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08-09-2011, 09:38 PM   #1
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Newbie questions...settings etc. (Long..sorry)

I'm in love with "Her Pinkness" (aka the Pretty Pink Pentax).

As advised by my friend who has been instrumental in my decision to purchase it, I have talked to her, stroked her and read the "de"struction manual.

Since she arrived on Monday, I have been bed/couchbound with the flu, so my plans to get out and about and learn how to shoot have been curtailed somewhat. Not that the weather has been overly favourable anyway, but I digress....

I've read through the manual (not a small job) with Her Pinkness in hand and have looked at every menu and setting. I've been reading the threads here avidly. I've also been reading through back issues of various Digital Photography magazines. Yep...I'm bored!

I have also taken a zillion photos of my bedroom, the television set (why can I take lovely clear shots of Gordon Ramsey but everything else is blurry? Is Her Pinkness possessed ), my striped curtains, the doorknob (zoom lenses are wonderful ), the dog and the cat. Varying success and I've managed to completely confuse myself.......

Tomorrow, I HAVE to be out of my sickbed (the cat has an appointment at the vet EARLY to have "the big chop") so I am planning on heading to the botanical gardens with Her Pinkness to have a play. Weather forecast isn't favourable and I daresay it will be quite overcast, or drizzling, so I may find myself inside some of the time.

I have the kit 18 - 55 and 55 - 300 lenses (so far, I LOVE the latter) and was hoping some of you experienced K-r users could give me some suggestions to try with regards to settings to take some reasonable "first proper attempt" photos.

Also, all going well, I am taking Her Pinkness to a schoolboys Australian Rules Football game on Friday at the request of my 12yo son who will be playing. I'd love some hints on action photos that won't embarrass me completely. I've taken some rippers on the Olympus SP-600UZ P&S but am well aware that compared to the K-r, we might as well be talking apples and oranges.

And finally, if you're still with me....Saturday is RUGBY (Union...the game they play in heaven and my first love). Semi-finals day and the guys have become accustomed to me wandering around with the Olympus but may need some convincing that Her Pinkness is a "real" camera!! Weather forecast again is for crap weather....if not raining, then at best, probably quite grey (although possibly quite bright....our grey days in Tasmania are different to grey days elsewhere...not as miserable) *running*.

HELP!! (please! )

Lisa

08-09-2011, 09:45 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Hi & welcome. I hope these suggestions will do her pinkness justice.

For sport, in reasonable light, I use the following settings:

- Tv mode (ie shutter priority)
- 1/500 (any slower and you will get blurred shots, if possible use even faster speeds in good light)
- AF-C (this is critical for subjects that are moving around, as AF-S mode could result in your subject moving out of your DOF between when you focusing and when the shutter is released)
- Drive mode is continuous High (bring a big SD card)
- Centre point only, but you've got to make sure you keep the subject in the ( ) symbols in the view finder
- Auto ISO with range from 100 to 6400. If ISO starts to go above ISO3200 I start to worry though, and start to look around for a faster lens or a slower player

I use these setting with my 55-300 a lot and find I get good results.
08-09-2011, 09:50 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Hi & welcome. I hope these suggestions will do her pinkness justice.
Thanks so much twitch, exactly the kind of info I am looking for! I'll definitely have a play with your settings and see if I can make Her Pinkness sing!

Lisa
08-10-2011, 12:09 AM   #4
hcc
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twitch gave you some excellent suggestions. Let me add a little...

- The 50-300mm is likely to be more useful IMO than the 18-55mm.

- You can also set the dial mode to Sport (# shutter priority).

- Center focus is a definite

- AF-C is a good idea, but you may try also AF-S. (AF-S will not shoot unless the subject is in focus.)

- Hi continuous shooting works best with JPEG - Check your file type...

- In the menu, I would limit the ISO to 3200. As pointed by twitch, it is best not to push the ISO too high even is the K-r is a good performer at high ISO

- Take some cloth (soft cloth for lenses/glasses) to wipe the lens if it is rainy or foggy. Especially in Tassie!

