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02-02-2021, 04:06 PM - 18 Likes   #1
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Pentax PentaPrism Tribute!

This is a shout out to Pentax and Ricoh for their devotion to brain, vision, and SLR. I study vision and brain, and was lucky as a graduate student to have an excellent photography store on the square in Madison WI in 1984 carrying the big 4 SLRs. My SuperProgram is still lovely, and the kit lenses are testimonies to Pentax legacy, still working well on my adult hobby joys, a KP and KS2. I will get to brain and vision soon, but let me start with known design background.

Pentax was among the first companies to see the beauty of SLR’s in the early 1950’s. More so than the others, they prized the photographer's vision. They named their camera after the glass device that feeds vision, the pentaprism. They also prized the human, including the hands. Pentax worked out a very usable arrangement of dials, still copied by most other SLRs today. For almost 70 years now (and longer with pre-SLR Pentax), the company continues to refine their camera designs, always with an eye toward the photographer’s vision and hands. They kept the fully glass prisms that maximize vision while other manufacturers did not. What more could Pentax do? A little brain science first…

Pentax always appreciated the photographer's “stimulus”, the array of light captured by the lens and bounced through the prism. But human perception only begins with the array. In an amazing parallel transmission process, after retinal transduction, the array's energy flows through major brain structures like the visual cortex, in two or more major steams and several minor ones. A picture is not what's transmitted; the streams are like cables a million strands thick, connecting thicker brain regions. The neurons are specialized in a multitude of ways, and analyze the incoming flow as they transmit it. These analyses become more fully realized in 30 or more specialized brain regions. The regions are part of a complex network involving at least 30 to 50% of the brain. Each middle region specializes in a separate property such as color or color balance, form at various scales, or multiple types of depth and motion. Even deeper regions may process relations like composition and weight. The neural flow continues, activating memory and emotion, and together the brain enjoys a beautiful picture.

In composing these pictures, our brain is very active, including regions that guide action. There's multiple regions for action… and you get the idea. The brain develops maps of where and how to adjust so as to best capture the beauty of light and composition. Good designs leave more of the photographer’s mind for the picture. They help artistic actions become automatic; that’s learning and skill. With Pentax, learning and skill are honored by a stable evolution of design and elegance for 100 years, a lasting human legacy.

What more can Pentax do? Sounds like they are enlarging the photographer’s vision and brain once more, with an even better glass prism, a more direct action-vision plate on back, and a continuing devotion to dependability and user-logic. Thank you Pentax and Ricoh!

02-02-2021, 04:13 PM   #2
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thanks for an excellent read
02-02-2021, 04:17 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by toms957 Quote
In an amazing parallel transmission process, after retinal transduction, the array's energy flows through major brain structures like the visual cortex, in two or more major steams and several minor ones. A picture is not what's transmitted; the streams are like cables a million strands thick, connecting thicker brain regions. The neurons are specialized in a multitude of ways, and analyze the incoming flow as they transmit it. These analyses become more fully realized in 30 or more specialized brain regions. The regions are part of a complex network involving at least 30 to 50% of the brain. Each middle region specializes in a separate property such as color or color balance, form at various scales, or multiple types of depth and motion. Even deeper regions may process relations like composition and weight. The neural flow continues, activating memory and emotion, and together the brain enjoys a beautiful picture.
Sorta like PhotoShop on steroids!
02-02-2021, 05:30 PM - 1 Like   #4
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You just painted a very visual picture in my imagination! Thanks for the post and explanation. I much prefer the optical viewfinder.

02-02-2021, 10:12 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Yea for the OVF! And for Pentax, whose entire DSLR line, even a relatively inexpensive entry-level model, now offers an advanced OVF costing much more with other brands. Nice explanation here regarding the intricacies of brain processing. Fascinating that photography is so stimulating for the brain.
02-03-2021, 02:05 AM   #6
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Very nice reading. Enjoyable to know how much our brain really responds to a picture. Sometimes when you look at a photo, you cannot take your eyes off. Numerous details and different aspects of this come forward and it is then you realize how good it might be. Thanks for sharing.
02-03-2021, 09:43 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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As you can see by what I have in my signature, I am in total agreement
02-03-2021, 05:30 PM   #8
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Well, that was a fascinating read. 😀

I also found something pure and beautiful in Pentax OVF and to be honest Pentaprism was one of the reasons to switch from Nikon's entry-level DSLR, which was - I must admit it - not very helpful for the beginner. More like just a preview of photographing. Pentax is the real companion through the way of capturing the moments - taking mistakes - learning - trying something new - seeing more.

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