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06-03-2014, 04:39 PM   #166
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
I definitely like the idea of a more sharp picture, though I can see how a softness could be used in portrait photography. Though, isn't softness regarded as a bad thing? Often times when I'm reading reviews for lens, there's negative comments regarding how soft x lens is at y aperture (usually wide open).
The K50/1.2 is still sharp - especially stopped down just a little bit - but it may not be absolutely razor sharp at the widest apertures. The Out Of Focus backgrounds, however, will remain smooth. Harsh or busy backgrounds are often considered distracting and less beautiful. The K50/1.2 is unique in that it's virtually impossible to get a harsh background with it (the FA31 is my other lens with that characteristic).

Occasionally you want the subject soft as well (as with my FA85/2.8 Soft lens), but this is rare. The question is really: "Do I want one of the sharpest subjects possible with 'whatever' kind of background" (nothing wrong with this) or "Do I want a pretty sharp subject with a specific (usually smooth) look to the background?"

I realize this isn't in your budget yet, but the classic decision point is between getting the DA70/2.4 or the FA77/1.8. The former is super sharp and looks like we're accustomed to in the digital age, while the FA77 forgoes that "digitally sharp" look for a more "artistic," beautiful image overall. The affordable A (or M) 100/2.8 non-macro I recommended yields an appearance quite similar to the FA77.


Last edited by DSims; 06-03-2014 at 04:44 PM.
06-03-2014, 05:38 PM   #167
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
The K50/1.2 is still sharp - especially stopped down just a little bit - but it may not be absolutely razor sharp at the widest apertures. The Out Of Focus backgrounds, however, will remain smooth. Harsh or busy backgrounds are often considered distracting and less beautiful. The K50/1.2 is unique in that it's virtually impossible to get a harsh background with it (the FA31 is my other lens with that characteristic).

Occasionally you want the subject soft as well (as with my FA85/2.8 Soft lens), but this is rare. The question is really: "Do I want one of the sharpest subjects possible with 'whatever' kind of background" (nothing wrong with this) or "Do I want a pretty sharp subject with a specific (usually smooth) look to the background?"

I realize this isn't in your budget yet, but the classic decision point is between getting the DA70/2.4 or the FA77/1.8. The former is super sharp and looks like we're accustomed to in the digital age, while the FA77 forgoes that "digitally sharp" look for a more "artistic," beautiful image overall. The affordable A (or M) 100/2.8 non-macro I recommended yields an appearance quite similar to the FA77.
A smooth background would definitely be ideal. Something to think about and play around with.

I'll give it some time before I buy a more expensive lens...I want to be certain that is the lens I want. I don't want saving up for one, but I just don't want to go crazy or buy something I don't really need.

I'm going to try playing with HDR. Is this more ideal for non moving subjects like sunsets, status, etc?
06-03-2014, 06:34 PM   #168
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote

I was looking into release cables and found some cheap knock off IR remotes for my camera on ebay...figured 5 bucks wouldn't hurt and would let me avoid touching my camera when mounted on a tripod to avoid camera shake.

Though, considering they're knock offs I'm a bit skeptical they'd work...ha.
They should be fine ... IR isn't hi-tech.

Consider even lower tech if your camera takes a cable release. The Canon ones will work with it.
06-03-2014, 07:11 PM   #169
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Consider even lower tech if your camera takes a cable release. The Canon ones will work with it.
The ones for the Canon consumer DSLRs will work, not the ones for the pro cameras.

06-03-2014, 07:43 PM   #170
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The ones for the Canon consumer DSLRs will work, not the ones for the pro cameras.
Thanks, Boris - good to know!
06-04-2014, 06:27 PM   #171
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I don't think I can use a cable release because my camera has no port for one :/

I got my Pentax A 1:17 50mm and Takumar 135/2.5 in the mail today! Paid ~38 for the 50/1.7 (came with a skylight filter!) and ~34 for the 135/2.5. Both look clean, operate smoothly, no scratches and I don't see any fungus.. (check inside with a flashlight). When using the aperture ring, I see that the camera has no idea what the F stop is. Only when my 50/1.7 A is on A does it show in the LCD screen. Does this prohibit me from using Tv/Av and will I always have to use manual mode?

