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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-29-2020, 07:03 AM  
Is K 70 reliable enough for budding 13 y/o photographer?
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 82
Views: 3,310
I have two Pentax K-50s with aperture block failure. Both had relatively low shutter counts when they failed. So, all I can do is share my experience and perspective on Pentax and the green solenoid, and that would be that I wouldn't buy another Pentax with a green solenoid -- period. My thinking is that if you're in your back yard photographing a snail and that camera starts giving you black frames, you go inside and get a lens with an aperture ring and go back outside and continuing shooting the snail. Without such a lens, you're still likely to find another snail at a later date, so it's no big deal. On the other hand, if you're at a once-in-a-lifetime event (wedding, grandma's 75th birthday, child's graduation, etc.), you're screwed. Even if the risk is low with a K-70, failures have happened. Why risk it, buy anything but a K-70. As I said, this is just my perspective. If someone thinks differently, that's fine too.

I have a K-3 II, so I don't miss the K-50. Of a side note, I wanted a camera with a tilting/flipping screen for some low angle shooting, but couldn't bring myself to buy a used K-S2 or K-70 because of the solenoid issue, so I bought into micro 4/3s to satisfy that want.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-23-2020, 07:09 AM  
645D advantages over K3II?
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 18
Views: 1,192
As you're new to this forum, you might want to post this question on the "Pentax Medium Format" section of the forum where you may gain additional insight.
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-02-2020, 04:59 PM  
Lester Dine 105mm on K-3 Question
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 39
Views: 1,472
Regarding the ISO/F-stop slider on the right side, the ISO sequence goes 64,100, 200, 400, 1000, 1600. I'm not sure why they use 1000 instead of 800 which would be the normal progression.

I started to test the Dine flash and lens on my K-3II to see if the Auto mode was working properly, but I didn't get very far. I was getting a magenta/purplish cast to my images on the back of the camera. First I thought the flash might be the problem since I hadn't used it in quite a while, but I got the same result with another flash. Well, maybe the lens, but no again. Maybe, the auto white balance, was failing. Went outside and used Daylight white balance, but still the magenta/purple. Then, after numerous tests I finally figured out that I had somehow changed the Tone setting to Bleach Bypass so all of the images on the screen had this magenta/purple cast, Of course, the RAW images were fine, so all is now well, but I didn't get back to testing.
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-02-2020, 11:20 AM  
Lester Dine 105mm on K-3 Question
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 39
Views: 1,472
Hawkfan, nothing happens that affects the flash output (unless you select 1/16 power). Those sliders merely shift what's seen in various windows on the flash back and tell you what settings to use on the camera. The vertical slider on the right side simply changes what appears in the windows below "ASA" and "DIN." That slider also changes what appears under "F-stop." That vertical slider on the left side simply changes what appears in all those windows under "Distance (TTL - MAX)," Which distance values you see in the windows depends on whether you have the slider set up to P (point flash) or down to R (ring flash). The distances change because the Ring and Point flashes have different Guide Numbers.

For instance, if you have the slider that's located to the right of the ready lamp set to "AUTO" and the ISO window showing 100, the appropriate F-stop to use is F/11 and that value is illuminate in red. If you have the ISO slider set to 400, the stop to use would be F/22, The flash is simply telling you what F-stop to set on your lens according to the ISO you set on the back of the flash. Of course, the camera needs to be set to the same ISO for proper exposure.
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-02-2020, 10:04 AM  
Lester Dine 105mm on K-3 Question
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 39
Views: 1,472
Here's a photo of the back of the Dine/Yuzo flash with the Dine label removed. Scratches in plastic complements of scraping the glue residue off with a piece of plastic.
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-02-2020, 07:24 AM  
Lester Dine 105mm on K-3 Question
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 39
Views: 1,472
The two sliders that can't be moved on the Dine version of the flash do not affect how the flash operates, they merely adjust the distance and F stop windows that you'd see if you removed the Dine label. The key to understanding this has to do with the flash's Guide Number (GN) or power of the flash. The GN for the Point Light is 92 and for the Ring Light it's 40 at ISO 100 and this is in feet. If you change the ISO in your camera to say 400, the GN of the Point Light doubles to 184 and the Ring Light to 80. At ISO 200, it's 129 and 56, respectively.

