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02-22-2009, 11:11 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by lapeen Quote
the d90 captures those moments with ease. Last night she had her ISO at 2000 and the pics were bright and crisp and not at all grainy
Could we see the images from your friend and yours w/ all the EXIF info? The ones on picasa have all the EXIF stripped out so we can't figure out how you're shooting or what you're shooting with

02-22-2009, 12:59 PM   #17
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Wow... lots of questions and ideas here!

The exif data is available on all the photos, you have to hit the "more info" link on the right hand side to see it. The WB is off... and at that particular auditorium I tried custom, I chimped every setting, and even "fixed" it in PP, but still didn't get it quite right and decided to just live with it. I am not a big fan of post-processing... in fact, I find it tedious and annoying. And, yes, I shoot jpg. I know I would have more "fiddle room" if I shot RAW, but I really hate all the post-processing and since this is my hobby... I think I should enjoy it. (I do shoot RAW if I am taking photos for other people, or something 'important.')

The d90 has a Sigma 30mm 1.4 on it... her camera pretty much lives with that lens on it, she LOVES it. My 'equivalent' to that is my pentax 50mm 1.4 (which is not my fav lens, not wide enough for me and feel like I have to step away from the fun to snap a pic). I can't really compare any side by side because since she got the d90, I haven't bothered to bring my camera since I know she will have hers and I don't want to fight with mine all evening.

I definitely am pondering trying to start by getting a 2.8 zoom lens. I know my 18-250 is not optimal for the cheerleading events, but my 50mm isn't either and I'd rather have the zoom in case I can't move around a lot, so that's what I have been using. I had thought about that before, but I don't want to waste money trying something that and then ending up switching anyway.
02-22-2009, 01:16 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by lapeen Quote
Wow... lots of questions and ideas here!

The exif data is available on all the photos, you have to hit the "more info" link on the right hand side to see it. The WB is off... and at that particular auditorium I tried custom, I chimped every setting, and even "fixed" it in PP, but still didn't get it quite right and decided to just live with it. I am not a big fan of post-processing... in fact, I find it tedious and annoying. And, yes, I shoot jpg. I know I would have more "fiddle room" if I shot RAW, but I really hate all the post-processing and since this is my hobby... I think I should enjoy it. (I do shoot RAW if I am taking photos for other people, or something 'important.')
THis continues to be one of the great misconceptions with RAW. Ther eis very, very little extra work, almost none.

Here are the steps .....

- Open one image in software, set custom WB for that event

- Create a batch porocess and apply that WB to all images

- Press 'play' and crash, bang wallop ytou have JPG's in about three minutes (say 100 images on a 3GB RAM machine outta take less than 5 minutes).

It's that easy.
02-22-2009, 01:21 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by lapeen Quote
Wow... lots of questions and ideas here!

The exif data is available on all the photos, you have to hit the "more info" link on the right hand side to see it. The WB is off... and at that particular auditorium I tried custom, I chimped every setting, and even "fixed" it in PP, but still didn't get it quite right and decided to just live with it. I am not a big fan of post-processing... in fact, I find it tedious and annoying. And, yes, I shoot jpg. I know I would have more "fiddle room" if I shot RAW, but I really hate all the post-processing and since this is my hobby... I think I should enjoy it. (I do shoot RAW if I am taking photos for other people, or something 'important.')

The d90 has a Sigma 30mm 1.4 on it... her camera pretty much lives with that lens on it, she LOVES it. My 'equivalent' to that is my pentax 50mm 1.4 (which is not my fav lens, not wide enough for me and feel like I have to step away from the fun to snap a pic). I can't really compare any side by side because since she got the d90, I haven't bothered to bring my camera since I know she will have hers and I don't want to fight with mine all evening.

I definitely am pondering trying to start by getting a 2.8 zoom lens. I know my 18-250 is not optimal for the cheerleading events, but my 50mm isn't either and I'd rather have the zoom in case I can't move around a lot, so that's what I have been using. I had thought about that before, but I don't want to waste money trying something that and then ending up switching anyway.
Colleen,

The FA 50 1.4 is a terrific low-light portrait lens, but it's not the quickest with low-light AF, especially when paired with the K100D.

You may want to think about trying the FA 35 f/2 - wider, almost as fast (aperture,) and locks to focus generally faster than the FA 50 1.4 in low light.

The K20D, which can be bought for around $700, is going to get you just as good IQ as the D90, even though the D90 is 1/2 generation newer - the K20D is still class-leading.

The AF will be faster with the D80 or D90, hands down, but it's not night & day as some people suggest - the K20D is still sufficient in almost all cases.

If fast low-light AF is of utmost importance to you, you may want to think about getting a D80, new or used, and the new Nikon 35 1.8 DX - you should be able to buy the D80 new for $550 - $600 and the Nikon 35 for $199 new. (a used D80 will run you around $500 - or $480 (shameless plug)





.

