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07-06-2007, 09:00 AM   #1
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results with K10D and wedding candids...

I was a charged with the task of being a 'candid' photographer at my friend's wedding this past weekend. I was shooting digital snaps with my K10D (bright primes, no flash) and another fellow was doing 'traditional' wedding photography on film with his nikon / flash setup.

Anyway, I've concluded a few things. First, I miss 6mp sensors. I missed a lot of shots because of low shutter speed due to noise. In retrospect, I should have shot more at ISO800 despite the noise, but most of my shots were at ISO400.

I've found the dynamic range in post processing the RAW's quite good. For 'fake' HDR processing where you under and over expose the raw files, you can really stretch it. I recovered detail that I thought was LONG gone, so that's pretty impressive.

I also think that SR works better on telephoto lenses. I was surprised to find that I was getting clearer shots with my 85/1.9 @ f2 than my 50/1.4 @ f2. Maybe it was the weight of the lens, maybe it was because I'd had a glass or two of wine by then and my hands got steadier, but I was seriously impressed with the results from the 85/1.9 SMC.

My biggest beef...and this has been stated a billion times before by others, was noise and exposure issues with my M42 lenses. All in all I did get some great shots. Give me a K10D "super" (haha!) with a 6mp sensor and proper metering with legacy lenses and I'm set for life. That being said, lighting conditions were probably the worst any photographer could ask for, so all things considering, I'm please with the results. I'd give the camera an academic equivalent of a "B" for this outing. Results should be very pleasing with 4x6 prints and web photos!


Last edited by d.bradley; 07-06-2007 at 09:23 AM.
07-06-2007, 02:19 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by d.bradley Quote
I was a charged with the task of being a 'candid' photographer at my friend's wedding this past weekend. I was shooting digital snaps with my K10D (bright primes, no flash) and another fellow was doing 'traditional' wedding photography on film with his nikon / flash setup.

Anyway, I've concluded a few things. First, I miss 6mp sensors. I missed a lot of shots because of low shutter speed due to noise. In retrospect, I should have shot more at ISO800 despite the noise, but most of my shots were at ISO400.
I don't know what the light was like, but I always think that priority #1 is to get the picture; priority #2 is to get the exposure right (and the image in focus); and that keeping the noise down is priority #3 or lower. I shoot a lot at ISO 800 or higher using my K10D. Black & white treatment can turn the lemon of a noisy capture into the lemonade of a lovely photo, at least that's often the case.


QuoteQuote:
I've found the dynamic range in post processing the RAW's quite good. For 'fake' HDR processing where you under and over expose the raw files, you can really stretch it. I recovered detail that I thought was LONG gone, so that's pretty impressive.
I don't do HDR, but I try to "shoot to the right" - that is, get my histogram as far to the right as possible without blowing the highlights. In some cases, I'll blow the highlights if they're unimportant. That gives me the ability to fix the exposure by moving the histogram to the left, which I find is more or less always better than moving the histogram in the other direction. And yes, you can recover a LOT of detail from a raw image that way.


QuoteQuote:
I also think that SR works better on telephoto lenses. I was surprised to find that I was getting clearer shots with my 85/1.9 @ f2 than my 50/1.4 @ f2. Maybe it was the weight of the lens, maybe it was because I'd had a glass or two of wine by then and my hands got steadier, but I was seriously impressed with the results from the 85/1.9 SMC.
Don't think you're right about this one.

Whatever amount of shaking is applied directly to the body of the camera, gets amplified at the business end of the lens. If you twitch a short stick very lightly, the other ends moves only a little; but apply the same light twitch to a long stick, and the distant end of the stick moves very noticeably. The same thing seems to apply to lenses. The shorter the focal length, the less you NEED shake reduction, but the less you need it, the better it works. This translates into the rule about the relationship between focal lengths and shutter speeds: your shutter speed should equal or be faster than the inverse of the focal length. For example, if the focal length is, say, 100mm, your shutter speed should be 1/100sec or faster.

