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Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-17-2017, 06:28 AM  
Has your MZ-6 / MZ-L / ZX-L mirror gear failed?
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 23
Views: 1,557
I decided to take a chance on a ZX-L from KEH. So far so good - no problems. The bottom plate shows 2002, but also shows Asahi Optical Co. so it may or may not have the brass gear.

After having, and selling, an MZ-7, a ZX-5n, and a couple of MZ-S's I missed having a modern / late model autofocus film camera. If the gear problem wasn't so prevalent I probably would have gone for a ZX-5n again.

Fingers crossed on the ZX-L. It handles well (like all of this generation of Pentax) and the ZX-L is loaded up with all the features I need. To my ear, the ZX-L has the best shutter/winder sound of the bunch too. Maybe something about that 1/4000 shutter.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-15-2017, 07:13 AM  
Pentax Micro 4/3 cameras.
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 50
Views: 2,743
I never heard that Pentax was involved with the development of 4:3 or the Four Thirds Consortium. Tell me more! Links?
Forum: Pentax K-1 06-28-2017, 02:21 PM  
K-1 switching from DNG to PEF
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 12
Views: 1,076
While I prefer DNG, there is no practical difference between the two. I have factory-reset my cameras and then forgotten to switch to DNG. The PEFs play just as nicely with Lightroom, Apple products, etc.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 05-26-2017, 06:04 AM  
How/where do you get your film developed?
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 12
Views: 851
I use a local camera store - Downtown Camera.

Back 10 years ago, they were "just another camera store" with a lab, not really different from Henry's (Canadian chain store) or any Mom and Pop. Toronto had well respected high-volume pro labs that serviced the wedding and professional markets. For snapshots, some people might choose their local camera store but most used the lab at the grocery store, the drug store, or Costco.

Fast forward 10 years, and almost all of the retail snapshot processing is gone, and so have many of the pro labs.

Downtown Camera have done a great job by hanging in there, and filling the gap. As they gathered more and more of the business, they have embraced the role. They promote film, they stock more film and film-based products than ever before, and they have continually improved their lab services.

Even when I process my own black and white, I bring the film to Downtown Camera for scanning. Their high-res scans are great quality, much better than I could do at home. I have a 20 x 30 inch print on my wall from a 645 neg they scanned. The detail goes on forever, I can stand with my nose pressed to the print and it looks great.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-15-2017, 01:19 PM  
For each Pentaxian buying K-1 another Nikon/Canon shooter jumped ship to Pentax
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 996
Views: 65,141
Just wanted to say I've really enjoyed this conversation.

While some posters have asked, why can't we just celebrate the success of the K1, it was the original poster who opened the door. They celebrated the K1, and then made sideways comments about features/approaches they don't like (video etc.) That opened the door to this conversation, where we could all imagine future models and what we might like to see in them.

Kudos Pentax for making the K1, I will almost certainly buy one. And all the best for the future of Pentax, I hope somewhere in that future there is a solid K-mount MILC with good execution of video and stills :-)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-09-2017, 11:30 AM  
For each Pentaxian buying K-1 another Nikon/Canon shooter jumped ship to Pentax
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 996
Views: 65,141
K-01 was hardly a "definitive" test. MILC seems to have a split identity. It can mean:
  • Small! Cute! But still serious enough that you can change the lenses! Let's market this to women! Artsy women! But who still want to put the camera in their purse!

  • Serious MILC for the gadget head. Our customer will love adapting old lenses, will love pretending to have a Leica, will appreciate the technical prowess involved in making our cameras. Our (manly) customer is an iconoclast who will try to prove this camera does everything the Canon 5D MK IX can do!


(Please note: the sexist tone above is SARCASM, though I fear it's real inside of many camera companies.)

I believe Pentax went all-in with the first approach. The Q was the "twee-est" MILC they could make. The K-01 was an attempt to do "fashion forward" within the constraints of an existing mount.

