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06-29-2019, 11:04 PM - 1 Like   #1
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K1 - Pixel Shift & Bracketing - Question

A friend and I are going to do a 3 hour road trip (one way) on July 3, out to the desert boomdocks for 1) General Landscapes and 2) Milky Way AstroPhotography. This is literately the last day this year that this particular location will work with the moon, the mountain, milky way's position and our schedules - until about May of next year.

We should be there by 5pm, with the sunset at 7.37pm. We both want to do just general landscapes till dark, but the sun will be casting some great shadows on the nearby mountains, with desert and cactus in the foreground. We will be shooting with the K1 and K70 (both have PS).
  • Question - Has anyone shot both Pixel Shift with Bracketing enabled? That will be 4 PS frames for each of 3 to 5 Bracketed frames or about 12 to 20 shots total for each resulting finished image. Motion in the foreground is not a concern, and the sky should be clear (yea, not that interesting for landscapes, but necessary for the Milky Way - you can't have everything at the same time).

Note - not my image - it's from Arizona Highways

The sun set is as far north as it ever gets, so the shadowing is going to be extreme, and very deep - thus the thinking about Bracketing. We would both like to capture as much detail, with true color (the colors will be extreme) - hence PS, and the combination of the two. Also, the light will be fading from golden hour through sunset into blue hour.

Has anyone tried something similar to this? If so, how well did it turn out? Anything to watch out for?



06-29-2019, 11:27 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Has anyone shot both Pixel Shift with Bracketing enabled?
According to the K-1 manual, that combination is not available.

Cheers,
Terry
06-30-2019, 04:25 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tduell Quote
According to the K-1 manual, that combination is not available.

Cheers,
Terry
Morning Terry - Thanks, I had forgotten about looking at the table of restrictions. However, all that means is that I'll need to figure out the shutter speed for EV+/-1, dial them in, then shoot them manually (while still in PS) and not using the automagic bracketed mode. That will probably save time overall, since I would really only need the EV-1 side.

Thanks again!!
06-30-2019, 04:54 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
shutter speed for EV+/-1, dial them in, then shoot them manually (while still in PS) and not using the automagic bracketed mode
Or you can use the Exposure Compensation control +/- to dial in for your brackets. If you are shooting in Av mode with fixed ISO then the EC dial will only change the shutter speed.

06-30-2019, 11:32 AM   #5
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Pixel shift is a pain, due to most post processing software not supporting it correctly, and the tools that process pixel shift correctly are unable to export DNGs. I much prefer the idea of Nikon and Panasonic offering 45+ MP sensor with focus bracketing.

---------- Post added 30-06-19 at 20:37 ----------

Plus, pixel shift is a concern for archival and prints. Single shot DNG is likely to last long as a standard, to maintain pixel shift over the next decade by third party software vendor is unlikely, depending on where pixel shift goes.
06-30-2019, 01:41 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Pixel shift is a pain, due to most post processing software not supporting it correctly, and the tools that process pixel shift correctly are unable to export DNGs. I much prefer the idea of Nikon and Panasonic offering 45+ MP sensor with focus bracketing.

---------- Post added 30-06-19 at 20:37 ----------

Plus, pixel shift is a concern for archival and prints. Single shot DNG is likely to last long as a standard, to maintain pixel shift over the next decade by third party software vendor is unlikely, depending on where pixel shift goes.
Creating a DNG from processed pixel shift would require defining a new model of camera -- a virtual model of Pentax camera that does not use a Bayer filter and probably has a different color profile than the original camera. Then all the makers of software that can handle DNG would need to update their code to support these new DNGs tagged as being taken by a "Pentax PS" camera.

A far better solution is to export 16-bit TIFF. TIFF seems like a far more stable and cross-compatible standard than camera-specific DNG.
06-30-2019, 02:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Morning Terry - Thanks, I had forgotten about looking at the table of restrictions. However, all that means is that I'll need to figure out the shutter speed for EV+/-1, dial them in, then shoot them manually (while still in PS) and not using the automagic bracketed mode. That will probably save time overall, since I would really only need the EV-1 side.

