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01-30-2012, 09:53 AM   #1126
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
Under $300 for an 85mm f/1.4 with A setting?
So the SamYang/Rokinon 85 1.4 has an A setting - ie auto-aperture on Pentax? Can you confirm that?

I always thought it was manual everything - manual focus, manual aperture.

01-30-2012, 09:59 AM   #1127
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
Nicely done, and I agree that the K-x was a great value when it came out, and it's a great value now at used prices. ...
Do you shoot RAW or JPEG? With the K-x, if you shoot RAW, you can push the shadows more than JPEG in post, even at high ISO. What I would do is expose (mostly) for the highlights, then push the shadows in pp.
Thank you.

I shoot humble JPGs - I do acknowledge there are many advantages to using RAW -
for my usage I get more than adequate results with JPG,
and don't really miss the possible added dynamic range -
of course as with all things YMMV.

Having said that, I'll paste in quotes from dpReview conclusion of the Pentax K-x
QuoteQuote:
where the K-x really starts to shine is in low light. Its high ISO JPEGs are possibly the best of all current DSLRs with an APS-C size sensor; they certainly beat any of its direct competitors. ...

Image Quality
In most shooting situations the K-x is capable of producing high quality image output. At base ISO JPEG images show very good detail and natural colors out of the box. The Pentax JPEG engine is doing a very good job at squeezing all captured detail into the camera's JPEG files and therefore shooting RAW does not produce a great amount of extra detail.
While the image quality at base ISO is generally very good, what we were really surprised about (in a good way) is the K-x's performance in low light. Up to very high sensitivities the Pentax output shows a very good balance between noise reduction and the retention of fine detail in JPEGs (raw output is similar to other cameras in its class). The K-x approach: leaning heavily on chroma noise with more lenient handling of luminance noise results in images with grainy, almost film-like noise characteristics, that show very good detail up to the very highest sensitivities. The K-x is surprisingly a lot better better in low light than its bigger brother K-7, and is no doubt one of the currently best performing APS-C cameras in low light.
and from dcResource.com review of the K-x
QuoteQuote:
There's actually very little difference between the JPEG and retouched RAW images as ISO 3200, which tells me that Pentax's JPEG algorithms are pretty solid. Post-processing in Photoshop does make a more noticeable difference at ISO 6400, so I'd recommend spending the extra time to do that for your super-high sensitivity photos.
QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
I find the kit 18-55 to be a good lens, deserving more credit than it gets. It's not the sharpest in fine detail, but it's got really nice color and contrast (as you have illustrated). That said, when I got my first prime, an M50 f/1.4, I was blown away. You'll be amazed at what you can do with a fast prime in low light.
I agree - again it is a matter what is adequate - and I consider myself pretty picky when it comes to IQ
the 18-55 may not be the "bestest" lens in the world - but I have found it to be more than adequate for my usage -

I did flirt with a very nice conditioned prime Pentax-A 50mm f/2 -
might want to check out -
my review of the Pentax-A 50mm f/2 with comparison samples

I would be very interested in any superior lens -
that guarantees my photography will be better.....

Last edited by UnknownVT; 01-30-2012 at 12:07 PM.
01-30-2012, 01:05 PM   #1128
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Thank you.

I shoot humble JPGs - I do acknowledge there are many advantages to using RAW -
for my usage I get more than adequate results with JPG,
and don't really miss the possible added dynamic range -
of course as with all things YMMV.


I agree - again it is a matter what is adequate - and I consider myself pretty picky when it comes to IQ
the 18-55 may not be the "bestest" lens in the world - but I have found it to be more than adequate for my usage -

I did flirt with a very nice conditioned prime Pentax-A 50mm f/2 -
might want to check out -
my review of the Pentax-A 50mm f/2 with comparison samples

I would be very interested in any superior lens -
that guarantees my photography will be better.....
LOL - I'll guarantee that your photography can be better with a better lens, but nobody will guarantee you that it will be better. That's up to you. It's in the way that you use it. Incidentally, the A 50 f/2 was a kit lens at one point in history, as was the M 50 f/2. If you get a good copy, it's decent. But the 1.4s are a whole different story. They're very usable wide open, and sharp as can be stopped down just a little.

And as for RAW vs JPEG, whatever works for you is what you're going to do. For me, with the K-x, the second biggest eye opener for me was switching from JPEG to RAW. Not only can I recover lost data in blown out highlights and crushed shadows, but it's much easier to fix white balance and other color problems. I've been a graphic designer for 15 years, and I have a lot of experience retouching photos provided in JPEG/TIFF format. With RAW, I can fix problems in seconds that would take much, much longer to fix with only a JPEG available. I bought the K-x in part because of what I read on dpreview.com. I read tons of other camera too reviews. But once I have something in my hands, I don't care what the reviewers and experts say. It's my experience that matters.

