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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-11-2017, 12:04 PM  
DA 18-135 mm lens
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 70
Views: 3,858
I find some of the prior comments from Norm and Matt to be excellent feedback regarding my own personal experience with the 18-135mm. Due to its convenience (focal range, size, weight, weather sealing) it is the lens that gets the majority of use on my DSLR. That being said the majority of my DSLR use is for general purpose photography such as vacations and other activities with family and friends. Surprisingly for some, I purchased it after I already had a more perfect combination consisting of the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 and DA* 50-135 mm f2.8. For carrying the camera and grabbing some photos in a setting involving others who do not share much appreciation for a hobbyist enjoyment of photography (time spent composing, changing lenses, exploring various other perspectives) the 18-135mm works very well and delivers very pleasing images. I only recall one image where it truly frustrated me due to very poor corner sharpness near full focal length. Occasionally on pixel peeping I wish the long end or corner sharpness was better, but for a lot of general purpose, vacation or physical activity use it really does not take away from the image impact. Pixie dust? I didn't buy the lens until I was convinced that others have taken phenomenal images with the lens- like previously mentioned, just check out the thread dedicated to images from the lens, there is a consistent trend of a lot of excellent images found through out that thread. At a time when people are infatuated with f1.x depth of field for subject isolation with the outer (and center) 98% of the image being out of focus- I just don't understand all of the vendettas aimed at the 18-135mm for poor corner sharpness when the lens delivers very good to excellent images in actual use.

ps: I think it only fair to also mention that when I did a one-to-one comparison shoot between my DA 18-135mm and the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 I was quite surprised to find that in pixel peeping the Sigma continuously outperformed the 18-135mm in regards to color accuracy, resolution, micro-contrast and 3D effect. I honestly expected the DA to perform better with a couple of those attributes. Nevertheless it is the DA that finds itself continuously in use (again the convenience factor, and continuously pleasing image results). The net result for the Sigma is- that I can't bring myself to sell it ;)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-16-2016, 08:28 PM  
switching primes to zoom
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 22
Views: 1,346
I really, really, like the contributions (with specific clarification details) that those who responded before me gave regarding the prime vs zoom debate. This helps to reaffirm my appreciation for many of the great people who can be found among this forum.

It is quite common on the web to encounter endless echoes from the past that in modern times are often equivalent to myths. But based on my experience the above statements are quite sound.
Forum: Pentax K-1 05-08-2016, 09:28 AM  
K-1 vs K3, which is which
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 50
Views: 7,014
As an additional side note of interest for Kerrowdown: In a related but slightly altered use by VoiceOfReason… I also do concurrent in-camera RAW + JPEG (downsized) processing for vacations. This is because my wife appreciates the instant JPEGs. She likes to throw them into an MS Powerpoint presentation with text comments as a summary of our trip to share during our next visit with family or best friend. Not being a photography enthusiast, with the instant JPEGs she doesn't have to take time or effort for post-processing. Me of course, I'm after the RAW images.
Forum: Pentax K-1 05-07-2016, 08:10 AM  
Is k1 pics are softer than usual?
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 14
Views: 1,240
As my initial personal opinion- I also found the D810 images using the 'comparometer' at Imaging Resource to be notably sharper than the K-5. However, as I understand this tool uses the JPEG image and is therefore influenced by in-camera processing. I also believe that JPEG in-camera processing can potentially be updated sometime in the future by release of firmware if Pentax should choose to do so. And in this case I hope that Pentax may choose to do so.

Since I shoot RAW and process any JPEGs out-of-camera the only fair way for me to compare will be with RAW files. Unfortunately, the Nikon files are not available in a convenient open DNG format :(

PS- but thank you once again Pentax :)
Forum: Pentax K-5 05-07-2016, 07:43 AM  
New K5 Owner
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 35
Views: 3,881
Out of curiosity: What type of subject matter do you like to photograph? What lenses to you have?

Overall the K-5 is a great camera. Some people found theirs to be finicky with erratic front or back focusing, extra prone to front or back focusing under incandescent lighting, and subject to AF hunting resulting in a slow lock onto focus. Others reported not having many issues with those characteristics. I think some of it depends on operator expectations, style of use and adaptation. As with all photographic gear since the AF era, I believe that some of the issues lie with the individual products as well. Negative comments, opinions and feedback get broadcasted much more frequent and widespread than positive ones. Back in its introduction days there was more than one review article that reported experiencing the K-5 AF as hunting more, but achieving a higher accuracy than the Nikon D7000. Of course these comments were subtle and never got much attention.

