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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 Days Ago  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 6,327
Views: 824,254
I was reading through this very very long thread, as I'm relatively new to this forum, and I came across this message from a couple years ago. It made me think about how I got into Pentax precisely because they were being sold in a local department store my first year after college, and I couldn't afford a more expensive SLR than the K1000, but I knew from having played with my Mom's old 1950s-era Kodak rangefinder camera with split-level focusing screen that I wanted to try an SLR with interchangeable lenses. (Oh, and I bought a second K1000 for my girlfriend, who got into photography because of my use of my K1000, and we dabbled extensively with rental Pentax 6x7 cameras with medium-format film, developing a fair amount of b&w film in the darkroom -- again because, well, Pentax). I bought a few cheap lenses back then in the 1980s for my K1000 for my travel photography and my astrophotography, and then I progressed to the PZ-1 and the LX. The PZ-1 was also displayed at one of my local department stores and at camera stores, and I bought it again for that reason. I think that I bought the LX from either a dedicated camera store in person in the Boston area (possibly Hunt's) or from B&H (after I started subscribing to monthly photo magazines including Shutterbug and Popular Photography). I do not know if I'd get into Pentax if I was in a similar situation today and graduating now from college and getting my first full-time job with some more money to spend -- both because of smartphone cameras (and the different mentality/focus of young adults today) and because Pentax just isn't really visible to most people except online (and then you have to stumble onto it).

So, I'm naturally curious as to how many forum members here got into Pentax cameras because -- like me -- they were exposed to them in stores, vs. knowing or meeting somebody with Pentax cameras, vs. just reading about them, vs. having them come up in a search online of cameras to potentially buy. And another question that occurs to me, as I read this particular thread here, is whether there have been any routine (or even sporadic) Pentax conferences -- on a regional, national, or international level -- that enthusiasts have attended (and can attend -- after Covid19 has run its course).
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 4 Days Ago  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 6,327
Views: 824,254
I found this analysis that suggests that a fine 35-mm film will give the same resolution as about 156 Mpx in a digital full-frame camera:
I STILL SHOOT FILM - The Real Resolution of Film vs. Digital
Forum: Pentax K-1 4 Days Ago  
K-1 mark ii purchase
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 26
Views: 1,559
I am planning to buy a new K-1, but am debating on waiting until a possible updated "Mark III" version comes out in the next year or so.
Meanwhile, I have a few questions for K-1 owners here after reading owner reviews of both the K-1 and the K-1 II here at Pentax Forums:

1) “shutter shock” was mentioned by one reviewer, who commented that there's a vibration that is noticeable on many of his images (presumably due to the mirror movement affecting the sensor). As I've not heard this much on this Forum or elsewhere, I'm curious as to what other K-1 owners think of this claim.

2) I know that you can set up the second SD card slot to start storing photos once the first card is full, but what happens with video after card 1 is full in the middle of shooting? I'm assuming that the video will just stop, and you have to start shooting the video again (which will then automatically go to the second card), because you'd have to start a new file? I presume that this is in contrast to the next step down from video, which would be continuous-frame shooting, in which it would just continue shooting onto the second card.

3) At least one or two reviews commented on resolution with old film-camera-era lenses, saying that there's a noticeable difference in the old lenses not being very good at the digital resolution of 24- and 36-Mpx sensors. One person actually noted that at best, shooting film is like shooting 8 Mpx in digital, in terms of resolution (I'd like to see a reliable reference for this claim, if anybody knows one). Do others here share this claim of the older Pentax lenses not being very good for fine details in DSLR imaging (especially in the K-1 with 36 Mpx), compared to the new D-FA lenses?

4) One K-1 reviewer mentioned that the port for the cable release was not well designed, and that he has a problem with his cable falling out of the port. From the diagram in the owner manual, it seems that the K-1 port is in the same location as in my K-3 II (and I don't have problems with my cable release falling out). Any other experiences with this in the K-1? Also, it is not stated anywhere here (Pentax Forums) or in the K-1 manual, but is the CS-205 the correct cable release for the K-1? I learned the hard way that the CS-310 cable switch does not work for my K10D or K-3 II cameras (the CS-205 does), and I understand that the CS-310 only works for the K70 and the KP cameras, but that Pentax decided to go back to the CS-205 for the K-1. But I'd like a confirmation of this from K-1 owners.

