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03-22-2009, 09:27 AM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
[snip] as I'll sometimes see the focus lights flash at inappropriate distances, especially in low light. [/snip]
If you are referring to the red light show in the viewfinder, that is not the focus indicator, it is Mr. Pentax saying "I'm trying to use this focus point". The focus indicator is still the green hexagon in the information bar at the bottom.

03-22-2009, 01:14 PM   #137
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QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
What did wedding photographers and photojournalists do before autofocus existed? The ability to quickly snap a subject into focus manually (even a fast-moving subject) is an acquired and valuable photographic skill. So is predictive focusing. Once learned, the whole autofocus argument goes away.
Jim, I understand your view completely and, if I can be allowed a little paradox, I would say that half of me agrees with you completely. For me, the auto-focus speed of the Pentax cameras is a non-issue - it wasn't even an issue for me when I was shooting more kids' sports than I'm shooting these days. I have had some problems with autofocus that caused me to lose shots, but in retrospect, I could have handled the situation better myself and I don't blame the camera. And I do focus manually when I have to. Yesterday I got an inside tour of the Dallas Zoo. (My daughter is a zookeeper.) At a zoo you pretty much have to focus manually, at least if the animals are close to the fence or bars and if you're close to the animals, otherwise, the camera almost inevitably locks on to the fence or bars and the animal is out of focus. I suppose folks taking snaps with their point and shoots don't notice this because of the great depth of field those small cameras have, but I bet more than one dslr newbie has come home from the zoo with a bunch of out of focus shots and been mad at the camera.

But I said only half of me agreed with you. The other half acknowledges that auto-focus is very useful. For my shooting, it's useful perhaps 85% of the time.

QuoteQuote:
It seems to me that anyone who is serious about their images would be in manual mode (both exposure & focus) 99% of the time anyway.
Here in this forum I've said almost exactly that, in the past. I've generally shot in M in the past. It would be a tragedy if we were to LOSE the ability to control every aspect of the camera's operation manually. But I don't see that happening.

A year ago (I think) I tried experimenting with the K10D's hyper-program (P) mode. I felt it could give me control similar to the control I was used to in M, and it looked like it should be a little easier to use over all. At that time, I just couldn't "get" it and I went back to M. P did NOT actually seem easier after all. I was used to thinking in simple terms about aperture and shutter speed and I found using the +/- key required a kind of abstraction or adjustment that at first made my head hurt, kind of like trying to do math in base 12 in stead of base 10. Plus, adjusting the EV requires holding the +/- button down AND moving the front e-dial, which is harder than just moving one of the e-dials by itself.

Well, a couple months ago I started using P again, and this time I'm liking it more. It does happen now and then that I give up and feel the need to switch to M. And I still find working with the +/- button slightly awkward. But I've discovered that I need to adjust the EV less than I thought I'd have to, while in M mode I was constantly having to deal with both dials to avoid faulty exposures. I've just about gotten used to P and I'm getting results that I'm happy with - no worse than when I was doing it manually.

All the technical concepts that used to be important are important still and serious photographers must still be masters of their tools. But I never thought there was anything especially virtuous about using M mode. I used it when I was young because that was all I had, and continued using it for a long time afterwards either because it's what I was familiar with and perhaps because I felt I was getting better results that way. But I've been trying to loosen up a little lately. I'm persuaded that hyper-program on the Pentax cameras is a brilliant feature.

Will
03-22-2009, 08:05 PM   #138
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Well, being away from the board for a little while... I came back to quite the surprise of a LOT OF REPLIES on this post.

I am in the process of reading...

I've plunged and got myself a 20mm 1.8 sigma & 18-250mm SMC pentax lens.

Thanks for all the input...

Ill be posting soon.


By the way, mirror-lockup through self-timer just doesn't cut it but I'll surely live

Last edited by steve500; 03-22-2009 at 08:32 PM.
03-22-2009, 09:01 PM   #139
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I left Pentax for Canon when Pentax was late out of the gate for digital......but came back when the k10d was released. They are all great cameras...but Pentax every once in a while delivers something special...and hopefully will again soon.
p.s....am I correct in thinking that Pentax doing a little better in Canada than other places?

03-22-2009, 09:19 PM   #140
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
<snip>
p.s....am I correct in thinking that Pentax doing a little better in Canada than other places?
I don't know about that, but we Canucks often swim upstream.
03-22-2009, 09:56 PM   #141
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Or on Zambonies.
03-22-2009, 10:32 PM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
...All the technical concepts that used to be important are important still and serious photographers must still be masters of their tools. But I never thought there was anything especially virtuous about using M mode. I used it when I was young because that was all I had, and continued using it for a long time afterwards either because it's what I was familiar with and perhaps because I felt I was getting better results that way. But I've been trying to loosen up a little lately. I'm persuaded that hyper-program on the Pentax cameras is a brilliant feature.
Hi Will,

I like your comments - I never meant to imply that M mode was the end-all of photography. What I meant to imply was that mastery of full manual operation was really necessary in order to consider oneself a serious practitioner of the craft. I'm fully in favor of breaking the rules, as long as one first knows what they are. Guess I'm overly sensitive due to the influx of machine-gunners and photoshop wizards that the digital age has born.