Based on my own personal experience, I'm convinced that getting the AF fine adjustment right on a per-lens basis can help resolve much of the previously mentioned challenges. I believe that the electronic system needs a certain fine level of acuity in order for it be confident it has arrived at focus. This seems to help reduce hunting. It is equally important that the operator recognize the overall size of sensor (e.g. center sensor) and understand how the make-up of contrast within that target is going to influence the AF decision. For example; insufficient contrast (e.g. a person's cheek only) is going to lead to hunting, while contrast resulting from a busy background or foreground (e.g. contrasty subject matter behind the bridge of the nose) is going to distract the sensor. That being said and in comparison to the newer products, the K-5 level AF will struggle with very low light situations.

PS- the center sensor is a cross that practically fills the entire center bracket (+). The specific AF sensor size relative to the view finder markings (and it response) can be explored as the sensor approaches a target from the side using a coin or other small object taped to a contrasting monotone wall.

PS, PS- be careful visiting the K-5 'show us your pictures' thread as it is loaded with excellent examples from many great forum members and can be quite addicting.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-04-2016, 09:51 AM  
Focusing issue (weird)
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 6
Views: 811
Please give some further description regarding the lighting / environmental conditions. Also try to replicate the problem in bright sunny daylight and if you are indoors with dim incandescent lighting, perhaps try to replicate with using flash.

Is this happening with the camera set to a single point AF sensor (e.g. center), or do you have it on matrix? Also what were you using as a subject, and what was the subject to camera distance?
Forum: Pentax K-1 05-03-2016, 08:11 PM  
How to do a better manual focus in K1
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 16
Views: 7,224
With the OVF, using the 'Catch in focus' mode is another option. For example; when this mode is set the shutter release button is pressed and held, while the focus to the lens is rotated, then when the subject comes into focus at the user specified AF sensor (e.g. center sensor) the camera will automatically actuate the shutter.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 05-01-2016, 07:12 PM  
Which Prime lenses will balance off K1 weight
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 34
Views: 3,715
For hiking and trekking- if a near-normal prime is of interest: I'd like to emphasize taking a closer look at the DA* 55mm. It is weather protected, and if you take a closer look at image samples within the PentaxForums or across the web it is a consistent performer producing images with something a little extra-special in rendering. Just my personal opinion as an observer and non-owner.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-30-2016, 05:51 PM  
Protecting 15-30 front element
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 7
Views: 888
Once I left hobby mode and moved into much more expensive medium & large format gear with the goal of optimum performance and shooting for commercial use- I completely abandoned using lens filters for protection purposes and never went back. Just one opinion in a sea of thousands who practice the contrary.

The point is don't panic- especially if the lens design doesn't let you do anything differently anyways. You'll get used to it, and eventually you may even learn to appreciate it (less ghosting, less loss of color due to flare, greater contrast and resolution).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-28-2016, 09:34 PM  
Lens focus calibration guidelines
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 21
Views: 1,797
I'll concur with others here, that after experimenting over a period of time with my K-5, I found the following to be crucial:

- Camera locked on center point focusing.
- Tripod mounted.
- Daylight color temperature (seemed to be crucial back in the K-5 days, unless my most crucial shooting was to be in other lighting, e.g. incandescent).
- Lens to target distance approaching 20 to 50x focal length (or alternately most important subject distance, e.g. if a portrait lens).
- An AF target that provides only a single plane perpendicular to the camera axis and a single central flat target design (e.g. thick horizontal bar) of high contrast on which to lock focus (having a zone of no-contrast surrounding the AF center target).
- Ideally a symmetrical high contrast pattern nearer the perimeters or four corners of the target image frame that can help account for errors in alignment and provide a pattern (e.g. test images or text fonts) that facilitate the ability to distinguish focus resolution.
- Defocusing between images.
- Refocusing accomplished with a single lock on target (without hunting or step-wise adjustment).
- Image comparisons (e.g. pixel peeping) should be made considering errors in alignment (e.g. comparing all four corners of target).
- Zoom lens tested at minium, median, and maximum focal length (then judging which to give priority to based on best compromise or most important use of the lens).

For defocusing, a couple of options:
- Pan to the side then auto focus on a consistent spot either closer or farther distance than the AF target, then pan to recenter with the AF target and auto focus for the test image.
- Without panning by switching to manual focus and adjust the lens focus point by hand to something consistently closer or farther than the AF target, then switch back to auto focus for the test image.

