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Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 06-16-2019, 11:28 AM  
Ultrasounds out of the flash
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 9
Views: 443
If you don't listen to overly loud music (which can damage the ear's high-frequency response) the problem may persist for decades. I just turned 68 and I can still easily hear my speedlights charging. I am an exception though - few men of my age have hearing as good as mine, and I have guarded mine as my hearing is one of my most important tools at work.
Forum: Do-It-Yourself 06-16-2019, 11:12 AM  
K-5 Full spectrum conversion (IR filter removal)
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 18
Views: 3,958
That is an excellent tutorial. You obviously understand the importance of photographs and notes in making sure that you can put complex equipment back together. That conversion could probably be done to a number of used cameras that are now available for reasonable prices. As one with extensive experience in a variety of finicky non-camera mechanical and electronic modifications I have a few suggestions for folks who might want to try this operation on this or another camera:

1) Some of the mechanical disassembly and reassembly might be more precise with the aid of a very low range torque wrench. I use a CDI Torque 0-30 inch-pound wrench with a bi-directional analog dial and a follower needle. The follower needle marks the torque required to break a fastener free, allowing me to tighten it to the same torque during reassembly. Note, however, that an American-made tool like mine (with calibration certificate) will cost $75 USD or more.

2) Mechanical reassembly might be more satisfactory if one could remove any unneeded optical element from its frame and re-install the frame. If that is not feasible it might be a good idea to use shims (such as washers) in place of any part of a removed item through which fasteners pass. Decent quality digital calipers are relatively inexpensive and would allow shimming to the same thickness as the removed part.

3) Documentation is paramount for a successful reassembly. I do this with a DIY mount that suspends my K-70 above and pointing down at my bench. I use WiFi Commander for Pentax to remotely control the camera. I have a system of annotated storage for removed parts, and take copious notes on the SD card of my pocket voice recorder.

A couple of years ago I participated in a discussion elsewhere with folks who wanted to take better IR photos at low cost for DIY research. I will point them to this thread.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-08-2019, 01:29 PM  
WiFi Commander for PENTAX v 1.6 is online, now with autodownload
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 4
Views: 730
Andrea -

You nailed it. I had been shooting in timer mode and the K-70 was still in that mode when I tried the program the second time. After I put it back into single shot the program again works properly.

In the video tutorial I saw a red focusing square, but it took me another viewing of the tutorial to figure out that I needed to be in M mode to take full advantage of the program. Now I just have to wait for my next Social Security payment to send you a donation. It is well earned - I have begun a series of photographs of projects on my electronics workbench. I built a mount to suspend the K-70 from the ceiling in the shop, pointed down at the bench. In that position it is difficult to operate, but WiFi Commander for Pentax makes it much easier to take those photos.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-08-2019, 11:07 AM  
WiFi Commander for PENTAX v 1.6 is online, now with autodownload
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 4
Views: 730
Andrea -

I tried reaching you through the contact form on your site but the message didn't seem to send.

I installed Wifi Commander for Pentax 1.6 64-bit on my 64-bit Win7 laptop a couple of weeks ago and it worked fine with my K-70. I recently wanted to give it a good workout but it is now only semi-functional. It can refresh the camera parameters and autofocus, and I can change parameters such as the ISO, but Live View will not display and I cannot activate the shutter. I have tried all the usual suspects - repairing the installation, uninstalling and re-installing, shutting down my security suite and trying everything again, and many others. Nothing has helped - do you have any suggestions?
Forum: Do-It-Yourself 05-26-2019, 06:56 AM  
My Ugliest DIY
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 2
Views: 714
I am no woodwright, just a butcher with a table saw. That was proved when I tired of having to pick up the camera frequently to take shots of what I was working on at my electronics workbench. Whenever I am disassembling an electronic or mechanical item for repair or modification I find it best to be systematic. I record notes on my pocket voice recorder, store small parts in a succession of numbered and labeled coin envelopes and numbered and labeled yogurt tubs, and store the envelopes, tubs, and large parts in a labeled box until the project has been completed. I also like to take lots of photos to insure that I can put things back together correctly. Using a hand-held camera has drawbacks including the fact that it is difficult to take good photos looking straight down on the bench. I built a very ugly and crude, but quite functional, mount to hold the camera above the bench. Working the camera in that position, and looking at the LCD, are awkward when it is mounted, but I only have to work the zoom, as I view, focus, and shoot with the K-70 networked to my laptop. I use Wifi Commander for Pentax on the laptop to view and control the camera. More information is available here.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-25-2019, 11:14 AM  
Yvon Bourque's Focus Charts - Where Are They Now?
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 5
Views: 516
I felt a bit more ambitious after lunch than I did this morning, so I turned to a favorite online tool - the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive. I used a link from a 2008 post of Yvon's from Pentax World for his revised chart. That was a dead link, and in the Wayback Machine the recent captures were either dead links or yielded damaged PDF files, but a capture from 2012 was successful.

