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03-26-2010, 03:40 AM   #1
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Struggline with my FA50

I have mostly been using my camera of late to take pictures of my kid and other family members. I picked up a FA50 for its relative speed for indoor use. I have found that a lot of my shots really are hit and miss. Sometimes the subject is tact sharp and other times it won't be or if the light isn't just right they become blown out looking. I know it is all pretty much operator error by me not being positioned appropriately or the subject with the right light.. but with my little buddy, I just have to shoot and hope for the best.

Are there any settings you can pick out of the exif file that might help with consistently better shots with this lens?
Here i totally blew this one it looks all overexposed.

But even on this one it doesn't seem tact sharp. Granted its at f/2

03-26-2010, 03:50 AM   #2
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I think you may be struggling a little bit with depth of field issues. I think your second photo looks quite sharp, although of course at full size it may look a little soft. The top photo, you blew the highlights. Looks like you are using center weight metering. I personally use matrix metering and it tends to keep me from blowing highlights -- but will tend to give you darker exposures in general. You can always bring it up in post processing, but you can't really recapture blown highlights otherwise.

Kid photos are tough because they move so much. It is not so much that your shutter speed isn't fast enough as it is that you focus and then they move out of your focus plane and then you take your photo. You might experiment with AF.C depending on the situation.

Overall, I think you are doing well -- especially like the second photo. The eyes draw you in.
03-26-2010, 04:14 AM   #3
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Some ideas: both images seem to be sharply focused onto the eyes, which is fine. Bat at the short shooting distance, almost anything apart from the eyes is lying outside the very shallow depth of field.

The first pic has a blown own background, because the contrast between the bright background and the poorly lit face is way too high. So, in order to get a correctly exposed face, the background NEEDS to be way overexposed.

The easiest way to avoid that is to use fill flash. Even the humble built-in camera flash will serve that purpose nicely. In the flash-settings, you should lower the flash output (1EV or so), to preserve an overall natural look. Using fill flash allows for a shorter expsoure time or smaller apaerture (to increase depth of field) and would also bring down overall brightness, preventing the blown out background. The then underexposed face will be illuminated by the flash to the correct degree.

In my experience, fill flash works pretty well with Pentax.

03-26-2010, 10:31 AM   #4
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Thanks. I experimented with adjusting the flash down a bit and it seemed to help out on a couple of quick test shots.

03-26-2010, 07:29 PM   #5
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41ants: I really like the second shot. Beautiful child. I have been there and in some ways still am. Getting a child to sit still is difficult. Then you have to use good technique to not shake and then worry about exposure, etc. My miss rates with kids is awful. I agree with the others here. I have recently started using AF.C on a regular basis. I have a (bad) tendency to rock back in my heels or move ever so slightly front to back. This is especially bad when getting down to my children's level. Now with AF.C not only does the camera continue to refocus but I get the visual and auditory cues that I am not stationary. This makes me concentrate on technique. If you like to focus and recompose, then set your back AF button to cancel AF. Then when you lock focus, push/hold the AF button and recompose and shoot.

ps I like your Avatar...but we can't talk about it.
03-26-2010, 08:03 PM   #6
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As they said the Shallow DOF.

Try shooting at f/4

Here's a shot I took at f1/4 the nose is sharp anything far or closer from it is soft.


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