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Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-21-2014, 12:51 AM  
How about cheap Triopo tripod legs?
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 22
Views: 8,037
I bought a Triopo MT 2805 n6.c tripod - aluminium body, versatile design and good for most things but, the B2 ballhead (rated to 8 kgs load, and 34mm diameter) is unimpressive. I don't see why it gets good reviews - here's why. I set up camera and Sigma 120 - 400mm lens and aim at the moon. I tighten all the screws as much as I can (the knobs are small and this may part of the problem), let go and the camera/lens assembly sags enough for the moon to move out of the view finder. I have to compensate by guessing how much it will sag. Camera and lens combo weigh less than 8 kg.

Also, the panning movement of the ball head, while it feels smooth to the hand, is in fact not smooth as can be seen through the LV function of the camera if one is doing video. This tripod is not a video tripod. The salesman warned me about this and advised that when panning, I should stretch a rubber band from a knob to my hand and pull the head around with the tension of the rubber band - the stretch of the rubber band absorbs the frictional roughness from the head as it rotates.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-31-2014, 10:46 AM  
Sigma EF 530 DG Super exposure problem
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 8
Views: 1,126
I checked with the local agency and was told that the flash did not need any updating.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-13-2014, 07:53 AM  
Sigma EF 530 DG Super exposure problem
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 8
Views: 1,126
Thanks for the heads up on the firmware update. I'll check it.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-13-2014, 02:05 AM  
Sigma EF 530 DG Super exposure problem
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 8
Views: 1,126
Hi all, I'm looking for some guidance from anyone using the Sigma 530 model listed above. I've posted this message in DP review as well but this is the best place for Pentax help.

I've recently been using Above mentioned flash with a Pentax KR using the flash in PTTL and the camera in P mode.

At the time that this flash became popular for Pentax users, there was a lot of writing about inconsistent performance or inexplicable performance i.e. the flash would not perform as expected. I recall a night shot outdoors test where its range was limited to about 10 meters in PTTL mode but increased to 15 meters when used in manual mode (flash output was set to max.).

My current problem is that, especially with subjects close by (e.g. 4 ft. distance), the camera and or flash gets the exposure right and then totally over-exposes for the next few shots. The subject in question fills the VF i.e there are no dark areas that the flash is trying to illuminate. Camera settings and lens focal length don't change, only the amount of flash output changes. The distance scale on the flash LCD indicates a working distance down to 2 foot so the subject is within the range of the flash.

I'm assuming there is something wrong with the flash but since the camera and flash work as a unit, it could also be something wrong with camera electronics. Which is it? I'm guessing it is the flash but is there any way of establishing this? The inconsistency of the problem is a nuisance and effectively renders the flash useless for social functions, such as the birthday party I was asked to photograph last week, as I can't rely on it.

Any experienced suggestions will be welcome.
Forum: Pentax K-r 05-20-2013, 05:09 AM  
General purpose all-in-one day to day usage lens
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 15
Views: 3,287
This is an old post but other folk may look in for guidance.

I bought the Tamron 18 - 250mm lens a few years ago. In looking back through my pictures not one of them is really crisp, spot on sharp. Sharpness is a relative term - I can sharpen these images with software and make them looker crisper but the true fact about this lens is revealed by lens tests and it comes out as average for sharpness. That is my experience as well.

For a different camera brand, I bought the later 18 - 270mm PZD lens - much better than the earlier model - sharper, less CA and the PZ drive is terrific. I think however that Tamron does not make the 18 - 270mm model to fit Pentax - I write under correction on this point though. But if I am wrong, ignore the old 18 - 250mm model, bite the bullet and get the new lens.

One other issue that I experienced with the 18 - 250mm lens (that others have endorsed) is that it does not focus accurately at wide angle for short range shots - the workaround is to focus on a telephoto setting and then zoom out.

