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Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 10-30-2013, 03:14 PM  
The K-02 that never was?
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 2
Views: 814
Okay -- just saw the specs on the new Sony Alpha 7 .....ummm. Anyone else have this sneaking suspicion that Sony R&D was trolling this forum. This is pretty much everything I would have put on the K-02, with only the addition of it being K-mount, having in-body image stabilization. Possibly the addition of a buily in flash.

--has viewfinder (okay, electronic)
--tiltable LCD
--Full-frame
--Phase detect AF
--24 and 36 MP variant
--dual wheels for thumb and index finger

anyone else? Interested to hear if anyone else has any thoughts on this. The A7 is quite appealing
Forum: Pentax K-01 08-12-2013, 04:06 PM  
K-01 Shutter Curtain Always Open
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 20
Views: 4,545
actually, I should elaborate a little. I shoot street photos everyday. The K-o1 that had the issue was purchased new on Amazon in April and was under the 1 year warranty when it malfunctioned. I was out on 7.24.13 (had the camera just about exactly 3 months, shooting with it daily, on average 1000 photos a week, so shutter should have about 12k shots, which, according to another post, is actually about 48k shutter actuations (close, open, close, open due to the live view only)).

I am using a Pentax "k" 30mm f/2.8 lens. Stopped down to about f/8, f/11 I was shooting between 1/320 and 1/500th of a second with manual adjustments to ISO to compensate over/underexposure. I was noticing overexposure in areas where I was metering under by at least 1 EV and, more concerning to me, motion blur visible in the 3" display at shutter speeds of 1/400th of a second. I couldnt figure it out, so I stopped down and shortened my exposure time to 1/640, 1/800 and finally 1/1000th of a second with no qualitative difference in the exposure or degree of motion blur. On my list of suspected issues were

a) the SR was malfunctioning
b) the lens (unlikely) was not stopping down -- wouldnt cause the motion blur
c) the sensor or ISO setting was fritzing out...also unlikely as the sensor's sensitivity likewise wouldnt cause the motion blur.
or
d) the shutter was hitting a maximum exposure of, best I could tell, somewhere below 1/250th of a second. The exposures looked more like 1/100th or 1/80th....in that range.

The following morning I took some more test shots and sure enough decided that it hadnt fixed itself overnight. I switched the camera off, and went to switch out the lens onto my other K-o1. That is when I noticed the shutter was wide open. I contacted Pentax USA and was instructed to send the camera in for Warranty service to CRIS camera in Chandler, AZ. I called them and they advised that the camera was under warranty and still considered a serviceable model.

Two things to note: a). I noticed with this particular K-o1, that there were (brass?) hinges on one side of each "leaf" of the 3-leaf shutter which were visible when the shutter was closed. I cannot see these on my other K-o1. Leads me to believe that possibly the shutter on that camera may have been installed backwards? b). In regard to the battery thing...I did have one battery fry out on me (was the Pentax brand D-LI90 included with the camera) just prior to this happening.

In terms of shutter life, I am not sure my experience can be considered representative of the expected life of the shutter. I would be interested to hear if anyone has a shutter life higher than 12k photos and if they have encountered any issues of this sort.

I was going to wait until I got the camera back from CRIS camera to post a full report on the issue, but seeing that someone else had the same issue, I thought I would chime in and verify that this is not an entirely isolated case.
Forum: Pentax K-01 08-12-2013, 02:53 PM  
K-01 Shutter Curtain Always Open
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 20
Views: 4,545
I had the exact same problem. I shoot manual with manual lenses. Set shutter to ISO 100 f/16 1/1000th of a second...still overexposed with motionblur on overcast day. Should've had a black frame. Quite the opposite. I am not sure what the issue was. I sent it to Arizona for service about a week and a half ago. Luckily, I have a backup k-o1.
Forum: Pentax K-01 06-11-2013, 06:38 PM  
feedback requested
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 14
Views: 1,298
just found out last week.!! that's me, 9th one down, left-most column. MANIFEST International Photography Annual 2

"For this second International Photography Annual Manifest received 681 submissions from 243 artists from across the U.S. and beyond. The publication will include 65 works by 45 artists from 12 states and 5 countries including England, China, the Slovac Republic, South Africa, and the United States"
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-27-2013, 07:12 PM  
feedback requested
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 14
Views: 1,298
yeah, my most vociferous opponents have eventually softened up a bit. I printed off some 3x5's to show people. Everyone at first hated me: the security guards, the shopowners, the police, the utility workers, the guys selling counterfeit merch and bootleg DVDs especially hate me--still no photos, but they will at least talk to me and I generally have a friendly rapport (well, at least not hostile) with them. The more I talk to them the less suspicious they are of me. I even got to visit a cpl. at the courthouse over having taken some shots in the courthouse. They still let me bring my camera in, but if I want to take pictures they ask that I come back after any criminal trials are over and jurors gone etc.. This one is tricky. I argued with them that I thought I was in a public space. Apparently, according to a friend of mine that is a criminal attorney, they still reserve some right to administer the media due to the sensitivity of the goings-on there, despite there being public areas of the courthouse.

