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01-07-2011, 10:17 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
This seems both flat and soft, or am I expecting too much from this setup of Kx with the 18-55 DAL kit lens?
Brian
100% center crop from the Kx with the 18-55 kit lens: RAW, no post processing other than USM 100% 1 pixel and convert to jpeg; Av natural light AWB, f/5 @ 200, ISO 200
In a word, yes.:ugh:

01-07-2011, 02:14 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
How dare you presume you know what another person might be "subconsciously" doing?

I'm not interested in your "feeling" about whether you think I may, or may not, want a "harder more saturated look" or anything else.

Frankly, I don't give a tinker's dam about what you feel I might have been looking for or trying to accomplish. I didn't ask for analysis of intentionality, conscious or subconscious. I asked for input and opinion about this camera, this lens and this image under those posted conditions. Was that so terribly difficult for you and several others to understand, so open to misunderstanding as to invite such wildly tangential comments?

For those who can't stick to the topic and question at hand, I suggest in all humility and due respect, butt out.
Brian
Jesus, man, from one Arizonan to another, please lighten up. These are mostly good, helpful folks here. Try another shot that challenges the dynamic range a bit, depth of focus and all, and you will get helpful info regarding the glass. No one here is trying to skew you a new one.
01-07-2011, 05:20 PM   #33
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Apparently no good deed goes unpunished.
To the OP, go back and read posts 17 and 25 in this thread they both explain exactly what is going on in that image in terms even a 5th grader should be able to understand.
And you and I are done.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 01-07-2011 at 05:50 PM.
01-08-2011, 02:49 PM   #34
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zerodaze, yes most posters on this forum are "good, helpful folks." But if you want to find out how far that help extends, try criticizing delivered wisdom some time. For the hard core here, as many places, there is no room for disagreement on closely held beliefs.

For example, disagree with the consensus view on a Pentax product and you may find criticism; continue to disagree and expect the original topic to be pushed aside by a wave of personal attacks. Better yet, challenge the ethics of common practice (such as street photography as I once did), to find out how vitriolic and off-topic the criticism can become from those good folks.

I could be making all this up out of thin air; I might be a paranoid argumentative whacko, a troll, an irrational trouble maker; or I could just be a contrarian who asks questions and expects argument of fact not opinion. Do some scanning of the longer threads on some topic of disagreement; you may well find that those who play nice in the sandbox, say the same things in the same way, stay on the right side of the good; those who disagree too strongly, in terms that aren't in the vernacular, or labor to keep the discussion on topic, or argue against ad hominem criticism, are set upon. Is this the best Pentax forum around? Yes, it is. Is this a community made up solely of helpful, reasonable people who are open to different points of view and a fair and open exchange of ideas? Not even close.

So in answer to your comment, I have no plans to "lighten up." If the community doesn't like what I say, or the way I say it (assuming I stay within the bounds of fair argument) then I suppose I can be sent to coventry, or penalized, or even banned from the forum. Short of the latter action, I will continue to be a gadfly to the fanboys and a thorn in the side of the unreasonable and unreasoned argument,
Brian


Last edited by FHPhotographer; 01-08-2011 at 03:01 PM.
01-08-2011, 03:09 PM   #35
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ad hominem alert...

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Apparently no good deed goes unpunished.
To the OP, go back and read posts 17 and 25 in this thread they both explain exactly what is going on in that image in terms even a 5th grader should be able to understand.
And you and I are done.
You prove my argument about ad hominem comments: your original response was inappropriate, and I challenged it. Rather than withdraw it, or amend it, or even discuss it, you chose to be pejorative. Ah, you people,
Brian
01-08-2011, 04:04 PM   #36
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I see nothing wrong with his original comment. You give off a certain impression and he was trying to help you with more "personalized" information. He spent the time to try to figure out the best way to help you. You disregarded most peoples help and jumped at them for the facts they gave you. They all said you expected too much. They pointed out that the situation and camera settings you shot in were not adequate for a good or even decent image and without any PP there is no chance for the image to reach any potential it has. Maybe the help they gave you was not exactly what you were looking for, but it was helpful and given to you with that in mind. There was no reason for you to take it as an attack and attck them back.
01-08-2011, 04:10 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
... or I could just be a contrarian who asks questions and expects argument of fact not opinion. ...
"Am I expecting too much?" is an opinion question, therefore fact does not play into it.

