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Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-17-2011, 09:17 AM  
Hoping this is not too stupid a question
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 41
Views: 6,288
Most of the answers fail to remember that these "faster" lenses were generally introduced at the time when film speeds (ISO settings) were generally much lower. We are now used to being able to dial in high ISO settings on our digital cameras if necessary and it is quite common to standardise in general shooting at 200 or even 400 ISO or more. When I started colour photography, Kodak had just brought out a new version of Kodachrome with a massive speed of 10 ISO (up from 8 ISO) and it was to be another nearly 10 years before this was increased to 25 ISO. There were films such as Agfa CT18 with a speed of 50 ISO and Ektachrome had a film at 32 and then 64 ISO before they brought out "High Speed Ektachrome" at 160 ISO in about 1966. Even prior to switching to digital 7 years ago, my normal film was either 100 ISO or 200 ISO and of course once the film was in the camera you couldn't change it! To get back to the "faster" lenses, these were purchased mainly to enable higher shutter speeds to be used, and they generally gave acceptable results when used wide open, hence their high cost! My early shots with 10 ISO on a Kodak Retinette on a bright summer's day were normally at best around f5.6 at 1/30 second - it was hopeless if it was dull!

John
Forum: Photographic Technique 10-06-2010, 08:04 AM  
adjusting sharpness
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 7
Views: 2,616
Why don't you try Faststone Image Viewer. It is free and does basic image editing. It is available for download at FastStone Image Viewer, Screen Capture, Photo Resizer ...
Forum: Ask B&H Photo! 10-04-2010, 07:09 AM  
teleconverters
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 10
Views: 3,663
tom1803, who posted on this forum, had a supply of Kenko 1.5 converters Pz-AF 1.5 teleplus SHQ, sourced in Japan, which have the extra contacts to permit SDM focusing. The price was around 100. I purchased one and it certainly works with my 300 DA* lens. It appears to have comparable quality to the normal Kenko 1.5 converter. Focus with the 300 is a little slow and hunts especially if the light levels are low. Also, the depth of field is pretty small! Don't know whether there are any left!

John
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-23-2010, 06:04 AM  
Pentax books
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 9
Views: 4,291
I have a copy but I fear that the postage to the New World would be prohibitive. Just tried http://used.addall.com and there are plenty for sale at reasonable prices.

John
Forum: Sold Items 08-17-2010, 07:48 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Kenko 1.5x Pz-AF Teleplus SHQ teleconverter (Mint) (Worldwide)
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 4
Views: 2,518
For anyone who is interested, I have purchased one of these converters and it works with my 300 mm DA* giving HSM focusing and optically it appears to be OK - but the depth of field is really small!!

John
Forum: General Talk 08-06-2010, 08:32 AM  
What music are you currently listening to?
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 7,491
Views: 557,950
Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-09-2010, 04:31 AM  
Can someone identify this Vivitar 135 f2.8?
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 10
Views: 5,326
During the 1970s, Vivitar marketed a 135 f2.8 Close Focus 1:2 lens that was made by Panagor I believe (Close Focus was Vivitar's way of signifying focus closer than usual but not macro). I don't know anything more about the lens except that it produced excellent quality results. I don't know whether this is related to the lens referred to.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-01-2009, 07:38 AM  
Which processing software to use?
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 29
Views: 3,740
If you only want to do basic tweaking, e.g. sharpening, brightness/contrast, rotating, cropping, etc., in my view there is nothing to beat Faststone Image Viewer 3.9, especially so for a beginner. And what's more it is free for personal use from FastStone Image Viewer, Screen Capture, Photo Resizer .... It will handle Pentax RAW files as well as JPEGs and TIFFs and will do an awful lot more. Why not give it a try.

