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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-30-2014, 02:40 PM  
How to deactivate SDM and allow for screw drive autofocus with DA* 16-50mm f/2.8
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 844
Views: 238,560
I use a K-3 now, with my K-5 as a backup. The SDM on my 16-50mm was no longer functional and I was about ready to chuck it in the bin, but I still liked the idea of having a fast, wide zoom with weather-sealing. When I first started having trouble with my 16-50mm, I went out an purchased a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 for less than the cost of repairing the 16-50mm. I think the 28-75mm range is much more useful for photographing people on an APS-C sized sensor anyway. But, on rare occasion, I want the weather-sealing and/or the ability to go wider.

This solution was easy. I pulled out my old K-7 and followed the directions. The process was easy and only took a few minutes. (Actually, I spent a lot more time searching for an appropriate USB cable than I spent doing the actual firmware modification!)

Thank you! Now, my lens is functional again! I wish they'd just put the option to switch between SDM and screw-drive in the camera's menu. Seriously!!! This problem affects so many lenses, that they should have just put an option into the recent cameras -- or provided an official firmware update for the lenses! Really. How hard would it be to release an official firmware update for the 16-50mm and the 50-135mm lenses which would disable the SDM?

It seems to me that the lenses should have been built with an SDM switch right next to the AF switch! I also can't imagine ever buying an SDM-only lens from Pentax after having this experience and seeing how they handle (or don't handle) the problem.

I have three functioning Pentax DSLRs (my K10D is just a paperweight now -- it didn't make it to 100k actuations) and ten k-mount lenses. I can't afford to switch brands at this point, but boy do I wish I'd chosen Sony back when I first started...
Forum: Pentax K-3 11-02-2013, 05:38 AM  
In the Field with the Pentax K-3 - First Impressions
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 40
Views: 11,954
In my experience, I'd say AWB is mostly useless in almost any light.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-05-2013, 01:46 PM  
Penta K-3 in silver / black
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 196
Views: 30,989
I'd only want a "silver" model, if it's actually metal. Silvery plastic makes it look like a cheap, old Rebel. What's the K-3 anyway? I haven't heard about this yet. Is this just a rumor?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-10-2012, 09:29 AM  
Poll: VOTE NOW: $1000 Giveaway!
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 61
Views: 15,487
Apparently, I'm the only one not smart enough to figure this out.... How do I vote? I don't see any radio buttons, checkboxes, etc. What am I missing?

EDIT: Never mind. It's working now. I see a checkbox next to each of the choices.

:-)
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 02-17-2012, 12:57 PM  
Pentax Full Frame Dream Crushed Today
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 946
Views: 114,461
Yeah! A full-frame, weather-sealed, mirrorless, k-mount, with an electronic viewfinder that we can hold up to our eyes (not just an LCD), and in-camera image stabilization would be quite unique!
Forum: Visitors' Center 01-30-2012, 03:50 PM  
K-5 for beginner?
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 15
Views: 3,688
If you can afford it, get the K-5. If you want to save a little money and you don't plan on making many photographs handheld in low light, then get the K-7 or the K20D.

The K-x and the K-r are excellent cameras for a beginner, too, but they lack weather-sealing and only have a single control wheel. If you don't plan on shooting much in manual mode, you may not ever care to have a second wheel, but if you think you might eventually want full control, go for the K20D/K-7/K-5.

Again, if you can afford it, the K-5 is arguably the best crop-sensor camera there is, right now (depending on your needs).
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-01-2011, 01:14 PM  
K-r with 50-135mm f2.8 or a K5 18-55 kit?
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 16
Views: 4,997
The 50-135mm is a great lens! Perhaps you should consider getting the lens first and borrowing/renting a camera for your next wedding, and then using the money towards the K-5.

The K-5 is going to be better for weddings, even if just for the fact that its shutter mechanism is much quieter.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 02-01-2011, 12:31 PM  
K-r and K-5 with Lightroom 2
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 21
Views: 5,465
I didn't realize anyone was still using PEF. I switched to DNG a long time ago and I never have to worry about the software handling the file format. Non-Pentaxians have to wait for their favorite software to be updated before they can use their brand new cameras, but all we have to do is set it to DNG, and it just works. I don't understand why they even bother keeping the PEF format, except perhaps for the marketing value in saying that the camera supports two RAW formats.

I have both a K10D and a K-7 and I have both set to use the DNG format.

I can understand using PEF on a camera like the K10D, which makes uncompressed DNGs that are around 50% larger than the PEF files, but the K-7's DNGs are compressed, so the file size is essentially the same. Everything I've read (aside from forum comments) regarding the DNG format assures me that there is no difference in quality between the two (with the only exception being that certain proprietary metadata may not survive the conversion, but since I don't use the manufacturer's RAW conversion software, I'm not worried about it).

