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Forum: Pentax K-3 03-31-2019, 02:41 PM  
Concert shots done with K-3 II.
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 5
Views: 1,002
@K5-0, Thanks! 90% of shots with Sigma are either at 1.8 or 2.8 . I would not use 35 2.4, because this would limit my framing opportunities. But again it is a matter of preferences. Photopit was organised only for the Mayhem gig. I stayed in the photopit only half of the allowed time. It was too tight and there were multiple other photographers running around. I went back to the audience to get some different angles. The crowd did not mind me walking back and forth. It might sound strange but rock crowds are generally very friendly.

@john5100, concert photographers are indeed a rare sight here. As for the framing, I do agree that in some cases more context would be beneficial, your shots are a good example of this. In my case it would mean more black walls and black padded ceiling :) Besides there is barely any information in those unlit parts of the venue.

As for the AF, in PDAF I use centre point / single point. As I mentioned I mostly use CDAF i.e. Live View with either single point or select mode. When there is at least one spotlight pointing at a musician, AF works fine. Especially if it is white :) Another problem is strobes. Sometimes it is pretty damn hard to hit the shutter button between the flashes.

In my experience not all ISO 6400 images are created equal :D If they are underexposed and the scenes are dark in real life, the images tend to be far more noisy at the same ISO, compared to the ones shot with more light. Besides pushing ISO 6400 gives worse results as opposed to 3200, but there is a point after which pushing the image in post will not bring out any more details. Another thing I noticed is that the higher the ISO the more aggressive the NR algorithm becomes at the same settings. Sometimes it tries to smooth out the stage fog, mistaking it for noise. It results in very unpleasant looking images.

@keithw, welcome to the club, so to say ! Most of my concert shots adorn facebook pages of associated events and profiles of musicians. Off topic : photos of the ship I made are now on it's bridge decorating the walls. I was asked to have them printed by the ship's master.
Forum: Pentax K-3 03-30-2019, 04:56 PM  
Concert shots done with K-3 II.
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 5
Views: 1,002
Being a rock / metal fan I started photographing concerts that I attended as soon as I got my first point and shoot camera (of course if photography was allowed). I continued doing so, with my first digital p&s camera (Pentax Optio W20). But it was not until I got K-3 and Sigma 18-35 mm F1.8 Art that I first attempted to shoot live gigs with a DSLR. Some of the early efforts can be found in these threads :

A concert photographed with K-3 II and Sigma 18-35 Art. - PentaxForums.com
Concert shot with K-3 and Sigma 18-35. - Page 2 - PentaxForums.com

Back in the late 2017, one of my favourite bands was coming to my home town, so I got in touch with the promoter to ask for a photo pass. Of course I was asked to show my previous works. The promoter was satisfied with what she saw and granted me access to the photo pit. One of the conditions was to share the photos with her agency. She liked the result and offered to do photographic coverage for some other gigs by her agency. This year I finally managed to shoot some of the concerts. Here are some photos in chronological order with links to corresponding albums on flickr.

2017-10-23 - Mayhem (Nor) + Support.




Dragged Into Sunlight.

- - -





Mayhem. Album.




2019-02-08 - Freakangel + Support.





Digital Digital.

- - -





Horror Dance Squad.

- - -





Freak Angel.

Albums : Digital Digital, Horror Dance Squad, Freak Angel.



2019-03-21 - Orange Goblin + Support.




Kaiser.

- - -





Redneck Rampage.

- - -








Orange Goblin.

Albums : Kaiser, Redneck Rampage, Orange Goblin


- - - -
Some notes.
Mayhem's concert from 2017 was shot with Sigma 18-35 art. Due to the amount of stage fog and freaky lighting this combo refused to lock focus in either PDAF or CDAF. In some cases I had to resort to manual focusing with magnification and focus peaking in live view. Just as I mentioned in the previous threads, in these conditions it is close to impossible to tell if the subject is in focus : the stage smoke obscures details. Actually this is true for the rest of the concert shots presented here.
The second concert was shot using Sigma and FA 50 1.4. Using 50mm focal length on a crop camera in a tightly packed club without a photo pit was quite problematic. That club had a balcony and I had access to it. That's where I used the FA lens the most, The stage lights were the worse I have ever seen. The centre of the stage had some light, while the sides were almost unlit. Smoke screen, that's what it literally looked like at times, made photographing musicians on the sides of the stage almost impossible. You start focusing on a musician and while the camera is thinking how to do it, he moves and you have to start over again. Later I started pre-focusing on some spot and waited for the musician to appear there.

