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Forum: Pentax Full Frame 09-27-2015, 05:16 PM  
What could be 'different' about Pentax FF?
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 863
Views: 66,778
I'm happy for the Pentax faithful. The desire has been there for years for a FF camera. Pentax has some excellent lenses that with modern coatings would be great. As with many Pentax cameras, this will probably be more weatherproof and bang resistant than Canikon bodies and there will be some nice little tweaks.

That said, I can't help thinking that a new SLR camera coming out in '16 will be somewhat of a dinosaur, FF or not.

Mirrorless is the future. Already, the new EVFs compete well with the better OVFs, Some like the Fuji X-T1 and the Sony A7r II are arguably better at most things. They are both bigger than the Canon 1DX (.77 and .78 respectively), really about as much as can be viewed reasonably, especially for glasses wearers. The Olympus EM-1 is also very good. Probably Samsung's new ones are too. Those will only get better and better. It is a revelation to use the X-T1 and pre-chimp a shot, even see a live histogram. The split screen pop-up window makes manual focusing a joy, which opens up glass from any maker. Focus peaking is another great manual focus tool only available on electronic screens. It's a game changer.

Lately I've been seeing opinion pieces that say that if Canon and Nikon don't face the mirrorless challenge within the next couple of years they risk being made obsolete, as Canon made Kodak obsolete not too long ago. A player like Pentax with a relatively tiny market share will either become even more niche or become another casualty in the obsolescence race.

The focus speed discrepancy has been eliminated except for the $5K + sports/journalist models. And contrast detection is more accurate. The sensor pulls focus directly, so there's no more lens calibration. Lenses don't back or fore focus. They just work, especially zooms. The new mirrorless cameras now have electronic shutter settings that set max shutter speed at either 16 or 32K. It's also silent. The only thing audible is the mechanical click of the shutter button itself, which can't be heard more than 6 inches away.

So a new full frame Pentax will be a reliable camera. It will take good photos and have good glass. It will also be obsolete in concept within a handful of years.

I could be wrong. The new camera may have a Fuji like hybrid finder and on-sensor phase detection focus, which would be awesome and push the camera pass the big 2. I'm not hopeful. Especially at the rate Sony has been moving, BTW, Sony's imaging department is now making, not losing money.
Forum: Photographic Technique 11-17-2013, 08:45 PM  
[Advice] Lighting, lenses, workflow for photographing Artwork
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 13
Views: 1,302
I just helped a friend who does a lot of art lighting. He uses a butterfly setup with umbrellas above and below the paintings. He has diffusion fabric on both umbrellas and uses a stoffen over the flash head.

One thing that is critical with artwork is getting the color spot on. My sister, who is a professional artist has had a terrible time finding a good photo studio to shoot her paintings. Her problem is always getting accurate color. At the least get a good color/white balance card. A gray card really isn't good enough. Every camera processes color differently. Even different lenses can lend a color cast with the same camera.

