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11-09-2015, 08:26 AM   #1
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What's in Your Tool Box?

I look at my cameras as tools and often refer to the tool box concept where I have different cameras for different purposes. This is similar to the tools, predominately Craftsman tools from Sears, that I use for working around the house or on one of my vehicles. When Sears comes out with a new screwdriver I do not rush out and purchase one. No, in fact I still have and use on a weekly basis some of the screwdrivers that came with the first Sears tool kit that I purchased some 52 years ago. These are well worn tools that lost their sheen decades ago, have nicks, burns from contact with electrical circuitry and exhibit other battle scars but continue to be useful. I feel the same about my cameras. No matter how much time people want to spend pontificating over the future of the Q series or Pentax company itself, personally I donít feel threatened or worried by what happens to either.

After experimenting with first a Q then a Q10 then the Q7ís then acquiring another Q to compare the results I was getting from the Q7ís just to verify my findings, I realized that while the Q and Q10 were OK and somewhat innovative cameras that captured my interest and succeeded in having me take a look at the series, they fell just a bit short of the image quality I needed out of such cameras. Maybe it was the camera, and maybe it was me, hence the reason I acquired the second Q just to compare to the Q7. After verifying my findings again, that second Q was resold and the two Q7ís (which grew to three of them for a while) continue to provide that image quality I need. As such, they became an integral part of my photographic tool box and though I have tested them against other cameras such as 4/3 formats they serve a purpose that my other cameras in other formats cannot provide. Like those first Craftsman screw drivers, one of which I used to do a repair on my motorcycle this past Saturday, I will continue using them until they stop working or I do.

By the way, I own all the cameras I talk about on this or other forums. I am not basing my statements on something I read in a blog or a review or a friend told me. I have personal experience so when I say that the Q7 can do things the 4/3 cannot or that the 4/3 has better image quality I am speaking from personal hands on experience.

Here is a downgraded for posting image I shot and used when explaining my tool box concept on another forum. It shows just a small selection of the cameras in my photographic tool box. (Check out the blog page on my CWRailman WEB site to see how I procured this tool box for less than $8) If you download this image and read the camera Details you will note that this image was shot with a Pentax K-110. Though there are much newer versions of that series here on the premises, that camera continues to churn out many of the images I use for my WEB site as well as product shots I take for local companies. Why continue using it? Well some of the graphic artists responsible for selecting the images from my shoots for publication in their product sheets or brochures prefer the colors and contrast and look of the images out of that camera. Why argue with them. They pay the bills so they get to pick the shots.



11-09-2015, 03:52 PM   #2
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Great shot. I like the use of storage space. The OM-D is a great camera I am told. Olympus seems to be a company shrouded in mystery. I recall the company came under some harsh scrutiny in regards to cooking the books. I remember hearing or reading somewhere that Olympus had filed or was planning on filing bankruptcy. I certainly hope they rebound, would be a shame for all those employees to end up out on the street. Thanks for a fine photo.

Rgds,

Tonytee
11-09-2015, 06:45 PM   #3
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Fine looking tool box you have there, both the tools and the box. I would be very interested in how you choose which tools goes with which use. My tool box is a bit more modest. Probably regrettably, I'm stuck in the "I-only-want-one-tool-and-it-must-be-the-perfect-tool" mode.
11-09-2015, 10:46 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlennG Quote
Fine looking tool box you have there, both the tools and the box. I would be very interested in how you choose which tools goes with which use. My tool box is a bit more modest. Probably regrettably, I'm stuck in the "I-only-want-one-tool-and-it-must-be-the-perfect-tool" mode.
Which camera is used for what? Each camera has itís strength and each has itís weaknesses. Like picking the right screwdriver, not too wide or too narrow for the screw is very important, so is selecting the proper camera for the photo shoot.

Though I retired from two different careers in Engineering I accidently backed myself into a part time photography career that has provided me with the funds to experiment with different cameras. I do personal shots for several local companies. Those shots are used for the employee business cards as well as any news letters or brochures that the company sends out. Some of those shots appeared in Forbes magazine last year. For such shots I use the K-5 and K-5IIs cameras plus various lenses. In addition those cameras along with my K-110 are used for the product shots I do for several local companies. Except for an old Nikon Coolpix L11 pocket camera, these were my only digital cameras until I started experimenting with the 4/3 and Q7 cameras.

I do about 20,000 miles of traveling by motorcycle every year with my lady. When traveling two up on a motorcycle under various climate conditions for days at a time, space is at a premium. The 4/3 cameras and lenses take up less space then the DSLRís, they are lighter which I especially appreciate when doing any walking about yet they produce images with quality very near what I get with the DSLRís. I use the Olympus during the day for my tourist type shots and then slip my GM-5 into my jacket pocket when we go out at night. I have also recently experimented with doing a few employee shoots with the Olympus 4/3 and have used it to shoot several corporate parties. I really like the retro look and feel of these cameras as it suits my old school SLR inspired shooting style much better than the heavier and more bulky DSLRís. This is the camera I really wished Pentax would have produced.

