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10-09-2010, 02:18 PM   #1
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Just Got my KX - A few Questions

I was excited to finally get my KX yesterday. I bought it from B&H for $629 with the 18-55 and 55-300 lenses. This is my first dslr so I have a lot to learn. Here are the questions I can think of now.

I know nothing about processing raw files. Should the format be pef or dng? Should I use Pentax Digital Camera Utility or Adobe Camera Raw? I have Photoshop Elements 8. Can I do much raw processing with that?

What exactly is expanded iso? Does it degrade image quality? Obviously it will look bad at 12,800 but what about iso100?

Are there any disadvantages to leaving highlight correction, shadow correction, ca correction, and distortion correction on all the time? I did discover you can't do 4.7 fps shooting with ca and distortion correction on, so maybe all these corrections slow down picture processing?

I also bought a 58mm cpl and a 58 to 52 adapter ring. The adapter does not stay on the lens well at all and the polarizer is too hard to get off the adaptor. I'm thinking of returning them both and just buying a 52mm cpl for my 18-55mm lens. That means I won't have one for my 55-300mm lens. Is that a good idea?
That's all I can think of for now but I'm sure I'll have other questions.

Thanks for your help,
Kevin

10-09-2010, 03:05 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by krp Quote
I was excited to finally get my KX yesterday. I bought it from B&H for $629 with the 18-55 and 55-300 lenses. This is my first dslr so I have a lot to learn. Here are the questions I can think of now.

QuoteQuote:
I know nothing about processing raw files. Should the format be pef or dng? Should I use Pentax Digital Camera Utility or Adobe Camera Raw? I have Photoshop Elements 8. Can I do much raw processing with that?
My preference is for PEF but DNG is a more universal format. To use your Elements with PEF, make sure you have the latest (version 5) ACR loaded up. I would do this either way. There are only a few (worthwhile) processing differences between Elements and the full blown photoshop. I use the latter but for ACR, your elements 8 should work fine. The Pentax supplied software, in my experience has crashed on every computer I've installed it on. However, if you have a good install and it actually works, it will mimic the JPG options of your camera including the corrections if I am not mistaken.

QuoteQuote:
What exactly is expanded iso? Does it degrade image quality? Obviously it will look bad at 12,800 but what about iso100?
I would always start at ISO 100 and go from there.

QuoteQuote:
Are there any disadvantages to leaving highlight correction, shadow correction, ca correction, and distortion correction on all the time? I did discover you can't do 4.7 fps shooting with ca and distortion correction on, so maybe all these corrections slow down picture processing?
More likely it's your card. A slow card will affect the write times from the camera memory to the card. The corrections do slow things down some and all of these can be handed in post processing. If you want maximum speed, shoot RAW only.

QuoteQuote:
I also bought a 58mm cpl and a 58 to 52 adapter ring. The adapter does not stay on the lens well at all and the polarizer is too hard to get off the adaptor. I'm thinking of returning them both and just buying a 52mm cpl for my 18-55mm lens. That means I won't have one for my 55-300mm lens. Is that a good idea?
That's all I can think of for now but I'm sure I'll have other questions.
Depending on the CPL, some of them, I find tricky to use. With respect to the adapter ring, they are a pain in the butt because once you squeeze them just a Little bit, they don't want to turn. Lighten your touch a little bit and it may get easier. Doesn't help that part of the CPL turns with it.

QuoteQuote:
Thanks for your help,
Kevin
You're welcome. Notice, your questions don't have anything specifically to do with Just the Kx. They would be basically the same regardless of the camera (other than certain features such as CA correction etc).

Welcome aboard

10-09-2010, 06:12 PM   #3
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Thanks for your answers Jeff. I just got back from shooting some fall colors and I was wondering what caused the flare in this picture?

