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Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-14-2017, 07:13 PM  
DxO finally published the 645z review....
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 34
Views: 1,758
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 11-12-2017, 11:54 AM  
Come to your SENSORS....$$$ONY!
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 6
Views: 423
I think that something is being missed here. TowerJazz is the manufacturer - the FAB. That does not mean what they produce is going to be available for general sale. Who owns the sensor's design? The sensors going into the Leica bodies isn't available and the indication in the various news articles has the sensor in the Nikon D850 being a Nikon design for the most part. I really doubt that Nikon is going to make their designs available to Pentax, Fuji, Olympus, el al. Also, Nikon has the production scale - something that Pentax lacks.

That leaves Pentax either staying with Sony or doing their own design (to some degree). Now, semiconductor design today is not like it was yesterday where you need to be an expert at everything. You can license the IP packages. What that means is that they licensed a number of IP packages, the copper writing, the BSI, the dual gain, probably the sensels, etc., from other folks - there are lots of these available. You can even hire a custom semiconductor design house for the layout and to roll it for you. It all comes down to dollar$ - what is cheaper and more efficient for what you need.

The profitability is in the scaling of the sensor fabrication. The more parts you make, the more you can reduce your cost$. Sony by FABing the sensors for everyone was essentially capping their costs to a large degree. Intel has demonstrated this on steroids by even now going out and FABing ARM processors for anyone who has the need for large production runs.

Will this put pressure on Sony to be a bit more nimble with their product offerings and pricing - well one would think, however to what degree, I don't know. That all remains to be seen.

I've read rumors that Asahi or Pentax back in the day, went to a small custom design shop for their famous SMC lens coatings. What Pentax does in the future is still unknown.

:cool:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-11-2017, 12:38 PM  
How do you use an old manual lens on a modern camera?
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 12
Views: 590
There are menu setting you must change (just once and then leave them for all eternity). Adam has a link / sticky somewhere on the site that addresses this. I can't find it right now....You need to set Using Aperture ring to permitted and I think that there is another one too.

:cool:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-11-2017, 07:45 AM  
Any chance of 15-30 being on Black Friday sales this year? :)
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 13
Views: 722
... Well, there is a back story. Our stove (electric) in the kitchen broke, and my wife wanted gas, gas, gas, gas. To get gas we would need to run a new gas line from the street to enlarge our current one to the garage. Then cut the slab from the garage to the kitchen tearing up the floors. Cut a hole in the roof for a fan, or tunnel from the stove out to the outside wall for a downdraft vent. Then new cabinets, counter tops and lights - essentially a new kitchen, pantry, bath and laundry - $$$$$$$$. This is in a house that will be scraped by anyone who we sell to, since it's on a large lot (with a bad orientation - the garage door has the best view) and every house sold in town is scraped and rebuilt much LARGER. Absolutely guaranteed. This house in any other area you could never over improve - but in its current location, it's demolition time.

A couple of months ago, my wife heard the side gate open and close, so she went out to check. Found a guy in a hard hat and clip board, who looked up and said - "we were told that you had already moved". They had a demolition order to scrape the house the next week - on Tuesday. An interesting conversation was had by all.......

So, she finally decided on an induction stove top along with new pots and pans - new faucets and the garbage disposer and dryer both died and were just replaced - but I'm still in the dog house because the stove was not gas - and the kitchen was not remodeled.

:cool:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-10-2017, 03:13 PM  
Any chance of 15-30 being on Black Friday sales this year? :)
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 13
Views: 722
I am doing pretty much the same. I picked up a K1 and was going to pickup the 15-30 and my wife said - you just got a new camera - and now you want a new lens, go use the lenses you have. Even though I have the funds saved up and stashed away in my sock drawer....

