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01-30-2012, 08:41 PM   #16
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Read that link again Kurt, is says

QuoteQuote:
You will need a blank, formatted memory card with a capacity of 32 MB or higher
MB, GB, big difference

01-30-2012, 10:43 PM   #17
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Twitch,
You are absolutely correct. Thanks.
My life is now easier.
Except for the part about having to admit I was mistaken. Can't read. And rely on others to do my homework.
Still, I rejoice that I am in the company of gentlemen.
And may begin the update of my firmware soon.

You can judge a man by how he behaves when he is proven wrong, but also how he behaves when proven right.

You are right Sir, and can reprove me anytime.
Thanks, and glad to be wrong.
01-30-2012, 10:59 PM   #18
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Kurt,
With all the acronyms in today's world I would hazard there are few of us that have not mixed something up a time or two. Glad you got that straight. The biggest card I own is 8gb and I prefer nothing larger so if a card goes south I have not lost everything.
01-31-2012, 12:00 PM   #19
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This probably explains why I was having a hard time finding a 32 Gig chip.

Next question. The instructions say to use a new, unformatted chip. Does this mean I cannot perform the firmware update with my existing 16 Gig chip?

And I've tried to include a shot I took not long ago. It shows a die scratch on a silver dollar.

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01-31-2012, 02:03 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kurt Atlas Quote
This probably explains why I was having a hard time finding a 32 Gig chip.

Next question. The instructions say to use a new, unformatted chip. Does this mean I cannot perform the firmware update with my existing 16 Gig chip?

And I've tried to include a shot I took not long ago. It shows a die scratch on a silver dollar.
Yes you can, just format the memorycard in the camera before you download the firmware to it from the computer. With new they mean "newly formated" equals totally blank. I promise that it's extremely easy to do, just follow the instructions on the pentax site.
01-31-2012, 05:59 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kurt Atlas Quote
It shows a die scratch on a silver dollar.
Not much into coins although I have a collection of "birth coins" which are silver dollars given to my mother at my birth to be passed on to me when I got old enough. But how do you know that is a die scratch and not something done in somebodies pocket?
01-31-2012, 06:25 PM   #22
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re Minnesota winters and the K-x

re Minnesota winters and the K-x

We use a K-x in the area around Algonquin Park, all I can say is, when the weather is -20 or lower, take a freshly recharged set of batteries in the camera, and we always take two sets of batteries as spares. We've never needed both sets, but we've come very close to using two. IN very cold weather it goes through batteries at an alarming rate. This year we actually bought brand new batteries for it. The older batteries we owned were even worse than what I'm describing. We took out a set of 3 year old rechargeables and they died in 15 minutes. Those ones stay indoors now and get used in mice and keyboards. Batteries that in the summer would last us 3 weeks, last a day and a half in the winter.
01-31-2012, 07:34 PM   #23
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Jaytrax
There is a good chance that you're just jerking my chain, and I'm deserving if you do. But if you and others are curious, the answer is simple.
If the coin were scratched, like keys or a pocket knife scratching the surface of the coin, the "scratcher" would hit on the high parts of the coin. The scratch would be stronger over the top of the raised letters. But in this case, the raised letters are untouched, and the low areas show the scratch.
Now think about how a coin is made...
A top die and a bottom die are smacked together with a raw piece of metal in between. Properly done, a coin is made.
But think about the dies used to make a coin. They are sort of a physical representation of a photographic negative. (Bas Relief vs. Itanglio.)
The smacking die in this case had a scratch that went through the two letters. But on the forming die, the letters were carved inward to produce an outward effect on the coin.
The coin was flat with raised parts. The die was flat with sunken parts.
The scratch went across the die, not going into the lowered recesses.
If the scratch were done to the coin (and not the die) it would damage the high points and not appear in the low points.
A scratch to the die damages the low points and does not appear on the high points.

Thus, the scratch was on the die and not on the coin.
If this foolishness is of interest to any one, I'll be happy to connect you to other coin goofies.
And, I may just get an opportunity to post a few of my other coin photos.
Thanks for the forum.
Kurt

01-31-2012, 10:39 PM   #24
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More on firmware update -

It can be a significant mistake to do a software update in the camera if the batteries die during the process.