Also, is it bad to use "weird" ISO values, eg 320, 500, 1250 etc and am I better off sticking to ISO's like 200,400,800,1600..etc?

Thanks for all the help so far, much appreciated.

Edit: When in manual mode the light meter doesn't work for my 135/2.5.

Last edited by Zealex; 06-04-2014 at 07:10 PM.
06-05-2014, 12:41 AM   #172
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
When using the aperture ring, I see that the camera has no idea what the F stop is. Only when my 50/1.7 A is on A does it show in the LCD screen. Does this prohibit me from using Tv/Av and will I always have to use manual mode?

Also, is it bad to use "weird" ISO values, eg 320, 500, 1250 etc and am I better off sticking to ISO's like 200,400,800,1600..etc?

Thanks for all the help so far, much appreciated.

Edit: When in manual mode the light meter doesn't work for my 135/2.5.
Setting the A50/1.7 to A on the aperture ring is exactly what will allow you to use (semi-)Automatic modes like Tv and Av.

There's noting wrong with using in-between ISO values. But you might want to standardize on only using every stop or something, in case you ever start using more advanced noise reduction software that requires you to make a profile for each ISO (you only have to make 1/3 as many profiles in that case). Otherwise it doesn't matter much. I only use 80, 160, 320, 640, etc. on my cameras because it seems to work better, but the K-r starts at a different ISO so 100, 200, 400, ... might be better. Run some informal tests and see at which steps the noise gets worse - then you can use all the ISOs just 1/3 stop below each of those.

When the Takumar 135/2.5 is wide open at f/2.5 a number of modes may work, but the rest of the time you want to use M mode, pressing the green button before each shot to set the exposure.


Here are some settings you might want to change or at least consider in the [C Custom Setting] Menu in the camera, if you haven't already (I looked them up in the manual):

1. EV Steps: 1/3 EV Steps
2. Sensitivity Steps: As EV Steps
3. Expanded Sensitivity: On (so you can use more ISO settings, including ISO 100)
19. Save Menu Location: Save Menu Location (convenient for me)
22. Using Aperture Ring: Permitted (so the shutter will still release when you use your Takumar 135/2.5 or any other lens without the aperture ring on 'A')
06-05-2014, 10:55 AM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Setting the A50/1.7 to A on the aperture ring is exactly what will allow you to use (semi-)Automatic modes like Tv and Av.

There's noting wrong with using in-between ISO values. But you might want to standardize on only using every stop or something, in case you ever start using more advanced noise reduction software that requires you to make a profile for each ISO (you only have to make 1/3 as many profiles in that case). Otherwise it doesn't matter much. I only use 80, 160, 320, 640, etc. on my cameras because it seems to work better, but the K-r starts at a different ISO so 100, 200, 400, ... might be better. Run some informal tests and see at which steps the noise gets worse - then you can use all the ISOs just 1/3 stop below each of those.

When the Takumar 135/2.5 is wide open at f/2.5 a number of modes may work, but the rest of the time you want to use M mode, pressing the green button before each shot to set the exposure.


Here are some settings you might want to change or at least consider in the [C Custom Setting] Menu in the camera, if you haven't already (I looked them up in the manual):

1. EV Steps: 1/3 EV Steps
2. Sensitivity Steps: As EV Steps
3. Expanded Sensitivity: On (so you can use more ISO settings, including ISO 100)
19. Save Menu Location: Save Menu Location (convenient for me)
22. Using Aperture Ring: Permitted (so the shutter will still release when you use your Takumar 135/2.5 or any other lens without the aperture ring on 'A')
Noise reduction software, eh? I took a photo of a lion at the zoo the other day...idiot me used 800 ISO because I just had to use f8 and a high shutter with my telephoto..Anyways the lion looks great but there's some noise, which you can notice in her eyes when you look close. I see that noise reduction software tends to cost around 80ish ...should I just bite the bullet and get lightroom instead (in the future)? Seems to offer more as a program.

