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Forum: Photographic Technique 12-06-2016, 01:02 PM  
Shooting in cold temps question
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 14
Views: 1,245
Thanks for everyone's input and great advice. I will put it all to good use!
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-05-2016, 02:40 PM  
Shooting in cold temps question
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 14
Views: 1,245
I've got a Pentax k-x that I will be using for shooting outdoors in cold weather, likely in the 15-35 degree F range. Although not drastically cold, still uncomfortably cold. I am aware of the condensation issues when taking the camera from a cold to warm environment during the post-shoot and will be utilizing the sealed plastic bag trick to control condensation as the camera warms to room temperature.

But what about pre-shoot considerations. I will be driving for a couple of hours before I arrive at the outdoor location I will be shooting at. Obviously during this time the camera will be at a somewhat warm "inside car" temperature while I am traveling. What are the precautions once I arrive and get out of the car with my camera and the outdoor temps are freezing or below? Do I need to worry about condensation forming at that point as well? Should I let the camera adjust to the cold temps before I begin shooting, and if so, for how long and the best method for doing so?

Thanks for anyone's tips. Just want to make sure I get some decent shots.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-19-2016, 02:04 PM  
K-30 question
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 3
Views: 449
Great. Thanks so much for the quick reply.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-19-2016, 01:41 PM  
K-30 question
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 3
Views: 449
I am thinking of upgrading from a K-x to a K-30. I've read all the reviews and don't see a downside, especially considering I am just an amateur photographer who would simply like to enjoy a camera that has a few more enhanced features. The one thing I am looking for, which the K-x does not offer, is the ability to use a remote shutter release. I have yet to see this feature mentioned in the K-30 reviews I've read, but I am quite sure it would have that capability. Can anyone offer any helpful info in this regard before I spend the extra money? Many thanks.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-18-2016, 01:55 PM  
Fast lens advice
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 6
Views: 526
Thanks so much for the prompt and helpful replies from both of you. If I can find a fast lens for under a hundred bucks before I leave I may go that route, just to have the option available and to gain experience using it. I bought my Kx back in 2006 and its been a pretty reliable camera, although lacking in some features I wish I had. But it was also affordable. This may be the year to upgrade to a more full-featured Pentax. I haven't checked the Pentax market recently, but any advice on a Pentax that would be a step or two above the Kx in features, without breaking the bank? I will also look at the specs on the KS-1 and 2 as suggested. Thanks again!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-18-2016, 01:23 PM  
Fast lens advice
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 6
Views: 526
I will be taking my Kx camera with me on vacation to Europe next month and will be shooting a lot of pics inside museums, cathedrals, etc., where flash and tripods are not permitted. To get the best shots in these situations, what are my best options? Obviously I can increase the ISO a bit to get more light, but that seems more like a band-aid approach. Would getting a fast prime lens, e.g. 1.4 or 1.8, be the best solution to getting the sharpest images possible? I know it will be an added investment to make, but if this is the most common approach used by professionals (which I certainly am not) then it is something I am willing to consider. Or is there a simpler, more economical approach I can take in the interim. I just want to make sure my photos come out good as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit many great sites. Don't want my picture taking to be for naught. Thanks.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-30-2012, 03:34 PM  
Macro shooting with Raynox lens
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 60
Views: 13,551
Sorry for the late response to my original thread re: Raynox lenses Thanks to all for the great feedback. I guess I will give Raynox a go and do some experimenting with macro shooting. I may later get a dedicated macro, but even then I have no illusions about becoming a professional level macro photographer. I just want to have the ability to get some good, clean ultra closeups of primarily outdoor tiny creatures and plant life, without it costing me an arm and a leg.

I realize using a high quality dedicated macro lens will result in some exquisitely detailed shots. Obviously, being the realist that I am, I am not expecting the same results if I am using the Raynox or other substitute. However, that being said and all else being equal, should I expect a big drop off in image quality and detail when using the Raynox lens as opposed to a dedicated macro? Or will the overall quality just be negligibly less, with the image quality still good by most standards? Just wondering, because some of the Raynox macro examples provided in some of the responses to my thread looked pretty darned good to my untrained eye!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-30-2012, 11:23 AM  
Macro shooting with Raynox lens
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 60
Views: 13,551
I've got a K-x with a 70-300 mm Tamron zoom lens. I want to do some experimenting with macro photography, which I've never seriously dabbled with before. However, before I spend money on a dedicated macro lens I thought I would get my feet wet by using one of the macro converter lenses offered by Raynox. I would pair the converter with my Tamron zoom.