I don't care that the K10D's DNGs are uncompressed. I have large SD cards and I use Adobe's DNG converter in post to convert the uncompressed DNGs into compressed DNGs.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-16-2010, 04:06 PM  
DX0 k-5 scores up
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 388
Views: 66,183
Indeed!
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-11-2010, 04:06 PM  
K-5 Images and Impressions
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 141
Views: 42,095
Yes, you can hold down the button, but if I've got the camera on a tripod and I'm doing bracketed exposures, there is usually a 30 second exposure in there, along with the shorter ones. Holding down the button provides too much opportunity for introducing camera shake in the longer exposures. So, I used the remote to trigger each exposure. But it's a hassle to keep track of how many exposures I've made so that I don't accidentally start a new series of five by mistake (I'd often be doing this on a very cold morning and my mind was often distracted by my cold fingers). I absolutely love the the K-7 just does the right thing and shoots all five (or all three).

I also love that the K-7 (and presumably the K-5) is smarter in bulb mode. If you used the remote in bulb mode on the K10D, you'd have to keep the remote pointed at the camera and the button held down the entire time you wanted to keep the shutter open. If you let go, or your hand dropped too much, the exposure would end. I couldn't understand why they didn't design it so that one press of the remote would open the shutter and the second press would close it. Well, this too is an option on the K-7. Both of these are features they could add to the K10D with just a firmware update. Both of these are just software. It's really frustrating that they haven't provided this simple fixes for those of us with the K10D. It isn't as if it would be a complicated new interface -- just a slight behavioral change.

The RAW button on the K10D was also implemented foolishly. They fixed it for the K20D and future cameras, but again, this would be a simple firmware fix for the K10D and Pentax has never made it available. I wish there was an open source firmware for the camera, so that someone could fix it, but it'll never happen. It's no longer a big deal for me, since I have the K-7 now, but the K10D is still an excellent camera, and it's a real shame Pentax doesn't care enough about the people who purchased it to backport some of these simple, but helpful, fixes. (and yes, I do call them fixes. All of these behaviors on the K10D were foolish and poorly thought out. The changes made to future cameras show that they recognized they weren't doing it right.) Some things can't be fixed after the fact without great expense and physically replacing components -- this fixes can be applied in minutes, by just upgrading the firmware.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-11-2010, 01:10 PM  
K-5 Images and Impressions
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 141
Views: 42,095
Yes, but you can't do "extended bracketing" in RAW mode anyway, because "extended bracketing" only affects how the files are processed when converting them to JPGs. Of course, the K10D allows you to convert your RAW files to JPGs in camera, so you could actually do these things in post, in-camera if you really want to.

If you just shoot in RAW mode, you can easily process your RAW file a dozen different ways in post. So, like I said, you can't really do this "extended bracketing" in RAW anyway, because you'd still end up with RAW files and none of these bracketed contrast adjustments would have an effect.

So, for HDRs: yes, the K10D will bracket in RAW mode, but make sure you're on Av mode or the camera will change the aperture between exposures (which is not something you want when making an HDR). The K-7, and presumably the K-5, make this even easier because they give you the option of firing off all 5 exposures with one press of the shutter button.

I hope that was helpful.....
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-11-2010, 11:42 AM  
K-5 Images and Impressions
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 141
Views: 42,095
What?! The K10D will absolutely bracket in RAW mode. I've done it plenty of times. It's only the "Extended Bracket" setting that only works in JPG mode, and that's because it is "bracketing" silly things like white balance, saturation, and contrast -- all things you can easily due in post to a RAW file (or even to a JPG, so long as you start with nominal settings). Those aren't the things you would want to bracket in order to make an HDR anyway.

Just put your camera in RAW mode and then use the bracketing button next to the viewfinder to put the camera into bracketing mode. There is no restriction to JPG files for bracketing on the K10D. (I just grabbed mine and double-checked.)

Oh, and if you're going to make an HDR, you shouldn't be bracketing the ISO (I didn't even know you could). Leave the ISO and aperture constant. Only the shutter speed should change between shots. Make sure the camera is in Av mode, too, because even in M mode, the K10D will change the aperture while bracketing!
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-11-2010, 08:42 AM  
K-5 Images and Impressions
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 141
Views: 42,095
That is good news! Although, I don't think I'd trust the batteries that come with it, personally.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-11-2010, 08:12 AM  
K-5 Images and Impressions
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 141
Views: 42,095
I own both a K10D and a K-7. I thought the K10D/D20D was too small, until I added the grip. Then the K-7 came out, and everyone but me was excited that they made it smaller. Again, I just added the grip, and it fits my hand nicely. This is one big reason that I didn't buy the K-x -- there was no grip available. I was afraid it would be too small and difficult to balance. I found the K10D was off balance with the 50-135mm attached, until I added the grip (that was actually what justified the cost of the grip for me).

So, if the size is putting you off, just add the grip (though I realize this adds almost another $200 USD to the price).

