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Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-11-2010, 01:37 PM  
Did you hear this: Pentax + Nikon = ???
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 46
Views: 13,320
:D That's a good one! Unfortunately this won't actually create an upgrade path for us either. The winner of this game will be the manufacturer who comes out with a medium format camera and lens line-up that can be used on their cropped sensor bodies as well. ;):rolleyes::)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-11-2010, 01:20 PM  
645D is here ...
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 810
Views: 143,740
Has anyone seen a hint of a leaf shutter among the projections of future lenses?
Forum: Homepage & Official Pentax News 03-10-2010, 02:16 PM  
PENTAX announces a medium format DSLR, the 40MP 645D
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 18
Views: 11,134
You may be right, and if so it may be the niche market they have identified in Japan. I have no idea what the medium format market looks like across the pond. Maybe they don't enjoy some of the rental benefits we take for granted here in the US.

Current medium format rentals, with a whole slew of service and support, are pretty affordable for guys like your friend here in the USA. If he is not currently renting medium format gear do you think the lower purchase or potentially lower rental price on the 645D will be incentive enough to bring guys like him into the medium format market?
Forum: Homepage & Official Pentax News 03-10-2010, 11:08 AM  
PENTAX announces a medium format DSLR, the 40MP 645D
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 18
Views: 11,134
I would be very surprised if the next 645D lens does not have a leaf shutter in it. I was pretty confident that this camera was going to be aimed at the lower end of professional studio photographers as a way to begin rebuilding their professional support network. The specs on this camera lead me to believe that Pentax has instead identified a small niche market in Japan that I'm clueless about. I do think Pentax knows exactly what they are aiming at and that the vast majority of us American forum posters aren't seeing it.

I can see a possible American target in the architectural market, which might explain their decision to come out of the gate with such a wide initial lens. I don't know, this is one I'm going to have to watch for a while to see the plan. I'm gaining confidence that it's a smart move, but like most of Pentax's moves lately, maybe not in my direction.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-15-2010, 03:41 PM  
What Comes after the K7
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 253
Views: 61,361
99% of everything you just wrote was made up on the spot and does not line up with the real life shooting scenarios of 2010. :D The introduction of a relatively noiseless ISO 1600 was a game changer for every event photographer on the planet from soccer moms to high end wedding and sports shooters. Just because you don't see any value in the features that others are clamoring for doesn't mean it's not critical to their work flow. On the rare occasion that I shoot at "normal" iso values these days it's because I've added enough light to get away with it.

Most of the action shooters I know are tracking their fast moving offspring with a point and shoot and a pop-up flash. Just about everything they shoot is at ISO 1600, whether they know it or not. :) I think the stats on folks that need low noise at high iso is higher than your imagined 1%.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-15-2010, 02:56 PM  
Poll: how much would you pay for ff?
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 70
Views: 11,184
I just shot a Nikon D700 on my last job. It is in the price point I'll be shopping for soon. I answered $1,500 - $2,500 because I think the premise of the pole was for cost of body only. Actual cost is going to be around $5,000 kitted out the way I have been shooting it, plus the cost of a back-up body.
Pentax will need to be at least 15% cheaper for the same kit for me to justify the risk and inconvenience of making the leap to full frame on a platform that is not fully supported by the industry (rental, 3rd party accessories, locally available bodies and accessories, fast turnaround on repairs, etc.). More importantly, they are going to have to offer comparable features and performance to the competing full frame models that will be on the market when a Pentax full frame is released. I would almost insist that they have to exceed those specs but I'm a realist.
I have two Sigma lenses and one flash that might work on a full frame Pentax so that is a pretty good start. I would also have a couple of cropped sensor back-up bodies that would fit those accessories if I stayed with Pentax, but really, if I'm shooting jobs that require full frame I'm probably going to need a full frame back-up anyway so that incentive is pretty minor. I can also recover most of my investment in everything but the bodies by selling off my Pentax kit.
These are all things that people making the leap to full frame will consider. Any way you look at it, moving to full frame costs a lot more than buying a full frame body. That goes for consumers and manufacturer's both. Entering that market segment offers lots of reasons to pause and take a long look down the road at all options. Pentax will have to offer incentives to its early full frame adopters to help them take that leap of faith.
The one thing that keeps me interested is the probability that they will. :D
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-02-2009, 10:10 PM  
The Canon 7D for $1699.
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 71
Views: 10,432
Several of the full frame cameras outperform some of the medium formats on most fronts including dynamic range and image quality. The bodies are far cheaper, glass is much cheaper and more readily available, frame rates are usually higher, the bodies are lighter and more feature rich, the gear is much cheaper to rent, the files are easier to work with, etc. - These are just a handful of the reasons many pros prefer full frame over medium format if their client will let them get away with it. Full frame makes for an easier and more profitable job most of the time.

