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05-10-2010, 01:09 PM   #1
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Does K-x hate red?

I've had my k-x for about two weeks; my first dslr AND i'm newb.
Bought it with the kit lens and bought a M 50 f/1.7 to go with it.

For some reason, i find it harder to take pictures saturated with red (particularly red roses as i was trying to take pictures of roses that i got for mother's day ) and other things that are super-filled with red with either lens.

i'm basically talking about indoors though, even with a good amount of lighting.
for example, i tried taking a shot at roses, handheld at .5", compared to any other color and it comes out blurry while the others are still clear.

tried doing it on a tripod with longer shutter speeds and it's a little better but still not as detailed as i expected it to be.

also tried doing it through live view and TTL only to find similar results.

lastly, i don't think the color comes out right when i look at my takes. most of the time, it ends up looking like a dark pink or a pale pink.

need to mention that it's on AWB and color scheme is set to natural, no changes.

anyways, if you didn't get anything i just said, i personally feel that red is harder to shoot because it takes longer (shutter speed-wise) and the color doesn't come out like it's suppose to.

anyone feel the same way?
do you think you can give me some tips on how to fix this mess? is it my settings (metering?) that i should tweak or is it just me?

05-10-2010, 01:24 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by uhhchriswho Quote
For some reason, i find it harder to take pictures saturated with red (particularly red roses as i was trying to take pictures of roses that i got for mother's day ) and other things that are super-filled with red with either lens.
This is quite common in digital photography, and there are a few ways that you could learn to work around this. The first and easiest would be to get some white balance caps for your lenses(cheap and fast). The second(more accurate) would be to get some white balance cards and use those in prep in your scenes. The final and most accurate of all(foolproof) would be to use an accurate color, calibration card and calibrate your camera in the scene.

I've used all three and I find myself settling on the WB caps and card in most cases. But... in color critical shoots, the color card is hands down the only way to go.

QuoteQuote:
i tried taking a shot at roses, handheld at .5", compared to any other color and it comes out blurry while the others are still clear.
.5 what? is you're talking shutter then you'll need to pick that-up if you're looking for clear images...

QuoteQuote:
tried doing it on a tripod with longer shutter speeds and it's a little better but still not as detailed as i expected it to be.
There are so many variables to cover here that it would be near impossible to cover them all in one thread. The best way might be to post a reference image with exif so others can assess the settings and help discover the culprit.
05-10-2010, 08:04 PM   #3
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Half a econd is *way* too slow a shutter speed to handhold a 50mm lens, even with SR. that's why the pictures are blurry. But it's also the case that strong reds often cause the red channel to "clip" - basically overexposing just that color, losing detail. So a standard workaround is to deliberately underexpose a bit, then try to play around in PP to see if you can brighten it without clipping.
05-10-2010, 08:07 PM   #4
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The sensor in almost every digital camera has 50% green, 25% red and 25% blue pixels. (A technical explanation is here.) It looks like your camera hates red because with fewer pixels representing that color, overexposing it looks particularily bad.

White balancing can help, as suggested in the manual when it starts talking about histograms on page 28. You can also look at the RGB histogram to check on the red or blue channels separately. If one color's histogram runs off the right side, that's overexposure and lost detail. You can use the spotmeter, which might work pretty good for flowers within foliage.

You've already done one thing right by setting the colors to natural. When the camera boosts the colors it might go too far. It's better to save this step for processing when you have more control over how much to boost them.

05-10-2010, 08:55 PM   #5
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The K-x processes red absolutely fine. This is almost certainly a user error based on what you've described so far.

The 50mm f1.7 is not one of the best lenses for color but it shouldn't be as bad as you're describing it to be. I'd use at least a 1/60 shutter speed with the 50mm handheld. Perhaps 1/20 on a tripod. I'd also try spot metering on the most saturated reds. This will likely under expose everything else but it'll ensure that the red channel is not overblown. You can also compensate it by +1 whole stop. This will at least tell you what the camera is capable of for reds.

Whenever I shoot saturated reds or blues I pull out the A35-105mm f3.5. It has the best color reproduction of any Pentax lenses I've used.
05-10-2010, 10:30 PM   #6
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Red and yellow easily get overexposed, at least that's what I have found doing flower shots. I now always underexpose flower shots by half a stop (more in strong sunlight).
05-10-2010, 10:42 PM   #7
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Original Poster
thanks for all the tips and constructive criticism!
most of the comments are towards the 50mm lens even though i said that it also happens with my kit lens, too.

@john: thanks man, i'll look into that.
@marc: yeah, that's why i said i tried replicating the same picture using a tripod and the picture still ends up being "blurry" because of the reds; thank you for the info!
@dave: yeah, processing... haha. i know that processing plays a huge part in photography but i'm still one of those amateurs that will end up using everything in the process, resulting in an even worse picture (or making a good one go bad). guess i'll have to learn..

the reason why i was shooting at .5" in the first place was because i use Av Mode. i was reading around in the forums about Av Mode and that one-click exposure button to let it calculate a good shutter speed usually when i do this, 90% of my pictures come out "perfect."

@hangu: you're absolutely right! it usually does under expose everything! that's exactly why i decided to stick around the slow shutter speeds to get more light instead of going against the camera by picking faster speeds. thank you for your helpful insight.
@ole: yeah, i guess some have just found the right way by underexposing. thanks for your contribution!
05-10-2010, 11:14 PM   #8
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Maybe the poor thing's self-conscious:



05-11-2010, 03:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by uhhchriswho Quote
need to mention that it's on AWB and color scheme is set to natural, no changes.
Seems like you are shooting JPEG rather than RAW. In this case you can also try to use a lower saturation setting. I often do that when shooting flowers. Could be better than underexposing.
05-11-2010, 04:10 AM   #10
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fwiw... i have lowered the saturation level(s) a step or two depending on the subject color (red or yellow) and the ambient lighting.... i usually shoot using the natural mode... this seems to help control those overly saturated colors... also, try not to shoot during the noon hours, before or after... hope this helps a bit, dave m

Last edited by dcmsox2004; 05-11-2010 at 04:10 AM. Reason: spelling
05-11-2010, 12:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by uhhchriswho Quote
the reason why i was shooting at .5" in the first place was because i use Av Mode.
OK, but at what aperture and what ISO? If you're going to shoot in anything but full auto (eg, Green mode or P mode), you need to take some responsibility for exposure. If you see a shutter speed of half a second, then you need to either use a larger aperture (lower f-number) or else raise the ISO. You can do that from within Av mode, but *you* have to take the steps to do so.
05-12-2010, 09:55 AM   #12
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I found the same problem with Bright Pink and Yellow. It seemed to glow the colors and bleed into each other.

I'll try these suggestions of lowering saturation.
05-12-2010, 09:14 PM   #13
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Can't you use auto iso in Av mode? In that case I assume auto-iso will pick a reasonable shutter time for hand-held photo. And if you use a tripod feel free to pick a lower ISO yourself and let the shutter speed change instead.

Regarding white-balance and saturation as long as you shoot RAW in worst case scenarios you should be able to correct them with Lightroom (or any RAW processing software.)

Lightroom only change the presentation of your RAW data but not the actual data in the file so you can't damage anyway, you've got unlimited undos, can readjust settings or can start all over if you lose yourself and can't get it back to a state you're comfortable with. It also let you set grades and tag your photos so if you want to view images for anyone just use the built-in viewer and only show the 5 star ones, or export your best photos as JPEGs once you're happy with the adjustments.

Last edited by aliquis; 05-12-2010 at 09:49 PM.
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