John
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-27-2009, 08:18 AM  
ePhotozine DSLR group test
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 4
Views: 3,005
I believe the reviewer said that he was only able to test using the kit lens - seems strange to me. Also, he did state that the outcome from the K7 was provisional since he was not testing a camera with the final firmware. Amateur Photographer has reviewed a K7, presumably, as is sold to the public, but I haven't seen the review yet!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-18-2009, 08:30 AM  
Vivitar Series 1 VMC 2.5 / 105mm Macro PK-A
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 5
Views: 4,801
Lovely shots. The Vivitar 105 macro is a superb lens. I have had one 17 years and it has given excellent results. I use it less now that I have a Sigma 180 macro which is also superb and has the benefit of an increased subject distance when shooting insects. But for flower shots, etc. the Vivitar takes some beating.
Forum: Sold Items 05-13-2009, 03:26 AM  
For Sale - Sold: For Sale: Sigma 105 macro EX DG
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 0
Views: 2,740
PentaxForums.com Marketplace Listing

Item for Sale
Sold: Sigma 105 macro EX DG

Asking Price
210

Item Description
The item is complete in original box with case, hood and caps.

Are you the original owner of the item being sold?
Yes

Are you selling or trading this item?
Selling

Item Condition
Used
Excellent

Item Location
UK

Shipping Charge
Included within UK only

Shipping Services


Shipping Destinations
Other (Elaborate Below)

Accepted Payment Types
Check/Money Order

Additional Details
Pentx fit. Ship within UK

Please send me a private message if interested in the item!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-03-2009, 08:11 AM  
*istD shutter frozen
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 4
Views: 1,813
The latest news is that, during a photo session today, the user accidentally pressed the flash button on the top plate a number of time after which the camera went into the frozen shutter mode again. Since the flash appeared to have been involved in the earlier incident, I suggested firing a flash shot off, which she did, and the shutter worked again. I assume therefore that the camera was waiting for some sort of flash complete message before completing the exposure but could not get it because the flash was not raised and could not fire. However, pressing the flash button again did not cause the fault to recur, so something maybe amiss. Will keep you posted!

John
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-28-2009, 08:35 AM  
Vivitar S1 105 VS Sigma EX 105
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 12
Views: 4,115
I have both and, if anything I prefer the Vivitar, mainly because it is a dedicated manual lens with a large and comfortable focus grip and a greater rotation for pinpoint focus accuracy but also because I think it is marginally better, particularly colour rendering and bokeh and it is certainly as sharp. Got it new in 1992 and don't want to part with it!

John
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-19-2009, 07:41 AM  
*istD shutter frozen
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 4
Views: 1,813
Decided to reinstall the firmware and lo and behold the camera now works OK. Thanks for your comments.

John
Forum: Post Your Photos! 04-17-2009, 06:46 AM  
Steam and HDR
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 20
Views: 4,240
The timings for Tornado on 18th are now on the web at www.uksteam.info . It calls at Carlton 12.33-12.44, Retford 12.59-13.05 and is due through Loversall (Potteric Carr) at 13.20. A bit late for me as I have to get back for lunch.

It is back through south at around 17.30

John
Forum: Post Your Photos! 04-16-2009, 07:43 AM  
Steam and HDR
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 20
Views: 4,240
Nice shots. The Union is getting ready for a paint job - it is looking a bit tatty.

In fact Tornado came through Eckington this morning light engine from Barrow Hill travelling to London to do a northbound trip on Saturday morning 18th from Kings Cross to York on the ECML. Don't have any detailed times as yet.

It generally crawls through Potteric Carr Nature Reserve near Doncaster Potteric Carr Nature Reserve: Home Page if it is watering at the Royal Mail hub.

I spend a lot of my time at the Reserve hailing from Rotherham and catch most of the steamers when they come through, though I mostly do macro work there.

John
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-06-2009, 02:08 AM  
*istD shutter frozen
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 4
Views: 1,813
My old istD (given to a relative) has developed a fault. The camera appears to work OK (metering, autofocus, etc.) but when the shutter is fired, the mirror lifts but the shutter doesn't operate. The main batteries are OK but the backup battery (lithium cell) has never been changed and the camera is over 5 years old (it still registers 3V on a voltmeter but I can't test the current delivery). Before I venture out to try and find a replacement, does anyone know if the failure of this battery can knock out the shutter operation, since it is related to timing, i.e. the clock setting?

