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09-28-2010, 07:19 PM   #121
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Just an observation - shooting the other day at an outdoor event - I noted that the stage was using a black mesh/netting material as the backdrop/screen - this now seems quite common - I'm pretty sure it helps keep the stage shaded and cool without being a solid opaque material.

But I only really noticed its benefit for photography.

The black mesh/netting material acts kind of like a neutral density filter on a bright sky behind the artist:


see how the sky is burnt out behind the lead singer/guitarist to the left of the pic when I brought up the brightness to show the details - but behind the rear black mesh/netting screen the sky is almost ideal?

another shot showing the difference with and without:


This shot must have been at a really good angle so that the sky behind came out really well without me having to do any manipulation:


Here's a shot that shows the back screen more obviously:


09-30-2010, 02:37 PM   #122
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Friend of mine asked me to shoot his recording studios -
so I just turned up with my K-x - without any extra/supplemental lighting -
and shot as-is. His main aim was to show the studio as spacious and comfortable looking.

With just the in-situ lighting I thought the shots turned out fine -
and it is mainly because of the K-x extraordinary high ISO performance.

The "main" shot:


There was way more arranging the equipment and furniture than actual shooting.

My first "test" shot just to show them how the picture would look like was:

although the overall feel was fine we felt it was a bit "sterile" and a little empty looking - so I suggested setting up the studio as if they were just doing a recording session - so they set things up to very good detail including plugging it all microphones and instruments - one of them realized that photos can be very revealing so the lack of attention to detail would be "exposed" as faked and set up - I was impressed.

The rearranging consisted mainly of removing the untidy piles at the furthest wall - mic'ing the drum set - moving the bass and guitar racks into the shot placing a vocal mic and distributing headphones (so it looks like a real recording session) then laying a guitar on the chair and arranging the carpet.

Having taken the big pic above they thought the table lamp in the far corner didn't look so good as a lamp and decided to try out a floor lamp stand:

this was actually my very last shot of the studio space - but the lamp stand changed the dynamics of the lighting and just did not look as good as the more "cheesy" table lamp in the corner - we agreed the top big shot would be the one.

The test and used shot were both
ISO3200, f/3.5, 1/15sec, 18mm.

The changed lamp stand version was just a shade darker at:
ISO4000, f/3.5, 1/50sec, 18mm.

Having got that shot "in the bag" - we then tried out different shots just to supplement that shot -

Studio space from another angle:

ISO2500, f/3.5, 1/50, 18mm

Close up of vocal mic:

ISO5000, f/4, 1/15sec, 28mm
(this shot shows that the SR is obviously working well for me)

and finally as an afterthought almost they said it'd be great to have a view through the window from the control room - but would the sound proof glass cause a problem - so I took a test shot and they liked it - didn't realize it could look that good, and then said it would be great if only they had a musician playing in the pic.....
"hey, you're a bass player - go in and play some" I said to my friend
and that's what he did - and my resultant shot, and last of the evening:

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/50, 18mm
yes, there is noise - after all it is at ISO5000 - but a little more emphasized due to my sharpening to bring out a bit more detail in the player.... and the junk on the opposite wall toward the left of the pic which were moved out of the way for the main shot - but they all kind of fit the overall feel -
turned out to be my favorite........

Last edited by UnknownVT; 09-30-2010 at 02:42 PM.
12-24-2010, 12:46 PM   #123
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It has just occurred to me at the current prices of the K-x twin lens kit (@ about $550-70 shipped) has got to be one of the best bargains around - not only that it is about the tops for low light work too.

People may well laugh at the fact I only have, and use, the two humble kit zooms -
yet I am claiming low available light work.

Well the proof of the pudding as if it were -
throughout this thread there have been numerous examples of my shoots in a very low light jazz club - and I didn't post only good shots - I even showed really difficult results for discussion.

I went back again last night to my low light venue....

ISO5000, f3.5, 1/25, 18mm
as usual it was not that well lit in there except stage center -
look at my favorite low light subject - the pianist to the left of the frame
dark enough for ya?

and almost as if he were deliberately challenging/teasing me -
he was wearing a baseball cap -
which put his face in the shadows almost all of the time!

