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Old Nov 27, 2013, 11:20 PM   #1
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Default K3 and...

Various lenses. I'm starting to get some experience with different lenses and this new camera. In the past I've had some lenses that didn't play well with certain cameras - sometimes there's focus errors and sometimes I haven't found the reason. The DA55-300 pretty much stayed on the K7 because I never liked the results I got from it when using it on the K5. Today I discovered that it plays very nicely with the K3. I'm going to be much more likely to have it in the camera bag now, since it's so much lighter than the DA*300. It's not a macro, but it does nicely with flowers:

Then there's the FA31. This might not be the best picture in the world, but I like the sky:

Another one from this morning - this time before the sun was up, more or less during the "blue hour" or a little afterwards. This is actually two frames stitched together - I couldn't get all of Pauley in the frame without doing a panorama.

The FA77 Ltd also seems to do well with the K3. This picture was taken before the picture above, just starting to get into the blue hour. I was across the street from this house. I did have some trouble with the exposure because it kept lightening the sky which blew out the lion or dog or whatever it is.

Sunday I tested out the K3 with the DA*300 and the 1.7 AFA. I don't have any bird feeders (since our area had trouble with bears in the subdivision over the summer, almost all the bird feeders have disappeared). These were taken at the county park, not far from where I live. The trees are huge and the birds don't have nicely sighted feeders to go to. The Acorn Woodpeckers are somewhat shy.

The Mallards, on the other hand, are quite tame. This picture has not been cropped, the duck was that close to me.

They were very disappointed with me - I didn't have any bread for them, so they didn't hang out very long or pose very much.

I also got the DA*50-135 out. My copy is decentered but it only shows up occasionally. I had put it on the K3 when I was wandering around Saturday morning because it was snowing and I wanted the weather sealing. Later on, as it was clearing off, I took a walk and didn't bother to change lenses.

I'm not the steadiest person in the world and always had to keep my eye out for the shutter speed with the K5 because of camera shake. The K3 has better SR, at least I can push the envelope far more when it comes to shutter speed. I couldn't believe that I managed this shot hand-held (while standing on a hill) - it's 1/25 sec. at 70mm (taken with the DA50-135). You can see why I was interested in shooting with a weather-sealed lens.

The Viv 105 macro plays well with every camera I've ever had, and the K3 is no exception. This was taken with both the Viv and the 1.7 AFA, and again the K3 gives nice results. It was hand-held because the RRS L-bracket(s) I have don't really fit it well enough to use. I emailed them and they answered that they don't have any plans to offer a custom L-bracket for the camera, but I understand the generic plate works. That will be my next purchase, after the end of the month hopefully. I'm disappointed that I can't get an L-bracket because my tripod head only has one drop. But that's really a minor annoyance.

The DA*200 was one of the first lenses I tried with the K3 (not sure why except that I've always loved this lens). To really have this a proper picture, I should have used a smaller aperture so that both dogs were in focus. On the other hand, it does show how sharp the lens/camera combination is when you look at the dog that is in focus (which was where I had the focus point). I thought the picture was cute - it was like the fawn (think that's what they call that color) dane was saying to the dark dane something like "On 3 - I'll go high and you go low and we'll take that human out."

So all in all, I'm really happy with the camera. I still have lenses I want to check out (the DA12-24, which has front-focused on every other camera I've had) is one I've been putting off trying out. But I will get around to it eventually.

These pictures aren't "test" shots or straight out of the camera. Many have been cropped and all have been processed to my taste. They also show up some of my limitations (and strengths) as a photographer. The K3 will certainly make me work harder than I have recently - I can see hints of just how good a camera it can be with some of my pictures. Just need to keep practicing.
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Old Nov 28, 2013, 8:17 AM   #2
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Looks like you and the K-3 are off to a flying start. Seems like it handles all the lenses really well. Of course, much of that is the person pushing the button.
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Old Nov 28, 2013, 8:28 AM   #3
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I haven't had seen any quantum leap in DSLRs for my needs since my Kx, but the K3 actually looks like a major upgrade. But as noted, the person behind the camera makes the difference. Good shooting.
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Old Nov 28, 2013, 8:46 AM   #4
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The K3 does show off your strengths, nicely shot and a great narrative, the "processed to my taste" is also nicely done.