In your case, since the FA 50 f/1.4 is a very good lens, too, I think one of your other explanations is more likely to be right, namely, that it was either the weight of the longer lens or your increased comfort level. I personally find a longer lens easier to hold steady. And I'm quite sure I shoot better with the grip attached than I do without it, so weight may play a part, too.


QuoteQuote:
My biggest beef...and this has been stated a billion times before by others, was noise and exposure issues with my M42 lenses. All in all I did get some great shots. Give me a K10D "super" (haha!) with a 6mp sensor and proper metering with legacy lenses and I'm set for life. That being said, lighting conditions were probably the worst any photographer could ask for, so all things considering, I'm please with the results. I'd give the camera an academic equivalent of a "B" for this outing. Results should be very pleasing with 4x6 prints and web photos!
Keep black and white (a.k.a. grayscale) treatment in mind. You may find that an image that is nearly impossible to rescue in color turns into a nice shot when converted.

Will
07-06-2007, 05:26 PM   #3
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Will is right about setting exposure by his method. Remember the age old adage, "expose for the shadows, print for the highlights"

Also, you'd be surprised how "tolerant" the average person is to noise in a photo. What you may think is completely intolerable may end up as a "uh...what are you talking about" by the casual observer!
07-06-2007, 08:14 PM   #4
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I keep my ISO set to auto with a range up to 1250, and that has helped me not worry about ISO. I use aperture priority for much, with manual for flash.

Check out this photo at ISO 1250, 1/25 sec, f4 with my Sigma 17-70mm. I love it!:



Last edited by Mattp9; 07-06-2007 at 08:17 PM. Reason: image
07-06-2007, 08:52 PM   #5
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Truth be told I was thinking in terms of colour...I would have bumped the ISO if I had b&w in mind. A good point indeed, thanks for the tip.

On my 6mp minolta I would shoot so as not to clip highlights, with a bias to the left side of the histogram. Once they were gone, they were gone. In the raw files, shadow detail was much easier to recover, and with such low noise up to ISO800 it was a breeze. I have been shooting this way on my K10D, should I move to "shoot to the right" of the histogram?

What stumps me is that I'm losing 0.5-1 stop shooting to err on the side of shadow-detail exposure or 'to the right of the histogram', then losing 1 stop to ISO noise, I'm starting to fall behind in terms light gathered compared to a 6mp with anti-shake. Aperture opens up or exposure lengths get longer, neither of which help image sharpness.

Anyone out there shooting with both a K100D and K10D? I'm wondering if I should pick up one of the former (or some other 6mp camera) for my low light photos...maybe get a "super" so I can use some of those fancy new lenses on both cameras.
07-06-2007, 09:21 PM   #6
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I use both the K10 and K100 because I like having two bodies, and my hubby wanted to get me a wonderful Christmas present. The K100 is better in lower light, though if you get the exposure right the K10 isn't that bad and I've used 1600 on occasion when there's not too much dynamic range. The only time I have to think about things is if I'm using one camera with an FA lens and one with a manual lens - I have to think about where the button is to set the shutter speed. It was easier when I was using the DS and the K100 because they worked the same, and I always used the K100 with a long lens and a wide angle with the DS. Now I'm more likely to mix them up because I use the K10 as my primary camera and the K100 as a back-up/other lens camera.
07-06-2007, 11:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by d.bradley Quote
(snip) I was shooting digital snaps with my K10D (bright primes, no flash) and another fellow was doing 'traditional' wedding photography on film with his nikon / flash setup.

(snip) I missed a lot of shots because of low shutter speed due to noise. In retrospect, I should have shot more at ISO800 despite the noise, but most of my shots were at ISO400.

Since the other guy felt a flash was needed (light warranted it), perhaps you should have used a flash as well. This would have raised shutter speeds, lowered ISO settings, and cut any chance of blur caused by subject movement while taking the snapshots.


