Announcing the winners of our February, 2017 contest
By PF Staff in Photo Contests on Mar 23, 2017
Our February, 2017 "Benches" photo contest has ended and we're happy to announce and congratulate these winners:
In first place was forum member vaksi from Hungary who captured "Autumn Colors" (pictured above). This photo was shot with a Pentax K-50 and a Sigma lens.
|"At Peace" by codru||"Bench" by Ikarus|
We'd like to congratulate the winners and also thank everyone who participated or voted! Also, be sure not to miss our March photo contest, "Architectutal Elements". Read all about it in the monthly contest forum.
Where to find manuals and firmware updates for cameras and flashes
By PF Staff in Articles and Tips on Mar 20, 2017
For reference, the operating manuals for Pentax cameras and select accessories are available for download on Ricoh Imaging Japan's site:
Pentax User Manual Downloads (PDF)
The page referenced above has camera manuals for all Pentax DSLR models, plus mirrorless, action and compact cameras, as well as select medium format film cameras.
The page also includes user manuals for all recent Pentax flashes, the O-FC1 Flucard, and Image Transmitter software.
The latest firmware for Pentax cameras and lenses as well as for Ricoh GR and GR II is found on this page which also includes updates to various Pentax software such as Image Transmitter and the Digital Camera Utility. PEF format RAW codecs are also available for select operating systems:
What exactly is Star Stream and how does it work?
By PF Staff in Articles and Tips on Mar 15, 2017
Regular star trail photo
Recent Pentax models, including the K-S2, K-1, K-70, and KP, have a new drive mode called Star Stream. It is located on the drive mode page together with interval shooting, but what does it do that regular interval shooting doesn't? We set out to find out.
Before delving into how to set it up let's show the end result of our little test:
This video was automatically generated from 30 individual exposures shot at 30 seconds each, using F4 and ISO 100. Star Stream mode simply makes a movie out of the stills by overlaying them one by one over time. Our example is marred by an airplane that got recorded on two images. As a bonus, though, the airplane track has a gap which illustrates the gap between the two exposures caused by the processing of the image just captured.
Being unsure if we would capture anything at all we just set the camera to record a brief sequence of 30 exposures so that we didn't have to wait too long for the result. The 30 exposures took about 15 minutes. The resulting movie clip thus shows 15 minutes of star movement compressed to about three seconds.
By studying the resulting .avi file we noticed that each captured still image is inserted into three consecutive frames in the movie. The calculated length would be 30 frames times 3 divided by 24 frames per second which gives a length of the movie clip of 3.75 seconds. The actual length is a little bit shorter; it appears that some frames are dropped at the beginning and end.
The exposure time of the stills impacts the speed with which the trails progress over the sky in the movie since each still becomes three frames in a 24 fps movie: The shorter the exposure time the more still images you will get over a given time period. This means that there will be more movie frames to show and therefore the star stream will progress at a slower pace in the movie. For a shorter exposure time you may need to either bump the ISO or use a larger aperture on your lens compared to what we did in our example.
Pentax's fastest-focusing lens to date
By PF Staff in Review Announcements on Mar 8, 2017
The Pentax 55-300mm F4-5.8 has long been a popular choice among Pentax users— its solid image quality, convenient zoom range, and low cost were difficult to match. However, as the lens design dates back to 2008, it lacks quick or silent autofocus, and instead relies on the classic screwdrive mechanism.
2016 brought us a new lens which addresses this issue: the Pentax 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 PLM debuts the PLM motor, which delivers the fastest autofocus in any Pentax lens to date. In addition, this new lens is smaller (thanks to a collapsible design) and lighter. But does it live up to its predecessor's image quality? Will it be the new go-to lens for entry-level telephoto shooting? Read our in-depth review to find out!
Announcing the winners of our January, 2017 contest
By PF Staff in Photo Contests on Mar 2, 2017
Voting has ended for our January, 2017 "Sunrise/Sunset" photo contest. This contest was very popular with almost 350 excellent photos submitted. The result of the voting is as follows:
In first place was forum member candid from Germany who captured "Racing against the Sunset" (pictured above). This photo was shot with a Pentax K-5 and an smc Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited lens.
|"Day is Done" by Dan R||"Mesa Arch Sunrise" by slowpez|
We'd like to congratulate the winners and also thank everyone who participated or voted! Also, be sure not to miss our current photo contest. Read all about it in the monthly contest forum.