Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-03-2008, 09:43 AM   #1
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Madison, VA
Posts: 35
*ist DL - Won't take pix in low light

Hi, everyone! I'm so glad I found this forum!! I need your help. I'm supposed to take pictures of the renewal of the wedding vows of my in-laws (on the beach at sunset). My *ist DL does an awesome job of outdoor photos in daylight, but at dusk time and beyond, it "poops out."

I was thinking that it might be the light meter or the focus. It makes a horrible buzzing sound and the flash strobes. Even at my kid's birthday party, I had to resort to my Kodak Easyshare for the cake pix because my Pentax wouldn't cooperate.

Please, please, please give me your suggestions.

Thanks in Advance,

Stormdore

06-03-2008, 09:59 AM   #2
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 525
First of all, Pentax is well known for poor low light autofocus. Second, you did not mention what lens are you using. It if is the kit lens or anything that has f/5.6, try another lens that's f/2.8 or maybe a prime 50mm with f/1.4 or f/1.7. Those lenses will allow more light and AF might work better. Next thing would be to get an external flash with AF assist lamp or build a cheap LED assist light yourself.

The strobe effect with built-in flash is not very useful. I have istDL and that thing never worked for me.
06-03-2008, 10:01 AM   #3
Senior Member
joefru's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Louisiana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 210
Is the buzzing sound the AF motor? Does the flash strobe rapidly like for AF assist? Do you ever get the green focus lock? Can you take pics in AF-C or MF mode?
06-03-2008, 10:11 AM   #4
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Madison, VA
Posts: 35
Original Poster
Thanks!

Thanks so much for the speedy replies!! . I'm an ametuer photographer, so please bear with me if I forget things or ask a lot of questions.

I have the lense that came with the camera

I'm not sure if the buzzing is the AF motor - it certainly can be. The flash strobes very quickly at the same time as the buzzing, so I guess it could be AF assist (though it's never assisted with anything besides annoying my subjects!)

I've never noticed if I get the green focus lock. I get to shaken up by the camera not working. I'll have to "practice" this evening.

I've never thought to move to MF mode - duh! That seems like such a simple answer. I'll have to try that one too.

What is AF-C?

I will certainly check into prices of the other lenses, as well as the flash. I don't have an external flash at this point, so I might try that. Any suggestions on ones that won't break my budget?

Thanks again!

TErri

06-03-2008, 11:25 AM   #5
Senior Member
joefru's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Louisiana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 210
Sorry I wasn't more clear. Here's what I think is happening:

The camera is trying unsuccessfully to focus in a low-light situation. It flashes the strobe a few times quickly to help (but that's obviously not working). So it gives up and doesn't let you take the picture.

This is assuming you're in AF-S mode (single AF). AF-S is 'focus priority,' meaning the camera will not take a picture unless the image is focused. One solution would be to switch to AF-C (continuous AF), which is 'release priority,' meaning that when you press the shutter release, the picture will be taken, regardless of focus. You can also try switching to MF and manually focusing.

The switch for AF/MF is on the front of your camera near the lens mount. I assume you choose AF-S or AF-C in the menus somewhere.

Edit: You can choose AF-C in the Record Mode Menu, AF Mode. But MF would probably be better.
06-03-2008, 12:52 PM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 525
AF-C mode is accessible thru menu in istDL. I wouldn't expect it to work well in your case. I had my camera AF hunting for what felt like infinity in some low light situations. I guess a small flashlight won't break your budget but you might need to get a tripod or a helper for your next assignment.

Some of the older flashes had AF assist lamp that might help you in low light. Though with your camera they have to be used in manual mode (no P-TTL) so it means that you will have to set the shutter and then read the aperture value from the flash. I have two old flashes and they work just fine.
06-04-2008, 05:59 AM   #7
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Madison, VA
Posts: 35
Original Poster
It's Working

I knew I would find the help I needed here ! I practiced last night and it was definitely the AF. When I had it on MF, I was able to take picutres just fine.

So - this leaded me to a couple more questions, but I will ask them on a separate thread.

Thanks again for your help!

Terri
06-04-2008, 10:49 AM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 419
QuoteOriginally posted by stormdore Quote
Hi, everyone! I'm so glad I found this forum!! I need your help. I'm supposed to take pictures of the renewal of the wedding vows of my in-laws (on the beach at sunset). My *ist DL does an awesome job of outdoor photos in daylight, but at dusk time and beyond, it "poops out."

I was thinking that it might be the light meter or the focus. It makes a horrible buzzing sound and the flash strobes. Even at my kid's birthday party, I had to resort to my Kodak Easyshare for the cake pix because my Pentax wouldn't cooperate.

Please, please, please give me your suggestions.

Thanks in Advance,

Stormdore
I often use a Pentax DL with a DA40, DA70 or FA50 prime lens as my light-weight "low light shooter" at weddings. My K10D keeps a zoom lens on all the time.

Anyway, the problem you're encountering is the lame auto focus assist light feature. If you want to use the DL in low light you need to disable AF assist and/or use an external flash rather than the built-in flash. You also need to use a fast prime lens or a constant aperture zoom lens with f/2.8 or better aperture. The 18-55mm "kit lens" is just too slow (high aperture number) to work as a good low-light lens.

There's nothing wrong with your DL. You just need to understand how low-light photography works ... it's a little trickier than you might expect.

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!
*ist, *ist dl, camera, dl, dslr, light, photography, pix
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Low light shooting capabilities GX20 at low ISO cabstar Pentax DSLR Discussion 1 12-04-2008 11:01 AM
16-50 mm 2,8 in low light brr Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11 07-17-2008 09:00 PM
Using MF in Low Light stormdore Pentax DSLR Discussion 12 06-09-2008 02:27 PM
Low light versus Poor light d.bradley Pentax DSLR Discussion 4 07-11-2007 07:53 AM
Low Light - Low Experience - Fix $$$ ? daacon Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 35 04-26-2007 07:52 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:31 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.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