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Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 07-17-2013, 06:44 PM  
So what are my options for a flash that will shoot faster than 1/180?
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 48
Views: 4,615
I'll dig through some of my old albums where I've resorted to using HSS outdoor if OP does not deliver. Hopefully I can find suitable examples.

There's multiple uses for HSS, but it's great for balancing outdoor light (since that's what the OP was using it for). If it's generally sunny, but you're taking picture of someone under a shady tree. There would simply be too much contrast for the camera to handle. Without the flash, you're forced to expose for the background with a very dark person, or focus on exposing the person and let the background be blown out. By using HSS, you can use the camera exposure for the background (which is requiring a very fast shutter speed), and use the PTTL exposure for your subject. Because of the additional light, both subject and background are now within contrast limits of your sensor, so you end up with an exposed subject in front of an exposed background.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-17-2013, 05:50 PM  
18-55 lens only has 37mm of range ...
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 20
Views: 1,642
I wouldn't consider it to be a trick, it's a way of understanding field of view. Our 1.5 crop camera at 18mm would see the exact same scene a 35mm camera would at 24mm. A 645 format would need a 38.7mm lens to have in view the same scene. Other aspects of the photo may differ between the different formats, but field of view is retained.

Having an accepted standard makes things more comprehensible and comparable. If I had an old film camera that had a zoom from 35mm - 75mm and I enjoy it's focal range, I can look for a digital camera with a listed 35mm - 75mm equivalent to produce similar pictures.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 06-28-2013, 11:43 PM  
Track Oops
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 0
Views: 655
Track Oops.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-30-2010, 11:07 AM  
burst speed question
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 13
Views: 2,645
Only you (OP) can really answer this question. Do you find yourself missing photo opportunities because the camera isn't fast enough? Would the 5fps get the picture you couldn't in 3fps?

I shoot events and I've found 3fps on my K10D was enough. Granted the K7 shoots faster in the same scenarios, I felt the higher frame rate did not create a photo for me that wasn't already there.

You should upgrade your camera for other reasons, the faster AF, LiveView, higher ISO, ergonomics, ease of feature adjustments, have all been worthwhile features to me.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-30-2010, 10:45 AM  
Your RAW workflow
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 33
Views: 11,630
For Casual Shots, I'll be honest, I shoot JPEG. Press RAW+ on demand for shots I want to pay attention to. Saves a LOT of time for me (and time is valuable). I do shoot JPEG + RAW or just RAW for my serious gigs.

Once I get my RAWs, this is what I do.

- Upload to computer
- Open Adobe Bridge and have it preview all RAW files with autofix applied.
- Preview photos, find your keepers and possible keepers.
- Now that you have your keepers and maybes, adjust things that can be applied to groups of photos (temperature, contrast, brightness, etc)
- After colors are adjusted, review these keepers and maybes again, determine which ones are the keepers that deserve attention.

Now the batch work is complete, now on to opening single pictures and edit in this order:
- Determine the style you wish to present the photo
- Duplicate the image to another layer (point is to always have the original to revert back to if needed).
- Adjust composition (be sure to use adjustment layers so you don't alter the original)
- Adjust detail altering items (noise reduction, heal blemishes, remove glare, etc.) Sharpen images LAST. Sharpening too early makes correcting more difficult and more obvious in the end product.
- Apply effect filters if you wish to do so (blurs, etc).
- Save as PSD (if you're in photoshop like me.)

Now that you have all your photos from the session completed, it's time to save, export and back up.

I don't believe the non-keepers are worth keeping and delete them, but if you're a photo pack rat, export those non-keepers and maybe RAWs into JPEG. Why? Because they take up less room, and is now in a compatible format for anyone to see. Yes you sacrifice the extra 10% of adjustments in the future, but it really is a very small sacrifice for photos you don't plan to deal with again.

I upload all the JPEGs to my online photo site for archiving and sharing (can't do that with RAW). I do not keep the RAWs but I do keep my PSDs from the select photos, they will remain in my normal computer back up routine.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-30-2010, 10:05 AM  
My Exported images from lightroom appears to be greenish
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 22
Views: 6,311
I too feel this is a color profile issue. Make sure lightroom is using sRGB as well as well, not just the camera. I wouldn't be surprised if lightroom is using CYMK.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-29-2010, 02:23 PM  
photoshop help: fix window glare
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 6
Views: 4,440
Which photoshop do you use? CS5 has content aware fill which can probably fix your first photo.

