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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-29-2011, 09:39 PM  
DA 16-45mm vs DA 17-70mm - Wide angle performance
Posted By helios
Replies: 6
Views: 4,071
If you are only going to use the wide end of a zoom you could get much better quality with a wide prime, e.g. DA15mm Ltd. A little wider than the zooms you mention but a cracking lens with low distortion and amazing flare resistance. It is a bit more expensive though.
Forum: Pentax K-r 01-07-2011, 05:05 PM  
is there any perfectly focusing K-r?
Posted By helios
Replies: 30
Views: 7,476
I have a K-r and I am very happy with it. It focuses just fine in daylight, twilight and fluorescent light. In tungsten light it tends to FF by a small amount which is insignificant when using f4 0r smaller apertures but is more troublesome at wider apertures. If the light is low enough for the focus assist light to come on then focus is spot on.

It has been suggested that with the latest firmware update and setting the WB manually to Tungsten this will improve accuracy. I have not had a problem as most of my domestic lighting is with modern low energy high efficiency bulbs which behave like fluorescent rather than tungsten and do not present a problem.

In summary, users of kit lenses are unlikely to have any problems in tungsten light but users of wide aperture lenses may. In all other circumstanses the K-r seems to lock focus quickly and accurately. It is also possible to apply a Fine Focus correction using the custom menu but this is a global stting that applies to all lenses unlike the K-7 and K-5 which allow individual settings for up to twenty lenses to be applied.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-12-2010, 08:34 AM  
Pentax bodies' lens-changing ergonomics. Clearly superior?
Posted By helios
Replies: 29
Views: 4,695
This trick deserves to be more widely known as the DAL lenses lack quick shift and they are often supplied as part of a package deal to new Pentax users.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-12-2010, 08:07 AM  
CA trick with non Pentax lenses?
Posted By helios
Replies: 6
Views: 2,358
One oddity I have noticed is that while the Pentax DA18-250 does the distortion and aberration corrections, the almost identical Tamron 18-250 does not but it does have the same delay between taking the picture and the image appearing on the screen that occurs with Pentax lenses while the corrections are being applied. I have not noticed a similar delay with any of my other non Pentax lenses.

I seem to remember reading that a recent firmware update allowed the camera to apply correction to recently released Pentax lenses.

It may be that the information needed for the corrections is held in the firmware in the camera body and the only information the camera needs from the lens is its make and identification. If this is the case then a firmware modification might make it possible to correct aberrations in non Pentax cameras.

It is unlikely that Pentax would do this but there might be an ingenious hacker somewhere who could.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-24-2010, 01:06 PM  
Rear lens caps for all K-mount lenses the same?
Posted By helios
Replies: 11
Views: 5,526
Front lens caps vary in size and usually have the filter thread size printed inside the cap e.g. the 18-55 kit lens has a 52mm filter/cap size. Limited lenses are a different matter as they have their own specialised caps - best not to loose them!

Forum: General Talk 05-22-2010, 10:09 AM  
My trip to Target today (observations)....
Posted By helios
Replies: 33
Views: 5,799
Have you handled the K-7? Small very solid, magnesium alloy body - hard not to walk out of the shop with it!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-22-2010, 09:17 AM  
noise at K7 viewfinder
Posted By helios
Replies: 8
Views: 2,179
I think you will see this granular appearence in the viewfinder when you are out of focus. It disappears on achieving spot-on focus. As has been noted it is more apparent in low light. Nothing to worry about!

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-19-2010, 08:33 AM  
K20D to K7
Posted By helios
Replies: 47
Views: 7,523
I too agonized over the decision to upgrade from the K20 to the K-7 but now I am glad I did. The benefits have been mentioned in the other posts above and I agree withem. I would add the much improved white balance. Really the most attractive aspect is that the K-7 is smaller, lighter and quieter as well as faster in handling. Because it is less bulky I am more likely to take the camera wth me. It feels right and as has been mentioned matches the limited lenses beautifully.

If you get the chance to handle a K-7 you will have no difficulty in making up your mind.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-14-2010, 03:15 PM  
Tired of Digital Mayhem
Posted By helios
Replies: 170
Views: 27,821
Photography has been around for 150 years or so. The digital variety is still pretty new - past its infancy - maybe adolescent - certainly not mature. I suppose there were grumbles that moving from glass plates to film was a retrograde step. Using film was a more leisurely process and the cost of film and processing made us think before pressing the shutter release rather than firing off multiple bracketed shots hoping that at least one or two would be worth keeping.

