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K100D Tips & Tricks
Posted By: Class A, 09-23-2008, 12:44 AM

Here are some useful pieces of information regarding the K100D, which will probably apply to some extent to other models as well.

As you know the K100D offers two ways of releasing the shutter (wireless and cable switch (CS-205)) and both accessories are not exactly cheap, at least not here in New Zealand.

Regarding the wireless remote, note that Pentax uses the same infrared code as some SONY remote controls. I have successfully released the shutter on my K100D with my SONY remote control (the exact button will vary between different models of remote controls). It also works with a generic (universal) remote, if it is set to use the correct codes. I was surprised to see that using a remote control this way even supports arbitrarily long exposures in "bulb mode"; as long as you keep the button on the remote pressed, the shutter stays open.

Regarding the cable switch, note that the little plug is a standard 2.5mm one that is often found on mobile phone earphones. If you get such a cable, building the switch yourself is quite easy, see for instance "Build your self Pentax Cable Switch F".

The second option for the cable switch is to buy a cheaper replacement. I found the Yongnuo RS-C1 and it works nicely, but there are other replacement switches as well.

Yes, I would prefer to have "Pentax" written on my remote controls and also wouldn't mind to support Pentax by forking out some money for the original switch, but here in New Zealand the remote controls are prohibitively expensive.

Just a reminder, as you have probably know this at one stage: If you apply exposure correction (something I do quite often), the automatic ISO setting is disabled and ISO 200 is chosen. If that's not what you want, you need to set the ISO speed manually.

You may not be aware of the fact that ISO 400 has a bit more headroom in the highlights then ISO 200, so when choosing ISO 200 you are giving a away a bit of the potential dynamic range. Since the noise at ISO 400 is very well controlled, it appears to make sense to set the camera to this speed and avoid ISO 200 unless you are after minimal noise, but I hope someone else will shed more light on this matter.

Its in the manual, but here's another hint: When navigating in the menus, note that you can use the wheel to switch between the menus. That's a lot quicker than moving up and down to reach the menu switching position. I'm sure you are already saving clicks by moving up (when you are at the top position) to reach items far down in the menu. Getting to them from the bottom, instead of from the top, is often far quicker.

Although all the relevant information for using manual lenses is contained in the manual as well, some may find this tutorial (K100D (Super) Pictorial guide to using manual lenses [imgs]: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review) on how to use such lenses on the K100D useful.

Here's another piece of information that you may use at your own risk: Although the manual advices against it, you can actually use rechargeable CR-V3 accumulators in your K100D if they are voltage-regulated to 3V. Some claim these cells last longer, don't loose their charge as quickly when not used, better withstand cold temperature and even speed up autofocus performance. See e.g., https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-accessories/37963-report-k1...tery-life.html. My 2500mAh NiMH accumulators seem to last forever and I'm very happy with the AF performance. Forum member bjsmith makes a compelling argument against the use of rechargeable CR-V3.

Although PENTAX REMOTE Assistant Version 1.0 (Pentax Imaging - Software & Firmaware Updates) was not designed for the K100D, most of its functionality works fine (Version 3.0 doesn't work). In order to directly upload images to the computer, just make sure that you set the quality level to "RAW" with the camera menu. Otherwise, the transferred .PEF files have an intact preview but scrambled up contents. Using the "auto save mode" is very useful if you are shooting a series of test images, e.g., in order to calibrate the autofocus, because you can immediately analyse them on your computer without triggering the transfer manually or selecting a file name.

You can use an old flash on your K100D provided that it doesn't exceed the maximum voltage tolerated by the K100D. How high that maximum is, seems to be a bit of a mystery. Some claim it is 30V, according to an ISO standard, it should be 24V, some say you should be OK below 10V. Note that Canon EOS models should not be exposed to voltages higher than 6V. You can either find the voltage emitted by a flash in this list of strobe trigger voltages or measure it yourself. Make sure, though, to use a digital meter. Some cheap analog meters have too low internal impedance causing voltage drop and thus will report a number which might be grossly too low.

