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10-03-2011, 07:20 PM   #1
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Why so... bleh??

I took my new-to-me m50 f/1.7 out to our local fair this weekend and was a little disappointed as I figured this is where this lens would shine. I've got some lovely portraits indoors with this lens but at a low ISO (around 200). These were taken outside under dark and threatening skies so I bumped the ISO up to 3200. These images are 3200 and 6400. I expected much better from what I've read and the high ISO pictures I've seen with this camera. These look awful noisy to me... Am I doing something wrong? Or should I have kept the ISO lower? I know focus is off on some of these (I'm still getting used to the manual focus).

The first two are 3200, first one cropped, last two are 6400

Pentax K-x
M50 f/1.7 between f/2 and f/8
Cloudy with mist light rain approaching dusk


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10-03-2011, 07:31 PM   #2
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ISO is to high causing noise, and the pics are out of focus.
10-03-2011, 07:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by cbova Quote
These look awful noisy to me... Am I doing something wrong?
Need exif data...

But to answer your questions, yes, first one is underexposed quite a bit - exposure is off on second pic too along with a little white-balance issue.

You will still need some noise reduction applied to your images, the great KX noise performance doesn't mean that your pics will be noise free, it means that the noise is very manageable - with a proper exposure, those images could have been shot at 5000 iso and turned out silky smooth with a little PP NR...

10-03-2011, 08:02 PM   #4

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The kind of photographs you're trying to make are technically difficult to pull off. You may not have appreciated how precisely you have to focus with a 50mm lens at f2 or close to it, and even with old manual-focus bodies (with bigger finders and more manual-friendly focusing screens), that was difficult to do with moving objects.

I'm sure the KX was an improvement over earlier models with regards to noise, and you might try some noise reduction in PP. But in the end you may have to adjust your expectations somewhat for pictures taken under these conditions, even if you refine your technique over time.


10-03-2011, 08:03 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies. I guess I need to get the engine running well (the focus/exposure) before I do the bodywork (noise control). I have not done any noise reduction at all post processing. I will concentrate on exposure and focus and then move on to post processing.

Thanks again,
10-04-2011, 02:01 AM   #6

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Keep in mind that you can use higher ISO and get less noise when the scene is well lit to begin with. For low light situations, the noise will be more evident, and it may be better to try to balance your exposure in other ways (e.g. longer exposure at lower ISO).

A good denoise plugin like the Nik or Topaz ones will go a long way to cleaning up your shots in post. It's amazing what a subtle denoise can do for even low ISO and well lit shots.
10-04-2011, 03:07 PM   #7
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This is the problem with High ISO shots. People tend to it in very low light situations and usually end-up underexposing the shot. When you underexpose in the best of conditions, you get noise in the underexposed areas. It's amplified in High ISO, low light shots.

In addition, these low light shots tend to be in the shutter speed area where hand holding introduces motion blur, even with SR.

10-04-2011, 03:20 PM   #8
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I have the M50 1.7. It's a great little lens - very sharp, very good colours etc. Don't give up on it yet. Hone your camera technique a bit and you will be very happy with that lens.

Note though that photographing dynamic subjects whilst shooting wide open (think razor-thin DOF) using manual focus in low light is just about the most challenging shooting you can do. Best of luck!

Also pls don't be using a horrible UV or protection filter of any sort on that lens... use a hood instead.

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