Kx intro question

Started Aug 30, 2011 | Discussions
pemfan New Member • Posts: 11
Kx intro question

I have a Kx with a kit lens. I bought it mostly for indoor photos. I find the indoor quality poor compared to outdoor. Should I be looking into buying a flash to add to it, or is it a question of a better lens?

djezraj Contributing Member • Posts: 741
Re: Kx intro question

Hi. You will undoubtedly get different answers however here is my version.

I think it is common knowledge that light aids photography, this is a given. When you are in a situation with a distinct absence of light or "Ideal lighting conditions" you can deal with it in a number of ways.

I think another given is to work towards an ideal of always achieving the best possible exposure. I wont elaborate too much but will suggest that indoor tungsten lighting can affect all camera auto exposure systems as well as specular light from pot lights or exposed bulbs (tiny bright points)

Once you have a basic understanding you may consider a few options.

1) A faster lens. Some will suggest a fast prime to me the obvious choice for beginners is the DAL35 F2.4 However I prefer a focal Length of 21 for indoor.

While a wider aperture will certainly help achieve a faster shutter as will higher ISO there are other things to consider. Some indoor situations have mixed lighting such as Tungsten,florescent ,hallogen or LED bulbs. All f these have a different color tone to the light.

2) An external Flash. Due to the colour cast of light not always being easy to match I often use an external Flash as my main light and sometimes will use coloured gels inside to match the tone. I mostly use my flash manually and there are some great websites to help learn this concept

strobist is a blogger site with step by step tutorials.
My Fav is http://neilvn dot com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/
(replace dot with .)

Your experience is normal and most cameras can be tricked by indoor light but remember your eyes adjust to low light and the Camera does not it is a lot brighter outside and those conditions will be more ideal.


 djezraj's gear list:djezraj's gear list
Fujifilm X-E2 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +1 more
Stig Vidar Hovland Senior Member • Posts: 1,744
Re: Kx intro question

Buying a new lens could help, or not... Anyway, it will cost you money.

It could also be your technique which need practice or improvements. Which is free

Why not post some images?

mihais Regular Member • Posts: 321
Re: Kx intro question

pemfan wrote:

I have a Kx with a kit lens. I bought it mostly for indoor photos. I find the indoor quality poor compared to outdoor. Should I be looking into buying a flash to add to it, or is it a question of a better lens?

the light indoor is much worse and dimmer than outside during the day. Your camera will use high ISO if it is set to auto ISO and the quality starts to degrade above 800-1600. On the other side if ISO is fixed you need a long exposure time and/or max aperture. All factors mentioned above will lower the quality of your photos: high ISO, long exposure (handheld) and max aperture. Optimal for this camera would be ISO less than 1600, lens aperture around 8 and exposure time shorter than 1/50 or better less than 1/100 sec. If any, some or all parameters are far off expect crappy photos. It applies to all cameras from all manufacturers. A better lens may help if it is substantially faster, a flash will clearly help. Start with the one on the camera but use some diffuser (hygienic paper works well). Get a better flash for distances longer than 5 m.

Cheers, Mihai

PS: do not forget auto WB can be off when you get strange or mixed light sources. Try taking photos in RAW (preferably DNG)

 mihais's gear list:mihais's gear list
Pentax K-x Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL II (IF) +2 more
JimC1101 Contributing Member • Posts: 550
Hmmm...I use the 18-55 alot....

..and find that if exposed properly, it will give great results. I shoot in RAW, M mode PP in LR3 and have had great success up to ISO6400 and have never needed major noise reduction on any of my shots. Never really try 12800. Here are a few that I took with the kit and in available light:

And this one is at 6400, JPG, no PP whatsoever.

External flash is great to have and I bounce it at times to get a softer effect but I like natural shots much better. Learn how to expose properly and you will be able to get great results with little noise from the mighty K-x

 JimC1101's gear list:JimC1101's gear list
Pentax K-70 Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.4 AL Pentax smc DA 50mm F1.8 +2 more
math guy Senior Member • Posts: 2,499
Re: Kx intro question

I have benefited from both, but my first choice would be a better lens. And by better, I simply mean a faster lens.

The first lens I bought besides the kit lenses was the A50/1.7. I'm not really a big fan of that focal length on the APS-C sensor, but I have gotten some good results from it indoors. And the good news is that it is relatively inexpensive -- under $100 usually. Here are a few examples which make use of wider apertures in somewhat-low light.

Later I added the DA70 Ltd, which is hands down my favorite lens. Here is an example from it using a wide aperture.

And most recently I've added the DA35/2.4. This one may be the one I'd recommend most given its versatility and the fact that it is an autofocus lens.

And just to illustrate what a bounced flash can do, here is one which used the Metz 48 along with the DA70.

The benefit of the flash is, of course, that you don't have to use higher ISOs. But honestly, I find that if I get the exposure correct at the time of shooting (as opposed to having to make corrections in PP), even ISO 6400 is usable for simple 4x6 prints. Here is one I shot a few weeks ago at a zoo. While technically the monkey was in an outdoor setting, I was shooting indoors, handheld, looking through thick glass, and using the rather slow 55-300mm kit lens. I think what this illustrates is that you can get good results indoors with the kit lenses without going out and spending a lot of money on a flash or lenses (even though those are fun to have).

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-- Joe S.
'The laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God.' ~ Euclid


 math guy's gear list:math guy's gear list
Pentax K-50 Pentax K-3 Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited +6 more
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