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01-26-2015, 10:53 AM - 7 Likes   #1
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Why I'm using my K3 more than my D800 lately

2014 was an interesting road for me. I went from focusing on live concert photography and cycling sports in the early months with contracts with two local independent blogs/weeklies, to the usual portrait and wedding (as a second shooter or booth operator) in the summer, to fashion in the fall for the very first time. The funny thing is...since starting to work in fashion I've been using my K3 more and more while the D800 has been staying in the bag, while before the D800 was primary for everything.

I hope for this to a be refreshing post from the "I left Pentax to buy a FF" threads.

My reasoning for such could actually cause me to use my D800 less and less in lifestyle portrait work as well... and the reasoning is in truth very simple... the intimidation factor.

I've been getting a lot of work from headshots in 2015 so far. My first session only a few weeks ago has lead to about 3-5 sessions a week until March. For someone with a full time job and a young family (1.5 year old boy) this is a very busy work schedule for me. The one thing I've been noticing is that due to the short days and not getting out until the evening or using an actual studio... I've been using the K3 as it is less intimidating on the clients.

One thing I always noticed since I started using the D800, especially with the 70-200 f2.8 VRII and a grip attached is the tension in my model/clients face and body when we first start. This is why for all of my shoots I usually just use the first 10-15 frames to get some basic poses down and get the model to loosen up while we build rapport. Since I've been building that rapport more and more now while the model gets makeup and hair done I've been wanting to jump in and start getting great images right off the bat... The K3 helps speed that along.

I figured this out when my D800 recently went in for a CLA. I took my K3, DA*50-135, FA77, and FA43 out to do a head shot and basics session. The model was young and inexperienced, just starting out. I noticed right away from the minute I pulled out the camera she was more intrigued than previous clients. She naturally was leaning into the camera more and just felt more at ease. You could see it in her clavicle and shoulders, just more relaxed and her body language was just more open.

I shot the same model a week later with the D800 setup. As soon as I took the camera up to shooting position you could instantly see her body tense up a bit. It took a few frames and poses to get her to relax. This is really unfortunate because I loved her expression and pose in one of the first images, but you could see the tension in her shoulders and forehead a bit. I couldn't coax that expression out of her again.

So I experimented, I started using my K3 more and more and using it to open up the shoot. I found my models and clients generally at ease and more open. It thus becomes a faster shooting pace and it could just be me, but I find the models generally become more open and more creative with me.

So, do I want a Pentax FF? Nope. Not anymore. I want a K3 that can use HSS!!! This 1/160" max triggering speed is the only reason why I take the D800 out now for headshots.

Who am I kidding thought, I'll still buy one just to use my FA glass on if they keep the size down.

01-26-2015, 10:57 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
I want a K3 that can use HSS!!! This 1/160" max triggering speed ...
The K-3 supports HSS. And has a max sync speed of 1/180th. The d800, at 1/250th, is only half a stop difference.
01-26-2015, 11:24 AM   #3
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Wow, that's a totally different take on this. Great post.
01-26-2015, 11:32 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
The K-3 supports HSS. And has a max sync speed of 1/180th. The d800, at 1/250th, is only half a stop difference.
I stand corrected.

However, with proper triggers I can fire my D800 upto 1/8000" with no banding.

I haven't figured out how to do that with the K3 yet, or if it's even possible.That high/hyper speed sync is exactly why I still use my D800 a lot for headshots, as I'm doing a lot during the day.

https://flic.kr/p/qKgUid

Is a perfect example. f3.2, 1/3200", iso 100, using two 400w strobes. You can see the tension I was talking about earlier though. I have a later image that is much more relaxed.


Last edited by Wired; 01-26-2015 at 11:39 AM.
01-26-2015, 11:51 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
I stand corrected.

However, with proper triggers I can fire my D800 upto 1/8000" with no banding.

I haven't figured out how to do that with the K3 yet, or if it's even possible.
The Pentax's HSS syncs up to 1/8000 as well. If you are talking about hypersyncing with the d800, that's a different story. Possible but difficult.
01-26-2015, 11:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
I haven't figured out how to do that with the K3 yet, or if it's even possible.
Yep, it is. It requires a Pentax (HSS-capable) P-TTL flash on the hotshoe for the camera to still trigger the flash above 1/180, but it works to 1/8000, no banding. Just tried it out on my K-3 to be sure, since the last time I used it was on the K-5.