:cool:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-10-2017, 10:33 AM  
Any chance of 15-30 being on Black Friday sales this year? :)
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 13
Views: 722
Well you put in the max you will pay, so start low and then somewhat daily walk up the price. When a vendor sees the price that they are willing to part with product for, they will accept the price, send you a notice and then ship it (no tax, free shipping). The amount of discount varies from item to item, but it seems to be around 10 to 12% off. I've only tried it once and that was for the 60-250. I don't know if the vendors work over a weekend - so I only did this during the week.

:cool:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-09-2017, 05:08 PM  
Any chance of 15-30 being on Black Friday sales this year? :)
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 13
Views: 722
I'm waiting also to see what might be on sale. The alternative is to go through a selling service like GreenToe.com. I've used them before (the 60-250 about 2 years ago) and picked up a 10-12% discount (new with US warranty) that was filled through Adorama.

:cool:
Forum: General Photography 11-07-2017, 05:05 AM  
AI Turns Unrecognizable Pixelated Photos Into Crystal-Clear Images
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 10
Views: 476
Forum: Post Your Photos! 11-05-2017, 03:47 PM  
Machinery Sky Harbor at Night
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 2
Views: 181
I was able to get out last evening to go do some shooting. I went down to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. The takeoffs were in the wrong direction, so I couldn't shoot what I had originally intended, so I looked around for some other opportunities. On top of the parking structure at terminal 4, the view to the south (Southwest Airlines) was just plain uninteresting - obscured by the part of the roof for the new Sky Train (people mover) that they are building. However, to the north (American Airlines - use to be American Worst West), the view was much better.

I took a series of 30 second shots to be stacked together. To get a 30 second exposure, I needed to go with ISO 100 while stopping down a lot to f22 to shoot long. I found that I left my 20mm lens on the desk at home, so the 31 was a bit narrower, but did fine. If I had the presence of mind to bring the 20mm lens, I would have been able to capture a bit more action of a couple of additional planes pushing back and turning around.

This is a blending/compositing of 15 shots, stacked using Photo Engine - with ghosting (so as to let the light streaks stack together). Then straightened up - well just because I could not get the camera level with the runway lines.

:cool:
Forum: General Photography 10-30-2017, 08:59 AM  
Neural network gives your phone 'DSLR-quality' photos
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 15
Views: 663
Well actually it appears to apply some post processing to make the original image appear to be more similar to an image taken by a dSLR. The software does nothing to "improve" the smartphone's sensor, lens, etc. There is yet another approach that "analyzes" the scene and sets the camera parameters prior to capturing the image to improve the image quality.
:cool:
Forum: General Photography 10-30-2017, 08:25 AM  
Neural network gives your phone 'DSLR-quality' photos
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 15
Views: 663
I came across this and thought that it may be of interest....

:cool:
Forum: Pentax K-1 10-29-2017, 04:35 PM  
New K1 owner wants to print LARGE
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 20
Views: 1,124
I have no idea as to what printing options are near you. However, have you considered taking one of your images and just printing it large, just for the heck of it?

A number of years ago, I had an image that I was thinking about printing large, because I had never done it before and had no idea as to how it would turn out (16MP image from a K5). So, one weekend I just pulled it up and sent it over to Costco to be printed at 20" x 30" for $8.99 (now $9.99). It tuned out great - way beyond my expectations. It was printed at about 150 dpi and was flawless. Several months later I had it printed again at a web printers and yes it was a better print, but cost substantially more. The Costco solution was an excellent 90% solution for the price.

The problem was then - what to do with the Costco print? It was too good to throw away, so I took it to work. Everyone there immediately pulled out their magnifying glasses to look for flaws (a bunch of engineers). To their dismay, they found none. One asked me what I was going to do with it. Since I had a duplicate - he asked if he could have it to hang in his office. So, there it hangs to this day.