The second will take some extra work with burning as stated for the buildings, the mountains can probably be fixed with the content aware fill as well.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-29-2010, 02:15 PM  
Best post processing program for a newbie?
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 33
Views: 11,299
I know everyone says Picasa for beginnings because it's free, but there's an alternative that I believe people aren't considering.

Windows Live Photo Gallery. Free for XP and beyond, but best with Vista and 7 (as it comes with additional Windows Live Tools).

Windows Live Photo Gallery is easier to use and has a more logical layout imo. Program loads fast and runs efficient, reads a good amount of exif info, easy to tag photos, offers more adjustments than picasa (a great selection for beginners), provides unlimited undo, even offers a revert button for going back to the original AFTER you save it.

With that said, you do lose out on the healing brush in Picasa and some special effects, but it's honestly not a huge sacrifice if you're a photographer and not a graphic artist.

Photoshop, even in elements form can be quite a learning curve. I feel it's a natural progression for users after they understand how post processing can affect exposure (contrast, brightness, color temperature, shadow and highlight clipping, etc.)
Forum: Post Your Photos! 08-23-2010, 12:55 PM  
Misc My recently accepted PPG`s
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 5
Views: 1,449
Impressive. I like how the road is turning into the sun in #14.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 08-23-2010, 12:52 PM  
Machinery K20 on K20 love (car related)
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 8
Views: 2,347
Looking good.

But on another note, K20 with a GT40, how usable is the powerband? Just guessing here, fully spooled in the mid to high 4000s?
Forum: Photographic Technique 08-23-2010, 12:46 PM  
Event Shoot: General Advice
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 16
Views: 4,615
I don't know why you wouldn't want a 100mm if you're forced to stick to primes. The DOF is much more apparent when shooting face shots. The sense of DOF is one of the things that separates a dSLR from a P&S when used for portraiture, it's what clients are looking for, so capitalize on it.
You should visit the venue ahead of time and imagine possible shots, then put them on a checklist. When you find yourself not trying to capture the moment, go through your checklist. That way, it'll show your artistic side as well.
Another advice I'd like to provide is to shoot some related details. Yes, it's an event gig, so you don't want to miss the moment, but shooting details can help you tell your story.
Forum: Photographic Technique 08-23-2010, 11:52 AM  
Pentax and Weddings
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 7
Views: 2,348
I take it you shot an outdoor wedding? I didn't have any problems with an outdoor wedding with my older K10 back when I used it. I think the slow AF comments are generally related to indoor shoots where older cameras like my K10 would hunt and hunt and hunt if on AF.

Learning the angles is tough for sure, and don't be afraid to be in the way a bit as most know that you're in their way for a reason. Some photographers like to signal the couple to wait for their queue before certain events (such as walking up the aisle out of the church, etc.)

Personally, the best accessory I can get is an assistant that understands your style of shooting. Holding a reflector or a second flash at the right spot makes working a lot quicker and easier, but finding an acceptable assistant is extremely tough.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 08-23-2010, 11:36 AM  
Pentax 540af P-TTL issues
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 2
Views: 2,001
I agree on checking the contacts. The K20 doesn't even support TTL...
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-25-2010, 05:18 PM  
AF speed: Lens or body?
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 7
Views: 2,739
It actually depends on both.

But to answer your hypothetical, using a K7 or Kx will focus faster than a K100DS using the same lens.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-25-2010, 05:14 PM  
Auto iso - k10d
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 10
Views: 1,958
That's a moot point isn't it? As the K line dSLRs were never promoted to be M42 compatible, they are only K mount compatible. We just MAKE them fit with adapters.

While the ability would be nice, I don't see why Pentax would/should incorporate a feature into their firmware for an application that they never designed to support.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-25-2010, 02:58 PM  
Auto iso - k10d
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 10
Views: 1,958
I have not seen your firmware complaint thread, but there's nothing to complain about in regards to the firmware. Our cameras require stop down metering for full manual lenses, it's nothing firmware can fix.

