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Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-31-2010, 08:46 AM  
Travel Rapa Nui - Easter Island
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 5
Views: 1,117
Thanks for the comments! I lean towards cropping a couple of them as well...

Easter Island is an amazing place, and has always been very high on my list of dream destinations, together with places such as Galapagos and Antarctica. For anyone interested in photography going there, I'd recommend trying get a few more days in. Since we spent one day diving, we only had two days to explore the island, and with so much to see, there's little time left to return to places and you're really at the mercy of the weather.

Thomas
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-30-2010, 09:54 AM  
Travel Rapa Nui - Easter Island
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 5
Views: 1,117
My wife and I went to Chile for a three week vacation, visiting many of her relatives, earlier this month. We managed to get some "own time" as well, and jumped on a flight to Easter Island where we spent four days. Words cannot do the place justice, and neither can images, but here's a few shots from there.

The only thing I regret is that we didn't spend more time there. Some of these scenes I would have loved to visit at different times of day and in different weather.

All taken with the K-7 and either the DA15 or the DA35.













And the next one to give you an idea of what else you can do on, or rather below, Rapa Nui... ;) That's my wife on the left and me on the right. The moai is fake, I'm afraid.

Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 09-27-2009, 01:50 PM  
Stockholm Pentaxians Gathering?
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 20
Views: 3,597
I second Tommy's remark. I'm moving during October, so most of the month will be busy for me, or at least up until the last weekend... Weather will be an issue if Waxholm is the venue, but I suppose if someone wants to do a later meetup (early November or something like that), central Stockholm would still be an option... Or you take the chance to shoot sunrises/sunsets - although dragging myself to Waxholm before dawn will be a test of character!

Thomas
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 09-20-2009, 08:22 AM  
Bag for k7 and some small lens
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 16
Views: 4,859
I have a Stealth 100 AW for my K-7, with three DA Limiteds. It's a very nice bag although I'll probably replace the shoulder strap for a Domke one. The downside is the lack of dividers, meaning you'll have to keep the lenses in their bags if you want to prevent them from rubbing against each other. Not a big deal unless you constantly switch back and forth.

It will hold of that gear, too.

Thomas
Forum: Photographic Technique 09-11-2009, 02:42 PM  
Pentax = All Weather.
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 42
Views: 8,475
[Shot from a seriously unfriendly landscape, eg blizzard, pouring monsoon rain etc]

"There is no such thing as bad weather. Only bad cameras.

Pentax
The Any Weather Camera"

Thomas
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 09-11-2009, 02:30 PM  
Stockholm Pentaxians Gathering?
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 20
Views: 3,597
I know I suggested sometime in September but it's starting to look seriously busy for me as well. I'm also aware of the fact that I suggested the bloody thing, but I haven't got a clue when it comes to social groups and stuff like that... Could anyone please sort out a social group for Sweden and we'll take it from there...

If the herring stranglers want to have their own meetup, they're free to do so, otherwise we'd be happy to welcome them to the capital... ;)

Thomas
Forum: Photographic Technique 09-07-2009, 11:48 AM  
Pentax = All Weather.
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 42
Views: 8,475
I'm thinking something along the lines of

"You're tough enough for this. Expect the same from your camera."

or

"Ever missed a shot because your camera was too weak to come?"

or something similar... I like your mockup John, but I think the key is to position it broader than just rain. Nick's shots certainly add one dimension which I think is quite important: cold weather. Pentax should be the TOUGH camera that can handle a bit of abuse and happily keep shooting through it.

I think the direction is great, and hopefully they're listening in... Wish I wasn't swamped with my regular clients or I could spend a little bit more time at it, maybe even involve a creative team at the agency... ;)

Thomas
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-07-2009, 11:20 AM  
Sad but true, quitting Pentax
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 101
Views: 13,955
Why were you even considering the a900 if that's the case? That camera is only about one stop better than the K-7, a stop that's effectively neutralized by the shallower DOF. The D700 is excellent, easily two stops better than the K-7. However, again, given the shallower DOF, you have to stop down one f stop to get the same equivalent DOF, meaning in reality, the camera is only about one stop better than the K-7. That's something the online stat charts forget to mention, and it's definitely not much considering the investment which will easily be twice that of the APS-C camera.