02-22-2009, 01:34 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by lapeen Quote
The d90 has a Sigma 30mm 1.4 on it...
I definitely am pondering trying to start by getting a 2.8 zoom lens. I know my 18-250 is not optimal for the cheerleading events
Ummm....boooo. I wouldn't even try using the 18-250 for cheerleading events...way too slow. Even my Tamron 70-300, which is a step above that lens is too slow indoors

The 30/1.4 will lock easily because: a) it's much faster so the sensor has a lot more light and b) there's less DOF so even if it misses, it looks like it's in focus. The 50/1.4 would give you 3 stops more speed, so you'd have more shutter speed (though you'll still get motion blur).

See if you can borrow a faster lens to see if your K100 focuses fast enough. Or see if a Pentaxian w/ a K20D (there are quite a few in Maine) would be willing to an event with you so you can see what it does. Ideally, you'd use a 200/2.8 or 300/4. lens.

The white balance is probably because most gyms have funky sodium vapor lighting which actually changes color every 1/60sec. It'll always be funky. For flash, get something called a "better beamer" if you want to light them up and try freezing motion.
02-22-2009, 01:40 PM   #21
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QuoteQuote:
Looking at the ISO tests on DPreview and other sites seems to confirm this.
To my eye, the "smoothness" and "low noise" of the D90 is at the expense of detail.
Basically, it seems like the noise is blurred away.

The K20d is grainier, but has more detail. This would make me think that the D90
has much higher in-camera noise reduction, no that it is, in fact, lower noise to
begin with.

Anyone else know more about this than I do?

If the D90 is not actually capturing any more detail, what makes it any better than
a K20d with good PP noise reduction software?

Isn't PP NR actually BETTER than in camera NR anyway?

Now the D700, THAT is a different story. Check out it's (actually better, not just
the illusion of better) high ISO performance, and you will be in love with an even
bigger hit to your wallet.


Feel free to tell me off, I'm new at this technological mess.


[kurt]
02-22-2009, 01:49 PM   #22
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just a few things to note

web-imgp6995.jpg
k20d, iso800 (forest, rally, very difficult light), manual focus (75-150 smc-m zoom), pre-focused (i can do that, because i shot a rally or two, so i kind of understand what is going on)

the image quality of the k20d is outstanding, i don't know about the d90, but i doubt it is (significantly) better. the little noise there is at higher iso is nice looking, and very easy to obliterate using my raw converters (ufraw, open source, 0$) ) wavelet-based denoising (with almost no loss of detail)

the difference between that sigma /1,4 and the 18-250 for low light is.. is.. i am speechless :/.

i have had a nikon d50 before the pentax k100d (my fitst pentax). i guess the nikon was faster focusing, but without really fast expensive glass, i actually liked the k100d better overall, the af difference was of little consequence at the end of the day. i kept on shooting what i shoot and never looked back. but that's just me

bottom line: try to borrow/rent a k20d and some adequate glass before deciding (you can already play with the d90 to your hearts content, i assume). if you decide to switch, try dhe canon 40/50d as well, before you buy.

good luck!
02-22-2009, 01:56 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
...
The 30/1.4 will lock easily because: a) it's much faster so the sensor has a lot more light and b) there's less DOF so even if it misses, it looks like it's in focus.
...
Huh??? - shallower DOF will make a miss-focus look less like it's in focus, not more.

02-22-2009, 01:58 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
The 30/1.4 will lock easily because: a) it's much faster so the sensor has a lot more light and b) there's less DOF so even if it misses, it looks like it's in focus. The 50/1.4 would give you 3 stops more speed, so you'd have more shutter speed (though you'll still get motion blur.
I think in terms of "B" you meant that there is a larger depth of field. On the D90 with a 30mm@1.4 with your subject 15ft away the DOF calculator says you have a total DOF of 4.37ft (43%/57%). On the K100D with the 50mm@1.4 your total DOF is 1.54ft (47%/53%) so you have a much smaller margin for error. I think that fast movement would cover 1.5ft faster than you might have been able to compensate.

So using pure maths (i am an engineer what can i say?) the previously mentioned 35mm pentax lens will get you pretty much on par with the DOF that your friend is working with wide-open. I do not have the lens myself but other report that the AF on the lens is quite fast as well. Hope that helps a little.
02-22-2009, 02:07 PM   #25
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a few more notes

web-sg102308-ufr

when things get desperate (white ballance), i just give up . when you shoot concerts in available light, there's little you can do about it. the above was shot with the smc-m 50/1.4 (manual everything lens), wide open or close (so yes, there was just enough light not to get on the scene with the band by mistake while going to the bar for a beer )

thinking more about it, i seem to be able to use the af, just like i used to with the d50, in such extreme situations, because i understand how it works and help it: give it something contrasty to focus on. the pentaxes are better in such extreme conditions, because you can choos one of the 9 focus points (the d50 had just one usefull focus point, central, it was horrible to use), in these conditions, much worse than gyms and such, the d50's focusing system was just as lame as the pentaxes, and in real usage almost worthless, unlike the pentax.

so ymmv, if point-and-shoot is what oyu want, a recent canon or nikon (or even sony, i hear) might do a better job, if you can be bothered to understand how your camera works, and the event you shoot, you might do better (and for less money) with a humble pentax. depends a lot on your style.
02-22-2009, 02:17 PM   #26
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Well, if you're comparing a (fill in the camera name) with a f/1.8 lens against your (again, fill in the camera name) with a f/6.3 lens (I assume you're zoomed in), the first camera will always win in the situation you're describing.

