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07-03-2016, 10:39 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Hi from FNQ OZ

Hi all,

Have used so much valuable info from the forum to help me decide on which first DSLR to buy, and following numerous requests from the site admin decided to do the right thing and join - so here I am.
My new K3 II (with 18-55 WR kit lens) and DFA 150-450 zoom arrived about 6 weeks ago - so a big learning curve from my old bridge camera.
I mostly photograph birds, but wanted a combo that would allow me to have a better success rate in capturing birds in flight.
I also wanted gear that was weatherproof (I live in a wet tropical area), and a camera with a decent in-built GPS - hence the K3 II & big zoom.
Mixed results so far, so will have to post in the main section to see if someone can help me out on some issues, as my old bridge camera is still often outperforming the new outfit - as I said, quite a big step up (not just in weight) and still a big learning curve.

Cheers

07-03-2016, 10:55 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by grg_pglly Quote
to see if someone can help me out on some issues,

Hi grg_pglly. Welcome to the Pentax forums mate. Lots of very experienced " birders " here who would be happy to help. Post your photographs in the Photo Critique forum when you are ready, and sit back and wait for the help to come flooding in.
07-03-2016, 11:57 PM   #3
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G'day mate and welcome to the forum
07-04-2016, 01:06 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
Hi grg_pglly. Welcome to the Pentax forums mate. Lots of very experienced " birders " here who would be happy to help. Post your photographs in the Photo Critique forum when you are ready, and sit back and wait for the help to come flooding in.
Hi pjv,
Thanks for the warm welcome.
This is the first forum I've ever joined - so hope I don't make too many serious mistakes (probably a bigger learning curve than moving from a bridge camera to a top of the range DSLR crop camera). I don't use social media so this is a real great leap forward for me - hope everyone is patient.
I may have been to harsh and expected too much from my new combo. The weather was OK was it first arrived, but for the rest of the period it turned pretty lousy.
I was trying to evaluate it for defects before the 30-day return period window elapsed (took over 3000 pics). It was an expensive purchase, so should probably relax more - enjoy the images it captures on the good days, and not push it too far on the dull days.
cheers

---------- Post added 07-04-16 at 01:11 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
G'day mate and welcome to the forum
Thanks for the welcome mate,
I can see by your gear list that you have been a Pentax user ( & photographer) for much much longer than I, so please don't treat any images I post too harshly.
Cheers

07-04-2016, 01:13 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forums... You've certainly done it in style, with your new K-3II and those lenses (especially the DFA150-450 - very nice!)
07-04-2016, 01:19 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by grg_pglly Quote
photographer for much much longer than I, so please don't treat any images I post too harshly.
No worries, in fact I make a point of not doing that, and there are many here with greater gear lists than me, have fun with photography I say
07-04-2016, 01:49 AM   #7
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Welcome and one tip to consider when shooting super tele. Always have a shutter speed exceeding the focal length used. So, if you are operating at 450mm then your shutter speed needs to be at least 1/450. But, that is a general rule and should be used as a guide. If the camera and lens is heavy then go an even faster shutter speed, perhaps 1/800+

In addition to shooting a fast shutter speed I suggest you avoid wide open apertures. Wide open has thin DoF and is often a little soft. Shoot a stop or two down and you will get very sharp.

Lastly, you should consider using ISO to your advantage. Perhaps a good setting for you at this stage is to shoot Tav (this mode allows you to set the shutter speed say 1/800 and aperture say f6.7). When in this mode the ISO will change automatically for you between a certain pre-defined range to give you the right exposure. In this setting you get good speed and sharpness, but only have to contend with ISO variance. Suggest an ISO range of between 100-800 (1600 on the outside).

Lastly, if you are using a tripod then be aware of SR interference. If SR is ON then the images can turn out soft (i.e. camera is still but SR moves making the image blurred).

I am keen to know how you go with those settings.
07-04-2016, 02:32 AM   #8
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Wet tropics? What? Another Pentax user in the Cairns area? That makes two of us. May bump into you around the ridges, and on the esplanade. Welcome to the forum.

07-04-2016, 11:55 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by grg_pglly Quote
following numerous requests from the site admin
Welcome to the forum, we ground you down into submission eventually.
07-04-2016, 07:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
Welcome and one tip to consider when shooting super tele. Always have a shutter speed exceeding the focal length used. So, if you are operating at 450mm then your shutter speed needs to be at least 1/450. But, that is a general rule and should be used as a guide. If the camera and lens is heavy then go an even faster shutter speed, perhaps 1/800+

In addition to shooting a fast shutter speed I suggest you avoid wide open apertures. Wide open has thin DoF and is often a little soft. Shoot a stop or two down and you will get very sharp.

