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Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 03-24-2019, 07:19 AM  
Help a Brit! Monument Valley, Grand Canyon trip
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 26
Views: 1,663
Well guys, thanks so much for the tips - we're loving our trip! You were right the 24-70mm is living on the camera and I'm finding the 15-30mm too wide for most shots although made som use of it at Sedona. The Lodge at Monument Valley where we arrived last night just before sunset yielded this which might just be the best picture I have ever taken and that was only from the car park!



Sedona also yielded some good results





Off to shoot Monument Valley further today and staying here again tonight.

I'm pondering booking a dawn tour for $130 ish with these guys:

Directions to Phillips' Photography Tours. | Phillips' Photography Tours

Anybody have any experience with them as it's as expensive and I'm wondering if it's worth it?

The problem is they seem to keep the park closed until 8am and sunrise is 07.15am which means if you want dawn shots I gather a tour is the only way although I am unsure if there is in fact any physical barrier to stop you just driving off yourself.

Thanks again for all the advice - this is photographic heaven!

Jon

---------- Post added 24th Mar 2019 at 02:38 PM ----------

Great image Stevebrot,

For some reason when I post more than two images in my original post it just duplicates the first two - weird









Jon

---------- Post added 24th Mar 2019 at 02:40 PM ----------

Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 03-20-2019, 06:52 PM  
Help a Brit! Monument Valley, Grand Canyon trip
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 26
Views: 1,663
Some great tips here folks - thanks!!


Jon
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 03-19-2019, 06:11 PM  
Help a Brit! Monument Valley, Grand Canyon trip
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 26
Views: 1,663
Some great tips here and I'm so grateful. One of the reasons I love visiting America so much is that apart from its incredible scenic wonders the people have always been so welcoming to us Brits and I always feel very comfortable there.


I agree that there is so much to see that 10 days will doubtless prove not enough. Only tonight a work colleague was saying I should also visit the Minuteman museum near Tucson and check out the Apache trail so I will add these and the suggestions above to the planned itinerary to see how much we can fit in. It's interesting that some of you mentioned the Grand Canyon being hard to photograph effectively so that will be an interesting challenge. You are right to deduce that my interest lies more with capturing the stunning vistas and landscapes on offer than for example birds in flight. I've booked 2 nights at the view Hotel because Monument Valley under different light is top of my list. I last visited in 2004 with my Pentax MZ-5n and am keen to go back and shoot the scenery on the K1. I genuinely think it is one of the most awe inspiring places I have ever seen.

The Grand Canyon was shrouded in fog on that visit so I never actually saw it properly so hoping for better weather this time.

As for the safety I'm particularly keen to guard against accidents, especially as my 14 year old daughter will be with us so need to keep us all safe, especially her. I will ensure that everyone is warned of the dangers of these locations. Sounds like we may want to cut short our Las Vegas trip as it may be a bit plastic. The 3 days we planned to spend there were really tagged on as a benefit to my wife so she can lounge by the pool for a few days at the end of a busy week on the road!

I'm also curious about visiting one of the aeroplane graveyards (I am a pilot) - I'm beginning to think a month wouldn't be enough! I think I will take the 15-30mm and 24-70mm and a tripod and filter system and leave it at that. Not planning to hike far as I have dodgy ankles so it will be mostly a car trip.

Many thanks so far!


Jon
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 03-19-2019, 06:28 AM  
Help a Brit! Monument Valley, Grand Canyon trip
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 26
Views: 1,663
Hi guys,

We're heading over to Phoenix for around 11 days this week and hoping to take in Sedona, Monument valley, Grand Canyon, Antelope canyon, Las Vegas and any other sights you folks recommend.

I'm bringing the K1, Pentax 15-30mm f2.8, Pentax 24-70mm f2.8 and am unsure if I need the Tamron 70-200 2.8 (though would prefer to leave it unless people think it will be very useful)

I've got my ND3.0 filter set - 150mm! and also a decent tripod.


