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06-29-2011, 01:14 PM   #1
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Low Light and Indoor Pictures - How do you handle them?

The K r takes great outdoor pictures (daytime), but I've been having trouble trying to get some good pictures indoors and when it starts to get dark. I've actually been getting pretty frustrated and a part of me wonders if a point and shoot would do a better job than the K r does in low light.

I almost always get grainy and out of focus shots.

I'm almost positive that it's me that isn't adjusting something I should be adjusting. How do you handle indoor and low light situations? Do you use different settings? Lenses?

I've tried out all of the automatic settings on the camera (auto, portrait, night scene, etc). I haven't tried customizing because I don't want to mess anything up.

All I have is the K r and the DAL 18-55 lens that came with it.

I hope someone can help me out here. Last thing I want is my wife telling me, "I told you you should have just bought a 200 dollar camera!"


Last edited by reivax; 06-29-2011 at 01:16 PM. Reason: typos
06-29-2011, 01:21 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
part of me wonders if a point and shoot would do a better job than the K r does in low ligh
Well a P&S will lead you to this:

QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
I almost always get grainy and out of focus shots.
x10 with the P&S for the above quote.

QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
I've tried out all of the automatic settings on the camera (auto, portrait, night scene, etc). No customization all

All I have is the K r and the DAL 18-55 lens that came with it.
Your issue is the 18-55. You can however pull some descent ones in low light using the short end of the lens (18) with this:

Aperture: 3.5
ISO: 1600 (low light), 3200+ in very dim light

Keep in mind this is without using the on camera flash. You want to focus mostly on Shutter Speed, to achieve the optimal shutter speed, you would keep the aperture open or only stopped down one or two stops and use the ISO to counteract the low light situation...

I would recommend you fiddle first with the settings noted above, from that you will get a better understanding of the affect the aperture and ISO together have on the performance of the shutter speed. After that, it is just a matter of tweaking...

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06-29-2011, 01:24 PM   #3
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Thanks. I will try that out. What setting do you use?

What lens would be a better option for low light situations? (Hopefully not too expensive).

Do you get washed out colors when you use the flash? Again, that may be because I'm not doing something right.
06-29-2011, 01:33 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
What lens would be a better option for low light situations? (Hopefully not too expensive).
There are a ton of lenses that would outperform your kit glass in low light. For a great lens that is not really expensive and performs extremely well in dim light, look at the 35mm 2.4.

QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
Do you get washed out colors when you use the flash? Again, that may be because I'm not doing something right.
I absolutely hate using flash UNLESS I am specifically doing flash photography. I use every means possible to avoid using flash when flash is not needed or the composition does not need flash for fill.

With your on camera flash, 4 out of 5 shots will look washed out if you are shooting in rooms and other confined places. This is however nothing to be overly concerned with as good post processing can fix this rather easily. If you use the on camera flash a lot, i would recommend getting a pop-up flash diffuser to soften the light and to achieve a better distribution of the light...


EDIT: Here is the review link for the 35 2.4 -> https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-DA-L-35mm-F2.4-AL.html



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06-29-2011, 01:35 PM   #5
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I avoid using the flash a lot too. I will have to look into the 2.4. Thanks.
06-29-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
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Only thing to add here.... Try putting your camera on "P" mode. The camera takes a guess at the initial shutter / aperture and you can tweek with the thumbwheel from there.

When I'm in a hurry (kid shots), I leave the ISO on Auto 100-3200. 3200 can produce acceptable photos in many scenarios, but lower is obviously better when you can.
06-29-2011, 02:20 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
What lens would be a better option for low light situations? (Hopefully not too expensive).
I just got a 50mm f/2 used for $30 (less really, since it came with a film SLR body, external flash, and tripod - but all I cared about was the lens). It's more than 20 years old, but still works a treat. Of course it's manual focus, but if that doesn't bother you, or it's something you want to learn anyway, lenses like this are a steal.

It was a SMC Pentax A 1:2 50mm to be exact.

Check your local classifieds and such. I found mine on Kijiji.
06-29-2011, 02:30 PM   #8
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The Kr is one of the best low light cameras available. Leave your ISO on Auto at 200-3200, Set your mode dial to "P" and shoot with the kit lens, print your images 4X6" and you will be happy with the results. When you zoom in on your image on your lcd screen to X16 it will look grainy but will still print nicely. Don't pixel Peep your images.

Hans

06-29-2011, 03:09 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
The K r takes great outdoor pictures (daytime), but I've been having trouble trying to get some good pictures indoors and when it starts to get dark. I've actually been getting pretty frustrated and a part of me wonders if a point and shoot would do a better job than the K r does in low light.

I almost always get grainy and out of focus shots.

I'm almost positive that it's me that isn't adjusting something I should be adjusting. How do you handle indoor and low light situations? Do you use different settings? Lenses?

I've tried out all of the automatic settings on the camera (auto, portrait, night scene, etc). I haven't tried customizing because I don't want to mess anything up.

All I have is the K r and the DAL 18-55 lens that came with it.

I hope someone can help me out here. Last thing I want is my wife telling me, "I told you you should have just bought a 200 dollar camera!"
I know with the K10, K20, one can use the onboard flash as a focus aid. Is that not true anymore? What does your manual say about that?
06-29-2011, 03:54 PM   #10
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The K-r has no trouble focusing using its on board AF assist.
Faster lenses would help make the low light focusing even faster.
Focusing technique is even more valuable in getting focus lock fast and effectively. It involves finding a reasonably well contrasting part of the subject to lock focus on then recompose and shoot.
06-29-2011, 03:58 PM   #11
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Sounds like I just need to get better at what I'm doing. How would you guys frame your focuses? Does that make sense?
06-29-2011, 04:22 PM   #12
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for me, i typically shoot on center focus point, focus on my subject and then recompose the frame. Either that, or i just hold my camera up, point in a general direction, and pray
06-29-2011, 04:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
How would you guys frame your focuses?
I select use AF point Spot (center focus point) and AF.S then put the center point on my subject 1/2 depress the shutter and hold it 1/2 depressed to focus the subject. after the lens focuses the image and while still holding the shutter 1/2 depressed I recompose the image then fully depress the shutter button to take the image. This allows you to focus on a subject and move it off center in the final image.

to help focus in dark areas you must also enable focus assist light Menu "C" item "11" should be "1"

Hans
06-29-2011, 05:58 PM   #14
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Post a photo up with the exif data in tact (resize before you post it) and it will give an indication on where you need to start. A picture paints a thousand words.
06-30-2011, 01:59 AM   #15
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the best solution for indoors with your kit lens is to get a flash that can bounce off the wall/ceiling and you're set.
on other low light situations you can get a fast prime, any of the suggestions above are good choices, but most importantly work on your technique on focusing and plain keeping your hands firm while shooting.
of course a tripod is the best solution for applicable situations.
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