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12-07-2016, 11:12 PM   #1
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Hi from Burbank :-)

Hi everyone,
I just joined Pentax Forums today, on Pearl Harbor Day. I started my photography life at the age of 16 when my dad got me a Spotmatic F to take on an epic student trip to Europe. I still have that around somewhere. Not long afterward, the LX came out, so I bought one at Frank's in Highland Park for cash (it's all he would take back then), along with a trusty and compact Pentax 70-210 mm lens, back when the lens body was all metal. That combo went around the country and the world with me for many years, and captured many glimpses of my 4 kids when they were growing up. In 2005, I took my kids out to the John Day area in Oregon to hunt for fossils. Someone told us about some old Native American wall writings we could view just above the river. I did not ever use a camera strap from the day I bought my LX, and unfortunately I accidentally dropped my camera into the John Day River, fortunately only with a 50 mm lens on it. I spent an hour tied to a rope trying to find the camera in the swiftly flowing water, but to no avail. Who knows? It may even be in the Pacific by now. Not long afterward, I replaced that with a used B-variant of the LX, but my days of shooting film soon came to a halt.

Around the time of that unimaginable loss, I was involved in shooting digital video for a work which I started. After brain surgery in 2008, life was very different for me and I was fascinated with taking still shots of just about everything using a small digital camera. I have now burned through 2 Olympus Tough point-and-shoot cameras. The second one is still ticking, but I nearly killed it after taking a short dunk in a hot tub in Las Vegas---and it's supposed to be good to several meters! Each year since 2013, I have shot thousands of photos, usually on personal trips which range from visiting my kids in Japan, Oregon, and wherever we travel together, to my various hiking and speedskating ventures. I used to shoot hundreds of photos per week for my own short track club and post many of them on Facebook, until our operation folded in 2015. I already need a new small camera to do this kind of photography.

Over the years, my philosophy switched from the days of film where every frame was precious, especially since I shot mostly Kodachrome slides (ASA 25 my favorite), to where I shoot hundreds if not thousands of photos from which only a few will ever be viewed by the public. One thing that prompted me to make the switch was remembering the words of my high school friend Mike Estey, an artsy photographer at the time, who would often quip, "Jim, it's only film!" Digital memory today is even cheaper, and I fully make use of that fact. After participating in this digital madness for only a few years---and I'm not planning on quitting, though I do need to slow down since sorting through 1 to 6 thousand photos every trip only to find a hundred or so of the best is pretty exhausting---I am once again inspired to get back to film for creative art and relaxation. The look of film is simply not reproducible by today's digital wonders.

I joined this forum on the suggestion of my long-time friend Tony Tarquinio, and I credit him for the inspiration to find and use my Pentax LX once again---it's somewhere at the back of a very full storage unit in Portland, Oregon, and I live in LA! After reading through some posts here, I might have to break down one day and get myself a Pentax K-something-or-other. They sound like very nice cameras. But they need to be TOUGH, because I do not baby my still cameras at all. Never have, and probably never will.

Sincerely,
Jim Au
Burbank, California

Note on the photo below... Here is one reason why I need a tough and compact camera---but how I wish it had decent glass in it! While hiking up the final hundred meters to the top of Mt. Olympus overlooking Salt Lake City, Utah in November 2016, I was inspired / tempted to shoot quite a few photos even while in the throes of the steepest and most dangerous part of this half-day hike. You cannot tell here from the perspective produced by my cheap Olympus point-and-shoot lens, but the climb is nearly vertical in some sections, and I was just a little fearful of falling as I went from rock to rock. But when they crazy notion would hit me, I would stop, pull out my camera from my jeans pocket, and snap away, then carefully return the camera to my pocket. I also used to take many photos WHILE short track speedskating, until my good friend and photographer Warren gave me an ultimatum to stop that dangerous practice. I'm glad I listened to him as I'm a much better skater today as a result.

