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Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-27-2014, 11:16 AM  
Capture One Pro 8 - worth a try?
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 10
Views: 2,941
I was a user of C1-7 until Photo Ninja came along, so I was intrigued by the v8 release and downloaded a trial version. As before, it produces good looking K-5II files with pleasing colors and does so without much user effort. Creating previews for folders with large numbers of images is a very slow process--and I'm using a new MacPro. I have not yet tested the noise reduction feature, which was a weakness of v7 (lots of cross-hatching). As for me, I'm sticking with Photo Ninja, because of its superior IQ. I can live with its limited feature set, as I prefer to do much of my editing after raw conversion in Perfect Photo Suite 8.5, and I use Photo Mechanic for file ingestion and management. The three programs integrate very smoothly, and the output is superb. Will I purchase C1-8? Probably not. I also own DxO 9, which seems to be comparable to it, at least in terms of IQ, so I don't see much need for another application.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-5 08-18-2014, 10:16 AM  
Head turned by mirrorless APS-C
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 57
Views: 7,470
Sadly, I don't think the essential flaws of the X-Trans sensor have been fully resolved. Whether they matter in real life shooting is up to each individual shooter to decide. I know that they would for me. Below is one fairly recent blog on the subject:

The X-Trans sensor and the false details | Fuji RumorsFuji Rumors

Also attached is a screenshot from DPReview's Comparison Tool that includes the X-T1. The false details are localized but quite evident at 100%. Also bear in mind that false details obscure true details, which puts the lie to Fuji's claim that their 16MP sensor out resolves standard sensors. That is simply garbage.

Edit: BTW, the Sony A7 really rocks in this comparison. And please don't anyone complain that the examples are unfair because they compare 24MP sensors against a 16MP sensor. The issue here is not less detail, but false detail.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-5 08-18-2014, 09:40 AM  
Head turned by mirrorless APS-C
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 57
Views: 7,470
You got me. OK, I would take Sony non-X Trans sensors over the other kind.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-5 08-16-2014, 07:08 PM  
Head turned by mirrorless APS-C
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 57
Views: 7,470
Photo Ninja is considered by many to be the best raw convertor for X-Trans, but I'm not sure that all of the problems with artifacts and fine detail have been solved. I don't follow the Fuji world closely, so I'm just reporting what I have read. In any event, I will take Sony sensors over Fuji.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-5 08-16-2014, 02:02 PM  
Head turned by mirrorless APS-C
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 57
Views: 7,470
The Fuji X-T camera is attractive in many ways. But what no one seems to be mentioning (or may not even be aware of) is the fact that the X-Trans sensors produce artifacts and have difficulty rendering fine detail. This has been documented by many users, including the widely respected Lloyd Chambers (diglloyd). The flaws are sometimes only visible at 100%, but they are there.

Personally, I would be much more interested in the Sony A7/R, if I were in the market for a MILC. In fact, when an A8 eventually arrives on the scene, I will look at it seriously, unless Pentax has produced its own FF mirrorless camera by that time.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-5 08-01-2014, 07:17 PM  
Help - IR image
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 13
Views: 2,249
The K-5, like almost all other digital cameras, has an IR blocking filter in front of the sensor. Thus, even if you place a 720nm filter in front of the lens to block most visible light, there will still be little infrared light hitting the sensor. The best (and possibly the only) way to do proper digital infrared photography, at least with a DSLR, is to have your camera modified by an experienced professional, who will remove the built-in IR blocking filter and insert a visible light blocking filter. 720nm is the one most commonly used, but there are other choices. I had my K-01 modified by Isaac Szabo of szabophotography. You can find him on eBay.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-01 03-28-2014, 06:47 AM  
K-01, a very misunderstood camera
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 194
Views: 23,802
Geomez,

Isaac provides a Photoshop action for processing the IR files. Do you use it? I do not.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of digital color IR photography is the huge latitude that one has in post-processing. After all, there are no true colors, only false colors, which frees the photographer from the requirement to produce images that approximate reality. What this means is that every image is an experiment: Try one approach and then another and then another until you get something that is pleasing. I suppose that as one gains experience working with IR files, a somewhat standardized workflow will evolve, but I have not yet reached that point.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-01 03-26-2014, 10:03 AM  
K-01, a very misunderstood camera
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 194
Views: 23,802
I read on this forum about a fellow in Arkansas who does IR conversions of most cameras, including Pentax. His name is Isaac Szabo, and here is his ebay listing: szabophotography | eBay

