Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-19-2014, 08:39 AM - 1 Like   #46
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,772
Set your camera to AV, take every picture with your aperture at F4, 5.6 11 and 22 if you have enough light. Use ISO 100 in bright light, 400 in medium light and 800-1600 in low light. Chimp your images with the histogram turned on, use the EV button to centre your histograms.

If you can systematically get a handle on the above, and learn to use the controls involved, you have 90% of photography covered. Your K-x is the perfect camera to do it on. I have one myself, I don't use it much anymore, even though it used to get used every day., but I haven't been able to part with it either.

If you aren't doing the above, you probably don't need a DSLR. So either do the above and get on with it, or sell your K-x and look at a bridge camera or point and shoot. Really, if you make a concentrated effort to do these things for a couple weeks, you'll have your situation under control. and if you do decide on another DSLR, it will be an informed decision made with the help of your understanding of your K-x.


Last edited by normhead; 02-19-2014 at 08:48 AM.
02-19-2014, 08:48 AM   #47
Veteran Member
mrNewt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ON, RH
Posts: 2,170
You've already got a lot of good pointers so I'll just add this.

Baby steps and don't give up...
Also, over the internet, reading up and trying to do, sometimes might not work the best. Sometimes things get misinterpreted by both parties.

As a beginner, I strongly recommend you to take a photography course. Having someone next to you pointing and showing how to do things and then having you try it, is the best thing.
Once you get the basics down, is nothing but exploring from there on .
02-19-2014, 08:59 AM - 1 Like   #48
Senior Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Parallax's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Dakota
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 15,109
Put the manual and the books down and go take some pictures. Make a setting, as Norm suggested above, take a picture and look at it. Now change JUST ONE of those settings and take another picture. Study it and notice what is different from the first. Repeat the procedure.
Everyone has their own learning method that works best for them. For some it's reading, for others it's listening, and still others do better observing. Some of us though, even after doing all of the reading, listening, and watching, just have to grab the electric fence to see what happens.

Last edited by Parallax; 02-19-2014 at 09:17 AM.
02-19-2014, 09:13 AM   #49
Loyal Site Supporter
TER-OR's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dundee, IL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,417
QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
I was able to snag both of these lenses for less than $125 each through different deals. And the dog makes a wonderful model when the kids get irritated! :-D
Those two lenses will give you a great starting point, I think. Dogs are great subjects, too! I grew up with an Irish Setter who would sit and pose whenever my Dad got his camera out.

02-19-2014, 09:37 AM   #50
MSL
Pentaxian
MSL's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Greater Toronto Area
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,360
QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Put the manual and the books down and go take some pictures. Make a setting, as Norm suggested above, take a picture and look at it. Now change JUST ONE of those settings and take another picture. Study it and notice what is different from the first. Repeat the procedure. Everyone has their own learning method that works best for them. For some it's reading, for others it's listening, and still others do better observing. Some of us though, even after doing all of the reading, listening, and watching, just have to grab the electric fence to see what happens.
Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.
02-19-2014, 09:44 AM - 1 Like   #51
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Southern Indiana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,957
I think you should probably stick with the kx for now. I don't really think that any of the Canon/Nikon entry models are going to be a whole lot easier. I don't know if you own a prime lens -- didn't see it on your list, but for portraits, I would recommend the DA 50 f1.8 lens. Then, just practice shooting a lot. Av mode is about the easiest to use -- set your aperture at f2.8 and learn to see light. What makes good portraits is getting nice lighting and figuring out how to position your subjects to get that.

Please post photos here and ask for advice. That is the biggest thing -- you can learn at least as much from your bad photos as from your good photos and folks here are very willing to help out.
02-19-2014, 09:55 AM   #52
Moderator
Racer X 69's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The Great Pacific Northwet
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,841
QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Please post photos here and ask for advice. That is the biggest thing -- you can learn at least as much from your bad photos as from your good photos and folks here are very willing to help out.
+1 on that!
02-19-2014, 10:56 AM   #53
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,817
QuoteOriginally posted by angryannie Quote
I'm glad to hear you say this, since it also occurred to me just recently that I've butchered my settings.
The K-x has two resets. The first one is in [Set-up 3], [Reset]. It resets the stuff in [Rec. Mode], [Playback] and [Set-up]. The second one is in [Custom Setting 4], [Reset Custom Functions]. It resets just the custom menu items. A few settings don't change with either reset, like the time or copyright info.

