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05-04-2010, 08:31 AM   #16
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Thank you! In a word, yes, I guess there was, although the key component was to change the Camera Calibration settings in Lightroom. Otherwise it was pretty standard exposure, curves, color, and vignetting. I did have to burn away some parts of the bottom step and bits of the hallway at the edges.

05-04-2010, 08:54 AM   #17
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What a great photo, K McCall!

I have a K-x and also often change to centre weighted light metering. No results as spectacular as your though!

I do adjust ISO to help maintain fast(ish) handheld shutter speeds. I find the K-x is great to ISO1600.
05-04-2010, 09:11 AM   #18
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No matter what camera you're using, you have to match your chosen aperture to a shutter speed that will provide adequate lighting for your photo. You can do this with an external spot meter, but since all modern cameras are equipped with a light meter, your best bet is to use the camera body.

Open-aperture (a.k.a. when you're looking straight through the lens and don't have to stop the lens down) metering with the K-mount system started with the K1000. On this camera, you have to always manually set both the shutter speed and aperture. In your case, you'd be setting the aperture first, so then you'd need to adjust the aperture until the lighting were correct. This is indicated to you by the camera by an analog arrow within the viewfinder. Once the arrow reached the middle, you'd be good to shoot!



Now let's jump to the digital age, or how you'd likely be doing this.



Instead of using the arrow, you'd be using the digital light meter shown in item 10 above. (positioning varies slightly by camera body, K10D's viewfinder shown above). The green bar is centered in the middle is analogous to the K1000's arrow being centered.

Getting this light meter to activate for you might be the trick part. First off, make sure you set your camera to M mode (or, if you want the camera to automatically set the shutter speed for you and not have to worry about anything else, just use Av mode :P). If you're using an auto-aperture lens (A, F, FA, DA, DFA, FA J, DA L lenses), then you can simply adjust shutter speed and aperture on your camera using the scroll wheels. If not (for M, K, and screwmount lenses), then you FIRST have to set the desired aperture using the lens's aperture ring, THEN stop the lens down to meter (by pulling the on/off switch past 'on' so that it stays at the position indicated by the aperture icon and then adjusting the shutter speed so that the light meter is centered OR just hit the green button and the camera will adjust the value automatically). Also, make sure that in the menu, you've allowed the aperture ring to be in a position other than 'A'; this is a custom function.

Hope this help you and others out

Adam
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05-04-2010, 12:26 PM   #19
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just shoot in Av mode or Program

.....

QuoteOriginally posted by hockmasm Quote
is there a trick I am missing? I never know what shutter and aperture to start at.

Are you using Av or M mode? If just getting started out, consider using Av, or P mode. As mentioned, any mode can get you there. It may be that the dynamic range is too high for the sensor as also mentioned.

For example, if i want shallow DOF, i know use f5.6, but I don't know which shutter! My backgrounds blown out and i keep rolling the dial and taking a sample shot until it looks right. sometimes 5 shots!

is there a trick I am missing to get close to what I need instead of winging it?? like can i put it on P mode, check its stats, then start from there????

Why not just shoot the picture? Why change the mode?


do i make sense?


05-04-2010, 12:32 PM   #20
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.....


QuoteOriginally posted by K McCall Quote
I take shots like this all the time in Av Mode. The trick, it seems, is to change the camera's metering mode. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the K-X so I don't know where it is in the menu or if this is even possible, but my K100D and the K200D allows you to go into the menu and change what portion of the frame the camera meters off. Default settings seems to be set to the entire frame; I always change it to spot metering so that it takes only a small circle into account. I also changed the custom settings so that auto-exposure is always linked to the autofocus point (because these cameras allow you to choose different points to focus, which I believe the K-X does not allow).

I wonder if it is different on the Kx00 series. On my K10D linking the AE and AF point is a feature only when shooting in the Matrix mode. But as you implied works well to weight exposure on the focus point.

