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01-23-2012, 09:02 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
And as Rio has pointed out there are some good older manual focus fast lenses. I personally think it takes a while to develop the skill to shoot with manual focus, so if you go that route stick with it, don't get frustrated (maybe my eyes are just bad too).
Manual focus isn't difficult. AF didn't even exist until ~20 years ago. Generations of toggers necessarily learned to focus manually. We have techniques and tools to help us -- prefocus, zone focus / hyperfocus, catch-in-focus, focus confirmation, split screens, etc. Manual lenses can be extremely powerful, and often cost much less than their AF counterparts.

I think you'll be happier with faster lenses rather than using a flash all the time.
Sometimes flash is necessary; sometimes it's forbidden; and sometimes it's just a bad idea. Same with a tripod. Faster lenses and boosting ISO don't break any rules. Whew!

Last edited by RioRico; 01-23-2012 at 09:07 PM.
01-23-2012, 09:49 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Sometimes flash is necessary; sometimes it's forbidden; and sometimes it's just a bad idea. Same with a tripod. Faster lenses and boosting ISO don't break any rules. Whew!
No way is best all the time. Wide apertures, high ISO and low shutter speeds entail major compromise too.
01-24-2012, 12:57 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by asp1880 Quote
How to get good indoor shots of people with the kit lens and the K-r:
1. Stay near the 18mm end of the lens, that's where the largest aperture is.
2. Auto ISO up to 6400 or whatever your personal noise tolerance dictates.
3. highlight and shadow correction off.
4. Mind the white balance, that can be tricky in mixed lighting.
5. Use Tv mode, that'll let you ride the shutter time: Slow shutter like 1/25 for stationary and sedentary people,
1/125 or higher for walking or gesturing people.
6. Try to capture people in natural pauses between movements. Shoot lots and discard the blurred ones.
7. Give shake reduction time to kick in - mind the hand in the viewfinder.
8. Exercise good markmanship - hold the camera steady, brace yourself, mind your breathing and press the shutter smoothly.
9. Watch out for the tungsten front focus issue.

Thanks for the tips. I suppose I'm off to a good start if I have already started following some of these rules. I realized that I can get the largest aperture by staying near 18mm. I also do my best to hold the camera steady and control breathing as I shoot. As for the other tips, I will keep those in mind. I still have a lot to learn...

QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Shoot RAW... Bump up ISO... (I think you'll have issues using a tripod in museums and galleries, unless you're fairly well known and liked by staff)
I opted to go to JPEG because I thought it would improve IQ... I also knew I would be shooting a large volume of shots and didn't want to take the time to do PP on all of the shots (since these shots were of friends next to wax figurines and they wanted them posted online).

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
In theory, inconsistent light shouldn't cause problems in itself. If you are in an auto exposure mode, the camera should always adjust to get what it thinks is get the correct exposure. If you are in "M" mode, then you can do the same by hitting the Green button whenever the lighting changes - again, the camera will adjust to get what it thinks is the correct exposure. So it's not the inconsistency of the lighting that is the problem here. More an issue that in some lighting situations, the camera's opinion of correct exposure may differ from your own.

The solution is simple - you need to learn the basic principles of exposure and metering (something covered in any book on photography, also any number of photography web sites). Then you'll understand why and when it is sometimes necessary to override the camera's opinion of correct exposure, and how to do so.

Of course, you'll still need to shoot at high ISO in order to get a fast enough shutter speed to avoid blur.
I should really read up on the green button as I wasn't sure what it was used for. Regarding the auto setting--I don't like it. I feel like it takes longer to focus and it throws the ISO up too high for my liking. If there is a way to set the ceiling for this on auto, I should explore that (and the user manual while I'm at it ).

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I don't know why you were "overexposing" with the flash. Exposure should be similar with or without flash.
To overcome variable lighting, just shoot in raw with auto white balance and adjust later in post processing.
The 35mm f2.4 is a good idea for indoor shooting without flash.
The flash was harsh on the skin tones. Some photos looked washed out.

QuoteOriginally posted by K57XR Quote
The DA35mm f2.4 is a well regarded lens at an unbeatable cost. I have my eyes on it as well however; if you shoot a lot at 18mm then you may find a 35mm lens too narrow for your taste. Of course you can zoom out with your feet given enough space. You can always do a little experiment by setting your kit to 35mm and limit yourself to shoot at that focal length alone and see if you’d be comfortable with it.

