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Forum: Pentax K-5 12-03-2012, 12:28 PM  
Real-Life Moire Example from K-5 IIs
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 58
Views: 13,538
Rob: if all we get out of this lively discussion is you giving Lightroom a try—I think it will have been worth it. :-) Honestly, I can't imagine using a DSLR without Lightroom. Shoot in RAW (always), process in Lightroom (which is really powerful, flexible and enjoyable), and export to jpeg (or printed books, or whatever). It's true that Photoshop has all sorts of features that don't apply to photography (e.g., 3D, video, type, etc.). Lightroom is the answer to that—in that it strips away all those features, re-assembles the core functions into a much more user-friendly interface, and sells for a fraction of the price. It's a brilliant piece of software.

P.S. If you're curious to see how I use PS and LR, you can see some of my work by clicking on my signature below.
Forum: Pentax K-5 12-01-2012, 02:22 PM  
Real-Life Moire Example from K-5 IIs
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 58
Views: 13,538
Where I Disagree:
  • I disagree with the premise that editing tools are for making "a poor photo into a good one." Editing software serves the same purpose as many elements of a camera-system: optimizing the quality of your images.

  • Good lenses are for making "poor photos into good ones," aren't they? Would you make the same argument against purchasing a high-end lens?

  • The argument that you could buy a laptop or a DA*300 instead of Photoshop doesn't hold water. The full version of Photoshop CS6 is $699 (~ the price of a "Limited" lens); Photoshop Elements is $130 (~ the price of a used kit lens).


Where I Agree (or Defer):
  • I can't argue against the merits of Paintshop Pro because I know nothing about it. In fact—having looked it up just now, I'd say it looks (at first glance, at least) to be a pretty respectable offering. (That said—I'm sure there is a lot that you can do with PS that you can't with PSP.)

  • I just took a look on Adobe's site to see what Photoshop Elements is all about—and it doesn't look like a very sophisticated tool, frankly. (If so—I retract my earlier postulations about it being nearly fully featured… I may have been confusing it with some earlier "limited" version of Photoshop.)

  • I'd rather not do business with Adobe either, frankly. Their corporate mentality and marketplace practices suck. They purposely create inelasticity in the marketplace with their pricing scheme, and then leverage their monopoly position to extract revenue from their loyal (/dependent) customers. Their attitude towards customer service is utterly abhorrent as well.*


Ultimately, I respect where you're coming from, and if you're happy with your output—that's what matters most in the end. My argument is less about Photoshop (as the exclusive solution), and more about my belief that editing software can add tremendous value to the quality of imagery, and that digital photographers would be wise to consider their choice of software tools as seriously as they consider their choice of hardware (camera, lenses, etc.). In actuality—if I had to argue in favor of one application, it would be Adobe Lightroom—which is awesome, and only $150 for the full version. RAW + Lightroom 4 = no brainer.

* You might wonder how I can make the case for Photoshop, given my objections above. In simplest terms—I prefer to use the best tools I can; I also know Photoshop very well; and I rely on it for my design work. I'm also making good on a promise I made to myself years ago—to purchase Photoshop if/when I ever started using it professionally. I used mostly cracked versions in the past (when I was in college and not making any money from it, or from anything). Since I use it professionally now and can afford to pay for it, I do. The upside—I really do feel like I have the best suite of design software available. The downside—I pay a good chunk of money to a company I dislike. My fantasy—fire Adobe's corporate leadership, or steal Adobe's engineering team and build something from the ground up to compete with Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.

