Pentax settings

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Pentax settings

Post by Panache on Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:16 am

I've got some Pentax questions for you Pentax users...[and other camera users too, if you care to share!]
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I'm still trying to find the perfect settings for my K100D.
Since I always seem to struggle with what to meter off of in a shot, I decided to switch from Spot to Multi-Segment Metering. I've only taken a few shots since the change, but I think I notice a difference already. What metering mode do you use? Do you use the options "Switch Distribution of Metering Points"? If so, where do you set it?

What AF Point do you suggest I set my camera on, Auto, Select or Centre??

What benefit, if any is the Link AF Point and AE setting? Do you use this and why?

Are there any other setting you would suggest I try? Right now I have my Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness set on the middle point. Do you prefer a different setting?

I don't shoot RAW because I don't like the RAW converter that came with my camera. I use PS7 and there is no ACR plugin available for it. So, you might need to know that when making your suggestions.

I'm so tired of winter and can't wait for a change of scenery. I have to find my mojo again, because I just haven't had the desire to shoot lately. When I do get out there, I want better success than I've been having!!


I'd appreciate any additional suggestions you might have.

Thanks, all!!
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Re: Pentax settings

Post by travis_cooper on Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:57 am

I personally use matrix, or multi-segment metering, or evaluative, or what ever you want to call it. I think that most professionals would say to use spot center metering. The reason being you usually want to expose your subject properly. I figure that the matrix metering is fine, I have shot enough to know that when its really bright outside, and my subject is kind of in the shade, or if there is a lot of white snow in the shot that the camera will under expose my subject to get proper metering over the whole scene. So I just use the EV compensation and force the camera to overexpose by 2/3 or a full stop. Then adjust from there. I think you just need to pick one and get used to it and what your camera tends to do.

As far as focusing, IMO, you need to use selective focusing. Auto focus is just a bad idea, because your camera will try to find the most contrast, which isn't always near your subject, it is just too hard to focus in some situations. Center point is okay, people use the focus and reframe method, but when you are shooting wide open, a subtle move could throw your focus off enough to affect the shot. Also it is hard to do this when shooting on a tripod. Selective focusing is just so much better, it really isn't hard to move the focusing point around and after you get used to it you start to do it really quick. Use selective focus points.

There could be a benefit of linking your AE to your focus point, since a lot of times the think you focus on is the thing you want exposed properly. However, I don't do it, just because I learn how my camera behaves over the whole scene and adjust. Like I said up at the top, I just learn to use the EV compensation to my advantage and I have gotten pretty quick with it.

As far as saturation, sharpness, and contrast, I'd just leave those as they are. I would rather adjust things like that in PS than in camera. If I didn't have PS I might learn how to adjust those for different settings, but since I do and I'm probably going to do something to the shot in PS anyway, I figure I might as well adjust that stuff there.

I hope that has been helpful. A lot of the things you mentioned just take practice and getting used to your camera and how it works. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

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Re: Pentax settings

Post by Stiney on Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:49 pm

From everything I have learned/read/done is matrix, or multi-segment metering, or evaluative is best for shots like Landscapes and where you are shooting the whole scene. If you are doing portrait or still life or flora you might want to go back to the Point Metering. It will give you the best colors, light, and contrast for the subject.

But that is just my 2 cents.
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Re: Pentax settings

Post by Panache on Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:41 pm

I've never tried selective focus.
I understand that there are 11 selective points in the K100D. What is the difference in setting the focus point to say the upper right point instead of using spot focus and recomposing? I just don't get the benefit of using selective.
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Re: Pentax settings

Post by travis_cooper on Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:53 pm

Using center spot focusing and then recomposing means that you have more room for messing up. Especially if you are wide open, say f/1.4, as you are recomposing even slight movements can really throw your focus out of whack. This is why selective focusing is so much better, you don't have to recompose, just move the focus point where you want to focus and your done. Another reason it is good is when you are shooting on a tripod, on a tripod focusing, and then re-composing isn't very logically most of the time. It really is pretty quick once you get used to it. In a lot of cases it will help you get your focusing a lot sharper because you move the camera less.

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Re: Pentax settings

Post by Panache on Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:40 am

Makes sense, Travis. I'm going to try it for a while. So basically, I just select the point that is closest to my subject - or does the point have to be EXACTLY on my subject?
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Re: Pentax settings

Post by travis_cooper on Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:48 am

I usually try to put the point right where I want the focus, but the focusing for any particular point is a little bit larger than the point itself, but I don't know how much larger, so to be safe I put the point right where I want to focus.

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