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04-20-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
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300mm at the beach

Decided today to REALLY MAKE SURE that I could get sharp pictures from my 55-300mm lens... at 300mm. As Thoog wrote on a different thread -- "the biggest cause of problems was hand shake... my own fault for hurrying.". That's me too, absolutely. So I set out to solve this problem -- how to set the K-01 so I can just take pix at 300mm... without having to figure anything out. Could I make the K-01 into a 300mm Kodak Brownie?

First, I learned from other posts on this Forum that a very fast shutter speed made all the difference. Then, on Photozone, I learned that -- for this lens -- f/8 or f/11 were the two best apertures for resolution, at 300mm. Did a quick test, and found that f/11 gave a good deal more DOF than f/8. And you need every bit of DOF at 300mm!

Second, shutter speed. Theoretically, according to Falconeye's charts on a different thread, 1/2000. But to get a properly exposed image in sunlight, mid-day, that would push the Auto-ISO up to, or over, 1600. So I had to use a slower shutter speed, but not that much lower.

One solution? TAv -- put the shutter speed on 1/1000. Put your aperture on f/11. Use Auto-ISO. If it goes red, open the aperture to f/8. But don't reduce the shutter speed any further.

Or, on straight manual, at the scene, set 1/1000, f/11, and ISO 800. Adjust from there until it's exposed correctly... then just use that for snapshots until the light really changes.

Best -- you can use Tv and fix the shutter speed at 1/1000... with a fixed ISO of 800... and let the aperture float... the K-01 will set it pretty close to where you want.

As for focus -- use autofocus. In daylight, it works fine... and there's just no way you can rapidly focus a 300mm lens to cope with its really small DOF!

Then, drove over to Torrey Pines State Beach. A warm spring day. And that fast shutter speed really worked! Will go back later this summer for more pix, but am happy that at 1/1000 or faster, I can take snapshots at 300mm and they'll all turn out sharp. Thanks to Pentax autofocus, of course!

EDIT -- Third picture below, the landscape and the bridge -- went back at 5 PM, on Tv Shutter Priority. 300mm, fixed 1/1000, fixed ISO 800, the camera picked f/10. Just right! From DOF Master, here's a depth-of-field table for a 300mm lens on a K-01, you can see why I worry about DOF!

f/8 300mm --
at 25', in front 0.32', behind 0.33
at 50', in front 1.29, behind 1.36
at 100', in front 5.1, behind 5.7
at 200', in front 19.5, 24.2 behind
at 500', in front 106, behind 185
at 1000', in front 351, behind 1180
at 2000', in front 1039, behind, Infinity

f/11 300mm --
at 25', in front 0.45', behind 0.47
at 50', in front 1.81, behind 1.95
at 100', in front 7.1, behind 8.2
at 200', in front 26.5, 36 behind
at 500', in front 138, behind 309
at 1000', in front 433, behind 3265
at 2000', in front 790, behind, Infinity

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Last edited by jon404; 04-21-2013 at 01:23 AM.
04-21-2013, 03:48 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Then, drove over to Torrey Pines State Beach. A warm spring day. And that fast shutter speed really worked! Will go back later this summer for more pix, but am happy that at 1/1000 or faster, I can take snapshots at 300mm and they'll all turn out sharp.
But it is against the law to publish them w/o a model release. It doesn't matter if you can't recognize the subject. Suffices if the subject can recognize itself which certainly is the case with the first two images.

To publish sniper style photos (i.e., w/o prior permission) from girls on the beach is considered bad style by most, if not all photographers.
04-21-2013, 04:24 AM   #3
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Good advice -- didn't know that. Thought that when we're in public, we're all open to be photographed. Like when you see a picture in the paper of people at the beach. Anyway, good advice. I'm new to this 55-300mm lens, and it really puts people in your face! Maybe it's the difference between a real close-up and a more distant picture, that goes over a comfort line.

As for a model release, doesn't that apply only to commercial work, like for an ad, or a brochure... or a business website? But why would you need a model release for a hobby site, like this forum, where you are not posting pictures for sale? Not trying to start an argument here -- but I just don't know what the law is... and would appreciate any advice from those who do.

Also, Falconeye -- this is actually your fault. Because I read your post with the chart about using a high shutter speed at long telephoto, where you showed that shake reduction only worked under 1/60. So today I wanted to test my 55-300mm at a high shutter speed, and the brightest place around here was the beach, with all that sand...
04-21-2013, 05:28 AM   #4
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That's my understanding too, jon404, that you would only need a model release if you were going to use the images to sell something (say, bikinis or sunscreen). That said, this sort of photography doesn't really appeal to me. They are sharp though.

Legality would depend on where you were when you took the photos too (ie. which country).

04-21-2013, 07:32 AM   #5
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At least here in Sweden you only need model releases for "without any doubt" commercial publication cases, artistic ones are fine.
04-21-2013, 07:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
But it is against the law to publish them w/o a model release. It doesn't matter if you can't recognize the subject. Suffices if the subject can recognize itself which certainly is the case with the first two images.

To publish sniper style photos (i.e., w/o prior permission) from girls on the beach is considered bad style by most, if not all photographers.
You can't tell me those horrible photos in the National Enquirer, the stars have signed model releases for those.... the issue is a little more complicated than that, but yes, it's not cool.
04-21-2013, 11:56 AM   #7
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In the Netherlands we even send our national TV news with a camera too the nude beach and air it primetime.

