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08-01-2009, 02:08 PM   #16
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I was suggesting going with 2.8 AND 800 ISO in av mode.

08-01-2009, 02:16 PM   #17
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I also think you've done well Hin.
The only extra suggestion I'd give is to intentionally under-expose by one stop (if ISO is <1600 or so) and then push it up in PP. Not the best method, but perhaps a last resort. I'd still try ISO 1600 first - it really is useable on the K20D/K-7. And definitely try to preserve highlights, then normalise contrast in those spotlit shots by using the Recover and Fill Light features in Camera Raw.

Though I think you're doing OK the way you are, based on your consistently good results...
08-01-2009, 02:28 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by WalterGA Quote
I was suggesting going with 2.8 AND 800 ISO in av mode.
QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I also think you've done well Hin.
The only extra suggestion I'd give is to intentionally under-expose by one stop (if ISO is <1600 or so) and then push it up in PP. Not the best method, but perhaps a last resort. I'd still try ISO 1600 first - it really is useable on the K20D/K-7. And definitely try to preserve highlights, then normalise contrast in those spotlit shots by using the Recover and Fill Light features in Camera Raw.

Though I think you're doing OK the way you are, based on your consistently good results...
Thank you Ash, Walter and you all for the inputs and vote of confidence, I am leaving the doorstep for the real formal. It is going to be a long day for me from from 3 to 10, I love all the suggestions, inputs and discussions, the learning experience is invaluable. This may be by far my toughest challenge indoor. I will surely report back with some iso 1600, 800, TAv, mix use of my insanely good 77mm along with Da* zoom, try out on M mode, artistic shots in slow shutter, and perhaps others on the fly moments with creative thoughts.

Warmest,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 08-03-2009 at 04:03 PM.
08-01-2009, 04:38 PM   #19
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Have fun, and please post some more pics!

08-03-2009, 03:28 PM   #20
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Thank you for all the suggestions

It turns out to be quite satisfactory. I will report back with more details. But basically, TAv mode really helps me to freeze the motion when speed is critical in the 1/125 to 1/200 sec range. And I still manage to use Av mode where shutter speed is not too demanding and I can afford to stop down a bit for the better IQ.

I used the limited 77. It has both plus and minuses, more on the pluses. The gain of speed when I open to f/1.8 to f/2.4 is tremendous so that I can use a lower ISO and still maintain a good shutter speed. The fixed prime come with the minuses as I was sitting in the front row and NOT able to zoom with my feet. I was playing the considerate shooter mode not to block the viewers from behind. It was a full auditorium with over 400+ people enjoying the dance.

The one problem that I face which was not revealed in the rehearsal was the stage lighting alternation and the saturated red color that I am NOT prepared and ready to handle. I should have shot all in RAW but I only use raw for the minority and mostly in JPG. I shot way too many, too many to admit in public as an amateur photog trying to do my best for every move and every turn in the dance. It was a hard lesson and bad habits that hopefully got stick in my head -- it is the quality that count but not the shotgun fashion of shooting that matters.

I am proud of the Pentax gear and the valuable experience


Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8

1/60 sec, f/3.2, 90mm, iso 800, 0 Ev


1/125 sec, f/4.0, 123mm., iso 640, 0 Ev


1/200 sec, f/3.2, 65mm, iso 1600, 0 Ev


1/200 sec, f/2.8 wide open, 75mm, iso 800, 0 Ev


More to come,
Thank you all,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 08-03-2009 at 04:01 PM.
08-03-2009, 05:03 PM   #21
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Excellent quality images.
08-03-2009, 08:01 PM   #22
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Great shots! I especially like the second.
08-03-2009, 09:09 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Excellent quality images.
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Great shots! I especially like the second.
Thank you for the encouragement. Here are few shots with the Pentax FA 77mm f/1.8 limited. I have most problems with the over-saturation in red and reflective golden costume.


