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Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-13-2011, 06:26 PM  
Best free processing program?
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 15
Views: 3,575
PM sent. Please check your inbox. I think this promotion was slated to end on 14aug11 (tomorrow).
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-11-2011, 09:57 AM  
Best free processing program?
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 15
Views: 3,575
You might want to give Capture One Express 6 a try. You can get a free copy (not just a 30-day trial) from this promotion here. I've been playing with it for a couple of days now and it is feature rich and quite powerful on a 64bit machine.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-07-2011, 09:21 PM  
Capture One Express available for FREE
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 54
Views: 17,652
My eyes aren't trained enough to detect slight differences in color rendering, But I can notice artifacts due to noise reduction and/or sharpening. I prefer both PCDU and Silkypix (only used it for 30-days trial period) in that regard.

Anyway, I'm intrigued by Capture One Express because it's a 64bit application. I may or may not like its stock output, figured it's worth a try. I can always go back to in-camera conversion.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-07-2011, 09:05 PM  
Capture One Express available for FREE
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 54
Views: 17,652
Thanks! You sure know how to look things up on the web.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-06-2011, 11:38 AM  
Capture One Express available for FREE
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 54
Views: 17,652
I didn't realize that it was a UK mag.

Seems like they have setup multiple links, each with a different questions:

“What is advertised on page 44?”
“Name the expert on page 39?”
“Who is the author of the masterclass on page 45?”
“What animal is featured on page 87?”
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-05-2011, 06:49 PM  
Capture One Express available for FREE
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 54
Views: 17,652
Please answer this question using issue #110 of Digital Photographer magazine to claim your license code:

“What effect is being taught on page 67?”
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-11-2010, 09:08 AM  
DA40mm has grown too long for streets.
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 32
Views: 5,654
I suppose it depends on what one looks for in street photography. I've moved to the opposite direction, preferring the DA70 over the DA40. Even before switching to DSLR, I'd been using a 45mm/f2 and a 135mm/f2.8-macro lens on my minolta xd-5, with the 135mm-macro being my primary walk-about lens. I'd probably be just happy with the new DFA-100 macro (if I could afford one).

I also don't find the APS-C view-finders appealing for wide lenses -- everything appears distant and small to me.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-19-2010, 10:12 AM  
k10d set up questions
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 30
Views: 3,219
Peter,

I don't use the green button to set exposure every time either. It's impossible for me to remember the overexposure amount by f-stops, anyway. And I have only one M-lens! I usually get the initial reading wide open (perhaps a slight underexposure), when condition isn't varying, then adjust shutter as I stop down. Works better and more accurately than green-button metering! I tend to work only within f4 to f11 with my M-200 -- to keep the shutter high, as I have weak arms -- a fairly manageable 3-bit range. This way, I rarely need to check the histogram after every shot. If I had a faster lens, say f2, I'd first meter (correctly) off of f5.6 and maintain that 3-bit range either side of that (and drop it to 2-bit as I get older).
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-18-2010, 11:49 AM  
k10d set up questions
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 30
Views: 3,219
My mistake, Peter. Sorry about that. I assumed that k10 and k20 had identical or and/or similar bodies, features, functions, while k-7 was somewhat re-designed. This sure becomes a bit cumbersome without Fn#26. How do people go about setting exposure quickly then? Use the DoF lever and adjust shutter with rear-wheel to balance out the EV meter?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-18-2010, 09:52 AM  
k10d set up questions
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 30
Views: 3,219
I might have framed it wrong. I also thought that the OP had been using M-series lenses here. This may only apply to k20d and k-7, too. Anyway, EV-comp works in Manual mode with M-series lenses, or with A-series lenses not set to "A" aperture position, in conjunction with green-button metering only, where the use of green button is set to Tv-shift (k20d custom fn# 26). Try selecting an aperture on the lens and hit the green button, which sets the shutter speed. Now dial in EV-comp and hit the green button again, while keeping the same aperture. This will set a different (compensated) shutter speed. In other words, the green button factors in the EV-comp setting once pressed.