Costco also does 20" x 60" for $18.99.
:cool:
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 10-14-2017, 07:24 PM  
Leaving Canon. Can't find a Denver retailer.
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 14
Views: 464
You are right - forgot all about that. D&B/Hoovers has this information on them....
Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation West Caldwell, NJ, United States Sales $36.45M
Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation
5 Dedrick Pl
West Caldwell, NJ, 07006 United States
(973) 882-2000
Home - Ricoh
:cool:
Forum: Pentax K-1 10-14-2017, 01:40 PM  
K1 Bracketing Question
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 3
Views: 383
  • So you cant change into self timer or continous shooting aswell? - that's correct, I can't get into the drive mode in order to change to any of the options there.

  • Are your AF point changing when pressing UP? When I am in the [auto33] mode no. In the [auto9] and [sel] modes, yes - I can move the selection group/point around using the arrow keys.

  • Press the little button next to the UP button and try again... The [-|-] button? That was it!!! Who would of thought? I guess I hit that button by mistake out in the dark when I was out in the field during one of the last few outings.

:cool:

---------- Post added 10-14-17 at 01:47 PM ----------


... it was the "Change AF Point/Card Switch Button". I really never change AF points, so that would have been the last thing that I would have ever consider. Must have hit the button out in the dark.

:cool:

---------- Post added 10-14-17 at 02:04 PM ----------

Thanks - All !!!! I now think that I had read sometime in the past about this button - anyway, it's now seared into my memory.

:cool:
Forum: Pentax K-1 10-14-2017, 12:56 PM  
K1 Bracketing Question
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 3
Views: 383
I've been through the manual more than several times. I have been in bracketing mode and out of it. I want to get back into bracketing mode, but right at now I can't seem to get there.
  • I'm in the Standby screen. According to page 59 of the manual I should just be able to use the the ^ button to get into the drive mode (just like the K5), when bracketing is enabled, but it's not happening. So, there is something that I don't have set right. One would think that I should be able to get into drive mode directly, from just about anywhere.

  • What I'm aiming to do is to switch from 3 frames to 5 frames for bracketing, and also for the future switch into burst mode along with the other options of the drive mode.

Thanks! :cool:
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 10-14-2017, 11:50 AM  
Leaving Canon. Can't find a Denver retailer.
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 14
Views: 464
I almost hesitate to make this suggestion, but I might be inclined to drive over to where ever Pentax/Ricoh corporate is located and ask to see a K1 since there are none around locally in retail stores. It would almost pathetic if they didn't have one available, or declined to help you out. Pentax/Ricoh is what it is and there is no changing them in the slightest.

:cool:
Forum: Pentax K-1 09-26-2017, 11:51 PM  
Learning all over again - wide angle
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 22
Views: 1,426
This quick day trip to Oak Creek Canyon and in particular the West Fork was to essentially re-acquaint myself with the surroundings - in particular, with the K1 and how the additional real-estate can be effectively used. I've shot a lot of wide angle in some off nominal situations which have turned out pretty well.
  • Overall with the DA 12-24 I was extremely happy with and shot quite a few of my most favorite shots. But I asked and was granted the opportunity to shoot the USS Constitution at sunrise and sunset a few years ago and with a bit of math - determined that the 12-24 was not going to do it. So, I picked up the 8-16 so with a limited amount of space to work in (in a ship yard) was able to shoot a large square rigged sailing ship from waterline to the top of the main mast in a single frame (she moves a bit with the tide and breeze). I was also able to shoot the USS Constellation down in Baltimore in pretty much the same way. Also shot the Z bridge in Boston, where the only vantage point was a small foot bridge (unable to get a better vantage unless you go swimming). Bottom line, shooting big items with limited space - wide angle with possibly some stitching.

  • Here in Arizona there are quite a few of large rocks/mountains, and even in a large desert, there are limitations from where you can shoot for various reasons. Two areas for example - Superstition Mountain (Lost Dutchman State Park) and Cathedral Rock up in Sedona. There are specific locations if say you are going to shoot the Milky Way over these, where the things are so massive, coupled with the location limitations (shot angles, time of the year, etc.) that force you into certain locations. Yes, you can stitch with longer focal lengths, but there are also reasons why shooting panels also works out a bit better.


