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07-11-2011, 05:45 PM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by Immunogirl Quote
Go back and read your posts to me vs. posts other people have made. In addition to your suggestions, there have been several comments like "If you would get this into your head"
OK, for that I apologize. But for fair, this was after the noise thing had been pointed out several times, and you're absolutely right that after reading 80 million posts of people making common mistakes, I can get a little on edge. So again, I'm sorry.

QuoteQuote:
So instead of assuming that I have absolutely no idea about any of my lenses & their performance in various conditions, how about assuming that I have used my camera before?
I do assume that. But I also know that differences between lenses tend to be miniscule - the sort of things that depend on doing controlled tests and then pixel peeping at 100% in order to see at all. It really doesn't matter how many other sort of similar pictures you might have taken; if you're not comparing apples to apples, you're really not seeing the type of data that would be required to make accurate judgements. It's remarkable easy to be fooled when not performing controlled tests - and believe me, it's happened to me more times than I can count.

QuoteQuote:
I shoot on P. I'm fully willing to accept that, okay, for this lens, it's happier on -2 on Tav mode instead of P at 0.
That's not going to be the case. Exposure compensation is something that is used to adjust exposure on a scene by scene basis, not something one should expect to have to dial in permanently for a given lens. Any compensation that is dialed it will be appropriate in some scenes, not in others, and that is just as true of your other lenses as it is for your 18-135.

QuoteQuote:
Most of them were far worse than what I posted on here.
Those would be useful to see. I'm guessing they'll turn out to be simple cases of motion blur, missed focus, or other problems that have nothing to do with the lens.

QuoteQuote:
Right now, I think the easiest/laziest way for me to test the camera out on the water is to go through the diff modes that Skog/Clinton/and everyone else suggested, and tell the camera to auto bracket and see whether I like some of those shots, and then get more meticulous to dial it in.
Based on what you've said about the Exif, it's not going to be about bracketing or anything to do with exposure. I'd do the basic testing on land to minimize risk and make sure that the conditions don't cause you to rush and make mistakes. By all means, test handheld if you specifically don't want to separate out the optical quality of the lens from its handholdablity.

07-11-2011, 05:55 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
Sadly, from the reviews at photozone.de, this lens lacks any semblance of sharpness at f5.6 at the long end. That's why I think you should stick to F11-F13 and keep it there for general purpose shooting in the daylight.
That's not true. It was criticised by Photozone for lack of sharpness at the edges, the center was sharp. My copy performed comparably to my other kit zooms in my testing, but needs +10 AF adjustment. Until she does a formal lens test, we don't know if Immunogirl's copy performs adequately, needs AF adjustment, or is just a poor copy like the one Photozone tested.

I would not use f11-16 in a kayak due to the motion. I'd be mostly interested in jeeping shutter speeds up to eliminate motion blur.

Last edited by audiobomber; 07-11-2011 at 06:01 PM.
07-11-2011, 05:57 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
Sadly, from the reviews at photozone.de, this lens lacks any semblance of sharpness at f5.6 at the long end.
QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
It also probably opened up the aperture to 5.6 which with this lens appears to be a catastrophe.
While it's true that the lens that photozone.de tested showed poor border/corner performance at the long end, the center performance was quite decent even at 135mm @ f/5.6. So depending on what you're shooting at 135mm, and how critical edge to edge sharpness is, the 18-135 is hardly a catastrophe at f/5.6. Furthermore, I personally still have my doubts about the particular sample of the lens they used in their tests, but I suppose that is a question that might never get answered.

Edit: I guess the other Dan (audiobomber) beat me to my point
07-11-2011, 06:03 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
Edit: I guess the other Dan (audiobomber) beat me to my point
LOL! I tend to post first, edit later.

07-11-2011, 10:37 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by Immunogirl Quote
Now, quite possibly if I flip the kayak with a WR lens, it'd still ruin the camera, but I'm gonna pretend it's less of a risk.
You can keep pretending, but if you drown the camera then any weather sealing on the camera and/or lens will be worth pretty much zilch, nada, nothing.

The seals are designed to keep moisture out, not to withstand water pressure. The WR lens will allow you to shoot while its raining and will easily withstand splashes from fellow kayakers but you can forget about it helping anything should you flip over.

