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Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 06-17-2011, 08:43 PM  
Special Event How to enter the giveaway
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 67
Views: 13,615
Facebook or Twitter?? Not going to happen, nuh-uh. Let them track somebody else all around the web, even among websites w/o their traps on them. I'm surprised that the forum is encouraging people to sign up right after a series of disturbing revelations, especially on FB. What's the purpose of this tie-in here?
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 04-13-2011, 07:07 AM  
Application for Pentax Professional Services Program
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 10
Views: 6,583
You should have gotten a reply either way, so something is wrong in the process. Time to be proactive, if you still want in.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-25-2011, 02:41 PM  
tips for motorsports shooting with kx
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 13
Views: 3,979
AFS and continuous shoot with cars approaching will give you the first shot in focus, and no others, because you're only letting it focus once. Focus with the 55-300 should be quick enough that you can repeatedly pick and choose single shots using AFS. If you want the safety net of continuous shooting, use AFC so it will attempt to refocus as you go. But... beforehand, turn off lens correction in the menus and use a decent memory card or you'll get out there and wonder why it stutters so badly in continuous shoot mode.

To get an idea whether your 50mm will do the job, walk away from your car about the same distance you typically shoot from at the track. Look through the viewfinder. If you're happy with the result, great. If not, you'll need a longer lens. An f1.7 has nice possibilities for a short DoF, but keep in mind that you might not like the actual result when you get back home, so don't do all your shots with the aperture wide open. The whole car may not be in focus, and using autofocus with an open aperture/short DoF may overtax the camera's ability to focus at all on such a fast-approaching subject. You really won't know what you have until later when you get home, so try a little variety and go home with the goal of learning what works for you or doesn't, for next time. You're not going to want to do or die in one event. Bring your P&S and take some shots with that too, just for insurance.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-19-2011, 09:09 PM  
tips for motorsports shooting with kx
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 13
Views: 3,979
If you HAVE to succeed perfectly right out of the box, you'll hate being there. Personally, I often use TAv mode, put the shutter at 1/500 or 1/750 and aperture f/8 or above, and let the ISO float to get the exposure it wants. Better, younger shooters can control framing much better than I can and get down to f/4 and 1/125, but I'll never make that! Motor skills! But don't be afraid to try a tighter DOF or slower shutter speed on some shots just to see if you can pull it off in a situation. You don't need to try a hundred different settings either, unless you are REALLY new to DSLRs. Even then, you just need to get a feel for the shutter speed you shouldn't go lower than, the aperture you want to use for depth of field, and the ISO you don't want to exceed to avoid noise. Too slow a shutter gets everything blurry, while too fast freezes even the car's tires, which doesn't convey a sense of motion. You'll get there, but allow yourself a learning curve first. To enjoy the shoot is more important than worrying about a million possible settings. Next time,.....
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-19-2011, 07:51 PM  
tips for motorsports shooting with kx
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 13
Views: 3,979
Boy, when you type and then just look at the TV when something is happening, grammar can really get sloppy. I meant "It occasionally has problems" but maybe it's more accurate as it stands.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-19-2011, 07:42 PM  
tips for motorsports shooting with kx
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 13
Views: 3,979
I had been using old Super Programs and got the same lenses as you did with a K-7 in August. Agreed, SR should be off when panning, but in your exact usage, try it both ways just to make sure that it's one more thing you must remember to reset. I've had great luck with continuous focus with rapidly approaching race cars on the 55-300. I found that continuous shooting was badly stuttering until I turned off the lens correction functions, then it got fast and smooth even at max rez. The biggest learning curve for me was watching out for focus points. Different situations call for keeping an eye out for how the focusing choice is doing. I personally never use manual focus for racing - that's why I moved away from the Super Programs. Sometimes, letting the camera autoselect focus points works fine, and sometimes will select a nearby weed or fencepost caught while panning. Yet sometimes, fixed center focus doesn't do it. I'm just saying review your first tries carefully and then keep your wits about you as you change positions on the track. If you're not shooting at F/16, don't assume that focus method is set and forget. The 55-300 is bullet-fast and reliable. I don't personally use the 18-55 except in the paddock. I occasionally has problems reading the image and focusing properly, which can repeat if it really doesn't like something about the aiming point. Have fun!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-28-2011, 08:34 AM  
The I Can't Be Happy With My Camera Club
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 170
Views: 25,397
Ilford? Are you sure you don't have an ME Super SE?
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 01-27-2011, 10:16 PM  
Application for Pentax Professional Services Program
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 10
Views: 6,583
Took me about a month to be rejected. After 4-5 weeks of hearing nothing, you may wish to call to make sure it was received. If you're a sports photog, you should get in fine.