Pentax is counting on the fact that some of these advantages translate well to the arguments for some APS-C cameras over some full frame bodies too, especially for the non-professional. Pentax has elected to (or perhaps more accurately been forced to) stick to this lower hanging but far more abundant fruit in choosing their market segment.

Of course, the advantages of choosing an APS-C system with a full frame camera in the line-up are that if you ever need the higher IQ and performance of a full frame (and many clients require it now) then your flashes and well chosen lenses will move up. Perhaps more importantly, as the new Canon 7D and Nikon D300s illustrate, full frame features tend to move down. Companies with full frame bodies in their line-up tend to knock their top APS-C pitches out of the park.

The honest truth is that I still shoot Pentax because they were among the most affordable options when I bought into the DSLR game and I'm not profitable enough yet to justify migrating my flash and lens collection to a completely different system. I hear the Pentax primes are nice but I don't think they sway many shooters their way with them although I confess that I would use that as my main reason for staying if I had a few of them :D. I hate to say it but "affordable entry" and "small" are really the only true advantages I think they have left and when you start to migrate out of their market segment, those advantage go away pretty quickly.

So, think about the Pentax marketing advantages for a second. None of them translate well to full frame. Developing the body and lenses is the easy part. Developing a whole new marketing and filling it with buyers is probably out of Pentax's reach right now. Stranger things have happened but I'll be surprised if we see a full frame Pentax within the next three years.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-01-2009, 10:23 AM  
The Canon 7D for $1699.
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 71
Views: 10,432
This is the first camera that's made me take a hard look away from a Nikon full frame for my next upgrade. That noise performance on an 18Mp cropped sensor, at that price point, with that feature set, creates a bar that effectively removes the K-7 from professional consideration for all but a handful of professional photographers already invested in the K-mount system.

That's not a problem for Pentax because they are not after the professional market. No, really, when they say things to that effect corporately they are not kidding. They really are focused on the cropped sensor enthusiast market for their top tier cameras. Really. They are not kidding themselves, Pentax photographers holding out for full frame need to stop kidding themselves too.

Even if Pentax were to release a full frame camera this year I think it's pretty clear at this point (or pretty much any point in recent history for that matter) that the proffesional market will continue to be FULLY owned by Canon and Nikon for a very, very long time. There is virtually no reason for Pentax to make a full frame body and lens line-up at this point. The professional market is not open to a new brand and enthusiasts shopping in that league are looking for a full system with professional industry support. Even the enthusiasts buying into a cropped sensor system at the $1,200 plus price point are going to be looking hard at the benifits of a full package professional system for a long term investment so the K-7 is even a stretch for their market segment.

Seriously folks, Pentax is not kidding here. They are not holding out. They really are not reaching higher at this point. At least not with 35mm. Full frame Pentax is not going to happen any time soon. They really, really mean it... really. It's not coming. It's just not. Sorry. Forget it. Not happening... and that's ok.

If you are a member of Pentax's target market this is not a problem for you. If it is a problem for you it is because you expect Pentax to comit suicide in order for you to feel justified that your brand is in a market segment you are not in. If you are genuinely in the full frame market segment buy a Canon, Nikon or Sony. They are now, and will continue to be your only seroius options for full frame performance at a reasonable price point for a good long time.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-16-2009, 01:38 PM  
Even if $ is no real issue, it's not easy to replicate a Pentax system.
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 86
Views: 10,524
Even the K10D?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-07-2009, 09:41 PM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
By the way, my initial rant had nothing to do with me not being able to freeze motion. I can see where you came away with that impression, but it was actually more about an overexposure problem I ran into when switching between motion blur and stop action when I unexpectedly hit a 1/90 max sync speed in rear curtain mode.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-07-2009, 09:24 PM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
Well, now you are putting words in my mouth, or thoughts in my brain anyway. Your IBM credentials are impressive, (even if IBM hasn't made a camera or flash in a while ;) ). Your intelligence comes through in most of what you write so it's probably my loss that you don't want to continue this discussion.

