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06-01-2016, 05:24 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mash4077 Quote
Ok, question here. I have / am working out how to focus lock whilst re framing. How do you Shake Reduction lock whilst re framing?
Either pan to recompose slowly or wait a second after recomposing for SR to lock in again. It would be nice if Pentax had a beep to indicate that SR had locked in ...

06-01-2016, 09:21 PM   #47
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I looked at the other photographers' photo yesterday, briefly, and a couple things jumped out at me. First, a couple of them didn't really seem any better than yours; they seemed equally sharp/not sharp, though it was also hard to compare directly, since they had smaller images, which would probably look sharper even if they weren't at full size.

Second, it looked like several of their photos were composed in a manner that minimized the effects of the relatively shallow depth of field from the necessary wide aperture. Some of the bus shots were taken at a more parallel angle to the bus, so the angle of the bus doesn't lead it out of the depth of field range so much. Similarly, with the man and woman next to the bus, the compositions were such that they were about as far from the camera as the bus was, so both the bus and people would be in focus. For the photo of the single bus at an angle to the camera, one of their shots was more head-on, compared to your bus being at more of an angle. The more head-on bus would exhibit greater focus falloff as you move toward the back of the bus, but it would fall off quickly, as expected. With your similar shot, more of the side of the bus was readily visible, which results in a large slightly out-of-focus visual element in the photo.

Lee
06-01-2016, 09:36 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mash4077 Quote
So for no other reason than pure convenience and flexibility point of view I think I will invest in the Sigma 18-50 f2.8. Having spoken with SRS Microsystems who import all the Pentax gear to the UK they are saying that whilst not officially discontinued they are hearing the hints of "well it is in short supply" etc and with all websites selling it for something close to 400 off at the minute I think I would be silly not to bite the bullet in the same way I did with the Sigma 150-500 last year before they disappeared from the shelves. At the end of the day I do not think it will be a waste of money or a false investment and I know that it will not solve my problems as most are obviously knowledge / experience related.
The Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 Click Here is not what I think most people would recommend. That lens IS discontinued and is not as wide as you can get for similar cost from Sigma or Tamron. The 17-50 f/2.8 Sigma Click Here and Tamron Click Here are wider and a little more loved than the 18-50. A comparison of the two 17-50's and the Pentax 16-50 is found here.

Remember also the weather resistance of your camera is not intact if you have a non-weather resistant lens mounted. The primes you used are not weather resistant nor are the Sigma or Tamron lenses. The Pentax 16-50 is - which may be an important consideration for you or it may not. Since the warranty is not going to cover water intrusion you may just decide that this feature is only to be used as a backup to plastic bags and umbrellas.

QuoteOriginally posted by leekil Quote
I looked at the other photographers' photo yesterday, briefly, and a couple things jumped out at me. First, a couple of them didn't really seem any better than yours; they seemed equally sharp/not sharp, though it was also hard to compare directly, since they had smaller images, which would probably look sharper even if they weren't at full size.
I tried to say this earlier and I think you phrased it better. The lower resolution images show less noise and it is difficult to compare. Downsampling can improve the look a lot. I also think the main difference is the lighting effects in post processing. Many of them used a nostalgic look which is harder to achieve without a lot of specific effort.
06-02-2016, 01:10 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 Click Here is not what I think most people would recommend. That lens IS discontinued and is not as wide as you can get for similar cost from Sigma or Tamron. The 17-50 f/2.8 Sigma Click Here and Tamron Click Here are wider and a little more loved than the 18-50. A comparison of the two 17-50's and the Pentax 16-50 is found here.

Remember also the weather resistance of your camera is not intact if you have a non-weather resistant lens mounted. The primes you used are not weather resistant nor are the Sigma or Tamron lenses. The Pentax 16-50 is - which may be an important consideration for you or it may not. Since the warranty is not going to cover water intrusion you may just decide that this feature is only to be used as a backup to plastic bags and umbrellas.

I tried to say this earlier and I think you phrased it better. The lower resolution images show less noise and it is difficult to compare. Downsampling can improve the look a lot. I also think the main difference is the lighting effects in post processing. Many of them used a nostalgic look which is harder to achieve without a lot of specific effort.
Apologies, finger / memory trouble late at night - it is indeed the 17-50 f2.8 that I am looking at which is the one that was compared to the Pentax and Tamron lenses

06-02-2016, 01:15 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mash4077 Quote
Ok, question here. I have / am working out how to focus lock whilst re framing. How do you Shake Reduction lock whilst re framing?
It's only a matter of holding still for at least 0.5 seconds before you fully press the shutter button.
If you don't have time to hold still before firing you should turn SR off.
06-02-2016, 01:23 AM   #51
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Personally, I've shot Nikon and pondered moving to or shooting in addition to Pentax Fujifilm and even M43. However, none of that was because my Pentax gear was inferior. When I was shooting Nikon I needed longer lenses which at the time Pentax either didn't have or were insanely expensive, it was cheaper to use a dual system.