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12-07-2016, 11:58 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimau1959 Quote
Hi from Burbank :-)
Hi Jim from Australia. Welcome to the Pentax forums. ( Thanks to Mr. Tarquinio !! ) There are many " filmers " here, so you are in very good company.
Good to have you aboard.
12-08-2016, 12:23 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
Hi Jim from Australia. Welcome to the Pentax forums. ( Thanks to Mr. Tarquinio !! ) There are many " filmers " here, so you are in very good company.
Good to have you aboard.
Thank you very much for the welcome, Peter. I looked through your posted photos, and they are excellent. I notice that after 2008, I tend to have the maxim reversed, where I apply "a thousand words" for a single photo that I took. You have many photos which adhere to the "right" maxim, and so not many words are needed to appreciate them, though they be worth a thousand words.
12-08-2016, 12:37 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimau1959 Quote
Thank you very much for the welcome, Peter. I looked through your posted photos, and they are excellent. I notice that after 2008, I tend to have the maxim reversed, where I apply "a thousand words" for a single photo that I took. You have many photos which adhere to the "right" maxim, and so not many words are needed to appreciate them, though they be worth a thousand words.
Thank you very much for the kind comments Jim. I am strictly an " amateur " but enjoy my hobby with a passion. I have accrued lenses covering most genres, but macro is my preferred type I think. I am looking forward to seeing more of your " work " too !! Cheers, and happy shooting.

12-08-2016, 01:00 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Welcome to the forum, that has to be the most comprehensive intro I've seen here, well done, feel like I've known you for years.
12-08-2016, 01:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Welcome to the forum, that has to be the most comprehensive intro I've seen here, well done, feel like I've known you for years.
Hi Kerrowdown. Thank you very much. Your one gallery post is the most ethereal photo I have yet seen in this forum. For that matter, it has the quality of looking like it may have been shot with film. Wow! That's the only word I can conjure up to describe it. It is truly special, in my book.
12-08-2016, 02:00 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimau1959 Quote
Hi everyone,
I just joined Pentax Forums today, on Pearl Harbor Day. I started my photography life at the age of 16 when my dad got me a Spotmatic F to take on an epic student trip to Europe. I still have that around somewhere. Not long afterward, the LX came out, so I bought one at Frank's in Highland Park for cash (it's all he would take back then), along with a trusty and compact Pentax 70-210 mm lens, back when the lens body was all metal. That combo went around the country and the world with me for many years, and captured many glimpses of my 4 kids when they were growing up. In 2005, I took my kids out to the John Day area in Oregon to hunt for fossils. Someone told us about some old Native American wall writings we could view just above the river. I did not ever use a camera strap from the day I bought my LX, and unfortunately I accidentally dropped my camera into the John Day River, fortunately only with a 50 mm lens on it. I spent an hour tied to a rope trying to find the camera in the swiftly flowing water, but to no avail. Who knows? It may even be in the Pacific by now. Not long afterward, I replaced that with a used B-variant of the LX, but my days of shooting film soon came to a halt.

Around the time of that unimaginable loss, I was involved in shooting digital video for a work which I started. After brain surgery in 2008, life was very different for me and I was fascinated with taking still shots of just about everything using a small digital camera. I have now burned through 2 Olympus Tough point-and-shoot cameras. The second one is still ticking, but I nearly killed it after taking a short dunk in a hot tub in Las Vegas---and it's supposed to be good to several meters! Each year since 2013, I have shot thousands of photos, usually on personal trips which range from visiting my kids in Japan, Oregon, and wherever we travel together, to my various hiking and speedskating ventures. I used to shoot hundreds of photos per week for my own short track club and post many of them on Facebook, until our operation folded in 2015. I already need a new small camera to do this kind of photography.

