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07-19-2010, 10:39 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by skyoftexas Quote
This is what I would expect. But isn't this a different position from your first post?
I stand by both posts.

We might be talking circles around each other with multiple posts and parties involved.

I was responding to Aristophanes posting that you lose contrast and sharpness. What I was saying is that the camera focuses and meters wide open, even when set to a smaller aperture. It always hold the lens wide open for this. Only when the shutter is pressed does the lens stop down. That's why you can still see something in the viewfinder at f22, and why viewfinder doesn't darken when closing down aperture - it doesnt stop down until released. It is also why DOF preview exists.

Parallax pointed out why a f1.4 should auto focus more easily in low light than a f2.8, even if they are "set" to the same aperture (say f5.6).

The point being there probably isn't anything wrong with your 40mm f2.8 if it has a harder time locking focus in low light than a 50mm f1.4. Since you had it repaired and this is the only indicator of something wrong, then chances are its just fine now.


Last edited by lowspark86; 07-19-2010 at 10:51 PM.
07-20-2010, 04:20 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by lowspark86 Quote
The point being there probably isn't anything wrong with your 40mm f2.8 if it has a harder time locking focus in low light than a 50mm f1.4. Since you had it repaired and this is the only indicator of something wrong, then chances are its just fine now.
OTOH, you will never read a discussion on fast focussing lenses in a Pentax forum without seeing the DA 40 listed multiple times. I did some testing with my K-x and DA 40 last night in near darkness and grabbed focus immediately every time.

Skyoftexas, I had trouble focussing my FA 35, until I realized it backfocusses. I have it set for +7 on the K20 now, and the problem has disappeared. Maybe do some testing to see if you have a similar issue.
07-20-2010, 04:33 AM   #33
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My DA 40 is faster focusing and quicker to lock on than my DA 70 and both are faster than my FA 50 was. This is in nearly any situation I would shoot in (although I don't shoot in coal mines often). I do wonder if doing some focus adjustment might remedy the problem, although you would think you would notice the back/front focusing issues in photos.
07-20-2010, 05:23 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
My DA 40 is faster focusing and quicker to lock on than my DA 70 and both are faster than my FA 50 was. This is in nearly any situation I would shoot in (although I don't shoot in coal mines often). I do wonder if doing some focus adjustment might remedy the problem, although you would think you would notice the back/front focusing issues in photos.
That is how it has worked for me as well. The DA40 was the only DA Ltd lens I have that needed a significant focus adjustment on the K20d (+4). However, it has always been very quick to focus.

My problem with the DA Ltd lenses at weddings is that they are not quiet, especially the DA40. I became the center of attention at an outdoor wedding as a result of the scream of the DA40 at a quiet moment. I have ended up using the DA17-70 as my primary wedding and party lens with flash. I suspect that the DA*16-50 would be even better at low light focus, because of the wider aperture, but I honestly can't say that I have a lot of AF trouble even at a max aperture of F4, as long as the AF assist light is aimed properly.

07-20-2010, 05:35 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by skyoftexas Quote
I generally agree with rparmar's view regarding having a back up camera although I don't know about the "two bodies minimum" part. That seems a bit excessive. Having two cameras does allow you to switch to a different lens without having to make a lens change.
To clarify: since I prefer to be accompanied when shooting events, I think three bodies is an optimum number for two people. I always seem to need three different lenses on hand and this way no lens switching need be done.

In reality I have only two digital bodies since I do not make any significant part of my living from events. I still prefer an assistant however!
07-20-2010, 05:43 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
My problem with the DA Ltd lenses at weddings is that they are not quiet, especially the DA40. I became the center of attention at an outdoor wedding as a result of the scream of the DA40 at a quiet moment.
These are good topics for discussion.

I use manual focus religiously at events, especially at events in churches (a little pun there). Last Saturday I was at an electroacoustic music concert in a cathedral, where some of the sounds were very quiet and the mood was still. Anything that would have broken that environment would have been intrusive. (Another photog was told to back off.) I do everything in MF with no flash ever.

Using AF even the focus beam can be distracting, especially the wild flashy thing on the K20D.

David Toop on crumpled plastic


(Shot with the FA 77mm Limited.)

However, if I was the principal photographer at a wedding I would take the authority I had been granted and get right in there for some good shots! How much disruption the party will tolerate is something that should be discussed in prep.
07-20-2010, 06:06 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I have ended up using the DA17-70 as my primary wedding and party lens with flash. I suspect that the DA*16-50 would be even better at low light focus, because of the wider aperture, but I honestly can't say that I have a lot of AF trouble even at a max aperture of F4, as long as the AF assist light is aimed properly.
Bingo.

My FA 50/1.4 is not a fast focus compared to DA lenses. With a shallow DOF and an even slightly moving subject, its goes OOF in a microsecond, faster than AF-C can keep up. Of course metering and AF are done wide open, but I have never experienced a significant AF difference on any lens from f/4 or lower. And you noticeably lose contrast wide open. That's not good at a wedding.

