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09-30-2010, 10:37 AM   #1
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A few noob-type queries re my new K-x

Just a few noob-type questions re my new K-x:

1) I got the 18-55 and 50-200 two lens kit. In Aperture, full information is recorded right down to specific lens model info for the 18-55. The 50-200 however, shows up as 'Unknown lens' although focal length used for the shot, aperture, and shutter speed are recorded. Would like to get Aperture to recognize the 50-200 as I am planning on getting at lest one K-A mount lens which would no doubt show up the same way. I recognize that this may be more of an Aperture question but thought there might be other Aperture users here.

2) Anybody know the difference between what 'P' mode and "Auto Pict' mode on the top dial do? The manual is vague as to what each do but they sound about the same.

3) Do custom settings change for a particular mode when you leave that mode or are they non-volatile?

Also maybe not a question... Had a couple small darkish spots on some pics which I initially thought were crud on my display. They didn't clean off and showed up only on some pics. Inspected the sensor and ran pixel mapping but haven't had a chance to re-test. Camera is only two weeks old so there is no question of warranty but thought I might mention it in case anyone has any suggestions of a troubleshooting workflow.

Thanks all, looking forward to learning Pentax here!
Dave

09-30-2010, 10:58 AM   #2
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1) it is indeed an Aperture question, can't help you with that
2)short answer: with P mode you get automatic adjustment of shutter speed and aperture and you pretty much have full control of everything else. In Auto mode the camera does everything as if it was a point and shoot. If you want to go to specifics, you should really dig into the manual, it seems very informative to me.
3)I believe the settings you choose do not depend on the mode you use to shoot (except maybe green mode, but I don't know much about that), although there are some exceptions, for instance, you can't use auto iso in M mode. note that you can use the menu to select which settings you want to be saved after you turn the camera off.
Again, the manual is your best friend.
4) it is probably the sensor, it can easily get dirty if one isn't careful, and even if he is. you can use the camera's sensor shake function use a blower to clean it for starts. again, check the manual for this, and also the multiple threads in here about this same subject.

Congratulations for your new camera!
09-30-2010, 11:16 AM   #3
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The DA L 55-300 also shows up as an "Unknown Lens". Apparently Aperture is unable to read the EXIF data provided by the camera for most Pentax and third party lenses. PhotoMe on windows also shows "Unknown DA or DA* Lens", but the command line exiftool shows "smc PENTAX-DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED" for Lens Type and Lens ID.

http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

P mode sets the aperture and shutter speed using the Program line. Just like hitting the Green button in M mode. Auto pict selects the capture mode automatically from the pre-set capture modes; Portrait, Landscape, etc.

For the dust spots get a rocket blower and use the sensor cleaning menu item.

Last edited by boriscleto; 09-30-2010 at 11:28 AM.
09-30-2010, 11:32 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigdave56 Quote
1) I got the 18-55 and 50-200 two lens kit. In Aperture, full information is recorded right down to specific lens model info for the 18-55. The 50-200 however, shows up as 'Unknown lens' although focal length used for the shot, aperture, and shutter speed are recorded. Would like to get Aperture to recognize the 50-200 as I am planning on getting at lest one K-A mount lens which would no doubt show up the same way. I recognize that this may be more of an Aperture question but thought there might be other Aperture users here.
The EXIF only contains a numeric ID for a specific lens. It's up to the program you use to view the EXIF to translate this number to a textual description. Many programs have outdated translation information. The 50-200 lens is newer than the 18-55, so that's the reason the 18-55 is recognised ant the 50-200 isn't.

09-30-2010, 04:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigdave56 Quote
Just a few noob-type questions re my new K-x:

2) Anybody know the difference between what 'P' mode and "Auto Pict' mode on the top dial do? The manual is vague as to what each do but they sound about the same.
Based on the camera's autofocus function and movement of the subject...plus ambient light conditions (like nightime shooting an illuminated water fountain or bright sunshine shooting a non-moving mountain), AutoPict is supposed to meter to give you the right settings for any situation.

As said above, AutoPict is a point-and-shoot solution, and it works 90% of the time. But for the best pictures, you wouldn't use it.
09-30-2010, 05:21 PM   #6
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Thank you all

Thanks for the input everybody.

"P mode sets the aperture and shutter speed using the Program line." Not entirely sure what that means, I'm a diehard manual-film-camera troglodyte tippytoeing into the digital age. Will peruse the manual and the boards some more, and continue with research and experimentation.

The spots didn't look like dust spots to me; they weren't jet black, just a darker spot. Almost like a water spot. But my point of reference is a film negative. I'll know more when I have a chance to make some more test shots. The fact that they were in the same place points to the sensor in one way or another, I suppose.