To use the GN, you simply divide it by the distance in feet to your subject and that gives you the F stop you use on your camera. Or, you divide the GN by the F stop you want to use and it gives you the distance you should be from your subject for "proper" exposure. By example, if you want to use f8 at ISO 100 and the Point Flash, the distance to the subject should be 92 / 8 = 11.5 feet.

In Manual mode, the flash always puts out full power and you control the exposure by the distance to your subject and the f stop on the lens.

In Auto mode, the flash should expose properly at a range of 1.3 to 3.3 feet at F11 and ISO 100 with the Ring Flash, and at a range of 1.3 to 6.3 feet with the Point flash.

All of this can be gleaned from the Yuzo manual or the back of the flash without the Dine label.

The TTL mode of the flash isn't compatible with the K3, but that is "likely" where you would set the switch for using the flash in Manual mode. I say likely, because I haven't tested it to know for sure.

In Auto mode, the manual says that if you press the Ready button and test fire the flash, the confirmation LED should light if you are within range for proper exposure.
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-01-2020, 07:06 PM  
Lester Dine 105mm on K-3 Question
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 39
Views: 1,472
Hawkfan, I don't know if you have a manual for the flash, but if not you can find the Yuzo manual here: https://www.cameramanuals.org/flashes_meters/yuzo_macroflash.pdf

In the manual, you can see exactly what is covered up by the Lester Dine label. If you decide to remove the Dine label, go easy as the back of the flash itself around the sliders is rather flimsy.
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-01-2020, 06:01 PM  
Lester Dine 105mm on K-3 Question
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 39
Views: 1,472
Steve, my Lester Dine lens also has the dental settings. The label on the lens, as on the flash, suggests use by a dentist or technician with limited photographic experience. I guess that was standard fare for the lens. Mine looks like the label could be removed without disassembly, but I'd expect one would scar the finish in the process. Mine doesn't see much action as I have a Vivitar 55mm 1:1 macro that much easier and lighter to handle. However, the image quality of the Vivitar isn't at the same level as the Lester Dine.
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-01-2020, 12:46 PM  
Lester Dine 105mm on K-3 Question
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 39
Views: 1,472
It's evident that Lester Dine simply bought these flashes made by Yuzo and attached their label on the back that covers-up the Yuzo configuration. On my flash, the corner of the Dine label was bent up a bit, so I could tell that it was glued on, and when others in this thread mentioned a 1/16th power setting I decided to investigate and peeled off the label. There's a Dine label on the front as well and I'd expect it says Yuzo underneath.
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-01-2020, 11:35 AM  
Lester Dine 105mm on K-3 Question
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 39
Views: 1,472
I've got no real insight into the whys of Lester Dine's thinking, but the macro lens and flash were sold to dentists for photographing a patient's teeth, so I'm guessing they didn't want to confuse them with too many variables that weren't strictly geared to close-up photography. Both the lens and flash were manufactured by others and simply rebadged by Lester Dine. I got my copies some years back from the son of a dentist.
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-01-2020, 07:38 AM  
Lester Dine 105mm on K-3 Question
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 39
Views: 1,472
This thread, especially this post by Not a Number, got me thinking about my Lester Dine flash that I haven't used in quite some time. Seems mine didn't get much use because it always fired at full power, but now I'm thinking the macro subject I was shooting maybe didn't fill the frame sufficiently to reflect enough light back to quench the flash's output. Also, I didn't think my flash had a 1/16th power setting. So, after locating the flash, I realized that the aluminum label Lester Dine had glued onto the back of the flash was preventing access to several of the functions that the flash is capable of, including the 1/16th power setting. The aluminum label simply didn't allow the slider to move over to the 1/16th power setting. Another slider that was prevented from moving by the label allows for selecting either "P" or "R" settings, I assume the P and R stand for Point Light and Ring Light, which I'll have to test to determine what that slider controls. The other slider that was blocked from moving by the label shows distances and F stops for various ISO/ASA settings.

Now I'll have to try some goo-gone to remove the sticky mess left on the back of the flash after peeling off that aluminum label.