Yes - I agree and often observed here that wide angle lenses push back the center object in order to make room to pull in everything around the edges. A perfect example of this would be the Mittens in Monument Valley. Individually they are impressive, however as a group they are even grander. Telephoto stitching is really the only way to go. Essentially matching the lenses to the situation with a supporting technique.

Wider works for the situations where it works well. And - when it doesn't it fails miserably.

Going back to the West Fork, what I'm trying to do, that I didn't accomplish (failed) on this outing at all - was looking at the best way to capture the high narrow canyons (not really slot canyons like the upper & lower Antelope Canyons), but the narrow high wall (200 - 300 feet high, and perhaps 20 feet wide) canyons with the subway washouts that are located here in Arizona and up in Zion in Utah. I've seen a number of images where folks go just for the subway washouts (impressive in themselves) - which really does not capture the context of the canyon.

Stitchable with a longer lens, absolutely. However, wide angle lenses should work pretty effectively in this environment since the view that you are shooting is literately right in front of you - within a few feet (with plenty of foreground anchors). Couple that with the intense varying colors of the sandstone - up against the green of the trees and shrubs, and you should have a stunning shot. Then with Fall starting, you have the reds, oranges and yellow leaves for about a week or two. Then there is the onset of winter with the first snows here and the white of the snow on the trees (left over fall colors) against the layers of sandstone. With all the hikers and world class photographers hitting this spot, I would think that I would be seeing a lot of WA/UWA similar shots. But I don't. There is probably a reason, I'm thinking in that it just may not "work" well. The folks from Arizona Highways have been shooting this particular area for nearly 100 years.

What I am struggling with is evaluating what is going to work best - and what to acquire next. As I posted, I was really surprised with the width of the 20 on the K1. The 15-30 has a field of view of 111 degrees with the 8-16@8 on a crop sensor at a FoV of 114 degrees. Pretty equivalent, but the K1 increases the available resolution by a factor of 2. In thinking about this over the last few days, I think its just the difference of perception that I am seeing between the K1 and my K5 - and just being so use to a crop sensor. Anyway, I am going to try again and take more time. My wife was sitting in the car in the parking lot wanting to get on the road to Flagstaff for dinner - which didn't help.

:cool:
Forum: Pentax K-1 09-23-2017, 12:29 AM  
Learning all over again - wide angle
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 22
Views: 1,426
I picked up a K1 about 2 months ago, not only to shoot the Milky Way, but that's what pushed me over the edge. I was really intending to stay with the cropped bodies - but the larger sensor is nice - really nice. I acquired the body, with the intention of also getting the 15-30 to support in part wide stitches of the Milky Way end to end (against the Arizona landscapes here). But, I usually shoot wide - and stitch even with the 8-16, so my thinking was to go with the 15-30. However, in the meantime, I'm using the full frame lenses that I currently have - Voightlander 20, ZK 25, 31 Ltd, K 28 Shift, Contax 28 - so it's not that I have nothing to shoot with.

I have not been shooting as much as I would have thought, due to a number of things going on (Mom @ 92 having some surgery, etc., etc., etc....) [and she is just fine now]. So, I have really only gotten out about 5 dedicated times now. I have a lot to learn (or relearn - especially when out in the dark). The LED's and the articulating screen makes things soooo much easier - otherwise it would be impossible.

So, Wednesday - my wife and I packed up and took a day trip up to Oak Creek Canyon and had a wonderful time. I did some shooting up in the West Fork (noted for its towering canyon walls with a "subway" curve cut into the base). This was somewhat of a reconnoiter trip, and then in the evening - shot some Milky Way on the late drive home.

What did I learn? Well, I need to go out shooting daily for a couple of weeks to really understand the camera along with the new "view" of things it provides. Also, my ability "see" framing is now waaaaaaay off. Also, after a long hot summer, seeing some actual green was really nice.