Thanks all... I'm gonna figure out how this thing works!!!!
09-30-2010, 08:13 PM   #7
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The Program line is just an auto exposure mode. On the high end cameras you can change the way it adjusts the settings (High Speed, Aperture, or MTF). On the K-x you can set the e-dial to change the shutter or change the aperture. The default mode changes both. The settings are explained on pg.95 of the manual.
09-30-2010, 08:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigdave56 Quote
Just a few noob-type questions re my new K-x:

1) I got the 18-55 and 50-200 two lens kit. In Aperture, full information is recorded right down to specific lens model info for the 18-55. The 50-200 however, shows up as 'Unknown lens' although focal length used for the shot, aperture, and shutter speed are recorded. Would like to get Aperture to recognize the 50-200 as I am planning on getting at lest one K-A mount lens which would no doubt show up the same way. I recognize that this may be more of an Aperture question but thought there might be other Aperture users here....snip


Dave

Dave: are you using Aperture 2 or 3? I have aperture 2. I went back and noticed that the metadata for my 18-55 kit lens comes up as the SMC 18-55mm DA AL II and not the DAL version. I suspect it is just an issue with aperture not getting what ever info. needed in the programing and not the lens itself. I used to have the original 50-200mm and it also showed up on the exif data.

You could always put it in as a keyword on the downloading of the images. Then all the shots will be tagged with the lens info.

09-30-2010, 09:36 PM   #9
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Dust only look really dark when shooting at f/22 or so. At around f/8, they are blurrier. Practically without doubt this is what you are seeing.
10-01-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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Frustrated

MSM- I am using Aperture 3. The suggestion to use keywords is probably about as good as it's gonna get. As long as I remember, that is..

Marc: Went back and looked at the shots. The smaller the aperture, the more distinct and dark the spots. This suggests you are probably correct. But my problem is THEY WON'T GO AWAY. I have tried Dust Removal several times and blown out the sensor compartment with compressed air. The spots are still there.

So I have a brand new camera that I have only changed lenses on a few times and already have dust on the sensor that I can't get rid of (or see with the naked eye even). So I guess I have to clean the sensor (or PAY to have it cleaned if it isn't safe to do it myself (blech.))

I photograph in the real world, not under clean-room conditions. Occasionally I may want to change lenses out in the field. Is digital THIS sensitive??? Maybe I am better off with film???!?!?!? I thought dust control was a pain in the (_|_) with sheet film holders... sheesh.

Rant complete. Sigh...

Update, last test shot after compressed air looks promising.. Is that safe?

Last edited by bigdave56; 10-01-2010 at 08:59 PM.
10-01-2010, 09:19 PM   #11
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You have a "dust alert" function under the menu where the camera takes a long exposure and reveals where the dust is localized on the sensor. If any, make it shake the sensor until it cleans. If it's sticky, there are threads on the forum explaining how to safely clean it.
10-01-2010, 10:45 PM   #12
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Can you *see* the spots on the sensor? That's usually a prerequisite for being able to remove them. Be sure to do the cleaning in good light, using a magnifying glass is necessary to really examine the sensor. You are, of course, using sensor cleaning mode to flip the mirror so you can actually get at the sensor?
10-02-2010, 12:55 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigdave56 Quote
I'm a diehard manual-film-camera troglodyte tippytoeing into the digital age. Will peruse the manual and the boards some more, and continue with research and experimentation.
My advice: don't waste your time, simply ignore AUTO PICT, SCN and other "auto everything" modes. I see you are coming from manual film cameras and I am sure you know all the basics auto modes are trying to hide from you (such as aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, motion blur, film grain...), so stick to M, Av, Tv, Sv and P.

Auto pict and scene modes are made for absolute beginners or P&S shooters transitioning to DSLR, to make them feel at home and encourage making purchase decision. (K10/20D and K-7/5 don't even have AUTO PICT or equivalent!)
10-02-2010, 06:53 AM   #14
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Marc- cannot see anything on the sensor; that's the puzzling part! But we are talking really small particles here presumably. Yep, sensor cleaning mode. It beeped at me which the manual says is lo batts but the batt meter sez all OK (using the lithiums that came with it at the moment.)

Last test shot looked OK. Just ran dust alert and image looks clean. (Wonder if those images can be saved?) Taking the camera out now (lots of camera-unfriendly rain lately- today is sunny. yay!).

Ivan- will follow your advice for the most part. Occasionally may take the "lazy train" but for the most part want control. Don't mind the camera making some of the decisions, especially in quick-shooting circumstances, but would rather run the show for the most part.

By the way I assume that the manual is referring to compressed air when it says not to use a "spray-type blower" to blow out dust. I did that already (oops)but all seems OK [knocks wood]. (I was VERY careful!)

Thanks for the interest, everybody; seems like a very lively and helpful BB here.
Dave

Last edited by bigdave56; 10-02-2010 at 06:59 AM.
10-02-2010, 07:09 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigdave56 Quote
Last test shot looked OK. Just ran dust alert and image looks clean. (Wonder if those images can be saved?)Taking the camera out now (lots of camera-unfriendly rain lately).
the last image is saved on your card
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