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Forum: Pentax K-3 06-22-2014, 02:00 AM  
Weather sealing is nothing
Posted By Noam
Replies: 112
Views: 11,624
FWIW, I own a K5II and I did have a WR failure. I was on a 2-hour hike during which there was light (but steady) rain which did make us quite wet. I was using the 18-55WR exclusively. At some point, the camera started to freak out - the mirror flipped excessively on its own, some black images were generated, the shutter button stopped responding reliably, and the power dial did not shut down the camera. These are all the typical symptoms of WR failure I've seen in other people's posts - not exclusive to the K-3. Back at the hotel, I removed the battery, card, and lens, and dried the camera for several hours with all doors open. Luckily, the camera worked properly afterwards.

Needless to say, I was quite dissapointed. These were in no way extreme conditions, and well within what Pentax/Ricoh advertise the typical uses (and advantages) of their WR DSLRs.

So I grudgingly readjusted my expectations. I no longer trust the WR being more than an additional layer of protection. On the occasional water splash, I know I don't need to panic (which is nice), but I no longer expose my camera to rain.

In summary, I believe that there is a weakness in the WR sealing somewhere around the shutter or battery. I suspect that this weakness is common to most or all models, spanning both K-5s and K-3s and possibly others as well.
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 06-01-2014, 04:05 AM  
Architecture Spontatnous Cubism
Posted By Noam
Replies: 15
Views: 1,435
Thanks bossa! If you intended to nominate, please add "nominated" for it to count. Sorry to bother...
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 05-14-2014, 09:44 AM  
Abstract Under the cherry tree
Posted By Noam
Replies: 25
Views: 2,382
Nominated.
Processing with strong colors has been put to good use here (although the tree trunk red highlights do suffer a bit). Overall, it adds a surreal touch of burning fire to the golden hour setting.
The composition is good with three main horizontal layers - tree canopy, distant background, and grass, which are divided by opposing diagonals encouraging eye movement. The grass line along with the tree trunk offset provide a pleasing approximate golden ratio. Together, all of these contribute to a good and effective composition.
Well done.
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 05-04-2014, 11:04 PM  
Abstract "Alive"
Posted By Noam
Replies: 50
Views: 3,562
Nominated. Well executed!
I like strong and visible geometry. Rule of Thirds is used effectively; star trails leading the eyes from corner back to the bright center at a 45deg diagonal; A lot of negative space makes the eye cling onto the few prominent trees and add mystery.
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 05-03-2014, 03:32 AM  
Cityscape Vantage
Posted By Noam
Replies: 6
Views: 1,068
Yes, they do, but balance is a very fragile thing. The problem is with the bright part of the sky. It's the brightest and most contrasty thing in the whole frame, so it steals the attention from the cityscape, which is softer-lighted, and is the thing you want people's eyes to rest on. I find my eyes constantly drawn to that dark cloud and bright sky.

Perhaps you can darken that area by tweaking curves, the LR Highlights slider, or with a local adjustment mask. Make it stand out a little less.

In these cases I usually lower Highlights (into the negatives) and then raise White until I reach the desired dynamic range and saturation control. This has a bonus of expanding the darker areas of you photo, increasing their contrast, and making them pop a little more, especially in prints.
I sometimes finish off tweaking colors in HSL, because this expansion can sometimes throw certain colors off.
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 04-29-2014, 11:31 AM  
Architecture Spontatnous Cubism
Posted By Noam
Replies: 15
Views: 1,435
Thank you all for the kind words and nominations! Yes, I admit, I'm a sucker for reflections. They're a huge dynamic source of ever-changing shapes and geometries :-)

A small plea to you: If you intended to nominate this photo, please state "nominated" or something in your reply. If not, it's of course perfectly fine, and I thank you sincerely for the compliments. I'm sorry to bring it up - it's in the contest rules fine print...

This is fun!

Noam
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 04-27-2014, 12:13 PM  
Cityscape Vantage
Posted By Noam
Replies: 6
Views: 1,068
I nominate this photo.

I like cityscapes and high vantage points, and the photo was well executed.
The overall darkish tone choice combined with dramatic clouds lend an ominous feeling.
The vantage point itself was well chosen, yielding pleasing angles.
The lower corners are well-positioned with leading lines.

Now, some minor critique if I may:
I understand the composition choice of putting the horizon in the exact middle. However, I feel that the sky takes a tad too much of the frame, and steals attention, especially due to the high-contrast part at the right. Personally, I would crop a little from the frame top, keeping just a little distance from the right pole to the top.
Second, I didn't notice the climber until I read the comment above. I would try to use some careful local editing for emphasizing the climber a little (but very carefully. It must remain natural-looking).

