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06-25-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
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Hi, All....

I have a new, Pentax K-30, with Pentax 18-55mm AL, and 50-200mm AL lenses. I also bought the Tamron 28-300mm telephoto and Vivitar 52mm 3.5x teleconverter lenses. I've partially read through the K-30 manual, and I've read the Pentax lenses brochure. I figured, since I also learned how to connect the lenses to my K-30, and put the photo capture mode on Auto, I should be able to take some pictures. I did take some landscape photos, and they came out great. However, night photos were an entirely different story. I would like to tell you about my first night-photo-taking experience: on Saturday night, I had my Tamron 28-300mm lens attached to my K-30 body, to take some shots of the "supermoon". When I aimed the camera at the moon, two things appeared in my 3" LCD screen: a blinking red circle completely covered the moon's image, and a red, curtain-like object with ragged edges, depending on the horizontal direction I moved the camera, appeared at the far left or right screen edge. If I moved the camera in a slight vertical direction, the red moon circle stayed, but with the exception of a tiny red streak at the screen's edge, the red curtain disappeared. The camera picture mode was set at Auto. If I turned the zoom back towards the 28mm, I could take a clear shot of the moon, but the red cover was still there and blinking. If I had the lens out at the 300mm setting, at first the moon's image appeared large, but instantly dropped back to a smaller image. The camera LCD had a small, green rectangle in it's center. If I centered the moon in the rectangle, I got a clear shot (though it didn't seem magnified), even though it was still a red, blinking image. On Sunday morning, I happened to be looking through the photos I took the previous night. When I displayed the moon's photos, the red, blinking image was still there! I've never seen anything like that! I've read through the manual, and can't find anything referring to this "phenomenom". I would greatly appreciate any assistance from anyone in the forum community.

Thanks,
djdude1327

06-25-2013, 10:17 AM   #2
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I don't have a K-30, so these are just guesses, based on my experiences with the K20D and a K-5 I played with once:
The blinking red is a blown highlight warning; it basically means that the object is overexposed to the point that you will start to lose detail. To correct this, you should probably apply some negative exposure compensation to regain detail in the moon.
The "curtain" sounds like it might be a histogram, which basically shows the brightness distribution of the image.
I'm not sure about the moon appearing large, but being smaller in the final photo. If I had to guess, I think the K-30 has a feature where it zooms in (in Live View) when you focus, to make focusing easier.
06-25-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
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Thanks To You

I think you're right about some of the things you said. Remember, I said I had the camera photo mode set to Auto, so I can't understand why there would be an over-exposure. Supposedly, the Auto setting sets and corrects all aspects of the shooting. As far as the histogram goes, I know what you're talking about, but I don't have the histogram-display enabled on the camera. You're right about the Live View. From what I can get from the manual, the Live View means the 3" LCD screen, not the EVF, is enabled. Anyway, thanks for your quick reply and help.

djdude1327
06-25-2013, 11:09 AM   #4
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Correct. The red shows where the image will be over exposed, and yellow tells you it is underexposed. This is NOT on the image, only on the LCD.

The moon is tricky because it may be night time on earth, but on the moon it's full daylight. Your metering system is trying to balance the night sky with the moon, and it's failing.

The very first thing you need to do is get the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson, and get your camera off of auto. If you are in a well lit place taking snapshots of the kids, auto works OK, but for anything else, it is usually wrong. For the moon, switch to manual mode with spot metering, and manually meter for the moon's surface.

Wait, just reread your post, is the red on your actual image on your computer, or just on the camera's LCD? The exposure information is always there on the camera, if that option is turned on.


Last edited by Kozlok; 06-25-2013 at 11:14 AM.
06-25-2013, 11:22 AM   #5
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Bonjour from France and welcome to PF ... enjoy the K-30 and please post us an image or two soon ... J
06-25-2013, 01:06 PM   #6
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On my K20D, I've never found Green (auto) mode to work very well at all; it always seems to screw something up. I'd recommend learning how the zone system works, then use aperture-priority (Av) with center spot meter, EV comp and AE lock to get the desired exposure
06-25-2013, 02:00 PM   #7
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Wow, big blue text...

You were most welcome here until I saw that text.
06-26-2013, 06:44 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
Correct. The red shows where the image will be over exposed, and yellow tells you it is underexposed. This is NOT on the image, only on the LCD.

The moon is tricky because it may be night time on earth, but on the moon it's full daylight. Your metering system is trying to balance the night sky with the moon, and it's failing.