Will test out the different levels of noise on those 1/3 ISO stops and compare them to 1/2 stops, and I actually have all those settings already haha but thank you.

I read Adam's guide and using M w/ Green Button seems like a variant of using Av mode...which I use with the 135/2.5 instead since shutter adjusts accordingly...Anyways, there's absolutely no light meter reading with my 135/2.5. I understand that my camera displays F-- because it cannot "read" the lens but is there no way to manually input a number much like I do for the focal length, so that the built in light meter could function properly?

06-05-2014, 11:11 AM   #174
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ISO800 is nothing, easily correctable and as long as you exposed nicely it should turn out well even without PP.
06-05-2014, 11:33 AM   #175
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Or you will end up with 68 lenses, 27 between 50 & 58 mm...6 28mm & 5 35mm...
Yes. And it doesn't matter how much you have available to spend - it isn't enough.
06-05-2014, 11:36 AM   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
ISO800 is nothing, easily correctable and as long as you exposed nicely it should turn out well even without PP.
Indeed, ISO 800 is considered very minimal noise on the K-r, and isn't even too bad on the older models.

Whatever software you get try the free trials first. Capture One (my choice), LR and DxO all have them. Adobe gives you both LR and Photoshop for $10 a month if you don't mind a subscription, and it's always up to date. LR is likely to be updated soon so don't purchase it now.

Look at Neat Image for noise reduction - it allows the custom profiles for each ISO.
06-05-2014, 01:54 PM   #177
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Indeed, ISO 800 is considered very minimal noise on the K-r, and isn't even too bad on the older models.

Whatever software you get try the free trials first. Capture One (my choice), LR and DxO all have them. Adobe gives you both LR and Photoshop for $10 a month if you don't mind a subscription, and it's always up to date. LR is likely to be updated soon so don't purchase it now.

Look at Neat Image for noise reduction - it allows the custom profiles for each ISO.
I just checked the deal...wow 10 bucks a month is surely doable plus the fact I get cloud storage is even better. It's a limited time deal though, I sure hope it doesn't expire soon because I want to be sure it's what I want but it is a really attractive offer.

Then again...it does add up after a while :l.

So I know I should I avoid higher ISO's cause of noise but, what would be the highest before I reach "unrecoverable data" eg cannot be fixed in PP. I imagine this would rover around 1600-6400 ISO?
06-07-2014, 02:47 AM   #178
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
So I know I should I avoid higher ISO's cause of noise but, what would be the highest before I reach "unrecoverable data" eg cannot be fixed in PP. I imagine this would rover around 1600-6400 ISO?
It depends on your taste and the print/display size, but generally up to ISO 5000 or 6400 is usable on most modern Pentax DSLRs. I'll go to ISO 10000 when I need to push it.
06-07-2014, 04:09 AM   #179
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
Then again...it does add up after a while
Considering PhotoShop CS6 Extended was around $499.00 for an upgrade from CS4 or 5 to around $999.00 for a boxed new purchase and they usually came out with a new updated version every year or two, right now $9.99 a month for Photoshop CC IMO does make it affordable to a lot of folks who couldn't shell out the $$$$ for the purchase price. I will say for a new user it can be a tad daunting to use the program at first but there are a host of tutorials if one wants to take the time and patience to learn. As far as I am concerned the monthly is well worth it.
06-07-2014, 08:18 AM   #180
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That's some serious high ISO, and I thought me using 1600 at times was high. Can that level of noise even be removed in PP? Though I suppose shooting in the dark, you don't have much options..

Why does HDR get such a badrep? I don't really want to buy a flash or filters right now, but say if I'm taking photos of landscapes or anything with different exposures...what's so bad about HDR? I don't really like the K-r's HDR feature because I must use jpeg, but what if I just shoot RAW -2,0+2 and then merge later?
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