I use a X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. It has a calibrated set of color cards and matching software. I set up lights then shoot a test shot with the color card in the kit. There are less expensive options, but that has software that lets me set up a profile preset in Lightroom. Whatever you use, a calibrated color card is essential to get your colors exact.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-17-2013, 08:24 PM  
shortest cheap flash duration?
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 17
Views: 3,190
The least expensive very short exposure flash I've heard of is the Paul C. Buff Einstein. It's manual, like the YN, and large, as it's a full size studio unit. It runs a bit lower cost than a Pentax 540. As with any flash, its fastest flash comes at reduced power, but since it has 640 watt seconds, about the same as 10 or so Pentax 540 units, low power will still push a lot of light.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-07-2013, 11:28 PM  
Wireless triggers!
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 9
Views: 1,037
I've bought 4 Cactus 5 units. Two of them quit within six months. I obviously got a bad batch, but I can't trust the brand anymore. I now have Phottix Ares transmitters and receivers. The price is about the same and the transmitter and all three of the receivers have been rock solid. They won't serve as remote shutter triggers like the Cactus but I trust the Phottix units to work.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-07-2013, 11:23 PM  
Looking for softbox information
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 23
Views: 1,918
One other point. You say that you use the softbox for still life. By moving the softbox very close to the still life you will increase the relative size of your light. A 16 inch softbox a foot from your scene will be relatively very large. Most people start out placing their lights too far from their subjects. Close is good for soft light.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-07-2013, 10:48 PM  
Tips on buying a tripod
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 14
Views: 1,381
Some people are happy with inexpensive tripods and heads. Some need the very "best," whatever that is. Thom Hogan has a good article (Tripod 101) on tripod considerations. It's worth a read.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 05-24-2013, 09:17 AM  
Best images for website
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 5
Views: 903
The only place ppi values matter for the web is if you have text on the images, then you need to adjust font size. For finished images, web browsers totally disregard ppi or dpi, and display the image at full width and height, say 930 pixels by 120 pixels, or whatever you size them at. The 72 dpi is and old, old, standard from the late 80s, back when that was the resolution of Mac computers. Windows started with 96 ppi, and modern monitors can have resolutions has high as photo prints. Again, the only numbers you need to be aware of are the absolute dimensions in pixels.
Forum: Photographic Technique 04-03-2013, 10:09 PM  
Shooting Nephews Grad
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 5
Views: 860
Don't worry about shooting wide open for shallow DOF. A telephoto will give you shallow DOF all on it's own, though the wider aperture is always helpful in low light. I usually am more concerned with getting sufficient DOF in low light, not trying for bokeh, especially as bokeh is more useful for tight portraits, not events where you'll want to show at least the upper body. Try to shoot at between 1/125- 1/180 of a second. In camera vibration reduction will compensate for your shakiness but not for moving subjects.

I don't like to take more than two lenses when I do events. Which ever lens you have on the camera, you'll probably want another. If you have a wider prime, like a 35mm. You might consider that for your second lens. I shot a neighbor's daughter at graduation a year ago and used a 35mm DA 2.4 and a 70mm DA* 2.4 and was happy with the results. Remember to take some wide angle shots that show the whole class, or at least as much of it as you can get.

Don't be afraid to shoot at 3200-6400 ISO. Your sensor is good for it. You should easily be able to print 8x10 - 11x14 at 6400 with just a little NR massaging in post. Use the flash if you have to but try available light, too. A small softbox on your flash will give you better light.

One point on event photography, try to scout the location before hand if you can. Bring your camera. That should let you know what focal lengths will be best. If you can get near the front then the 17-70 should be fine. If you can't the 70-200 would be more useful Even if you can't scout the site, go early enough to get a seat with reasonable sight lines. With your sensor you also shouldn't need the focus assist light. For some reason, colored flashing lights seem to bother people more than regular flashes.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-03-2013, 09:49 PM  
Pentax K5 NR
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 5
Views: 746
Any image file has at least some processing done to it, even raw. Pentax does less than some, like Canon, but there is still some pre-processing.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-03-2013, 09:24 PM  
Lens cleaning recommendations
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 37
Views: 7,892
I may be taking too much care of my lenses, but I don't ever use a kleenex. Rubbing a lens can damage any lens coating. Rubbing a plastic lens with anything that might contain chunks of wood fiber, like facial or toilet tissues can scratch the coating and, with cheaper lenses, the plastic front element.

For dust I start with a blower. If that doesn't work I use a brush. That takes care of 90% of my cleaning needs. If I get something like oil, fingerprints, mud, wood or plant sap on a lens I use Eclipse. It's a sensor cleaner that's super filtered alcohol. I either use lens tissues or a clean microfiber cloth. I always keep at least one clean cloth in my camera bag. If you're going to be shooting in dusty or wet (especially seawater) environments, a UV filter is good insurance. Sand or salt aren't good for any optics. I'd rather replace a $50-100 filter than a $500-1000 lens.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-20-2013, 01:45 PM  
K-r or K-5 as first DSLR, limited budget
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 30
Views: 2,770
I think you made the right decision with the Pentax. I have both a K-5 and a Sony 5n. Sensor wise they're very, very close, but Sony's e-mount lenses are not anywhere near as nice or aimed at still photographers. In the end it's always the lenses that make the difference.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-21-2012, 05:04 PM  
Noise Reduction/Sharpness
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 12
Views: 1,316
The bad news is that most of the super sharp bird photos you see are taken with Canon or Nikon. Part of that is that the big boys has better glass. The other advantage is FF cameras that can get lower noise at 6400 ISO than the K-20 can get at 1000. I know several serious bird photographers. They're using Canon 1D's or Nikon 4D's and 500-600mm f/4 lenses. That's $30-50,000 worth of gear.