Over the years, my philosophy switched from the days of film where every frame was precious, especially since I shot mostly Kodachrome slides (ASA 25 my favorite), to where I shoot hundreds if not thousands of photos from which only a few will ever be viewed by the public. One thing that prompted me to make the switch was remembering the words of my high school friend Mike Estey, an artsy photographer at the time, who would often quip, "Jim, it's only film!" Digital memory today is even cheaper, and I fully make use of that fact. After participating in this digital madness for only a few years---and I'm not planning on quitting, though I do need to slow down since sorting through 1 to 6 thousand photos every trip only to find a hundred or so of the best is pretty exhausting---I am once again inspired to get back to film for creative art and relaxation. The look of film is simply not reproducible by today's digital wonders.

I joined this forum on the suggestion of my long-time friend Tony Tarquinio, and I credit him for the inspiration to find and use my Pentax LX once again---it's somewhere at the back of a very full storage unit in Portland, Oregon, and I live in LA! After reading through some posts here, I might have to break down one day and get myself a Pentax K-something-or-other. They sound like very nice cameras. But they need to be TOUGH, because I do not baby my still cameras at all. Never have, and probably never will.

Sincerely,
Jim Au
Burbank, California

Note on the photo below... Here is one reason why I need a tough and compact camera---but how I wish it had decent glass in it! While hiking up the final hundred meters to the top of Mt. Olympus overlooking Salt Lake City, Utah in November 2016, I was inspired / tempted to shoot quite a few photos even while in the throes of the steepest and most dangerous part of this half-day hike. You cannot tell here from the perspective produced by my cheap Olympus point-and-shoot lens, but the climb is nearly vertical in some sections, and I was just a little fearful of falling as I went from rock to rock. But when they crazy notion would hit me, I would stop, pull out my camera from my jeans pocket, and snap away, then carefully return the camera to my pocket. I also used to take many photos WHILE short track speedskating, until my good friend and photographer Warren gave me an ultimatum to stop that dangerous practice. I'm glad I listened to him as I'm a much better skater today as a result.
Hi Jim, Glad to see you found your way here. There is also another site run by the same people that operate this one. It is: Nikonforums.com. It is not as big as this one, however I believe that your having an extensive technical background, you would find it very enjoyable also. I like your photograph a lot. The exposure is great, detail is excellent along with great composition. I am having a difficult time determining if I am looking up or looking down at a scene from Crater Lake.))) Nice capture. I have found that Zuiko Optics are always good performers. You will notice that the folks that have responded to your post have a different color on their names than you and I do. This indicates that the individual is a Site Moderator. These are the folks that help us in any way they can with information to set us on the right track. Pretty soon you will meet with Adam. Adam is the Administrator here and also on Nikonforums.com.

Happy you are here, my friend.

Tonytee

Last edited by Tonytee; 12-08-2016 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Additional Information
12-08-2016, 02:01 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Hello, Jim, and welcome aboard. Glad you could join us, and thanks for the great introduction... I enjoy learning a little about our new members

If you should ever decide to buy that K-something-or-other camera, I'd suggest you choose a K-5 (or variant), K-3 or K-3II... or even the K-1 full-frame, as they're all extremely robust and are rated for a high number of shutter actuations...

12-08-2016, 02:22 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimau1959 Quote
Hi Kerrowdown. Thank you very much. Your one gallery post is the most ethereal photo I have yet seen in this forum. For that matter, it has the quality of looking like it may have been shot with film. Wow! That's the only word I can conjure up to describe it. It is truly special, in my book.
Thank you for extremely kind words.

It was taken as a promo shot with a K10D for the Rock Ness music festival back in 2008.
12-08-2016, 10:14 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Hello, Jim, and welcome aboard. Glad you could join us, and thanks for the great introduction... I enjoy learning a little about our new members

If you should ever decide to buy that K-something-or-other camera, I'd suggest you choose a K-5 (or variant), K-3 or K-3II... or even the K-1 full-frame, as they're all extremely robust and are rated for a high number of shutter actuations...
Thank you, Mike. I will start looking into those camera bodies in advance. I think I must have studied the LX from afar for at least a year before I actually bought it way back in 1983. From what I have read around the forum so far, it sounds like some of the Pentax bodies are able to use older Pentax-mount lenses. That is a feature that would be very important to me.

