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05-30-2013, 02:33 PM   #1
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I think I've found a new home

Hi folks, just wanted to say hello and introduce myself. I have been lurking for a few days but figured it was time I took part in this great community.

My first SLR was a Pentax Spotmatic that I bought used in the latter part of 1979 after being totally disappointed with the shots I took on my honeymoon (with my first wife) with a Kodak Pocket Instamatic. I gradually acquired more gear (the old 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome' problem ) and then came the first big decision of whether to upgrade the camera or not. During a visit to my local camera store (no internet in those days) I was offered a good trade-in deal for the Spotmatic on either a used Spotmatic II or one of the then brand new Ricoh SLR models. I hummed and hawed for quite a while in the store trying to decide whether I should stick with Pentax or go with the brand new camera (which would have course meant having to buy all new lenses, extension tubes etc.) I finally went with the Spotmatic II and still have it to this day along with all my M42 goodies!

After I emigrated to Canada I started working for a company where I was required to take photos of the equipment we manufactured from time to time. My department had one of the first Apple digital cameras (digital cameras were a brand new invention in the early 1990's) but I found myself using the Spotmatic II more. I decided I needed to upgrade and bought a 'slightly used' Pentax K1000 (the salesman assured me it had only had three rolls of film through it and I could tell it really was 'like new') and I still have that in my bag too.

Fast forward a few years and I had to buy my first digital camera when I went freelance and needed a digital for my business at the time. Unfortunately I couldn't find an affordable Pentax (I'm not sure if there even was a Pentax digital in 2001/2) so I had to jump ship and bought an Olympus C-2040. I had bought an Olympus Trip 35mm compact film camera before I emigrated (as a point-and-shoot to fit in my pocket) and had been impressed with it's quality so I was hoping that the digital would be just as good. In fact it was so good that it has been my main camera to this day.

I've recently had an itch for a new camera again and much internet research led me to a choice between the Canon T3i/EOS 600D and the Nikon D5100. I was almost ready to pull the trigger on the D5100 when I discovered the Pentax K-30 ! Every review site I went to rated the K-30 higher than the other two in everything except video and quite honestly I buy a stills camera to take stills not shoot video (I used to teach video making at a College in the UK and IMHO a dedicated video camera will beat video from a stills camera every time). An added bonus is that as I already have a K - M42 adapter I should be able to use all my M42 goodies again!

BTW my chosen 'handle' is Japanese and it means 'kite crazy' (I often get asked on forums what it means). A few years back my 'current wife' (I call her that to keep her on her toes ) and I earned an international reputation for the large kites (some in excess of 100 sq. ft.) we used to design and build. Unfortunately I was struck down by a life-altering illness 10+ years ago and that meant that I had to give up my kite flying as I didn't have the energy to spend full days out in the field. I have slowly become a recluse and rarely leave the house anymore but I am hoping that a new camera may be the incentive I need to get back outside and take a little gentle exercise as I potter around looking for subjects to snap. I desperately need to do something before I totally waste away to nothing and sunlight and (gentle) exercise would both be beneficial to me.

All I need to do now is make a decision on the K-30!

Larry

05-30-2013, 02:48 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Larry, from another Larry.
I was into the kite scene myself on the sport kite side flying for a couple of Spectra Sport teams in the 90's.
I may have run into some of your creations at the festivals we attended, although most of my time was spent in US and a bit in Australia and Japan.
Got any photos of your creations?

As for cameras, all of the Pentax DSLR's will take your K-mount lenses natively , and with the adapter the M42's will go on there as well.
The K-30 is a fine camera. Only reason I don't have one is I am running K-5's and have decided to wait for the next release from Pentax to upgrade.
Hope you decide to go with Pentax and we see you around here more.
05-30-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
I need to get back outside and take a little gentle exercise
Welcome to the forum, I hope the K-30 gives you the incentive to get you back into capturing images again.
05-30-2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for the welcome 'crewl1' and 'kerrowdown'.

QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I was into the kite scene myself on the sport kite side flying for a couple of Spectra Sport teams in the 90's.
What a small world! A few years back I saw a post on one of the kite forums where the poster was offering a number of old sails (no spars provided) to anyone who wanted them FOC. They were actually custom sails that were created specifically for one of the Spectra Sport teams! The guy wanted to get rid of them as they had been sitting around in his garage for years and he felt they deserved to be flown rather than stuffed into a box. I was in like a shot and managed to snag a pair of the sails so that a buddy and I could fly 'pairs' with them. Here's a shot taken on the day they arrived and just after I'd unpacked them.



I built and flew all types of kites from single liners (tiny fighters to giant foils), dual and quad line sport kites, power kites and anything else kite related like para-bears and line laundry.

QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Got any photos of your creations?
That's a bit like asking if the Pope's a Catholic! (i.e. it goes without question. )

I have literally hundreds of shots of kites on this HD but I won't bore you with all of them. Here's a selection of some of the ones we created and which earned us our international reputation.