I've learned quite a bit from stubbornly disagreeing with you though so if you change your mind I will try to change my tone to something that hopefully will find you more receptive. I've read some of my earlier comments and I was in pretty rare form, but at least that form (hand wringing) is rare for me. I wasn't being entirely fair to Pentax but popping the cork helped me sort through my growing list of frustrations once my initial "flash" tapered off.

It would be nice to end this miserable thread on a more positive note surrounding some of the high points, namely ways to use the current Pentax flash system more effectively and some of the positive things the future may hold.

So back to the Radio Popper "hypersync" trick.

Here are the White Lightning Strobe specs listing both the T.1 and T.5 flash duration times. It looks to me like it's possible to get consistently well lit shots above 1/1000 every time with the Radio Poppers and White Lightnings.

The Radio Poppers would require an on camera HSS master controller such as an HSS enabled flash. I'm not sure if Pentax makes an infrared control unit like Canon or Nikon's but that is all they would need. I'd say the chances of a Pentax version of the Radio Poppers is at least as promising as the ongoing hope for a Pentax full frame or the rumored Paul Buff designed Einstein and Alien Bees Max strobes (with multiple capacitor banks incidentally - wonder if they could... ah, never mind, HSS is not what they are designed for). Still, stranger things have happened.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-07-2009, 04:38 PM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
I respectfully counter that you seem to be stuck on convention so rigidly that you are too quick to dismiss innovation.

Conventional means are wonderful. I study and grow in my use of convention every single day, especially strobist conventions, but things-they-are-a-changing. I simply refuse to accept that it has to be the way it is. The conventions we are "stuck with" today have moved a long way from the conventions of the last decade or two as people have pushed the envelope. We wouldn't get very far if it weren't for individuals sporting a determined dissatisfaction with the way things are.

The Radio Poppers are changing the industry. Most of the current explosion in radio trigger technology can be traced to the fact that they finally ran the proverbial 4 minute mile last year with radio triggered HSS. The Radio Popper engineers have developed a phenomenal product line much loved by a lot of the top talent in the industry including Mr. Strobist himself, David Hobby.

In fact, the Pocket Wizard Flex seems to have been a direct response to the Radio Popper innovation and it seems to work just as well. Here is the Flex pulling the same stunt in the hands of a user who is not making a dime on them. This whole technique is kind of a side benefit to the primary goal of the engineers but it's one that will see a lot more development in the future, I'm sure of it.

I respect your opinion a lot. I get the impression that you have probably forgotten more than I know, but you are making up limitations in your head based on your extensive experience and well educated preconceived notions. Healthy skepticism is a virtue but so is an open mind. Please, let down your guard, and set aside your neutral density filter methods for a second, and try to wrap your mind around the possibilities.

The Radio Poppers appear to be intercepting the pre-flash info and are triggering the strobe before the front curtain opens so that it is already at its brightest when the first shutter opens. I looked at your link the first time you posted it, and again just a moment ago, but I don't see any studio strobes on it. Many studio strobes, particularly the cheaper ones such as the popular Alien Bees, have fairly long and consistent burn times that will evenly cover a 1/1,000 or longer exposure before they "flame out." Some strobes, like the one being used in the link I posted above, appear to actually burn longer at lower power, which again, completely goes against all conventional speedlight wisdom, I know.

So, it's conceivable that we might even see specialized studio strobes engineered for longer burn times as a direct result of this discovery, effectively creating an adjustable, high powered, short burst, "continuous" light source as one answer to the limited mechanical shutter sync speeds we are stuck with right now. Wouldn't that be a hoot?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-07-2009, 02:22 PM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
Here is Radio Popper's condensed explaination:

Coolness! But … how do you get these flashes to behave like a constant light source? I thought they did a virtually instant power dump the moment they’re triggered … didn’t realise it was electronically possible to slow down the dump …

RP EDIT:
It’s like magic. ;) We’ll see how the “compatible gear list” plays out, but some flash tubes burn longer at a fairly constant rate. Some burn very short and won’t play in this new way, but some of the particularly less expensive studio and strobe units out there - it turns out - are perfect for this trick.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-07-2009, 02:17 PM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
I'm right there with you. Everything I've ever read on flash tells me that it can't be done but apparently it can because here it is happening right before my very eyes.