The camera can't calculate when there are things it does not know. If I told you A x S x I = 25, can you tell me what A, S, and I MUST be?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-25-2010, 02:47 PM  
Borrowing K10 to complete noob - setup?
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 17
Views: 2,843
I agree that the K10D is a tough jump. I'm still teaching my sister about photography on an Superzoom P&S with manual controls.

K10D requires a lot more input to get the picture right. However, if you must require a set it and forget it setting. I would recommend these changes:

> 100-400 auto iso, 400 is all you'll need outdoors, especially being paired with a f/2.8 lens, the noise jump to 640 in the off chance it needs to be used isn't worth it.
> +0.3EV or +0.7EV, while it's great you like doing post processing, the less you have to do the better. Shadow detail is more important than highlight detail imo. The K10D tends to underexpose anyways.
> -1.0FEV. You're using it as a fill flash, -0.5 is still too powerful.
> I would consider skipping the diffusor. Diffusor + HSS + outdoor = a lot of flash power. Results in shorter battery life, longer recharge, etc.
> Play with the jpg processing to bump up the settings to ATLEAST brightness (+2), contrast (+2), and sharpness (+1). Unless they are a true photo critic, I find people generally like punchy images, not detailed images. They've been brain washed by the Canon Nikon out of the box settings ;) Since you're doing RAW + jpg anyways, your friend will appreciate the immediate presentable pictures while you work on the RAW image for the good stuff.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-25-2010, 02:20 PM  
When will we see a new, better AF system from Pentax?
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 35
Views: 5,389
I want to point out that we shouldn't link focus systems to a brand, we should link them to a model.

Pentax's current generation of cameras have much improved focusing compared to earlier generations. Where as Canon and Nikon made these improvements several generation ago, because Pentax is late to the game for focus improvement, you really shouldn't compare say a K10/K20 to a D80/D90 or 30D/40D in this arena.

The focus on my K10D and K7 are very very different. The K7 has improved drastically in this area. It does much less low light hunting and much quicker to confirm focus. Note that I use this on my DA*s and FA50, I have never connected my kit lenses to see if the focus improvements are dampened. I honestly feel that my K7's focus is now comparable to its competitors with only a very slight edge to the Canon and Nikon equivalents. It's not until I compare with the full frame big boys that I feel my K7 is inadequate.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-08-2009, 02:32 PM  
k-7 rebate?
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 4
Views: 2,320
I saw the $1100 amazon price early today as well. So tempted to jump on it. Sigh...

Ah the dream of shooting past 1600 iso...
Forum: Photographic Technique 06-28-2009, 08:58 PM  
I want to go slow!!!!
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 15
Views: 3,162
If you have the K10D or above, you can do multiple exposures. It's great for doing water shots without having to use additional filters.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-22-2009, 04:00 AM  
More flash stuff
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 5
Views: 1,746
lol, ditto what matt said.

HSS cannot be done in manual flash mode, which has also been said.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-18-2009, 02:06 AM  
AF540FGZ question
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 14
Views: 1,968
There's no need for that. The manual can be very confusing at times. You're better off reading the posts on here instead. I know I've talked about flash photography a lot already along with many others. Try the forum search tool to learn more about a specific feature.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-18-2009, 12:56 AM  
What mode you mostly shoot your K10d in?
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 53
Views: 6,662
Depends on the program used.

I shoot Av most, but no where near 90%, i mix it up a bit. Av, Tv, P, M, in that order :p
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-22-2009, 03:26 PM  
Question: K10/20 and remote AF360/540 in manual mode?
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 4
Views: 3,503
Wireless Controller only Flash with the built in flash still has 2 flashes.

One to trigger remote flashes to preflash, so that it can meter the scene. It will then flash a second time, to define the remote flash output for desired FEV, when the shutter will open, etc. This is following the p-ttl protocol that the built in flash cannot avoid with an A lens.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-22-2009, 03:33 AM  
pentax 360 flash
Posted By AVANT
Replies: 8
Views: 2,729
dafiryde, are these studio shots? Or random location portraits? If it's a studio shot, A or M mode is far more suitable.

If it's location based portraits tho, and you have a sensitive (blink prone) subject, try this trick:
- Pose your subject, let them know where they're supposed to look
- have your subject close their eyes and relax their face.
- Tell them to open and smile (or whatever facial expression they should have) on 3.
- Take the picture right after.

If it's a snapshot, let them know there will be 2 flashes, many can fight the blink.
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