Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-13-2012, 09:24 PM   #1
Junior Member
paceyy's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Sydney, NSW
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 45
Flash Advise for a Pentax K5 - Gig Photography

Hey guys, I'm new *waves*

I have a Pentax K5 and a 16-50 f/2.8 lens that I've been shooting bands with over the last few weeks.
I'm starting to struggle with the slow shutter speeds/open aperture/high iso combo. I've been researching on flickr and a lot of gig photographers use higher shutter speeds and around F/3.5 apertures which suprised me, I haven't had a chance to be able to do that, it's just been too dark.
I shoot in Raw and I edit the photos in Lightroom but sometimes I get a lot of grain when I'm brightening up the photos. Mainly when I've used f/2.8. I'm also getting a lot of motion blur.
Have also got some fantastic shots

ANYWAY. I was hoping to get a flash to use as back up, I don't like to use it because I don't want to get up in the bands grill with it, but I'd like to have one just in case.
What would you recommend to go with my camera, for my purpose? I'm not opposed to third party flashes either...

Thanks a lot in advance.

02-13-2012, 10:12 PM   #2
Senior Member
vanyagor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 177
I've got the recent Metz 58 AF2 recently and I love it. The previous model (Metz 58 AF1) can be purchased at a big discount nowadays and I've heard good things about it. No idea how good these are for your particular purpose.
02-13-2012, 10:27 PM - 1 Like   #3
Veteran Member
joe.penn's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Maryland (Right Outside Washington DC)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,902
I use YN560 flashes, but for band/gig shoots I use no flash - with my K5, I can shoot comfortably at 5000ISO with a 2.8 stopped down a click or two and get great shots. The key is post processing, when you need to add brightness to the photo, use "fill light", bumping the exposure for brightness will brighten the entire photo and will make the noise really stick out.

Motion Blur - obviously this is caused by a slow shutter speed, my experience has been 1/200 is the very minimum (will give slight blur of hand motion when killing the guitar) with 1/250+ being a fail-proof zone.
02-13-2012, 10:34 PM   #4
Junior Member
paceyy's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Sydney, NSW
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 45
Original Poster
Thanks a lot for that, I just did some research and the Metz is coming up very well! Might even go with the earlier model since I'm just starting out. Not sure I'd need the extra power.

02-13-2012, 10:39 PM   #5
Junior Member
paceyy's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Sydney, NSW
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 45
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
I use YN560 flashes, but for band/gig shoots I use no flash - with my K5, I can shoot comfortably at 5000ISO with a 2.8 stopped down a click or two and get great shots. The key is post processing, when you need to add brightness to the photo, use "fill light", bumping the exposure for brightness will brighten the entire photo and will make the noise really stick out.

Motion Blur - obviously this is caused by a slow shutter speed, my experience has been 1/200 is the very minimum (will give slight blur of hand motion when killing the guitar) with 1/250+ being a fail-proof zone.
Ah really? I've been scared to go past ISO3200! But I do probably overuse the exposure button in post processing... And I definitely have used much slower shutter speeds. I am shooting some bands on Thursday, so i'll take all your advise on board and hopefully end up with a much better result! Bumping up that ISO should make it easier to use the faster shutter speeds, thanks
02-13-2012, 10:49 PM   #6
Junior Member
paceyy's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Sydney, NSW
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 45
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
I use YN560 flashes, but for band/gig shoots I use no flash - with my K5, I can shoot comfortably at 5000ISO with a 2.8 stopped down a click or two and get great shots. The key is post processing, when you need to add brightness to the photo, use "fill light", bumping the exposure for brightness will brighten the entire photo and will make the noise really stick out.

Motion Blur - obviously this is caused by a slow shutter speed, my experience has been 1/200 is the very minimum (will give slight blur of hand motion when killing the guitar) with 1/250+ being a fail-proof zone.
Also I can only have ISO3200 or ISO6400, is there a way to change the interval?
EDIT: Don't worry, found it!
02-13-2012, 11:03 PM   #7
Site Supporter
Sandy Hancock's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,245
I shot the Big Day Out in Adelaide for ToneDeaf.com.au with my K5.
The best shots I took were of Soundgarden with my DA* 300/4 wide open at 6400 with shutter speeds down to 1/250. They were shot as JPEGs. If you are shooting RAW you can get away with underexposing a stop or two and bring them out in Lightroom.
Forget about flash; most bands will not allow it.
When it's really dark (like the Boiler Room at the BDO) I often switch to my FA 50/1.4 and push the ISO to 12800 if necessary. A grainy shot is better than no shot.

Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 02-14-2012 at 04:30 AM. Reason: extra zero deleted!
02-14-2012, 12:29 AM   #8
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Prague
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,198
Actually I believe any P-TTL flash will do. HSS may be useful to have. I use mostly the AF360 as it is not too large and heavy.

02-14-2012, 01:36 AM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,181
QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
If you are shooting RAW you can get away with underexposing a stop or two and bring them out in Lightroom.
The K-5 is one of the best cameras you can buy for doing this - it's amazing how much it can bring out of a RAW photo underexposed by 2 stops or even more. You should try it.

ISO5000 is kind of a sweet spot setting for the K-5. For some reason it is significantly better than ISO6400. You may want to consider trying a third-party product like Topaz Denoise or Noiseware (both have free trials, I believe). Sometimes ISO10000 can be used in a pinch. TAV mode may (or may not) be helpful here as well.

The DA*16-50 (party because of being a zoom) really is better at about f/3.5 than f/2.8, I've noticed. If you want to shoot wide-open the DA35/2.4 would be a good starting place to try. Then the FA43, or better yet the FA77 or FA31 can top that. And the DA*55/1.4 is the fastest current AF lens (along with the out-of-production FA*85/1.4), shooting very nicely at f/1.6 or f/1.8. The DA*55 is a good value when you consider the actual speed and IQ it returns.

Also, I have the AF540 flash, but the YN560 is considered a very good value, and it might be worth trying.
02-14-2012, 03:40 AM - 1 Like   #10
Forum Member




Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Albums
Posts: 88
I mostly shoot live performance, and for me, flash is an absolute no-go. As a result I have no idea how to use one. If it's ok for you to use it, have a go, it may be great.

I have shot gigs at ISO 12800, f2.8, 1/50th sec. That's very low light, and honestly, the images were usable, as was said previously - a grainy image is better than none at all. And seriously ISO12800 on the K5 is much better than film at much less ISO, so who's complaining...my clients haven't.

I mostly shoot using primes at f2-2.8 and try to achieve a 1/200th shutter. But some gigs are very dim, and the f2 becomes very needed vs f2.8....I'm looking at a sigma 30/1.4 as my main lense as a result.
02-14-2012, 05:00 AM   #11
Junior Member
paceyy's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Sydney, NSW
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 45
Original Poster
Wow. Thanks so much everyone for all the amazing advise.
I was hoping to not have to get a flash but a friend had recommended it to me for back up, I don't think I'll bother anymore.

I wasn't aware the DA*16-50 wasn't fantastic at F/2.8, but going back over my photos, the ones I took at f/3.5 are a lot sharper. I might have to go back to that instead of using f/2.8.

I actually decided on the K5 because of its amazing low light capabilities and have shot at ISO6400 with it on the advise of a coworker, but have had mixed results on noise, some with very little noise some with a fair bit. Which I found weird, but it could have been down to a lot of other factors I guess.

I find if I underexpose it when I shoot, then bring it out in lightroom it gets really grainy. This could be down to my experience with editing though, I'm definitely a beginner.. I might have to try different techniques of brighting up the photos.
The Sigma 30mm f1.4 was actually my next choice in lens as well, I work at JB Hifi so I get to play around with them all day.. it's a fantastic, good quality, sharp lens!

You've all given me lots to think about and I'm really hoping my shoot on Thursday comes out a lot better after all this fantastic advise, much much appreciated!
02-14-2012, 05:24 AM   #12
Veteran Member
Coeurdechene's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: madrid
Photos: Albums
Posts: 833
Don't rule out flash immediately...it's not that you need one but you can expand the creative possibilities if you have one (or better still:several)
-Depending on the venue and it's phisical characteristics you may get away with one flash bouncing it.
-On camera flash photography with the flash pointed directly at the subject will bore you since it looks kind of always the same...kind of flat.
-If you know the band you can set up a number of flashes on tripods, sandbag them, use a wireless trigger or flashes in slave mode, and predispose a neat diagram for some of the concert shots.
- Go for manual control...that way if you get into off camera lighting you will be pretty proficient at determining the power output you need for a scene.