Since Adam says that the 18 - 135 Pentax lens is sharper, take his word for it.
Forum: Pentax K-r 03-11-2013, 06:16 AM  
Did all K-r users have FF or BF AF problems ?
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 34
Views: 5,890
This so called Tungsten light setting solution does not fix the problem, as many readers have attested. What can fix it is a replacement of the relevant circuitry in the camera, or, simply, a blue filter over the lens, leaving WB set to white light e.g. daylight. The Tungsten setting in WB menu simply adds a blue filter to the image to cancel the yellow colouring. You can do the same in PP with a raw image. The FF problem is caused by the wavelength of Tungsten light. Balancing the incoming light with blue filtering enables correct focus.
Forum: Pentax K-r 03-11-2013, 06:09 AM  
Pentax K-R Tamron Lens DI2 18-250
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 11
Views: 2,116
Your problem sounds like the same thing I had with a brand new Pentax DA 55 - 300mm lens. It had to be replaced under guarantee. In your case, it needs a repair. This story is to show that Pentax lenses are no immune to this sort of thing.
Forum: Pentax K-r 03-07-2013, 10:57 AM  
Fixing pentax kr edial issue
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 4
Views: 4,706
I suppose there is always a first time for everyone but a simple search through these pages will give you all the info you need. But here's a word of advice - when spraying cleaning fluid into the edial, hold the camera upside down so that the dissolved lubricant and solvent does not drip down on the electronics below the edial.

And yes, you will have to redo it once in a while but dont overdo it. The lubricant does serve a good purpose but Pentax put too much into the dial. If it dries out, you will wear the contacts away prematurely. Make sure it is electronic circuit board cleaning fluid - it is a special chemical and is expensive but cheaper than sending the camera in for 'repair'. Dont use anything else - this is NB!
Forum: Pentax K-r 01-30-2013, 05:46 AM  
Did all K-r users have FF or BF AF problems ?
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 34
Views: 5,890
Many people have reported a FF on the KR in yellow light i.e. a low Kelvin temperature.

I have an idea which I wonder if anyone has tried out - use a light blue filter on the lens - this will shift the wavelength back up the Kelvin scale and possibly correct the problem?

WB can be custom set with the filter in place so wont be a problem.

It seems that the AF module is confused by the longer wavelength of low Kelvin temperatures.

Adjusting the WB to a tungsten setting should not make any difference as it is simply a blue filter applied after light reaches the sensor - the same light reaches the focus module and therefore is still light at a low Kelvin temp. The light has to be 'blued up' before it reaches the sensor.

Please let us know if this works - I dont have a blue filter to try out this theory and have in any case thus far not had problems in indoor lighting.
Forum: Photography Articles 01-18-2013, 05:23 AM  
Macro Extension Tube Demonstration
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 14
Views: 15,227
I have the same tubes and lens! The curvature of field is more extreme than Dosdan makes out. This reduces the effectiveness of this set up for extreme closeups - one is limited to a small portion of the center field. The effectiveness of this setup is likely to improve if one uses a longer focal length prime lens but I dont know what is out there in the old but good category.

But the lens is wonderfully sharp - it is a pity that the images are hand held - the end result at modest magnification can be gratifying. A small tripod is very handy for studio shots.

Regarding the use of kit lenses, this can be done! Simply stick the aperture lever back with some tape while the lens is off the camera.
Forum: Photography Articles 01-18-2013, 05:11 AM  
Reminder of in-camera noise reduction technique
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 0
Views: 2,683
The new Arc Soft noise reduction competition just announced seems to rely on stacking of multiple images.

This is an old technique that has presumably been refined with dedicated software.

I recall when the K10D came out, some articles about using the multiple exposure setting in the camera to reduce noise. One has to keep the camera rock steady and take as many multiple images as you can do and then let the camera do the software magic.

This is also a good techniques for intentional blurring of moving subjects, such as flowing water. It overcomes the absence of neutral density filters in bright light by reducing exposure time and combining the resultant shots.

Arc Soft has presumably built in image alignment functions to overcome slight shifting or shaking of the camera when taking a burst of images. Even on a tripod, the mirror slap will impart small vibrations into the camera.

The limitation of the Arc Soft software seems to be that their NR will only be effective on multiple shots, which implies static subjects and a stable shooting position.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-09-2012, 06:31 AM  
Add on wide angle adapter
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 17
Views: 3,463
Thanks to all who responded, every comment is helpful. It looks like a consensus that screw on adapters are a waste of money. I wonder why manufacturers don't make some that work? It shouldn't take rocket science to tailor such a lens.