Thanks for the links to alternative charts - I will try those charts as well.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-25-2019, 10:03 AM  
Yvon Bourque's Focus Charts - Where Are They Now?
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 5
Views: 516
I have read a number of posts, here and elsewhere, concerning Yvon Bourque's focus charts, but the links to obtain the chart are all dead links. Does anyone have a working link?
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-24-2019, 03:02 PM  
Would Like to Use Hot Shoe for O-GPS1 and Wireless Flash Trigger Simultaneously
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 11
Views: 478
I doubt that. Any dumb flash, like my modified early Vivitar 283 flashes, can be triggered by the camera connecting the center pin to the hot shoe base. The communication between the camera and a TTL flash, or between the camera and the O-GPS1, are almost certainly using the three other pins on the shoe, perhaps with the shoe base as ground. Pentax probably used a readily available GPS chipset that sends serial data, perhaps in NMEA format, to the body. Communications go in the other direction with the flash, the camera body telling the flash what it needs to do, also probably in serial format. I strongly suspect that the center pin plays no role in either.

---------- Post added 05-24-19 at 03:09 PM ----------


That is the sort of thing that should work - I will look around and see what is available.

---------- Post added 05-24-19 at 03:17 PM ----------


That should work but the pin pattern does not appear to match that of the K-70 hot shoe, so the O-GPS1 probably would not work with it.


I will not be mixing them. The idea is to use the GPS and my wireless off-camera flash trigger transmitter at the same time (the transmitter can be mounted off of the hot shoe and cable-triggered from a standard flash sync jack). The off-camera flashes are dumb and manually set - no TTL involved.

---------- Post added 05-24-19 at 03:19 PM ----------

Thanks for all of the ideas, folks. That's why I asked here - to get ideas on what to look for and where to look at it.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-24-2019, 02:43 PM  
Would Like to Use Hot Shoe for O-GPS1 and Wireless Flash Trigger Simultaneously
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 11
Views: 478
I don't want any flash functionality from the camera. I am using modified vintage Vivitar 283 flashes with manual strobe duration setting as off-camera flashes for photographing old gravestones. All I need from the camera is the shoe base and center pin to trigger the wireless flash transmitter. Everything else, including many of the camera settings such as ISO, f-stop, and shutter speed, is set manually.

I want to use the GPS to geotag shots. There are days when I visit multiple graveyards in a day, and geotagging will let me pull up my laptop map program, into which I have already entered graveyard locations, and allow me to enter the coordinates - that will take me directly to the pre-entered graveyard on the map showing me where that photo was taken.

---------- Post added 05-24-19 at 02:45 PM ----------


Right - not the answer I'm looking for as I am retired and I pretty near had to break the bank to buy my K-70 a year ago.
Forum: Visitors' Center 05-24-2019, 02:32 PM  
connecting K70
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 10
Views: 2,501
I am having no problem connecting to my K-70, but I am not using a smartphone or tablet with Image Sync (iOS or Android). I am using Wifi Commander for Pentax to connect my Win7 laptop to the K-70. I use it when the K-70 is on its DIY mount above my electronics workbench to look down on and photograph something that I am working on. I can't use Image Sync because my old tablet is pretty well maxed out at Android 4.0 and Image Sync needs 4.4 or later. As a sometime IT guy I do, however, have a few thoughts for those having problems connecting to the K-70 with wifi:

1) Know what the camera's SSID and password are. In the K-70 they are in the menu at Set-up (the wrench symbol) | 3 | Wifi | Communications Info. On my K-70 the SSID is PENTAX_nnnnnn, where "n" represents a digit. The password is Annnnnnn, where "A" represents a capital letter and "n" represents a digit, and the last six digits of the password are the same as the six digits in the SSID of the camera.

2) As noted upstream a tablet or smartphone has to be running in wifi mode. An internet connection through the cell network does not work - you need to disable that and run in wifi mode.

