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Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 3 Days Ago  
Digital Camera Utility (DCU) 5.8.5 out and ready for download
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 1
Views: 446
Ricoh has updated its Digital Camera Utility to version 5.8.5, mainly to add support for the new Pentax-DFA 70-210mm F4 telephoto zoom lens, and to correct a few minor bugs, it seems.

Here's a link to the download page of Ricoh Imaging Japan, which, as usual, offers both Windows and Mac versions (under Software/Digital Camera Utility 5 Update):

Software Downloads : Support & Service | RICOH IMAGING

Have already installed it on my PC, and it seems to be running without immediately noticeable issues.
Forum: General Photography 3 Days Ago  
Environmental black&white mini-doc (inspirational)
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 5
Views: 353
Great find, thanks for posting this, biz-engineer.
Forum: Pentax K-3 3 Days Ago  
Unreal! How can Pentax not be more popular?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 22
Views: 1,172
Couldn't resist googling this, as it vaguely sounded like something from Shakespeare. But of course, it is something King Henry II supposedly said back in 1170. A couple of days later, Archbishop Thomas Becket's brains lay scattered on the floor of the northwest transept of Canterbury Cathedral because four of Henry's knights took the king's words of exasperation as an instruction.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 3 Days Ago  
Poll: Why did you go full frame?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 75
Views: 2,007
Have never made the jump to FF digital, because APS-C digital IQ has improved to a point where it is easily good enough for anything I would ever want to do with it. When well-lit scenes have yielded gorgeous 50 x 75cm (K-7) and 60 x 90cm (K-3) prints which are adorning my walls, there is not much left to be desired. I'm not trying to argue away that those prints would look even better from K-1 or K-1 II files, particularly with low-light shots, but those differences have never seemed compelling enough to me to justify the size, weight, obtrusiveness, and cost penalty that FF brings. If IQ and DOF are really that much of an issue, and costs matter as little as they seem to do, why aren't more people shooting MF? Now that would be a capable sensor format.

Don't get me wrong: I know perfectly well that compromises can be made and justified at various levels, and that people have different quality standards. I appreciate that we have the choice between so many different formats, and I don't begrudge people their FF systems at all. However, the constant rationalizing of the "need" for FF and the whining about marginally smaller sensors "not being good enough for what I do", often from people who shoot little more than family pics, never fail to set off my BS alert. Wanting something is a perfectly valid reason for getting it if you can afford it and don't harm others with it, but relentlessly pretending that you absolutely "need" it is another matter IMO.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 4 Days Ago  
Good products are terrible for business
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 10
Views: 830
Good products, both absolute and relative to the money paid for them, I'd wager, have been essential to Pentax's survival as a niche player. People's nervousness about premature aperture block or SDM failure is quite real and well documented on this forum. Fortunately, Pentaxians sense that these are atypical missteps of a manufacturer who usually provides reliably good, if not superior-quality products.

As for monitors, I doubt that I'd take the leap and buy BenQ again if my SW2700PT died on me too early. It would likely serve to convince me that it was time for an Eizo, I guess.
Forum: Pentax K-3 4 Days Ago  
Unreal! How can Pentax not be more popular?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 22
Views: 1,172
Er, actually for a number of reasons, but mostly because people act like sheep. :D
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-12-2020, 12:03 PM  
German Ricoh Pentax Online Store lists "Upsell Produkte"
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 16
Views: 1,500
The Duden, the most influential dictionary of the German language, does not even list upsell as a word. And the German-language version of Wikipedia explains upselling as the marketing strategy of trying to sell a customer a more expensive product or service than they originally requested.

This sense is hard to reconcile with the related products shown on the page for the DA12-24. In all likelihood, therefore, the person who wrote this doesn't have the slightest inkling of what upsell means in either of the two languages. English-sounding terms are commonly used in German marketing for their perceived hipness or coolness factor, often with little sensitivity to their actual meaning in the source language.

Bottom line: Don't jump to conclusions -- it means little (if anything) beyond 'You might also like these cool offerings'.
Forum: General Photography 02-11-2020, 10:47 AM  
What are your DSLR dealbreakers?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 161
Views: 3,592
Er, obsessive fretting about "deal-breakers" -- overemphasis of single features without considering the whole package?