I use the Q7ís when photographing model railroads. The Q7 has a better depth of field than either the 4/3 or DSLRís and that is important when engaged in photographing these types of models. Examples of these shots, and how they are taken can be seen either on the Photographing Models page of my CWRailman WEB site, in several of my blogs on the same WEB site or on the gallery I put together for the Scottsdale Model Railroad Historical Society. This was also my go everywhere camera until I procured my Panasonic GM-5.

11-10-2015, 07:44 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWRailman Quote
Which camera is used for what? Each camera has it’s strength and each has it’s weaknesses. Like picking the right screwdriver, not too wide or too narrow for the screw is very important, so is selecting the proper camera for the photo shoot.

Thanks. Just the kind of information I was curious about. Sounds like you are living the dream!
11-10-2015, 09:44 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlennG Quote
Thanks. Just the kind of information I was curious about. Sounds like you are living the dream!
Thanks Glenn. I should point out that less than half my cameras are purchased new. I usually get them as previously owned low shutter count cameras. My K-110, K-5 and K-5IIs were all purchased in this way from B&H over the years. Only one of the Q7's were purchased new as was my GM-5 and one of my Olympus cameras. A second Olympus camera my E-M10 was purchased off Ebay from a camera store in California. It had been a demo unit and when it arrived here it had 37 trips of the shutter. I got it for $399 when the going price for a brand new copy was $599. The rest of the cameras and all of the lenses were previously owned. Buying previously owned, lightly used, equipment can save a bundle.
11-10-2015, 12:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWRailman Quote
Buying previously owned, lightly used, equipment can save a bundle.

I believe that also. Only my DA 18-55 and DA 55-300 were bought new. My 2 bodies and relatively few other lenses were bought used, and they all have performed well. Thanks again.
11-10-2015, 01:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWRailman Quote
Thanks Glenn. I should point out that less than half my cameras are purchased new. I usually get them as previously owned low shutter count cameras. My K-110, K-5 and K-5IIs were all purchased in this way from B&H over the years. Only one of the Q7's were purchased new as was my GM-5 and one of my Olympus cameras. A second Olympus camera my E-M10 was purchased off Ebay from a camera store in California. It had been a demo unit and when it arrived here it had 37 trips of the shutter. I got it for $399 when the going price for a brand new copy was $599. The rest of the cameras and all of the lenses were previously owned. Buying previously owned, lightly used, equipment can save a bundle.
How are you liking the GM5?

11-10-2015, 04:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by someone902 Quote
How are you liking the GM5?
I love it. That being said it does seem a bit slippery but not as much as the original Q. The Q7 does have a better gripping surface. The IQ is very good and it has a lot of great features but the main reason I got it was because it uses all the lenses I procured for my other 4/3 cameras. When on the road I do not have to carry two different native lens mounts. That saves space. I can use the larger higher quality Olympus camera during the day and at night when we go out on the town I put a short lens such as the Panny 12-32mm or 20mm on the GM-5 and while it's not quite as small as the Q7 with the 01 lens, it easily fits into my jacket pocket which disguises the fact that I am carrying a camera. It's a BIG improvement in every aspect over the GM-1 which I did not like at all. I found using the Q7 much more user friendly than the GM-1 that I tried.
11-10-2015, 09:17 PM   #10
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The more tools, the more jobs that can be done !


Most important tool for me is the Samsung S4 zoom hybrid phone camera, point and shoot sensor 24-240mm....its with me at all times apart from surfing or showering.


The next in priority is the K50, I can use it in all weather( but only use it then)


Q7 & Q10 do a fair bit for me...Street 1,2,3 and 6(all in the cargo pants)...Telephoto(with adapted lenses) ...THE Q comes out at a concert due to the stereo mikes


Sony QX10(when I want to not be noticed with a camera)


Samsung NX 500 for 4k video


I should sell the other also rans as they are not used much now
11-11-2015, 09:11 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
The more tools, the more jobs that can be done !


Most important tool for me is the Samsung S4 zoom hybrid phone camera, point and shoot sensor 24-240mm....its with me at all times apart from surfing or showering.


