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Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 4 Days Ago  
First larger print
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 12
Views: 516
It's glorious that big. BTW: Your shot reminds me of one of my favorite hikes in Pt. Reyes National Seashore. I've only been there twice, but that trail has been indelibly burned in my mind. Where was this taken?
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 4 Days Ago  
Film processing help
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 16
Views: 401
Steve, yes, a TIFF is uncompressed and is usually a 16-bit file that has more data for editing than an 8-bit jpeg.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 4 Days Ago  
Film processing help
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 16
Views: 401
a) Yes, the default file format for most lab scans are jpegs. Some will offer 'basic' and 'high quality' and that usually is referring to the quality of the jpeg and size.

b) Yes, there are labs that will offer you an uncompressed format. It's not really "RAW" because it's not digital native. But they can save it to a DNG or TIFF. Some labs that do this include TheFindLab and Richard's Photo Lab.
Film Services
Richard Photo Lab

c) For a 'beginner' Kodak Gold 200 is fine as it is cheap at around $3/roll, fairly forgiving of exposure errors, and is a decent compromise. However, I'd recommend two other films that have their own pros and cons.
1) Fujifilm Fujicolor Superia XTRA 400. This film is about the same price as the Kodak Gold 200, but is more forgiving in terms of exposure latitude (the ability to over and under expose intentionally or not, but to keep details in the highlights and shadows).
2) Kodak Ektar 100. This is the exact opposite approach, with a film that is around $7.50/roll, and for a color neg emulsion, will show you the effects (good and bad) of any amount of over and under exposure. It's a demanding film that will show you best (if you're taking notes) what you're doing right and wrong. Any slide film will be even more demanding, but then your costs just went way up. Ektar 100 is extremely fine grain, which will allow you to crop a bit more and it scans beautifully.

There is no right way to approach this. On one hand using the same Kodak Gold 200 eliminates the film as a variable from your learning. You may want to try different labs as you will see some are consistently good while others are inconsistently mediocre.

But on the other hand, getting a sampler of different films will also expose you to differences in emulsions and you will develop a preference due to quality, convenience, or price. Just stick to one lab at that point, as mixing films and labs too much can lead to confusion. My general advice if you do not have a film preference? If the lab runs Kodak chems, shoot Kodak. If the lab runs Fujifilm, shoot Fujicolor.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 Days Ago  
Should I buy K-3ii or try to like KP or ?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 54
Views: 2,851
.....or more than you expected!!!:D
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 Days Ago  
Should I buy K-3ii or try to like KP or ?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 54
Views: 2,851
Congratulations!

"Feels like being a teenager before a first date." Great marketing slogan for the KP!!!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 Days Ago  
Spotting counterfeit lenses?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 17
Views: 999
As Adam said, post front, rear, and both sides photos of the lens with the caps off if you want us to look for signs of a counterfeit. But a $900 new lens or $700 used lens would not be counterfeited for $67. It would be probably be in the $350-$500 range.

I also do not believe anyone would bother counterfeiting anything but the most popular lenses made by Canon, Nikon, or Sony. The lens makers that have the tech to do this have for the most part found they can make more money legally, than illegally. So we now have Yongnuo, Samyang, Rokinon, etc.

There are still rogue enterprises with flash units, shoes, watches, eyeglass frames, cell phones, and all sorts of franchised logo wear.

My guess is that the seller was clueless about Pentax and didn't do their research on that lens' value. You got a deal of a lifetime.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 6 Days Ago  
What is this mark on my viewfinder?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 5
Views: 436
I had a K1000 with the same desilvered pentaprism and bought a cheap "as is" camera for parts. Just make sure the 'donor' camera has a clean prism! Swapping out the pentaprisms isn't too difficult with jeweler tools and a well lit clean table area. There are some good YouTube videos on how-to.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-10-2018, 02:58 AM  
Help reversing thorium oxide on my lens.
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 49
Views: 1,179
Even uncoated glass blocks a majority of UV radiation which is what is needed to de-yellow thoriated elements. So the most effective and efficient manner is to shine the UV source from the rear where the thoriated element resides.
Forum: General Photography 07-09-2018, 08:07 PM  
Photographers, those who were, and are, just a tad better.
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 15
Views: 599
For B&W, Sebastiao Salgado's work and vision are exceptional to me. Why? Many reasons. Most of the world is photographed and recorded by first world photographers in the first world. Salgado has spent a lifetime shooting the rest of humanity, but not as a tourist gawking at the poverty, but rather the beauty of the human spirit in the struggle of survival and life. He has also championed work for social, economic, and environmental causes that I find selfless and important.

Accueil - Sebastiao Salgado

For color, Steve McCurry is my top inspiration. McCurry was, rather fittingly, given the last roll of Kodachrome off the assembly line, to shoot, and Nat Geo made a documentary about it. When I look at a McCurry image, I often feel like I'm seeing a color for the first time.