Great shot!
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 04-27-2014, 11:42 AM  
Nature The horses off Dülmen.
Posted By Noam
Replies: 63
Views: 5,740
I nominate this photo.

The subject matter is of course amazing.
I like the cropping and chosen aspect ratio, which deliver the sense of a wide arena and emphasize the layers - grass, horses, people.
The horses are sharp and contrasty while the people are hazy, which positively contribute to a sense of depth (which can sometimes be lost to telephoto compression).
I also like the repeating patterns of horse heads and human heads. This contributes to a pleasant uncluttered look despite the large amount of detail in the photo.
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 04-27-2014, 11:23 AM  
Architecture Spontatnous Cubism
Posted By Noam
Replies: 15
Views: 1,435
Spontaneous Cubism

It has been more than 5 years since I took this photo and it's still one of my favorites.

The convex-shaped glass building reflected pieces of different buildings from a whole block into my field of view. This crazy puzzle of warped layers and fuzzy double images coalesced into what looks like one twisted house with many faces.

Although I now own three Limiteds, three FA primes, and quite a few other lenses, I still use my old trusty 16-45 today. It's a real workhorse of a lens and it is still sharp on my current K-5ii.

The photo was taken @45mm. It was developed from RAW in LR5. I applied some vertical perspective correction to make the window frames parallel, and various tweaks to enhance contrast and color (as often happens, reflections from glass windows tend to be a little dull).

The photo was taken in Brussels, Belgium.

Good luck to everyone!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-22-2014, 05:30 AM  
Sigma 10-20 vs. DA 21mm
Posted By Noam
Replies: 27
Views: 3,732
YMMV and maybe there's sample variation, but my 10-20 is plenty sharp and essentially similar to my 21. I bought the 10-20 used in this forum. I really like its IQ.

I'm also very much a detail person. When used properly and creatively, ultra-wides are actually ideal "detail" lenses, emphasizing and enlarging the close subject (mechanical part, ornament), while keeping a lot of the environment (car) around it, i.e. giving it more context.
I'm not a car-show fan, but an ultra-wide zoom would actually be my first choice for this.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-22-2014, 02:14 AM  
Sigma 10-20 vs. DA 21mm
Posted By Noam
Replies: 27
Views: 3,732
I have both lenses so here's my 2 cents.

They are both great optically. Wide-open IQ is more than good enough. So the important discussion is the (obvious) functional differences and your personal preferences.

21Ltd is a miniature wide-angle pancake with a relatively fast maximum aperture. 10-20 is an ultra-wide zoom.
If you're not interested in ultra-wide then it's a no-brainer - get the 21, which is lovely.

I can personally say that for me an ultra-wide zoom was a game-changer (first one was an Olympus 9-18 m43, then the Sigma 10-20 which I love dearly), a whole new dimension literally. I would think that an ultra-wide lens should be very relvant to your application - car shows, close-ups, cramped spaces, etc., almost mandatory! But to each his own I guess. Still, if you haven't yet experienced an ultra-wide, I strongly recommend that you rent, loan, or buy one to try. It's important to at least be familiar with this. I'm betting you'll get hooked.

I also join recommendations on a standard zoom that starts wide. I have the 16-45 and I love it. Its great IQ and convenient range has made it my workhorse to-go lens. I think it would fit your application great for cheap, as long as you're not interested in going wider (which seems to be the case). Ditto for any of the 16-50, 17-50, 17-70 varieties.

Finally, fish-eye is magical and fun, but consider it an extra. It will never replace a rectilinear ultra-wide, which I find a lot more useful overall.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-17-2014, 10:27 AM  
Verdict on latest revision of DA* 16-50 f2.8?
Posted By Noam
Replies: 34
Views: 4,143
Oh, yeah for a moment I forgot about that one.

The only problem is that this is not really an official statement, just a quick word from a local technician during a tradeshow. If I had a faulty DA* and demanded a free repair/replacement based on that statement, I'm not sure my request would be honored.

I have a friend with a faulty 16-50, so I would be interested to know other people's experience with trying to get a free repair/replacement from Pentax.

FWIW, he once lent me the lens for a few days (when it still worked) and I really liked it. Great color and contrast and pretty sharp. I remember thinking it was a little better than my trusty old 16-45 (which I LOVE).

If the OP lives in a place with a good Pentax rep and can get long-term warranty (and swallow the high price), I guess it could be a good purchase. Personally, where I live, the Pentax rep is a JOKE (virtually non-existent, they are also the Canon reps and don't care about Pentax), and I bought all my stuff from B&H overseas, so I still wouldn't take a chance with a DA*.