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
So the SamYang/Rokinon 85 1.4 has an A setting - ie auto-aperture on Pentax? Can you confirm that?

I always thought it was manual everything - manual focus, manual aperture.
Yes, the A setting works just as it should. Usable in all exposure modes.
01-30-2012, 02:39 PM   #1129
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
LOL - I'll guarantee that your photography can be better with a better lens,
(snicker) my photography can be better with any new lens
or it can be worse......

QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
And as for RAW vs JPEG, whatever works for you is what you're going to do. For me, with the K-x, the second biggest eye opener for me was switching from JPEG to RAW. Not only can I recover lost data in blown out highlights and crushed shadows, but it's much easier to fix white balance and other color problems. I've been a graphic designer for 15 years, and I have a lot of experience retouching photos provided in JPEG/TIFF format. With RAW, I can fix problems in seconds that would take much, much longer to fix with only a JPEG available. I bought the K-x in part because of what I read on dpreview.com. I read tons of other camera too reviews. But once I have something in my hands, I don't care what the reviewers and experts say. It's my experience that matters.
The review quotes were merely there to show how good the JPGs were out of the K-x.

I absolutely agree with you that for drastic type of correction RAW is a lot more versatile.
This is the reason why although JPG may work for what I do -
I never tell anyone else to use it -
whereas I seem to get a lot of advice (I am sure it is well intended) telling me to use RAW
and how much better it is.

I try not to take pictures that require a lot of correction -
again acknowledge sometimes it cannot be helped -
but I have also managed to correct some pretty drastic images in JPG that did not require that much effort.

Please take a look at Posts #101 & #125 in Modern LED Stage Lighting & photography problems ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page)


Last edited by UnknownVT; 01-30-2012 at 02:47 PM.
01-30-2012, 08:20 PM   #1130
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
(snicker) my photography can be better with any new lens
or it can be worse......


The review quotes were merely there to show how good the JPGs were out of the K-x.

I absolutely agree with you that for drastic type of correction RAW is a lot more versatile.
This is the reason why although JPG may work for what I do -
I never tell anyone else to use it -
whereas I seem to get a lot of advice (I am sure it is well intended) telling me to use RAW
and how much better it is.

I try not to take pictures that require a lot of correction -
again acknowledge sometimes it cannot be helped -
but I have also managed to correct some pretty drastic images in JPG that did not require that much effort.

Please take a look at Posts #101 & #125 in Modern LED Stage Lighting & photography problems ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page)
We all try to take photos that don't need a lot of correction.
But, for example, some of the blown out areas in your jazz club JPEGs could have been fixed if they had been shot using RAW.

So the question isn't, "Why shoot RAW?"
It's "Why not?"
01-30-2012, 11:37 PM   #1131
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
We all try to take photos that don't need a lot of correction.
But, for example, some of the blown out areas in your jazz club JPEGs could have been fixed if they had been shot using RAW.
Thank you for the advice.

Perhaps a short explanation may be needed -
This is the original JPG - EXIF still attached -

Re-sized with no adjustments to brightness or contrast.
As one can see there is very little highlight that is actually blown out.

Segment metering:


I deliberately brought up the brightness without holding/dodging to allow the highlights to blow out -
to convey the scene -
harsh lighting with face in the shadows
(I could have easily dodged/saved the "blown" highlights -
but for my taste there is no loss of any real important detail,
that almost anyone could have easily figured out) -

Evening out the dynamics contrast is the very last thing I want to do, nor "fix" them -
so that it ends up looking like a studio shot -
if I wanted that, I'd shoot in a studio.

I am in a dark jazz club with very uneven distributed lighting -
of course that is merely my humble taste and choice to convey it that way,
and I realize it may not suit everyone.

But thank you for your advice.

QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
So the question isn't, "Why shoot RAW?"
It's "Why not?"
Not everyone thinks or does the same things -
that's what makes the world go round?

Last edited by UnknownVT; 01-30-2012 at 11:57 PM.
01-31-2012, 08:16 AM   #1132
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Thank you for the advice.

Perhaps a short explanation may be needed -
This is the original JPG - EXIF still attached -

Re-sized with no adjustments to brightness or contrast.
As one can see there is very little highlight that is actually blown out.

