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11-24-2012, 09:17 AM   #91
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I much prefer shooting with primes, but sometimes auto focusing and auto lenses are ok. I'm a noob to DSLR, but in years past, I used prime lenses on an SLR. What I really don't like is when I see folks with outstanding, brand-new $2000+ digital cameras using only auto focus and auto focus zooms. To me, that defeats the purpose of having a manually-focusing camera with interchangeable lenses.

I go back to my kit lens (the humble 18-55 DAL) when things are moving fast and when I need help getting a shot. But I'm wanting to explore what I can do with my primes, albeit at a slower pace, in my "me" moments at home.

After shooting my son (not literally!) in the stadium (he's a college snare drummer) over several weeks with a prime lens, I just wish I had used a DA telephoto auto zoom on some of the shots.

Nevertheless, the Sears 135mm rendered a very dreamy, sometimes sharp, and quite colorful assortment of photos which I can post once I find some suitable for posting. Like the young lady who began this thread, I work many hours and try to give some of my leftover time to learning my KR. I am here to get advice and help.

11-24-2012, 05:34 PM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
I much prefer shooting with primes
What is prime?

Right now, I don't want a new lens, but suggestions are still more than welcome :P I will get a new lens eventually...

I was looking through the manual and stopped at the build of the camera and it said (I have two manuals, one in Russian and one in Estonian, and I don't know if this is a correct translation) there is a "dioptre regulator". What is a dioptre? I moved it and what I saw in viewfinder was real blurry. I don't really care much about it, but what I do care about could that affect the outcome of my picture somehow? I took some sample photos but they were all blurry due to movement and it's kinda dark here so...

If all goes well I will take some photos on Tuesday, I'm looking forward to it. This forum is so cool, I never thought I would get so much help and all, so I can't wait for the moment when I look at my photos and I'm like "did IIII really take THIS nice & sharp photo?"

QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
Absolutely and I'm really, REALLY ashamed and sorry I doubted you
don't worry about it.
11-24-2012, 06:39 PM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by hollywoodhr Quote
What is prime?

Right now, I don't want a new lens, but suggestions are still more than welcome :P I will get a new lens eventually...

I was looking through the manual and stopped at the build of the camera and it said (I have two manuals, one in Russian and one in Estonian, and I don't know if this is a correct translation) there is a "dioptre regulator". What is a dioptre? I moved it and what I saw in viewfinder was real blurry. I don't really care much about it, but what I do care about could that affect the outcome of my picture sdomehow? I took some sample photos but they were all blurry due to movement and it's kinda dark here so...
A prime is a lens with a fixed focal length (such as 50mm, 100mm) rather than a zoom lens that covers a range of focal lengths.

A diopter is part of the viewfinder eyepiece and allows you to make adjustment for near or far sightedness - so you can use the viewfinder without needing prescription glasses. You need to set the diopter so that the viewfinder image is clear.

Regards, Gary
11-26-2012, 08:09 AM   #94
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QuoteQuote:
Might I ask for lens suggestions? Sometimes I need a little more reach than my 18-55 kit lens allows. I would like to purchase my first automatic zoom, probably from Adorama, B&H, or here in the forum. (I like having a manual option on those if I can get it.)
I've been in the market for the same thing and I was recently recommended SMC Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.7-5.8 Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database. Might be worth looking into, there are definitely better lenses to be had, but this one seems like the best bang for your buck.

11-26-2012, 09:23 AM   #95
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Depending on what camera you have, the DA L 55-300 is a companion to the DA L 18-55. The price is reasonable, you have complete coverate between 18mm and 300mm, and the lens is well regarded.

As an alternative, the DA L 50-200 is almost the same size and weight as the DA L 18-55, uses the same filter size, but image quality is generally just a tiny bit less than than the 55-300. Still, the pair makes for a very compact travel kit.