If Pentax gets around to trying to make a MILC for the second market, I think they will do quite well. This is the market where Fuji's top-of-the-line ) and most "traditional") cameras are playing. This is the market where the Sony A7/A9 series is playing. This is where the Olympus EM1 is playing. None of these are "twee" cameras. They are big, they are serious, and -realistically- they could get away with a bigger legacy mount. These customers aren't going to run away from a cool new camera because it adds a few millimetres to the lens throat. They are already putting f/2.8 zooms on, and battery grips. Pentax could easily make a high-end, traditional-feeling MILC with K-Mount that be accepted by these users.

And to answer those who will say "but why bother? It won't be smaller!" I refer you back to my market analysis above. There are good reasons to like mirrorless. I experienced these on the K-01. They include:
  • EXTREMELY accurate focus, because you are focusing on the sensor. All AF alignment issues go away.

  • Easy preview of DOF, filters, processing. I loved shooting on my K-01 with a square crop, black & white mode with red filter.

  • Video. Enough has already been said.


Could a K-2 with HYBRID EVF+OVF do the same? Yes. But I suggest this would be MORE expensive and much riskier R&D than doing a K-02 with an EVF stuffed into the empty reflex hump of a KP or K-1.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-25-2017, 08:50 AM  
For each Pentaxian buying K-1 another Nikon/Canon shooter jumped ship to Pentax
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 996
Views: 65,141
To be clear, I am OVER THE MOON HAPPY that the Pentax K-1 is doing well. I own and shoot Pentax, and the K-1 will almost certainly be in my future. Yay Pentax.

But I was happy to offer an alternative perspective to the second half of the OP:
Not wasting effort on gimmicks which only a irrelevant few whine about:
QuoteQuote:
“Video is not our number one priority. In most cases our customers are not primarily shooting video” with their cameras, Eguchi says.
Regarding the Pentax quote: I agree with Pentax. Even I am not primarily shooting video with Pentax or any other camera. My comments are aligned with Pentax's strategy. Pentax does not need to be world-beating in video. They don't have to spend a lot of money chasing video. That would be a fools errand.

But I tire of the argument that including decent video has some big cost attached to it. Pentax (and everybody else) is using commodity parts. Pentax are already writing basic software to control the video included in those commodity parts. My basic ask of Pentax is to make the best choices they can make about the features they offer. (i.e. allowing manual exposure control, which was an early video bugaboo.)

I'd love to know what the cost of enabling video shooting on Pentax cameras has cost, amortized over each camera. Is it $5 per camera? As soon as photography went digital, every camera became a video camera by definition. No one is asking for radical overhauls that would double the production cost of Pentax cameras. Just smart choices in using their preferred hardware, therefore not arbitrarily shutting out people who sometimes need to shoot some video.

And mentioning the video-less Leica is straw man argument. Leica is choosing to offer LESS functionality from commodity parts. That attitude leads to HIGHER costs as you end up with a product that is both more customized and is amortized over a smaller niche audience. It's as silly an argument as saying "I bought a Leica Monochrome camera because I'm tired of paying for all that stupid expensive color photography technology."
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-21-2017, 06:30 AM  
For each Pentaxian buying K-1 another Nikon/Canon shooter jumped ship to Pentax
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 996
Views: 65,141
It's a false analogy. The reason we get passionate about video is because Pentax is SO CLOSE. We love shooting stills with Pentax, we want to spend our money on Pentax, and we would have no reason to look elsewhere if Pentax paid enough attention to video to make some minor tweaks.

A more accurate analogy would be two pickup trucks:
  • the Panasonic pickup truck can carry one-tonne payloads, has good off-road capability, and can drive on the highway at 100 km/h.

  • the Pentax pickup truck can carry one-tonne payloads, has good off-road capability, but can only drive on local roads at 50 km/h. Why? Probably it needs a new/different transmission. But some problems could be solved by making smaller changes to the gas pedal and the steering wheel.


If you think you EVER need to drive on the highway, you will be less likely to buy that Pentax pickup truck. It doesn't have to be the fastest/best highway truck ever, but if you do the minimum required to allow the Pentax truck onto the highway, you won't lose those sales.

