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06-20-2007, 08:10 PM   #1
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noob questions...

Hi, newbie here... I recently got a K100d and have a couple of noob questions...

1. Can I leave the Shake Reduction switch on all the time? If not, when should I use it? And what happens if I just leave it on all the time?

2. How come I don't see much difference with the SR on? What should the situation be for me to properly use it?

Thanks!

06-20-2007, 08:33 PM   #2
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Wait till about 4pm when the lights get low, attach the kit lens and take a photo in TV mode setting a Shutter Speed of 1/10 with SR turned off. Next take the same photo with the same settings with SR on. Look at your results on a computer monitor and then you'll know exactly why that switch exists.

Tim H
06-20-2007, 08:40 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadbelly Quote
1. Can I leave the Shake Reduction switch on all the time? If not, when should I use it? And what happens if I just leave it on all the time?
Pretty much yes you can leave it on all the time. You should turn it off if the camera is on a tripod.


Additionally, there have been some comments that at very high shutter speeds, the SR can actually make things worse. (That isn't my experience, though -- YMMV.) If your shutter speed is relatively high (see rule of thumb below), there's at the very least not much need for it.

Having it on probably has a negative impact on battery life, too, although I leave it on all the time and am perfectly happy with the number of shots I'm getting.

QuoteQuote:
2. How come I don't see much difference with the SR on? What should the situation be for me to properly use it?
Basically, you can use a shutter speed about twice or quadruple (that is, one or two stops) the length you'd normally be able to get away with. The rule of thumb for that is a shutter speed of 1/efl (where "efl" is the 35mm equivalent of the focal length of your lens) -- so for the kit lens, about 1/30th of a second at the wide end and about 1/80th at the telephoto end. With SR on, you might be able to get away with 1/15th - 1/20th in either case.

But again, your mileage will vary. How steady your hands are in the first place is a big factor, and "sharpness" is really a range of acceptableness. You might not be satisfied unless you've got much faster shutter speeds than that, or you might be fine with how things look at 1/8th of a second because you're only printing at 4"6" anyway.
06-20-2007, 09:51 PM   #4
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Wow thanks a bunch!

@Timbuctoo: Will be trying out the difference between SR on and SR off later... Thanks!

@mattdm: Thanks for the info! Though half of what you said I have no idea yet what it means, I've a long way to go before I reach the level of you guys!

06-21-2007, 05:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadbelly Quote
@mattdm: Thanks for the info! Though half of what you said I have no idea yet what it means, I've a long way to go before I reach the level of you guys!
Which half? I'll try to explain.
06-21-2007, 06:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Pretty much yes you can leave it on all the time. You should turn it off if the camera is on a tripod.


Additionally, there have been some comments that at very high shutter speeds, the SR can actually make things worse. (That isn't my experience, though -- YMMV.) If your shutter speed is relatively high (see rule of thumb below), there's at the very least not much need for it.

Having it on probably has a negative impact on battery life, too, although I leave it on all the time and am perfectly happy with the number of shots I'm getting.



Basically, you can use a shutter speed about twice or quadruple (that is, one or two stops) the length you'd normally be able to get away with. The rule of thumb for that is a shutter speed of 1/efl (where "efl" is the 35mm equivalent of the focal length of your lens) -- so for the kit lens, about 1/30th of a second at the wide end and about 1/80th at the telephoto end. With SR on, you might be able to get away with 1/15th - 1/20th in either case.

But again, your mileage will vary. How steady your hands are in the first place is a big factor, and "sharpness" is really a range of acceptableness. You might not be satisfied unless you've got much faster shutter speeds than that, or you might be fine with how things look at 1/8th of a second because you're only printing at 4"6" anyway.
I'd agree that the SR doesn't seem to drain the batteries much at all but I expect that would also have to do with how shaky your hands are and how much it comes into operation (how much compensation is required). I've also heard that it is better to turn the SR off during a pan of an object. The blur from panning tricks the SR processor to try and stabilize the image. It is also good to turn it off using a tripod as well. The SR sensor can actually induce blur I've heard and I think I've seen some evidence of that in some shots.

As for the shutter speed rule of thumb, ie: shoot at the lens's focal length (with a 200mm lens shoot @ 1/250th, 50mm @ 1/60th etc.) and the minimum was pretty much 1/60th with any lens to be safe. The SR seems to give me good results 2-3 speeds lower and can sometimes get a good shot 4 times lower (but rare).

Going back to the film (Pre SR) days, I'm always looking at the shutter speed at 1/30th or 1/15th and thinking "well that can't be done" because without SR you were just wasting film unless on a tripod and had mirror lock up with a cable release.

EDIT. IMHO I'd suggest that when you start a thread you put a little more specific detail in the title as well. This forum seems to be growing fairly quickly and you may get better views and responses to your questions.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 06-21-2007 at 07:06 AM.
06-21-2007, 09:46 PM   #7
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@mattdm: The part where you answered the second question. I don't even know how to change the shutter speed manually yet... and when to change it during what situation... hope I'm making sense... For example, last night I was shooting the artists at a concert, it was a fairly dim venue, with lots of stage lights though, and though I didn't change any settings or what not, some shots were great while some were not-so-great. Even with the SR on, some shots were blurred as well...

@PeterZack: Thanks for your reply! Sorry about the title, I tried but I don't think I can edit it... I apologize for the vague title... lesson learned.
06-21-2007, 10:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadbelly Quote
Hi, newbie here... I recently got a K100d and have a couple of noob questions...

1. Can I leave the Shake Reduction switch on all the time? If not, when should I use it? And what happens if I just leave it on all the time?

