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01-24-2011, 04:49 AM   #1
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kr - newbie - queries

hello all,
i'm a newbie from australia. happy new year to all.

i've been scouring the forum for info for the past couple of months & finally decided to get a kr kit lens package. i'm a convert from p&s to dslr.

the saga begins here.
upon purchasing my new dslr, took it home, charged the li-on battery for approx 4 hrs. all joy at present. inserted the battery, switch it on, main language screen..beauty!
entered language, time/ date settings came on. whilst inputing the details, all the sudden, the lcd when blank. thought a moment, perhaps the battery wasn't fully charged.
anyway cut the long story short, i repeated the whole process above but this time it won't even startup. disappointed, took it back to the shop the next day & got another one. so far so good. price wise pretty good au$740 w/ 18-55 dal kit lens.

1. question: is this just a one off or has anyone had the same problem?

next
2. i've played around with this camera w/kit lens & found a few pix are quite soft.
please see attached pix (my distant niece_)
3. question: how can i improve this or do i need to get another lens. if so please do post an advise. currently i've got my eye on the DA* 16-50 mm F2.8 ED AL [IF]
please comment if this is is a killer (winner i mean)

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Last edited by jk2011; 01-24-2011 at 05:23 AM. Reason: missed cue on pix attachment
01-24-2011, 05:25 AM   #2
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Welcome!

The first k-r was apparenty broken - I don't think that is a common issue (otherwise it would probably be hard to miss here . Like getting your candy snatched away just when you were going to take a bite?

As for soft pictures, a common cause is too long shutter time; it is hard to tell of the sample, because it doesn't have EXIF info (shutter time, aperture, etc.). I think that a similar issue has been discussed here recently. The kit lens should do better than this IMO, it is a decent piece of kit, actually. Still, the DA 16-50 1:2.8 would be definite improvement, but the first thing to do would be figuring out why you don't get better results with the kit lens: if the problem is a too long shutter time that allows the camera to move enough during exposure to result in blurry pictures the result would not be any better even with a top lens like that.
01-24-2011, 05:59 AM   #3
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hello jolepp
i will try & workout the exif info. still reading the manual booklet of 340pages. i will get there slowly.
at the mean time, info extracted from metafile:
aperture: f5.6
exposure 1/160 secs
focal length: 52mm
iso: 200
spot metering
auto exposure, auto whitebalance
subject distant range: macro.
pix taken about about 1m distance.
my guess is i'm too close to the object, or probably taken the macro off......

cheers. jk
01-24-2011, 08:17 AM   #4
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The shutter time looks short enough as such, so it might simply be that you'd need to press the shutter like the trigger of a gun; that is, increase pressure gently until it snaps (as opposed to using more force all at once). Another thing that goes with this is half-pressing the shutter button until the hand icon appears in the viewfinder to signal that the built-in shake reduction has activated and only then pressing fully to take the picture.

One more thing that might go wrong is auto-focus locking on something else than what you intented (the red dots on the viewfinder should give you an idea where). Some people switch to center point AF and use "focus and recompose" to avoid this. With this you put what AF should focus on in the center circle of the viewfinder, half-press the shutter button so that AF operates and locks, then move the camera for the framing you want and finally press the shutter button fully to take the picture.

Two things I noted about the parameters, BTW:

Spot metering : exposure is set according to the very center of the frame (~the center circle, again), center-weighted or matrix are probably better in general use (the latter evaluates the whole frame, CW gives more consideration (weight to the center part).

Subject distance "macro" : this is synonymous to "kind of close"; unlike cameras where the lens is an intergral part of the camera there is no macro mode which would set the lens for close focus, in the macro scene mode the camera simply favors small apertures for more DOF (depth of field, or the zone that is in focus; with a DLSR this can get pretty thin, especially with dedicated maco lenses/gear).

01-25-2011, 03:06 AM   #5
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hello joleep, thanks for the reply. great advise. will take it on board. yes i was trying to get the portrait-bokeh look, but i think the kit lens has some limitation with the small aperture. i will follow other threads to get get a good understanding on what works & what don't. cheers jk
01-25-2011, 03:58 AM   #6
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The DA 16-50 1:2.8 would help in getting that thin DOF / blurry background, sure. There are also similar Tamron and Sigma offerings which enjoy a good reputation here. The Tamron is cheapest of the bunch and has worked very well for me (k-x). For portraits you might also consider its sister model 28-75 1:2.8 or the similar Sigma, for a bit of extra reach.
01-25-2011, 08:55 PM   #7
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please tell me the model nos of tamron.
just put in a reply on the sdm* thread.

ps. today i've just purchased a pentax smc 50mm m f.1.4 k mount from ebay for $94us delivered. this oldies aren't getting cheaper anymore. hopefully i will have fun when i get.
please give me some tips if you've any on this lens.
cheers
jk
01-26-2011, 04:56 AM   #8
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The Tamron part numbers should be:

Tamron 17-50mm 1:2.8 : AF016P700
Tamron 28-75mm 1:2.8 : AF09P700

I have been impressed enough with the 17-50 that I've considered getting the 28-75 too. With the portrait kind of thing I think that would work better, then again, having the wide end is very good to have for fitting more people in the frame, especially indoors where you cannot always step back to do that.

