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Thread: Help with Pentax K200D

  1. #1
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    Default Help with Pentax K200D

    Quick introduction name is Charlie been a keen Bird watcher for some time but have just started to try and take some photo's with a DSLR.

    Equipment used:

    Pentax K200D, Sigma APO DG 70mm-300mm Landner L820 Tripod any tips of using/setting for the K200D would be great this is my first time with a DSLR.

    Cheers Charlie

  2. #2
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    Don't use a Pentax Charlie, but some things are common to any DSLR. Suggest you start off in aperture priority at f8-10, pick an ISO you are happy with (possibly ISO200-400 depending on light, not sure what the noise is like on that model camera), pick evaluative/matrix metering (whatever Pentax call it), then practice getting closer.

    Assuming you are shooting in Raw (you should for many reasons) read up (google) on expose to the right, which basically means you over expose the image up to the point of clipping the whites, or least don't underexpose it. This keeps the noise in the image under control. Learn how to call up the histogram and check it regularly, you want the chart to be pushed towards the right without being clipped at the highlight end. If you shoot raw you have the opportunity to adjust the exposure (within reason) and fine tune the image in raw conversion after the fact. To adjust the exposure based on the histogram either switch to manual (using the metered setting to start with) or adjust exposure compensation. You just need to be aware of clipping and watch that you don't push too far particularly on bright red or yellow birds. This links explains exposure techniques and what you are achieving:

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...techniques.htm
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

  3. #3
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    I've got a K10D Charlie which is quite similar to yours and it doesn't handle noise as well as my newer K-r does so be careful with the ISO and like Chris said exposing to the right will help. The Sigma will serve you well but try avoiding the widest aperture around 300mm, with my Sigma 150-500mm it can become a bit soft around 500mm at f/6.3.
    Looking forward to seeing some shots
    Cheers, Owen.

    Flickr

    Aus life list: 472 (Southern Royal Albatross, Port Fairy Pelagic, Victoria)

  4. #4
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    Charlie, I think you will find that the 300mm lens will be a bit limiting, but it is similar to what I started with on a K10D five years ago. My advice would be: (1) Av mode (Aperture priority) and stop down the aperture just enough to get the shot sharp at 300mm (maybe f6.3 or f8 if it is really bright). (2) Set your ISO at about 400 and that ought to give you enough shutter speed without getting noise. Then start shooting, but keep an eye on your shutter speed which will obviously depend on the available light. With those settings and lens, you won't get good results in shadows. I suggest you keep the shutter speed above 1/200th as a minimum but faster than 1/400th would be preferred. I notice your post re the Sigma 400 f5.6 If you are a bit strapped for cash, then that will be a fine lens (although old glass has its hassles in trying conditions like back lighting), but I did not mention that once you get the bug (and aome spare cash), you will want for more. Depends on how much money you want to spend, but I suggest you go for one of the Sigma 400mm or 500mm zooms, or wait for the Pentax DA*500 f5.6 to be available in the shops. No price on that last one yet, but I would guess about $2k. I agree with the advice of Chris and Owen.
    AdrianMorrison+

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