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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 Day Ago  
Soligor 450mm F8 - Moon Shot
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 4
Views: 336
Nice one. What were your settings?

If you took a pile of them you may want to play a bit with stacking them and see what you can then bring out using RegiStax wavelet editing.
At $20 almost any lens is worth playing around with. This reminds me that I should bust out that cheap teleastanar 400mm f/6.3 I picked up for $25 at a pawn shop a couple years ago and shoot the moon with it as I have mostly ignored it. My technique and ability in shooting the moon has improved substantially in the time so it might be fun to use.
Forum: Contest Voting 02-08-2019, 08:44 AM  
London eye and the nearby building
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 11
Views: 113
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Contest Voting 02-08-2019, 08:43 AM  
finding my inner tulip
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 31
Views: 218
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Contest Voting 02-08-2019, 08:38 AM  
Contrasting Colors
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 7
Views: 87
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Contest Voting 02-08-2019, 08:38 AM  
Green
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 31
Views: 217
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Contest Voting 02-08-2019, 08:37 AM  
gaudy bird
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 24
Views: 217
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: General Photography 02-06-2019, 08:22 AM  
AI in Photography - Trick or Treat?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 16
Views: 611
Probably or maybe. With computers and software all it really takes is one good breakthrough and there can be a very rapid advancement. Sometimes after an initial period things don't move much while others there is rapid improvement. AI is one of those areas where it will languish for years then a development will happen, mostly around artificial neural networks, and there will be a flurry of new promising applications and money thrown at it with good results. Then after a few years there isn't the big advancement and things languish for a another decade. We are currently in a boom cycle that has lasted longer than most previous ones because graphics cards are rapidly improving allowing larger more complex networks than would other wise be possible.
Forum: General Photography 02-05-2019, 08:21 AM  
AI in Photography - Trick or Treat?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 16
Views: 611
Probably, but then I suck at retouching photos.

In all seriousness it will likely become another tool that has a proper place and produces good results when used correctly in the right circumstances. However it will likely become something that is put into an app for selfies and used by people who post to instagram where it makes them look more like an inflatable doll than the current set of "smart" edits that are done do.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-05-2019, 08:11 AM  
Landscape How could this be improved
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 7
Views: 318
Those were some other trees either birch or aspens I forget which, even in the original they are fain but I could have pull them up but they were just a distraction.


This was actually pretty difficult to frame. If I went any farther to the right I would get the farmer's drive way and eventually the house. Backing up more wasn't an option either as I would have had to climb over the freeway barrier that was behind me. Having more on the left would have put more of the dirty snow from the plow in the lower left and eventually I would have gotten the road in it. About the only other framing I could have done would be to shoot higher with the tree lower which would have allowed me some more room on the left and right to play with.

Many have mentioned cloning out the the foot prints which was the one thing I had though of doing but didn't. Basically because I'm still stuck in the mind set of the film world what you shoot is what you get so make it count, and also because my Photoshop abilities suck and it would look like a real hack job.



I wanted wider and could have gotten a bit more had I placed the tree lower in the frame but not a lot wider. This was taken with my widest lens and I went there a few days earlier having narrower ones and got to find out that I needed more as even with my 28mm on in portrait orientation couldn't fit the tree. I even went to frontage road on the other side of the freeway to see if I could shoot it from over there but there was no clear line of sight to it. I will make another attempt at the tree next year and will probably do a stitched panorama. I don't know if the image composition editor ability in the K-3 will be enough or if I will have to actually rotate the camera on the tripod which I really don't want to do with that fisheye and all the distortion it has.



Not at all. I wanted feedback and a picture is worth a thousand words. That is more the framing I wanted but it doesn't exist. Thankfully it is a dark enough scene where a program like MS ICE could probably do a good job of faking the framing and then paper over with some clever photoshop work.

