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Thread: Puzzled

  1. #1
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    Default Puzzled

    I'd yet done an official D&D or AD Wedding, so I thought I understand why most complained abt AF in low light. But when I re-think over again these few days, most events u'll have a flash mounted. And most (if not all) P-TTL I know has SB (spot-beam) on them, which help in lowlight AF. I'd done a few doggie events in cafes and some indoor events, doesn't seems that bad to me^^;

    So what is the problem with Pentax AF in low-light? I'll prefered to hear from someone who had done D&D or AD Wedding with Pentax K series DSLR. Thx^^

  2. #2

    Default Re: Puzzled

    When you are not using a flash under low light, you'd have slow AF problem w/ current Pentax cameras. And many people take photos w/o using a flash under low light.

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    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by fengwei View Post
    When you are not using a flash under low light, you'd have slow AF problem w/ current Pentax cameras. And many people take photos w/o using a flash under low light.
    What I meants was why does people who do events can complained abt Pentax AF in low-light? Like I said, looking for inputs from D&D and AD wedding photographers.

    Edit: For me, I understand Pentax will have problem focusing with dark coat dogs even with the SB. So what will D&D & AD wedding faced or have to watch out for?
    Last edited by longko; 10th July 2008 at 06:03 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Puzzled

    In general indoor the Pentax flash works ok. But I find in ballroom situations Pentax is almost a nightmare. In extreme low light, the beam from the flash doesn't even seem of much use. Coupled with my not so good, multi purpose lens, it tends to hunt for a long time for focus. By that time, I usually miss a shot or 2.
    A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words. ~Ansel Adams

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by kopio View Post
    In general indoor the Pentax flash works ok. But I find in ballroom situations Pentax is almost a nightmare. In extreme low light, the beam from the flash doesn't even seem of much use. Coupled with my not so good, multi purpose lens, it tends to hunt for a long time for focus. By that time, I usually miss a shot or 2.
    Thx a lot for the valuable info. Does the problem normally on close-up shots or at wide group shots? I assume u are not using a f2.8?

    Edit: BTW you aren't the only one who told me Pentax is a nightmare in ballroom^^;

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Puzzled

    even though i have not tried taking AD yet, best part is i dun even have a single pentax zoom lens...

    anyway i feel alot still depends on the lens used. If the SDM 16-50 is used, it could be a different story...

    remember, take N users taking AD for example, their lens choices are either 18-70mm AFS lenses, AFS 17-35 or the AFS 17-55, all are AFS lenses. Though sometimes i do see sigma lens but majority are AFS lenses, their AF are definitely quick and hunt less...

    I have used D200 with AFS 17-35 f2.8 plus SB800 before, its quick, occasionally will hunt. But using D200 with AF-D 80-200 f2.8 with SB800, its not as quick and it does hunt more sometimes...

    anyway i mention before, for normal usage and just to get great pics, pentax is what i need, but to make a living (referring to AD photography not product/studio shoot) i go with N or C...
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Puzzled

    Just sharing my experience on my friend's AD and dinner I did last year using my K10D, DA 16-45 and AF360FZG. I wasn't the main photographer as he was hired along with a video crew. My friend wanted me to take candids and some individual shots that normally not covered by the main photog. Here are the 3 main issues I have faced.

    1. As you guess it, focusing. The DA 16-45 haunts a lot. The wedding dinner was held at a big hotel ballroom in Sentosa. The lighting inside wasn't very good, so most of the time my flash AF beam will shoot out to the subjects. Hit rate about 70-80% but it takes 1-3 seconds to lock focus. Depending on how far was the subject, group photos sometimes out of focus, even when focus is lock. So I have to take 2 times for most shots, just to be safe.

    2. Flash power, really need an external battery pack. After burst 1-2 frames, the AF360 need to recharge for about 5 sec before the next shot can be taken with flash. One way I try to lower the recycle rate is boost up the iso, use F4 and 1/60 on PTTL. Sometimes I set to manual flash. No point bouncing the flash as ceiling too high, shot straight with omnibounce.

    3. PTTL flash can be a bit inconsistant. Its working probably only about 70% of the time. Thats why I have to shoot manual flash setting sometimes, to see which works best.

    Thats my bad input so far, the good part is that, my friend is happy with the photos, even though some with harsh shadows. Just have to take more so can have more backup photos to compensate for those OOF ones. I did a lot of AD weddings before with other systems, so far I find Pentax is not as reliable compared to others. But, I have yet to test it with the K20D + DA* 16-50mm and a AF540FZG. I will have that opportunity to test it out in 2 weeks time.
    Last edited by art2d2; 10th July 2008 at 10:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Puzzled

    Thx flowerpot and art2d2 for the inputs.

