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Old Oct 25, 2010, 2:31 AM   #1
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Default My K20's DFS noise problems are back - again

Early in September I took my K20 in for warranty repair because of very high noise when bracketing. Both the main circuit board and sensor were replaced. So far so good, until this afternoon.

I took a drive up to Sedona (2 hours up, 2 hours back and 2 hours shooting) to catch the sunset with the red rocks and took 270 frames - primarily all bracketed. The last set was in the dark with the city lights, from up on the mesa. It should have been absolutely stunning. Well the last panoramic, 10 frames (2 panels @ 5 each) - 5 were garbage with very high noise. Essentially, they were frames that needed long periods of DFS. So my problems are back.....

Just finished stitching a 5 panel of 5 bracketed frames (2ev). 80% looks great, however the last panel has some grit in it - which means a couple of the frames has some noise in them too.

Where I had some light, things appear to be alright. However, after dusk - I might have just shot through a sandstorm. Not really a happy camper - I was really looking forward to have a set of absolute stunning shots. Oh well...... I guess I'll be calling Pentax and CIRS tomorrow.

Here is what I able to save on the last panoramic - having to delete at least 2 frames out of every set.

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Old Oct 25, 2010, 2:32 AM   #2
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however, when DFS is not needed - the camera does pretty well...

both with the K20 and the FA31.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 6:11 AM   #3
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Those certainly are stunning shots - I can see why you were willing to travel so far to capture them, and why you were dissapointed at the noisy ones. Sure do hope they are able to fix the noise problems, and that they stay fixed this time!
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 1:44 PM   #4
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Ditto, on that. Very pretty!
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 8:24 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear of your problems; I hope they can be remedied soon. The two panos yopu posted are fabulous.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 9:08 PM   #6
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Hmm. Do you have a program like PhotoMe, which can give you info on the camera's internal temperature at the time of the shot? There could be a clue there. And was the anti-shake on? It shouldn't affect DFS, but could affect internal temp. If you do need to return the camera, this is info the techs could use to help narrow down the problem.

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Old Oct 25, 2010, 9:17 PM   #7
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Definitely odd - it does sound like another trip in for repair might be in order. These two are really nice!
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 11:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
Hmm. Do you have a program like PhotoMe, which can give you info on the camera's internal temperature at the time of the shot? There could be a clue there. And was the anti-shake on? It shouldn't affect DFS, but could affect internal temp. If you do need to return the camera, this is info the techs could use to help narrow down the problem.

brian
Hi Brian,

Yes, I am rolling 35 images to a SD card and going to take it in along with the camera body. I also printed out an EXIF listing of the 35 with the offending images highlighted. That should be a large enough sample to help.

From what I can see, they were all relatively long duration shutter times that also had negative exposure biases of 0, -2 or -4. Positive exposure biases were not affected.

I have not looked at the temperature - but it was rather cold out. When I last had the problem it was hot out.

So here is another image - actually the same image processed a bit differently....

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Old Oct 26, 2010, 3:35 PM   #9
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Hi IO,

You're doing some great pano work here!!!!

I imagine this is not the most common problem that they've encountered, so it could be a bit more difficult to really get to the bottom of the cause. It could be something like a circuit board anomaly that damages the sensor after a certain number of extended long exposure actuations. I think you're wise to provide them with as much data as possible. I hope that they'll consider this a challenge and really come up with a permanent solution.

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Old Oct 26, 2010, 8:03 PM   #10
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I dropped the camera off today at noon. I also left my 16-45 since I think that it should be much sharper than it actually is. That I had to pay for, since its 4 years old. I was thinking that since I am down there, I might as well get an evaluation of the lens and it fixed if necessary.

I do have to say, that by processing the images, I should have moved to several additional points and taken a set of images there across my lenses. They each give a slightly different perspective, so I keep learning (actually I keep relearning this point). The one from the top of the mesa of Sedona, is somewhat similar to this little valley about 5 minutes from the house. I must have 1000 images of it in various situations, and that experience translated very well. The problem is that while processing my take, I see additional opportunities that I should have taken while I was there and did not think of them, at the time.

Even though the night images of Sedona did not meet my expectations, I have a ton of ideas that I want to try out across at least 2 more trips (phases of the moon). I do have to say that its the little items that matter most. The lowly ballhead (Acratech GP) with the panning base on top (of the ballhead) gives me a perfect level base on which to pan with a 10 second setup. It makes using multiple lenses requiring multiple passes extremely easy. I have never run out of juice, but I think I need to order a spare battery as I am pushing fate here.

I am finding that I need to slow down and do a pass with ...
  • 10-17 - This gives a wonderful overall perspective view that is much different. It is able to pull in a lot of sky. Believe it or not, it stitches very well, and for a wide expanse of view works wonders. I have been looking around at a number of imaging websites, and have found that no one does this, and by setting up the lens correctly, you can remove most of the FE bend effect - especially in landscape shots. Also, makes panos really fast and in terms avoids a number of problems that other focal lengths have in terms of stitching with control points (or lack there of for pure sky).
  • 12-24 - Narrower than the 10-17, but it is very sharp and is rectilinear - gives a slightly different look and stitches very well.
  • 16-45 - Narrower still and should be a bit sharper than the 12-24 at 24 and trails off to 45. With the zoom range I can isolate some specific details very well.
  • FA 31 - Stitching this provides the sharpest amount of detail yet. In using this lens, it has gotten me thinking that just maybe I should consider the 43 or 77 for panoramic stitching. So there is more experimenting to do with the 16-45 at the 45 end to see if that would be worth wild and worth the cost of another lens.
The other thing is that with my backup tripod, I have this head that I hate - however I can't bring myself to spend $400 on another panning ballhead. So I think I found a cheaper substitute for less than half the cost that is arca swiss compatible, that I can put the nodal ninja on thus not needing the panning ability. Unfortunately there are just endless opportunities on which to spend money on.


Last edited by interested_observer; Oct 26, 2010 at 8:10 PM.
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