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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-24-2019, 06:01 PM  
Pentax 18-270 DA - Zoom Lock fault
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 3
Views: 300
Is your lens the 18-250 or 18-270 (title says 270 but post mentions 250)?

What I do know is that the 18-250 can get stuck at 18mm when an internal part gets loose: there's a small screw which is accessible via a hole in the zoom barrel under the rubber grip. If the screw loosens it can protrude into this hole and lock up the lens.This makes the lens feel like the zoom lock is applied even when said zoom lock switch is working normally.

My advice would be to peel back the rubber grip, inspect any access holes and make sure any visible screws are nipped up tight. If you're lucky this will solve the problem.

Edited to add: seems I'm not the only one to have fixed this problem. A quick search found a post here describing a similar problem and detailing the repair steps: the offending screw and collar can clearly be seen in the pic:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-30-2019, 06:27 PM  
Is my K-x LCD going bad?
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 1
Views: 355
Did you check to make sure that no filters were applied? The Toy Camera filter applies a heavy vignette which is visible on the Jpeg preview but wouldn't show on the RAW file (unless you were opening it in PDCU). The other possibility is that the backlight is failing. What happens if you increase the screen brightness?
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-23-2019, 11:22 PM  
Audio Recorder?
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 10
Views: 520
Another vote for the Tascam DR-05. It's inexpensive and I've been impressed with the audio quality I get from it. Build quality could be better -- the battery door doesn't feel so robust and the build is a bit plasticky. However, it has performed very well in the field. I have used it at work for recording audio for training videos, etc. The inbuilt mikes are very sensitive and good for recording ambient sound. For recording speech you can use a lavalier mike or try a shotgun mike.

I wouldn't bother plugging the line out into the camera. The K-5 series have quite poor audio quality with automatic gain control which can't be disabled -- this causes an increase in noise in the quieter sections. In my experience it's better to add the audio from the external recorder to the video in post -- you can use the audio recorded by the on-camera mike to help sync things up.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 05-22-2019, 09:03 PM  
Hello from the Wirral, UK
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 6
Views: 246
Welcome Neal,

Tough I'm now mostly based in China, I grew up on the Wirral (West Kirby). Looking forward to seeing your work with the Q.

Best wishes,

Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-28-2018, 09:38 PM  
Tammy 17-50 lens or K-5 body causing major issues - return lens or replace body?
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 7
Views: 1,165
I think returning it is the best course of action. The alternative would be to send it in to Tamron for service assuming it's covered by warranty. However, I had similar problems with my first copy of the 17-50 and two trips to the service centre did not fix it. I ended up selling that one for spares/ repair. I later got another which was bundled with a K-5 I bid on. That one was assembled in China rather than Vietnam or Japan and it works much better -- noticeably sharper in the corners and able to hit infinity at the wide end using AF (the old one would backfocus so much that it went beyond infinity meaning nothing was sharp within the frame). It is worth noting though that even the best copies seem to have some focus shift when you stop down so you may never get it dialed in precisely for all apertures and working distances.

If you need the 2.8 aperture though I might suggest avoiding this lens. While my good copy of the Tamron is usable wide open, it doesn't really excel until about f3.5. I also think the transmission (T-stop) isn't great. Nowadays for low light indoors I usually use my plastic fantastic DA 35 2.4 -- much lighter than the zoom and impressively sharp from wide open. To be honest, I still prefer my old 16-45 to the Tamron. while it's a nominally a stop slower, the Pentax lens is great wide open (above ~19mm: below this it's soft in the corners unless stopped down) and it is noticeably lighter, wider, has less distortion and vignetting -- and better colours.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-26-2018, 10:31 PM  
K200D price question
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 10
Views: 930
Prices seem to have risen lately -- I guess there are fewer around. There are bargains to be had though. I bought a silver copy in the UK recently for 50 GBP (around 65 USD). It has a few scrapes to the silver painted finish but works flawlessly. I tend now to use this more than my black one: the black one is in like-new condition so I tend to baby it (black one cost me approx. 100 USD two years ago). The K200D is my favourite camera. I use my K-5 and K-r much less these days. In good light the K200D prodiuces lovely clean images with great colour. Another advantage is that my Tamron 17-50 actually focusses accurately on the K200D. I could never get it dialled in right on the K-5 and having the faster lens on the older body is not a bad thing as I like to keep the sensitivity below ISO 400...
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-23-2018, 04:16 PM  
Recommendations for KP camera body suit/half body case?
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 17
Views: 1,392
I Use an Op/tech neoprene cover when taking my camera in my work bag. It's not the prettiest solution but it works very well. There's no lens hole but it's very quick to pop the cover off (basically just turn it inside out) and you can tether the cover to the tripod socket or strap so you don't have to waste time putting it away when shooting quickly.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-15-2018, 06:27 AM  
Back cover series Z compatibility (Z-70 vs. Z-50P)
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 2
Views: 421
The Z50P and Z70 's backs are certainly interchangeable. I know because I replaced the non-working databack on my Z50P with the plain back of my Z70.

