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Forum: General Photography 05-11-2019, 05:27 PM  
Why A BIG Camera When The Latest Smart Phones Are So Capable?
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 120
Views: 4,761
A big camera is carried today either for need (e.g., you need the large sensor with a superior dynamic range for stage photography) or for preference. If you prefer an image of your nature walk or family or whatever that is technically perfect and can be enloarged, then carry a big camera. For many people, a smartphone is good enough. When "good enough" not good enough, carry the larger camera.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-11-2019, 05:21 PM  
Is my new 14mm rokinon junk?
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 18
Views: 1,070
Bad copies happen. Send it back. Samyang stands by their products so the dealer should have no issue taking it back.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-20-2018, 06:51 PM  
Radioaktiv Lenses
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 31
Views: 1,252
I have the M 50mm f/1.7 and am now disappointed it hasn't turned my other lenses into mutants. It doesn't even glow in the dark.
Forum: Photographic Technique 11-11-2018, 08:41 PM  
"Can a $100 Pentax beat a Nikon D810?" - Image Averaging, Stacking, and Panoramas
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 11
Views: 1,270
No one "needs" a Corvette, but if you have the money the Vette is fun to drive. No one needs to eat at the French Laundry, but the food is pretty damn good there. The point is we can all get by with a lot less unless we are pros and whoever is hiring us wants the latest and greatest equipment (because they probably don't know any better). A better sensor will shine with things like dynamic range and when cropping, but most of us don't need it. I found that out when buying a used K-1. It is a fabulous camera and improves the quality of my work, but it really isn't necessary. Playing around to get the most out of whatever photo equipment we have using "super-resolution" stacking (I did this as an experiment with a K-5 and it really does work) or getting the most out of cheaper lenses proves you don't need a lot of $$$ to take great photos. Unfortunately, staying indoors and discussing this topic with people I don't know on the Internet means I am not outside getting exercise and taking photos.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-05-2018, 12:57 PM  
Tamron 70-200 or a Sigma 70-200 HSM II for figure skating shoot?
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 10
Views: 636
Unless you want a photo the skater doing a bow/curtsey and the end of the performance with the crowd giving a standing ovation all in focus, the idea is to shoot wide open (blur the background) at a faster shutter speed. The Tamron is a bit sharper wide open and the Sigma (which I own now) has a faster autofocus. There is a third option: rent the Pentax D FA* SMC 70-200mm f/2.8 ED DC AW Lens (it is sharp wide open) and spend your money on something else. The problem with a used lens is that you have no idea if it is off-centered, a "bad copy," etc. I've returned quite a few over the years. The better rental outfits, e.g. Borrow Lenses, make sure the equipment is in good order.
Forum: General Photography 08-31-2018, 02:13 PM  
48MP cell phone sensor, does this mean a new round of DSLRs are dying articles
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 31
Views: 1,250
Many of the most iconic photos ever taken used film and cameras/lenses that were worse than what can optically be produced by the best smartphones today. This is a big deal and it also means nothing to those who need a DSLR. Certainly, most people are happy with just a smartphone for their snapshots.

Sensors are going through a Moore's Law type of thing and they keep getting better every year. There is no reason not to expect a 100mp FF smartphone sensor at some point in time.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-24-2018, 07:55 AM  
New Pentax DSLR: Evidence at Adorama!
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 347
Views: 18,488
Well, if you click on the preorder link an "Item is no longer available" message appears. My guess is that the K-3ii replacement has been tested and will soon be ready for presale, Adorama doesn't have the specs yet, and some employee jumped the gun by putting up an ad for test purposes. However, the ad is still there...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-28-2018, 01:01 PM  
Telephoto prime or zoom?
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 24
Views: 1,018
Weight. You have to carry it to the birds.