On the topic of piracy—I wholeheartedly believe that part of Adobe's strategy in the past not only involved encouraging piracy, but also making it easy to achieve. (e.g., Full versions of CS4 / CS5 could be downloaded directly from Adobe, and activation disabled extremely easily). In so doing, Adobe built a huge user base, which allowed them to build / maintain market dominance, which enabled them to implement the exorbitant corporate-centric pricing scheme. Now, they've conjured up the "creative cloud" subscription scheme, which allows users to rent a license for CS6 for $20/month. For businesses (e.g. advertising agencies), this scheme is a transparently foolish investment, since it involves paying for something which loses 100% of its value after 30 days, rather than paying for an asset which retains value over time, can be sold or amortized, etc.. Smaller, independent users (e.g., freelance designers, etc.), have far fewer resources, so they're more likely to sacrifice long-term value for short-term survival. Adobe once gave these users the option of piracy (unofficially)—and now, they give them the option of paying $20 a month for the same thing (using the product, but without a license). It's a clever move, since it opens up a new revenue stream and allows Adobe to defend itself (disingenuously) against the argument that it soaks its corporate customers with exorbitant prices.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-30-2012, 11:00 PM  
Cautionary Tale: Unexpected Total Loss of Photos from SD Card
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 17
Views: 2,094
Sorry to hear about your situation… I once used an application called photorescue to recover an entire 40-GB hard drive (it was only designed for memory cards). It seems like you've exhausted your options, but if not, perhaps you should give that one a try.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-30-2012, 10:55 PM  
My 2 cents results on K5IIs
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 7
Views: 1,640
Ditto… I held off on the K-5—so I've been waiting to scratch this itch for a long time. I can't wait…
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-30-2012, 10:42 PM  
Real-Life Moire Example from K-5 IIs
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 58
Views: 13,538
RobG: you should care, because "what Photoshop does" is more or less the definition of what's possible in digital image editing. As I said above, you can get the new version of Photoshop Elements for just over $100 (US). What's $100 for the most powerful image editing software available?
Like I said—there are things I LOATHE about Adobe (e.g., pricing)—but Photoshop stands alone as the standard for image editing, and using it is a great way to learn and practice the fundamental concepts involved in digital imagery (channels, application of mathematical formulas to change the look of things, etc.)

rawr: If you have Lightroom 4—'nuff said. I think LR is the best thing since sliced bread. I still rely heavily on PS for design, but thanks to LR, I've all but abandoned PS for photo editing.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-30-2012, 10:30 PM  
Strange Encounter with the K5IIs
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 12
Views: 1,960
He looks really cool… How big is he? The biggest of mine grew only to 3.5 inches or so, but this guy looks like he might be bigger (or is it just your lens?)
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 11-30-2012, 12:48 PM  
Love Metaphor
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 14
Views: 1,406
Fantastic, Carlos. High quality substance and style… Your camera work is confusing—because it's so good! Haha!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-30-2012, 12:31 PM  
Help with what lens to obtain for K5IIs
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 13
Views: 1,747
Pentax 100mm macro is the king of my castle. I have limiteds, DA*s, fisheye, etc—and nothing beats the 100. The images are just awesome—every time, whether macro or mid-distance portraits. It may not be an "everyday" lens—but it is definitely my recommendation for your first "non-everyday-lens."
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-30-2012, 12:27 PM  
Strange Encounter with the K5IIs
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 12
Views: 1,960
damn… making me heart-sick over my old crew of African cichlids. :-( I had those guys for almost 10 years by the time the last one turned it in.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-30-2012, 12:15 PM  
K-5 II Video Out
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 11
Views: 1,710
Would someone kindly explain how this differs from tethering? Is it because it only works with video?
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 11-30-2012, 12:10 PM  
Suggestions for online photo printing (large format)
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 6
Views: 2,337
What's even nicer—the color gamut of the Kodak Endura Metallic paper (with the DurstTheta printers) is very reliable / predictable, and it's (generally) uniformly wider than sRGB. There really isn't a weak part of the spectrum with this paper (unlike CYMK, for example—where you lose a huge range of greens.)

The "dullness factor" you sometimes get when comparing prints to the screen is almost non-existant with this paper. The print in your hand looks as vibrant as your display, even though your display is back-lit. And the reflective flecks in the paper add a great visual element to just about any image.

