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06-15-2014, 09:05 PM   #196
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanok Quote
they both seem to be shot with a wide angle (i guarantee for the second, as i shot it), but in the first you can't quite tell if it's a wide or not, and it has that "meh" look about it. Now mine is not something to make you sit up either, but you can see the foreground gives it some "depth", this is one of the "magic" things about wideangles. Until i figured this out, i hated wideangles with a passion.
Good examples on how to use a wideangle.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
The first image is the DA L @ 50mm/5.6, and the second is the 50mm/f1.7 @ 5.6
If these are handheld your shutter speed is way too slow; even if you have SR turned on you can't compare unless you take at least 3 of each shot on each lens while also bracing the camera against you body using proper holding technique. 1/15s is really pushing the lower limit on shutter speed; 1/13s is the lowest I can go on a K-5 or earlier, with SR on, and I still only get maybe 50% that are reasonably sharp enough.

And if it's on a tripod make sure SR is turned off (or better yet, use the 2 sec timer which will eliminate most vibrations while also turning SR off automatically).

06-19-2014, 05:21 PM   #197
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanok Quote
i think it has been said, but: what focal length to use for what purpose is mostly bs. who said you can't shoot landscapes with a short tele? or a long tele. you can do whatever you want, experiment, and don't worry about rules so much. (i'm sorry, i no longer have pictures online to show examples)

wide angle: 18mm on apsc is not at the limit, it's "right in the middle", it's a respectable wide angle (like 28mm on 35mm film). a 24mm would be a "mild wide" on aps-c. a 16mm would be in the realm of ultra-wide already. Beware of wide angle lenses, you need to learn how to use them effectively, otherwise the pictures will not be making any sense. i suggest to start with this idea: a wide angle requires a foreground, subject, and background. the foreground is almost always not optional

for instance, two rather boring pictures, taken in the same area (grossglockner hochalpenstrasse -- hey, don't tell me, tell the austrians):

http://www.alpy.net/grossglockner/obr/glo_206.jpg

https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/images/3491/1_K20A9851-watermark.jpg

they both seem to be shot with a wide angle (i guarantee for the second, as i shot it), but in the first you can't quite tell if it's a wide or not, and it has that "meh" look about it. Now mine is not something to make you sit up either, but you can see the foreground gives it some "depth", this is one of the "magic" things about wideangles. Until i figured this out, i hated wideangles with a passion.

the pentax kit lenses are generally very decent, so you will find it hard to compare the iq to old primes, but it is, almost always, better for the primes. add to that the elegance, size and "pleasure to use" of the primes, and you'll see why many people are addicted. however, this does not mean they are for you, you might be fine with the zooms and take great pictures with them.

landscape/dynamic range: i happen to hate the hdr look, what i do (used to*) is to use a little piece of software called "enfuse", it is part of hugin, and it is great (it manages to do exposure blending in a "reasonable" manner, to my eye, without the tone-mapping insanity). hugin is worth having a look at in any case (probably the best software for panorama around these days, and open source)

* used to because, since i switched from k20d to k-5, i ended up taking "one shot" instead, the dynamic range improvement was so dramatic for my needs that i found myself leaving the tripod at home at times, and trying higher iso handheld (yeah, i know, blasphemy, i was having fun though); having said that, in extreme situations, using something like enfuse to bring the dynamic range of the raw into a jpeg might still be worth it.

bmx bike: interesting, i must consider a trip to new york one of these days. everywhere else in the world we call that a wheelbarrow :P
Haha I shot my old bmx bike earlier in the day, the wheelbarrow was another test! New Yorkers aren't that strange :P. Thank for those tips though!

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Good examples on how to use a wideangle.
If these are handheld your shutter speed is way too slow; even if you have SR turned on you can't compare unless you take at least 3 of each shot on each lens while also bracing the camera against you body using proper holding technique. 1/15s is really pushing the lower limit on shutter speed; 1/13s is the lowest I can go on a K-5 or earlier, with SR on, and I still only get maybe 50% that are reasonably sharp enough.

And if it's on a tripod make sure SR is turned off (or better yet, use the 2 sec timer which will eliminate most vibrations while also turning SR off automatically).
They were on a tripod with the 2 second shutter on! Perhaps I was lucky, and got an amazing copy of the 18-55 :P cause it's the only one I can't really tell apart when compared to a prime except the more smooth bokeh. I do notice a loss of sharpness handheld sometimes, which is unfortunate.

----------

Speaking of tripods, this is the one I use. It lacks a bubble meter, perhaps I should considering getting a hot shoe bubble meter like this one? The other tripod costco sells, for 90 includes a bubble meter.