5) buffering time that is considered too long — where is it noticeable (other than continuous fast shooting)? How long does it take to buffer a 1/125-sec RAW photo vs. JPEG? how about longer exposures like 10 or 30 sec, or 2 min?

6) I would not have remotely guessed from the owner's manual on the topic of "Composition Adjust" that you can splice photos together to simulate medium format, but one reviewer wrote that he can splice four photos in two minutes, presumably referring to processing (buffering) time? Here are his exact words: "In a matter of 2 minutes and 4 shots, flawlessly stitched to post - you can simulate a 46MP, medium-format-ish sensor. Simply shifting the sensor to the 4 corners allows you to cover about 26% more area with a wider FOV and higher resolution from a single perspective with 0 parallax errors or other issues, besides possible vignetting." I see that there are numerous threads here at Pentax Forums on "Composition Adjust", but not one of them talks about simulating a 46-Mpx medium-format sensor like this. I'd be interested in hearing about any other experiences like this.

Thanks!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 Days Ago  
Challenging the APS-C Flagship Series
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 217
Views: 7,995
Indeed, the smartphone makers seem to be improving their cameras at a much more rapid level than are the DSLR makers. My 2017 iPhone SE has an amazing 12-Mpx camera, and with downloaded free apps I can shoot decent videos, shoot RAW, control exposure time and ISO, control the area in the field that I want focused or properly exposed, set exposure delays, and employ all sorts of filter effects. Current Android smartphones have even more features built in their cameras (than do iPhones) without the need to resort to second-party apps. Of course, this doesn't address my needs for much better image quality, interchangeable lenses, good zoom lenses, and all the other controls in my DSLRs. But for 99% of the photographing public now, smartphone cameras are all they'll ever need. My understanding from their website material is that Ricoh/Pentax is expressly focusing on future Pentax products to be aimed at their current Pentax customers (and people who will take up Pentax via connection with these existing Pentax owners or just via research on the web), without great expectations that they'll be expanding their customer base to people who aren't in these categories; it's sort of like a Tesla approach -- no advertising, and let the products speak for themselves. My hunch is that R&D on their Pentax DSLRs produces spin-off technology that Ricoh can use in their other manufacturing business that brings in much more money, and hence keeping Pentax going (even if at a net loss in camera/lens sales) is an overall plus for the parent company.

As LeeRunge above (in this thread) asked about what others do with their Pentax images, and I do not really use my iPhone for any Pentax images; I keep my iPhone for iPhone images only. So I don't need wifi with my DSLRs, though I can understand why some people would like that option and why camera makers would make the option available. Personally, I just take out my SD card and plop it into my device to load it into my desktop or laptop computers for viewing on a larger screen than a smartphone can offer. And I only use processing software for my astrophotos -- which often need stacking to bring out fainter details -- but not for any of my non-astronomy photographs (I simply don't have the time or patience, nor do my normal non-astronomy photos usually need any processing for my purposes). This is one reason why I like my DSLRs -- because they produce better everyday images than my iPhone can that really don't need processing. I, for one, am simply happy that Pentax is still making DSLRs and still doing R&D to develop more DSLRs -- for us. Whether they are able to still do this in 5 or 10 years is unknown, of course. My 13-year-old K10D is still going strong with nothing having broken or failed on me; I don't have illusions that my DSLRs will last as long as my still-working K1000 and LX cameras, but I do have confidence that they'll still be working just fine in 2030 and perhaps even 2040.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 6 Days Ago  
The K10D Club!
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 6,390
Views: 610,946
comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) taken on 2020 July 16 with a Pentax K10D camera + Pentax FA 50-mm f/1.4 lens at ISO 1600 and f/8, 10-s exposure on tripod; unprocessed image, but I note that one loses a LOT of detail in the posted astrophotos like this, vs. the original image.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 Days Ago  
need advise on a good cheap lens for nature pictures.
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 24
Views: 1,130
I don't have the f/4.5-5.6 version, but I have the F 100-300mm f/4.7-5.8 version (which is supposed to be somewhat better, as per reviews at this forum).
Nonetheless, below is a close-up crop screenshot of a photo that I took a couple months ago of a red-tailed hawk with my K10D camera and that lens at 300mm and f/5.8, hand-held. It is an excellent lens optically, despite its plasticky looks and feel, for a long-range zoom. In the original image, I can see lots of detail in the beak and feathers, even though I missed perfect focus by just a bit (the bird flew away before I had time to get a tripod out).