I am also toying with the idea of getting the Sigma 17-50 (or 17-70C. Funny, they are the same price here), or even the DA20-40Ltd if my LBA illness becomes worse again (I managed to stay clean for quite a long time now!).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-17-2014, 09:44 AM  
Verdict on latest revision of DA* 16-50 f2.8?
Posted By Noam
Replies: 34
Views: 4,143
I must have missed it. Do you have a link to the official statement?

thx

Noam
Forum: Pentax K-5 03-16-2013, 12:59 AM  
K-5II P-TTL overexposure with tilted flash - test and analysis
Posted By Noam
Replies: 116
Views: 20,562
Thanks for sharing Paul.
The 1.02 vs 1.03 results look pretty similar to me, but never mind that.

The problem with your test is that you actually tilted the flash up to the ceiling. This is of course good photography practice, but bad for the controlled test, aiming to compare apples to apples with regard to P-TTL metering. I don't know the characteristics of your ceiling - it might be high, angled, or have low reflectivity. It could very well be that, in combination with the low ISO you used, this was enough to make the shot underexposed, regardless of the existence or non-existence of the bug we're trying to diagnose. The idea is to have the shooting conditions as similar as possible between the shots (including lighting direction), so that the differences in metering can be isolated.

I will greatly appreciate it if you repeat the test, but this time tilt the flash only slightly - so that it essentially still fires forward, but enough to make the flash "think" it is no longer straight-on (there should be some indication of that on the flash LCD - a tilt icon and/or disappearing of the distance scale). This will eliminate the additional unknown variables introduced by changing the flash direction and lighting through the ceiling.

Also, repeat the test with higher ISO and/or wider apertures, in order to take it out of the "comfort zone" where low sensitivity helps avoid overexposure, regardless of metering accuracy. When shooting at a higher sensitivity, the purpose of the first test shot (straight-on) is to indicate that the flash can still meter and fire at a low enough power so that the image does net get overexposed.
Then, if the first shot is indeed OK, then there shouldn't be a reason why the second shot gets overexposed (or, more generally, exposed differently) despite the choice of sensitivity and aperture. If there is a significant difference, then this indicates a bug which results in inconsistent metering.
Forum: Pentax K-5 03-11-2013, 10:42 AM  
K-5 IIs firmware 1.03 improves tilt flash overexposure issue
Posted By Noam
Replies: 11
Views: 3,284
Copied from my reply in my original thread:





QuoteQuote:

Sorry guys, I checked this morning with K-5II 1.03 and the problem status is unchanged.

bjdavey, could you please elaborate on what exactly has improved, and how you tested it?

Here is my methodology (abridged, please see previous posts for more details). I will appreciate it if you try it:
Use mode X in the camera, with the flash set to P-TTL, no compensation. Take one shot of something at a reasonable distance with the flash pointed straight ahead. Take another shot of the same object, this time with the flash slightly tilted (enough to make the flash think it is tilted, showing the appropriate tilt indicator on the UI). Compare the shots.
With my K-5II and Sigma 610 Super, the second shot is consistently much brighter, typically overexposed, than the first shot, which is usually spot on, i.e., well-exposed.



I will do some more testing to find out if there is any change, since several people here do testify there is indeed improvement. I hope that this time it is more than wishful thinking (which sometimes accompanies firmware upgrades...).
Forum: Pentax K-5 03-11-2013, 10:36 AM  
K-5II P-TTL overexposure with tilted flash - test and analysis
Posted By Noam
Replies: 116
Views: 20,562
Sorry guys, I checked this morning with K-5II 1.03 and the problem status is unchanged.

bjdavey, could you please elaborate on what exactly has improved, and how you tested it?

Here is my methodology (abridged, please see previous posts for more details). I will appreciate it if you try it:
Use mode X in the camera, with the flash set to P-TTL, no compensation. Take one shot of something at a reasonable distance with the flash pointed straight ahead. Take another shot of the same object, this time with the flash slightly tilted (enough to make the flash think it is tilted, showing the appropriate tilt indicator on the UI). Compare the shots.
With my K-5II and Sigma 610 Super, the second shot is consistently much brighter, typically overexposed, than the first shot, which is usually spot on, i.e., well-exposed.
Forum: Pentax K-5 03-06-2013, 07:53 AM  
K-5II P-TTL overexposure with tilted flash - test and analysis
Posted By Noam
Replies: 116
Views: 20,562
Indeed, the evidence gathered until now indicates that the problem began with the K-7. The K10/20 were fine in that regard.

fs999, there is little point testing the internal flash -- because it's fine! The problem, as indicated by me here and by many others is with PTTL overexposure when the flash is bounced - and only when it's bounced. this happens regardless of flash manufacturer - be it Pentax, Sigma (mine) or Metz.

