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08-02-2010, 07:50 AM   #1
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K7 wont take pictures in dark??

Well i took the dive about 5 months ago and picked up a k7, and i have been loving it up untill this weekend.

I have taken long exposures at the night sky before when i first got the camera and had no problems. However last night, I was trying to take some pics of the moon just out of boredom and it just did not want to take a picture!

It seems like it was so dark it wasnt picking up on anything to focus on, i even tried putting it on Manual, still nothing.

Anyone have any similar problems? I still have ALOT to learn using this camera, so i am hoping this is just as simple as me being an idiot and not turning off a specific setting or something...

08-02-2010, 08:06 AM   #2
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Not being able to shoot because a camera can't get a focus lock is common in difficult situations. But switching to manul *focus* mode should have allowed it to shoot, and indeed, is the preferred way to do it in most of these cases. But switching to manual *exposure* mode won't accomplish a thing. Which manual mode did you mean?

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 08-02-2010 at 11:26 AM.
08-02-2010, 08:14 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Not being able to shoot because a camera can't get a focus lock is common in difficult situations. But switching to manul *focus* mode should have allowed it to shoot, and indeed, is the preferred way to do it in most of these cases. But switching to manual *expousre* mode won't acocmplish a thing. Which manual mode did you mean?
Come to think about it all i did was manual exposure mode. I gota admit i feel dumb now that you say that, i was a couple beers in when i was trying to give this a shot, mind you i could barely see anything as it was. I am going to give this a shot again tonight.

I just thought it was really wierd due to me being able to take pretty much the same shot before with no problems. I guess there was a bit more light due to clouds last time (this time it was a perfectly clear black sky).

It just seemed really strange to me the way it was acting IMO.
08-02-2010, 08:23 AM   #4
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Ah, beer and good photography go hand in foot. Actually, beer is much better used in post processing where all your photos look much better after a few pints.

08-02-2010, 08:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Ah, beer and good photography go hand in foot. Actually, beer is much better used in post processing where all your photos look much better after a few pints.

Haha! cant disagree with you on that sirrr!

Lets just hope I can get a handle on it tonight, i am bring the K7 on vacation to me to FL this friday for a week, I would hate having it start acting up then!
08-02-2010, 08:41 AM   #6
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I understand the OP's problem and the answer has already been provided.

I just wanted to say that I clicked into the thread because of the title, which amused me. I really am waiting for somebody to complain that their camera wont take pictures in the (complete) dark. Gosh, we expect a lot from our cameras these days!

Will
08-02-2010, 09:09 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I understand the OP's problem and the answer has already been provided.

I just wanted to say that I clicked into the thread because of the title, which amused me. I really am waiting for somebody to complain that their camera wont take pictures in the (complete) dark. Gosh, we expect a lot from our cameras these days!

Will
I realized how stupid my topic sounded after i posted unfortunately! No I am not jumping in my closet and turning off the lights and trying to take some long exposure shots of my clean clothes in pitch black

I am a newb but that THAT newb lol!!!
08-02-2010, 11:29 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by XeroX Quote
Come to think about it all i did was manual exposure mode. I gota admit i feel dumb now that you say that
Don't worry, if you were the first person to make that mistake, it never would have occurred to me to ask.

QuoteQuote:
I just thought it was really wierd due to me being able to take pretty much the same shot before with no problems. I guess there was a bit more light due to clouds last time (this time it was a perfectly clear black sky).
The K-7 has an AF assist lamp, but it isn't *quite* strong enough to reach the moon, or even the clouds :-). So you're completely dependent on whether you happen to be pointing the AF sensor directly at something with a high-contrast edge. When dealing with the sky, that's going to totally depend on the time of day, the cloud cover, the phase of the moon, etc.

So don't worry, you're camera isn't "acting up" - it's simply telling you that you asked it do something difficult.

08-02-2010, 11:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by XeroX Quote
Haha! cant disagree with you on that sirrr!

Lets just hope I can get a handle on it tonight, i am bring the K7 on vacation to me to FL this friday for a week, I would hate having it start acting up then!
Where are you going to be in Florida?

And wherever it is, leave your sweaters and jackets at home.
08-02-2010, 11:59 AM   #10
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Wait, you mean the AF assist light didn't reach all the way to the moon?