I miss that little bracketing button, too. But it really isn't a big deal. Changing to/from bracketing, is the same process as changing from single-shot to continuous or a timed mode. I don't know if the D20D had this feature, but with my K10D, there was no way to tell the camera to shoot all 5 bracketed exposures at once. If it was in the auto-bracketing mode, I'd still need to press the shutter button (or remote button) once for each shot. The K-7, lets me choose the number of exposures and then fires all of them with one press of the shutter button. I'd rather have that then a dedicated bracketing button, personally.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-09-2010, 10:54 PM  
DX0 k-5 scores up
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 388
Views: 66,183
Ugh. Sorry, I didn't mean to be unclear. It's just that ever since the first time I heard Nikon's new FX/DX terminology, I wished the industry would adopt it. It's just so much easier to say (and especially easier to type). In addition, the term "FF" is not particularly accurate, either, since the medium format sensors are larger than "full-frame", yet are generally cropped versions of the film cameras they replace.

Thank you for the chart and I'll try to stick to saying "Aye Pee Ess Dash See" in the future.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-09-2010, 09:26 PM  
DX0 k-5 scores up
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 388
Views: 66,183
Also, people should keep in mind that the D700 still beats the K-5 in terms of high-ISO performance (signal to noise ratio) up to ISO 6400. The K-5 wins in dynamic range and total score, but full frame still has the advantage in terms of noise (though, the gap is narrowing, when the latest DX is compared to two-year-old FX technology).
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-09-2010, 04:42 PM  
DX0 k-5 scores up
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 388
Views: 66,183
The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 w/ HSM is available at cameralensrentals.com, too:
CameraLensRentals.com - Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 II EX APO Macro HSM Lens Rental



If the AF is indeed faster in the K-5 than in the K-7, then I want one even more! My main reason for wanting the K-5 is the performance of that amazing sensor it contains! The performance at high-ISOs would be very nice to have for weddings/receptions and for when I photograph my wife's drama students on stage. Unfortunately, I can't justify the cost of upgrading just yet -- my K-7 isn't even a year old yet!
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-09-2010, 12:49 PM  
DX0 k-5 scores up
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 388
Views: 66,183
Based upon my experiences with Pentax gear and what I have read about Nikon gear, I would expect that the auto-focus of the Pentax will not be nearly as responsive as the Nikon. However, the Pentax is going to be much lighter.

The best way to know for sure would be to rent this combination (K-5 + 50-135mm) from CameraLensRentals.com and try it out. If you do end up trying out the Pentax, please let us know your experience as to how they compare.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-09-2010, 10:44 AM  
DX0 k-5 scores up
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 388
Views: 66,183
Did you put the flash on manual, too, or did you put the camera on manual and use the flash in TTL mode?
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-08-2010, 11:57 AM  
DX0 k-5 scores up
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 388
Views: 66,183
Wouldn't that be nice! From what I'm seeing, the D7000 (body-only) is $1,200 USD and the K-5 is $1,600 USD. They are $400 apart!
All my lenses are Pentax, so the Nikon isn't an option....
except that I could get the D7000 and the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 for the same price as the K-5 without a lens....
hmmm... I could put the 16-50mm on the K10D, the 50-135mm on the K-7, and use the Nikon with the 85mm....

nah.
I'll just get some more use out of my current gear and pick up the K-5 for $1,000 next November. Although, I am a little jealous of the dual SD-card slots, additional focus points (tracking), and the brilliant CLS system....
Forum: Sold Items 09-22-2010, 10:28 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Silver Pentax 77mm Limited (Worldwide)
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 6
Views: 3,626
I'm confused. If this is your favorite lens, and if it's hard to imagine a better lens... why in the world are you selling it?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-21-2010, 09:23 PM  
In Search Of A Bokeh-less Lens
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 76
Views: 12,765
Just get a point and shoot! One of the best reasons to get a camera with a larger sensor is so that you can get a narrower depth of field and blur the background.

But, if you do want everything in focus, look into hyperfocal distance. Basically, set the camera to manual focus, zoom out to around 18-20mm, set your focus to around 3ft, and set your aperture to between f/16 and f/22. You'll be golden!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-11-2010, 03:40 PM  
Possible Complete K-5 Specs (Still rumour until the 22nd!)
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 465
Views: 110,788
The K-7 can use either Lithium-Ion batteries or AA batteries, too -- if you buy the battery grip. :)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-10-2010, 11:28 AM  
My View of K-r
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 86
Views: 14,671
I, too, like the idea of being able to potentially shoot an in-camera HDR handheld, if I happen to run into a situation where it would be useful and I don't have a tripod with me, but I can't imagine going out to intentionally shoot architecture and landscapes without a tripod.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-10-2010, 11:23 AM  
My View of K-r
Posted By ManWithCamera
Replies: 86
Views: 14,671
I can't imagine anyone using IR to transfer photographs. Speed may be improved over older IR technology, but my greater objection to IR is that it is line-of-sight! I don't want to have to set my camera down within a few inches of another device and make sure it stays pointed at it the whole time the pictures are being transferred.

They just need to make sure it works with Eye-Fi cards -- at a minimum. If they want to go further, I'd love it if the camera had built-in WiFi support.

I just don't understand why they would waste any R&D money on this functionality. Sure, they already have an IR receiver for remote triggering, but making this IR image transfer work seems to me to be a total waste of resources.
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