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Forum: General Photography 06-27-2022, 04:46 AM  
Selling regrets
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 19
Views: 1,628
Excellent news, and well done ;)
Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 06-27-2022, 02:14 AM  
The Auto, the Jpg and The Dunning-Kruger Effect
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 57
Views: 2,306
Congrats on the gig, Eddy. A relationship like that will hopefully be beneficial to both parties :)

Re house's comment... it raises an interesting aspect of such relationships, and I have an conundrum for you on that... one that doesn't necessarily demand an answer, more just something to consider (you may already have done so?):

When talking to folks at the event, if someone asks you about the K-3III, the HD DA*16-50 lens, etc., would you lean towards talking about the camera and lens' good points, or - especially if someone brings it up - would you feel comfortable talking about the apparent issues some users are having - for months now - with off-centre AF inaccuracy? Or, colour profiles released in firmware that are only enabled for specific lenses, despite the fact that they'd work perfectly well with any lens? Or... the aperture block issue in earlier cameras, but also - to some extent - in the current K-70? Quality and availability of warranty and servicing facilities outside of Japan? Etc.

Sorry, I guess this is OT and deserves a separate discussion thread... and, as I say, I'm not necessarily asking for an answer to the above. I find it interesting, though, because if I was in your position - building a YouTube presence and subscriber base - I'd find navigating that situation quite a challenge. Do you lean towards representing the brand, towards existing and/or potential Pentax users, or both - and if the latter, how? Tricky...

Anyway, best of luck with it. I'm sure it will be enjoyable, and hope you manage to get some value from it. I'm sure Ricoh will - you've plenty to offer, there's no doubt about that :)
Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 06-27-2022, 01:10 AM  
The thrill of being unfaithfull for just one morning...
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 45
Views: 1,749
Indeed :lol:

Oh, the other thing that impressed me... and maybe this is the same with all the various brands' high end models, I don't know... but when I was talking to the rep from OM Digital Systems, he handed me what looked like a light-grey, plastic, 3D-printed internal frame for the camera. It wasn't until I held it, and noticed how cold it was, that I realised - and he confirmed - it was an actual production magnesium alloy frame. That thing was so strong and so incredibly light - if it wasn't for the temperature and rigidity, I'd have sworn it was plastic. Holding the OM-1 afterwards, I realised that the light weight compared to my regular gear was no reflection of build quality. It's solid as a rock... Still, my K-3 feels more re-assuring. I guess it's a psychological thing - heavy weight gives an impression of good quality :lol:
Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 06-27-2022, 12:49 AM  
The thrill of being unfaithfull for just one morning...
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 45
Views: 1,749
I'm not sure I'd have wanted Ricoh to take Pentax in a different direction than it has - though I think it could have beaten Olympus to the post with IP rated weather sealing. The reality is, that IP rating probably doesn't mean much since it's just an official recognition of what Pentax already offered for years - dust and moisture resistance... but it's a nice marketing tool.

Although I've stated my fondness for the OM-1, it is a mirrorless camera... with good and not-so-good aspects as a result, depending on your individual preferences. I found the EVF to be very, very good indeed... as is also the case with several other flagship models from the various brands - but, despite a couple of members here assuring me that the latest EVF viewfinders are just as good as OVF, I remain unconvinced. Even with higher resolution, faster refresh rates, vastly-reduced lag, and no blackout during shooting in some modes and settings, they still feel different in use. Olympus' simulated OVF mode sort-of replicates the experience to some extent by excluding white balance and exposure adjustments from the EVF view, but still it's not the same... and I say this as someone who has no problem with electronic viewfinders - even older examples, such as that in my Sony A7 MkII. With all the latest high end mirrorless cameras, no matter how good the EVF, it still feels electronic to me - and I still far prefer an OVF... hence, I guess, why I found FujiFilm's X-Pro3 so appealing with its hybrid viewfinder. I would love it if Ricoh could incorporate this sort of technology into a DSLR - that really would make me sit up and take notice :)
Forum: General Photography 06-27-2022, 12:29 AM  
Selling regrets
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 19
Views: 1,628
What he's describing could be caused by a number of things that don't indicate a fault... for example, having lens corrections and other JPEG-related settings enabled; using an SD card with poor performance; two-second shutter delay etc. I would advise him to reset the camera and insert a recent, known-good SD card with decent performance; turn off all corrections from the menus; select JPEG as the file type; and see how it goes from there...
Forum: Pentax K-3 III 06-26-2022, 08:42 PM  
New K3 III FW 1.50 - Is that it!
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 30
Views: 2,389
^^^ Exactly.