In regard to the minor thing....I work in a law firm as my day job. I asked 4 of the attorneys there (who are all pretty conservative) about this very issue. I had a guy want to kick my butt for having taken a photo of his daughter. All 4 attorneys said that there was no legal reason I couldnt take picture of a minor if they are in public. That basically, there is no presumption of privacy if you and your subject are lawfully present in public space. One of the attorneys cited Supreme Court Justice Black as "if you can see it, you can shoot it" until it gets into whether or not it is used for commercial purposes. Here, commercial purposes seems like a grey area to me. Is selling a limited number of prints in body of work a "commercial enterprise" or does the law regulate only some mass thing, like the selling of catalogs, tshirts, posters, advertising copy etc.?

However, I have found that it is usually a best practice to avoid taking photos of minors. Just as it may be my right to take a photo in public, it may be someone else's right to rearrange my face. Which is generally yeah -- why I prefer to not be seen by my subject. Ultimately, though, I dont know for sure what the law in the US says about the issue of taking photos of minors so I agree that it is a best practice to avoid it.
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-27-2013, 08:55 AM  
feedback requested
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 14
Views: 1,298
thanks crewl1. The project is ongoing, however I am getting a proposal ready for submission for a show at a local gallery. The season starts in September and at that point, the 1 year period will be over. My deadline for submission is June 1, however. I have talked to the gallery director who has encouraged me to submit anyway and only about 12-24 photos. I had made a prior submission where I selected 10 that I felt were interrelated and formed five pairs. The editorial process is entirely new to me. So, hearing from an outsider what to loose and what to keep is very helpful. Yes, a lot of these were hurried. I usually only have about an hour give or take per day to take photos. I try to get in about 150 per day. Out of those dailies I usually select and minimally process about 30-50. Out of those I try to pick the better ones. I am starting to get over the fear of taking people's pictures. I find it is less confrontational than I had expected. Most people just dont care, or if they do, it is unusual that it would become violent. Hopefully as this project wraps up, I can get some real winners in there and have a coherent body of work to show.
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-27-2013, 06:56 AM  
feedback requested
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 14
Views: 1,298
Well, no...not objective, and this isnt art school crap that necessarily needs a theoretical crutch to stand upright. I am a staunch critic of any work that requires a preface in order for the viewer to understand it or access it (though I do think it is occasionally important to orient a viewer with a brief artists statement). I dont like to name what my concerns are because I am trying to convey it visually. Primarily, these are concerned with wealth and power disparities among different portions of the population. Ancillary to this are issues of gentrification (not sure if you guys do that in the UK...take a slum and then turn it into low-income artists flats for a year or two, then bring the development money in and make it into an area for the rich while displacing the existing population of poor people?), the way urban planning and the design of public spaces presuppose and reinforce a particular social stratification. Yes, I have an agenda with these, a purpose. Not really trying to beat anyone over the head with it, just ruffle the facade enough to get the viewer's brain going. Not that the viewer has to do all the heavy lifting, but I would prefer to be in dialogue with the viewer. When the viewer is a passive observer you are either in the realm of advertising or entertainment, or increasingly what passes as journalism these days. In any case, no, there is a definite intent. As a body of work, I wanted to present it as innocuously as possible. I was hoping to avoid such heavy handed compositions and visual manipulations as Dorthea Lange, I wanted to eschew emotional appeal, opting instead for repetition, meter, up to, but not past the point of monotony, occasional reprieve (as in the photos of people laughing or twirling a soccerball), but ultimately a long sideways glance at how things are in a finite space of a few blocks of the city center.... with a little bit of morbid fascination mixed in for good measure.

Chris, your photos are fantastic. Perfectly metered, good use of bokeh. Color is fantastic. I do agree with the idea of the use of faces. More generally (and this is maybe more of an ongoing debate in painting), I have argued in favor of figurative work for the very reasons you cite. It is a way to communicate instantly. In the fine art painting circles, the advent of abstraction led to another debate about the use of the figure as being inherently 'fascist.(no crap). Certainly propaganda images use the figure for this reason (as does advertising)--to immediately appeal to emotion etc. and sway the viewer to act (buy, vote, participate in a pogrom) in accordance with a particular line, I dont necessarily think it is inherently fascist to use the figure or faces in work. There are instances (like Lange, but only in historical retrospect) where this can cause resentment in the viewer. Nowadays, at least here in the US, images like Lange's come under attack frequently for being manipulative, posed, disingenuous . Bresson, on the other hand, I have not seen a single one of his images that I could say was manipulative, yet they are all the more powerful for that very reason. Alvarez-Bravo also has a certain something I find haunting. Trying to find those kinds of photos daily, well.... my approach to the work has been try, fail, try again, fail better. So, yeah, it is an ongoing process of advance and retreat when it comes to technique.