EDIT: Of course I forgot to mention that the problem is only with the flash on-shoe. Wireless PTTL bounce works fine! (thx Quicksand.)

dtsui - I agree this is very disappointing.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 01-28-2013, 01:02 PM  
Noise Reduction Software Giveaway: Let us help you improve your photos! (ended)
Posted By Noam
Replies: 382
Views: 35,764
I would like to enter this giveaway.

Entered a S/N for a K-5II (anonymous)
Forum: Pentax K-5 01-21-2013, 09:05 AM  
K-5II P-TTL overexposure with tilted flash - test and analysis
Posted By Noam
Replies: 116
Views: 20,562
Thanks for the input. Even though I searched the forums before, I keep being amazed to find yet more and more threads about the issue. This problem is so widespread and obvious it's very dissapointing Pentax still hasn't sorted it out.
BTW K-5II fw 1.01 doesn't solve the issue.

regarding your input about the K30 - It is a slightly different scenario than what I tested, as I tested manual exposure (M or X) and you used automatic exposure modes (Av or P etc.). I didn't read your thread deeply enough to correlate the results.

Could you test the flash in manual mode (as I did in this thread) and share your results? Please do it with and without LiveView. It will be very interesting to see what comes out of it.
Forum: Pentax K-5 01-17-2013, 01:49 AM  
K-5 II and K-5 IIs Firmware 1.01 Available
Posted By Noam
Replies: 10
Views: 2,176
Yes. Two different downloads.

Edit: Oops, read "why" as "if".

I would guess that there could be some internal processing parameters tuned differently for the AA-less model (e.g. JPEG sharpening, color space differences due to different color response of the sensors, etc.). Also, the camera name string in the EXIF is different.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-16-2013, 12:34 PM  
Sticky: Contest Rules, Procedures, & How to Submit
Posted By Noam
Replies: 275
Views: 146,007
Hi Adam,

I submitted a contest photo sized 1280x900 via the Attachment system and it was resized. Then I read a recent thread about it where you explained that attachments are limited to 800px height. The guy who asked about it then said that he solved the problem by re-uploading the image, this time to the Gallery, and then posting an IMG link to it in his contest submission.

However, I tried to do this, and the displayed image is now even smaller than the one uploaded as attachment!

What gives? Is it possible at all to display images at original resolution in a post (limited by 1280x1024 of course)?
Or perhaps I should stop worrying as the image will be displayed at the original resolution in the contest voting page?
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-16-2013, 12:18 PM  
Misty Watercolor Morning
Posted By Noam
Replies: 2
Views: 676


Uploaded again due to attachment height limitation (800px vs contest limitation of 1024px) and a slight tweak to the image crop
Forum: Pentax K-01 01-15-2013, 10:02 AM  
Strap suggestions?
Posted By Noam
Replies: 16
Views: 2,594
No, I don't. I know there is a certain risk involved and I sure hope I don't regret it in the future. But having the camera secured to my hip constantly minimizes the risk, as the camera is loose only during the actual picture-taking, and I do my best to hold on to it while taking the shot. In fact, the camera spends most of its time inside my shoulder bag, and the holster is used only when I'm ready to shoot.

Of course, a handstrap can be used along with the spider holster if you wish. Just make sure that the handstrap attachment to the tripod hole features its own female connection for the spiderholster pin.
Forum: Pentax K-01 01-15-2013, 09:58 AM  
Strap suggestions?
Posted By Noam
Replies: 16
Views: 2,594
The camera is not attached rigidly to the device. rather, the pin can move freely, and you can rotate the camera however you want. This is a good thing, as the camera rests naturally on your lap and protrudes less than competing (rigid attachment) solutions. So the camera will flop, but actually much less than with any strap-based solution, because it has much less freedom to move. So, there is no problem walking at all.

Naturally, you'd want to hold onto it while running, as with any carrying solution (although, beside shaking wildly as you run, there isn't really much risk to the camera, as it remains secured and closely attached to your lap. I actually saw a youtube clip where someone demonstrated fast running with heavy loaded D3 up and down a stairway, using the Spider Pro model).

The pull on the belt depends on the payload and you belt's tightness. There is no problem with my K-5II and any lens I tried (heaviest was around 500g) and my regular leather belt on a jeans. I make sure to tighten the belt well using the smallest notch that closes on my (fattening) belly :).
You can also buy their dedicated belt if you prefer to.
Forum: Pentax K-01 01-15-2013, 01:54 AM  
Strap suggestions?
Posted By Noam
Replies: 16
Views: 2,594
I beg to offer a different approach:
Black Widow Holster : The Black Widow : Spider Holster

It works like a charm with both my K-5II/K-7 and Panasonic G3. Very convenient, comfortable, discreet, and compact, and no strap tangles to begin with.

If you use a tripod quick-release plate, get it with the thin plate accessory and a spare pin.
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