- Make sure that your battery is fully charged.

- Have you checked your firmware? Do you have the latest version? In the negative, update it tonight.

- Afterwards, do transfer your shots to computer and post-process (PP) them. You can use PDCU which comes with the camera. (After installing it, do update the software to the latest version 4.33.)

I hoe that the comments will help....


Last edited by hcc; 08-10-2011 at 12:37 AM.
08-10-2011, 12:43 AM   #5
Ash
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Enjoy the game first, Lisa.
Then concentrate on capturing the split-second moments that show the brute force, emotions and action of the game, since that's much of what sports photography is all about.

Try to keep your 55-300 at apertures between f/5.6-8 to maximise your image quality for those reasonably fast shutter speeds, but be meticulous with your focus.

Previous advice is right on the money as well.
Hope it goes well for you, and let's see some results when it's all done.
08-10-2011, 05:10 AM   #6
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Regarding the botanical garden, both lenses could be useful but the 18-55 focuses really close, which is obviously nice for flower/plant shots. The 55-300 is a really nice lens but you have to get pretty far back for it to focus. So, I'd imagine you'll use the 18-55 more there.

Enjoy your outings and hope you feel much better!
08-10-2011, 06:40 AM   #7
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I have the same kit only in black, For sports action I agree with the above but for everyday photos I like using AF-S and pre-focusing holding the shutter 1/2 depressed then fully depressing when the right moment comes I use AV and set my 55-300 @ f8. and autoiso to 200-3200. I have to re-focus often then hold the shutter 1/2 depressed, I find this works great for birds bugs, flowers and other wildlife.

Hans
08-12-2011, 01:37 AM   #8
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I finally managed to get out and about today. Oh boy do I have a lot to learn. But that said, I'm quite pleased with what I managed to do...it was a good honest attempt anyway.

Here are a selection...please be gentle!

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08-12-2011, 03:40 AM   #9
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They look good to me. The second one could use a bit of noise reduction, but the capture is nice. What program are you using to process them so far?
08-12-2011, 03:45 AM   #10
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Thank you! I'm rapt with them for my first "real" attempt!

I use Corel Paint Shop Photo Pro X3. Haven't been able to afford Photoshop yet.

Lisa
08-12-2011, 04:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ellzintaz Quote

I use Corel Paint Shop Photo Pro X3. Haven't been able to afford Photoshop yet.

Lisa
You can use Paint.NET. Doesn't cost a penny and has a lot of Plug-ins, IMO equal to LR3. You can get it from ---> www.getpaint.net
08-12-2011, 03:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ellzintaz Quote
Haven't been able to afford Photoshop yet.

Lisa
Photoshop Elements 9 has 95% of full Photoshop capabilities and can be purchased on sale for $50- 90 US. I find it is all I need

Hans
08-13-2011, 06:56 PM   #13
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Well...the Rugby is done and dusted and we WON!! AND the weather was kind and I took the K-r out for her first sports outing!!

I know I have a very long way to go, but I'm happy with my start!

OK, I know the settings are probably way out, but for me, the result is a pleasant surprise compared to what I'm used to!

Lisa
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08-13-2011, 08:10 PM   #14
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I'd say you're off to a great start. Notice how the first two at 1/750th second freeze the action a bit better than the second two, which are at 1/180th second. You must have had good light to get the first two at that speed and f./5.8. Nicely done.
08-13-2011, 09:59 PM   #15
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Thank you!
The last two were taken MUCH later in the day, around 4.30pm so the light was fading a bit.
It's such a learning curve but my first efforts have given me so much more confidence. I took well over 1000 shots, could have taken more but kept forgetting that I don't have to compensate for shutter lag any more.
We're in the Preliminary Final next weekend so I'm going to take on board what I learned yesterday and go forth again armed with Her Royal Pinkness and take yet more photos!
My motto next week, I have two batteries, a battery adaptor and two 8g memory cards and I'm not afraid to use them!

Lisa
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