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10-11-2010, 11:55 AM   #1
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How to get more from K7?

Hi,

I need an advise from experts on how to get better pictures out of my camera. Here is a typical conditions where I would like to use my K7:

1. Bright sunny day and limited locations on shore to shoot from.
2. Subject is far away on the water. Sometimes it is just not safe to come close to the shore.
3. Subject moves fast.

Following is a good example what I was able to get out with RAW mode and PP with Pentax Camera Utility. You can see a full crop and camera settings on flickr:



Exposure 0.001 sec (1/800) Aperture f/5.6 Focal Length 260 mm Focal Length 260.0 mm ISO Speed 100 Exposure Bias 0 EV Lens Type smc PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED

10-11-2010, 12:03 PM   #2
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What are you looking to achieve, or get out of the image?

Looking at the settings used, you could have stopped the lens down a bit more.

Other related info that may help:
Sunny 16 rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
10-11-2010, 12:19 PM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
What are you looking to achieve, or get out of the image?
I am not sure what can I get
Would be nice to have it more sharp without loosing DOF, better DR in shadows. The white balance does not look right as well and I did not adjust it.
10-11-2010, 12:24 PM   #4
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I maybe wrong, but I'd say that might not be a specific camera issue, more a problematic shooting position (face in shadow). Your pics of boats where the lighting favours you, ie IMGP2763 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! look fine?

10-11-2010, 12:51 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
I maybe wrong, but I'd say that might not be a specific camera issue, more a problematic shooting position (face in shadow). Your pics of boats where the lighting favours you, ie IMGP2763 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! look fine?
Sure, lightning makes a lot of difference and I believe this is what makes a difference between P&S and DSLR. DSLR suppose to give you an option to get better results in worse conditions. Here is the example what I could get out of Panasonic P&S camera with similar conditions:

10-11-2010, 02:07 PM   #6
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I suggest shooting RAW and learning to process the photos.

Pentax K7 - a set on Flickr

10-11-2010, 02:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
I suggest shooting RAW and learning to process the photos.

Pentax K7 - a set on Flickr

It was RAW. I haven't done much PP, just adjusted the curve to highlight shadows and decreased the upper limit. I am not sure what else could be done.

I wonder if any of DA* zoom lenses would make a much difference?
10-11-2010, 04:13 PM   #8
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Best bet would be to not shoot a backlit subject in bright sunlight. Overcast light will lower the contrast more and lift the shadows, as will front lighting (to a lesser degree).

I wouldn't expect miracles though, you're describing some of the worst lighting and composition conditions I can image - harsh mid-day light, distant/fast moving subject, limited opportunities to reframe. I doubt any camera would give you amazing photos from this setup.

10-11-2010, 04:34 PM   #9
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Don't want to start a brand war, but for the pics of the water skier being towed behind the boat a Canon X0D model in AI servo AF mode would have given you better results. the K-7's never gave me good results for action shots. Maybe the K-5 will be better, still waiting to see reviews so I can buy one.
10-11-2010, 04:39 PM   #10
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He could try a neutral density filter, probably a ND4.

I know, I know, he's using a DSLR, not a film camera, but sometimes an ND filter is just easier to use than post processing.
10-11-2010, 05:03 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by vladm11 Quote
It was RAW. I haven't done much PP, just adjusted the curve to highlight shadows and decreased the upper limit. I am not sure what else could be done.

I wonder if any of DA* zoom lenses would make a much difference?
Well, in looking at the full sized versions of both photos and the exifs.. At full size, the shot from the FZ50 isn't a lot to write home about. Yes, it's brighter looking but that's about it. There is no detail in the shot, the surfer looks like he has raw poultry for legs. Panasonic on those cameras really pushes the saturation (I Had an FZ20). That of course is assuming that we are looking at an out of camera photo.

The K7 photo on the other hand, the water looks more natural to me. You took the shot wide open or nearly so on the lens at f5.6 and at that distance, with that lens, I wouldn't expect a lot wide open with a backlit subject. As to how to fix it in post processing, you need to be able to adjust Fill light (similar to using a flash in a backlit photo). I don't know if the Pentax utility will allow you to do that. You can also bump the curves to bring your surfer out and use layer masks (photoshop) to tone everything else back down. You also need to straighten the horizon. There really is no one step fix for something like this.

A DA* lens would give you perhaps different rendition, at 5.6 would be stopped down 2 stops, and might even be a lot sharper (or not depending on motion of the subject). However, it would still be a backlit photo.


10-11-2010, 05:24 PM   #12
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Under those tough conditions, a longer lens to tighten around the subject will concentrate the DR. I'm sure I could get the shot you want with my DA* 200mm or a Bigma.
But, actually, I would try to get this shot in the morning or evening, when the light is low but still strong and not yet fading. I'd set up so the light was shining directly into the surfer's face.
Photography is more about the light than the camera model. 500-1000 sec. should be enough. I'd shoot in TV at that setting to get the maximum f-stop and DOF.
10-11-2010, 05:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
Under those tough conditions, a longer lens to tighten around the subject will concentrate the DR. I'm sure I could get the shot you want with my DA* 200mm or a Bigma.
But, actually, I would try to get this shot in the morning or evening, when the light is low but still strong and not yet fading. I'd set up so the light was shining directly into the surfer's face.
Photography is more about the light than the camera model. 500-1000 sec. should be enough. I'd shoot in TV at that setting to get the maximum f-stop and DOF.
Bigma, Perhaps, but the shot was taken at 260mm. The DA*200 isn't going to be any tighter.

10-11-2010, 05:53 PM   #14
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I am no expert but I have a couple of things to add...

QuoteOriginally posted by anthers Quote
Best bet would be to not shoot a backlit subject in bright sunlight. Overcast light will lower the contrast more and lift the shadows, as will front lighting (to a lesser degree).

I wouldn't expect miracles though, you're describing some of the worst lighting and composition conditions I can image - harsh mid-day light, distant/fast moving subject, limited opportunities to reframe. I doubt any camera would give you amazing photos from this setup.
I agree, the position of you and your subject relative to the sun is the most important factor. You can reduce the harshness of this effect in PP. With practice it can be kept looking natural too.
However without doing much PP, here are some examples of what the difference can be when the position to the sun changes. Apologies for the wonky horizons...

Not quite directly into the sun but close


Change the angle to the sun and see how the subject is lit up differently:



QuoteOriginally posted by HeavyD Quote
Don't want to start a brand war, but for the pics of the water skier being towed behind the boat a Canon X0D model in AI servo AF mode would have given you better results. the K-7's never gave me good results for action shots. Maybe the K-5 will be better, still waiting to see reviews so I can buy one.
I don't understand the validity of this comment. In no way is camera X guaranteed to give you better results than camera Y, how you use it is more important. I would imagine the current DSLRs to be just fine in most situations. Hell, I took this photo with a manual focus lens:



QuoteOriginally posted by chalion Quote
He could try a neutral density filter, probably a ND4.

I know, I know, he's using a DSLR, not a film camera, but sometimes an ND filter is just easier to use than post processing.
I'm not sure how an ND filter is meant to help, as from my understanding it would just take light from the whole scene. Forcing lower shutter speed or higher ISO etc.

cheers
10-12-2010, 02:38 AM   #15
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The colours may not be right as i don't know your conditions but you can see the skier's details.

Last edited by adwb; 03-31-2012 at 07:01 AM.
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