I also have one of the early Vivitar 1 series 70-210mm lenses, and it also has relatively sharp optics and a much better build than the 100-300mm lens (though zoom creep is bad), and as a zoom lens it is much easier to zoom quickly and easier to manual focus than is the F 100-300mm lens -- although its reach at 210mm is not so far.



Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-12-2020, 07:24 PM  
Challenging the APS-C Flagship Series
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 217
Views: 7,995
If you read all four "volumes" of the design postings at the Ricoh/Pentax website cited above, by Shigeru Wakashiro (who is "in charge of the planning and development of new PENTAX digital SLR camera products"), you'll see that there is a great emphasis on the newly designed viewfinder with "high-refraction glass material, in order to develop a new viewfinder with improved viewing performance" (Vol. 1) that also has an eye sensor to turn off the LCD screen automatically when you get near the eyepiece (Vol. 2). Volume 2 also makes big mention of moving the eyepiece 3 mm further outward (compared to the K-3 II) so that the nose isn't pressed so much into the back of the camera -- again emphasizing use of the viewfinder and not the LCD screen with LiveView. In the installment titled "Volume 3", Wakashiro writes "We believe in boosting the excitement and pleasure of capturing images through the use of an optical viewfinder — we want you to directly observe, experience and feel the actual light streaming through the viewfinder". This is in addition to what was discussed about this article above in this forum thread (namely, the bit about saving space in the camera body), and it is all about continuing the theme that the Pentax DSLR philosophy (at least in this particular camera, but really in general) is different from its competitors in this regard -- as I see it very clearly spelled out by Wakashiro on behalf of his company. Volume 4 is about ergonomics of the new camera, and he writes "The joystick positioned on the camera’s back panel is the focus point lever", though he's rather vague about this "joystick"; yet, the idea is about the "joy" of photography, and a video screen is clearly seen in the Pentax design philosophy as not contributing to the "joy" of taking photographs, whereas looking through the viewfinder does give the emotional element of "joy", in their thinking of what photographers like about their cameras (over Sony or Canon or Nikon or Fuji, etc.). They design buttons and dials so that you don't have to use the LCD screen if you don't want to; you can keep your eye looking through the viewfinder and make changes on the fly by the well-designed layout of buttons/dials around the camera body. I like my Pentax cameras to function well without needing to resort to the large rear LCD screen very often. I tend to turn off my rear LCD screen and leave it off all the time, as I really don't need it except to review photos that I've just taken, or the more rare times when I need to access/change a menu option that isn't already set the way that I want it in one of my user modes.

This is all about a DSLR not being overly computerized and video-ized -- about it not being so focused on a video screen (and, by default, a touchscreen). The clear Pentax design philosophy in place now and in place for a hundred years is on the use of the viewfinder first and foremost, and there is a clear refrain from emphasizing the digital LCD screen -- like it or not (and I do like it). I have not seen any Pentax mention that the APS-C K-new will have a touchscreen; I'd like to be pointed to such news if it has been announced. I, for one, do not want a touchscreen in my DSLR and will not use it if there; I don't need another digital screen in my life to smudge up and be dependent upon (though I can understand that people with bad eyes might be aided by that). I abhor the touchscreens in cars, and vastly prefer buttons and dials that I can access and turn without looking (i.e., handling controls by feel where I don't have to take my eyes off the road). The only place that I really like touchscreens is on my iPhones, simply because they are small and it's more logical there than anywhere else in the world. I don't yet have a camera with a tilt screen, but I know that it might come in handy when I'm doing tripod work (and only then, really). I do understand the rationale for people thinking that touchscreens and tilt screens are important to bring in (especially younger) non-Pentax people to buying Pentax cameras for the first time in today's world, but clearly Ricoh/Pentax feels that this is not so important, and I, for one, and quite happy with what they have produced in the last 10-15 years in DSLRs.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-10-2020, 11:43 AM  
New Pentax KP vs. used Nikon D800
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 60
Views: 2,550
Yeah, I was wondering about that... Makes a lot of sense. But not enough for me to go buying more Nikon lenses. :)

