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08-05-2014, 07:26 AM   #76
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Good for you on taking the initiative, Brooke. In a lot of places these days [here], the decline of the newspapers (plus the degeneration of radio), and flight to the far reaches of the county make having much sense of community, let alone organization, very difficult.

08-05-2014, 07:40 AM - 6 Likes   #77
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So even though I said I wouldn't, I asked my sister in law for the teacher's e-mail. I fired an politically correct message asking politely why he dissed the K5 and pushed her into buying a old obsolete camera instead. He kindly replied pretty much the same story I was told and asked if I mind calling him to discuss.

Turns out, Charles, the teacher is a retired philosophy teacher who has been a keen photographer since before I was born (about 40 years ago). To my surprise, he shoots a Sony A77 (to which he refers often as his Minolta) and he has been using Minolta camera for a very long time. After a 45 minutes talk, he sounded like he sure knows his thing, he's a hardcore manual guy, being focus and exposure. But he has a hard time with technology and he admits that at times some cameras are a challenge for him. But he assured me that in his class, camera brand does not matter and he thinks that teaching his student how to use their specific camera is part of the deal. He usually recommends the T3 since it is cheap, decent and it is available everywhere. So I wondered why he didn't allow my sis-in-law to use the K5. This is where it got interesting.

A few years ago one of his student had a Pentax camera, he couldn't remember the model or any info on it but he remembers that the camera would not allow him to change the settings, even in manual... The aperture or shutter would jump all over the place, as if it had a mind of his own. He then assumed that this was a normal Pentax behavior... kinda staying in automatic all the time to some extent. All he could hear about Pentax at the time was that their camera were not up to par. To me, this looked like the plague that some Kr suffered with the scroll wheel... I know too well, mine did that. I told him that this is not normal and that Pentax operates the same was every other brand does, clearly this camera was defective.

Fast forward 2014 and the fully operational K5. He said that he was impressed with the feel and quality of it and looked like a proper pro camera but he was still skeptical. He said that on power-up the camera would display a fault which would clear itself. After that the camera would only shoot in Av mode or manual but with no aperture control... I asked if the fault was "F--" by any chance... And it was... I told him that this was probably due to dirty contacts on the mount. It could even be simply because the lens was not mounted properly... The 50-200 is brand new and I remember how tight it was to mount, it was probably not locked and the camera was simply asking for the focal length and since it didn't detect the contacts, the camera assumed that it was a M or a K lens. I told him that because of the weather seals, sometimes lenses are harder to click.

He was impressed to learn that most new Pentax bodies are WR and after hearing me explain the whole thing and selling Pentax as a brand and how even the new bodies work with every K mount lenses I'm pretty sure the next time a Pentax shows up, he'll allow it.

All in all, it does show that publicity is important but availability is crucial. Very few small local store carry Pentax and it's a pity, if more people turned out with Pentax bodies, surely none of that would have happened.

So yes, it was a bit of hate towards Pentax and a simple peek at the manual would have sorted things out. But given the fact that he admitted of being somewhat a computer illiterate and not up to par with technology by a long shot, it's understandable.
08-05-2014, 08:01 AM   #78
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Well that turns a bummer into a good story, accept your sister having to buy a $175 piece of junk. The old guy isn't as bad as we thought, he's just old. I can relate. I think the first three things to go as you get older, are your memory, your ability to think on your feet, and your patience, and what was that first thing again, I wanted to talk some more about that.
08-05-2014, 08:28 AM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Well that turns a bummer into a good story, accept your sister having to buy a $175 piece of junk. The old guy isn't as bad as we thought, he's just old. I can relate. I think the first three things to go as you get older, are your memory, your ability to think on your feet, and your patience, and what was that first thing again, I wanted to talk some more about that.
My wife has needled me to mellow out, so now I do my best to gently ask when I don't understand something, "OK - please explain that to me." Then I shut my mouth.

Unfortunately it drives younger people bats#$% crazy when I do that.


Last edited by monochrome; 08-05-2014 at 08:55 AM.
08-05-2014, 08:30 AM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The DA 21 and 40 XS go into the spot in a waste pack that is designed for a water bottle.
A waste pack designed for water bottles? You need a waist pack, don't put your stuff with the waste, you could get sick!
08-05-2014, 09:11 AM   #81
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Glad that he isn't just a phony. My mentor kind of leave all technical questions from students for me because he is kind of in the similar situation but probably isn't as bad.
08-05-2014, 09:27 AM   #82
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Thanks for the thorough update. We like to know these things; and these days, we can use more of happier endings following matters of dispute.
08-05-2014, 09:32 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by fgaudet Quote
So even though I said I wouldn't, I asked my sister in law for the teacher's e-mail. I fired an politically correct message asking politely why he dissed the K5 and pushed her into buying a old obsolete camera instead. He kindly replied pretty much the same story I was told and asked if I mind calling him to discuss.

