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04-10-2018, 09:13 AM   #1
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What i do?

Dipo 1 here, this is my second post. Been playing with my new (to me) K5 and am about as confused as a guy can get. Have read the manual so much that the page edges have turned black, Under stand that this setting does this and this setting does that, I guess I just don't understand why so many settings when they all appear to be some form of AUTO. Say what? Would be great for action photographing, but I do mostly outdoor work. Just having trouble as to which mode I should use. Just need some advice on what to do at this point. can go to Manual, But then why have a DSLR? Any advice will be greatly appreciated, and if you come by the house I'll buy you a beer. thanks

04-10-2018, 09:22 AM   #2
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Whether it's a DSLR or an early film SLR, the fundamentals of exposure haven't changed. Shutter speed and aperture still have the same effect on the final product, and ISO works in the same way, though DSLRs give you a lot more flexibility through a wide range of selectable sensitivities. This article should help you get started:

The Fundamentals of Exposure - Introduction - In-Depth Articles

If you take a look at our K-3 review (it's a newer model, but the review is very detailed and can serve as a walkthrough), you can gain a better understanding of the various settings such as drive modes, custom image, and white balance:

Pentax K-3 Review - Introduction | Reviews

You may also find Yvon's K-5 eBook helpful. You can get a sample or order one here:

Pentax eBook Samples - Download here! -

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04-10-2018, 09:23 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dipo 1 Quote
Just need some advice on what to do at this point. can go to Manual, But then why have a DSLR?
Having manual control over all aspects of the camera and exposure is one of the most compelling reasons for using an advanced DSLR or mirrorless system camera. It puts you (rather than the camera) in control of your photography, and that's essential in obtaining the results you want. It requires some effort and learning on your part, but that's half the fun.

I'd recommend reading the following article fully, and make sure you understand it before you go any further:

Exposure For Beginners: An Introduction To Manual Modes

Note that camera manuals are notoriously unhelpful for those starting out. You'd do well to read some basic DSLR tutorials online, or invest in a good beginner's DSLR book. I'm sure we can suggest some if you're prepared to go down this route
04-10-2018, 09:46 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dipo 1 Quote
can go to Manual, But then why have a DSLR?
Going manual is one of the fundamental reasons for using a DSLR. Many people never use any of the 'auto' settings at all. But doing so requires a good basic understanding of how exposure works. Adam linked to a number of good sources for that.

I use either manual or Av mode. Mostly Av because I understand how it works, it has enough automation to help me without taking away the creative part of the process.

Instead of trying to learn all of the modes and settings may I suggest you put the camera on Av for now and learn to take good pictures that way. In 6 months or so if you feel the need, try a different mode. But trying to learn all of them at once (when there is no real need) is just going to confuse you.

04-10-2018, 09:49 AM - 1 Like   #5
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dipo-1. I can sympathize with you. Although I had been into photography for many years, the venture into the world of electronic photography was as confusing as when I got my first computer! And, as Mike said, the owner's manual is quite often a source of confusion more than one of useful information. They used terms that were very foreign to me. But, after asking endless questions and lots of trial and error, I've learned to absolutely LOVE my DSLR's!

Don't become discouraged! Stick with it! The people here at Pentax Forum are wonderful source of information and are always willing to help. Good luck and I look forward to seeing some of your photographs.

P.S. Jatrax's suggestion that you use the Av setting is excellent information! I use it exclusively.

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04-10-2018, 10:01 AM   #6

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Manual is s very versatile mode, but if I am on the go I like to use TAV mode which allows, the user to set the desired shutter speed and F stop while the ISO is calculated by the camera. Depending on circumstances, the calculated ISO results are usually good, in some it may be difficult for the camera to figure out, due to glare, darkness, or a non-contrasting subject (for example all white or all black with no surface differentiation).
I have taken thousands of shots with TAV mode that turned out nice.

If you have knowledge of the use and meaning of ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture (F stop) you can apply it during use of both the TAV, Manual, or other modes.

I would recommend you try TAV mode and learn from trial and error how it works and how settings affect its use by viewing image results and their EXIF data. You can also do that with Manual mode which will give versatility if you have the time to deal with it.