There have only been two firmware updates for Pentax cameras over the years where I immediately noticed the value of them. One was to access larger SD cards (I believe that was for the old *ist DL), and the other added further sharpening adjustments (I think that was for the K-3). I'm sure I must have benefited from other updates too - it's just that I wasn't aware of the specific fixes / improvements...
Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 06-26-2022, 12:33 PM  
The Auto, the Jpg and The Dunning-Kruger Effect
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 57
Views: 2,306
I tend not to watch many YouTube photography videos and other off-site content referenced in forum threads (no offence intended to Eddy, I just don't) - but, like most members here, I can't resist a good, constructive discussion and debate on an interesting subject such as this, once others have chimed in :lol: Some context to posted videos, or better still a "TL;DW" ("didn't watch") summary - getting the basic points across and making viewing of the video preferred-but-optional rather than essential - would help avoid discussions going off in directions unwanted or unintended by the OP... and it would add valuable, searchable content to the forums without detracting from the video. Kind of a win-win for everyone :)

Just my two cents (yes, I'm a Brit, but I'm sure I have some US coinage in a drawer somewhere :lol:)...
Forum: General Photography 06-26-2022, 12:20 PM  
Fake bokeh? What have we become??
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 158
Views: 7,167
Thankfully, I am used to it :o :lol: I don't like it, no sir - but I've grown accustomed to it and can usually "zone out" from the typical mild discomfort, such as it is (flare-ups aren't so easily dismissed, though). Amongst other things such as not kneeling for low-angle photos, well-adjusted meds help tremendously :D



I've had two girlfriends in the last 10 years with "fly away hair", and my Mum's hair also "suffers" in this respect. I guess a professional portrait photographer would work with a stylist who'd deal with this using hairspray or something similar, but a typical smartphone user taking portraits out in the field wouldn't have that luxury (or would look awfully strange pulling out a can of hairspray and squirting a stranger's head with it :p). For them, "fake" bokeh will likely show artefacts and simulated depth-of-field problems around those fly-away hairs - which won't matter for photos destined for social media, but would for anything larger...
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-26-2022, 12:12 PM  
Nature Going fishing today ... 4-inch trouts are sometimes visible in this freshwater pool.
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 10
Views: 258
Very nice location and image, Richard :)

Would I be correct in identifying some iron deposits in the river bed in a few places?

I'm with you regarding the fishing vs. leaving well alone... though I will say, I've no issue with folks catching to eat, if there's a healthy population in the river or lake in question. We've a few reservoirs in my region of the country with managed stocks of freshwater trout, and we've had a couple of nice family meals from my catches on a couple of visits (I'm not a regular fisherman). In fact, those reservoirs have a strict "no release" policy - once you've caught it, you keep it. Frankly, with the day's fishing fees taken into account and the catch limits, it's probably cheaper to buy trout from the local fishmonger - but obviously it's the sport and enjoyment of a well-tended location that you're really paying for...
Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 06-26-2022, 11:49 AM  
The Auto, the Jpg and The Dunning-Kruger Effect
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 57
Views: 2,306
I have several cameras that only shoot JPEG, such as the Panasonic DMC-FZ62 I bought from my Dad - a cracking little bridge camera with a decent lens and all sorts of useful capabilities, but no facility to shoot raw. My standard settings for that camera are to set noise reduction and sharpening to the lowest possible settings, then I deal with those aspects in post-processing. Baked-in loss of detail from noise reduction and halos / artefacts from sharpening are impossible to deal with after the fact. I get good results from JPEG-only cameras using this approach... then again, like most photographers, I don't print @ A1. Neither do I (or will I ever) post to Instagram :p :lol:
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-26-2022, 11:35 AM  
Landscape Solstice lighting on the "too blue to be true" river. K3 III + DFA* 70-200 mm f/2.8
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 4
Views: 150
I'm with Mike - I like the widest view too. It's such a beautiful location :)







I have a theory on the "too blue to be true" blues, Richard, and the reason you've had so many comments previously (including from me):

Looking at the water, the foliage and knowing what I know of your shooting preferences, I believe (1) this was shot using the Vibrant custom image profile or something similar (because all the colours have increased saturation, but especially the greens - and that's one of the things the Vibrant profile affects); (2) it was a largely cloudless day (because the blue in the water is primarily due to reflection of the sky); and (3) you were using a strong polarizer or gradient ND filter (making the sky much darker than it really is, which - coupled with the Vibrant image profile - results in a really dark, saturated blue that's seen reflected in the water).