There is a way to use flashes with too high triggering voltages by either using a Wein Safe Sync Hot Shoe Adapter or some wireless slave trigger which is controlled but not physically connected to the camera, the latter having the advantage of allowing more useful lighting angles.

Did you know that you can find-adjust the AF system of your K100D?

Here's how you change the focusing screen on a K100D.

Last edited by Class A; 08-14-2009 at 06:28 AM. Reason: Added information about old flashes
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10-06-2008, 06:22 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ovim Quote
For what Sony device was the remote control for?
TV set. My remote model # is RM-673. I think either the top left of the grey buttons or one of the buttons for the teletext did the trick. Let me know if you need any more specific information. It's been a while since I tried it and I'm too using a programmable remote control now since the TV remote control is still in use.


Last edited by Class A; 10-06-2008 at 06:28 AM.
10-06-2008, 03:24 PM   #17
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I should know this by now but (#3)...

This seems a place to ask this question. What exactly does the K100D AE-L button do? I've read the relevant section in the manual several times but I'm still befuddled by this. I can see what it does mechanically in the camera (it locks in a setting, either the program line, aperature or speed when I focus and set) but I don't know why I'd use it.

So I have set the camera to Tv shift, I focus on something that has a range of expsoure values, but then what?
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10-06-2008, 05:59 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
This seems a place to ask this question. What exactly does the K100D AE-L button do? I've read the relevant section in the manual several times but I'm still befuddled by this. I can see what it does mechanically in the camera (it locks in a setting, either the program line, aperature or speed when I focus and set) but I don't know why I'd use it.

So I have set the camera to Tv shift, I focus on something that has a range of expsoure values, but then what?
FHPhotographer
The AE-L button lock the auto exposure of the camera, you meter the light on the part of the scene you want bye pressing half the shutter, you press the AE-L button until the * appear in the viewfinder, then you can release the shutter and take a shot of what you want, the light meter is lock on the previous metering
10-06-2008, 06:02 PM   #19
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As far as I know, and the way I use the AE-L button is as such:

Compose the shot, half-press the shutter for AF (or manually focus), and press AE-L. The auto exposure setting has now been locked to the settings that would correctly expose the point at which you had just focused and measured exposure for.. As long as you don't lift your finger, the shutter and aperture shouldn't change, even if the scene does.

I find this really useful when I'm shooting concerts. I use AE and AF, but lock them when I've found a combination of settings that works well for the lighting. AE can be a bit flaky in situations such as concerts or nightclubs with highly varying light conditions.

Hope this helps (and that I'm actually right!)

Edit: Beat to the punch! Seems I'm 3/4 right.

10-06-2008, 06:17 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
What exactly does the K100D AE-L button do? ... I can see what it does mechanically in the camera (it locks in a setting, either the program line, aperature or speed when I focus and set) but I don't know why I'd use it.
Surely you have already used the AF (autofocus) lock function (by keeping the shutter button pressed half-way). You focus on some spot then recompose and then take the shot, achieving the desired spot to be in focus. This technique has its limitations (Why Focus-Recompose Sucks) but works in general.

The main application for the AE-L button is analogous. You acquire the correct exposure setting for the part of the frame you are interested in, lock this metering, recompose and then shoot, achieving appropriate exposure for the part of the frame you are interested in.

You can lock the AE-L functionality with the AF lock (see p. 131 of the manual) but I don't think this is what you ususally intend.

There is another important application of the AE-L button which comes into effect when you are using manual lenses with no automatic aperture control. You can still use such lenses (see the link at the beginning of this thread) but you need to press AE-L before taking the shot in order to make the camera acquire the correct exposure.