Steve McCurry | Photographer
















You Tube




Yes, both photographer are still alive, and there are those that have passed that I, too, admire, but for different reasons.
Forum: General Photography 07-09-2018, 05:55 PM  
Plastic - Why so much shy-away, hatred?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 36
Views: 1,005
I was at a soccer field and someone kicked a ball full speed from behind me. The camera was on a tripod and the ball knocked the camera off the quick release plate and the impact on the grass broke the plastic lens mount. Similar things have happened to me with metal lens mounts which did not result in damage to either the lens nor the camera.

Arguably, the plastic mount might have saved the metal mount on the camera from misalignment....IDK. It would be interesting to do a series of tests blasting soccer balls at plastic and metal mount lenses and assessing the results. Those slow motion shots would go viral!!!! Anyone with a spare Canon?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-09-2018, 02:37 AM  
What 800iso film would least disappoint someone who mainly likes to shoot slow film?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 21
Views: 649
The film preloaded into Kodak disposable cameras is not Portra 800. It's Kodak Gold 800 which is much more similar to the Ultramax 800.

Compared to Portra, the Gold and Ultramax 800 render higher color saturation. The Portra colors are more accurate, especially in skin tones.
Forum: Contest Voting 07-08-2018, 01:13 PM  
Cola, India
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 78
Views: 773
Love the lighting, composition, and painterly quality of your image. Beautiful.
Forum: General Photography 07-07-2018, 10:52 PM  
What would have happened to us as photographers if....
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 30
Views: 861
Good question. When I started to drive a car, it was a stick shift, with a manual choke, and almost nothing had power (brakes, steering, windows, etc.). Young people today, in my perspective, don't enjoy driving the same way I do. I think they see it more as an appliance to get from point A to B and the most important thing is syncing with their cell phones.
Forum: General Photography 07-07-2018, 10:48 PM  
Plastic - Why so much shy-away, hatred?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 36
Views: 1,005
Excellent post. For me, it's mixed.

Pros: Light, rust-proof, less expensive....twice I've dropped my Pentax 645 (polycarbonate body) and once it bounced off the carpet and made a hole in the drywall. No ding, no damage, not even a scratch.....that changed my perspective on plastic bodies.

Cons: Feels cheap, interacts badly with some chems like DEET mosquito repellent, on lens mounts it can be very brittle/fragile, on battery holders it's less durable (over the years).

So IMO, it depends. On some applications it makes sense. On others, it's a compromise.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-07-2018, 07:41 PM  
What 800iso film would least disappoint someone who mainly likes to shoot slow film?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 21
Views: 649
For B&W, I can highly recommend Ilford XP2 Super+. It is a monochromatic chromogenic emulsion that should be developed in C-41, but I've shot on the same roll from 100-1600 ISO and at 800 ISO, I think you'll be impressed.

For color negs, it is sort of a toss up between Kodak Portra 800 and Fujifilm Fujicolor Superia XTRA 800.

Kodak has the edge for color accuracy and seems to scan better. Fuji's colors pop more if you want higher color saturation. If your lab uses Kodak or Fujifilm chems, I'd use the film that matches the chems. I can't say you won't be disappointed, but I believe you will be 'least' disappointed with those options.
Forum: General Photography 07-07-2018, 03:15 PM  
Camera Prices from 1939
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 11
Views: 475
Got it! Thanks for the correction. Then I would say the Brownie is priced right, but the Retina still seems like a bargain.
Forum: General Photography 07-07-2018, 02:27 PM  
Camera Prices from 1939
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 11
Views: 475
Three impressions:
a) 5 for a Brownie? Seems high.
b) 10 for a Retina? Seems low.
c) LOVE the Focomat Automatic Enlarger. Would love to find one of those. Wonder why they considered it "automatic"?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-05-2018, 11:05 PM  
Pentax K-1 Triple Giveaway....Must Read !
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 105
Views: 3,089
Probably 1.5.......come on Mark! How many posts in 3.5 years? Live a little and post 11 times this month.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-05-2018, 10:56 AM  
Some wierd spots on my lens
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 20
Views: 810
That is fungus and since your front element surface appears clean, it is on an internal element. You will not see it as any sort of dust in your shots, but as others have said, it will have a minor effect on your sharpness and lower your contrast. However, if allowed to grow, it will eventually reach a point where you'll have a 'soft focus' lens.

If the lens is under warranty, return it. If not, you have to decide whether to live with it, have it cleaned (probably around $250-300), or buy a new or used one (around $400 new) and sell yours at a bargain price.

As other have said, fungus thrives with humidity and darkness. So for starters, try to store this lens with the lens cap off in the light of a room. I live in a very humid environment and so I either try to store my gear somewhere with 24/7 air conditioning or in a dry box with rechargeable desiccants. It's either that or replacing my lenses every 5-10 years. This is less of an issue with prime lenses or WR/AW zooms, but as you can see, fungus can grow in these too.