Lastly, you should consider using ISO to your advantage. Perhaps a good setting for you at this stage is to shoot Tav (this mode allows you to set the shutter speed say 1/800 and aperture say f6.7). When in this mode the ISO will change automatically for you between a certain pre-defined range to give you the right exposure. In this setting you get good speed and sharpness, but only have to contend with ISO variance. Suggest an ISO range of between 100-800 (1600 on the outside).

Lastly, if you are using a tripod then be aware of SR interference. If SR is ON then the images can turn out soft (i.e. camera is still but SR moves making the image blurred).

I am keen to know how you go with those settings.
Ta for the advice Wild Mark,
I've been mostly using TAv for the past 2 weeks (except for my user mode custom settings for birds in flight). I'll endeavor to raise my shutter speeds a bit higher for stills when zoomed out as you suggested. I was tending to stick to speeds I'd used with my bridge camera which had a slightly stronger zoom and I have learnt to hold still enough to produce nice crisp shots at 50X.
I wish there was a way to preset a high shutter speed in my BIF user modes (I often quickly turn the camera on or spin the mode dial around from TAv to the custom section when shootings stills if a bird flies over, fire away on continuous, only to realize that I haven't wound the shutter speed up and it's still set on its too low default value (usually around 500 or lower). OK for stills in good light but way too slow for fast flying small birds like swallows.
When I first got the camera I took heaps of pics in a variety of modes (including lots simply in green). I wanted to get a feel of the weight of the lens, and also to be able to replicate those shots later to see if the quality has dropped off as the camera ages. I later tended to use P mode mostly, before switching to TAv because of the the tendency in P of the shutter speed & aperture to chase each other's tail instead of letting the ISO adjust (usually I wanted it to go up).
I don't lock the mode dial anymore, as its a long way around to user modes from TAv (another reason I initially used P mode a lot).

One thing you can help me with Wild Mark as you own a K3 (and this is probably a stupid question - so don't be too alarmed); do these cameras normally "clunk" internally when rocked from side to side (irrespective of whether switched on or off, or if a lens is attached)? I hope this noise I hear/feel is just the Image Stabilization mechanism sliding around in its mount and hopefully nothing has come adrift.
This is really worrying me, so I'd really appreciate some feedback on my concern.
I'll be give you give you feedback on your suggested settings shortly - now that the weather has improved.
Cheers
07-04-2016, 07:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Welcome to the forum, we ground you down into submission eventually.
Thanks Kerrowdown,
I was always intending to join, but had a concern with the camera which I was hoping to find an answer for before I joined and made a fool of myself asking what most likely was a stupid question (see the last part in my reply to Wild Mark).
cheers

---------- Post added 07-04-16 at 07:16 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Arjay Bee Quote
Wet tropics? What? Another Pentax user in the Cairns area? That makes two of us. May bump into you around the ridges, and on the esplanade. Welcome to the forum.
Hi Arjay Bee,
I see you live in Bamaga - quite a haul down to Cairns. I live further south near Mirriwinni, but as I'm into birding will try to get to CNS more regularly to capture some waterbird pics on the Esplanade. Last time I was in the city I bought a Pelican case for the new outfit from the local camera store (probably shouldn't mention their name here). I've sailed past Bamaga a few times, but never stopped off, hopefully we'll catch up sometime.
Cheers
grg_pglly
07-05-2016, 01:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by grg_pglly Quote
One thing you can help me with Wild Mark as you own a K3 (and this is probably a stupid question - so don't be too alarmed); do these cameras normally "clunk" internally when rocked from side to side (irrespective of whether switched on or off, or if a lens is attached)? I hope this noise I hear/feel is just the Image Stabilization mechanism sliding around in its mount and hopefully nothing has come adrift.
This is really worrying me, so I'd really appreciate some feedback on my concern.
I'll be give you give you feedback on your suggested settings shortly - now that the weather has improved.
Cheers
Not really a clunk, rather, a soft squelch. Hmmmmm I have heard of this phenomenon elsewhere and not sure what the conclusion was. Hopefully someone here can answer.

With regards to the settings, and on my reflections, I would be going for a shutter speed of 1/800 + for sure. Also, make sure the AA filter is off. And lastly, don't rely on teh jpg engine in the camera for photo output. The RAW is definitely king and PP of the best images using RAW is the way to go.

---------- Post added 07-05-16 at 06:20 PM ----------

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-troubleshooting-beginner-help/305801-m...-pictures.html
07-06-2016, 07:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
Not really a clunk, rather, a soft squelch. Hmmmmm I have heard of this phenomenon elsewhere and not sure what the conclusion was. Hopefully someone here can answer.

