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01-19-2011, 01:36 PM   #1
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Happy New K-R User

Hello,

I bought a K-R as a Christmas present to myself as my introduction to the world of DSLR photography. I was originally considering the Nikon D3100 and the Canon T2i but after handling them at Costco was underwhelmed by their "plasticy" feel. I had read good things about Pentax build quality and saw a great deal on Amazon for a K-R kit with the 18-55 and 50-200 lenses for $675. It seemed like too good of a deal to pass up!

My shots are definitely "hit or miss" so far but I attribute that to user error. The shots I like give me hope though. The concept of bokeh is totally new to me and I love it! Most of the pictures I take are centered around chasing my high energy 3 year old son.

I'm looking forward to learning from the seasoned shooters here.

Thanks and Regards!

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01-19-2011, 01:46 PM   #2
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welcome, if you are happy that's great, if in the second shot you focused on the poster - "santa stop here", and in the third you focused on your son's hand, then all seems to be working fine

i'm happy kr user too.
it already served me well on several important shoots.
01-19-2011, 01:52 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mystic Quote
welcome, if you are happy that's great, if in the second shot you focused on the poster - "santa stop here", and in the third you focused on your son's hand, then all seems to be working fine

i'm happy kr user too.
it already served me well on several important shoots.
Mystic, thank you for the focus comments. I discovered the center point focus option long after I took these. I have the feeling that is the focus setting I need to stick with until I get the hang of this more.
01-19-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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That 3rd one would have been a really lovely shot if you had nailed focus maybe you can sharpen his face up in PP ?

Anyway you'll have many more opportunities with your very photogenic son !

DOF : keep the f number low (f4 - f5.6 or lower, for example) to nail that nice sharp image of your son with a nice blurred background (called Bokeh).

If your son isn't in the middle of the frame then use AF-S instead of AF-C. Focus on your subject then half depress the shutter, wait for the focus confirmation (beep and green hex' lights up at the bottom of the viewer) then re-compose your photo keeping the shutter half-depressed and, when happy with the composition, depress the shutter fully. You'll get a lot more shots in focus !

01-19-2011, 04:41 PM   #5
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Chrisinatl, congratulations on your new Kr. You are experiencing the same results I am with my new Kr. When I focus properly I get great shots and when misfocus I get the results like your pics 2 and 3, slightly off. I am doing better every day with more practice. You made a good choice and will grow more proficient with practice. I assume the good looking young subject is your son. I am sure we will see more of him in future posts.
01-19-2011, 07:26 PM   #6
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Frogfish and Texoma, thanks for your feedback and kind comments regarding my son. Thankfully he gets his looks from his mom.

Frogfish, I have not tried manually setting the focus mode before. Just playing around with the camera at my desk I think I grasp the concept of using AF-S. I'll try to put it in practice tomorrow with my "test subject".

The comments here prompted me to take a closer look at the different versions I have of the third shot I posted and I was happy to see I had one where the focus was a bit better. I am still in the same habit I had with my point and shoot which was pressing the shutter button several times and hoping something good came of it..... I'm working on refining that!
01-19-2011, 07:35 PM   #7
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Contrary to what one or more people have said, stick to smaller apertures (higher f stops) for now. This will ensure deeper depth of field. In other words, more of the picture will be in focus.

Once you get better at getting sharp shots with smaller apertures, you can try getting more creative with things like bokeh.

Another thing, getting sharp shots of moving subjects indoors is one of the most difficult things to do. Be mindful of this as its not easy.

Hope this helps. Welcome to the club.
01-19-2011, 07:40 PM   #8
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I would strongly recommend that you rent this book from the library or if you like to have something to periodically reference to buy this book:

Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition) (9780817463007): Bryan Peterson: Books

Best of luck. Nothing like kids to use a camera on. Once you get good at it, try making a photo book with Blurb. Great memories need to be printed too...

01-20-2011, 02:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
Contrary to what one or more people have said, stick to smaller apertures (higher f stops) for now. This will ensure deeper depth of field. In other words, more of the picture will be in focus.

Once you get better at getting sharp shots with smaller apertures, you can try getting more creative with things like bokeh.

Another thing, getting sharp shots of moving subjects indoors is one of the most difficult things to do. Be mindful of this as its not easy.

Hope this helps. Welcome to the club.
Sorry to disagree with you Krebsy but the OP specifically said he loves the concept of Bokeh - which you aren't going to get using high f stops. It's not a difficult concept to understand (very basically higher number less DOF and lower number more DOF) and if you can grasp it from the off then you will immediately have better, more professional looking, shots with subject isolation - though as you rightly said, less keepers. Everyone's MMV on this point though.

Here's a good intro : http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/depth-of-field.htm

Last edited by Frogfish; 01-20-2011 at 02:46 AM.
01-21-2011, 04:20 PM   #10
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Krebsy97, Psychdoc & Frogfish thanks for the additional feedback.

The shots I've been taking so far have been in full auto or in the various scene modes but as I review the images and try to see what went right or wrong with them I have been reviewing the shooting data to see which settings the camera selected. My goal is to become comfortable with all the variables to be able to effectively shoot manually.

I just received Kelby's Digital Phototgraphy book and found some good tips there but that is a far from comprehensive resource. I took Pyschdoc's recommendation and just placed an order for Understanding Exposure.

I'm pretty amazed at the relatively nice images I took with my K-R shooting my son in his gymnastics class yesterday. I had read before that gymnasiums are notoriously difficult places to get good images with zoom. When I was reviewing the ISO data on some of those shots I was surprised to see some nice action shots as high as ISO 12800.

I have lots to learn but I think this camera is a great tool to work with. It's pretty cool to venture away from the Nikon and Canon herds too!
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01-22-2011, 09:30 AM   #11
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Chrisinatl : I think you can also improve your photos tremendously if you are conversant with a good editing program. There are lots out there but if have no previous experience of them then the likes of Picasa (free), Gimp (free - and it's just like Photoshop !), Adobe Photoshop Elements, PhotoImpact, Paintshop Pro, Photoscape (free), Irfanview (free), PhotoShop Express (free), Picnik and of course the big boys such as Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture (Mac - and actually very easy to use and now reduced to only US$79 !), Capture NX and Bibble (excellent !) are there.

Mac : good place to start looking Mac Photo Editing Software Review 2011 - TopTenREVIEWS

Windows : Photo Editing Software Review 2011 | Photo Image Editing | Digital Photo Editor - TopTenREVIEWS
01-23-2011, 07:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mystic Quote
...and in the third you focused on your son's hand, then all seems to be working fine
I bet that this is the practical manifestation of the tungsten FF issue. Can you post the photo with the Exif, please?
01-23-2011, 10:36 AM   #13
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I'm not sure how to have the EXIF included but I read in the forum help section that if an image is too large the EXIF data will be removed so I'll start by uploading a smaller copy.
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01-23-2011, 12:11 PM   #14
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It's possible that sections of the Exif to be removed when you redim. the photo in your editing software. I tried to open it with PhotoME, to see where the focus was made, but didn't work. You can download PhotoME and load the picture to see AF point where was pointed, like in my screenshot.
By the way, nice kid!

01-23-2011, 12:18 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ursamajor Quote
I bet that this is the practical manifestation of the tungsten FF issue. Can you post the photo with the Exif, please?
Since the first two were taken out of doors and the third is well lit, hardly likely.
woody
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