The reason I've considered a dual system again is size. For normal photography, I enjoy the size of an SLR which is easy to use, but in the mountains while climbing technical routes, smaller is better (as long as it's usable.

So, getting that aside. I absolutely love the K-5IIs. The IQ is outstanding, the focus is fast and accurate. The camera size is great. I've reviewed the K-3 as well and found it to be a great camera, but a little bigger and not really that much better in IQ. However, it has more focus points and it has a more advanced meter.

The problem is, based on what you wrote, I'm not sure you understand how focus points work. Focus points don't offer more focus, they offer more places for the camera to focus. The depth of focus is the same on a APS-C Nikon or the Pentax K-5IIs and matching Sigma 10-20mm lens at a given aperture and focal length.

Metering is similarly simplistic. Although new meters are definitely more accurate in tough lighting than old center weighted systems, your camera still sees the world in shades of grey. In tones. All you have to do to get accurate exposures is set the camera to spot meter, meter a middle toned portion of your subject and adjust EV comp based on the key component of the image. So for instance, I'm shooting a landscape, I meter the green grass or blue sky. Both are mid tone grey. But if I wanted to shoot into the sun for a silhouette, I would meter my subject and stop down two stops to get the silhouette.

As far as focusing in low light. The K-5IIs seems to do a great job. I've had good success in low light in tough conditions using both slow lenses (3.5-5.6) and faster f/2 glass. My guess is it's either a DOF issue or a front back focus issue. With my K-7 I had to correct every lens. With the k-5IIs, they almost all work out of the box, but I did do a correction on my FA 35mm F/2.

Finally, Sigma glass can be a good option for Pentax system, but part of the reason Sigma isn't selling as much Pentax glass is Pentax now has a very robust lineup. Everything from wide to Telephoto is covered. Sigma is best for filling in niche glass like a 30mm 1.4 or 28mm 1.8...however, Pentax even has lenses there, the 31mm limited is close enough to those.

I'm not hating on Sigma. I had the 20mm 1.8 (hated it) 10-20mm and liked it. I have a 70-300mm (very good travel lens), a 400mm 5.6 (tiny and hand holdable). I also have a 70-200 2.8 (excellent lens). However, I'd trade my Sigma glass for Pentax glass in most cases. Sigma often produces a sharper lens, but lacking contrast, flare and distortion control that Pentax often exceeds at.






---------- Post added 06-02-2016 at 08:32 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gbeaton Quote
I have a K-5II BECAUSE I wanted better low light performance. I hope I'm not misguided but I'd say 95% of the NON-point-and-shooters out there use centre-focus only. Frame your shot, point the centre reticle at the desired spot, lock the focus, repoint to the desired framing, done! This is fast and accurate, focusing where YOU want and it only takes a fraction of a second. And as mentioned, a fast wide lens will have more in focus.
I shoot center point and recompose a lot, but I'd say it isn't the best technique on critical focus with large apertures and close focusing. The closer I am, the wider the aperture, the more likely I am to use non center point for the most accurate focus.

This doesn't mean I need 95 focus points. 10-20 is plenty, 27 would be a little better I guess. But with 11 I'm usually not moving the camera that much to line the closest point up with my desired point of focus.

At f/8 and up or with ultra wide angles from say 5.6, I usually just shoot for what I think (based on experience, but sometimes a depth of focus chart or app) is the optimal spot to focus or do the center point and recompose. Usually a little variance at these apertures isn't the end of the world.

---------- Post added 06-02-2016 at 08:35 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dafbp Quote
It's easier than you think: just set the camera to AF-Single (set the switch to 12 o'clock). Then, when you Half press the shutter button to focus, don't release it. That way the focus will remain locked at that distance and you can move the camera around to your preferred framing. Then just press the other half of the way
If you're on a tripod and want to keep that focus, just turn it to Manual after setting it. Then you can try taking pictures in various settings without worrying about focusing.
I recommend not mapping the focus to the shutter. Use the AF button, then you don't have to hold the button halfway. In the custom settings turn off the AF on shutter button.
06-02-2016, 02:26 AM   #52
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My 2 cents on night photography which work for me --> Always use tripod or gorillapod + always fire shutter with at less 2 sec timer or a remote control.
On my K5 (yes, I am still using the K5 classic!) When I set it to timer or remote control, it will auto turn the SR off. (i guess, it truth for K-5II, K-3, K-1 too?). I think it make more sense that way rather than turn off SR but use finger to fire the shutter. b/c even on a steady tripod, using finger to fire the shutter, you still risk camera shake. And since I already on tripod, I always go for starburst and light trails to make image looks a bit more interesting, so my setting always using smaller f-stop, longer exposure time. A few of my example night photo can be found here.