Thanks everyone for the comments. I now have some ideas on how I can play with this image and some skills that I can work on developing. Also I will now have to go shoot it again next winter and also consider shooting panoramas to stitch more often even if they aren't huge panoramas. I have another scene in mind that I want to shoot this winter where I will face similar framing difficulties so this also helps. Now if I can figure out how to get to that blue barn I can take that picture. I really need to take more pictures of a subject with digital as it only costs me some electrons and a trivial amount of space on the NAS.
Forum: Photo Critique 02-04-2019, 12:32 PM  
Landscape How could this be improved
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 7
Views: 318
This was my submission for the past months photo contest and I am curious as to what could have been done to improve it. I did some mild edits like cropping the pile of dirty snow from the plow out, an unsharp mask (7%, radius 250) to add a bit of pop and remove some of the humidity, and a curve to accentuate the light fall off from the tree. The tree is illuminated with about 45,000 white LEDs which do have blue cast but it seems to work for this picture.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 01-30-2019, 08:30 AM  
End the Megapixel War! 100 MP: Is it a mistake?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 48
Views: 2,308
For most people very rarely is gear the limiting factor in the quality of their shots. Granted there are times when gear is the actual solution but more often than not it isn't even if they think it is. I have a few problems where the solution is throwing gear at it but those are very specific cases and some day I will eventually throw some gear at them. Until then I will keep dreaming about an A* 400mm f/2.8 to use for astro photography.

A large print of a properly taken picture (good exposure, good focus, non garbage glass) will cure a lot of people's fretting about things like pixel count and noise. One of my friends wanted some large prints of some of my flower pictures for their new house and by large I mean 20"x30". Two of the pictures were taken with my K-3 and one was taken with my Spormatic F with Kodak Ektar and the prints came out wonderful.

I even stumble into some really nice photos with some sub par gear at times. The most recent was of the cub master's daughter at fall camp who I snapped a picture of just before telling her to get off the fence at camp. I shot that later in the afternoon near sunset (sun below the treeline but still not set) at ISO 3200, f/8, at 300mm, and I forget what shutter speed. The lens was my cheap 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 tamron superzoom beater. Nailed the focus (as much as that lens can as I haven't found a tack sharp zoom spot), great framing, good subject isolation, good light. Gave them the picture and they like it more than the the pro shot they had done a few weeks later for family photos. Toss in some post processing to clean up a few things (a bit of clarity and unshap mask to make up for the softness of the lens, some noise reduction, tweak the white balance, blur the background a bit more to clean up the noise there some more) and it turned out great.

At 3000mm 35mm equivalent one really needs to know what they are doing and use a tripod as I wouldn't bother trying to handhold a shot at that length unless I had a shutter speed faster than 1/4000s. Even with my 300mm f/4 on the K-3 with image stabilization it takes some effort to hand hold it and not get a garbage picture as I still need to ensure that the shutter speed doesn't get too low, especially since I usually shoot that lens hand held at f/8 to paper over slight missed focuses from the narrow DoF at close distances. On a tripod that lens is a different monster.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 01-28-2019, 05:01 PM  
End the Megapixel War! 100 MP: Is it a mistake?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 48
Views: 2,308
Given the smaller pixel pitch of the K-3, K-3ii and KP compared to the K-1ii it seems that the problem is likely not the lens as a smaller pixel pitch has higher lens sharpness requirements to make use of those densely packed pixels. If the K-1ii had the same pixel pitch as the K-3 you would be dealing with a 54MP sensor not the 36MP sensor it has. The K-3ii, KP and all of the current APS-C sensors become diffraction limited at around f/3.5 to f/4 so if you are stopping down more than that physics is getting in your way. Now you may get sharper images by going higher until you hit the sweet spot of the lens but even there you will be unable to utilize that density of pixels fully. Now software can solve some of the softness from diffraction so you should be good up to some where between f/8 and f/11. There are other tricks one can do to increase the resolution like doing super resolution manually or making use of pixel shift but they aren't miracle workers and physics still puts hard limits in place no matter how clever you are.