QuoteQuote:
(snip) First, I miss 6mp sensors. (snip) Give me a K10D "super" (haha!) with a 6mp sensor (snip)

Since you like 6 megapixel images so much, you might try simply turning the K10D down to 6 megapixels.

stewart

Last edited by stewart_photo; 07-06-2007 at 11:57 PM.
07-07-2007, 06:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote
Since the other guy felt a flash was needed (light warranted it), perhaps you should have used a flash as well. This would have raised shutter speeds, lowered ISO settings, and cut any chance of blur caused by subject movement while taking the snapshots.
Although I shot about three photos with a flash, I was asked by the bride and groom specifically to take shots that would be totally different from the other photographer, and in the style of the photos in my gallery: no flash, wide aperture, low DOF.

QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote
Since you like 6 megapixel images so much, you might try simply turning the K10D down to 6 megapixels.
Even if it were an option to shoot in RAW format at less than 10 megapixels, noise is related to the sensor's photosite density, not image output size. Of course feel free to prove otherwise.

Ahem. Anyawy. The shots below are around 1/8s ISO400. Check out one without HDR:



And here is the 'single-raw' HDR detail recovery method:




Last edited by d.bradley; 07-07-2007 at 07:25 AM.
07-07-2007, 07:18 AM   #9
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Talk about tough lighting. That backlight from the windows must have been fun to deal with. I think these are very good shots.
07-07-2007, 08:13 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fireball Quote
Will is right about setting exposure by his method. Remember the age old adage, "expose for the shadows, print for the highlights"
I don't think that's really a good motto for digital. It applies to negative film, where black areas on the photo (light on the neg) contain no recoverable detail, but in digital the shadows contain a lot of detail, while fully blown highlights contain none at all. (a bit more like slide film)

If you expose to the left in digital, you can almost always get an acceptable result by upping the "exposure" in PP as the detail is there whether it's visible or not. You'll have much less luck dealing with over-exposed pictures, because no amount of recovery will add detail that simply isn't present.

Matthew
07-07-2007, 09:00 AM   #11
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after a little bit of experementing, I noticed that if I kept my K10 at +3/4 of a stop with high ISO, the noise reduced considerably. the noise dropped even more between +1,- +1 1/3 (all in raw of course) but I lost to much shadow detail.
I only used this method with speeds over 400 as that seems to be the major breaking point as far as noise goes with the K10D

hope this helps

randy
07-07-2007, 09:07 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matthew Allen Quote
If you expose to the left in digital, you can almost always get an acceptable result by upping the "exposure" in PP as the detail is there whether it's visible or not. You'll have much less luck dealing with over-exposed pictures, because no amount of recovery will add detail that simply isn't present.
Yes, of course! But exposing to the right doesn't mean trying to get the entire histogram on the right side, even at the cost of blowing all your highlights. It simply means pushing the histogram a bit to the right of the camera's idea of a normal exposure but without blowing the highlights. The famous Luminous Landscape article on the subject can be found here. The basic idea is that the right half of the histogram (speaking metaphorically here) is actually capable of storing much more dynamic range information than the left side. So, as long as you don't blow the highlights, you'll get more info into your photos by (a) shooting raw and (b) exposing to the right side of the histogram. The photo may look a bit overexposed in the LCD review, but when you get it on your computer and into post-processing, you'll be able to pull detail out of the image wonderfully. On the other hand, if you expose to the left, you start with an image that looks better initially in the midtones, but if you try to increase the exposure because the image is a bit dark, you'll also be increasing noise - and increasing noise means losing detail.

Final note. While the general rule is don't blow the highlights, as a practical matter, if the dynamic range of the scene is greater than the camera can capture, well, you have to blow something, and then you decide. There's nothing absolutely sacred about highlights. In some photos, the clouds in the background are more important than the trees in the foreground, and I will prefer to blow the blacks than the whites. In other cases, the texture of the bird's feathers might be more important than the sky in the background and I'll be willing to blow out the sky in patches. Just a judgment call - and if you're not sure, you can always bracket.