There's a lovely photo of yours from the same location, but a slightly different vantage point, here:

Batiscan River from my Archives. - PentaxForums.com

We can tell from the sky this was a cloudier day. The blue sky also looks quite natural. Looking at the river - in the distance, away from the shadows - the blue in the water is visible, but it isn't strong. The trees have rich green and yellow (and red) in them, but not over-saturated. I suspect this was taken in Fall, or close to it? I wonder if your camera settings were different on this outing? Anyway, I wanted to point out this photo as it's one of your own, and has a much more natural, realistic and believable palette to it - perhaps just a little more pop than reality, but only a little, and entirely appropriate. It looks great to me.

I'm not going to comment going forward, Richard - at least, not unless you request it - because I don't want you to think I'm being unduly critical!! :o I'm not trying to pick holes in your photos - as I've said before, I really enjoy your compositions. My feedback is intended constructively, as I hope is apparent.

Hope this helps :)
Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 06-26-2022, 06:25 AM  
The Auto, the Jpg and The Dunning-Kruger Effect
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 57
Views: 2,306
We're kind of back to our previous discussion on this Eddy. Suffice to say, what you're doing works for you - and that's all that matters really :)

See? I told you I'd eased off a bit :p :lol:
Forum: Pentax K-70 06-26-2022, 05:55 AM  
K-70 Monitor Screen Fault
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 6
Views: 367
If the K-70 has an HDMI output (I'm pretty sure it does) and the OP has an HDMI computer display and compatible cable, it should be possible to operate the menus via that...
Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 06-26-2022, 05:05 AM  
The Auto, the Jpg and The Dunning-Kruger Effect
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 57
Views: 2,306
I try not to judge other folks' methods, and I try to remain open to different and/or new ideas. I say try, because there are occasions where I so want to guide folks towards what I feel are better approaches to certain aspects - and I don't always manage to hold my tongue :p

I remember some time back, Eddy, trying to convince you that you really ought to be using a calibrated and profiled display, and being kind of horrified you weren't - especially with paid wedding and event photography gigs... and I really did think you were missing out on something important by not doing so. These days, I've eased off a fair bit... You'd find me a lot more accepting and less likely to judge your workflow or anyone else's now. I might mention why I find display profiling beneficial, but I wouldn't push it if you weren't open to it. We all have to find what works for us individually.. but being open-minded to what others are doing certainly can pay dividends. It's the same with this Auto and/or JPEG thing.

While I'm keen to learn new methods and benefit from different ideas, it's fair to say I wasn't always so open-minded... and even currently, I wouldn't typically consider using Auto or JPEG unless those are the only options open to me - for instance, on some compact cameras... but since I'm quite happy to use them if that's all that's available, this discussion - even if it was intended to focus on the Dunning-Kruger Effect (which I'm pretty sure I don't suffer from :p) - might make me explore Auto and JPEG more in future, in certain specific circumstances or use-cases :)
Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 06-26-2022, 03:07 AM  
The Auto, the Jpg and The Dunning-Kruger Effect
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 57
Views: 2,306
Back on the subject of Auto and JPEG...

I think it's a perfectly valid and useful combo - when it works... and it might work 80 - 90% of the time or more in balanced natural lighting for shots where shutter speed and aperture aren't critical to the practical and creative aspects of a shot.

What happens, though, when - due to a variety of conditions - the Auto mode over- or under-exposes; sets poor white balance values due to challenging lighting or scene content (such as a preponderance of one colour throughout most of the frame); chooses too slow a shutter speed to capture motion or too fast a shutter speed such that motion is frozen too much; selects an aperture that gives too little depth of field for a landscape or too much for a flower or portrait shot?

With over- and under- exposure, highlights are blown or shadows are crushed, and the JPEG contains no additional data to allow recovery of those.

With poor white balance, insufficient data is available in the JPEG file to allow more than minor tweaks to white balance without resulting in inaccurate colours, colour banding etc.

With too slow or too fast a shutter speed, the shot is a creative failure - regardless of the file format.

With inappropriate aperture, well... judicious application of selective blurring or sharpening masks might be able to fake shallower or greater depth of field, but depending on the content of the shot that could require a lot of work or simply be impractical.