The optics of the DA L series are the same as the more expensive DA series. So long as you treat your lenses with respect, so far as I am concerned there is little advantage to the metal mount of the DA series over the plastic mount of the DA L series. Although there are times I have wished for the quick-shift feature of the DA lens to more quickly tweak my camera's auto-focus without switching the body from AF to MF mode. Quick-shift is not included with the DA L series.
11-26-2012, 09:38 AM   #96
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Thanks for the ideas. I probably will go with my kit lens's big brother due to budget limitations and then get a more professional grade later.
11-26-2012, 10:04 AM   #97
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Hey hollywood - just jumping in on the thread now, seems like some awesome advice has been given - I'd just like to give my 3 cents ..(if it hasnt been mentioned before) :

- Stay away from trees/grass. For now. Notice that most examples people give is a static subject, or a portrait. Trees , to me is an extra complexity.
1. Shakes (the leaves are blown by wind - and you can be as steady as you want, with a tripod, and you are not moving, and the tree is imperceptibly moving. you need a faster shutter speed, a faster lens...etc.
2. Metering : Trees are dark, sky is bright, leaves are green.....point a camera at a landscape full of black trees under open sunny skyin general and if you set it on auto you will get really weird metering.

With the knowledge given by everyone else in this board, take pictures of your friends...or structural, or still life for now. Once you get really sharp pictures there with good metering, then i'd go back to trees.

Cheers
11-27-2012, 05:21 AM   #98
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Thanks, D4rknezz! I guess you're right. I'm not a fan of portraits, though. But I will be taking some photos of a friend of mine, thought I would try to take some portraits or something, maybe that really does suit me better, I don't know if I haven't tried now do I. Anyways, thanks for the advice

Today I took some photos in the Av mode. I tried to keep aperture between f5,6 - f8. I did change that exposure bias too, at times.

I processed them in Picasa. When I had a photo which looked real dark (that is underexposed I think?), I thought I would edit it later in the computer, but when I viewed the photos, Picasa automatically changed the lighting balance or smth. How can I make it stop, it changed my photos too much at times...

An example

This is the original



and this is what picasa made it look like


well it looks nice I guess, but I still wanna edit it myself... you know.



Filename - IMGP4610.jpg
ImageWidth - 4352
ImageLength - 2868
BitsPerSample -
Compression - -1 (Unknown)
PhotometricInterpretation - -32733
Make - PENTAX
Model - PENTAX K-r
StripOffset - 109952
SamplesPerPixel - 1
RowsPerStrip - 2868
StripByteCount - 7439492
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
PlanarConfiguration - 1
ResolutionUnit - Inch
Software - K-r Ver 1.12
DateTime - 2012:11:27 13:14:46
Artist - Picasa
ExifOffset - 350
ExposureTime - 1/250 seconds
FNumber - 6.30
ExposureProgram - Aperture priority
ISOSpeedRatings - 200
ExifVersion - 0220
DateTimeOriginal - 2012:11:27 10:57:14
DateTimeDigitized - 2012:11:27 10:57:14
ExposureBiasValue - -2.30
MeteringMode - Center weighted average
Flash - Flash not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 30.63 mm
ExifImageWidth - 4309
ExifImageHeight - 2868
InteroperabilityOffset - 6774
SensingMethod - One-chip color area sensor
CustomRendered - Normal process
ExposureMode - Manual
White Balance - Auto
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm - 46 mm
SceneCaptureType - Standard
Contrast - Hard
Saturation - Normal
Sharpness - Hard
SubjectDistanceRange - Macro

Maker Note (Vendor): -
Mode - Auto
Quality - RAW
ISO - 200
White Balance - Auto
Lens Type -

Thumbnail: -
ImageWidth - 160
ImageLength - 120
Compression - 6 (JPG)
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
ResolutionUnit - Inch
JpegIFOffset - 6934
JpegIFByteCount - 6199


Anyways, here's more.