I chose the 720nm filter, which is the standard IR filter that blocks almost all visible light. Other filters are available, although I don't know if Isaac uses them. As far as I can tell, the work was very professionally done, and I am quite satisfied with the results. All that the customer has to do is ship the camera to Isaac and wait for him to ship it back. Cost is $200. There are some fancier and more expensive conversion outfits (e.g. MaxMax and Life Pixel) that are reluctant to work on Pentax cameras or simply decline to do so. I have no idea if their product is superior, but the point is moot, as they are Pentax-phobic.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-01 03-25-2014, 07:43 AM  
K-01, a very misunderstood camera
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 194
Views: 23,802
I recently purchased a used K-01 that I had modified for IR photography. It is well suited for that purpose, because of its extremely accurate LiveView CDAF , which is very important for IR due to inherent backfocusing issues. The camera handles well and is very fast. An EVF would be nice to have, but I have learned to live without it.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-01 02-11-2014, 06:12 PM  
K01/21 ltd vs Sigma Sd1m
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 11
Views: 2,076
It's no secret that the DPMerrills are resolution monsters. Few cameras can match them in that regard, including most FF cameras. The problem with the DPMs is very poor usability. They are really only useful in narrowly defined circumstances. But Sigma has just announced a new series called dp2 Quattro. If these cameras address the issues of the Merrills, they will turn quite a few heads.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-01 02-08-2014, 02:45 PM  
Add your best K-01 photos here
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 3,489
Views: 538,419
I just bought a used K-01 that I had converted for IR photography. Here are some of my early efforts that were captured following a snowstorm in New Mexico. I don't know how good the images are, but I am having a blast with the camera and IR editing process.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-01 02-04-2014, 12:28 PM  
Viewing aid for rear LCD
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 9
Views: 1,134
Those look to be very effective, but they are too expensive for a camera that cost me $250 used. ;)

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-01 02-04-2014, 12:27 PM  
Viewing aid for rear LCD
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 9
Views: 1,134
I just discovered that the brightness of the LCD screen can be increased, which makes viewing in sunny conditions much better. Still, I am interested in some sort of removable, collapsible hood device. Here is one that I found that seems to fit the bill. I like the fact that it attaches via the tripod socket and that it does not appear to have a plastic sheet to cover the LCD screen itself (at least I hope it doesn't). I already have one attached to my K-01.

Kaiser digiShield Folding LCD Hood for 3" LCD 206075 B&H

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-01 02-04-2014, 11:32 AM  
Viewing aid for rear LCD
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 9
Views: 1,134
I am a new K-01 owner, and I would like some advice about a hood for viewing the rear LCD screen in bright light. The relatively dim LCD is easily the camera's greatest weakness, IMO. I know that I have seen references to such devices, but I cannot find them at the moment. Are any people using them, and are they more trouble than they are worth?

Thanks,
Rob
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 01-30-2014, 08:49 PM  
Anyone using facial retouching software?
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 15
Views: 2,078
I currently have 4 portrait retouching programs/plugins on my computer, and I can tell you that Portrait Professional is at the top of the class in terms of features and results. There are so many features and tools that the program can be a bit intimidating at first. But as with most things, once you gain familiarity, it's not terribly hard to use. The time spent retouching will depend on whether you are willing to accept the software's default settings. If you like to tweak everything manually, then you will spend considerably more time with each image. Still, the results are easily the best that I have seen.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-3 01-13-2014, 03:43 PM  
Raw Converter - Iridient Developer vs PhotoNinja vs Adobe Camera Raw
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 12
Views: 5,515
I have much experience with DxO and have given v9 a good workout in comparing it to Photo Ninja v1.2 as well as to other raw convertors. My observation is that DxO tends to boost shadows excessively, often creating an HDR look that I find unpleasant. Photo Ninja, on the other hand, can reveal shadow detail without much lightening, thus maintaining global contrast. Also, in PN, you may need to adjust Illumination in conjunction with Shadows to get the shadows just right. One learns to do this with practice.