ISO5000, f/4, 1/13, 50mm (using the 50-200) this shot was actually grossly under-exposed (the shutter speed should have been about 1/4 sec) - I had to bring up the brightness on this shot quite a bit -

There was still focusing difficulties - but once I figured to focus on the rim of the cap peak it was fine.......

drummer in the shade -

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/15, 95mm

Of course as usual there was plenty of playing off stage from the audience area:

ISO5000, f/4, 1/5, 20mm

Not everything was nice and sharp - quite the contrary -
there were lots of shots that showed plenty of subject movement -
I mean we're talking about shutter speeds of 1/15 down to about 1/4 sec
and these musicians move a lot during play....

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/13, 80mm -
I was lucky to get this shot, and the movement kind of adds to the pic.

Even at stage center, light can be a challenge - the hat peak puts the face in the shade - shot with +2/3 stop compensation - then post process to bring up the facial details sacrificing some burnt out highlights like the hands.

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/15, 43mm.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-24-2010 at 05:36 PM.
12-25-2010, 12:11 AM   #124
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I went out on Christmas Eve while I still had some daylight.
Went over a ditch in waist-high snow but I did catch some interesting shots with my new K-x.

I could a bit of sun straight through these twigs and trees and made something out of it...

ISO 400, F5.6, 1/180"
I've got the focus on the sun and not the twigs, which turned out really good. Not sure it can be seen in this small picture.

Found an old dresser in the snow. Thought it was a bit odd but I had to capture it cause the oddity!

ISO 800, F11, 1/60"
It looks pretty cool with the low sun in the back, behind the trees somewhere. All we see of the sun up here...


Last edited by seww; 12-25-2010 at 12:34 AM. Reason: Small pics...
12-25-2010, 10:54 AM   #125
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QuoteOriginally posted by seww Quote
I went out on Christmas Eve while I still had some daylight.
Went over a ditch in waist-high snow but I did catch some interesting shots with my new K-x.
Cool pics (pun intended )

Happy Christmas everyone!
12-25-2010, 03:54 PM   #126
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Cool pics (pun intended )

Happy Christmas everyone!

Very funny! But thank you!

Took another different pic tonight, but I find it somewhat noisy but is it just me?
ISO 2200, F4, 1/45" exposure, no flash


Anything I can do to get it less grainy? Except for using a tripod and higher shutter speed and lower ISO? Maybe not...

Merry Christmas!
12-25-2010, 05:44 PM   #127
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QuoteOriginally posted by seww Quote
Took another different pic tonight, but I find it somewhat noisy but is it just me?
ISO 2200, F4, 1/45" exposure, no flash
Anything I can do to get it less grainy? Except for using a tripod and higher shutter speed and lower ISO? Maybe not...
Well at the size you posted it's very hard to see that it's "grainy"/noisy.

If you consider the shot noisy, then using a lower ISO, if you can, is normally the way to go -

The best thing to do is to shoot a series of the same subject under the same lighting conditions with lowering ISO sensitivity to see at what ISO the picture becomes acceptable to you - only you can be the judge as it's your tolerance.

(as you see I shoot with ISO5000 as a maximum - and there are plenty of examples in this thread, including post #123, just before your snow pics - and this one:

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/40, 18mm (no additional pp noise reduction - as-is, only with brightness/contrast adjustment + sharpening)
- and I find that acceptable, for what I shoot - and that is a whole stop faster in ISO sensitivity - so in theory ought to be noisier).

Another way of reducing noise/grain is to use noise reducing software.

Noiseware Community Edition is well regarded and Freeware for Windows.

BTW - with a lower ISO sensitivity - the shutter speed for the same exposure value would have to be slower/longer to allow in more light.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-25-2010 at 06:37 PM.
12-26-2010, 12:44 AM   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Well at the size you posted it's very hard to see that it's "grainy"/noisy.

If you consider the shot noisy, then using a lower ISO, if you can, is normally the way to go -

The best thing to do is to shoot a series of the same subject under the same lighting conditions with lowering ISO sensitivity to see at what ISO the picture becomes acceptable to you - only you can be the judge as it's your tolerance.

(as you see I shoot with ISO5000 as a maximum - and there are plenty of examples in this thread, including post #123, just before your snow pics - and this one:

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/40, 18mm (no additional pp noise reduction - as-is, only with brightness/contrast adjustment + sharpening)
- and I find that acceptable, for what I shoot - and that is a whole stop faster in ISO sensitivity - so in theory ought to be noisier).