Now the most important concern though is whether or not one is conveying the information visually. That I've had to even explore the topics verbally tells me that I still have some work to do and some things to figure out about how I can say what I want to say visually. Even the harsher comments are welcome because they are the ones that are more likely to piss me off and give me the motivation to look critically at what I am doing everyday with this project.

Thanks again!

--greg
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-26-2013, 06:45 PM  
feedback requested
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 14
Views: 1,298
again, thank you for the feedback. I suppose my concern is more of a james joyce approach to documentary photography as opposed to photography-for-copy advertising, I maybe should have said that up-front. Not everyone liked finnegan's wake. These are more or less experiments to some degree. Its a document of a several block radius of a city over the course of a year. Some of it is going to be bland, I suppose. Perhaps it would only hold a limited regional interest.

And, I do enjoy taking photos a great deal otherwise I wouldnt still be doing it. The project, in fact, was born out of a great need to remain visually active with limited time. Chris, I appreciate the pointers. The rembrandt lighting. I agree about that, I was a painting major at the art academy of cincinnati and have a bookshelf crammed full of rembrandt, caravaggio, odd nerdrum, leonardo, the wyeths etc. new masters and old. I have made a consistent study of chiaroscuro in my drawing and painting. In terms of lighting, I should mention that the vast majority of these are being done at midday during my lunch hour. I try to cover as much ground as I can in that hour. Midday sun forces me at times into alleys where the light can be a little better. I also look for areas where the ground is in shadow, but the light reflected off of the skyscrapers is coming in and bouncing around causing some three-point effects. I cant always lurk in alleyways with my camera. Security guards tend to get a little crappy about that. So, yes. I do realize a lot of photographers will simply not work with natural light at this time of day for this very reason. On the other hand, it is also the busiest time of day in terms of pedestrian traffic and variety of people.

I dont know. I mean, I will say that the compositions are about divided equally between planned and unplanned.Usually if I want someone looking directly into the camera, I will just ask them if I can take their picture. Most of the time though, I am trying to catch people unaware. Right now, I am almost exclusively using a 30mm which does require me to get a lot closer to people.

I don't know, I dont think it is fair of me to ask for feedback, and then feel compelled to defend aesthetic decisions that I am making (one of which could be the challenges involved with shooting when the sun is at its highest point in the sky) so I am not going to do that. I basically just wanted to hear from people what they thought in terms of whether the images were well-executed, compelling in any way. Primarily, this is because, as this project winds down, I am beginning to look to shop it around for display galleries, possible partial publication, etc. Intended for the Fine Art crowd. That is where I received my training and where I continue to work in terms of my visual endeavors. From what I am hearing, however, it seems I still have quite a lot of work to do in terms of my technique, which I am the first to admit. However, it may be useful for the purpose of critique to clarify what I am attempting to do and whether or not I am succeeding in doing it. So I will just take a second to clarify that.

Yes this is something related to street photography, I suppose. In terms of 'decisive moments,' as much as I am enamored of HCB and the school/discipline of photographers that came after him, I am not trying to copy him or emulate him so much as use the technique that he pioneered as a point of departure to create partial narratives, or even what I would call 'abbreviations' -- like hearing part of someone's conversation on the street, only to be interrupted by a loud car stereo followed by someone asking you for spare change. etc. More akin to a literary cut-up than having an entire pictorial narrative in a single frame. Schizophrenic, I suppose would be a good way to describe it. Now, it occurs to me that some of the photos just aren't very good by any standard you chose to apply to them, whether it has some heady concept behind it or not. And, like I said, I have been at this for 8 months, I'd like to think that I do understand exposure and composition somewhat. I did drop out of art school, but I'd like to think I picked something up there. I also realize that a vast majority of these are going to have to be nixed -- I have 4 more months in the project and need to select only 365 images. The photostream is there as whiteboard more or less. There are certain things I want the viewer to consider simply by the fact that it is in the frame (basically, something I have been calling the politics of the picture plane. What's in-frame? What dominates, what is simply filler, what is noise, what is a countervailing force to the dominant element, how does this create compositional tension? For lack of a better term, 'politics'). For instance, I think there is one where it is a blank wall and the tip of someone's nose and their hand holding a cell phone are the only thing in frame on the far right.Literally, the image is a blank wall and a partial man. Flat, featureless. Call it commentary on contemporary existence perhaps, instead of compositional error. Boring as hell isn't it? Well, that is exactly what I was trying to convey. Nobody will ever select that image as a postcard or an ad for the new android device (which is why I consider it to be in the tradition of anti-graphic photography). Why then do we select it as a modus operandi for our society? A bunch of zombies looking at complacently staring at cell phones. So, some of the thematic concerns, the aesthetic concerns and I suppose, trying to ask am I doing anything in that direction insofar as the visual information in the frames is concerned?
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-26-2013, 11:20 AM  
feedback requested
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 14
Views: 1,298
thanks for the feedback. I posted a thread over in the critique section. I really need to get better at narrowing down the body of work. The editorial process is somewhat new to me. I had selected the 600 or so photos on flickr from a pool of about 3,000, which themselves were culled from a gross pool of roughly 30,000 - 40,000 daily shots over the past 8 months (I was keeping track, but then I got a second K-o1 and the count went out the window. For the first 3 months, I was using a Fuji AX330 point and click, and I think I had about 14k on that camera alone). I am taking the photos daily and then doing minimal processing in Picasa and then uploading them to my facebook page. The concept has grown a little, and as I begin to think about sending the photos out to open and juried competitions, I am faced with an additional task of drastically cutting down the amassed volume and picking out the best candidates for a coherent body of work. As it stands, the idea for the project proposal is basically 365 photos, one from each day, in my hometown. In that regard, I am casting the net pretty wide in terms of conceptually what I am doing. On one level, its a simple document. On another level, there are things I see and capture everyday which begin to re-emerge as themes and motifs throughout. In any case, again, I appreciate the feedback and hope to get some more over at the critique section. Thanks!
Forum: Photo Critique 05-26-2013, 11:07 AM  
Streets street photo project
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 1
Views: 853
The photos can be viewed in the following link: Flickr: gregorycristiani's Photostream