If you're a pro, that extra cost doesn't matter much, but if not it might be worth considering.



Definitely. If getting the gear means you will earn enough extra money (short or long term) to make up for the investment, then by all means it's a good investment.

Thomas
Forum: Photographic Technique 09-03-2009, 04:16 AM  
Pentax = All Weather.
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 42
Views: 8,475
I would honestly focus on "All Weather" rather than reliable. The beauty of communicating ruggedness is that it implicitly states a lot about reliability, while maintaining a more unique spin on it. Also, with the number of old Leicas, Nikons Canons etc still out there, a number of manufacturers could claim reliability.



I have a few ideas on how to do such a campaign... The first thing I would ask of the good people of this forum is to show your best shots from scenic places with horrible conditions. I'm thinking on top of Mt Everest, in the middle of the storm in The Perfect Storm and such...
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-01-2009, 02:17 PM  
The Canon 7D for $1699.
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 71
Views: 10,820
While a lot of people have already commented on the flaws in this logic, I'm surprised no one* has mentioned that Canon releasing the 7D could actually prove good for Pentax as a dedicated APS-C brand.

There's been so much talk about how the entire market is moving towards FF on various forums in the last couple of years, yet the 7D is proof that at least the largest brand in the camera market seems to think that there's still plenty of room for pro spec APS-C cameras! And it's not just a slight upgrade a la the 50D but a completely new design. Plus two new lenses. Nikon, of course, has not only continued to launch new DSLRs, they've also released DX lenses.

So while the a850 is one side of the coin, this is certainly the other. With the manufacturers that really count continuing to support APS-C, Pentax can focus on beating them on aspects of that game.

Thomas

*) I might have missed such a comment, if so my apologies to that person.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-01-2009, 01:35 PM  
Sad but true, quitting Pentax
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 101
Views: 13,955
Both professional testers and users complain about severe vignetting and poor corner sharpness on FX, probably the reason Nikon has finally decided to do an updated version. The fact is it was released (and probably designed) at a time when Nikon didn't have a single FX DSLR in their lineup, and when they probably weren't optimizing lenses for their film cameras anymore.

As for zooms, the killer lens in the Nikon lineup is the 14-24, no other manufacturer has anything that comes even close to its performance. Of course, filters are a bit of an issue with that one. But that's really its only flaw and it's not much of a biggie considering how polarizers perform at such a wide angle. That lens is the only thing I truly miss, having switched from a D700 to the K-7. Sure, the D700 is a low light monster, especially paired with a 1.4 lens, but honestly due to my shooting preferences, I can't say I'll miss many shots by not having that.

I'm just curious as to why the OP has such a strong need for a full frame camera... Maybe he only shoots in extremely low light?

Thomas
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 08-30-2009, 02:18 PM  
Any suggestions for a small bag?
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 15
Views: 3,804
If you want the smallest possible, I suggest ThinkTank's Digital Holster 10. Will hold all of that in a breeze and is very compact and exceptionally well made.

Maker of pro photography equipment - camera bags, digital camera cases: Think Tank Photo

Thomas
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-29-2009, 03:35 PM  
Comparison of pictures from NikonD700 and Pentax K-7
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 27
Views: 4,826
I think this is one of those things that people forget until they're facing it. For some reason, when we talk about DOF, it seems we only focus on the benefits of shallow DOF and subject isolation, never the issues associated with it... With the D700, I had several shots with the 105/2.8 stopped down to f/16 or below with the subject still not being entirely in focus. Very annoying.

