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mtngal Dec 28, 2010 11:57 PM

Obligatory First Pictures
Today was frustrating, a day filled with waiting for repair people and nothing got fixed (parts needed to be ordered for one, they couldn't figure out what was wrong with the second thing). Yesterday I bought a K5 and couldn't go anywhere to test it out, other than my own yard.

So here's some of my first pictures, taken with a variety of lenses. They are not straight out of the camera - they were taken in raw and then adjustments made in both LR and Photoshop. They aren't at all exciting or very good, hopefully I'll take something a lot more interesting in the next few days:

What the snow plow left a couple of days ago (K5, 77 Ltd). This was one of the few 77 shots I took that had the focus correct - most of the shots I took with it are slightly (or more) front focused. It had been dead-on with the K7:

Along the property fence (K5, DA*50-135). This lens would back focus with the K7, but is perfect with the K5:

Left-over snow, turned mostly to ice, along with some very green grass under it. The heavy rain that was here before the snow sure got the weeds growing (K5, Viv Series One 105 Macro). No focus issues with this one other than I think the viewfinder's dioper adjustment is slightly off (many of my pictures looked a bit front-focused, but that also be because I was swaying a bit, all shots are hand-held):

From the firewood pile (needs to be split) (K5, Viv 105 again). I really liked the texture with this one.

The Jeep (yes, it really is that bright). This was taken with the SMC 24 f2.8. I haven't used this lens in a long time, but was playing around with the DA 35 macro and wanted something close on the K7 for comparison. The comparison shots didn't work out, but I re-discovered that this old K lens is really sharp. I pretty much quit using it when I bought the K10 because neither the K10 or K20 would set a correct exposure when pushing the green button. The K7 corrected this problem and it's still corrected with the K5. I really should use this lens more, it's very nice.

Another K5/24 f2.8 picture:

Some people have talked about how you can "push" the K5 quite a bit (brightening up underexposed/shadow areas). I've never been able to do much of that with the K7 - the pictures get really noisy and just generally fall apart if you try to lighten very much. The examples posted looked very impressive, in some cases perhaps a little unbelievable. So here's a real-world example, one that impressed me quite a bit. I don't think I would be able to get the same results from the K7.

First, the original photo (K5, 24 f2.8). This one is almost straight out of the camera - I used LR to convert it to tiff, using it's default settings. The only other thing done to it was resizing in Photoshop:

The trees are really dark compared to the snow.

Now here's the same photo after some work in Lightroom, then a bit of sharpening with Detail:

I'm not going to be doing as many exposure series, since there's a large amount of detail in the shadows.

Some very preliminary first impressions: The pictures can take more processing, but need less sharpening. I have an action set up in Photoshop with settings for Detail that seem to work well with the K7. Those settings look too over-processed with the K5 pictures. I noticed that sometimes there's an extra element with K5 pictures that's missing with the K7 and I can't put my finger on it/define it. That indefinable something gets lost with too much Detail type processing.

I'm lousy with flash, I really don't know enough/practice enough to get consistent results. I always feel like there's something I'm missing. I played around with the flash this morning and had a tough time of it. I finally got something half-way reasonable when I used a fairly large -Ev. This is a problem area for me at the moment. Tomorrow I'll spend some time shooting focus charts (something I'm not good at) and will decide what type of focus adjustment I think I need to make.

So more to come as time goes on.

Rodney9 Dec 29, 2010 1:51 AM

Look forward to more shots. Even when you're just experimenting, it shows how good a photographic eye you have.

Monza76 Dec 29, 2010 8:46 AM

Glad to see you have your K5, looks like it will be a step forward in capability over the K7.

hnikesch Dec 29, 2010 9:04 AM

Ah the learning curve with a new toy, don't you just love it, I am envious


thkn777 Dec 29, 2010 11:41 AM

Ah - congratulations to your new camera! Watch that front-focussing thingie... I'll send in my K-r with that problem for repair.


lesmore49 Dec 29, 2010 12:01 PM

Photos look very good to me. Right now the K7 is going for about 300 bucks under the price...before the K5 was introduced.

If I can save the money, I would prefer to buy a new K5 in about a year or so. Your pix are a real motivator.

kashka Dec 29, 2010 12:02 PM

Congrats on the new camera! Looks like you are going to have fun experimenting..:).I,too,am envious..everything is so crisp and sharp.And I find the backyard a wonderful place to always surprises me what one finds looking thru a camera..:)

snostorm Dec 29, 2010 12:25 PM

Hi Harriet,

Again, Congrats on the K-5

I don't know if it's possible for the VF diopter to be incorrect. Is it possible that the focusing screen might need calibration to the AF sensor? You might want to read LanceB's post on PF about shimming his Katzeye focusing screen.


It seems that your front focus problem effects all of your lenses -- Is it possible to correct all of them with an AF global adjustment (choose "All")? You could then individually adjust for any lenses that don't conform to the rest.

I've never gotten good results with focus chart tests. I seem to get better results from shooting a real life target and then use trial and error to zero in on the right setting. With the K-5, you can set it up to return to the last menu screen used, so this would be relatively easy to do (another useful addition, IMO -- not for all the time, but for specific chores like this, sensor cleaning, and any other job that needs repeated menu access). A good tool for checking focus accuracy is LV and Contrast Detect AF. Since CD AF uses the imaging sensor to focus, it should be dead accurate.

Unfortunately, my copy of the K-5 doesn't do CD focusing, so I think it'll have to go back for a warranty repair. I hardly use LV, so it's not a critical fault for me, so I'll wait until I get the camera sorted out, then send it in before March.

Hope your weather improves -- ours has been dismal and overcast -- or too cold to shoot -- I'm not as hardy as Ira and Ned. . .


mtngal Dec 29, 2010 1:50 PM

I've just shot a bunch of focus charts and came to the conclusion that the 77 doesn't front focus at all, no matter what type of light I used (florescent, incandescent and natural diffused lighting). The only AF lens that needed adjusting is the DA 35 macro, that one was front focusing but was well within the adjustment range of the camera. I'm not going to make any global changes to the AF just yet.

My comment about the dioper adjustment being off had more to do with the fact that yesterday I played around with manual focus lenses, and there were a couple of times I thought I had the focus right, but the camera beeped either before or after the spot I thought was right. It was way off for my glasses and it could still be a bit off. I really should put on my contacts, I shoot most of the time with them instead of glasses.

Weather here was lousy this morning (very wet) but the sun is trying to come out. I'm going to leave the camera with just the one lens adjusted and take my bag full of the other lenses out to the local park, to see what I can find. If I still find the focus is off, then I'll shoot some more charts (I hate charts, it's so easy to get something wrong and get false results).

Goldwinger Dec 29, 2010 2:14 PM

I'm really happy for you, Harriet.
I'm also really jealous, too!
I think I see what it is in the K5 photos that you're having trouble defining.
I call it "pop" I noticed it with other K5 post. They have a little more pop to them. ;)

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