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03-15-2019, 03:33 PM - 1 Like   #76
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This whole thing about more (and better) documentation... What a fantastic fit that would be with Ricoh Imaging's focus on the "joy" aspect, and with minimal cost compared to the development of products, especially since large chunks of the documentation could be re-used with probably minor edits for various cameras such as the KP, K-1II and future models. Indeed, well-written documentation that goes beyond "what" and explores the "how" and "why" would be an excellent way for Ricoh to differentiate Pentax from other brands... for a while, at least.

The idea can be taken further. Regional workshops and short courses giving in-depth tutorials on how to get the best from all features, including AF modes, and the techniques required to do so. Again, that fits well with the "joy" theme.

I think I know my cameras reasonably well by now, but I'm certain I could benefit from the above. At the very least, I'd appreciate learning whether-or-not I'm doing things optimally. I'm pretty sure that's not always the case


Last edited by BigMackCam; 03-15-2019 at 03:42 PM.
03-15-2019, 05:03 PM - 3 Likes   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
This whole thing about more (and better) documentation... What a fantastic fit that would be with Ricoh Imaging's focus on the "joy" aspect, and with minimal cost compared to the development of products, especially since large chunks of the documentation could be re-used with probably minor edits for various cameras such as the KP, K-1II and future models. Indeed, well-written documentation that goes beyond "what" and explores the "how" and "why" would be an excellent way for Ricoh to differentiate Pentax from other brands... for a while, at least.

The idea can be taken further. Regional workshops and short courses giving in-depth tutorials on how to get the best from all features, including AF modes, and the techniques required to do so. Again, that fits well with the "joy" theme.

I think I know my cameras reasonably well by now, but I'm certain I could benefit from the above. At the very least, I'd appreciate learning whether-or-not I'm doing things optimally. I'm pretty sure that's not always the case
There are a few things that you can try:
1. Use 1 or 5 af points for large subjects like people running, especially when there are other people running side by side. If you use more than five af points you give too much freedom to the af and it can jump from one subject to other. For birds against busy background you may be better with the same af choice selection. If the background is not distracting you can use af zone (15, 19, 21 af points, depending on what camera you use)

2. If there are 2 people running neck to neck and you don't have a specific person that you have to focus on, choose the more contrasy one to help your af system. If you need to focus on the less contrasty one, choose the most sensitive af points and use a single af point and focus on composition. On Canon for example I have the option to disable the af points that are not f2.8 sensitive and this helps me to use the best af points in low light for example. I don't use the center point af on moving subjects because I want to have some negative space on the direction that people are running. A joystick gives you a little more speed in choosing the af points but it's doable with 4 wheel buttons.

3. Avoid as much as possible contrasty backgrounds; in other words try to position yourself by keeping always an eye on the background

4. Try to anticipate the next move; if you have time, spend a few minutes and just observe the game if you are shooting sports, or try to see if the bird has a clean and straight flight or has a chaotic flight. If it has a chaotic flight you have to practice to keep the bird in flight

5. Try the release priority on the first shot instead of focus priority (focus priority on the second shot) and try to start shooting when the subject is just a litter further than you would normaly start shooting. Dont take too much images in a burst with this approach. It's better to take 2 sets of 4-5 images rather than one with 8-10 images.

6. Read the af manual of the Canon camera from the link posted a few comments back and see what settings can be applied on your cameras. You will find some similarities that you can try.

Remember that these are general tips and tricks that may work or not, depending on the photographer, the lens used, etc.

Later edit. Try also panning shots. It will give you lots of satisfaction because action doesn't mean always to freeze the action. On cars, bicycles, athlets, etc. you can get beautiful images if you use the panning technique.

Last edited by Dan Rentea; 03-15-2019 at 05:15 PM.
03-15-2019, 05:53 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
There are a few things that you can try:
1. Use 1 or 5 af points for large subjects like people running, especially when there are other people running side by side. If you use more than five af points you give too much freedom to the af and it can jump from one subject to other. For birds against busy background you may be better with the same af choice selection. If the background is not distracting you can use af zone (15, 19, 21 af points, depending on what camera you use)

2. If there are 2 people running neck to neck and you don't have a specific person that you have to focus on, choose the more contrasy one to help your af system. If you need to focus on the less contrasty one, choose the most sensitive af points and use a single af point and focus on composition. On Canon for example I have the option to disable the af points that are not f2.8 sensitive and this helps me to use the best af points in low light for example. I don't use the center point af on moving subjects because I want to have some negative space on the direction that people are running. A joystick gives you a little more speed in choosing the af points but it's doable with 4 wheel buttons.