Does anyone have any experience, positive or negative, using a Raynox lens for macro work? I went to the Raynox web site to get more information and they offer the DCR-150 macro as well as a DCR-250 super macro. The 150 has a diopter of 4.8, and the 250 has a diopter of 8. Without getting overly technical, can someone briefly explain the diopter differences and why one of the Raynox lenses may be more useful than the other? I know it has to do with image magnification, but being new to macro shooting I am still getting a handle on the terminology. Many thanks.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-19-2012, 04:37 PM  
Relationship between aperture and zoom
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 5
Views: 6,770
That's why I am always afraid to ask questions, the answers may be too complicated. In reality, though, I understand what everyone is saying. I had never really thought about the issue before now, but when I was playing around with the camera just to experiment with various settings, to see how settings change when one aspect or another is tweaked, it caught my attention for some reason. Now I remember why I hated high school math and physics. :)
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-19-2012, 02:00 PM  
Relationship between aperture and zoom
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 5
Views: 6,770
Although I am relatively new to digital photography, I do understand all the basic principles and am trying to become as proficient as possible, at least from a hobby standpoint.

When experimenting with indoor shooting in Av mode using the 18-55mm kit lens that came with my K-x, I notice that if I shoot wide angle at 18mm I can adjust the aperture setting anywhere from f5.6 up to f40. However, if I zoom in to 55mm, my aperture range tops out at f22. So, my technical question of the day is this: Scientifically speaking, why does a change in focal length have an affect on minimum aperture?

Can someone more intelligent than me explain the relationship between aperture and focal length (BTW, I only have a BA degree so keep it simple). I should know the answer to this, but I can't wrap my brain around it for some reason. Thanks.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-16-2012, 02:42 PM  
Pentax A-Series lens question
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 23
Views: 2,904
Thanks a lot for all the good info sent my way. I've learned a lot in a short period of time and have decided to first search out the Pentax 50/1.7 instead of the Pentax A-50MM f2. Sounds like more bang for the buck and more useful for my experimentation needs as I delve into the world of faster lenses. Plus, it allows me to put one of my tried and true principles into action. If you have a choice between two inexpensive (i.e. cheap) items, always choose the highest quality cheap item. Words to live by (at least until I win the lottery).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-16-2012, 11:53 AM  
Pentax A-Series lens question
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 23
Views: 2,904
After I posted this reply, others had responded and basically all of my questions have been answered. Many thanks to all.

Gary



Baronite: When you stated in your reply "...and enable this setting in your camera," what exactly are you referring to. Just so I know what you mean (instead of thinking I know what you mean). :).

From the feedback I am getting re: the A-50MM f2 lens (or an upgrade to an A-1:1.7 50mm), it sounds like it should be a more than acceptable lens to use for the purposes I want (i.e. experimenting using a fast prime lens). However, due to the fact they seem to be so common and the prices extremely reasonable, it doesn't necessarily mean there will be a noticeable negative impact on image quality, correct? I am well aware of the old adage you get what you pay for, but sometimes there are diamonds in the rough. Just want to make sure I won't be sacrificing several degrees of quality picture taking by using this particular lens.

Again, everyone has been extremely helpful and I greatly appreciate everyone's thoughts. This is a great forum.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-16-2012, 10:51 AM  
Pentax A-Series lens question
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 23
Views: 2,904
This is the first time I've used a Pentax brand dslr (K-x) and need a little guidance on something regarding older lenses. I am looking to purchase a prime lens (my other two lenses are zooms), and have come across a Pentax A-50MM f2 at a very reasonable price.

It is my understanding that the A series is one of the older Pentax lenses and designed for film cameras. If I were to use this as my prime lens (until I can afford a newer and better DA series prime) on my K-x, are there major limitations or concerns I should be aware of before I head down this path? Just like to know before I spend my money.

My interest in getting a fast prime lens is due to my desire to get outdoor shots with shallow depths of field (plants, wildlife), and also getting good shots in low-light or indoor situations. Ideally I'd like to get fast zoom lens, but that is definitely out of my price range at the moment. Therefore, my thinking is that the A series prime mentioned above will be a good temporary compromise.

BTW, I also believe the
A-50MM f2 is NOT an autofocus lens, meaning I would have to set the camera to manual focus prior to shooting, correct?