The good news is that there are some things you can do. You'll need to get closer to the birds. Using a blind is a good step. Even with the expensive set-ups, serious bird photographers learn the techniques of getting closer to birds. The other thing that doesn't cost is patience. I've gone out with people who spend hours, waiting at possible locations, hidden in a blind or behind something, waiting for a bird to possibly get close enough to shoot. Basically, it's a skill. I've spent enough time with serious birders to realize that I am not patient enough or willing to spend enough to be a serious bird photographer.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-01-2012, 04:22 PM  
The K-mount as both strength and weakness
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 27
Views: 2,322
You confuse analysis with indecision. You confuse soul searching with complaint. I assure you that my questioning of my photography goals and how one particular system meets them has not kept me from actually taking photographs. Analysis and soul searching can lead to clarity Without taking the time to consider personal style, equipment choices and how to allocate limited funds, one could spend a lot of money and time propping up a system that's personally inappropriate.

I shoot with what I have. I have a shoot scheduled this evening, and another tomorrow. I have used my cameras every day since I started writing down my thoughts in order to clarify them. I look forward toward what would make my personal goals easier to accomplish. For me, that's FF for some things and a CSC for others. I don't see Pentax excelling in either of those directions in the next few years.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-29-2012, 05:52 PM  
Thoughts on APS-C cameras
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 64
Views: 4,717
Only 1/180 second flash sync? And Pentax does better?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-27-2012, 11:58 AM  
Thoughts on APS-C cameras
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 64
Views: 4,717
I usually get the opposite reaction. People may be surprised but generally not derisive.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-26-2012, 08:46 PM  
Thoughts on APS-C cameras
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 64
Views: 4,717
My 50 year old Kodak Brownie camera can still make good pictures. Is it what I want to build a system on?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-26-2012, 08:28 PM  
The K-mount as both strength and weakness
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 27
Views: 2,322
This is the third in a set of musings about Pentax cameras and lenses and their place in the industry. The first two are in the camera discussion forum.

Pentax makes some great lenses. Its pancake primes are excellent and unique in the industry. As with any company, some of its offerings are better than others, and it has holes in its lineup. What I see from Pentax is that in the last couple of years it has focused more on low end glass than in updating its aging line of high end lenses. It's wonderful that I can slap a 40 year old prime on my K-5 and not worry about it working or not. My question is will those lenses be relevant to the new world of mixed still and video photography?

As good as Pentax lenses are, many of them lack motors. Since modern cameras are fast becoming video machines as well as still photograph cameras, the old lenses are becoming less desirable. Simply put, they are noisy. They lack motors, relying on the camera's screw drive. Even Pentax lenses with motors aren't something to brag about. Lens motors have not been a company strength. The SDM motors have suffered from reliability and speed of focus issues, and some are not silent. While motor noise was an aesthetic problem while shooting still photos, with video there's a nasty impact on recording quality.

Another consideration is that lens coatings have improved in the last ten years, too. As sharp as some of Pentax FA lenses are, they are showing their age in the anti-flare arena. Pentax has shown no indication that it intends to update its old glass.

Has Pentax rested too long on its laurels? Has it relied on legacy lenses that don't quite measure up to modern glass? That's certainly something to look at. If you like manually focusing prime lenses, there's no problem. If you're shooting weddings and need to produce some video for your client, then you might think twice about Pentax as a camera choice.

There are also some holes in the Pentax lineup. It's wide primes are optically worse than the 12-24mm zoom. But that's a crop sensor lens. If Pentax does finally introduce a full frame camera, it will hurt for zoom lenses through the entire range. Primes are nice, but many working pros use zooms on assignment.

Even in ranges where Pentax does produce lenses there are shortcomings. The DA* 16-50 is not as sharp through some or most of its range as either the Sigma or Tamron equivalents. The 16-50 is a well built lens, though it has had more than a few problems with its SDM motor, but not being able to beat the Tamron, that costs half as much in IQ, is sad.