P.S.: I'm with Marc on your tone / attitude. Anyone helping out here (whether forum tired or not) does it solely for the possibility of helping someone. The only thing one may get in return is some gratitude or at least the feeling that one could make a difference for the better. You come across a bit like knowing everything better and having an entitlement to receiving recommendations. I believe you would get more support with a friendlier tone. I'm surprised that Marc, so far, has been the only one having written something to this effect. Others may have left / not joined silently. This is just meant as a hint for receiving more/better responses, not to lecture you. I hope you receive it in that spirit.

Last edited by Class A; 07-12-2011 at 05:05 AM.
07-12-2011, 02:42 AM   #81
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Another thing that might lead you to think that the longer zoom was more capable of capturing action, then the 18-135 is that the camera will select a higher shutter speed when you have a longer focal length. So the 80-320 at 320mmm will give you lets say 1/320 or more, and with the 18-135 at 135mm the camera might only use 1/160 or so. And thus lead you to think that one was better at capturing action then the other. There is nothing stopping you from setting the shutter speed faster yourself though. It's all camera settings, and understanding why your camera does what it does.
07-12-2011, 03:50 AM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
You can keep pretending, but if you drown the camera than any weather sealing on the camera and/or lens will be worth pretty much zilch, nada, nothing.
Agree with this. For kayaking, money spent on a good insurance policy (read the exclusions carefully) is more helpful than money spent on a WR lens. Also, for a safer claim, maybe you were surprised by a swan attack and dropped it in a lake while taking photos of ducks; maybe you don't even know what a kayak is.

Of course, an insurance policy has even less desirable optical characteristics than the 18-135 and no resale value.
07-12-2011, 06:02 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
While it's true that the lens that photozone.de tested showed poor border/corner performance at the long end, the center performance was quite decent even at 135mm @ f/5.6. So depending on what you're shooting at 135mm, and how critical edge to edge sharpness is, the 18-135 is hardly a catastrophe at f/5.6. Furthermore, I personally still have my doubts about the particular sample of the lens they used in their tests, but I suppose that is a question that might never get answered.

Edit: I guess the other Dan (audiobomber) beat me to my point
Actually, F/5.6 is the sweet spot for the center resolution at 85mm and 135mm as tested by PZ. 2430 is a pretty good score for a superzoom (about the same as the kit lens or the DA*300), when you consider that the DA70, one of the sharpest DA limiteds, scores around 2700 at F5.6.

07-12-2011, 07:54 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
You can keep pretending, but if you drown the camera then any weather sealing on the camera and/or lens will be worth pretty much zilch, nada, nothing.

The seals are designed to keep moisture out, not to withstand water pressure. The WR lens will allow you to shoot while its raining and will easily withstand splashes from fellow kayakers but you can forget about it helping anything should you flip over.

P.S.: I'm with Marc on your tone / attitude. Anyone helping out here (whether forum tired or not) does it solely for the possibility of helping someone. The only thing one may get in return is some gratitude or at least the feeling that one could make a difference for the better. You come across a bit like knowing everything better and having an entitlement to receiving recommendations. I believe you would get more support with a friendlier tone. I'm surprised that Marc, so far, has been the only one having written something to this effect. Others may have left / not joined silently. This is just meant as a hint for receiving more/better responses, not to lecture you. I hope you receive it in that spirit.
Class A, I'm sorry if I've come across as not being greatful for all the help that's been provided in here. I have been extremely grateful, and I've been implementing a lot/most of the suggestions so far - looking through exif data, installing other raw software to look at images, looking for my pentax raw suite, and I'll start doing more thorough tests of the lens when I can get out on the water... There's been consistent afternoon thunderstorms lately, which is the time that I can go out. And I've been researching a lot of the stuff that's been talking about. I looked back the last 3 pages or so of this thread, and I've said thank you 5-6 times in different posts, I did actually mean those, and didn't mean for them to come across as un-genuine.

General update about uploading exif data from the picasa photos, picasa strips the exif if I convert to jpg... And I've gone through all the settings and can't figure out how to make sure it uploads on raw. So I'm either going to have to start manually adding the exif to the comments, try manually uploading the pics one by one, not through picasa, or figure out another software to use instead. So that's fallen by the wayside a bit.


NOt that I've tried it - but I know there's a lot of youtube videos of submersing the various pentax bodies. And I hope never to actually try it or test it empirically. Any clue how long of an immersion it would take to overwhelm it? Since I usually attach it fairly high on my pfd, it's unlikely to go more than a maybe 2 feet under water, and will be one of the first things to come back up because of the floatation. Not that I've ever timed how long it takes to get out of a kayak, but I'd say we're talking less than 30 seconds if I either wet exit or roll up.

