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mtngal Jan 1, 2011 7:09 PM

K5 noise and cropping
There have been many threads on other boards with examples of the K5's capabilities. I'm not going to post encyclopedic examples, but since no one has done much here, I thought I'd post a couple of examples.

First, it seems like my K5 doesn't play well with my FA77 - I don't think the AF is consistent. I need to play with it some more to decide if its a problem or user error (I"m not yet convinced either way). However, I get spooked easily so I've been spending the last couple of days shooting with one particular lens, spending enough time with it to see whether they are accurate and if there's anything that comes up. Yesterday I used the DA*50-135 (no problems) and the 10-17 (it's hard to have problems with this lens because of the huge dof even wide open).

Today I walked around the block using the DA*200. For some reason every time I use it I'm amazed at the quality this lens produces regardless of what camera its on. I tried using the K5 at -.3 Ev because I thought it was too quick to blow highlights the day before and since you can "push" them quite a bit, I wanted to see what I got.

No focus issues here:

Full frame picture, taken at ISO 80, no processing other than resizing to fit here:

100% Crop, taken raw and converted using LR's default settings.

Shot at 1600 (the sun was trying to come out, but it was coming through light clouds). This is cropped some and processed the way I like with lightening in LR and Topaz Detail for sharpening after resizing.

Here's a 100% crop after I lightened it in LR, which adds some extra noise. If you look at the oof telephone pole you can see what the K5's noise is like at ISO 1600.

If you don't have oof areas you can easily skip noise reduction at 1600. Here's another example, I cropped out some distracting elements so this isn't full-frame then processed it to my taste:

100% crop, no other processing beyond raw conversion with LR default settings. I had to look closely to spot the noise and was impressed with the texture of the fence.

Here's an example at 3200. The picture isn't much, I was still thinking about focus even though the first shot convinced me that I didn't have a problem. Here's the full frame picture, just resized.

And a 100% crop. Noise is definitely present, but there's lots of detail and it would clean up very well.

The day got progressively greyer as I walked. Here's another picture I took at ISO 1600. The DA*200 is not a good lens for birding, way too short. This is the full frame picture, otherwise unprocessed.

100% crop, run through DeNoise then Detail:

Finally, watching the world go by - another 3200 shot, cropped some, lightened a bit, resized and Detail sharpening but no noise reduction. Some days I'd love to be that cat.

I still need to spend some time with the 55-300 and especially the 12-24 because it front focused significantly on both the K20 and K7. The focus chart looked fine but it's hard to tell with a wide angle like that. As you can see, I'm enjoying my new camera very much.

Rodney9 Jan 1, 2011 7:31 PM

Indeed you are enjoying that camera and rightly so, what impressive detail.

StevieRaveOn Jan 1, 2011 10:09 PM

This is one of the best examples you will find, describing the performance of the K5 in regards to noise, and rendering of RAW files right out of the camera. I can't tell you how many times I would open a RAW file from the K5 in Aperture. Do my usual post processing. Then realize I made it worse. I would remove all adjustments, then add a touch of saturation. That was it, all it really needed. I alway's seemed to have to work to get good results out of the K20 and K7. You can get the results, it just takes more post processing steps.

As far as fine focus adjustments. I had no major issues with any of my lenses. I mostly shoot outdoors so I made all my adjustments in natural day light. It's a long drawn out process, but well worth it.

mtngal keep up the great work!!

I wish everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year,


mtngal Jan 2, 2011 8:21 AM

Stevie - you are so right that it's easy to make things worse with processing. I had an action set up in CS4 to automatically create a layer, change it to a smart object and then apply the Detail settings I found work well for final sharpening (the smart object makes it possible to go back and change the settings without having to start over). They didn't work as well with the K5 so I now have two Detail actions, one for the K5 and one for the K7.

nhmom Jan 2, 2011 10:04 AM

Harriet, you're making it hard to resist getting the K5. Hubbie's idea is to wait a year until the price goes down. I was willing before, but now......

Very nice shots. I especially like the kittie in the window.


NMRecording Jan 2, 2011 11:12 AM

I cant wait to hear an update on the FA 77 lens. That will be a huge bummer if its the camera. This IMO is the biggest problem with digital cameras, hopefully if there are any issues they will be fixed with firmware rather soon. Im still waiting to see all the quirks fledged out before I jump into a new K5.
Pics look great!

Goldwinger Jan 2, 2011 11:39 AM

Good examples, Harriet.
and thank you for sharing your hard work.
I'm sure it will mean a lot more to me after I get my K-5.

mtnman Jan 2, 2011 5:14 PM

These are really great example shots; thank you for posting them. I'm amazed at how clean the images are even at 3200. I'm thinking I'd really like to upgrade.

mtngal Jan 2, 2011 7:55 PM

It really is very low-noise, I'm routinely using ISO settings I wouldn't have dreamed of before. I'm also finding myself using TAv and Sv more than I have since I sold the K10 (used to have the K10 Sv set for 1600, so if I were desperate, I didn't have to go through the menu to change it). I'm also finding myself using smaller apertures than I used to - the camera has such good clarity that the point of focus is more apparent. The days of fudging it with the K100 are long gone.

I don't think the 77's problem (if there is one) could be corrected by firmware. So far it's the only lens that I have that's been inconsistent with focus, and it's inconsistent outdoors. I'm still not positive that there is a problem, it could have been user error. I've mostly used my SDM lenses since I got the camera.

I didn't get a chance to play with either the 77 or 12-24 today (perhaps tomorrow). More on that in another post...

Monza76 Jan 2, 2011 10:28 PM

Wow, great results, hope you can get the 77 sorted.

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