Cost is another concern. In the last three years many Pentax lenses have doubled in price. Not that long ago, lens price was a major selling point for Pentax. Now it's not. I'm looking at the DA* 50-135 lens as my next investment. A couple of years ago it was a bit over $800 US. Now, it's listed at $1600. I understand from Adam's post that B&H can offer under the table discounts, but that doesn't help the brand image.

Should I invest $1600 in an arguably good lens that I can't use if Pentax offers a full frame camera in the next year or two? Should I be looking at a third party 70-200mm lens? Sigma and Tamron both make decent alternatives. Should I, instead, consider going with a system that offers full frame glass now? That would insure future compatibility.

That's the rub. As I wrote in my last post, I'm not sure that APS-C sensor DSLRs will remain relevant. Full frame cameras offer more versatility. Canon, Nikon, and to a lesser extent, Sony have systems that include full frame cameras and glass, including full frame compatible zoom lenses. As an aside, they also offer more robust flash systems and third party flash accessory makers build products that are compatible with Nikon and Canon TTL flashes.

My question is whether or not the current Pentax system will be the one I'm happy with in three years. Pentax may be exactly what serves you best. These are the questions I'm asking myself. My K-5 has given me some wonderful images. I'm also bumping against the walls of the APS-C sensor limits in resolution and low light ability. Will I want the increased capabilities of full frame systems? Will I want the convenience, and smaller sizes and weight of non-DSLR, ILC systems? Is Pentax committed to updating its legacy glass? I don't have answers to these questions. I'll be watching the reviews of the newly announced systems. I'll rent or borrow other systems to see if something will better meet my needs. I'll wait until spring before I make any firm decisions. If Pentax announces that it will come out with a full frame camera in the next year and that it will have new quality zooms to go with the camera, I will be very happy. I like Pentax. I just don't know if it will offer the products that will meet my evolving needs.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-26-2012, 08:24 PM  
Thoughts on APS-C cameras
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 64
Views: 4,717
I have two systems because the Sony was sent as a review copy. I didn't expect to like the camera as much as I do, and have even bought new lenses. It's the experience with the NEX system that has me wondering if the traditional DSLR will be replaced with something mechanically simpler, which should mean less expensive.

You point about investing in systems is exactly at the base of my considerations. I'm looking at a couple of new lenses. Where do I want to invest $3000? I am sometimes hitting the limits of what I can do with a crop sensor. Most of the the time I'm good with the size. I'm not knocking Pentax, just wondering out loud. Writing things down helps me get clearer and I thought that my musings might be useful for someone.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-26-2012, 07:02 PM  
Thoughts on APS-C cameras
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 64
Views: 4,717
Will the iPhone save the world?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-26-2012, 06:33 PM  
Thoughts on APS-C cameras
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 64
Views: 4,717
Pentax has been a conservative company. It seldom offers cutting edge tech, rather it focuses on building with proven technologies and constructing more control rich cameras with very high build quality. When buying a Pentax camera we can generally be assured of getting a quality product that will function well and hold up under continued use. I admire these qualities and have gotten a lot of use out of my Pentax cameras. The K-5 I'm currently using consistently produces good images an is a piece of gear that I rely on.

That said, I've give considerable thought to where the camera industry is headed. My conclusions may be totally off target or even delusional. I don't have a crystal ball or connections in the industry. Here goes.

It's quite possible that APS-C sensor DSLRs are becoming dinosaurs doomed to extinction. Originally the crop sensor was introduced because full frame sensors for 35mm equivalent cameras were too expensive and temperamental for regular production. So, we got crop sensors and full frame lens mounts. That gives the worst of both worlds. It means that the cameras are bigger and heavier than necessary for the sensor size but don't offer the image quality, depth of field, and pixel number advantages of full frame cameras. We still use many lenses that cover full frame sensors, which increases both the size and weight of the lenses.

Sony, Samsung and Fujifilm have all produced APS-C interchangeable lens cameras (ILC) that produce high image quality in considerably smaller and lighter bodies than those of APS-C DSLRS. The cameras aren't DSLRs, even though some of them look as if they are. They offer interchangeable lenses without the penta-mirrors or prisms that DSLRs require. Some offer electronic viewfinders (EVF), some only live view screens. Currently the EVFs don't provide the same quality image preview as an optical viewfinder, but they are getting close. With video, the lack of mirrors and prism's greatly simplify the cameras and offer decided advantages.