When we started building I couldn't afford (nor did I have) the 'proper' fabric for 'modern' kites so we used whatever we had to hand. My first 'Rok' was built out of a plastic shower curtain and wooden dowels! Friends in the local kite club took pity on us and one of them turned up one day with plastic bags full of scrap material left over from his building projects. Those bags provided us with enough material to complete several projects. One of the first was this 'NPW' power kite, the jigsaw pattern design allowed us to use a lot of the small pieces to make a larger sail area.



Internet friends also helped out and I got one 'care package' of fabric from a guy in Ohio and another from a guy in Arizona. Kiters (as you probably well know) are a tight-knit community and go out of their way to help one another out in times of need. With the additional fabric I was able to make more kites and these next two were built from the 'care package' material.

9ft Cody War Kite



9ft Double Delta-Coyne




As time progressed I started to get very interested in power kites and was one of the original three developers of the 'NPW 9b', a modification of the 'NASA Para Wing' steerable parachute for the Gemini Project so that it could be used as a spar-less, single skin kite. Once most of the bugs had been ironed out in the 'flying test bed' I built a 'NPW 9b' based on a graphic idea by one of the other original developers.

NPW 9b 'Vulture'



After completing the 'NPW 9b' I started to wonder if the same fabric 'parts' could be used in other styles of kite and as I had templates made from pieces of scrap Formica it was easy to cut out the 'head' parts time and time again and get them the same size every time. The first new style of 'Vulture' was a 9ft wingspan dual line sport kite followed by the 14.5ft wingspan 'Genki' based design.

9ft Vulture Sport Kite




14.5ft Vulture Genki




The 'Vultures' were what got us noticed on the international kite scene and were admired wherever we flew them.

Later kites included an 8ft hexagon kite we called the 'Kaleidakite' (for obvious reasons). I did this as a step-by-step tutorial on one of the kite forums and the kite has over 300 individual pieces of fabric in it.

'Kaleidakite'



Here it is on it's maiden flight on a gust, damp and overcast day.



Finally (at last I hear you say!) here's a couple we built but have yet to fly.





Larry

05-30-2013, 05:27 PM   #5
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Welcome! Hope to see you around a bunch.

Not much to decide. It's a MUCH better camera than either of those two, for a modestly higher price. I have a few M42 lenses, and I have a real blast using them on my K-30. It's almost like they were made for each other. Just pull the trigger, and get the K-30. I highly recommend the kit with 18-135. Just a joyful combination. I had the 18-55, but the 18-135 really is just so much better. Mine is almost as good as my limited primes (at least in good light).

If you have physical limitations, another good addition is a Black Rapids strap. I have the sport model, and it is just so much easier to carry around than the traditional neck strap. I have some back/neck pain issues, and the BR strap is perfect for me. (Some like the CarrySpeed strap as well, but my research would suggest the BR is a somewhat better made product).

One thing I will add, the Canon and Nikon cameras in this price range have terrible, confusing menus and stupid controls. The K-30 is just more fun to shoot with. I started with a K-X and spent about 4 months really researching before I decided for sure to stay with Pentax. I tried out different cameras, and really Pentax is just nicer all around at this price point. Yes, the higher end Nikon stuff is also nice (but more expensive and no WR), but no joy with M42 there. The Canon takes M42 (but no focus confirmation without an expensive adapter), but the control system always feels like wrestling with the camera just to get anything simple to happen.

The outlay isn't that massive, and the price that you can sell it used is reasonable, so if you buy it and can't use it, just sell it, and you're only out a few dollars.
05-30-2013, 05:34 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum Larry.
As the owner of a K-30 then I know the K-30 is hardly to let any body down with all the nice things packed into its beautiful compact body.
05-30-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
. Unfortunately I was struck down by a life-altering illness 10+ years ago and that meant that I had to give up my kite flying as I didn't have the energy to spend full days out in the field. I have slowly become a recluse and rarely leave the house anymore but I am hoping that a new camera may be the incentive I need to get back outside and take a little gentle exercise as I potter around looking for subjects to snap. I desperately need to do something before I totally waste away to nothing and sunlight and (gentle) exercise would both be beneficial to me.
Welcome Larry,

I use my camera's to get me out and about too. I have been unable to work due to multiple chronic illnesses for quite sometime now and I love how photography at the most basic level gets me up and out of bed. Rarely a day goes by when I don't shoot something and post. Photography has done much more for me than I could have ever imagined and I hope it does the same for you.

Stevi aka bigted
05-30-2013, 08:54 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
Thanks for the welcome 'crewl1' and 'kerrowdown'.



What a small world! A few years back I saw a post on one of the kite forums where the poster was offering a number of old sails (no spars provided) to anyone who wanted them FOC. They were actually custom sails that were created specifically for one of the Spectra Sport teams! The guy wanted to get rid of them as they had been sitting around in his garage for years and he felt they deserved to be flown rather than stuffed into a box. I was in like a shot and managed to snag a pair of the sails so that a buddy and I could fly 'pairs' with them. Here's a shot taken on the day they arrived and just after I'd unpacked them.