The main concerns I have right now are properly exposing images, and I notice that it's very hard to do but I'm not sure if it's even possible? For example I took a photo of my friends dog with the sun behind me. I used spot metering and the dog was properly exposed however the sky was completely blown out, the blinkies went off... I don't really "understand" a histogram other than overexposed/underexposed and I just use blinkies to tell me that. Am I doing something wrong, should I shoot at a different time of the day? Is this simply a camera limitation? I was reading a bit on base iso, which is 200 for my camera yet I always tried to use 100.... though, would it be better to use 200 ISO? I read that base iso has the best dynamic range.

Thanks
06-19-2014, 06:49 PM   #198
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
The main concerns I have right now are properly exposing images, and I notice that it's very hard to do but I'm not sure if it's even possible? For example I took a photo of my friends dog with the sun behind me. I used spot metering and the dog was properly exposed however the sky was completely blown out, the blinkies went off
Typically you want to use Multi-segment Metering (the default), though it's not appropriate for everything.

And sometimes it's OK to let the background get blown out, like when you're shooting sports (e.g. baseball) from the shadow side. But I suspect you want Multi-segment metering most of the time, unless you're using a hand-help light meter (which is a good idea at some point, especially if you start doing more flash/stobes). People think they don't need these anymore, so you can find some good used prices on CL and other places.
06-20-2014, 09:11 AM   #199
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A new light meter seems to hover around 230 USD which isn't too bad, so perhaps I could find a decent used one for cheap. Though, couldn't I just get the same results checking the photo and adjusting when needed? I imagine a situation where I'd have to get up close to user the meter, I'd have time to adjust my settings if I didn't have a meter.

Also, I was under the impression center metering was best because it properly exposes your subject correctly, especially for a subject like a white bird on a sunny day where it can easily get overexposed.


Last edited by Zealex; 06-20-2014 at 11:53 AM.
06-20-2014, 11:26 PM   #200
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
A new light meter seems to hover around 230 USD which isn't too bad, so perhaps I could find a decent used one for cheap. Though, couldn't I just get the same results checking the photo and adjusting when needed? I imagine a situation where I'd have to get up close to user the meter, I'd have time to adjust my settings if I didn't have a meter.

Also, I was under the impression center metering was best because it properly exposes your subject correctly, especially for a subject like a white bird on a sunny day where it can easily get overexposed.
Sometimes spot metering is better, but there's a reason it isn't the default. Pentax has (according to some people) one of the better metering systems. In any case, it works well enough that you might want to take advantage of it. Spot metering in rudimentary.

See this meter? Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter K-KFM1100 B&H Photo Video

It's the same one I have - the old Minolta IV F under a new brand name, and they're still making it! It works great. I got the Minolta for $50 on CL. Costs maybe twice that on eBay, but you can shop around.
06-21-2014, 12:50 AM - 1 Like   #201
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
I took a photo of my friends dog with the sun behind me. I used spot metering and the dog was properly exposed however the sky was completely blown out, the blinkies went off...
That's exactly what it's supposed to do.

Spot metering is typically used to get readings from several parts of the scene. First, you point it at the darkest spot you want to see detail in and note the meter reading. Then, you point it at the lightest spot you want to see detail in and note the reading. Then, you average the two readings to get the proper exposure. This is the most accurate method of metering. It's not always quite that simple, but you get the general idea.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
Also, I was under the impression center metering was best because it properly exposes your subject correctly
Center-weighted metering reads the entire frame, but gives more weight (priority) to whatever is in the center. That's fine if the scene is not very contrasty (boring), and your subject is dead center (also boring). Most of the time, you're better off using matrix metering.

Matrix metering is like an automated version of spot metering. The camera takes a whole bunch of spot meter readings and feeds them into the on-board computer. The computer then looks in its database for a match. It then knows that you're taking a picture of, say, a landscape. So, it brings down the exposure to avoid blowing out the sky, but not low enough to drop the grass in the foreground into shadow. It's not perfect, but under 'normal' conditions, it does pretty well.

Last edited by OregonJim; 06-21-2014 at 01:20 AM.
06-21-2014, 10:15 AM   #202
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I did not think about using matrix metering as much, but I will use it more and see how it plays out. Thanks guys! I'm going to look into external light meters, if I can find a cheap one I'll jump on it. Though, considering I love shooting wildlife and action..I can't image it would help much there! Would be useful if I get into portraits more though.

Anymore questions I have I'll ask by creating different threads I feel this one got really long and jumps from topic to topic, but thanks everyone again for the help !
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