Filename - IMGP4694.jpg
ImageWidth - 4352
ImageLength - 2868
BitsPerSample -
Compression - -1 (Unknown)
PhotometricInterpretation - -32733
Make - PENTAX
Model - PENTAX K-r
StripOffset - 110720
SamplesPerPixel - 1
RowsPerStrip - 2868
StripByteCount - 11665484
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
PlanarConfiguration - 1
ResolutionUnit - Inch
Software - K-r Ver 1.12
DateTime - 2012:11:27 13:25:13
Artist - Picasa
ExifOffset - 350
ExposureTime - 1/50 seconds
FNumber - 5.60
ExposureProgram - Aperture priority
ISOSpeedRatings - 200
ExifVersion - 0220
DateTimeOriginal - 2012:11:27 12:22:56
DateTimeDigitized - 2012:11:27 12:22:56
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
MeteringMode - Center weighted average
Flash - Flash not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 55.00 mm
ExifImageWidth - 4309
ExifImageHeight - 2868
InteroperabilityOffset - 6774
SensingMethod - One-chip color area sensor
CustomRendered - Normal process
ExposureMode - Auto
White Balance - Auto
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm - 82 mm
SceneCaptureType - Standard
Contrast - Hard
Saturation - Normal
Sharpness - Hard
SubjectDistanceRange - Distant view

Maker Note (Vendor): -
Mode - Auto
Quality - RAW
ISO - 200
White Balance - Auto
Lens Type -

Thumbnail: -
ImageWidth - 160
ImageLength - 120
Compression - 6 (JPG)
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
ResolutionUnit - Inch
JpegIFOffset - 6934
JpegIFByteCount - 5874






Filename - IMGP4592.jpg
ImageWidth - 4352
ImageLength - 2868
BitsPerSample -
Compression - -1 (Unknown)
PhotometricInterpretation - -32733
Make - PENTAX
Model - PENTAX K-r
StripOffset - 110272
SamplesPerPixel - 1
RowsPerStrip - 2868
StripByteCount - 10513732
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
PlanarConfiguration - 1
ResolutionUnit - Inch
Software - K-r Ver 1.12
DateTime - 2012:11:27 13:11:56
Artist - Picasa
ExifOffset - 350
ExposureTime - 1/100 seconds
FNumber - 4.50
ExposureProgram - Shutter priority
ISOSpeedRatings - 200
ExifVersion - 0220
DateTimeOriginal - 2012:11:27 10:50:59
DateTimeDigitized - 2012:11:27 10:50:59
ExposureBiasValue - 3.00
MeteringMode - Center weighted average
Flash - Flash not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 37.50 mm
ExifImageWidth - 4309
ExifImageHeight - 2868
InteroperabilityOffset - 6774
SensingMethod - One-chip color area sensor
CustomRendered - Normal process
ExposureMode - Manual
White Balance - Auto
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm - 57 mm
SceneCaptureType - Standard
Contrast - Hard
Saturation - Normal
Sharpness - Hard
SubjectDistanceRange - Distant view

Maker Note (Vendor): -
Mode - Auto
Quality - RAW
ISO - 200
White Balance - Auto
Lens Type -

Thumbnail: -
ImageWidth - 160
ImageLength - 120
Compression - 6 (JPG)
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
ResolutionUnit - Inch
JpegIFOffset - 6934
JpegIFByteCount - 4136






Filename - IMGP4670.jpg
ImageWidth - 4352
ImageLength - 2868
BitsPerSample -
Compression - -1 (Unknown)
PhotometricInterpretation - -32733
Make - PENTAX
Model - PENTAX K-r
StripOffset - 110688
SamplesPerPixel - 1
RowsPerStrip - 2868
StripByteCount - 11031383
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
PlanarConfiguration - 1
ResolutionUnit - Inch
Software - K-r Ver 1.12
DateTime - 2012:11:27 13:18:52
Artist - Picasa
ExifOffset - 350
ExposureTime - 1/60 seconds
FNumber - 5.60
ExposureProgram - Aperture priority
ISOSpeedRatings - 200
ExifVersion - 0220
DateTimeOriginal - 2012:11:27 11:58:54
DateTimeDigitized - 2012:11:27 11:58:54
ExposureBiasValue - 1.30
MeteringMode - Center weighted average
Flash - Flash not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 47.50 mm
ExifImageWidth - 2868
ExifImageHeight - 4309
InteroperabilityOffset - 6774
SensingMethod - One-chip color area sensor
CustomRendered - Normal process
ExposureMode - Manual
White Balance - Auto
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm - 72 mm
SceneCaptureType - Standard
Contrast - Hard
Saturation - Normal
Sharpness - Hard
SubjectDistanceRange - Distant view

