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04-22-2014, 09:05 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by GillyH Quote
Was so excited with my K30 but been using it today and all the photos are out of focus. it does not look too bad on some but if I close in they are not perfectly clear and they look really bad on the monitor. I am using it in totally auto mode. The lenses are the 18 -50 kit lens and the 50 -200 kit lens but both have the same results. I have the focus on Auto 5 . What am I doing wrong - I am really upset at the moment as I love my camera but expected decent photos in the 'point and shoot' mode.
No need to despair. I taught my little sister the apparent intricacies of exposure in 20 minutes and now she takes better pictures than I ever will. I would advise you to get off that auto mode; I never understood why they have it on DSLRs in the first place.

And I would grab this book, authored by a Pentax user, for a penny on amazon. No need to read the text; just marvel at the pictures and take note of the exposure settings:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Manual-Photography-John-Hedgecoe/dp/0751337374/r...oe+photography


Last edited by DominicVII; 04-22-2014 at 09:12 PM.
04-23-2014, 03:48 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
You'd think after many decades of development and ads insisting that now everything is auto and perfect, it would work. But no.

The camera in Auto is sort of like a university student. At times, brilliant. Then some unanticipated real-world problem stumps them. It helps to know when the Auto mode gets ambitious, and override it. The shutter speed rule is one thing to watch. With some experience, you will learn how slow you can go. Maybe add a little after an eight mile hike or three Red Bull energy drinks.

Other settings have limits too. Aperture settings that are really low or really high are not ideal for the highest image quality. (The actual numbers depend on the lens.) The ISO is related to digital noise. You might notice that noise gets ugly at say 3200 or higher, the actual number is personal preference. Larger prints or screen sizes show more imperfections. Zoom lenses are better in the middle than right at the ends. When you take control yourself, you can use these limits to take better shots.
Thank You for all the advice - I shall take note of everything and try again. I am not expecting to be able to do everything and the fun is trying but was not sure where I had gone wrong but think I know now.
04-23-2014, 06:17 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by GillyH Quote
Thank you for the advice. I think I realise that I am going to have to start using my camera properly. I understand about the D of F and shutter speeds from books so I think I shall have to start applying them. I had just started taking some 'general photos' to see what the images came out like so used auto as I (wrongly)assumed the camera would know what to do even if I didn't and was disappointed with the result. Will have another go and see what happens
Suggestion.... Forget Auto... If you want the camera to auto select for you use the "P" mode. That will not use scene mode adjustments, will auto select your exposure but allow you to have the control to change any of your Exposure settings through the dials to learn with. Leave your ISO on auto for now until you gain more experience. As far as your current lenses I wouldn't suggest purchasing any others at first until you learn how the get the best out of the ones you have. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you can only get great shots by having more better lenses. Eventually you may want to upgrade and add lenses but I suggest you do it for specific reasons based on your experience gained through shooting over a period of time . Both of your lenses are capable of good photos, they wont be perfect IQ but with proper use they will take good enough photos that a little unsharp masking or such, using a good post processing software, would make a world of difference.

Take the time to learn about photography and that isn't just the camera. Understanding more about exposures, what makes a good photo etc. It is a never ending learning curve that manifests itself how you view what you see in the world you encounter portraying it to others through your photographs. Photographers, like artists view the world differently, those differences are what others usually don't see but admire when they encounter them through works of others. We do that ourselves through what others put forth and that is what inspires us to continue to learn and try different things to progress as enthusiasts.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 04-23-2014 at 06:51 AM.
04-23-2014, 07:06 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by GillyH Quote
Thank You for all the advice - I shall take note of everything and try again. I am not expecting to be able to do everything and the fun is trying but was not sure where I had gone wrong but think I know now.
One thing I didn't notice anyone mention is the red focus dot - it does not indicate focus, just which focus point(s) are being used. The green hexagon at the bottom indicates focus lock.

Focus mode needs to be addressed too - I concur center focus is usually useful for this type of shot, and it's what I use most of the time anyway. It doesn't by any means guarantee you'll get what you want but it does tell the camera to only use that point. AF-C for even moderate action will probably be the best, in my experience. I've missed shots being in AF-S when it's moving.

And personally I like TAv mode - set the aperture first then adjust shutter speed to keep ISO in an acceptable range. Others prefer other modes but I find TAv most convenient.

