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04-10-2010, 11:38 PM   #1
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What Should I Have Done Different?

Both shot with K-x & FA 50 1.4 mounted on a tripod with SR turned off...



1/6 sec
F2
ISO 3200
AWB = 0



2nd attempt



0.6 sec
F2
IS) 3200
AWB

04-10-2010, 11:40 PM   #2
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100% crop of the first image

04-11-2010, 01:13 AM   #3
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Well, they're fairly blurry and a bit overexposed. Were you using a tripod? The flare from that light in them could have been avoided if you moved your camera over a little or had a hood on your lens. The first one definitely looks better, but it's definitely blurry too. Maybe turn SR on next time if it's windy outside (either your tripod wasn't very good or that's what it was).
04-11-2010, 02:12 AM   #4
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Did you use automatic shutter release of 2 or 12 seconds? If not maybe you have moved your tripod, because the second photo seems like blurry anyway.

Which point did you focus, the fawns or what?

04-11-2010, 02:24 AM   #5
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looks to me like it is out of focus. F2 leaves you with very narrow dof. where did you focus on?
also use self timer, that might be the reason for the blur.

if the deer isn't moving I'll try using smaller aperture and lower iso (though it has nothing to do with the blur) and slower shutter
04-11-2010, 05:23 AM   #6
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In the second one the exposure is way off. For shots like these it is best to out-think the camera. Meter from a single point and use AE-L to lock this in as you recompose. Which point? Whichever you want to look best. You will have to let others slide off into black or white when there is too much dynamic range in the shot. (Or bracket and use HDR but that is a different discussion.)

Or, simply, try some shots and dial in the EV compensation (negative in this case) to get the exposure correct, checking on the LCD as you go.

The next matter is the ISO, as Pablom says. Why are you using 3200 on a tripod? At ISO 400 you would have around 1 second exposure. Assuming the subject is not moving too much, that should be fine.

Nailing focus takes practice. I use manual in dark situations, and take three shots to focus bracket.
04-11-2010, 07:11 AM   #7
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Well to me they are both out of focus. It does not look like the tripod moved or anything, but to me it looks like your f stop was just to wide open for the shot. At f2 your DOF is very thin and if your focus point was off nothing would be in focus as it is here.
04-11-2010, 02:12 PM   #8
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This is a no brainer:

It was dark, and you used autofocus.

In low light situations like this, darkness at night, autofocus ain't gonna work.

04-11-2010, 04:00 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
This is a no brainer:

It was dark, and you used autofocus.

In low light situations like this, darkness at night, autofocus ain't gonna work.
You must be correct because I don't see anything in focus. I was thinking about getting a Katzeye but I'm a little hesitant to put more money into the K-x as I am considering the K-7. No doubt a tighter aperture would have helped, but I was afraid they'd move.
04-11-2010, 04:20 PM   #10
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I have tried magnifiers and different screens but I prefer manually focusing with the built-in parts, at least on the K100DS and K20D. It does take practice. It also helps to bracket a few shots. Get the exposure correct first and I think you will find it easier.

Also, better to have the subject move but have the street and background sharp than to have everything blurry.
04-11-2010, 04:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
You must be correct because I don't see anything in focus. I was thinking about getting a Katzeye but I'm a little hesitant to put more money into the K-x as I am considering the K-7. No doubt a tighter aperture would have helped, but I was afraid they'd move.

Katzeye is not going to help you in this situation. Neither is a K7. Set your WB to Tungsten or whatever the street light source is. Stop the lens down to about F4 and give yourself a stop of so of EV compensation. I don't know about the Kx, but I've yet to use the FA50 on a camera in AWB, in low light where it got AF right. You have to tell the camera what is there and what to do with it.

04-11-2010, 04:28 PM   #12
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I don't think that you can't use AF in these situations, but it might be a good idea to use the live view magnify before you take the photo to make sure that it is actually in focus.
04-11-2010, 07:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
You must be correct because I don't see anything in focus. I was thinking about getting a Katzeye but I'm a little hesitant to put more money into the K-x as I am considering the K-7. No doubt a tighter aperture would have helped, but I was afraid they'd move.
If you make a little noise, they'll freeze and try to figure out whether it's a threat. Too much noise and they'll leave, of course.

I think a Katzeye would work fine in this situation. It may not be necessary - other manual focus techniques work too. With the exceptional viewfinder brightness of an f1.4 lens, I find the Katzeye works OK in similar brightness conditions to these photos. The pillar on the right would be a perfect target for the split-prism, maybe focus a bit in front of that.

If the AF locked on something, you can usually see it in focus in the pictures. Doesn't the Pentax software allow you to see an overlay of the focus points and which one was used? I would look at that. The photo looks as you say soft all over, making me suspect camera movement. The shutter speed is high enough so a 2 second delay or even a bit more care in pressing the shutter button could fix this.
04-11-2010, 07:21 PM   #14
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Use the lens measurement (ft. or m.) marks (MF) as a guide and use a wider DOF.

Last edited by GerryL; 04-14-2010 at 11:09 AM.
04-13-2010, 03:11 PM   #15
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I agree that the autofocus might have messed up here, but it doesn't look that dark. I have used my K20D in conditions darker then this and the autofocus worked flawlessly.
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