And to be honest, the day I saw that video was the day I started really having problems with my Pentax flash system. :)

There is hope though. Here is a comment about halfway down the page asking about Pentax support and the official Radio Poppers response indicates that it's coming.

Question:

My Jaw drops - If I had a genie pop out of a bottle on me this little trick would make my top three list… but, I need Pentax support, please.

I heard a rumor that the poppers worked on Pentax bodies even though it wasn’t officially supported. If I have to switch camera systems to shoot these I’m telling you right now it’s a done deal but it sure would be nice if these would “unofficially” work with my Pentax bodies. Can anyone verify that?

RP Answers:
The P1 units won’t do this trick, but they do “unofficially” work with Pentax. The PX units are required for this trick and they currently absolutely will not work with Pentax - however, Pentax support is just a software update away and it’s in process. We expect Pentax support in the near future - we just need to complete a software profile that will optimally handle the timing and “language” of Pentax.

This goes also for Sony and Olympus.

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-06-2009, 09:45 PM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
I have asked but I probably haven't asked fervently enough. One of the motives for this thread was that I was kind of hoping to get a lot of requests for it sent Pentax's way.

I had actually started toying with your optical trigger idea before you posted and it's showing some limited promise. I'll keep you posted and look forward to hearing what you come up with too.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-06-2009, 03:17 PM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
That was a great explanation isteve, and I appreciate you taking the time to sort that out for me. You make a lot of sense, the HSS in body is the trick for the Canon and Nikons. I was under the impression that they just unlocked the hot shoe in regular mode but now I'm beginning to see how the HSS signal is being used to trigger non-HSS devices like the Quantum and other studio strobes. The Radio Poppers and Pocket wizards are being tricked into firing those lights above the sync speed before the first curtain is even fully open. Those strobes effectively become a continuous light source at sync speeds faster than their T.1 times, which opens a ton of options for high shutter speeds with flash.

Now you have me thinking, hoping even. Since the HSS in the Pentax system is flash dependent, not body dependent, a radio trigger could be designed that would fool the Pentax system into thinking it had an HSS flash attached unlocking the hot shoe above synch speed and pulling the same stunt with high speed studio strobes that the Canon and Nikon crowds get to play with. I withdraw my point that Radio Popper and Pocket Wizard could not fully support the Pentax system even if they wanted to. It would probably be a lot more expensive for them to include the HSS circuitry but they could do it if they wanted to. I hope some day they will because tripping studio strobes at 1/2000 without a hint of curtains in the image is just something I'm going to have to find a way to do.

Your last point is also quite true and I've got to admit I kind of had that coming. I'm always experimenting so I have, and I will continue to find a way to get the shots I want. I've been leaving HSS enabled the last couple of days and figuring out how to make it work the way I want it to and to be honest it's winning me over. It's become my new go-to setting to leave the flash in.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-06-2009, 11:22 AM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
I see that now, thank you as well.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-06-2009, 05:01 AM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
Hey, not a bad idea. It's not quite as intuitive as the front and rear dials but that might be a reasonable work around for this particular situation. Thanks for the idea.

On a side note, I just read Rice High's latest list of all the reasons not to buy a K-7 and I've got to say I'm really feeling left out in left field now. Even he doesn't mention most of my ongoing frustrations with the Pentax flash system, and ya know, he wouldn't have missed the opportunity if it had occurred to him.

Maybe I am the only one...
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-05-2009, 05:28 PM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
Unless I'm mistaken, you are mistaken, unless of course your flash is kicking a few more watt seconds than mine to overpower the ND filter. Photoshop on the other hand... it can definitely be done in Photoshop. It can also be done with just about any current DSLR from either Canon or Nikon, no ND filter, cardboard, studio strobe or photoshop required.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-05-2009, 04:58 PM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
This is a rant, ya got me there. A good rant can be invaluable when it's called for and this one is. It's not just trailing curtain that's trailing in the Pentax system, it's flash support in general, and as far as I can tell, there's no good reason for it.

