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06-24-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
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K-X and Pentax Utility 4 Problems

Hi there!

I am new to Pentax and to the forum. I recently bought a Pentax Black K-X and I am not having much success with it.

I am a former Olympus user, specifically the E420 and I bought the K-X based on tons of positive reviews. I considered it an upgrade from the E420 due to the better processor, image stabalization video ability and so on.

I am finding it very difficult to get sharp images with this camera. When I do get them they're amazing but they seem few and far between.

I generally shoot full manual however I've tried a variety of modes, metering settings, and AF focus settings. It seems to be very hit or miss and regretably it's mostly miss.

I am using the kit lens 18 55 mm as its all I have a the moment and at this point unless I sort it out (and it could just be the user) I am not interested in purchasing other lenses.

I do seem to think that this lens has a rather narrow depth of field. The Olympus 4/3 rds lenses may be more forgiving??

The other issue that I am having is that the utility software that came with the camera no longer works.

I've reinstalled it to no avail. It worked after the first install and I played around with it for a while. It seemed pretty interesting. I shut down the PC and when I booted back up the next day it wouldn't work.

Interestinly I have installed this on two PC's and had the exact problem on each.

I know there are many experienced users here and I realise that I have much to learn.

Insight and advise are greatly appreciated

THANKS!!

Lucas

06-24-2010, 08:07 PM   #2
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Lens upgrade

Ive had a kx for about 6 mths. Personally, I never got any really good shots with the kit lenses. So, I bought a Pentax 12-24 wide angle, Pentax 50 mm 1.4 and a Tamron 17-70 and I am getting incredible pics out of the KX now. I love it.
06-25-2010, 05:02 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I'm a little reluctant to invest more money at this time. I think I'll head to a few camera shops with the camera and see what they say. Maybe I can try some of these lenses you're suggesting

Cheers!!
06-25-2010, 10:23 AM   #4
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Re the camera: while better lenses are always nice , the K-x kit lens is a good piece of glass that is indeed capable of taking sharp photos. There are plenty of examples on this site and on flickr of people using the lens to obtain sharp images.

Improving sharpness is about working with focus, improving the resolution of the shot, and avoiding blur induced by lens/camera/subject movement.

I guess the best single tip to boost sharpness is to avoid shooting wide open and to stop the lens aperture down a stop or two when shooting, unless you really need to shoot wide open. This will help get the maximum resolution out of the kit lens (or any lens) and improve the depth of field you are likely to achieve. Both of which will help improve your likelihood of getting a good focus result, and improve sharpness. Also don't use any UV or 'protection filters' on the lens - they degrade image quality.

The narrow depth of field issue you raise is probably right. The larger the sensor, for the same focal length and aperture, the narrower the depth of field. Small compact cameras with tiny sensors can get huge depth of field, but as you move up the scale eg via 4/3rds and APS-C to full-frame and beyond depth of field narrows. This has it's plusses and minuses but you can still work with it.
Worth a read on this subject:
Digital Camera Sensor Sizes: How it Influences Your Photography

Avoiding blur is the next big issue. Even with the best lens in the world, blur ruins sharpness. The camera SR can help reduce blur, but only under a limited range of scenarios and within limits. Choosing the right shutter speed for the subject, using the right camera technique (eg panning), using a tripod for critical shots, learning to hold the camera steadier through more practice etc.

Re the DCU problems, have you downloaded the most recent version off the Pentax site? That's worth a try. There are also quite a few threads in the software area of this forum about installation problems people have had with it. You might find an answer there.

06-25-2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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Hi Rawr,

Thanks for the great response.

I was able to fix the DCU problems. I posted the fix in another thread related to that topic. Turns out that closing the program with photos checked is what causes the issue. I spoke to Pentax about this.

Simply saving your photos to a new folder and deleting the orignal folder and its contents will rectify the issue provided you don't name the new folder Pentax. Also don't close the program with any photos checked or the problem will repeat.

All is good with regards to the Utility and I have upgraded to version 4.11. I just need to learn to use it now It looks like many of the filetering affects are only available to images shot in RAW.

I'm going to read your recommended article and I have some basic understanding of shutter speed, aperature etc...though it is basic and I definatley need to learn more which is why I'm here I was able to comfortably shoot full manual on my E420. I am also reading "understanding expossure" the second edition. It was highly recomended and I see why.

You are so right about the filters as well. Even the UV filter that I have causes some lighting anomolies that I can't explain.

I will continue to play with the camera and hopefully the shots will be good but i do find it a lot more hit or miss than my E420. It seems I could nail my shots every time on that camera.

Perhaps I'll post some shots with my settings and get some feedback from experienced users such as yourself on how to get better results.

