Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-07-2011, 12:04 AM   #1
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: RIX
Posts: 38
Settings for travel photos

Dear Pentaxians!

I`m still new in dslr. I`ll go to Portugal/Spain after a week (lucky me, huh?!).
My last travel pictures had some issues I still can`t find what I`m doing wrong.

If I shoot photos in good daylight, sunny weather, what settings would you suggest for nature photos including people (my friends) in it? How to get sharp persons in picture and also hills behind them?
Do I need change any setting if I shoot only landscape?

P.S. I have Pentax K-x and kit lense 18-55.
Thank you all

02-07-2011, 02:55 AM   #2
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
What you're looking for is deep depth of field. This is achieved with narrower apertures (higher numbers) like f/11 or f/16. And focus on the people, not on the moutains.

I guess Av is the mode to go for. Further a low ISO during the day (200 is the lowest on a K-x?) and higher during dusk/dawn/evening. Pay attention to the shutter speed that the camera selects and adjust ISO if shutter speeds get too low or too high.

For landscape I usually use a higher f-number as well for the same reason unless I want to achieve a specific effect (foreground not sharp, background sharp).

PS if you post some examples with the exif intact (or add the basic info about shutter speed, aperure, iso and focal length), we might be able to determine what went wrong with your shots.
02-07-2011, 03:39 AM   #3
Veteran Member
Jasvox's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3,110
Sounds like a shallow depth of field. I would suggest shooting in F/8 or higher as long as in good lighting, otherwise the shutter speeds may be long if in less than ideal lighting. Sterretje is right, focus on your subjects and compose the shots so they are in focus most importantly and the stopped down aperture settings should also keep the background clear as well.

Jason
02-07-2011, 06:03 AM   #4
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: RIX
Posts: 38
Original Poster
Hi, Sterretje,

thank you very much for your reply.

So you suggest f/11 or more for landscapes with people. I`ll try this.
You are right, K-x has ISO 200 as lowest. I always try to use it, if light is good.

For lanscapes without any people it would be f/5.6 or f/7 then?

Regarding my previous saying about going wrong, actually I have problems with correct focussing. I try to focus on person, but person`s face is not in focus and I can`t get why (but not always).

I try to focus on necessary point (face, for example) then half press shutter button, then I do recompositon, then shoot. But somehow I do this wrong anyway....

May be there is something wrong with settings, I use one center point focus (may be I should choose 5 or 11 points?) and there is AF focusing AF-C; AF-A; AF-S I think... I have set AF-A or AF-S I guess.

Which one should work for me? Or may be there is some other things..?

Thank you for your great help.

02-07-2011, 06:06 AM   #5
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: RIX
Posts: 38
Original Poster
Jason, thanks!

Seems so that my problem is too small f numbers. I`ll try yours and Sterretje suggestion to use higher f/ numbers. Regarding shutter speed, I try to shoot not slower that 1/40. I don`t know if this is right, but I have heard that is slower than 1/40, my hands can`t keep it wihout shaking.
02-07-2011, 06:11 AM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
eddie1960's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,168
QuoteOriginally posted by Vilkvaale Quote
Jason, thanks!

Seems so that my problem is too small f numbers. I`ll try yours and Sterretje suggestion to use higher f/ numbers. Regarding shutter speed, I try to shoot not slower that 1/40. I don`t know if this is right, but I have heard that is slower than 1/40, my hands can`t keep it wihout shaking.
true slower than 1/40 will show as softer images but SR should allow you to go much lower than 1/40 (subject motion will become an issue though)
02-07-2011, 06:16 AM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Fife, Scotland
Posts: 834
Shutter speed: the rule of thumb in 35mm days was that the slowest most people could hand-hold at was the recipricol of the focal length e.g. 1/50th for a 50mm lens. Wiht a digital lens I believe you use the 35mm equivalent, so for a 35mm lens on a Pentax, again 1/50th would be the slowest speed you are likely to be able to handhold at. The Shake Reduction helps a bit, but personally I don't rely on it.

So, that bounds your slowest acceptable shutter speed unless you start using a tripod, putting the camera on something, propping your elbows on something or some other tactic to reduce camera shake.

Aperture: You need to both understand depth of field and hyperfocal distance to get that one right, and also appreciate that most lenses have a 'sweet spot' where they are sharpest, usually at f8 or thereabouts. Rather than try to explain it myself, there is a really good website that does:

Online Depth of Field Calculator

ISO: Use the slowest one you can get an acceptable shutter speed and f-stop with. That gives you the least digital noise, and the best dynamic range.
02-07-2011, 06:34 AM   #8
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
If you're having problems with focus, there can be several reasons.

The first one to check with a K-x is if you use center focus or that you let the camera decide (not quite sure what it's called, auto?). With the latter the camera might very well decide on the tree at the right/left and behind the people instead of the people themselves.

The other problem might be that your camera/lens combination suffers from front/back focusing. You can do some controlled tests (static subject, camera on tripod, daylight) to see if it can achieve correct focus. If it can, you indeed do something wrong. Else calibration is required.

02-08-2011, 01:44 AM   #9
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: RIX
Posts: 38
Original Poster
Thanks cats_five

I know about slower speed and tripod, I have it, but of course it will be hard to use during trip, so I`ll try to use settings with shutter speed not slower that 1/50 or will put camera on something on low light conditions.
02-08-2011, 01:50 AM   #10
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: RIX
Posts: 38
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
If you're having problems with focus, there can be several reasons.

The first one to check with a K-x is if you use center focus or that you let the camera decide (not quite sure what it's called, auto?). With the latter the camera might very well decide on the tree at the right/left and behind the people instead of the people themselves.

