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Forum: Photographic Technique 4 Days Ago  
Pixel Peeping
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 22
Views: 865
I think this is a great shot. I think the bird is plenty sharp enough. My one comment is that some of the white highlighted branches are distracting to me. I usually work in Photoshop and I would probably blur or darken the white branches a little in post processing. (Kind of like the limbs in the upper left corner.)
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 4 Days Ago  
Paper recommendations
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 7
Views: 346
Another vote here for Ilford Smooth Pearl. I have used it for years. The Ilford is also nice heavy paper for 4x6 prints. For glossy, I still use Epson. The Epson luster is also nice; a bit brighter that the Ilford but thinner paper stock.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 03-12-2019, 06:37 PM  
First Film in Years - expensive though
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 16
Views: 638
When I shot 35 mm film, I used to have my lab do just small single prints and a cheap CD scan. I would then do larger prints if I had any really good shots. Double prints were a waste and the scan to CD was just a few bucks more if done with the developing.
Forum: General Photography 03-12-2019, 06:26 PM  
The best camera is the one you have with you
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 5
Views: 613
I have a small Canon point-and-shoot that is always in my work bag and travel bag. Great for catching unexpected beautiful sunsets and candid shots. It is also my backup when I take my K-5 or K-1 with me.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 03-10-2019, 12:27 PM  
Best Noise plugin for Lightroom
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 16
Views: 700
I have used Noiseware for years and have been very happy, $80. I use it in Photoshop. It has a lot of presets that work well, or you can customize the settings. In Photoshop I can blend the original and noise reduction images to keep more detail but get the noise out of the sky and shadows.
Forum: Contest Voting 03-09-2019, 05:13 AM  
Rush Hour
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 34
Views: 354
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Contest Voting 03-09-2019, 05:12 AM  
Fall Season leaves a trail on your mind!
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 36
Views: 452
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-24-2019, 07:14 PM  
Travelling with primes
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 25
Views: 1,281
When I am flying somewhere, I usually take my 18-135. It is a great general purpose lens and not too big. I also take the 10-17 so I have a really wide lens. My third choice is the DA 21 for landscapes. If you take more pictures of people, the 21 is probably too wide. I like having a prime with me like a 21 or 35 when I am going out to dinner and want my camera, but want to keep the size and weight down.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-22-2019, 04:25 PM  
How do you carry for street photography?
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 45
Views: 1,717
I like the Lowepro Toploader bags. There is usually room for the camera with a mounted lens and an extra small lens in the bottom. The larger Pro versions will fit the camera with a battery grip.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-21-2019, 05:52 PM  
Budget APS-C wide landscape lens below $200
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 38
Views: 1,492
I would also vote for the DA 21mm if you can find a good used one. I have the original (non-HD) version and love it for landscapes. One comment on your 18-55... if you like the zoom range, the AL II version was a significant improvement in resolution over the original 18-55 kit lens that came on the istDL. (I owned both versions.)
Forum: Pentax K-70 02-21-2019, 05:38 PM  
First play with DA Fish-Eye 10-17mm
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 11
Views: 639
I love my 10-17. I like doing indoor shots with it like in churches or sports arenas. Photoshop does a good job removing the distortion on indoor architectural shots.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-19-2019, 06:20 AM  
What K3 settings for landscape?
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 11
Views: 637
One thing you will notice in most of the above posts is that most people shoot landscape shots with manual focus. Whether you use only manual focus or use auto focus to get your initial focus, switch over to manual so a bird flying through or moving grass doesn’t mess up your focus.

One nice thing about landscape photography is that you normally have enough time to fine tune focus and exposure. I started shooting landscapes with a Yashika Mat medium format twin reflex. I only had 12 shots per roll, so I would spend lots of time checking everything before I hit the shutter. A magnifier eyepiece helps getting crisp manual focus... I miss my split bullseye focusing screen of old...