Manual or semi-automated modes vest all (or the majority) of control in the user rather than the camera. Creative success (and failure) is therefore dependent on the judgement and skill of the user rather than the camera's firmware and limitations therein. That doesn't mean every manually-controlled shot will be perfect, but at least when mistakes are made it's a lesson for the user - so even if an image is a technical or creative failure, the lesson-to-be-learned has value.

Using raw files, technical mistakes made by the user or semi-automated portions of the selected exposure mode can usually be dealt satisfactorily with in post-processing, unless they're in the extreme. Full colour data is there to support wide correctional and creative changes in white balance, gradients in tone and shadow / highlight recovery.

So, again, I think in certain circumstances Auto and JPEG can work - and they do have the advantage of usually capturing something useable in non-challenging conditions... plus, yes, they provide a shareable image right from the camera, or with very little tweaking, which may be useful to some folks. As with everything in photography, they're just tools, and they're as valid as any other. Understanding the benefits but also the limitations is key to getting the best from any tool.

I'll stick with manual or semi-automated modes and raw file format, because I prefer to have maximum control over exposure and creative shutter speed + aperture choices, and want maximum flexibility in post-processing... not because I think it makes me somehow better or more experienced than those who choose Auto + JPEG for some or all of their shooting...
Forum: Film SLRs and Compact Film Cameras 06-25-2022, 11:22 PM  
What so special with the MZ-S ?
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 15
Views: 817
You might take a look at the user reviews:

Pentax MZ-S - Pentax Autofocus Film SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

In particular, the review by @gofour3 is quite detailed and one in which I'd place a good deal of confidence...
Forum: Pentax K-3 III 06-25-2022, 02:59 PM  
Can someone check the accuracy/difference of all AF points in AF-S Select
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 146
Views: 8,608
Gotcha. Well, worth a try :o Does the K-3III focus correctly with central and outer AF points and other lenses? Sorry, I'm sure this must have been discussed earlier or before, but I can't recall...
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-25-2022, 01:52 PM  
Landscape Amboy Road, CALIFORNIA. Reworked versions with tamer "blues". What do you think ?
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 8
Views: 202
Indeed, or that white strip on the road is a pretty good reference too... at least as a baseline. At the very least, it gets an accurate green / red tint adjustment, and a reasonably neutral colour temperature... after which gentle adjustment of the latter might be needed to replicate the light for the time of day and sunlight / cloud conditions...
Forum: Pentax K-3 III 06-25-2022, 01:14 PM  
Can someone check the accuracy/difference of all AF points in AF-S Select
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 146
Views: 8,608
Just a thought...

I recently noticed that I was getting inaccurate focus with my DA20-40 when using outer AF points, despite the focus being accurate with the centre AF point (I most-often use centre AF and re-compose, hence why I hadn't noticed this before). I re-performed AF fine tuning, but did so using the left-most AF point. When I'd finished, both centre and off-centre AF points provided good results. It has actually made a BIG difference to my use of the lens. I wonder if the same would work with the 11-18 and 16-50 lenses on the K-3 and K-3III? Might be worth trying...
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-25-2022, 12:22 PM  
Machinery My very own Talbot T26C: 1949 Belgian Grand Prix Winner
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 11
Views: 293
50 hours, give or take, is less than I'd have expected for such a bespoke build and beautiful end result. Impressive, Ismael... most impressive! :)
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-25-2022, 11:38 AM  
Landscape Amboy Road, CALIFORNIA. Reworked versions with tamer "blues". What do you think ?
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 8
Views: 202
It depends on what you're used to looking at, Richard. When you've been looking at images that are generally "too blue", correctly-balanced images will look "too yellow" initially. It takes a short while (sometimes a long while :p) for the mind to adjust. When asked to pick neutral grey from a number of choices on a screen, most folks will pick one that is slightly colder / bluer than neutral grey. Similarly, folks that are used to using a laptop computer with un-calibrated, un-profiled screen will typically perceive a correctly colour-profiled screen to be too warm and yellow-ish, until they've been using it for a while and then it feels normal.

There's a couple of interesting experiments you might try, if you've the appetite to...

