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05-17-2007, 08:41 PM   #1
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K10D- Exposure Bracketing - Isn't that a sure way to get it right?

The Pentax K10D has an "Exposure Bracket Mode". It is easy to set on-the-fly as the external button is located to the left side of the viewfinder. You can set the bracket to +/-1/2EV or +/-1/3EV intervals and you can select 3 shots or 5 shots. With it enabled, pressing the shutter and keeping it depressed will take 3 or 5 consecutive shots (User selectable). The first shot will be underexposed and sequent shots will progress to the last being overexposed. The sequence can be changed to your liking.

This seems to take care of difficult lighting situations or just plain everyday photography. Unlike film based cameras, there are no costs in bracketing, just space on the SD card. You can always delete the shots you know will not be acceptable and maybe keep two or even only one shot for post-processing later if you wish. Seems to me that sometimes, bracketing beats trying desperately to find the correct exposure. 5 shots take less than two seconds to take!

Is it just me? Your opinion is greatly appreciated.

I am the author of the Pentax K10D "Everything you need to know and the some" book. I learn everyday from forum members like you, and I will incorporate some of the best suggestions, tips, etc,. in future editions and also post any new materials for free download on the book's website (k10dbook.com) for people that already bought the book. If I use one of your tip or suggestions, your name will appear in the book credits unless you want to stay anonymous.

With everyone's help, we will make this book the best it can be.

Thank you,

Yvon Bourque

05-17-2007, 09:08 PM   #2
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Absolutely. The best way to get the best shot.

When I had a manual H3v (?) with a clip on light meter (in the 1960's) I bracked every shot. I found that 90% of the time the best shot was not the perfect shot. That is, the most pleasing shot artistically was not the "proper" exposure. I'd have lost all of those shots if I'd gone with the light meter reading.

On my GX-10, I plan to shoot everything in 3-shot brackets (in JPEG) and cull the less pleasing shots every night.
05-17-2007, 09:49 PM   #3
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You're right. I regularly bracket +/- a half stop, or +1, +1/2, 0. The other evening taking sunset shots I bracketed +2, +1, 0, -1, -2. When you know that you can recover at least a half stop error when processing a RAW file you're pretty well covered even with a one stop bracketing step.
05-18-2007, 12:29 AM   #4
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With the K10D you can set the number of bracket shots 3 or 5. Plus you can modify the EV steps between the images. Both of these parameters can be set on the fly - the information is visible on the External LCD as well as in the viewfinder.

While I do not bracket very much - it is a handy technique. The K10D gives you all the control you need - you can make it into a expensive P&S or you can manually set the four essentials ISO, shutter, f/stop and focus - usually on the fly. The camera gives the artist more than enough control, plus you can customize it to fit your needs.

Two things I wish it had FP flash sync and a real mid 70's X sync connector. Oh baby - if only (and a bottle opener - of course)

PDL

05-18-2007, 02:04 AM   #5
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It is also a terrific and easy way to expose for HDR shots.
05-18-2007, 09:50 PM   #6
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Yes, ive seen some incredible HDR's taken with the K10 this way though ive never tried it myself...one for the "to do" list.
05-19-2007, 09:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kaimarx Quote
Yes, ive seen some incredible HDR's taken with the K10 this way though ive never tried it myself...one for the "to do" list.
I wish I could figure out how to make the k10d used fixed aperture bracketing in manual mode (works fine in Av mode). Anyone?

John
05-19-2007, 11:39 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
With the K10D you can set the number of bracket shots 3 or 5. Plus you can modify the EV steps between the images. Both of these parameters can be set on the fly - the information is visible on the External LCD as well as in the viewfinder.

While I do not bracket very much - it is a handy technique. The K10D gives you all the control you need - you can make it into a expensive P&S or you can manually set the four essentials ISO, shutter, f/stop and focus - usually on the fly. The camera gives the artist more than enough control, plus you can customize it to fit your needs.

Two things I wish it had FP flash sync and a real mid 70's X sync connector. Oh baby - if only (and a bottle opener - of course)

PDL
I'd just get an X sync flash shoe adapter and solve that problem easily...