3. Avoid as much as possible contrasty backgrounds; in other words try to position yourself by keeping always an eye on the background

4. Try to anticipate the next move; if you have time, spend a few minutes and just observe the game if you are shooting sports, or try to see if the bird has a clean and straight flight or has a chaotic flight. If it has a chaotic flight you have to practice to keep the bird in flight

5. Try the release priority on the first shot instead of focus priority (focus priority on the second shot) and try to start shooting when the subject is just a litter further than you would normaly start shooting. Dont take too much images in a burst with this approach. It's better to take 2 sets of 4-5 images rather than one with 8-10 images.

6. Read the af manual of the Canon camera from the link posted a few comments back and see what settings can be applied on your cameras. You will find some similarities that you can try.

Remember that these are general tips and tricks that may work or not, depending on the photographer, the lens used, etc.

Later edit. Try also panning shots. It will give you lots of satisfaction because action doesn't mean always to freeze the action. On cars, bicycles, athlets, etc. you can get beautiful images if you use the panning technique.
Thanks, Dan - much appreciated

I don't find myself in the position of photographing running people (yet ). But I've used your point (1) with success in other multiple moving object scenarios. Point (3) I've also learned through trial and error. In fact, even in non-moving subjects, I'm generally very aware of my background when auto-focusing, especially if it's on a smaller subject where the AF point (or points) might cover an area larger than the subject. Re point (4), I need more practice... I'm not great at tracking motion with faster or irregular moving subjects (some birds, for instance). (2), (5) are completely new to me, and (6) is definitely on my to-do list.

I guess my original point was, given Ricoh Imaging's answers to Adam's interview questions, if the "joy" aspect and services are high on Ricoh's list going forward, a relatively easy win would be to provide instructional documentation and training that helps Pentax shooters get the very best out of the equipment they already have or might be interested in buying. It could be a revenue-generating thing. If Ricoh offered books or local courses I could attend that would improve the way I use its cameras and lenses, I'd strongly consider paying for those... Even though much of the advice might be applicable to all brands, any insight that enabled me (us) to understand Pentax products better and utilise them optimally would be as valuable to me (perhaps more so) than a new piece of equipment...
03-15-2019, 05:57 PM - 1 Like   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Thanks, Dan - much appreciated



I don't find myself in the position of photographing running people (yet ). But I've used your point (1) with success in other multiple moving object scenarios. Point (3) I've also learned through trial and error. In fact, even in non-moving subjects, I'm generally very aware of my background when auto-focusing, especially if it's on a smaller subject where the AF point (or points) might cover an area larger than the subject. Re point (4), I need more practice... I'm not great at tracking motion with faster or irregular moving subjects (some birds, for instance). (2), (5) are completely new to me, and (6) is definitely on my to-do list.



I guess my original point was, given Ricoh Imaging's answers to Adam's interview questions, if the "joy" aspect and services are high on Ricoh's list going forward, a relatively easy win would be to provide instructional documentation and training that helps Pentax shooters get the very best out of the equipment they already have or might be interested in buying. It could be a revenue-generating thing. If Ricoh offered books or local courses I could attend that would improve the way I use its cameras and lenses, I'd strongly consider paying for those... Even though much of the advice might be applicable to all brands, any insight that enabled me (us) to understand Pentax products better and utilise them optimally would be as valuable to me (perhaps more so) than a new piece of equipment...
I think that would be huge. Would help minimize the negative comments regarding their AF systems.



03-16-2019, 02:45 AM - 1 Like   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Thanks, Dan - much appreciated

I don't find myself in the position of photographing running people (yet ). But I've used your point (1) with success in other multiple moving object scenarios. Point (3) I've also learned through trial and error. In fact, even in non-moving subjects, I'm generally very aware of my background when auto-focusing, especially if it's on a smaller subject where the AF point (or points) might cover an area larger than the subject. Re point (4), I need more practice... I'm not great at tracking motion with faster or irregular moving subjects (some birds, for instance). (2), (5) are completely new to me, and (6) is definitely on my to-do list.

