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08-03-2009, 09:47 PM   #1
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Missing ingredient for my landscape photograpy?

Is it the K7?

I'm headed next month to Ireland for a weeklong vacation with my family. I currently have a K100D, and when I blow up my landscape photos to 16x20, I'm feeling like 6MP is okay, but not great. But on my last big photo trip (grand canyon and surroundings), I hated switching between my various lenses and swore my next purchase would be the Sigma 18-250mm HSM all purpose lens, which should be out this month. As you can see from my signature, I don't have a zoom, hence the thought about the 18-250mm. But I spend 98% of my time on the wide end. I only have enough saved for one purchase. I love what I've heard about the K7. Which would you choose?

Attached is photo I took at Canyonlands in May. The "graininess" is what bothers me, despite using ISO 200, and I'm attributing this to the 6MP. I know I'm being picky, but the image doesn't appear crisp like the pro's. I think I used the FA35 for that one.

Your opinions are greatly appreciated.

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08-03-2009, 11:35 PM   #2
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6mp can make any web pic without cropping of course and it should be stellar. any graininess in your attached pic is not for lack of pixels on the screen. Printing 16x20 is another matter. I don't know what service you use but most kiosks provide a warning if you run out of pixels. Even without that, I think 16x20 is pushing it. But whatever you think you see on web pics uncropped is not due to only 6mp.

If you are $$ limited then consider the K20D with the same size sensor as the K7 and at half the price right now. Lots left over for lenses. Just one opinion though, its yours that counts.
08-03-2009, 11:57 PM   #3
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I don't understand, your signature has three zooms listed? And good ones at that.

Anyway, I think 6mp is pretty OK for most things unless you're printing big or cropping harshly. Then maybe 10mp is fine? I've hardly had an issue with 10mp. The K7 won't improve your photography in my opinion - it's far more up to the user than the camera. After that - lenses if you have a decent body (and you do).

It seems that in landscape photography image quality is more important than in other 'branches' of photography, and I don't know if the super-zoom will deliver in the image quality area - especially compared to your current lenses. If you will use the wide end of an 18-250mm lens so much, why not use your Sigma wide angle? Changing lenses shouldn't really be an issue with landscape photography.

Anyway, I'd say the most important part of improving your landscape photography would be composition. What about books of great landscape photographers or photography composition manuals?
Just my two cents.

Last edited by CWyatt; 08-04-2009 at 12:08 AM.
08-04-2009, 12:02 AM   #4
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Some people think zoom = telephoto

08-04-2009, 12:23 AM   #5
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There are so many ways to skin this cat.....

Buy a k200d, k10d, km, or k20d and use the rest on glass? A lovely wide angle prime? Or maybe a 16-45?
Even the KM with 10mpix would be capable and it is tiny so it is easy to carry. Sure it lacks the AF of the K7 but for landscapes who cares. The KM + DA 21 would be a tiny combo.

Do you use a tripod? Often it's a PITA to carry around but helps a lot in landscapes.

I just went from the k100d to the k7 and the difference in handling is unbelievable. K7 is a shade larger but heavier.... for walk around and landscapes I' love a lil KM but i need to AF and fps of the K7..... so many ways to skin the cat.
08-04-2009, 12:34 AM   #6
Damn Brit

You would have a lot of FL duplication if you bought the 18-250. The K2000 with the 50-200 would be a good choice. Alternatively you could spend a couple hundred bucks more and get the 55-300, that's an incredible lens for the money.
08-04-2009, 04:08 AM   #7
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On the photo above, I think you used the lens wide open and that you did not focus it to infinity.
6MP is more than enough by the way!
08-04-2009, 05:08 AM   #8
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Either the K20 or the K7 would be a big step up from the K100 IMHO. My first dSLR was a K100 and it did what I needed to, but there have been some nice additions to cameras since that time. For land scape, a telephoto is not going to help you much, but it certainly looks as though you could use a longer lens for some situations, but rather than getting a super zoom, I would look at a telephoto -- Sigma 70-200, DA 55-300, or DA*60-250, depending on your price range and size requirements.

08-04-2009, 06:42 AM   #9
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The lack of depth of field and the underexposure bothers me. I think if you fix that you'll be happier.
08-04-2009, 06:45 AM   #10
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Attached is photo I took at Canyonlands in May. The "graininess" is what bothers me, despite using ISO 200, and I'm attributing this to the 6MP. I know I'm being picky, but the image doesn't appear crisp like the pro's. I think I used the FA35 for that one.

Can you tell us how you processed this picture? It looks to me like it was underexposed, and you pulled up the exposure or brightness in post. If this is the case, then noise is inevitable.

Last edited by alohadave; 08-04-2009 at 06:55 AM.
08-04-2009, 07:27 AM   #11
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you may also want to review your sharpening technique, because I have noted that is where a lot of people don't seem to understand properly. my standard USM values are :

Amount= 190

and from there on I decide whether USM is going to give me the results I need, or I use an alternate technique for sharpening.

one other thing that can really bring out the grain in any Digital image is by messing around with the tonalities. Incorrect white balance can create unwanted noise to appear in an image too.
08-04-2009, 07:55 AM   #12
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Use a gradient filter or gradient fill layer on Photoshop.
Add contrast
Add sharpening
Learn about hyperfocal distance.
You will be golden.
08-04-2009, 11:02 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
Use a gradient filter or gradient fill layer on Photoshop.
Add contrast
Add sharpening
Learn about hyperfocal distance.
You will be golden.
This is also what I thought, it is not so much the 6 mpix, as the lack of contrast, some sharpening and use of a "graduated filter" to balance the sky.

A quick example using a copy of the image, exagerated to show the changes.

Last edited by Haakan; 10-31-2009 at 08:22 AM.
08-04-2009, 11:29 AM   #14
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I'm with Lee etc. The K-7 is 1200 but the K20D is half that. Even less if you find one used here. Both will benefit you with double the pixels and improved ergonomics. You will not see any gain with the K-7 over the K20D, especially for landscapes.

Then, you need a tripod, which you can buy with what you save. Actually I hate traveling with a tripod and manage to do some landscapes just the same. But if that is your main thing, you need a good tripod.

With the Tamron 28-75 I don't see you needing more lenses. That is perfectly decent, no? I hate the "all purpose lens" since it is generally pretty poor at either extreme of the range and relatively slow too. I'd rather just pack a couple of primes. But if you "hated switching between my various lenses" then perhaps take your old body and the new one? It's good to have a backup -- and if you are traveling with anyone else, they can always use the second camera.

Be sure to take a polarising filter and possible a set of NG as well (for flowing water, etc.)

Where are you going to be in Ireland?
08-04-2009, 01:23 PM   #15
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Reprocessed pics

Thanks guys.

In the last month, I've switched from Elements 5 to Lightroom 2 (what an amazing program!). I reprocessed this pic using LR2 with your suggestions. However, it was at sunset, somewhat dark, and I feel like the revised exposure isn't as true to what I saw.

Anyways, back to the question. Maybe the biggest issue is my photography skill (e.g. underexposure,) plus lack of practice in PP. Still, the white details on the rock surfaces looks so grainy to me. Not out of focus, but grainy. I did learn Hyperfocal focusing a while back. Would this be clearer with a K20?

Also attached is a picture from the Wave (North Coyote Buttes). In this pic, for example, I felt that 6MP was enough. I used my Sigma 10-20 for that one. Yes, it kills me that my photography skill and equipment do such an injustice to the places I've visited.
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