05-19-2007, 03:06 PM   #9
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I'm not sure I understand. Why use manual? I use P mode, then adjust the rear e dial to get my aperture (hyper-program), the camera will adjust shutter speed for each shot to effect the bracket. Is this not what you are trying to accomplish?
05-19-2007, 03:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by k10dbook Quote
... This seems to take care of difficult lighting situations or just plain everyday photography. Unlike film based cameras, there are no costs in bracketing, just space on the SD card. You can always delete the shots you know will not be acceptable and maybe keep two or even only one shot for post-processing later if you wish. Seems to me that sometimes, bracketing beats trying desperately to find the correct exposure. 5 shots take less than two seconds to take!
Yvon,

I think bracketing is a useful option - for occasional use. I use it if I have the time to realize that the shot presents an exposure problem, but I don't want to take the time to solve the problem. This happens particularly if I'm trying to take a posed shot with an impatient human subject. Remember, you can always take a TEST shot without bracketing, then review the shot to check for blown highlights and review the histogram.

I certainly do NOT use bracketing all the time and I don't see how anybody could.

First, as Einstein famously observed, T = M^2, which roughly translated, means time is money. Taking three times as many photos (or FIVE times as many) means you have three or five times as many photos to copy to your computer, and three or five times as many photos to sort through. It's bad enough to come home from a shoot with 300 photos to sort through. Sorting through 900? or 1500? I'd rather not, especially since, most of the time, I am able to get the exposure close enough to right with a single shot. For the record, when I do bracket, I have my exposures ordered so that the 0 EV shot is #1. More than 50% of the time, it's the best of the three - and remember, I don't bracket unless I'm worried about the exposure in the first place.

Second, for candid photography, sports photography, etc., I find bracketing simply a good way to miss a good shot. I keep the camera in continuous shooting mode most of the time.

Third, even with bracketing, you have to know what you're doing pretty well. If you bracket by a third of a stop - what happens if the exposure is a full stop off? You could shoot FIVE of every picture, at 1/2 EV. But give it a try. Unless you really have a lot of spare time, I think that you will quickly start trying to get the exposure right with one shot. And messing about with bracketing at 1/3 EV seems to me a waste of time, as that's within the range of what I can fix or adjust on the computer. I should add that I shoot Raw nearly all the time. I think bracketing may be more useful if you're shooting JPEG.

Fourth, and finally, taking three or five of every shot means, quite obviously, that you get fewer shots per card. What's perhaps not so obvious (as I seldom hear it said) is that, if you start using up cards at this rate, you're going to want to buy a couple of extra cards. Now, I agree that cards are reusable and relatively cheap, so this isn't a big deal. But it's something.

Will
05-19-2007, 04:00 PM   #11
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Sorry the noob question... but...

what is bracketing?
05-19-2007, 04:06 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pornflake Quote
Sorry the noob question... but...

what is bracketing?
Bracketing is........

The taking of three, or more, shots with one having the proper exposure, one being underexposed and one being overexposed. How much bracketing is the option of the photographer.

Some use increments of 1 stop. Some use 1/2 stop and some use More.

As was said in a previous post. The correct exposure doesn't always produce the most pleasing image.



Hope that helped.

Ed
05-19-2007, 04:09 PM   #13
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Thanks for the quick answer.
05-19-2007, 05:27 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Yvon,

I think bracketing is a useful option - for occasional use. I use it if I have the time to realize that the shot presents an exposure problem, but I don't want to take the time to solve the problem. This happens particularly if I'm trying to take a posed shot with an impatient human subject. Remember, you can always take a TEST shot without bracketing, then review the shot to check for blown highlights and review the histogram.

I certainly do NOT use bracketing all the time and I don't see how anybody could.

First, as Einstein famously observed, T = M^2, which roughly translated, means time is money. Taking three times as many photos (or FIVE times as many) means you have three or five times as many photos to copy to your computer, and three or five times as many photos to sort through. It's bad enough to come home from a shoot with 300 photos to sort through. Sorting through 900? or 1500? I'd rather not, especially since, most of the time, I am able to get the exposure close enough to right with a single shot. For the record, when I do bracket, I have my exposures ordered so that the 0 EV shot is #1. More than 50% of the time, it's the best of the three - and remember, I don't bracket unless I'm worried about the exposure in the first place.