I believe the result is referred to as "bricking" the camera, because that is essentially what you have after the update fails.

You can either

1) Use a brand-new set of lithium batteries, instead of any NiMH, even freshly charged, and download to the SD card with the camera connected to the computer.

or

2) Use an SD card reader attached to the computer to do the download to a device that doesn't depend on battery power. Then move the SD card to the camera (as the instructions say), then turn the camera on while holding "Menu" to force the update.

Both of these options are after you have successfully downloaded the update from the Pentax site and expanded it on your computer to get the readme file (the instructions) and the .bin file. The .bin file is what you copy to the SD card.


(I'm a new Kx owner, but I have to confess to having more experience with computers than I ever intended to acquire. So I'm aware that "low-level" operations like firmware updates aren't always as easy as the experts claim they are.)
02-01-2012, 10:20 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kurt Atlas Quote
There is a good chance that you're just jerking my chain,
Not at all, I was genuinely interested. And that is obvious after you explain it. But not so to someone with no experience in this area. So since it is a die scratch does that make it more or less valuable?
02-01-2012, 09:41 PM   #26
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Jatrax,

Fasten your seat belt and I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.
First I would not hijack this camera forum to discuss coins if it were not for the fact that they are so intertwined, that many others may be pondering the same questions you have been bold enough to ask.
My incursion into serious photography was a necessity of serious coin collecting. And I think many photographers might enjoy honing their skills by trying to shoot some of the details on their favorite coin.
Back in the 60’s Grampa told me to collect silver dollars, and “hold onto” silver. Translated into today’s language, he was instructing me to go to the bank every time I got a paper dollar, and trade it for two silver half dollars. I still have some of those half dollars. The market value can very a great deal, but the bottom price is the melt value. (And throughout this discourse, I shall try to compare coin questions to camera questions, and you may find some similarities.)
The melt value of a camera is exactly what you might expect. So much a ton for glass, steel and plastic. The average melt value for a camera would be far less than a dollar. For a silver dollar, (at today’s spot price of silver $33.85 per ounce, and an unworn silver dollar containing 0.77344 ounce of silver, any silver dollar that is nearly complete would be worth more that $25. Bear in mind that these at Trojan weights and not Avoirdupois.) [Not all systems of measurement are the same.]
Your Mother’s birth coins have a minimum value. But if it was a coin that was not made in large numbers, a worn coin can be pricy. Further, if it is a rare coin in fabulous condition, its value may be astronomical. My area of interest is the Morgan and Peace dollars. The Morgan Dollar was designed by George Morgan and was in production from 1878 to 1904, and again in 1921. It was produced (on and off) at the mints in Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, Carson City and Denver. The Peace Dollar was first struck in 1921 to commemorate the end of the WWI. The common market prices for such coins range from $35 to $100,000 or more.
If I still have your interest, digest the following with the seriousness of handler of venomous snakes. DO NOT CLEAN THE COINS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You cannot un-ring a bell, you cannot put smoke back into a bottle, you cannot un-sand that wooden box that Mathew Harrison Brady used in 1864. You cannot un-paint a ’53 Corvette, you can’t un-polish an 1866 Winchester and you cannot un-clean a valuable coin. Yes, there are ways and methods of restoration that may be useful later on, but until you consult the experts, I would not touch the surface of a silver dollar with a moist cotton ball.
Coins are rated from 1 to 70 in their condition. In 60 and above they are Uncirculated, and their condition is determined by how they bumped against other coins in the bag from the mint. In 1901 the Philadelphia mint produced 7 million silver dollars. A very fine example (20 out of 70) is listed in the collector's books at $50. In better condition (50 of 70) it is listed at $450. In 64 it is worth $55,000. In 65, $325,000.
So, I’ve got this camera marked MHB 1864. I thought I’d repaint it and throw those horrible lenses away. And replace them with something from K-mart.
If I’ve still got your attention… Go down to your local coin dealer and tell him that you want some cardboard 2”x 2” silver dollar holders. Touching only the coin rims, and NEVER touch the Obverse or Reverse (Heads or Tails,) put the coins into the holder and staple them shut. Ask your dealer to show you how it is done. The system has a hundred advantages, and they are dirt cheap. But it has one risk. Do not scratch the coin with a staple, putting it in or taking it out. (Or do we install and remove lenses with pliers?)
I do remember your original question, Jatrax. But a little background is necessary.
When manufacturing coins, the simple (and not entirely complete,) view is to envision a blank disk of metal being smacked between a top and bottom die. A simplified, but enormously useful model. In 1904, the mint at New Orleans produced almost 4 million silver dollars (not considered a large number.) How? How many per second? And this is big….
They were able to produce so many coins by using many dies, many machines and many operators. Re-read…
Many dies. Many dies. Many dies.
And so, in the Middle 60’s two pioneers set out to catalogue the dies by virtue of their products. (This is as difficult and foolish as trying to identify Christmas cookie cutters, by looking at the baked cookies.) But Leroy Van Allen and George Mallis began doing just that. The acronym VAM comes from Van Allen and Mallis. VAM. They set out to identify every set of dies used to make Morgan and Peace dollars from 1978 to 1935. They did a pretty good job, and now some of us newcomers are left to fill in the blank spaces.
To give you an idea of the scope of the project, there have been over 230 identifiable die variations (or VAMs) for 1878 alone, and new ones being discovered on a regular basis. (Proud as a peacock, I discovered a new VAM just last month. And it rocks the world every bit as much as the discovery of a new species of fruit fly in the Congo, a new variety of kelp on the ocean floor or one more star in the sky.) And the salient point is that this information could not be conveyed without photography.
But back to your original question. Is my coin worth more or less because I have identified the scratch in the manufacturing die? The answer in this case (It pains me to admit,) is no. Not more, not less. But that is not always the case. Some die variations are worth a great deal.
Remember that the die was a working tool. And as such, it would wear, break, require repairs, and sometimes just start to fall apart. You can imagine that the coins struck with these dies exhibited all of the flaws? Some variations are a bit tedious. But others are awesome, and some even humorous.
In 1887, an attempt to repair a worn section of Lady Liberty’s lips, resulted in a 19th century version of plastic surgery gone bad.. Engravers modified the die so as to make her lips appear protruding. And the coins struck from those dies are called “Hot Lips.” And highly prized.