...It is better to burn a roll of film than curse the darkness. Equip. K30, Q7, DAL 55-300, DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8 DA 18-135, SMC-M 28 f3.5, SMC M 50 f1.4, Canon P&S S100 w/CHDK Beta, Panasonic DMC-GM5, Flickr:
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Old Nov 28, 2013, 7:18 PM   #5
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Well done series, nice job on the Acorn Woodpecker.
Comments and suggestions for improvement welcome and appreciated.
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Old Nov 28, 2013, 9:23 PM   #6
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Those are really nice and good examples of what can be expected from different lenses on the K3. They all seem very sharp and with good color and contrast, the K3 seems to be working very well for you.
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Old Nov 29, 2013, 9:11 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the comments. Gary, I agree that the photographer pushing the button has a huge effect on the outcome. Some cameras are more forgiving than others, and either my technique has gotten sloppy or else this camera is less forgiving than others I've owned.

Paul, I see an additional crispness to my shots compared to my K5, the lack of an AA filter is more significant than I had expected. I think you would see even more difference than I am. Since I do a lot of macro, I really appreciate the ability to crop more.

Hans, I use Topaz Labs Detail for sharpening. The K3 shots use lower numbers than the K5, so while I continue to use the same action I set up ages ago, I often reopen Detail to adjust one of the numbers (my action starts off by copying the layer, then converting it to a smart object before opening Detail, so the values can be changed if needed or a layer mask created if different parts of a picture react differently). I may just redo the action to change the values.

jjdog2, I just realized I don't know your name (uuurrrr, I'm so bad at that), I was very happy with the woodpecker. They are such pretty birds, so that they are rewarding no matter what. The focus with the AFA was about the same as it was with the K5, maybe a little better. It is still not as good as not using the teleconverter at all. I didn't try manually focusing the combination, though I've been able to do it in the past with the K5 when the AF struggles.

Tom, the K3 is very sharp, the extra detail is pretty significant to me. While I saw some of that in the sample shots others posted elsewhere, I didn't think that the differences were all that much (evolutionary not revolutionary). I see more than I had expected. I think it will be a good camera for me, it will make me work harder and think more about it all than I have recently. I really haven't figured out many of the new features, just trying to get familiar with how my lenses work with it. But so far it's working well.
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Old Dec 1, 2013, 12:18 AM   #8
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Looks like you now have a camera that will really let you explore your limits. Those images are fantastically sharp and detailed. I guess your biggest question now will be, which lens will I use today?
Great stuff, glad you like the K3, I can't wait to try out the K7. I know the image quality won't be much different from the K20 due to the similar sensor but I have high hopes for the greater speed and better AF.
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Old Dec 1, 2013, 9:08 PM   #9
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Ira - I can't remember if I thought the AF was any better than with the K20. I do remember it was faster doing everything else and I really liked the interface much better, once I got used to it. It seemed strange using the back LCD to change values instead of going into menus, but it works well. I hope you like the K7 when you finally get your hands on it (there's not all that much more time until Christmas now!). I do remember using exposure bracketing and HDR (either CS6 or Photomatix) quite a bit since it's fairly unforgiving as far as recovering shadows but pretty good for recovering detail in what at first appears blown out (or almost blown out). As I recall, I didn't use any Ev change, shooting most of the time at "0" instead of -.3. Also, I did not use the highlight/shadow protection or whatever it was called because it introduced extra noise. While it wasn't all that long ago that I was using it while the K5 was in the shop to have the lens release button replaced (and the extended warranty servicing done too), I've forgotten most of what I knew about the settings/little things about the camera. Guess you'll have to see what works for you with it.

I played a bit with the 12-24 and the 35 macro this weekend. I haven't really processed the pictures, having spent the weekend with family out of town. I haven't tried the 10-17 yet or the Viv without the AFA or any of my other manual lenses. So I still have some things to try/play with still. And I want to try the DA200 and the AFA - I won't bother with that combination on the K5 - it front-focuses. Also, I need to order a RRS generic camera plate so that I can use the K3 on my tripod's QR plate. I haven't played with the focus peaking yet, I find Live View difficult when hand-holding a dSLR.
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Old Dec 1, 2013, 11:41 PM   #10
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The K-3 seems like more of an update over the K-5 than simply features. The K-5 generally requires at least some focus adjustment for most lenses - at least in my experience. It was enough of an issue that I picked up a K-30 body to go with the K-5. But based on Harriet's report and reports from others, it appears that's no longer the case with the K-3 - which is huge.
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