This may be the cause of the apparent lack of sharpness. Try shooting with a fixed target at the same distance with your KP and K-1ii at the same f-stop and ISO both focused in magnified live view using the same lens on both cameras.


This is probably the real cause of the issue. While I have mostly really old lenses (old screw mount ones), I know how how to use them and where they are at their best having stopped primarily using film only about 16 months ago. Even ones that are less than stellar for sharpness like the S-M-C 17mm fisheye takumar can produce very good results if used in their sweet spot like this image I shot in December or this one I shot with it last summer. I have a couple of cheap lower end film era k-mount zooms that kind of suck and are lacking in the resolving power but I got them as beater lenses for times when I want to take pictures but not risk a nice lens and not have to change lenses. I call these lenses my cub scout lenses since I mostly use them at scouting events and if it gets broken or damaged it isn't the end of the world.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 01-25-2019, 09:29 AM  
End the Megapixel War! 100 MP: Is it a mistake?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 48
Views: 2,308
Well last summer Sony announced their 48MP sensor for cellphones and the pixel pitch there is already very close to the bottom end of red, pixel pitch of 800nm and the bottom of the red spectrum is around 700nm. That sensor's size is 6.4 x 4.8 mm so if it were scaled up to full frame (about 5x crop factor so 25 time the pixels) it would be about a 1.2GP sensor. Thinking realistically is that worth wile? For some people yes but only if one cares about pixel count. You are going to be running into lots of issues designing lenses that are sharp enough and wide open enough (I think you need to be open to about f/.6 or more to not be diffraction limited) to fully resolve that many pixels without making stuff up.

If one looks at a sensor like the one in the K-3 at 24MP and a pixel pitch of 3910nm at about f/3.5 to f/4 one starts to become diffraction limited. This is a substantially higher value than what is needed with that 48MP Sony mobile sensor. Granted since we aren't dealing with ideal lenses there is often additional resolving power to be had beyond that f-stop and software can sharpen away about another 2 stops worth of diffraction without issue so one can get very good results up to about f/8 or even f/11. The same would apply to that 48MP cellphone sensor except that would mean that good results could be achieved on something like an ideal f/1.8 lens. So give me sensors with a pixel pitch equal to that of the K-3 (or there about) and just make them in bigger formats since we are able to operate at usable f-stops. Given that, something around 50MP on full frame seems pretty ideal, and on a full sized 645 format sensor around 100MP would seem ideal. Let the cellphone people chase silly stupid pixel densities.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-23-2019, 12:06 PM  
Vertical lines on landscape pictures
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 18
Views: 953
I see them too on my monitors at work. I have a feeling I won't see them on one of my monitors at home (the one that is really needs to be calibrated, or it might make them super apparent) and will on the other that is pretty close to being correct.

My first guess as to what the problem would be is that is it was something weird going on with the demosaicing process but you said those were shot as jpgs so I would blame the sensor at this point.
Forum: Photo Critique 01-23-2019, 11:33 AM  
Night Out of Focus - Blood Moon
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 37
Views: 1,179
If I am thinking correct the moon moves a bit slower across the sky than the stars do by about 4% or so but for most things that doesn't matter much. A 20 second exposure for stars with 300mm on a 2x teleconverter would show a lot of trailing. Generally when shooting stars people follow the rule of 500 (full frame) or rule of 300 (APS-C) to avoid having visible star trails. To get point stars going to the rule of 400(full frame) or 200(APS-C) will produce much better results. Since the moon's movement across the sky isn't that different from the stars these work well enough if one isn't using an equatorial to track for a long span of time. Basically these rules are (Number)/(focal length)=Max shutter length.

