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06-27-2010, 01:23 AM   #1
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Two questions from a begginer

Hello,

i have two questions but i didnt want to open 2 topics for these.

What i am more interested, is what setting do other people use for the below:

- I am in my first month with K-X and i have been using continiously manual mode to learn more things. However i am sceptical about focus, do you use manual focus or auto? I use manual most times, but at some photos the subject is a fraction blurry... Thus i am wondering if it is more wise to be on the safe side and use auto rather than manual focus. Many times in manual focus i dont hear the "beep", is this when the camera doesn't know where to focus?

- my second question is a totally different one!
I have a small dslr bag and i am wondering what do people do on their vacations. Do you risk carrying around the camera without a bag? Or you carry it in the bag and continuously put it in , take it out, put it in, take it out...

thanks in advance for the tips!

06-27-2010, 01:41 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by fekish Quote
Hello,

i have two questions but i didnt want to open 2 topics for these.

What i am more interested, is what setting do other people use for the below:

- I am in my first month with K-X and i have been using continiously manual mode to learn more things. However i am sceptical about focus, do you use manual focus or auto? I use manual most times, but at some photos the subject is a fraction blurry... Thus i am wondering if it is more wise to be on the safe side and use auto rather than manual focus. Many times in manual focus i dont hear the "beep", is this when the camera doesn't know where to focus?

- my second question is a totally different one!
I have a small dslr bag and i am wondering what do people do on their vacations. Do you risk carrying around the camera without a bag? Or you carry it in the bag and continuously put it in , take it out, put it in, take it out...

thanks in advance for the tips!
Heya!

Its good that you are interested in all the controls right from the beginning, that is totally the way to go. I myself dont use it that much anymore unless im in very challenging conditions (say a dark theater where stopping down three or four stops is still ok although the camera tells me otherwise). The autofocus works fine on every lens i own, no problems there, so im wondering why your subjects get blurry. I take it you are using a kit lens? In which case the aperture is usually so small to start off with that if the focus is right, no part of the subject should be blurry (unless you are very close to the subject). So the question remains, is your kit in working fine or not, it sounds a bit strange.

When you are in manual focus, the camera beeps every time it recognizes that the subject is in focus. If you use a mf lens with af enabled from the body, then you must get the subject in focus before being able to shoot the photo (it may be possible to change this from the camera settings, i dont have a k-x so i dont know). Usually i dont have time for mf if im shooting people or pretty much anything else, i just cant be bothered...

The question about bags. I own a lowepro flipside 400, a great bag for me. I like walking around with the camera in my hand, so it may well be that i take it out of the bag in the morning and put it back in the evening. I also bought a smaller lowepro bag for times when i dont carry extra lenses around. Recently i got a black rapid strap for my camera and it is totally awesome. When i go downtown to shoot some photos i can leave my bag home, just have the camera hanging on my waist, ready to shoot in a fraction of a second. Its perfect, when you dont shoot, it hangs next to your hip and you can easily lift it.

I hope this helped, good luck with ur hobby!
06-27-2010, 03:58 AM   #3
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Ahhhh - Manual focusing - the reason why you are a fraction blurry - is that you are ever so slightly out of focus. I do not have a KX, but I have the same problem with my K20. I have an old Spotmatic with a wonderful old viewfinder that is designed for manual focusing with what is called a split screen. This enables you to truly focus manually. There is a replacement focus screen - Katz eye, that can replace the focus screen in the viewfinder, however I do not know if its available for the KX (it does look like they support the KX). The alternative is to let autofocus, focus for you, or to trap focus, i.e. manually focus and let the camera let you know when it thinks you are in focus. With my coke bottle glasses and old eyes, I have gone modern and let the camera focus for me. I have not gone the Katzeye screen yet - been thinking about it, but here are some links....On your bag question - I finally found a relative small backpack that I use for business trips that holds camera, lenses and a laptop along with all the other stuff. Its a lowepro compudaypack. When home I just slip my tripod into the space for the laptop and it pokes out the top. I try to keep everything together in one place. It works out fine.

06-27-2010, 07:28 AM   #4
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Just a point to add if I may. You can disable the beep for the focus settings of the camera. If you are looking through the diopter you'll see a green hexagon shaped light come on when the camera figures you are focused.

The seems a little slow to react when manual focusing though. In other words the image looks clear through the diopter but the light will take an extra second or so to come on. I also found the constant beeping annoying so I shut the beep off. You can check how to do that in your manual.

I don't find the auto focus any better. I have tried all of the settings in various applications. 5 point auto,11 point auto, single and there's one other.....

I do find the kit lens a little difficult to focus with too. I've read other posts where users are struggling to get sharp photos. It'll look bang on in the view finder (I don't use live view very often) and it'l lok sub par on the LCD and when I get to the PC it's not great at all.

I'm new to the K-X and still have lots to learn regarding photography in general but I am reading and shooting like a man possesed so I hope to learn more. That being said my previous camera was an Olympus E420 DSLR and once I learned the camera I never had these challenges. I've sold it and I'm now having regrets about that.

Mabe the K-X s more precise and therefore less forgiving but I will say that most of the time when I come back from a shoot thinking I have some great shots I wind up dissapointed with the quality

I've had the camera for less than a week so we'll see where I wind up.