04-23-2014, 02:41 PM   #35
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Another qwery

I've just bought a K-30 two weeks ago. I bought it second hand body only; and bought a 50mm f1.8. This was for my newborn. The photographs were lovely. There was problem with the second hand body so I sent it back and bought a new K30 with the 18-55 WR kit lens. I have to say the latter has disappointed me; I am new to photography with DSLR but I find the quality very similar to P&S. I second the advice to get a prime lens. I have my eye on the 35mm 2.4....

This thread is greatly useful to me, especially to the recommendation of that book.

I had a questions, looking through the 18-55mm kit lens, is it normal for the view finder to appear darker? Also is it normal to see a slightly ground glass appearance.

Many thanks.
04-23-2014, 04:27 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by ubjy Quote
I've just bought a K-30 two weeks ago. I bought it second hand body only; and bought a 50mm f1.8. This was for my newborn. The photographs were lovely. There was problem with the second hand body so I sent it back and bought a new K30 with the 18-55 WR kit lens. I have to say the latter has disappointed me; I am new to photography with DSLR but I find the quality very similar to P&S. I second the advice to get a prime lens. I have my eye on the 35mm 2.4....

This thread is greatly useful to me, especially to the recommendation of that book.

I had a questions, looking through the 18-55mm kit lens, is it normal for the view finder to appear darker? Also is it normal to see a slightly ground glass appearance.

Many thanks.
Yes, it is normal for the viewfinder to go slightly darker - some people notice it, others don't - with a slower lens. And you are right about the "ground glass appearance" or vignetting with the kit lens; it usually happens when you extend the zoom to 55mm. However, this should have no bearing on the image you take.

Although the Pentax kit lens is not bad once you stop it down considerably, it is more of an accessory rather than a photographer's tool. I use mine for experiments only, i.e., I attach heavy things to it and so on, because it wouldn't be a big loss if the lens broke.

Seeing that you appear to be new to DSLRs - I might be wrong here - I would advise you against buying another prime at this early stage. Moreover, 50 1.8 and 35 2.4 are too similar in character to warrant owning both - that is my view at least. A foolproof investment is usually a macro: it gives you a clinical sharpness that a P&S can only dream of.

Last edited by DominicVII; 04-23-2014 at 06:06 PM.
04-23-2014, 06:10 PM   #37
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As it was already said, you should stay away from Auto mode, the camera might be clever but it still can't read your mind. Same thing applies to the focusing mode. Until you learn a bit more about your camera, the settings, your lenses and until you get comfortable with it, you should use center single point auto focus in AF-S mode. Not the best for composition but it will get you going.

Someone mentioned that your worst pictures will be your first 1000, that was true in the film days, now with DSLR it's more like your first 5000

The kit lenses are far from great but will can get very nice shots with them, don't think for a second that a 31mm ltd will be the answer just yet, it is sharper but you still need to learn and understand how the whole thing works first. People sometimes are a bit quick at dishing the 18-55 and especially the 50-200. I've taken great shots with both. I moved on since then but still, they're very decent.

Everyone will have his own two cents regarding what I'm gonna say but this is what I tell my friends and co-worker who buy DSLR and run into the exact same problem you did... A few beginners rules:

0- Use Av mode (aperture priority)
1- AF-S center point focus / Center-weighted metering
2- Never shoot slower than 1/60 unless on a tripod. (1/30 is you have really steady hands)
3- Always check what setting the camera picked up before the shot, you'll learn from it.
4- If inside, or if you want a nice blurry background, bring the aperture as low as it will go and increase it back up by one step to bring a bit more sharpness
4a- If you're taking portrait try to use f/5.6 to f/8 at first. If your shutter gets below 1/60, crank up the lights or bring the ISO up a bit. 1600 would be the max on your camera for decent pictures
4b- Taking a landscape picture, use f/8 or f/11. Stay away from f/16 and up, your shots will get soft.
5- Make sure the little shake reduction icon appears in your viewfinder before fully pressing your shutter, it usually takes a fraction of a second to light up, check your shutter speed while waiting
6- Don't expect the camera to do all the work for you
7- If you're taking a picture of something that moves faster than a 75yo crossing a street, make sure your shutter is faster than 1/200, the faster the subject, the faster your shutter needs to be. At this point you might want to try Tv (shutter priority)