I know I didn’t answer all your questions, and it is likely you will have more. I’ll do my best to answer as I can.
What is important to me, is that you see the connection between Photography and coin collecting. Just as you discovered the connection between Photography and sports, birds, trees, nature, people, hot rods, cooking and that very personal collection of paper clips.

More Later, Kurt


02-01-2012, 11:17 PM   #27
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Kurt,
Thank you for the information. You motivated me to dig out those coins, I have not looked at them in years. I have 4 Morgan dollars one dated 1886, and three 1921. I also have five peace dollars with dates from 1922 through 1925. None are in what I would consider good shape, these were all just coins in someones pocket at the time I was born and were left with my mother for me. Supposedly an old Irish tradition but it might just have been some of my grandpa's drinking buddies for all I know.

And I think maybe you get my point about a learning curve. You obviously know an incredible amount about coins, and that knowledge did not come easy or all at once. Neither will photography, you have to learn one thing at a time, but the problem is until get far enough up the curve you can get frustrated because there are so many things to learn that it seems nothing works.

By the way, what lens are you using to shoot those coins with, I do not see that you mentioned it. Usually something like that I would use a macro lens and either a copi-pod or tripod.
02-02-2012, 09:18 PM   #28
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Dmazur,
I haven't done it yet but will try the more secure card reader route. Soon , I hope.

And just so every one knows, I'm planning on winning the lottery soon, and will have a lot more time to communicate, learn, and share. But until then, much of my day is spent deep in the salt mines.

Jatax,
First, and most important...
Your silver dollars are rare and valuable because they are a part of your heritage. They are a part of your life, legacy, and geneology. They are a part of who you are. There are very rich men in this world that will gladly spend fortunes trying to get what you have. They can't. No one can buy, with a zillion dollars, what you have. The life that they have takes the form of coins, but it is so much more.
I don't know your situation. But write down your story. While it is fresh in your mind. It is all that you have to bridge many generations. And you are the only one that can do it.
Your choice is to give your Grand daughter a wedding gift that is a true family heirloom, or a plastic toaster.
Some time I hope to share with you the letter that I got from my Grandfather in 1967, along with the silver doller enclosed. It may help you understand that YOU are the keeper of history.