The other problem might be that your camera/lens combination suffers from front/back focusing. You can do some controlled tests (static subject, camera on tripod, daylight) to see if it can achieve correct focus. If it can, you indeed do something wrong. Else calibration is required.
You mean metering method? There is multisegment; center-weighted or spot. I think I use Spot one.

It actually came in my mind may be that there is front/back focus problem. I have to check that one day.

Thank you for great help. Your good advices is really needed and helpful!
02-08-2011, 02:36 AM   #11
Veteran Member
DaveHolmes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 1,501
QuoteOriginally posted by Vilkvaale Quote
It actually came in my mind may be that there is front/back focus problem. I have to check that one day.
I've not heard this to be much of an issue with the kit-18-55mm... Others may well have more comment on this...

QuoteOriginally posted by Vilkvaale Quote
You mean metering method? There is multisegment; center-weighted or spot. I think I use Spot one.
I tend to use multi-segment for general 'snapping'... Spot for low-light and night shooting and sometimes centre-weighted for well lit indoor people shots (I use centre-weighted rarely)

Although I don't think this is what Sterretje meant... I believe he was talking about making sure you are aware of which focus point the K-x is using...

Press the 'OK' button in any shooting mode and you can set which of the 11 focus points is active OR you can set to the 2 'auto' modes (5 or 11)... This give the camera control of 'where in the frame' focus will be set... NOT RECOMENDED...
It doesn't help that the K-x's viewfinder has no visible (red square type things) focus points...
Most people tend to use centre focus point... lock focus and re-compose...

QuoteOriginally posted by Vilkvaale Quote
Seems so that my problem is too small f numbers. I`ll try yours and Sterretje suggestion to use higher f/ numbers. Regarding shutter speed, I try to shoot not slower that 1/40. I don`t know if this is right, but I have heard that is slower than 1/40, my hands can`t keep it wihout shaking.
Be aware that using a smaller aperture (higher f-number) will force slower shhutter speeds... You may have to compensate by bumping up the ISO... Although luckily with the K-x this isn't to much of a problem
02-08-2011, 03:11 AM   #12
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: RIX
Posts: 38
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
I've not heard this to be much of an issue with the kit-18-55mm... Others may well have more comment on this...
OK, this would be issue for hihger level lense or if I would shoot something like macro, right?

QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
I tend to use multi-segment for general 'snapping'... Spot for low-light and night shooting and sometimes centre-weighted for well lit indoor people shots (I use centre-weighted rarely)

Although I don't think this is what Sterretje meant... I believe he was talking about making sure you are aware of which focus point the K-x is using...
Is this the same 5 or 11 or select one point focusing mode? I`m little confused here

QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Press the 'OK' button in any shooting mode and you can set which of the 11 focus points is active OR you can set to the 2 'auto' modes (5 or 11)... This give the camera control of 'where in the frame' focus will be set... NOT RECOMENDED...
It doesn't help that the K-x's viewfinder has no visible (red square type things) focus points...
Most people tend to use centre focus point... lock focus and re-compose...
I always use one centered spot focus point (I select it in center). I lock focus with half pressed shutter speed, then recompose and shoot. Hmm, may be there is something with half pressed shutter speed? May be it`s not working on my K-x? Is there any settings which I may be on or of?

QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Be aware that using a smaller aperture (higher f-number) will force slower shhutter speeds... You may have to compensate by bumping up the ISO... Although luckily with the K-x this isn't to much of a problem
Yes, this I know, if I change aperture by one stop, speed will change 4 times or something... This one is something I can compensate with ISO. Let`s see how it will go for me.... The worst thing is that when you travel, you don`t have lot`s of time to change settings, make control shoots, etc.
My idea (after your advices of course) is to use Av mode, to set lowest ISO which is 200, to set f/8 (or something) and then keep an eye on shutter speed. If it will go slower that 1/50, I`ll change ISO to higher number.
02-08-2011, 03:27 AM   #13
Veteran Member
DaveHolmes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 1,501
Focusing and metering are not the same thing... You need to separate them in your mind right now mate!!!

Selecting focus points determines what what will be sharp.

Metering is about exposure... focusing isn't... You can have a perectly exposed shot thats sharp or blurry...

Spot metering takes a reading of the light from the same position as the centre-focus point...

Centre weighted takes a reading of the light from the middle area of the frame and averages that...

Multi segmented takes a reading of the whole frame and averages that...


BTW... The K-x's ISO range can be expanded giving you ISO 100
02-08-2011, 05:12 AM   #14
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: RIX
Posts: 38
Original Poster
DaveHolmes

thank you for clarifying this! I really appreciate it.
So the last point for me today is to understand about AF-C; AF-S and AF-A.
02-08-2011, 05:35 AM   #15
Veteran Member
sterretje's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,534
QuoteOriginally posted by Vilkvaale Quote
You mean metering method? There is multisegment; center-weighted or spot. I think I use Spot one.
No, I'm referring to the AF setup (page 117 of the K-x manual); spot, select or auto (5 point or 11 point)

QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Although I don't think this is what Sterretje meant... I believe he was talking about making sure you are aware of which focus point the K-x is using...
Indeed
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, pentax help, photography, photos, settings, travel
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Newbie! K20d dark photos & settings rtrox Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 16 11-09-2010 10:53 PM
Travel Random Travel Photos Christopher M.W.T Post Your Photos! 6 10-31-2010 02:18 PM
Soft spot in photos? Humidity? Settings bugsy603 Photographic Technique 9 06-14-2010 06:52 PM
I'm unhappy with K-7 settings. Help me custom the settings like k20. netuser Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 16 09-01-2009 08:39 AM
Taking mosaic stitch photos with k20? What settings? segvoia Photographic Technique 4 08-17-2009 03:12 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:00 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top