I am getting together a body of work for a project (365 days in my hometown, today is 8 month mark, started in Sept 2012) and have uploaded many pieces to flickr (now that they have a terabyte for free, why not!) I was just wanting to get some feedback on the photos. The vast majority are K-01 w/ one of the following lenses:

PENTAX SMC M 28mm f/2.8
PENTAX SMC "k" 30mm f/2.8
PENTAX SMC XS 40mm f/2.8
PENTAX SMC M 50mm f/1.7

some were taken with
Phoenix 19-35
PENTAX 18-55
Tair 11a 135mm 2.8

I am looking for some harsh critique because I want to get better.

Thanks for looking!

Greg
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-26-2013, 07:35 AM  
feedback requested
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 14
Views: 1,298
I am getting together a body of work for a project and have uploaded many pieces to flickr (now that they have a terabyte for free, why not!) I was just wanting to get some feedback on the photos. The vast majority are K-01 w/ one of the following lenses:
PENTAX SMC M 28mm f/2.8
PENTAX SMC "k" 30mm f/2.8
PENTAX SMC XS 40mm f/2.8
PENTAX SMC M 50mm f/1.7

some were taken with
Phoenix 19-35
PENTAX 18-55
Tair 11a 135mm 2.8

I am looking for some harsh critique because I want to get better.

Thanks for looking!

Greg

Flickr: gregorycristiani's Photostream
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-16-2013, 07:38 PM  
Inside the K-01
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 24
Views: 3,733
I have a black one and I have a white one. I dont know...I think it'd look okay. I am saying, take the black flash-mount, black mode dial, shutter/off/on switch and the black selection dial and the black lugs from the white one and putting them on the black one. Black on black --- Henri Cartier-Bresson swore by it. He used to paint his cameras black so they wouldn't reflect light and alert people to his presence, or at least to his cameras presence. Be nice to try out, if it could be done without irreparably destroying 2 perfectly good cameras in the process. That tutorial didnt look too promising. Looks like some pieces may be easier to get apart than get back together.

Now, two black buttons to replace the Red and Green buttons would be good too. I think the white one would look a little wonky with silver-on-white...but that's just me.
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-15-2013, 09:35 PM  
Inside the K-01
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 24
Views: 3,733
quick question -- anyone tried switching out the silver hardware on the black K-o1 with the black hardware on the white K-o1 for a black-on-black K-o1?
Forum: Photographic Technique 05-15-2013, 07:44 PM  
Some questions about metering and greyscale
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 1
Views: 904
also, I want to point out that I am not using any filters, digital or otherwise. Finally, one question regarding B&W conversion in post, vs shooting and editing JPEG in camera as B&W. I am wondering if shooting as B&W Jpeg may not result in higher pixel-per-pixel fidelity? It sounds counter intuitive, and maybe I am thinking about it too much, but I was just curious if anyone has tested this?
Forum: Photographic Technique 05-15-2013, 07:33 PM  
Some questions about metering and greyscale
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 1
Views: 904
I posted this over in the K-o1 forum and it was suggested that perhaps I post in a more general forum...so here goes:





Some questions about metering and greyscale
Hello all,

I had some questions regarding the K-o1 and, maybe this is more a general question about technique, but I am using only the K-o1 and so it makes sense to me to frame in that way. Also, I should mention that I am using FW v.1.03 and Picasa for post. Part of this inquiry is for me to try and understand how much mitigation of "issues" I can expect to resolve in post, and how much should I customize the capture settings in-camera in order to compensate for my (unfortunate) choice of post-production tools, which is the only thing I can run reasonably on my current computer (a netbook)... Okay...here goes:

