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09-10-2007, 07:14 AM   #1
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K10D and 540FGZ Performed Almost Perfect!

I used my K10D and 540FGZ flash in a club setting on Thursday night. I've never done this type of photography before and this is the first time I used the 540FGZ flash, in fact I bought it earlier that day! I'm normally a manual flash/strobe person that sets all my shots up, so this was quite a test for me and the equipment. I was a little nervous after reading some stuff about how the 540 flash is inconsistent.

The K10 and 540 worked flawlessly. Set the camera to manual, 540fgz to p-ttl (sometimes with 0 flash comp and sometimes with +.5 when I was in an area where the roof was higher). Out of 350 shots, I had one shot where the flash didn't recycle fast enough, and about 5 shots were the exposure was off about a stop (still fixable), but that was mostly me still learning the meter.

Normally for something like this I would use manual focus and set the hyperfocal distance. But about half way through the event I started using AF. I was blown away by how good it worked with the AF assist light. It was very dim and out of 200 or so shots with AF, the K10D only missed 1 SHOT! Very impressive. The only other problem I had was the flash lock on the 540FGZ didn't hold the flash perfectly tight, so It came a little loose once during the shoot. I fixed it already...but that is the only problem I had! I'm coming from a D2H/D70/D40 set up and that wonderful Nikon Flash system....and I was a little worried about using the Pentax in a paid shoot...but I think it came through with flying colors!

Here are some shots!
















09-10-2007, 08:05 AM   #2
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What lens did you use?
09-10-2007, 08:20 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by vievetrick Quote
What lens did you use?

Shot the whole thing with the 16-45mm DA. That is my favorite zoom lens.
09-10-2007, 12:25 PM   #4
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Do you mind sharing the exif data for those shots? They look great!

09-10-2007, 12:53 PM   #5
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JMI: I love these shots - the backgrounds in motion (and the background light showing through) from the slow shutter speed really makes for great atmosphere in these shots.
09-10-2007, 01:10 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom M Quote
Do you mind sharing the exif data for those shots? They look great!
I usually strip the exif out of any shot I post on the web, but I would be happy to answer any questions about my technique and processing.
09-10-2007, 01:11 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by khardur Quote
JMI: I love these shots - the backgrounds in motion (and the background light showing through) from the slow shutter speed really makes for great atmosphere in these shots.
Thanks very much!
09-10-2007, 03:50 PM   #8
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I'm glad to hear people having good experiences with the pentax flash system as I've been hearing a lot of people talking about it's inconsistency.

I haven't done much night flash photography and it's an area I'm hoping to improve on soon

Were you shooting in manual the entire time? Any general tips to workflow while you're shooting? Thanks.

09-10-2007, 04:48 PM   #9
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These are great shots and I am definately interested in your technique. It does seem like there is a definate exposure difference between them. The skin tone of the man with the cigar in shots 1, 3, and 5 seem to vary. Was this a because of the different focal lengths used or subject distance? Thanks for the info!
09-10-2007, 04:50 PM   #10
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what noise reduction software do you use? what iso were you using? thanks.

i have that combo too by the way, love it.

nice shots

mitch
09-10-2007, 06:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by AVANT Quote
I'm glad to hear people having good experiences with the pentax flash system as I've been hearing a lot of people talking about it's inconsistency.

I haven't done much night flash photography and it's an area I'm hoping to improve on soon

Were you shooting in manual the entire time? Any general tips to workflow while you're shooting? Thanks.

I shot in manual the whole time. I usually use the K10 in manual when I'm using flash, and usually the TAV mode for available light.

I shoot in .dng, adjust exposure in PSCS2, load into photoshop in 16bit mode. I use adobe's noise reduction on a duplicate layer so I can tweek the the opacity, the another layer to adjust shadow/highlights, then usually some curves, smart sharpen, resize to websize, change to 8 bit mode, and sometimes a touch more smart sharpen if the file softens after being resized.

It's not a perfect workflow, but it's what gives me the look that I want.
09-10-2007, 06:56 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by anthropas Quote
These are great shots and I am definately interested in your technique. It does seem like there is a definate exposure difference between them. The skin tone of the man with the cigar in shots 1, 3, and 5 seem to vary. Was this a because of the different focal lengths used or subject distance? Thanks for the info!

Most of the exposure difference is my post processing. The shots straight out of the camera were pretty consistent. I varied the exposure on the processing more to find out what the people seemed to like the best. I like the exposure a little hotter on the skin, but some don't. I'm going to shoot the same club again next weekend, so I'm very interested to see what "non-photographers" like. Also some of the the difference was the height of the ceiling, I think I'm going to try a different bounce card other then the built in one on the 540fgz.

Thanks for the complements!
09-10-2007, 06:58 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJB DIGITAL Quote
what noise reduction software do you use? what iso were you using? thanks.

i have that combo too by the way, love it.

nice shots

mitch
Thanks Mitch! I was shooting at ISO200 the whole night, dragging the shutter pretty slow (sometimes as long as 1 second). I use the noise reduction in CS2. I do own Noise Ninja, but I haven't really gotten the results or the workflow efficient yet, but I image I will.
09-11-2007, 08:19 AM   #14
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Re:

I dont know what your doing right but your workflow definitely works!

Your photos are impressive. Each photographer to be great really needs to come up with his/her own style. I like the "look" in your photos. They are very disticntive and are consistent with each shot you make.
09-11-2007, 10:40 AM   #15
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Very nice indeed! Great photos!
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