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10-14-2015, 09:52 AM   #1
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Need Setting Suggestion(s)

I recently purchased a Pentax K-50, my first camera of any legitimate quality, and I'm looking for some set up suggestions.

The lighting scenario is theater style (shooting from darkness with bright lights over subjects). Subjects are moving. My lens options are a Pentax DA 50mm f/1.8 and a Pentax 135mm f/2.5 Telephoto.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, but use small words. I'm very new to this stuff.

Thanks!

10-14-2015, 10:37 AM   #2
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Shoot in RAW and set the ISO high enough to be able to use reasonable fast shutter speeds, but not too high so you don't get overwhelmed by noise or loose too much dynamic range. Aim for the 400-1600 range.

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10-14-2015, 11:02 AM   #3
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How near can you get?
Other than that, ISO 1600-3200, as short as possible exposure times, aperture f/2-2.5 for the 50mm and 2.5-3.5 for the 135.
If you're not comfortable in manual mode, use P. Centre-weighted with -1 or -2 EV of compensation (assuming dark background).
10-14-2015, 11:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Shoot in RAW and set the ISO high enough to be able to use reasonable fast shutter speeds, but not too high so you don't get overwhelmed by noise or loose too much dynamic range. Aim for the 400-1600 range.
I haven't had much time really dive into it, but I think my ISO was way too low in my first few test shots. I'll adjust there and see how it goes. What about the shutter/aperture priority setting? Do I need to adjust that in any way?

---------- Post added 10-14-15 at 11:27 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
How near can you get?
Other than that, ISO 1600-3200, as short as possible exposure times, aperture f/2-2.5 for the 50mm and 2.5-3.5 for the 135.
If you're not comfortable in manual mode, use P. Centre-weighted with -1 or -2 EV of compensation (assuming dark background).
I should be able to get anywhere from 5 to 35 feet away, approximately.

What does
QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
Centre-weighted with -1 or -2 EV of compensation
mean? That was a little above my knowledge level.

10-14-2015, 11:30 AM   #5
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These were shot from a middle right position in a small theater.

F 50 f1.7 exposures varied as I nailed down what worked. I ended up around f2.8 ISO 1600 and 1/100 second.

https://flickr.com/photos/129729978@N02/sets/72157650805969903
10-14-2015, 11:35 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
These were shot from a middle right position in a small theater.

F 50 f1.7 exposures varied as I nailed down what worked. I ended up around f2.8 ISO 1600 and 1/100 second.

https://flickr.com/photos/129729978@N02/sets/72157650805969903
Cool. Thanks, UncleVanya. I'm sure it will be a bit of trial and error but this gives me a great starting point.
10-14-2015, 11:49 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kendeavors Quote
I haven't had much time really dive into it, but I think my ISO was way too low in my first few test shots. I'll adjust there and see how it goes. What about the shutter/aperture priority setting? Do I need to adjust that in any way?
You should be in shutter priority to make sure the shutter speed doesn't dip too low.

This article might prove helpful if you're still trying to master the basics:
The Fundamentals of Exposure - Introduction - In-Depth Articles

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10-14-2015, 11:53 AM   #8
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f3.2 and ISO 1600 and 1/160s also worked well. I left EXIF intact so you can see what worked best.

The most important thing was manual white balance.

These were all taken with my K50.

10-14-2015, 02:20 PM   #9
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It is probably best to stick with the DA 50mm f1.8 at first because it works better with all the camera features. You can crop photos later if the people look too far away.

The "Pentax 135mm f/2.5 Telephoto" lens should be one of a couple of older lenses that are manual focus, with no "A" position on the aperture ring. I'm assuming it is either SMC Pentax 135mm F2.5 Reviews - K Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database or Takumar 135mm F2.5 Bayonet Reviews - Non-SMC Pentax Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database. Those lenses work best in M mode, otherwise the camera will ignore any aperture setting and just shoot at f2.5. That aperture setting lets in a lot of light which is good, but will have a narrow range of the image in focus - not much depth of field. At 35 feet, it's enough for a person to be in focus, but at 15 feet the face could be in focus and the ears might not be quite sharp. I would only use this lens at longer distances because of that depth of field problem. You have to be really good at manual focus to get it precisely on target, and close up, you have no room for error. A larger aperture number like f4 or f5.6 will have more depth of field but also let in less light.
10-14-2015, 02:31 PM   #10
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Depending on scene and seating(how far back) use which ever lens is appropriate.

Assuming no A position meter and use a shooting aperture of F2.8 pong the 50mm and F4 on the 135

Shutter speed wants to be 1/focal length for either lens so set ISO appropriately

Unless you are aiming deliberately for blurred subjects, train grain and ISO for shutter speed, it is much more important to have sharp, plus noisy images than fine grained images that are blurry.

Don't be afraid of high ISO.

I have shot ISO 3200 with my *istD and 1600 with my K10 in theatre situations.

I would advise however, if you can find someone with an A series lens, shooting auto ISO in Tav mode is by far the best option As theatre lighting can change frequently, you need to check periodically the exposure based upon scene lighting. Have the image review set up with the histogram
10-15-2015, 09:31 AM   #11
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I was able to mess around with different settings last night just to get more familiar with the camera. All of your suggestions have been very helpful. Progress has been made. I'm putting the camera to actual use this weekend, hopefully with successful results. We shall see.
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