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06-25-2012, 07:11 PM   #1
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K7 dilemma

Hi All, Long time Pentaxian (spotmatic, Program A, *istDS, K7....) first time poster apart from my into.
Apologies going across what I suspect to be old ground.

Since moving to my K7 from *istDS I have generally been pleased (particularly when in good light), over the same time I've updated my glass to a reasonable kit (Sigma EX 10-20 F3.5, DA 18-135WR, and Sigma EX 70-200 F2.8 HSMII).

My daughter plays basketball and I am struggling to get reliably good shots during play - I generally shot TaV and even with the 70-200 I need to set /125 and f 3.5-4.5 with ISO fluctuating between 3200 and 6400. I have tried just Av mode and let camera do rest, have tried EV adjustments, however the images more often than not are either very noisy (yes I know this seems to be a common issue with K7) or simply not fast enough to "freeze" the action. Apart from the size of 70-200, and I don't own a hotshot flash, I cannot use flash during game as it's distracting and disrespectful to the players.

Where's the dilemma - well another parent has 600D with standard kit 55-300 and he gets far "brighter" and less noisy shots than I seem to be able to muster with my setup, to be honest I'd say dynamic range of the 600D is not as nice as I like but by and large his images simply look better out of the box with no PP. Now don't think I'm planning on jumping ship - too much glass and like the system

Next game is on friday and I might try Hyper mode with speed priority and see what effects I get. Can any one suggest a good base line for this type of shooting for my setup, next on list of purchases could be K5 but will that address much of my shortcomings with K7.

Better yet does anyone on forum live in or around Melbourne Victoria, Australia that has K5 that might be willing to "show" me how good it is in this situation, or better yet have a K7 with good results.

Or am I simply pixel peeping too much and not seeing the images for what they are

06-25-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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1/125 for basketball is not fast enough....
I think it need to be like 1/400 or faster
why not shoot at f2.8??
this is when your f2.8 zoom shows its value
06-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #3
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A sample picture with exif info would be helpful here. A couple of things here to consider: first, the shutter speed is too low for basketball (probably for most sports except golf); I would try at least 1/400 (lowest would be 1/250). If the sigma lens is good wide-open why not leave it at f2.8 or at least f3.2? I would try TAv first and set highest iso at 3200 and EV +1.0, then after several shots, check the average iso setting the camera select and go to M mode; shoot in M mode the rest of the way. I would suggest shooting in RAW to give you more flexibility. I have seen other people's results in the Canon model.. looks good on the LCD screen, but blurry when they download to the computer. Unfortunately, the k-7's weakness is beyond the iso-3200 and even iso-1600 if you don't ETTR to start with, but the k-5 provides a bit more headroom in the high iso area.

Last edited by aleonx3; 06-25-2012 at 09:17 PM.
06-25-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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Thanks both of you for replies. I guess i'd stopped lens down a bit in order to hopefully achieve bit deeper DOF. Hadn't considered wide open so will try that, then as you suggest take some shots and average.

I hadn't been able to go much faster as available light has been somewhat limiting, similarly a dark timber floor and dark walls don't help either.

Sorry for not posting pic - I will read some more and hopefully post one here shortly

06-25-2012, 11:08 PM   #5
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I shoot indoor VB with my K-7, and I faced some similar issues at the beginning. I enclose below my own experience. It may help you:

- I use Hyperprogram P and often set the shutter speed to 1/200 or faster;

- I set manually ISO 400 or 800 (no more);

- I shoot Hi-continuous shooting (5,2 fps), with JPEG and with all in-camera PP OFF;

- I use "fast glass"; I obtained my best shots with a VL 58mm f1.4 and CZ85mm f1.4, although I also got some good shots with FA31mm f1.8;

- I shoot MF (even with FA31mm);

I add that I am able to shoot from the sidelines and I do not need longer than 100mm.

Based upon your own story, I would say that you must set manually ISO to prevent too much noise. Hi continuous shooting works well and it is a "must-do". I fund that AF-C is too slow and I got better results with MF. I learned to pre-focus my lens to the right spot where I want to shoot and I only do tiny adustments while I shoot.