Here's an example of a picture I took in Av Mode that would have been ruined had I chose to allow the camera to use the entire frame for its metering:



Awesome shot....<bowing> Add this to PPG!
...
05-04-2010, 12:40 PM   #21
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Very nice photo, Keitha!
05-04-2010, 12:45 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by hockmasm Quote
so am i doing what others do? focus on the subject, set my aperture take a test shot with green button, if subject to dark, start slowing shutter.

rinse and repeat?
Yes, that will get you there. If you read pretty much any basic book on photography - your local library or bookstore probably has dozens - it will suggest ways of guessing ahead of time when you'll need to adjust. Basically, the camera will try to make thing come out "average" in brightness. So if your scene is darker than average, you'll need to underexpose in order to get it to come out as dark as it appears. And if your scene is brighter than average, you'll to overexpose to get it come out as bright as it appears.

No need to switch to manual mode to do any of this, BTW - you can just apply exposure compensation in Av mode to get the camera to change shutter speed. Again, pretty much any basic beginning on photography explains all of this and more.

As far as knowing exactly what shutter speed to use with each aperture, that's going to depend on the light. With experience, yes, you can sort of learn to predict this. Like knowing that in typical indoor settings lit by ordinary household lighting, somewhere around f/2.8 and 1/30" at ISO 1600 will be about right, or outdoors on a sunny day, f/8, and 1/250" at ISO 100 will be close. Any basic beginning book on photography will likely explain the "Sunny 16" rule and variants that can be used to give you a guess for certain situations. But they're really only relevant if you shoot M mode, and as I said, there's really no reason for you do that. Av and exposure compensation is all you really need.
05-04-2010, 12:57 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by hockmasm Quote
is there a trick I am missing? I never know what shutter and aperture to start at.

For example, if i want shallow DOF, i know use f5.6, but I don't know which shutter! My backgrounds blown out and i keep rolling the dial and taking a sample shot until it looks right. sometimes 5 shots!

is there a trick I am missing to get close to what I need instead of winging it?? like can i put it on P mode, check its stats, then start from there????

The first question is, which exposure mode do you need or want to use?

If you have a K10D/K20D or K-7 with hyperprogram (P), then things are relatively easy. Use P mode. From there you can switch to effective Av or effective Tv simply by moving either the rear or front e-dial, respectively. If you don't like P mode for some reason, or don't have one of those cameras, then you have to decide on Av, Tv or M mode.

Choosing between Av and Tv is pretty simple. If you want to set the shutter (say, because you are shooting sports), and let the camera figure out the aperture, use Tv. If you want to set the aperture (say, to control depth of field), then use Av.

Of course if you use P, Av or Tv, you may also need to think about exposure compensation using the +/- button. If the scene is brightly backlit, or you're shooting snow or something like that, you might need to dial in +1 EC or something like that.

If you prefer to use M mode, things work basically the same way. You set whichever parameter you care more about first (shutter or aperture), then move the e-dial for the other parameter until the meter is where you like. Meter mark doesn't have to end up dead in the center in M mode! If you are shooting snow in M, instead of dialing in EC, you let the meter indicate an exposure of +1 (or whatever works). It's just a different way of thinking about things.

*

You said, if you want shallow depth of field, you use f/5.6. I'm curious what you're thinking about. If you want the shallowest depth of field possible, you can do at least two things:
  • Use the widest aperture your lens has for your selected focal length. If you can go to f/3.5 or even better f/2.8, do so.
  • Either zoom in on the subject and/or move closer. For a given distance between camera and focal plane and a given aperture, the longer focal length will have less depth of field. For a given focal length and aperture, being closer to the focal plane will give you less depth of field. So, if you want to blur your background, GET CLOSER, either by moving closer and/or by zooming in tighter.

*

My guess is that more photographers use Av than Tv, at least outside of the world of sports photography. Unless you're shooting sports, it's a good idea to learn how to control depth of field, and you can do that by shooting in Av—or by shooting in M and setting your aperture first. If you want to learn how to calculate exact depth of field values, you can consult an online app like this one:

Online Depth of Field Calculator

I have a depth of field app on my cell phone that I use if I really need precise info, which isn't all that often.

Will

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