Admittedly, there are a couple of things that would seriously put me off:
  • iffy image output quality

  • poor ergonomics and user interface

  • lack of a serious OVF

  • cheap materials/parts, shoddy build quality

  • excessive bulk and weight

  • lack of weather-sealing and general ruggedness

  • poor processability of RAW image files

  • sluggish, imprecise AF performance

  • uninspiring native lenses

  • utter joylessness

  • total inaffordability

Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 02-09-2020, 01:47 AM  
Dynamic range
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 2
Views: 619
Thanks for posting, Ray. A lot of tech talk, but unfortunately little explanation. Even looking at his conclusions, I found somewhat hard to detect the major takeaway for actual photography.

I do gather that with modern backside-illuminated (BSI) sensors (as the new APS-C flagship body will likely have), you basically have two base ISOs, in his example ISO100 and ISO640, which would be preferable to a mere ETTR (expose-to-the-right) approach to exposure if you wanted to minimize noise (and maximize dynamic range), particularly in landscape photography, where blown-out highlights in clouds are not desirable. Er, is that it?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-07-2020, 12:37 PM  
Ricoh's financial results for Q3: improved Smart Vision's earnings
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 87
Views: 4,816
Appreciated, Mistral75. The industry as a whole is struggling, and it's good to see that Ricoh's "Other" section seems to be weathering the storm reasonably well under the given circumstances. Which could mean that Pentax will be around a little longer than the habitual doom-mongers are trying to make us believe. Adds a little to one's peace of mind when you have spent years on building a nice kit, love shooting with it, and are looking to invest further into it.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-04-2020, 02:55 PM  
Have you experienced pressure to switch systems?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 45
Views: 1,844
As a non-pro photographer, I've never experienced such pressure to change systems in real-life interactions. And, given that I'm not at all confused about what I like about the Pentax system and how it has benefited my photography, I'm pretty immune to it anyway.
Forum: Pentax K-1 02-02-2020, 05:19 PM  
Sensor Cleaning Advise K1MII
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 19
Views: 822
Streaking may occur, in my experience,
  • when cleaning fluids from lesser brands are used (less than optimal formula)

  • when excessive amounts of cleaning fluid are used (disregard of instructions)

  • when too much time elapses before the liquid-treated swab is actually applied to the sensor (liquid already beginning to dry out)

None of the streaking I ever encountered was too stubborn to remove with a little perseverance (and a sufficient supply of swabs). Performing a wet clean is a skill, but one that can be learnt. And once you have learnt it, you no longer need to rely on other people to do the job for you. People who may care a lot less about your gear than you yourself do.

Admittedly, it's not exactly for the faint-hearted, but once you get the knack of it, it is kind of liberating.
Forum: Pentax K-1 02-02-2020, 07:26 AM  
Sensor Cleaning Advise K1MII
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 19
Views: 822
Again, a matter of technique and practice, I'd wager. The video I linked to summarizes some of the wet cleaning "secrets", and picking dependable swabs and fluids is another thing to look out for. Replying to an email enquiry, VSGO expressly confirmed to me that their cleaning liquid was safe for use on AA-filterless sensors like the one of the K-3. Properly executed, wet cleaning will give you a squeaky-clean sensor without anything that could be detected by the Dust Alert feature nor by extreme pixel-peeping.

It may be just a feeling, but I am also under the impression that the wet cleaning makes it less likely for something new to stick on the sensor for quite a while after the procedure. But as with so many things, it ultimately boils down to what works for the individual user, I guess.
Forum: Pentax K-1 02-02-2020, 05:11 AM  
Sensor Cleaning Advise K1MII
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 19
Views: 822
Sorry, but no love for the O-ICK1 kit for my part. Tried it on my K-3 once, and it was leaving more sticky garbage on my sensor than it was taking dust away from it (possibly due to user error, but I didn't apply undue pressure). Therefore, I perform a wet cleaning whenever there is any bother with sensor dust that the Dust Removal feature the K-3 cannot remove, which happened on no more than two occasions in all the 5+ years I've shot the camera. I should note that I keep my photo equipment meticulously clean, including lens caps and mounts, and have Dust Removal enabled as startup and shutdown action. As for sensor swabs and cleaning liquid, I exclusively trust those by VSGO (see david94903's post #9 above) and Rollei. VSGO is OEM supplier of cleaning kits for Nikon, and Rollei seems to source its own from VSGO.