I'm actually not worried about splashes from other kayakers - another one would only be that close to me if I rafted up for stability, then neither of us would be actually paddling. So waves worry me, which is why I attach the camera as high as possible on my shoulder (I'm short, so it's really not all that high) and if waves are coming up to my shoulder, I probably wouldn't have the camera out.

And the other big worry is submersion - so if I can't even pretend that the WR lens will help at all with that, then I don't really need the 18-135.

I should maybe take apart my dead k20d and look at the water sealing and see if it can be improved. The seals on almost all waterproof electronics end up gunking up with salt, sand, and just shrink/whatever with age - I regularly grease all the openings of my waterproof electronics with inert vacuum grease and my camera, gps, radio, etc have lasted a lot longer than most of the electronics of the friends I have that also kayak. But it may be worth trying to pick up an old k10d or something, and greasing the heck out of it/improving the water seals as much as possible and hoping that that helps if there's ever a submersion.
07-12-2011, 08:22 AM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by Immunogirl Quote
NOt that I've tried it - but I know there's a lot of youtube videos of submersing the various pentax bodies.
I suspect those are the Optios, though, not DSLR's. I'm kind of surprised none of us thought to bring this up earlier - or that if someone did, that it got lost in the shuffle. But the more I think about it, the more I think a DSLR and lens has no business being used in a kayak. I'd be surprised if it survived even a brief complete submersion, WR or no WR. The fact that you specifically mentioned having killed a K20D this way - I ashamed to have not thought to say something about the likelihood of the 18-135's sealing actually reducing risk significantly.

QuoteQuote:
I should maybe take apart my dead k20d and look at the water sealing and see if it can be improved.
They do make underwater housings for DSLR's. I'd consider looking into one of those.
07-12-2011, 08:51 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by Immunogirl Quote
General update about uploading exif data from the picasa photos, picasa strips the exif if I convert to jpg... And I've gone through all the settings and can't figure out how to make sure it uploads on raw. So I'm either going to have to start manually adding the exif to the comments, try manually uploading the pics one by one, not through picasa, or figure out another software to use instead. So that's fallen by the wayside a bit.
As far as I know, you can't store a raw file on Picasa. Just to be clear, a raw file is not viewable, it's just a collection of 0's and 1's, so you need a data storage site. When a raw file is displayed, what you're looking at is the software's interpretation of the data. Viewing with different softwares shows the raw data differently and will convert differently to jpeg using its own algorithms. Once committed to jpeg, all viewers will show the same photo (when displayed on the same computer).

Can you see exif data in this album when you click on the Full Details link? I can, but i don't know if it's because I'm the owner. https://picasaweb.google.com/bonhommed/DA18135Jpegs#
07-12-2011, 10:00 AM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
As far as I know, you can't store a raw file on Picasa. Just to be clear, a raw file is not viewable, it's just a collection of 0's and 1's, so you need a data storage site. When a raw file is displayed, what you're looking at is the software's interpretation of the data. Viewing with different softwares shows the raw data differently and will convert differently to jpeg using its own algorithms. Once committed to jpeg, all viewers will show the same photo (when displayed on the same computer).

Can you see exif data in this album when you click on the Full Details link? I can, but i don't know if it's because I'm the owner. https://picasaweb.google.com/bonhommed/DA18135Jpegs#
I can see the exif data. Nice shots, btw.

Picasa generally does a jpeg conversion when you want to upload a raw photo to picasaweb... It used to be that when I did that, the exif data was viewable on the displayed jpeg (those cave shots I posted were raws prior to uploading, and their exif data is posted. ). It looks like photos I posted to picasaweb in December 2010 from raws I took on a k20d had their exif data attached, yet photos posted in January 2011 through picasaweb of photos from raws from a k7, had their exif data stripped. I don't know if that was a change in version of picasa that caused that change or what.
07-12-2011, 10:16 AM   #88
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maybe a difference between dng and pef raw formats?
07-12-2011, 10:47 AM   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I suspect those are the Optios, though, not DSLR's. I'm kind of surprised none of us thought to bring this up earlier - or that if someone did, that it got lost in the shuffle. But the more I think about it, the more I think a DSLR and lens has no business being used in a kayak. I'd be surprised if it survived even a brief complete submersion, WR or no WR. The fact that you specifically mentioned having killed a K20D this way - I ashamed to have not thought to say something about the likelihood of the 18-135's sealing actually reducing risk significantly.