Are APS-C sensors even necessary for image quality? The newest micro four thirds cameras from Olympus and Panasonic come very, very close to the best APS-C sensor cameras in image quality while offering smaller and lighter bodies and lenses. With lenses, smaller usually means less expensive, too. They are also arguably better video cameras than DSLRs of any size.

All this gets me to wondering if APS-C sensor DSLRs will even be relevant in 3-5 years. Viewfinder style non-DSLR cameras are convenient and the lens selection for these cameras are growing quickly, more quickly than Pentax is expanding its aging and limited lens line. I'll offer more thoughts on lenses in the next installment.

With roughly equivalent lenses, Pentax 35mm f/2.4 on the K-5 and Sigma 30mm f/2.8 on the NEX, I can't see any image quality difference between the cameras, even when pixel peeping the images at 100% in Lightroom. Guess which camera gets taken when I'm doing street or tourist shooting? The NEX at less than half the weight of the K-5 comes along. Is the 5n as versatile as the K-5? No. Is it good enough for a lot of shooting? Absolutely. Obviously, your mileage will vary. With two systems I have to wonder where to invest my limited funds for new lenses. I'm wondering if the new NEX 6 will give me enough functionality to sell the K-5. It may not be there yet, but maybe next NEX 7 or the Fujifilm X-E1 will. Fujifilm is certainly putting out a number of quality lenses quickly, and its non-Bayer array sensors produce great photos. Zeiss and Schneider have committed to offering lenses for both platforms as have Sigma and Tamron for the NEX cameras, so there should be quality lenses available within the next year or two, even if Sony has its head shoved up where it doesn't belong when it comes to lens production for the NEX camera line.

What has Pentax done with ILC, non-DSLRs? We've gotten the very cute but photographically irrelevant Q system. We've gotten the K-01, which totally misses the point of smaller and lighter, as well as being an ergonomic mess. That its autofocus system is a couple of generations behind the competition and that it lacks the ability to add an EVF make it an oddity at worst and a very small niche camera at best. This camera does not appear to be designed by or for photographers. That Pentax, with its limited resources has invested in two clearly non-mainstream ILC cameras and hasn't appreciably updated its flagship K-5 gives me serious doubts viability about the company's strategic plans, or lack thereof.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-26-2012, 06:32 PM  
Thoughts on K-5 II
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 17
Views: 2,838
After seeing the Pentax K-5 II announcement and only the new Q from Photokina, I was greatly disappointed. There have been several threads coming out of these announcements, but I haven't seen any in-depth considerations of Pentax, its cameras, lenses and apparent strategic plans. I've been thinking a lot about my disappointment, its reasons and my own needs and expectations. Now that I've gotten through the initial negative emotional response and have talked to a number of other camera enthusiasts, including another Pentax user whom I respect, I thought to share my thought process in hopes that it may help clarify my own think and possibly aid others clarify with their own thinking and plans. This is the first of three new threads I'm going to offer.

First, why was I, along with many others, disappointed? Obviously, there is the inevitable desire for something new and exciting, which is natural and keeps consumer electronics companies in business. I saw the K-5 II and wanted more. Now, my old model K-5 is an excellent camera, as good as any APS-c sensor DSLR currently made. I'm not knocking either the camera or Pentax. There's a lot of truth to the old saw, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." And yet...

The camera world is moving quickly. New cameras and features come out almost monthly. What would I have wanted to see in the next iteration of the K-5 beyond improved autofocus? A number of things.

* Better autofocus. Even with the improved low light focusing announce on the K-5, the camera isn't on the same level as Canon or Nikon. Both offer more autofocus points, as well as smaller ones. Both offer better continuous focus and tracking of moving objects, so even if the K-5 II will focus on something in near total darkness, in everyday situations it's still lacking.

* Faster processing. The buffer clearing in the K-5 is not as fast as that on the Nikon D-700 or the Canon 60D. The K-5's processor is at least two, probably three years old. Moore's law leads me to expect a doubling of storage and processing capability every 18 months. The processor is showing its age and was behind the competition when it came out.