At a social event,the subject matter is usually people, often posed, but more often candid. That's movement, and it requires a greater DOF. Fast glass won't help near as much as the setup described above. The AF assist lamp is a necessity.
07-20-2010, 06:47 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by skyoftexas Quote
Yes, the Metz AF assist does work wirelessly. But it still was not enough to get fast, reliable AF until I used the set up I mentioned above.
I believe you're mistaken. My Sigma flash does not have AF Assist in wireless mode, and I don't see how any off-camera flash would know that the camera is trying to focus.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Er, Canon won't do that? I am amazed! I am pretty sure Nikon will. Maybe it depends on the flash.
The Canon 7D and some full-frames allow wireless flash, but I have a friend with a 40D and 50D and they need external triggers. The Rebel line, including the new 550D, do not have wireless capability (score one for the K-x).

07-20-2010, 07:02 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
These are good topics for discussion.

I use manual focus religiously at events, especially at events in churches (a little pun there). Last Saturday I was at an electroacoustic music concert in a cathedral, where some of the sounds were very quiet and the mood was still. Anything that would have broken that environment would have been intrusive. (Another photog was told to back off.) I do everything in MF with no flash ever.

Using AF even the focus beam can be distracting, especially the wild flashy thing on the K20D.
Another reason why a pro camera with the low light capabilitis of the K-x (or better) would be great. However, for a wedding, the quality that is expected really demands flash. Even the superb ISO 1600 of the K-x would not be up to the standards I think most would expect for an enlargeable wedding portrait, though it might be fine for candids at the reception. Most of the receptions lately have been so dark that I often end up with ISO 400/800 and flash.

The AF540FGZ (or a K-7 body) solves the flashy problem with infrared AF assist that is invisible.
07-20-2010, 07:03 AM   #40
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But what did you learn about yourself.

Sounds like everyone have opinions on Equipment. If you are comfortable using the 50 . Use it. I love mine with a 540 fgz and Lightsphere. But I enjoy weddings. They are fun and people know your there to do a job and are mostly friendly.

Sometimes very small Weddings need leadership on what to do. So i become wedding planner and photog. And once Planner , Photog and Video guy all at once. I found that I learned I could handle the stress of getting all the important moments.

Fun Fun
07-20-2010, 07:14 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
These are good topics for discussion.

I use manual focus religiously at events, especially at events in churches (a little pun there). Last Saturday I was at an electroacoustic music concert in a cathedral, where some of the sounds were very quiet and the mood was still. Anything that would have broken that environment would have been intrusive. (Another photog was told to back off.) I do everything in MF with no flash ever.

Using AF even the focus beam can be distracting, especially the wild flashy thing on the K20D.

David Toop on crumpled plastic


(Shot with the FA 77mm Limited.)

However, if I was the principal photographer at a wedding I would take the authority I had been granted and get right in there for some good shots! How much disruption the party will tolerate is something that should be discussed in prep.
Great comments, and a great photos too. How about the sound of the shutter? Do you have any tricks for softening that?
07-20-2010, 07:20 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I believe you're mistaken. My Sigma flash does not have AF Assist in wireless mode, and I don't see how any off-camera flash would know that the camera is trying to focus.
.
I was very skeptical about that as well. The instructions to the Pentax AF54FGZ state that the wireless communication through pre-flash begins when the shutter is depressed fully. I don't see how it could work differently with another brand.
07-20-2010, 07:24 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Another reason why a pro camera with the low light capabilitis of the K-x (or better) would be great. However, for a wedding, the quality that is expected really demands flash.
Yes, that is certainly true. I suppose that's why I have a Metz 58 waiting for me at the parcel depot.

QuoteOriginally posted by skyoftexas Quote
How about the sound of the shutter? Do you have any tricks for softening that?
Timing. At events with quiet music the audience is usually very quiet too, but there are times when a distracting sound might happen and that's when I click. Since these performances are often slow-moving to suit the overall mood, I can afford to wait. Sometimes the sound is loud enough it will drown any shutter noise. Other times one simply makes do with the sound -- if I am actually being paid to shoot an event I figure they expect some small disruptions.

I sometimes can play with positioning. If I am further from the bulk of the audience my movements and sound will distract them less. (Sometimes the concern is more for the audience and sometimes the performer.)

The hardest gig is dance in cases where there is no music. It is a very quiet environment and one needs to take lots of frames to ensure a decent one with all the fast movement in low light. Compared to this I think weddings would be a snap!

I pride myself on considering these aspects of "low impact event photography", even if I am in a room with several other photogs who don't even know how to turn off their damned beeping cameras!
07-20-2010, 07:34 AM   #44
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I am also conscious of the timing of the shutter, but for some reason, I seldom get attention to the shutter. Perhaps it is expected, or it is the frequency. On the other hand, the chirp of the AF turns heads every time. If I am not using SDM, I am using MF in any circumstance where noise could be an issue.

I also tend to have a second body, a K10d, with a diagonal split screen and a fast K mount lens attached. I have gotten some very interesting portraits from a distance with the SMC K135 2.5.
07-20-2010, 07:58 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
That is how it has worked for me as well. The DA40 was the only DA Ltd lens I have that needed a significant focus adjustment on the K20d (+4). ...........
Mine is the only lens I have that needs no adjustment. The others all need from -1 to -3 on one of my bodies and +1 to +3 on the other.
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