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03-06-2011, 05:51 AM - 1 Like   #1
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K20d - Night photography and high ISO.

I'd like a K5, but at present the K20d will have to do.
Under "normal" conditions the K20d is all I could ask for, but I sometimes shoot in low light conditions, and the other night I put the K20d to the test.
Below are three images of an occurrence of northern lights.
The first image was shot at 400 ISO, 30 sec. f 2,8.
The two others were shot at 800 ISO and 8 sec. and aperture as above. All images were shot in RAW and post processed to deal with noise which wasn't all that bad. In fact the K20d handles reasonably well at high ISO settings (below 1600 ISO). Post processing was done in Photoshop CS5 using masks, noise reduction and sharpening.

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03-06-2011, 08:51 AM   #2
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Wow! That is stunning work! Glad to see that the K20D is up to the task.
03-06-2011, 02:31 PM   #3
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Northern lights is not a static phenomenon, it's moving, and moving fast sometimes. This night it was displaying thin needles of light, myriads of ultra thin streaks shooting down from the sky. What you see here is really a blur caused by the necessary long shutter times to let the sensor gather enough light. The K5 can handle much higher ISO values thereby making it possible to capture the northern lights more as it actually looks. The dream would be to capture it at lets say 1/125 sec. That would be really something, although an impossible dream.
The unprocessed images don't look too bad at all,-the K20d is better than I thought. Noise Ninja cleans up the images well, but good old hard manual labour using masks in Photoshop is still an unbeatable method.
Every camera has it's shortcomings, and the trick is to learn how to deal with these and still get a decent result.
But I still drool when I hear the word Pentax K5 . . .
03-06-2011, 07:20 PM   #4
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I'm so jealous of these views and shots!!! Great work

03-06-2011, 11:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback.
I was lucky that night being on a job-trip up in the mountains.
Here in Northern Norway the trick is NOT pressing the shutter-button,
it's actually dragging ones butt out in the freezing cold, sitting still for
hours waiting for the display to begin. Photography under such conditions
is easy when you're sitting in a warm cabin with brand new snowmobiles
outside rented by the job and a large sled filled with reindeerskins and survival gear.
03-07-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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awesome shots! Really nice to see this kind of work with the k20!
03-07-2011, 07:17 PM   #7
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Spectacular scenes here.
With the dynamic range of the K20D at the low-ish ISOs, these images could be worked up to boost some of the shadow detail and made into awesome works of art.
Well done and thanks for sharing these.
03-08-2011, 09:05 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Spectacular scenes here.
With the dynamic range of the K20D at the low-ish ISOs, these images could be worked up to boost some of the shadow detail and made into awesome works of art.
Well done and thanks for sharing these.

I think I'll do just that,-thanks

03-11-2011, 02:41 AM   #9
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很美..
K20d确实是很好的一台机器.到现在我还深深地爱上它
03-11-2011, 01:11 PM   #10
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So cool. I have always wanted to go somewhere they are visible. Great shots!
03-11-2011, 01:43 PM   #11
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Stunning images.

We also get the lights here from time to time when the conditions are right, but ours tend to be more silver mono toned.

We just don't get the rainbow or colours you have managed to capture.

I'm just jealous.
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