Hoping to get some great pics but looking for advice on whether the the 70-200 is worth hauling around and some tips on best photo spots and times of day etc. Also are there any other stunning must see/photograph places we should go?

Hoping some fellow Pentaxians - especially Americans can comment!

Thanks in advance!

Jon

PS Having done California's West coast last March we found eating out hugely expensive by UK standards so any tips on places to eat cheap would be appreciated. Our isn't doing so well since all this Brexit nonsense kicked off! I'm hoping California was just expensive by USA standards and we might find it cheaper elsewhere in the USA. Even Starbucks wanted nearly $30 for 3x coffees and 3x sausage and egg muffins for brekkie and one of our breakfasts with omelettes and hash in a diner in San francisco cost an astonishing $70 plus tips for three. We did love Wholefoods hot food counters though and took stuff back in those cardboard boxes to reheat in the motel microwave which was great with a bottle of wine! Also Dennys seem to make the most awesome and well priced milkshakes but didnt try the food there yet.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-28-2018, 11:38 AM  
Kenspo moves on
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 331
Views: 33,555
Well your interaction with us fans here will be greatly missed but you are right - as a working pro you need a system that is optimal for the work you do. I love Pentax but their glacially slow pace of development is a concern (and I've used them exclusively since 1980) and do a limited amount of professional paid work. The absence of any announcement of a K3 APSC pro grade successor is very poor indeed when cameras like the EOS 7D MK2 and Nikon D500 have been out for about 2 years now with far superior buffer speeds, frame rates and focusing systems.

I use the K1 too and the image quality is utterly mesmerising and it is gorgeous ergonically and in terms of build, but I would love to see a much faster rollout of lenses to support the system and the buffer is slow and motion tracking relatively disappointing.

I won't be leaving anytime soon, but I'm keeping an eye on what Nikon are up to a bit more closely than I was.

Jon
www.jonathangorsephotography.com
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-07-2018, 02:32 PM  
Lenses for Yosemite, San Francisco, Pacific highway trip by a Brit!!
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 43
Views: 2,972
Thanks so much guys for all he gear suggestions and location tips!! It's clear from your photographs that there is a world of opportunity for photography on this trip!

It's interesting that several people recommended not to hire a convertible so I might need to rethink plans on that although there is no doubt it will make the trip more enjoyable I think if the weather is warm enough.

I will digest suggestions and go from there - defo want to checkout the BBQ grill recommended too!

A thousand thanks and one final question - there seem to have been a spate of photographer muggings in SF in recent months - should I be overly worried about shooting after dark (the bridge/skyline etc)? Just how safe am I wandering around with a ruckack and a tripod full of camera gear? I'm obviously not going to go anywhere obviously dodgy.

A thousand thanks for all the help so far.

One of the things we Brits love about the USA is the friendliness we experience from Americans - it's always a pleasure to go there.

Take care guys and thanks,

Jonlg
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-06-2018, 11:59 AM  
Lenses for Yosemite, San Francisco, Pacific highway trip by a Brit!!
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 43
Views: 2,972
OK guys and gals,

We're taking a trip fo a lifetime down the Pacific coast highway during the last two weeks in March. Booked an open top Mustang, planning to do 3 days in SFO and then gradually make our way to San Diego with a 2-3 day detour into Yosemite.

I'm a Brit and will be shooting with the K1. Lenses I have include:

Samyang 8mm fisheye
Pentax 12-24mm f4.0 (Usable at 17/18-24mm on K1 FF)
Pentax 24-70mm D-FA 2.8
Pentax 77mm Limited
Pentax 100mm Macro
Tamron 80-200mm f2.8
Tokina 80-400mm f4.5-5.6

Current plan is to take the:
Pentax 12-24mm, 24-70mm

Not sure whether to take the:
8mm fisheye or the 70-200mm f2.8 Tamron.

