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01-04-2009, 06:14 AM   #1
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Dark Photos with K10D

I have been having this problem since I purchased this camera about a year ago.

When I take pictures indoors it is very dark.

I set the camera to P mode and added +2 and then the pictures come out somewhat better.

To try to fix this I got the outboard flash.

When I take a picture with the flash on, it is darker than without the flash.

Also, with the flash on, the f changes to 13 in P more from 4 without the flash.

Is there a way to set this camera on an automatic mode that would fix this?

Green setting has the same problem, but usually darker because I cannot change the metering.

Any help would be appreciated before I put this camera on ebay in exchange for a Canon.

01-04-2009, 06:16 AM   #2
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Can you post a link to a photo? or upload a file with intact EXIF data that we can study to see what is happening?
01-04-2009, 06:23 AM   #3
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Here are two pictures taken inside.

The 73 was without flash

the 72 was with flash.


If the EXIF data there?

Thanks
-David
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01-04-2009, 06:23 AM   #4
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What flash model are you using? And are you using the 18-55 kit lens?

And you have to expect that the camera is going to use a smaller aperture (bigger f number) when you add light to the scene.

01-04-2009, 06:24 AM   #5
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01-04-2009, 06:42 AM   #6
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The program you used to resize your JPEGs removed all EXIF data. What lens and focal length were you using? What are your camera settings at the time of these shots?
01-04-2009, 06:54 AM   #7
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If you're using the 18-55 kit lens, my experience with it was that it always tended to underexpose. My other lenses compatible with P-TTL all worked just fine, though. You can make a flash compensation adjustment in the camera's control menu.
01-04-2009, 07:34 AM   #8
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It may be an issue with the metering system, or your apeture is stopped down to much. Try using a wider apeture and higher ISO setting such as 400. You should also read FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY 101 – A BEGINNER’S GUIDE - Canon Digital Photography Forums yes, it's from a Canon site, but it does have a lot of good information on indoor flash photography. I feel your pain with the K10d. I sold mine two months ago in favor of a Canon after coming back from Mystic with 200+ dark pictures that were shot in bright sunlight.


Last edited by explr1; 01-04-2009 at 07:46 AM.
01-04-2009, 07:55 AM   #9
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David's problem is more generic than just a flash issue, regardless of whether its onboard flash or secondary one.

Actually my K10D also underexposes pretty much indoors too. But mine can be corrected with just +1 on exp compensation.

By the way, have you upgraded your firmware to the latest?
01-04-2009, 08:05 AM   #10
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The simple fact is, you haven't got enough flash for the aperture you are using.
Try taking off the bounce thingie, it's sucking up light, and set your aperture to f/5.6 or therabouts.

Flash control is not one of Pentax's strong points, I use my flash equipment with the camera in manual mode so that I can control things myself.
01-04-2009, 08:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Amydaveg Quote
Is there a way to set this camera on an automatic mode that would fix this?
You can use exposure compensation, and flash exposure compensation, but your best bet is to shoot in Manual with the flash set to p-ttl.

I have the same flash, and K200D, and have had great results indoors. If you bounce or diffuse the flash, add .5 or 1 stop to the flash exposure compensation.
01-04-2009, 10:32 AM   #12
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I tried posting this earlier, but it seems to have vanished...

If the picture you took without flash was at +2 EV compensation, something is *very* wrong. But if taken with defaults, it's about what I'd expect given the light background. Maybe a little darker than I'd expect, but you have to keep in mind that a light background will always confuse the meter and cause it to render a scene darker than it is. I'd have tried metering off the child.
01-05-2009, 06:31 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by explr1 Quote
I feel your pain with the K10d. I sold mine two months ago in favor of a Canon after coming back from Mystic with 200+ dark pictures that were shot in bright sunlight.
That's because you used spot metering with a big white sail in the middle of the frame. Folks tried to help you and explain that there was nothing wrong with the camera, but you didn't listen, and now you come back here to dog on Pentax. That's weak dude....
01-05-2009, 06:41 AM   #14
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Some flash tips -

Basically, with flash, the FLASH exposure is solely determined by flash power (actually duration, how long the bulb is actually firing for), aperture and ISO. Ambient exposure is determined by ISO, shutter speed, and aperture (just like without any flash), so the trick is balancing the two. If I'm indoors in a smallish room (such as in someone's house), I usually just forget about ambient since the flash is powerful enough to light up the entire room (hence the 1/180s below, if the flash didn't fire, I'd have a more or less black picture) Now although you're shooting MANUAL Mode, that's only for the ambient exposure (the exposure needle in the viewfinder will blink warning you about underexposure, but ignore that). The camera's P-TTL metering will determine the needed flash output for a proper exposure.

Here's something I wrote on another forum -
"Easy" recipe for great P-TTL flash shots -
1)Point flash at ceiling
2)Put camera in MANUAL mode on the mode dial
3)Set FEC to +1 on the flash head


4)Shoot RAW (this allows you to recover some highlights that might get blown as a result of #3 above)

5)Set ISO to 200 (to start)
6)Set shutter speed to 1/180s
7)Set f-stop to whatever DOF you want



Now if the flash runs out of "power" because of high ceilings, you can raise the ISO or open up the f-stop to compensate. Or you can slow down the shutter to bring more ambient light into the exposure (in addition to adjusting ISO/f-stop) If the ceiling is REALLY high (like in a church), you may need a reflector to throw some of the light forward (I use the Joe Demb Flip-it).

Quick and dirty outdoor fill flash tutorial -

Basically, if your subject is in shade and the background is bright (ie under a tree) or majorly backlit, fill flash is your friend. Think of those times when you got a properly exposed background, but the subject was almost pitch black.

Put camera into Av mode, metering will set the shutter speed to expose the overall shot (which in the situations that call for fill-flash will generally be the background) based on your selected aperture/ISO.

Make sure flash is set to HSS (in case your shutter speed go faster than 1/180s) and P-TTL. Fire away! The shutter speed/f-stop/ISO will expose the background, and the flash should output enough power to light up the foreground.

Now to control the background exposure, you use exposure compensation on the camera body (which would adjust the shutter speed), to adjust how much fill for the flash exposure, you use Flash exposure compensation. The trick is balancing the two (as it is with indoor work), and that comes with experience/experimentation.
01-05-2009, 06:46 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
That's because you used spot metering with a big white sail in the middle of the frame. Folks tried to help you and explain that there was nothing wrong with the camera, but you didn't listen, and now you come back here to dog on Pentax. That's weak dude....
Thanks, I didn't know what the burr under his saddle was until now. It's great to know that Canon cameras are so wonderful they automatically compensate for operator error, though. Because obviously under the same circumstances a Canon would have gotten it right, not being burdened with the crappy Pentax metering and all.

If I were a smilie using man, you'd see a big string of the "eek!" and "lol" dudes right here.
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