Another way of reducing noise/grain is to use noise reducing software.

Noiseware Community Edition is well regarded and Freeware for Windows.

BTW - with a lower ISO sensitivity - the shutter speed for the same exposure value would have to be slower/longer to allow in more light.
To the lower left of the horse, it's a dark spot, you can see some noise.
But I think it's my expectations, they are a bit high.
The K-x is really incredible when it comes to low light, high ISO photos. For me it's a big step from regular P&S cameras to this, and so far I'm loving it!

12-26-2010, 09:42 AM   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by seww Quote
To the lower left of the horse, it's a dark spot, you can see some noise.
But I think it's my expectations, they are a bit high.
The K-x is really incredible when it comes to low light, high ISO photos. For me it's a big step from regular P&S cameras to this, and so far I'm loving it!
huh? what?

The K-x is still currently one of the very best at High ISO for almost any APS-C sensor dSLR -

I know that the new K-5 and Nikon D7000 have gotten great reviews on their High ISO -
but when I compared side-by-side with the K-x results, although there will be measurable differences,
visually there is not enough (if any) to make any real practical difference to me.

So basically you have gone from some of the worst possible noisy High ISO on P&S with their tiny sensors,
to one of the very best on a APS-C sized dSLR
- and you were shooting at ISO2200 under yellow incandescent lighting and in a shadow area - this is bound to give some noise.

Try the same shot with any other dSLR (other than the ones already mentioned) from any other brand,
or even better, your p&s if it can be set to such a high ISO (or to whatever its highest ISO setting)
- and see for yourself how good your K-x really is.

If the noise really bothers you - then shoot lower ISO to your own tolerance
(never mind anyone else's opinion - that includes mine - they are your photos and your eyes)

Or use some noise reduction software
and see if your expectation can be met.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-26-2010 at 11:36 AM.
12-26-2010, 12:44 PM   #130
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
huh? what?

The K-x is still currently one of the very best at High ISO for almost any APS-C sensor dSLR -

I know that the new K-5 and Nikon D7000 have gotten great reviews on their High ISO -
but when I compared side-by-side with the K-x results, although there will be measurable differences,
visually there is not enough (if any) to make any real practical difference to me.

So basically you have gone from some of the worst possible noisy High ISO on P&S with their tiny sensors,
to one of the very best on a APS-C sized dSLR
- and you were shooting at ISO2200 under yellow incandescent lighting and in a shadow area - this is bound to give some noise.

Try the same shot with any other dSLR (other than the ones already mentioned) from any other brand,
or even better, your p&s if it can be set to such a high ISO (or to whatever its highest ISO setting)
- and see for yourself how good your K-x really is.

If the noise really bothers you - then shoot lower ISO to your own tolerance
(never mind anyone else's opinion - that includes mine - they are your photos and your eyes)

Or use some noise reduction software
and see if your expectation can be met.
You are absolutely right. The camera is awesome, and the ISO capabilities is just astonishing. It is me, being new to the DSLR world and expected no noise whatsoever, but you're right, in those conditions, one has to expect noise.

Thanks.
12-26-2010, 05:51 PM   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
look at my favorite low light subject - the pianist to the left of the frame
dark enough for ya?
and almost as if he were deliberately challenging/teasing me -
he was wearing a baseball cap -
which put his face in the shadows almost all of the time!

ISO5000, f/4, 1/13, 50mm (using the 50-200) this shot was actually grossly under-exposed (the shutter speed should have been about 1/4 sec) - I had to bring up the brightness on this shot quite a bit -

There was still focusing difficulties - but once I figured to focus on the rim of the cap peak it was fine.......
I may need some help here - it could well be a simple case of RTFM -
but I just went through my K-x manual but could not find anything specific about this......
Hopefully someone with better eyes (and patience) can please help me spot this.

