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Old Jan 25, 2010, 7:58 PM   #1
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Default Just got a new used lens!

Hey all

I just got a used 50mm f1.7 pentax-a lens for my K-X. I'm still a work-in-progress with manual focus, but here's the best shot, I think, I've taken so far. I think it may be a little underexposed though and you can see my outline reflection on the pupils. I know I'll be enjoying taking shots with this lens

shutter: 1/15
aperture: f1.7
iso: 400

Thanks,
Rod
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Old Jan 25, 2010, 9:58 PM   #2
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Very nice picture - the eyes are sharp so you must be getting an idea of how to see the focus (it does take practice, especially with an f1.7 lens - DOF is tiny!). It is a fun little lens - you'll enjoy using it.
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Old Jan 25, 2010, 10:00 PM   #3
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looks sharp, especially for 1/15 with a 50mm lens at f1.7.
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 5:45 AM   #4
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Really fine color and composition, and use of the thin DOF. Was this handheld? (if so, you must have some very steady hands!)
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 9:45 PM   #5
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Mole, I was kneeling and had my arms close to my body with my elbows resting on my stomach...I'm a little chubby lol.

I've never used a prime lens before as this is my first non P&S camera. And I really like the picture quality. I always marvel at other people's pictures with the same lens. With time and practice I can take some great photos too. Here's a couple more I wanted to share.

Tabby cat shot
shutter:1/30
aperture: f1.7
iso: 400

Black and white cat shot
shutter:1/30
aperture: f1.7
iso: 400
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 9:54 PM   #6
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You are just having way too much fun with that lens. On your last one, you might want to adjust the white balance. What software are you using for post processing? Most provide ways to adjust color tint/white balance problems.

And I love your cats!
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Old Jan 27, 2010, 10:21 PM   #7
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Nice compositions. To expand on what Harriet said about white balance, I'm not sure if it's my monitor or your last pic looks under-exposed and a little flat, so I adjusted the levels, brightness/ contrast, and some unsharp mask, hope you don't mind..

Robert
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Old Jan 28, 2010, 7:37 PM   #8
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mtngal: I don't have any post processing software yet. I just used MS paint to resize the original jpg which was 4288x2848. I haven't dedicated time to look for pp software yet. The images were set to auto white balance since I thought it matched the closest to what I was seeing. I love my cats too

hawgwild: I don't mind at all with the edting. You are correct, the shot is underexposed. I looked at the histogram and there are two peaks, one is halfway to the left from middle and the other is on the left edge. I chose multi-segment metering which may have caused a problem on this one? All shots were in aperture mode...maybe I should go to manual? dunno...

Thanks,
Rod

edit: btw, I was using portrait in custom image on all shots.

Last edited by queyan; Jan 28, 2010 at 7:40 PM.
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Old Jan 28, 2010, 10:28 PM   #9
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As far as post processing, I was really impressed with Photoshop Elements. I normally use the full version of Photoshop (I have since Photoshop 3) but spent a month using PSE when my computer was in the shop. I didn't find anything with the pictures I took that month that I couldn't do with PSE that I could with CS4, so you might want to look at it. There's other programs that are just as good. In any case, it's not that difficult to adjust white balance (up to a point) if you get it wrong using something like that. It's also useful for adjusting the exposure, up to a point (you can't take a severely underexposed picture and make it look good).

There's a couple of possibilities for your metering - when using matrix metering the camera tries to get the whole scene a mid-grey tone. Sometimes that's not what the scene needs. Also, a black and white cat has a huge dynamic range - it's very hard to get both that bright white and the black properly exposed. The camera could have been more influenced by the white, which it will try to make mid-grey and so it would underexpose (the reason you always use a +Ev for shooting snow scenes). You might want to experiment with center weighted metering and see if that works better for you.

Another possibility is that your camera might tend to consistently under expose. Early Pentax cameras tended to do that - the manufacturer chose to bias their cameras to not blow out highlights. I have two Pentax dSLR cameras, one that I just always leave set to EV+.3 and that gives me proper exposure 99% of the time. Before you do that, though, make sure that the underexposure is consistent for all different types of scenes - it's easy for scenes to confuse the camera.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 5:34 AM   #10
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Rod - can't add much to what Harriet/Mtngal suggests - some great information there! Just one more tip, if you don't want to spend anything for your software, you might want to look into GIMP - it's a free, opensource photo editing software that works on Windows, Mac & Linux. (website: http://www.gimp.org/)
If you are running windows, or have an intel mac, you can also use a very simple, free photo editor called Irfanview. Not as powerful as Gimp or Photoshop, but able to do most minor "tweaking," and also able to run a lot of photoshop plugins (website: http://www.irfanview.com/)
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