Page 276 of the English manual has a listing of the default settings. When I start with a new camera, I like to keep a note of settings that I've changed. I don't always know where I want "High ISO NR start level" or if "Subtle Correction" for "AWB in Tungsten Light" is ideal. It's easy to forget if I've already altered these minor tweaks, without notes.

The camera's complexity is mostly a lot of options to get the thing working the way you want it. The camera can make all the choices for you, or none. I turned everything off at first and shot in RAW so I could change other settings in processing. (Not because I am highly skilled, just to learn the camera.) Then I knew enough to let the camera handle some of the work. But you can start at the other end, let the camera do everything and gradually take control of one setting at a time.

02-19-2014, 04:08 PM - 1 Like   #54
Site Supporter
micromacro's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,938
QuoteOriginally posted by angryannie Quote
I have the money to upgrade to something better if that's what makes sense at this point. What I really want it to be able to take nice portraits, occasional macro shots, and some high-def video. I am ready to throw in the towel on this model, but I don't want to start buying Canon or Nikon lenses just to find out I should have stuck with Pentax.help...
I've upgraded to my first DSLR last November with Canon. Then I bought used Pentax. I can tell you for sure: you will NOT take nice portraits, nice macro and decent videos without getting into learning. Of course, you can use auto all the time, and be happy with the results compare to P&S cameras.
Actually, I'm really happy with the decision to buy Pentax for old manual (or old auto) lenses. For one month I moved instantly in learning! Comparing this forum to other, there is lots of help here.

Did I mention that I bought dslr to "take nice portraits"?
I would say, start all over with your pentax. Slowly but surely. Find the part in photography which attracts you the most and brings instant interest to learn. For me it were old lenses. For you it can be something else.
And it takes time, don't give up easy.
02-19-2014, 05:17 PM   #55
rfg
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 137
QuoteOriginally posted by angryannie Quote

@MSL, I have the 18-55 kit lens. I have no film experience whatsoever. I'm just kind of winging it. I've taken a few thousand pictures but I'm only happy with about 5 of them.
Some good advice above, but I would ignore the suggestions to buy prime lenses for now (ie the get a DA-50 or DA-35). The kit lens is perfectly fine to learn with, gives you the obvious zoom flexibility and can take an excellent photo. I stuck with the 18-55 for a couple of years with my k-r before buying something better. In that vein look through the k-r forum (there is no specific k-x forum here) as the k-r and k-x are close to identical. Especially look at the https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/116-pentax-k-r/132275-best-pictures-newbbies-k-r.html thread.

There are lots of photos taken with the kit lens eg this post: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/116-pentax-k-r/132275-best-pictures-newbb...ml#post2701397
02-19-2014, 05:32 PM   #56
Pentaxian
troika's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 850
Annie, I'm not sure where you are located and I'm sorry I suggested a book earlier if that wasn't the right thing. For me, the particular book helped. It's the same information that is in essentially every book and a bunch of places on line, but he just did a much better job of explaining it for my money.

What REALLY helped me, though, is going back to a simple film SLR for a few rolls of film. I picked up my dad's Canon AE-1, which i learned on in the 80s and suddenly I understood again. I have a Pentax MX that shares lenses with my K5ii now and really enjoy using it sometimes. Plus, it always regrounds me in those fundementals. You want something that has a light meter, but not much else to help you.

Pick your film and that's your ISO, for better or worse. Now you've just got two things apreture and shutter speed. Aperature is not some setting, its a diaphram in your lens that you open and close manually. You can see it, you can understand it. The wider it is open, the more light gets in and the faster your shutter speed can be in any given situation. The more you close it down, the less light gets in and the slower that your shutter speed will need to be to get the same exposure. The meter in the camera will coach you as you make corrections and tell you when you have it right.

What I got from the book is when and why you would want a faster vs slower shutter speed and when you would want a wider vs narrower aperature.