Swapping them is very easy: with the back open you should see a little knob or screw head on the side of the hinge pin: push it down and the door can then be taken off.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-28-2018, 06:16 AM  
Pentax K1000 clone ?
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 22
Views: 3,092
I have one of these lenses and always wondered where it came from. Apart from the colours used on the distance scale it seems identical to the early style M50 f2.0.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 04-15-2018, 10:41 PM  
F 80-200 fix. Is it worth it?
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 14
Views: 1,061
I have a copy and I'm very happy with it. I wouldn't personally bother buying a damaged example though as mint examples can be picked up for next to nothing (mine had some fungus but is otherwise mechanically sound and I got it for the price of postage only).

Dave's comment above is correct: the front group is mounted in a plastic holder and threaded in: you'd have to fix the filter threads before removing it. The threads on this lens are plastic and might crack if you try to straighten them.

Damage to the filter threads shouldn't affect the zoom action either. This lens has an internal zoom mechanism so if the lens won't zoom fully then it suggests further internal damage.
Forum: Visitors' Center 04-11-2018, 07:13 PM  
focusing issue
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 2
Views: 696
Hi Chris,

It may be a focus calibration issue with the camera (can be checked with a suitable target), or it could be that the lens itself isn't quite reaching infinity. Does the lens hit the hard stop at the end of its travel? I had to adjust my copy of this lens after taking out the front element to clean off some fungus. From what I remember, it's very simple to adjust: there's a plastic trim ring surrounding the front element that simply pops off, there's then a retaining ring which must be loosened. The actual front element is mounted in a plastic surround which is just threaded into the barrel -- the threads are reverse here as far as I recall. There are ridges on the surround which help you to turn it -- you want to make it move slightly nearer to the camera if the lens won't hit infinity. A few tests with a suitably distant target should get it dialed in nicely.

Another issue which causes focus problems on this lens is if the little metal comb which shorts the distance coding tracks isn't making clean contact. My copy had this problem too (hence why I got it for next to nothing!), though the symptoms were that it simply wouldn't lock focus on the long end and just kept hunting back and forth. This too can be fixed, but is harder as the metal fingers are very delicate and easily damaged.

Once set up properly, this lens is great. My copy, while poor close up, is great at longer distances -- sharper at infinity than my F70-210.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-04-2017, 01:34 AM  
DA 18-55 repair question
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 9
Views: 799
Unfortunately the baffle from a plastic mount lens won't fit easily as it's smaller and designed to clip in rather than be held by the three small screws around the edge.

You might be able to get it to fit by adding some packing and gluing it into place, but it could end up looking messy. You could however swap out the whole mount with that of the plastic lens (just take care with the spring contacts).

Likewise I suspect the optics won't fit a WR body as that lens is based on the second generation 18-55. There also seem to be slight differences with the focus ring arrangement between the WR and non-WR versions, though I have no experience of swapping parts between them so you might be in luck.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 07-21-2017, 05:03 PM  
Moon Gate Abstract
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 0
Views: 278
Modern sculpture referencing the moon gate, a common feature of traditional Jiangnan architecture.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-15-2017, 06:27 PM  
F 35-70 f3.5 repair?
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 13
Views: 1,510
You can examine/ adjust the aperture lever assembly on this lens without taking off the rear mount as, on this lens, it comes out along with the rear element and baffle: you just need to undo the three tiny screws around the edge of the mount, then it lifts out. This is handy as it means you needn't fiddle with the contacts every time.