They were tactful enough to not tell me the problem. I'm chief cook and bottle washer of a website that covers vintage automotive events in the general area. 100% original content, full-time and 100% of my personal income. One year old. Not doing too bad, considering. Since I do my own work for myself, I suspect they figure I'm a hobbyist in drag. Worth the try for the priority repair, though. If my K-7 goes down, my workflow will be growing cobwebs since I'll be going back to two Super Programs. Can't complain too much - Canikon would demand that I buy more AND charge me a fee for the privilege.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-27-2011, 08:38 PM  
The I Can't Be Happy With My Camera Club
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 170
Views: 25,397
SpecialK, I think you're onto something. It is C-41. Thank you!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-26-2011, 08:36 PM  
The I Can't Be Happy With My Camera Club
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 170
Views: 25,397
Tell me about it! The rear LCD on a Pentax 35mm I got last year off eBay NEVER worked. It's just a dead black frame. Can't find any firmware for it at all on the Pentax site, as usual. I changed the battery and that didn't help. It's so useless I just stuck the end flap off a film carton inside, so I can at least remember what film I'm using. At least the viewfinder works, but how long will the battery for THAT last before it goes dead?

I'm also having problems feeding the film into my PC. Got two rolls in there through a slot, but still can't see anything on the screen. Any suggestions?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-22-2011, 09:42 PM  
Has anyone done any flashlight painting?
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 40
Views: 9,919
Did a light trail back in the Sixties as a teen. Yagh! Sorry I don't have a pic without digging buried binders to locate and scan it. I simply tied a flashlight to the basement ceiling with a long string, turned the lights out and the flashlight on, and shoved the flashlight to swing back and forth but not centered, so it eventually rotated its swing around 360 degrees. I just set the camera on the facing up and held the shutter open until the light had worked its way around. It looks like the old logo of atomic power and is likable for the perfection of its path all the way around. White trail on a black background. Shot with B&W film. It's a fun thing to thry, just to do it.

I see others have better ideas of lighting parts of a subject with a flashlight on a long exposure, which is kind of like dodging and burning en situ. Neat!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-22-2011, 09:19 PM  
Is it ethical to purchase a camera, the use it and return it
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 31
Views: 19,269
There aren't enough facts available to determine if it was wrong. My son had a friend who bought lots of things just to use them for awhile, for free. Clothing, electronics, you name it. He had no intent to buy. That was wrong, and everyone else pays.

When a retailer accepts returns for any reason, they open themselves up to this abuse. If the original purchaser took the camera out twice to big events, had problems on the first go and confirmed them on the second, he wasn't wrong to return it. If he merely wanted to try out a camera he couldn't afford, that was wrong. Now, whether the retailer is wrong in representing that camera as truly new or refurbished is a separate issue. Just my opinion. You may feel differently.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-18-2011, 07:56 PM  
The I Can't Be Happy With My Camera Club
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 170
Views: 25,397
Thanks for this opportunity. I did a dust check on my K-7, and it shows dust on the sensor that won't come completely off. I can't see it on any of my pictures at 300X, but it bothers me that I know it's there.

Also, I was shooting a rapidly approaching race car in Tv mode at 1/6000 shutter on a cloudy day, and I let the aperture float. When I got home, I could see that focus was sharpest on the headlights on one, and on the windshield on the next. On some, nothing was in focus! Obviously the autofocus is too slow to keep up.

I've e-mailed Pentax for a new camera to replace this one. I think I deserve it because I write a lot on this blog. But, I'm considering changing over to Canon because the AF is so much faster. I'm letting everyone know about my decision on this Pentax forum because I like to draw attention to myself, and I like to pretend someone will give a hoot. :)
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-03-2010, 03:38 PM  
How Did This Win?
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 78
Views: 12,312
No offense, but wouldn't that be cheating? It'd be too much like using a pinhole or box camera, which would practically guarantee the winner's results if combined with a tripwire. If you tape off the viewfinder, how do you know for sure that your subject isn't accidentally centered, and then where would you be? Don't ignore it - misuse it. That's why I suggested the Jim Beam, as that allows full use of the viewfinder and yet you can still get that "so fast I almost didn't get it" snapshot, and this works even if the subject isn't actually moving.

You should be using a modern camera and be learning how to override or disable every single system designed to improve the results. Overriding a few makes it more creative or expressive, but maladjusting everything at once gives you a crack at that "photographer with hiccups in a cave" look.

I think it's intended to be a learning-based skill thing to prove that you can win these things, and using something like a 1930's Ansco scale-focus, well, that just about handles it all for you, doesn't it? There's almost nothing to set wrong or disable. Where's the talent there? If all you have to do is just point and shoot to get those cheetah results, that just has to be cheating, sorry. I'll bet the winner spent an hour beforehand diving through menus on a DSLR and using all the dedicated buttons to circumvent things, then double-checking everything again. Talk about pressure, wow!