The best film cameras were beautiful works of engineering and did not become obsolescent in a few years. I had a Leica which I bought second hand, used for twenty five years then sold at a handsome profit which enabled me to launch into the digital age five years ago. I am now on my third digital camera, a K-7, and I love it. I know that I will not sell it at a profit in future but it is such fun now. I can experiment with different lenses, lighting, close-ups, macros, flash etc without worrying about the cost of each shot and post processing is so much easier on the computer than fiddling about in an improvised home darkroom. Also seeing the results staight away makes learning from mistakes much easier.

I enjoyed photography in my youth but now I get more out of it thanks to digital technology. I do not think age has much to do with it - apart from the advantage of being retired which means that I have so much more time to pursue my hobbies and interests.

Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 10-13-2009, 12:48 PM  
Poll: Photoshop Paid for or Pirated?
Posted By helios
Replies: 106
Views: 25,321
In principle I am against software piracy but big companies like Adobe do themselves no favours. If I buy Lightroom2 in USA it will cost me $299 but if I buy it in UK it will cost 228 = $364. If I try to download it from the USA website I get transferred to the more expensive UK site. That is why I use RawTherapee for which I have been happy to make a voluntary contribution.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-26-2009, 10:34 AM  
lenses for k10d shooting macro?
Posted By helios
Replies: 17
Views: 3,174
I would suggest the Sigma 105mm F2.8 Macro. It is a very sharp lens and older versions come up on eBay at comparatively reasonable prices.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-26-2009, 10:06 AM  
Pentax ist DL lens to be used for indoor speed photos
Posted By helios
Replies: 17
Views: 5,855
Rather than more expensive camera/lens is there any way you could improve the lighting? Bounce flash or softbox or even a few photofloods. Just a thought.

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-26-2009, 09:47 AM  
Pentax k20d shiping from US
Posted By helios
Replies: 6
Views: 1,877
I have bought items from Prodigital in Canada delivered by UPS and in each case I have had to pay VAT at the current UK rate of 15% plus Brokerage charges of 11. Even so it worked out cheaper than buying locally. Check that you get an international warranty.

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-23-2009, 08:42 AM  
Poll: stuck between K7 or K20?
Posted By helios
Replies: 75
Views: 15,275
Camera size and grip are very personal preferences. I have average size hands and find the K-7 very much nicer in handling than the K20D. It is also much faster, quicker more accurate focusing, very responsive shutter release, better WB especially in tungsten lighting quite apart from its other advanced features.
I would not consider adding a grip as I really like the small size. It is also a very discreet camera when fitted with a pancake lens.
As regards the layout of controls, they are different but I found I adjusted to them within a week.

It is difficult to assess a new camera on the basis of playing with it for a few minutes in a shop. I do not think any dealers offer the chance of a trial run with a camera for a few days - it would be a good selling point if they did.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-23-2009, 08:25 AM  
K7: difficulty removing SD card
Posted By helios
Replies: 19
Views: 4,043
I think there is slight variation in thickness of SD cards. I have noticed that my Transcend cards are easier to remove that my SanDisk Ultras. I do not find it a problem as even the more diificult ones can be removed using a thumb nail in the little groove on the label side of the SD card.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-07-2009, 02:48 PM  
Ever ready case for K-7
Posted By helios
Replies: 4
Views: 2,280
You are right. The film cameras had most of their controls on the top plate. It would lead to frustration if you could not reach the button you wanted. Back to the drawing board.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-07-2009, 01:54 PM  
Ever ready case for K-7
Posted By helios
Replies: 4
Views: 2,280
The K-7 has quite a small body and this goes well with the pancake limited lenses. When using such a combinatiion a traditional ever ready case (bottom part fixed to camera top folds forward or comes right off) would be more comvenient than the modern zoomster type holster. I do not think anyone makes one but would the K-7 fit in a case designed for one of the old film SLRs. Maybe some of our older more experienced members could advise.