---------- Post added 10-10-20 at 11:48 AM ----------



You make lots of good arguments for the KP. I suppose that the Prime IV processor means that it takes less time to buffer images and put onto SD cards? I'll say this about the large LCD screens on the back of DSLRs: I don't much care for them except to quickly view the image that I just took. I generally keep them turned off when I'm photographing except to look at photos taken. Most adjustments in menus are done when I'm not photographing but rather fiddling with the camera when sitting at home, and I look at the exposure data/numbers through the view finder most of the time (or using the top-side LCD screen if I'm using a tripod).
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-09-2020, 01:15 PM  
Challenging the APS-C Flagship Series
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 217
Views: 7,995
Yes, I understand, and I'm eager to get the K-1 II and check out its tilt screen, which will be my first such experience. When I know that I may need a fill-in flash, I'll just grab my K10D, which still makes fine photos for most purposes despite its 10-Mpx sensor (and considering that most of my need for a fill-in flash will be more informal photos, anyway). I just wouldn't put either fill-in flash or tilt screen as a priority over things like dual-card slots (i.e., better storage capacity) or a better sensor or longer battery life or GPS/Astrotracer, etc. Every photographer has his/her personal priorities, and it's good to have choices.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-09-2020, 12:42 PM  
New Pentax KP vs. used Nikon D800
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 60
Views: 2,550
I have not had this problem with my 13-year-old K10D, I'm happy to say. But it stands to reason that all DSLRs will have problems as the years go buy, just like our aging computers and smartphones (and automobiles with computer electronics) do -- compared to the film-era cameras, where sticky mirrors were the main thing giving problems over decades (and I've never even experienced that). My K1000 camera from ca. 1981 and my LX camera from the 1990s still work as well as the day they were bought new. Thankfully, my other Pentax cameras do, as well, but I would not count on any of my DSLRs lasting more than 10-15 years without problems concerning the computer/digital components. It's hard to beat my LX for utility, which can operate fully mechanically with no battery; it's the ultimate camera to go out for weeks on the Appalachian Trail.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-09-2020, 11:20 AM  
Challenging the APS-C Flagship Series
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 217
Views: 7,995
Understood. But two of my last three DSLR camera purchases have come without built-in flash, as other features are more important to me. And there's probably the effect of my having spent the first two decades of my SLR photography experiences using film cameras (including the Pentax 6x7) with no built-in flash. When I need a quick photo that needs fill-in flash nowadays and I don't have my DSLR camera with built-in or mounted flash available, I'll just use my 12-Mpx iPhone camera that's always with me anyway.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-09-2020, 11:11 AM  
New Pentax KP vs. used Nikon D800
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 60
Views: 2,550
(1) dual card slots (thus, much more storage capacity); (2) GPS and Astrotracer built in; (3) much better battery life (720 vs. 390 shots); (4) faster continuous shooting speed (and better buffering); (5) bigger LCD screen with better resolution; (6) uses same cable release as all other Pentax digital cameras (K70 and KP do not); (7) has a flash synch port; (8) no anti-alias filter, increasing sharpness; (9) presence of LCD screen on top of camera. My K-3 II autofocuses really well in low light. I doubt that the image quality is very different between the two
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-09-2020, 09:47 AM  
New Pentax KP vs. used Nikon D800
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 60
Views: 2,550
The poster's question of a new KP vs. a used D800 was a little surprising to me. I don't have a KP, but I have two Pentax K-3 II cameras and also a Nikon D800 camera that I bought used off eBay from Japan. My D800 came to me in mint condition with only about 1400 shutter releases and for about USD $750 (not including tax but with free shipping). I've been a Pentax user for about 40 years and a Nikon F4 film shooter for about 20 years. My Nikon lens collection is small, and I've not acquired another Nikon lens in a couple of decades, nor do I ever plan to. I bought the D800 to augment my teaching videos for YouTube primarily, using my existing lens equipment, and to experiment some with 36-Mpx images in my plans to buy a K-1 II. From somebody who uses primarily Pentax cameras, I find the layout of the D800 to be frustrating and not as intuitive (despite my long owning an F4). The D800 is a large and heavy camera, much more so than even my K-3 II cameras (they are also heavy but smaller). My D800 is spending most of its working life on a tripod, whether video or still photography. For walking around and hiking hand-held photography, it'll always be Pentax for me. I guess my question is: "why new KP vs. used D800" because I would go for a mint, low-shutter-count K-3 II over a KP anyday, as it is superior in many ways, and the K-3 II is a much more apt comparison to the D800. I went from a K10D to a K-3 II, and liked the latter so much that I bought a second one as a back-up. Like the K-3 II, the D800 has two storage-card slots -- but instead of two SD card slots on the K-3 II, the D800 has one for the three types of standard UHS-1 SD cards plus the much-larger type-I CompactFlash card slot for much larger file storage, which can be a huge plus for video. The battery life on the K-3 II and D800 is much better than on the KP. And I must say that I find generally that the automatic metering in my D800 gives consistently better exposures than do my Pentax DSLRs, so there's generally less need to bracket exposures (or change EV compensation), in my experience, when I really "need" to get this particular photo or that.

