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08-20-2013, 02:53 PM   #1
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New Member & K-5 Novice

Hi All,

After years of using Pentax film SLR's (the ME Super is a great camera) and the last 9 years using a Sony DSC-828 (another great camera - not a DLSR but I just love it however it's MP size is dwarfed by most camera phones these days), I've taken the not inconsiderable financial plunge into DSLR and kept brand loyalty with Pentax - also means I can use the old SMC-A lens I have.

After years of enjoying AF on the Sony, I factored in the use of MF lens on the K-5 (after much research via this forum and chatting to a guy who was stood next to me using this combination one day) and decided that adjusting exposure and focusing for myself was only going back to how we used to do it anyway. (It's the Luddite in me ).

OK - manual read with camera in hand - all the bells & whistles explored - found out what everything does - very unusual for me to be so "un-bloke-like" and reading the instructions.

OK - confession - I take mostly train photos (I've heard all the jokes) and this being the UK, end up with most photos taken in shite dark weather looking down at a dark subject with the upper 1/3rd of the picture brighter at shutter speed of 1/500 with the aperture hovering on the upper limit (that's why the f1.7 50mm is such a great lens for me).

Decided to take images at 16MP on the RAW+

OK - am having problems with focusing / exposure and looking at images at actual size I am not overly impressed with the clarity (typically can't upload copies for comment)

Maybe I'm expecting too much - need to get more familiar with the camera first as I so want to love it as much as my tatty old DSC.............

Anyway on with the journey...................

Regards,

08-20-2013, 02:58 PM   #2
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Hey, I love taking train photos too- nothing wrong with that!

As for your IQ concerns, I think it would help if you could post some samples. Even without seeing any, though, I can think of two potential problems- either you aren't nailing the focus (it's harder on the K-5 as it's got a much smaller viewfinder than film camera), or the lenses you're using simply aren't sharp enough wide-open. You'll get much better image quality at F2.8 than at F1.7, so it might be a good idea to stop down by 1 or 2 stops and instead bump up the ISO to 200, 400, or even 800 when needed (even at 800 you're not losing much detail with the K-5). If the focusing turns out to be a problem, you might want to consider getting a split-screen focusing screen.

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08-20-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, try a bit more practice with the new kit, it will come good in time.
08-22-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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When I first got my K20D and manual lenses, I got a beating! Most of my pictures did not come out right. Now that I have a K-1000 I can see how much easier it is to focus with a full frame film camera. The crop frame with manual focus takes practice.
I suggest the 28mm f2.8 Pentax-A SMC. It works very well on the 1.5 crop frame, and since it is a wider lens, and a quite a bit slower but still bright enough, it is also much quicker to focus correctly.
Another favorite for quick focusing, interestingly enough, is the Auto Sears 50mm f1.7. I set it on f2.8 and the short throw focus ring is very easy to handle. Plus they can be had for 30 bucks at any given day!
At some point though, I will have a good fast prime with auto-focus. I'm sure that's everyone's goal, if they don't have at least one already

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