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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-29-2009, 08:26 PM  
Exposure meter with M lenses.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 18
Views: 4,752
Thanks Erik and Marc, that clears it up.



Lowell, I'm pretty aware of the metering system in the K10D, I've owned it for well over 2 years and have 20k+ photos on it. I have loaned the camera to someone to use with their Pentax M lenses and I didn't know how to get the metering right as I rarely used an M lens.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-28-2009, 11:34 PM  
Exposure meter with M lenses.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 18
Views: 4,752
On my K10D, if I am using my M-50 f/2 there is no exposure meter, is there a fix for this?

Typically I have the DOF preview switch set to take a preview photo and would adjust the exposure from there.

I found this thread which I don't follow 100%.

I didn't realise you could push the green button and it would set the exposure, that's handy, but is there still no exposure meter?

I don't understand this statement:
Another method is to engage the optical preview (stop down) button in manual exposure mode. This turns on the lightmeter and the exposure bar. While keeping the optical preview engaged, adjust aperture or shutter speed until the exposure bar shows the correct exposure or shows over/under exposure to you liking.
Can anyone elaborate on that?

Cheers.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-20-2009, 06:10 PM  
Leaving pentax? eek.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 148
Views: 17,022
Ben, this is why I changed. I've shot Pentax for 10 years (that's a fair bit when you're only 25, lol). Before I got my K10D I ordered a Sigma 70-200 2.8 (December 2006), the only option if you wanted a lens of this nature. I ordered it direct through the national distributor, it went onto back-order at the end of the month. In February 2007 I was told that Sigma had none left and they would try to find me one from another warehouse. I waited until May 2007 when I was told that no one had any and they would not be doing another production run until August. I ended up buying a different lens, simply because I needed a lens! I stuck with Pentax because everyone was saying "wait for these new DA*'s they'll be great", that were pushed back and back and back. In the end I just couldn't buy what I wanted when I wanted and this is a very important issue for a lot of people.

Not everyone wants to scour eBay and all the other auction web sites trying to find second hand lenses that suit what they want to do. I appreciate that these lenses are available, depending on what you want, but they are certainly very hard to find if you wanted to hold it in your own hands and not rely on an interntet description. I visited every camera store and every second hand store I could find over 3 years and found one Pentax lens...that was broken.

My point is, a lot of people like the security of buying something new. A lens (especially when you get up into longer fast zooms and primes) is an expensive item and I for one am not comfortable buying something sight unseen from an internet auction simply because that is the only option.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-20-2009, 08:05 AM  
Leaving pentax? eek.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 148
Views: 17,022
I'll have a play with that after I've has some sleep, I've never used it personally so have no idea how it works, I just knew it existed. (Curiousity got the better of me when I saw these two green dots on my camera, haha). Generaly I just use the exposure meter to get a base exposure and tweak from there.



Taken out of context my friend. On the occasion when I had to change WB and ISO (both at the same time) quickly it is faster on the Nikon. I could see this being an issue if you were shooting weddings for example. Walk out of the church, go from artificial light to daylight, high ISO back to low ISO - this is very quick and easy to do on the Nikon.

I tell you one thing that really does annoy me about the D300, bracketing with auto-ISO on! It brackets the damn ISO, no the shutter speed or aperture. What's with that? First bracketed exposure I did I was trying to work out why the first shot was crystal and the last grainey...the last was ISO3200, lol. :hmm:



Oh and @Ash. I am not trying to reduce this thread to a Pentax bashing exercise. From my experience (and I've been here a while) people get very defensive of Pentax, I'm just here to say I own/owned both systems and it's not all bad on either side of the fence. :)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-19-2009, 05:19 PM  
Leaving pentax? eek.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 148
Views: 17,022
Yes, I've used Mk 2 and 3's and the combination of button pushes, stand-on-one-leg, spin the dial is just bizzare.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-19-2009, 04:38 PM  
Leaving pentax? eek.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 148
Views: 17,022
No problem. I guess what I'm trying to get across is that I'm not one that's moved to another brand on a whim. Nor am I into Pentax bashing now I shoot with another brand. I'm not a full-time professional, rather it is a side business for me. I shoot maybe 1-2 magazine feature articles a month and cover 3-4 sports (motor and field) events per month.

Living in a climate that has extreme variations, and many overcast days during the winter time I needed something that could handle metering in patchy, constantly changing light and also give me quite clean high ISO.



