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12-16-2012, 02:59 PM   #1
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New member from Panama

I am a retired American living in the highlands of Panama (Volcan, Chiriqui) near the border with Costa Rica. I was interested in photography when I was in high school at which time I bought a Contaflex 1. A number of years later I bought a Nikon SLR but after that I got involved in other activities and only occasionally took a few pictures. About a year ago I bought a Nikon D7000 and more recently a Pentax K5. I bought the Pentax because I felt it gave me more options with older manual focus lenses. So now I only use the Nikon with the DX 16-85mm lens although I have two other lenses for it. I know that many Nikon users eventually go to full frame but I feel that the DX format more than meets my needs so I bought the K5. I have about a dozen manual focus lenses that I use with the K5 including several adaptall lenses. I buy most of my stuff from eBay which costs me a little extra because I use a private mail-forwarding service which forwards items from Miami to here. One thing I like about Pentax is the built-in image stabilization and the other is the availability of the older manual focus lenses with the A setting. Neither of these features are available with Nikon. One of my favorite older lenses is the Vivitar 70-210 zoom by Komine. It has the A setting and focuses quite close for taking pictures of flowers and insects although it of course won't go to 1:1. It is pretty fast for it's size (f2.8-4) and is pretty sharp. Compared to comparable adaptall lenses you don't have to wiggle the PKA mount to get it to register which I find annoying. My most recent lens is a Vivitar 100-300mm TX with a constant f5. I have a PK mount for it but I don't think a PKA mount is available. I was lucky with it as I only paid $45 for it and it looks as though it has never been used. The mount cost me another $20. It also has a close-focusing feature. Anyhow I have been living in Panama for 13 years now and since I am retired I am trying to find more time for photography. However I have been involved with building some cabins for rent and also I married a young Panamanian women. Now I have a 7 year daughter with her who demands a lot of attention. Of course seven year olds make good subjects for photography. One newer lens I would like to get is the Pentax 55-300mm. I think it would make a good walk around lens for here as sometimes I want to take pictures of the Indian women with their little kids and it is not polite to get close. On eBay they seem to go for only about $50 cheaper than a new one. I could use the Vivitar but it goes no wider than 100mm and would take longer to compose the shot. I have this thing for older lenses and have bought too many of them. One thing I wanted to add is that stopping down with a manual lens is not as bad as I first thought. You just press the green button to meter after you select the aperture you wish. I prefer using the aperture ring rather than the dial on the K5. Often in program mode with a lens that has the A setting the camera wants to select an f-stop that you don't like. So you have to use aperture priority and then use the dial on the camera to select the f-stop. Older guys like me will automatically grab the lens to set the aperture which of course doesn't work unless you go to manual mode. The only disadvantage to manual mode is that the camera won't record the f-stop that you used for that particular shot and it is nice to have the f-stop recorded.

12-16-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Hong Kong
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Greetings Bruce,

I moved to Panama (Panama City) back in January. I also recently upgraded from a K200D to a K5 (don't actually have it yet--it's sitting under a Christmas tree!).

Nice to have someone else from Panama on here. I haven't strayed too far from P.C. yet so I look forward to seeing any pictures you post of the Chiriqui area. My wife and son are going there for a few days in a couple of months and I'm looking forward to hearing about it...
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