Forum: General Photography 07-10-2018, 08:52 PM  
10 Years On: How the iPhone Killed Big Camera
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 134
Views: 7,153
Remember when we had to buy a Garmin or Tom-Tom for a GPS in our cars? The smartphones also killed the separate auto GPS market. We love cameras with knobs and dials and stuff that allows us to be freaking thrilled with a perfect photo, but the average consumer simply wants convenience and a picture that is good enough.
Forum: General Photography 07-08-2018, 10:24 AM  
Plastic - Why so much shy-away, hatred?
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 73
Views: 2,687
1) Plastic never looks or feels "right" when compared to a well-made lens that uses metal. My Pentax-M f/1.7 50mm lens looks and feels better than anything plastic made today. Yes, I may be a little old school with my thinking, but it is true.
2) There is nothing wrong with plastic for those who aren't likely to abuse lenses. Plastic will last if used occasionally (not shooting with it every day) and/or if taken care of properly. Plastic lenses are lighter, which is an advantage.
3) The idea of a lens is to reproduce life, and the design of the elements with the coatings (and sometimes plastic) is all necessary to do this. Balancing the reproduction of a living scene with things like corner sharpness (which no one should care too much about for an 8 x 10 photo with today's sharper lenses), distortion, aberrations, bokeh, use in low light, etc. makes lens design complicated, sometimes requiring the use of some plastics.
4) Photographers worrying about plastic vs. metal are an anachronism, anyway. Today, the only camera most people want happens to be part of their smartphone, and they have no idea what materials were used in its construction.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-21-2018, 07:35 PM  
Pentax M 50mm f1.7
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 9
Views: 720
What stevebrot said. BTW, that lens is the greatest dollar-for-dollar value in the world. Yes, it is a bit soft at 1.7. Other than that, it is a winner. Sharp, almost zero distortion, decent bokeh, the clicks "feel" right, etc.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-12-2018, 06:38 AM  
February 2018 CIPA numbers are in... the DSLR lives!
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 165
Views: 15,369
Well, I’ll talk from the perspective of an analyst and not an economist. If reported sales jump after a few flat or declining years one of two things is happening: 1) Sales are indeed up for what could be a number of reasons or 2) The manufacturers are packing/stuffing inventory.

It seems the market is trending towards the lighter mirrorless cameras for professionals and serious amateurs while the typical consumer remains satisfied with their smartphones. Consumers are trending toward features that prevent mistakes, e.g. SONY’s nearest eye focusing, PENTAX’s Astrotracing, etc.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-05-2018, 05:13 PM  
The best portrait photography lenses
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 61
Views: 7,371
A lot depends on the "look" you want, whether it is important to blur the background to a ridiculous degree when longer (e.g., 135mm - 200mm) and faster lenses make sense, if you want to hand hold a light lens (can't beat the 77mm or a 50mm) or are using a tripod, if you are shooting just headshots (primes may be more convenient) or a little of everything outdoors (a zoom may be more convenient), etc. I have my own preferences (an 85mm indoors for just headshots) but it doesn't matter. Just get what you feel comfortable with and learn how to get the most out of the lens.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-06-2018, 05:01 PM  
K-1 Mark II!
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 875
Views: 103,850
Pentax (Ricoh) has always been good at delivering innovative ideas that the small part of the market desires, and they always underprice the competition. They scored big with the pixel shift and astro innovations, with the 645Z, K-3, K-1, etc. being solid values. But what is lacking now? Outside of better video (not significant for me) the answer is focusing, specifically a chip that locks onto an eye making wide-open portraitures and headshots easier. Pentax won't be the first, but it won't matter if they do it right at their usually competitive pricing.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 01-26-2018, 09:00 AM  
K-1 Mark II!