Turns out, Charles, the teacher is a retired philosophy teacher who has been a keen photographer since before I was born (about 40 years ago). To my surprise, he shoots a Sony A77 (to which he refers often as his Minolta) and he has been using Minolta camera for a very long time. After a 45 minutes talk, he sounded like he sure knows his thing, he's a hardcore manual guy, being focus and exposure. But he has a hard time with technology and he admits that at times some cameras are a challenge for him. But he assured me that in his class, camera brand does not matter and he thinks that teaching his student how to use their specific camera is part of the deal. He usually recommends the T3 since it is cheap, decent and it is available everywhere. So I wondered why he didn't allow my sis-in-law to use the K5. This is where it got interesting.

A few years ago one of his student had a Pentax camera, he couldn't remember the model or any info on it but he remembers that the camera would not allow him to change the settings, even in manual... The aperture or shutter would jump all over the place, as if it had a mind of his own. He then assumed that this was a normal Pentax behavior... kinda staying in automatic all the time to some extent. All he could hear about Pentax at the time was that their camera were not up to par. To me, this looked like the plague that some Kr suffered with the scroll wheel... I know too well, mine did that. I told him that this is not normal and that Pentax operates the same was every other brand does, clearly this camera was defective.

Fast forward 2014 and the fully operational K5. He said that he was impressed with the feel and quality of it and looked like a proper pro camera but he was still skeptical. He said that on power-up the camera would display a fault which would clear itself. After that the camera would only shoot in Av mode or manual but with no aperture control... I asked if the fault was "F--" by any chance... And it was... I told him that this was probably due to dirty contacts on the mount. It could even be simply because the lens was not mounted properly... The 50-200 is brand new and I remember how tight it was to mount, it was probably not locked and the camera was simply asking for the focal length and since it didn't detect the contacts, the camera assumed that it was a M or a K lens. I told him that because of the weather seals, sometimes lenses are harder to click.

He was impressed to learn that most new Pentax bodies are WR and after hearing me explain the whole thing and selling Pentax as a brand and how even the new bodies work with every K mount lenses I'm pretty sure the next time a Pentax shows up, he'll allow it.

All in all, it does show that publicity is important but availability is crucial. Very few small local store carry Pentax and it's a pity, if more people turned out with Pentax bodies, surely none of that would have happened.

So yes, it was a bit of hate towards Pentax and a simple peek at the manual would have sorted things out. But given the fact that he admitted of being somewhat a computer illiterate and not up to par with technology by a long shot, it's understandable.
I'm happy to hear this story ended up in this way. My initial reaction was that here was yet another case of unfounded pro-Canikon bias - all too common! And yes, as you say, more Pentax publicity, exposure and education would probably go some way towards improving things.


Last edited by KDAFA; 08-05-2014 at 09:45 AM.
08-05-2014, 09:47 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by fgaudet Quote
First off, names and locations were kept secret in order to protect the innocents...

I often hear of this kind of story (camera requirement) when people sign up for photography classes but never did I expect this to turn out this way.

Being freshly retired, my sister in law was bored and decided to take some photography lessons in the little town where my brother and her live (small 1500 inhabitant town in eastern QC). Not having much spare money and knowing I had way too much gear, she asked if she could borrow (and perhaps later on buy) a camera and lens from me. I was planning on lending her my Kr but since I ended up selling it, I shipped out my K5, with and a Sigma 18-200 (I figured a superzoom would be best at the moment).

Early last week, I got a phone call from her asking if I had a better camera since the K5 wasn't adequate for her course (which is introduction to photography btw). I was puzzled. A few days before her course began, she e-mail the teacher to see if the camera would be acceptable. But apparently, the Pentax K5 is too limited and lack features found on DSLR cameras and she wouldn't be able to use it for the course because of this. (again, intro to photography). Clearly the guy thought it was a Pentax X5. So I told her that the K5 is more than good enough being Pentax's flagship only a few years ago and if anything, it will be too much of a camera.

Yesterday, she messaged me saying that her teacher checked the K5 on her first lesson and maintained his opinion regarding it. He recommended she'd get a Rebel T3. She replied that at the moment she couldn't afford a new camera. He then recommended to check their local(ish) store and get a used Rebel XT with a kit lens that he saw on sale for about $175. Advice which she sadly followed.

