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01-12-2015, 09:21 AM   #1
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K-01 Street shooting advice

So last year purchased a K-01 as a back up to the K3. My intention was also to bring it with me as a travel camera, and for some of the occasional street photography I have been experimenting with over the last year. The K-01 is a great back up, with nice pics for the "controlled" pictures I normally take, mainly landscape etc. However using it as a "point and shoot" the auto focus misses almost all the time, causing me to leave it at home if I want to get the shot. In particular a recent wedding did not produce one good in focus shot in low light. (I was just attending so no real damage done)


So I am looking for some advice to help me set this camera up for this type of work, or perhaps sell it and buy a GX7 or A6000 to replace it.


I love the feel of the camera, but it's not doing the job I would like in this role. By way of disclosure, I also bracket my shots and record in RAW and JPEG which causes a several second delay before I can get additional shots off, further delaying the potential to "record the moment" in street and candid work.


I have been thinking by setting a small aperture and high ISO with a manual type setting may improve the problem, but also have the feeling I just might have the wrong camera for the job. My wife is also unable to take good pictures in low light with this camera with the auto setting, another goal for my second camera body.


Any suggestions are welcome. I did get a good deal for the camera, so could sell at $250 and not lose money at this point.

01-12-2015, 09:46 AM   #2
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Sell it is a good option, but i suggest you have a back up kamera for your k-3 like K-50 or K5ii/s,
you don't want to lose a job or money because your camera have problem right?

if you want to buy GX7 or A6000 for your work or wife it's a good choice also,
but i suggest you to make priority which want you want go first
01-12-2015, 09:50 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeodial Quote
So last year purchased a K-01 as a back up to the K3. My intention was also to bring it with me as a travel camera, and for some of the occasional street photography I have been experimenting with over the last year. The K-01 is a great back up, with nice pics for the "controlled" pictures I normally take, mainly landscape etc. However using it as a "point and shoot" the auto focus misses almost all the time, causing me to leave it at home if I want to get the shot. In particular a recent wedding did not produce one good in focus shot in low light. (I was just attending so no real damage done)


So I am looking for some advice to help me set this camera up for this type of work, or perhaps sell it and buy a GX7 or A6000 to replace it.


I love the feel of the camera, but it's not doing the job I would like in this role. By way of disclosure, I also bracket my shots and record in RAW and JPEG which causes a several second delay before I can get additional shots off, further delaying the potential to "record the moment" in street and candid work.


I have been thinking by setting a small aperture and high ISO with a manual type setting may improve the problem, but also have the feeling I just might have the wrong camera for the job. My wife is also unable to take good pictures in low light with this camera with the auto setting, another goal for my second camera body.


Any suggestions are welcome. I did get a good deal for the camera, so could sell at $250 and not lose money at this point.
Yeah, stop down and manual focus with Focus Peaking on. Just shoot RAW. Forget JPG. Forget bracketing. The K-01's RAW files are very malleable.

Check out the EXIF on these:


Say Cheese
by john m flores, on Flickr


Lady Liberty has seen better days
by john m flores, on Flickr


This kiss shall not be undone by the clashing of clothes.
by john m flores, on Flickr


Just do it.
by john m flores, on Flickr


And then, they kissed
by john m flores, on Flickr
01-12-2015, 11:24 AM   #4
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Thanks

Nice pics.

01-12-2015, 11:28 AM   #5
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The K-01 would work well w/ a 24 or 28 mm lens zone focused, and if that does well, then add an optical finder. I used my K-x in this mode (usually w/ super takumar 28mm lens) and a voigtlander optical finder. And my Q always this way, again w/ optical finder.
01-12-2015, 12:54 PM   #6
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K-01 AF is frustrating (to me) and have missed many what might have been good shots. It takes some getting used but manual focus w/focus peaking made a whole world of difference. Depending on subject but I usually have focus peaking zoom in at x4 and nails the focus 99% time.
01-12-2015, 01:41 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by K57XR Quote
K-01 AF is frustrating (to me) and have missed many what might have been good shots. It takes some getting used but manual focus w/focus peaking made a whole world of difference. Depending on subject but I usually have focus peaking zoom in at x4 and nails the focus 99% time.


This has been one of my biggest disappointments with the camera, it almost seems to get the most out of the camera, particularly in low light, it has to be in manual mode as it hunts to death trying to find the subject, making the low light capability of the camera hidden at best! I have missed a lot of shots, none of which I would have missed with my K3. This looks like a simple camera to use, but it's not.


I will try what you have suggested, it makes a lot of sense. The camera is pretty quiet and doesn't look invasive on the street, almost like a toy in fact, so if I can find a way of getting pictures without all this pain it would be worth keeping. I also need to find a way that my wife can use it in similar conditions, when she has little/no patience with hunting autofocus from previous camera experiences.


Thanks,


M
01-12-2015, 03:33 PM   #8
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Could you post some sample image with settings, lens etc?

01-12-2015, 03:54 PM   #9
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Johnmflores nailed it. Coupled with a DA21 or DA40, the K-01 is a great option for street photography.
01-12-2015, 04:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UlrichSchiegg Quote
Could you post some sample image with settings, lens etc?