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 875
Views: 103,850
You guys are looking at this the wrong way. What would make someone want to buy another Pentax (or anything else)? If the IQ is "good enough" for the intended user (and we agree it will always get better with a Moore's Law kind of thing going on), it comes down to features and price. Pentax offers more features and a better relative price because it has to in order to compete. That is what Pentax does. The features that are missing include an autofucus that tracks the eye so those F/1.4 lenses (or a 200mm @ 2.8 for an outdoor headshot) is always in focus) and some syncing issues. A few years ago all the photo blogs and magazines were jumping on astrophotography and Pentax became innovative in that space (pun intended). The average owner of a DSLR has gray hair, so Pentax became innovative in that space (with the screen so old people like me don't have to contort our bodies to look through it). Now the rage is fast primes, so Pentax will become innovative with eye-tracking focusing. This isn't something new and it doesn't work for others that well now, but Ricoh can figure it out.
Forum: General Photography 01-20-2018, 07:58 PM  
What do you do with your photos?
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 37
Views: 1,991
I make a hardcover "Family Yearbook" photo album and print one for each kid. When I die, they will know I wasn't such a schmuck after all (hey, they are teens now) and will remember the good times with a few spectacular photos of each family event, vacation, activity, etc. At least they won't have to go through shoeboxes containing a zillion slides and old photos like I did. The kids like photos of themselves in their rooms so I poster size a few of them playing sports, acting, or whatever and replace them every year or two. Photos for others (shooting a soccer game, regional theatre, etc.) are placed on SmugMug with a separate password.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-16-2018, 11:04 AM  
Focus....again
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 15
Views: 1,305
Most of us have seen this DoF simulator but perhaps the OP hasn't: DOF simulator - Camera depth of field calculator with visual background blur and bokeh simulation. . For example, a 50mm lens 4 feet from the subject on a K-3 will have a DoF 1.2" in front of the subject (48.8%) and 1.2" behind (51.2%).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-14-2018, 03:22 PM  
Why are some lenses compact and other similar focal lengths large?
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 22
Views: 1,631
What everyone said above sounds right. If cost were no object...well, wait, cost is an object since most consumers have limited funds. Therefore, everything becomes a tradeoff. The more elements, the more corrections that can be made. However, if you have too many elements sharpness is lost. The bigger diameter of the glass help with corner-to-corner sharpness is possible (think of a 6" diameter lens on a K-3 for an outrageous example), but then you have more weight and that sucks for travel or street photography. The Pentax pancakes are lightweight and pretty good corner-to-corner but the tradeoff is that they are only fairly fast (not the very best for shooting stars wide open but definitely usable). For an amateur like me, Pentax understands what I need with a lot of lenses that have become very affordable over the years. These lenses have the right balance among sharpness, speed, build, weight, and price.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 12-11-2017, 12:05 PM  
Post-Processing Post Processing Challenge #244
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 19
Views: 1,326
I hit the "Dehaze" filter and Al Franken appeared. :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-30-2017, 09:09 PM  
mitakon 85mm f/1.2 vs a combo of porst 50mm f/1.2, samyang 85mm f/1.4& 8mm f/3.5
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 21
Views: 2,172
Most recently a friend and I were comparing old and new lenses while doing charity work (portraits for a school). He was using the flagship Canon 85mm 1.2 on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The Canon blows away the Rokinon at wide open to f/4, plus it seemed to focus well. At $1,800 it should. At f/4 there is no difference. Most everything we shot was at around f/8 due to the clamshell lighting setups and there was certainly no difference there. Obviously, this was not a formal test nor was there any CA to look at. The same deal goes with the Pentax 77mm f/1.8. The Pentax is certainly better up to f/4 where there is no discernable difference. I sold the 77mm to buy a Sigma 70mm EX DG macro and something else...sometimes wish I still had the Pentax. Anyhow, the Rokinon 85mm proves a relatively cheap manual lens can take photos as sharp as the most expensive lenses at certain apertures. Samyang/Rokinon/Bower is putting out some great glass for the money. It may be manual, but it works great.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-30-2017, 03:12 PM  
mitakon 85mm f/1.2 vs a combo of porst 50mm f/1.2, samyang 85mm f/1.4& 8mm f/3.5
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 21
Views: 2,172
By f/4 the Rokinon/Samyang/Bower/whatever is extremely sharp and will compare favorably with almost any 85mm lens regardless of the cost. Using it between f/4 - f/11 for portraits is a joy. It is a bit soft wide open--better at 1.2--but certainly usable if you can focus it. Focusing any of these manual lenses at f/1.2 - f/2 is going to be tough because the DoF is so thin...you can literally have one eye in focus and the other out of focus with a headshot. With any of those manual lenses, I'd use a tripod and live view when shooting a portrait or headshot wide open or close to it.