--Spot Metering: I am finding that I can get a much better exposure if I spot meter the brightest area in the frame and then use the resultant shutter speed in Av mode (or sometimes a stop or two one way or the other), usually I will meter, recompose, then set exp. manually. Sometimes, if I am shooting street scenes, I try to determine on the fly what the brightest thing in frame is and center it (which has consequences compositionally), get reading, snap photo, crop composition in post. Sometimes this works, other times it leads to way underexposed areas that clip to black very quickly especially if converting to B&W in post. I am wondering if it is Picasa (I have been able to bring out midtones that looked completely clipped in the trial version of DxO O.P. 8, so I am thinking that there is something about Picasa that has a more limited range than what was actually captured?). I could use some pointers in regard to the (two available for manual lenses) metering modes on the K-o1 -- spot and center weighted. Matrix (full scene) metering with the 40 XS, I am not really very well versed in, but seems like it would exhibit more of the 'drawbacks' of center weighted metering (lower shutter speed requiring higher ISO or use of stabilization device) and a tendency toward blown highlights.

--B&W conversion: If Leica's press-kit for the monochrom M is to be believed, you lose a third of your resolution if you convert to B&W. Anybody know exactly the number of steps between black and white (I think of things in terms of oil painting..so I am thinking about chroma and its relative value on the musell greyscale. For instance violet is nearly black on the munsell grey scale when it is at full chroma/saturation. I may be wrong, but this would seem to make sense as to why you can get those really contrasty, almost black skies with a red filter (blue +red = violet)) that the K-o1 is capable of? I saw in another recent post that it comes out to at least 11 or 12 EV steps (please clarify this...what exactly is an EV step?). My suspicion is that I am loosing resolution by converting and loosing my range of values by using Picasa's rather hamfisted approach to contrast adjustment.

--Use of 'Contrasty' v. "Neutral" lenses and in-body compensation/custom settings: I have a theory, and I wonder if I am thinking about it correctly, that if you try to minimize overall contrast in-body, you will have more lateral headroom in post production in terms of range of values, provided you are within the middle of the range and not too far to one side or another of the histogram. I have been using as my primary lenses the 50 f/1.7 "M" and very recently the 30mm f/2.8 "K" which I have found to be contrasty and neutral-ish respectively. Which is kind of strange, because I seem to be getting the opposite result of my theory. I seem to get more lateral freedom with the 50mm than the 30mm. Particularly, darks seem to clip and 'grow' into mush a lot more quickly than with the 30mm (this was corrected to say 30, originally it said 50 which was a typo). Now, it did occur to me that contrasty could mean not just high-key, but wider range of values. In any case, is there anything that can be done to affect the DNG in order to open up a full range of black and white values in-camera? I have almost given up on the idea that Picasa will ever be very good at anything other than very large adjustments of black and white. Also, it seems that Picasa tends towards a rather 'soft glow' in the highlights, which I find somewhat annoying. Maybe its my negative, maybe its picasa's algorithm for looking at DNG files....I am not sure. Anyone?

In any case, I appreciate any feedback on these issues and value the input.

Thanks!

Greg
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-14-2013, 03:32 PM  
Some questions about metering and greyscale
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 2
Views: 1,032
Hello all,

I had some questions regarding the K-o1 and, maybe this is more a general question about technique, but I am using only the K-o1 and so it makes sense to me to frame in that way. Also, I should mention that I am using FW v.1.03 and Picasa for post. Part of this inquiry is for me to try and understand how much mitigation of "issues" I can expect to resolve in post, and how much should I customize the capture settings in-camera in order to compensate for my (unfortunate) choice of post-production tools, which is the only thing I can run reasonably on my current computer (a netbook)... Okay...here goes:

--Spot Metering: I am finding that I can get a much better exposure if I spot meter the brightest area in the frame and then use the resultant shutter speed in Av mode (or sometimes a stop or two one way or the other), usually I will meter, recompose, then set exp. manually. Sometimes, if I am shooting street scenes, I try to determine on the fly what the brightest thing in frame is and center it (which has consequences compositionally), get reading, snap photo, crop composition in post. Sometimes this works, other times it leads to way underexposed areas that clip to black very quickly especially if converting to B&W in post. I am wondering if it is Picasa (I have been able to bring out midtones that looked completely clipped in the trial version of DxO O.P. 8, so I am thinking that there is something about Picasa that has a more limited range than what was actually captured?). I could use some pointers in regard to the (two available for manual lenses) metering modes on the K-o1 -- spot and center weighted. Matrix (full scene) metering with the 40 XS, I am not really very well versed in, but seems like it would exhibit more of the 'drawbacks' of center weighted metering (lower shutter speed requiring higher ISO or use of stabilization device) and a tendency toward blown highlights.