As for the D800, yes, the 36-Mpx sensor is excellent. Is it that much better than a 24-Mpx sensor on a Pentax? (I'm not considering the K-1 II here, as it wasn't posted in the original question, presumably because of cost.) It depends on what you're going to do with the camera, but for most people I'd think not. As for buffering and download times, I have zero problems with my D800 shooting RAW files, but I notice that on my iMac computer, it takes a bit longer to open the larger D800 files than my K-3 II RAW files. You should have a top-notch computer with lots of memory and storage space for dealing with 36-Mpx files. When I do long astrophotos, my D800 is much quicker at buffering the photos to the card than are my Pentax DSLRs. Funnily enough, I find that the autofocus on my D800 with a Nikkor AF 35-70mm f/2.8 lens is not really better than using, say, my DA 20-40mm f/2.8-4 lens on my K-3 II. With two Nikon autofocus SLR cameras and four autofocus Pentax SLR cameras, I would say that Nikon is over-rated in autofocus and Pentax is under-rated. The continuous shutter speed is slow (3 fps) on the D800, due to the combination of it having the larger processor with the larger sensor and to the 2012 technology -- for people who care about such things (I don't). One thing I found surprising, and that it has in common with the KP (but not with the K-3 II), is that the D800 has a built-in flash; the D800 has no built-in GPS but has a port for an optional GPS.

And with my D800, I get frustrated in that the menus and buttons are often two steps (or more) vs. one step in my K-3 II. There's no hyper-manual option in my D800, for example. And the D800 doesn't have a convenient way to quickly access custom-user settings (like the U1, U2, U3 wheel settings on m K-3 II). The Nikon lenses have frustrating quirks that my Pentax lenses don't have; for example, the Nikkor AF 35-70mm f/2.8 lens has a finicky aperture-lock switch that you set with the aperture ring at f/22 (no "A" setting that is so much more practical in Pentax lenses), and I can't use the lens for aperture priority or shutter priority without that switch being set (and it's really hard to set). For me, I'd never consider getting the D800 if I didn't already have the F4 and my small Nikkor lens collection; but it's a useful camera to me in specific ways, and it is built like a tank (as is my F4, and numerous Pentax cameras too). I strongly considered the Nikon D600, D610, and D750 cameras before getting the D800, and my elimination of the first three models was because of the huge, pervasive, well-known quality-control issues that plague Nikon's manufacturing of cameras (oil droplets on sensor; focusing-defect issues, etc.); beware that the D800 is also known to have the left-side focusing problem, and Nikon has just stopped their free fixing of the problem. Final advice: if you don't already have Nikon lenses, don't start buying Nikon cameras; Pentax is much better as well as cheaper, and there are great older (film-era), used Pentax lenses of all kinds that can be used just fine on today's Pentax DSLRs (so the argument that Nikon has more and better lenses to choose from is not a proper argument). If you're looking for better video than you can get with a Pentax camera, buy a video camera, not a new DSLR system with video built in.

