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Old Feb 18, 2012, 3:25 PM   #11
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Thanks again for the reply

Sorry I have been out of town for 2 days for work. My new glasses are not helping things either. Anyway thank you y0chang that some thing I did not know about figuring minimum shutter speed.

Mtngal: where do I begin, yes that is a lot to take in, but I have to start somewhere. Unfortunately I'm not one of those people who can just pick up a camera and take some nice shots. I will have to try your suggestions by taken several shots with the camera a tripod and something to focus on. I usually use center focus. I will have to lookup what front or back focus is.
Yes PSE 3 does support Layers, Actually I have been using PSE since Version 1 before that was Adobe Photo Deluxe believe it or not they both used layers. (My age is showing)

I did go out and take some pictures outside but it was really gray out I what I thought wasn't bad when I looked at them at home they were pretty underexposed. I typically shoot in JPEG format.

Thanks again all for your suggestions, I really do try your suggestions I just don't shoot every day. But your suggestion give me a little more insight on what i should be trying.
Panasonic FZ-100, FZ-150, LX5, LX7, Pentax K-x & K-5, Bower Flash, FA-50 1.7,FA-100 2.8, FA-135 2.8, DA-35 2.4,DA-18-135 3.5,DA Limited 15 4, DA Limited 70 2.4, DAL 18-55, DAL 55-300, Pentax 1.7 Teleconverter, Sigma 70-200 2.8
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 11:41 PM   #12
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A quick and simple way to find out the sharpest focal length is to just Google it, there are plenty of tests out there that have been made by testing websites or experienced shooters that will put that information on a plate for you ... but IMHO for the subjects you have chosen you will not notice much difference unless you pixel peep (zoom right in on your photos on your computer).

Most lenses have maximum sharpness between f2.8 and f8 (generally the faster the lens then the lower the aperture number e.g I have an f1.2 lens whose max sharpness is at f2.8 whereas most f2.8 lenses are sharpest at f5.6 to f8). I'd guess your 18-135 is sharpest at f8 but you'll have to do the legwork to confirm that

As everyone has said though it's your low shutter speeds that are causing the problem. You could also try shooting in Tv mode in those situations to ensure your camera keeps to the shutter speed you require by adjusting the ISO and aperture instead. Make sure you limit the ISO maximum level in the menu settings first though. The Kx has excellent high ISO capability but I'd lock it down at maybe ISO 3,200 to try to keep noise out of the shots (some of which you can process away in PP anyway).
Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 8:37 AM   #13
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While I know that there are plenty of things on the internet that show you what someone else's lens does and that can be informative, I believe there's nothing like shooting something like this yourself. Perhaps its just me, but I find that intellectually understanding a concept is a whole lot different than actually doing something myself, where I see the scene in real life, then translate it to a picture myself, seeing it for yourself gives you a much more instinctive feel for what's going on. Plus, there's slight differences between equipment, and doing exercises yourself gets you more familiarity with your own equipment.
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