Segment metering:


I deliberately brought up the brightness without holding/dodging to allow the highlights to blow out -
to convey the scene -
harsh lighting with face in the shadows
(I could have easily dodged/saved the "blown" highlights -
but for my taste there is no loss of any real important detail,
that almost anyone could have easily figured out) -

Evening out the dynamics contrast is the very last thing I want to do, nor "fix" them -
so that it ends up looking like a studio shot -
if I wanted that, I'd shoot in a studio.

I am in a dark jazz club with very uneven distributed lighting -
of course that is merely my humble taste and choice to convey it that way,
and I realize it may not suit everyone.

But thank you for your advice.


Not everyone thinks or does the same things -
that's what makes the world go round?
Listen, I'm not trying to tell you or anyone what to do. It's an if-then situation. If you want to take advantage of the potential of your camera, then use raw. If not; if, as you say, your tastes don't require that potential, then don't. It's like having a computer monitor with a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 and running it at 1280 x 768. Some people actually prefer to do that. It's their choice.

Telling me that not everyone thinks or does the same things is a bit condescending. I know that's true, and it's not really helpful to understanding. I just wanted to know why the resistance to the simple idea of using raw.
01-31-2012, 09:59 AM - 1 Like   #1133
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
Listen, I'm not trying to tell you or anyone what to do.
Sorry to butt in here but, as an outsider who has never interacted with either of you, I thought his comment was rather humble, whereas I found your opening "listen" remark to come across as quite condescending sounding.


Last edited by iocchelli; 01-31-2012 at 10:19 AM.
01-31-2012, 12:56 PM   #1134
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I go both ways!!! I think the great majority of photos do no benefit that much using a RAW file. I have found that proper exposure on any JPEG image at most ISO's will produce very nice photos without a lot of PP, especially when resized. However, I will use the RAW file when White Balance is off, it's just easier for me to correct the RAW than the JPEG. So, yes, I shot exclusively RAW+JPEG but will most likely use the JPEG file 85% of the time. With that said, for any printing I plan for any image, I will process the RAW file 100% of the time.

The image below was shot with a K20D at ISO 1600 and pushed 1.75 stops. The RAW was the RAW/DNG file was processed PP on a Mac using GIMP. I like the skin tones but hair is off to my liking. The JPEG was processed on a PC, using bits of 2 programs, I'm OK with this one but skin tone not 100% to my liking. On both, the bad to me is the shadow under the chin and cheek area (but this is often the result of underexposure). I used the PC because I love Faststone, this only runs on a PC but it can do some wonderful things. (Plus, I have not really been able process JPEG's successfully on my Mac.) Both were done about as quick as I could, since I abhor almost all PP

JPEG > PP Faststone +1.75 > NR Corel X2 > Color Correction Picasa. This could have turned out much better but using a Netbook has it's limitations However, I think this one actually renders the colors under the lighting conditions more accurately...


Shot at ISO 1600 RAW/DNG pushed 1.75 stops > PP using GIMP If I had spent another minute or 2, this could also have been a bit better. But I do personally like the skin tones in this one...
01-31-2012, 08:04 PM   #1135
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
Forgive me for questioning, but I'm no sure this is entirely true. If memory serves, it is true that increasing the ISO is the same as increasing the exposure in post, but only when you get past a certain threshold. I think it's ISO 1600 in the K-5. But I remember a discussion in which someone on this forum (I think it was Falconeye?) explained two different types of gain that go on in camera sensors these days, one of which is the kind you're talking about. I can't remember what the other is. If I am wrong, I apologize. Does anyone else have a similar understanding, or am I out in left field.
No, you are correct that the specific *method* used to brighten the image can differ - most cameras use an analog circuit to do the first few stops worth of amplification, then they switch to digital. But it's the same basic process either way. There is a perception that analog amplification might do a better job, at least up to a point, and that's why it's done that way for the first few stops, but whether done analog or digital, the exposure is the same. That's a good reason to not just leave your camera set to base ISO all the time - it's nice to take advantage of as the analog amplification as much as possible.

Nice shots, BTW!
02-01-2012, 12:47 AM   #1136
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ISO 10000. K-5, 300mm, f8, 1/400sec, DAL 55-300, dusk and overcast.

Only very light NR and sharpening in Lightroom required. Some white area highlights around the bird's head are modestly blown out, but the feathers on it's head are a very bright white, so that's hard to avoid.