Thanks again!!
I typically shoot pixel shift with 1 EV of negative exposure compensation to keep my highlights and adjust from there accordingly. I think it would be fairly easy to bracket by shooting one with -2 EV exposure compensation, 0 and +2. If I wanted to bracket, that's what I'd do, but my experience is that a single shot is fine as long as I don't blow the highlights.

---------- Post added 06-30-19 at 05:41 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Pixel shift is a pain, due to most post processing software not supporting it correctly, and the tools that process pixel shift correctly are unable to export DNGs. I much prefer the idea of Nikon and Panasonic offering 45+ MP sensor with focus bracketing.

---------- Post added 30-06-19 at 20:37 ----------

Plus, pixel shift is a concern for archival and prints. Single shot DNG is likely to last long as a standard, to maintain pixel shift over the next decade by third party software vendor is unlikely, depending on where pixel shift goes.
Pixel shift does take an extra step and is often unneeded. As far as archiving goes, I use RAW Therapee and create a 16 bit TIFF file that is as neutral as I can get it. That's the file I take over to Lightroom for finishing touches and that's the file that I keep for long term storage.

Obviously in 50 years all of this stuff is going to be junk that my kids and grand kids will have to figure out if it is worth getting it off of the media it is stored on, but I think it will be fine for a little while. I don't see TIFF, Jpeg, or DNG file formats going away any time soon.
06-30-2019, 03:01 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Or you can use the Exposure Compensation control +/- to dial in for your brackets. If you are shooting in Av mode with fixed ISO then the EC dial will only change the shutter speed.
I was up at 4 in the morning for a drink of water and decided to surf the web for a while. Walking back to bed, I was thinking that I could just dial in an exposure compensation. Easy, straight forward and a simple solution - let the camera do the heavy lifting....

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Pixel shift is a pain, due to most post processing software not supporting it correctly, and the tools that process pixel shift correctly are unable to export DNGs. I much prefer the idea of Nikon and Panasonic offering 45+ MP sensor with focus bracketing.

---------- Post added 30-06-19 at 20:37 ----------

Plus, pixel shift is a concern for archival and prints. Single shot DNG is likely to last long as a standard, to maintain pixel shift over the next decade by third party software vendor is unlikely, depending on where pixel shift goes.
Well Pentax is what I have, so that's what I'm shooting with. I have some good glass that will/should perform well - so, that's what I'll be using. Even with a high resolution dense sensor (45+MP), you need good glass to out resolve the sensor to capture the image quality. There are always trade offs and compromises to be made. If we are able to capture well exposed and composed images - then we have can post process them at our leisure - with plenty of processor cycles to burn.

This location doesn't get photographed a lot, so I'm hoping to do what we can do pretty well, with plenty of time to scout a set of good set of locations, good glass, a reasonable plan and approach. That's about as much as you can do - just go out and execute - adapt to the conditions, shoot regular, bracketed, PS and PS/Bracketed, and the post processing will take care of itself to a degree.

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Creating a DNG from processed pixel shift would require defining a new model of camera -- a virtual model of Pentax camera that does not use a Bayer filter and probably has a different color profile than the original camera. Then all the makers of software that can handle DNG would need to update their code to support these new DNGs tagged as being taken by a "Pentax PS" camera.

A far better solution is to export 16-bit TIFF. TIFF seems like a far more stable and cross-compatible standard than camera-specific DNG.
With the proliferation of various new/updated utilities now available - the one common thread is good old 16-bit TIFF.

Both the Sigma Foveon and Fuji X-Trans sensors suffered from the various support issues associated with a "different" sensor. Between LightRoom and RawTherapee - along with Digital Camera Utility/silkypix, you just have to go with tools that you have in terms of a workflow. At least there is some reasonable support.



06-30-2019, 03:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
A far better solution is to export 16-bit TIFF. TIFF seems like a far more stable and cross-compatible standard than camera-specific DNG.
TIFF 16 is baked already, same a JPEG. Pulling shadow on the TIFF 16bits doesn't work better than doing the same on a JPEG. I've tried and I verified that the TIFFs I used were 16bits and not 8bits coded.
07-01-2019, 01:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Pixel shift is a pain, due to most post processing software not supporting it correctly..