My fastest prime is an A 50mm 1.7. It is a very good lens but 50mm on an APS-C is too tight for indoor shots. I’d like to have wide angle (focal length in the “teens”) fast primes but they are well over my lens budget at this time. What RioRico suggested above, Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is an excellent lens; provided you get a good copy. I had both the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and 28-75 f2.8. Optically they are excellent, IMO. Unfortunately, my experience with their build quality out of three different copies was a little disappointing.

Sigma has a 17-50 f2.8 and of course there’s the DA* 16-50….neither of these two are within my budget either.

You can find comparison of all three wide zooms here:

P.S. Careful with is not a myth
That's a good idea (setting to 35mm). Now excuse my noobish questions: What is APS-C and LBA?
01-24-2012, 02:14 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by lilfleck Quote
Now excuse my noobish questions: What is APS-C and LBA?
APS-C is one of a group of Advanced Photo System (APS) film formats introduced just in time to be wiped out by digital cameras. APS-C sensors, the digital format commonly used on many dSLRs, are nominally 25.1mm x 16.7mm with a 30.1mm diagonal. (Canon also uses an APS-H sensor, 28.7mm x 19mm with 34.4mm diagonal.) My K20D's sensor is called APS-C but is actually 23.4mm x 15.6mm with 28.1mm diagonal. The diagonal defines the 'normal' focal length for that frame size.

In comparison: 135/FF (full-frame) is 36x24mm with a 43mm diagonal. 135/HF (half-frame) is half that area, at 24x18mm with a 30mm diagonal. So APS-C is very nearly the same as the formerly popular 135/HF format. We measure crap.factors vs 135/FF by comparing those diagonals. From my K20D's 28mm to 135/FF's 43mm is a factor of about 1.5. That's why we say that a 100mm lens on APS-C has the same (or close enough) FOV (field of view) as a 150mm lens on 135/FF. Confused yet? Good.

LBA supposedly means Lens-Buying Addiction but I know it to actually be Lens-Buying ADRENALINE! It's the rush one gets when buying another lens. Or the 'need' to acquire more lenses. Go with the flow...

Last edited by RioRico; 01-25-2012 at 03:40 AM.
01-24-2012, 08:58 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by lilfleck Quote
That's a good idea (setting to 35mm). Now excuse my noobish questions: What is APS-C and LBA?
In addition to what has said above, this would also be a good read with basic illustrations: Crop Sensor (APS-C) Cameras and Lens Confusion
One thing to remember about this article, the writer used Canon dSLR as an example which has a crop factor (CF) of 1.6. Pentax dSLR (Except for the 645D) have a CF of 1.5.

LBA - Ditto on RioRico

Last edited by K57XR; 01-24-2012 at 09:08 PM.
01-25-2012, 04:55 AM   #21
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Hello Lilfleck,

I am also a novice in DSLR field. And I have Pentax K-x that is older model than K-r. However, I could give some simple advice. First, I think you should increase ISO. My Pentax K-x produces quite acceptable photos even at ISO 1600 and in some situations I even use larger ISO. As know, Penktax K-r works much better at high ISO. So choose at least ISO 1600 or even ISO 3200. Such ISO allows achieving good exposure even at aperture provided by standard kit lens.
Second, turn the image stabilisation (shake reduction) on. It will allow you to shoot at shutter speed below traditional “1/focal length rule”. Third, choose the focal length about 18 mm or so. It will give you two advantages – smaller acceptable shutter speed and larger DOF.
I suggest you should use either Tv mode (choose the low acceptable shutter speed and check aperture), A mode (choose low aperture and check shutter speed) or P mode (check both aperture and shutter speed) at high ISO. Try them all and find out which fits the best for you.
If you choose ISO 3200, aperture F 3.5 (widest available at focal length 18 mm) and shutter speed 1/25, you will achieve exposure 3.3 EV. Usually the exposure necessary for indoor shooting is 5-7 EV or even higher. So you can even use ISO 1600 or smaller aperture (higher F value). Therefore you can shoot with your standard kit lens. Shoot and experiment more. Then you see whether you need faster lens. Faster lenses is also not panacea as wider aperture reduces DOF.


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