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09-30-2009, 06:43 PM   #16
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I'm not going to comment on the two yard shots. Shots like these are really hard to get right with any camera. They're kind of boring scenes for one thing. I suspect that you didn't have the camera properly focused, or didn't have enough depth of field for those shots. But anyway, I don't want to talk about them.

Now, about that first shot: Honestly, I don't think it's too bad as it is. You said it's not processed. I suspect that if you adjusted the black point (i.e. make the blackest blacks nice and black), bring down the highlights a bit, and increase midtone contrast you'd have a nice photo. A little output sharpening might help too.

OK, that's my non-critical approach. If I wanted to critique the capture, I'd say that perhaps you should have shot at f/8 and doubled the shutter speed from 1/90th sec to 1/180th sec. From that distance I'd expect f/8 to provide adequate depth of field, and twice as fast a shutter speed would probably give a sharper picture. OR you could have decreased the ISO to 400 and kept the shutter. OR you could have tried full matrix metering instead of spot metering. Without seeing the raw file I can't tell for sure but it looks like you might have blown out the sky.

I have the *ist DS. It's a nice little camera. I don't use it a lot since I do most of my work on the K10D/K20D and I prefer to work with 2 e-dials. But I've taken a number of pretty good shots with the *ist DS.

I don't think you're expecting too much. The *ist DS can deliver. But you may need to work more with it to learn how to get the best results. But I suggest that you give yourself some easier exposure challenges!


10-01-2009, 02:51 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildlifephotog Quote
Well I've been using two DS's for over two years. I have never had a problem with jpegs.
I've shot everything from astro to macro. I will say, that the exposure has to be accurate. The " A ' setting is not infallible, It pays to get to know the quirks of the metering system.
Here are two of my jpegs. Just a touch of sharpening, and a tad contrast.

What lens did you use for the close up of the moon?I would love to get in that close with so much detail.Brilliant!
10-02-2009, 08:37 AM   #18
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I used a 8" F6 dobson homemade scope. It is 1200mm focal length.

Thank you.
10-03-2009, 05:12 AM   #19
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One or two people have commented on learning how to get the best out of the camera. I wonder if anyone can comment on -

Pentax *ist DS Review Samples Gallery: Digital Photography Review

as I think this individual is doing something that I'm not doing.

10-06-2009, 04:52 AM   #20
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Definitely knows her camera. Very nice color and sharpness. I'd bet she doesn't tweak in camera. I have found they work better with neutral settings.

I now have three DS's, and they all take the same great photos. I have twice won awards in a nature contest with shots from my first two, 16X20. I have very little skill in PS. I stick with the same sharpening and contrast adjustment for all three cameras. So it's not PS, but the cameras that are doing the job.
I'm sure someone will point out a different experience.
10-06-2009, 05:15 AM   #21
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We might contradict each other to some degree and I'm not a fan of shooting in Jpeg. Some like it and can suggest better Jpeg settings in the camera than I can. But I would leave most of the settings at default if I shot Jpegs. Then I'd add a touch of contrast and sharpening (+1 each)

Looking at the samples in the link I see a couple of things:
1) Faster shutter speeds which will greatly help eliminate shake and blur from hand held shots.
2) Low ISO's giving finer detail
3) smaller apertures like f10 to ensure a larger depth of field.
4) Shot in RAW. IMO forget Jpegs. They are a much weaker format especially if you are going to post process the shots.
5) Processed shots. The RAW versions were processed in Adobe Camera RAW and certainly some sharpening techniques were used. Particularly a contrast adjustment. The Human eye/brain sees a deeper contrast image as sharper even if it is not.

If you want to get better results (I've owned this camera and used it as my backup for wedding work). I would suggest first to start shooting in RAW and learning how to do some basic post processing of your images. At least the most important ones for you. Second I'd look at a better lens. There are a number of very good lenses in the wide to mid length zoom range that will make a huge difference in the results. Finally for maximum sharpness, shoot a smaller apertures but to a point. You will see little benefit past f8 or so from most lenses and actually diffraction effects beyond f16 with even some of the most expensive lenses available.
10-06-2009, 07:58 AM   #22
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10-06-2009, 12:01 PM   #23
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If good lenses are not available then Post Processing rules!
You can even make a lifeless photo jump out with color and saturation..just make sure you haven't overexposed as you won't be able to recover the details with any kind of software.
It is better to underexpose than to overexpose.
10-06-2009, 12:13 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
If good lenses are not available then Post Processing rules!
At least if you shoot raw, post-processing is inevitable, no matter how good your lenses may be.

It is better to underexpose than to overexpose.
It is even better to get the exposure exactly right. :-)

Seriously, I don't think it's right to say that it's better to underexpose than to overexpose. It depends on what part of the photo is being under- or over-exposed. AGain if you shoot raw, then ETTR (expose to the right - i.e. in the direction of over-exposure) is more or less a scientific necessity. It's better to have a histogram that looks like this


than like this


although the latter one (in which the mountain peak is left of the center of the graph) might look better at first glance.

Best thing: push exposure to the right but don't blow SIGNIFICANT highlights. Remember: not all highlights are significant.

10-07-2009, 12:38 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
image 2 looks way better than image 3. the rose saturation aside (not sure i can comment nor necessarily see the issue), there is so much moe detail in #2, particularly when you compare the chicken wire grid and the blades of grass which are nonexistent in the P&S camera. #3 is way over saturated, IMO.

Good points, I hadnít noticed this at first view.

Besides, the building is completely blown out, from the P&S. Ad there just arenít the same detail level in the bushes

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
#1 - i didnt look up the EXIF here but the other poster said ISO800 which is pretty high for that camera. Also as Marc asked, were you auto or manually focusing on the website address in particular, or some other part of the scene. the whites look blown out in general so it is conceivable that the white surrounding the lettering has blown a bit too reducing perceived sharpness. also, you caught so much of the foreground in focus, i wonder what aperture you were using and if the ship details were falling just outside your DOF.

Also, I was once a big fan of the DA 18-55 series one...until the moment i tried just about any other lens. I owned 2 copies of it and personally i think that could be the limiting factor in your IQ. still, these results are not bad at all and i dont think there is any problem with the camera based on what youve shown us.
good luck!

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