World Pentax Day with the K-5 – Straight Out of Camera!

When the Pentax K-5 fell below $1000 I couldn’t help but pick one up, which is a few weeks ago now. I think Pentax are going to build a full-frame model this year, but it’s likely it won’t be available until late 2012/early 2013. Usually the price falls within 6 months… so I saw no reason not to pick up the K-5 now. I get to start working with it right away, since it’s going to be at least a year until their next flagship camera body comes out. It has a ton of new features, so it’s worth it to go out in a no-pressure situation to get familiar with all the new stuff, like digital filters. I decided that this afternoon was basically a ‘play day’ for me to test out a specific setup of digital filters that combine to give a really unique look to the images.

Today is also World Pentax Day, where all the Pentaxians get out and shoot and post images taken today with their favourite k-mount camera. The timing is perfect!

All of the images below are SOOC – Straight Out Of Camera – there is NO post processing on these. Because they were shot with digital filters they are saved as jpegs, so even though I passed them through Adobe Lightroom to get them off the card, into the library, and then back out to disk with a watermark and resized for 720 pixels wide – there is NO tweaking on these! The exposures, colors, and saturation are exactly what the camera recorded when I hit the shutter.

The basic setup is this: Pentax K-5 (with grip), the FA 50mm f/1.4 (most of these are around f/2.0), a circular polarizer, and a user mode digital filter (mostly a horizontal vignette and red tone break). These digital filters take about 10 seconds to set up in the camera menu, although I took a few minutes longer to tweak a combination that I liked for the sky and sun colors.

As you look at the images, remember these haven’t been ‘photoshopped’ at all, even though a few could use a little exposure adjustment. The one downside to combining a circular polarizer with digital filters is that the results are a little unpredictable, and aren’t always what the meter suggests they might turn out as. But because they don’t take ANY time to edit I really don’t care; the time savings of having to not adjust the images in Lightroom, even just clicking on a few presets, is HUGE! Click the shutter, wait 3 seconds (the filters take a moment to process if they are enabled), and you see exactly these images on the camera LCD while shooting.

Pretty frickin’ cool!

And to think that when the K-5 was announced I scoffed at these digital features as ‘kids features’ – but in reality they have a place as a spontaneous artistic tool.

That’s pretty frickin’ cool ,too.



There is a little bit of interaction between the polarizer and the digitial vignette filter in the sky.


Just the smallest change on the polarizer can really affect the exposure!


Normally any color fringing would be taken care of in post. But not today!


Aside from the double bounce flare from the polarizer glass that caused the green blob, I like the look.


I just metered for the center of the trunk, and let the sky exposure fall 'wherever'.


Same deal here; I metered for the bark, and let the sky blow out.


I could probably have spent all day with these trees!


These are all the 50mm f/1.4 FA, mostly at f/2.0, like this one.


This is daylight white balanced. Notice the lack of warmth compared to the next image.


This is white balanced for shade. The digital filters really amp up the colors.


Probably my favourite shot from the afternoon.


What's weird is that as the sun got lower, it really did get this yellow!


Out of the shady part of the park; notice there isn't any snow left here.


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