3) I dunno about iOS (I don't own anything Apple except records) but Android smartphones and tablets let you choose which wifi network to connect to. On my old Android tablet that is in Settings | Wifi and on the right side of the screen available wifi networks are shown, allowing you to connect to the one that you choose. I can connect my Android tablet to the K-70 with wifi, I just don't have an app that will run on the tablet that can do anything with the camera.

If anyone knows of an Android app that will run under Android 4.0 and that works with the K-70 I would like to try it.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-24-2019, 09:26 AM  
Would Like to Use Hot Shoe for O-GPS1 and Wireless Flash Trigger Simultaneously
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 11
Views: 478
I have debated getting an O-GPS1 for geotagging field photographs. The problem is that it monopolizes the hot shoe and for some field photography where I want geotagging I also need to use my wireless flash trigger for one or more off-camera speedlights. My Pentax K-70 body does not have a flash jack - it it did I could use the wireless trigger off the shoe with the supplied cable. Has anyone found a work-around? The wireless trigger is not smart, it just needs the two basic dumb hot shoe connections. I am fully capable of (and well equipped for) hacking a flash jack onto the O-GPS1, but I would prefer not to void the warranty on a $150 GPS.
Forum: Accessory and Memory Articles 05-24-2019, 09:10 AM  
Camera Bag
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 28
Views: 11,554
I use a LowePro Nova 190 AW shoulder bag that I bought at a local camera shop for about $100.00. I don't make long hikes so a shoulder bag, even loaded, works fine for me. Mine is loaded, holding:

Pentax K-70 w/ Pentax-DA 18-270mm walking-around lens and RC2 quick-release plate
Charger and spare battery
Tabletop tripod w/ RC2 clamp
Speedlight w/ diffuser softbox
Lens cleaning supplies
4 Tiffen filter pouches holding polarizer, 2 sepia filters, and 11 colored filters for monochrome photos (2 filter slots open at the moment)
DIY filter flip book
DIY K-70 L-bracket
Remote wireless trigger
Spare batteries for speedlight and wireless trigger
ColorChecker Passport
Manuals for camera body, lens, and speedlight
Kodak Professional Photoguide, 5th Edition
Handbook of Kodak Photographic Filters, 1990 edition
Modified plastic 35mm film canister holding 4 desiccant capsules
Forum: Do-It-Yourself 05-23-2019, 06:45 PM  
DIY K-70 L-Bracket
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 2
Views: 358
I have a very well equipped electronics shop in my house, and my Explorer is in effect a well equipped electronics shop on wheels for work. I am moderately well set for woodworking at home (I used my table saw earlier this evening), but I am not set up for machining. My friend has a milling and boring machine, a machine lathe, a heavy-duty drill press, a metal brake, and all sorts of other machine tools. It is good to have well-equipped friends.

I like DIY. I am most of the way through a DIY project of getting equipped for a try at taking professional quality gravestone photos with a specially equipped off-camera speedlight. Old gravestones face east, and in order to have the face of the stone sunlit in such a way that the carving is in optimal shadow photographers have had to work in a window just before the sun reaches the zenith when it is at a 20 to 30 degree angle to the face of the stone. The hardest part of using a speedlight to light the stone at the proper angle is in overcoming the inverse square law.
Forum: Do-It-Yourself 05-23-2019, 02:19 PM  
DIY K-70 L-Bracket
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 2
Views: 358
Necessity, it is said, is the mother of invention. I wanted a sturdy L-bracket for my K-70 with Manfrotto RC2 plates. Manfrotto makes a nice one already equipped with RC2 plates, but I am (mostly) retired so I was not about to spend $140 for their bracket when I am saving up for more expensive photographic toys. I looked at a number of aftermarket brackets but putting RC2 plates on them would be a chore. I finally built my own with the help of a friend who has a machine shop filling his garage (his Lexus has to sit out in the rain). It is built with 1/4" aluminum bar stock and that strikes the right balance between light weight and ruggedness. It clears the mic/remote shutter port so I can still use that, and is small enough to comfortably fit in my camera bag. Details are available on my web site.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-19-2019, 05:25 AM  
Landscape Mabry Mill With Post
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 5
Views: 286
I have found that some interesting color shifts can be obtained by using a colored filter over the lens but leaving auto color balance enabled. That pushes the colors back towards neutral but leaves some color shift. The right approach in post is often needed to get a final result that is satisfactory. When I find scenes where I think other colors of filters are worth an experiment I will post the results here, but it may take a while as spring and summer are my busiest seasons at work.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-17-2019, 06:58 PM  
Landscape Mabry Mill With Post
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 5
Views: 286
Thank you, folks. For me a photo that just depicts reality is fine for some things, but if I can be somewhat of an artist with a camera I find that much more satisfying.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-12-2019, 07:28 PM  
Landscape Mabry Mill With Post
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 5
Views: 286
I am not someone who rushes into post-production of images. When I displayed my Easter Sunday image of Mabry Mill it was posted raw. After living with it for a few weeks I finally decided what I needed to do in post, muting the colors and creating the artistic effect that mirrored what I felt about the scene when I snapped the shutter.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-10-2019, 01:36 PM  
RMC Tokina 75-260mm w/ Canon Mount - Chances of Finding a Donor K Mount?
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 7
Views: 394
I don't have that so it looks like this lens is stuck with the Canon mount.

