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09-11-2008, 01:00 PM   #1
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K200D Night shooting problems

Hi there;

first post to the forum so hello to everyone...

i've just bought a k200d with the kit lens (18-55mm).
my problem is; when shooting at night i cannot make the lights seem like "stars", you know... i usually shoot within the range of iso100, f8/f14 and shutter speeds of 10-15 sec. but the lights (ex: the streetlights) seem like shot at iso 800 or 1600 and shutter speeds of 1 sec -unlike the starlike view.
i think that's because i cannot focus clearly (af does not seem to work well also)
but i cannot decide. this is my first dslr, and i may have problems about focusing.
i used a fuji s5200, and it was so simple to achieve that result.

btw, let me send links for two photos:
ImageShack - Hosting :: img01ex5.jpg
http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/1270/img02oa5.jpg

waiting for your comments & help..

regards

09-11-2008, 01:24 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome!

I think if you were getting these on your fuji, it was lens flare, and not a desirable thing all the time (for example, if your subject is close to a light source, it might be obscured by the flare/star. ) You can get the effect with your pentax using a star/cross screen filter see the bottom of this page.

Your focus is not too bad, and it's hard to get good focus at night. For subjects at a distance, you can manually focus to infinity. I don't remember if the 18-55 will focus past infinity (I think it will) so I would recommend you practice focusing on distant objects during the day, and note where your focus ring is set when they are in sharp focus. Then at night you can manually set the focus ring there for objects at that distance. I don't think focus was the reason for not getting the stars though, I think it's the good flare resistant coatings on the pentax lens.
09-11-2008, 01:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
Hello and welcome!

I think if you were getting these on your fuji, it was lens flare, and not a desirable thing all the time (for example, if your subject is close to a light source, it might be obscured by the flare/star. ) You can get the effect with your pentax using a star/cross screen filter see the bottom of this page.

Your focus is not too bad, and it's hard to get good focus at night. For subjects at a distance, you can manually focus to infinity. I don't remember if the 18-55 will focus past infinity (I think it will) so I would recommend you practice focusing on distant objects during the day, and note where your focus ring is set when they are in sharp focus. Then at night you can manually set the focus ring there for objects at that distance. I don't think focus was the reason for not getting the stars though, I think it's the good flare resistant coatings on the pentax lens.

great reply and very handy tips for all new to nightshooting.



Neil
09-11-2008, 02:07 PM   #4
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Original Poster
Thanks a lot for the kind help, that was really helpful.
but now i have another questions. now that i cannot shoot what i want with the kit lens, what about the others? for ex, the DA 18-250mm? will i need a star filter?
also if i'm not wrong, i had seen several photos with kit lenses (pentax, canon, nikon...) including the star/flare... do the other kit lenses have that effect while 18-55mm ALII doesn't?
can you suggest some lenses? or in any case, a star filter?

thanks again
regards

09-11-2008, 03:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by no_one Quote
also if i'm not wrong, i had seen several photos with kit lenses (pentax, canon, nikon...) including the star/flare... do the other kit lenses have that effect while 18-55mm ALII doesn't?
I think before you go too far down that road, it would be good to see the type of image you *do* want. Maybe it's lens flare - which is probably easy enough to get if you buy a really really old lens (the Takumars from before the days of SMC coating). And maybe what you're wanting is something that was created via filters. But it's also possible it was created in post processing. It's also possible it was just a question of getting "lucky" - just the right angle and intensity of light to create the effect with a given lens.
09-11-2008, 05:20 PM   #6
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Depending on the angle at which the light is coming from and diaphragm opening, you can get "stars" on lights with just about any lenses. You'll have to try different settings (ISO, aperture and speed) to find out what works for you. But the easy way is still with a "star filter" in front of the lens.
09-11-2008, 06:50 PM   #7
Kei
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Do you mean this kind of "star" effect (see pic below)?




K200d, 18-250mm (@18mm), f8, iso 400, shutter 9.4 sec

I think the f8 aperture gives this "star" effect on the street lights, but night shots with such small aperture leaves you little choice: you must use high iso and/or long shutter speed.

This is my test shot of long exposure, using shutter speed this long means tripod is a must. Or at least you need to put the camera resting on a flat surface.
09-11-2008, 11:44 PM   #8
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I was always under the impression the star shaped was caused by aperture blades, always the same amount of star spikes as I have blade slits :/
Kei that photo rocks, you sure make the k200D talk!

09-12-2008, 12:32 AM   #9
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The DA 10-17 Fisheye can demonstrate quite striking flaring effects, is this the sort of thing you're talking about?
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09-12-2008, 10:27 AM   #10
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Original Poster
hello again;

first of all, thanks to everyone who stopped to say something. all these information is really helpful for a beginner.
dear cpopham and kei, great shots! that's what i just meant.
anyway i got my answer, and a little bit relaxed, because i thought there was a problem...

again thanks to everyone
09-12-2008, 11:24 AM   #11
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so we have it on the forum, i'll explain things as i'm aware of it:

this "star-effect" is caused by the aperture blades of the lens. you have to stop down to get it, f/8 and on i think. the number of points you get is related to the number of blades in the lens diaphram: even # of blades will give that many points, odd # of blades will give twice that number of points. ex: 6-bladed aperture gives 6-pointed stars, 9-bladed aperture gives 18-pointed stars. ken rockwell talks about this in most of his lens "reviews".
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