QuoteQuote:
... Is this a community made up solely of helpful, reasonable people who are open to different points of view and a fair and open exchange of ideas? Not even close. ...
You started a thread where you questioned the quality of your gear, and then posted a single photograph that, to be brutally honest, is crap. Sorry if it hurts your feelings, but that photograph speaks to nobody but yourself. A few forum members posted responses to the tune of "It's not great, but it could be better if you did x,y,or z." Instead of listening to their input, you attacked them for critiquing your photograph. Who here is not "open to different points of view and a fair and open exchange of ideas?"

QuoteQuote:
... So in answer to your comment, I have no plans to "lighten up." If the community doesn't like what I say, or the way I say it (assuming I stay within the bounds of fair argument) then I suppose I can be sent to coventry, or penalized, or even banned from the forum. Short of the latter action, I will continue to be a gadfly to the fanboys and a thorn in the side of the unreasonable and unreasoned argument,
Brian
The only vaguely fanboy thing that was said in this entire thread is that the Pentax kit lens is better than most. If you have a reasonable argument to the contrary, I'd love to hear it.

With most of the members of this forum, if they don't like you, they will just ignore you and hope that you leave someday. However, if getting banned from the forum will give you some sort of satisfaction, it seems to me that you are off to a great start. Just keep picking fights with those who respond to your questions, and eventually enough people will tire of it, and then either the Mods or Adam will get involved.

If you don't want to "lighten up", that is completely okay. Just make sure you have a good cardiologist on speed dial, and everything will probably work out fine for you. On the other hand, perhaps you should spend a bit more time reading what you typed before clicking the "Submit Reply" button. For example, when you make an entire post bold, it seems as though you are making a deliberate attempt to be rude.

Please don't take any of this as a personal attack. I realize that I am rather sarcastic, but this is really just friendly advice.

Just sayin'. -Steve
01-08-2011, 09:16 PM   #38
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mojoe, odd that you know that the poster was "... trying to help you with more 'personalized' information. He spent the time to try to figure out the best way to help you" when I didn't know that and it didn't seem that way to me. Perhaps you asked him/her what the intent of the comment was? Or maybe you just inferred intentionality on your own.

Perhaps your comment that all the posters "...said you expected too much" doesn't include the comment from one that gratuitously pointed out "Great light and subject matter is what makes a great photo and it seems you have neither there", or another who made a minor leap in logic with "... why shoot RAW if you're not going to do any pp" (something I never said) or perhaps you missed the post that casually offered that "...The light is flat, the subject is low-contrast (that it is uninteresting is almost irrelevant) ? And then there's the jolly aside where a poster says I "...posted a single photograph that, to be brutally honest, is crap."

I reiterate for one and all: to those who offered on-topic commentary and suggestions, thank you very much. For the others, well, thank you too, it's always such a treat, .
Brian


Last edited by FHPhotographer; 01-08-2011 at 09:22 PM.
01-08-2011, 10:44 PM   #39
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Wonderful, so we have somebody asking a subjective question about having cheaper equipment giving equivalent image quality as more expensive lenses. Then get upset getting answers he doesn't want to hear.

You can give us all a treat by being more mature or not bothering other members of this forum with useless vitriol. I hope photography is only a hobby for you.
01-08-2011, 10:55 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
This seems both flat and soft, or am I expecting too much from this setup of Kx with the 18-55 DAL kit lens?
Brian
100% center crop from the Kx with the 18-55 kit lens: RAW, no post processing other than USM 100% 1 pixel and convert to jpeg; Av natural light AWB, f/5 @ 200, ISO 200
Another way to look at this is - would a K-5 with one of the vaunted FA or DA Limiteds resulted in a sharp, dynamic (less flat) photo?