I hope that the suggestions will help.

Last edited by hcc; 06-26-2012 at 02:12 AM.
06-25-2012, 11:34 PM   #6
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There is a lot of good setting ect to use in this thread, it really helped out my K-7 a lot
06-25-2012, 11:39 PM   #7
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hcc - thanks - gives me some hope, though your glass is much faster - the Sigma 70-200 is as fast as I have at F2.8 so may have to push ISO somewhat higher (which I guess brings me back to original problem...)

I've shot OK in low light at HK Disneyland

As requested by aleon3 here are some Basketball images - prooly better ones of what I have

Hopefully done above correctly

Again thanks
06-26-2012, 09:45 AM   #8
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Based on the photo shown here: the setting are: focal length -180mm, shutter - 1/180, aperture - f3.5, center-weigh iso 6400, EV +1.

I would think that it may be due to combination of things (not just one):
-1/180 is not fast enough to freeze the action
-1/180 is marginal on shake reduction (did you see the 'hand' signal in the viewfinder before tripping the shutter)
-iso 6400 noise
-f3.5 should be good enough DOF but may be not depending if the lens/camera is having FF/BF issue
-EV +1 (with the lighting in the basketball court, this may be a little too much), again, subjective; BUT I would lower it to EV 0 to gain on iso since k-7 high iso is not as good

Suggestions to try:
-determine if there is FF/BF issue with this lens (test it on other things and any objects with different distances)... BF is easier to see than FF (this is probably the biggest factor)
-use higher shutter to freeze action (1/350 to 1/500 range)
-use higher aperture like f4 to determine if it improves
-reduce the auto iso range and limit to iso 3200
-change EV lower to gain on high iso noise reduction
-get closer to the subject
-get a tripod or monopod to steady the shot
-modify your jpeg settings as recommended by other poster in this thread if you JPEG (you will see improvements for all shots)

It all comes down to practice, practice and practice. Hope you have better result next time...

06-26-2012, 10:22 AM   #9
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I also use the Sigma 70-200 HSM II for indoor gyms, but with a K-5.
The lighting in the example below is probably better that your environment, but the K-5 definitely gives you more to work with as far as the sensor capabilities compared to K-7.
I owned a K-7 for a little while and experienced the same noise issue you are seeing.

Another advantage of the K-5 sensor is you can underexpose to gain shutter speed advantage and then bring it back up in post with no problems. Anyway, not sure if another camera is in the future, but with the price of the K-5 these days it is worth considering.

Camera Pentax K-5
Exposure 0.003 sec (1/320)
Aperture f/4.0
Focal Length 118 mm
ISO Speed 6400
Lens Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II

ISO 10,000

Last edited by crewl1; 06-26-2012 at 10:31 AM.
09-15-2012, 07:46 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cmohr Quote
There is a lot of good setting ect to use in this thread, it really helped out my K-7 a lot
+1 to that.

The K7 seven suffers from digital noise (in my opinion from ISO800 and up) and I learned from the thread mentioned to avoid it. The idea is to avoid the boosting of synthetic light and add natural light in the EV+/- setting (with the wheel) of an equal app. +4 instead. Check the thread. It is good.
additional settings: ISO-AUTO 200 - 3200/Parameter: Normal D-range: Highlight Correction: On; Shadow Correction: 2/3
Menu/C/3/#19:1; #20:3

Here is one (very different from your work, but with very little noize) made with settings like these:

Custom image: Black/White
B&W Filter: Yellow
Toning: Neutral
High/Low Key: -4 (Check ‘Adam‘ and ‘Chipvn‘ advise on digital noise: K-7 High ISO Success!)
Contrast: 0
Cont. Highlight: +1
Cont. Shadow: +3
Sharpness: FS2 +2

‘Tippen‘ Pentax K7 SMC DA 2.8/40 Ltd. Time: 1/1000 at f/8 ISO1600 EV+/-: +1

The settings are slightly different in this photo (ISO3200) but similar enough to be an example and based on the same basic principle from afore mentioned thread


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