Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-29-2008, 10:14 AM   #1
New Member




Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 19
K20D impression from a new DSLR owner

Hi all,

Here are my impressions of the K20D as a totally new DLSR owner

I own TONS of compact cameras and finally decided on a DSLR. The new Canon Rebel Xsi or 40D seemed the best choices due to the reviews but although the IQ and lens selection are great... as well I decided the Pentax 20D was a better fit for me for the weather sealing and prime pancake lenses.

Take pictures at first was weird and having to read the manual and read alot of forums.

*the following is just what I see as a new owner. feel free to give me advice*

Lesson 1 - Learn to use manual settings and tricks
The pictures are underexposed. Not everything I want is in focus. After reading the forums I stopped using the default automatic User settings. I set my exposure to .5 EV higher. that helped a bit but I learned my first big lesson. I can't use a DSLR on auto user settings. I tried a cool trick in a picture I just ZOOM in on what I want to be clear then half-press the shutter to focus then I zoom out
again and take the picture. Definitely learn to do things yourself and don't just press the shutter expecting the camera to take a good picture.

Lesson 2 - Live view sucks balls and the in camera flash too.
OK the Live view is dirt slow and feels weird since the image in the LCD syncs slowly as well. After using the in camera flash I learned that NONE of those nice pictures I see in the internet and magazines use the in camera flash. I saw an article on using a styrofoam bowl around the lens as a diffuser for the in camera flash. I will try that later.

Lesson 3 - Lighting is ALOT and also get a good flash
When on top of Taipei 101 (tallest building the world) I thought the sunlight was all I needed for crystal pictures. Nope. The sky was nice but my friend was underexposed. Learned to keep the Sun to your back. if you shoot with the sun behind your subject then your subject will be DARK. Unless you have a good flash I think. I have been using the K20D to shoot my own impromptu home porn as well and the constant movement definite requires the flash. Also a wider lens. I have the 18-55 kit lens and even at 18mm I wish it were just a wee bit wider for full body shot at close range. I went to BHphoto to look at the 14mm prime but it was too "fisheye" for me. maybe the 21mm prime will work. I have to look into it.

I am also going to look for some "full-spectrum" light bulbs. I hear these home light bulbs produce near full spectrum like daylight. I am wondering if it will make a difference in my apartment. Anyone have any experience with these?

Lesson 4 - Lens Hood or lens cap
I am unsure about these. the lens hood is to prevent sunglare. Do I need it in a bright indoor setting? The lens cap is to protect the lens so I always keep it on. Its a pain though when I am outside and the lens hood is on my camera with makes it a pain to take the cap on and off all the time. I am also worried that my lens cap might hit the lens while I am putting it on due to clumsy fingers. Will it scratch my lens?

Lesson 5 - In Progress The aperture shutter speeds. I dont know how to change the shutter speeds so i only fiddle with the F-stop number. I wish the kit lens would go lower than 4.0. I want a sharp clear image which I haven't been getting. Advice on this board is to get a good flash before investing in tons of lenses so I am sticking with the 18-55 f4 kit lens until I learn the camera but I just purchased the Metz 58 AF1 (OUCH! $$$). and the LowePro Rezo 160 AW shoulder bag which fits the camera and flash perfectly while staying compact. It should also let me carry 1-2 prime lenses as well when I get to that point later. I have alot of work to catch up with now but on the weekends I will start trying to see what I can do (learn) with my new K20D.

05-29-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 20
Interesting impressions. I spent the weekend in Venice with my new K20D and AF18-250 lens. I shot on the green setting throughout and had great pictures. It became clear that manual will be needed in low light situations of course. All the bad shots were due to my own stupidity. I am amazed at this camera! The zoom lens is a real winner too; much better than I expected, though it does extend from gravity when you don't expect it. A bit more friction would be nice.
05-29-2008, 11:57 AM   #3
Pentaxian
ryan s's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Madison, WI
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,370
Am I really reading #3?
05-29-2008, 12:10 PM   #4
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 20
QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
Am I really reading #3?
For most of those situations you want low light and as grainy as possible...

05-29-2008, 12:12 PM   #5
Veteran Member
user440's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 350
Very respectfully, if you are really having that many lighting problems you probably need to bone up on the mechanics a bit. Something is not right. Read - search - read - experiment - repeat. I highly recomend the book Understanding Exposure. Good luck!
05-29-2008, 12:16 PM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: CT / NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 822
It seems like you know where you headed with your new camera! Have fun with it!


QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
Lesson 5 - In Progress The aperture shutter speeds. I dont know how to change the shutter speeds so i only fiddle with the F-stop number. I wish the kit lens would go lower than 4.0. I want a sharp clear image which I haven't been getting. .

regarding the above, try using it in M mode, get used to the 2 wheels (you'll get addicted to it, I cant even shoot with my friends Rebel because I always forget how to swap between T and A) and learn how to use the GREEN button (also very powerful).


Regarding sharpness, i think you should go the other way around: instead of large apertures, use smaller apertures, stabilize and longer speeds. That will give you a NICE sharp picture. I use my f/1.4 mostly in low light situations OR when I want to isolate subjects... but other than that it does not give me overall sharpness (which is the opposite of isolating subjects anyway).



Later
05-29-2008, 12:18 PM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: CT / NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 822
Just realizzed you are in the city!

I have two other friends addicted to shooting, and we are heading to the city on a sunday to play with the cameras... you are welcome to join us!
05-29-2008, 12:31 PM   #8
Veteran Member
Workingdog's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: York, PA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 726
QuoteOriginally posted by John B Quote
For most of those situations you want low light and as grainy as possible...

Where's the cheesy porn music????

05-29-2008, 12:52 PM   #9
Loyal Site Supporter
Tom S.'s Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: S.E. Michigan
Photos: Albums
Posts: 4,238
QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
Lesson 3 - Lighting is ALOT and also get a good flash
When on top of Taipei 101 (tallest building the world) I thought the sunlight was all I needed for crystal pictures. Nope. The sky was nice but my friend was underexposed. Learned to keep the Sun to your back. if you shoot with the sun behind your subject then your subject will be DARK. Unless you have a good flash I think. I have been using the K20D to shoot my own impromptu home porn as well and the constant movement definite requires the flash. Also a wider lens. I have the 18-55 kit lens and even at 18mm I wish it were just a wee bit wider for full body shot at close range. I went to BHphoto to look at the 14mm prime but it was too "fisheye" for me. maybe the 21mm prime will work. I have to look into it.
Without seeing the picture, I'm going to guess that your friend was either a realatively small portion of the picture, or the light reflection behind him/her was relatively bright, causing your friend to come out under exposed as the camera read average light settings for the picture.

Impromtu home porn?
05-29-2008, 01:29 PM   #10
Forum Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: So.Cal.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 89
QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote

Lesson 2 - Live view sucks balls
I disagree, coming from three other dslr's (D70, 20D, 5D) I actually welcome it.I find I use it a lot for composing and focusing with my manual M primes on the tripod.
05-29-2008, 03:21 PM   #11
Veteran Member
rparmar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,783
QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
The pictures are underexposed. Not everything I want is in focus. After reading the forums I stopped using the default automatic User settings. I set my exposure to .5 EV higher.
You need to learn which settings work in which real-life scenarios. There is no magic recipe. Take a shot and check the histogram (you can set this to happen automatically). Then adjust the exposure.

QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
I tried a cool trick in a picture I just ZOOM in on what I want to be clear then half-press the shutter to focus then I zoom out
again and take the picture.
This will result in out of focus pictures since at different zooms the focus will be slightly different. Move the focus point with the jog buttons so it's where you need it. Use quick-shift focus to fine-tune what the camera gives you.

QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
When on top of Taipei 101 (tallest building the world) I thought the sunlight was all I needed for crystal pictures. Nope. The sky was nice but my friend was nderexposed. Learned to keep the Sun to your back.
That helps the camera make a more intelligent guess about exposure. Fill flash can also be a big help. But many photographers prefer natural light. Position your subjects to use the available lighting, get your exposure correct and watch their posture. Shoulders back and chin up helps avoid shadows and simply looks better.

QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
I have been using the K20D to shoot my own impromptu home porn
Hopefully not at the top of Taipei 101?

QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
I have the 18-55 kit lens and even at 18mm I wish it were just a wee bit wider for full body shot at close range. I went to BHphoto to look at the 14mm prime but it was too "fisheye" for me. maybe the 21mm prime will work.
I think you will find that the 21mm is not as wide as the 18mm end of the kit lens. The DA16-45mm gets you 2mm more, which is significant but maybe not enough depending on your requirements, which, given the scenario, I will not hazard to guess.

QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
I am unsure about these. the lens hood is to prevent sunglare. Do I need it in a bright indoor setting?
You might, yes, depending on if you are shooting into the light. The best tip is to always keep the hood on, just to prevent stray light.

QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
The lens cap is to protect the lens so I always keep it on. Its a pain though when I am outside and the lens hood is on my camera with makes it a pain to take the cap on and off all the time.
Some folks juggle the cap, some just count on the lens hood to deflect fingers and the like, and still others prefer a UV filter for lens protection. I am experimenting with keeping a UV on one of my expensive lenses but otherwise am a cap person.

QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
I dont know how to change the shutter speeds so i only fiddle with the F-stop number.
Use Tv mode to change shutter speed while keeping aperture constant, or use full manual to change both. Me, I prefer Av mode and use it almost all the time.

QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
I wish the kit lens would go lower than 4.0. I want a sharp clear image which I haven't been getting.
These two are not related necessarily. Concentrate on focusing and getting the exposure correct. For indoor work, especially studio, you should be using a tripod. A tripod is the first flash you should buy.

If subject movement is the problem then flash might be the answer. There's so much to learn. Sounds like you are well on your way.
05-29-2008, 08:08 PM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Owego, NY
Posts: 976
QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote

These two are not related necessarily. Concentrate on focusing and getting the exposure correct. For indoor work, especially studio, you should be using a tripod. A tripod is the first flash you should buy.

If subject movement is the problem then flash might be the answer. There's so much to learn. Sounds like you are well on your way.
I agree here. Getting a faster lens will let you trade motion blur in all of your scene for out-of-focus blur in all but part - As aperture gets wider, depth of field (the part of the shot that is in focus) gets narrower. Depending on the nature of your ...indoor work... (action shots vs. posed), your only option may be high ISO or adding more light. If the subject is moving, you need either more light or more aperture, but if the subject is moving, it'll probably be pretty rare that you can compose a shot where the depth of field/focus plane cooperates with you. If you add continuous lights or flash, you can narrow the aperture and put more of the shot in focus.


For info on flash techniques, you may wish to go to strobist.blogspot.com and read Lighting 101. Lots of good info. If you can learn to use manual flash most of the time, you can get 3-4 Vivitar 285HV units for the price of one AF-540FGZ, or 2 285HV + lightstand + umbrella + RF flash trigger kits.
05-29-2008, 08:25 PM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, PRofMA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,053
DOF is what you need to bone up on. Going from P&S to dSLR, that's what I had the most problems getting my head around. Running at f/2.8, you'll find a lot of stuff out of focus unlike a P&S.
Off-cam flash is also needed so you can run at f/5.6 of f/8 to get enough in focus...
05-30-2008, 02:36 AM   #14
New Member




Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 19
Original Poster
Alot of great lessons and advice here! especially from BBear, Rparmar, Entropy etc..! I am reading the strobist on flash 101. I will try out the new settings this weekend.

btw. What settings do you guys use on the last menu item "Custom Settings"? So I know what the experienced guys are doing.
05-30-2008, 05:10 AM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Owego, NY
Posts: 976
QuoteOriginally posted by kiamon Quote
Alot of great lessons and advice here! especially from BBear, Rparmar, Entropy etc..! I am reading the strobist on flash 101. I will try out the new settings this weekend.

btw. What settings do you guys use on the last menu item "Custom Settings"? So I know what the experienced guys are doing.
Most of these are a matter of personal preference. I suggest just learning what they do and setting them how you like.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
alot, camera, cap, dslr, flash, k20d, lens, lenses, lesson, photography, pictures, shutter
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New K-x owner (first DSLR) Steve_B Pentax DSLR Discussion 23 05-26-2010 03:26 AM
Shazam! New DSLR (k7)owner. Languin Welcomes and Introductions 3 02-26-2010 07:59 AM
New DSLR k7 owner- Hello! sifun Welcomes and Introductions 7 12-10-2009 10:19 PM
New proud DSLR and K20D owner Craner Welcomes and Introductions 5 03-19-2009 09:25 AM
Poor first impression of a K100D and advice to P&S -> dSLR users Tom Brown Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 02-12-2007 09:33 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:08 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top