With digital, I will go ahead and take 2 or 3 different shots at different f-stops to see which is the best balance of dof vs diffraction. Often you can’t tell until you get home and see the pictures on a monitor or printer.
Forum: Pentax K-70 02-05-2019, 06:24 PM  
OK - So I got my K-70 so now.....
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 47
Views: 2,139
When I travel with my K-5, I usually take my DA 10-17 or my DA 21 for wide-angle. The 10-17 is great for shots inside churches or for wide street scenes. My walk-around lens is either the 18-135 or 16-85; the 18-135 is a little lighter and more compact.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-22-2019, 10:54 AM  
Extremely low temperatures : What to expect and how to counter-balance it?
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 75
Views: 2,636
To add to what Matt said, another thing that gets very cold are metal tripods. Mine came with foam on the legs, but you can also buy snap-on pipe insulation and tape it on. If you have a carbon tripod, I hear they can get brittle in the cold. (Mine are all aluminum.)

I agree with the thin gloves inside flip-top gloves or mittens do you don’t need to take off the thin gloves. (Mittens are always warmer than gloves if you will just we standing around.)

I’ve taken skiing pictures in Colorado and star shots in Maine in winter with non-WR gear and the only problem I ever had other than condensation was dead batteries. I have heard of people strapping a chemical hand warmer to the camera by the battery compartment but I never tried it.

One thing I did observe shooting stars on cold nights... if I leave the f-stop wide open for long exposures, the battery lasts longer. If you stop down, the camera uses power to hold the aperarure closed and on long exposures, this drains the battery. (For star pictures I am normally shooting wide open, so no problem in my case.)

Have fun! I have been to Sweden 5 times including one trip in December. Mostly visited Stockholm and Leksand, Mora and Dalarna area.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-05-2019, 06:32 PM  
How do you protect yours?
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 42
Views: 1,707
I put B+W clear MRC 007 filters on my lenses—more for protection from dust and sea spray than physical damage.

Like others, I keep a lens on the camera at all times to keep dust out. I also do quick lens switches and keep the lens opening on the camera facing downward when a lens isn’t attached.

The thing I see that scares me is people who sling their camera over their shoulder with no protection as it swings around while they are walking. If my camera is not in a bag, I make sure to support it with one hand while walking. If I am not carrying my whole camera bag, I bring my Lowepro Toploader so I can put my camera over my shoulder and have it protected against swinging into something.

Another thing to watch out for is using tripods. It is easy to have quick release plates accidentally come off a tripod. I have a double-action quick release plate, but I still would not throw my tripod over my shoulder with the camera attached. Maybe it would be fine without a quick-release, but all my tripods have a quick release so I can take the camera off easily.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 12-22-2018, 07:29 PM  
Tripod - Astralphotography
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 22
Views: 985
I have always used a tilt & pan head instead of a ball head. For me it is easier to make small adjustments as the moon and stars move. I used a non-geared manfroto 460MG head but it had too much sag after you made an adjustment—a geared head is supposed to prevent the sag but I have never owned one. I now use a Giottos 3-way tilt/pan head. I have a 400mm “spotter scope” that has a lens collar and that makes a big difference compared to using the camera mount. The rule I have seen is to get a tripod head rated for twice the actual weight of you camera + lens. As others have said, you can mix and match heads and tripod legs. Also, a good quick release plate is nice to have, but make sure it does not wobble with a big lens attached—worth a visit to a camera store to check if you can.
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-22-2018, 07:09 PM  
Help with basketball shots
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 15
Views: 729
I used to shoot a lot of basketball and more recently I have been shooting hockey where the players are often moving even faster.

You have already received some good advice earlier in the post. I usually set my ISO at 800 or 1600 to get a shutter speed of 1/250 to 1/500.

I always shoot manual exposure. On a basketball court, the court and players are usually well lit from above, but the stands behind the players are not well lit. If you shoot in auto and your camera takes a reading from the dark stands behind the players, you will be over-exposed and get a washed-out picture. This is where the test shots come in—figure out the right settings during warm-ups and leave them. Zooming may change your aperture and exposure but at a fixed zoom, the exposure should not change much.

I also shoot manual focus. If you are shooting from the stands you should have a fairly wide depth of field if you are around 4-5 f-stop. Again, use the lines or logos on the court to check focus in some test shots. If your exposure and focus are in manual, there is virtually no shutter delay taking s picture, so you are less likely to miss a shot.

