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03-31-2010, 06:25 PM   #1
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Tips and Tricks for *ist DL

Hello. I am new here. I have had my *ist DL for a few years now. I would like to eventually get a K20D however I don't have the money. So in the meantime I would be very interested in any tips and trick fellow *ist DL users have to take great photos with this particular camera. Also any suggestions on must have accessories for this camera would be great. I am sure other *ist DL users would appreciate this thread also as this particular camera doesn't have much info on it out there (only reviews).

Thanks everyone.

03-31-2010, 08:50 PM   #2
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Make sure the firmware is version 1.03 if you want to use SDHC cards. You can check your current firmware version by turning the camera on while holding down the MENU button. Go here and choose the DL to get the firmware.

In the Custom Setting menu, turn on the "FI with S lens" option and the "Using aperture ring" setting, so using old lenses works. I went through the section of the manual describing each setting, and if I changed it I marked the default, then what setting I chose. That way it's easier to restore my settings if I need to.

This accessory is an inexpensive viewfinder magnifier. It makes up for the pentamirror's reduced magnification. You'll need to clean the sensor every once in a while because the camera doesn't do it for you, so a Rocket Blower is handy. Remotes, either wired or IR, are cheap and handy for some operations. After those accessories, I would buy lenses instead of accessories.

Reviews probably say something about soft JPGs. If you shoot RAW, it doesn't matter. If you use JPG, take some time to adjust the camera settings to make sure you like the output. I would also experiment with the ISO settings in advance and find out how high you can set it and still be comfortable with the noise level. I have used 3200 for two photos, 1600 if I really have to and mostly stop at 800. My brother keeps his DL set on 1600 almost all the time but typically downsizes images for web use.

Lithium AAs will give you a noticeable increase in AF speed, weigh half as much as NiMH and are good to have on hand for emergency backups. Battery contacts should be nice and shiny. I use Class 6 cards but the camera is pretty slow with cards. I just figure, why slow it down any more.

The sensor is pretty sensitive to infrared. You can get a Hoya R72 filter for the kit lens and take some interesting shots that way.

I've printed a couple of photos at 20"x30" and they look great. The 6 Mp sensor is really very good. You should concentrate on getting framing right in the shot, because you don't have a lot of pixels for cropping or manipulating. I never liked defishing even the mild fisheye effects from the Zenitar because of the low pixel count.
04-13-2010, 09:57 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for your advice. I have been trying to use only manual option with my camera lately after reading advice on a photography website. It is hard because I never know what shutter speed to use with my apature as it doesnt have a light meter like the pentax SLRs have. I miss that light meter.
04-14-2010, 05:03 AM   #4
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Hi Jekka May
I have a DS. It is very similar to DL; yours is a little lighter and has a couple of minor differences. Keep the ISO setting towards the lower end; I shoot 95% of the time on 200 or 400. (I began on film rated at 32, can you believe it?) I always shoot in RAW and convert the JPEG in Photoshop Elements (which is one of the cheaper post processing computer programs, but very adequate for us amateurs - Picasa which is a free download from Google can do some of it but not as well. It is worth a try for a newbie for a while). That allows lots of minor adjustments to improve image quality which would not be possible if shot as JPEG's initially. It is more time consuming but very satisfying. The PEF files are very much bigger, maybe four times the size of JPEG's. It's all manageable by deleting unwanted files and storing PEF's on DVD (if you want to keep them as you would negatives in the old days) after the JPEG's have been produced.
The shutter speed should show in the viewfinder in the bar at the bottom along with aperture and other useful info.
Be happy with your DL. It is not Rolls Royce, but it is a good reliable and serviceable camera.

04-14-2010, 05:32 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jekka_May Quote
Thanks so much for your advice. I have been trying to use only manual option with my camera lately after reading advice on a photography website. It is hard because I never know what shutter speed to use with my apature as it doesnt have a light meter like the pentax SLRs have. I miss that light meter.
The DL has a light meter if you use the camera correctly. If you set the camera to Av mode and choose the aperature you want, the camera will set the shutter speed. This is the same as having a light meter and changing the shutter speed until the meter reading is correct. The Tv mode does the same thing when you want to control the shutter speed and have the light meter/camera tell you the correct aperature setting. No need for guessing in full manual. The only time I use manual is when using an external flash.

Tim
04-14-2010, 11:47 AM   #6
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You might not *recognize* the light meter because it might look different than you are used to. Instead of, for example, a needle that moves p and down, it reads using numbers - positive numbers showing overexposure, negative showing underexposure. Just like with film cameras, the meter is only really relevant in M mode - in the auto modes, the meter would always read 0, since the camera in picking the exposure for you to make it read 0 (unless you dial in exposure compensation). The meter display turns off to save batteries after a given length of time (and there is an option in the camera to control that). You can re-display the meter by half-pressing the shutter. With manual aperture lenses - ones that require you to set aperture using the ring rather than with the camera - the camera doens't know the aperture and can't display a reading utnil you do an (optical) DOF preview to stop down the lens. The meter will display for as long as you do the preview.
04-15-2010, 12:50 AM   #7
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Wasn't there some kind of CDHK hack for the *ist DL that for some reason didn't work on the *ist DS? I don't remember exactly what it was, but I wanted to get it, but ended up getting rid of my camera.

I never really found any tips for my *ist DS when I had it, too bad I didn't find this thread until now.
04-15-2010, 08:54 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
Wasn't there some kind of CDHK hack for the *ist DL that for some reason didn't work on the *ist DS? I don't remember exactly what it was, but I wanted to get it, but ended up getting rid of my camera.

I never really found any tips for my *ist DS when I had it, too bad I didn't find this thread until now.
This reminded me of a bunch of DS/DL tips that was known as The Racehorse List

Tim

04-15-2010, 08:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Just like with film cameras, the meter is only really relevant in M mode - in the auto modes, the meter would always read 0, since the camera in picking the exposure for you to make it read 0 (unless you dial in exposure compensation).
I always use the auto mode (Av or Tv) and use exposure compensation. I never thought about the maual mode also acting as a light meter. Great feedback Marc.

Tim
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