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10-11-2013, 02:04 PM   #1
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New camera and other stuff

I do wedding and am for this reason looking to improve the optical quality of my photos.

But first, it is my understanding the K-3 body itself wont take AA batteries. I'd have to purchase the grip as well to do that.

Fine, but I'd still need spare OEM batteries. Are there chargers that will recharge multiple OEM batteries at once?

What would you recommend for the long run. A bunch of OEM and/or AA batteries and why?

I believe the OEM alone route is going to be expensive though.

I also need recommendations regarding lens upgrades. My Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 is very very soft towards the edges at the shorter focals. The last group shot I did was at 13mm f8 and about 2/3rds of the people were soft (not out of focus). I didn't have to see the photo in 1:1 size to tell. I'd like something better, where should I look?

The new Sigma 18-35mm ART. I keep reading good stuff about it but tbh I'm not impressed by the performance at f1.8. Am I expecting too much, did I see bad examples or what? Do bare in mind that I do weddings and fast lenses + crop sensor is a needed mix. But not if the pics are too soft at larger apertures.

I mostly shoot at f2.8-3.2. f4 when I'm panicking a bit but I rarely use smaller apertures than this unless I'm doing group photos or studio shots.

I love my 70mm Limited but it's too soft towards the edges (at f8). For instance, when I do full body studio shots in portrait mode, the faces are never or rarely tack sharp.

I basically have all focals covered for wedding, but what I also really need, beside improved optical quality, is a fast AF wide angle lens. Something around 20mm.

I've been looking at the lens database but it's hard to use it to pick the right lenses. Photos rarely show what I need to see in order to judge any given lens. Also, is the Sigma 50-150 no longer available for Pentax?

Ideally I'd like something sharper (across the frame) than my sigma 70-200, but I don't think there are any true alternatives.

Oh yeah, finally: "silent" lenses are a huuuuge plus.

10-11-2013, 02:24 PM   #2
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K-3 uses the same DL190 that the k-5 & k-5II use. OEM are a little pricy, but look here: Wasabi Power Battery for Pentax D-LI90 and Pentax 645D, K-01, K-5, K-5 II, K-5 IIs, K-7: Camera & Photo

They also sell a package with 2 batteries and charger. I see no difference in performance between them and the OEM. I'm not aware of a charger than does multiple batteries but the Wasabi charger works, so a couple of those on site should keep you going. I don't know how many shots you take at a wedding but I've done over 1,000 with the k-5 on the DL190.

Cannot really help much on the lens side. What camera are you using? If you are having trouble with soft pictures from some lenses maybe you could look into AF fine tuning, if your body has that.
10-11-2013, 02:48 PM   #3
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Those Wasabi batteries are much cheaper than the OEM ones. The price for OEM here in Denmark is 90USD :S

I typically do around 3000 shots for a full day wedding, using 2 bodies.

I'm using K-30 and can fine tune but it's not the accuracy I'm missing. Instead I miss better sharpness towards the edges and there are limits to how much I can stop down because of available light. I'd prefer very much so if I didn't have to stop down only to increase edge sharpness.
10-11-2013, 04:01 PM   #4

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Aside from thinking hardware, think software...

Some of your lens softness issues may be solved by using a RAW processor with decent lens corrections available for the lenses you work with. I am specifically thinking of DxO Optics Pro, which can do a lot to sharpen up soft edges in the lenses that it supports.

Lightroom can also do a decent job with optical corrections too, of course, but it only addresses distortion correction, vignetting and CA. DxO does all that too, but also adds smart deconvolution sharpening. I've seen it improve edge softness quite noticeably with some of my lenses, including a lens with notoriously soft edges like the DA 18-135.

DxO can fairly easily integrate itself into your workflow if you are already using something like Lightroom.

10-11-2013, 05:29 PM   #5
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I've earlier tried Capture One Pro and DxO. I know for certain I had conversion issue with Capture One, and have this vague feeling I had problems with DxO as well. Whatever it was, I ended up going back to Lightroom. It's been a while though and I might give it a try again.

Thanks for the tip.
10-11-2013, 07:17 PM   #6

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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
Whatever it was, I ended up going back to Lightroom.
DxO integrates pretty well with LR. Quite a few folks around here use them together.

I use LR for most things, and use DxO mainly for:

- 'problem' images (softness, some lighting issues sometimes),
- images that need some lens and other geometric corrections that LR can't handle as well as DxO,
- images that may benefit from features of DxO (single-shot HDR, the Film Pack effects) that LR lacks, and
- to sometimes provide a '2nd opinion' aside from LR on particular images that I want to turn out as best as they can.

So I still keep DxO around.
10-12-2013, 05:50 PM   #7
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I gave DxO Optics a go again and have been playing with it for the past 4-5 hours.

The Lens Softness feature worked rather nicely on a photo where I used 70mm Limited, but it doesn't do anything on photos taken with Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6, Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 and and Pentax 21mm Limited. Modules for all those were downloaded.

Overall I think there are things DxO does really well, but LR makes room for faster workflow, which also does matter to me. Forinstance I don't believe it's possible to process multiple photos at ones in DxO with the same flexibility as in LR. Also, copy/pasting certain settings is a big time saver for me. It seems DxO can only all settings, and that doesn't really work too well for me.

I'll play more with DxO and will see what else I'll learn.

Edit: I remember now why I didn't go further with DxO the last time: because of the workflow thing but also because export from DxO was buggy at that time.
10-13-2013, 04:32 PM   #8

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I view DxO as a complement to LR, not a replacement.

For one, LR's metadata capabilities are important to me, and some other LR features like noise reduction and spot adjustment are much better than DxO's.

But one of the strengths of DxO is it's export feature. It used to be buggy but is more reliable now. I particularly like how easy (compared to LR) it makes the job of doing exports in multiple image sizes and formats all in one go.

DxO can also be more intelligent than LR when processing a large batch of images, since it adjusts it's processing (NR, sharpening, exposure, lens corrections etc) according to each image's ISO, exposure, lens etc automatically. I've thrown a couple of hundred event photos at DxO in one session for auto processing, gone away for a cup of tea, and then come back to find DxO had done a pretty good job of individually rendering (and exporting) most of them, leaving only a few requiring individual tweaking and adjustment.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
Also, copy/pasting certain settings is a big time saver for me. It seems DxO can only all settings, and that doesn't really work too well for me.
In the DxO 'Customize' mode, if you have an image where you have made a bunch of specific adjustments that you would like to copy to other images, just right-click on the 'master' image and choose 'Create preset from current settings'. Then you can apply those specific settings to other images by applying the preset you have created, either by right-clicking on a 'target' image (or batch of images) and choosing ''Apply a preset', or by using the 'Presets' button on the main DxO menu.


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