Once I watched a few of Chris's (Codiac) tutorial videos I started getting the Pentax flash system a lot more reliable, but the Nikons is very hard to fault (combined with the new SB-900). The high-iso is very clean, even with minimal NR, but I'm not going to dwell on this too much because I've never played with a K20D at high ISO. I normally lock my camera at 4FPS, but having the scope to shoot 6.5 is just genuinely very helpful in certain situations. Finally, I didn't realise how much I would use very very fast shutter speeds, but I certainly appreciate shooting 1/8000, especially when the base ISO is 200.






I was loaned a K20D and 50-135 when I said I was leaving Pentax and wasn't happy with it's focus speed compared to even a 30D with slow glass. But, horses for courses (is there a rodeo pun in there? :lol: ) if you shoot portraits more than sport then the 50-135 is a great lens.






Marc, I'm going to start off by saying the D300 is a mighty complicated bit of gear. I've had one for nearly 8 months (and 16,000 shots) and have finally got a grasp on the thing. The menu structure doesn't seem logical coming straight from Pentax, but given the scope of customisation in this body I don't know how else it could be done.

One thing that makes it look a lot worse than what it is are the multiple shooting and customisation banks. This I find very very helpful. You have 4 banks you can save for shooting settings and 4 for customisation. I have saved a Sports profile, Landscape, Portrait and a Point & Shoot mode for if someone that doesn't know photography.



I don't find the lack of a mode dial an issue, I'd rather have dedicated ISO, WB and Quality buttons. The shooting mode (S, A, M or P) is displayed in the view finder at all times so you don't need to move your head away to confirm that you're in the right mode. Yes, Auto ISO is avaialble in Manual, and unlike my experience with K10D auto ISO, it actually works, well. And there is a 'green' button, but it's buttons on the D300, one is on the left (activated with the thumb) and one near the top LCD (activated with the pointer finger).



These are not 'hidden', just the totally different (to Pentax) menu structure puts them in a different place. If they are settings you would like to use often there is a fully customisable shortcut menu you can add settings you change regularly into.



This is where a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing. The customisable options are certainly equal to a K10D (I assume there weren't a great deal more options added to the K20D). Some are the same or similar, others are different. Some I miss, others I appreciate.



It does take a while to get used to everything, as it does with any high-end electronic device, especially one from a different manufacturer. The biggest two that get me is the e-dials turn the opposite way to Pentax, and the lens mount turns to opposite way. Once you get used to the button layout and the programable Fn button (located on the front near the DOF preview button) you get used to it. One thing I do like is the ability to assign different buttons different functions depending on the shooting bank you are using. One thing I adore is the size. It is a substantially bigger body to the K10D and counters longer prime lenses far more comfortably.



I read and re-read the manual with regards to live view. It took me some time to get used to how it functioned. Now I understand it I can use it quickly and easily (though I don't use it often. I have never used the K20d's live view function so cannot compare one system to the other.




I found, and still find, that the Pentax bodies are similar in control to their 35mm SLRs. This may be why you found the DS easier to pick up and use. Also bear in mind they are a far less customisable camera than the D300.

Back to the dedicated buttons and lack of mode-dial. I much prefer the buttons. I change settings far more often than I change modes and would rather these be available to me quickly. Drive mode, WB, flash mode and compensation, and ISO on the Pentax bodies require you to enter a software menu which I found was very slow in the heat of the moment. An example from the other day, I was out shooting sports, all of a sudden it came over very cloudy and dark. In two button/e-dial flicks I had adjusted WB and ISO and kept on rolling. On the Pentax you have to enter the Fn menu, left-arrow for WB, scroll up or down and hit OK. At least ISO is easy to change by holding the OK button and using the e-dial, but this is still a lot slower than the Nikon.

In summary, in the same way a metal fabricator can't just pick up an electric arc welder when he's been trained in TIG and weld something, you can't just pick up another camera and expect it to all function the same. Whilst they are both cameras (or welders) they are both different devices.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-18-2009, 11:03 PM  
Leaving pentax? eek.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 148
Views: 17,022
True words. I was losing money because I was missing shots, the gear payed for itself quicker than I could imagine.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-18-2009, 09:53 PM  
Leaving pentax? eek.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 148
Views: 17,022
And I too have taken them, however the consistancy with which my new equipment captures these is far higher.

I am not one that is out to put Pentax down, far from, however as a 'tool for the job' argument the Nikon is better for me.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-18-2009, 09:30 PM  
Leaving pentax? eek.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 148
Views: 17,022
I'd been shooting with Pentax for 7 years, got pretty much pro service, it was a difficult decision to leave. However, I'd used the best of the Canon bodies and several of the latest series of the Nikon bodies and was getting photographs I simply could not get with the Pentax. I stuck with the Pentax for another 6 months trying everything but the camera simply would not do what I required it to.