2. How come I don't see much difference with the SR on? What should the situation be for me to properly use it?

Thanks!
The manual says not to use SR on a tripod, or while panning at "slow" shutter speeds (speed not defined). It also says SR is automatically turned off when the timer or B setting is used as it the camera it will be on a tripod.

I tested that panning situation around 30th - 90th sec on some cars as they went by. It made some weird, swirly, multiple exposure type results. I did not save any samples, sorry.

At fast shutter speeds the benefit of SR is less noticeable, but it still helps on long lenses even at fast speeds.

And I've gotten some surprisingly good shots at down around 1/4 sec ( unthinkable in my old Canon-film days) with my wides.

06-22-2007, 03:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadbelly Quote
@mattdm: The part where you answered the second question. I don't even know how to change the shutter speed manually yet... and when to change it during what situation... hope I'm making sense... For example, last night I was shooting the artists at a concert, it was a fairly dim venue, with lots of stage lights though, and though I didn't change any settings or what not, some shots were great while some were not-so-great. Even with the SR on, some shots were blurred as well...
Don't worry about trying to change the shutter speed yet - - just watch what it says in the viewfinder.

What lens do you have? The kit lens isn't particularly fast -- which is to say, it has a relatively small maximum aperture (bigger f numbers), which means it doesn't let in a whole lotta light (and it's worse the more you zoom in). That means you need both a high ISO ( = image noise) and a slow shutter ( = blur) to get proper exposure. Also keep in mind that SR only helps with camera shake -- it doesn't freeze your subject. Unless the people you're taking pictures of are holding still intentionally, 1/60th of a second is a good minimum.
06-22-2007, 04:14 AM   #10
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Here's a post where I test SR's performance. No I don't work for Pentax .
06-22-2007, 05:50 AM   #11
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@mattdm: As of now, I'm using the kit lens... My other lenses still need to be cleaned. It's from my dad's old Pentax Super ME, and when he gave it to me, it's full of dirt and mold and stuff, so as of now, the kit lens is all I have to work with...

How do I know if the shutter is set to 1/60?
06-22-2007, 06:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by leadbelly Quote
@mattdm: As of now, I'm using the kit lens... My other lenses still need to be cleaned. It's from my dad's old Pentax Super ME, and when he gave it to me, it's full of dirt and mold and stuff, so as of now, the kit lens is all I have to work with...

How do I know if the shutter is set to 1/60?
I'd agree with the previous post. Don't worry about changing shutter speeds yourself and just use the camera for the "learning period" in one of the auto settings. To see the shutter speed it is displayed in the viewfinder and also the top mounted LCD. It is expressed in numbers such as 60,80,100,125,160,250, etc. I don't wish to be rude but have you gone through the manual? It will show you what the display indicates as well as the other camera features. That being said the manual is Ok but can be a little poorly written I purchased a DVD that walks you through the basics and more advanced features for the K100D that I got for my son. It was a great training tool for him. In about 3 hours he was up to speed on the camera and was shooting comfortably. If you want more details on the DVD send me a PM.
06-22-2007, 07:00 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
It is also good to turn it off using a tripod as well. The SR sensor can actually induce blur I've heard and I think I've seen some evidence of that in some shots.
Does Pentax give any reason why leaving SR on would induce blur on a tripod? Seems like a strange thing for a SR system to do. I generally leave SR on ALL the time. I can understand why you want it off for panning, but I missed the manual's recommendations for turning it off while mounted on a tripod.
06-22-2007, 07:17 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by theprisoner6 Quote
Does Pentax give any reason why leaving SR on would induce blur on a tripod? Seems like a strange thing for a SR system to do. I generally leave SR on ALL the time. I can understand why you want it off for panning, but I missed the manual's recommendations for turning it off while mounted on a tripod.
Any answer from me would be pure speculation but it would make sense to have the sensor "lock" so the SR does not try to second guess anything that may be happening. The Pentax SR automatically does this in Bulb mode.

I found this on Wikipedia and would also apply to sensor SR systems as well. "Most manufacturers suggest that the IS feature of a lens be turned off when the lens is mounted on a tripod, as it can cause erratic results and is generally unnecessary. Image stabilization is not effective in reducing blur resulting from mirror-slap[7], which should be prevented using mirror lockup instead. Tests have shown that turning IS off when the camera is mounted on a tripod actually produces sharper images. However, some lenses (notably Canon's more recent IS lens) are able to auto-detect that they are tripod-mounted (as a result of extremely low vibration readings) and disable IS themselves to prevent erratic behavior and the above-mentioned reduced image quality"

I'm glad the Pentax version doesn't auto detect limited movement though. You never know when the system could turn off just at the very second you want it on.

This was something that Nikon put out and also would apply to Pentax SR since the SR has the sensor basically magnetically "floating"

"The IS mechanism operates by correcting shake. When there is no shake, or when the level of shake is below the threshold of the system’s detection capability, use of the IS feature may actually *add* unwanted blur to the photograph, therefore you should shut it off in this situation. Remember that the IS lens group is normally locked into place. When the IS function is active, the IS lens group is unlocked so it can be moved by the electromagnetic coil surrounding the elements. When there’s not enough motion for the IS system to detect, the result can sometimes be a sort of electronic ‘feedback loop,’ somewhat analogous to the ringing noise of an audio feedback loop we’re all familiar with. As a result, the IS lens group might move while the lens is on a tripod, unless the IS function is switched off and the IS lens group is locked into place.”

Last edited by Peter Zack; 06-22-2007 at 06:32 PM.
06-22-2007, 08:13 PM   #15
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@Peter Zack: I've gone through the manual, but I couldn't really understand it because as you said it was "poorly written." But I get what you're saying... I was looking for something that said, "1/60, etc." But as you mentioned, it was written as 60, 80, 100...etc... What's the title of this DVD sir? I'd like to check it out
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