It looks like my best bet for experimenting with this lens is to buy one with a K mount and sell this one. I may just sell it and save up for a late-model macro lens for my K-70.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-10-2019, 05:57 AM  
RMC Tokina 75-260mm w/ Canon Mount - Chances of Finding a Donor K Mount?
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 7
Views: 394
I'm not sure what is meant by a "fixed lens mount." Is that a mount that is (more or less) permanently attached to the lens, as opposed to one that, say, can easily be removed by hand? This one appears to be attached by three small machine screws, maybe 2-58, maybe smaller.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-09-2019, 02:55 PM  
RMC Tokina 75-260mm w/ Canon Mount - Chances of Finding a Donor K Mount?
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 7
Views: 394
There doesn't seem to have been much discussion of this lens here in recent years. I have one in very good condition (actually the Sears rebranded version) that I inherited from my late father. I've seen some interesting comments here and elsewhere about using it in close focus (aka macro) mode, and am interested in experimenting with it. The problem is that Dad had a Canon AE-1 so the lens has an FD mount.

This lens was available from Tokina (and Sears, and possibly Vivitar or others) with a variety of mounts including K mount. Two questions:

1) Has anyone successfully replaced a Tokina mount for a different camera with a K mount?
2) What are the chances of finding a non-functional Tokina lens with a K mount that I can swap onto this lens in place of the FD mount?

Although my fine motor skills are not quite what they were even a decade ago they are still pretty good, and I still have a large collection of jeweller's tools (not many of us have 0-80, 1-72, and 2-58 dies and taps). Since I am retired I have lots of time to play with and little money, so if I can swap mounts it is a task that I am not averse to.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-01-2019, 06:58 AM  
Landscape Mabry Mill
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 1
Views: 220
Easter Sunday afternoon I decided to drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mabry Mill, the most photographed location on the Parkway. It had been so many years since I had been there that I had forgotten that morning light is best for the preferred viewing location. My initial shots looked too cold, so I added a Hoya Sepia B filter. This image was exposed to best show the detail in the mill, so the sunlit patch of grass at the right is overexposed, but I am generally pleased with the result.
Forum: Pentax K-70 04-18-2019, 04:58 AM  
Beginner filter recommendations
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 20
Views: 909
I use a range of colored filters for monochrome photography as I would rather get the desired image in camera than fix it in post.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 04-05-2019, 08:23 AM  
Long Time 35mm SLR, Now DSLR
Posted By Dale H. Cook
Replies: 4
Views: 339
For decades I used 35mm SLRs, first a Hanimex Praktika Super TL beginning in 1969, and after I wore that out I used a Pentax K-1000 beginning in 1990. In 2002 I bought a Sony Cybershot DSC-P25 for snapshot photos at work, but didn't buy a new serious camera until I bought a Pentax K-70 w/ Pentax-DA 18-270mm walking-around lens last year. Since I am just an experienced amateur photographer (and mostly retired) I did not need the additional features (or additional expense) of a more expensive body/lens combination. The K-70 has all the features that I think I could possibly need, and loads of features that I may never use. I am currently gearing up for warm-weather gravestone photography, employing a number of techniques, most of which I have not seen discussed in any of the scholarly books or scholarly journals in the field of graveyard conservation. Some of those techniques are derived from my years of 35 mm photography, such as shooting in monochrome and using colored filters for contrast, and some are techniques that I am still refining, such as the use of off-camera speedlights to enhance details of carving.
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