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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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10-13-2008, 09:22 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Warped Quote
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.

Please buy from a reputable dealer like thomas-distributing.com where you can be sure the batts are regulated to a safe voltage.

-k

11-26-2008, 05:32 PM   #32
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[QUOTE=Alfisti;352683]

As for tips, my key tip is to dial in +0.7 Ev as a starter point for every shot.

Bingo!
11-26-2008, 08:07 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kds100 Quote
As for tips, my key tip is to dial in +0.7 Ev as a starter point for every shot.
That's a bit of a sweeping statement.
You may have to do that for a particular lens and it probably isn't related to the K100D.

If I did that with my lenses, I'd get blown highlights very often.
12-19-2008, 07:06 AM   #34
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Intuitively obvious, it's in the manual, etc. K100D

Class A - great idea for a K100D thread. I've been using the my K100D for almost two years and here are a few useful items I picked up from others on the forum, reading the manual the third time, and/or experimenting - my top 10 - perhaps useful to folks.

1. Focus. The flashing red indicator just tells you where the focus is set, ie the center. Once set to the center I turned off the flashing red light (Menu/Custom/Superimpose AF Area set to 2). You need to actually see the green hexagon in the viewfinder to know that it's in focus.

2. Shutter speed - Tv mode. In the Menu/Custom Setting/Expsr Setting Steps Option 1 is 1/2 EV, and Option 2 is 1/3 EV. By changing these settings you will get two sets of shutter speeds, ie lets say you want to shoot at 1/200 of a second but with 1/2 EV set you get 1/180 sec and the next step is 1/250 sec. If you select option 2 ie 1/3 EV steps you also get more shutter speed settings. Pg 148, 200.

3. Manual lens with aperture ring - Menu/Custom Setting/Using Aperture Ring - Permitted - pg 184 and 188.

4. Manual lens. AE-L button. Page 146-148 of manual. When using an old manual lense set Menu/Custom Setting/AE-L btn on M exposure to Optn2 Tv shift. With a manual lens in manual camera mode pressing AE-L will set the shutter speed for the aperture you've set. You can tweak the speed as required from there.

5. Manual lens - with built in flash - you get max flash - try ISO 200, 1/180 speed and stopping done the aperture if you're close to your subject. If you set faster than 1/180 camera will default to max speed of 1/180 with the flash.

6. Manual longer lens - with built in flash - at the gym - try 1/180 speed but cranking up the ISO to 400, 800 or 1600 to get some reach with the flash

7. Try some of your old manual lenses around F8, other factors permitting. Carry a small notepad and make a note of the f-stops you use for the old lens as the fstop is not in the EXIF file.

8. SD Card write speed - is approx 2 MB/sec - so don't waste money on faster cards for this machine.

9. If you prefer the ease of JPEG learn about setting the white balance manually for indoors shots. If you happen to shoot in the same gym often this can be handy as the camera will store your manual WB setting. pg 188.

10. I use another older program for red eye and few other tweaks. Lots of folks will recommend software other than PhotoLab and PhotoBrowser provided but I've been happy as a good place to start for working with RAW files. Just update to latest version on line. I use it for tweaking white balance, tone, saturation, and minor noise reduction and for creating TIFF files for prints. The performance to price ratio is pretty high.

Gottta luv Pentax. K-m, K200 or K20 - tbd. Looking forward to the Feb sales. BTW thanks for the info on remote controls - I'm off to try my old sony tv remote. Ken.

12-19-2008, 12:09 PM   #35
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But it is a pretty accurate sweeping statement. I start at 0.3 or 0.7 depending on the lens then tweak it from there for individual images.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
That's a bit of a sweeping statement.
You may have to do that for a particular lens and it probably isn't related to the K100D.

If I did that with my lenses, I'd get blown highlights very often.
12-20-2008, 04:43 AM   #36
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Hi Ken,

thanks for your contribution!

QuoteOriginally posted by bbpa103 Quote
8. SD Card write speed - is approx 2 MB/sec - so don't waste money on faster cards for this machine.
Where have you got this figure from?
When I download images using the USB cable, Picasa reports a transfer rate close to 6 MB/s. At least for reading from the card, faster cards are better. Even better when you get them out of the camera to use with a fast reader.


