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Old Aug 10, 2009, 12:43 PM   #11
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I use Noiseware free version and sometimes Topaz Adjust that has many other features.
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Old Aug 10, 2009, 6:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by maverick96 View Post

Any suggestions on how I could have gone differently on the settings would be appreciated. Also, I know the professional photographers had close range, but how do they get great shots with little light? Is it the f- capability of the lens?

One last thing since I'm babbling. I have a Pentax AF220T hotshoe flash. I tried to take pics after the show in the lobby area. The ceilings were too high to bounce off. Should I look at getting a softbox attachment? I've seen also the Demb Flipit. Any help would be great. Thanks guys!
Hi maverick,

Some things to try, and one comment.

About the battery thing -- I've taken to always starting off the day with a freshly charged battery (or set). I'd rather potentially shorten the overall life of my batteries than lose the opportunity to get the shot(s). One trick that will probably work with low batteries in all the Pentax DSLRs is to momentarily turn the camera off, then turn it on again and switch to MF. I've always been able to get at least 10 more shots out of "dead" batteries that way.

If you still have your DS, this might have been a better choice for the anticipated low light work as its higher ISO capabilities are a bit better despite the lower resolution. This might have been offset by the K2000's SR though, but I've always had pretty good luck shooting the DS handheld. . . so

If shooting jpegs in low light, try lowering the image settings for sharpness, contrast, and saturation. Positive settings for all of these will accentuate noise, so neutral or negative settings can help a little if you know that you have to shoot at high ISO. If you're shooting RAW, then try cutting these values in the conversion process, then tweaking these values back up in PP.

"Exposing to the right" will help control noise. This refers to the histogram, and means trying for slight overexposure either using Manual exposure or +Ev compensation. If you look at the histogram, the more you overexpose, the further the main exposure values in the histogram move to the right. You want to try to get the best balance between slighly overexposing your main subject and blowing out highlights. If the resulting exposure seems too bright, you can lower the levels in PP without introducing more noise.

Noise that looks intrusive on the computer monitor is considerably less so in a print. If your intended output is a print, then you might try doing a test of a static subject varying your ISO and getting an idea of how your tolerance to noise on the monitor translates to your tolerance in a print. Once you've got an idea of how much noise you can tolerate in a 4x6 print, then take that image file and print it at 8x10 and see if it's still acceptable.

To reduce noise to view on the monitor, try downsizing your image significantly before even trying Noise Reduction techniques. The downsizing alone will generally cut the noticeable noise significantly, allowing for more sparing use of NR (if it's still even needed), and will most likely give you a more natural looking image at the end. I've found that unless the image has a lot of very fine detail, a one MP image file is about minimum which prints very nicely up to 8x10.

Faster lenses will usually give you better results, but this will cost some money, especially with telephotos (believe me, I really know about this. . .). Remember that every stop faster in max aperture will allow twice the light to reach the sensor, but it will cost you in size and weight in addition to the monetary aspect. Usually, faster glass means better optical quality, and significantly higher cost, but this is not by any means a hard a fast rule. In the case of Pentax, with all of their bodies set up to use all the legacy Pentax glass, there are a lot of very nice MF lenses available at reasonable cost, and in the situation that you were presented with, MF would not have been a significant handicap.

The comment is about your flash unit. The AF220T is a TTL dedicated flash only. It relies on a separate TTL sensor in the camera body, and will only give you automated flash exposure with the D, DS, and DS2 in Pentax DSLR bodies. The DL and all K-series bodies do not have this sensor, and your model will only fire at maximum power, and must be used as a fully manual flash using the guide # and such. If you want to have some automation in flash exposure, you'll have to get a different unit. . . but that's another thread. . .

BTW, I think that the image that you posted is pretty good, despite the conditions, and in many similar cases, that's about all one can expect. I think that you did good!

Scott
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Old Aug 11, 2009, 3:27 AM   #13
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I was interested to read your post as I have moved from the DS to the KM as well. I also had a TTl flash that was great with my DS.

Firstly I thought you did well with you photo. The flash definitely doesnt work in a close situation as it fires on full (everything blows out).

