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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-17-2012, 08:35 AM  
Landscape Primes
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 57
Views: 6,372
I think your choices are very good. I use my 15 Ltd and DFA 100 most for scenic shots, mostly because of the rich contrast and colors these two lenses produce. Don't forget to try Reversal Film mode on scenic shots.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-20-2012, 10:40 AM  
Wide Angles and Filters
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 8
Views: 863
The cheaper the filter and the cheaper the lens the more vignetting you will experience, especially at wider angles.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-20-2012, 10:33 AM  
Sticky: Shoot more than just Pentax? Here's a new site for you!
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 55
Views: 49,327
To expand upon what Eddie and others have mentioned, the atmosphere over there is very civil, but it won't last. Pimple-faced and disgruntled people emboldened by the anonymity of the internet are bound to find and try to disrupt it. There is very little administrators can do about it, but members can do a lot by not taking the bait. If something is obviously a personal attack, don't justify it with a reply. That's exactly what they want, and if they can't get it, they go elsewhere.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-20-2012, 10:14 AM  
Sticky: Shoot more than just Pentax? Here's a new site for you!
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 55
Views: 49,327
I like the site. The only problem I've encountered is the link to the site doesn't work in my email notifications.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-06-2012, 03:21 PM  
Sticky: Shoot more than just Pentax? Here's a new site for you!
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 55
Views: 49,327
Sounds like a great idea, but on the link provided, we can't register yet. Let us know when we can join. I'm much more into photographic techniques than collecting equipment.
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-31-2011, 09:54 AM  
How do you push yourself to be a better photographer?
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 52
Views: 5,132
I believe there is a progression.
Modern technology is so good, almost anyone in auto modes can luck into a good shot if they press the shutter often enough, but for many there comes a point where they want to take control of the creative process and push beyond snapshots into creative photography. I believe most do not turn to creative photography at this point, but to creative processing, trying to create beautiful building upon poor foundations.
All along the way, the eye becomes more critical, and one begins to sense that although an exaggeration, the saying "garbage in-garbage out" has some basic truth to it, and that realy creativity lies in the basics of photography, which can't be learned in any profound sense in auto modes.
My advise it to put everything on manual for a year or so, including focus, and limit yourself to only two dozen or so shots per outing. Shot a prime lens, or a zoom locked at a certain focal length, until when you look at a scene, you see it framed at a certain focal length. These things slow you down and cause you to not only think the shot through, but also help you develop a "photographic vision."
Once one develops a solid understanding of how the three basics elements of a camera work in unison to interpret light, depth of field, hyperfocal distance and so forth; and how this all realtes to the creative mood of an image, they begin creating with photographic control for much more consistency than relying mostly upon the camera's technology and a rapid index finger.
At this point, one realizes that despite all the technicalogical advances in photography, what still sparates an outstanding images from thousands of snapshots is the same as it was 100 years ago: exactly what one puts into the frame and exactly when one snaps the shutter. That part is still totally up to the photographer.
And then one realizes there really is no substitute for good light, so they begin chasing good light, or introducing it through artificial means and often a combination of the two, whether in a studio or outdoors.
Improving one's photography today, I believe, is not so much learning to utilize advanced technology, as it is learning the basics that are hidden behind the auto functions. Then one can utilize certain trustworthy auto functions with a purpose and override them whenever the light dictates.
At the end of this photographic rainbow lies the light. It's basically all about the light.
Forum: Pentax K-5 12-10-2011, 09:45 AM  
K-5 flash over-exposure solutions?
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 42
Views: 6,296
Lowell, I'm not sure about the K5, because I haven't tried flash in P mode with it yet, but with my K10D and K20D, putting them on P mode with either the camera or hot-shoe flash always chose a default 100 ISO.
Forum: Pentax K-5 12-09-2011, 08:49 AM  
K-5 flash over-exposure solutions?
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 42
Views: 6,296
Actually, I've never liked P mode and auto flash settings with any camera. Flash, even fill, is kind of tricky, and over the years, I've gravitated toward using it in AV mode, most of the time with the flash in manual mode. I've developed an instinct for ambiant light/apature/distance/flash output settings (mostly full power). It's not as hard as it sounds. Stopping down gives me a more pleasing effect for DOF, sharper shots and I like the light fall off it creates for low light situations. The only time P and P-TTL works well for me, is in bright sunlight, and even then, I can usually get a richer shot in AV with calculated overrides. It's not just Pentax, because I shot Nikons for decades. Auto modes are inconsistent with flashes, and I almost always use a diffuser to avoid hot spots, glare and harsh shadows, especially with slaves. I use flash a great deal outdoors, because I love the rich, smooth look it gives colors and the Nat Geo kind of 3D look and pop it produces.
Experiment with it.
Forum: Pentax K-5 12-08-2011, 01:39 PM  
K-5 flash over-exposure solutions?
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 42
Views: 6,296
Are you using P mode to fully utilize P-TTL? Do you drop down the diffusor plate? What is the distance of the subjects that overexpose?
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-07-2011, 09:35 AM  
Which Flash suits my needs best?
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 33
Views: 4,433
For all the things you want to do, you'll find the 540 much more accurate, versatile and powerful than the 360. I made the mistake of trying to save some money with the 360. It's performance isn't bad, but the build quality is terrible. Had the litterally tape up the battery door and the mounting plate broke. It's only good as a slave now. The Metz 58 is good as well, but it's best if you know something about manual flash opperations, so I suggest the 540 designed specifically for Pentax cameras.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 11-30-2011, 09:03 PM  
Pentax Digital Camera utility 4 software update
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 6
Views: 3,542
Thanks Bob.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-30-2011, 12:05 PM  
K5 iso 80
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 22
Views: 6,638
I shoot everything at the lowest ISO possible, and before getting the K5, I figured the expanded 80 ISO was something of a gimic. Not so. Even though we are only talking 20 points lower than 100, I've seen a considerable improvement in IQ at ISO 80. I don't know why the range has to be "expanded" to get it, or whether it is a "software thing" or not--but I sure like it.