QuoteOriginally posted by bbpa103 Quote
Gottta luv Pentax.
Second that.

QuoteOriginally posted by bbpa103 Quote
BTW thanks for the info on remote controls - I'm off to try my old sony tv remote. Ken.
Good luck. I have two and one (the more modern one) doesn't work with the K100D.
12-20-2008, 09:04 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Where have you got this figure from?
.
Shooting in RAW continuously I get approx 11 RAW files in 70 secs with an Ultra II card. Rough math - approx 110 MB in 70 secs - approx 1.6 MB/sec. In JPG continuous high quality - about 128 MB in 63 sec - approx 2 MB/sec. I believe I saw the 2 MB/sec number at dpreview too - it was a "note to self" I wrote in the back of my manual on page 199. I was being specific to the limitation of the K100 write speed vs the SD card. I have not seen anyone offering up significantly faster results with faster cards. I'm sure some others will jump in with better numbers/refs.

Agree, faster cards still offer benefit of writing from the card to PC at higher speeds plus eventual growth into that K20..

No luck with my Sony remotes...

Ken.

Last edited by bbpa103; 12-20-2008 at 11:22 AM.
03-02-2009, 02:44 PM   #38
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Great thread! Regarding transfer rate, my k100d paired with a Sandisk Extreme III 8GB (SDHC class 6) was able to shoot 21 RAW images in 60 seconds. (21 images*11Mb/image)/60sec=3.85Mb/sec. Not quite the 6Mb/sec of the class six spec but significantly better than 1.6Mb/sec

03-02-2009, 04:26 PM - 1 Like   #39
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AF adjustment

The K20D is the only Pentax camera so far with an official way to fine-adjust the AF for various lenses, but at least there is a debug menu / service menu for the K100D which can be used to perform an AF fine adjustment (one for all lenses).

While a similar procedure works for some firmware versions of the K10D and there is a software for the K10D firmware 1.30, it unfortunately doesn't work for the K100D super.

Here are the steps.

To activate the service menu:
  • Power OFF.
  • While pressing [AE-L]+[INFO] simultaneously, turn the camera on.
  • The Firmware version is displayed.
  • Press [MENU], [MENU], [INFO] within 5 seconds.
  • The service menu is displayed.
  • Press [Right] to switch [DEBUG MODE DIS] to [DEBUG MODE EN].
  • Press [OK].

To make an AF adjustment:
  • Press [MENU].
  • Navigate to the "Set-up" menu.
  • Press [Up] to navigate to the new "AF TEST" menu item.
  • Pres [Right] to enter the AF TEST menu.
  • Press [Down] to select FOCUS CORR.
  • Press [Right]/[Left] to select the desired AF adjustment. Positive values correct back focus; negative values correct front focus.
  • Press [OK] to save.

To deactivate the service menu:
  • Power OFF.
  • While pressing [AE-L]+[INFO] simultaneously, turn the camera on.
  • The Firmware version is displayed.
  • Press [MENU], [MENU], [INFO] within 5 seconds.
  • The service menu is displayed.
  • Press [Right] to switch [DEBUG MODE EN] to [DEBUG MODE DIS].
  • Press [OK].

Don't bother with the "AF area" value. Here's a post, explaining the most plausible meaning of the AF area value.

Please read the hints for making the focus adjustments.

Last edited by Class A; 05-09-2010 at 02:55 PM.
02-11-2010, 11:02 AM   #40
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excellent thread. I was always wondering that why most pictures are set to ISO 200 - did not knew that k100d locks to ISO 200 in case of any exposure compensation.
04-07-2010, 11:44 PM   #41
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This is a Great thread for all K100D users!

Thanks Guys.
07-31-2013, 06:43 AM - 1 Like   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
There is a debug menu / service menu for the K100D which can be used to perform an AF fine adjustment (one for all lenses) ...
Thanks to Class A in this post, the inexpensive K100D can be used to deactivate SDM and allow screw-drive ability to Pentax SDM lenses.
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