I sometimes use AE-L in manual mode to get a correct exposure proposal to start with and in contrast to any other mode I'm then able to freely alter both Av and Tv. Since the camera always displays the corresponding amount of over/under exposure in the viewfinder, this gives me a more flexible way of achieving over/under exposure. Page 146 of the manual describes how you can configure what AE-L exactly does in manual mode. I've set it to shift Tv mode because I like to control DOF with Av and then usually adapt Tv till I get the desired over/under exposure. When the Tv value goes out of range this way, I quickly adjust the Av value and then are ready to fiddle with Tv again.

Hope that helps.
10-06-2008, 06:25 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by dantekgeek Quote
Compose the shot, half-press the shutter for AF (or manually focus), and press AE-L.
Just a small comment: You can let go off the shutter button after having set the focus. Pressing AE-L will lock the current exposure setting as long as the metering is still active.

QuoteOriginally posted by dantekgeek Quote
The auto exposure setting has now been locked to the settings that would correctly expose the point at which you had just focused and measured exposure for
That's only true if you have set "Link AF Point and AE" (p. 137). Otherwise, the locked exposure will depend on the metering method you have set. It thus may not emphasise the point at which you have focused at all.

QuoteOriginally posted by dantekgeek Quote
As long as you don't lift your finger, the shutter and aperture shouldn't change, even if the scene does.
The exposure lock won't change even if you lift your finger. It will remain locked as long the star lights up in the viewfinder.

Last edited by Class A; 08-06-2009 at 05:13 PM.
10-06-2008, 06:48 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Surely you have already used the AF (autofocus) lock function (by keeping the shutter button pressed half-way). You focus on some spot then recompose and then take the shot, achieving the desired spot to be in focus. This technique has its limitations (Why Focus-Recompose Sucks) but works in general.

The main application for the AE-L button is analogous. You acquire the correct exposure setting for the part of the frame you are interested in, lock this metering, recompose and then shoot, achieving appropriate exposure for the part of the frame you are interested in.

You can lock the AE-L functionality with the AF lock (see p. 131 of the manual) but I don't think this is what you ususally intend.

There is another important application of the AE-L button which comes into effect when you are using manual lenses with no automatic aperture control. You can still use such lenses (see the link at the beginning of this thread) but you need to press AE-L before taking the shot in order to make the camera acquire the correct exposure.

I sometimes use AE-L in manual mode to get a correct exposure proposal to start with and in contrast to any other mode I'm then able to freely alter both Av and Tv. Since the camera always displays the corresponding amount of over/under exposure in the viewfinder, this gives me a more flexible way of achieving over/under exposure. Page 146 of the manual describes how you can configure what AE-L exactly does in manual mode. I've set it to shift Tv mode because I like to control DOF with Av and then usually adapt Tv till I get the desired over/under exposure. When the Tv value goes out of range this way, I quickly adjust the Av value and then are ready to fiddle with Tv again.

Hope that helps.
Thanks, that helps a great deal, particularly after reading the visual-vacation.com link information on focus recompose issues with depth of field shifts. I see that another poster mentions "you press the AE-L button until the * appear in the viewfinder" but I'm assuming that applies to the K10-20 series and not the K100 because I ain't got on of them things. Thanks again,
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10-06-2008, 08:37 PM   #23
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a * does show up in the VF

to extend the AE-L in Manual mode concept, one of the best uses is if you use Center WEight or Spot meter to meter first then make adjustments afterwards. one of the greatest hidden things is that you can set AE-L in modern lenses to be Tv or Av SHIFT in custom functions. Tv shift basically means Aperture Priority after you press AE-L in Manual mode.

this helps a lot if you're taking the same set of photos i.e. the same action events in the same lighting, go to manual mode, meter till it's correct and check your histogram. once it's set, then leave it and all your photos will be exposed the same

10-06-2008, 09:04 PM   #24
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You may see it in your VF but...

QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
a * does show up in the VF

to extend the AE-L in Manual mode concept, one of the best uses is if you use Center WEight or Spot meter to meter first then make adjustments afterwards. one of the greatest hidden things is that you can set AE-L in modern lenses to be Tv or Av SHIFT in custom functions. Tv shift basically means Aperture Priority after you press AE-L in Manual mode.

this helps a lot if you're taking the same set of photos i.e. the same action events in the same lighting, go to manual mode, meter till it's correct and check your histogram. once it's set, then leave it and all your photos will be exposed the same
... a * does not show up in my viewfinder. Anybody have any ideas what's going on?
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10-06-2008, 09:29 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
... a * does not show up in my viewfinder.
It should light up right left to the number of recordable images/EV compensation.
Have a look at p. 22 of the manual for the position (item 16).

If you still don't see it after pressing AE-L, try to tell us what mode/settings you are using. Make sure you activate the metering before you try this. The camera needs to show the Tv & Av values in the viewfinder and at the top display before you can lock them.
10-07-2008, 03:23 PM   #26
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No AE-L in Manual Mode?

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
It should light up right left to the number of recordable images/EV compensation.
Have a look at p. 22 of the manual for the position (item 16).

If you still don't see it after pressing AE-L, try to tell us what mode/settings you are using. Make sure you activate the metering before you try this. The camera needs to show the Tv & Av values in the viewfinder and at the top display before you can lock them.
The AE-L doesn't work in Manual mode? I see the Tv in the upper left corner of the top LCD Panel but I do not see the * in the view finder in that mode ; if I set for Av or Tv on the Mode Dial I do see the * in the view finder.
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10-07-2008, 05:02 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
The AE-L doesn't work in Manual mode?
It does, but differently then in the automatic modes. In any mode where the camera changes any of the exposure parameters automatically, AE-L freezes a particular set of parameters (indicated by the star in the viewfinder).

In manual mode, the parameters won't ever change anyhow, so there is no point in locking / freezing them. Hence, in manual mode the AE-L button assumes another function: It will set the correct exposure (after metering has been activated by a half press of the shutter button). See page 146 in the manual; it describes how you can use the "Custom Setting" menu to choose whether AE-L should calculate both Av and Tv, just Av or just Tv for you when you press it in manual mode.

EDIT: I corrected the above to state that the AE-L requires the metering to be active already. I previously wrote what I thought the button should do when no metering is active. I wonder why it doesn't automatically activate metering in manual mode instead of doing nothing when metering is inactive.

Last edited by Class A; 10-09-2008 at 04:20 AM. Reason: AE-L doesn't activate metering
10-07-2008, 09:24 PM   #28
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Thanks one and all

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
It does, but differently then in the automatic modes. In any mode where the camera changes any of the exposure parameters automatically, AE-L freezes a particular set of parameters (indicated by the star in the viewfinder).

In manual mode, the parameters won't ever change anyhow, so there is no point in locking / freezing them. Hence, in manual mode the AE-L button assumes another function: It will activate metering and set the correct exposure. See page 146 in the manual; it describes how you can use the "Custom Setting" menu to choose whether AE-L should calculate both Av and Tv, just Av or just Tv for you when you press it in manual mode.
When I was teaching I waited for the "ah ha" expression on student faces; this is how it feels from the other side. It took a while, but it finally sunk in and now I finally "get" AE-L. Thanks one and all,
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10-10-2008, 07:39 PM   #29
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Going way back to the original post and something that was mentioned there ... I've been using cheap CRV3 Rechargable batteries that I bought off e-bay for ages now and yet to experience a problem with them in my K100D.

Typically I'll get 500+ shots per charge and 300+ if using the flash a fair bit. Yet to shoot a lot of continuous flash shots as I either use an external flash or strobes more often than not if I want extra light.

I got 2 x CRV3's plus a charger from a chinese e-bay seller for AUD$20.00 - best $20 I ever spent considering how much I use my camera. Batteries are over a year old now and just keep on going.
10-10-2008, 08:05 PM   #30
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gotta be careful with rechargeable CR-V3's because the voltage may be higher than what should be used.
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