With regards to the settings, and on my reflections, I would be going for a shutter speed of 1/800 + for sure. Also, make sure the AA filter is off. And lastly, don't rely on teh jpg engine in the camera for photo output. The RAW is definitely king and PP of the best images using RAW is the way to go.

---------- Post added 07-05-16 at 06:20 PM ----------

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-troubleshooting-beginner-help/305801-m...-pictures.html
Hi Wild Mark,
A few other problems occurred with the camera yesterday. Firstly the shutter-release refused to operate (after I'd already taken a few shots) even though it had attained focus, Had to eventually remove the battery and re-insert it.
Later in the day (after taking heaps more pics), I took a pic of a grasshopper and playback wouldn't display - in fact nothing would display except for the top LCD screen and info in the optical viewfinder. I tried switching to live view - still nothing on the LCD monitor - no preview - zero (even after turning the camera off then on again). Removed the battery, replaced and all was sweet again, except that I never did see that photo of the grasshopper - very strange. All switches/levers were firmly in their correct position (including mode dial).
Battery was fully charged the previous night, so today I cleaned the contacts, and so far no re-occurrence.
I'll search the main forum to see if anyone else has had this problem. Concerned - you bet!
I'd prefer not to film in RAW all the time (did it with my bridge camera and never seemed to find the time to process them - also don't have Photoshop, eyesight is not brilliant, and couldn't get my head around SilkyPix developing). I was hoping to get by saving only JPEG's till I get all the bugs sorted out (I do use the RAW Fx button to save RAW+ if I think I have a decent pic.
Looking back at JPEGS from my old S1 bridge camera with its minuscule sensor and far less quality optics, its upsetting to see that they are so much better than what I'm producing now. This is the first DSLR I've ever owned, but not the first I've used. I had the use of a 7D from an NGO a few years back (one with the hunting auto-focus problem) so hardly a good introduction to that type of camera, and a good reason to buy my first from Pentax.
Unfortunately after @ 5000 pics so far - very few from The K3 II are decent, and most look they have been taken with ISO off the scale.
I took lots today at speeds up to 1000, (all above f/5.6) but still nothing much worth keeping.
All my 1000 or so birds in flight pix are extremely soft (even though most show the red acquired focus dot in detailed playback). Even the sky seems to pull apart with very little zooming on the PC screen. Thanks for all your suggestions - I'll keep trying to work through it and search the main section more thoroughly.
cheers
07-06-2016, 07:47 PM   #14
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OK, this sounds like you have a camera body problem. And, can I say, it is good that you have picked this up early while in warranty. I would be sending this back without delay with a detailed description (including photos) demonstrating why there is a problem. The K3 (II) cameras are simply very good cameras producing exceptional image quality. your experience is clearly not the same so again a camera problem.

Putting aside the clunking and mechanical issues you describe, can I say there remains one other user to toggle. The lenses may be front/ back focusing thus explaining blur. Check this out

Fixing Front and Back Focus - Introduction - In-Depth Articles
07-07-2016, 05:16 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
OK, this sounds like you have a camera body problem. And, can I say, it is good that you have picked this up early while in warranty. I would be sending this back without delay with a detailed description (including photos) demonstrating why there is a problem. The K3 (II) cameras are simply very good cameras producing exceptional image quality. your experience is clearly not the same so again a camera problem.

Putting aside the clunking and mechanical issues you describe, can I say there remains one other user to toggle. The lenses may be front/ back focusing thus explaining blur. Check this out

Fixing Front and Back Focus - Introduction - In-Depth Articles
Thanks Wild Mark,

I had a quick look at the link on front/back focus you provided, and will read it fully when I return home tomorrow.

The images always look crisp & clean in the optical viewfinder (even the birds in flight ones - once the red dots show acquisition).
Trouble is - they turn to %#@ after pressing the shutter and viewing in playback & on PC monitor. Perhaps because there has been no firmware update for the K3-II since release, and the D FA 150-450 is unlikely to be included in the original firmware (although many others get excellent results with this combo).
Anyway, I'll follow the instructions on your linked article and see how things progress - if no joy, then its back to the importers.
I just wanted to ensure it was a camera fault & not a lens issue, but the recent jamb-ups as you said seem to point to at least a camera fault.

I doubt I'll ever be ably to afford another camera like the K3-II ( the FF was too far outside my price range), so I hope I can get it working right. I'd read heaps of reviews before purchasing, and was very impressed with the excellent photos taken with it online (plus I love handling it, its layout, the great GPS etc etc). I want to try the astrotracker and a few other of its huge range of features, but have held-off buying a decent tripod until I sort out current issues.

Cheers & thanks for all your help.
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