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-03-2009, 04:33 AM  
Hmm, K-7 ergos
Posted By helios
Replies: 22
Views: 3,298
I have average sized hands and find the K-7 suits me very well. The deeper grip seems more secure. I tried a grip with the K20d but sold it as I found that I did not really use it much and never took it with me when travelling. The K-7 though not that much smaller than the K20D feels so much more portable and slips more easily into hand luggage when flying. It also partners the pancake limited lenses admirably.
The ergonomics take a little getting used to but after only three weeks they seem perfectly natural now that the latest firmware has corrected the choice of focus points problem.

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-14-2009, 07:18 AM  
K-7 owners' satisfaction/dissatisfaction?
Posted By helios
Replies: 87
Views: 13,614
I have not had my K-7 long enough for a proper evaluation but initial impressions are very good. I really like the size and weight. It is amazing that such a fully featured camera can be squeezed into such a small package. I find it very comfortable to hold and once I am used to the new arrangement of controls I will find it faster and easier to use.

Image quality seems pretty much the same as the K20d but improved auto focus and the focus assist light increase the vesatility of the camera. I have not done more with the video than try it out but it seems promising.
The real joy of the camera is in its handling - it just feels right and everything works more smoothly and quietly. This refinement is most noticeable in the damping of the mirror and the quiet shutter but extends to damping of movement of the pop-up flash. The Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 looks as if it will be much more useable than its predecessors.
So far I am pleased I upgraded.

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-10-2009, 02:09 PM  
K-7 not in Europe?
Posted By helios
Replies: 19
Views: 5,109
I spoke to SRS Microsystem here in UK today. My pre-ordered K7 is on its way to me and I should receive it on Monday. Apparently they did not get their full number ordered but are expecting more in two weeks.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-09-2009, 09:23 AM  
Dilemma: Pentax K-7 or Pentax K20d+wide angle lens?
Posted By helios
Replies: 12
Views: 6,760
Hi, I share your dilemma. I have a K-7 on pre-order but now I am having second thoughts. I have a K20D which I like very much. Here in UK the K7 will cost me about twice what I paid for my K20D. I would like the smaller body, the viewfinder, faster AF etc. But the image quality and performance at high ISO appears to be no better than the K20D. I am not too bothered about the video recording. Also here there has been an alarming increase in prices of Pentax lenses. One of the attractions of Pentax was that you got high quality for a moderate price. I am still undecided but tending towards cancelling my pre-order. Also I will be visiting Australia in the next 6 months and I understand the K-7 is much cheaper there!

In your situation I would be inclined to go for the K20d (there should be some good deals around) plus a wide angle lens.

Do let us know what you finally decide.

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-11-2009, 01:05 PM  
Poll: Screw drive firmware for SDM lenses
Posted By helios
Replies: 228
Views: 41,725
It is odd that there are no currently produced TCs that work with SDM. Oddly enough at least two older TCs do work. I have a "Tamron-F 1.4X Teleconverter for Pentax ZAF" and it works very nicely with the DA*300mm provided there is reasonably good light. One of the older Kenko TCs also works but not the current models. There appears to be a gap in the market for a new SDM compatible TC. Judging by the silly prices the Tamron 1.4 commands on ebay there should be a profitable opening for the third party providers.

Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-27-2009, 06:59 AM  
K-7 Dimensions - Very Compact!!
Posted By helios
Replies: 150
Views: 22,964
Seems a little bigger than the Km and smaller than the K20D. Any information on weight?

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-23-2009, 06:30 AM  
AF Zone Experiment
Posted By helios
Replies: 44
Views: 8,528
This thread has produced really useful information. Clearly if you want to know what you are focusing on it is necessary to set the camera to centre point focus and then be aware that it will focus on anything that lies within the centre circle in the viewfinder. It certainly helps to know this but as there is no way of reducing the size of the focus point you will still have a problem if your dog's eyes and nose are within the circle!

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-07-2009, 09:43 AM  
k10D focus adjust
Posted By helios
Replies: 7
Views: 4,630
There has been quite a lot of discussion of adjustment of auto focus by making a mechanical adjustment to the screws under the base plate. If you do it it could invalidate your warranty so it is very much at your own risk! Here is a link from which you could find others:-
I have fixed my front focus problem - how to: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

I hope this helps.

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