Cost can't be the issue, it has to simply be a lack of will and that will can and should be changed. Pentax doesn't have to re-invent the wheel here. If they can't afford to engineer a more modern flash system themselves they can just steal the "flashy" wheels off of any number of bodies the competition left on the side of the road years ago. Everything I'm asking for is basic stuff that has been integrated into budget DSLR's for a long time.

Imagine if Canon or Nikon tried to introduce a new high end camera with the limitations of the Pentax flash system we are still plagued with on the K-7 (1/180 sync, 1/90 trailing curtain, dead hot shoe above sync speed which among other things makes it impossible for manufacturers like Pocket Wizard and Radio Popper to fully support them even if they wanted to, etc.). They would hear a lot of rants!

The Pentax flash system lacks, and it needs to grow, but it probably won't unless the photographers who use the system let them know where they want to see improvements.

All I can figure is that Pentax hasn't had enough feedback to see the need to bring their flash system current, because they certainly have capable enough engineers and none of these things are budget breakers to match the competition on. The competition beats most of the K-7's basic flash support on their budget DSLR's.

Pentax does a lot of things right and they do it at a bargain price. Flash support is not one of them. Several people have commented to the effect that, "it's just not going to happen with Pentax." I don't buy it. The K-7 incorporates a lot of , "not going to happen with Pentax" improvements. It just took a few rants and a little Pentax will to get there.

Changing systems is not all that difficult but I didn't start this thread to justify such a decision, even if it comes to that. I think I share a common desire with many Pentax rant posters who decided to try to help change Pentax's will rather than their lens mount. Nikon has plenty of customers. In my case, I would rather see them end up with a more formidable competitor.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-02-2009, 01:26 PM  
Ugh, another frustration with sync speed
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 84
Views: 8,811
Advice noted, thanks.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 07-02-2009, 12:59 PM  
Amazing Dave Hill photo PP technique
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 32
Views: 17,882
Hey, thanks. I hadn't seen that resource before. Looks like several of the top players are posting there.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 07-02-2009, 11:41 AM  
Amazing Dave Hill photo PP technique
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 32
Views: 17,882
Nay.......
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 07-02-2009, 11:39 AM  
Flash
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 40
Views: 5,142
Are you saying you specifically don't want a hot shoe flash or that you specifically don't want a Vivitar? Are you shying away from replacing the Metz because of price or are you just looking for the best bang for the buck in that price range? Do you want small, light and mobile or are you looking for the power of a small monoblock?

So far I've been pretty happy with the results from my Sigma 540FGZ Super and collection of Vivitar 4600's with Vari-power Slave modules with radio triggers. I know the modern 285HV's have had some bad press but there is nothing cheap about the older Vivitars. Mine were all made in the 80s and they still stand up to fairly heavy use. I imagine they will outlast the Sigma I bought last year.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 07-02-2009, 11:17 AM  
Powerful Hotshoe Flashes?
Posted By GoldenWreckedAngle
Replies: 11
Views: 3,795
The Vivitar 285HV is kind of the go-to high powered off camera flash but I personally favor the Vivitar 4600 with a manual control slave module. The 4600 is the 285HV with a few extras thrown in. It can be separated into three parts, the head, the body and the hot shoe controller and any part that fails can be replaced pretty cheaply.

There are different heads available including a bare bulb head, a motorized zoom head and a manual zoom head. Another advantage to the removable head is that the head contains the high voltage thyristor which makes the rest of the flash safe to work on once you remove it. That's important because the swivel mechinism for the head is in the body part and it's very easy to open it up and modify it to swivel almost a full 360 degrees without worrying about shorting the thyristor and cooking the noodles between your ears in the process.

The control modules lock on the bottom of the main body and have the hot shoe on them. You can get them for several different cameras, including Pentax, but none of them support the Pttl controls. The control module you want is the V/S vari-power slave module. It gives you manual control from full to 1/16 power and it has a built in optical slave that will fire the flash anytime another flash goes off nearby.

Best of all, I don't think I've paid over $15 or $20 dollars for any of mine plus the cost of a few slave modules for the ones that didn't have them. The valuable part is that V/S module, so if you find one of those snag it at any price under $25 or so. It will fit the 3500, 3700, 4200 and 4600 flashes and they are all dirt cheap and plenty powerful. Sync voltages on all of them are also safe for your digital camera.
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