The Orange Goblin gig, was slightly easier to cover : the venue was bigger and I was familiar with it, more stage lights, a bit less stage smoke compared to the previous concerts. Just as in case with the previous gig I used two lenses (18-35 and 50). This time 50mm was quite useful, because the stage was much bigger. As there was no "three first songs" limit, closer to the end of the headliner's set I started experimenting by trying to capture some minor details with the 50mm lens. Some of these shots are in the album. I experienced exactly the same focusing issues with both lenses as was the case during the previous two shows.


The over hit rate was below 50% by my rough estimation. Most of the shots were done using CDAF (Live View), because I heavily rely on the electronic level and besides I wear glasses. 90% of shots were done using a wider angle than necessary to fit the subject into frame. That way I managed to maintain the perspective and got an opportunity to re-frame the shots to my liking in post processing. Working on these shots in post was a nightmare. To avoid motion blur, I used shutter speed around 1/160 and 1/250. Considering how dark it is inside most concert clubs, the ISO has to be kept around 3200. Occasionally I used 1600. Nowadays I try to avoid 6400, because I don't like the resulting look. Most of my shots are deliberately underxposed to preserve as much highlights as possible. My experience shows, that even at 3200 quite a lot of shadow details can be recovered. At 6400 there is not much left to recover. A lot of my images were pushed one or two stops in DxO Photolab (my raw converter of choice). To mitigate some of the issues associated with pushing severely underexposed images I had to resort to black and white conversion and resizing / resampling of images. I used DxO's Filmpack 5 for black and white conversion. The hardest part was to find the correct de-noising settings : too much and your image looks washed out, not enough and you see specks of noise and blotches of false colour all across the image. DxO's PRIME engine does miracles in some cases, while in the other cases, even when set to minimum, can be too strong, creating soft-looking images.DxO Filmpack has an option to emulate film grain. In certain cases it was useful to mask the digital noise.


One interesting observation : camera focusing speed varies depending on the colour of the stage lights. I did not figure out the exact patter, but I clearly noticed the difference in the focusing speed.



I hope that the next Pentax camera has an improved autofocus and performs considerably better at higher ISO. For the sake of experiment, I guess I should rent K-1 and 24-70, to see if it in anyway is a significant improvement in these fields.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-05-2018, 02:25 PM  
DA* Club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 5,113
Views: 736,616
DA* 60-250 mounted on K-3 II @ 60mm, F4, 1/400, ISO 100 . Processed in DxO Photolab.




Portrait of a friend.
Forum: Lens Clubs 11-29-2018, 05:05 AM  
The Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 Art club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 112
Views: 39,532
Mounted on K-3 II @18mm, F1.8 1/800, ISO 100.Processed in DxO Photolab using DxO Film Pack and Agfa Scala 200X preset.



Talllinn, Estonia.
Forum: Photographic Technique 11-22-2018, 02:12 PM  
A different approach to panoramic images.
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 4
Views: 811
Actually all the lines on the square in front of the building are rectangular, so this is a result of photoshop being creative in its own way :D

@interested_observer, thanks I did not know the name for this method !
Forum: Photographic Technique 11-21-2018, 03:00 PM  
A different approach to panoramic images.
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 4
Views: 811
During this summer vacation I made a stop in Kaunas, Lithuania. With me I had a book dedicated to the architecture of this city. I had an intention of repeating some photos found in the book. The widest lens I have is Sigma 18-35 Art and I use K-3 II. Frequently it was not wide enough.

I found one building which I wanted to photograph and decided to make a panoramic image. For the sake of experiment I decided to change my view point, instead of spinning around my vertical axis to the left and to the right. The area in front of the building was paved in plates. I found the centre of the building, made one horizontal shot and marked the spot with a stone. I made an equal amount of steps to the left and then to the right along the same imaginary line and took two more horizontal shots. Shots were take using live view with electronic level turned on. I counted the number of plates on the ground, when I was moving to the either side, to keep the distance from the centre as equal as possible.

