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01-30-2016, 06:46 PM - 7 Likes   #691
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For backlight silhouettes during daylight, especially when facing the sun, I found out that 8 is a magic number! I use 8-80-800: f8.0 ISO80 1/800s

Last edited by amrocha; 01-30-2016 at 06:48 PM. Reason: adding link to my image
01-30-2016, 07:44 PM - 1 Like   #692
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QuoteOriginally posted by amrocha Quote
For backlight silhouettes during daylight, especially when facing the sun, I found out that 8 is a magic number! I use 8-80-800: f8.0 ISO80 1/800s

Thanks for that. I will NEVER forget it and can't wait to give it a try!
01-30-2016, 08:32 PM   #693
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I've just noticed the competition rules say " no more than five sentences" so I've revised my rather long winded warning/tip regarding Flash operation in manual mode.

If operating my K30 (and other models) in manual mode with an "A" type lens and using the on board flash the camera is not really in manual, it will try to obtain correct exposure by controlling the exposure time and cut short the exposure once it thinks it has enough light.

This can cause timing problems ( because of the shortened exposure time ) when using the popup flash to trigger optically triggered strobes, the shot can be taken before the strobes have time to fire, resulting in a shot that has been effectively taken using the onboard flash with the strobe contributing nothing to the scene.

edit: sorry I've learned this probably due to preflash triggering stobes and firing before shutter is opened, the result still the same though, strobes firing outside the shutter time and not contributing to the shot.

Using a non "A" type lens or setting the aperature by the lens ( taking it off the "A" setting) the camera reverts to full manual control.

The owners manual says nothing about this behavior, so beware if using optically triggered strobes

Last edited by Cee Cee; 01-31-2016 at 07:26 AM.
01-30-2016, 08:56 PM - 1 Like   #694
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
Here is a generic eBay macro extension tube that has been extended even further using 1 1/2 inch ABS drain pipe and straight ABS couplings. There is no way to explain the build process within the constraints of this thread (5 sentences, 1 picture) - so briefly: I made them in 2 sections so that I can use either 1 by itself or 1+2 together. 1 and 2 are held together by friction alone, the two parts need considerable strength with a twisting motion to either join together or pull apart, such that there is virtually no chance of them coming apart accidentally. 1 by itself with the FA 50/1.4, gives me about 2.5:1 magnification and 1+2 with the same lens gives me about 4:1 magnification - of course, the working distance is very minimal at those magnifications.

If there are sufficient number of PF members interested in this inexpensive, extreme macro tube, I'll make another set with more pictures when the next eBay extension tube arrive and post in the appropriate sub-forum elsewhere.
I see one improvement you could make to get more working distance: reverse the lens. The working distance is then exactly the mount to sensor distance, 45.46 mm. I find your home made extension tubes fascinating.

01-30-2016, 10:01 PM - 5 Likes   #695
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Practice manual focus.

By manual focusing the lens, you will begin to see your subject in a whole new way. It forces you to not only see the duck, but you have to look for each feather and water drop to get the focus right. Once you train your eyes to see these details, you will see them even when using auto focus. You will get better and more consistent results by being able to see what your camera focused on and you will get more enjoyment out of seeing what you’re looking at!
Don W
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01-30-2016, 10:42 PM - 5 Likes   #696
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When San Francisco closes access to the Golden Gate National Recreation Areas for their silly weekly corporate driven event fundraisers, just hike there on foot and be rewarded with this luxury: NO PEOPLE

01-31-2016, 06:49 AM - 2 Likes   #697
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Forum entries

I'm reading all the entries, beeing new to photography i'm Learning a lot from all of you. So just entering this thread, was a great idea.
01-31-2016, 06:58 AM   #698
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
I have some physical limitations that preclude me from getting out into the wild and photographing birds, so I've devised a way of bringing the birds to me and photographing in what, for all intents and purposes, looks like it was in their own habitat. The photos will pretty much show my set-up, and by simply changing different colors of background cloth on the frame on the fence, it provided me with some very different looks. To help with the "Natural look," I inserted tree limbs in the holes drilled in the black, horizontal board and also attached some limbs to a small 4-foot ladder that I placed near the birdhouse feeder. Everything was placed to make the most of depth of field and bokeh, and it included a lot of shooting, downloading, moving the ladder, then re-shooting and trying it again.

Dewman's Album: My Personal Photos -
This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing it!

01-31-2016, 07:08 AM - 1 Like   #699
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Choice of camera for better Photography

I've read many people say - when choosing a camera buy any body but focus more and put your money more on good lenses, but from what what I've learnt about photography till now, I have a different opinion - I think you need a good Body too to complement a good Lens.

2 things where this strategy doesn't work - A- speed : where the shot isn't waiting for you, you need the speed - 2 dials for quick exposure adjustment, more fps for fast action, more function buttons & dedicated buttons and user settings for changing settings & modes faster, larger buffer for longer burst for fast action.