For example, if I was using TAV while out taking pictures of flying birds by the lake, I might set my Shutter speed to 1000 for the action, F stop to F9 to get detail and some depth, and let the camera figure my ISO. If the ISO result was 800 I may really love the image, but I I want to have a lower ISO result I could change my F stop to F8 or my shutter speed to 800, and when I took the next shot the ISO calculation by the camera may change to 400 or 200 due to my Shutter speed and/or F stop change. So, TAV mode is semi-auto like most other modes with the exception of green mode which is a fully automated mode and Manual mode which gives the user full control/versatility associated with settings.
04-10-2018, 01:15 PM   #7
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Welcome aboard. I had been using SLR film cameras for over 40 years when I finally went digital in 2012 with a K5. I too found it a steep learning curve. The manual is very good at telling you how to switch modes, but not what the heck the modes do. I was ready to put the camera on my anvil and take a sledge hammer to it. Then I did something amazing. I put my old screw mount 55mm f1.8 lens on it and went full manual mode. All of sudden things got better. Having an old familiar lens on the camera made it feel good again. Slowly i read various posts asking for help and asked a few questions here myself.

The learning curve was steep and fully automatic cameras can be too fast for their own good. So I started slow and worked my way up. I am still trying to master autofocus settings but getting better there too. The best thing is that since I got my K5 I have added a K5-IIs, K3 and a K1. The main setting for all the cameras are the same and once you learn one, you only have to worry about using the new settings on your new gear. Some say the Pentax menu format it dated, To me it is one of the strong points of the system.

So take it slow and you will soon be getting the hang of it. Ask plenty of questions here. This is a great forum and more Pentaxians are always welcome.
04-11-2018, 08:11 AM   #8
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Thank you all. Great advice, will/would never own anything but a PENTAX. Love my old Spotmatic but love the K5 just as much, it is a really nice camera. Kept reading the manual and have begun to understand the modes somewhat. With the old Spot, setting the ISO, ehh, ASA, well you know, was a lot easier to understand/use. I know what to do but just get confused and discouraged.... I will read all the suggested articles and WILL NOT give up. Thanks, thanks, thanks. Dipo

04-11-2018, 04:45 PM   #9
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Hi Dipo
Welcome to the forum. I shoot a K-5 so feel free to ask if there's something specific you have an issue with.
Kind regards,
04-15-2018, 09:47 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dipo 1 Quote
and if you come by the house I'll buy you a beer
Welcome to the forum, your a tad bit away for beer... maybe a case of whisky you could be on.
04-16-2018, 10:57 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Well now you are talking my game. I'll send you a bottle of Americas best Bourbon, your pick, if you will send me a bottle of scotch, better know as Holy Water. You pick the scotch. Only a very few requirements, single malt, the best as determined by the local characters at the local pub you attend. I can get the usual American brands, Johnny Walker (all colors) , Chavez Regal (Mexican brand, use an accent you'll get it) Glenfiditch, 100 Pipers, Cutty Sark (Kennedy brand), Sir Malcolm, Glenlivet, Pinch, etc.. Think we can figure out a way to do this with out getting arrested?
04-16-2018, 11:07 AM   #12
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practice, practice, practice

you don't have to pay for developing

so experiment

and practice, practice, practice

and learn from the help the friendly folks here at the forums offer to all who ask

good luck

---------- Post added 04-16-18 at 13:11 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dipo 1 Quote
>. . . if you come by the house I'll buy you a beer. thanks
old joke

come by the house and watch the game, I've got beer

what type of beer do you have?

I have free beer

if you want something " better " bring enough to share

{ depending on your location, I might be willing to make a road trip for some Single Malt Scotch )
04-16-2018, 11:16 AM   #13
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To the beer drinkers out there usuall stuff. To Kerrowdown the whiskey thread is for you.
05-01-2018, 07:51 AM   #14
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OK have downloaded the articles suggested above and am reading them as much as I can, now for the rest of the story. So I have a wonderful new (to me) K5 and absolutely love it and am doing my best to learn how to use it. So I have purchased two lenses for it a SMC 50-200mm zoom 1:-5.8 and an 18-55mm SMC 1:30-5.8, and have an 85mm Takumar, 135mm Takumar, and a 50mm Vivatar the last three are for my old Spotmatic. The Takumars were purchased in the early 70s and are of the finest quality, and I purchased an adapter to be able to fit them to the K5, I know I'm ahead of my self a little but I have a question, took me long enough, on the older lenses is a lever/slide mech (?), that says auto and manual. In all I have read if and when I use them I assume the auto mode is the way I set the lens to be sure to use them correctly. The question is, do I open the diagram on the lens to max f stop or try to adjust it manually? As always thank you all for such a great site and all the help. Dipo

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