From my previous post: Recipe for Success - Pentax and video - PentaxForums.com

For video, these are the realistic minimum requirements:
  • Frame rates: 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps and 60 fps

  • Resolutions: 1080P and/or 4k

  • High quality codec that supports video editing, i.e. ProRes

  • Real image stabilization (optical or moving the sensor)

  • Manual exposure controls (shutter speed, aperture, ISO)

  • Zebra stripes for over/underexposure

  • Focus peaking

  • Audio input jack

  • Headphone / audio output jack

  • Clean HDMI video output - FULL RESOLUTION, with no overlays of info (so you can record on a different recorder if you want)


None of these things are difficult to implement.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-30-2017, 07:34 AM  
K-02 FF anyone?
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 32
Views: 1,541
Yes, I would love a K-02 FF. Here's my wishlist, in order of importance:

- Articulated (flippy) LCD screen
- Eye level electronic viewfinder (rotatable like the Panasonic GX-7 / GX-8 would be great)
- Classic camera styling (much as I liked the K-01, it was too fashion-forward to be taken seriously.)
Forum: Sold Items 03-29-2017, 12:19 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Fuji GW690II Medium Format Rangefinder camera with 90mm F3.5 lens
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 21
Views: 1,571
Bump - these are awesome cameras. You won't believe the results from a giant 6x9 negative. Plus for daylight fill-flash, that shutter syncs at every speed.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-29-2017, 10:52 AM  
Sony will keep the best sensor for themselves, and give the crappy sensors to Pentax
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 19
Views: 1,948
Whether they currently limit access to the latest sensors or not, Pentax has a long history of getting the best performance from mass-market sensors. Pentax was one of the last to introduce new models based on the venerable Sony 6MP sensor, and reviewers all commented on how much Pentax got out of that sensor. That story is repeated again and again (see Nikon D7000 vs Pentax K5, etc)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-29-2017, 10:27 AM  
"TTL Without Boundaries"
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 25
Views: 2,769
Those disclaimers deflate much of the hope I have for the product.

Plus, this isn't going to work with true TTL. By definition it's going to be iTTL (i.e. preflash based.) So it doesn't enable anything new for my collection of Nikon TTL-era flashes (SB-24, -26, -28.)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-27-2017, 06:46 AM  
Tempted to switch to Canikon as risk mitigation
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 150
Views: 7,138
Feel free to go if you don't feel comfortable with Pentax.

But perspective is important. Pentax have a venerated position in the history of photography, but that respect does not accrue from being the biggest, the best capitalized, or the fastest-moving company. The Pentax culture is conservative. For decades it was built on delivering a bulletproof student/art camera (K1000) and a bulletproof pro camera (6x7) that hit a sweet spot that did not require radical rethinks over the years. Pentax's move into DSLRs was carefully considered. They could have had one of the first DSLRs, and jumped into full frame straight away. When the sensor was problematic, Pentax pulled back. Contax didn't and it doomed them. Pentax took their time to get back into DSLR, and the history from the *ist D to the K1 has been of careful, slow iteration. They find what works, stick with it, and innovate around the edges in ways that are meaningful to working photographers. This approach either suits you, or it doesn't. Because it's a culture that's unlikely to change. I suggest that Ricoh has a very compatible culture to Pentax, taking a similar approach. So I don't expect any changes in strategy.

You mention jumping to Canikon. I can't speak to Canon, but whether you like their products or not, they are the elephant in the room. The system is huge, the "mindspace" of the brand is equally huge. Canon invested in the system, and bought that mindspace, largely through sports. And Canon have never wavered in that strategy. Buying Canon is safe. It's like the old saying from IT management -- noone ever got fired for buying Microsoft. Ditto Canon.

Nikon is a different story from Canon. Nikon has a deep system and has good mindshare -- basically inheriting the photojournalist slot from Leica by building a series of rugged SLRs. The brand positioning for the D6 and the D800 doesn't seem any different than they have had for decades, whether that's the F5/F100 or the F2. But Nikon users don't have the same "carefree" attitude as Canon users and you may find yourself haunted by similar doubts as you have with Pentax. Concerns commonly voiced on Nikon sites/forums include:

- Nikon is an "all eggs in one basket" company. They don't have the deep pockets or diversification that Canon (and ironically Ricoh) have, to weather storms in the photography world.
- Nikon isn't committed to building out the lens portfolio (especially DX / APS crop lenses)
- Nikon is slow to adopt useful / novel features (mirrorless, in body image stabilisation, etc) enticing users to more exciting platforms
- Nikon doesn't take video seriously
- Nikon holds onto flagship bodies for too long, letting other companies leapfrog (D300s ....)
- Nikon has poor software and doesn't understand the "digital native" kids and the connected world

Some of these criticisms sound familiar to Pentax shooters.

