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12-24-2015, 07:54 AM   #1
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Hello from Holland


I would like to introduce myself by focusing on my first steps into photography. I'm a Mechanical Engineer, 34 years of age, married and 2 sons.

In 2007 I purchased my first camera, a tiny Sony point-and-shoot. Eventually I found myself customizing settings in order to obtain better images. I mostly used center focus in order to obtain some control over the composition and lighting. I was happily experimenting with DOF using the macro function. During a hike I noticed a friend repeatedly copying my shots using a system camera. I didn't think much of it, until reviewing our shots back home. I noticed that her pictures looked much better than mine. In August 2012 my eldest son was born. Because of my job, I largely saw him in the evenings and during the subsequent winter I was unable to acquire even mediocre photos without using flash. This prompted me to do some research.

Eventually my search converged on: Canon 650D, Nikon D7000 and Pentax K5. I didn't need the 650D's video capability. I liked the Nikon because of its specs and because a friend of mine owns a Nikon DSLR. Eventually I went for the Pentax because it offers the best value for money, and even offers marginally better image quality and low-light performance, and weather sealing of course. I purchased the K-5 body with a Sigma 50 mm 1:2.8 DG Macro lens. First impression: great pictures despite bad lighting. Second impression: 50 mm not so good for anything but close-ups. I soon acquired the non-WR kit lens as well. Mean while my second son turned one and it's the dark season again. During the summertime I've gotten used to better image quality and consequently the kit lens doesn't satisfy me anymore. I find myself crawling up the walls in order to use the Sigma prime instead. My eldest son has turned a toddler and now I'm struggling with autofocus and ISO in order to try and mitigate blurry and noisy photos.

DxO mark suggests that K-5 body delivers noiseless images up to ISO 1200. Pentax' top successors only provide marginally better performance. A FF like the Nikon D600 body apparently delivers noiseless images up to ISO 3000. The difference in low-light performance would be further enhanced by the fact that the aperture is also subject to the crop-factor, meaning that a APS-C F/2.8 would equate to a FF F/4.2. Conversely a D600 with F/2.8 lens would compare to a K-5 with a F/1.0 lens.

This is where I'm at right now: invest in a replacement for the kit lens and continue improving my handling of the K-5, or switch platforms for a (used) full frame body in order to obtain even better low-light performance and (supposedly) better autofocus. (I don't like flash because it interferes with the ambient lighting and the natural behavior of my family that I am trying to capture, especially during holiday season. I'm relying heavily on autofocus/cues because I find it difficult to accurately judge focus using the K-5's viewfinder.)

12-24-2015, 08:25 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!
12-24-2015, 10:26 AM   #3
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Dag Humma, welkom to the forum and happy holidays.

First of all the K5 is a very capable camera - no doubts there. Your situation is a familiar story. We all want natural lighting as much as possible. But a flash certainly helps and of course you can modify the light in various ways. A budget solution is bouncing flash off the wall/ceiling, a diffuser or other accessory is also useful. Lookup Neil van Niekerk who says: "lighting in photography is all about the
" and his other video about the black foamie thing light. Hope this will get you thinking.

You may also like to invest in some faster lens. A relatively good budget manual focus lens is the M50/1.7 prime which you can pickup on for less than EUR 25. I like the FA43 Limited, but its pricey or the FA35.f2 or the FA50/1.7. I like FA lenses (all with AF) but I am biased - there are lots of other AF/zoom options out there too. Personally, I would not jump ship to Digital FF until I have explored all the opportunities APSC offers. BTW a FF setup is not cheap and doesn't guarantee great shots unless you know what you are doing. beste.
12-24-2015, 10:50 AM   #4
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Welcome from Alabama

12-24-2015, 10:54 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum! Looking forward to seeing some of your images.
12-24-2015, 11:32 AM   #6
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Welcome, remember also FF arrives with Pentax next Spring ish too.
12-26-2015, 02:00 PM   #7
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Thanks for the warm reception and tips.

@wtlwdwgn: I just published a selection of my favorite shots on pentaxforums albums.

Last edited by Humma; 12-28-2015 at 09:22 AM. Reason: update

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