In the afternoon, I shot with the Voight 20 and it turned out way wider than what I even expecting. At night, I shot with the 31.
  • [image 1] and [image 2] were shot with the 20mm. Image 1 is a 4x2 stitch of one of the entry canyon walls along the creek bed (it's 13K x 7K large). The canyon wall is a couple of hundred feet high, and I cropped off the top because the image was just way out of balance, and the sky was way too uninteresting (also somewhat blown out). Image 2 is just a single frame, looking up the creek to the first set of subway walls.

  • [image 3] is a vertical stitch of 3 shots using the 31Ltdf of the Milky Way in the meadow of the West Fork trail head. I forgot to disable the tracking so the foreground is blurry - stupid mistake. The lights off to the left are some cars on highway 89A which winds through the canyon and are silhouetting the trees and casting some light on the red rock canyon walls off on the right. Other than stitching it and a bit - it's really pretty much right out of the camera. Since, I screwed up the foreground, I'm just going to leave it as it is and shoot it again sometime.

I'm having to learn how to shoot again. This camera is very different. The field of view of the lenses is very different, but the detail is staggeringly good.

I'm now somewhat re-evaluating what lens I really want.
  • The 15-30 will capture what I want to shoot at night. But for landscapes, at least right now 24 to 30mm seems much more reasonable. I was very use to shooting the 8-16 at 8 all the time, but the 20 seems much wider than what I would have thought. Also, we're going up to Oregon to see our youngest son and I want to stop at both the Hiller Aviation Museum and the Evergreen Museum to shoot some aircraft that I have some very specific interests in.

  • The 28-105 was also suggested, and I'm thinking that this might just be better for most all around shooting - as everyone has indicated.

Essentially, I'm re-educating myself in wide angle - which I thought that I had down pretty well.

:cool:
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-12-2017, 07:57 PM  
Nikon D850: New FX-format digital SLR camera coming soon.
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 296
Views: 11,274
Two new bits of information (and links) on the sensor in the D850, in terms of who designed it and the foundry which produced it.















You Tube




:cool:
Forum: General Photography 09-06-2017, 10:18 PM  
Panoramic Picture Gear
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 9
Views: 570
Here are a number of thoughts in no real order of significance.....
  • For as simple as it is (or appears to be), mechanical stabilization equipment is fairly expensive. I've acquired this stuff over the last 10 years, so it has not been an instantaneous buy.

  • Standardize on a single clamp/plate interface. Arca-Swiss is the best and available everywhere.

  • Rather than using a leveling base, just use your current ballhead. It will work just as well. Also, for single row panos off a tripod, just use a panning clamp. The secret is that with a tripod, you can level it at the ball in the ballhead (or whatever type of head). Then use the panning clamp on top and the camera on top of that. [So, it's tripod - ballhead - panning clamp - camera.] Essentially the ballhead will provide a level plane on which to rotate on. panning clamp - Google Search

  • I have only lost a single set to parallax, so I really don't use a nodal rail. Well, let me clarify that - I have a pano head (nodal ninja 5 with the rotor) that has a rail built in, but I really don't use a stand alone rail for single row panos. I may be stupid on this point, but that's just my experience.

  • Tripod - I never shoot with the center column extended as it only adds a source of vibration.

  • Remote - I prefer a wired release. The little IR release is too easy to loose - especially at night.

  • Overlap - I use to shoot with about 20 to 30% overlap. I now usually go with 50% overlap, since it essentially when stitched just uses the center part of the lens. I also shoot an extra frame on either end, so I can stitch and then crop off the ends and ensure that I don't have any distortion. I tend to shoot wide angle in portrait orientation in order to get the extra height for wide landscape panos of the Milky Way.

  • Software - you already have the LR/PS so that combination will do everything you would ever want. You can also use microsoft ICE (free download) as it's extremely quick and easy to use.

  • Heads - I started out with a ballhead (Acratech GP). The more astro I shoot, the more I now use a gearhead (Manfroto 410) since it is just so easy to dial in perfect level on each axis (especially at night in the dark at oh dark hundred). I just set my NN5 up on top and use the rotor base to easily position each of the frames I usually shoot anywhere from 4 to 9), and everything is so repeatable.