I guess my original point was, given Ricoh Imaging's answers to Adam's interview questions, if the "joy" aspect and services are high on Ricoh's list going forward, a relatively easy win would be to provide instructional documentation and training that helps Pentax shooters get the very best out of the equipment they already have or might be interested in buying. It could be a revenue-generating thing. If Ricoh offered books or local courses I could attend that would improve the way I use its cameras and lenses, I'd strongly consider paying for those... Even though much of the advice might be applicable to all brands, any insight that enabled me (us) to understand Pentax products better and utilise them optimally would be as valuable to me (perhaps more so) than a new piece of equipment...
Absolutely.

I have said many times that one of the best advertising they could do would be to develop a You Tube stream where they explain how to get the most of your Pentax cameras. Some stuff would be brand agnositc and simple stuff like getting good exposure in difficult situations. Some would be the things we've talked about here, but you could also have interesting little tips on things like using the Astro Tracer or pixel shift. They have some ambassadors like Kerrick James, might as well use them a bit more.
03-16-2019, 03:52 AM - 2 Likes   #81
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Niels Kemp comes to mind for Ricoh/Pentax. I follow him for his Street Photography and the other images he produces with the Ricoh GR. He has recently produced videos for the Pentax KP as well:

Ogun Turkay, another Ricoh/Pentax ambassador, is one of my favorite Wildlife Photographers and is quite active on Instagram.
Ogun Caglayan Turkay (@ogunturkay) ? Instagram photos and videos

I think Pentax could benefit from a more community driven advocate. Ambassadors do have their brand obligations/commitments and may not cover the topics or be as transparent as others might be.

In the Nikon world, a lot of people love Moose Peterson. Personally, I find him to be rather abrasive and his contributions lean more on the side of product promotion as opposed to maximizing the system. A lot of people who shoot Nikon, eventually discover or are referred to Steve Perry.

Steve Perry - YouTube

Steve's videos are absolutely fantastic. Sure, he does his share of reviews, but they are done so with a thoughtful perspective. I've purchased a couple of his ebooks:
- Secrets to Stunning Wildlife Photography
- Secrets to the Nikon Autofocus System
where he goes in deeper detail on ways to maximize your equipment

All said, I can understand why someone would not want to put themselves out there. The internet is full of individuals hiding behind screen-names and avatars that are quick to criticize and be combative as opposed to being constructive and thoughtful. I don't think people realize the amount of time/energy it takes to create content, instead, they are quick to dole out a snide and crass remark that they would NEVER say in person.

A Pentax content contributor would need to have a thick skin to wade through all of the canned responses/assumptions that are often brought up here. Within this forum, there is moderation and numbers. On YouTube, that community support is offset by ignorance and snark.
03-22-2019, 07:23 PM - 1 Like   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by sutherland Quote
All said, I can understand why someone would not want to put themselves out there. The internet is full of individuals hiding behind screen-names and avatars that are quick to criticize and be combative as opposed to being constructive and thoughtful. I don't think people realize the amount of time/energy it takes to create content, instead, they are quick to dole out a snide and crass remark that they would NEVER say in person.

A Pentax content contributor would need to have a thick skin to wade through all of the canned responses/assumptions that are often brought up here. Within this forum, there is moderation and numbers. On YouTube, that community support is offset by ignorance and snark.
Too late for me... I'm already putting myself out there and have no shame stating that I'm a Pentaxian.
I've gotten messages from Canikony users saying things like "Lol, you should sell your Pentax and get a real camera" "Pentax is still around? I thought they went extinct when film died" "Pentax is $h!t" etc. I honesty don't care. I put up content to help those who WANT to be helped (more geared towards beginners, but I'm conceptualizing Pentax Specific stuff to post on YouTube soon). If they want to be childish, not my problem. I just don't let it get to me.
03-22-2019, 10:55 PM - 2 Likes   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kobie Quote
"Pentax is still around? I thought they went extinct when film died"
This is asked a lot and not to make fun of Pentax. The lack of online presence of Pentax is a "problem" that Ricoh need to solve by hiring someone who knows the trends at the marketing department. The young generation doesn't know the history of Pentax and even if they know abot Pentax is mostly because they have a dad that had or has a film Pentax camera.