This was with the 18-55 lens. Was it the cpl I used that caused the flair? It just looks weird that it's one beam of light across the whole picture when the sun was barely in the frame.
Also last night I was using my zoom lens to take a picture of the pleiades stars but for some reason the camera would not focus. I tried AF and MF, but this was the best I could get:

What was I doing wrong?
Besides the issues in these two pictures I'm loving the camera.
Kevin
10-09-2010, 07:06 PM   #4
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In your first photo, even though the sun is not in the shot, it's bright light is. This is a situation where you would want to use a lens hood. I don't know how you had your CPL set but some filters can actually enhance flare (especially UV filters) or even induce it. You're also over exposed IMO.

The sun wasn't in this shot either but it was at a close enough angle to induce some serious flare.



Your second, you're simply (grossly) out of focus. In spite of popular belief, the stars and the moon, aren't quite at infinity focus. I wouldn't expect to Auto focus on Any stars at all. Unless you are on a tripod, there could also be some camera shake on there. For doing stars, I find the best settings are Tungsten WB, sometimes it's better to stop down the lens, Keep your ISO as low as possible, focus on a single star, use Av mode, use the self timer to trip the camera (or a remote), and play around with it.



Exif from above photo..

Exif | K20D1514m-2FA31 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!




Last edited by JeffJS; 10-10-2010 at 09:08 AM.
10-09-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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I see what you mean about stars being not quite at infinity. I tried it again and I have to focus manually to infinity and then focus back slightly to get a sharp picture. It's easy to miss that sharp point on the viewfinder. I was disappointed that my lenses didn't come with hoods so I suppose I'll have to buy a couple. Thanks again for the help Jeff.
Kevin
10-09-2010, 09:04 PM   #6
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Yep, that's part of the DAL on the Kx kits. Most people I think buy 3rd party knockoffs rather than the (overpriced) Pentax branded hoods.

Enjoy your new camera. You'll be a pro in no time!

10-09-2010, 09:21 PM   #7
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Just one thing: the name of the model is K-x, not KX. There was a previous Pentax KX, which is not the digital.

Keep this in mind when you search about this model on the forums or the web, because it helps a lot to get better search results talking about the right camera.

Take Jeff's tips and enjoy your K-x!
10-09-2010, 11:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
If you want maximum speed, shoot RAW only.
One note, the corrections like CA and distortion are still applied to the preview JPEG which is stored in the DNG/PEF raw file. So unless you switch these two time consuming options off, you'll still experience the slow down even when storing just raw images.

In general I find the slow down not an issue, unless you want to take a series of images in continuous mode.

Highlight and shadow correction do not take much time.

10-10-2010, 12:04 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
In spite of popular belief, the stars and the moon, aren't quite at infinity.
The problem is not with the stars (which ARE at infinity) or any other distant subject, but with the modern autofocus lenses which often allow focussing PAST infinity to prevent the bump at the infinity side of the focussing throw.
10-10-2010, 09:11 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tomtor Quote
The problem is not with the stars (which ARE at infinity) or any other distant subject, but with the modern autofocus lenses which often allow focussing PAST infinity to prevent the bump at the infinity side of the focussing throw.
Oh, Excuse me. Infinity Focus. Fixed the post. Happy? It isn't just with Modern Autofocus lenses either, it's with every lens I've tried it with. I have to back off of infinity to get a reasonably sharp image.

10-10-2010, 11:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Oh, Excuse me. Infinity Focus. Fixed the post. Happy? It isn't just with Modern Autofocus lenses either, it's with every lens I've tried it with. I have to back off of infinity to get a reasonably sharp image.

Well, I'm still happy, but the stars ARE at infinity focus. You can just turn the ring past the infinity sign.

Try a M50/1.7 or most other M-lenses which are non large teles, these hit the stop at the infinity mark.
The DA12-24 does also, at least mine copy does, as does the copy of a friend of mine.

Many older non AF lenses do also allow focussing past infinity, but those are mostly tele lenses.

Last edited by tomtor; 10-10-2010 at 11:41 AM.
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