On a low light without tripod situation, I don’t have much to add. All earlier comments are very much on point.

hope that helps.

Last edited by pakinjapan; 06-02-2016 at 02:36 AM.
06-02-2016, 04:02 AM   #53
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My son has good eyes so he manually focuses. If I had good eyes, I think thats what I would do. You frame, see the point you want in focus, turn the ring and bingo. Its surprising how often you get it right.

06-02-2016, 09:31 AM   #54
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I always try to use a tripod for night or low light shots. Anything will suffice. Real tripod, gorilla pod, ultrapod, wall/ledge, bicycle seat. In fact, I've taken some really good images with less than ideal camera bracing situations. But if possible I use a tripod.

Typically I'll shoot at at least f/8-11 at night for a starburst effect, assuming I am on a tripod and subject movement isn't a problem. I'll also use a low ISO if subject motion isn't an issue.

Set the drive mode to 2 second timer or better use a remote and 3 second timer. This turns off the SR, which shouldn't be used on a tripod and it also eliminates vibration from you pressing the shutter. Not to mention mirror slap.

I didn't look at your images from my phone, but I did look at the Flickr photos of your shooting mates and I agree with the comments above. They used better angles/framing to cut down on DOF issues. Beyond that they didn't post super high res images, and I think the exif was stripped in them. So they could have gone through some really heavy noise reduction and then down sampled, which will increase apparent sharpness and decrease most flaws.

One last thing, you mentioned an old raw converter. I HIGHLY recommend buying a modern raw converter on sale. You can download most of them for 30 day trial.

My person preference for RAW conversion is DXO Optics Pro 10. They simply have more data on camera and lens combinations then anyone, they have more data on noise, and I can correct most images for final output in 3-5 minutes using a lot of the automated features. I recommend watching DXO webinars as some of the parameters work against each other so if you correct for one thing and then scroll down you might end up uncorrecting it. There is definitely a learning curve coming from light room. But, IMO, DXO is a superior product.

I've paired it with ACDSEE for an Adobe free image processing and management work flow and ACDSEE 9 Ultimate does allow image editing in layers for those times I need to do some additional touch up work (ie photoshop work). But I'd say Optics Pro has eliminated 90% of my need for that. Also, ACDSEE works with many photoshop plug-ins. So all my old plug-ins still work.

Many people use Lightroom for image management and DXO for processing, but ACDSEE I find is actually more robust for keywords, meta data, tags, ratings and such. So it actually makes more sense.



06-02-2016, 10:32 AM - 1 Like   #55
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I have to plus one dxo.

I don't however always love the profiles model. When I use adapted lenses or lenses without an ID the system fails me. I really wish for combinations they lack at times. But that's kind of a minor nit. Most of my combos are covered.
06-02-2016, 10:39 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I have to plus one dxo.

I don't however always love the profiles model. When I use adapted lenses or lenses without an ID the system fails me. I really wish for combinations they lack at times. But that's kind of a minor nit. Most of my combos are covered.
That and the fact they absolutely won't let you process a file they lack a profile for, even if you convert it to DNG! For instance, the Olympus Tough TG-4 (which they are releasing a profile for) can't be processed till they do.

Whereas, adobe, I can generally convert to DNG and it will process the file from just about any camera.

That said, they cover most of my cameras and many of my lenses. Obviously the old stuff isn't covered, which is a shame. I'd love to be able to mail them my lenses and have them create profiles.
06-02-2016, 11:11 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mountain Vision Quote
I always try to use a tripod for night or low light shots. Anything will suffice. Real tripod, gorilla pod, ultrapod, wall/ledge, bicycle seat. In fact, I've taken some really good images with less than ideal camera bracing situations. But if possible I use a tripod.

Typically I'll shoot at at least f/8-11 at night for a starburst effect, assuming I am on a tripod and subject movement isn't a problem. I'll also use a low ISO if subject motion isn't an issue.

Set the drive mode to 2 second timer or better use a remote and 3 second timer. This turns off the SR, which shouldn't be used on a tripod and it also eliminates vibration from you pressing the shutter. Not to mention mirror slap.

I didn't look at your images from my phone, but I did look at the Flickr photos of your shooting mates and I agree with the comments above. They used better angles/framing to cut down on DOF issues. Beyond that they didn't post super high res images, and I think the exif was stripped in them. So they could have gone through some really heavy noise reduction and then down sampled, which will increase apparent sharpness and decrease most flaws.

One last thing, you mentioned an old raw converter. I HIGHLY recommend buying a modern raw converter on sale. You can download most of them for 30 day trial.