Thomas
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-29-2009, 06:12 AM  
Comparison of pictures from NikonD700 and Pentax K-7
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 27
Views: 4,826
I sold my D700 before I got the K-7 so haven't been able to test them head to head. Also, I've only used the K-7 with Ltds and the WR kit zoom, maybe not the fastest lenses in the lineup. But I would say the D700 is slightly faster in locking focus, if only because the K-7 seems to microadjust it after it's acquired it...

DOF is obviously shallower, if that's what you're after but I'd say that goes both ways and actually can erase the noise advantage to a certain degree (ie you have to stop down on the D700 to get the entire subject in focus wherease you can shoot the K-7 more open).

I love the size of the K-7 and consider its advantages to be far more valuable to me than its disadvantages compared to the D700.

Thomas
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-29-2009, 06:04 AM  
K-7 cracks the top 10 in sales
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 39
Views: 8,258
The K-7 is number 9 on one of the biggest Swedish retailers as well. I don't think I've ever seen a Pentax on their list before...

Thomas
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 08-24-2009, 02:10 PM  
Lowepro Primus AW
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 12
Views: 3,042
Exactly like that. It sounds awkward but it actually works really well. I suggest bringing your gear to a store that carries the Flipside and testing it for yourself (what you should do anyway, really).

Thomas
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 08-23-2009, 03:04 AM  
Lowepro Primus AW
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 12
Views: 3,042
Are you aware that the Primus has more space for non camera stuff in the top compartment than for actual camera gear? Also, I've only tried it in store, but didn't fancy the side opening, it was a bit awkward to try to pull the camera from it, and I would be concerned about accidentally dropping the camera.

If you carry a lot of gear, I can recommend the Flipside 400 AW. It's an excellent backpack with lots of space and a decent front compartment for additional (non camera) stuff. You access the equipment from the rear of the backpack, making it safer in crowded places, and as an added bonus this means you can just slide the backpack around and easily take out your camera or switch lenses etc without having to take it off.

The new Lowepro Classified Sling bags look quite excellent as well, if you can live with sling bags (some find them to be hard on the shoulders).

Thomas
Forum: General Talk 08-21-2009, 04:43 PM  
Soooooo, what's in your "reading room"?
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 24
Views: 2,555
National Geographic; and Swedish photo and diving magazines. Understanding Exposure seems to be lying on the table most of the time.

Trying to work up the motivation to plow through Pynchon's Against the Day (just finished V for the second time; that took me a good three months...). A collection of Brautigan novels seems more enticing, as does watching the latest season of Family Guy. Goes better with beer as well.

Thomas
Forum: Photographic Technique 08-21-2009, 04:27 PM  
Pentax = All Weather.
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 42
Views: 8,475
Advertising is only part of the story. If Pentax is going to be the All-Weather Camera Company (that does sound good, doesn't it?) they're going to have to prove that commitment through the product first. Being in advertising, I'm always wary of brands who want to push claims they can't back up 100% - that almost always backfires. There's a lot of half-arsed attempts at driving a certain positioning, and right now you have to wonder why Pentax has launched two WR kit lenses. Are they planning on upgrading their entire range or is it just a gimmick to highlight the AW/WR features of the K-7? I certainly hope it's the former...

I do think that if they are committed, you could do really brilliant advertising without it costing an arm and a leg. I can think of a number of ideas on how to activate such a proposition in both broad media and more viral ways.

John - that's what I felt as well. Hopefully at least someone at Pentax reads these pages...

Thomas
Forum: Photographic Technique 08-21-2009, 11:47 AM  
Pentax = All Weather.
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 42
Views: 8,475
I've been thinking along the same lines. I actually wrote a long-winded, rambling post about that in the thread about Hoya statements and the future of Pentax but not nearly as distinctly as you did in this post.

The thing is, a brand needs to stand for something in consumers' minds, and right now, Pentax (as most camera brands!) doesn't stand for anything special. All-weather is a brilliant, simple and quite compelling position to own. The good thing is that "rugged" means a lot of things besides just where you can bring the camera, it says a lot about reliability, durability and quality. Values now intrinsic to Subaru's brand thanks to their clear positioning.