The "A" setting on my Lester Dine lens doesn't work, but that's no real problem because of the green button on Pentax cameras.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 05-29-2020, 06:04 AM  
Lowepro Format BP 150 II Backpack (Black) $19.95
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 0
Views: 393
B&H has the Lowepro Format BP 150 II Backpack (Black) camera bag on sale for $19.95 with free shipping. Regular price is $59.95. Sale is on for another day and half. See Lowepro Format BP 150 II Backpack (Black) LP37017 B&H Photo Video
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 03-11-2020, 07:23 AM  
Printer Problems
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 6
Views: 636
Just a guess, but is it possible you have the two magenta cartridges in the wrong locations. i.e., the photo magenta in the magenta slot and the magenta in the photo magenta slot?
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-24-2020, 02:05 PM  
Help needed with dark background portraits using multiple Pentax wireless flash units
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 34
Views: 1,671
What I found was that the off-camera flash when set to Slave 2 (SL 2) does indeed fire on the first flash from the on-camera flash, but it also fires on the second flash as well. With the camera set to the 2 second delay, with the on-camera flash set to P-TTL, you end up with the pre-flash, followed by a two second delay, followed by the main flash. For my test the off-camera flash fired twice, once with the pre-flash and again with the main flash. The off-camera flash was a Pentax AF540FGZ II in Wireless - Slave mode; the on-camera flash was a YN585EX in PTTL mode. The bottom line being that it appears that the Pentax fires whenever it sees another flash.

The firing on the first or pre-flash may be Pentax specific, as I had a different result using a Flashpoint TTL (Godox) flash for Olympus/Panasonic Micro 4/3. When this flash was set to manual SL2, mode, it ignored the pre-flash and fired on the main or second flash. I don't have a strictly manual flash nearby to try this with, but I'd expect it too would fire on the second flash, ignoring the pre-flash.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-24-2020, 10:08 AM  
Help needed with dark background portraits using multiple Pentax wireless flash units
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 34
Views: 1,671
Dizzyfish, forget the Master or Controller terminology when using Manual Flash. What happens in Manual Flash is that when you press the shutter, the on-camera flash fires and the off-camera will fire when is sees the flash emitted by the on-camera flash. In essence the two flashes fire simultaneously. It does this optically, so if for instance you have your off-camera flash inside a softbox (or you're outside in really bright light) the off-camera flash may not be able to see the flash coming from the on-camera flash. In other words, the two flashes must be in line-of-sight of one another. This is really where radio triggers have the advantage.

If you don't want the on-camera flash contributing to the exposure, you can set it to a low power, zoom the head to a narrow beam, and aim it toward the off-camera flash.

The off-camera flash should be set to Slave 1 mode and set the power level to whatever strength necessary to obtain proper exposure.

