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03-03-2015, 03:06 AM   #1
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New and confused Pentax user - K10D mirror up?

Hey everyone


I have a Pentax K10D and am desperately trying to work out all it's functions, the one I'm particularly looking for at the moment is any form of mirror lock-up function - any ideas?


I'm a fairly new photographer, love night sky and scenery shots, but struggling to get sharp images with manual focus - hoping the mirror lockup might help


Thanks!


Amy

03-03-2015, 03:18 AM - 1 Like   #2
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The 2s self-timer serves as a mirror lock up, as far as I recall. I think the dedicated option was added to later high-end bodies.

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03-03-2015, 03:18 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Have you engaged Shake Reduction? Are you using manual lenses - if so you will have to select the correct focal length for shake reduction to work properly. This selection is made on starting up the camera whilst the lens is attached. (edit - if you are using a tripod then it would be a good idea to turn shake reduction OFF)

Also, beware of the possibility of back/ front focusing. Phase detection may give misleading focus confirmation.

Perhaps a better third party focus screen may help too. If you already have one installed beware of the positioning of the focus screen - it might be out.

Are you using RAW and PPing? JPEG conversions in camera might be doing your images harm.

Oh and what lens are you using? A slow lens might not give you as good critical focus than a faster lens.

Last edited by Wild Mark; 03-03-2015 at 03:22 AM. Reason: additional thought
03-03-2015, 03:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
Have you engaged Shake Reduction? Are you using manual lenses - if so you will have to select the correct focal length for shake reduction to work properly. This selection is made on starting up the camera whilst the lens is attached. (edit - if you are using a tripod then it would be a good idea to turn shake reduction OFF)

Also, beware of the possibility of back/ front focusing. Phase detection may give misleading focus confirmation.

Perhaps a better third party focus screen may help too. If you already have one installed beware of the positioning of the focus screen - it might be out.

Are you using RAW and PPing? JPEG conversions in camera might be doing your images harm.

Oh and what lens are you using? A slow lens might not give you as good critical focus than a faster lens.
Wild Mark - Yes I'm using a tripod and have the SR off for that... I'm not sure what a manual lens is, but I can focus manually on the lens, if that's what it means?


Back/Front focusing and phase detection - I have no idea what that means!


Don't have a 3rd party focus screen, nor do I have live viewing, only through the viewfinder


I'm using RAW & JPEG on the camera, and uploading the RAWs to Light Room / Photoshop


How do you tell a fast lens from a slow lens?


I'm a real amateur huh?!?! Want to learn though!!

03-03-2015, 03:40 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The 2s self-timer serves as a mirror lock up, as far as I recall. I think the dedicated option was added to later high-end bodies.
Thanks Adam - the 2 second one doesn't work with a remote I don't think, but there's a 3 sec one on the remote settings, so I think I'll give that a go.
03-03-2015, 05:09 AM   #6
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Try using a cable remote. If you don't have one, try looking on eBay. They're cheap

QuoteOriginally posted by Amy Coulbeck Quote
Thanks Adam - the 2 second one doesn't work with a remote I don't think, but there's a 3 sec one on the remote settings, so I think I'll give that a go.
03-03-2015, 08:58 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Amy Coulbeck Quote
I'm a fairly new photographer, love night sky and scenery shots, but struggling to get sharp images with manual focus - hoping the mirror lockup might help
Hi and welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Manual focus can be a challenge, but once mastered will provide results equal to or better than the best the AF system can provide. Here are a few bullet points:
  • The factors that contribute to soft images are the same regardless of focus method used. Poor optical quality, camera/subject motion, and missed focus are the usual culprits. You can add atmospheric conditions to the list for landscape work with longer lenses.
  • Critical focus is easier with lenses having a long focus throw. Unfortunately, the focus rings on many AF lenses often have very short travel from near focus to infinity. Most lenses made for manual focus have long focus throws.
  • Focus precision with faster lenses (f/4 maximum aperture and wider) is difficult with the stock focus screen. What this means is that it is hard to consistently get acceptable focus when shooting at wider apertures. I usually suggest that users shoot avoid shooting at wider than f/4 with the stock screen.* Greater depth of field covers up nicely when focus is a little off.
  • Pixel peeping complicates things
  • Wide-angle lenses are more difficult for manual focus. Yes, they have greater depth of field at a given subject distance, but that cuts both ways in that it is hard to determine focus. In addition, everything in the viewfinder is so very tiny that it is hard to tell when the subject is out of focus.
  • Proper viewfinder diopter adjustment is critical! Adjust the slider above the eyepiece until the AF frame lines are in sharp focus.
Shifting gears a little to the matter of using your K10D...Up until about a year ago, I was K10D user of about seven years running, with about 50% of my photography being with vintage manual focus lenses. Here is what worked well for me:
  • Use the 2 second delay when working on tripod. That should be adequate to quell mirror-induced vibration when coupled with adequate camera support.
  • Use a sturdy tripod when working on tripod and be aware that wind or excess tripod extension can defeat even the most expensive camera support systems
  • Focus confirmation (using the AF system as a check to manual focus) is a useful tool, but your results will only be as good as the AF system
  • I own and use a wired remote, but usually only for exposures longer than 30s (the maximum timed exposure on the K10D). A wireless remote works well too. I use the wired version because it has intervalometer features.
  • Probably the one factor, more than anything else, that helped insure manual focus success was to change out the stock focus screen for one with a split image focus aid. I chose the fairly expensive KatzEye screen with Optibrite treatment. This type of screen was included as standard equipment on almost all SLR cameras until the advent of AF systems for a good reason. I highly suggest an aftermarket screen for anyone wanting to do any significant amount of manual focus work.
I hope this helps.