But in the mean time, taking a few photographs of the coins won't hurt anything. You will learn, and enjoy.

And though I can't convey all that I wish, due to time constraints, and poor communication skills, I'll try, in time, to give you enough interesting leads that you might say...

"I'm planning on winning the lottery soon, and will have a lot more time to communicate, learn, and share."

To answer your question, I used a Sigma 50mm f=2.8 lens to photograph the die scratch.

It came in a good sized padded camera case that came on the local auction block.
I had a chance to examine the case and it's contents before the auction. And I really didn't know much about photography. (I did and still do, use a SONY Mavica with 3 1/2" floppies.) But the case "looked" professional.

It had two Pentax P3-n bodies with two Penatx 50mm 1:2 lenses, an Auto Zoom 70-210 1:4.0 (do not use due to Ricoh pin,) a Ricoh 50mm 1:1.7 (again, learned the hard way, do not use due to Ricoh pin,) and a Sigma Macro 50mm 1:2.8 that has served me well.
It also had Pentax hot-shoe flash, remote shutter release, factory instruction booklets, lens caps for everything plus extras, and Samsonite bags for all the lenses that did not have the original leather tube cases.
One camera had a near lens, and one body had a far lens. I figured somebody knew what they were doing. Further, nothing was more than "barely used," so either a pro fell on hard times, or a novice lost interest.
I knew very little about photography then, but I knew about other stuff.
And that fine bag with divided pockets and carrying strap would fetch about $90 if it were sold in a gun store. So I started bidding, and got the whole bag full of goodies for $90.
I set it aside for over a year before deciding I better do something with the booty.
I considered selling it piece by piece, and keeping the case for other purposes. But then I learned that Pentax digital cameras are very compatable with film camera lenses. After some research, I got a good deal on a K-x (only to learn about 10 minutes later, that red bodied cameras are not so good for macro photography.)

I made a copy stand out of a primitive drill press, and took a hundred pictures to get one good one.
Now I'm flying. It works.

I'll get back soon with some fun links, and a few pictures of something found in my lens...
But now it's bed time.
Thanks,
Kurt
02-03-2012, 03:47 AM   #29
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Kurt, I had the same problem with the timer,but figuered it out after a few days. I go back and forth between the camera and the manual and read these forums constantly. I was a Spotmatic shooter for many years and still like the manual settings better on my k-7. I am sceptical of technology, but not afraid of it. The learning curve is long, but every little success puts a smile on my face.
02-03-2012, 10:50 AM   #30
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Yes, I agree on the heritage factor, I would never sell those. Hope to pass them on to any grandkids I might have. My wife is majorly into ancestry and tracing her (and mine as well) family history. She has things sorted out for 10 or 12 generations going back to the old country.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kurt Atlas Quote
use a SONY Mavica with 3 1/2" floppies
Kurt, that was my first digital as well. Used that thing for years. Not great photos, especially compared to now but the coolness factor was through the roof.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kurt Atlas Quote
I got a good deal on a K-x (only to learn about 10 minutes later, that red bodied cameras are not so good for macro photography
Ok, you have me stumped here. Why is a red bodied camera not good for macro?

QuoteOriginally posted by Kurt Atlas Quote
I made a copy stand out of a primitive drill press,
Here is a link to the Pentax Copi-pod it was designed to take pictures of documents or other flat objects, like coins. They come up on ebay occasionally for not too much money. I have one in mint condition still in the original leather case. Works well for what it is.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kurt Atlas Quote
"I'm planning on winning the lottery soon, and will have a lot more time to communicate, learn, and share."
Hey, me too! Or at least my wife still has hope. I find at my age the money is not as important as the time I would gain by not having to go to work.

And here is a link to the definitive article on macro without spending a bunch. It is written by a forum member who is extremely knowledgeable, thought it might help.
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