I'm uploading a couple of example -- the 2nd pic is +1EV of the 1st pic; the 4th pic is -1EV of the 3rd pic. Hopefully, the exif will be attached.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-17-2010, 01:50 PM  
k10d set up questions
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 30
Views: 3,219
Yes, I believe you can control EV comp in manual mode with M series lenses. However, do understand that in absence of aperture info, the camera doesn't meter to begin with, unless held wide open at all times. Hence the need for stop-down metering, at which point the camera gives a metered reading, making the "manual" mode somewhat automated (as the camera decides the shutter-speed for you). You should be able to dial-in EV-comp on top of that, should you need it -- some degree of EV-comp is needed for certain M-series lenses with stop-down metering inaccuracy, at least with my K20d (something to do with focusing screen, it's been reported).
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-17-2010, 01:13 PM  
Spots on sensor
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 35
Views: 5,571
Well, it doesn't have to be a blower sold exclusively in camera shops. If there is a drugstore, pharmacy, or a hospital supply store nearby, check if they stock any squeeze blower (for babies, for example). Those work just as well, and I use one regularly.

A very soft-bristled brush that doesn't micro-scratch the sensor-screen may be the best dry-cleaning option, IMHO. Not sure what type of brush is best suited for this, however.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 02-04-2010, 12:10 PM  
Laptop recommendation
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 26
Views: 4,921
Microcenter currently has a $200 rebate on $1000 Macbooks, for in-store pickup only. If there is a Microcenter nearby, and you can live with the white model -- Apple stopped making black macbooks -- it's a very good deal. I'd get it over Macbook Pro.

I don't like the DELL XPS laptops. The Latitude series is better made (magnesium base), and comes with 3-yr on-site warranty.

Toshiba laptops used to be great and solidly built. I have a 7yr old model that's refusing to die, have never crashed either! My father's 4yr+ old model is still running strong. The recent, cheaper models feels flimsy, however. I'd stick to mid-to-high priced models. Same with Lenovo -- probably best to avoid those sub-$600 models.

I've been using a VAIO Z series 13.3" laptop for the 3 years. Pricey, ~$1800 now-a-days, but well-built yet light, a good screen, and comes with an additional, discreet graphics card. I run PPL and RawTherapee on it all the time. Best to buy extended warranty if you are paying that much for a laptop, IMHO.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-03-2009, 02:13 PM  
First Telephoto Prime - 135/3.5 or 200/4?
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 18
Views: 4,418
I have both M200/4 and the A70-210/4. I tend to agree with most, that 135mm is more usable (always loved my 135/f2.8 macro and minolta xd-5). It should also be significantly lighter, providing at least a couple of stops of SR margin. I suppose one could use the A70-210 as a zoom, picking intermediate focal lengths as needed. I always end up using either the short end or the long end, however.

A used copy of da50-200 isn't much more, can't imagine it having inferior IQ, and its feather-weight size might allow for slower shutter-speed, making up for loss of speed. The only reason I've been resisting the urge to get one or a da55-300 is that I might become too lazy and stop using my da40 and da70.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-25-2009, 07:32 AM  
Anyone seen an FA35 for sale (used or new)?
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 17
Views: 3,081
FA43 is a full stop faster than DA40. I stand corrected.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-24-2009, 11:26 PM  
Anyone seen an FA35 for sale (used or new)?
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 17
Views: 3,081
I don't think people prefer FA43 over DA40 for a mere half-stop advantage, rather for more appealing (yet subjective) rendition and depth of color, bokeh, etc., and for better manual focus ring. I doubt that it's as good as the DA40 in locking focus in extreme low light, however.

FA35 seems like another story, in league of its own, in terms of picture quality. Hard to come by, unfortunately. Perhaps look for the Samsung variant -- should be the same as Pentax OEM -- in places like your local Best Buy.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-24-2009, 11:07 PM  
Protective Filters - Needed or Not
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 26
Views: 4,185
I usually have a circular polarizer on. I only take it off when indoors and/or when light level is challenging. Then it goes right back on. That's my lens protection, whatever it may be .. I hope I don't have to find out.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-24-2009, 11:02 PM  
How does the K-x compare with the D90?
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 34
Views: 10,350
You'll be surprised, but DA40 is not only a fast-focusing lens, as Mark has pointed out, it can focus in near darkness too! All it needs is the faintest of contrast, that's all. Take a look at the the first pic -- only available light was the flame from the fire, which wasn't much at all. The second pic, of the dancing girl, had hardly any light at all -- a good 15-20 feet away from the fire; just enough contrast between the pitch-black Volvo and the 3-yr old blond. FYI, the flash used was a non P-TTL, AF220T flash, meaning there was no pre-flash available to aid focus nor exposure. (I was at 1/180s, f6.3). Not too mention, the kids were zipping around fast too, wired on all those Halloween candy. I used AF-C, but released shutter only after the green AF confirmation lit up.