On januari first we have a tradition off jumping into the cold sea. This is in all papers next day and lots off photographers go there. (never been there myself). There is Always the battle for becoming Unox New Years Dive Girl, that is the one on the FrontPage for de Telegraaf (biggest newspaper).

https://www.google.nl/search?q=unox+nieuwjaarsduik&hl=nl&source=lnms&tbm=isc...w=1366&bih=744
04-21-2013, 01:32 PM   #8
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There's more than one side of the issue, for sure, I always figure, don't take a picture if when the person you took it of saw it, they'd think it was creepy. I don't think pictures on a public event would qualify... there would be some expectaion of photography. I really don't what the issue is. If you want to take a picture of somebody where there is any chance there would be an expectation of privacy, ask them. Is that too difficult?

04-21-2013, 02:25 PM   #9
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Normhead -- that's very good advice. Will do.
04-21-2013, 04:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
As for a model release, doesn't that apply only to commercial work ...
Maybe one more word about this. Who really needs to know more will proably find more informed threads elsewhere in the forum.

Obviously, I know the situation in Germany better than in other countries. In Germany at least, the first two images infringe the individual's rights on their inagrs. The subjects could sue the photographer. If used commercially or not has nothing to do with it.

However, other rights must be in balance. This is why in Germany, it is allowed to publish people which are only secondary elements in a photograph, or people where the public has an interest in, be it for a single event or for the person as such. In Austria, it is additionally legal to publish people if shown in a non compromising situation of any kind. Ths makes Austria an interesting location for me when doing street photography.

However, publishing a photo of one or two unknowns on the beach is a no go for photographers abd would be illegal in Germany, Austria and many their countries, even if for art or non commercially. And having a child depicted doesn't help in the US ...

BTW, asking is good advice. But has little value (except if you film it). Without a release, it is a matter of mutual trust as the subject may still sue you. E.g., I see professional photographers exchanging paper work with the subject when doing their Dirndl photography at Munich Oktoberfest. And on German TV, many walk-by people have blurred faces (with the unblurred ones obviously having given permission).

Overall, the situation in the US is less restrictive, e.g., the article about Germany:
-> http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recht_am_eigenen_Bild

has no English translation. So, at the end of the day, it is just a question of what goes. As most subjects would never notice ...

Last edited by Blue; 04-24-2013 at 06:14 AM. Reason: fixed link
04-21-2013, 07:50 PM   #11
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Thanks, Falconeye. Psychology is strange, isn't it? If I walked around the beach with my little Olympus XZ-1, nobody notices. But a Pentax K-01 with the 55-300mm lens and a Hoodman loupe stuck on the back, sure looks different!

Also, pix of semi-nude women get people more upset than pix of semi-nude men. Which is strange, since most of us enjoy pictures of semi-nude women. This is probably backwards for gay people, I guess. Whatever, it's funny!

Back to the thread -- using a 300mm lens as a Kodak Brownie, for fast telephoto handheld snapshots. On a sunny day at the beach, using Tav, 1/1000 at f/11 works just fine... the ISO floats around 500 - 640 - whatever. Easy to adjust the shutter speed up from there... but don't let it drop below 1/1000. 1/2000 would be perfect... if you could live with the higher ISO noise. Faster is better!

EDIT -- just read the German privacy-law- wiki referred to in the above post. Wow! Good thing there aren't too many sunny beaches in Germany, or half our American tourists might end up in jail... for a year! But then, Europeans might find our insistence on owning revolvers, pistols, shotguns, rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and surplus main battle tanks equally curious. But that's another day's topic...

Last edited by jon404; 04-21-2013 at 08:02 PM.
04-21-2013, 08:07 PM   #12
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There is an expectation of a certain level of privacy at a beach, at least in our culture, so taking pics with a 300mm lens is not ethical in my book. Take a 35mm with you and ask permission or be very obvious what you are doing, then sure no problem. Pointing a 300mm lens at girls on an Australian beach would be a health hazard for the photographer.
04-21-2013, 08:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Pointing a 300mm lens at girls on an Australian beach would be a health hazard for the photographer.
That is one thing that bugs me, why only girls? Haven't we gone further in our gender equality work than having different rules for different genders like that? It's really sad when you think about it that way.

I don't go around taking pics of people on the beach but at the same time I find it a bit weird that one of the most crowded and truly public places is one of the biggest no-no's out there.
04-21-2013, 09:00 PM   #14
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My, what a litigious country Germany is. I had no idea. I can assure you that street photography is alive and well across the pond. You only require a model release here if you sell your photos for commercial purposes. For the purpose of journalism, no release is required. Funny, but the German magazines I've seen must be in court daily!

As for wether a given shot is in good taste, that is another matter, but not for the courts.
04-22-2013, 03:24 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Good thing there aren't too many sunny beaches in Germany
Actually, there are, in the North and the beaches are gorgeous with dunes. And because sun is only a 50% gift, girls are topless more often than not in order to compensate. However, topless or not makes no difference

QuoteOriginally posted by dmc Quote
For the purpose of journalism, no release is required. Funny, but the German magazines I've seen must be in court daily!
If you cover an event of public interest, of have many faces within a single image, publication is not restricted. It is images of individual persons which are not relevant in the context of a public event which need the depicted person's permission.
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