Thanks again!

Happy Shooting!!
06-25-2010, 01:15 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lucas Quote
Hi Rawr,

Thanks for the great response.

I was able to fix the DCU problems. I posted the fix in another thread related to that topic. Turns out that closing the program with photos checked is what causes the issue. I spoke to Pentax about this.

Simply saving your photos to a new folder and deleting the orignal folder and its contents will rectify the issue provided you don't name the new folder Pentax. Also don't close the program with any photos checked or the problem will repeat.

All is good with regards to the Utility and I have upgraded to version 4.11. I just need to learn to use it now It looks like many of the filetering affects are only available to images shot in RAW.

I'm going to read your recommended article and I have some basic understanding of shutter speed, aperature etc...though it is basic and I definatley need to learn more which is why I'm here I was able to comfortably shoot full manual on my E420. I am also reading "understanding expossure" the second edition. It was highly recomended and I see why.

You are so right about the filters as well. Even the UV filter that I have causes some lighting anomolies that I can't explain.

I will continue to play with the camera and hopefully the shots will be good but i do find it a lot more hit or miss than my E420. It seems I could nail my shots every time on that camera.

Perhaps I'll post some shots with my settings and get some feedback from experienced users such as yourself on how to get better results.

Thanks again!

Happy Shooting!!
I'm going to bookmark this thread:

I (USED TO) work on a PC in the office, and that program is FUNKY! Not stable at all. But I like the interface.

At home on my really old Mac, it runs too slow.
06-25-2010, 02:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Re the camera: while better lenses are always nice , the K-x kit lens is a good piece of glass that is indeed capable of taking sharp photos. There are plenty of examples on this site and on flickr of people using the lens to obtain sharp images.
This is a very balanced and fair comment - the kit lenses may not be the "best in the world" - but they are far from unacceptable - in fact the Pentax kit lenses are some of the best kit lenses available.

I only have the two humble (and much poo-poohed) kit zooms the 18-55 (Mk 1 at that) and 50-200 and I really like the results I get with both my previous K100D, and currently with the K-x -
I use the 18-55mm more, because it is versatile for my usage.

It's all so easy to blame the tools -
but I know for certain that any bad results I get
has to be the person behind the camera ie: me.

Please check out this thread:

Kx in Use

There are plenty of shots with the 18-55mm
and some in what I consider almost ludicrously low light -
which stretches the capabilities of both the K-x and the 18-55mm lens.
(eg: all shots in Post #59 are on the 18-55mm Mk 1 kit zoom)

Also please look at Post #11 for reviews and test results on the kit zooms.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 06-25-2010 at 02:33 PM.
06-25-2010, 03:39 PM   #8
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Ooops, Sorry, wrong thread!

I was trying to Post #60 in Kx in Use

Check out plenty of photos at ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4sec at 18mm
on the humble 18-55mm kit zoom


Last edited by UnknownVT; 06-25-2010 at 03:51 PM. Reason: wrong thread!
06-25-2010, 07:55 PM   #9
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I checked out the pics.....great shots!

I 'm spending more time with the camera and more time with my book and I'm quickly realizing that its the operator not the gear
06-25-2010, 08:14 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lucas Quote
Hi there!

I am new to Pentax and to the forum. I recently bought a Pentax Black K-X and I am not having much success with it.

I am a former Olympus user, specifically the E420 and I bought the K-X based on tons of positive reviews. I considered it an upgrade from the E420 due to the better processor, image stabalization video ability and so on.

I am finding it very difficult to get sharp images with this camera. When I do get them they're amazing but they seem few and far between.

I generally shoot full manual however I've tried a variety of modes, metering settings, and AF focus settings. It seems to be very hit or miss and regretably it's mostly miss.

I am using the kit lens 18 55 mm as its all I have a the moment and at this point unless I sort it out (and it could just be the user) I am not interested in purchasing other lenses.

I do seem to think that this lens has a rather narrow depth of field. The Olympus 4/3 rds lenses may be more forgiving??

The other issue that I am having is that the utility software that came with the camera no longer works.

I've reinstalled it to no avail. It worked after the first install and I played around with it for a while. It seemed pretty interesting. I shut down the PC and when I booted back up the next day it wouldn't work.

Interestinly I have installed this on two PC's and had the exact problem on each.

I know there are many experienced users here and I realise that I have much to learn.

Insight and advise are greatly appreciated

THANKS!!

Lucas
Try shooting in AV mode, where you can adjust the aperture, shutter and ISO too . . . try it AF mode you will be surprised how sharp the lens is.
06-26-2010, 07:06 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone! I have lots of reading and shooting to do
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