But yes, just like Subaru, they need to commit 100% to it. Should be fairly easy to update some lenses (10-17, 17-70, 55-300) with weather sealing. The DA Ltds you probably wouldn't have to (they're a different proposition). The 12-24 should really be a DA* (they need a "pro grade" UWA zoom, either that or a version of the Tok 11-16).

However, they need to do the same with their compacts... And they need to bring out accessories that support the claim (look for example at how Olympus has a broad range of underwater housings and accessories that help give an idea of a brand for people who want to bring the camera anywhere).

Thomas
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-20-2009, 01:51 AM  
Hoya Interview.. To make PENTAX turn profit by 2010.
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 181
Views: 35,721
Wet dream. Ricoh compacts + Pentax SLRs FTW. I would love such a collaboration.



Pretty much supports what I said about the constant comments that Pentax needs a FF camera to survive (such claims are hogwash). I don't know if we can expect a long term market share of over 10% for the PEN style cameras, but it's most definitely concrete evidence that there's a market for it.

Reminds me of Nintendo, who everybody thought would be forced out of the console business until they completely disrupted it with the DS and Wii. Now they're outselling Microsoft and Sony combined on a global level IIRC.

So, simple, really. Pentax just needs a very clear position and proposition that caters to a specific niche of camera buyers that are willing to pay a premium for that proposition.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-19-2009, 06:42 PM  
Hoya Interview.. To make PENTAX turn profit by 2010.
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 181
Views: 35,721
On a related note, the E-P1 might well be a good camera (haven't tried it), but what it is first and foremost is a case of great marketing and specifically positioning. By leveraging the heritage of the PEN brand, Olympus is carving out a very nice position for themselves as the "small interchangeable lens cameras".

You can be very profitable with a market share like Olympus and Pentax, the trick is to have a niche where you can charge a slight premium for what you bring to the table. This is classic Competitive Strategy stuff. Canon and Nikon will be profitable simply because of their shares. They are mass market brands who live by sheer economy of scale. Sure, they have expensive cameras and lenses, but the bulk of their profits will come from the millions of entry level DSLRs (and P&S:s) they sell. Sony is pretty much also-rans stuck in the middle. They bring very little unique to the table and thanks to other divisions covering up for their SLR division losses, they can pour money in to try to buy market share. This is not a viable long-term strategy, however, as Sony isn't looking all that great anymore in terms of finances. But brands like Pentax and Olympus simply cannot afford to play the same game.

Olympus have been struggling with the 4/3 system. My bet is they will drop it in less than five years' time to focus on m4/3. Simply because with that, and the PEN association, and the clever positioning of the E-P1, they build a strong and coherent brand that - while it might only be relevant to 2% of the market - will allow them to charge a premium.

Pentax needs this as well, desperately. I do think they have a couple of aces up their sleeve that they could use. First, they're the only brand with weather sealed kit lenses as well as weather sealed cameras at an entry-level pricepoint (well, they used to have them at least...). There should be a rugged camera amateur/enthusiast niche that they could target fairly easily. Probably only a couple of percent of the total market, but position the brand clearly as this and you can charge an additional $30-50 per kit lens and an additional $50-100 on the entry level body. Should be enough to turn a profit. Second, they're the only brand with a broad range of designed for digital (APS-C, specifically) primes. I wrote elsewhere that full frame is not going to take over the camera market anytime soon for a number of reasons, and thus most people will be looking at APS-C cameras. A lot of them will want primes... And I bet that every single Ltd lens that Pentax sells has a pretty high profit margin (at least 10%, probably higher).