  • Used equipment - Cost reduction. It took me 6 months to find a Manfroto 410 geared head on craigslist - but was able to pick it up for a significant savings up in the bay area. I found a second beater tripod locally to keep in my truck. My other tripod is small enough to put in my carry-on when traveling.

  • L bracket - Been using a L bracket since the K20. I love these things. It just stays on the body permanently.


:cool:
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 09-03-2017, 07:51 PM  
Planning my sunsets and sunrises on a trip through Utah.
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 3
Views: 513
Well, I have not been to Page specifically for sunsets, but for - Page, AZ (Horseshoe bend, Marble Canyon, antelope canyon - if there are spots left) of these three....
  • Horseshoe Bend has a view looking west in to the sunset with the bend as the anchoring foreground, as the parking lot and road are on the east side. The only real viewing spot is on the east side looking west (which is the traditional view). It is a 5 minute walk to the bend from the parking lot. Google Maps

  • Marble Canyon is south of Horseshoe Bend and runs north - south. There is a bridge, but it's pretty flat on the top with mesa cliffs in the distance. There is a ranger station on the west side after you cross the bridge, but I don't have any idea as to the landscape for a sunset. Google Maps ..... Marble Canyon sunset - Google Search

  • Antelope Canyon up top is flat - with the view to the west of the power transmission towers to Phoenix. The best time to shoot the slot canyons is at high noon to get the streams of light coming down. Google Maps

So, what I was planning on doing was the bend for the actual sunset, and then driving down to the bridge across Marble Canyon for the golden/blue hour if the sky had any interest.

I also came across a video with two guys who drove up there to shoot the Milky Way (late in the year - it's on the south west side). They shot the MW then went to sleep, woke up and stuck around to shoot the bend in the morning twilight in order to get some details down through the canyon.

___________________________

It's 120 miles between Monument Valley and Page - so, it's really one or the other. Also, from the highway 163, the view is really to the east, so the easy shots would be to the east or the sunrise. Google Maps

:cool:
Forum: Sold Items 09-03-2017, 10:57 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Really Right Stuff K-1 L plate
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 1
Views: 658
If I had known to wait a few weeks..... I do have to say, it's the perfect L bracket - the Kirk has a larger space along the side. This one fits like a glove. Of the shots I have taken, 90% of them have been on the tripod, at night....

:cool:
Forum: General Photography 09-01-2017, 09:45 PM  
Rental Camera Gear Destroyed by the Solar Eclipse of 2017
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 16
Views: 1,207
There is a thread on this over at reddit and Roger Cicala (who owns Lens Rentals) commented on the damage....





QuoteQuote:

[]RCicala 65 points 5 hours ago

Exactly right. Replaced the aperture assembly, although the hard part actually was cleaning some residue off the lens elements on either side of the aperture. Still a $200 part and a few hours of repair time. Lens wasn't ruined. Roger



... so, it was salvageable and a few hundred dollar repair bill is pretty reasonable - all things considered...

______________________

...a bit off topic here - but have you folks seen some of the images of the eclipse taken with Pentax gear? Check out the Astro social group.
:cool:
Forum: General Photography 09-01-2017, 04:27 PM  
Rental Camera Gear Destroyed by the Solar Eclipse of 2017
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 16
Views: 1,207
Let's see $8,999.00 but if you buy through B&H you do get to Receive a 4% Reward.I wonder if they get the old damage one. Lens Rentals, just probably repairs the unit and charges for the parts & labor along with the down time.

:cool:
Forum: General Photography 09-01-2017, 01:09 PM  
Rental Camera Gear Destroyed by the Solar Eclipse of 2017
Posted By interested_observer
Replies: 16
Views: 1,207
Canon 600mm f/4L IS II, Canon 7D Mark II, Nikon D500, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 II ASPH

:cool:
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