Sharp? Probably a bit sharper but not incredibly so. You'd be hard pressed to tell the difference at 4" x 6". At 8" x 10" probably and at 100% crop, yes.

More dynamic (less flat)? This is a definite maybe. While there may be some improvement, the biggest restriction is the RAW that hasn't been massaged. I have plenty of RAW photos with the DA Limiteds and DA*s that look flat to start but come to life with just a little bit of PP. Sometimes just setting the curve to Medium Contrast is all you need.

All of that is a roundabout way of saying, "Yes, you are expecting too much, but not out the camera lens but rather your expectations of RAW."

Hope this helps.
01-09-2011, 02:19 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
... And then there's the jolly aside where a poster says I "...posted a single photograph that, to be brutally honest, is crap."...
I'll pretend for the sake of this post that you are not taking what I posted before out of context, and quoting it in such a manner that it implies my intentions were purely negative and hostile.

The photo you posted is crap. Saying that in no way states or implies that you are a crap photographer, or that any other photo you have taken is crap, only this one photo. I have personally taken thousands of crap photographs over the years. It might even be tens of thousands, I'm not even going to try and do the math. I do not, however, consider myself a crap photographer. My point in saying that you posted a crap photo is this - if you are going to ask if your expectations with specific equipment are unreasonable, it probably makes more sense to post one of the best photos you have taken with the gear, not some random shot you took in passing.

Try not to take everything so personally.
01-09-2011, 04:28 AM - 1 Like   #42
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Okay. I think the poster was really asking about the 'technical' side of his image. Is it sharp? Does it have a decent amount of detail? We don't know what the rest of this image looks like, so in fact it may be a masterpiece. This was a crop, and a question about detail.

Now, I'm going to assume that your 100% crop came from a Jpeg? It's hard to say what kind of quality the original image had because Jpeg blends the crap out of edges when you blow the image up to 100%. Firstly, I would suggest converting to TIF so that you have a high quality, low compression backup of your image. Then convert to jpeg for web display/email etc.

Now there is creedence to what other people have said here, too. Firstly, the lens is good but not great. What focal length were you using to take this shot? This image from a 100% crop suggests it was a fairly small section of the image. Do you use the technique of 'zooming in, focusing, then zooming out to recompose'? It works wonders, believe me. The autofocus isn't perfect... and neither is focusing by eye. And this is any camera/lens combo, so not to worry that it's just a Pentax issue lol. (by the way, my Canon was MUCH worse in this regard...very soft kit lenses).

Also, a lot of folks have mentioned lighting. The thing about lighting is that it's not just about a 'flat' image. Light also helps bring out detail. Remember the only thing the camera can see is light and shadow (the absence of light) and colour. Say you have a leaf. Technically that leaf has a TON of detail. But if you light it head on, you won't see it because there's are no shadows...they've been blasted away by the head on light. But, if you light from the side, you'll pick up a lot of detail (and therefore sharpness) because you'll have ridges and valleys and bumps all lit on one side but shadowed on the other. Not that you want to carry lighting equipment all over the place, but one easy (for some) solution is to get up early and catch your images while the sun is low on the horizon. Or go out around sunset. This will naturally introduce warm light and help you reproduce a little more detail.

As far as Post Processing goes...
Photographers have always post processed. The great, famous, landscape photographer Ansel Adams in fact used a form of HDR. He would take several images of one scene at different exposures and blend them in the dark room.

A raw photo, unless you light it specifically or go out during sunrise or sunset hours, will look pretty flat and lifeless. A point and shoot camera will always use heavy handed post processing tactics. The point of shooting in RAW is so you can adjust levels yourself instead of leaving it to the often less than perfect in camera processing. Post processing isn't cheating... photographers have been sharpening, dodging, burning, contrast and saturation adjusting for a long looong time. However if you don't like playing around with Photoshop's annoying RAW conversion, and you don't like playing with curves etc, you should check out Adobe Lightroom... it's a very simple software that leaves your RAW 'digital negatives' intact, and gives you a LOT of control in a simple format.