John
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-12-2009, 02:45 AM  
Pentax AF160FC AUTO MACRO RING
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 61
Views: 23,200
Since it appeared that the Pentax ring flash was going to be around the 400 mark and outside my budget, I decided to get the Sigma EM-140 DG. It appears to be well made and, having tried it on some daffodils at home, it works extremely well with my K10D. The unit that attaches to the camera hotshoe appears to be somewhat larger than the Pentax item. Can't wait to get to using it on some actual field work. The cost was 249 (approx. EUR 275) including free post from SRS - though they did say that it was the last one before the prices increase!

John
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-05-2009, 08:16 AM  
Need help with Spotmatic SP and Super A.
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 19
Views: 3,752
Hi,
The best way is to check the basic functions without film in the camera, e.g. does the shutter appear to be working, especially at slow speeds, does the self-timer work, inspect the interior to see if there is any obvious damage to the shutter blinds and that the pressure plate is clean. Inspect the lenses for dirt both externally and internally and also check for the development of fungus which can happen on older lenses which have not been stored properly; also check for play in the moving parts and for any dints, etc. Check if the metering appears to give the correct exposure by comparing readings with the recommended exposures on the film instruction sheet.

Having decided that all these are OK, then put a film through each one photographing a range of subjects using slow and fast shutter speeds and various apertures, perhaps sticking to one lens first. Keep a record of all the shots and their shutter speed and f nos. so you can check the performance of the camera when you get the pictures back. At this stage, it is much better to use slide film because this will give a much better indication of the accuracy of the exposure, etc., since print film is subject to vagaries of the processing lab. Even when I bought a new camera, I always shot a test film off before anything serious because cameras can have variations in metering, etc.

There isn't a lot more you can do. I had a Super A some years ago and found it to be a very good camera.

Best of luck

John
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 01-17-2009, 03:50 AM  
Pentax AF160FC AUTO MACRO RING
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 61
Views: 23,200
Why is it that Pentax accessories are often so much more expensive than those from other manufacturers? The ring flash appears to be a case in point, but it also applied to items such as right angle finders which were listed at 450 compared with around 150 for similar items from Canon and Nikon.

I would love to have Pentax lenses, etc., but those from independents such as Sigma are so much cheaper and offer, from what I can gather, similar quality.

If the Pentax ring flash is well over 450 as indicated by the Ephotozine website, then it will have to be the Sigma at around 250.

John
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 12-29-2008, 08:00 AM  
Hi from Perth, Western Australia plus a question!
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 4
Views: 660
As long as you have upgraded the firmware to 1.1 it will since this enabled external flashes to be wirelessly controlled by the on-board flash. You need to set it to do this in the Fn menu system. Select "Flash Mode, Wireless Mode". Must say that I haven't tried it. When you install the firmware, there is an instruction sheet that explains how this operates - from memory I think it is downloaded with the firmware file.

Hope this helps.

John
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 12-12-2008, 05:07 AM  
Hello from Yorkshire, UK
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 12
Views: 749
I, too, am from South Yorkshire and spend a lot of my photographic time at Potteric Carr nature reserve photographing butterflies/dragonflies, etc. Might see you there.

John Hancox
Forum: Post Your Photos! 11-26-2008, 09:23 AM  
Green Eyed Butterfly
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 20
Views: 2,470
Good close-up. Looks like some form of Clouded Yellow - an American variety?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-10-2008, 05:16 AM  
K10D LCD screen
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 4
Views: 1,568
Since my wife's compact was made useless by minor damage to the LCD screen, I have since fitted my K10D with a Giottos glass screen protector, which protects it from scratches and knocks, etc. Available from Pentax User in the UK but readily available from dealers. SP 8251 is the correct model for the K10D. Check their website GIOTTO'S-Professional Photographic Equipment.

John
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-10-2008, 04:57 AM  
Macro flash rings???
Posted By brownargus
Replies: 18
Views: 6,780
TTL doesn't work with the new K series DSLRs which have the more sophisticated P-TTL. The difference is that the flash pre-fires before the main discharge, using the pre-flash to assess exposure settings using the 16-segment metering allowing more precise control of exposure.
John
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