Forum: Pentax K-1 09-24-2017, 05:43 PM  
Pentax K-1 and birds of prey in flight
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 12
Views: 1,729
Impressive.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-17-2017, 08:39 PM  
Need advice on portrait lenses
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 20
Views: 1,493
If you are “barely an enthusiast” consider the following:
1. How close do you want to be to your subject? If you want a nice headshot of your teen kid or spouse, who cares? They aren’t going to be intimidated if you are close to them. I generally shoot with a 70mm or a zoom on an APS-C for headshots and portraits, but I could easily get by with a 50mm if I didn’t have other lenses.
2. Is the lens sharp enough? Generally, most Pentax 50mm lenses, even the manual ones, are plenty sharp for portraits.
3. What do you want to do with the background? If you are shooting at f/8 on a white background it doesn’t matter. If you want the background of an outdoor scene to be totally blurred, you would want a 135mm (something around 200mm FF equivalent) shooting wide open (or close to it) to blur out the background.
4. If you are “barely an enthusiast,” use what you have and learn to take great photos with it! Then consider spending money on more glass. You will learn faster if you spend $ on a reflector or two, a couple of umbrellas or softboxes, etc. If you have the $ for lenses, spend it and have fun. If you don't have the $ don't worry about using what you have.
5. Have fun! With basic lenses, you can take photos as good as the pros. The post-processing may not be as good unless you learn to use software, and there is skill in getting the perfect expressions, but you can get great results without spending a ton of money on equipment. Remember, many of the iconic portraits over the past 100 years came from equipment that is worse in terms of IQ than what you are using.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 09-15-2017, 09:33 AM  
And you're disgruntled with Pentax??
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 38
Views: 4,517
In a competitive marketplace, everything generally evens out. If someone comes out with a "better" laptop with faster processing speed, the others will immediately drop in price to remain competitive. The same thing goes for most segments of the camera marketplace. Pentax does have a slower continuous autofocus system than others (it is still pretty good) making it less competitive for shooting sports, but it sells for less money, too. So, don't use it for professional sports if you want to remain leading edge. For landscape? You can't beat Pentax for value and until recently no one beat it for IQ (the new Nikon D850 came out for $3,300, far more than the $1,900 K-1). For astrophotography? Pentax is a leader. Lenses? What Pentax has is fine but others have more. So, Pentax cameras (not the lenses) sell for less to reflect this. The same thing happens in the medium format market, but it happens slower there. What's the big deal? We can b_____ and moan all we want, but no system will ever be optimal for everyone when there is competition. Therefore, enjoy what you have, lobby for Pentax (or anyone else) to make it better, and switch systems if something else is more optimal.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-25-2017, 09:14 PM  
autofocus pentax kp
Posted By quant2325
Replies: 12
Views: 1,725
Wow. I have the exact same issue with my Sigma 70mm shooting with a K-5, particular when it is used wide open (it is wonderfully sharp at f/2.8). It is easily one of the sharpest primes out there but I have issues with it seemingly back focusing for theatrical photography. Portraits? Fine. Macro? Fine (although I oftentimes manual focus for macro). Focusing at distance with multiple objects? I have the same issue. My other Sigma lenses don't do this. Now I only use this lens only for portraits and macro. Compared to the 70mm and 77mm offerings from Pentax it is much larger and heavier...but it is also a great macro! If only it focused properly at distance...
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