    Quote Originally Posted by art2d2 View Post
    But, I have yet to test it with the K20D + DA* 16-50mm and a AF540FZG. I will have that opportunity to test it out in 2 weeks time.
    Do let us know about it after the event^^ Don't get much RL field info on these from Pentax community. But then, not much using Pentax users cover D&D and AD Wedding officially^^;

    Edit: With K20D think there's no problem if u set it at ISO1600 if u are using flash. The result I got from the cosplay indoor shots are pretty good.
    Last edited by longko; 11th July 2008 at 02:25 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Puzzled

    I shot several weddings before, not something I really love to do though. Here you can find my last wedding shootout:

    Wedding...

    All done by K10D, K100D, FA31, FA85, FA28-70/2.8 and 540FGZ flash. It's a whole day shootout, but I shot the entire dinner session w/ K10D+FA2870 and 540 flash only.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by fengwei View Post
    I shot several weddings before, not something I really love to do though. Here you can find my last wedding shootout:

    Wedding...

    All done by K10D, K100D, FA31, FA85, FA28-70/2.8 and 540FGZ flash. It's a whole day shootout, but I shot the entire dinner session w/ K10D+FA2870 and 540 flash only.
    Fengwei,

    May I know what ISO did you set for the dinner session? Is it on ISO Auto mode? Range?
    All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by fengwei View Post
    I shot several weddings before, not something I really love to do though. Here you can find my last wedding shootout:

    Wedding...

    All done by K10D, K100D, FA31, FA85, FA28-70/2.8 and 540FGZ flash. It's a whole day shootout, but I shot the entire dinner session w/ K10D+FA2870 and 540 flash only.
    Thx for sharing the photos. But what are the problems faced?

    I mean something like what art2d2 shared is most valuable. Kinda give people an idea what to look out for. It's not to put down Pentax in anyway, but it's to better prepared people mentally when they are asked to covered D&D or AD Wedding. I have no doubts Pentax can get good photos, but people tend to show those they managed to capture, but not share those they failed to capture^^;

    Like 1 example I recall, the SB tends to be effect for abt 2m, after that it's like not helping much in resturant enviroment.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by fusetrips View Post
    Fengwei,

    May I know what ISO did you set for the dinner session? Is it on ISO Auto mode? Range?
    I think I set to 400 mostly. But you can check the EXIF

  13. #13

    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by longko View Post
    Thx for sharing the photos. But what are the problems faced?

    I mean something like what art2d2 shared is most valuable. Kinda give people an idea what to look out for. It's not to put down Pentax in anyway, but it's to better prepared people mentally when they are asked to covered D&D or AD Wedding. I have no doubts Pentax can get good photos, but people tend to show those they managed to capture, but not share those they failed to capture^^;

    Like 1 example I recall, the SB tends to be effect for abt 2m, after that it's like not helping much in resturant enviroment.
    I only had two problems during the dinner session:
    1. The FA28-70 isn't wide enough sometimes, I had to back up quite a bit to take some group shots. Luckily it's a wedding, you can ask people squeezing together to fit in This can be solved by a wider zoom lens like the DA*1650, but its AF is slower than my FA2870 BTW, AF w/ FA2870 is pretty fast, faster than most other Pentax lenses including all SDM DA* lenses.
    2. The 540 flash took too much time to charge, sometimes after several continuous shots, needed to wait for several seconds. This can be solved w/ a dedicated battery pack, so not really an issue if you shoot w/ flash alot.

    And of course I'm not an experienced wedding photographer. My photos aren't as good as those others, but the newlyweds liked them - which count the most

  14. #14

    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by fengwei View Post
    I think I set to 400 mostly. But you can check the EXIF
    Is it better to set ISO to Auto or fixed mode for indoor/low light phototaking?
    All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by fengwei View Post
    I only had two problems during the dinner session:
    1. The FA28-70 isn't wide enough sometimes, I had to back up quite a bit to take some group shots. Luckily it's a wedding, you can ask people squeezing together to fit in This can be solved by a wider zoom lens like the DA*1650, but its AF is slower than my FA2870 BTW, AF w/ FA2870 is pretty fast, faster than most other Pentax lenses including all SDM DA* lenses.
    2. The 540 flash took too much time to charge, sometimes after several continuous shots, needed to wait for several seconds. This can be solved w/ a dedicated battery pack, so not really an issue if you shoot w/ flash alot.

    And of course I'm not an experienced wedding photographer. My photos aren't as good as those others, but the newlyweds liked them - which count the most
    1. To my understanding FA 28-70mm may not be ideal as not wide enough like u mentioned. From your photo I can see the tables still quite apart, those more cramp ones will have problem at 28mm. AF speed is beside the point, I'm more concern if it can focus or not^^;

    2. Think with K20D this is no longer a problem, I'd tested 8 burst shots with ISO1600, 1/125s, f5.6 in lowlight. All can AF-540FGZ kept up with them with no problem.