I could add more, but they are so out of focus, there is nothing to be gained. The photos were taken while the camera was still hunting or picked the wrong target, either way the shot was ruined. There is not a problem with the camera, it takes beautiful pictures when I have time, or the autofocus doesn't get confused. Most of my lenses are not SDM that I used the K-01 on, so you have the added distraction of lens grinding while it tries to find the target.


I think pre-focusing manually may be the answer for now with the camera stopped down to provide the DOF needed for the street/candid picture.
Attached Images
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View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-01  Photo 
01-12-2015, 04:28 PM   #11
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What lens? You don't have a 35 in your signature. The three amigos are all very capable street lenses.

These are pretty low light shots. Try using using TAv with a realistic shutter speed and depth of field. Focus manually using focus peaking, or learn the hyperfocal settings for your favourite lenses. Shoot RAW only, let the ISO do the work and sort it out in PP.
01-12-2015, 04:36 PM   #12
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Manual zone focusing has already been mentioned; very good idea for street photos with any camera. Coupled with a relatively wide lens you can then shoot without even looking at the rear screen.

IMO the best mode for street photography is TAv. It's not on the K-01 mode dial but you can get the same effect by enabling auto ISO in manual mode. Set the aperture for the desired depth of field, shutter speed fast enough to stop action, letting the camera pick an ISO that gives correct exposure.
01-13-2015, 02:39 AM   #13
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Hi.
Have you guys update camera's fw?
If not, this thing will improve a lot focusing.
01-13-2015, 06:20 AM   #14
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The Pentax K-01 autofocus works fine for me, if I use it. Never had issues with it. It is not the quickest but more than fast enough for street photography to my opinion.

Can't see what lens you use. If it is a macro (at least the EDIFs indicate macro mode), those usually have a rather long throw and are best handled in manual focus mode with focus peaking or the enlarger.

I would turn the bracketing, face detection, tracking, etc. off. Then with a lens of a short throw (like e.g. the DA21that Sandy mentioned or other) I would try the spot autofocus method, which focuses in the center, choose your subject, focus and then you would have the reframe your image. Usually the autofocus on a none moving subject is far less than a second. If I use the autofocus (manual focus with the focus peaking is convenient enough for me in most situations), I use the select area on the smallest possible area. And then shift the area to the spot I want to focus on so that I do not need to reframe.

Please also note that for a 35mm lens your exposure time is very long. It may me difficult to get a sharp image without a tripod. For a 35mm lens I would not go below 1/20 of a second.

For your images above, I would have set the ISO to 1600, which for myself the limit I would go to. Then set the lens to max open aperture, see to what exposure times I get. If still not sufficient, I would underexpose the image and correct in post processing.
01-13-2015, 06:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Manual zone focusing has already been mentioned; very good idea for street photos with any camera. Coupled with a relatively wide lens you can then shoot without even looking at the rear screen.

IMO the best mode for street photography is TAv. It's not on the K-01 mode dial but you can get the same effect by enabling auto ISO in manual mode. Set the aperture for the desired depth of field, shutter speed fast enough to stop action, letting the camera pick an ISO that gives correct exposure.

Thanks TAv is shown on the screen but not on the dial. This is going to be my strategy to try again. Much appreciated.

---------- Post added 01-13-15 at 08:22 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
What lens? You don't have a 35 in your signature. The three amigos are all very capable street lenses.

These are pretty low light shots. Try using using TAv with a realistic shutter speed and depth of field. Focus manually using focus peaking, or learn the hyperfocal settings for your favourite lenses. Shoot RAW only, let the ISO do the work and sort it out in PP.
Yes, the 35mm macro is a lens I have for sale at present. Was just keeping it warm on the k-01.

---------- Post added 01-13-15 at 08:41 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Cata'S Quote
Hi.
Have you guys update camera's fw?
If not, this thing will improve a lot focusing.
firmware is 1.05 up to date. Good thought though, was one of the first things I did when I got the camera.

---------- Post added 01-13-15 at 08:42 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UlrichSchiegg Quote
The Pentax K-01 autofocus works fine for me, if I use it. Never had issues with it. It is not the quickest but more than fast enough for street photography to my opinion.

Can't see what lens you use. If it is a macro (at least the EDIFs indicate macro mode), those usually have a rather long throw and are best handled in manual focus mode with focus peaking or the enlarger.

I would turn the bracketing, face detection, tracking, etc. off. Then with a lens of a short throw (like e.g. the DA21that Sandy mentioned or other) I would try the spot autofocus method, which focuses in the center, choose your subject, focus and then you would have the reframe your image. Usually the autofocus on a none moving subject is far less than a second. If I use the autofocus (manual focus with the focus peaking is convenient enough for me in most situations), I use the select area on the smallest possible area. And then shift the area to the spot I want to focus on so that I do not need to reframe.

Please also note that for a 35mm lens your exposure time is very long. It may me difficult to get a sharp image without a tripod. For a 35mm lens I would not go below 1/20 of a second.

For your images above, I would have set the ISO to 1600, which for myself the limit I would go to. Then set the lens to max open aperture, see to what exposure times I get. If still not sufficient, I would underexpose the image and correct in post processing.
All great input. Thank you.
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