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03-31-2013, 07:11 AM   #1
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Hi from Perth WA - and low light advice needed!

Hi all
I've been lurking on the forum for some time - finally decided to write.
I've had a k100Ds for about 5 years, and thinking of upgrading (probably the K30 with 18-135 lens, or maybe the K5?). I mainly do landscape photography based on our Country Garden Festivals, where it is great using the standard Sigma lens.

However, I find the K100D lacking in low light for indoors. If I bump the ISO, the grain is unacceptable; keep it down (say to 800) and I get motion blurring. I'm not sure whether to upgrade to the K5 or K30. Any advice out there? Is the Pentax 18-135 lens a good choice? Should I just buy a quality flash unit?

I currently have the Sigma 18-55 and Tamron 80-210 kit lenses. I also bought a second-hand Pentax-A 50mm/f2 that I'm yet to get to grips with!

Ian

03-31-2013, 07:32 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, another lurking Aussie, one joined yesterday, where are you all hiding.
03-31-2013, 07:35 AM   #3
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Hey, welcome!
Basically, what you want is your camera to capture more light at a given shutter speed. So you can get a lens with bigger aperture (lower f-number. Which is also why these are called fast lenses) Like the 50mm f1.8. Or a flash. Flash is probably the best solution (and maybe add a little diffuser on there), but it might not be practical in all situations. If you buy a flash, make sure it is Pentax-compatible. You also have to learn some flash techniques, like bouncing it off the ceiling or using it off-camera with triggers, adding gels that fit the WB.
But! The K-5 and K-30 both have pretty good noise performance (much better than older cameras), so you can bump up ISO to 1600, or even to 4000 and still get usable photos. However, "usable" is a subjective idea, some people don't mind a bit of noise, others do.
You can try some noise reduction techniques (like shooting raw and slightly overexposing, then darkening the image in post) or software (like Topaz or Noise Ninja).

Oh, and the Pentax A 50mm f2.0 will be good for low light photography. Just set the camera to "allow aperture ring" and set the lens to A on the lens (have to press the button on it). Shoot at f2.0 and the lowest shutter speed you can get away with without motion blur

Last edited by Na Horuk; 03-31-2013 at 07:41 AM.
03-31-2013, 04:48 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Hey, welcome!
Basically, what you want is your camera to capture more light at a given shutter speed. So you can get a lens with bigger aperture (lower f-number. Which is also why these are called fast lenses) Like the 50mm f1.8. Or a flash. Flash is probably the best solution (and maybe add a little diffuser on there), but it might not be practical in all situations. If you buy a flash, make sure it is Pentax-compatible. You also have to learn some flash techniques, like bouncing it off the ceiling or using it off-camera with triggers, adding gels that fit the WB.
But! The K-5 and K-30 both have pretty good noise performance (much better than older cameras), so you can bump up ISO to 1600, or even to 4000 and still get usable photos. However, "usable" is a subjective idea, some people don't mind a bit of noise, others do.
You can try some noise reduction techniques (like shooting raw and slightly overexposing, then darkening the image in post) or software (like Topaz or Noise Ninja).

Oh, and the Pentax A 50mm f2.0 will be good for low light photography. Just set the camera to "allow aperture ring" and set the lens to A on the lens (have to press the button on it). Shoot at f2.0 and the lowest shutter speed you can get away with without motion blur
Thanks for the welcome - and the advice! I think I'll look for a good flash - like the Mecablitz, and start using my 50mm/f2.0 lens. My limited use so far has shown it's not that easy to for me get really sharp manual focus at f2.0 - more practice is needed.

03-31-2013, 04:55 PM   #5
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Hi Ian
Welcome to the forum from another Perth Pentax user!
Cheers
Dean
03-31-2013, 05:25 PM   #6
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Cheers Dean!
Ian
03-31-2013, 08:23 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum! My recommendation would be the combination of the Pentax K-5 II.s and the Sigma 30mm F1.4 for sharp detailed images in low light situations which will produce very little noise.
03-31-2013, 11:08 PM   #8
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Thanks for the welcome and the recommendation - much food for thought there! Any recommendations as to suppliers of Pentax gear in Perth? Most of the local stores seem to be strong on Canon and Nikon, with little or no Pentax.

03-31-2013, 11:25 PM   #9
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G'day mate. The K-5 or even K30 would certainly impress you and a perfect upgrade from the K100D. Enjoy the forum.
04-01-2013, 12:55 AM   #10
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Just thought I'd mention that you have a PM.
04-01-2013, 05:57 AM   #11
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Thanks - still getting my head around the forum!
04-01-2013, 06:18 AM   #12
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Hello fellow newbie. I too am new as of January. Addicted! I was torn torn torn between the K5 and K30. ultimately the K5 had a couple options that put it over the top for me. The top LCP screen, and a biggie was the hdmi output. I use it for video (I have three young children) so while i am not making hollywood blockbusters) I did want something that i could playback on my tv while on vacation if i chose to do so. that won out.

Barry
04-01-2013, 06:26 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gonoles110 Quote
Hello fellow newbie. I too am new as of January. Addicted! I was torn torn torn between the K5 and K30. ultimately the K5 had a couple options that put it over the top for me. The top LCP screen, and a biggie was the hdmi output. I use it for video (I have three young children) so while i am not making hollywood blockbusters) I did want something that i could playback on my tv while on vacation if i chose to do so. that won out.

Barry
Bonjour from France and welcome to PF ... enjoy your K-5, I love mine ... J
04-01-2013, 06:28 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ian.baxter Quote
Hi all
I've been lurking on the forum for some time - finally decided to write. ... Ian
Welcome to the Forums and post us an image or two soon ... J
04-02-2013, 02:03 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gonoles110 Quote
Hello fellow newbie. I too am new as of January. Addicted! I was torn torn torn between the K5 and K30. ultimately the K5 had a couple options that put it over the top for me. The top LCP screen, and a biggie was the hdmi output. I use it for video (I have three young children) so while i am not making hollywood blockbusters) I did want something that i could playback on my tv while on vacation if i chose to do so. that won out.

Barry
Hey fellow newbie The top LCD screen in my K100D is so useful, I must admit I was surprised it was missing on the K30. That, and the HDMI output, probably seals the deal for me too - now I just need to find the $$$
Ian
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