The original poster can also check this out: https://cameradecision.com/compare/Pentax-KP-vs-Nikon-D800
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-08-2020, 09:11 PM  
Challenging the APS-C Flagship Series
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 217
Views: 7,995
I'm confused by why so many people want built-in flash in a DSLR. Built-in flash is just inherently inferior flash, and with the ability to increase ISO so easily in new cameras without that much degradation in image quality down to ISO 1600, anyway, without the annoying (to subjects) having a flash go off in their eyes, I don't understand why people don't just take indoor and low-light photos by default without flash (as I almost always do). On my cameras with built-in flash, I've used it so rarely as to be essentially unnecessary. On my K-3 II, I never miss not having a built-in flash, and indeed I rarely ever use a flash on my iPhone when taking photos. I understand that the general public may not understand that built-in flash is unnecessary, and therein may lie a big problem, but education can be good. You have less-harsh shadows with zero built-in flash also. Yes, it can help in daylight conditions where the subject is in shade with a bright background, but I find ways around that, too.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-01-2020, 02:17 PM  
Challenging the APS-C Flagship Series
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 217
Views: 7,995
My main curiosity is why Pentax/Ricoh stopped making their flagship APS-C camera, the K-3 II, and are only manufacturing a lesser model (the KP) currently that lacks some of the key K-3 II features (no dual-card slot, no standard GPS, less battery life, etc.). Is it because of the presence of the K-1 II and the fact that Pentax is a shrinking company? I don't see how Pentax can improve upon the K-3 II in their forthcoming APS-C camera unless they retain all the features of the K-3 II and add a better sensor with smaller pixel sizes (with, say, 26, 28, or 30 Mpx, or even more) and thus better resolution. Nothing that Pentax has been revealing in bits about the new APS-C camera sounds that much better than what's already in the K-3 II. Of more interest to me is whether they are working on a K-1 III that may have smaller pixel sizes, for example.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-25-2020, 04:55 AM  
Post your medium format photos!
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 15,218
Views: 2,544,099
How do you get a dark sky with star trails like that in such a light-polluted area?!
Forum: General Photography 09-23-2020, 07:47 PM  
Our Japanese EBay sellers
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 19
Views: 2,586
One of the things I've noticed in spending a long time looking at, and buying, Pentax camera equipment off Ebay is that the Japanese are usually much more complete and professional in posting what they sell. American sellers are often very sloppy, very brief, and show way too few photos. I find that I often have to ask numerous questions of American sellers before I can even consider whether what they are selling is of any interest or use to me, whereas the Japanese, with all their many photos and careful wordings, leaves little to ask. The other thing I've noticed is that American sellers' camera equipment on Ebay frequently appears in much worse shape than the same equipment being sold from Japan. Lenses and cameras look to have been put much more through the mill in what's sold by many American sellers. My take from this is that Japanese photographers just take much better care of their camera equipment than do Americans, generally, and I therefore am much more prone to buy from Japanese sellers, and less prone to even consider the camera equipment sold by American sellers -- especially when it comes to digital cameras (but also to a lesser extent to other camera equipment).
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-23-2020, 03:17 PM  
Supposed world marketshare of digital cameras in 2019 stats
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 45
Views: 1,970
The only SLR type of camera system that I've used in the past 40 years besides Pentax is Nikon, that being film (I own the fabulous F4).
I have long looked at getting a Nikon DSLR for two reasons: I don't need to buy any new Nikon lenses, and I'd like to do some FF digital imaging and video with what Nikon stuff I have (I do have some good lenses, but I'm only shooting film with my Pentax LX these days). With that background, I'll say that I was very patient about finding a mint Nikon DSLR off Ebay with low shutter count for relatively little money, and I watched for some time while doing my research, and I won't even consider an APS-C Nikon. The problem is that the FF Nikon DSLRs all have well-known manufacturing defects and recalls (the D600, D610, D750, D800E are the ones you can find in mint condition for $1000 or less). Indeed, one of the serious issues is a defective AF sensor (I think it's in the D750 but also the D800), which really undercuts Nikon's claim to being a great AF camera. I hear a lot of Nikon DSLRs needing new shutters, well before the claimed lifetime of their shutters [ https://petapixel.com/2017/07/14/nikon-recalls-d750-third-time-shutter-issue/ ]. The one with the fewest problems (oil on sensor; shutter issues) is the D800E, and that's still quite an expensive DSLR in mint condition (generally around USD $1000), even though it came out eight years ago and its technology is somewhat dated. I don't follow Canon, but those pros who look at these cameras may well be put off by the quality-control issues in the manufacturing of Nikon DSLRs in the last decade, which are fairly serious.. Meanwhile, I have never had a problem with any of my Pentax cameras breaking or failing in the slightest manner (other than needing new batteries) in four decades of using Pentax equipment.