    Edit: Ya most impt is the newlyweds like them. Also reason why I started this thread, so many newlyweds to come will be happy with Pentax photographers.
    Last edited by longko; 11th July 2008 at 02:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by fusetrips View Post
    Is it better to set ISO to Auto or fixed mode for indoor/low light phototaking?
    Set ISO is better when u use flash, the exposure tends to be better and more accurate.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by fusetrips View Post
    Is it better to set ISO to Auto or fixed mode for indoor/low light phototaking?
    I myself prefer setting the ISO by myself instead of letting the camera do the job

  18. #18

    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by longko View Post
    1. To my understanding FA 28-70mm may not be ideal as not wide enough like u mentioned. From your photo I can see the tables still quite apart, those more cramp ones will have problem at 28mm. AF speed is beside the point, I'm more concern if it can focus or not^^;

    2. Think with K20D this is no longer a problem, I'd tested 8 burst shots with ISO1600, 1/125s, f5.6 in lowlight. All can AF-540FGZ kept up with them with no problem.

    Edit: Ya most impt is the newlyweds like them. Also reason why I started this thread, so many newlyweds to come will be happy with Pentax photographers.
    Yes, 28mm on APSC is definitely not wide enough sometimes, but there was once I shot an entire wedding w/ an FA31 Focusing wise, I haven't had any better lens than the FA*2870/2.8, it's fast spot on most time. The only time it hunts is when I use it for landscapes w/ low contrast scenes.

    I have yet tested K20D for any event except the badminton competition several weeks back, but during that one I couldn't use flash. Haven't thought about using flash to take photos at ISO1600, definitely not something the K10D is capable of. But probably K20D can handle that easily

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Puzzled

    Quote Originally Posted by fengwei View Post
    Yes, 28mm on APSC is definitely not wide enough sometimes, but there was once I shot an entire wedding w/ an FA31 Focusing wise, I haven't had any better lens than the FA*2870/2.8, it's fast spot on most time. The only time it hunts is when I use it for landscapes w/ low contrast scenes.

    I have yet tested K20D for any event except the badminton competition several weeks back, but during that one I couldn't use flash. Haven't thought about using flash to take photos at ISO1600, definitely not something the K10D is capable of. But probably K20D can handle that easily
    I'm not one who can agree much to limitation to 1 lens. I'm looking for more general feedbacks on the system itself. I mean if I must get the FA* 28-70mm then can do well in events, I might as well goto other system.

    What I'm trying to find out is the limitations so can either avoid or find solutions. Example from art2d2 inputs;
    1. As you guess it, focusing. The DA 16-45 haunts a lot. The wedding dinner was held at a big hotel ballroom in Sentosa. The lighting inside wasn't very good, so most of the time my flash AF beam will shoot out to the subjects. Hit rate about 70-80% but it takes 1-3 seconds to lock focus. Depending on how far was the subject, group photos sometimes out of focus, even when focus is lock. So I have to take 2 times for most shots, just to be safe.

    With knowing the hit rates and time taken, I can just rely on AF for most shots, and switch MF for those fast moving shots or prefocus to get better chance for hitting the shot. Also knowing in group shots I better take 2 shots.

    2. Flash power, really need an external battery pack. After burst 1-2 frames, the AF360 need to recharge for about 5 sec before the next shot can be taken with flash. One way I try to lower the recycle rate is boost up the iso, use F4 and 1/60 on PTTL. Sometimes I set to manual flash. No point bouncing the flash as ceiling too high, shot straight with omnibounce.

    This one lets me know I need use high ISO to reduce the refresh rate of flash and try trust P-TTL.

    3. PTTL flash can be a bit inconsistant. Its working probably only about 70% of the time. Thats why I have to shoot manual flash setting sometimes, to see which works best.

    With K20D this can be counter due to EV adjustment on M mode.

    Edit: This guy hit a cork flying shot with a kit lens, might be useful to some.
    http://www.photomalaysia.com/forums/...0&postcount=80
    Last edited by longko; 11th July 2008 at 03:21 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Puzzled

    I certainly don't qualify to reply in this thread as I have never shot any event with the Pentax yet. With Nikon yes a few and with good success but yet to try the Pentax out

    K20D is an amazing camera, the color / picture quality simply blows the D200's away to HELL But... yes there is always a BUT!

    The only irritation is the focusing. You half press the shutter release and the camera is just waiting waiting waiting to even move the focusing motor... On the other hand, in good light the F 100 2.8 Macro lens focuses faster than any thing I have seen on a Nikon including the AF-S lenses! I don't even see it going in and out of focus

    The other thing that needs a bit of getting used to is the focusing point! Its a tiny little red square and you don't see it until the focus is acquired where as on Nikon we have the focusing points already visible in BIG square shapes and the one focuses will highlight only. This takes a little getting used to of course.

    Shooting my pet bunnies is a nightmare hehe... Before the focusing even starts they have already moved to a new place lol!

    Any ways, in good light no issue again. I would repeat with the D200 bigger (not more) focusing pints the camera is able to pickup a contrasty area more easily and focuses successfully, thats what I feel, I may be totally wrong

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