Plus, pixel shift is a concern for archival and prints. Single shot DNG is likely to last long as a standard, to maintain pixel shift over the next decade by third party software vendor is unlikely, depending on where pixel shift goes.
I am sure what you are looking for is called RawTherapee .. incredibly painless.
07-01-2019, 03:23 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Pulling shadow on the TIFF 16bits doesn't work better than doing the same on a JPEG. I've tried and I verified that the TIFFs I used were 16bits and not 8bits coded.
Then you were doing something wrong.
A 16 bit TIFF can hold A LOT more info than an eight bit jpeg.
07-01-2019, 06:25 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
Then you were doing something wrong.A 16 bit TIFF can hold A LOT more info than an eight bit jpeg.
Then someone has to prove it. Please tried it yourself instead of just writing an opinion based on theory.
07-01-2019, 07:08 AM   #13
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I've generally found that Lightroom does fine with Pixel Shift, as long as there is no motion and you're not trying to use the motion compensation function.

As said above, I generally slightly underexpose PS shots. This is what I tend to do with the K-1 anyway, Pixel Shift just makes it more so. Because the dynamic range is so good, I haven't found exposure bracketing to be as necessary. But as others have said, if you want it, you'd have to do it manually.

Not sure how a few more megapixels and focus bracketing would be a better solution. Automatic focus bracketing would be nice, but it doesn't serve the same purpose.

Last edited by SteveinSLC; 07-01-2019 at 07:08 AM. Reason: typo
07-02-2019, 03:29 AM   #14
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If you do pixel shift, there is no better editor than Rawtherapee. Motion is fixed by using a single photo for those parts. Basically I prefer Rawtherapee for all K-1 stuff. Very natural starting point with built-in K-1 profile and do not require much to get natural looking photos.

Pentax fcked up their pixel shift a bit, if you want to bracket. Slow card writing adds several seconds delay between brackets. Camera buffer could hold up to four pixel shift photos before card writing is necessary, but Pentax did not incude that option. You have to manually set different shutter speed for another pixel shift shot, if you want to bracket. This does not add extra delay because card writing takes several seconds anyway...


Successful pixel shift stacking adds at least 1 EV worth of dynamic range, so if you need to include more highlight details, -1 EV compared to normal shooting is okay.

There is another use for pixel shift. I use it when shutter shock is a problem. Optical viewfinder shooting is possible with PS, but Pentax denied that when using ES...It is extra pain to extract one photo, but at least I get to choose from four photos. Gives a bit more security against hand shake blur. This means that if you want always 100% sharpness from the camera, IBIS is only useful for pixel shift. Well, the camera is still the cheapest by far for my needs even with gimped features.

Pentax released SDK for those who want to write camera control software. I do not know, if there is commands which could force to queue pixel shift shots in the buffer. Focus bracketing should be possible. Someone actually did it and released it here somewhere.
07-02-2019, 03:42 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pikselisiirto Quote
If you do pixel shift, there is no better editor than Rawtherapee. Motion is fixed by using a single photo for those parts. Basically I prefer Rawtherapee for all K-1 stuff. Very natural starting point with built-in K-1 profile and do not require much to get natural looking photos.
I've compared image output quality from LR, RT, Affinity, DXO, PDCU, Silkypix 9. DXO, PDCU, and in-camera conversion. Silkypix and DXO raw conversion to JPEG delivered the best IQ, lowest noise while staying faithful with image details (no artifacts). Comparing RT with Silkypix 9, Silkypix raw processor give me about as good IQ from a single exposure vs pixel shift with RT. On a single exposure, RT given more noise in skies and shadow areas and the output file is larger. Overall Silkypix and DXO do a smarter job, without needed pixel shift. Smart denoising and smart accentuation of detail is powerful, that mean noise is reduced in black areas and skies, and detail is enhanced where detail is relevant in an image.
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