Having said that, I usually leave my camera in P mode when I'm not deliberately shooting - that way, I don't have to shift my brain into 'photographer mode' if a once-in-a-lifetime photo op presents itself. For the same reason, I use a UV filter as a lens cap (but take it off to shoot if time permits). Also use Av & Tv occasionally, and even autofocus if my eyes are tired & I'm using some wide glass (shhh - I didn't say that too loud, did I?).
03-22-2009, 10:44 PM   #143
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
Or on Zambonies.
True...lol. Although I live on the west cost of Canada with the weather patterns come up from the south or Hawaii...rains a lot and not all that warm, but not much if any snow. Flowers have been out for weeks.......as are the blossoms on the trees.

03-23-2009, 06:30 AM   #144
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QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
I like your comments - I never meant to imply that M mode was the end-all of photography. What I meant to imply was that mastery of full manual operation was really necessary in order to consider oneself a serious practitioner of the craft. I'm fully in favor of breaking the rules, as long as one first knows what they are. Guess I'm overly sensitive due to the influx of machine-gunners and photoshop wizards that the digital age has born.
Jim, I suspected we were closer than first appeared: in fact, it looks like we're on the same page entirely. "Mastery of full manual operation" is indeed essential. A photographer who hopes to take good photographs by design and not by accident must (a) know exactly what his camera is doing and (b) must be in control of the camera. That's what I was taught when I was young and it's an eternal truth. And the easiest way to satisfy these requirements - that is, to stay on top of what the camera is doing and to stay in complete control - is to shoot in M. It may not be the ONLY way, indeed, I know that it's not. But it's the easiest way.

The funny thing about M is that people think it's hard, when it really isn't. I guess it's harder than green mode where you don't have to do anything except try not to drop the camera. But as I said earlier, in a way, P is actually harder than M! I've been working with P lately because it's more efficient and somewhat safer - not because it's easier.

Will
03-23-2009, 07:01 AM   #145
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Jim, I suspected we were closer than first appeared: in fact, it looks like we're on the same page entirely. "Mastery of full manual operation" is indeed essential. A photographer who hopes to take good photographs by design and not by accident must (a) know exactly what his camera is doing and (b) must be in control of the camera.
That I can agree 100% with. I almost typed up a response earlier but couldn't figure out how to word it, so thank you. I'm in autofocus mode 99% of the time and Program/Av mode very often (though when the lighting gets really weird I revert to spot metering in M mode), but I've "paid my dues" by using all manual gear for quite some time and understand very well how things work. So between that and familiarity with how my particular equipment works (e.g. I have a good sense for the DOF of a given lens at a given distance and aperture, and I know how the meter acts and when I'll need to override it) I know what the results will be based on my current settings. So in effect, it's just doing semi-automatically what I would be doing manually in the first place, and in that case, why not let the camera take over some of the grunt work so I can focus on the composition?
03-23-2009, 09:17 AM   #146
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
True...lol. Although I live on the west cost of Canada with the weather patterns come up from the south or Hawaii...rains a lot and not all that warm, but not much if any snow. Flowers have been out for weeks.......as are the blossoms on the trees.
I hate you. I'm in BC, too, but 1000 Km East and 1200 m up from you. As I type this, there is a fine snow falling outside my patio door. I have not garaged the snow blower yet, even if it is "springtime in the Rockies".

For those that don't get the quoted phrase, being not as chronologically challenged as I am, there is an old song "When It's Spring Time in the Rockies".
03-23-2009, 09:42 AM   #147
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I hate you. I'm in BC, too, but 1000 Km East and 1200 m up from you. As I type this, there is a fine snow falling outside my patio door. I have not garaged the snow blower yet, even if it is "springtime in the Rockies".

For those that don't get the quoted phrase, being not as chronologically challenged as I am, there is an old song "When It's Spring Time in the Rockies".
Hmmm... I'm a bit south of smc, in the west foothills of the Cascades - two days ago it was near 70F, this morning it snowed. I guess miss Spring is toying with us...
03-25-2009, 07:42 PM   #148
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
Or on Zambonies.
You are a total tea bag!!! To the OP, if Pentax isn't doing it for you, I'd seriously look into a lightly used Canon 30d and spend the rest on IS based lenses. You'll be in heaven when using telephoto lenses, theres no wobble while looking through the viewfinder.
03-25-2009, 08:12 PM   #149
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Oh I'M the teabag...
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