I shoot a lot of sports and am heavily relient on the AF system, a thorn in Pentax's side for a long time. I had to be very careful where I positioned myself otherwise the camera simply was not fast enough to get the shots. Since changing to the D300 I can position myself everywhere because I know it will do what I want it to. Heck I've even started doing more weddings now because I have more confidence in my gear (I detest weddings and their associated pressures as a general rule).

I agree 100%, to change brands is VERY expensive. I had about $4500 worth of Pentax equipment. When changing to Nikon nothing is interchangable, not even memory. I was fortunate that over July-September last year I was pretty quiet and so could really hunt out the best prices. Admittedly I bought higer quality lenses than I had for Pentax, but still it cost me $6000. That's quite a sting.

Am I happy with my new gear; most definitely. Do I wish I could have stayed with Pentax; most definitely. Would I change back to Pentax if they offered a comparative body in the future; no. Why not? Because I simply could not afford to change brands again.


If you're interested in looking at what I've been doing since I've started shooting Nikon, here are some samples (links only, I know some of you won't care).


001
002 003 004 005
006 007 008 009 010
011 012 013 014 015


P.S. No, I don't think I would have been able to get these shots with Pentax, and that's coming from a Pentax lover that tried for a very long time.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-18-2009, 09:05 PM  
K100D excessive battery usage.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 36
Views: 9,049
I will admit I am trying to cheap out on this. Simple fact is, I got the camera for nothing, I don't need the camera, but if I can get it going for free then it'll make a good home for my one remaining Pentax lens.

@ the last two posts Auto-focus is not an issue in my case, the only lens that will be fixed to this camera is my M50 f/2.

Someone mentioned a page or so back whether I had everything turned off, well it's a full manual lens and SR is turned off. I'm doing all the metering, am using fixed ISO and manual WB so the camera really isn't thinking about much at all (actuating the shutter when I push the shiney button).

I'm begining to think that this camera has been off fo so long it has needed some use to burst it back to life. I picked it up on Tuesday night, after leaving batteries in it since Sunday, and it fired up and said full battery. I took 30 shots with it over the night (turning it off and on pretty regularly). Every time I turned it on it would read full battery, take 2-3 shots and it would read half, do some reviewing and it was still on half. However it didn't tell me low battery once.

So, as the posts from many suggest, I think the K100D is just genuinely very hard on batteries. Despite a quality charger and very good quality, new, Ni-Mh's I think it is the best I'm going to get it.

It's fine, it isn't even like a backup body to me, it is more just a screw around, see what the world looks like at 50mm, keep my eye into manual focus, sacrificial body.

Cheers for all the feedback guys. :D
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-16-2009, 08:25 PM  
Seeking opinions on switching systems (Pentax to Nikon)
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 211
Views: 24,863
Hahah, it means, "wasn't nealy as good as".

From my experience using all 4 lenses for about 15-20 minutes each the Tamron was probably sharper at f/2.8 than the Sigma, but the Sigma was as good or better from f/4. The Bokeh is good, but the VR is great, lol. I shoot sports a LOT and the Sigma is 95% as good as the VR for AF-C, the Tamron and 80-200 Nikkor are much much (frustratingly) slower.

Like I say these are my real-world experience using the lenses they way I use them for my subjects. My findings may not align with the millions of reviews in cyberspace.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-16-2009, 07:32 PM  
Seeking opinions on switching systems (Pentax to Nikon)
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 211
Views: 24,863
OK, given that there are 2 people looking for a 70-200 in Nikon mount here are some samples the Sigma 70-200 HSM II on the D300.

f/2.8 & ISO-3200 - Full Crop

f/4 - Full Crop

f/4 - Full Crop

f/4 - Full Crop

1/125 (smaller f-stop) - Full Crop

f/4 - Full Crop
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-16-2009, 07:17 PM  
Seeking opinions on switching systems (Pentax to Nikon)
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 211
Views: 24,863
I bought into the Nikon system last year and agree with everything you've said in your post, expecially this line. It all revolves around what you want to do with your camera, but if you are trying to capture anything that's moving, the Nikon will be better.



