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12-15-2009, 12:07 PM   #31
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Is your monitor a DVI connection?

12-16-2009, 10:27 AM   #32
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Alfisti, no, my monitor isn't nearly that modern! What I have is a CRT monitor, a Viewsonic E771, along with an nVidia Riva TNT2/64 graphic card, which uses the AGP bus. The connection between teh card and the monitor is plain analog VGA, of course.

I was just looking on the web, and found the following:

1) All monitors I can buy nowadays, at least here in Chile, are LCD.

2) All of them have the stupid 16:9 aspect ratio.

3) A decent monitor would have 1600x900 pixels.

3) My graphic card supports only a maximum of 1280x1024 pixels, so I cannot use a decent modern monitor with my graphic card.

4) I cannot just replace the graphic card, because modern ones use a sort of extended PCI bus instead of AGP, which my PC's motherboard doesn't have.

So the only option left, if I want to upgrade the monitor, is replacing the entire computer. Which is not an option, because new computers either don't have any legacy ports at all, or have too few of them, and I absolutely need them. Apart from the cost, of course.

So, I will have to live with the CRT monitor for some more time, until I can finally phase out ALL those peripherials that need legacy ports.

And don't tell me I can use legacy ports through USB adapters. That works only with some devices and programs, not all. Some do require a real physical serial or parallel port.

And running two PCs, one for image processing and the old one for the rest of my work, would be highly inconvenient.

OK, enough of that. I'm attaching a few photos taken yesterday with the K-x.
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12-16-2009, 10:56 AM   #33
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Wow, those are beautiful!

I'm glad you did not follow my advice and exchange the camera.
12-16-2009, 12:23 PM   #34
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I asked about DVI because with some DVI connections you cannot control contast and one loses the blacks. If it's old school then just reduce contrasta little to rescue the blacks.

Looking at the second image above, you seem to have the hang of things. The first has a hue problem with the greens, greens just don't look like that. It's like a lime colour rather thana true green.

Green is an absolute ****er of a colour.

12-16-2009, 09:13 PM   #35

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What kind of computer do you have? My older computer is a 400mhz PII, and has a built-in AGP ATI Rage Pro, but has no AGP slot, so it can't be upgraded (except with a PCI card.) There are plenty of AGP cards available (ebay, etc.) that should work for you.

I'm guessing that all you have regarding monitor compatibility is a driver issue. My new monitor is 1680x1050, and my card with 4mb of video ram (actually I upgraded it to 8mb, but I tried it with just the 4mb) works fine with that monitor using Linux.

However, being architecturally limited to 384mb of ram, my old computer just doesn't have the power required to do raw processing. Even smaller jpegs are a chore. So if your computer is from the same era, it's time for a new one. I bought a brand new computer 11 months ago that came with every type of legacy port I'm aware of, so there are probably still some out there available now.

12-18-2009, 06:18 PM   #36
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Alfisti, I think that the green on that photo is incorrect indeed. I was just trying out the program, and while playing with the color balance and seeing that there was a "green" control in addition to the color temperature control, I moved it to see what happens, and when moving it back apparently I didn't get to the proper place! At that time I was getting green light into the room, reflected off the grass and trees outside, so it's likely that my eyes had adjusted to that greenish balance, and I ended up leaving the "green" control a bit high!

Clearly it's quite tricky to get the images right. Maybe I should find some very well balanced reference image, and keep it open on screen while I adjust my own photos.

Paul, my computer is a little newer tahn your old one, but not much. It has a Celeron processor (cheapened Pentium 3) running at 1.2GHz. It supports up to 1.5GB of RAM, and I have 1.13GB installed. That strange number is because it has three DIMM slots, and I had three 128MB DIMMS in it. I then bought two 512MB DIMMs, installed them, and left the third slot occupied with a 128MB DIMM. They are the same speed, so it's OK.

The video card is identified by Windows as "nVidia Riva TNT/TNT2 Pro Model 64". Now that seems to be a whole range of models, and I don't know EXACTLY which model is mine! I assume mine is TNT and not TNT2, and is not "pro". That would make it the cheapest of the series. Even so, the chip is good for up to 2048x2048 pixels, but I don't really know if there is any other limitation set by the VGA BIOS, or if the driver alone defines the exact modes one can use. Anyway, right now Windows reports a long list of modes, the highest of which is 1280x1024.

I just checked on the nVidia web site, and they have a driver that SEEMS to be compatible with my card, and that supports the 1600x900 pixels of the kind of monitor I would buy. So maybe I should just buy the monitor, connect it, see what happens, and if the existing driver doesn't discover some 1600x900 mode in its treasure chest, download the fresher driver from nVidia and try it.

Now if you have any idea if my card will support that resolution, that would be great! The card has 32MB RAM, so that's more than enough.

I'm pretty wary of buying at ebay. Over the course of about 8 years, I have made 6 purchases there, and only ONE of them went well. Two sellers never sent the items, and in one of those cases only I got my money back via ebay. One sent me an item that was essentially destroyed, after advertising it as perfect condition, never used. One tried to raise the shipping charge to three times the amount he had advertised, and the last one sold me a badly engineered product which failed after two hours, and I had to spend a year and many hours of work to finally get it running well enough. If you want to read the story of that thing, it's here:

The Power Jack 3500 Watt inverter - buyers beware!

So, I have enough of ebay. My experiences ordering from established stores all over the world are 97% perfect, with the other 3% having small problems, while my experiences on ebay are as described above. So, I don't even look at ebay anymore. I only buy at real stores that are trustworthy.

Ok, to end on a positive note, I'm attaching an ibis which I shot this morning! Shot with the Voigtlander 180/4 Apo Lanthar lens, fully open in early morning light. The picture is a crop out of the full frame, and only slightly downsampled. It's nearly 1:1 on the pixels.
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12-19-2009, 08:21 AM   #37
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Quick update:
I just downloaded and installed the current driver for my video card, and it does support all the graphic modes I might want! So it seems that I will ask Santa for a Samsung 2350 monitor for Christmas. I hope it won't break while tumbling down the chimney.

12-19-2009, 01:26 PM   #38
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A quick question to the OP - have you updated the pentax digital camera utility to 4.11? If you do you may be very pleasantly surprised at the speed and performance increase.

Update available here
12-20-2009, 08:18 PM   #39
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Lovely images Manfred. Have you looked at Raw Therapee for your RAW conversions.
RawTherapee V2.4.1 released is the link. Lots of powerful post processing tools to use.

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