It takes some practice to get the right timing, so don’t expect every shot to be a keeper. If you get 2 or 3 good shots per s game, that is pretty good. Good luck and have fun!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-18-2018, 09:07 PM  
Zoom Lens suggestion for Travel
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 48
Views: 2,269
I have both the 18-135 and the 16-85. I think the 16-85 is shaper, but it is a little larger and heavier than the 18-135. As others have said, the 18-135 is still a good lens with a little longer reach. If I take my whole camera bag, I take the 16-85. If I just take my body on a trip, I tend to take my 18-135 along with my DA 10-17.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 12-14-2018, 05:50 PM  
Which protection filter?
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 41
Views: 1,752
I’ve never seen either side win the protective filter discussion...

Personally, I use B+W MRC 007M Clear Filters. The filter has a solid build and theoretically doesn’t absorb much light.

One time they are handy for me is taking pictures of the ocean waves during a storm—lots of salt spray. One benefit of the filter is that I am washing the filter and not the lens element, so there is less chance of liquid serping into the lens.
Forum: Pentax K-1 12-09-2018, 06:37 PM  
Two insignificant questions
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 8
Views: 975
To clarify on inserting the cards... With the power off, take one of the cards out and leave the card in the slot you want to write to first. Turn on the camera and it will start writing to the slot that has the card. Now that the camera has picked that as the first slot to write to, you can turn the camera off and insert the 2nd card. They will then write in the order you want.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 12-08-2018, 01:37 PM  
Tripod head for astro/DSO photography?
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 16
Views: 686
I use the Giottos MH5012 3-way panning head for astro photography. It will support a 400 mm lens with a lens mount fairly well. I also have a Manfrotto 460MG, which is more compact but does tend to droop. The 460MG is gearless—the geared version should hold a lot more weight without dropping. Neither will track the stars, but I find the pan/tilt heads easier for making small adjustments.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-02-2018, 07:44 PM  
Pop up Flash
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 24
Views: 1,123
I recently bought the Metz 26 AF-2 for my K-1. I haven’t used it a lot, but it’s small enough to stick in my camera bag for when I need it. Works well in P-TTL mode—no on-flash settings required. It won’t light up a large room. If I know I’ll be taking flash photos, I have a more powerful flash with an offset handle, but that is too big to carry all the time.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-22-2018, 09:03 PM  
K-5 or D300
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 13
Views: 826
I don’t know how old your Pentax DA 18-55 lens was, but the original version wasn’t very sharp. The Mark II was much better, then they came out with the WR version.

I find the lenses with the DC focus motor like the DA 18-135 or DA 16-85 to be significantly faster than the older camera driven auto focus lenses like the 18-55. Both the 18-135 and 16-85 are nice on the K-5. The 18-135 is a huge step up from the 18-55. If you liked using the 18-55, I’d go with the 18-135 on the K-5; should be similar menu to the K-7 but a big step up on the lens.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-18-2018, 06:20 AM  
Anyone Using "Flash Brackets" any more?
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 13
Views: 1,012
I don’t do a lot of flash photography, but I still use a flash bracket to avoid red-eye. I use something similar to this:

Dot Line Right Angle Flash Bracket DL-0308 B&H Photo Video

I agree that it is tough to pack in a photo bag. I don’t have problems taking portrait shots because I can hold the bracket handle with one hand and rotate 90 degrees.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-15-2018, 04:10 PM  
Lenses to bring to Israel
Posted By MaineNative
Replies: 17
Views: 984
I have been to Tel Aviv and Eilat on the Red Sea. Humid and dusty in Tel Aviv and dry and dusty in Eilat.

The 18-135 WR would be my top choice—emphasis on WR. I own it and my 2nd vote is my DA 10-17 and DA 21 is my 3rd choice. I pack my 55-300 if I am driving somewhere but can’t remember the last time I really used it right-seeing. The first three lenses above are very light-weight and packable.

I did not have any issues taking pictures anywhere. I was generally taking pictures of buildings or the beach scenery. By the way, they may ask to see the pictures on your camera at airport security, but this is just to confirm that you were where you said you were visiting—not because they are worried about what you were taking pictures of. The airport security wants to track where you went and who you talked to—don’t expect privacy with regards to their airport security people... just answer their questions and you’ll be fine.

The old cities are absolutely beautiful, plus the local cafes and restaurants were a treat!
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