Finally the lens I really want is the Pentax 15-30mm F2.8 but given the cost of the holiday I'm hoping I can manage with the 12-24mm f4.0. Any thoughts on whether it really is worth the 1450 extra cost for the extra 2-3mm at the wide end??? Will I really lose much especially in Yosemite by not having it?? I'm aware that this might be the only time I ever get to go there so I'd really like to make the most of it.

Would a fisheye be very useful?

I do sometimes shoot panoramas quite successfully and merge in Lightroom

Grateful for any advice from those who've shot these areas - golden gate bridge, Marin county, Yosemite, coastal highway etc.

Kind regards,

Jonlg
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-26-2017, 02:09 AM  
D-FA* 85mm f1.4 also coming
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 1,820
Views: 180,988
I think one of the things Pentax/Ricoh needs to do a lot more of is interacting and building its fan base. I for one really appreciate the work you and the other ambassadors do in this regard on forums but it would be nice if I sensed that there was a more ongoing dialogue between the company that makes the cameras and the loyal users who buy them.

As an example this is the leading global forum for Pentax worldwide and yet not once has a single person from Ricoh Pentax ever officially posted here which I think is very sad. One of my other hobbies is music and hi-fi and the highly respected Naim Audio high end hi-fi manufacturer famously run a forum on their website which was started by their then founder and CEO Julian Vereker as a way of understanding their customer base better and opening a dialogue with them. That tradition continues today and Naim has grown to become a very successful brand partly as a result of it. They have even organised occasional events for the forum membership like a BBQ and buffet with live bands in a hired pub. That gave people a chance to meet staff from the factory and to interact and was great fun for all concerned. At the other end of the scale my own employer British Airways have for years run organised events for their top spending customers to attend product previews or discuss what they think of the new First Class, or the new check-in app, or the new rewards programme etc. In short most companies want to get closer to their customers to better understand their needs an cater for them but I sense little of this with Pentax and I don't understand it.

Most of us on here have invested many thousands in Pentax - they're happy to take our money but very unwilling to talk. What a wasted opportunity and one they could have for very little cost - BA hire a conference room in a hotelor invite people to their Heathrow offices, give them some wine and nibbles - it costs bugger all but boy does it make those high value customers feel valued and listened to.

World class companies like BA and Naim became world class by having world class management - innovative, far-sighted and who have a very clear understanding of customer needs. Pentax has allowed itself to slip from being arguably the pre-eminent maker of cameras in the world in the 1970's to being a very outfield runner with 5% market share and hardly any physical distribution anymore. It is disappointing they aren't asking why? They have world class engineers and the products, with the exception of their seeming inability to develop good autofocus motion tracking, are up there with the very best in the world. The handling, build and ergonomics might well be the best in the world.

Personally I'm grateful to ambassadors like you, but the management would try the patience of a saint!

Jonlg
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-12-2017, 08:09 PM  
Ricoh Imaging Square Osaka moving and expanded
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 37
Views: 9,306
Gosh - that's a hugely impressive store and showcase for Pentax and Ricoh and hardly the action of a company planning to drop out of photography!

I'd love to visit!!

Jon
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-30-2017, 05:49 AM  
WARNING - K1 in Pain - Not for the fainted heart !
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 31
Views: 5,227
So sorry to read this but surely everyone here with gear worth thousands insures it???? I used to work in insurance and for the relatively low cost it's so worth it... Adding cameras to a household policy as unspecified items is absolutely the right thing to do. If shooting professionally you should have professional insirances too.

If you get mugged and a K1 and 3-4 lenses are taken you could be looking at a 8000 bill - very easily!! Me I'd rather add 50 a year to my house insurance.

Hope you get it sorted.

Jon
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-20-2017, 09:00 PM  
For each Pentaxian buying K-1 another Nikon/Canon shooter jumped ship to Pentax
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 1,039
Views: 90,089
It's also worth pointing out that the key purpose of a camera to me is capturing images and memories and I make no distinction whether they are static or moving images i.e. photographs or videos.

