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02-01-2014, 08:54 PM   #1
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Hello from Rochester, NY

My first SLR was a used Pentax Program Plus about 23 years ago. It was a gift from my Aunt and Uncle who had found that they much preferred their compact Olympus Stylus. It was one of the best gifts I have ever received. That Program Plus took me from my first day of my first photo class through a few professional gigs at Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. Over time I acquired an MX and a K-1000. The K-1000 was purchased specifically as a backup camera - where else could I get the reliability of a manual shutter release for just around 100 bucks? I bought a used Stroboframe from my first photo teacher, who had decided he didn't want to do event photography anymore, and I had several Vivitar 283's, any of which could be attached using a coiled cable attached to the hot shoe. It was a very reliable setup. When I shot b&w I turned my parents' laundry room into a darkroom so that I could process film and make enlargements.

And then for some reason I stopped. Years went by. By the time I wanted to get back into photography many years later everything had moved to digital.

My wife encouraged me to get my K-7. I love this camera. In fact, I have to stop typing now because I have some images to tweak from an event earlier today. More to folllow.

02-01-2014, 09:53 PM   #2
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Welcome to our little corner of the web!

I didn't start on my Pentaxian ways as many years ago as you did, but I have really enjoyed, and not regretted, buying Pentax since I got my k-x.
02-01-2014, 09:55 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPentax Quote
My first SLR was a used Pentax Program Plus about 23 years ago. It was a gift from my Aunt and Uncle who had found that they much preferred their compact Olympus Stylus. It was one of the best gifts I have ever received. That Program Plus took me from my first day of my first photo class through a few professional gigs at Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. Over time I acquired an MX and a K-1000. The K-1000 was purchased specifically as a backup camera - where else could I get the reliability of a manual shutter release for just around 100 bucks? I bought a used Stroboframe from my first photo teacher, who had decided he didn't want to do event photography anymore, and I had several Vivitar 283's, any of which could be attached using a coiled cable attached to the hot shoe. It was a very reliable setup. When I shot b&w I turned my parents' laundry room into a darkroom so that I could process film and make enlargements.

And then for some reason I stopped. Years went by. By the time I wanted to get back into photography many years later everything had moved to digital.

My wife encouraged me to get my K-7. I love this camera. In fact, I have to stop typing now because I have some images to tweak from an event earlier today. More to folllow.
Welcome, let's see those images!
02-02-2014, 12:35 AM   #4
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Welcome, show us what K-7 can do! Enjoy your camera!

02-02-2014, 04:06 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPentax Quote
had several Vivitar 283's
Welcome to the forum, I've not heard of those flashes for a while, I reckon they in their time must have been the most successful on the planet, everyone seemed to have a few of them.
02-02-2014, 03:25 PM   #6
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The Vivitar 283 was an old standby, but not nearly as powerful as the old handheld Metz flashes that the big time Pros had. Now I have a Metz Mecablitz 50 AF-1, and I'm struggling with it. Is it just me, or was everything just a little bit easier when it was mostly manual and there were fewer options? It takes me a lot longer to truly learn my equipment now than it used to!

Last edited by JonPentax; 02-02-2014 at 03:31 PM.
02-02-2014, 04:24 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPentax Quote
the old handheld Metz flashes
Aye, the old Metz 45s & 60s Potato Mashers, could blister paintwork at twenty paces.
02-02-2014, 04:42 PM   #8
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Welcome from a Syracuse Pentaxian.

02-02-2014, 08:47 PM   #9
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Mecablitz 50 AF-1 Problems

In fact... the one of the main reasons I sought out this site/forum is because of that Metz Mecablitz 50 AF-1. I've been experimenting, trying to figure out which settings (on the K-7 and the flash) will result in the most consistently high quality photos (from a lighting perspective). I had a gig taking "red carpet" photos as people arrived for a Gala for a local non-profit. I used a STO-FEN to soften things up. I set the flash to P-TTL, and I had the camera set to Program/auto, which occasionally switched me to Aperture Priority, among other things. The flash was on a bracket and I used a coiled cable from the hot shoe to the flash (the cable was a Vivitar VIV-FC-PEN). The camera and lens: my K-7 and an 18-55mm (the SMC Pentax-DA 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL WR, to be exact).

I had a number of problems that night. While lighting was good for a majority of the shots, there were a not-insignificant number that were exposed improperly. Perhaps the most maddening thing is that occasionally the camera's autofocus would go back and forth, refusing to settle on a focus and therefore refusing to take the picture. On those occasions, panicked, I would switch to Green Mode and the camera would (finally) oblige.

In the old days my manual focus was plenty quick, and I knew which setting on the flash corresponded to which distance I was shooting from and what the aperture should be. All of the sudden I'm feeling like a newbie again.

Any ideas about what to look at first? I've been poring over the manuals for both the flash and the K-7, and the only conclusion I have reached is that I have a LOT to learn about my equipment. Also, I am looking for recommendations for threads on pentaxforums where others may have experienced similar problems.
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