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07-16-2007, 08:40 PM   #1
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m8o says hello! (photographic journey)

That's MmmEightOhh, not the m80 firecracker!

Nice ta meet you folks! A new D-SLR owner here. After a -lot- of research, almost buying the Nikon D200 but worried Nikon would come out with dust reduction next year and having to pay $$$ for special VR lenses, with a bumpy buying experience @ B&H, I decided on the K10D. After years of resistance from the wife, had the perfect excuse now as she (really, her mother) is dragging me to Tanzania.

I knew however more important then the camera was which lens I was going to go with. That factored in greatly with my choice, as I'd heard great things about old Pentax lenses. (...however, not having very good results trying to focus manually... that's for another time.) Dang, though ... only about 1/4 of the lenses are ever available @ the same time...

- I was extremely surprised with how happy I am with my 1st lens I purchased, the Tamron 28-75mm (etc, etc ... long name).
- I expected a lot more from the Pentax 12-24mm; to the degree I think I have a bad copy and am buying another and returning the one I have. I'd have figured I'd be able to take a picture of flowers about 7 feet away and get -some- sharpness... Tried wide open at f/4, f/5.6 or f/8. After several hundred pictures of various things, and terrible chromatics abberations if I get some sky through the trees, I decided to give up on it.
- Had a terrible experience trying to buy a Sigma 100-300mm f/4, where the retailer screwed me up taking my order on a Saturday, and didn't put it in until Friday. By then there were no more to be had. So, going crazy trying to find a fast long lens. Scanning eBay. In constant contact with a rep @ Sigma who's checking to see if something hits land in time for my Safari.

And I've had some pretty good surprises in my 1st month of ownership. So, as an annotated intoduction of where I am with all this, I'll share a repost of a few threads I wrote on some other boards I frequent here in one place...
_____________________________

Sometimes I have an idea of something that might look good. And when it turns out to work, I'm still left saying "well that was a surprise!" exceeding what I imagined I could achieve. Examples:

0) Other then some shots of the dogs the 1st few hours I owned it, I took it to my friend's house Father's Day. Experimenting with DOF and Bokeh (sp?). Bunch of great pics of lillis and especially carpet roses. But I especially like a few shot of a single loan flowers left after all the rest had passed... Does it show that I had recently learned of "the rule of thirds"?

(click here for the gallery of all the pics I took that 1st 'serious' day i was shooting)

1) First, I take a pic that's underexposed; fine, it's not film so I can change settings. But then realize why. There's a ray of light shining through the leaves of the doogwood tree above the bloodred Lillis in my front yard, with the light moving over the lilli as the wind blows; conveniently, there's an interesting bright bug (bee?) inside. I say "hey, what if I set exposure to what I think shoudl work, and lock it, and focus to the center spot, and let the camera pick the ISO" (love Pentax's unique TAv mode) ... then wait and wait to time the shot to when the wind blows the tree's branches and lights up the center of the Lilli...

(click pic to load page and have a look @ the original ... I was floored!)
This one came in @ #37 outta 246 or so on Fotki's weekly picture contest.

2) I really want to make sure I can focus in on pollen of a flower, testing both my skill as well as testing my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 vs the Pentax 12-24mm f4. I shot dozens with both; needless to say the Tamron does a much better job of it; I get one sharp pic of the pollen with the Pentax Wide-angle and countless throw-aways... but then again, that's not what it's made for. During this learning session, I think "what would it look like if I focus in on the pollen pods and frame it with a little of the blue sky between the trees in the background..." (again, the Tamron lens)

Really should have a look @ the original full rez of these two to understand my "holy f*ck" moment I had! click the image then the link to the original full rez under the image. Damn, wuz I surprised when I look @ it on my computer. (edit: this one is shot from the ground almost straight up in the air)

3) It's Friday night. Wife wants to catch up on some of the recorded TV we have. I look outside and I -know- this is going to be a hot sunset. I decide to take some shots of the 560SL in the sunset's light, and test out the Pentax 12-24mm f/4's 99 degree FOV on a sunset just down the hill from my house. I take shots from about 1/2 hour before sunset to 1 hour after. Shots of the car are pretty much a bust. Took loads of shots of the sunset's evolution after sundown in Landscape and Portrait pivoting around and keeping the horizon on the bottom of the viewfinder guide, that I plan on stitching together. Results should be very successful. Here's but one from a good many winners. Will probably post process this one for color balance to bring out the blues in the sky. But here's an un-altered example...