Furthermore, you don't see commercials on TV for DSLRs, but when you do see commercials and ads for the parent companies, you see Sony or Canon, and not really any of the other DSLR makers very much. Name recognition is big amongst the general public, even if not such a big deal amongst serious photographers

Smartphones, starting with the fabulous iPhone (current models have a 12-Mpx camera sensor, and my 2017 SE has a 29-mm f/2.2 lens), have really been destroying the DSLR [ The State of the Camera Industry (Stats Report) ... https://photographylife.com/smartphone-vs-camera-industry ]. Indeed, everybody having a smartphone with camera made in the last decade is much more attuned to using digital viewing screens (mirrorless), so the sheer prevalence in the general public of these smartphones with decent cameras means that younger potential camera buyers are less likely to go to the more-unfamiliar DSLR route. All of the big DSLR makers (Pentax/Ricoh included) depend on other non-DSLR equipment sales for the vast majority of their sales [ Japanese camera companies fight for survival in the Smartphone era ]. Just last year did mirrorless camera sales pass DSLR sales, and the last stats I could find have them still close to 50-50. Sony has passed Canon in mirrorless camera sales [ Sony wins mirrorless race, beating Canon and Nikon for 2019 full-frame sales | Digital Camera World ].
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-16-2020, 08:27 PM  
Portrait Lens Length
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 39
Views: 2,391
The original post of this thread talked about family group shots, and just "group shots". I have a lot of experience both being in large group photographs and taking photos of large groups (family reunions; professional conference group shots of all participants) that can number dozens of people -- usually outdoors but occasionally indoors in a hotel lobby or conference room or church hall. The biggest problem with such photographs is lighting (something you have little control over, whether outdoors or in a big hall, so flash is out) and resolution of faces. I have seen many many group photos be of limited value because resolution is so poor and photos often can't be blown up much in size as a result. For indoor shots, you want a high-resolution fast lens, generally, such as the FA 50-mm f/1.4 or FA 35-mm f/2 AL, depending on the size of the group. The wider you go in a lens (i.e., smaller focal length), the poorer your resolution will be, generally, so you have to balance distance of camera with the size of the group. Generally such groups will only be together for a couple of minutes, as people get restless, so you have to be quick to decide which lens to use, often spur-of-the-moment because you may not know how many people will be in the photo in advance nor how spread out they will be (yes, you can try to do some orchestrating to get "stragglers" closer in). For this reason, a sharp zoom lens might be good, such as the DA 20-40mm lens, though I'd suggest more of a FF camera for better-resolution photos, and perhaps others can recommend a decent zoom lens for this sort of thing (maybe 24-70mm f/2.8 DFA?)...
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-13-2020, 06:10 PM  
New user
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 8
Views: 402
The K-1 II is quite a camera for just getting into photography! But also one of the best cameras ever made. The nice thing about it, as you already know, is that you can let the camera do most/all of the work for you in "green" or "program (P)" mode, and gradually over time learn all of the many neat features that can help you develop your photography in very fun ways. Your two zoom lenses are also good, covering lots of range for most real-world purposes. What I like about the Pentax digital SLR cameras is the "hyper-manual" mode, and I do most of my photography in Manual mode, pushing the green button to get close to correct exposure but allowing me to choose my aperture and shutter speed as I wish -- and the special User modes, where I have a setting to Manual mode with +/- 1 stop exposure so that I'll take three shots in quick succession, and I have the metering set a certain way (say, spot, or center-weighted). These days I usually shoot in one of my three User modes and find them to be really good ways to quickly get the good shots that I want, depending on the situation that I'm in.