I cant face the cost of a dedicated WA lens when I use it once in a blue moon. Back to pano shots and the stiching software.:)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-07-2012, 12:02 AM  
Add on wide angle adapter
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 17
Views: 3,463
Good day, does anyone know of a wide angle adapter screw on lens that can be used on the 18-55mm kit lens?

There are some advertised on Amazon but I can't find images taken with these screw on adapters. I've seen 0.5x adapters advertised but I expect too much distortion from these. A 0.7x adapter seems like the right value.

Thanks.
Forum: Pentax K-r 12-06-2012, 11:55 PM  
The shot of a lifetime!
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 7
Views: 2,049
Sorry to hear about your problem. Do you want to get your frustration off your chest or get some help? It is not clear.

If you want help, post 4 sec image and a good image along with the exif data. Then perhaps we will be able to diagnose what went wrong.

In the meantime thouigh, it seems as if it is most likely to be user error, sorry to say but your camera does not read your mind and a 4 sec. exposure implies a wrong setting.
Forum: Pentax K-r 12-06-2012, 11:31 PM  
Has anyone used A 50mm?
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 33
Views: 4,207
Hi, sorry to say but those pix are blurred - maybe your shutter speed is too low for your hands?

I have the f1.7 50mm lens and it is dfficult to focus - the DOF is very short at big apertures and your exif data does not indicate what aperture setting you used, so maybe that is part of the problem?

Use LV next time and stabilise the camera with something like a tripod or table.
Forum: Pentax K-r 12-06-2012, 11:12 PM  
Tamron A18 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 LD Di-II Aspherical IF AF Lens for Pentax
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 13
Views: 3,237
Hi, a word of warning. I use this lens - it is OK, not great but OK for the money - not very sharp and poor contrast at 250mm end of the range. But I use DxO Pro software which I must recommend if you use this lens - it sharpens to images so well that it makes it look like a much better quality lens.

The warning is about focusing at the wide angle setting - the lens focuses approximately, not exactly. For example, focus on anything you like at wide angle, take a note of where the focusing mark shows on the lens barrel, then zoom in and focus again. You will find that the lens now refocuses to a new position, which is more accurate.

This has become my way of using this lens, focus at a zoomed setting and then hold the shutter button and zoom out and take the shot.

The new PZD model of this lens has an improved wide angle focus and I read an announcement that Pentax has or will be releasing their version of this lens.

Also the new Sigma 18 - 250mm has been rated as sharper than the Tamron but I haven't checked to see if it fits the K mount.
Forum: Pentax K-r 12-06-2012, 11:02 PM  
Mirror flop issue
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 33
Views: 15,146
I'm fortunate I suppose, I've only had the e-wheel problem on my KR - fixed with a spray of contact cleaner but that wore off and I had to do it again. But at least no mirror flop problem.

It is great that there is a relatively cheap fix (AA batteries) but I wonder why the problem even exists? Li-on batteries are supposed to store a lot of charge, for hundreds of cycles. Are the batteries supplied by Pentax made by some crappy factory in China that is fudging on QC?

Or are the contacts on the battery oxidised? Somewhat difficult to clean them but can use e.g. nail varnish remover solvent or thinners on an earbud to rub each contact clean. This may be worth doing before buying AA batteries and the holder.

But whatever, it is sooo disappointing that Pentax releases poor quality equipment.
Forum: Pentax K-r 10-29-2012, 12:08 AM  
AF Fine adjustment
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 23
Views: 11,625
The AF adjustment appears to be meant for using one specific prime lens only. The method of recording settings for different lenses, and then adjusting AF settings as you change lenses seems laborious but is a work around if really necessary.

But with zoom lenses, which part of the zoom range do you adjust? Here's my dllemma - I use a Tamron 18 - 250mm zoom lens. At wide angle, the lens 'focuses' at a range that clearly exceeds the actual distance for medium close up objects - one can read the distance indicator off the lens barrel. By zooming in, I can refocus, accurately, and then I need to lock that focus and zoom out again.