Greatly appreciate anyone's thoughts on the matter, especially from those who have used older series lenses on the K-x. Thanks!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-15-2012, 07:57 PM  
K-x remote control feedback
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 6
Views: 1,186
I have access to a K-x so maybe I'll do some experimenting this weekend with some sort of reflective set up. Can only learn by doing as they say. Thanks for the reply.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-15-2012, 06:30 PM  
K-x remote control feedback
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 6
Views: 1,186
Thanks for the feedback. I have heard anecdotaly of people setting up mirrors to accomplish the feat, but it seems like a lot of work to accomplish an otherwise simple task. Unless someone out there has a good experience doing so, please let me know. I am thinking in terms of taking remote shots outdoors of birds and other wildlife (NOT tigers and lions). In that context I wanted to be able to set up the camera and then stand back away from the scene to take the shot remotely that I wanted. It's hard to hide from a creature when one is standing in FRONT of the camera! Maybe it's just a matter of biting the bullet and spending more money on a different model. But when your cheap it's hard to bite that bullet . :)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-15-2012, 02:05 PM  
K-x remote control feedback
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 6
Views: 1,186
I am considering the Pentax K-x for my digital SLR needs, but it is my understanding that there is no rear-facing remote sensor. Instead, it is on the front of the camera body. One of my major considerations is the ability to shoot via remote. So I am wondering what experiences, positive or negative, that K-x users have had using the remote function. And is there a way that the K-x remote can be set up so it can be fired from behind the camera? Or at least a non-convoluted way of doing so.

Just wondering why the Pentax K-x was set up without a rear sensor remote feature that is common on many other digital SLRs, since it seems like the most logical and useful place to put it. I do not use the remote function extensively, so maybe I am missing something that another more experienced shooter can fill me in on. Many thanks. Great user forum, BTW.

Gary
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 03-10-2012, 08:48 PM  
RAW editor suggestions
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 20
Views: 3,464
I am interested in getting more involved in RAW editing and to get a better feel for post-processing I have used some of the features found in basic free editors. However, I want to take it to the next level to learn even more. Can anyone suggest a decent RAW editor that is more feature filled than the low end programs, but won't cost an arm and a leg? To avoid the word cheap, I will instead say affordable on a low budget. Once I get proficient in editing RAW images then I won't mind spending money on a full featured program. Until then I just want to experiment using a more advanced editor with a manageable learning curve a newbie can appreciate without being overwhelmed..

Many thanks. I greatly appreciate any feedback. BTW, my camera is a Pentax k-x.

Gary
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-09-2012, 11:10 AM  
Manual white balance
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 2
Views: 1,307
Excellent. Thanks Marc for the quick reply.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-09-2012, 10:42 AM  
Manual white balance
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 2
Views: 1,307
Just a quick question. After manually setting the white balance in my Pentax K-x (using a gray card), and then taking the shot, does the setting stay put for subsequent shots as well? Or do I have to constantly reset it using my gray card for each and every shot? Or if the manual setting does remain constant for multiple shots, how do I get out of it when I am done shooting and wish, for example, to return to AWB.

I am just now beginning to experiment with manually setting the white balance for various shots. Although the manual explains how to set the manual white balance, it's not really clear on what happens with the custom setting immediately afterwards for subsequent shots. Thanks.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-29-2011, 11:33 AM  
Metering confusion
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 6
Views: 1,575
For some reason I am still somewhat confused regarding metering. I understand the concept, just not how to properly or effectively use the settings.

After buying my K-x late last year I took a beginner's digital photography class. The instructor, a well-published professional photographer, mentioned that the easiest way to meter if time is of the essence (and all other things being equal) is to set the camera to spot metering, aim the camera at the whitest area of the scene, partially depress the shutter button to capture that spot, then re-frame and shoot (my camera is set to the default exposure metering of 10 sec., which allows me plenty of time to do this).

This is probably good advice in some instances, but now I find myself mentally locked into performing this routine every time I take a picture under any condition. I don't want to pick up a bad habits if I can avoid them. The more I research metering, however, the more I find users recommending multi-segment metering as the default for most shots, and adjusting to spot or center weighted in extreme or problematic lighting situations.

Question 1: All things being equal and I am shooting outdoor scenes in daytime with good lighting, what is the preferred metering method?

Question 2: If I am shooting indoors in less well lighted environments, how should I meter this?

The more I think I've learned, the more it is that I seem confused about... :(
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-28-2011, 01:14 PM  
Questions re: WB and exposure
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 3
Views: 1,373
Got my first dslr (K-x) a couple months back and still at the learning stage re: digital slr photography. Although I've got most of the basics covered, I am still at times confused about some aspects re: the subjects of white balance and exposure. Further enlightenment is much appreciated.

All of the below assumes shooting in JPEG, not RAW.