Using the rule of 300 that 600mm (300mm plus the 2x converter) would mean that the maximum exposure one could use to get a fairly sharp image would be .5 seconds and going to the rule of 200 would mean an exposure of up to .3 seconds would produce a nice sharp image. I got fairly good results using a 300mm f/4 lens stopped down to f/5, at .5s and ISO 1250 (I think that is what I was using)

If you have a pile of images of it in totality I would almost suggest stacking them in a tool like Autostakkert, RegiStax, or even photoshop and then using the wavelet feature in RegiStax to bring out the detail. You may be pleased with the results although if you haven't worked with wavelets before there is a learning curve to understand them. I am having to do that with my shots as I got to shoot through high level clouds and with the one I finished last night was fairly pleased with what I managed to pull out.

So at 2 seconds there is some motion blur from the moon moving. The 2x converter on a long zoom lens isn't helping much either. If the lens was set at f/8 then the 2x converter means you were really shooting at f/16. Add in that the zoom at the long end may not have super sharp to begin with and the converter only magnified that unsharpness.

As far as other pictures looking like they are slightly backfocused on the moon that is more an artifact of how the moon is illuminated. The depth of field (assuming you focused properly) at that distance will easily engulf the entire moon and everything farther out. You get the appearence of sharpness near the poles and edges because the illumination isn't as flat there as it is as you go towards the middle of the moon. The shadows from the craters create that contrast and depth, which is why moon pics near when the moon is half full look great as there is so much texture.

Frost on the lens barrel isn't an issue if that is only where it is and I frequently get that when I have been out. On the front element it is a problem but a hood will cure most of that and if that isn't enough you can always rubberband some of those air activated hand warmers around the extended hood which will cure it.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-23-2019, 07:15 AM  
Extremely low temperatures : What to expect and how to counter-balance it?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 75
Views: 2,446
Never thought about that but I usually just manually set the aperture using the ring in the belief that the fewer moving cold parts that might get stuck the better.


I might have to try that when I go out hunting next year.
Forum: General Photography 01-23-2019, 06:56 AM  
Super Blood Moon in Seattle???
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 8
Views: 547
Don't know about how the weather was in Seattle but given the number of eclipse pictures I have seen from around the US it looks like it was a fairly clear night most places. Over in the Astrophotography group people have been posting their shots of it in this thread. I still haven't got mine posted as I only managed to get one of the 3 stacked and processed last night. Tonight should be better for getting them finished and posted.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-22-2019, 06:56 AM  
Extremely low temperatures : What to expect and how to counter-balance it?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 75
Views: 2,446
Have fun, please do, and stay warm.
Forum: Photo Critique 01-22-2019, 06:50 AM  
Landscape Is this good or meh?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 15
Views: 866
I think I need to tinker with it some more, crop it, blend the exposures manually and maybe do some other tweaks. It sounds like there might be something salvageable in it that may turn out really nice.

However I am getting out of the mind set of only trying to take great shots like I did with film and am more willing to take a questionable on and see if something comes of it.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-21-2019, 11:46 AM  
Extremely low temperatures : What to expect and how to counter-balance it?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 75
Views: 2,446
They only do that to me when I am out deer hunting up at my lake property, and then only for the first few days. Then they figure out that the giant orange thing in the tree isn't interested in them.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-21-2019, 11:40 AM  
Extremely low temperatures : What to expect and how to counter-balance it?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 75
Views: 2,446
Your wild life is way more patient than the ones in my backyard. The squirrels refuse to hold up their end of the bargain and run off when I open the door to take their picture at the squirrel feeder I put up.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-21-2019, 11:37 AM  
Extremely low temperatures : What to expect and how to counter-balance it?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 75
Views: 2,446
I just put the camera with lens attached in the bottom and roll it up until I get to the top and close the zipper. You don't have to get all the air out, just most of it. Also when going inside as the bag warms the air inside the bag will dry out as it warms up as well. There will be condensation on the outside of the bag that will dry without issue and better condensation on the bag than in the camera or lens.