--B&W conversion: If Leica's press-kit for the monochrom M is to be believed, you lose a third of your resolution if you convert to B&W. Anybody know exactly the number of steps between black and white (I think of things in terms of oil painting..so I am thinking about chroma and its relative value on the musell greyscale. For instance violet is nearly black on the munsell grey scale when it is at full chroma/saturation. I may be wrong, but this would seem to make sense as to why you can get those really contrasty, almost black skies with a red filter (blue +red = violet)) that the K-o1 is capable of? I saw in another recent post that it comes out to at least 11 or 12 EV steps (please clarify this...what exactly is an EV step?). My suspicion is that I am loosing resolution by converting and loosing my range of values by using Picasa's rather hamfisted approach to contrast adjustment.

--Use of 'Contrasty' v. "Neutral" lenses and in-body compensation/custom settings: I have a theory, and I wonder if I am thinking about it correctly, that if you try to minimize overall contrast in-body, you will have more lateral headroom in post production in terms of range of values, provided you are within the middle of the range and not too far to one side or another of the histogram. I have been using as my primary lenses the 50 f/1.7 "M" and very recently the 30mm f/2.8 "K" which I have found to be contrasty and neutral-ish respectively. Which is kind of strange, because I seem to be getting the opposite result of my theory. I seem to get more lateral freedom with the 50mm than the 30mm. Particularly, darks seem to clip and 'grow' into mush a lot more quickly than with the 50mm. Now, it did occur to me that contrasty could mean not just high-key, but wider range of values. In any case, is there anything that can be done to affect the DNG in order to open up a full range of black and white values in-camera? I have almost given up on the idea that Picasa will ever be very good at anything other than very large adjustments of black and white. Also, it seems that Picasa tends towards a rather 'soft glow' in the highlights, which I find somewhat annoying. Maybe its my negative, maybe its picasa's algorithm for looking at DNG files....I am not sure. Anyone?

In any case, I appreciate any feedback on these issues and value the input.

Thanks!

Greg
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 05-14-2013, 02:59 PM  
Project 365.
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 3
Views: 853
Probably the best thing you can do as a photographer. Robert Anton Wilson always said "If you want to be something, do it everyday" I cant agree more.

I am into my 8th month of dailies. Started in September with no goal other than to keep visual thinking going. Found that at least 100-150 photos/day was enough to keep me busy and keep visual atrophy at bay. I was an art major, having little talent in any other field. Taking a job at the firm where I have been for 8 years now had nearly killed my creative impulse. I finally bought a point-and-click Fuji as a mitigation effort -- out of desperation. I hadB&W 535mm film photo in high school, but was a painting/scultpure major in college. I think it has helped me tremendously. I have been shooting with a K-01 since January 1. I do post in Picasa everyday on a little acer netbook. The bulk of my photos are street photos taken during my lunch breaks in downtown cincinnati, oh (US). I think it may develop into a body of work (or several bodies of work) documenting 1 year in Cincinnati (pick on photo per calendar day). I put my daily keepers up on my facebook page (usually about 30-50 photos a day) and, like I said, they are minimally processed in Picasa and amount to little more than daily contact sheets. Every couple months or so, I will pick out the best ones from a several week period and consolidate them into 'volume' which is actually just a more refined, extended contact sheet of 100 or so photos. So far, I have 18 volumes, but that could probably be greatly reduced. At first I was so ecstatic to be doing, composing, creating, that I put up everything I took a photo of. Now, I am trying to be more selective. I think the overall body of work suffers if there are too many that are just so-so or not really that interesting at all. That said, I am still as enthusiastic as I was at the beginning, and hopefully I am getting better at using the camera, using the post production.

My goal is eventually to get a good computer so that I can run Lightroom or something comparable (I tried DxO Optics Pro 8 and really liked it. I think Silky Pix is pretty darned good too--and kind of free from Pentax, I just cant use it on my netbook on RAW files). I am thinking about trying also to get the 15, 21 and 31 eventually (Ltd lenses).

I think it is a great practice to shoot pictures everyday. I may be biased. And there have been times where I have had to make time to get photos in (even if it meant getting up at 3am and going out in 9F degree weather) when "life" intrudes on the photography. In any case, I encourage anyone to do this. I hope it goes well and I would like to see what you are doing.
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-09-2013, 08:18 PM  
Treasonous thoughts -- on the lens Price Hike Debacle of 2013
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 12
Views: 1,402
actually -- amazing work. These are fantastic.
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-09-2013, 08:13 PM  
Treasonous thoughts -- on the lens Price Hike Debacle of 2013
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 12
Views: 1,402
beautiful work NZ!! Wyatt is very talented.
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-09-2013, 08:11 PM  
Treasonous thoughts -- on the lens Price Hike Debacle of 2013
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 12
Views: 1,402
yes, I was reading about the Sigma cameras also and they certainly looked interesting to me. I have to wonder about the way the sensor is implemented. It is certainly a one of a kind -- nobody else is doing that. Using the optical properties of the chip itself to absorb the different colors of light. The MP count, though---I heard that they claim to be able to triple the MP count by the method they use (where the red light exposes at a certain 'depth', blue light further down, etc). Does this actually triple the MP count?