---------- Post added 12-08-16 at 12:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
Hi Jim, Glad to see you found your way here. There is also another site run by the same people that operate this one. It is: Nikonforums.com. It is not as big as this one, however I believe that your having an extensive technical background, you would find it very enjoyable also. I like your photograph a lot. The exposure is great, detail is excellent along with great composition. I am having a difficult time determining if I am looking up or looking down at a scene from Crater Lake.))) Nice capture. I have found that Zuiko Optics are always good performers. You will notice that the folks that have responded to your post have a different color on their names than you and I do. This indicates that the individual is a Site Moderator. These are the folks that help us in any way they can with information to set us on the right track. Pretty soon you will meet with Adam. Adam is the Administrator here and also on Nikonforums.com.

Happy you are here, my friend.

Tonytee
Thanks, Tony! At some point, I will turn my daughters Vivian and Madelaine onto the Nikon forum, since they both own the identical camera, the D3300 (Dad was parked on the same idea when it came to high school graduation gifts for each one---it must have been a great bargain at the time!). You are right about my predilection for brand loyalty. I didn't explain in my intro that my dad was a lifetime Pentax fan. I have his original Spotmatic somewhere, along with a P-1 body and a bunch of screw-mount and K-mount lenses of various makes. After he gave me my very own Spotmatic F as a gift, I naturally preferred Pentax from then on, even though ALL my friends at school were into other brands. Since then, they have gone off to try many other brands, but I remain with Pentax, period.

Thank you for your comments regarding the above photo. After going through more and more photos on this forum, I realize that there is indeed a huge difference in what a tiny point-and-shoot like my Olympus Tough can produce and what almost any DSLR can render. The first thing I notice is the color and luminosity. At first glance it looks okay, but my eye now tells me that there is not nearly enough range, even among the rocks, not to mention the sky. Every now and then, depending on the subject matter and natural lighting conditions, I get lucky and you can observe what seems like a lot more subtlety and mood among the darker hues. I guess that's one advantage with doing so much sports photography, since mostly what matters is clarity! "Stop the action!" as my friend Mike used to tell me in jest... especially the day he was standing by to photograph a classmate of ours, of whom it got leaked that he was planning to streak through the cafeteria at lunch time, and did, and got caught, and was barred from attending graduation as a result.

The second thing is something you mentioned... photographic perspective. Notice how nearly all of our photos are shot "straight across". We rarely look up or down at something, unless we are tightly zoomed in on the subject. We are very good about playing with depth perception, especially with a macro or zoom shot, but what about the sense of sheer vertical height? It seems to me that good photos which give an AWESOME SENSE of height are rare, not just in this forum, but everywhere. I chose the above photo because of all the photos I could have chosen from that climb, it was the only one which gave any sense at all of the rocks I was scaling "on all fours". It would have been more obvious if someone were ahead of me, but from me to the summit, I was completely alone for around a half hour (after that, it was like Grand Central Station, including several dogs making the climb!). I was reading in one of the K-series summaries that the camera body was able to "turn any lens into a shift lens". Now that feature would be of great interest to me! That is something I never got into way back when, and of course because actual shift lenses were simply too expensive for any of us---they probably still are.

