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Old Aug 6, 2009, 8:53 AM   #1
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Default Camera Settings for candid use

My camera is a K10d. My only AF lens is the 18-55 kit lens. I have a variety of prime and zoom lenses.
Most of my good pictures, and by that I mean well-composed, sharp photos, are taken when I can take a little time setting up, using a specific lens, and maybe even after several test photos.
But there are a lot of photo opportunities which occur when I do not have time to spend any time making several camera adjustments.
I will use my 18-55 where I think I will have moderate light available, and will set it on green mode, AFS, single point focus. I hope to be able to pick the camera up when I see a photo opportunity developing, turn it on, use the view finder, push the release button, and come out with a reasonable picture.
When I plan on having good light conditions I mount my Pentax "M" 50mm f/1.7 lens. I set on manual mode, single-point metering, f/4, 400 ISO. Then, when an opportunity arises I turn the camera on, use the view finder to set focus, press the green button, and shoot. I usually get a reasonable picture.
My question for Pentaxians more experienced than I am: Would you confirm the suitability of my settings, or, hopefully, suggest something better?
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Old Aug 6, 2009, 2:15 PM   #2
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I use P instead of green for candid shots - you have far more latitude to adjust things if you want. In fact, I use P mode most of the time while using A, FA or DA lenses - if I want to change the shutter speed, I turn one dial. If I want a bigger DOF, I turn the other dial and the aperture changes. You don't have to change anything else on the camera. Want to let the camera do it all after you've made changes, just push the green button to go back to full auto mode. The only things you can't do with a flick of a dial is change both the shutter speed and the aperture (you can change one or the other, but not both at the same time). You can also set the aperture range setting you want to use (I think it's limited in green mode).

I rarely used my old K and M lenses with the K10 - the stop down metering was pretty inconsistent. Now on the K-7 I'd use them but would probably use f5.6 or f8 and ISO 100 or 200, if I had enough light and didn't want a specific DOF.
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Old Aug 6, 2009, 8:55 PM   #3
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Thanks Mtngal, I will try what you suggest. It sound reasonable to me.
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Old Aug 6, 2009, 9:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Engineer View Post
My camera is a K10d. My only AF lens is the 18-55 kit lens. I have a variety of prime and zoom lenses.
Old Engineer
Here is my alternative.
Use your kit lens as if it is a prime lens.
Set that to 25mm. (25mm is a sweet spot of that lens) Shoot in MF and set the distance manually to exactly 8 ft. Shoot in Av at Aperture F5.6.
When you shoot in candid, visualize that your subject will be in the range of 6 - 10 ft. If not zoom with your feet until you reach your subject in the range. And just fire. Do not bother to focus. There is no need of that.
Try that out at home

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