WHITE BALANCE:
I fully understand the concept of white balance, color temperatures, and the importance of getting the white balance correct so all other colors will render as true as possible. I normally use AWB, but have also experimented with most of the other individual WB settings (daylight, shade, cloudy, etc.) depending on the setting I'm shooting.

My question is this. All things being equal, if I consistently use an 18% gray card to establish WB for each photo I take, does that mean there is no need to worry about AWB or any of the individual WB settings on the camera? In my simplistic way of looking at this, why go thru all the time and effort trying to set the proper WB if I can just take the lazy approach and use a gray card instead, and get it over with quickly and easily? Or am I overlooking other important considerations here?

EXPOSURE:
1. How is exposure adjusted if I am shooting in Manual mode, since the EV bar is not operational in Manual mode? Does this mean I would have to make exposure adjustments by changing aperture settings?

2. Is Scene mode really advantageous when faced with those specific conditions, or is it considered just a "quick and easy" way to get a "reasonably" good shot under adverse conditions? If one had time to setup the shot, then I would think manually setting other options (i.e. aperture, EV, etc.) would result in better photos. I have never shot in Scene mode and was just wondering if it is the lazy way to shoot (and I don't mean that to sound negative). Just curious what others think of the pluses/minuses of using Scene mode settings.

Thanks for anyone's thoughts on the above.

Stardog
Always learning...
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-27-2011, 10:51 AM  
Problème de batterie
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 6
Views: 2,161
I also had battery problems with my K-x after attempting to switch over to NiMH batteries. I had previously purchased an AC Delco battery charger that included 4 AC Delco NiMH 2000 mAh batteries. The camera would not recognize the batteries and I kept getting a low battery or depleted battery warnings. The same when I tried to use 4 brand new Eneloops. However, downloading the firmware upgrade referred to in the previous post by jolepp solved the problem.

After installing the firmware the K-x now recognizes both battery types. I have been using the AC Delco without incident, and am keeping the Eneloops as my primary backup.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-26-2011, 01:51 PM  
Batteries Not Working
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 3
Views: 1,390
Thanks Jeff for the tip. The firmware upgrade seems to have done the trick. Was not aware one was even available. As a test I left the camera on for 30 min and still have a solid green battery indicator. A good sign...
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-25-2011, 09:20 PM  
Batteries Not Working
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 3
Views: 1,390
I have a K-x that I purchased new towards the end of last year. The batteries that came with it worked fine until they ran their course, then, in a pinch, I replaced them with plain old high quality "AA's". When those recently ran out I decided to go the NiMH (which everyone seems to recommend) route to ensure long-lasting picture taking. However, none of these appear to work and my camera is now an expensive paper weight.

A few days ago I inserted 4 brand new AC Delco NiMH batteries. I was able to take a couple dozen pictures or so and then I started getting low battery warnings, then the camera died altogether. I recharged them on two separate occasions, but had the same problem. Figuring I got a bad batch of batteries I threw them away and bought 4 brand new Eneloops. Using the Eneloops the camera stayed on for about 5 minutes, then the battery warning again, the battery indicator flashed red, then dead again. I guess I'll throw these away and try to go back to plain old AA's again. Frustrating experience.

Do I need to send my camera somewhere for repair since supposedly high quality NiMH batteries seem to be useless? Anyone have any advice?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-23-2011, 11:37 AM  
Raw vs Jpeg?
Posted By Stardog
Replies: 69
Views: 14,272
I am not a professional photographer by any stretch, just an amateur shooter who is still learning the tricks of the digital slr world with my K-x. The more I understand the world of photography and the principles of taking good pictures, the more empowered I feel. If knowledge is power, then I find myself in learning mode 24/7.

Just two things regarding RAW:

1. Selecting RAW with my K-x, I am offered two save options - PEF (default) or DNG. Are there any pluses or minuses for choosing one over the other? Don't understand the difference between the two.

2. Personally, 95% of my shots are JPG. However, for the time being I always shoot some in RAW for one reason only. It gives me invaluable experience in learning the intricacies of post-processing. My best analogy is driving a car. If you just want to learn the basics of driving so you can get from point A to point B with minimal effort, then shoot JPG. However, if you want a deeper understanding of what exactly makes the car run so you can make repairs on your own should something go wrong on the highway, then shoot RAW. Like anything else, to become a good photographer one needs to have a basic understanding of the hows and whys, to see how all pieces of the puzzle interact. Working in RAW provides that learning experience. Just my opinion (which normally carries little weight with my friends anyway). Knowledge is power!
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