely does this, but I'm not sure whether Pentax's face detection and AF works the same way. So, you may want to play with spot focusing too...
Thank You! I would be all so happy if only that little angel's face is sharp in focus so you can see those beautiful blue eyes and inch long eye lashes
02-29-2016, 08:41 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
On that last point, creative control comes into play - you may be happy to accept only part of your subject in critical focus in order to get that nice creamy blur behind and in front of the subject; that's up to you to decide. Obviously, increasing your shutter speed and stopping down means you're going to lose quite a bit of light, so you'll have to increase your ISO to compensate, but the cameras you're using have decent noise characteristics. You should be fine
I'll second this. All the sample pictures were iso160 or lower, so there's still room to bump it up a stop or two to give slightly safer shutter speeds and apertures. I'd say first priority is on making sure the eyes are well lit and sharp. Once you can hit this reliably you can get more aggressive with a thinner DoF and keeping the iso as low as possible for higher quality (depending on your end use you might not notice much of a difference between iso80 and 400 or even higher).

If you can increase subject to background distance, this can help keep the background nice and blurry even with a higher f-stop.
02-29-2016, 09:22 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I'll second this. All the sample pictures were iso160 or lower, so there's still room to bump it up a stop or two to give slightly safer shutter speeds and apertures. I'd say first priority is on making sure the eyes are well lit and sharp. Once you can hit this reliably you can get more aggressive with a thinner DoF and keeping the iso as low as possible for higher quality (depending on your end use you might not notice much of a difference between iso80 and 400 or even higher).

If you can increase subject to background distance, this can help keep the background nice and blurry even with a higher f-stop.
Then i just crop to get close up pictures? Or use my DA*50-135 and just zoom in ?

02-29-2016, 09:45 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjphilippona Quote
Then i just crop to get close up pictures? Or use my DA*50-135 and just zoom in ?
Keep the same distance to your subject, I think your compositions are nice. I'd suggest you raise your f-stop so if your focus is little bit off you will still end up with the important bits (the eyes) acceptably sharp. Ideally you want to be able to nail the focus to the eye, but while you work on that having a little safety margin can be helpful.

The downside is raising your f-stop will decrease the background blur. This can be a fair trade off to get more of your daughter in focus, but if it is troubling it can be countered somewhat if you can arrange the background to be further behind, either by moving your subject or by your choice angle/composition.
02-29-2016, 09:55 AM   #55
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I suggest you go here: Pentax Camera & Lens Sample Photo Search Engine - PentaxForums.com
And check the camera and lens combo that you have. This will let you see what is possible with that combination. If the sample photos, the photos in the User Lens Reviews section, if the photos in lens club threads (there are numerous threads on these forums that are dedicated to specific lenses), photos in the PPG are not up to your standards, then I would agree that a gear change is necessary. But I've seen some mighty fine photos taken with ist* D and old or cheap lenses.

From the sample photos, I gather the main problem is light. You need better light, which will make the image appear more 3D. Portraits, where harsh sunlight is shining from the top, and the person's face is in shade, will not look that great, regardless of how cute the subject is or how great the camera/lens are.
Using the camera correctly, such as using 2sec timer and a tripod for maximum sharpness, using low ISO, pressing the shutter button very gently, giving the SR mechanism time to activate correctly (an icon lights up when it is ready, usually takes half a second after half-pressing the shutter button), using the right AF mode and point-selection.. all of these things should be worked on first. Next comes PP - tones, clarity, sharpness, contrasts, CA correction, NR.. And then new gear acquisition

And one more thing: Often people don't need more sharpness and detail, especially not for portraiture. Lenses that resolve people's wrinkles, skin blemishes, etc. can work against you. Portraiture is the one genre where super-sharpness is not needed, where a lot of time in PP is spent on making skin look smooth, soft, and healthy (while keeping it realistic). Sharpness is needed in things like product photos, macro, landscape, nature, architecture photography

Last edited by Na Horuk; 02-29-2016 at 10:02 AM.
02-29-2016, 06:18 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
OK - got it now!

So... is there no noise reduction at all on K-3 RAW images? Or is it merely less aggressive than on the K-5?
The K-5 has raw NR added at ISO 1600 and up. No NR on the K-3 according to DXOMark. You can see it in the DXO Measurements tab. The hollow dots show where the "raw" processing occurs.
Pentax K-3 vs Pentax K-50 vs Pentax K-5 IIs

Last edited by audiobomber; 03-01-2016 at 10:27 AM.
03-01-2016, 09:26 AM   #57
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If you are inside/low light circumstances there is less light/contrast for the focus to work with. Use of a flash or moving the subject to a more lighted area is going to give you more distinct features. When you have light, you have the option of using an f stop that is going to yield proper depth. Also, if you have movng objects like a child walking/playing, you are going to want to resort to a shutter speed (250, 320, 400) that will handle it. If you are going to be altering original focus settings, you have to make sure you are careful, because the settings are going to be satisfying a certain specification that differs from original specifications. Using SR (shake reduction, camera) is another tool you can utilize. This is general advice.

Last edited by C_Jones; 03-01-2016 at 09:18 PM.
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