As far as lens correction is concerned, Photo Ninja has a very neat tool in the Distortion and Geometry module that allows you to create a custom lens distortion filter for any lens. It does require a bit of effort initially, but after that, the filter will always be available. The tool itself is very simple and elegant and not intimidating.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-01 01-09-2014, 05:58 PM  
K-01 still my favorite
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 53
Views: 5,376
Charles,

I am having problems with the FA43/1.9 mounted on my K-01. I should think that it counts as fast glass. My RX1 has a 35/2 lens.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-01 01-09-2014, 11:02 AM  
K-01 still my favorite
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 53
Views: 5,376
I will give it a try with zooming. As an aside, I have an RX1 with non-zoom focus peaking, and it is very easy to get accurate focusing. I think that the K-01's peaking covers too great a depth, meaning that it is not very precise.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-01 01-08-2014, 02:17 PM  
K-01 still my favorite
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 53
Views: 5,376
I recently purchased a used K-01 for the purpose of converting it to an infrared-only camera. It is currently off being fitted with an IR filter. However, in the few days that I had the camera for normal use, I found it to be remarkably responsive with very precise autofocus. What was difficult for me was focus peaking for manual focus. I simply could not get it to work consistently. Perhaps there are some useful tips on how to use this feature properly.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-3 01-06-2014, 01:54 PM  
Raw Converter - Iridient Developer vs PhotoNinja vs Adobe Camera Raw
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 12
Views: 5,515
I have tested and used all three extensively. Photo Ninja is the clear winner in terms of detail and sharpness, as is evident in your own samples, although I fully expect some ACR devotees to insist that their raw convertor is the best. Also, once you become familiar with Photo Ninja, it is the easiest and fastest for getting results. Work with it for about a week, and I think that you will begin to understand what I mean. Learn the presets and the adjustment tools, which are somewhat different than in other programs. Neither PN nor Iridient Developer has local adjustments, printing etc, so you will need a secondary editor for those functions. I use Photoshop, but Lightroom might serve the same purpose.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-5 01-06-2014, 10:41 AM  
Prime for K-5 ll
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 14
Views: 1,295
And here we have the ancient "prime vs zoom" debate. There is no way to resolve this, as each type of lens has advantages and disadvantages. Use whatever you like.

Also, a prime lens may give you a fixed angle of view, but that is not the same as perspective, which depends on how close the camera is to the subject. In that regard, the two most important decisions that a photographer makes is where to stand and when to release the shutter.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-5 01-03-2014, 09:33 PM  
K-5II less ISO-noise ?
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 14
Views: 1,407
The improved autofocus of the K-5II is worth the additional cost, IMO, and gives you better IQ even with the same sensor. If you can afford it, get the K-5II. You will not regret it.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-5 12-21-2013, 11:20 AM  
Anyone done IR photography with a K-5?
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 13
Views: 1,700
Beautiful work.

According to diglloyd, accurate focusing of an IR camera is not a simple matter, and what people think is sharp often is not. One of the advantages of using a Live View CDAF camera is that no lens calibration is needed. Also, focus peaking makes the process even more precise. Another advantage is that the LV image shows what the IR filter is transmitting to the sensor. That makes it easier to visualize how a particular scene will look in IR and also may reveal some interesting IR pics that you might miss with visible light. I'm sure that it can be done well both ways, but I am going to give the K-01 a try. The camera and the conversion should cost me about $450, so the investment is not great.

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-5 12-20-2013, 12:32 PM  
Anyone done IR photography with a K-5?
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 13
Views: 1,700
Upon further consideration, I think that the K-01 may be a better choice for IR conversion, mainly because of its superior Live View CDAF and its manual focus peaking. I will contact szabophotography about doing the job. His eBay ratings are stellar, which may mean something (or not).

Rob
Forum: Pentax K-5 12-19-2013, 05:24 PM  
Anyone done IR photography with a K-5?
Posted By robgo2
Replies: 13
Views: 1,700
Ken,

I have read Lloyd Chambers's (diglloyd) extensive tutorial on IR photography, and he is quite clear on the point of creating a custom WB, using a strongly IR reflecting subject, such as green grass or a tree as "neutral". The reason this is important is that with incorrect WB, the red channel is very likely to pushed far to the right of the green and blue channels, producing blown red highlights. This will show up on the camera's histogram as overexposure. With a proper custom WB, the three channels are more closely aligned, meaning that the histogram will more accurately represent true exposure. So it's not simply a matter of manipulating false colors. Mind you, I am merely paraphrasing Lloyd, not speaking from personal experience.

Rob
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