I think that Pentax is actually in a really good position - that is compatible with it's historic strategy. It has the 645Z, offering a solid and respected tool that is unapologetically for professional shooters; the K1 for the discerning small format shooter, and a small selection of entry level cameras that have enough novelty and value to build (or hold) the entry level customer. We'd all love Pentax to spend a bit more on marketing, but unless Pentax decides to "own" the next Olympics and repeat Canon's strategy, there is no point going head-to-head against their mindshare.
Forum: Pentax K-S1 & K-S2 03-15-2017, 07:24 AM  
Post your K-S2 Shots Here
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 538
Views: 67,844
Two from the K-S2 with a Tokina AT-X Pro 28-70mm f/2.8.
Forum: Pentax K-S1 & K-S2 03-15-2017, 07:21 AM  
Post your K-S2 Shots Here
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 538
Views: 67,844
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-15-2017, 06:59 AM  
pentax m-e mirrorless camera with aps-c sensor coming??
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 216
Views: 22,177
I keep seeing this thread bumped to the top of the list and I keep hoping to read about a Pentax M-E mirrorless camera with APS-C sensor coming.

Don't judge a thread by it's title ;-)
Forum: Pentax KP 03-14-2017, 09:39 AM  
The KP looks small as hell and featurepacked, finally time to upgrade from my K-01?
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 39
Views: 3,553
I have to disagree. The K-S1 was the K-02. The K-S2 was the K-03 (that's why I bought it, I wanted a K-01 with a flippy screen and viewfinder!) and the KP is the K-04.

Are we all good now :cool:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-08-2017, 12:16 PM  
Selectable Aspect Ratios and 4:5
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 2
Views: 464
Thanks UncleVanya, one more reason to buy a K-1.

I'm glad the K-1 has received an LCD mask -- it's an effective technique that Nikon has used since the F80. I really appreciated the customizable frame lines.

Perhaps Pentax could give us the option of 4:5 lines on the K-1? Firmware update? Please Pentax :-)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-08-2017, 08:33 AM  
New Term LRD =Lens Rebuilding Disease
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 24
Views: 1,125
I bought a bargain 35mm M lens, expressly because it had sticky aperture. I was convinced I could clean it myself and save a fortune.

I haven't gotten the nerve up to tackle the job. Maybe this thread will inspire?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-08-2017, 08:11 AM  
Selectable Aspect Ratios and 4:5
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 2
Views: 464
I love selectable aspect ratios in-camera -- it was a great feature on the Pentax K-01. I was happy to see Pentax take the idea from the Micro 4/3 world where it is standard. This is a feature I hope to see in Pentax cameras again. Obviously this is easier to do in a mirrorless camera, but DSLRs could offer framelines in the viewfinder that adjust.

When/if Pentax adds selectable aspect ratios back to the their cameras, I have one more request: please include 4:5 as an aspect ratio. In North America, common print sizes are based on this ratio, dating back to film photography standards: prints were 4x5 (standard snapshot), 8x10 (standard "portrait" or size for the home) and 16x20 (common enlargement size for home display.)

It seems weird that the whole 4/3 and Micro 4/3 format is based on the dead aspect ratio of televisions and what the kids now call "square monitors." 4:5 makes much more sense as a photographic aspect ratio. After all, the 6x7 film format was marketed as the "ideal" film format for exactly this reason!
Forum: Pentax K-S1 & K-S2 03-07-2017, 11:29 AM  
Post your K-S2 Shots Here
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 538
Views: 67,844
Love this!
Forum: Pentax K-S1 & K-S2 03-07-2017, 11:21 AM  
K-S2 before Sunrise on a cruise ship.
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 12
Views: 1,268
Nice work!
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 02-28-2017, 07:25 AM  
Recipe for Success - Pentax and video
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 98
Views: 5,788
I never had this problem on my K5, or on my K-01. I would often shoot to the max length of recording.