And with this new mirrorless trend, even the discussions about DSLRs from Canon and Nikon become less and less popular on internet.

If you started to upload video on Youtube with great information provided, subscribers will come and people will appreciate your effort. Trolls are everywhere and will attack anyone no matter how good the information provided is. So, as you said, the best answer for them is simply to ignore them. They are feeding with the answers of the ones they attack so as long as you don't feed them, they will starve (get bored) and then will go to the another person.

04-01-2019, 12:42 PM   #84
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New video up. Something went way wrong with my mic gain, so apologies in advance.
04-01-2019, 07:45 PM   #85
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I have nothing to compare the AF too, and my only AF lenses are a 90mm macro and a motley assortment various 300mm zooms.
generally I'm as fast doing manual focus but auto focus is less work.
04-02-2019, 05:52 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax360 Quote
I have nothing to compare the AF too, and my only AF lenses are a 90mm macro and a motley assortment various 300mm zooms.
generally I'm as fast doing manual focus but auto focus is less work.
The Tamron 90 macro is a very fast focusing lens, but because it's macro, the length of movement of the focusing elements can mean it's still slow to focus. But I've compared it to a D800 with an 85 1.4 on it and there's not much difference. It's the same or maybe bit faster.
04-14-2019, 04:19 PM   #87
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suck compared to what? part of the problem is I think on the older cameras AF was not very consistent unless you had a bright sunny day (K200D/K10D, etc). It made me move to a Canon 40D for a long time. When I upgraded that camera to another Canon I had no idea what any of the focus settings meant and got crap results until I figured out how to use the settings. Same thing when I got a K3-II. Had to fiddle around with the settings until I got it just right. Part of the problem with any comparison is how knowledgeable you are in the camera system you're comparing to. I got a Nikon D7200 for giggles; I couldn't focus with it because I had no idea how its focus setting worked.

As far as my experience, once I finally got used to how the cameras worked, the speed of the lens became another factor. Canon's USM on their L family glass is great. Their STM on their consumer lineup is... better for video and the recofusing after defocusing effect. Pentax's old SDM lenses are incredibly slow, any comparison using them will be sure to weigh down the system. Once I got comparable lenses to test (sigma 17-50mm, sigma 35mm art, sigma 30mm art, etc.), I found the lenses themselves to vary too much for anything meaningful (esp the 30mm, why was this not in any review????). The only real apples to apples comparison I've used (at least I think) is the Tamron 24-70 vs the Pentax 24-70, and using that I find the 7Dmk2 to be slightly better than the K3-II when I was shooting a bunch of kids running around at a party, but it could also get a bit inconsistent (meaning it would latch on, but here were times where it would miss for a while, while the K3-II more more consistent in its missing, if that makes sense, maybe due to Tamron not being a native OEM AF solution). with a Canon 70-200 vs the Pentax 70-200 I found the 7D2 to be more consistently better. oh, and DPAF on Canon is legit in video; even using the sigma 17-50mm OS (I have an older version with it) to remove shake, there is no hope to compare the two systems.


The problem with any comparison is that when one system wins, it's automatically assumed the loser can't do the same task (well except Pentax for video, it's there just to check a marketing box it feels like). I don't think that's the right conclusion to draw. The winner should make the job easier, taking the pressure of thinking and more just pressing a button to get the results. But the converse isn't true either; when the system of your choice loses it doesn't mean it's always the fault of poor technique, it could mean that the other system makes getting the right results much easier. I remember the first time I used an a6500 for a portrait shoot and was amazed I didn't need to think about moving AF points, just compose the image with the model and make sure she gave me an eye for the system to latch on to. It didn't mean Pentax or Canon can't take portraits, it just means the Sony made it that much of an easier experience. But me having that opinion doesn't mean I don't have good technique with a Canon or Pentax (or Nikon, but god damn whoever designed that UI must've been poached by Sony).

So in short, is the AF technology in modern Pentax bodies bad? No. Does it suck? No. Can other systems achieve the same results/better results with less effort? In some cases, yes. In AF-S, the first time I put on the 70-200mm on a Pentax, I was floored by the almost instant AF. the 55-300 PLM is just amazing; I would rate it right up there with any other system. For AF-C tracking, it does get the job done, but doesn't mean some other camera system might not make it easier for a beginner (or a seasoned pro).
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