As for whether DSLR's are serious photographic tools I'm linking here to a list of major movies all of which were shot either in part or totally using Canon or Nikon DSLR's - I think some of you are going to be astonished:

IMDb: Movies Filmed with Canon and Nikon DSLR Cameras - a list by montanafilmmaker

Frankly I don't think I need to say anymore. From an artistic standpoint I feel both video and film can make a powerful statement and I wouldn't put one above the other but I'd certainly prefer a camera to be capable of doing both so I can minimise the bulk of equipment I need to carry and I bet I'm not alone...

Jonlg
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-20-2017, 10:57 AM  
For each Pentaxian buying K-1 another Nikon/Canon shooter jumped ship to Pentax
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 1,039
Views: 90,089
I'm a long time user of Pentax and shoot K1. I'm happy enough with the quality but the thing that annoys me intensely is the lack of autofocus in video. As an example I'm off to Longleat tomorrow and Avebury on Saturday with the family. I will be bringing the K1 but I certainly do want to shoot some video of our family day out. 1080P is adequate for this - indeed anything more just wastes hard disc space but I really could do with autofocus - especially when canon have offered autofocus video capable DSLR's since 2013!

I have no idea why my wife's Pentax MX-1 can do autofocus video at 1080 resolution for 300 but my 3000 K1 can't!

Jonlg

PS good news on the K1 sales!
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-04-2017, 07:55 PM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 30,495
Views: 2,748,229
Amazing images John - I seriously need to get up to Skye for a visit - a friend used to go every year and I've never been which is just daft! The big issue is it's a heck of a drive from Sussex I guess and the weather is so unpredictable even in Summer so it always seems easier to settle for Dorset! Gorgeous place though beautifully captured!
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-04-2017, 07:27 PM  
Some recent K1 shots from New York - many featuring the SMC-DA 12-24 in FF mode
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 10
Views: 1,859
Thanks Lesmore - certainly try it - it's a great lens and covers the full frame image circle from about 18mm to 24mm which offers a usefully wider view than my 24-70mm D-FA - at least until funds permit a 15-30mm! Optically it's very good I think even if all my Pentax bodies can be inclined to hunt for focus with it sometimes and I've been known to switch to manual focus and set infinity!

Give it a whirl!

Jon
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-04-2017, 09:16 AM  
Some recent K1 shots from New York - many featuring the SMC-DA 12-24 in FF mode
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 10
Views: 1,859
Hi there,

I tend to only shoot horizontally stitched pics. I use either Lightroom or the Microsoft ICE freeware which is sometimes better than Lightroom!

Glad you enjoyed the pics.

Jon
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-04-2017, 04:51 AM  
Some recent K1 shots from New York - many featuring the SMC-DA 12-24 in FF mode
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 10
Views: 1,859
All stitched apart from the last one. On the Facebook link you can see a few more mostly taken with the 12-24mm SMC-DA which held up really well on the K1 in full frame mode above 18mm - there's a night shot looking over Central Park on there which is at 19mm and it's a really great lens I think. It's so good that it makes it hard to rush into buying the 15-30mm f2.8 for the extra 3mm!

Jonlg
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-04-2017, 12:41 AM  
Some recent K1 shots from New York - many featuring the SMC-DA 12-24 in FF mode
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 10
Views: 1,859
I'd have loved to add the 15-30mm f2.8 to my bag but for now am making do with the SMC-DA 12-24mm in FF mode to gain a wider perspective than the D-FA 24-70mm affords. It's pretty good down to about 18mm.