Inside the baffle, surrounding the rear element, is a ring which transfers the motion of the aperture lever to the longer lever which goes down into the aperture mech. in the lens. It's held in by I think 5 or six screws and a strip of what looks like copper shim stock. If you unhook the spring and take out the screws and metal strip, then you can lift the ring out. Make sure it's clean and not binding anywhere. Also make sure that the lever that goes down into the lens is straight, and that the brass follower inside the aperture ring on the lens body is correctly positioned. If these steps don't resolve the problem, then it may be that the mechanism has been calibrated incorrectly during a previous repair. The mechanism can be adjusted as you can loosen the screws holding the aperture lever to the ring and adjust its position, but it's quite fiddly and will take some trial and error (reassembling & shooting a gray card) to get the exposure right. You also might need to use acetone or similar to remove the old lacquer on the screw heads.

Before putting the baffle back into the lens, set the lens to 35mm as this brings the internals towards the back, making it easier to align the long lever with the slot on the lens' aperture mechanism.

Edit: Having re-read your original post and seen the difference between wide open at 35mm and 70mm, I think the most likely problem is that the long lever which goes down into the lens to move the aperture is bent -- this would explain the change in aperture size as you zoom. Make sure it's square on to the ring, and, if not, you could try to apply a little gentle force to get it back into shape.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-02-2017, 01:30 PM  
Lens Hood for Pentax 18-250 Lens
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 2
Views: 537
Hi Judith,

The hood from the 18-135 wont fit. However, the18-250 is essentially a rebadged Tamron. The Tamron hood will therefore fit: the only difference (apart from the logo) is that the tamron hood has different exterior finish (slightly textured rather than smooth and shiny), but it fits perfectly.

There's also a third party option: I had a JJC copy, no. LH-DA18, on my first copy of the lens. This was pretty much indistinguishable from the Tamron version and clipped on securely.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-28-2017, 06:20 PM  
Help finding the source of this light leak
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 15
Views: 2,997
I think the Z-20 is basically the same as the Z-50. If so, it doesn't need conventional light seals and, as BigDave said, the felt may be stopping the back from closing tightly. There's just a couple of very tiny strips of foam, about 1/4 of an inch long, in the corners by the hinge, and the usual foam around the film canister window.
Forum: Pentax K-S1 & K-S2 05-11-2017, 07:02 PM  
K-S1 mirror stuck with only some of lenses
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 11
Views: 1,309
I had what appears to be the same problem on my first K-r. It seemed the motor which drives the mirror/ aperture assembly was a bit weak. This then resulted in the cycle not completing after the shutter fired when certain lenses were mounted. It seems that the aperture lever in the lens makes the difference. Lenses where there was a strong spring and longer travel would push the actuator in the camera up to the top of its travel enough to let it complete the cycle whereas lenses with a shorter aperture lever movement or weaker spring (i.e. my Tamron 10-24 and Pentax F35-70) would not give it enough of a kick, thus leading it to stick (it seems the controller has to go all the way up to the top of its travel before it can come back down again to complete the cycle successfully). It makes no difference what aperture you shoot at as even when working wide open, the controller goes through its full travel up and down after the shutter has fired. The symptoms could vary: sometimes the camera would cycle twice, but more often than not the mirror would fall but not completely, thus resulting in a dark viewfinder and no AF.

I found I could replicate the problem by restricting the movement of the controller with my finger when firing the camera with no lens attached. Depending on how far it gets in the cycle, this could result in the mirror getting stuck completely up, or falling back but not re-seating fully. The latter case would also sometimes trigger mirror flap as the camera cycled to try to re-seat the mirror. Usually with no lens attached the camera cycles perfectly, but any slight sideways force on the plastic block of the controller (e.g. from the lens' aperture lever as it travels through its arc) could cause sticking and trigger the fault.

Latterly the problem became more frequent. I tried cleaning the little rail that the aperture controller in the camera runs on. This seemed to help for a short while but the problem came back with a vengeance. According to a local repair shop the camera needs a mirror box replacement. If your camera is still under warranty, I'd suggest sending it in for repair sooner rather than later.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-08-2017, 05:39 PM  
K10D Autofocus Has Quit
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 7
Views: 760
You've probably checked this already, but if you usually use half-press to focus then just make sure you haven't set the camera up for back button focus. Changed the set up on my K-r once and caused about half an hour of panic until I realized what I'd done...
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 04-16-2017, 06:29 AM  
EZ Share Wifi SD card on Pentax K-X
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 11
Views: 2,251
You're welcome, glad to be of help.

I'm not sure about their current range (I bought mine over a year ago), but mine are 16GB class 10 cards and I find them more than adequate for use in the 12 MP bodies.