The next in priority is the K50, I can use it in all weather( but only use it then)


Q7 & Q10 do a fair bit for me...Street 1,2,3 and 6(all in the cargo pants)...Telephoto(with adapted lenses) ...THE Q comes out at a concert due to the stereo mikes


Sony QX10(when I want to not be noticed with a camera)


Samsung NX 500 for 4k video


I should sell the other also rans as they are not used much now
An interesting collection of tools several of which I was not familiar with so I checked them out. It appears you have selected and appropriately applied them to the photographic projects you have to do.
11-12-2015, 08:44 PM   #12
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Those Panasonic micro4/3s cameras are getting interesting! The one you have CW , would be fun. Next year they release a 100/400 lens and the GX8 is nice, but I'll wait till the price comes down a bit.Keep Qruising!
11-13-2015, 01:01 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
Those Panasonic micro4/3s cameras are getting interesting! The one you have CW , would be fun. Next year they release a 100/400 lens and the GX8 is nice, but I'll wait till the price comes down a bit.Keep Qruising!

I have yet to see an in depth review of the GX8 and have not yet seen one of them at any camera store. If it's as good as the GX7 it should be a really nice but somewhat large camera. At 5.3Ē, the GX8 is somewhat lighter but actually a bit larger than a K-5 or K-5II body. In the past the Panasonic cameras have been more geared toward video which is Panasonic's specialty but their latest cameras have done quite well in the still mode also. The GX8 does have image stabilization which is something that was not available in all Panasonic bodies as they rely on the stabilization in the lenses which for some reason, is a feature preferred by people shooting video.


11-13-2015, 04:24 PM   #14
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In my "tool box" a Pentax ME Super that I bought new in 1982 with the F1.7 50 mm lens (works great on my Q) and a Tamron 80-210 zoom and 500 mm mirror, both of which I still use. A Pentax Kr bought new with the kit lens in 2011, a secondhand K5, and 50-300 zoom in "as new" condition I picked up a few months ago, a Q which I bought last year as as NOS unit with the excellent standard prime, at bargain basement price, I later rounded this out with the standard and long Q zooms and the PK convertor.
To round all this off I have a Tamron 10-25 zoom (for landscapes) and a Tamron 17-50 zoom that I use as a walkaround on the K5. We do quite a bit of cruising and I enjoy using the Q for shows, shore trips, and hiking due to it's unobtrusive size and light weight. The K5 when image quality comes before portability, and the Kr is now my spare. With the PK convertor I can mix 'n match all these lenses amongst all my cameras and pretty much come up with anything any time. I have a Cactus manual flash with the same principal.
11-17-2015, 10:29 AM   #15
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My K-30 is for what I refer to as "session" work. That means whenever I am expecting to take shots that demand good results without question or hassle. Or if I am going somewhere and know that I need the specs to take advantage of the situation.

The Q7 is my "lomo lifestyle" equivalent. Street photography, or just every day use. It's small and so I can carry it around with me pretty much everywhere, anytime. Which is a large portion of the lomo ideology. I also make use of the preselect knob in the front for insta-filters so I get some vibrant and vintage and even weird results. Again, very in keeping with the lomo philosophy of photography. No, it's not film like strict lomo practices, but it gets the job done in the same way, if not a bit better. I find myself doing a lot more experimenting with this camera, both with photographic composition and recently with lenses. I have a K-to-Q and a C-to-Q adapter and it's been proving both fun and interesting to try various MC lenses on this thing.

The ME is for me a stop gap. I understand that surface area means a great deal. I don't see myself being able to afford the FF DSLR anytime soon after it's release. I will probably get one in a few years' time. So in the meantime, I decided that a simple, reliable film body would allow me some the advantages of a FF surface area. I found a couple places that will scan my negatives in and provide me a CD or flash drive with the files. So effectively it gives me full-frame optics with a digital result in the end. The other nice thing is the film body forces me to think differently about composition, and about aperture and shutter. I have been making logs of each frame I shot, with consideration to notes on subject, f stop, and shutter speeds, so that post-development I can compare and improve my craft. This has been a big boon to me when using the DSLR as I have become less dependent on the instant playback and more focused (har har) on the configuration and composition initially.

I am thinking of picking up another K-50 to go alongside of the K-30... but that's mostly as a backup. To me, the two models are equivalent because I never go above ISO 800.

Now, among the three bodies I own, I have a variety of lenses, modern and legacy. While I love my DAL 35mm f2.4 for its snappy AF and excellent IQ, I am still very partial to my Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 because of the IQ characteristics. In zooms I use my DA 50-200mm most of the time due to its compact size and relatively acceptable IQ, but I really want a 55-300mm HD WR which I hope to purchase in 2016.

I'm on a relatively tight budget as a student, but I have about a dozen lenses including some oddballs like a Holga toy K mount and a CCTV C mount (for the Q7)... The K mount system is such that you can have a capable suite of older lenses on a small budget and produce very striking results that could be used in a variety of professional applications. This is ultimately why I shoot exclusively with Pentax.

All of this isn't in a "toolbox", but instead in an antique wood cabinet with a glass door.
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