I think I know why the above shot was grossly UNDERexposed - I recall when composing that shot of seeing almost the entire bottom line in the viewfinder blinking (shutter speed, aperture and ISO, I use 'P' mode) - but when I managed focus (which was kind of difficult anyway see above) I took the shot - and was surprised to see the result dark (yes, I chimp on every shot here).
Original non-brightness adjusted shot:

ISO5000, f/4, 1/13, 50-200 @ 50mm -
EXIF should be attached (caveat: PhotoBucket can drop metadata)

I know I have managed to expose at f/3.5 1/4 ISO5000 (there are shots earlier in this thread) so I was a bit shocked to see the pianist's exposure was at f/4, 1/13 ISO5000 - that's about 2 stops underexposed!

I was concerned enough that I did an experiment this evening - and to my surprise even when lit with only a single 10 watt 2700K CFL (40watt incandescent bulb equivalent) there weren't many places in my living room that has light levels as low as that!

But pointing the K-x combo at dark corners I was able to reproduce the blinking bottom line in 'P' mode for my 18-55 kit zoom set at 18mm it was 1/4 at f/3.5, ISO5000 - but for my 50-200 kit zoom it was 1/13 at f/4, ISO5000 -

Aha! I think I may have exceeded the K-x metering limit and the camera was trying to tell me by blinking all the relevant information - but so far I have not been able to find this in the manual to confirm my suspicions.

The reason why I suspect out of metering range is because the K-x manual specs say:

the K-x is spec'd to EV=1 (at ISO200, f/1.4) = EV=0 (@ ISO100, f/1.4) -

for the 18-55 f/3.5 zoom:
ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4sec.
calculating for f/1.4 and ISO100 that's the same equivalent light level:
= ISO800, f/1.4, 1/4sec
= ISO100, f/1.4, 2 secs
This is EV (Exposure Value) = 0.3 (@ ISO100)
this means on the 18-55 zoom I am managing to meter (I use evaluative) at some -2 2/3 stops below the specs (since one has to allow for a -2 2/3 stop loss of light at the sensor for using f/3.5 instead of f/1.4 lens)

OK what about the 50-200 f/4 kit zoom - f/4 is only about 1/3 stop slower than the f/3.5 of the 18-55 - so shouldn't the limit be something like 1/6? instead of 1/13?

Anyway the same calcs for f/4, 1/13, ISO5000 -
= ISO640, f/1.4, 1/13sec
= ISO100, f/1.4, 0.5 secs
This is EV (Exposure Value) = 2 (@ISO100)
even this means I am managing to meter at about 1 stop below the K-x specs.
(allowing for -3 stops light loss at the sensor for using a f/4 instead of f/1.4 lens)

So I think I am out of meter range - the 18-55mm kit zoom seems to give a better out of range latitude allowing f/3.5 at 1/4, ISO5000 -
verses the 50-200 kit zoom of only able to meter to f/4 at 1/13 ISO5000
which is some 1 2/3 stops difference to the 18-55 zoom

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-27-2010 at 10:02 AM.
12-26-2010, 10:27 PM   #132
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
I know I have managed to expose at f/3.5 1/4 ISO5000 (there are shots earlier in this thread) so I was a bit shocked to see the pianist's exposure was at f/4, 1/13 ISO5000 - that's about 2 stops underexposed!

I was concerned enough that I did an experiment this evening - and to my surprise even when lit with only a single 10 watt 2700K CFL (40watt incandescent bulb equivalent) there weren't many places in my living room that has light levels as low as that!

But pointing the K-x combo at dark corners I was able to reproduce the blinking bottom line in 'P' mode for my 18-55 kit zoom set at 18mm it was 1/4 at f/3.5, ISO5000 - but for my 50-200 kit zoom it was 1/13 at f/4, ISO5000 -

Aha! I think I may have exceeded the K-x metering limit and the camera was trying to tell me by blinking all the relevant information - but so far I have not been able to find this in the manual to confirm my suspicions.
I just realized a much easier way of seeing where the K-x low light metering limits are.

