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12-21-2010, 02:51 PM   #1
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K-x with kit lens and macro

Hello everybody,

My first post in this forum so be gentle!

I have just purchased the K-x and so far I'm satisfied. Still a novice when it comes to DSLR, this being my first.
Have used the Canon SX10 IS just before and different point-and-shoot cameras with good optical zoom.

So my question is, how does the macro setting work with the K-x? I've noticed that it refuses sometimes to take pictures, even in other modes.
This might be something I have missed in the manual, but I figured the experts of Pentax Forums would know!

I'm also having a bit of a hassle to get real good focus on my indoor shots, withouth flash. Any ideas there or just trial and error?

12-21-2010, 03:05 PM   #2
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[edit: Welcome! :-)]

Unlike cameras with an integrated lens the k-x would need a dedicated macro lens for macro shots; the macro mode set by the mode dial merely favors small aperture values that are usually a good idea with macro. Integrated lens cameras with macro mode set the lens for a close focusing distance, with the k-x is not available without a dedicated lens or other arrangements such as a Raynox add-on lens, extension tubes or a reverse mount adapter. If you'd like to know more about these, try the forum search or simply ask away :-)

Last edited by jolepp; 12-21-2010 at 04:03 PM.
12-21-2010, 03:07 PM   #3
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As for the indoor shots, could you post sample(s)? These usually help to figure out where the problem might be.
12-21-2010, 03:08 PM   #4
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The kit lens has a minimum focusing distance of 25cm. "Macro mode" does nothing to change that. To take macro photos you will need a macro lens or a macro diopter like a Raynox.

When the K-x is set to AF mode it won't take a picture if there is no focus lock. You can take a photo without focus lock by setting it to MF.

12-21-2010, 03:50 PM   #5
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Hi, and welcome to the forum. As others have said, the macro mode on your K-x does only one thing I believe, and that is to maximize the depth of field in the image, or to make it so that most of the image can be in focus at one time. This contrasts with portrait mode settings, which I would imagine attempts to minimize depth of field so that you can focus just on the person and render the background as a pleasant blur. Like jolepp said, this is done by changing the aperture value: smaller f-number, say f/4 on your kit lens, means less depth of field (selectively less in focus), while f/16 will give larger depth of field (more in focus, similar to results you may have gotten with a point and shoot).

Of course, these settings are all limited in the end by what hardware you are using, ie, your lens. Close focusing ability is entirely determined by the lens, and not a setting on the body.
12-21-2010, 05:44 PM - 1 Like   #6
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One good trick for shooting close-ups with the kit lens is to set it the camera to manual focus and ensure the custom function for 'catch in-focus' is set to yes.

If you then zoom to 55mm and manual focus at the nearest setting, you can move toward your subject until you get the 'beep' that focus has been achieved. That is as close as you can get!
12-22-2010, 12:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The kit lens has a minimum focusing distance of 25cm. "Macro mode" does nothing to change that. To take macro photos you will need a macro lens or a macro diopter like a Raynox.

When the K-x is set to AF mode it won't take a picture if there is no focus lock. You can take a photo without focus lock by setting it to MF.

So is this why it wont "fire off" a shot when I stuffed the lens in my cat's face?
That would explain the big difference since my old Canon had a minimum of 0 cm...
12-22-2010, 12:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
As for the indoor shots, could you post sample(s)? These usually help to figure out where the problem might be.

Yes I can try later today, still at work....

12-22-2010, 12:42 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by grainbelt Quote
One good trick for shooting close-ups with the kit lens is to set it the camera to manual focus and ensure the custom function for 'catch in-focus' is set to yes.

If you then zoom to 55mm and manual focus at the nearest setting, you can move toward your subject until you get the 'beep' that focus has been achieved. That is as close as you can get!

I'll have to try this. See how close to the cat I can get. Interesting...
12-22-2010, 12:56 AM   #10
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As mentioned above, the 18-55 is not a macro lens; and your Canon P&S works on very different principles. The cheapest way to get close is with a +dioptre set of closeup lenses, which often can be had for ~US$10, but they won't give the best image quality (IQ). The cheapest & easiest GOOD way to get close with with a Raynox adapter -- I use a DCR-250, priced ~US$60. For even better quality, you'll need either a macro lens (not so cheap), or a setup with an enlarger lens, M42 tube set, and M42-PK adapter (not so easy).

Once the addiction takes over, you'll find yourself owning many enlarger lenses and tube sets and bellows, and some macro lenses, and thread-reversal and mount-reversal rings, and ring flashes and tripods and a mini-studio and all the rest. You are doomed. Welcome.
12-22-2010, 11:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
As mentioned above, the 18-55 is not a macro lens; and your Canon P&S works on very different principles. The cheapest way to get close is with a +dioptre set of closeup lenses, which often can be had for ~US$10, but they won't give the best image quality (IQ). The cheapest & easiest GOOD way to get close with with a Raynox adapter -- I use a DCR-250, priced ~US$60. For even better quality, you'll need either a macro lens (not so cheap), or a setup with an enlarger lens, M42 tube set, and M42-PK adapter (not so easy).

Once the addiction takes over, you'll find yourself owning many enlarger lenses and tube sets and bellows, and some macro lenses, and thread-reversal and mount-reversal rings, and ring flashes and tripods and a mini-studio and all the rest. You are doomed. Welcome.

Sounds like I will need the overtime then?

I have noticed it's a new world of photography with the DSLR...
12-22-2010, 11:07 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
As for the indoor shots, could you post sample(s)? These usually help to figure out where the problem might be.

Lets see, gonna try and post a pic here...

It is just not as sharp as I would want it to be. The light is not the best, and now I cannot remember exactly what settings I used.
Anywho, any tips?
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12-22-2010, 11:28 AM   #13
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It seems like the camera (AF) might have focused on the pattern on the floor instead of the dog as probably intended? If this is the case, setting the AF point to center only, and locking focus with a half press of the shutter button, recomposing and the fully pressing the shutter button should help. Can't see the exif-info link so I'm assuming this has none (good to have for sample shots as the parameters can be found in that).
12-22-2010, 11:29 AM   #14
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It's easy enough to find out what settings you used. Do you use a Mac or PC? And what viewer/organizing sw are you using?
12-22-2010, 02:49 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
It seems like the camera (AF) might have focused on the pattern on the floor instead of the dog as probably intended? If this is the case, setting the AF point to center only, and locking focus with a half press of the shutter button, recomposing and the fully pressing the shutter button should help. Can't see the exif-info link so I'm assuming this has none (good to have for sample shots as the parameters can be found in that).

That makes sense that it's focusing on the floor rather than the dog. Have to try the center focus...
I just rezised the picture in paint, hence no information I'm guessing. Also, haven't installed any Pentax software yet...
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