My advice is just to read what others here have to say about the K-1 II camera, and there are some good instructional videos on YouTube that also help explain most of the features in the K-1 II. The Pentax manuals aren't the best and can be downright confusing at times, and leave lots of stuff out. One thing missing from the Ricoh website and the K-1 II manual is that the physical cable release switch for the K-1 II is the CS-205 (and not the CS-310 used for the two APS-C Pentax cameras currently in production, the K70 and the KP). I'm sure that your photos are already superb with this camera, and that it is a lot of fun for you, and that you'll be hooked for a long time to come. (I don't yet have a K-1 II, but I'm planning to buy one soon, as it's been in my sights for a while now. And I've done tons of research on it.)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-13-2020, 05:49 PM  
Which Pentax lens do you most enjoy showing off to friends?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 76
Views: 4,115
I'm the opposite: I don't like to draw attention to my camera equipment, and I often will not bring a lens to a certain situation because I feel that it might draw too much attention. So I would couch my answer in two ways: (1) the lens that I'm most "embarrassed" to have in public, and (2) the lens that I personally find the most attractive to me (not necessarily to anybody else). So my answers might be (1) smc 500-mm f/4.5 and (2) smc 200-mm f/2.5. That said, I agree with numerous posters to this thread that my DA 20-40mm lens is very attractive.
Forum: General Photography 09-10-2020, 04:15 PM  
Any Pentaxian's experience with Optics Planet?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 7
Views: 723
The only reason why I looked at Optics Planet is that they listed 10 (yes, ten!) new K-3 II cameras for sale on Ebay, and on their own website they list the price as $999. I was astounded at this because the K-3 II has not been in production for, what, two years now? And no other retailer seems to be selling new K-3 II cameras. So I got a couple of replies from Optics Planet but they still haven't explained (when they say "body only") if they are boxed with all original items from the factory and if they are indeed brand new. Seemed pretty sketchy to me, so I did some Google searches for complaints on Optics Planet (found plenty), although they have a 99% positive rate on Ebay (and I read through a bunch of the positive comments on Ebay from buyers). Thus confused, I launched this thread here on Pentax Forums to see what people here might have experienced. I think I'll stay far away. It seems to me that if somebody wanted to buy camera equipment from Optics Planet, they should try to do so via Ebay, to get that extra layer of protection provided by Ebay.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 09-10-2020, 10:35 AM  
Should Pentax Focus Their Limited R&D Resources On "Stills" Cameras?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 43
Views: 1,977
I pretty much agree with this. However, cellphone cameras like iPhone get a lot of sales in part because of their 12-megapixel cameras plus video capability -- which the average person uses a LOT. But in a DSLR, the video really only is important (to me) if I'm going to do an instructional video to post online -- and what's in the recent Pentax cameras are plenty sufficient for that. If I need more, I'll turn to a video-only camera (and my iPhone is plenty fine for most casual videos, not to mention small and easy to handle, despite its obvious limitations).
Forum: General Photography 09-09-2020, 02:39 PM  
Any Pentaxian's experience with Optics Planet?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 7
Views: 723
Does anybody here have experience buying cameras or lenses from Optics Planet, which seems to be primarily a hunting store (but which also owns Apogee, an astronomy camera company)? They do seem to have a large line of Pentax equipment listed for sale, and I see that Pentax Forums lists them as an official Ricoh/Pentax product seller. Their product web pages seem very minimal, and I've read lots of complaints about them online. Just wondering if anybody on this Forum has experiences in buying from Optics Planet, good or bad?
Forum: Site Suggestions and Help 09-08-2020, 11:45 AM  
I can't post photos to Pentax Forums... why not?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 16
Views: 650
Yeah, the blocking thing doesn't seem to be the problem since I was able to post photos to my first review. Anyway, I'm fine -- just cut-and-pasted the link from my first review into my other lens reviews and edited the photo numbers. We're good. Thanks for reaching out.
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