Things that didn't work well:
- Mixed lighting (for a camera such as the K-5 that was AF sensitive to lighting temperature).
- A very close focus scale (e.g. 45 degree camera on tripod to floor).
- Attempts to use a sophisticated 45 degree target at longer distances (approaching 20x).
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-28-2016, 08:02 PM  
UK - SRSMicrosysrems delivery
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 92
Views: 9,684
Jon & Rob, thanks for taking the time & effort to write up your initial thoughts :) I much enjoyed getting a quick synopsis.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-27-2016, 06:50 AM  
Pentax K-1 Officially Announced
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 1,591
Views: 175,491
OoKU if that is your personal copy… then now is your chance to seize a little fame ;)… either go shoot some 1st images from the production model, or start investigating the status for some of the uncertain features (e.g. 1:1 crop, fixed focusing screen) :D
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-25-2016, 06:46 PM  
Is the Sigma 17-50 2.8 a better lens than the 20-40 Limited?
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 24
Views: 2,482
Back in 2012 when the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 was new.. according to DXO it delivered the highest peak resolution rating of any lens which they had data available for using the Nikon D7000 (this included fixed focal length lenses). At that time there were very few image samples from it available on the web, so I bought it based on specs alone. This was not a bad move at all since it delivers very good to excellent images.

However, within a couple of years later I decided to buy the DA 18-135 mm lens for the purpose of family vacations and activities. This was primarily because I wanted a single lens solution with longer reach and WR. The slightly smaller size and weight of the 18-135 mm has been a little beneficial also. The WR has proven to be very important for me as I've expanded to using the lens with my outdoor water based activities.

I figured that since the DA 18-135 mm lens had such good center resolution, I could sell the Sigma. However, as much as I enjoy the many outstanding images I get from the DA 18-135 mm- if I shoot identical images, the Sigma demonstrates visibly greater micro-contrast and 3-dimensional rendering. To be honest, this really surprised me because I expected the Pentax glass to excel in these two areas. If I compare to my Zeiss Hasselblad medium format lenses (which I consider to create very real-life rendering), the Sigma renders quite similarly. Mind you I love my Pentax glass, and I also love the continuous flow of images taken by others using Pentax lenses. So I just don't bother to compare the lenses any more. But consequently, I don't see myself being able to sell the Sigma, even though I presently use the DA considerably more.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-24-2016, 07:52 PM  
Pentax FF lens
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 8
Views: 1,102
I think your plan sounds fine. For sequence, first get the lens that you believe you use for the type of images you do most. If think it could be the 77mm Ltd (e.g. for portraits) don't worry about the fact that it is a single focal length. It really is one of Pentax's most special lens. If you think a general coverage zoom would be most useful the go for the DFA 28-105mm first. Initial impressions seem very good for an FF kit zoom. It likely decent at portraits also, although I haven't seen samples to prove that yet.

Take note about what Steve cautioned regarding the Canon FF applications.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-23-2016, 08:16 PM  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 5,169
Views: 625,405
Regarding forum T-shirts with pockets… that's a really really good idea!

What photographer doesn't find themselves dependent on a shirt having a pocket? Oh wait, that was back in my medium format film days… as a place to put the dark slide. Now that we are in the digital era its probably not so needed… oh crap, now where did I put that lens cap?!

Not to mention... how many times have I set my remote down, and then managed to walk off ignorantly.
Forum: Visitors' Center 04-23-2016, 08:02 PM  
K-1: when is Square not 1:1?
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 13
Views: 1,380
Have seen evidence of others, including myself, who would like to have the originally suggested format options as well as additional choices available. Even if these are just composition aids. Hopefully as Pentax continues development they will find a means to overcome the present challenges that they encountered.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-23-2016, 07:34 PM  
Wondering If Pentax Is Missing The Boat
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 123
Views: 8,573
I for one certainly does NOT think that Pentax is missing the boat - at least not the particular boat that I want to be on. Actually the situation is quite the opposite - Pentax is the only manufacturer presently offering the boat that I want to sail on. That being a FF sensor size package in a competitively small weather resistant body and having a full complement of innovative IBIS based features.

Now in support of the OP's stated intent, I could see how Pentax might potentially benefit by offering two alternate boats that sail from the same harbor (DSLR and mirrorless). However in this situation I would prefer that they share the same mount to enable me to utilize my favorite lenses on either body. I'm not beyond considering as acceptable an adapter for focal plane registration distance, however I'm not particularly fond of that idea either.

