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12-27-2012, 02:02 PM   #1
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Aperture Priority & Exposure (& White Balance?)...

Hi all,

So this P&S upgrader is slowly learning about his new K-01, taking a bunch of test shots with various lenses and under different circumstances. I really love the camera and the image quality is day and night compared to the camera that the K-01 is replacing. My quibbles so far are few - mostly I wish that there was a tiltable LCD and that I could assign "focus zoom" to either the green or red button. This would make it much easier to manually focus heavy legacy zooms while holding the camera two handed at hip level. As-is, even with focus peaking, manual focusing is not altogether easy, as I need to reach to the back of the cam to hit the OK button to focus properly, a gesture that feels awkward, and I need to hold the camera fairly high in order to see the LCD screen, something not so easy with a heavy lens+camera combination.

Anyway, on to my real question. One difference between a P&S and the K-01 is the adjustability of the depth of field. I am having the issue that indoors, when set to automatic, the camera tends to often shoot with lenses wide open, which produces a very shallow depth of field, which can sometimes be a nuisance and not what I have in mind. So I'm trying to use aperture priority to control depth of field. The problem is that the camera seems to have difficulty with exposure in aperture priority mode. In the example below, I first took a picture in auto mode (using a manual focus, Vivitar 28mm PKA lens). That picture came out good, but some elements, notably the wooden frog at bottom left, were out of focus, due to shallow depth of field. So I went into aperture priority mode and adjusted down to F/10, and took the picture again. (Note that I'm not using a tripod so the two pics aren't exactly the same, but they are very close.) The result (below) looks quite washed out and over exposed.

Is this something I just need to compensate "manually" for by tweaking the EV setting down a little? Do I need to remember than in Aperture Priority (with this lens), I need to tune the EV down a little? Will my this behavior vary from lens to lens? Or does it also depend on the lighting at the time of the shot and I just need to review and re-shoot if necessary?

BTW, I am running firmware 1.01.

Thanks for any clues,
--
Doundounba

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12-27-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
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Personally, and I realise this probably adds to your camera workflow - but if you are not already doing so I would set your camera to record the images in RAW format.

You can then use a RAW processor (there is one that comes with the camera, but are many others as well) which would enable you to turn that slightly washed out image into something that punches with colour. I've worked almost exclusively in RAW for about 4 years and the ability to control dynamic range in post processing makes such a huge difference to final output. And the K-01 is the best camera I've had so far for getting the most data out of any one photograph.

You may not need to go as far as F10 to get the depth of field you want (perhaps further experimentation will help find what is optimum for you), but I congratulate you on getting to grips with these fundamental laws of photography. That understanding will stand you in good stead for the future.

Neil
12-28-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback Neil. FWIW, with this lens (haven't tested others yet), the camera seems to consistently produce brighter exposures when in Aperture Priority mode with a fairly closed aperture value, than it does shooting wide open on auto. Below are two more examples, but this time the better shot is the F/13 shot.

As for shooting raw and adjusting in "postprod", point well-taken but I have to say I'm not all that interested. I spend enough time behind a computer as it is. I'm eager to learn all the tricks that will produce an interesting shot straight out of the camera (even using in-camera digitial filters and such), but I'm not very keen to spend time at a keyboard afterwards to adjust my images. I know I lose something that way, but I want photography to be an enjoyable hobby, not a chore...
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02-22-2013, 08:51 PM   #4
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What you see ain't what you get?

Am also learning my new K-01, tonight with an older Pentax A 50mm f/1.4.

In Av mode, off A picking my own aperture, with a fixed ISO, using spot focus and spot metering, I can use the AF/AE Lock button to get an on-screen exposure that looks close enough to the saved image. And I can use the +/- button to lighten or darken it. But, no matter what my aperture setting, it always takes a 'good' picture... I can't purposely over-or-under expose it.

Next, Manual mode. When I turn the Aperture ring, the screen does not get lighter or darker. Same when I change shutter speed. It always looks 'good'. Of course, if I pick f/16 at ISO 100 in a dimly-lit room, I get an all-black image. But why can't I see that on the screen -- BEFORE I take the picture? The Depth-of-field Preview, on my Green button, doesn't help... it keeps showing that properly-exposed image even when I have it way, way underexposed.

On the K-01 in Manual, is there any way to see the actual image it will take... before you take it?

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