I normally don't link to Ken Wheeler videos because I don't like his self-obsessed style, but this one struck me as pretty instructive about wet cleaning technique:

You Tube

Forum: Pentax KP 02-01-2020, 06:54 AM  
Kai and the Pentax KP
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 14
Views: 1,406
Perfectly valid point, at least the first part of it. However, even judging from Kai's own precedent, his attempt at some light-hearted Pentax appreciation is, well, pretty lame. When I have to pick between Kai's eternal-adolescent humour and Tony's wannabe geekery, "used-car" salesmanship, and unbridled narcissism, I might even prefer Kai's approach, although both tend to be a waste of time IMO.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-01-2020, 06:34 AM  
What We Want Most
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 17
Views: 812
Despite all our little gear acquisition frustrations and delays, let's be fair, boys: Marriages and families have always involved compromises, and wives can be an effective check on some of our less-than-prudent impulses. At least, I'm forced to make a compelling case for getting a costly piece of new gear, not just with my wife but also with myself. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. And whenever I was able to make a strong case, my wife has been ultimately supportive, as soon as the family budget allowed. Likewise, if she fancies something substantial, she will have to convince me too. It's a give and take.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-31-2020, 12:31 PM  
What We Want Most
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 17
Views: 812
To her credit, mine has been okay with me starting my Pentax DSLR journey in the first place, with the K-7 back in 2009. Since then, with careful pleading and a little patience, I've been able to upgrade to the K-3 and to assemble a select but pretty capable kit of lenses. And since I persuaded her to make her own start in beyond-point-and-shoot photography with a K-70 and my old kit lens, which only happened last summer, she has somehow seemed to ask fewer Are-you-sure-you-need-another-lens-or-new-camera-type questions. :p
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-31-2020, 11:56 AM  
What We Want Most
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 17
Views: 812
I hear you, man, even if the funding for it is still a moot point of sorts. However, I've already broken the news to the Missus that I will pursue upgrading my K-3 with the new flagship, at least if it is as compelling as I believe it will be, and she hasn't declared me completely nuts for it. So there is hope. :D
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 01-31-2020, 11:36 AM  
Pentax March 2020 Interview Questions (formerly CP+)
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 51
Views: 2,047
Thanks for routinely giving us a chance to suggest questions for these annual interviews, Adam.

I'm with those who are keenly interested in anything APS-C Pentax. In particular, I'd like to know:
  • Will the new APS-C flagship have an in-camera focus stacking feature?

  • Can you share anything about the direction in which you will evolve the AF capabilities of the new camera?

  • Will it feature the hybrid viewfinder that Ricoh has patented?

  • Does Ricoh have any plans to re-release any DA* lenses with faster and more reliable AF motors?

  • What place will APS-C have in the foreseeable future of the Pentax system?

  • How seriously is Ricoh taking the dreaded aperture block failure syndrome, with which its entry- und mid-level DSLRs have been afflicted to various degrees, and what have they done about it?

Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 01-26-2020, 04:31 AM  
The Sounds of New York City
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 3
Views: 358
Cool stuff. Some of the selected photos really convey an almost tangible sense of the typical sounds of the Big Apple. Thanks for posting the link.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-16-2020, 03:14 PM  
The Pentax Battery Level Meter -- What it actually shows
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 21
Views: 1,218
Wow, this is thorough and quite instructive. Greatly appreciate your work, Craig.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 01-14-2020, 07:48 AM  
Image sharpening based on lens optical properties?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 18
Views: 987
Exactly. Which helps both with cropped images and less-than-perfect (esp. slightly-decentered) copies of lenses.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 01-14-2020, 02:22 AM  
Image sharpening based on lens optical properties?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 18
Views: 987
DxO's RAW converter PhotoLab Elite (current version is 3.1) employs camera-lens profiles that take into account sharpness fall-off towards the edges as found in DxO's own testing. Those profiles may not be perfect, but they do make it easy to apply a stronger sharpening towards the borders and edges of the frame. Just make sure not to overdo the effect, which can be adjusted, or you end up with artefacts. Piece of cake, really.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-13-2020, 10:48 PM  
Question about: Pentax SMC DFA f/2.8 MACRO lens question (live view)
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 8
Views: 557
Don't own this lens, but why wouldn't it work, like any DFA offering, without the least compatibilty issues in LV? So yeah, it should, perfectly.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-12-2020, 02:46 PM  
Which metal is used for the K mount?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 69
Views: 2,282
Just intrigued: Is there any definite source on this?
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