I owned (and still own) a K10D, I've had it since April 2007 and taken more than 22,000 photographs with it. Before that I had an *istDL for 18 months and before that 35mm Pentax equipment. Since buying the D300 I've used the K10D twice. Basically the D300 does everything the K10D does, but better (with the exclusion of in-body SR). Metering, white balance, auto-focus and high-ISO capabilities & noise are just a few points.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Pentax system and would have dearly liked to have stuck with it. I also realise that I am going to be flamed on here because people like to defend the purchase they have made, but Nikon produce better bodies than Pentax as a whole. Price aside if you need a tool for a job IMO the Nikon is better.



From all the photographs I got with Pentax DLSR's, compared with the D300 the focus is as good, or better, on the Nikon. Not to mention in low light it is far far quicker and more acurate. Add to this the 51 AF points which, no matter which one you are using, always lock perfectly. I never had much success with the 2 AF points to the left and right of the centre 9 on my K10D.

I'm not saying the Nikon AF system is flawless, but it is much better than the K10D (and the K20D from teh limited exposure I've had to it).



Nope, I have the AF assist lamp turned off for all but the darkest of rooms and the Nikon rarely hunts for focus. Oh, and FWIW the AF assist lamp on the D300 is white, not orange. :p



Grant, I'm not familiar with the D60's capabilities as I stepped straight to the D300. As a result I cannot remember if the D60 has provision for both screw and in-lens drive for AF.

I have had the fortune of using 4 different 70,80-200 f/2.8 lenses in Nikon mount. These were the Nikkor 70-200 VR, Nikkor 80-200, Sigma 70-200 and Tamron 70-200. The Nikkor VR was the best at pretty well everything on the D300, AF, sharpness wide open etc. The Sigma was not very far behind, stop it down to f/4 and it is soooo sharp, AF was every bit as quick as the VR. The 70-200 Tamron was equal to the 80-200 D in sharpness, but better than the D in AF. That being said the Tamron wasn't a patch on the Sigma.

Of course only the 70-200 VR has that gorgeous bokeh.....mmmmmmm:p

Please PM me if you would like sample shots from the Sigma and I can email you links.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-16-2009, 04:35 PM  
K100D excessive battery usage.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 36
Views: 9,049
Lol.




Thankyou all for your replies. I'm no too fussed about whether this camera is usable or not (hence not really wanting to buy Eneloops, I've got batteries that last forever in my current gear), but it is frustrating me that something so seemingly simple is holding it back. It is like the camera has a really high internal resistance or something.

@Marc Sabatella: I don't think cold is an issue in this case, it is summer time here and the house/day was quite warm.




I'll answer everyone elses posts as part of answering this one. :)

(A) I've tried it with the 2500mAh Ni-Mh 'AA's that I used with my *istDL that would survive '00-'000s of shots. They only lasted 6-shots. These have an awesome-low self-discharge rate. I've left them for months, thrown them in a flash and got 100 shots easily.

I tried brand new Duracell Alkalines and they wouldn't even turn the camera on.
I tried some brand new Lithiums and they fired the camera up no worries and it took 6-10 shots and was still reading full (but I had to give the batteries back so couldn't do further testing).

Finally I have been using my 2700mAh Ni-Mh 'AA's that I use in my D300. These are only a couple of months old with a manufacture date of mid-2008. They last for ages in flashes and I've got 3500+ shots using 8 in the D300. They only got me 12 shots off a fresh charge, but then I turned the camera off and was staring at it and thought "Hey, SR is on!" turned it off, the camera fired up, reading full battery, and took another 5-10 shots before I had to go out.

These are my experiences with batteries. To me is seems that Alkalines don't work at all, a Pentax acknowledged fact, Lithiums seemed to work, I probably should do some more testing with these. But my 2500 and 2700 mAh Ni-Mh's don't seem to have the juice, yet are fantastic in other devices, including high-load flashes (which they have great recycle times).


(B) The fact that all my Ni-Mh 'AA's are charged in the same charger and all last for ages I'm thinking it's not this either.


That leaves us with (C). I'm might give everything a really good clean in it tonight and see what I can work out.

I have no idea of the history of it so it could have water damage or anything. Does anyone have a service manual for one of these? If I can't get it working I might delve inside and see what I can work out ;)

@aleonx3: The 2700 Ni-Mh's have been in it since Sunday night (it's Tuesday morning here), either tonight or tomorrow night I'll turn it on and see how many shots I can get out of it before the batteries die. (Will be interesting what I can find to take shots of around the house with a 50mm f/2 at night :p)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-15-2009, 03:33 AM  
K100D excessive battery usage.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 36
Views: 9,049
Haha, nice pickup, K10D flash (EF-500 Super).
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-15-2009, 02:44 AM  
K100D excessive battery usage.
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 36
Views: 9,049
Hi all, long time no post!