There's also potential to combine the two. Pentax could be the rugged brand, offering solutions no matter whether you're in the jungle (weather sealed) or in the urban jungle (Ltds who can take a beating by an enraged junky you've just photographed without permission). Focus on three lens lineups: entry level WR (upgrade lenses such as 10-17, 17-70, 55-300 - should require minimal R&D funding), DA* and Ltds, focus on a small number of cameras, three at the most (entry level weather sealed, priced near or slightly below EOS 500D/D5000, K-7 and perhaps one in between - if at all necessary - don't overestimate the need for many bodies!).

They still need someone to sell them sensors, but a lot of Pentax financial woes could probably be solved with clever marketing.

Thomas
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-19-2009, 06:18 PM  
Hoya Interview.. To make PENTAX turn profit by 2010.
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 181
Views: 35,721
The PEN is hardly the reason for the increased profit during that quarter - it only hit the stores in late June. I'd attribute a profit increase to the Styluses and the E-620. Not to say the E-P1 doesn't seem to be doing quite well...



As boring as the Mac vs PC arguments are for someone who's been a Mac user for 22 years, this is such a great point. Forget about the "creative" software, if you're like me, then you're forced to spend a lot of time preparing presentations for client meetings etc. And once I discovered Keynote, that time actually became bearable, almost enjoyable. All the talk of style over substance seems to come from people without a clue, who have spent a very limited amount of time on a Mac. Once you actually use them for work, you start to realise just how good they are.

As for Pentax... I don't see any immediate concerns. Hoya has already invested $1 billion and been forced to take another $122 million in losses. They obviously want to turn it around and at least get their initial investments back. Selling the company now would most likely force them to take massive write-offs. I think the optics line of thinking could very well be what they have in mind as well. Pentax already has a fairly developed and very good lens lineup. As much as we would like certain lenses currently not available, they can cater to a broad variety of users and needs. The big costs thus won't come from lens R&D, and provided the lenses sell well enough, they should be turning a quite nice profit there.

(This could also be the reason why we've seen massive price hikes on specific lenses: they simply were unprofitable at their previous price points and Hoya/Pentax were forced to either increase prices or seize production).

Developing new and competitive cameras is where the bulk of their R&D costs will lie. For such a small brand, it might not be possible to continue to develop their own cameras, and we just might see a reversed case of badge engineering, where Pentax slaps its brand onto SLRs made by another manufacturer, with a few tweaks to make it more "Pentax". This is similar to what Fujifilm did (although they put their own sensor into the cameras), but the difference is of course that Pentax has a unique mount, hence, they can't just buy cameras from another brand, they need an alliance.

At the very least, they'll need a long term partner for the sensors... Fujifilm, Sony, Kodak...?

Thomas
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-19-2009, 05:43 PM  
2 new K-7 magazine reviews
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 49
Views: 11,167
Saw this just now. I switched from the full frame D700 to the APS-C K-7. There's a number of reasons for doing so:

- Price. The K-7 with the lenses I want is about half the price of the D700 setup
- Size. A K-7 with three DA Ltds is one third* of the weight of the D700 setup
- Build quality. The K-7 is much better built. The DA Ltd primes are sex, plain and simple
- Better weather sealing
- 100% viewfinder
- I could go on...

There's a lot of talk about the need for a full frame camera in order to compete with the big boys. The truth is that over 90% of Canon's and Nikon's sales are in the APS-C market. While most people would love to have a D700, a D3x or even a Leica S2, most of us have other things to take into consideration. Not least price and size. Full frame is far more expensive and (usually) bulkier. Two huge trade offs to gain a couple of steps of ISO performance and about a stop of DR.

*) K-7 with DA 15, 35 and 70 Ltds; D700 with 14-24, 50/1.4 and 105/2.8 Macro.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 08-17-2009, 11:54 AM  
Same Shot Three Different Perspectives
Posted By ktwse
Replies: 25
Views: 2,402
I think both 1 and 3 are very nice, but prefer 3 for the same reasons as Mike and Max: the rocks might not be interesting in themselves but help anchor the shot, something I find helps a lot with most if not all WA shots, and the perspective is better.

Very good shots both of them, though!

Thomas
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