I know what it's like to want a new gadget, so that's why I say get the D90 and work with it. However, unless you put the right lens on it (and shoot raw, or at least try to get the WB right), you're going to get the same results. But at least you'll have scratched the new camera itch.
02-22-2009, 02:41 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by lapeen Quote
Wow... lots of questions and ideas here!

The exif data is available on all the photos, you have to hit the "more info" link on the right hand side to see it. The WB is off... and at that particular auditorium I tried custom, I chimped every setting, and even "fixed" it in PP, but still didn't get it quite right and decided to just live with it. I am not a big fan of post-processing... in fact, I find it tedious and annoying. And, yes, I shoot jpg. I know I would have more "fiddle room" if I shot RAW, but I really hate all the post-processing and since this is my hobby... I think I should enjoy it. (I do shoot RAW if I am taking photos for other people, or something 'important.')

The d90 has a Sigma 30mm 1.4 on it... her camera pretty much lives with that lens on it, she LOVES it. My 'equivalent' to that is my pentax 50mm 1.4 (which is not my fav lens, not wide enough for me and feel like I have to step away from the fun to snap a pic). I can't really compare any side by side because since she got the d90, I haven't bothered to bring my camera since I know she will have hers and I don't want to fight with mine all evening.

I definitely am pondering trying to start by getting a 2.8 zoom lens. I know my 18-250 is not optimal for the cheerleading events, but my 50mm isn't either and I'd rather have the zoom in case I can't move around a lot, so that's what I have been using. I had thought about that before, but I don't want to waste money trying something that and then ending up switching anyway.
Whoa!!.
For some reason I just thought you'd be comparing oranges to something round at least, not to a banana.
You can't put an f5.6 or so consumer zoom on a camera and expect the same quality of results as what you get with a good quality f/1.4 lens.
Do yourself a favour and before you junk the Pentax, do some shots with your 50/1.4 (Ya, I know you don't like it as much, get over it) in the same conditions as where the zoom failed you and see if the camera performance is up to what you need.
If it is, and I suspect it will be, then you are looking at a lens buy rather than a camera and lens buy.
If you decide to go with the Nikon, you are still going to be looking at some faster glass to do what you want.
02-22-2009, 03:00 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by lapeen Quote
Looking at the ISO tests on DPreview and other sites seems to confirm this.
You should just get the camera that you are most comfortable with, and I'm not trying to sway you away from Nikon if that's where you want to go, but it should be noted that the K20D has a very different -- not necessarily worse -- approach to noise reduction than the D90. Looking at the grey/black test boxes it is obvious that the K20D has a lot more chroma noise, but the looking at the picture, the D90 is clearly much softer at high ISO's, with less preserved detail.

The K20D was actually lauded by DPReview in its own test for doing a minimum of noise reduction in camera -- the reasoning being that people who buy a camera like that are likely to want to shoot in RAW and decide during post-processing how heavy-handed they want to be with NR.

I personally like how the K20D does a great job of preserving detail at high ISO's, but you might not like leaving that much chrominance noise in the picture, especially if you shoot JPEG and do little PP. Matter of taste and what suits your shooting. Again, get the camera that "feels" the best.


EDIT: Oh, and as long as we're talking about DPReview, take a look at this comparison: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond90/page32.asp -- in normal shooting the differences in image quality are absolutely negligible (with a slight nod to the K20D for its higher resolution, according to DPR -- personally I wouldn't count on being able to pick that very slight difference out with a revolver to my head.)

Last edited by Erik; 02-22-2009 at 03:12 PM.
02-22-2009, 03:05 PM   #29
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Good topic! Wondering if I should graduate from Pentax K10D to K20D or the Nikon D300. Most everyone on my course had Canon or Nikon and I am the only one shooting with Pentax at the moment. I'm happy with image quality s it is but there are a few feaures in the Nikon D300 I like...if K20D has them I'll be sticking with Pentax as the other main reason I chose Pentax was weather seal and the fact it just feels better in my hands.
02-22-2009, 03:06 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Emotive45 Quote
Good topic! Wondering if I should graduate from Pentax K10D to K20D or the Nikon D300. Most everyone on my course had Canon or Nikon and I am the only one shooting with Pentax at the moment. I'm happy with image quality s it is but there are a few feaures in the Nikon D300 I like...if K20D has them I'll be sticking with Pentax as the other main reason I chose Pentax was weather seal and the fact it just feels better in my hands.
Well, ya might wanna start with saying what those "few features" actually are.
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