You can do the same thing on a digital camera, but on most (I think Canon and Nikon are worse) it involves a vague notion controlled by a menu, which is why it's hard to grasp. I don't know your model, but one thing that drew me to the K7, K5, K3 line is that they are laid out more like an old film SLR.

There are lots of advantages to digital, including instant feedback and the ability to take 100 pictures of a coffee cup and explore every setting. Things like White Balance are really helpful as is being able to adjust the ISO every shot vs every roll of film. But, they are way more confusing. Those same 3 things ISO - Aperature - Shutter Speed are the pillars of photography on any camera past, present or future. Those automatic settings like "Portrait", "Landscape" or "Sports" are just changing those 3 things in a direction that might get you a better result. The problem with shooting "Auto" is that the camera doesn't know what you're trying to photograph, so it can get the exposure right (correct amount of light), but might not use a fast enough shutter speed to freeze a moving dog or blur one if that's what you wanted (for example). It is a BLAST once you realize that you can make and enact those choices quite easily.

...and it's really only those 3 things not the hundreds of other menu choices that you need. Then, you'll start to selectively understand and enjoy some other features, but they're icing on the cake.

So, if you happen to be in the Seattle area, I'll loan you my film SLR for a few rolls. If not, if you can borrow one or pick one up on craigslist for $40, then it's a fast path to clarity, I think. There are always K1000s on every craigslist or in thrift stores.

That's my best advice, anyway. There are pros on here and I'm not one of them, but I've been through what you're going through and come out on the other side.
02-19-2014, 05:38 PM   #57
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Manteca, CA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,653
Annie,

Since we are all wondering what area are you from?
02-19-2014, 06:12 PM   #58
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Winfield Alberta Canada
Posts: 23
Picked the right group for help.

Welcome to the best group on the web. They will help with any question you have and read till your eyes hurt. There is oodles of advice in the posts and even looking at the photo forums and pay attention to the data about the pics. Keep your head up it will come. Some where on here I read that your worst photos are your first 15,000 pics so keep shooting and go no where without a camera. You will soon be looking around for light in different spots and forms. Good luck and have fun.
Rod
02-19-2014, 08:26 PM - 1 Like   #59
New Member




Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6
Original Poster
So many good tips here. Thank you all so much! This weekend, I'm going to sit down and read through every post in this thread and try some of the advice I've been given. And FYI, I contacted the potential buyer of my K-x and said I wasn't ready to sell. Here goes nothing!

@j2photos, I am a Midwesterner. I'm not native to this part of the country, but having been here for a few years, I'm learning to appreciate the good along with the bad.

---------- Post added 02-19-14 at 09:29 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The K-x has two resets. The first one is in [Set-up 3], [Reset]. It resets the stuff in [Rec. Mode], [Playback] and [Set-up]. The second one is in [Custom Setting 4], [Reset Custom Functions]. It resets just the custom menu items. A few settings don't change with either reset, like the time or copyright info.
Excellent info, thanks a bunch. This is going to be my first step when I bust out the camera on Saturday. Wish I could do it now, but it's dark, the family's asleep, and I'm exhausted!
02-19-2014, 08:34 PM   #60
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Manteca, CA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,653
QuoteOriginally posted by angryannie Quote
@j2photos, I am a Midwesterner. I'm not native to this part of the country, but having been here for a few years, I'm learning to appreciate the good along with the bad.
There are a few midwestern social groups.

Have you picked up a magic lantern guide for your camera? It can make sense of the settings, when I first picked up a DSLR camera the ML guide was a godsend for me.
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, custom, dslr, experience, info, k-x, kit, lens, pentax, pentax help, photography, post, reset, resets, sense, video
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is there a way to sync over 1/125? bcroslin Pentax Medium Format 8 10-24-2013 12:06 AM
Caption Contest Over My Head Sparkle Weekly Photo Challenges 13 06-10-2013 09:38 PM
I just bought a dirt cheap k200d...My first PENTAX. InHouse Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11 07-10-2012 09:39 PM
In way over my head!!!!! PentaxianBear Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 13 02-12-2011 05:38 PM
In over my head Björn Welcomes and Introductions 17 11-17-2008 03:22 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:36 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