Simply try to take a reading with the lens cap on!
Yes, I know may look a "doofus" holding dSLR with lens cap on -
but with basically no/zero light the K-x would show where its metering limits are for low light:

At my standard AutoISO range of 200-5000 (highlight correction ON)
all the readings with the cap on were obviously at ISO5000 -
I actually took the black pics so I could confirm the EXIF data:

18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom; ISO5000 -
18mm, f/3.5, 1/4
20mm, f/4, 1/4
26mm, f/4, 1/10
28mm, f/4, 1/8
35mm, f/4.5, 1/10
38mm, f/4.5, 1/10
40mm, f/4.5, 1/13
55mm, f/5.6, 1/10

50-200mm f/4-f/5.6 zoom; ISO5000 -
50mm, f/4, 1/13
63mm, f/4.5, 1/13
138mm, f/4.5, 1/13
150mm, f/5.6, 1/10
200mm, f/5.6, 1/10

Then I realized that although ISO5000 is useful to me since I shoot in low light at that ISO -
it is not such a common sensitivity to related to -
so I did a series at ISO100 (having to turn the Highlight correction Off)

18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom at ISO100
18mm, f/3.5, 13sec
20mm, f/4, 13sec
21mm, f/4, 10sec
26mm, f/4, 10sec! <
26mm, f/4, 5sec! <

38mm, f/4.5, 4sec
43mm, f/4.5, 5sec
50mm, f/5.6, 5sec
55mm, f/5.6, 5sec

50-200mm f/4-5.6 zoom at ISO100
50mm, f/4, 4sec
63mm, f/4.5, 4sec
68mm, f/4.5, 5sec
150mm, f/5.6, 5sec
200mm, f/5.6, 5sec

So regardless of whether it's ISO5000 or a "standard" ISO100 the 50-200mm zoom at 50mm f/4 meters about 1 2/3 stop less than the 18-55mm zoom at f/3.5 and some of f/4.

There's something inconsistent at 26mm at both ISOs I tried, I highlighted the reading I got in Red.

As pointed out the metering limit spec of the K-x is EV=+1 at ISO200 with f/1.4 lens -
which is EV=0 for ISO100 (=f/1.4, 2sec)

For the 18-55mm zoom ISO100
@ 18mm, f/3.5, 13sec - this is about EV (exposure value)=0
BUT allowing -2 2/3 stops less light at the sensor for a f/3.5 lens instead of f/1.4 -
I am actually managing to meter at about -2 2/3 stops beyond spec.
(the calculation is the same for ISO5000)

BUT for the 50-200mm zoom ISO100
@ 50mm, f/4, 4sec this is EV= 2
allowing for the 3 stops less light at the sensor since it is f/4 instead of f/1.4
this is still one whole stop beyond the spec low limit of the K-x metering -
BUT obviously a 1 2/3 stops difference between the metering limit for the 18-55 and 50-200mm zooms........

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-27-2010 at 09:51 AM.
01-08-2011, 01:11 PM   #133
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Dark jazz club -

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/13, 18mm


ISO5000, f/4, 1/25, 31mm - had to select part of the face in the shadows, then adjust brightness/contrast.


ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/8, 18mm - this was about 1 stop underexposed -
but it gave a faster shutter speed to capture my kryptonite nemesis
see where he is in the first pic of this post.


ISO5000, f/4, 1/80, 31mm - just like this shot.....

last night - an Elvis birthday show:

ISO200, f/3.5, 1/50, 18mm - an Elvis fan?


ISO320, f/3.5, 1/15, 18mm - string bending?

All the above are on the unexciting and much derided 18-55 Mk1 kit zoom all wide open at the respective focal lengths.......


ISO4000, f/4.5, 1/125, 80mm (50-200 zoom) - this is the lens that got a mediocre to poor review on photozone.de -
no, not claiming any spectacular quality -
but it is still pretty nice looking isn't it?
- it's much more to do with the subject and lighting.......
01-15-2011, 03:36 PM   #134
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Little Feat! from last night (Fri Jan/14, 2011)

ISO800, f/4, 1/100, 50mm, 50-200 zoom


ISO2000, f/4.5, 1/125, 80mm, 50-200 zoom


ISO4000, f/4.5, 1/200, 115mm, 50-200 zoom

K-x, ISO5000, JPGs NO additional pp noise reduction -
humble 50-200 kit zoom wide-open

K-x, ISO5000, f/5.6, 1/125, 160mm
(EXIF should be attached to this one shot, caveat: PhotoBucket can drop metadata)

even more humble 18-55 Mk 1 kit zoom @ 55mm wide-open

K-x, ISO5000, f/5.6, 1/80, 55mm
01-15-2011, 05:17 PM   #135
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I know I can probably find this in the manual, but how do you get Iso over 3200?
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