Steve

* A full explanation would take many words, but it is enough to say that the stock focus screen provides a view that has exaggerated depth of field for lenses faster than about f/3.5 - f/4. What this means is that it is hard to tell out-of-focus with those faster lenses. This problem is not unique to Pentax and is present across all currently available dSLR cameras.

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-03-2015 at 09:12 AM.
03-03-2015, 09:04 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Hi Amy, Welcome to the forum!

You might benefit also from getting a copy of the Magic Lantern Guide, Pentax K10D. It has a lot more information on usage than the handbook that comes with the camera. You've got a great camera, so enjoy; and be sure to share some of your photos with us!

03-03-2015, 09:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
Try using a cable remote. If you don't have one, try looking on eBay. They're cheap
Hey, yea I've got a wireless one, but have just ordered a cables one today as well

---------- Post added 03-03-15 at 09:11 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
Hi Amy, Welcome to the forum!

You might benefit also from getting a copy of the Magic Lantern Guide, Pentax K10D. It has a lot more information on usage than the handbook that comes with the camera. You've got a great camera, so enjoy; and be sure to share some of your photos with us!
Ok thanks, I'll look into that!
03-03-2015, 09:13 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Amy, you're most welcome! Also there is an ad in our Marketplace for e-books, including one for the K10D:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/24-photographic-equipment-sale/285949-sal...tax-dslrs.html

I'm not associated with this seller, just wanted to give you another option.

Here is a link to the Magic Lantern Guide:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/160059185X/ref=asc_df_160059185X3502701?smid=A30GZB...SIN=160059185X
03-03-2015, 09:14 AM   #11
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Shutter speeds

Does anyone also know if a 1/250 shutter speed is displayed on the Pentax K10D as simply 250?
03-03-2015, 09:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Amy Coulbeck Quote
Does anyone also know if a 1/250 shutter speed is displayed on the Pentax K10D as simply 250?
Yes...
03-03-2015, 09:55 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Amy Coulbeck Quote
Does anyone also know if a 1/250 shutter speed is displayed on the Pentax K10D as simply 250?
Do you have a copy of the user manual? It is available for download as PDF from Ricoh:

K10D Manual (pdf)


Steve
03-03-2015, 10:03 AM   #14
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Fractions of a second up to 1/4 are shown as the denominator as a whole number. Shutter speeds longer than 1/4 of a second as decimals with the seconds symbol e.g. 0.8". or 2.5".

It's not clear from the user manual if the 3 second remote delay locks the mirror first as it says vibration from the mirror can still occur even when using a remote and to use the 2 second mirror lockup. I suppose you could always take off the lens and see what it does in 3 second remote delay.
03-03-2015, 10:05 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Amy Coulbeck Quote


How do you tell a fast lens from a slow lens?


I'm a real amateur huh?!?! Want to learn though!!
"Fast" and "slow" lens refers to the aperture setting. A wider open aperture (smaller f number, f1.7, f2.8 for example) allows in more light and therefore a faster shutter speed in comparison to a smaller aperature (larger f number, f4, f5.6 for example) Think of a bottle of water. The larger the opening of the bottle, the faster the water will poor out of the bottle. This of course is an over simplified explanation and there are other factors to consider before you get in a habit of shooting all your shots wide open.
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