That is true and having been out in -40 temps with the correct gear it is perfectly comfortable but it does sound way more impressive than it is. I am regularly out in -5F to -15F temps and if moving around it is really surprising how warm one gets. Staying dry and keeping moving does wonders, now if I could only get the cub scouts to understand that. When cutting and splitting wood I can be out in a regular pair of uninsulated bib overalls, a t-shirt, and a pair of steel toe boots when it is only 10F and have sweat running down the face and steam coming off my back, but that is really a lot of activity.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-21-2019, 10:34 AM  
Extremely low temperatures : What to expect and how to counter-balance it?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 75
Views: 2,446
No I mean an actual big ZipLock bag that you can squeeze the air out of of and zip closed like these. I put the camera in there lens attached during the temp change, I figure having the lens and camera be as close in temp is best and this way I'm not havign to fiddle around changing things when it is cold. Last night I just left the fully charged battery in the camera when I put in the bag out in the garage to come down to temp as I didn't think I would be out long enough where I would need a battery change and even if I did I was at home so I could just have gone in and grabbed a fresh battery. I would say leave a battery in the camera when cooling down just so that there is enough power to keep things like the clock and settings but if you will be out for a while have a fresh warm one you can stuff in before you start shooting. Then put the cold one in an inside pocket close to your body so it warms up.



That is why I like the lighter gloves, they have great traction pads on them and can be worn under the mittens without issue. The mittens are there to keep things warm, any manipulation of anything other than the release cable is done with the gloves. This is also why I'm glad I made my own release cable that I can operate in heavy mittens.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-21-2019, 10:11 AM  
Extremely low temperatures : What to expect and how to counter-balance it?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 75
Views: 2,446
Yes they are. My only complaint is that my warmest pair of boots is too warm to wear when it is above 0F (-15C) because my feet will sweat too much and then freeze because the insides of the boots get soaked. I have a good pair of thin warm gloves (60g thinsulate) that I wear under a heavy pair of mittens with flip open tops. I can have the fingers and thumbs out of the mittens if needed and when done flip the top back over the fingers and pull my thumb back in through the hole. The other nice thing is that the outer shell of that hunting gear is wind proof so even a stiff wind it won't suck the heat out. Also I stand out and am easy to find because I am a giant mass of blaze orange.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-21-2019, 09:44 AM  
Extremely low temperatures : What to expect and how to counter-balance it?
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 75
Views: 2,446
Was out last night in conditions not too dissimilar to what you are expecting with my K-3. Shot the eclipse at -8F (-22C) for about 3 hours and didn't have any problems. I started with a fresh battery and got off 447 shots before I gave it up for the night (can't wait to get home and process them to see what I can pull out). I was also using a non weather sealed older 300mm sigma lens. I put the camera with lens in a large ziplock bag and let it come down to temp for a couple of hours in the unheated garage. When I was done shooting I put the camera and lens back in the ziplock bag before heading in after taking the cards out (I wanted to see the results of my effort). There was still battery charge but the top LCD display was only showing one segment and had been for a while so I didn't run it empty.

This wasn't my first time out shooting in conditions like this and apart from stiffer focusing, slower aperture blades, and dramatically shortened battery life the camera is no worse for wear. Just get one of those 2.5 gallon zip lock bags (or what ever size will hold you camera and largest lens) and use those when going out and heading in. When I am out in conditions like that I am usually shooting the sky so I only really need to focus once and then minor checks and adjustments if conditions change. I also will manually set the aperture using the aperture ring so that those are having to move all the time.

As others have said if you aren't prepared for the cold you will do worse than the camera. I go out in my hunting gear when it gets cold like that and have been out when it is in the -35 range (it really doesn't matter C of F at that point) and do just fine but then that hunting gear would probably keep me alive in Antarctica. I've sat still in a tree at -15F (-25C) all day with a good wind and been perfectly warm in that cold weather gear.
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