My person preference for RAW conversion is DXO Optics Pro 10. They simply have more data on camera and lens combinations then anyone, they have more data on noise, and I can correct most images for final output in 3-5 minutes using a lot of the automated features. I recommend watching DXO webinars as some of the parameters work against each other so if you correct for one thing and then scroll down you might end up uncorrecting it. There is definitely a learning curve coming from light room. But, IMO, DXO is a superior product.

I've paired it with ACDSEE for an Adobe free image processing and management work flow and ACDSEE 9 Ultimate does allow image editing in layers for those times I need to do some additional touch up work (ie photoshop work). But I'd say Optics Pro has eliminated 90% of my need for that. Also, ACDSEE works with many photoshop plug-ins. So all my old plug-ins still work.

Many people use Lightroom for image management and DXO for processing, but ACDSEE I find is actually more robust for keywords, meta data, tags, ratings and such. So it actually makes more sense.
Downloading DXO Optics Pro 11 trial now, so will install and have a look for 30 days etc.

Currently I am using Elements but do have Photoshop & Lightroom which I am looking at getting into, being a mature student and working in education means I can get the entire Adobe suite for 13 a month and I do webdesign so use Dreamweaver.
06-02-2016, 11:15 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mountain Vision Quote
That and the fact they absolutely won't let you process a file they lack a profile for, even if you convert it to DNG! For instance, the Olympus Tough TG-4 (which they are releasing a profile for) can't be processed till they do.

Whereas, adobe, I can generally convert to DNG and it will process the file from just about any camera.

That said, they cover most of my cameras and many of my lenses. Obviously the old stuff isn't covered, which is a shame. I'd love to be able to mail them my lenses and have them create profiles.
I think that's only for cameras. The unsupported lenses on my K-3 & GX7 process just fine.

---------- Post added 06-02-16 at 02:18 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Mash4077 Quote
Downloading DXO Optics Pro 11 trial now, so will install and have a look for 30 days etc.

Currently I am using Elements but do have Photoshop & Lightroom which I am looking at getting into, being a mature student and working in education means I can get the entire Adobe suite for 13 a month and I do webdesign so use Dreamweaver.
I'm a little miffed as I just bought DXO Optics 10 and the filmpack and viewpoint add on items back in January of this year. To upgrade is still $70 and I have only had it 6 months - that's kind of lame.
06-02-2016, 12:10 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mash4077 Quote
Downloading DXO Optics Pro 11 trial now, so will install and have a look for 30 days etc.

Currently I am using Elements but do have Photoshop & Lightroom which I am looking at getting into, being a mature student and working in education means I can get the entire Adobe suite for 13 a month and I do webdesign so use Dreamweaver.
I'm not a fan of the Adobe business model. I understand why they did it, but it doesn't mean I like it. However, if you can access everything for $13 a month then it may make sense.

All that said, I wasn't all that impresssed with DXO when I first tried it because I'd used lightroom for so long and had a good workflow. But once I made the decision to learn it and use it, I've been very impressed. I truly think it's processing engine is superior and the Prime noise reduction....HOLY SH!T....just that alone is worth it if you are disappointed with your noise levels.

Prime really does seem to zap noise without zapping detail. There is a great webinar from DXO where they shot at like 128,000 ISO or something ridiculous and the prime eliminated all the noise.

I generally run the prime anything over 400 and definitely 800 and it cleans up the images nicely. The K-5IIs is fine up to 3200 and Prime really milks the ability to use higher ISO.
06-02-2016, 12:11 PM   #60
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Just been having a look at DXO Optics and it looks and feels easy to use. I looked at a picture that Elements struggled with and DXO looks great. The image is here, full size JPG so no benefit from downsizing. What do you guys think?

Link

---------- Post added 06-02-16 at 12:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Mountain Vision Quote
I'm not a fan of the Adobe business model. I understand why they did it, but it doesn't mean I like it. However, if you can access everything for $13 a month then it may make sense.

All that said, I wasn't all that impresssed with DXO when I first tried it because I'd used lightroom for so long and had a good workflow. But once I made the decision to learn it and use it, I've been very impressed. I truly think it's processing engine is superior and the Prime noise reduction....HOLY SH!T....just that alone is worth it if you are disappointed with your noise levels.

Prime really does seem to zap noise without zapping detail. There is a great webinar from DXO where they shot at like 128,000 ISO or something ridiculous and the prime eliminated all the noise.

I generally run the prime anything over 400 and definitely 800 and it cleans up the images nicely. The K-5IIs is fine up to 3200 and Prime really milks the ability to use higher ISO.
I know what you mean about Prime Noise Reduction, have used that on the above file and sat and watched noise vanish.
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