Anyway, I forgot - don't forget to turn off shake reduction, too. And be sure to post here if you locate another big contest we can enter, preferably international. ;)
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-02-2010, 10:31 PM  
How Did This Win?
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 78
Views: 12,312
Awesome!!! Hey, I could win one of these competitions after all! Use the little built-in flash, set shutter at 1/125 or lower in Tv Mode, close one eye to estimate distance and preset using focus ring manually, stand behind a tree in the dark with half a bottle of Jim Beam, and wait for your kid to wrangle a starving cat past. Do-able! When's the next one like that?
Forum: Ask B&H Photo! 11-17-2010, 08:09 AM  
K-AC50 AC Adapter Availability
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 3
Views: 3,015
I've been looking for the K-AC50 AC adapter for months, and it is always out of stock. It's not even listed on Pentax Imaging's website. Is there any indication/hunch as to when these may become available? My camera is a K-7.

Thanks
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-16-2010, 09:54 PM  
Portrait Lens...
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 15
Views: 3,318
I'm curious as to what camera you are using. I assume it is film, and I assume it has a large split image viewfinder that would make manual focusing easy. I do not do weddings, never have, never will, so I'm sure my advice on this will be solid. ; )

This is the trouble with having needs that indicate using better lenses, and then maybe also kinda going to also do something else later. If your portrait lighting isn't demanding, then I'd think any 70-85 prime would do as long as it's sharp. If in the field (non-studio) with fewer lighting options or a more creative approach, the 77 would offer a little more leeway before it goes fuzzy. You may do just fine at weddings with the 77, but like your wedding shooter, you may have that in a zoom sandwich just to get your low light/sharpest shots (compared to zooms).

Having shot at gatherings indoors under dim lighting, I personally would gravitate toward manual focus so I can clearly see exactly what I'm trying for. It isn't any slower than getting your composition finalized. But that's just a personal preference. If you don't have a big, effective viewfinder or are the type who machine-guns shots like a popcorn popper (have fun in post-processing!) then you don't have much choice but AF. None of this helps you any, but I feel better.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 11-12-2010, 09:35 PM  
My Relationship with Pentax a Very Long Goodbye
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 114
Views: 27,771
I slowly sawed my way through this thread, reading each response, and halfway through the related thread on the same topic. It's nice to see solid talent and supportive forum members. Then I went back and carefully read the original post.

Putting my Camera Mfr Corp Marketing hat on, it seems like an excessively bad idea to be sponsored, and when the company re-evaluates your relationship and relevance to where it wants to go, post multiple announcements on multiple forums stating that your former sponsor, after negotiations, failed to give you what you wanted and so you will not publicly acknowledge their product unless asked directly. Okay. It's a choice.

Over here at Camera Corp, I know that my sponsored photographers, whether they leave for a juicier deal elsewhere or we just decide they aren't pushing our product to the right market for us today, will just silently submerge and reappear pushing their new sponsor. No harm, no foul. Maybe our position with him/her will change in a couple of years or so, and we can talk again.

But today, one of my team just happens to google your name to check you out, and notices your public announcements in multiple threads on multiple forums over a prolonged period of time of how you deal with the termination a professional relationship. I am aware that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, and I start keeping an eye out for your name on sponsorship applications coming in, so I can carefully put it in the burn pile. No way I want a repeat performance against Camera Corp! Lots of photographers have great talent, and more than a few know how to get their names recognized outside of the photographic community where our main market is, but there are a few who can't seem to avoid airing dirty laundry if things go sour. Not worth the future pain.