---------- Post added 02-28-17 at 09:48 AM ----------

THANK YOU PENTAX!

Also - big thanks to Adam for asking the question.

I'm so happy they have listened to their customers. As was said well by others -- we don't need Pentax to invest heavily and make radical changes. Simply make choices that respect your users. Allowing us to turn mechanical SR is exactly one of these issues.

Next - clean HDMI :-) Dare to dream.
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 02-10-2017, 07:35 AM  
Recipe for Success - Pentax and video
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 98
Views: 5,788
OK, I used some hyperbole - to attract attention to the conversation.

Is Pentax going to "win"? Is it going to displace Canon and Panasonic in the video/DSLR category? Not likely.

But the features needed in order to provide a reasonable offering, that doesn't push away video shooters, aren't complicated unknowns. Pentax, or any camera company, can take my list and deliver a respectable video camera.

Video/motion picture film shooters are a bit nomadic -- for decades they were asked to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for cameras (or more likely, rent.) The more recent move to Canon or Panasonic DSLR cameras was not "obvious" or pre-destined. It happened because these cameras provided the bare minimum needed (see my list) and offered a unique look (large sensor video with shallow depth of field.) Filmmakers put up with a lot of crap to do it -- shooting a DSLR (or micro 4/3) for video is not intuitive or purpose-built. That's why dedicated motion picture cameras are still made. But video DSLRs are cheaper, offer access to lots of cool glass, and have a good look. If you are a poor filmmaker, or prone to experimentation, why not go for video DSLR? It's this attitude that makes me not want Pentax to give up. If Pentax makes a few tweaks to ensure that the necessary features are present and work correctly, filmmakers will take a risk. Others, who shoot stills but want to be able to occassionally shoot a nice YouTube clip, won't needlessly be driven away from the brand.
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 02-09-2017, 12:43 PM  
Recipe for Success - Pentax and video
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 98
Views: 5,788
We all know Pentax's video efforts could be better. Unfortunately I now fear any "improvements" Pentax will make to video. Twice, Pentax made video LESS useful and LESS attractive for professsional users, because they listened to complaints from un-informed reviewers.

Specifically, reviewers complained:

"Pentax uses old fashioned MJPEG compression on their video. All the kids want H.264 these days!"

MJPEG is so old fashioned that Canon offers it at 500mbps on the 5D Mk IV. It's a format that preserves image quality, has good colour depth, and can be readily edited on professional NLEs. If Pentax wanted to modernize the compression, they should have moved to ProRes, like all the pro/semi pro cameras have. Instead, they listened to the mob and went heavily-compressed H.264. Result: they lost any high-end appeal, and even the uninformed reviewers say "gee, Pentax video quality looks terrible, don't buy Pentax if you want video. Get a Panasonic or Canon instead."

Secondly, reviewers complained:

"Pentax in-body image stabilisation makes a funny buzzing and clanking sound when shooting video. Terrible!"

But the in-body stabilisation was the BEST in the business for video. I have professional shooters who were amazed at the smooth tracking results from handheld Pentax footage. As for the audio --- professionals never use the audio from in-camera mics. Audio is taken either with auxilliary mics plugged into the camera, or recorded on a separate audio recorder. So the in-camera mic issue was never an issue for them. For the non-professionals, Pentax simply defaulted the stabilisation to OFF when shooting video. Problem fixed. But no.... Pentax went ahead and REMOVED in-body stabilisation from video mode, replacing it with a useless and very low quality "on-sensor" stabilisation. Why not at least give users the choice -- move the sensor and risk hearing it on the mic, or choose crappy on-sensor mode for silence?

To win at video, Pentax (or any camera company) needs to provide only these things:
  • Frame rates: 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps and 60 fps

  • Resolutions: 1080P and/or 4k

  • High quality codec that supports video editing, i.e. ProRes

  • Real image stabilization (optical or moving the sensor)

  • Manual exposure controls (shutter speed, aperture, ISO)

  • Zebra stripes for over/underexposure

  • Focus peaking

  • Audio input jack

  • Headphone / audio output jack

  • Clean HDMI video output - FULL RESOLUTION, with no overlays of info (so you can record on a different recorder if you want)


That's literally it -- the complete recipe for video domination!
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