I am leaning towards the 31 for the reasons you cited. As I have experienced, I/C lenses tend to hold value and especially good lenses like the 31mm. One has the same disposition towards it as one would have towards a Leica-- you buy a Leica, you are buying an heirloom. I have to say, having acquired the 30mm, I have more of a sense of stewardship than ownership. The 30mm "K" definitely feels like something crafted rather than extruded out of the business end of a 3rd world factory for mass consumption.

In regard to the x100s, it has the feel --truly-- of something that is really a photographer's tool as well. I suppose my question in regard to the 31 is whether it is necessary if one already has the 30mm? One review places them at nearly identical optically for sharpness from 4.5 down. Only advantages of the 31mm are autofocus and its a stop wider. Advantages listed for the 30mm are that it handles CA a little better. I have noticed the 30mm being a tad neutral (not too neutral as to be bothersome..as the TAIR sometimes can be). I wonder if the newer SMC coating on the 31 delivers puchier color and contrast?
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-09-2013, 07:51 PM  
Treasonous thoughts -- on the lens Price Hike Debacle of 2013
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 12
Views: 1,402
yeah. I dont know. Its a clincher. I have a theory that 28mm at f/2.8 has a tendency to blow out highlights on digital. I nearly wrote off 28mm lenses as a whole for digital and that is why I was thinking of the 31mm: better to feel the pain once than to have a bunch of 28's that are all 'not quite' there. That said, everything in 28mm that I was looking at (the 2.0, the 3.5) was fetching way more than I thought they were worth. Saw a 2.0 going for $600. Since the aggregate score for the 30mm was higher, I was keeping my eyes peeled for that lens and luckily I have not been disappointed. I am not knocking 28mm lenses, I was just going with a theory that I wanted to pay once for a bulletproof lens an be done with it.

I started this photo-taking business as a way to stay visual. I was an art major (painting and sculpture) in the mid 90's and now for the past 8 years worked in a law firm doing the most uncreative, non-visual based daily grindstone work one can think of. For someone who could draw before they could talk, that has been torture. I started off September of last year with a Fuji point and click (AX330 finepix, 14mp). Very basic. Despite its limitation, I was getting good enough images that it compelled me headlong into photography. In a way it has been a sort of a lifesaver. I am impressed with Fuji's camera making abilities and the image quality I was able to squeeze out of a $50 camera and Picasa. I also know how weird their menus are and was initially pretty pissed about the price tag on the x100 when it came out. Does seem a little like a gimmick -- what happens when that snazzy parallax viewfinder goes on the fritz?

Basically, I should just save my money for the inevitable full frame!! But I guess at this point I have a little bit of a fetish for the out-of-the-ordinary. Pentax and Fuji both deliver in that regard. Both the x100s and the 31mm f/1.8 are photographic tools I think that are hallmarks and achievements (again, I havent used a 31mm but its reputation precedes it and the images I have seen are pretty much bulletproof). Seems like the 31mm would be the way to go....especially if that full frame is on the way. On the other hand, I guess I have developed a soft spot for this Fuji as well. Are either worth the money at full retail?
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-09-2013, 07:11 PM  
Schmutz? what schmutz? K-o1 sensor cleaning success
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 19
Views: 3,740
well, I hear what you are saying, but I thought that sensor cleaning was part of routine maintenance. Like changing the oil on your car. If you are saying that the analogy would be something akin to the auto maker having implemented some design flaw which causes the oil to have to be changed every 500 miles rather than ever 3000 miles, then you may have a point -- the additional cost of more frequent maintenance, etc.. I am not totally sure that the K-o1 suffers from a design flaw in that regard though. I know that the action of the shutter on dSLR cameras can stir up a lot of dust. The Leica M-P has movie mode as does just about every modern dSLR...the shutter stays open on most all of these during recording. The Leica being a focal plane shutter is the most analogous to the K-o1 in terms of design implementation. Who knows--I would say that digital photography is still in its infancy, possibly an adolescent if one applies Moore's Law, and I am not sure that there has been a perfect solution to these issues (save for the Ricoh model of having the lens and the sensor in one unit--and it remains to be seen how that will be adopted in the long run), but in the meantime, I kind of figured it was a mitigation issue on the part of the user.