The Pentax K1 in New York with the HD... - Jonathan Gorse Photography | Facebook

I'm pleased with this panorama:



And some of these:







Jonathan Gorse Photography
Forum: General Photography 04-04-2017, 12:30 AM  
Who's your favourite Photographer?
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 104
Views: 7,455
Yes Clackers - I love that movie and also strongly recommend this:
















You Tube




Just a brilliant, brilliant film laced heavily with Pentax cameras which of course Bailey was using at the time. Watch it and you'll get a real feel for how special Bailey was.

I also love this Duffy documentary:
















You Tube




I'm always looking for new films to watch and new photographers to discover so get those suggestions rolling in!

Jonlg
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-25-2017, 05:27 AM  
Pentax, autofocus and the future
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 287
Views: 25,919
No - not rich, just work for BA!

Mind you my Brother in law did have fun with his rather pompous New York neighbours who happened to drop by when they asked me how long we were staying and I casually remarked we'd only come in for one night on the Concorde to meet him for dinner and were going back the following day....

Their faces were a picture worth taking LOL!!

J
Forum: General Photography 03-25-2017, 05:18 AM  
Who's your favourite Photographer?
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 104
Views: 7,455
Two in particular:

Bryan Duffy
Home - DUFFY - Photographer

David Bailey
David Bailey's Stardust: in pictures - Telegraph

If I'm ever a half as good as they are I would be a genius...

Jonlg
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-25-2017, 01:38 AM  
Pentax, autofocus and the future
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 287
Views: 25,919
Right - just arrived in New York at my Brother in law's house. Decided to have another play with the K1 and my Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 using our kids on a swing in his back garden. I've tried FPS priority, single center spot and 9 point autofocus and played around a bit with the focus hold settings from no focus hold to medium focus hold. Backdrop when shooting from in front of the kids on the swing is a wooden fence around 10 metres behind them. I'm getting a pretty low keeper rate - maybe 1 in 5 are acceptably in focus - much of the time the camera wouldn't fire at all because it couldn't lock focus at all for even 5 seconds or more - it just seemed to lock up and wouldn't shoot anything (despite setting release priority!) This is standing around 20 feet from the swing directly in front and aiming to fill the frame at around 70-100mm with a waist up portrait.

Best settings seemed to be AF-C, Burst rate high, single center point focus and no focus hold. I'm also wondering if there's any benefit to turning off image stabilisation?

I'm not an action shooter at all really but I don't think shooting a kid on a swing should be beyond the ability of an 1800 camera either. So if you were faced with shooting this scene how would you configure a Pentax K1 for best results?

The reason by the way I think a kid on a swing is a good test (as opposed to shooting a cyclist weaving down a street as DP review did is that it is more consistently repeatable in terms of motion for all of us because all swings move at a similar speed and in a similar axis of motion. Maybe we should all go out and shoot our kids on swings so we can compare settings and results?? If there are Nikon guys on here lets see too what the world's best autofocus maker can do...

That way we can determine the best settings for the K1/K3 etc.

Off to Manhattan today to visit Central Park amongst other things - at least Strawberry Field's won't be moving!! Really looking forward to shooting some top of the rock etc too this week. I'm very excited (as a Brit) to be here with the K1 - last time I was here in 2004 it was only for 1 night (on Concorde!) so no city photography, prior to that I was probably here with my MZ-5n around 18 years ago for my Brother's wedding. If any of my yankee friends on here have any 'must shoot' locations please do comment or send me a PM!!

Jonlg
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-17-2017, 01:53 AM  
Pentax, autofocus and the future
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 287
Views: 25,919
Mark,

Just to clarify that the low light autofocus performance is astonishing and indeed for studio or location portraiture I find the K1 (and the K3) amazing - and impeccably accurate, they hardly ever miss whereas my K5 was quite poor. My question however relates more to tracking motion. I am by no means an expert at sports and wildlife photography but I have experienced variability with the K3 - some poor tracking at daughter's school sportsday on K1, some iffy tracking of birds in flight on K3, some excellent tracking of a running dog coming straight at the camera on the K3. I did try to change the settings for focus hold, focus priority and 9 point focus so I'm not a complete numpty either.