In every case, if your shutter gets below 1/60, bring more light if you can, or increase ISO or use a larger aperture (lower f number). Both your lens will be best at f/5.6 - f/8. So you will need a lot of light. At first try to take pictures in ideal conditions as much as possible, i.e. outside during the day when the sun is shining; they won't be your best shots but you'll learn from it and you'll give your equipment the best chances to perform until you figure out the rest.
04-23-2014, 08:53 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by ubjy Quote
I had a questions, looking through the 18-55mm kit lens, is it normal for the view finder to appear darker? Also is it normal to see a slightly ground glass appearance?
That's the texture of the focusing screen. The image comes in the lens, bounces off the mirror onto the focus screen, then gets redirected and flipped by the prism, through the two lenses that make up the viewfinder diopter and to your eye. There's probably nifty diagrams somewhere, it's a clever system. Everything is designed to pass through as much light as possible, as straight as possible, except the focus screen. That has a texture, so the image is projected on it. The texture enhances the transitions between in focus and out of focus. The stock screen is optimized for maximum brightness and focus with lenses like the kit lenses, about f3.5 or f4. You can get different screens with different textures to emphasize focus, like at f1.4, trading off some brightness at f4 or larger f numbers (smaller openings).

SLRs are designed to hold the aperture on a lens fully open for framing and focusing. The aperture you set for a shot doesn't happen until you press the shutter button. So when you look through the viewfinder, you are seeing the world at the lens's maximum aperture. The DA 18-55 only opens to f5.6 at 50mm, so it's letting in a lot less light than the DA 50mm f1.8. The stock focusing screen won't show you the full brightness difference, but you will see maybe half of it, thus the darker viewfinder.

If you get a screwmount adapter and lens, the lens is not integrated with the camera in the same way, so you can set it to see the aperture directly affect the viewfinder.

04-23-2014, 09:08 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by GillyH Quote
Was so excited with my K30 but been using it today and all the photos are out of focus. it does not look too bad on some but if I close in they are not perfectly clear and they look really bad on the monitor. I am using it in totally auto mode. The lenses are the 18 -50 kit lens and the 50 -200 kit lens but both have the same results. I have the focus on Auto 5 . What am I doing wrong - I am really upset at the moment as I love my camera but expected decent photos in the 'point and shoot' mode.
Nothing wrong with that, learn from you mistakes, better yet find out why, correct and move on.
04-24-2014, 12:24 AM   #40
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@fgaudet useful step by step, will use this advice

@Just1MoreDave thank you for this, this is reassuring.
04-24-2014, 04:47 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by ubjy Quote
@fgaudet useful step by step, will use this advice
IMO one will get a lot more Keepers using P mode than AV mode to start off with initially if one is new to photography or slr/dslr's.

AV mode is great for anyone with decent photography knowledge, using camera's with selectable exposure settings and/or a decent understanding of how controlling the depth of field effects photos. If someone doesn't have a grasp of that then I don't suggest their using AV mode. By using AV mode one is not only selecting for how much light but also for how and what want they want to appear "in focus" in their photo so unless one knows and understand how to effectively control that then they may wind up with blurriness in portions of their photo they may not want if the aperture setting is not selected properly for the scene. Hence why I suggest starting in P mode. P mode the camera selects what exposure settings are correct for what it is metering in the scene, based on the camera's selected metering mode and what one is metering on within it, yet gives the freedom to make changes to the aperture, shutter or ISO (if it is not on auto) for controlled effect. Once someone gains some more knowledge and experience then I would highly suggest using AV, TV, TAV or SV depending on what and how they want to capture a scene.

.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 04-24-2014 at 09:18 AM.
04-24-2014, 07:46 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
IMO one will get a lot more Keepers using P mode than AV mode to start off with initially if one is new to photography or slr/dslr's.

AV mode is great for anyone with decent photography knowledge, using camera's with selectable exposure settings and/or a decent understanding of how controlling the depth of field effects photos. If someone doesn't have a grasp of that then I don't suggest their using AV mode. By using AV mode one is not only selecting for how much light but also for how and what want they want to appear "in focus" in their photo so unless one knows and understand how to effectively control that then they may wind up with blurriness in portions of their photo they may not want if the aperture setting is not selected properly for the scene. Hence why I suggest starting in P mode. P mode the camera selects what exposure settings are correct for what it is metering in the scene, based on the camera's selected metering mode and what one is metering on within it, yet give the freedom to make changes to the aperture, shutter or ISO (if it is not on auto) for controlled effect. Once someone gains some more knowledge and experience then I would highly suggest using AV, TV, TAV or SV depending on what and how they want to capture a scene.