Last edited by Lucas; 06-27-2010 at 07:35 AM. Reason: spelling
06-27-2010, 07:38 AM   #5
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Manual focus requires a bit of practice. Also, the focus screens in these camera aren't really optimized for manual focus, as the manufacturer is presuming AF will be used.
If I`m out taking pictures, my camera is out as well. I`m not seeing what risk is involved in carrying a camera out of it`s bag. It would seem to me that the real risk would be dropping it while taking it from the gadget bag.
06-27-2010, 08:08 AM   #6
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I went through the same phase a few months ago as well. I would try to learn as much as I can by using manual mode, which definitely helped a lot. Even if the photoso don't turn out, I would look at them and try to fix the mistakes next time. However I found learning how to use the camera AND learning how to use manual focus at the same time was too daunting. Let AF do the job and learn how to work with ISO, aperture, and shutter speed in different situations first (and different lenses). You will also learn the AF characteristics and how to properly use it as well. That's just my $.02.

Last edited by ruggiex; 06-27-2010 at 09:30 AM.
06-27-2010, 09:08 AM   #7
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Another approach you can try, is to use depth of field as an ally. If you are not going for a very shallow dof, with bokeh (background blur in order to set the primary object apart from its background), then I might suggest possibly stopping the aperture down (i.e., going from say f5.6 to f8). What this will do is to widen or enlarge the depth of field, so that more of the pictures depth is in focus. Here is an explanation along with a calculator. Since you are already in manual mode anyway, just increase the f stop value. I would suggest taking a look at the images you have taken already. See what aperture they were, and if you were to bump up a stop, how much additional depth would be added to the dof in the picture.

06-27-2010, 10:31 AM   #8
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#1 - I agree with others, MF takes practice.

#2 - I virtually never carry the camera without a bag. However, I don;'t always have the camera *in* the bag when not shooting - sometimes the bag is on my shoulder, camera around my neck, or camera strap is also on shoulder but camera is resting on top of the bag. But I always have the bag with me, as that's where my other lenses, spare batteries, etc are. And it's a place to put the camera away if it starts raining or I go somewhere where they don't want to see cameras, or I just just don't want to risk my camera bumping into things.

06-28-2010, 03:34 AM   #9
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ok thanks everyone.

I will be taking general photos with the AF and then if needed i will be changing it to MF... I think this would be ok...

For the bag, i think i would be having it in the bag and see according to the occasion if i would be having the camera outside the bag or not... Depending of which part of the trip we would be at....
06-30-2010, 01:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by fekish Quote
- my second question is a totally different one!
I have a small dslr bag and i am wondering what do people do on their vacations. Do you risk carrying around the camera without a bag? Or you carry it in the bag and continuously put it in , take it out, put it in, take it out...
If I will be close to my vehicle then I might leave the bag behind, but generally I take the bag with me for a long walk. I ordered a Lowepro Slignshot 202 this week and I hope it will be more convenient for me, as I am doing more hiking lately than vacation stuff.
06-30-2010, 05:28 PM   #11
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I have a small bag that i carry with me when I go out shooting with my K-7 and Ltd. prime lenses. I have my camera out of the bag when I'm shooting or getting ideas for the next shot. If not, it goes right back in the bag.

I'm getting a backpack type bag for when vacationing, but it has a side access door which i can remove and insert my camera for easy access.
06-30-2010, 05:57 PM   #12
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I have a fastpack 100. very compact and enough for 2 zooms, a prime and a flash.
06-30-2010, 06:22 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by fekish Quote
Hello,

- my second question is a totally different one!
I have a small dslr bag and i am wondering what do people do on their vacations. Do you risk carrying around the camera without a bag? Or you carry it in the bag and continuously put it in , take it out, put it in, take it out...
To start off, I have a hard time carrying my camera around my neck due to too much football as a kid. First there is an assessment each day on what is going to be shot - which tells me what gear needs to be carried. Normally, I carry way too much....

I select one of two different bags. One is the Lowepro 100 slingshot the other is the Naneu safari bag. The Lowepro is small enough to fit inside my backpack when traveling for business and is pretty convenient - although it's pretty small. The Naneu is what I used on my last trip to Hawaii. It comes with a padded internal bag which is great for carryon and protected my stuff very well.

The Naneu works very well because it has D rings. I have Tamrac N-11 straps that I used to connect the camera to the front straps of the backpack and it works extremely well to carry the camera around. All in all, I find myself carrying the Naneu around much more now than the Lowepro because I can connect the camera to the backpack.

On a side note, I sometimes use a Cabela's safari vest that also has D-rings. In that I can carry my camera, a lens or two, plenty of accessories, and still hang the camera off my vest instead of my neck. I look like a dork when doing this, but I can carry all of my stuff pretty easily and the vest was only about $50.

Hope that helps
06-30-2010, 06:51 PM   #14
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You only have one bag? Lucky you:-)

I have collected a few over the years - one to hold "everything" (except the 800mm bazooka) and a smaller one for holding a couple lenses for the specific outing.

The recent 150-500mm acquisition is making me think it all over again....
07-01-2010, 01:47 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
#2 - I virtually never carry the camera without a bag. However, I don;'t always have the camera *in* the bag when not shooting - sometimes the bag is on my shoulder, camera around my neck, or camera strap is also on shoulder but camera is resting on top of the bag. But I always have the bag with me, as that's where my other lenses, spare batteries, etc are. And it's a place to put the camera away if it starts raining or I go somewhere where they don't want to see cameras, or I just just don't want to risk my camera bumping into things.
Same here. I used the bag to transport the cam to the desired location of shooting (and back home), then just have the cam hang on my shoulder (and rest on top of my small shoulder bag if I brought that instead of the backpack) when not shooting. I put the cam back to the bag if I know I won't be shooting for a longer period of time and/or will do some activity where the cam would be in the way.
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