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06-26-2007, 06:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD (USA) ; Orlando, FL (USA)
Posts: 287
Photo noob, K100D owner, moving to Pitt soon ...

Been around for the past week or so. I guess it's time to introduce myself.

WARNING: Photo Uber-Noob

I've been largely a weak and ignorant Point'n Shoot user. I've been a traveling consultant for the last 5 years, plus I often travel to several of my Alma Mater's American Football away games. I've always been disappointed in the lack of both wide and, even more so, telephoto quality -- especially fidelity and shutter speed -- with Point'n Shoot cameras. I had hoped the superzoom prosumer/near-dSLRs would be better at $400+, but I found that to be quite untrue -- bluring and other issues still remained.

The 2-lens Pentax K100D $500 solution

Then I caught wind of the Pentax K100D and the rebate offers. So I just finally went with the K100D + DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 "kit" + DA 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6 combination with the $150 rebate about 6 weeks ago because it was around $500 total. I was so, so glad I did! I'm amazed that even the DA 50-200mm f/4.0-5.6, fully open at 200mm f/5.6, can still capture 300+ knot aircraft at a 1/1,000 shutter in decent daylight. That was far more than I expected, as I largely wanted just some speed for a somewhat slower sports.

Side Note: I just got my $150 rebate check yesterday, about 5 weeks after sending it in. This seems to be a very typical turnaround time for the Pentax rebate offer, which is a very good sign for anyone else interested.

Slowing moving from JPEG to RAW

I'm slowly starting to shoot RAW. I have pretty much used my K100D for JPEG to date, sticking with the Program, Shutter Priority and, less frequently, Aperture Priority or Manual (as required by a few lenses I have, see below). I never use the "scene" modes, and didn't even get much out of them on Point'n Shoot cameras either. I'll probably always shoot more JPEG than RAW, simply because this is a "hobby" for me, and I don't have a lot of time to process photos. But I still want to learn some basics.

I'm a Linux user, period, not someone who tries to use Linux

I have run Linux pretty much absolutely for the last 10 years, both at work and at home. Yes, since 1997, before most people ever heard of Linux, let alone used it at work. For now, I'm using UFRaw to view and convert. I plan on getting LightZone and Cinepaint going shortly. I.e., I only spent 30 minutes, but I can't get them to build/run under Linux x86-64, which I've been running for 2 years now (2 years on my Athlon 64, now x2, desktop, 1 year on my Turion x2 notebook), with only a few 32-bit issues. Fedora doesn't (neither Extras prior for Fedora Core 6, nor Fedora 7 now) seem to provide Cinepaint at all, much less the x86-64 version. The SuSE rebuilds for Fedora Core 6 Extras is i386 and has various dependencies trying to load on x86-64 (and I'd rather not install yet more i386 packages if I don't have to).

Side Note: I plan on writing a blog article on such, possibly a presentation for any LUG (Linux User Group) that would be interested. I'm hoping to find a Linux amateur photo SIG somewhere, even if it's just a mailing list.

Moving to Pittsburgh, PA in mid-July

I just signed with one of the two major, embedded Linux vendors today, as a full-time, permanent employee. I've been consulting all over the US on everything from embedded Linux to major server/desktop integrations in the last 5 years. My current home is in Orlando, although my wife will be moving up by September to join me in our new home city. So I'm always curious to find other people local to me. Anyone here in/near Pitt?

Other Lenses

I've since added the Zenitar 16mm f/2.8 fisheye for $125 (I need to fix the infinity focus, it's off, although it works fine for "close up," wide angle shots), the Pentax AF 28-105mm f/4.0-5.6 for $80 (a good "walk around lens" when I don't want to change) and the Vivitar M 400mm f/5.6 for $120 (largely for experimentation), but use them less. BTW, I also, currently have the Tamron 28-300mm model 185D, but I can't deal with the image quality compared to my prime or 3-4x zooms. Let me know if you're interested in it, but don't say I didn't warn you.

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