Make sure you buy from a reputable dealer though as there may be fakes out there.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 04-16-2017, 05:46 AM  
EZ Share Wifi SD card on Pentax K-X
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 11
Views: 2,251
I use EZ-share cards with my K-r and have also tried them in my wife's K-x. No problems at all. I like the fact that the E-z share card has a physical switch on for turning the WIFI function off so you can quickly disable it to save battery. Transfering to phone is easy using either the dedicated app or a just the regular browser (Opera mobile and Safari both work forJpegs, haven't tried others).

Remember to disable the camera's auto power off, or at least set it to 30 minutes, so that the connection stays alive when you're transfering the photos. Raw transfer is pretty slow but I understand that's the case with all such cards.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-25-2017, 08:46 PM  
DA 60-250 Parts question
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 8
Views: 922
It seems PZ contacts can be made to work as a replacement. A quick search brought this thread which describes a similar repair: DA* 55 1.4 SDM contact damaged / repaired. -
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-25-2017, 05:38 PM  
DA 60-250 Parts question
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 8
Views: 922
If it's the SDM contacts that are damaged then you might be able to use the power zoom contacts from an old film era lens as a replacement. They look to be the same size and location but I don't know if it would be a straight swap or if some modification would be needed. Old 28-80s with PZ are plentiful and cheap.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 03-22-2017, 04:29 AM  
K-01 flash fail
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 3
Views: 616
Try slipping a strip of paper into the gap around the flash and see if you can use it to release the catch. I opened the flash on a dead K-r this way but the K-01 looks trickier as the mechanism is more recessed. Still it's worth a shot and shouldn't do any harm.
Forum: Photographic Technique 03-20-2017, 08:22 PM  
Opalescent Glass
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 8
Views: 979
Looking great, especially the last one. The black background and strong lighting really highlights the opalescence.

Another effect you might want to try is to place a sheet of glass over some black paper or cloth and put the tiebacks on this then get down low to shoot. This should give you a nice mirrored reflection of each tieback. I tried it here but it's not the best choice for this item. For small pieces though the effect can look great.
Verlys of America Seasons Vase by kingofbananas, on Flickr

For the pink one I'd try getting some light from behind or underneath. For example I shot this pink bowl on a sheet of heavy tracing paper on top of a glass coffee table with a third light beneath.
Jobling Glass Rose Bowl by kingofbananas, on Flickr

For this type of work though I'd recommend using constant lighting or studio flash with decent modelling lights as you really need to look where the light is falling in order to control the effect. If you shoot from a tripod there's no need for high shutter speeds: this also means you can get away with quite modest light sources (e.g. desk lamps with matching daylight balanced bulbs or cheap LED panels).

For inspiration you can take a look at Simon Bruntnell's work: Simon Bruntnell Freelance Photographer - Glass and Reflective Product Photography Specialist - Simon Bruntnell Photography There are also a few tips here (including from Simon) on the Glass Message Board here: TECHIE TIPS: Photographing Glass on a Budget...
Forum: Photographic Technique 03-18-2017, 09:26 PM  
Opalescent Glass
Posted By Suzhouren
Replies: 8
Views: 979
Opalescent glass tends to look good on a dark background. I've shot a lot on a simple tabletop setup using two desk lights and just sheets of black card or construction paper as a backdrop. You might also want to mix in some back-lit shots to show the glowing oranges and reds you get when opalescent glass transmits light too.

In terms of exposure I'd spot meter off the object then adjust accordingly. For lenses I'd think the DA 35 2.8 macro Ltd or DFA 50 2.8 macro would be ideal though with good lighting you can get by with less ambitious choices. I started out with a Fuji point and shoot but now use a DSLR often with either my trusty DA 16-45 of F35-70.

Having worked in the antiques trade, and still having a big collection I'm slowly cataloguing, I have photographed a lot of opalescent glass over the years. Most has been French or French style stuff from the 1920s-30s but the same techniques also apply to Victorian heat-struck opals. You can see some of my shots here: Opalescent Glass | Flickr. Most were shot using the techniques above but lately I've also taken some quick shots lit by natural light through the window (e.g. All sizes | Pair of Jobling 2594 Flat Leaf Pattern Candlesticks | Flickr - Photo Sharing!). This obviously gives you much less control but with care you can get results that are good enough for sales or cataloguing purposes. Opalescent glass is a great subject to shoot due to the way it changes appearance depending on the direction of light so have fun and experiment.
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