Second, for candid photography, sports photography, etc., I find bracketing simply a good way to miss a good shot. I keep the camera in continuous shooting mode most of the time.

Third, even with bracketing, you have to know what you're doing pretty well. If you bracket by a third of a stop - what happens if the exposure is a full stop off? You could shoot FIVE of every picture, at 1/2 EV. But give it a try. Unless you really have a lot of spare time, I think that you will quickly start trying to get the exposure right with one shot. And messing about with bracketing at 1/3 EV seems to me a waste of time, as that's within the range of what I can fix or adjust on the computer. I should add that I shoot Raw nearly all the time. I think bracketing may be more useful if you're shooting JPEG.

Fourth, and finally, taking three or five of every shot means, quite obviously, that you get fewer shots per card. What's perhaps not so obvious (as I seldom hear it said) is that, if you start using up cards at this rate, you're going to want to buy a couple of extra cards. Now, I agree that cards are reusable and relatively cheap, so this isn't a big deal. But it's something.

Will
Will,

I agree with your point of view. Professional photographers doing a wedding or an event for instance do not have time to bracket. A simple test shot should suffice.

However, this forum has photographers in all levels of expertise and experience. I read a lot of threads about improper exposure, incorrect exposure using manual lenses such as the PK-M or M42. Until the novice and inexperience photographers learn all the necessary skills, sometimes bracketing may make the difference between a good or a bad shot. It would be difficult to justify using bracketing for fast action events, but casual family photos, sunsets, landscapes, travelling etc, may be worth the effort. It works great with the non-"A" manual lenses.

As for the cost of the SD cards, when I compare that to film, I'm in heaven. I do not suggest to keep all over and under exposed shots. Before transfering to a computer, I would delete the duds. When shooting for fun, there is always some idle time that can be used to review the shots taken and delete the bad shots and keep the good ones.

I always like to read your comments. You really elaborate on your answers.

Regards,

Yvon Bourque
05-19-2007, 05:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Yvon,

I think bracketing is a useful option - for occasional use. <snip

I certainly do NOT use bracketing all the time and I don't see how anybody could.

First, as Einstein famously observed, T = M^2, which roughly translated, means time is money. Taking three times as many photos (or FIVE times as many) means you have three or five times as many photos to copy to your computer, and three or five times as many photos to sort through. It's bad enough to come home from a shoot with 300 photos to sort through. Sorting through 900? or 1500? I'd rather not, especially since, most of the time, I am able to get the exposure close enough to right with a single shot. For the record, when I do bracket, I have my exposures ordered so that the 0 EV shot is #1. More than 50% of the time, it's the best of the three - and remember, I don't bracket unless I'm worried about the exposure in the first place.

Second, for candid photography, sports photography, etc., I find bracketing simply a good way to miss a good shot. I keep the camera in continuous shooting mode most of the time.

Third, even with bracketing, you have to know what you're doing pretty well. snip>

Will
I do not think that the OP was talking about using bracketing all the time. I do know a few pro/semi-pro photographers and they bracket as they see fit. The amount of images you take is directly proportional to how important the subject - it also reflects on the basic confidence of the artist. If you bracket a lot that means you are either really unsure or you are in situations where you know you need the extra latitude to get it right. Bracketing is a very powerful technique that provides the artist with maximum wiggle room.

As for how many images it creates ----- who cares as long as you get the image you need. I watched a show on a National Geographic film shooter (he still shoots film today) and he was chastised for only shooting 600 rolls of 36 slides for his 6 week shoot in Alaska --- as opposed to the 850 roll 3 week shoot he had in Costa Rica. How many shots you take is totally meaningless to the level of work you do - unless you are loading everything up to the web (a waste of computer time and bandwidth) to do simple editing.

Bracketing has is place - on the K10D you can vary both the number of shots (3 or 5) and the EV steps between each by using the thumb wheels - very slick - very powerful and yet another reason to buy 2GB and 4GB SD cards.

PDL
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