Maker Note (Vendor): -
Mode - Auto
Quality - RAW
ISO - 200
White Balance - Auto
Lens Type -

Thumbnail: -
ImageWidth - 160
ImageLength - 120
Compression - 6 (JPG)
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
ResolutionUnit - Inch
JpegIFOffset - 6934
JpegIFByteCount - 4115






Filename - IMGP4684.jpg
ImageWidth - 4352
ImageLength - 2868
BitsPerSample -
Compression - -1 (Unknown)
PhotometricInterpretation - -32733
Make - PENTAX
Model - PENTAX K-r
StripOffset - 111584
SamplesPerPixel - 1
RowsPerStrip - 2868
StripByteCount - 10486156
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
PlanarConfiguration - 1
ResolutionUnit - Inch
Software - K-r Ver 1.12
DateTime - 2012:11:27 13:22:01
Artist - Picasa
ExifOffset - 350
ExposureTime - 1/80 seconds
FNumber - 8.00
ExposureProgram - Aperture priority
ISOSpeedRatings - 200
ExifVersion - 0220
DateTimeOriginal - 2012:11:27 12:06:40
DateTimeDigitized - 2012:11:27 12:06:40
ExposureBiasValue - 0.30
MeteringMode - Center weighted average
Flash - Flash not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 18.00 mm
ExifImageWidth - 4309
ExifImageHeight - 2868
InteroperabilityOffset - 6774
SensingMethod - One-chip color area sensor
CustomRendered - Normal process
ExposureMode - Manual
White Balance - Auto
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm - 27 mm
SceneCaptureType - Standard
Contrast - Hard
Saturation - Normal
Sharpness - Hard
SubjectDistanceRange - Close view

Maker Note (Vendor): -
Mode - Auto
Quality - RAW
ISO - 200
White Balance - Auto
Lens Type -

Thumbnail: -
ImageWidth - 160
ImageLength - 120
Compression - 6 (JPG)
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
ResolutionUnit - Inch
JpegIFOffset - 6934
JpegIFByteCount - 5139


QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
I'd take Av mode as a starter, set exposure correction to zero and all other menu options to default.
I was mistaken here, sorry. I forgot to change these settings.

I took like 25 photos of each one posted here, I tried a bit different settings, and here are the ones I liked the most...

11-27-2012, 06:08 AM   #99
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One more friendly advice: set your exposure correction to 0 and leave it there for the time being. Your issues seem to be largely self-inflicted by use of intentional underexposure.
11-27-2012, 06:16 AM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by hollywoodhr Quote
Today I took some photos in the Av mode. I tried to keep aperture between f5,6 - f8. I did change that exposure bias too, at times.

I processed them in Picasa. When I had a photo which looked real dark (that is underexposed I think?), I thought I would edit it later in the computer, but when I viewed the photos, Picasa automatically changed the lighting balance or smth. How can I make it stop, it changed my photos too much at times...

ExposureBiasValue - -2.30
That shot is dark because you set the camera to intentionally underexpose by 2.3 stops. If you are having issues with Picasa, I'd suggest stepping back one level and going to a simple viewer that has some image improvement filters like Irfanview. Picasa is nice but it does sometimes "do its thing" and I'm not the best to tell you how to manage it or get it it to leave your images alone.You have enough just trying to manage the camera without having to worry about the software as well I suppose.
11-27-2012, 07:18 AM   #101
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Yea, exposure bias is only really useful for when you're in extreme situations like shooting in the snow/on the beach with glaring light.

Picasa will basically try to level the shot to a correct (or what it thinks is correct) level - the problem is when you're underexposing everything so much there is very little 'light' data in the photo for the program to work with, and you'll wind up with... well, that.