Also, yes, when shooting scenery, shoot with a higher F-stop number. Lower numbers give you a shallow depth of field which means that you're playing with a really narrow focus area, essentially meaning you might have a few leaves in perfect focus while the rest of the bush gets blured. High F-stops give you more focus area from front to back, and I think you'll really notice the difference.

And in the end, there is always the fact that cameras and lenses have limitations. Unfortunately, the further you zoom into your image the worse it will look. Eventually things will become unsharp, then become a blur of colours, then a bunch of individual dots. Think of your image as a whole. A 100% crop is quite a small portion of a photo, and you should never take an image with the hopes that you can crop down to 100% and have a good useable image or print.
01-09-2011, 05:11 AM   #43
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You are probably expecting too much.

You presented a 100% crop of a 2848 pixel height small contrast range photo taken with a lens/sensor combination that is probably not capable of even 50% contrast at that resolution (see photozone.de for an MTF50 of a similar DA 18-55mm lens).

The pixel pitch for the K-x sensor is about 6.3 microns; the image of an infinitesimal spot with a perfect lens at f:5 is about that size, consistent with your image.

You applied USM sharpening to the photo and jpeg encoding which distorted detail around edges making detailed analysis difficult.

Last edited by newarts; 01-09-2011 at 07:19 AM.
01-10-2011, 02:08 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wordslinger Quote
Also, a lot of folks have mentioned lighting. The thing about lighting is that it's not just about a 'flat' image. Light also helps bring out detail. Remember the only thing the camera can see is light and shadow (the absence of light) and colour. Say you have a leaf. Technically that leaf has a TON of detail. But if you light it head on, you won't see it because there's are no shadows...they've been blasted away by the head on light. But, if you light from the side, you'll pick up a lot of detail (and therefore sharpness) because you'll have ridges and valleys and bumps all lit on one side but shadowed on the other. Not that you want to carry lighting equipment all over the place, but one easy (for some) solution is to get up early and catch your images while the sun is low on the horizon. Or go out around sunset. This will naturally introduce warm light and help you reproduce a little more detail.

As far as Post Processing goes...
Photographers have always post processed. The great, famous, landscape photographer Ansel Adams in fact used a form of HDR. He would take several images of one scene at different exposures and blend them in the dark room.

A raw photo, unless you light it specifically or go out during sunrise or sunset hours, will look pretty flat and lifeless. A point and shoot camera will always use heavy handed post processing tactics. The point of shooting in RAW is so you can adjust levels yourself instead of leaving it to the often less than perfect in camera processing. Post processing isn't cheating... photographers have been sharpening, dodging, burning, contrast and saturation adjusting for a long looong time. However if you don't like playing around with Photoshop's annoying RAW conversion, and you don't like playing with curves etc, you should check out Adobe Lightroom... it's a very simple software that leaves your RAW 'digital negatives' intact, and gives you a LOT of control in a simple format.

Also, yes, when shooting scenery, shoot with a higher F-stop number. Lower numbers give you a shallow depth of field which means that you're playing with a really narrow focus area, essentially meaning you might have a few leaves in perfect focus while the rest of the bush gets blured. High F-stops give you more focus area from front to back, and I think you'll really notice the difference.

And in the end, there is always the fact that cameras and lenses have limitations. Unfortunately, the further you zoom into your image the worse it will look. Eventually things will become unsharp, then become a blur of colours, then a bunch of individual dots. Think of your image as a whole. A 100% crop is quite a small portion of a photo, and you should never take an image with the hopes that you can crop down to 100% and have a good useable image or print.
Wow. I was mostly reading this for the entertainment factor, but I actually learned something. Thanks.

I hope the same for the OP.
01-10-2011, 02:37 PM   #45
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bsamcash, I'm learning quite a bit as well. And that, believe it or not, was always the intent,
Brian
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