* Pivoting or articulated screen. The K-5 screen is good quality and since I've gotten a Sony NEX 5n, I've gotten to love the pivoting view screen. It allows me to use my tripod without either bending over to peer through the viewfinder or crank up the extension tube to raise eye level and lower the tripod stability. For my landscape work that's huge, especially with a cranky 60 year old knee and back. Sony offers an articulated screen in their weather sealed a77 and a99. Olympus offers a pivoting screen with their weather sealed OMD. There's no reason Pentax can't do so with the K-5.

* Touch screen. Another feature that my NEX offers is a touch screen that I can use to select focus points. That's extremely handy. Olympus and Panasonic have the same functionality on many of their micro 4/3 cameras. Touch screens can also speed moving through menus and moving replayed images when zoomed in. Touch screens also help with Wi-fi functions.

* Focus peaking. Another NEX feature that Pentax already knows how to do. The lower end K-30 has one. Focus peaking makes manual focusing so much easier. Why isn't it on the new and improved flagship Pentax model?

* Wi-fi. With the advent of iPads and Android tablets, the ability to bypass the computer and sent photos directly to storage or photo sharing sites becomes more and more desirable. I have the ability to send files directly to an external storage drive from my laptop or my wife's iPad. I'd love to be able to take a backup up drive or two and an iPad on holiday and leave the laptop home. The other feature that wi-fi enables is remote control of a camera from a cell phone. I have a cord that lets me control timed exposures or intervalometer setting from my phone. Wi-fi would let me go cordless or even control the shutter from beyond the range of infrared or cord remotes.

* Autofocus during video shooting. Not much description necessary. It ain't there in the K-5.

* Miscellaneous. There are other features that other camera maker offer that are less important to me but would still be nice to have. Dual card slots, faster flash sync, 150K shutter activations, connecting directly to Adobe Lightroom during shooting, focus correction on both long and short ends for zooms. I have mixed feelings about a camera with the Sony 24 MP sensor. It has higher resolution but lower high ISO capability. It may be that the new K-5 II without the Bayer filter will give the best of both worlds by offering better sharpness without losing the low light capabilities. We'll have to see. That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure there are others.

Is the lack of these features enough to make me jump the Pentax ship and take up with another brand? The K-5 is still an excellent APSc DSLR, and switching to Canon, Nikon or Sony at the APS-C level would only be trading across, gaining here but losing there.

This wraps up this segment of my musings. The next will be a personal analysis of Pentax' recent product announcement and what that says about Pentax as a company and what I expect to see in the near term.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-24-2012, 08:18 PM  
How sturdy are these cameras?
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 13
Views: 1,340
I've managed to break my K20D by way over-tightening a quick release plate. I had to try really hard to do that. The camera still functioned fine but I sent it off for repair anyway. The camera was totally cleaned inside and out so it's better off than if I hadn't broken it in the first place. I dropped a *ist DL once lens down. That cracked the lens hood and scratched the UV filter. My sister is still using the camera years later For those who laugh at UV filters, they can be life savers for we of the klutz persuasion. The lens is fine. Overall, I am very happy with the durability of Pentax cameras.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-16-2012, 08:56 PM  
Rules of Thumb
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 9
Views: 1,156
There are whole books written on photography basics. Since modern camera are so good at getting exposure and focus right, I'm guessing that you are wanting composition rules. Many sites offer tips like these 10 top composition rules.

I still shoot a little film, but, for me, learning happened faster with digital because I got immediate feedback. That's huge. I also quit worrying about wasting/running out of film.

The other part of learning is the hardest, finding your personal vision. We can get technically superb, but without personal vision we just end up copying other's work. David DuChemin's book Within the Frame offers a good place to start with vision.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-11-2012, 07:42 PM  
Questions about workflow on Mac
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 23
Views: 2,197
No, Photoshop's noise reduction features are nowhere near as good as Lightroom's. I can't speak to Aperture, though the Aperture user I asked uses a third party noise reduction plugin.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-11-2012, 07:39 PM  
Questions about workflow on Mac
Posted By mysticcowboy
Replies: 23
Views: 2,197
Great idea. Both apps come with a 30 day free trial. Make your own decision. I chose Lightroom, but have friends who do great work with Aperture. One suggestion: stuff the new computer with as much RAM as you can. That will make everything faster, though I suggest third party RAM over Apple's, which is outrageously priced.
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