If anyone is interested, I can post an .icc profile for soft-proofing the Kodak Endura Metallic paper on the DurstTheta printers (which is the combination that Bay Photo uses). Soft-proofing with this color profile is the most accurate I've ever experienced. You can know almost exactly what your colors are going to look like before you order a print (almost identical to your screen) when you soft-proof with this profile.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-30-2012, 11:53 AM  
K5IIs and PF ?
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 37
Views: 4,189
yes—I understand that's what you were saying. What I was saying is that whatever "fringing" you're noting on the reflections is not apparent to me. Said another way: the image (and lack of purple fringing) is impressive.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-30-2012, 11:08 AM  
Real-Life Moire Example from K-5 IIs
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 58
Views: 13,538
Fair point. That said—anyone who spends $1,200 on a camera (+ $$$ on good lenses) should really have a copy of Photoshop—even if it's an older version, or Photoshop "Elements"—which (I think) has almost all the main features, and only runs ~$100. The value of a powerful editing tool is hard to overstate, since it's such an essential part of digital photography. I'd argue that it's at least as important as good glass for anyone operating at (or aspiring to operate at) a "serious-amateur" level or above.

As much as I loathe certain things about Adobe, there is no question that Photoshop is the most practical/powerful application for general image editing (with the exception of Adobe Lightroom, for those who shoot RAW).
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-27-2012, 08:42 PM  
Real-Life Moire Example from K-5 IIs
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 58
Views: 13,538
Just a quick comment on the moire in the cactus shot. Assuming that real-world moire is fairly rare, there's a relatively simple solution for overcoming it. (see attached)

Steps:
  1. open in Photoshop

  2. add blank layer above image

  3. paint over the affected area (in this case, with green)

  4. change blending mode of layer to "color"

Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 11-27-2012, 08:18 PM  
Suggestions for online photo printing (large format)
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 6
Views: 2,337
I second Bay Photo. Great quality, and terrific customer service (how often can anyone say that about customer service in any industry these days?)

I have been delighted by the metallic prints I've ordered from Bay. The Kodak Endura Metallic paper is bonkers (i.e. fantastic). I've never experienced a print being more vibrant than my monitor before, until I saw the Endura Metallic prints. Truly amazing.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 11-27-2012, 08:12 PM  
Computer Recommendations?
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 20
Views: 1,839
My take:

iMac: Great general computer—but smarter option is…
Mac Mini + Thunderbolt Display: more or less equivalent to the iMac (i.e., glossy display, similar power, etc.), but more flexible in the long run. 16GB of RAM is very affordable (macsales.com = good source)
Mac Pro: If you can afford it and want power, this is your move. I am approaching the 5-year mark with my Mac Pro (early 2008)—and it's still a monster. Fast (24 GB of RAM), extensible (5 hard drives, including 2 SSDs), etc. If you can wait until next year (rumored new model), then do.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-27-2012, 07:54 PM  
K5IIs and PF ?
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 37
Views: 4,189
Perhaps it's me, but I don't really see much actual "fringing" in that photo. I see some purple/green "splotches" on the rock itself, but the faint coloring in the actual highlights (reflections) seems pretty uniform (i.e. not asymmetrical). Bottom line: I can't wait for my K-5 IIs :-)
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-27-2012, 07:49 PM  
K5iis does Paris
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 9
Views: 1,311
Question: Is that calculation accurate on an APS-C camera? I do remember learning the rule of thumb of 1 / x (with x = focal length) being the practical limit for avoiding shake—but that was years ago, on a film camera, without anti-shake, etc.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-27-2012, 07:16 PM  
So Confused.. K-5 IIs or K-30???
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 53
Views: 8,553
@racerdew: In the hopes of steering you in a fruitful direction with regard to post-processing software and methods, I want to share my general perspective with you.

PaintShop Pro: I can't speak to it, since I've never used it;
Photoshop: I have 17 years experience in Photoshop, and I continue to use it extensively for my design work (and the occasional, specialized-edit to a photograph);
Lightroom: I have been using Lightroom since early 2008 (~ 5 years), when I got my first DSLR (Pentax K-20D). It's is a top-notch application. For processing photos—especially RAW photos—it is the undisputed king, in my opinion. I have a great appreciation for all that Photoshop can do, and almost two decades of experience with it—but it's almost irrelevant to me now because Lightroom is that good.