If the on-camera flash is set to P-TTL mode, you can get the off-camera flash to fire in Manual mode if you set it to Slave 2 mode. In this mode, the off-camera flash ignores the pre-flash and fires when it sees the second flash. You'll likely struggle to get proper exposure, however.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 02-20-2020, 09:34 AM  
Dumb question about Lightroom and raw files
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 15
Views: 1,061
If you are using DNG raw files, you're likely getting two copies stored because Lightroom adds/stores whatever modifications you've made to the image back into the DNG file. You still have the original DNG and a second DNG with the modifications (exposure, highlights, shadows, vibrance, etc) that you've made in post processing. At least this is what happens to me when using a portable hard drive that automatically adds new files to the hard drive. I guess this is how the cloud works as well. If you're using sidecar files, you should have just the original raw file, together with a sidecar file containing the modifications made in post processing.
Forum: Photographic Technique 01-31-2020, 09:09 AM  
Photography's Triangle
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 99
Views: 3,831
I'm late to this topic, but if the photographer shoots Jpeg only (no post processing), the ISO setting is quite an important part of the exposure triangle for proper exposure.
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 01-31-2020, 08:57 AM  
K-50 / K-500 Aperture Solenoid fix (DIY with pics)
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 380
Views: 77,157
It looks to me that the black/grey solenoid was a replacement part in the DS. Perhaps someone had tried to repair a fault. If you look at the left side hole in that solenoid, you can see the impression of a screw or something around that hole, an indication that it had once been mounted in another piece of equipment. There also is some red thread locker on that side of the solenoid.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-13-2019, 10:04 AM  
Haze haze haze
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 44
Views: 2,020
An easier way would be to use the Digital Camera Utility software that came with the camera. Simply take an appropriate RAW image and make Vivid, Natural, Bright, etc. JPEG copies. Add various levels of exposure, contrast, hue, saturation, sharpening, and then pick the image with tone and settings you like best. Then set your camera accordingly. The only problem is that different images likely will need different settings.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-06-2019, 09:05 AM  
Pentax K-3 and 360FGZ Flash troubles
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 14
Views: 601
If you want to check if there are both a pre-flash and a second flash for the exposure, set the camera in two-second exposure delay. When you press the shutter release, you should see the pre-flash, then a two-second delay, and then the flash for exposure along with the shutter movement. This doesn't work with the 10-second delay, where after you press the shutter, you get a ten-second delay and then the pre-flash and exposure flash that appear as a single flash.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 11-27-2019, 09:13 AM  
RICOHHOLIDAY Promo is Back !
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 33
Views: 2,530
Looks like the $100 discount on the KP is now gone. You only get $11 off now. .
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 11-26-2019, 08:07 AM  
RICOHHOLIDAY Promo is Back !
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 33
Views: 2,530
The other day, the $111 discount also applied to the K-70 with the 18-135 lens combo, but not today. It's just $11 off now. I procrastinated then, but hoping it gets added back on Black Friday or before.
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 10-23-2019, 08:59 AM  
Another K-50 Aperture Block Failure
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 31
Views: 1,982
Photogem, thanks for all your input and guidance on the subject of repairing these cameras with the defective solenoid. I really appreciate it.

Whenever I get around to dismantling the K-50s I'll exercise more care. With the *ist DS, I knew it didn't have to go back together after disassembly, so I didn't give much thought to the process. I'll be sure to follow the recommended steps.
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 10-23-2019, 05:55 AM  
Another K-50 Aperture Block Failure
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 31
Views: 1,982
This is the screwdriver set from Harbor Freight -- Precision Screwdriver Set - 33 Piece -- The set was made in Taiwan and really is of decent quality. The security bit set is no where near the same quality; it's made of "cheese" steel. I actually bought this set some time back to use the tiny torx bits to open a couple of hard drives. The only possible issue with the set is that the handle you insert the bits into is hollow and if you exert too much downward pressure, the bit slides back into the handle. However, if you insert the extension rod fully into the handle there is no issue. At $7.99 it's well worth the money. With one of those ubiquitous 20% off coupons from Harbor Freight, it's $6.40 and then there's the free light they're always giving away.

I had no problem removing the solenoid for the aperture that has the red screw locker applied. There was no thread locker on the flash solenoid.

I double checked the resistance of the two solenoids with a second meter. The aperture solenoid was 29.7 ohms and the flash solenoid was 30.6 ohms.

---------- Post added 10-23-19 at 09:17 AM ----------

Regarding the capacitor in the *ist DS, it's located behind part of the camera's metal frame so it's unlikely that you'd get anywhere near it while removing the solenoids. On the other hand, I have no idea how the wires from the capacitor connect to other components of the camera, so it's possible one might encounter high voltage elsewhere in the camera. I used a screwdriver with a plastic handle and held onto the handle while shorting the capacitor by touching the two lead with the tip of the screwdriver. Got quite a "pop" and "flash" when shorting the capacitor, and it left a mark on the screwdriver, so the capacitor is nothing to take lightly.

With the *ist DS, I had to pry open the flash compartment to remove the screws inside. I had it open originally, but apparently closed it while removing other screws. So the lesson learned was remove those screws first, so you don't have to pry it open later.
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 10-22-2019, 01:29 PM  
Another K-50 Aperture Block Failure
Posted By West Penn
Replies: 31
Views: 1,982
Thanks for the hint, AggieDad. I saw where others had made drawings or made photo copies of the various areas of the camera and then put each screw in the proper place on the paper copy. Seems like the best way to keep track of everything.

In disassembling the *ist DS, I used a micro screwdriver set that I got at Harbor Freight for about $10. It has over 20 tips -- torx, philips, flat, hex -- and is of decent quality. I used the phillips 000 tip to disassemble the camera.
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