Larry
Small world indeed! Those Spectra sails came from my garage. Glad to see they went to a good home.

Your kite designs are awesome, thanks for showing us those. I always marvel at the skill that goes into making those big flyers.

Whatever you decide to use I think you will enjoy focusing your creativity on photography.

Cheers!

05-30-2013, 09:24 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigted Quote
I use my camera's to get me out and about too. I have been unable to work due to multiple chronic illnesses for quite sometime now and I love how photography at the most basic level gets me up and out of bed. Rarely a day goes by when I don't shoot something and post. Photography has done much more for me than I could have ever imagined and I hope it does the same for you.
Thanks Stevi, I was 'nailed' by ME/CFS over 10 years ago and it certainly changed my life (and not for the good either!)

In addition I was also diagnosed with early-onset osteoarthritis in my hands and osteoporosis in my hips a couple of years ago (the latter partly due to years of being lactose intolerant and not getting enough dairy products).

The bottom line is that thanks to ME/CFS I constantly feel exhausted even if I do nothing but sit at the computer all day and if I walk or stand too much the osteoporosis lets me know about it!

However, I really need to get some exercise to stop me vegetating completely and gently pottering around with a camera may just be the way to go.
05-30-2013, 09:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Small world indeed! Those Spectra sails came from my garage. Glad to see they went to a good home.
WOW!!!!!!!!!

It's rather spooky that we should run into each other again after all these years and on a totally different forum (although now I think back it may even have been a post on a kite related newsgroup that initially hooked us up).

I would like to thank you (again) for your original generosity and you can be assured that I thoroughly enjoyed flying mine and still have it in my kite bag even though it's not seen daylight in a couple of years now.

Larry
05-31-2013, 03:39 AM   #11
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Bonjour from France and welcome to PF ... thanks for your images and good luck ... J
05-31-2013, 04:59 AM   #12
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Nice story, welcome aboard!

QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
(the old 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome' problem
We also refer to this as LBA (lens buying addiction), CLA (camera buying addiction, more rare) and even BBA (bag buying addiction)

QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
a dedicated video camera will beat video from a stills camera every time
Mostly true. But with a high-quality sensor like what you find in a DSLR, and high-quality lenses, you can produce some stunning videos nowadays.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tako Kichi Quote
All I need to do now is make a decision on the K-30!
You'll love it.
05-31-2013, 07:15 AM   #13
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Welcome to PF Larry...

Mike
06-03-2013, 06:22 AM   #14
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If you have a decent garden with native flowers you'll have a reason to go outside - the bees, hummingbirds and butterflies will find it. A shady spot and nice telephoto or zoom will give you plenty time to take pictures. Sitting fairly still is a great way for the birds to get used to you. 100mm macro will let you get great insect pictures. That's the great thing about this hobby, it's not just a single activity - it's whatever you want to do. Staying active with a kite club and taking pictures sounds like a good plan, too.

BTW, can you point me to a good kite string setup? I have a couple of nice kites, but only a very cheap winch or whatever you call it.
06-03-2013, 09:04 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
If you have a decent garden with native flowers you'll have a reason to go outside - the bees, hummingbirds and butterflies will find it. A shady spot and nice telephoto or zoom will give you plenty time to take pictures. Sitting fairly still is a great way for the birds to get used to you. 100mm macro will let you get great insect pictures. That's the great thing about this hobby, it's not just a single activity - it's whatever you want to do. Staying active with a kite club and taking pictures sounds like a good plan, too.
We have a small 'garden' area with some mixed varieties of flowers but we live on a rental property that was formerly a commercial greenhouse operation and covers 2 acres. The greenhouses are long gone but the foundation walls remain and the area closest to the house has been grassed over to form a 1 acre lawn with a few fruit trees and a large grapevine down one side. The other acre has been allowed to 'run wild' and has reverted to native scrub land with small bushes and wild plants in abundance. The western property line ends in a ravine lined with old growth trees with a creek at the bottom and it's mosquito heaven down there! The lot has become a refuge for wildlife as it's located in the town and housing has gone up all around us as the town has expanded over the years.

We regularly see all types of birds and insects, we have an abundance of garter snakes (green, brown and black varieties) as they have set up a hibernation nest in one corner of the plot, raccoons and possums also pay a visit from time to time, squirrels and a family of feral cats are year round residents and at dusk during the summer we have bats and night-hawks zooming around.

As you can probably tell finding something to point a camera at shouldn't be too difficult here.


QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
BTW, can you point me to a good kite string setup? I have a couple of nice kites, but only a very cheap winch or whatever you call it.
It's probably best if I reply to you on this via PM rather than side-tracking this thread if that's OK with you.
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