(p.s. I know I have to work on the leaning horizon. I was trying but this one here really got away from me! There's a lot at the link above that are better; many are segments I want to stitch for panoramas as well...)

4) Shooting the July 4th parade that makes the turn to go down to the beach 3 houses away ... it's a dull, overcast, grey day. But I'm trying to make the best of it. Kids go nuts for the never ending stream of fire trucks, many having water fights between each other and spraying the kids. Adults (like me) really go for the classic cars. They made an enormous showing this year btw... (you can see all here; link to just the parade of classic cars is below) So anyway, getting back to the point of this. I realize hey, the endless stream of fire trucks certainly is rather boring. But, what action is there? Ah-KHa... What a surprise when you get the timing just right. You might even catch someone getting 0wn3d ...


First four photos are original right from the camera... no crops and no digital correction to any. Last pic cut out some of the crowd enjoying the Pwnage of the little boy to focus in on him a bit more... <lol> Full unaltered image is in the 2007 July 4th Parade Album, along with the parade of classic cars we all got to enjoy... Have a look see, from here on forward is worth the look for the classic car parade.

5) Finally, I have been doing graphics for a long long time, but never post processing of pictures I'd taken. So I tried my had at some of the changes I'd never worked with before, such as change to WB. Here's a shot I took about 1 minute before the one higher up. What amazing results IMO with such a minor change! (and I've gotten good feedback on it). I set WB to somewhere betw'n 6400K or 7000K (I forget) applied @ about 50%. I'll see how it does this week on Fotki, as I submitted this one too.


Hope you enjoyed my annotated journey of my 1st month of photog edification. Congratulations if you made it this far! How's this fair in the competition for longest thread?

07-17-2007, 04:12 PM   #2
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WOW!!!!, especially the 2nd one. Love the bug in the centre with the sunlight and the contrasting dark in the back. Very nice and welcome to the Pentax forum.

Cheers,

Rene R
07-17-2007, 04:49 PM   #3
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Nice intro.

I too like the second shot a lot - very nicely lit.

One more thing - that Tamron is a great lens, on par with anything else I've seen. Given the difference in function and the non-overlapping focal length I would have a hard time comparing to the 12-24...but I agree that if you're seeing pretty soft pictures at all apertures you might have a mis-aligned element or something.
07-17-2007, 09:34 PM   #4
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Those are all great photos but I especially like #2 and #3.

07-18-2007, 11:06 AM   #5
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Thanx all for your encouragement. The K10D certainly lets a 'know nothing' (ok, 'knows a bit') like me do a reasonable job at snap'n!
07-19-2007, 02:36 PM   #6
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Steve,

Glad to see you made it over here! This is most helpful, informative and relaxed photo forum you can imagine.

I've purchased that Tamron after so many recommendations too, and absolutely love that lens (aside from the zoom creep, but no biggie)...

#2 image is stunning!!! Nature's own spot light!

Regards,
D
07-19-2007, 08:28 PM   #7
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some nice photos, I like #1.

When are you going to Tanzania. I've been there, awesome country for the landscape and animals.
07-20-2007, 08:45 AM   #8
m8o
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Sorry, I missed the updates to this thread! Thanx for the hello's.

Donald, would love to pick your brain. I'm leaving the 1st week in August, taking a 10 day "Classic Safari" visiting 3 parks and other places I imagine.

Having a lot of trouble finding a fast long lens. Today will be make or break as I'll find out if I'll be able to buy a Sigma 50-500 BigMa or 100-300 f/4, arriving for them next week. If not, thinking of Pentax FA* 80-200 f/2.8 ... but @ $1900 [!!!] from MATSUIYASTORE on eBay. Argh ... are they really 'worth' that? (actually thinking of starting a thread asking that).

07-22-2007, 08:23 PM   #9
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ask away....

In Tanzania, there are only the parks and Kilimanjaro. Apologies to all Tanzanians, but the cities aren't the attraction.
07-22-2007, 08:37 PM   #10
m8o
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QuoteOriginally posted by Donald Quote
ask away....
In Tanzania, there are only the parks and Kilimanjaro. Apologies to all Tanzanians, but the cities aren't the attraction.
I'm just going wherever they take us; was just assuming there will be some villages. Thanx very much. Not being on topic here, I sent you a PM. You probably already saw it, and I appreciate your time and help very much.
-steve
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