K1 & K3II Owners Need Not Apply


McGregNi

Link Posted 23/10/2017 - 01:55
Well, they can't apply this technique! We users of the more normal cameras can feel good that we've got at least one trick up our sleeves that the K1 & K3II users don't ..... and its of course about using the Built-in Flash!

Even flashgun fanatic me sometimes leaves them all at home, thinking that there just won't be any chance to fit one and fiddle around. I thought that today on a visit to Chartwell, but I was really glad to have the humble little pop-up flash ready in an instant when I ran into some DR and shadow challenges .....

Here's the situation ..... my daughter was sitting on a bench with the gardens beyond. They were mostly in nice light, but the bench was in shade. The result, if I exposed nicely for the sky and held the highlights, looked like this ..... K7 + Samyang 14mm F2.8




Hmmm... not much good for a 'portrait'. So I flicked up the flash. This now limits the shutter speed to 1/180th, which can be a problem in sunlight as it is easy to overexpose the ambient. However, I made sure I gave the camera a fair chance by sticking to ISO200, and stopping down to F9.5 (I wanted this anyway to get everything in focus).

I worked in Av mode, and set -1.0 Exposure Compensation to ensure the sky highlights were not clipped. On the flash I used -0.5 Flash Compensation to create a pleasing balance between the close subject and background. I wanted the face lit up like it from the sunshine, and I wanted it to 'pop' a bit out from the background..... here's a few showing the result ....













Of course the main issue with direct front on flash like this is the harsh shadows it can create, and this is especially problematic indoors when there's a wall behind (the typical party look). Here the shadows are quite heavy on the 2nd shot, where they are cast by the arm of the bench and her leg . But on the others its not an issue because there's nothing for them to fall onto. This is the key to it looking OK I think, just aiming to have empty space behind your subject so that we don't see those hard shadows.

Anyway, I hope that this is something that many will find useful, as it can really add some sparkle to shots like this, mainly because the exposures can be individually optimised for both the subject and the background ...... And only those K1 and K3II users have any decent excuse not to try it !

Nigel
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

RobL

Link Posted 23/10/2017 - 08:13
Aah, Nigel, thatís why the dinky AF201 is always in my bag!

vic cross

Link Posted 23/10/2017 - 08:52
Can I apply for membership? I've still got my K3 as well as my K3ii and my K1. I normally sell on the older ones as I buy the newer ones but this time for some reason I didn't.
Anyway it's amazing what you've done with that little flash on the top. They do come in handy sometimes.
CHEERS Vic.
Born again biker with lots of Pentax bits. Every day I wake up is a good day. I'm so old I don't even buy green bananas.

pschlute

Link Posted 23/10/2017 - 10:45
You left the flash kit at home ? You will be forgetting to take the kids next.

Great work and clear explanation Nigel, thanks.
Peter



My Flickr page

HarisF1

Link Posted 23/10/2017 - 10:49
The KP flash might not be strong enough for this!

redbusa99

Link Posted 23/10/2017 - 11:59
the first one looks best to me as the light does appear more natural than the other two, they are too washed out on the face i feel . how much did that sitting cost you Nigel?
K3 II and the odd lens or 2

Flickr

Daronl

Link Posted 23/10/2017 - 17:14
Why is the K3 my favourite travel camera ?

Did Ricoh / Pentax simply assume that serious shooters don't love a serious built in flash?

I just bought the very dimunitive Metz 26 AF2 flash for my K3II and K1 and it is "ok".
Daronl
Last Edited by Daronl on 23/10/2017 - 17:16

pschlute

Link Posted 23/10/2017 - 17:46
Unrelated to flash, but Chartwell is a wonderful place not just because it is a lovely house and gardens, but because of the history of the place.

We have been many times and it is clear to me that the man and the house are inseperable. If you have not been I urge you to do so.
Peter



My Flickr page

davidstorm

Link Posted 23/10/2017 - 17:48
You may think I'm a naysayer for saying this Nigel, but I have to agree with redbusa99 in that the first image is by far the most natural and therefore to me the most successful shot in this group. The others don't look 'right' to me.

There are ways of extracting good shadow details from images without making them look odd and I think in this particular instance that would be a more successful approach.

I do agree with you however that it's great to have the pop-up flash available when it's needed.

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

McGregNi

Link Posted 23/10/2017 - 18:35
Some good points raised guys! Perhaps we should let the K1 and K3II people in then ....if they promise to bring their little pop-ons!

