The K1000 that Survived Being Run Over by a Tank

An incident that made me "Pentax4Life"

By cjfeola in Columns on May 10, 2023

Mark had parked his K1000 on the tread of an M60A3 main battle tank and gone off to goof off, as was his want. This was a mistake. An M60A3 Patton tank weighs 52 tons and when parked is as stable as a building; it is, however, a lot more mobile than any building when it wants to be. And this tank wanted to move. Mark ran for his camera – foolishly – when the treads started rolling, but the K1000 zipped down the tread, over the front – and then under.

It took us a while to dig it out. The lens glass was fractured. Fortunately, it was a Pentax 50mm F/1.7, which came on every camera in those days. We had so many we couldn’t give them away. Literally. Mark put a new lens on, and finished up the shoot.

Surely any camera would have been crushed if a tank ran over it on a paved or even a dirt road. Fortunately for Mark and his K1000, we were US Army photojournalists in the mud and muck of Ft. Stewart, GA, also known as “20 square miles of the Okeefenokee Swamp avoided by anyone with sense.” How swampy was it? On another exercise I photographed a similar tank sunk to the turret in the muck. A second tank was sent to tow it out, and promptly sank next to it. So a tank wrecker was sent in – and sank. Cooler heads then prevailed and put a stop to things before an entire battalion was down there. They ended up waiting until spring ended and the mud dried up some to dig all those tanks out.

Lessons Learned from 3 Fast Prime Lenses: 35mm, 50mm, 85mm f/1.4

How these primes have made me a better photographer

By mhsp1948 in Columns on Aug 19, 2020

I love photography; it is a wonderful hobby and lots of fun. I like shooting landscapes, cityscapes, street photography, portraits, walkarounds, travel photography and close-ups on flowers. On occasion I shoot sports and wildlife with my 200mm, 300mm primes and my 150-450mm zoom on my Pentax KP, but this article is about the three fast prime lenses that made a difference in my photography. They have made me a better photographer causing me to use even better composition skills when shooting with my zoom lenses. I will tell you which is my favorite prime focal length towards the end of this article.

Three fast prime lenses are as follows: the Samyang 35mm f/1.4, the HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm f/1.4 and the Rokinon/Samyang 85mm f/1.4 and these meet the needs I have in the above-mentioned areas of photography.  When using a Pentax K-1 or K-1 Mark II in manual mode and manually focusing (focus assist) with a prime lens tends to slow me down, and that’s a good thing! It causes me to think about, as well as evaluate, what I want to photograph and from where I want to take the photo. It makes me take the time to compose a good shot. It allows me to be and feel creative, and it  causes me to think about the scene. It keeps me from being bored or lazy as sometimes can happen with a point and shoot or zoom lenses. It makes me move instead of shooting a series of photos from one spot all with the same angle. That is what a prime lens can do for the photographer. It adds elements of composition that, without moving around, I might never have realized. Prime lenses cause the photographer to begin to compose the scene and take fantastic shots. Prime lenses tend to be very sharp from corner to corner, and they have excellent bokeh and clarity and can be very fast lenses. Sometimes f/2.8 on a premium zoom lens is not fast enough and I would like f/1.4,  and my prime lenses deliver.   This gives me a lot of latitude in how, when, and what I can photograph.

On Assignment with a Visual Journalist and Pentax Gear

Albert Siegel photographs the new Emperor of Japan

By PF Staff in Columns on Aug 25, 2019

Albert Siegel is a Tokyo-based visual journalist who just happens to be a long-time Pentax shooter. In a field dominated by Canon and Nikon, Albert is one of the few in the news industry who shoots with an alternative system. This video may not be about his gear, but it's a fun look at Pentax cameras being used to capture a historical event.

For those of you who don't know Albert, he's a contributor to this site and has covered CP+ for us since 2012. Since this was a memorable event to photograph, we asked Albert to tell us about some of his other memorable experiences using his Pentax equipment on the job.

The Origins of the SLR & the Pathway to the Pentax 100th Anniversary

A series of articles counting down to Asahi (Pentax) 100th Anniversary

By Merv-O in Columns on Apr 28, 2019

Pentax Forums will be presenting a series of articles on the evolution of the Single Lens Reflex (SLR) Camera from obscurity to its present iteration known as the DSLR and particularly Pentax's present-day flagship, the K-1 Mark II. The series will continue through November, 2019 when we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the ASAHI Optical Co., the founders of the Pentax Camera.

Origins of the Single Reflex Camera (SLR)

Many of you are familiar with the SLR as one's every day camera, yet many of you are likewise unaware that the origins of the Pentax SLR (and for that matter, all makes) actually has its origins in the 4th Century BC (circa 330 BC) as a means to protect one's eye from damage in viewing a solar eclipse.

Aristotle and his contemporaries described a metal plate punched with small holes through it and then held up to the sun which would then project a corresponding image onto the ground. In essence, the foundation of photography is based upon this simple optical principle.

In the 11th century, a remedial version of a 'camera obscura' (Latin for 'dark chamber') was developed. A room or a box lit only by a single small hole or window that admitted daylight would create a shadow image of the outside world on the opposite wall. Later in the 13th Century, a medieval inventor named Roger Bacon used the 'camera obscura' technique with mirrors to project optical sites and illusions by projecting sun visions on an opposing wall

Camera obscura concept

However, it was not until the Renaissance period that brought more rapid development of the use of mirrors in creating images. Leonardo Da Vinci is credited with using a camera obscura to draw but that claim has been debunked. In fact, Da Vinci built a small camera obscura to test his theories of the human eye and depth perception, but without a lens, Da Vinci's camera obscura was not effective.

Part 3: How Godzilla stomped on my Lightroom habit

ON1 Photo RAW 2018's Effects and Layers modules

By johnhilvert in Columns on Apr 23, 2018

Our intrepid software dabbler, John Hilvert, concludes his migration from Lightroom v6.14, venturing further in his odyssey with ON1 Photo RAW 2018. Exploring its advanced capabilities, he initiates the Godzilla and Inception projects amongst others. He returns from the journey, renewed and ready to be a better Pentax post-processor than before.

Yet he discovers a downside from this empowerment. Though ON1 delivers impressive features, it  seems inconsistently organised, making future workflow and interface improvements essential for post-processing without tears.

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