Will
07-08-2007, 02:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by

Final note. While the general rule is [I:
don't blow the highlights, [/I]as a practical matter, if the dynamic range of the scene is greater than the camera can capture, well, you have to blow something, and then you decide. There's nothing absolutely sacred about highlights. In some photos, the clouds in the background are more important than the trees in the foreground, and I will prefer to blow the blacks than the whites. In other cases, the texture of the bird's feathers might be more important than the sky in the background and I'll be willing to blow out the sky in patches. Just a judgment call - and if you're not sure, you can always bracket.

Will

Well said. Too many posters on these forums are of the opinion that highlights are sacred. Its the subject that counts, I like to determine what part of an image is the most important, and strive to obtain the best exposure for that part of the image. If something has to be sacrificed, so be it. You are the boss, its your picture.
07-08-2007, 10:25 AM   #14
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Will, that makes sense, I think you're quite right. I just thought it was worth pointing out that the adage Fireball mentioned is really a hangover from negative film and although there is still some truth to it, it doesn't apply in the way it used to.

Keith, you may not have been talking out posters like me, but if you were I never suggested that highlights were sacred. Obviously the balance of exposure (which is so often a compromise) is up to the photographer and depends on the effect that he or she is aiming for. What I was saying was that in a digital image file where an area really does have a full white value, recovery is not possible. Yes you get more latitude in RAW, but beyond a certain point the information really isn't there. If a fully white area suits the composition and matches the intentions of the photographer then fine, but the closer to over-exposed you go, the more likely you are to lose information you wanted to retain. As always, you decide.

Matthew
07-08-2007, 11:06 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matthew Allen Quote
What I was saying was that in a digital image file where an area really does have a full white value, recovery is not possible. Yes you get more latitude in RAW, but beyond a certain point the information really isn't there.
Matthew,

You're absolutely right and it's an important point: once the histogram actually REACHES the right or left extreme edge, detail is lost and beyond recovery. This is the "on the one hand" that we all have to keep in mind.

The key thing is, are you losing anything important? THis is why I now prefer to use the K10D's "bright/dark area" feature, which shows me WHERE the detail is being lost. The histogram alone only tells me that SOME detail is being blown out - not whether it is important detail or not.


QuoteQuote:
If a fully white area suits the composition and matches the intentions of the photographer then fine, but the closer to over-exposed you go, the more likely you are to lose information you wanted to retain. As always, you decide.
With respect to the first half of this sentence, I would only comment that the phrase "fully white area" sounds scarier than it usually is. Usually, if you push things to the right and you're paying attention, you don't, say, blow the entire sky. You just blow little bits of cloud here and there. I would have to have a darned good reason to blow 50% of the photo. I think the only time I've ever done that was shooting birds against a sky, when my lens wasn't long enough to get the bird to fill most of the frame. In that case, the blown sky ends up mostly getting cropped out.

With respect to the second half of the sentence, you seem to be using "overexposed" to mean simply "blowing highlights," and in that case, I am not sure your comment is quite correct. Either the highlights are blown or they're not. Coming close to blowing the highlights, doesn't blow them, at least not if you're shooting raw. Coming close simply makes things look too light in review on the LCD or when you first view the image on the computer. But if the Thomas Knoll observation mentioned in the Luminous Landscape article on shooting to the right (referenced in my earlier post) is correct - that there is much greater dynamic range available at the right side of the histogram - then pushing things to the right preserves the info better than pushing it to the right. LOOKS bad initially, but you can then pull the histogram to the left and voila! back comes the detail. My own informal tests some time ago persuaded me that this is correct, and I've found it useful in practice.

But to return to the issue on which we do agree both on the practice and the description of it: if it's blown, it's blown, and that's the end of that!

Will
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