You'll need a flash to get good exposure and freeze motion for this kind of shots, even with a faster lens. So it's most likely not a fair comparison for your needs. But what's important is the ability to focus in low light conditions, which the faster, shallower DOF lenses may not be able to do like the DA40.

As I write this, I'm beginning to realize that I'd actually decided on the lens (DA40) before settling on a camera. And then, inevitably, came the DA70 ..
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-16-2009, 01:06 PM  
Buying advice please: K20 or K7?
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 7
Views: 1,617
I haven't heard k-7 being blazingly fast, or on par with canikon, which is what everybody desires, but "significantly" faster than k10/20ds. I think the AF algorithm is the same, though somewhat "tweaked." Whatever improvement there is, it may be entirely due to faster semiconductor and/or board circuitry, speeding up processing time. But I may very well be wrong and k-7 is indeed a lot faster.

If you could live with the k10d for a bit longer, I'd wait until k-7 drops to ~$850 (bound to happen, sooner than later), when there may be another model out, with a different and/or even further "improved" AF speed, perhaps a different sensor too.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-16-2009, 12:09 PM  
Recommended settings for swim meet w/K20D?
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 17
Views: 4,617
It's been suggested that "weakest" and "weak" aren't that much different from each other. You may want to use "high," leaving sharpness at "-1" or at "0" in the camera. I think Pentax does a pretty good trade off between noise and sharpening, even thru higher level of noise reduction.

I'm not sure when noise reduction kicks in, however. If I remember right, it doesn't kick in for ISO <= 400. Trouble is noise can easily prop up even at ISO400 in an underexposed, light-starved pic, and the in-camera noise-reduction may not be applied for ISO400 or less. This is where a RAW software, like Pentax Photo Laboratory, comes in handy. You have (better) control over noise reduction at all ISO levels, correct/apply the same setting to all images, including white-balance, sharpness, exposure, etc., and batch convert them easily in the same session.
Forum: Sold Items 11-12-2009, 03:48 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax SMC-A 70-210mm f/4, Worldwide ship
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 10
Views: 2,940
takes superb pics. A few example images attached. All at 100% magnification, from 6M jpeg straight from camera -- natural setting, +1 sharpness; the old man was at 70mm end, and the rest at 210mm end.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 11-11-2009, 01:00 PM  
People Belated Halloween pics from Salem, MA
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 1
Views: 1,718
Record crowd this year, as temperature almost hit 70deg. Evening pics were taken with AF220T flash (not P-TTL). Hence some over exposure issues.














Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-27-2009, 07:17 PM  
manual shooting help: fuzzy images: 200mm
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 16
Views: 2,873
True, the user still needs to turn the aperture ring manually. I didn't mean to confuse.

I find the position of the green button a bit odd. I prefer the DOF-Preview lever instead. Yet, sometimes it's easier for me to start off metering wide open in this crippled AV mode, and adjust EV-comp with the front wheel, which will adjust the previously metered shutter speed accordingly, while I manually close down the aperture ring -- turn the aperture ring one click (1/2 stop), turn the front wheel one click (1/2 EV) ..

I barely go past f8 with this lens, so I'm not hopping all over the place with EV comp. It'd be different story if the range was from f1.4 and up.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-27-2009, 06:22 PM  
manual shooting help: fuzzy images: 200mm
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 16
Views: 2,873
You are doing it the right way. In M mode with green button , this is the only way, as pointed out by Ash. In essence, you are applying EV comp to override what the the green button is metering. I was merely using EV amount to show (from my experience) how far off the metering appears to be for this lens.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-27-2009, 06:10 PM  
manual shooting help: fuzzy images: 200mm
Posted By wasim_altaf
Replies: 16
Views: 2,873
Right, EV-comp doesn't work in M mode. Just change the shutter speed to compensate for the metering inaccuracy after pressing the green button. One can also use the DOF-Preview lever to stop-down and adjust the shutter-speed (with the rear wheel) to set the EV-bar over/under 0 as needed.

However, EV-comp can work when in AV mode. Camera will meter only wide open -- f4 for this lens -- and then add EV-comp as the lens is stopped down. Assuming perfect metering, +1EV for f5.6, +2EV for f8 and so forth.
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