With Cactus V6 triggers, you can even "fool" the camera into allowing off-camera HSS with non-Pentax flashes. Google around for that info.

Related to your experience, I recently started using the DA 40mm XS lens for some video work, and the not-quite-real size of the lens both intrigues the subjects and puts them at ease. For comparison, I also shot with the DA*50-135, and the subjects thought I could see their pores, and almost immediately started backing up (and I was at 50mm)!

Last edited by panoguy; 01-26-2015 at 11:58 AM.
01-26-2015, 12:06 PM - 1 Like   #7
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you can go even further toward that end ;)

For the most-relaxed amateur models, move to a small MILC or something like the LX100 or Q!

Anyway it's interesting that probably the most iconic portrait of our time gets a lot of it's power from the subject's camera-shyness:



I hear what you're saying, though. iPhone works well because it's just almost ignored - big DSLR + lens gets folks on alert.

.

Last edited by jsherman999; 01-26-2015 at 12:17 PM.
01-26-2015, 12:18 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Great thread, thanks for sharing. The bottom line is, you are seeing better results with your models with your K-3, I guess that's all you need to know.

I must say that I am surprised that models have that much of a different reaction to cameras in roughly the same class. I would think that it would be much more likely that YOU are more relaxed and less intimidating when you are using a camera that you consider more friendly to the models. Again, interesting thread, thanks for sharing the story.

01-26-2015, 12:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Yep, it is. It requires a Pentax (HSS-capable) P-TTL flash on the hotshoe for the camera to still trigger the flash above 1/180, but it works to 1/8000, no banding. Just tried it out on my K-3 to be sure, since the last time I used it was on the K-5.

With Cactus V6 triggers, you can even "fool" the camera into allowing off-camera HSS with non-Pentax flashes. Google around for that info.

Related to your experience, I recently started using the DA 40mm XS lens for some video work, and the not-quite-real size of the lens both intrigues the subjects and puts them at ease. For comparison, I also shot with the DA*50-135, and the subjects thought I could see their pores, and almost immediately started backing up (and I was at 50mm)!
Interesting. because I have yet to get the flash to trigger above the natural sync speed on my K3. Granted I've been using Elinchrom triggers for my strobes, but I never tried it with my AF540 flash unit.


Now imaging how the model feels with a D800, grip, and 70-200 f2.8 in his/her face. It's massive!

If the AF motor was just a tad faster in my DA*50-135 I'd be using it for runway too. The weight is whats crushing me in runway... imagine holding the 70-200 kit at eye for 2 hours straight. Then there is the buffer speed/memory concerns of shooting 36mp.

---------- Post added 01-26-2015 at 12:23 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
For the most-relaxed amateur models, move to a small MILC or something like the LX100 or Q!

Anyway it's interesting that probably the most iconic portrait of our time gets a lot of it's power from the subject's camera-shyness:



I hear what you're saying, though. iPhone works well because it's just almost ignored - big DSLR + lens gets folks on alert.

.

https://www.facebook.com/republic311photography

This guy shoots exclusively on Olympus OMD EM-1. He changed over simply for intimidation factor and weight savings. It's hilarious when he shows up to a meet-n-pose event with a bunch of people unfamiliar with his work with this tiny little bag and a pop out reflector... then takes every single one of us to school with the quality of his work. Great guy too, ran into him at a coffee shop and chatted for hours. Guy LOVES his Oly.

---------- Post added 01-26-2015 at 12:31 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jake14mw Quote
Great thread, thanks for sharing. The bottom line is, you are seeing better results with your models with your K-3, I guess that's all you need to know.

I must say that I am surprised that models have that much of a different reaction to cameras in roughly the same class. I would think that it would be much more likely that YOU are more relaxed and less intimidating when you are using a camera that you consider more friendly to the models. Again, interesting thread, thanks for sharing the story.
very possible, and I would not rule that out. It was just the initial reaction the first time I pulled it out that was very surprising, especially with pro models. They listen for the shutter and change every pose, and with the K3 they are constantly wondering if the shutters gone off or not when I'm not using strobes lol
01-26-2015, 01:36 PM   #10
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This was a nice read.
01-26-2015, 01:54 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
So, do I want a Pentax FF? Nope. Not anymore.
What you want is a Pentax FF that is the size of a K-3
01-26-2015, 02:27 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
What you want is a Pentax FF that is the size of a K-3
AND FF lenses that are the size of M series lenses (even if they were all F4) but I do believe thats all wishful thinking.