They do make underwater housings for DSLR's. I'd consider looking into one of those.
There's definitely a ton of videos of people with their k20/5/7/10 underneath a shower or under a faucet or pouring a bottle of water all over them. I remember a video of someone dunking it in a bucket of water. I'll look later.

I don't expect the 18-135 to guarantee my camera'll be fine if it went for a swim, I'm just hoping that it's better than a non-wr lens and might give it better odds.

My k20d actually died on a cruise ship in the panama canal during a rain storm, which is vaguely ironic given that it'd been kayaking with me for 2 years without any issues. I sent it off to get repaired, and the repair guy said that something on the mainboard had shorted but the fuses were fine. He was surprised when I told him it was supposed to be a WR body, and said that it didn't seem to have the heavy seals/gaskets that he saw typically in nikon or canon WR bodies. But given the price of a main board replacement, it made more sense for me to buy a used k7 than to fix my k20d. And given what I use my camera for and the risk I put to it, that's why I didn't spring for a k5 and why I didn't get a k-r. I was pretty tempted by the reviews of the k-r at low light and the weight. So the k7 was at a price that I considered... reasonably palatable if it died within a year and I had to replace it again.

I've looked into the waterproof housings - the opteka case is about $1600. Different ports so you can have different size lenses in them run about $600-800. A used k-7 runs me about $600 & the WR lens is about $400. So it becomes a tradeoff when the cost of replacing the system is about half of the housing protecting the system (i'd probably want at least 1-2 more ports). I've used a underwater housing to protect the canon point & shoot, and honestly it was a pain in the neck kayaking... Canon does make really nice underwater housings for their cameras where you can use all the controls, but it does like quadruple the side of the camera, making it hard to store/protect. Then they are really designed to be used underwater optically, so you do get artifacts or flares or whatever when using them out in open air... The slightest water droplet on the outside of the housing can turn into a major flare/sunspot because of it being on something that's in front of the lens a certain distance instead of on it or the lens cap. I did make an underwater housing for my pentax dslr, that has held up to submersion & every other test I've done on it... Out of a clear drybag & some lexan for a tube in front of the lens... It's a mild pain in the neck to use, and the lexan plate to go in front of the lens adds all sorts of artifacts/issues to the photos.

I do keep the camera in a pelican case when out on the water & only take it out to shoot when i'm reasonably certain that I'm not going to flip (I really only flip when I do something stupid, and it arguably can be said that letting go of your paddle in rough water to take a picture with a dslr is something stupid)... Or when I get on land. So normally I take it out when something's breathtakingly gorgeous with challenging lighting or wildlife that I know there is no chance my optio is going to do any justice to... I think it's possibly worth the potential of losing my camera to get the shot. It kinda sucks when there's dolphins playing all around you and all you can get are these out of focus blurs out of your point & shoot.

If I return the 18-135 WR, I'll use the money to buy a new waterproof point & shoot probably... They're about the same price & a slightly better P&S would be great. The leica lenses on the waterproof pannasonics seem quite good.
07-12-2011, 11:00 AM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
Sadly, from the reviews at photozone.de, this lens lacks any semblance of sharpness at f5.6 at the long end. That's why I think you should stick to F11-F13 and keep it there for general purpose shooting in the daylight.
Oh, it was the 80-320 that was hanging out around aperature 5.6. The 18-135 was varying between F5.6, 10, & 18, shutter speeds varying between 1/200 & 1/1500 sec, I can't see any real pattern of sharper pics at higher shutter speeds.