I went out with the 14mm on the camera specifically for the gardens and surrounds, and didn't expect to do any people shots at all. But it was a grab the moment scenario, and a case of use what you've got.

This is a great place right here for anyone to post up their pop-up, or pop-on, or even just ambient only shots, to show how to take control and balance foreground/subject lighting with bright natural light behind......
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 23/10/2017 - 18:37

JAK

Link Posted 23/10/2017 - 21:08
If you'd used raw the shadow detail could be brought out. This is part of the way there just from your jpeg using the burning and dodging technique. I feel this is more natural looking than the lighting produced by the flash.


John K
Last Edited by JAK on 23/10/2017 - 21:14

davidwozhere

Link Posted 24/10/2017 - 00:02
If you want a diddy little simple flash for the top of your K3ii the (ancient) Helios Compact Flash is about identical to the pop-up, uses 1 x AA battery and has a low trigger voltage. I also use them in multiple with Nissin Synchro-eyes. No fiddling. They go FLASH! with no frills. Commonly available on Ebay for .99p - £2 ish.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

McGregNi

Link Posted 24/10/2017 - 00:34
JAK wrote:
If you'd used raw the shadow detail could be brought out. This is part of the way there just from your jpeg using the burning and dodging technique. I feel this is more natural looking than the lighting produced by the flash.

I was hoping this wouldn't have to be moved to the post processing forum!

I'm not convinced I'm afraid, and prefer the flash effect ..... the compensation option allows a good degree of flexibility in how strong it looks. I'm not one for the subtle 'fill-in' .... I like it bright and bold, and its rare for me to work at anything less than -0.5 compensation for the flash. Of course I do wish to avoid that 'washed out' look, and I could have reduced the flash power here a bit and still had a good balance in the images, granted.

Generally I feel that 'shadow recovery' should be reserved for unimportant areas of an image (eg underneath tress and undergrowth). I don't see it as a valid technique for use on the face of a portrait, which I think should be lit and exposed correctly as you want it at capture. Of course, I'm a K7 user, and I have to suffer noise in the shadow areas .... a K1 user would no doubt have far greater success with this technique .... but still, I like to try and balance things correctly at capture if possible.

This is all about using what resources and approaches are to hand and practical in the circumstances of course ..... its about which one of the compromises available works best for us.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 24/10/2017 - 00:36

JAK

Link Posted 24/10/2017 - 01:05
McGregNi wrote:
JAK wrote:
If you'd used raw the shadow detail could be brought out. This is part of the way there just from your jpeg using the burning and dodging technique. I feel this is more natural looking than the lighting produced by the flash.

I was hoping this wouldn't have to be moved to the post processing forum!

I'm not convinced I'm afraid, and prefer the flash effect ..... the compensation option allows a good degree of flexibility in how strong it looks. I'm not one for the subtle 'fill-in' .... I like it bright and bold, and its rare for me to work at anything less than -0.5 compensation for the flash. Of course I do wish to avoid that 'washed out' look, and I could have reduced the flash power here a bit and still had a good balance in the images, granted.

Generally I feel that 'shadow recovery' should be reserved for unimportant areas of an image (eg underneath tress and undergrowth). I don't see it as a valid technique for use on the face of a portrait, which I think should be lit and exposed correctly as you want it at capture. Of course, I'm a K7 user, and I have to suffer noise in the shadow areas .... a K1 user would no doubt have far greater success with this technique .... but still, I like to try and balance things correctly at capture if possible.

This is all about using what resources and approaches are to hand and practical in the circumstances of course ..... its about which one of the compromises available works best for us.

I'm presuming you haven't made traditional prints in a darkroom where burning and dodging is normal.
The image I experimented there lacks the dynamic range of a raw file so can understand your comment about that example. It did however recover some of the face detail. While the K-1 doesn't have a built in flash it does have a good dynamic range which helps recover those shadow details.
John K
Last Edited by JAK on 24/10/2017 - 01:06

McGregNi

Link Posted 24/10/2017 - 01:58
I would love a K1, and its dynamic range ..... but not in order to avoid flash . Noise with the K7 in shadow areas is a problem, which is why I have to limit things to unimportant parts of the image. But there's no way I think we should be taking portraits with the face in deep shadow, aiming to 'recover' it later, not even with RAW and a K1.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
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