White-headed pigeon olive eater 1/3
02-01-2012, 06:42 AM   #1137
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QuoteOriginally posted by iocchelli Quote
Sorry to butt in here but, as an outsider who has never interacted with either of you, I thought his comment was rather humble, whereas I found your opening "listen" remark to come across as quite condescending sounding.
I don't think either of us is trying to be condescending. I imagine that Vincent gets this type of inquiry a lot, and he's answered the question of why he uses JPEG quite thoroughly. But my question isn't why use JPEG, it's why not RAW. I'm just drilling down and restating my question in the most fundamental way possible. And saying that different people do different things doesn't really provide an answer, unless his avoidance of RAW is 100% arbitrary. But I don't think it is.

My apologies to all for a conversation that is only tangentially related to high-ISO photography.

QuoteOriginally posted by theunartist Quote
I go both ways!!! I think the great majority of photos do no benefit that much using a RAW file. I have found that proper exposure on any JPEG image at most ISO's will produce very nice photos without a lot of PP, especially when resized. However, I will use the RAW file when White Balance is off, it's just easier for me to correct the RAW than the JPEG. So, yes, I shot exclusively RAW+JPEG but will most likely use the JPEG file 85% of the time. With that said, for any printing I plan for any image, I will process the RAW file 100% of the time.

The image below was shot with a K20D at ISO 1600 and pushed 1.75 stops. The RAW was the RAW/DNG file was processed PP on a Mac using GIMP. I like the skin tones but hair is off to my liking. The JPEG was processed on a PC, using bits of 2 programs, I'm OK with this one but skin tone not 100% to my liking. On both, the bad to me is the shadow under the chin and cheek area (but this is often the result of underexposure). I used the PC because I love Faststone, this only runs on a PC but it can do some wonderful things. (Plus, I have not really been able process JPEG's successfully on my Mac.) Both were done about as quick as I could, since I abhor almost all PP

JPEG > PP Faststone +1.75 > NR Corel X2 > Color Correction Picasa. This could have turned out much better but using a Netbook has it's limitations However, I think this one actually renders the colors under the lighting conditions more accurately...


Shot at ISO 1600 RAW/DNG pushed 1.75 stops > PP using GIMP If I had spent another minute or 2, this could also have been a bit better. But I do personally like the skin tones in this one...
Interesting comparison. I often find that results of processing can be quite different for JPEG and RAW, simply because the steps taken are different. I may try shooting some JPEG just for fun. Perhaps an outcome of this will be me using JPEG more often.
02-01-2012, 07:01 AM   #1138
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
I may try shooting some JPEG just for fun.
Shoot RAW+ - that would be an easy way to try out the two formats.

I shoot RAW+ exclusively. It's very handy to have the JPG around - as an archive option; as a 2nd opinion (in-camera JPG engine vs your RAW processing); and as something usable straight away when you need it.
02-01-2012, 07:23 AM   #1139
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Shoot RAW+ - that would be an easy way to try out the two formats.

I shoot RAW+ exclusively. It's very handy to have the JPG around - as an archive option; as a 2nd opinion (in-camera JPG engine vs your RAW processing); and as something usable straight away when you need it.
Then I have to start paying attention to my in-camera settings! But yeah, I should. And I will.

Nice pigeon photo, BTW!
02-01-2012, 10:00 AM   #1140
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Re-sized with no adjustments to brightness or contrast.
As one can see there is very little highlight that is actually blown out.
For the record, that's not what I see at all. The way the segments happened to break down in the metering, there was no segment that actually shows as being blown out, but that's only because the blown out area spans more than one segment and is mixed with non-blown-out areas. The image itself does clearly show almost the entire bright area of the shirt as being blown out, however - just check the RGB values.

QuoteQuote:
I deliberately brought up the brightness without holding/dodging to allow the highlights to blow out -
to convey the scene -
harsh lighting with face in the shadows
That is of course a valid artistic choice, but:

QuoteQuote:
(I could have easily dodged/saved the "blown" highlights)
Unfortunately, this does not appear to be true. There is nothing to save - the detail in that area is gone, represented as 255,255,255 almost across the board. At most, there is like one or two bits worth of information in *portions* of that highlight (some of the RGB values are 254 or 253 instead of 255).

So again, as an artistic choice, accepting those blown highlights is certainly valid, but there is no denying it *is* blown. I cannot prove that the extra few bits of headroom shooting RAW would have allowed saving "all" the the detail there, but it certainly would have allowed for saving more.

Personally, I like the overall look you are going for, which the strong contrast between light and shadow, but I find the pure white of the blown highlights distracting. Shooting RAW I'd have recovered enough to get the percentage of blown pixels below, say, 0.50% (it's at 1.67% now the way ACDSee measures it). Shooting JPEG, I'd have kicked exposure down half a notch and then brought it back up in PP, attenuating the extreme upper end just enough to avoid clipping completely, while still showing the strong contrast. But that's me.
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