QuoteOriginally posted by clinton:
Again, for what your describing, other than the cave shots, I really think you've picked the right lens for your task. I can't imagine swapping lenses in the middle of the water like this.
ha. I'm sure I sound very melodramatic & lazy stating that I really can't take too much time setting camera settings while out in a kayak. My kayaks are 19-21 inches wide and tend towards low primary stability with good secondary stability and tend to be low volume so that I'm low in the water & less of a target for wind, but more susceptible to waves getting me wet. So they are great ones for me to play in the surf or paddle fast - but not what you'd consider would be the best boat for photography. When I'm actually out on water that's reasonably safe for photography, I usually don't even both to take my dslr, 'cause it's kind of boring and my point & shoot can do (except for wildlife photos). So when I'm taking my dslr, it's usually like a 10 day kayak touring/camping trip where we're paddling to different uninhabited islands every day, doing a ton of mileage and wind/storms/or whatever aren't always things that I can avoid... So having a really efficient relatively fast boat that's good in conditions is pretty important to me cause it's a lot less work. But it does mean that I can't check my photos at the end of the night on a computer screen to see what they look like and learn from that and go back and retake those pics. I have the camera set up to blink on playback when highlights are overexposed or shadows are losing detail and to show me the histogram - but I usually can't tell how much noise there is on playback or how in focus things are. So that's what worries me with this lens, that I'll go off on some neat trip, come back and look at all my pics and go...wow, these are crap. And probably I'm off on a tour in August...

I usually only carry 3 lenses or so, because my pelican case was pretty small but I lucked out at a kayaking swap meet a few weeks ago and bought a gigantic shallow pelican case for $20. It thinks it's a drybox for automatic defibrillators, but it should do nicely for my camera gear when I get some foam for it. Most of the pelican cases I've seen get taller as they get wider, and the taller they are, they start affecting how the kayak handles in strong wind and make it hard to steer. So I'm pretty excited that I'll actually be able to carry more lenses with me. Other problems are that if I put the pelican case close enough to me that I can reach into it without a problem, it starts interfering with my paddle stroke, so I hit the box when I start to initiate a stroke. So I strap it to the deck at basicly the limits of my reach - close enough that I can get to it if I bend forward and stretch my arms out, and so that I don't hit it as much with my paddle. So changing lenses out on the water kinda sucks - I usually don't bother in salt water because of the chance of salt spray or something like that getting in. But I can get another kayak to raft up with me and help. Just it's not easy to dry my hands or anything like that. I keep a few dessicant packs in the pelican case and a few non-static cloths and do my best. On fresh water, I'm more likely to risk switching lenses. The only thing I've dropped in so far is my 21 mm limited lens cap, those metal lens caps are pretty expensive to replace. Then after several days out, you start dealing with all the condensation or whatever issues of being in that much humidity for several days.

The pelican case is usually on sliding knots, so if I know I'm going to want to take more pics, I can slide it forward towards me at the expense of hitting it more with my paddle (hitting carbon fiber paddles makes me cringe).

My only other friend that does take a dslr out on the water with him, doesn't actually bother with a drybag or drybox of any sort and just gets big wide high volume stable boats and keeps his camera in the cockpit with him and prays that he never flips over. He also stays out of conditions and spends more time sitting in marshes waiting 2 hours for a bald eagle to fly out of its nest.

QuoteOriginally posted by clinton:
I hope turning off the highlight compensation helps.
I'm actually pretty pissed at myself that it was on.

But anyways, it's no longer on!

QuoteOriginally posted by clinton:
Now for your cave shots, which are really cool by the way, I'd say you should look at either a K-5, or one of the DA* lenses, or both. I expect for those caves, the DA* 16-50 F2.8 would do nicely, as you'll be able to improve your shutter speed at the long end. That said, photozone.de says that the 18-135 lens has good sharpness at the wide end at around f5.6.

You might also think about the DA* 55mm F1.4 which would let in a lot of light at f1.4, but your depth of field will be much more shallow, and you'll have to zoom with your paddles.
Yeah, I'd really like a faster zoom da*, a k-5, and... erm everything else in the world I would cry if I killed a k-5 with water damage, I think though. That's an expensive replacement.

QuoteOriginally posted by clinton:
What it boils down to is that the 18-135 lens produces OK if not amazing results, but you have to know it's limitations and play to them rather than relying on the camera to do it for you.
Yeah and it just boils down to, if I have to fiddle with the lens a lot, it's not going to be suitable for what I want it to do. And I think that's what we're going back and forth in this thread, I'm sure it's a great lens if a lot of care is taken with its exposure, all lenses improve with that and I even know how to do some of those, however for the purpose I want to use it for, I want it and the camera to just take a nice picture with minimal interference from me, so my criteria for bad lens is probably not at all what you guys are used to. Mode shifts, okay, that's easy. Adjusting for every exposure/lighting change... that becomes too much for me to bother with in a kayak. Shotgunning bracketed shots and hoping one out of 5 is good & right, okay, I can do that, but I'd need more SD cards, be changing SD cards out on the water more...

But I'll play with the lens a lot more thoroughly before deciding.
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