My take on it is that the body can be tiny as mouse, but if the lenses are the size of a whale what's the point? (Which is why I prefer my K3 to a Fuji XT1 setup)


This is why M4/3 has such a great size advantage. The body of say, a OMD EM1 is not that much smaller than a K3. But the lenses are tiny compared.
01-26-2015, 04:38 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
Interesting. because I have yet to get the flash to trigger above the natural sync speed on my K3. Granted I've been using Elinchrom triggers for my strobes, but I never tried it with my AF540 flash unit.


Now imaging how the model feels with a D800, grip, and 70-200 f2.8 in his/her face. It's massive!

If the AF motor was just a tad faster in my DA*50-135 I'd be using it for runway too. The weight is whats crushing me in runway... imagine holding the 70-200 kit at eye for 2 hours straight. Then there is the buffer speed/memory concerns of shooting 36mp.

---------- Post added 01-26-2015 at 12:23 PM ----------




https://www.facebook.com/republic311photography

This guy shoots exclusively on Olympus OMD EM-1. He changed over simply for intimidation factor and weight savings. It's hilarious when he shows up to a meet-n-pose event with a bunch of people unfamiliar with his work with this tiny little bag and a pop out reflector... then takes every single one of us to school with the quality of his work. Great guy too, ran into him at a coffee shop and chatted for hours. Guy LOVES his Oly.

---------- Post added 01-26-2015 at 12:31 PM ----------



very possible, and I would not rule that out. It was just the initial reaction the first time I pulled it out that was very surprising, especially with pro models. They listen for the shutter and change every pose, and with the K3 they are constantly wondering if the shutters gone off or not when I'm not using strobes lol

I am not a studio / fashion photographer. When I started out Pentax DSLR, I was one of those guys using FA43 limited to fight over spots with bunch of Nicanon's 70-210. It saddens me that I am a tiny guy with a tiny camera. They all looked at me weirdly when shooting events. That was the good old time when people believed bigger is better.

Now days, the story completely changed! I was in an event as a designated photographer. I met people with Nicanon again. Only this time, they were surprised how I photograph the entire event just to use prime manual lenses. I was able to focus where exactly I wanted instead of relay entirely on autofocus system. All my photos where super sharp focus on the eyes and nothing else. Of course! I wasn't really blasting through frames per second, and I missed a lot of good moments. I figured, I wasn't the only photographer for this event, there were 4 others uses Nicanon would fill up all the action shots. I'll just take photos that interests me, more story telling per se. Turns out, after the board review, I submitted only 97 photos vs others who shots more than 2000+. My work were chosen more than half were keepers.





While I was filming, many photographers came over to talk to me. They were surprised how little my A7 with Pentax lenses were. I was using A7 with 43mm Ltd, 77mm Ltd, also a Leica-R 28mm. I met a lot of Canon users that day, and since then they were asking opinions if they should move on to mirrorless or something else. Main reason to them is always the weight. But I can also see from their photographs have two things mentioned from this thread. 1) larger lenses, model tend to pose in certain way. They are more aware of the lens, and less natural about what they are posing. 2) If camera can do quick snaps, people tend to use this feature, forgets to concentrate at lighting and composition. That's why they can shoot through thousands of photos, but nothing really memorable.

Of course.. there is no right or wrong. I prefer smaller cameras just simply because I am a tiny guy. I really don't have the muscles to carry all that weight. I do love how discreet a rangefinder camera can do when shooting in public or street photography. However, there are times you just need to use larger aperture to zoom in as well. Of course! the ideal world is that we should all have something as tiny as DA40 XS but large aperture F1.0... Of course, utopia doesn't exist unless we can really bend light ray and reverse our physics.
01-26-2015, 04:49 PM   #14
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Great 2 pictures, thanks for sharing.
01-26-2015, 06:17 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
For the most-relaxed amateur models, move to a small MILC or something like the LX100 or Q!

Anyway it's interesting that probably the most iconic portrait of our time gets a lot of it's power from the subject's camera-shyness:



I hear what you're saying, though. iPhone works well because it's just almost ignored - big DSLR + lens gets folks on alert.

.
nice to see you Jay and hope all is well!
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