I was given a K100D, body only, but it has a real battery use issue. I'll give you all a step-by-step on what I've done.

I was given the body in January, I put some AA rechargables in it and it wouldn't turn on. I didn't know if the body was dead (I had no history of it) or the batteries didn't have enough juice to fire it up. I put some brand new Energiser Alkalines in it and it fired up no problems, but i couldn't test it because it had no card or lens.

I got the camera home and put my M-50 f/2 on it and put some 2600mAh Ni-Mh rechargables in it. These were straight off the charger and last for AGES in my K10D. I got the settings adjusted how I wanted, took 6 photos and the camera told me the batteries were depleted. Before the batteries went flat I did find out that it only had V.1.00 of the firmware.

Tonight I thought I would do a firmware update on it and see if that fixed the problem. I charged my near-brand-new Sony 2700mAh Ni-Mh rechargables, formatted a card and updated the firmware. The batteries lasted long enough to do the update (latest download off Pentax, v.1.02). I set the camera up again and took 1 photo and the camera said Batteries Depleted!


Does anyone have some suggestions on what I can try to gains some better battery life out of it? The camera functions fine...it has me beat.


EDIT:
Interestingly I turned SR off and I've been able to rattle off quite a few shots and it is still holding full charge. Anyone got any ideas?

Images seem pretty good, a fair few hot pixels at ISO 3200 (all of these), here are some I just took from my lounge chair. That camera hasn't even done 2500 shots either.







Forum: Sold Items 01-15-2009, 03:35 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3, aka ‘Bigma’ + Hoya CPL
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 4
Views: 3,612
SOLD! To cooldude14es, hope you enjoy the lens as much as I did. :)
Forum: Sold Items 01-06-2009, 03:17 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Sigma 1.4x Tele Converter (Australia)
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 5
Views: 2,619
Sold sold sold sold SOLD! To a friendly Pentax user in NSW. :)
Forum: Sold Items 01-05-2009, 09:39 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Sigma 1.4x Tele Converter (Australia)
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 5
Views: 2,619
Still for sale. :)
Forum: Sold Items 01-05-2009, 09:37 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3, aka ‘Bigma’ + Hoya CPL
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 4
Views: 3,612
Yes, still for sale. The retail price of this lens has increased 15% or so as of January 1st so at AU$1300 it's a bargain for a lens in this condition.

PM me if you're interested :)
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-03-2009, 08:30 PM  
NYE Party Photos
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 3
Views: 2,421
WARNING: Thread contains cigarettes, alcohol and people having fun.





Just thought I'd throw that in in case we had an sensitive forum members. :lol:

This year we had NYE celebrations with friends at our house. We picked up a cheap keg so the night was bound to be a good one. It was a bit cold, but no rain so we were lucky!

Here are a few (ok, 20) from the evening. I was consuming the odd ale myself, so there are some blown highlights (some pretty bad) and dodgey white balance, but I'm posting these more as a social documentary and a technique thread.

I must say I simply adore wireless flash. Since discovering its massive benefits for portraiture last year I drag it out at social every event I photograph.

All photos were taken with the Pentax K10D, Sigma 18-125 @ 18mm, 1/8sec., f/5.6, ISO-400 with a Sigma EF-500 Super in optical wireless held to camera left in every shot.

Oh, there are a fair few shots of my mate Cal (grey check jacket), he gets quite animated after a few beers, lol.

1


2


3


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5


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Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-07-2008, 03:14 PM  
Can Sigma 530 DG GT trigger Sigma 530 DG Super ?
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 5
Views: 4,107
Will give it a go when I get home from work tonight.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-07-2008, 02:39 PM  
Problem with Sigma EF-530 DG Super flash
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 2
Views: 3,318
It will have 12 months warranty.

What batteries were you running? If they were rechargables, were they fully charged?
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-06-2008, 07:00 PM  
underexposure
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 11
Views: 2,957
Marc, it is highly possible the camera is under-exposing. My K10D has been doing if for the last few times I've taken it out.

I'm a pretty experienced photographer and understand totally the ways of the metering system. Yet my camera is constantly underexposing by 0.7-1.3 stops. This is across multiple lenses, flash, no flash, inside, outside, bright, cloudy...

I've cleaned all contacts on the mount and lenses, made sure the insides of the camera are spotless and yet it still does it.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-06-2008, 04:56 AM  
Can Sigma 530 DG GT trigger Sigma 530 DG Super ?
Posted By blwnhr
Replies: 5
Views: 4,107
I own a EF-500 ST and Super. I will do the experiment if you like.
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