What is really sad here is that not only she now believes that Pentax are lesser cameras and so does the rest of her class since the whole thing was a bit of a classroom debate. She was arguing that I use Pentax and I have taken some beautiful pictures with it over the years and proceeded to show the class my FB page... To which the teacher replied that you can take beautiful pictures for FB even with an iphone but that still doesn't make it (the iphone, and the K5 to some extent) a camera suitable for a photographer.

There is so much wrong with this story that I had to share... It's not only sad that Pentax (and Olympus apparently too) are considered inadequate (due to brand snobbism or incredible lack of knowledge) but also that in a sense, the teacher will indoctrinate a whole classroom in believing that photography is more about the camera than it is about the talent.

It's INTRO to photography for crying out loud, even a decent P&S with some manual controls should be good enough...

Anyway, I gave up and I am waiting the return of my K5, hoping that its ego wasn't bruised too much and that it'll let me take some more "good for FB" pictures in the future.
wow. hope she pay the postage you paid to ship the camera out.
08-05-2014, 09:51 AM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I was in a local outfitters, getting a small waterproof hard case for my 21 and 40XS. Gerry who shoots Canon FF and sells his images right there in the store, ask to see the lenses. I handed him both lens from one hand, I think I saw the same look, when they came apart and it was two lenses not one.
Ha ha!
08-05-2014, 12:23 PM   #86
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lazy ignorant teacher, but i am never surprised at how many people don't "get" Pentax.
...ok, now where can i find me a Canon Rebel XT? I've been using inadequate gear this whole time?! sheesh.

(EDIT: i finally read the followup to the story, and the guy is still ignorant, IMO, lol)
08-05-2014, 12:27 PM   #87
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Just for giggles...

Canon Rebel XTi vs Pentax K-x - Our Analysis

Canon Rebel XT vs Pentax K-x - Our Analysis
08-05-2014, 12:28 PM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
The reason was "This camera doesn't have all the correct features." That's just ignorance.
As long as it can take memory cards (or film), you can change lenses, and you can adjust the iso, shutter speed, and aperture, it's more than sufficient for a beginner's photography class I would think. A K5? That's like learning to drive with a Ferrari. This is why I thought the guy sounded like a total idiot. Photography 101 classes used to be taught with far less tech in terms of camera than they are now. The DSLR cameras we use now are so advanced it's absurd sometimes, even the entry level models are capable of some pro level work. I'm proof positive of that.

I was in the studio with a K-x for a year, doing professional shoots. It did have it's limitations. No WR meant shooting outdoors was a bit risky because of the weather and humidity here and also because I'm just a total klutz besides, and not really trustworthy around large bodies of water, but mostly it got the job done. I'd have practically killed for my own K5 all last year, snort. I could just imagine what would happen if I walked into that guy's class with my flashy red K-30. He'd probably scratch his head and look all confused because likely the only red camera he's ever seen would still fit into his shirt pocket...
08-05-2014, 01:53 PM   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
(EDIT: i finally read the followup to the story, and the guy is still ignorant, IMO, lol)
In a way you're right. For a guy teaching photography in 2014, he should know better or at least try to keep up with the world. I lost him a few times when discussing AA filter simulator, color spaces. and RAW bit depth... But I'm a gear head and it's stuff which an amateur photographer doesn't need to know, but a teacher on the other hand... At the very least he should have tried to stay up to date. He couldn't believe that a Pentax (K3) was chosen as camera of the year by many, simply because in his little Internet disconnected world, Pentax isn't present and because the only experience he had with a Pentax DSLR was bad.

With all due respect to the older peeps around here, given the students age (60+) he probably is better suited for the job than a 20-30yo geek. Because (again no offence to anyone) most older folks I know are kinda technologically challenged... I can still picture my dad's stunned look when I try to explain technical computer stuff to him.

I'm just happy it wasn't yet another case of brand bias. As for the XT, well the camera will probably be good enough, for a while anyway but she would have benefited from a SR body and she also would have had access to a lot of K mount lenses that I don't use but aren't worth selling... Now I'll need to find Christmas gifts... for the next decade... And I thought I had this covered
08-05-2014, 02:09 PM   #90
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Keep the camera and lenses, let her use the camera she bought and get used to using a dslr.


Later she will be very grateful to accept your kind offer with all the lenses you can spare, it will be an upgrade for her, and she will treasure it, look after it and produce some stunning images.


And she can sell the plastic thing for what she paid for it.
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