By setting an exposure bias, you're defeating the purpose of Av mode.

Just as a quick armchair opinion, your biggest issue was you seemed to be shooting on a dark, dreary kind of day with your lens at the fringe of its limitations - 55mm, wide open, with a slow shutter speed.

If I can make a suggestion, try shooting your camera for a day in pure auto-everything. ("auto pict" mode on the K-x, I'm assuming its the same on the K-r).

Go through the shots afterwards, and find the ones you think came out the best, then go in and scope out the EXIF data to see what the camera did on its own as far as shutter speeds, f-stops, ISO, etc.

Your K-r has a huge ISO range - thats one of the things that that camera excels at and was a reason I grabbed a K-x when I was camera hunting (I like taking night shots, so I abuse the hell out of my ISOs). You can easily jump up to ISO 800 to 1600 (or even beyond), which will allow for faster shutter speeds, which will allow for narrower f-stops, which should help kill the blurriness you keep getting when you're shooting shots at 1/50 of a second at 55mm (hint - as a rough rule of thumb shooting 1/X seconds where X is smaller than your focal range is usually a bad thing. I forget what the suggested ratio is, but I always try to at least double my focal length for my shutter speed - ie, if I'm shooting @ 90mm, I'll try to go at least 1/180 of a second unless I have a tripod or monopod involved.)
11-27-2012, 07:25 AM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
Yea, exposure bias is only really useful for when you're in extreme situations like shooting in the snow/on the beach with glaring light.

Picasa will basically try to level the shot to a correct (or what it thinks is correct) level - the problem is when you're underexposing everything so much there is very little 'light' data in the photo for the program to work with, and you'll wind up with... well, that.

By setting an exposure bias, you're defeating the purpose of Av mode.

Just as a quick armchair opinion, your biggest issue was you seemed to be shooting on a dark, dreary kind of day with your lens at the fringe of its limitations - 55mm, wide open, with a slow shutter speed.

If I can make a suggestion, try shooting your camera for a day in pure auto-everything. ("auto pict" mode on the K-x, I'm assuming its the same on the K-r).

Go through the shots afterwards, and find the ones you think came out the best, then go in and scope out the EXIF data to see what the camera did on its own as far as shutter speeds, f-stops, ISO, etc.

Your K-r has a huge ISO range - thats one of the things that that camera excels at and was a reason I grabbed a K-x when I was camera hunting (I like taking night shots, so I abuse the hell out of my ISOs). You can easily jump up to ISO 800 to 1600 (or even beyond), which will allow for faster shutter speeds, which will allow for narrower f-stops, which should help kill the blurriness you keep getting when you're shooting shots at 1/50 of a second at 55mm (hint - as a rough rule of thumb shooting 1/X seconds where X is smaller than your focal range is usually a bad thing. I forget what the suggested ratio is, but I always try to at least double my focal length for my shutter speed - ie, if I'm shooting @ 90mm, I'll try to go at least 1/180 of a second unless I have a tripod or monopod involved.)
Thanks!
11-27-2012, 04:29 PM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by hollywoodhr Quote
Thanks!
The last few sets you have posted are major improvements.
I think your getting the hang of it. Keep on shooting.
11-27-2012, 06:42 PM   #104
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This has been an awesome thread. Although I've had my K-r over a year, it's been great to hear some reminders.

If I can add one thing, find a local camera club. I belong to one where I live and we go out to shoot as a group and have seminars on everything from critiquing, software and how to take better pictures and the like. While the group shoots largely Canikons, they have been great at sharing their knowledge.
11-28-2012, 02:03 AM   #105
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Hi everyone, i would also like to thank Helena for starting this thread and to all that have contributed so far, ive had my KR for approx. 2 years and other than shooting in auto and P modes on trips away ive never tried to explore what is possible until the other day when i was off work for the day and discovered this thread and started taking pics from the advice given, downloading, taking more pics and so on and now i have a far better understanding of the basics so thanks again for getting me started as well

Darren
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