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07-06-2019, 07:31 AM   #1
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Since the forum invites me to introduce myself, here I am. I've used a variety of equipment over the past few years, none of it high end.

I've eyed Pentax for a long time, but had not spent money on camera equipment for myself in about a dozen years, so my Canon XSI is getting a little long-in-the-tooth. For various reasons, it was a camera I loved and hated - I'll continue to use it for some macro shots for awhile.

We decided relatively last minute to do a trip to the Big Bend National Park recently, and I wanted to be able to try out some star shots, and I read about the capabilities of Pentax SLR with Astrotracer.

If money were no object I'd have headed straight to the K1ii, but... We have 3 daughters still in college and bills to pay, so I looked at other options.

I spotted the KS2 sale before Ricoh posted about it on their Facebook page, and ordered one with 18-135, along with the O-GPS accessory. Again, thinking of cost and reading reviews online, I ordered a Rokinon 10mm crop sensor lens, and had my setup.

My one night in the desert followed a day of variable cloudiness, but the clouds cleared away overnight, leaving us with magnificent skies. Here's an image reflective of this first attempt at astrophotography, from a newbie on low-end Pentax, with almost no post processing (I de-noised slightly and brightened slightly).
James Wheeler on Instagram: ?Milky Way over El Nuevo Sol tipi at The Buzzard's Roost in Terlingua, Texas, just west of Big Bend National Park. Slightly adjusted from??

So far, the camera itself is great, compared to what I had before. I view it as a stepping-stone to better gear. It has its foibles - but brand new from manufacturer with warranty, yet 4 years old as a model, with the 18-135 lens, for total of $449, it meets my need for the moment.

Like others, I've lurked and learned from the forums. I've seen helpful tips and community, and I've seen snide snarkiness. Like any family, there is positive and negative feedback.

For example it rankled me to see the guy ask about shooting raw, when the PEF files wouldn't display in windows; some of the answers belittled the OP for insisting on shooting PEF when DNG is just as good. For me, I drove 5,300 miles in 13 days, seeming 15 US states, and when I got home and copied my SD card to my laptop, THEN realized that displaying the raw image in Windows was a problem I came to this forum to find this answer. It was singularly unhelpful to hear that it was stupid of me to leave that setting as default when I had a couple of weeks' worth already.

Bit of feedback on this particular issue: I've set the camera to use DNG, but I also loaded the latest May 2019 Windows update and installed the Codec update from the store, so Windows will now display both the PEF and DNG just fine.

One other tidbit/question for you. This week Ricoh put products up on their US storefront page under Product Outlet. Is it worth it for the budget conscious to purchase these refurbished units? Or better to try for new?
Thoughts? Product Outlet Archives - Ricoh

07-06-2019, 07:40 AM   #2
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Given that the refurbished products only come with a 90-day warranty and appear more expensive than what you could get second hand in excellent condition, I'd probably avoid shopping there- plus, Ricoh's web store isn't known for the great and responsive customer service that you get when purchasing new from one of the major dealers like B&H. That said, the K-S2 deal was quite something! Impossible to beat if you ask me.

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07-06-2019, 07:48 AM   #3
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My experience with refurbished products has been at best mixed. IN essence none of them has been completely un-useable, but none of them has had the full utility of a new product either. Refurbs , one apple computer, on Nikon 230 WR, one Pentax XG-1. All came with small but sometimes irritating deficinecies.
07-06-2019, 07:49 AM   #4
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welcome to the forums

07-06-2019, 08:36 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
... Ricoh's web store isn't known for the great and responsive customer service...
Thanks... I experienced that lack of customer service. The camera was delivered quickly, the packing slip even showed the GPS unit but it wasn't there. Trying to email the customer service folks on the email address that came with the shipment and the email bounced back - totally not working on their end. Tried a phone number I found... no good. Finally went through hoops to find a working number, ended up at a helpdesk for commercial printing customers... explained the situation, and they tracked down a phone number for the imaging web store. That went to someone's voice mail (don't remember her name). She never replied to the voicemail.

What DID work, however, was to go to the Ricoh Imaging facebook page, and send a message. Within a few minutes, it was explained to me that the GPS was back-ordered (apparently there should have been some indication of that in my paperwork but it was missed). They quickly refunded the portion of the order that would have paid for that, and I ordered it elsewhere. So for now, at least, if you DO order direct from Ricoh, but need customer service, my experience indicates reaching out to Ricoh Imaging - Home | Facebook page via private message, gets quick results.
07-07-2019, 04:35 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by arkansawyer Quote
none of it high end
Welcome to the forum, don't worry a good photographer can get "high end" images with almost any kit...

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