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01-23-2014, 02:39 PM   #1
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K3 and blown sky highlights

Hi,

After owning different Pentax flagships I have upgraded to the K3. I am currently working with FA 31 and DA 20-40. I am noticing I am having issues with blown skys and highlights generally. I can normally compensate with EV down -.5 to -1.0. I have tried in all non manual modes. I have also tried various adjustments to the dynamic range settings. Generally speaking, I am finding I am spending much more time in RAW development accounting for this. Certainly more time than I spent with my K5. Has anyone experienced this? Your thoughts would be appreciated. Since I have sold my K5, I can't really compare. Thanks again.

01-23-2014, 03:00 PM   #2
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I have found the metering on k-3 to be more accurate than k-5 or k-5IIs. On both of those I routinely ran EV @ +.33 or +.66, on K-3 it is generally right on using center weighted.

Are you using center weighted or evaluative?
01-23-2014, 03:16 PM   #3
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Although the K-3's exposure calculation is very reliable, certainly much more so than any previous camera I have owned, it does seem to have a weakness when it comes to very bright highlights.

I think what is happening is that the K-3's exposure meter is more sensitive but as a consequence saturates more easily, meaning that beyond a certain brightness any brightness is interpreted the same. I found that putting an ND2 filter on the lens fixes the problem noting that with or without the filter I get the same exposure reading but a better exposure. My interpretation of this is that with or without the filter the the exposure meter is giving about the same reading on the highlights, that being the maximum that it can give.

This is probably a compromise Pentax had to make to improve the exposure metering in very low light but I think it is something that might still be correctable in firmware.
01-23-2014, 03:21 PM   #4
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Nikon D7000 owners had the same complaint. I haven't noticed it yet, but I am used to dialing in -0.7 with all my Nikon gear anyway, so no skin off my back.

Michael

01-23-2014, 03:39 PM   #5
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Shooting center weighted. Good point. I will try the other settings
01-23-2014, 03:43 PM   #6
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Btw. Thank you everyone. I will report back !
01-23-2014, 05:42 PM   #7
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I would normally set highlight protection on and shadow recovery on as well. I seldom using matrix metering, unless I set the metering set ON regardless of AF point. I don't have the K-3, but have both K-5 and K-5IIs, works for me most of the time. I would expect K-3 to be even more accurate the either K5/IIs.
01-23-2014, 05:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by loganross Quote
Shooting center weighted. Good point. I will try the other settings
Matrix metering should solve the problem when the lighting is tough. The K-3 does a really good job of averaging out the whole scene.


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01-23-2014, 06:24 PM   #9
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I found when shooting in snowy mountains that the K-3 underexposed with about 1 stop in all pictures. When indoors or in non snowy conditions I find it to perform perfekt.
I use mostly evaluating metering.
01-23-2014, 07:07 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tjompen1968 Quote
I found when shooting in snowy mountains that the K-3 underexposed with about 1 stop in all pictures. When indoors or in non snowy conditions I find it to perform perfekt.
I use mostly evaluating metering.
I live in a snowy area and I usually have to crank the exposure by 0.3 to 0.7 (EV) for that.
With the K7 and K5 ... the K3 should behave the same way.

JP
01-23-2014, 07:36 PM   #11
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I have had trouble getting the sky exposed as well. It over exposes and loses contrast. Not to the point of being blown, but about half a stop over. In other circumstances and subjects it is right on. The sky can be fixed post, but I'd rather not.
01-23-2014, 07:37 PM   #12
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I assume you mean crank down? I live in CA so I am talking about images where the blue sky is at least 1/3 of the frame.
01-24-2014, 10:18 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tjompen1968 Quote
I found when shooting in snowy mountains that the K-3 underexposed with about 1 stop in all pictures. When indoors or in non snowy conditions I find it to perform perfekt.
I use mostly evaluating metering.
Are you sure it is underexposed or is the camera perhaps working as intended and preventing the highlights from being blown? I have found that whenever the preview image or OOC jpeg looks underexposed there is always some part of the picture that is just at the border of being over exposed. In other words to protect that particular part of the picture the only thing it can do is reduce the exposure over the whole frame.

It may not be good for OOC jpegs or minimally processed raw files but I think it actually allows you to get the optimum image in post processing where you can easily adjust the exposure by lifting shadows and so on.

The issue I sometimes have is the opposite, that because the exposure meter seems to saturate it does not reduce the exposure sufficiently to avoid blowing out the highlights.

For this reason I always have the 'Highlight alert' turned on. I can easily see the blown highlights in the instant review without moving my eye from the viewfinder, and will shoot a second photo with reduced exposure if I see any significant red flashing on the LCD.
01-24-2014, 11:49 AM   #14
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Yes, I am sure. Looking on the histogram on the camera and in ACR.
01-24-2014, 04:01 PM   #15
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You always need to bump exposure when shooting in snow. It's not because of highlights, it's because the meter wants to average the intensity in the image to middle grey. If most of your photo is white, it skews the balance, and the camera underexposes (turns white grey). I shoot in snow often, and normally use +1 EV.
Understanding Camera Metering and Exposure

Last edited by audiobomber; 01-24-2014 at 10:49 PM.
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