I think the point I am trying to make is that from watching the video it looks like the D500 can pretty much track a bird in flight over the whole frame even if you are something of a numpty, whereas Pentax currently do not offer any cameras that can do that.

I have no intention of leaving Pentax, I love what they do and am too committed to the lenses and ergonomics anyway to change brand for something that is only a side interest of mine. The root of my question is that it seems to me that Pentax have demonstrated they have immense technical and engineering capability. They have mnanaged to deliver a truly innovative full frame DSLR with all sorts of innovations - astro tracking, illumination, the rear articulating screen, pixel shift, the swinging mirror box for compactness - it's a technical tour de force not to mention getting amazing quality out of the sensor. With all this technical capability then I can't understand why they seem to struggle so much with motion tracking, predictive autofocus and autofocus in video when surely it's probably a case of headhunting a couple of Nikon or Canon engineers and writing the software accordingly.

Why would a multi billion dollar company allow its products to be weaker than the competition in one particular area for decades??? I say this as a fan of the brand by the way.

Jonlg
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-16-2017, 02:14 AM  
Pentax, autofocus and the future
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 287
Views: 25,919
My Aunt has just bought a D500 - I did tell her lots about the benefits of the Pentax system. She's not a very advanced photographer and years ago had a Nikon film SLR but in recent years has used advanced Sony compacts. Curious about the D500 system I've just been watching some videos on it including this














You Tube




I have to admit that the autofocus performance, burst rate and autofocus point coverage leave both my K1 and K3 trailing in the dust... Now I'm not really an action shooter but occasionally I do want to shoot my daughter playing badminton with friends, or perhaps an airshow or motorsport or birds in flight when we visit a local bird park. I find it frustrating that Pentax seems incapable of keeping up with the competition in this area and am puzzled why they can't.

It's not as if they can't tear open a Nikon D500 to understand what's going on and reverse engineer it. I fail to see why if they can make a camera with 40 cross type focus points they can't make one with 150 cross focus points - surely these things are relatively easy aren't they? Why was the K1 released with no autofocus mode for video when Canon has been offering the facilty for years?

It's no good blaming the lenses either - the 70-200, 150-400, 70-300, 24-70 and 28-105 and 15-30 are all state of the art and often only launched within the last 12 months.

I'm curious why this has proved such a difficult tech problem to solve.

What do others think?

J
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 03-15-2017, 12:28 AM  
Help me Decide?
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 16
Views: 1,869
Congratulations on the K1 - you'll love it!

Jonlg
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 03-13-2017, 08:18 PM  
Help me Decide?
Posted By jonlg
Replies: 16
Views: 1,869
Just a couple of things to bear in mind. My perspective is that I use both K3 and K1 and have a K5 still lying around! Either way definitely keep the 12-24 f4.0. It covers full frame from 18-24mm and frankly I'm struggling to justify the cost of the 15-30mm f2.8 because the 12-24 gives me ultra wide in full frame and is a very good lens.

As for your camera dilemma I do love the K1 - it is an exceptional camera, truly one of the best imaging devices in the world and is noticeably better in low light than any Pentax APSC body. I don't regret mine for a second but then I shoot primarily models, portraits, bands, gigs and portraits. For all of those things most of the time I am not lugging the camera around much. When I travel I more often than not take the K3 because as a system it is much lighter - it's not just the body but the huge full frame lenses too that are heavy. Given you are talking about being a walker and landscape shooter I think it's worth thinking about the lack of portability of a K1 based system. If you haven't wanted to lug an APSC format system around with you then you aren't going to want to haul a K1 - trust me!

Having said that and to wet your appetite I did write some thoughts and impressions of the K1 on my blog! Jonathan Gorse Photography | Pentax K1 - the 35mm legend returns...

Let us know what you decide!

Jonlg
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