The problem I presume is with my lens as it focuses accurately as I increase the focal length. Resetting the AF setting in my camera will mess up the focus accuracy for longer focal lengths. So the AF adjustment ultimately is of no value to me and anyone else who prefers zoom lenses.
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 08-11-2012, 05:03 AM  
K-30 vs d5100
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 27
Views: 11,387
The reviews above are all really informative. I have a D5100 and a K-R. I would go for the k30 now if I was in the market for a 16mp APS-C camera for all the reasons listed above except the following: The issue about old lenses being used on the Pentax, with built in image stabilisation is a red herring. Modern Nikon VR lenses with focusing motors are way nicer to use than anything on a Pentax camera - the VR is better than the built in stabilisation of Pentax (hey, I use both brands so I am making a user based comparison) and the silence of the built in motor is fabulous - this is really worthwhile if you are into birdwatching. It is worth the price premium.

The other thing that would make me hesitate is Pentax's reputation for designed in problems that you get stuck with - remember the shuuter induced blur at 1/60s on the KX, the tungsten light misfocusing problem on the K-R and some other issue on the K5 that a lot of users complained about? Who's to say that the K30 won't follow in those footsteps. The D5100 on the other hand hasn't had a single issue.

But I do like the way Pentax fits in my hand and the menu layout is so much more sensible than Nikon's.
Forum: Visitors' Center 08-04-2012, 12:14 AM  
Melted card in my camera
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 17
Views: 2,732
Your solution is to swop systems for Pentax. No pentax user has yet complained about this.
Forum: Visitors' Center 08-04-2012, 12:08 AM  
help with buying 1st Digital SLR
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 13
Views: 1,084
I'm instinctively wary of any product that has a fault. You can of course get it fixed but to do so is likely to turn your 'good price' buy into a 'it wasn't worth it' product later on.

The use of AF lenses is the modern way to go but the ability to switch over to manual focus is helpful for those times when the light is getting weak and the AF system just will not lock in properly.

I advise you to look at a second hand KR instead. There are at least 20 detailed improvements compared to the KX, most notably in my opinion the improved AF system. I know because I've used both and still use the KR.
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 07-24-2012, 10:57 AM  
One thing reviews miss (to me)
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 13
Views: 1,797
Pentax has the best ergonomics, fit in the hand and user interface of the big three (I exclude Sony and Olympus). I use a Nikon d5100 as well and prefer handling the Pentax. I really wish they had a bigger marketing budget - they deserve to be number 2 (not #1, that place rightfully belongs to Nikon for various technical reasons that add up to better images (but at a pro level - for amateur usage, I really think Pentax offers better value - hopefully the built in quality issues of the past few models has now been ironed out in the K30 - time will tell).
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 07-21-2012, 12:18 AM  
Lamp issue with 18-135
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 5
Views: 873
Bad design! The body is slightly too small so everything is squashed together. Pentax has been doing the smaller body thing since the K7 and frankly, it is pointless - I much prefer something I can hold properly - DSLRS are never going to be pocket cameras so why chase the small body theme?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-16-2012, 03:28 AM  
Are battery issues for the Kx still relevant?
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 22
Views: 2,042
I updated the fw but it made no difference. My K-X worked through batteries very quickly and had an unreliable battery meter - it never gave an accurate indication. The solution was simply to carry extra batteries and live with a less than perfect camera (along with the mirror vibration issue at 1/60s). AF was also not as good as on the K-R and so I replaced the K-X with the K-R, which is close to being a perfect camera for its type - at least the K-X issues were sorted out but never acknowledged by Pentax.

I really like the pentax body design and UI but the issues that most of their cameras carry were enough to close the door to further Pentax upgrades. In retrospect, if I had bought a K20, I think I'd still be using it and may not have bought the K-X.
Forum: Pentax K-r 04-02-2012, 02:48 AM  
Pentax K-r vs. Canon 5D Mark II
Posted By jlaubza
Replies: 25
Views: 5,386
To me, the red on the cup is brighter and the green of the foilage in the background is artificially bright on the Pentax photo. This goes to show that colour preference and not colour accuracy is what any camera produces. I suppose it is easy to set the jpeg settings for both camera's to get closer to each other but be aware that the red channel in the Pentax is driven close to saturation whilst on Canon and Nikon, there is more head room on the red channel. I suppose this is one reason why professionals who PP their raw images stick with Nikon or Canon rather than Pentax. Not to say that Pro's dont use Pentax but they appear to be in the minority.
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