However, this camera also takes the best clowdy and low-light images of any camera I've own at 400 and even 800 ISO.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-29-2011, 12:04 PM  
K5 Focus Manual Problems
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 11
Views: 1,591
Looks to me like you may have forgotten to adjust the diopter?
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 11-28-2011, 02:01 PM  
Beginner question re: digital processing
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 16
Views: 1,640
Try converting your RAW files with CPU4 that came with your K5.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-22-2011, 07:20 AM  
K5 Camera Raw
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 53
Views: 10,175
After testing a large number of programs, I came to the conclusion that all Adobe products are designed primarily with Canon and Nikon in mind, and that nothing converts RAW files and preserves those "Pentax colors," better than the software that comes free with the cameras. It is designed specifically for Pentax, and Pentax packages it with their cameras to get the most from them. Previous versions were clumsy, but CPU4 is about as user friendly as any software out there and much easier than most.
I still use ACDsee for some JPEG tweaking and PS (rarely) for things that require layers, but for initial edits and conversions, I believe using anything but CPU4 is a waste of money for inferior results.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-15-2011, 06:38 AM  
Red Faces
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 14
Views: 1,445
I don't want my photos to look exactly like the scene--I want them to look better. Sometimes that means bumping the contrast and saturation, such as in outdoor scenes. Other times it means the opposite, such as in portraits. Skin tones vary widely and age is a factor. There is no standard. Olive skin is best. Blonds and black people are hardest. Lighting and makup are crutial (pretty women seem to have a knack for it, less attractive people overdo it). Background color and placement are important. The portrait setting on a K5 is pretty good. Flash often is flattering, not just to skin tone, but bokeh. FL plays a role, and some lenses produce better skin tones. Of those I have, the DFA 100mm Macro is best. A CPL helps with others, especially older A and M lenses.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-14-2011, 07:29 AM  
K5 Camera Raw
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 53
Views: 10,175
I think the CPU4 that comes with the K5 is better than any Adobe product for processing and converting RAW images.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-14-2011, 07:25 AM  
Lens Advice for a Beginner
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 36
Views: 2,869
Pentax kit lenses privide excellent quality in strong light, and 18mm sometimes is too wide for landscapes, though about right for most. More expensive lenses have features you may not appreciate at this point. In fact, faster, more expensive lenses may cause you problems or confusion at first, just as some have problems stepping up from a P&S to a DSLR and trying to use it the same way. After you learn more about photography and develop a style, you'll know what you want.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 11-07-2011, 10:52 AM  
Nature Samyang 8mm sunset
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 17
Views: 1,697
That's nice. This lens, or the 10mm, is on my short list.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-04-2011, 09:42 AM  
Whats the best portrait lens for a K20D?
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 50
Views: 8,200
I'd suggest the DFA 100mm Macro, because of the working distance, good bokeh at f-2.8 and especially the way it renders flesh tones. Any lens will do dark or olive complexions. It's the blonds that give most lenses fits. Regardless, lighting is most important.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-03-2011, 07:54 AM  
Best New K5 Features
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 45
Views: 6,947
I agree Elho. The K5 with CPU4 is like having a double upgrade. Great software, finally. And a bonus is that I can apply all the adjustments and shooting modes to older models' RAW images as well. My K10D has been "upgraded" greatly in this way.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 10-23-2011, 09:35 AM  
Do you shoot Canon or Nikon?
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 11
Views: 1,215
I came up with a great, off-the-cuff response to this question one time:
No, Canon and Nikon are what people who fall for TV ads buy. Those who really know about photography shoot Pentax.
"Ohh," she said with wide eyes.
Not true, of course, but I liked it.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 10-22-2011, 09:58 AM  
Just Published - my first Pentax K5 only Wildlife Photobook
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 15
Views: 3,425
What did it cost?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-19-2011, 08:53 AM  
Choosing a Lens
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 22
Views: 1,863
I'm very practical and pragmatic about lenses, and after decades of zooms, I switched to all primes. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the most important is the first one the OP mentioned: focal length. Having all primes, I can look at a scene and can automatically see what FL is best, because I have only five, and I'm familiar with the POV of all. This give me a "photographic vision." Besides, with primes, I'm better at comp.: which means they make me a better photographer. I have yet to come across a scene I couldn't capture with either my 15mm, 35mm, 50mm, 100mm or 200mm. With few lenses and all primes, I've learned the sweet spots and ultimate assets of each. IQ is a big deal to me, and I think saving to get a good lens is far better than filling a shelf with sub-par glass.
It also took me decades to really lean the importance of glass, which is why I often say: The body gets you there, but it is the eye (lens) that sees.
Forum: Pentax K-5 10-19-2011, 08:15 AM  
Best New K5 Features
Posted By Ron Kruger
Replies: 45
Views: 6,947
I miss the external SR control, but really like the ISO button. I wish there was a setting that would automatically turn off SR when the shutter speed doubled or exceeded the FL.
I bounce around between three (sometimes four) cameras, and they are all a little different, so I often have to glance at the camera for settings, but this is mostly for instant review and trash, so actual shooting usually isn't a problem.
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