I tried stitching the resulting image in Auto Pano Giga 4. For some reason, despite all the variations in settings, it failed to produce correct results. I decided to try the good old Photoshop CS6 and to my surprise it produced a really good result.

Sport University, Kaunas. Panorama.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-19-2018, 07:29 AM  
Legacy glass in cold weather
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 22
Views: 1,361
Focusing ring on CZJ MC S 135mm F3.5 became very stiff despite the fact that it was re-lubricated a year or so ago. The outside temperature was around -15. Helios 44K-4 was no better.
Forum: Lens Clubs 11-16-2018, 07:31 AM  
The Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 Art club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 112
Views: 39,532
Mounted on K-3 II @35mm, F1.8, 1/60, ISO 400

Forum: Lens Clubs 08-20-2018, 04:52 AM  
The Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 Art club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 112
Views: 39,532
Mounted on K-3 II. Tripod. 4 shots stitched into a HDR image using AutoPano Giga 4.


Malbork Сastle, Poland
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-26-2018, 09:40 PM  
DA* Club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 5,113
Views: 736,616
Now it is a parking lot in the heart of the town, so it is quite profitable in the short-term perspective. I think there is a plan to build something on that place, but I am not sure.
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-26-2018, 03:15 PM  
DA* Club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 5,113
Views: 736,616


Same scene as in my previous post, 8 years later and with different kit. Pentax K-3 II, Sigma 18-35 Art @18mm, F9, 1/80, ISO 100. I tried to frame it as close to the original as possible. Combination of K20D and DA* 16-50, produced slightly more vivid colours, but again the lighting was different, so might not be the most fair comparison.
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-23-2018, 11:14 AM  
DA* Club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 5,113
Views: 736,616
I do not have that kit anymore. I am am now using K-3 and Sigma 18-35 Art. I could try repeating the same scene tomorrow with the existing kit. First to match the framing of the 2010 shot and then 2018 take.
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-21-2018, 04:53 AM  
DA* Club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 5,113
Views: 736,616



Pentax K20D, DA* 16-50mm F2.8 @ 18mm, F9, 1/50, ISO 200. June 2010, Tallinn. Reworked from the original RAW file in June 2018. Working with the original raw files is like entering the time machine.



At that time I was passing this place every time I went back home from work. I documented several stages of demolition of the building in the background. It used to be the academy of arts. Accidentally I noticed that a statue could spice up the otherwise boring scene. Cross posted from the facebook group Pentaxians.
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-18-2018, 02:03 PM  
DA* Club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 5,113
Views: 736,616
Pentax K-01, DA* 16-50mm @16mm, F7.1, 1/50, ISO400.



Sunset over Mariehamn, Åland

Shot during the summer vacation in 2013. Finland, Åland islands, Mariehamn. Reworked in 2018, using DxO Photolab specifically for the monthly contest. Cross-posted from the monthly contest forum.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 06-18-2018, 01:27 PM  
Sunset over Västrahamnen, Mariehamn, Åland.
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 1
Views: 127


Sunset in Mariehamn

Shot in July 2013, during my vacation on Åland islands, Finland. Re-worked from the original raw file for this contest.
Forum: Winners' Showcase 06-09-2018, 03:32 AM  
May, 2018 Winner: Smokey Coat
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 85
Views: 1,842
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 06-09-2018, 03:32 AM  
Dancing in the park.
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 10
Views: 310
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 06-09-2018, 03:31 AM  
loafing on the ocean city boardwalk
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 6
Views: 199
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-14-2018, 02:27 PM  
The Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 Art club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 112
Views: 39,532
Mounted on K-3. @ 18mm, F6.3, 1/250, ISO 100. Processed in Dxo Photolab.



Shot on a hiking trail in Geta, Åland islands, Finland. I selectively darkened the trees and sky in the background to bring out the foreground. Originally shot in July 2015, reworked earlier today from the original RAW file.
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-08-2018, 02:53 PM  
DA* Club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 5,113
Views: 736,616
Pentax K-3 II , DA* 60-250 @60mm , F7.1 1/1000, ISO 100. Processed in DxO Photolab.




