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12-23-2009, 08:10 AM   #1
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Pics from My Manual test and Question(s) for future shots

First....some pics from my auto focus 18-55 kit lens. Never shooting an slr before, I might have well been holding a bazooka in my hands. I couldn't get any sharpness and was getting frustrated for droping 650 bucks on a kit.
a quick caveat, i was only looking for clear pics, not award winning photography. this was only to see how the camera works.
some high quality stuff here


when you take a photo class they probably say something like....
"make sure you get your feet out of the shot"

my first attempt at AV mode thinking i new what i was doing with my new bad ass camera.

someone else using my camera thinking they could take a good pic..

what i didn't like about the lens (pics above) was that i needed my flash to get a brighter picture. the problem was that i wanted to capture the light of the room not the flash. i'll work on that.
meanwhile, back at work....i went to the sticky at the top of the page on manual lenses and put on my A 50mm f1.4. the 20 year old lens that i picked up from my grandfather and the lens i thought would be total garbage. but low and behold...i was able to get some shots indoors with the lights off in the classroom, without a flash and still get some sort of sharpness (i think) so i spent the rest of the afternoon walking around my lab taking pics of some students. personally i think these look much better. but this is coming from a newb mindset.




what i was starting to notice (and this is where i need some suggestions) was that this 50mm lens was great at taking close ups in low light but when i wanted more dof, it blurred. i was shooting it in P mode with the aperture ring set to A. here is an example

even with a shot like this, i'd like to have the kids in the back of the room in focus

so is it possible to get the entire shot in focus when standing relatively close to the object with this manual lens?


i'm not expecting all the questions to be anwered as there;s a lot in there. just a tip or two would be appreciated and maybe others in here can learn from my frustrations.


Last edited by Deiberson; 12-23-2009 at 08:35 AM.
12-23-2009, 09:32 AM   #2
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Taking photos of people is hard, and you actually have some pretty good portraits here, especially with the 50/1.4. You're a lucky SOB to get a free A 50mm 1.4 from your grandfather!

I guess you used pretty low ISO on all of these? When using a flash, if you set a higher ISO, more ambient light gets recorded in the photo. The same solution for getting a higher depth of field. Setting a higher ISO will enable you to set a smaller aperture, which will allow for more depth of field.
12-23-2009, 09:43 AM   #3
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i have no idea what the iso was set to. is there a way i can check from my menu? i know it tells me the aperture and shutter speed when i look back at the photos, but i didn't see another number for iso.
12-23-2009, 09:59 AM   #4
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Just a few general thoughts. SLRs in general are more difficult to use than point and shoots (P&S). There are many reasons, the sensor is larger, thus you have depth of field issues, of which you discovered and used to your advantage in image #6 & 7 along with the second to the last. So, right off the bat, you are not doing bad at all. Most find their picture quality goes down a lot with their first use of an SLR. With a P&S, its designed so that just about everything is in focus - not so with an SLR. Everything is user adjustable, and its getting everything right for the particular situation that makes the picture.

The other thing that I have found is that taking a few pictures and then loading them to the PC is a wonderful self teaching tool. What you did and didn't do is fresh in your mind, and you get instant feed back on what worked and what didn't.

On your ISO question. It is the equivalent of film speed, ie the higher the number the more sensitive the sensor is set to, and the less light is required for the image. Now the down side is that the higher the number, the more noise is generated in the image because the sensor is so sensitive. There is noise reduction software that (and some of it is free) that will remove the noise to a large extent. What noise looks like is the "graininess" in the image - especially in the shadows.

To check on the ISO, push the last picture button and then the "info" button several times. The info button rotates across 3 different displays showing various amounts of information. The ISO value is also shown in the viewfinder. The lower the ISO number the higher the image quality - but the more light is required to take the picture.

... and then there are the folks on the board to help!!

12-23-2009, 10:29 AM   #5
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after checking the info button on the photo's (thanks io) the iso was set to 800 for all the photo's. again, this was just using the P mode where it set it automatically. since i can't go back in time...and after seeing the results (manual focus picks only), should i have maybe adjusted the iso?
12-23-2009, 10:53 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by deiberson Quote
after checking the info button on the photo's (thanks io) the iso was set to 800 for all the photo's. again, this was just using the P mode where it set it automatically. since i can't go back in time...and after seeing the results (manual focus picks only), should i have maybe adjusted the iso?
Going back in your posts, I see that you have a KX. The KX is gaining a very good following for high ISO (up to something like 12,000). I think that 800 over all is pretty good, and your images came out quite well. With the KX, I would be very tempted to up to 1600 and possibly 3200. Every time you double the ISO, you can half your shutter speed. What this provides you is the ability to better freeze the image. Take a look at image #4. Wonderful image, and if the shutter was a bit faster it may not have been as blurred, and possibly the focus was a bit off, but overall, its a wonderful picture - especially starting out. I am thinking that if you were using autofocus, the focus would be have been perfect.

I have a K100 and a K20, and know very little about the KX other than how to spell it. But I think that you may be able to adjust the automatic range up from where it is currently set (and I really do not know). Try the Fn button and then the right arrow to set or adjust the ISO (that works on both of my bodies).

Just remember that there is a large learning curve with the SLRs, as compared to the P&Ss....
12-23-2009, 10:54 AM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
even with a shot like this, i'd like to have the kids in the back of the room in focus
I remember when I used to say stuff like that
... That was a long time ago(10+ yrs) btw

If you stick this out, I suspect you will come full circle as well.
Cramming everything in focus with people is often seen as counterproductive.

But don't just take my word for it
Grab a 28mm lens, push your aperture out to around f/11 and see for yourself.

Last edited by JohnBee; 12-23-2009 at 10:59 AM.
12-23-2009, 11:08 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
even with a shot like this, i'd like to have the kids in the back of the room in focus
Welcome to the field of optical physics! Depth of Field is based on optics and when you are at the lower end of the aperture (f1.x) it gets tough. In order to have everything in focus (or at least a lot more), you need to stop down (go to higher f numbers) - however that requires more light, or a very high ISO speed (thus producing the potential of additional noise in the image). It is all a very vicious circle - similar to "whack a mole", push them down here and they pop up else where. Here are a couple of web sites that may help...

Online Depth of Field Calculator

Aperture, shutter and ISO value | Camera Simulator

http://www.instantfundas.com/2009/08/camera-simulator-explains-relationship.html


Last edited by interested_observer; 12-23-2009 at 11:34 AM.
12-23-2009, 11:51 AM   #9
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i was on that camera simulator yesterday and again today. one thing that i noticed (that i haven't noticed on my camera) is that it seems the light meter at the bottom of the photo tells you if you need more light or not. if you do, it looks like you can then open your aperture, or raise the iso or slow the shutter down. the picture then comes into focus with what appears to be the right exposure. is is that simple in the field and can i use the light meter to my benefit in p mode on my k-x? right now, it just looks like my light meter stays put in the center no matter what i do.
and if i'm on the right track, once i get control of the exposure and light meter, i can then use aperture to control DOF rather than to control just the light?

i'll get a book this weekend. thanks again for the help with the questions.

edit...after looking back at the manual, i guess i meant ev bar not meter bar.

Last edited by Deiberson; 12-23-2009 at 12:29 PM.
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