As for the 50mm 1:1.4 I have the Pentax-M version thereof. At the larger apertures (small numbers) the DOF is very, very thin so focus is critical; a split prism focus screen would be the ideal thing with this (but then it interferes with spot metering), with the regular focus screen it is rather difficult to get that spot on so taking a number of shots around the correct focus is a good idea. The focus confirmation hexagon in the viewfinder helps: when that lights up the focus sensor responsible for the center area (covering the approximate area of the viewfinder center ring) is reporting good focus. From the price I would hazard a guess that you have the M (or K) version (as opposed to the A) of the lens. With these the auto metering modes of the body are not available: you need to use M (manual) mode with stop-down (green button) metering. This is fortunately easy enough, see: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/110658-using-ma...x-dslrs-f.html. In practice you set the aperture with the aperture ring, press the green button for a shutter time to match, check the result on the back display and adjust the shutter time with the wheel if needed. Piece of cake, really, as long as you remember to set "Use aperture ring" to "permitted" in the menu first.

01-27-2011, 05:48 AM   #9
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thanks for the reply. will print this out in time for my new ' old lens'.

the tamron looks good. fairly good report on other website. this is probably better for video work in low light situation compared to the kit lens.
just to be sure to one you talking about is:
NEW Tamron SP 28-75mm F2.8 XR Di LD IF LENS FOR PENTAX (eBay item 150541525287 end time 30-Jan-11 20:06:42 AEDST) : Cameras
01-27-2011, 08:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jk2011 Quote
thanks for the reply. will print this out in time for my new ' old lens'.

the tamron looks good. fairly good report on other website. this is probably better for video work in low light situation compared to the kit lens.
just to be sure to one you talking about is:
NEW Tamron SP 28-75mm F2.8 XR Di LD IF LENS FOR PENTAX (eBay item 150541525287 end time 30-Jan-11 20:06:42 AEDST) : Cameras
Yup, the very thing .

Be sure to be covered with warranty and/or a decent return policy: some people report that they have had to get another copy because of back/front focus issues with the closely related Tamon 17-50 mm (AFAIK this can happen with any AF lens, though). Also, with the 17-50 there is apparently slight tendency for underexposure towards the smaller (bigger number) apertures (maybe 1/2 stop by f=11), but this is not supposed to affect the 28-75.
01-28-2011, 01:55 AM   #11
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thanks jolepp.
the reply for the tamron seller just didn't make sense ( taiwanese seller). the search continue for reputable seller with a good deal & warranty condition.

new movement last night after a long day googling.
i've just purchased a sigma 30mm f1.4 ex dc hsm from b&h today. will test lowlight video on my partner's dance performance in a couple of weeks.
( this one's got an international warranty for piece of mind. $120 cheaper than what i can get in australia.)
01-28-2011, 05:21 AM   #12
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That would seem like a tempting piece as well The warranty is good to have, I seem to remember reading about FF/BF issues here with this too. FF/BF like this is somewhat of a mystery; AF is about adjusting focus until the sensor detects it is good, yet some copies of lenses (with some copies of bodies?) manage to consistently focus a bit back/front while another copy might be just fine on the same body and even the lenses that have this issue usually work correctly when the contrast (live view) AF is used instead of the phase (viewfinder) AF with a dedicated sensor.
01-28-2011, 11:31 PM   #13
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hopefully it's a good copy...keep my fingers crossed. lens arriving next wednesday. just can't wait, like a kid waiting to open a new box of toys.

still have mixed impressions on my 18-55 kit lens. pictures taken so far were ok but far from impressive. took a few street scape snaps was ok but i think my old kodak 12mp z1275 did a better job on general shots ie sharper. don't ask me why
on the flip side, a few nights ago, took a couple of monochrome shot & it came out quite impressive.
now it really got me?????
check out pix & give me you 2 cents opinion

ps. pix is only cropped.
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01-29-2011, 12:06 AM   #14
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I think I know the feeling: kind of like waiting for Santa as a kid . The kit lens is decent, especially stopped down to around f=8, but then these more pricey lenses are in a higher league IQ-wise. One thing worth trying with the kit lens might be cranking up sharpening a bit in the camera settings.
01-29-2011, 01:15 AM   #15
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ok thanks.
pg 213 on kr manual. ( still reading it....)
i will try this out & let you know soon.
ps. its stinking hot here. it will be 42deg c tomorrow. hotter than the camera's rated os temp of 40deg c. looks like a beer drinking day at home.

also, great review on the tamron 28-75
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di Review. The Sharpest Lens Ever?
it will be on my next hit list.
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