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12-08-2009, 08:16 PM   #1
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new to k-x and slr

Hi all,

Just joined today. got my k-x for about a week now. been reading books and different sites on "how-to" regarding photography. I had a borrowed nikon d40. love that camera but hard to find one used in decent shap/price. decided to jump ship to pentax mainly due to SR in body feature. with the d40, hard to get "clear" pics due to poor technique in my non-VR kit lens.

I have a few questions that I can't seem to find in search.

while in Av mode, i understand that when controlling aperture, the shutter speed will change to compensate metering. that is working fine. but, when i pop the flash, it is always stuck in 1/50 no matter what my Av is set at. is this right?

because of SR, I would like/am going to venture into manual lens (partially because of price) when I shoot non-moving subjects, my eyes aren't the best, i would like to rely on the green hex to tell me that i am in focus. i read conflicting posts regarding whether this would work on modern bodies with old lens such as the takumars.

can some one please confirm this? i know that the adapter ring does not have any type of connection to the body.

btw, i like the camera a lot. takes good pics (hides lots of mistakes) just like the d40; even for total newb like my self. but, i must say, the lack of focus assist beam as well as focus points etche on the view finder takes some getting use to.

also, my "new" camera came with 72 actuations. is that normal for a new k-x?

thanks for the help.

-s2f

12-09-2009, 10:59 AM   #2
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Marc Sabatella's Avatar

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Welcome!

QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
while in Av mode, i understand that when controlling aperture, the shutter speed will change to compensate metering. that is working fine. but, when i pop the flash, it is always stuck in 1/50 no matter what my Av is set at. is this right?
Yes. That's because the shutter speed is mostly irrelevant in flash photography - the flash itself only lasts a tiny fraction of a second, so leaving the shutter open longer doesn't have much effect on exposure. The camera control how much flash to use - if you make the aperture smaller (larger f-number), then it makes the flash more powerful and/or leaves it on longer.

Actually, the camera doesn't *always* use 1/50" - it normally chooses a shutter speed based on the focal length of the lens.

QuoteQuote:
I would like/am going to venture into manual lens (partially because of price)
Note when using a *completely* manual lens, what I said above goes out the window - the camera can't do any of that clever flash control, and instead always fires the flash at full power. So it becomes up to you to choose the right aperture to get the exposure you want. For this reason, if you intend to use flash, you're much btter off paying a little extra for an "A" series lens - still manual focus, but it supports exposure and flash automation.

QuoteQuote:
when I shoot non-moving subjects, my eyes aren't the best, i would like to rely on the green hex to tell me that i am in focus. i read conflicting posts regarding whether this would work on modern bodies with old lens such as the takumars.
Where have you read that it doesn't work? It should work with any lens that can be physically mounted (you might need to set a custom option to get it to work with screw mount lenses like most Takumars).

On the other hand, while it does work, it really isn't all that useful, in my experience. The hexagon lags just enough that unless you turn the ring very slowly, you'll probably go right past the point where it's in focus. Plus the AF sensor is pretty large, so you can't be sure exactly what it is saying is in focus - something near the center of the frame, but could be an eye, could be a nose. I'm not saying it can't come in handy every once in a while, but it's really no substitute for practicing MF using your eyes. An O-ME53 viewfinder magnifier makes small but noticeable difference. And of course, be sure to adjust the diopter.

QuoteQuote:
also, my "new" camera came with 72 actuations. is that normal for a new k-x?
No, it's pretty low. Most new cameras start out with a couple hundred or so.
thanks for the help. Depends on how much testing it got in the factory.
12-09-2009, 11:14 AM   #3
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Welcome! The K-x is quite nice!

Shutter speed is mostly irrelevant in flash when flash is the main/only source of lighting. But when you are using flash to compliment other lighting, shutter speed becomes quite important for balancing available light.

It's quite annoying that the pop-up flash only fires at full power with a manual lens (although there is a foil mod you can do apparently to fix that), but the pop-up flash is pretty limiting, unless you use a reflector to bounce or a diffuser, both which can be made easily. ( https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-photography-techniques-styles/786...-up-flash.html and https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/everything-else/4004-fuji-film-canister-diffuser.html )

If you don't want to spend much and want a great semi-automatic flash that can bounce/swivel, check out the AF280T, which can go for around $30 on ebay.

Green hex works fine for me but as with autofocus, is slow to work in low light. A magnifier will help such as the O-ME53 or a 1.35x (labeled as 1.3x) on ebay which I find works better if you get an eye-ring attachment with it (usually comes with eye-cup only). In addition, if you really want to focus on MF, an aftermarket split-image focus screen is much more handy, though you will have to open up your camera for it.
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