I teach both film and digital photography, and sadly I see this often. I run a 21 enlarger darkroom, and if I don't actively protect all those enlarging lenses, they will all have fungus in a few years. Darkrooms are dark and humid places. FWIW: I run an a/c 24/7 in the darkroom with an ionizer and ozone generator when it is not occupied. When the lenses are not going to be used for a few months, I put them into an airtight Pelican case with a rechargeable desiccant to keep it dry.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-05-2018, 10:11 AM  
Suggestions on how to photograph flowers please.
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 43
Views: 1,185
Lots of good advice here but Kozlok's would be my number one suggestion for what you posted. It's not so much what or how, but rather when. Right after dawn or just before dusk, with the flowers backlit can produce wonderful vibrant pedals and magical bokeh with a shallow depth of field. Add a bit of dew or right after a shower with a bit of water and it's even better.

Good light, as in directional and fleeting, makes a big difference.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-03-2018, 11:30 PM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 51
Views: 1,829
I am old school and believe leaving SR on when it is not really needed because of good technique and fast enough shutter speeds will slightly shorten battery life and adds another tech complication that should be used when needed, but not when it is a redundancy. I'm splitting hairs here, but sometimes the devil is in the details.

Part of my reasoning is based on experience with Nikon's VR and Canon's IS, but at worse leaving those on all the time could lead to lens issues, which is less costly than a camera sensor issue.

The price difference between the 70-200mm vs. 28-105mm has a lot to do with:
a) Constant f/2.8 vs. variable f/3.5-5.6
b) 19 elements in 16 groups vs. 15 elements in 11 groups
c) AW all weather seals vs. WR weather resistant seals
d) Pentax rates the 70-200mm as one of their top of the line star lenses.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-03-2018, 09:42 PM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 51
Views: 1,829
First: Anyone saying zoom and razor sharp in the same sentence is over stating the sharpness other than perhaps relative to other zooms they've used.

Second: As most have already stated, you'll want to avoid the extreme range of the aperture. f/2.8 and you'll have shallow depth of field plus soft corners and edges. At f/22 you'll be suffering with diffraction. Next time try f/8, f/9.5, f/11.

Third: If you are after sharpness, generally avoid the extreme range of the focal length. So instead of 70mm or 200mm, try 105, 120, 135mm.

Fourth: Eliminate any possibility of blur. If you are shooting still objects handheld, try a minimum of double the focal length...i.e. 120mm....use 1/250" or faster. Turn off SR. I would only use SR if you had to shoot handheld with slower shutter speeds.

Fifth: The 28-105mm kit lens is an excellent lens. Most kit lenses are underrated by users. They are usually paired with the camera because they are cost effective but produce excellent results. The 70-200mm is also an excellent zoom that gives you more range and is sharper than the kit lens at 105mm.

Six: Shoot RAW and use unsharp mask or a high pass filter to enhance your image sharpness.

Last: If your holy grail is sharpness, then you must convert to Primism. I am a believer. Solid tripod and discover the power of pixel shifting. Keep Calm and Carry Prime.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-03-2018, 02:14 PM  
Continuing issues with advancing film Pentax ME
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 13
Views: 326
99% sure it's not the camera. 90% sure it's the way you loaded the roll. What type of bulk loader do you use?

With Lloyds, you must ensure that the flat side of the spool and small hole on the cassette are on the winding knob side. Then you must ensure that you wind the film clockwise as shown on the side of the bulk loader.

It is not uncommon that beginners unintentionally wind the film into the cassette so that instead of winding it with the emulsion facing the spool core, it's facing away which results in enough friction from the felt trap in the cassette to cause advancing problems. It's enough tension that the sprocket teeth will slip and sometimes even tear. When you try to then rewind the film, you're essentially winding it back on itself and creating a kink.

Before giving up on the film, try a roll of factory loaded film. If you have no problems with it, then I am fairly certain it's the way you loaded the bulk film.

Also because bulk loading is hand done, it's never as 'perfect' as factory loaded film....so maybe try rolling 24 exposures next time. You can get up to 40 in the cassette, but it takes more care in alignment of the film on the spool, etc.
Forum: General Photography 07-02-2018, 11:11 AM  
Who's got the Cutest Dog(s)?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 126
Views: 2,712
In memory of Pax, my 15 year old Whippet that passed away earlier this year. He never really chewed his red Kong. Treated it more like a possession.
Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 07-01-2018, 10:49 AM  
Before a winner is announced...
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 47
Views: 981
No. Adam tweaked the rules and posted that you must have a minimum of ten new posts each month, and instead of two raffle threads at the end of July, there will be four; every 6 hours....assuming we hit the minimum 40k posts in July.
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