The very first thing you need to do is get the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson, and get your camera off of auto. If you are in a well lit place taking snapshots of the kids, auto works OK, but for anything else, it is usually wrong. For the moon, switch to manual mode with spot metering, and manually meter for the moon's surface.

Wait, just reread your post, is the red on your actual image on your computer, or just on the camera's LCD? The exposure information is always there on the camera, if that option is turned on.
Thanks...but taking it off Auto, to me, is not something to do. When I bought the camera, I expected the Auto setting would set up all my shots. The manual says the same thing. I don't know about, nor have the time or patience to make all those manual changes. I still have a Nikon P500, with 36x zoom point and shoot, but, I wanted a camera with more lens capability.

Again, thanks for your reply,
djdude1327

06-26-2013, 06:50 AM   #9
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When I bought the camera, I thoroughly researched price, features and quality. Under features, the description included the Auto setting. According to Pentax, that setting should set up any and all photos to be taken, or at least the daylight ones. What you're suggesting I do, is something I want to try and stay away from. I don't have the patience to do all those manual adjustments, nor do I wish to. I still have a Nikon P500 (for sale), with 36x zoom, point and shoot, but I wanted a camera with more lens capability.

Thanks for your reply,
djdude1327
06-26-2013, 06:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Wow, big blue text...

You were most welcome here until I saw that text.
May I ask what the size or color of my posts has to do with being welcome to a forum? First of all, my favorite color happens to be blue, and that's why I used it. Secondly, when I first started typing in my post, the words were very small. My eyes aren't the best, and I imagine there are others with the same affliction, so I decided to increase the size. I was not aware it would show up as large as it did.

Thanks anyway,
djdude1327
06-26-2013, 07:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
Bonjour from France and welcome to PF ... enjoy the K-30 and please post us an image or two soon ... J
Thanks, Jean....

Your reply is most appreciated. I'm taking various photos now, to see how the camera performs, and will post some photos soon.

Take care,
djdude1327
06-26-2013, 07:02 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
Correct. The red shows where the image will be over exposed, and yellow tells you it is underexposed. This is NOT on the image, only on the LCD.

The moon is tricky because it may be night time on earth, but on the moon it's full daylight. Your metering system is trying to balance the night sky with the moon, and it's failing.

The very first thing you need to do is get the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson, and get your camera off of auto. If you are in a well lit place taking snapshots of the kids, auto works OK, but for anything else, it is usually wrong. For the moon, switch to manual mode with spot metering, and manually meter for the moon's surface.

Wait, just reread your post, is the red on your actual image on your computer, or just on the camera's LCD? The exposure information is always there on the camera, if that option is turned on.
It was on the image when I took the shot, and it's still on the photo when I review my photos on the camera. I haven't yet installed the Pentax software to be able to see the photos on my computer, but will do so shortly.

Thanks,
djdude1327
06-26-2013, 07:06 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by KristoffL Quote
On my K20D, I've never found Green (auto) mode to work very well at all; it always seems to screw something up. I'd recommend learning how the zone system works, then use aperture-priority (Av) with center spot meter, EV comp and AE lock to get the desired exposure
See, that's the exact reason I hesitated getting a DSLR. I have a Nikon P500 with 36x zoom point and shoot, but wanted more and better lens capability. On the other hand, I didn't want to get involved having to make a bunch of manual adjustments on the camera. So, when I read about the Auto feature in the Pentax description, and its capabilities, plus price, performance, included lenses, other great features and quality, I decided it was the camera I wanted for my first DSLR.

Thanks for your reply,
djdude1327
06-26-2013, 07:35 AM   #14
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I don't mean this in the way it may come out, but I don't know how else to put it regarding the green button.
A pilots still has to know how to fly, even if the plane has autopilot.
06-26-2013, 08:02 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
I don't mean this in the way it may come out, but I don't know how else to put it regarding the green button.
A pilots still has to know how to fly, even if the plane has autopilot.
Sure....I understand where you're coming from. It's just that I'm not a geek-photographer type (no offense meant to anyone). In other words, I just enjoy taking photos of landscapes, people and if possible, it being the closest to us, the moon. Especially when it's not full, as the craters will be quite visible. When I go on vacation, I want to be able to take many photos of where I'm going, destinations and the populations of those areas, states or countries. I just need to be able to point, aim and click, with either a regular or telephoto lens. I don't want to have to do a myriad of camera adjustments, just to take one photo.
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