1/160sec, f/2.8, 77mm, iso 500, 0 Ev



1/125 sec, f/2.8, 77mm, iso 250, 0 Ev



1/50 sec, f/2.2, 77mm, iso 500, 0 Ev


With the fixed prime, the framing gives me the most problems as I can't move around in the auditorium during the dance. The gain of speed is helpful on the use of faster prime. But I was greedy in setting ISO lower as in 640 and 800. AF seems more challenging as I shot those in darker scenes and the quick movement from the dancer don't help either. It is a lot of compromise to make in between scenes and movement.

Thanks,
Hin


Last edited by hinman; 08-12-2009 at 02:26 AM.
08-12-2009, 02:06 AM   #24
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I have a selected photo set in flickr for the dance. The green dress are by Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 zoom and those with red dress are by Pentax FA 77mm f/1.8 limited. I may have used the 77mm not to its best in strength, they look to me that the DA* zoom did better for me in the dance, what do you think?


It can be due to my user errors in pushing the 77mm limited with lower ISO and wider apertures. The red and reflective golden costume does not help either. The dancer movement was quicker in the portion where the dancer was in the red/golden costume.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 08-12-2009 at 06:03 PM.
08-12-2009, 11:10 AM   #25
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Well, they all look great to me, but I do think you're on the tright track in wondering if loer ISO and wider aperture really is doing you any favors. In shots where you really want very shallow DOF, sure, there is no substitute. But most performance are not in that category, and DOF at f/2.8 is already as shallow as one normally want it.
08-12-2009, 06:02 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Well, they all look great to me, but I do think you're on the tright track in wondering if loer ISO and wider aperture really is doing you any favors. In shots where you really want very shallow DOF, sure, there is no substitute. But most performance are not in that category, and DOF at f/2.8 is already as shallow as one normally want it.
I should have trusted the advice to go for higher iso such as 1000 to 1600 and use the 77mm in the f/3.2 to f/4.0 area. There is a difference in using the two lens. Both have become my invaluable lens for portraits. The lightweight in the limited lens really stands out. With the DA* zoom, the quality of the image is surprisingly consistent even wide open in f/2.8. And the SDM really pays off in the auditorium not to disturb the audience. I can't help hearing the shutter from my k20D, the k-7 would have been a perfect match for the task.

Thanks for the inputs,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 08-13-2009 at 02:47 PM.
08-12-2009, 07:32 PM   #27
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Hin,
I get your conundrum getting enough shutter speed to freeze action without sacrificing too much detail from noise, though I'll reiterate that in the concerts I've shot (and I've tried numerous f/2.8 lenses for the job), I've had no problem setting the cam at f/2.8, ISO 1600 and spot-metered to test the shutter speed in the first few shots, then go manual to set the shutter speed where you want it (I got 1/160 for most situations, where lighting was generally consistent) and fire away.

Once PP is in action, noise becomes less of an issue and just about all the detail I'd want is preserved.

Examples below:






08-13-2009, 02:47 PM   #28
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Ash, thanks for the inputs. Lovely shots with clarity and details! My favorite is #1.

From the conundrum experience in balancing between high iso and wide open apertures, if I have a chance to redo it again, I won't shy away from iso 1600 for the job followed by occasional wide open shots for the artistic, lowest lighting and perhaps other justified reason to push the lens for extra juice/speed.


1/500 sec, f/2.2, 77mm, iso 640, 0 Ev



1/160 sec, f/2.8, 77mm, iso 500, 0 Ev
motion blur, panning movement, user error?



1/160 sec, f/2.8, 77mm, iso 400, 0 Ev



For artistic shots
1/40 sec, f/2.2, 77mm, iso 500, 0 ev


1/50 sec, f/2.2, 77mm, iso 640, 0 Ev



1/13 sec, f/2.2, 77mm, iso 1000, 0 Ev


In the dance, I actually need faster than 1/160 sec for the swift movement. 1/200 sec will be safer speed to freeze the motion in the dance.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 08-13-2009 at 03:09 PM.
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