.
I would agree, start out simple. How often do we get questions that start: "I just bought my first dslr, the k??"
And immediately we jump in with:
- put the camera on all manual only wimps use auto settings
- get a prime lens, you can only get good pictures with a prime lens
- make sure you check the MTF charts and only use the sweet spot for your lens, the rest of the lens is too soft for use
- make sure you check the AF fine tuning and spend several hours testing and adjusting, your camera will not work right unless you do
- only use the center focus point, learn focus and compose. The auto modes will always mess up your picture
- set the camera to back button focus, no one can take good pictures using the shutter button focus
- get an M42 adapter and start buying screw mount manual lenses, nothing made after 1976 is any good
- learn manual focus, auto focus is always wrong and no one can take a picture using the auto focus

Ok, that was mostly tongue in cheek but seriously I think some consideration should be given to the level of experience of the OP, not just this post but in all similar ones. I do not think it does the OP any good to throw things at them that they don't understand, and most likely don't care about. Not everyone is a gear junky camera enthusiast. Some people just want to take pictures. I know that is hard to believe. I know many here would far rather tinker with the camera and camera settings, and argue about gear than actually take a picture but not everyone thinks that way or is ready for that level of info. /rant

Sorry for the rant, but may I politely suggest that it is better to start slow, walk before run? And maybe we will keep some of these new comers around instead of scaring them off. And I'm as guilty as anyone so I'm making a resolution to start slow and simple and not throw techno-babble camera jargon at anyone in the Beginner's corner until they show they want to hear it.

Actually I think that's why we have a Beginner's Corner. Maybe it should be declared a "techno-babble camera jargon free zone"?
04-24-2014, 08:31 AM   #43
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Jatrax, I think your post should come up as a warning popup everytime we try to post in the biginners corner. Very Wise and a good reminder.
04-24-2014, 08:52 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I would agree, start out simple. How often do we get questions that start: "I just bought my first dslr, the k??"
And immediately we jump in with:
- put the camera on all manual only wimps use auto settings
- get a prime lens, you can only get good pictures with a prime lens
- make sure you check the MTF charts and only use the sweet spot for your lens, the rest of the lens is too soft for use
- make sure you check the AF fine tuning and spend several hours testing and adjusting, your camera will not work right unless you do
- only use the center focus point, learn focus and compose. The auto modes will always mess up your picture
- set the camera to back button focus, no one can take good pictures using the shutter button focus
- get an M42 adapter and start buying screw mount manual lenses, nothing made after 1976 is any good
- learn manual focus, auto focus is always wrong and no one can take a picture using the auto focus

Ok, that was mostly tongue in cheek but seriously I think some consideration should be given to the level of experience of the OP, not just this post but in all similar ones. I do not think it does the OP any good to throw things at them that they don't understand, and most likely don't care about. Not everyone is a gear junky camera enthusiast. Some people just want to take pictures. I know that is hard to believe. I know many here would far rather tinker with the camera and camera settings, and argue about gear than actually take a picture but not everyone thinks that way or is ready for that level of info. /rant

Sorry for the rant, but may I politely suggest that it is better to start slow, walk before run? And maybe we will keep some of these new comers around instead of scaring them off. And I'm as guilty as anyone so I'm making a resolution to start slow and simple and not throw techno-babble camera jargon at anyone in the Beginner's corner until they show they want to hear it.

Actually I think that's why we have a Beginner's Corner. Maybe it should be declared a "techno-babble camera jargon free zone"?
It is the recourse to technical jargon that is the problem. I would not say that it is patronising to tell someone to get off the auto mode, considering that the what-you-need-to-know about exposure can be assimilated in less than 30 minutes. I know people who have owned a DSLR for three years and are yet to try anything beside the auto mode. The problem with some photographers is that they try to make their "art" sound complicated and esoteric, although it is not so at all. My approach is: learn the fundamentals and you are ready to go; no need to heed anybody's advice after that.

Last edited by DominicVII; 04-24-2014 at 04:52 PM.
04-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #45
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When I look at the photo again, I notice that the girl to the left and right are seem to be more in focus than the one in the middle which leads me to think that it may be due to subject movement. With the shutter speed at 1/100 which is very marginal to obtain sharpness unless it is an object or the subject is holding still which may be hard to do in this case while sitting on the horse. It is also difficult to judge whether there is any FF or BF from this picture - more tests need to be done to confirm.
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