Chasing light in Vilnius, Lithuania. Shot from Mindaugas bridge. It was a cloudy morning and rain was in the forecast. I was walking towards city centre, when I noticed that the clouds were clearing and the sun started to shine. I stopped on the bridge and started unpacking my gear from the backpack. While I was doing so, the clouds covered the sun again. I patiently waited for the sun to appear again and when I saw the right light, I quickly did some shots. This is one them.
Post processing did add a slight dramatic edge, but most of it comes from the light.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-05-2018, 01:44 PM  
Uneven sharpness in DFA 70-200mm
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 61
Views: 4,480
I ended up selling the lens, because even on a brand new K-3 II it performed considerably worse than Sigma 18-35, thus it was collecting dust on the shelf.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-05-2018, 01:32 PM  
Uneven sharpness in DFA 70-200mm
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 61
Views: 4,480
I had similar problems with several copies of 16-50. Decenterring, front / back focus, mechanical issues. The lens went back and forth between Estonia - France - Japan, before the official representative of Ricoh got in touch with me. I had to write a lengthy email to Ricoh UK customer support. In the end, I received a replacement copy hand-picked by Ricoh.
In the end it turned out that the sensor was stuck in the assembly under some angle and was unable to go back to its default position. The most interesting thing is that at some point I sent both the body and the lens to have them adjusted.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 03-29-2018, 04:25 AM  
Pentax K-3 II and DxO Photolab.
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 1
Views: 957
Pentax K-3 II, Sigma 18-35 mm Art @ 35mm F1.8, 1/5000, ISO100.

- Before
- After

Belgium, Brussels, Rue Belliard

Traditionally the image was deliberately underexposed to keep the details in the highlights. During the post processing I increased the overall exposure by 1.75 EV and then selected sky, using the auto masking tool and reduced it's brightness by 1.15 EV. The images are slightly cropped and both have distortion corrected.

The main challenge was to make the lamp "stand out". The background is blurred, but the whole scene was in the shadow, so I had to play with the contrast and tone curves a bit.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 03-21-2018, 07:22 AM  
Pentax K-3 II and DxO Photolab.
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 1
Views: 957
Pentax K-3 II, Sigma 18-35 mm F1.8 Art @ 18mm, F6.3 1/640.

Ruins of a fortress. June 2017.


The final version of the image. Processed in DxO Photolab.
- - -


Processed in DxO Optics Pro 10 in 2017, before I upgraded to the PhotoLab.
- - -


Processed in DxO Photolab. The only corrections are lens distortion, volume deformation and purple fringing.

The original image was deliberately underexposed, to preserve the highlights. In my experience RAW files from K-3 / II retain a lot of information in the shadows and in DxO software it is possible to process images so that both shadows and highlights look good. In case with this very file, the contrast between the bright and dark parts was too big. As seen in the version from 2017, I did manage to equalise exposure across the image, but it ended up looking flat.
Not long ago, I was experimenting with the auto mask feature in DxO Photolab and decided to find some challenging (in terms of post processing) images, that I could re-work. I chose this image, because I remember having spent a lot of time trying to "fix" it. Using auto mask I selected the sky and then I increased the overall exposure by 3 EV. As was expected I ended up with an overexposed sky, so I selected the mask I created earlier and reduced exposure by 2 EV. I added some contrast, made slight adjustments to the levels and smart lighting. The resulting image can be seen above.

To sum it up : K- 3 (II) and PhotoLab work really well together.
Forum: Lens Clubs 03-10-2018, 04:01 PM  
DA* Club
Posted By Stagnant
Replies: 5,113
Views: 736,616
Pentax K-3 II, DA* 60-250 @ 60mm, F8, 6 seconds, ISO 100 Tripod. Processed in DxO Photolab.

Narva castle, Estonia.




---------- Post added 03-11-18 at 01:04 AM ----------

@Designosophy, I had a lot of issues with DA* 16-50, including decenterring. On having it fixed, I sold it, because it had been collecting dust ever since I acquired Sigma 18-35 F1.8 art.
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