For less than the cost of a high end lens you can get 3 powerfull older flashes and radio triggers that'll open up a whole new world in photography and enable you to take some fine concert photos...just think about it (oh and check out strobist.blogpot.com to see what some very talented people are able to pull off with some decent prized gear).
02-14-2012, 10:28 AM   #13
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 202
A main problem with getting a new flash is that we often have just spent $$$ on the new body and a lens (or 2). A second problem - when considering what to put on the K-5 - is it may be likely that one of the nice points in picking the K-5 is how compact it is. Don't really like the idea of putting a mondo flash on that sweet body.

My advice - 1) pay the bucks now and get a real good flash up front. 2) Don't worry about the size. Bigger IS better when it comes to having enough flash power (and in this case lots of great features - like a second reflector and an Auto-mode thryster sensor).

I went through numerous notions about what to get and finally just plunked down the $$ for the 58AF2. (I also got a BG4 knowing I would be shooting vertically). I am so glad I did! My 1st foray and specifically why I got it was taking portraits of the kid's swim team. One evening spent learning how it works, a couple test shots at the pool, and I was ready. The flash, and the camera with the flash - performed wonderfully. I have used it several times since then for other stuff.

BTW - the camera now seems small w/o the BG on it all the time.


Alot of us do it, but is somewhat confusing how we are so ready to dump $1200 on a body, more $$ on a fast lens, but then try to short change ourselves when it comes to important accessories.

The Metz 58AF2 is the best of similiar flahes, and is well worth getting. You will use it - if not for the band shots (wish i had it when I was taking shots of my B-I-Ls band), then for other things for sure.
02-14-2012, 12:18 PM   #14
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
Brightening a phot in PP is *exactly* like shooting at higher ISO. So whether you shoot ISO 3200 and brighten it one stop in PP, or just shoot it well exposed at ISO 6400, you get the exact same noise. That's because either way, you are shooting the same apertur and shutter speed and thus giving the sensor the same amount of light. Whether you let the camera deal with brightening it (by turning up ISO) or do it yourself (via PP), you're still taking the same basic sensor data and doing the same basic amplification. So don,t think you can finesse the ISO controls. By the time you do your PP to get your shots the brightness you want, all shots taken with a given aperture and shutter speed will end up looking the same in terms of noise no matter what ISO you shoot at. Unless you try shooting ISO 100 or something else crazy low - the camera's analog electronics will do a better job of amplifiying the signal up to about ISO 800 or 1600.

As for shooting f/2.8 versus f/3.5, whatever small difference in sharpness there. Ight is almost guaranteed to be completely masked by loss of detail from noise and/or blur from the slower shutter speed. Chances are, it,s must coincidence if you of your f/3.5 shots happen to look better. Or more likely, it,s because the shots you took at f/3.5 were in situations where there was more light than usual, and that allowed you a faster shutter speed. F/2.8 would have allowed faster shutter speed still. You could also be seeing rhe diffeence in DOF - more of your picture will be in focus at f/3.5 than at f/2.8.

Anyhow, some amount of noise in concert photography is just a given. You have to go into it with a different set of expectations than say landscapes or portraits.

Flash is fine in some venues, an absolutely no-no in others. Basically, it's the equivalent of yelling across the room. If the environment is loud and crazy such that you wouldn't think twice about yelling to friend across the room, then flash will be fine too. If it's the sort of setting where even ordinary conversation will earn you dirty looks from the rest of the audience and from he musicians, rest assured flash is even more annoying.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 02-16-2012 at 01:49 PM.
02-14-2012, 03:31 PM   #15
Site Supporter
cali92rs's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 3,195
You've got a K-5, let her breathe, don't be scared of ISO up to 6400!
You mentioned that you use Lightroom....is that LR3? if so, lightroom 3 has pretty robust noise removal. Just don't go too crazy with the luminance slider or people will look to plasticky
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!
bands, camera, f/2.8, flash, gig, k5, lot, pentax, pentax help, photography, photos, shutter
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gig Photography, Help!! PJwebbs Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 06-01-2011 06:41 PM
Bit of advise needed with Wireless flash {optical} Tommot1965 Pentax K-5 9 03-20-2011 03:19 PM
Please advise...Flash broken... Heritage Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 5 10-23-2010 07:53 AM
Good lens for gig photography Hali Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 33 06-18-2010 01:56 PM
Gig photography - any advice? jleef Photographic Technique 15 11-01-2007 04:46 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:28 AM. | 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