I dont know. I dont know if cleaning with eclipse will prematurely damage the sensor in the K-o1 or not. I was trying to get a handle on that before I tried it. So far so good though. I havent noticed any issues.Technically, my understanding is, is that you are actually cleaning a piece of glass -- not the sensor itself. Methanol for cleaning glass is perfectly safe. Whether or not its fumes (which dissipate rapidly) are injurious to any other electronic components inside the camera is unknown to me, and it is unlikely I would ever get to know that, as it is likely proprietary. I doubt I would be able to obtain that information even in discovery in a protracted legal case. My attorney friends have given me some rather interesting advice on this though-- 'whoever has the deeper pockets wins' because they can bring to bear disproportionate legal blockades and can afford to sit out and create stalemates in court. We are talking about a $300 camera body. Is it worth a legal battle? That's what I am looking at. I suppose it wouldnt hurt to contact Pentax and see what their position is on it before going the legal route.
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-09-2013, 06:48 PM  
Treasonous thoughts -- on the lens Price Hike Debacle of 2013
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 12
Views: 1,402
Folks,

I am putting it to the community. Since December I had my plan all worked out. I pay my car off in July. I had planned on putting that money toward the (then) $1000 31mm f/1.8 FA Ltd. I had been looking for the rare 30mm "K" lens, and at $600 used it made sense to me to just continue saving and get the 31mm. In the past week, I actually had an opportunity to acquire a 30mm "K" for less than half of its going 'retail' rate I had been seeing on eBay (in 2 days of shooting is definitely showing its potential. It definitely has its signature and is damn near a perfect focal length on APS-C for me, mostly shooting street. I need more time to fairly assess this lens, but I have to say it is probably going to be a permanent fixture on my camera.). I thought, well....I'll still save for the 31mm. Seems like THE lens to have, highly regarded and already a part of modern photographic history as a benchmark...even at $1300.00. I could save for that.

And then, this weekend it happened that I was in my local camera shop and got to handle a Fuji x100s rangefinder. My-my. I have to say...pretty darned sexy that little number. I wont recount my feelings about this camera except to say that it seems somewhat unimpeachable. I had scoffed at the price in the past..especially since it was not an interchangeable lens camera. Getting to handle it, I can see where that could be an asset for someone like me--I shoot street photos everyday on my lunch breaks and the 50mm on APS-C is simply a little too long. Even the 40mm is a tad tight. I had been struggling to find a good 28mm (now the proud owner of 5 or 6 28mm lenses) for its "wide normal" status on APS-C. In any case, the x100s looks pretty darned tempting.

So the question is: x100s or 31mm ltd. on the K-o1? I have the 30mm, and have read the comparison over in the lens review section under the 30mm "K" entry. My idea for the K-01 was to have my kit as follows: The 15mm, the 21mm and the 31mm limited lenses, the 50mm f/1.7 which I already have and then up to a 135mm (I have a TAIR 11 A which is a great lens, but challenging in live view) and that's it.

Anyone had any experience with both the 31mm and the x100 or x100s?
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-06-2013, 05:48 PM  
Schmutz? what schmutz? K-o1 sensor cleaning success
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 19
Views: 3,740
i dont know that I would call it a design flaw necessarily. I suppose that you could call it a known factor which affects mirrorless and/or live-view cameras a little more than slr or a camera where the shutter doesnt have to be open. Now, suppose they shipped a k-o1 with 4x the amount of lubricant on the shutter than should be there and it destroys the sensor, the rear element of the mounted lens and cost the user hundreds of dollars to rectify...then I could see an issue. I dont really think it is a flaw in the design. Plus, I have to say, I made a relatively small problem much worse by using the wrong tool for job. The spots were only showing up at f/11 initially. I thought it was dust, tried to remove it like dust and made it much worse. Even if you could claim that it was a design flaw (in which case, I'd be tempted to include the Sony NEX7, any of the Leica rangefinders, almost all of the micro four thirds cameras on the market right now--anything with live view and a focal plane leaf shutter), I doubt, in this situation, I would prevail on court or in arbitration on the basis that a) the problem was rectified using off-the-shelf, commercially available solvents b) I have already admitted in this forum that it was more or less my ignorance of what was on the sensor to begin with and my subsequent attempt to clean it that made the camera unusable (again, I could see the marks with the aperture wide open in live view).

Newson's design may well have been a crime against fashion in some people's opinion, but I dont think pentax offered anything in the way of the K-o1 that was so far off the beaten path (from an industrial design perspective) as to imperil the longevity of the device itself.
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-05-2013, 11:30 AM  
Lets see your new K01
Posted By cristigj
Replies: 223
Views: 51,614
I had come to somewhat the same conclusion. I had wanted a silver one. My wife got me a white one for xmas. I returned the favor by getting her a black one for her birthday. I picked up another black one when the price bottomed out. We both think its the bees knees. I have a strong conviction that the K-o1 yellow is going to be the real collector's item demanding a premium. I plan on using both of mine until I wear a hole in them. It is my only ICL digital (though my wife has a K-10D and between the two of us we have about 2 ME Supers, two K-1000s and and Oly OM-1 film camera). My only other digital is a fuji point and click 14mp that I picked up refurbished for $50.

I think it is easily the best camera in its class (or maybe it is the ONLY camera in its class?) A true mutant (I say that with love). What was it Hunter S Thompson said about Oscar Zeta Acosta? "One of God's own prototypes?" In any case, yeah.We are a three-k-o1 household here. Currently compiling some nice lenses. Maybe I'll post a picture with the TAIR 11A?
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