With regard to your RAW "issues" specifically (i.e., muted colors, less vibrancy, etc.): Generally speaking, that's actually a good thing. When you're shooting RAW—and using a powerful RAW editor like Lightroom—the "character" of your photos is more successfully derived from your desktop processing (vs. on-camera processing). It takes a while to get used to bland, drab photos coming out of your camera—but the payoff is significant, in that you are starting with source material that is more neutral, and thus, more flexible from a creativity standpoint. The apparent downside to this is that you have to invest a lot more time and effort "making" your photos into what you want them to be—rather than simply "taking" them with the camera. However—the beauty of an application like Lightroom is that it is designed specifically for batch processing large amounts of photos, quickly and non-destructively. This is the feature that really ties the room together, as they say :-) If you find yourself constantly wanting to bump up the exposure, the saturation and the contrast (for example)—just make a preset which does exactly that. Then, every time you import a batch of photos, you can apply that preset in one or two clicks, and voila. Once you build up a nice little library of presets, you can really motor through your images and perfect each one relatively quickly.

I hope that makes sense, and is helpful. Again—I don't know anything about PaintShop Pro, but I can wholeheartedly recommend using Lightroom (and shooting in RAW) as a fantastic solution to photography. The final piece of the puzzle is to get yourself some nice hardware (i.e., computer / display). I use a Mac Pro (2008) with lots of RAM (24GB) and a couple SSDs—and that makes everything much, much easier.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-26-2012, 08:27 PM  
So Confused.. K-5 IIs or K-30???
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 53
Views: 8,553
@Racerdrew: I'm about to join you on the K-5 IIs. I've been teetering on the decision for a couple weeks, and now with the "Cyber Monday" deal, it's go-time!!! FWIW, I fully endorse kadajawi's recommendation (above) as far as Lightroom goes. It's an amazing piece of software, and I couldn't survive (as a photographer) without it.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 11-26-2012, 08:21 PM  
128Gb SD card - almost $100 off today only
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 23
Views: 2,390
Thanks for the quick reply, Adam. Much appreciated. I was hoping to avoid the hourglass entirely, but it sounds like I should temper my expectations some. (…tough to do after spoiling myself on SSDs and oodles of RAM on my computer...)
The K-5 IIs does still have a much faster processing engine than the K-7, correct?
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 11-26-2012, 07:58 PM  
128Gb SD card - almost $100 off today only
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 23
Views: 2,390
I'm making the move on the K-5 IIs today ("Cyber Monday") and contemplating picking up some new SD cards too. I've been shooting with a K-7 and a 32Gb SanDisk Extreme (SDHC I / Class 10 / 45MB/s)—and I've been pretty frustrated with generally-slow operation while shooting.

Quick question:
How much of that lag is due to the K-7 / Will the lag be largely mitigated with the K-5 IIs?
More specifically—is there any advantage to be gained (while shooting/reviewing) by upgrading my card to an SanDisk Extreme Pro (SDXC I / Class 10 / 95MB/s)?

I can't seem to find the precise metrics on write-speed(s) with the K-5 IIs, so I'm hoping someone can enlighten me quickly. Pulling the images off the card faster would definitely be nice either way, but I'd consider that more of a luxury—whereas the in-camera operation is more of a necessity. FWIW, I don't shoot much video, but I've started to shoot in rapid succession more frequently these days (birds in flight, etc.). Thanks in advance for any help...
Forum: Sold Items 06-01-2012, 12:33 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax SMC-DA 70mm Limited MINT in box
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 1
Views: 736
PM sent on the 15mm
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-31-2012, 02:10 PM  
Pentax K-30 Officially Announced!
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 245
Views: 44,317
Yeah, I surprised myself—after spending about 10 minutes flipping through all the various color options, I finally settled on one: matte black. Ha! Despite my natural inclination towards uniqueness and bold colors, my gadgetry preferences tend to be pretty tame. I like black, chrome/silver (not gray); leather; and (in theory) inlaid wood. I really, really like the perforated leather look of the K30—that looks sharp! (The lack of battery grip bums me out, though...)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-31-2012, 01:33 PM  
DA* 60-250 — new purchase!
Posted By jasonwarth
Replies: 12
Views: 1,343
Thanks to all for the great responses! That was just what I was looking for: some helpful info, some validation, and some enthusiasm! I'm looking forward to testing this baby out… I'm not all that well-versed on BF/FF… Should I perform some proactive tests to check for that, or is it something that will be apparent through normal use?
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