Anyhow, the adventurous side of me is also adventurous in terms of photo composition and subject matter. If you have inspired something in me, it's not just to get back into film and shoot all the same shots that everyone loves shooting, but to go out and find that other worldly (I should say "heavenly") inspiration again. I think in some way I have been quietly experimenting all my life to find that certain something that catches my eye, at which point my camera shutter starts going off like crazy!
12-08-2016, 01:25 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Welcome aboard!!! Long time Pentax user here. My first Pentax was a Spotamtic II some 40+ years ago. I went digital in 2112 after Kodak quit making Kodachrome. I own a K5, K5-IIs, K3 and now a K1. If I were you I would go to the K1. It is a wonderful camera with an aura of Pentax all over it. To me, handling a K1 is like handling a Spotmatic. IT makes no sense, but it is how it feels to me. The first DSLR I have owed that doesn't make me miss film. The old Pentax lenses will work on it in manual mode. One of my favorite lenses is my old screw mount SMC 55mm F1.8. It simply rocks on my DSLR.s. When I went digital Ialmost gave up on it until I put that lens on my K5. It was like having an old friend to guide me through the transition.
12-08-2016, 02:26 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
Welcome aboard!!! Long time Pentax user here. My first Pentax was a Spotamtic II some 40+ years ago. I went digital in 2112 after Kodak quit making Kodachrome. I own a K5, K5-IIs, K3 and now a K1. If I were you I would go to the K1. It is a wonderful camera with an aura of Pentax all over it. To me, handling a K1 is like handling a Spotmatic. IT makes no sense, but it is how it feels to me. The first DSLR I have owed that doesn't make me miss film. The old Pentax lenses will work on it in manual mode. One of my favorite lenses is my old screw mount SMC 55mm F1.8. It simply rocks on my DSLR.s. When I went digital Ialmost gave up on it until I put that lens on my K5. It was like having an old friend to guide me through the transition.
Thank you for this valuable information, "gaweidert"! I also have a lens or two which I would just love to be able to use again. In my intro, I wrote about having bought a 70-210 mm lens, but I just now realized it was not that, but like one of your lenses, a 35-70 mm, which is a much more versatile lens than 70-210 mm at any rate! So yes, that is one of the lenses that I would love to use again, even in manual mode. There is a time when I appreciate auto-focus, like when having to shoot dozens or hundreds of photos for any event, but never when taking artistic type photos. In that case, I only trust my own eyes to focus on what I want to focus on! Same goes for setting aperture. At your suggestion, I will certainly be looking at the K1.
12-08-2016, 02:31 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Welcome from a '57 Jim!
A member of the Portland Pentaxians (maybe several!) would be glad to verify your LX is still working, just send along the storage code any time!
12-08-2016, 03:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
Welcome from a '57 Jim!
A member of the Portland Pentaxians (maybe several!) would be glad to verify your LX is still working, just send along the storage code any time!
Thank you, '57 Jim! I was also a PDX Jim from 1988 to 2008. Once I find my LX and all my camera gear, we ought to have a PDX Pentax camera round-up some time ("PDX Pentaxia", anyone? Maybe you already do this)---it will also give me a reason to fly up to see my kids. I think it's fun not only to show-and-tell individual photos (as I have already so done up above in this post), but to share gear stories... like where gear either makes or breaks a photo shoot, or where we break the gear! (I have a horrendous videocam story that I would share only in person, and it happened in central Oregon).

When I was in college and senior yearbook editor, one day I was truly in a hurry to get to class after taking some yearbook photos, so I opened my dorm room door and threw my Spotmatic F with its really awesome 35 mm lens (inherited from my dad) onto my poor man's easy chair, which was actually a patio chair with an aluminum frame and spring support. The camera bounced once off the chair and onto the floor. The camera body received only a minor dent, but the lens got loosened up a bit. It still works fine, as long as I hold the lens together tightly to get rid of the slack I introduced through my carelessness. I never again threw a camera like that, but I have very gently tossed them in what I deemed extreme situations. I seem to get into those situations all too easily!
12-08-2016, 03:27 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimau1959 Quote
I never again threw a camera like that, but I have very gently tossed them in what I deemed extreme situations. I seem to get into those situations all too easily!
I was crossing a Sierra creek in haste, underhanded my camera into a shrub on the other side. It bounced off with backspin & rolled down & into the creek - man I crossed that log quickly The cheapo lens was never the same but the camera dried out and worked fine the next day, after a few hours exposed atop the pack.
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