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12-10-2009, 09:46 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by boodiespost Quote
what about the protection of my kit lens? isn't that important? please let me know as I can still return it if I need to.



ps - i will try AFC and let you guys know


For protection, keep the lens hood on the lens. I think it provides better protection against dings and drops than a filter.

As for self-portraits, yeah, you need a remote. Set the camera (in the custom settings) to focus when the shutter is activated by a remote. In the Fn menus, I set the drive mode to remote with 3sec delay, which allows me to trigger the shutter (and focus the camera) and then put my hand down. The trick is that I have to sit very still for the next 3sec or I'll move out of the plane of focus. Helps to use a smaller aperture (say, f/5.6) for more depth of field.

Will

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12-10-2009, 10:44 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by boodiespost Quote
what about the protection of my kit lens? isn't that important?
Yes - so don't drop it. Read through any of the zillions of other threads on filters to hear more about the tradeoffs, but don't assume they are a good idea just because some camera salesman put a scare into you.
12-10-2009, 02:25 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
...I set the drive mode to remote with 3sec delay, which allows me to trigger the shutter (and focus the camera) and then put my hand down.
Can still see the remote in your left hand.

BTW, good light, but was the picture in the background intentional?

QuoteOriginally posted by boodiespost Quote
what about the protection of my kit lens?
You heard just one opinion on the use of filters. Others believe that a scratch on a UV filter is better than a scratch on the front element of your lens. If you drop your lens, the filter won't help, but it may catch some other threads that may occur e.g., during cleaning. Check out the many threads on this forum regarding the pros and cons of filters and make your choice.
12-10-2009, 09:16 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Can still see the remote in your left hand.
Heh. Yes, this was actually one of a bunch of attempts I was making the other day. There are no decent photos of moi. There still aren't. ;-)



QuoteQuote:
BTW, good light, but was the picture in the background intentional?

What picture in the background? :-)


Yes, it was intentional. It's a lithograph by a German-American artist and illustrator named Jan Balet (1913-2009); the print is named Orpheus Ascending. Shows a violinist coming up from the Paris Metropolitain, which is an image of the Underworld. We have a few of his prints and they have a lot of personal meaning for my wife and me. One of his prints hangs over our bed: It is called June in December, and shows a bride and groom in a horse-drawn carriage, with a priest on a bicycle. Meaningful for us because we were married in December (27, to be exact, anniversary #34 coming up in 2 weeks) by a Hungarian priest who looks like the priest in the lithograph.

Unfortunately, with my back to the print, I could not quite tell whether I was standing in the right place. What I really needed to do here was shoot tethered, something I've never done, or set up the photo but let my daughter trip the shutter when everything fell into place. It's especially hard to get the camera to focus on the subject's eyes, when the photographer is the subject....

As for the light, there are a couple places in my house where the light is quite good at different times of the day, and I have taken quite a few portraits at these spots. If I were doing a normal portrait here I probably would have taken down the lithograph. The light here was supplemented with at least one off-camera flash dialed way down (1/32 or something like that).


QuoteQuote:
You heard just one opinion on the use of filters. Others believe that a scratch on a UV filter is better than a scratch on the front element of your lens. If you drop your lens, the filter won't help, but it may catch some other threads that may occur e.g., during cleaning. Check out the many threads on this forum regarding the pros and cons of filters and make your choice.
To add my two cents to this debate: In the old days, keeping all your lenses covered with a filter was a good idea because it was relatively easy to scratch the front of the lens. These days, the coatings on the lenses are amazing and I have yet to put a single scratch on a lens while cleaning. I just don't worry about it any more. I wouldn't rub sandpaper on my lens but normal careful cleaning, not a problem.

And as always, my advice comes with an iron-clad guarantee: If you clean your lens and leave a big scratch, I guarantee that you will have my sympathy. :-)

Will

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12-10-2009, 09:36 PM   #20
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Hi, and I'm happy to see you're exploring the world of self-portraits! I find it to be a rewarding activity myself

Some tips I've picked up along the way:
1. The Pentax Remote F does work up to good distances (30' sounds right), BUT it will not work well - sometimes at all - if the camera is already getting a lot of direct sunlight. For instance, if you want to take a shot at 5pm on a fall day and have your subject backlit, then unless your shadow falls over the camera (or at least the remote sensor), your remote will not trip the shutter.
2. The Pentax Remote F has the most ridiculously short battery life of anything else I own. If you really intend to use it often, pick up a few when you see someone selling them here or on ebay for $5 each. If I had to do it all over again though, I would skip an IR entirely and go with a radio remote. But you don't need a remote at all - no, really! Because...
3. The 12-second timer is way easier to use, IMO. I use something - anything - a book or the lens cap or a piece of trash - to pre-focus on, then I run into place. Sometimes I don't quite get it right, but you can always try, try again.
Here's a little illustration I did on my blog for this technique: A Scenic World Blog Archive Make a Plan
4. Do not discount the method where you hold your arm out as far as you can and snap. 50mm is a little long for that type, but anything under about 43mm and you should be good
12-10-2009, 09:40 PM   #21
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Well, thanks folks for the information. I will definitely consider removing it. Going to have to read some treads on it as you guys mentioned
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