Hopefully, CaNikon will not be very thorough in their research, and you will be able to arrange a situation more to your liking. Your talent and persistence qualify for a reasonable sponsorship from somebody, if you can manage to put a public face on their brand to a group that they want. Your lack of discretion in such financial relationships can put them at risk before they even get rolling, however. E-mail a friend or colleague and remind them that your complaints are personal and confidential. These aren't your buddies here, and this isn't a private little cave no one else knows about. The Internet is a very public, very searchable record 24/7/365 that cannot be erased. Is this post what your prospective sponsor will want to read now or in the future? If you were them, would you?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-08-2010, 06:23 PM  
How long will you hold on to your K7?
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 114
Views: 15,151
I'll keep it until it breaks. If you're a camera enthusiast, you will dump the K-7 and buy a K-5 right now. After all, the K-7 is how old? If you are a photographer, you will use the K-7's strongest features for as long as you have them available to you. If your work includes a lot of low light shots, you bought the wrong hardware and will have to buy more.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-08-2010, 06:05 PM  
Very Specific Dilema
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 15
Views: 3,736
I own a K-7 and as much as I like it, noise at high ISOs is not its strong suit. I'd research any newer body, and if needed look at used lenses offering as large an aperture as reasonably possible.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-31-2010, 09:16 AM  
Updating my Photography Kit
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 13
Views: 2,461
I use a 55-300 and I have no drawbacks to it that I can come up with. It is very sharp for what it is, even right at the 300mm end. Focus is fast and reliable, and it does a fine job keeping up with approaching objects when the camera is set to focus continuously. Just give it a little leeway on depth of field. It has no mystery behavior where focus goes unexplainably wonky and shots are lost. My favorite lens. The limited aperture may force you to use higher ISOs than you would like, on overcast days for action shots, but that's the tradeoff of nearly any zoom lens, and it's a lot easier problem to deal with than how to come up with the money for several low light tele primes.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-14-2010, 06:39 PM  
Novice need help.
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 11
Views: 2,237
I think that JeffJS is right on the money on this. It's not a pure exposure error - the camera simply can't record such a wide span of light and dark. A neutral density filter made for such landscape shots will, with practice, keep you from having to jump through hoops in Photoshop. If you can find a square of filter material, you can hold it over the top half of your lens and play around. Since you can't brighten much of the land, the goal is to darken the sky and take your shot. Have fun!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-13-2010, 07:30 AM  
Pros Using Pentax
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 52
Views: 18,509
The lemming syndrome is worse than ever.
I cover local automotive events with a K-7 that I got a couple of months ago, coming over from using a couple of Pentax Super Programs (manual focus). Made the change due to workflow and the fact that I was using twice as much film as I had projected. Also began covering a lot more racing than expected, and was losing shots with a mediocre telephoto that was fuzzy at the 300mm end and hard to prefocus accurately.
I now use the kit 18-55 zoom for cruise nights, shows and feature articles (static close shots), and a 55-300 zoom for action, like road racing, tractor pulls, mud bogs, etc. Image quality is no match for medium format that I used to use for feature prints, but for my 99% needs, it's fine. I try not to exceed 1600 ISO, just as I avoided over 800 ISO in film. I shoot RAW with no NR in camera, and pass images through Aperture 3 with Nik Dfine if needed.
I lose very few shots, the bad ones mainly by failing to give shake reduction the moment it needs to work. I have to remind myself that "this is not the Super Program". Love that AF, especially on the 55-300. Very quick and keeps up even when cars are coming head-on at speed (assuming I'm not using a truly stupid aperture setting). AF using the 18-55 will occasionally get flustered, but another try or two will fix it. Exposure tends to wander around a bit, but is always salvageable in PP. Most of the "failed shots" trace back to setting the camera up with non-optimal settings for that particular situation, settings I didn't have to worry about before. It's a learning curve. Since it can't read my mind, I have to stop and think, then wander through the settings, lock it down and shoot, shoot, shoot. The display screen obviously shows only the grossest errors, and there is no time to stop and play with the nice zoom-in feature to review and micro-check things.
Biggest surprises: finding out that its stumbling hesitation to rapid fire was because internal lens correction needed to be turned off, finding out just how reliable its AF is, and how spectacularly effective its shake reduction is - a wonderful thing when it's near sunset, or you're in a dim museum where tripods are not allowed. It can rapid fire just as quickly as the SP's motor drive, faster than I need. Much pickier and more complex to use than a SP obviously, but more adaptable. I wouldn't do "high end" work with it, but very few people need to, and it's not made for that. For the money, this camera is terrific. I like the TAv availability, and the K-7 may not have any big advantages for people who shoot test patterns, but it also has no glaring weaknesses when used for actual photography work. Very flexible.
Forum: Pentax K-5 10-02-2010, 07:14 PM  
ISO and size of prints from K-7 and K-5
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 14
Views: 5,102
Just came from 6x7 & 35mm to a k-7, myself. You'll need to use the lowest ISO you can manage, certainly not over 200 for such big prints, or you can play with 400 or sometimes 800 if you use add-on de-noise software like from Nik and try real hard not to underexpose. Shut off noise correction in the camera if you will be using such software later. I my view, digital "fine art" prints look good on their own, but will pale next to a similar medium format print if placed next to it. But street shooting and wildlife should be fine, generically. Max print size depends too much in the shot, and aperture used, and etc... You may not be able to exceed 16x20 by much if anything at all was "non-optimal" in setting up the shot. It's a little like shooting medium and large format a lot, and then trying to get slightly bad 35mm to give the same results. It's good that you have different tasks in mind. DSLR has it's own learning curve, so hesitate on the money shots until you can reliably predict what you're going to get...on the computer monitor and in print. Everything looks great on the camera's display.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-20-2010, 07:37 AM  
Raw Import to Aperture is Dark
Posted By Mister Pita
Replies: 3
Views: 3,340
Thank you very much! I turned off the D-range and highlight correction in the K-7, and shot JPEG and RAW DNG images. They now import into Aperture 2 just fine!
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