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04-13-2011, 09:12 PM   #16

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QuoteOriginally posted by lovemehate Quote
Yes It was all done In M,

am trying to let as much detail and light In as possible, yet get a nice crisp photo
I also have another lens, I bought for low light and indoors
"smc Pentax-A 1:2 50mm"
That's a decent little lens - put it on the K-x, set the aperture ring on the lens to 'A', make sure the ISO is high (try starting with ISO 200 for daytime shots), then as already mentioned use Av mode and try apertures between f/2.8 and f/5.6 or f/8, ensuring the shutter speed stays below the maximum (which I believe is 1/6000, as I recall from my K-x). Also take a look at the Pentax Photo Gallery for some examples of what can be done with this lens:

PENTAX Photo Gallery

You'll notice some of these are even taken with the K-x.

Yes, you really do need to calibrate your monitor as well.

And don't expect direct sunlight to ever look very good within about two hours of high noon, if not more. I just looked at your flower examples from Deviant Art, and they have a lot to do with the quality of the light. They don't necessarily have a lot of PP. Shade can work wonders any time of day.

Last edited by DSims; 04-13-2011 at 09:21 PM.
04-13-2011, 09:26 PM   #17
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The second photo has the following exif info:

Manual, multi segment metering, 1/2000 shutter speed, f5.6 aperture & 400 ISO. Only the last 2 help with getting extra light - & the fast shutter speed takes it away. This is the reason most of the flowers are blurred.

If I were using your equipment on that day I would use:

AV mode, centre weighted metering, shutter speed set by camera, f8 - 16 aperture, 100-200 ISO and let the camera set White Balance.

The reason is unless you were wanting a very shallow depth of field (DOF) to isolate certain flowers then higher "f" stops give you greatest DOF, you can control the light by adjusting ISO & shutter speed.

If you want to use the Manual setting try using the Green button to see the settings the camera thinks are best & increase - decrease the aperture & shutter settings to get the amount of light or DOF you are after.
04-13-2011, 09:52 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by lovemehate Quote
light In as possible, yet get a nice crisp photo
It should be "as much light as needed" for the correct exposure. Note that nearly all lenses have a "sweet spot" for sharpness that is about 2 stops down from wide open.
04-13-2011, 11:06 PM   #19
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Wide open apertures don't "let in more detail".

04-13-2011, 11:43 PM   #20
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You don't get the sharpest photo by using the lens wide open - most of them are sharpest around f8. The kit lens is:

Pentax DA 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 AL Lens Review: 3. Test results: Digital Photography Review

You also need to be controlling depth of focus, which means you need to know something about it and for my money DOF Master explains it well:

You can also look at the EXIF data of the photos you like which will help give a clue about how they were done, but one obvious difference is that you have shown us wide shots of flowers in a field, and I suspect all the photos you have cited as what you'd like to shot are close-ups.

It's certainly not a matter of having Photoshop, it's all about understanding how to use your camera to get the results you want. It's a steep learning curve from a P&S.

White balance - if you want to get that right get yourself a white or grey card and take the shot you want with that in, then remove it and really take the shot you want. Then use it to set white balance in post-processing, though my experience of my K7 is it usually gets it right.
04-14-2011, 03:58 PM   #21

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Except for the white balance being off in one case, I'm not seeing any camera-related problems here. Certainly lens quality is not an issue demonstrated by these pictures. Even the old first-generation kit lens that I have is very good (unless you have a bad copy), and you'd have to test very specifically for optical performance if that's a concern you have.

I've never understood the fascination with M. I'm guessing that, at least outside of a studio environment, most experienced photographers probably use aperture or shutter priority, and tweak that when necessary with exposure compensation. And WB is most outdoor conditions is usually handled very well by the camera, so again I'm not understanding the need for you to assume you will benefit by setting it yourself.

I will say that almost any picture can be improved by a little PP (some obviously can benefit more than others), so I'm not understanding your aversion to doing that. You certainly don't need photoshop; any of the many image editing program will do fine, including the many free ones.


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