1) Shoot JPEG + RAW, using AWB in the camera, and the Natural or Bright in-camera colour profile (not Vibrant). With the JPEG file, allow yourself the flexibility to adjust exposure in post-processing, but don't adjust anything else. What you end up with - at least in the types of lighting and for the kinds of scenes you're shooting (where AWB will usually be reasonably accurate) - should be a good and pretty honest colour and contrast rendition. Compare it to the raw file you've processed in your normal way, and I think you'll see a big difference.

2) If you have one, use a white balance card (or, at a push, an 18% grey card) to set the camera's custom white balance prior to shooting your scene (if you don't have such a card, I'd recommend buying one, as it's a really useful and inexpensive piece of equipment to own). Alternatively, you could include the card in a test shot and use the eye-dropper to sample it in post-processing and set the white balance for subsequent shots from that. For the resulting raw file of your scene, use the camera's white balance values, choose the camera's Embedded colour profile or your software's "Standard" profile, then allow yourself only small adjustments of contrast, clarity, vibrance, saturation etc. - but no more than, say, +10 for each. The result will likely be a fairly accurate rendition of the scene, with perhaps a little extra artistic "pop".

3) Since I know you're fond of using an ND filter, try backing it off a little. I've noticed quite a few folks will always adjust their ND filters to maximum effect when shooting, and whilst it certainly looks dramatic, less is usually more with these things. Try setting it half way instead of all the way. The resulting skies will still have some drama to them, but should look a lot more natural, and you'll have a little latitude for further (gentle) adjustment of contrast and vibrance / saturation in post-processing without those skies becoming unnaturally dark and/or over-saturated.

EDIT: These experiments won't necessarily produce images that you find pleasing given your own colour perception, but they will go some way to demonstrating a fairly natural and accurate look you can use as a baseline and starting point. You can take it from there, adjusting as little or as much as you want to achieve the desired end result, but just bear in mind that the stronger your adjustments to satisfy your own tastes, the more personal it becomes - which might be perfect for you, but may look increasingly "off" to others :D



You're very welcome :)
Forum: Pentax Q 06-25-2022, 10:40 AM  
Q-S1 video autofocus
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 5
Views: 361
That looks like Movie SR (shake reduction) is activated, and there's slight camera movement. Pretty typical for electronic (rather than mechanical) image stabilisation. If the camera was hand-held, or the base on which the tripod is standing was subject to slight movement, or for some other reason the tripod wasn't completely stable (wind etc.), Movie SR might account for that "jump" you're seeing...
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-25-2022, 06:05 AM  
Landscape Amboy Road, CALIFORNIA. Reworked versions with tamer "blues". What do you think ?
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 8
Views: 202
Definitely heading in the right direction with image #1, Richard - at least, based on my perception of colour.

It seems to me that there's a fairly heavy "blue cast" to the image - a coldness overall, despite the sunny conditions... as if the white balance is off - and it's really heavy on contrast, which I think might be contributing to over-saturation of the sky.

I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of making some very quick 'n' dirty adjustments to your first JPEG in Lightroom, to show you what looks more natural to me. That's not to say it's accurate to the scene (only you can know that), nor that it suits your creative style (I know you prefer very punchy images)... but at least you'll understand why I've previously commented on the above photo and others you've posted :D

This - to me - is a more natural rendition in terms of colour and contrast (and with a bit more work, it could be improved much further):

Forum: General Talk 06-24-2022, 11:13 PM  
Alas, many good things come to an end.
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 51
Views: 2,313
I am truly sorry to hear this, Steve. You are, without a doubt, one of my very favourite forum contributors, and I wish I could have met you in person. Thank you sincerely for all your gracious and valuable input to this community over the years, and - on a personal note - for the knowledgeable advice, measured opinions and laughs you've given me along the way. Throughout my time here, you've been a mainstay of the community and will forever remain a shining example of what it means to be a "good forum member".

With love to you and your family from across the pond...
Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 06-24-2022, 01:38 PM  
The thrill of being unfaithfull for just one morning...
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 45
Views: 1,749
Thus far, I've avoided the inconvenience and expense of switching by sticking with gear that more-or-less does what I need. When I truly think I've exhausted the capabilities of my gear with my own skills, and there's no way I can squeeze any more out of it with creative solutions to any limitations therein, then I'll switch to something that already does what I'm used to just as well, whilst addressing those limitations. Since I've not exhausted the capabilities of my gear, and there are still more creative ways for me to get around any limitations, I'd rather stick with my existing kit. Importantly (perhaps most importantly), that means I can keep using the glass I've grown to appreciate :)
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