I have found that the KM despite being an entry level DSLR, needs a lot more work to use than the DS. The auto ISO sometimes doesnt give you the best shutter speed to use, non flash hand held shots are colour cast. I believe it has something to do with the "bright" setting. I have been reccommended to switch to "natural".

Only two focus abilities also take a bit of getting used to.

Also I have found that if you have some favourite settings you have to start all over again, and set them up each time. Still learning on the KM, though. But a little disappointed after the DS.
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 8:59 AM   #14
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Surfseen. You do not have to start all over again with K2000 settings. Select Memory in Capture Mode, page 229 in the manual, and you can select which settings you wish to keep or discard when the camera is turned off and on.
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 2:30 PM   #15
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This thread has been great. I've learned alot from everyone and was able to tweak a few things in my cam to hopefully help. The K2000 even had an option to reduce noise in the iso and I didn't even know it (although it effects save time).

To Scott, how do I adjust the EV. I'm shooting in Manual and according to the manual the EV compensation cannot be changed in this mode. It was about -3.0 when I was shooting.

Surfseen, I understand about the flash. I guess you have to play with the rest of the settings and give some space with this type of flash. Which is why I thought a softbox would be beneficial in close up shots.
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 5:10 PM   #16
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Mav

You were shooting at shutter 1/250. If I recall, these comps involve some posing byt he contestants, you could have droped your shutter down to almost 1/60th and not gotten motion blur from the subjects. This would have allowed you to get more light and drop your ISO to reduce noise.

You said you were on the balcony, did you think of using the railing for support to get steadier shots at slower shutter speeds?

Juts some suggestions.

Personally, I doubt any of mine would have come out as I would have been drooling on my camera. hehehe

PK
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 6:28 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=maverick96;991074]

To Scott, how do I adjust the EV. I'm shooting in Manual and according to the manual the EV compensation cannot be changed in this mode. It was about -3.0 when I was shooting.

Hi maverick,

In manual, assuming that you're already shooting at wide open, you just slow the shutter speed by 1/3 or 1/2 (or possibly more) stop. Each notch on the Ev scale in the VF is one stop. The pointer on the Ev scale in the VF should be set in between the middle notch and the first notch to the right.

I like using the LCD to review shots quickly (also called "chimping") to see if I've blown any highlights. Take a shot and review it on your LCD with "blinkies" (highlight and shadows indicators) turned on (it should be a menu choice). If you're not getting any blinkies, then you can go further to the right (until you get some small blinkies), but you have to watch your shutter speeds -- if they go too low, then push the ISO up. Again, I'm not sure with the K2000, but I have all my bodies set up for 1/3 stop steps for aperture, shutter speed, and ISO if possible.

Obviously, this can be a little time consuming, so you should be setting all this up (if possible) during the period of time before the "important" shots of the people you want to get good shots of take place. This is the beauty of digital -- these set up shots don't cost anything but a little battery power and memory. I realize that this probably wouldn't have been possible with the low battery situation that you faced. . . but that opportunity's already gone, and I'm talking about what you might be able to do in the future.

Scott
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 6:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peacekeeper View Post
Mav

Personally, I doubt any of mine would have come out as I would have been drooling on my camera. hehehe

PK
Hi PK,

Good to see ya!!!!!! Hope things are going well. . .

. . . and I agree about the drooling. . . but luckily, most of my bodies are drool resistant. . .

Scott
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Old Aug 13, 2009, 12:02 AM   #19
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PK,
I thought the posing would be slower but they were quick in most categories. We were up alittle higher than the rail so I was using the back of the seat in front of me which I'm sure helped. I think I could have dropped further in the shutter speed if I had my tripod. Oh well, live and learn!
Btw, Farscape fan? Didn't know if thats where you got Peacekeeper from.

Scott.
Thank you. Next time I will bring the tripod to drop to a lower shutter speed. BTW, the K2000 does allow you to switch between 1/2 and 1/3 increments for the EV.

Here's a outside shot guys. This is my friend that competed. A little hazy on the edge due to the humidity. It was horrible that night!
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Old Aug 13, 2009, 6:13 AM   #20
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Scott, I meant drooling on myself not my camera hahaha

Mav, From 2006 until late 2008 I was working in international peacekeeping and did a few UN missions. Now I am having a break and working in Australia before deciding if I want to do it again.

PK
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