B- features : You wouldn't want your camera to be a limiting factor to your photography - Articulating screen opens new possibilities for photographing from those awkward angles, more AF points, more bracketing options, Pentaprism OVF, better built & grip and Lens-Body balance.

For a complete photography experience you need both capable LENS and a capable BODY, else one could end up being a bottleneck for the other - This is my Photography Tip for my fellow Photographers.

(Image Courtesy : Author - joergens.mi, Source -
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01-31-2016, 10:14 AM - 2 Likes   #700
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Documenting Projects

I document of lot of my other hobby related projects with my Pentax KX. I have been VERY surprised how much detail this camera can provide when taking pictures for documenting some of my projects, attached is "Micro Motor" for one of my RC (remote Control) airplanes that I took apart and rewound the stator due to a broken wire, in order to get it running again. Besides reading articles and asking advice, I believe one of the easiest and effective ways of learning your camera's capabilities to obtain great pictures is to just experiment with it. I was a little leery and sort of overwhelmed with the program capabilities of my camera, once I realize I wasn't going to break it or loose any pictures I really started experimenting with ISO settings, turning the flash capabilities on and off and using my older (purchased in the 70s) Pentax 80-200 zoom just to name a few..
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01-31-2016, 11:24 AM - 1 Like   #701
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If you have a WiFi enabled Pentax (the K-S2 or the expected upcoming new FF) and like hiking and you maybe use a monopod that doubles as a walking stick- you will find that you still can't reach high enough to get that picture of those chicks in the nest way up above, nor a good reach out over the water to take that unique waterfall angle.
Instead, take a window washers 12 ft telescoping pole, which retracts to about 5 ft. Modify it by attaching a tripod screw (reworked from a hand grip bracket) to the end where the wash-wiper screws in; modify and attach (about 2 ft up from bottom of pole) a smart phone bracket (one used in a car can be adapted and works well).
Then attach your camera, set it up with the ANTICIPATED settings, put your smart phone in the bracket and then connect the two via WiFi; then lift it up and once you see your subject on your camera's screen you make any necessary final adjustments and presto- you have that special shot!!
This is now the last of the allowable 5 sentences, so obviously there are finer points that I can't fit in, but experimentation will show you those: go have fun but just don't try this during a lightning storm!
01-31-2016, 01:46 PM   #702
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Improving your skills

I have found that most of my photo outings are shared with friends who love photography. We find that all different levels of beginner to pro learn from these times together. The stupid question by the beginner can sometimes cause both of us to search for some of the answers.
01-31-2016, 02:47 PM - 6 Likes   #703
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zoom vs. prime

Don't think of your zoom lens as a "camera trolley" to bring you close to your subject (unless necessary). Rather think of it as a set of primes and zoom with your feet.
Observe how the relation of subject to background changes with different focal length. Base your choice of focal length upon the desired extent of background compression and separation.
It is not the 35mm prime that gets you involved, it is the informed decision, the effort that makes the shot happen.
01-31-2016, 04:10 PM - 3 Likes   #704
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Action Tip

One of the best features of the K3 is the focus button on the back of the camera for sports and action pictures. Set up the camera through the menus to use the back focus button instead of the shutter button, but do practice! I can can remember trying to capture a cheer leading stunt and keept focusing during the event. As the cheer leader flipped up through the air, and moved down in the frame, the camera started progressively focused on the back wall. It took me a couple of events to realize that if they don't move towards or away from you changing their position in the focus area, you can just focus once and then capture the vertical movement. But it does have to be more natural (and like anything else, practice!).

here was a picture from the middle of the sequence of the flip of a stunt group.
01-31-2016, 05:09 PM - 6 Likes   #705
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If you are looking to capture Aurora Borealis for example when you visit this rock in the middle of the Atlantic ocean called Iceland (where I live) - there are few things you need to capture the tails sharp.
A good tripod; A Pentax K5II, K5IIs, K3 or K3II (you can actually use K-01 as well or Spotmatic F with success), a good wide lens like 16-50mm f/2.8.
Location doesn't matter that much, since you can capture the northern lights in the middle of Reykjavik - they are bright over here and i've even captured them during summer in daylight (pure luck I guess).
Remember to set the focus to infinity - then put it in M (Manual mode).
So, when you have found a spot, use no more then ISO 1250 (everything above is overkill) and set your camera to capture "Interval Shooting" - you can set it to capture 10-20 frames at a time. Set the Interval to 10 seconds.
If you do this and have the lens at 16mm with some mountains, waterfall or lake (or the sea) - you should get results similar to my photo here.
Hope this helps
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Last edited by geirix; 01-31-2016 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Forgot one line in the text :)

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