Now in my specific case and given the present primary use of my Pentax; an EVF has been unacceptable, while an OVF has been a crucially important element. This is because I use the camera for kayaking and cross-country skiing in conditions of extensive reflective environmental glare and deeply polarized sun glasses.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 04-23-2016, 06:54 AM  
Pics of K-1 24-70,70-200 with other cameras
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 26
Views: 4,201
Will admit that I am also of the old school photography mindset where the quality of the OVF is very important to me. Being able to precisely compose on a large view finder was one of the very first things that impressed me both in terms of satisfaction and performance when I started using medium format back in the film days. Of course the beauty of Ricoh/Pentax today is that they offer medium format which enables a lager optical view finder. On the flip side, I also highly value Pentax's efforts to achieve small packaging in a weather resistant DSLR design. So the bottom line is that I hope and trust that moving forward Ricoh/Pentax will continue to strive to find optimization between these opposing but highly valuable characteristics. In my opinion also, this can include any vision to integrate EVF with OVF capability (recognizing the importance that the quality of the OVF characteristics be high).
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-23-2016, 06:31 AM  
Pentax K-1 new firmware suggestions
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 144
Views: 10,855
An intelligent solution could be great, but even a dumb solution for studio stills could be appreciated. An example of a dumb solution could be a selectable option to capture each pixel shift image with flash discharge signal every x/y sec (e.g. 1 second). In the dumb case, the camera is entitled to assume the flash successfully fired and recharged. When the light required for total exposure is divided into 4 separate flashes the recycle speed is also improved.
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-23-2016, 06:13 AM  
Pentax K-1 new firmware suggestions
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 144
Views: 10,855
Studio flash synchronization with pixel shift (please at least work on developing the capability for some future FF product model).
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-23-2016, 06:03 AM  
Pentax details the challenges in downsizing the K-1 body
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 30
Views: 3,288
Agreed, am definitely getting annoyed with 'mirrorless' advocation interrupting about every thread related to Pentax DSLR's. I want my Pentax DSLR specifically because it does have a OVF and isn't mirrorless. If I wanted mirrorless, I would be more than happy to choose some Ricoh product if they offer it in the future. If I wanted mirrorless right now, then I would already be using a Sony. But I do NOT, because of CHOICE.

Regardless, if I wanted to read about mirrorless, research about mirrorless, or even rant about mirrorless - then I most certainly would look for and locate a mirrorless specific thread somewhere else in this forum!
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-20-2016, 09:09 PM  
Pentax K1 and SMC Lenses.
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 63
Views: 9,922
Ironically I found my old film Olympus Zuiko 300mm F4.5 to be capable of very nice performance on my K-5. Honestly, back in my film days I hardly ever used the lens because the few times I did I was typically quite disappointed with the IQ results. In harsh light it can produce very strong CA with digital, but it cleans up well in post processing. In soft light it doesn't seem to require much correction. I think it benefits from the APS-C image center however, so it will be interesting to eventually see how it plays out in FF. On the other hand I suspect my Zuiko 50mm 3.5 Macro may actually perform better in FF format, however only time will tell. Based on my limited experience thus far I wouldn't hesitate to try older film era Pentax glass.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 04-20-2016, 08:51 PM  
Pixel shift for studio photography
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 74
Views: 7,233
I would also strongly like to see Pentax offer studio flash capability for stationary pixel shift applications in the near distant future!

(As a former medium and large format studio enthusiast back in the film days. Would love to head back toward studio stills work sometime in the future.)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-20-2016, 08:40 PM  
Should I learn to live with this lens creep?
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 41
Views: 1,901
For what it is worth- the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 has a zoom lock button effective for its minimum focal length. Only thing is I don't care for its larger diameter and weight when walking close by with my spouse. When walking with my spouse I much prefer the smaller diameter and weight of the DA 18-135mm, but my copy also suffers zoom creep. I've entertained the idea of rigging a small bungy cord to go from mount-to-mount of the camera strap, something that could quickly stretch over the tulip shaped petals of the lens hood.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-19-2016, 02:54 PM  
All lens needs AF fine adjustment, does the camera need a global adjustment? Thanks
Posted By One3rdEV
Replies: 9
Views: 1,324
My understanding is that the AF fine adjustment feature is an either/or logic, in which the in-camera adjustment applies to either all lenses globally or each individual lens that can be uniquely identified and retained in memory. Thus acting as a simple toggle, the global and individual settings cannot be additive. Therefore in the case where different lenses should receive different setting, the AF fine adjust should be set to the individual lens selection and the value required for each lens entered directly for that lens (e.g. with out any summation or subtraction to account for the global setting which does not apply if the individual option is selected, cumulative cannot be applied).

In the event that an AF fine adjustment value exceeding the camera's limit (e.g +/- 10) is required, one of the following three options are available:
- Have the camera calibrated to an OEM master lens by an authorized service center (sets the camera to nominal or closer to nominal).
- Have the particular lens calibrated to a focus target according to the OEM master nominal specification by an authorized repair center.
- Exchange the camera body or lens for another copy that better suits the adjustment offset of the equipment you are keeping.
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