I think you might want to contact Pentax about that

------

Silliness aside if you set the dial on the lens barrel to "C" you should be able to take a picture even with focus isn't locked, it might be out of focus but you will be able to take the picture without the AF preventing you. It will start acting differently than you're used to as it will be constantly searching for optimal focus and will be making all sorts of sounds while you have the shutter pressed halfway down, it's actually pretty cool and you should definitely look into how to use it if you ever plan to take pictures of a moving subject
08-03-2010, 11:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Don't worry, if you were the first person to make that mistake, it never would have occurred to me to ask.
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote

The K-7 has an AF assist lamp, but it isn't *quite* strong enough to reach the moon, or even the clouds :-). So you're completely dependent on whether you happen to be pointing the AF sensor directly at something with a high-contrast edge. When dealing with the sky, that's going to totally depend on the time of day, the cloud cover, the phase of the moon, etc.

So don't worry, you're camera isn't "acting up" - it's simply telling you that you asked it do something difficult.


Its really quite funny because I was really into photography with my AE-1 for about 4-5 years back in HS in 2000 ish. I always wanted a DSLR but the prices were WAY out of my league for being in High school haha. So my interest kind of dwindled off with the disappointment of not being able to hop on the digital bandwagon.

I hadn’t picked up my Canon in over 3 years and as soon as I picked it up with my friend and his K7 I was sold on buying one AND getting back into photo (I am way rusty). But it is crazy how much stuff you can do with a DSLR, VERY overwhelming to say the least! As you can already tell I have yet to get used to this electronic stuff 100% haha.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Where are you going to be in Florida?
QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote

And wherever it is, leave your sweaters and jackets at home.


My aunt and uncle live in Ocala, so I will be there most of the time. But I will be going to Tampa to visit some other family as well. I know my family is going to take me to A LOT of different places that they want me to see.

I am really looking forward to getting some decent practice with the K7 during my time up there! I have to pick up some filters for my kit lens so I can experiment a bit hehe, I have yet to even get a UV filter to protect the lens (ughh I know)…

However, they DID tell me that it is hell on earth in their area right now. Def looking forward to some hot humid stickyness haha

QuoteOriginally posted by future_retro Quote
Silliness aside if you set the dial on the lens barrel to "C" you should be able to take a picture even with focus isn't locked, it might be out of focus but you will be able to take the picture without the AF preventing you. It will start acting differently than you're used to as it will be constantly searching for optimal focus and will be making all sorts of sounds while you have the shutter pressed halfway down, it's actually pretty cool and you should definitely look into how to use it if you ever plan to take pictures of a moving subject


I very rarely mess with this feature, but I am familiar with it. Its kind of one of those things I know its there but not when I couldn’t figure out why my k7 wasn’t taking pics haha. I won’t make that mistake again!

I can remember my first time on a hike trying to take a close up shot of a small flower and it was stuck in “C” mode, the wind kept blowing the flower around and the camera kept focusing. It drove me NUTS cause it was really messing up the focus haha. Then my friend comes up laughing, and flips the switch up towards MF, so I guess this is legitimately round 2 of my shenanigans with AF haha
08-03-2010, 11:41 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by future_retro Quote
Wait, you mean the AF assist light didn't reach all the way to the moon?
It does.

You have to wait awhile and have a VLA sensor to get a response.
08-03-2010, 11:47 AM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
I can remember my first time on a hike trying to take a close up shot of a small flower and it was stuck in “C” mode, the wind kept blowing the flower around and the camera kept focusing. It drove me NUTS cause it was really messing up the focus haha. Then my friend comes up laughing, and flips the switch up towards MF, so I guess this is legitimately round 2 of my shenanigans with AF haha
Were you using multi point focus? I couldn't imagine using AF-C with Multi point focus, Whenever I use Af-C, well actually anytime I use autofocus I use center point or select focus so I have control over where it's looking for focus. That would probably alleviate a lot of frustration
08-03-2010, 12:27 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by future_retro Quote
Were you using multi point focus? I couldn't imagine using AF-C with Multi point focus, Whenever I use Af-C, well actually anytime I use autofocus I use center point or select focus so I have control over where it's looking for focus. That would probably alleviate a lot of frustration
Yea, it took me a couple seconds to figure it all out once my friend laughed at me and showed me (he has a k7 too)

it was quite amusing to say the least.

I usually try to use manual focus whenever i can to get used to it. I find it quite difficult to manually focus with this DSLR. It is nearly impossible to know if you have it perfect untill u take pics and zoom in on them to "make sure" but i fail more times than none. Havent really mastered the sensitivity of the MF. That is the one thing i wish all DSLR's had, the focusing prizm thing in the middle of most SLR view finders that is. What is that even called? bleh, whatever...you know what i mean lol
08-03-2010, 04:41 PM   #15
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You can get a split prism focus screen from KatzEye or any of a number of cheaper Ebay dealers. But it's also possible with practice to get pretty good at it with the stock screen. Emphasis on the "with practice".
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