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Forum: General Photography 05-11-2014, 08:54 AM  
Photos of People who are homeless
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 41
Views: 3,094
Whatever I can. Besides, it's hard to argue for the human dignity of a waterfall, oversaturated or not.
Forum: General Photography 05-11-2014, 05:39 AM  
Photos of People who are homeless
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 41
Views: 3,094
I was thinking about the same thing the other day. Aside from the ethical concerns, it seems like such a cliche at this point in time. Every time I see another black and white, high-key portrait of a homeless person and their weathered wrinkles (or elderly person for that matter, bonus points if both) staring straight into the camera, I just wonder why? What new thing is the picture saying? What's the point?

I have seen photo essays that explore particular people who may be homeless or disadvantaged or addicted, but that at least is telling a story, is exploring the lives of its subjects and requires getting to know of who they are and their challenges. There's a sensitivity and vulnerability in that which I applaud.

The random snap of a homeless face just because it looks weathered? Opportunistic and exploitative at worst, mundane and tired at best.

Just my two cents, in a rare rant from a non-confrontational introvert--damn, it feels good to have an opinion!
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 05-06-2014, 09:20 AM  
Which direction? Auto or manual
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 16
Views: 1,425
I think that it honestly just boils down to your shooting style and budget. I can't afford autofocus lenses of the quality I want, so I have a collection of manual primes. The few autofocus zooms I have are barely ever on my camera.

I say start with a manual focus prime. Easy investment, no big loss if you decide you hate it. And most old primes are far from crap.

Also, I have found autofocus lenses more difficult to focus in manual mode than traditional manual lenses, something about the play and travel of the focusing ring, I think.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-04-2014, 08:05 PM  
How many lenses do you have?
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 1,503
Views: 105,949
Hmm... only 14. There are only a few more focal lengths I'm seeking, though, so between that and budget (ha!), I doubt the number will climb that much higher.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-04-2014, 07:14 PM  
Lenstag Gear Values
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 3
Views: 572
If only... sadly it only shows values for the lenses I own.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-04-2014, 06:25 PM  
Lenstag Gear Values
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 3
Views: 572
Hey all,

With the newest version of the Lenstag app, it now has a feature that estimates the new and used value of all your listed gear. Only thing is, I have no idea where it gets its algorithm from.

For instance, it lists my common-as-dirt Pentax-M 50mm f2 at $259, but my Pentax-A 50mm 1.7 (still common, but faster) at $46.

My used K-x? $339. My newer, used K-5? $399.

And this one made me laugh: Sears 55mm 1.4 at $439.

Anyway, all this to say, anyone have any insight to how Lenstag is estimating their values? And anyone else have the same kind of experience with severe over/undervaluing of their gear? Some are spot on, but the outliers are amusing.

If not, anyone want to buy my M50/2? I'll practically give it away for $200 :)
Forum: General Talk 12-30-2013, 06:03 PM  
Your latest acquisition
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 11,174
Views: 760,166
The Lomography Kostruktor DIY kit, beautiful Domke camera bag, Canon ee-s focusing screen to whittle down for my K-5, and the cherry on top, a set of white balance cards. Not a bad haul, thanks, Santa!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-29-2013, 07:05 AM  
Twenties-Something Cameras - "Beginner" Rec Request
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 15
Views: 1,312
As a late-20-something myself, I just have to put a shout out to the primes. Though I have a few zooms, they hardly ever get used, because the manual primes I have are just more fun and special to me.

And as a thrifty person, I'd rather buy prime after prime at <$30 each than have to save up the hundreds it would take to buy a zoom that could match the IQ I'm after.

Primes also made exploring and learning photography more engaging for me, because they felt like something of a legacy, tied to the past and still going strong. My generation is weird like that, having nostalgia for things we never had to begin with...

Primes are easy to find, affordable to buy, a pleasure to use.

That said, you know your kids. You know if they're curious to play with things or if they don't have the patience to mess with M mode and green buttoning and manual focusing. You know if they're looking to expand a system or just have one or two reliable, all-purpose lenses. Would they like trawling thrift shops and craigslist and KEH for new toys, or are they more of the B&H or Adorama persuasion?

Let us know what you decide!
Forum: General Talk 12-18-2013, 07:59 PM  
Your latest acquisition
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 11,174
Views: 760,166
Sure, here's a few quick snaps. Bathroom is sadly the best lighting in the house, hope this gives you a good idea...

The only "flaws" I can see is a slight bit of wear around the filter ring, and a light rattle inside the lens (as if a screw were loose), but neither affect function in the slightest.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/95924222@N03/11444226223/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/95924222@N03/11444226303/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/95924222@N03/11444143946/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/95924222@N03/11444143956/

(This is my first time trying to link to photos from Flickr, if they don't show up let me know and I'll try again in the next day or two...)

-Duncan
Forum: General Talk 12-17-2013, 04:50 PM  
Your latest acquisition
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 11,174
Views: 760,166
Haha, no need, this thing is near pristine. Best two dimes I've ever spent!
Forum: General Talk 12-17-2013, 10:06 AM  
Your latest acquisition
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 11,174
Views: 760,166
Ordered a Kiron 28-105mm f/3.2-4.5 Macro from KEH in "UG" condition that came today. Have to wait until I get home to see the nature of its UGliness, but for $0.19 plus shipping, I won't have much room to complain :) I've heard good things about this lens, I'm looking forward to trying it out.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-08-2013, 12:12 PM  
trouble with focus - newbie here
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 16
Views: 1,184
How close are you to the object you're trying to focus on? All lenses have a " minimum focus distance," which means an object needs to be inches or, in some cases, feet away in order for the lens to focus. So, if a certain lens has an 8 inch minimum focus, anything less than 8 inches from the lens physically cannot be in focus.

Hope that makes sense!
Forum: General Talk 11-07-2013, 07:38 PM  
Your latest acquisition
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 11,174
Views: 760,166
A Pentax-M 35mm f2, about which I am inordinately excited for some reason....
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-26-2013, 04:40 AM  
Pentax-M 35mm F2 Aperture Ring Half-Works
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 3
Views: 659
Hey all--

I recently acquired a second-hand SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2 lens (a good deal at $25), and aside from the barrel being worn from use, the glass and everything else seems great.

One issue I discovered, though, is that the aperture ring works just fine from F2 up until F8, but it won't turn any further than that. Aperture blades respond appropriately and don't stick. I'm not that worried about it, as I usually shoot faster than F8 anyway, but I was wondering if there was an easy enough fix that it'd be worth opening it up, or if I should just leave it alone.

I can't get at it for another couple of weeks, as it's technically my birthday present and my wife won't let me play with it until I turn 28 :(, but I wanted some advice in the interim.

Thanks!
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-21-2013, 05:52 PM  
About a Chinon CE-4s
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 9
Views: 6,373
Funny, I'm in the exact same scenario! Curious for an answer now myself.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-12-2013, 08:51 AM  
What to do with a 24mm?
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 23
Views: 2,278
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! First time I looked through the viewfinder with this lens I admit I felt a little disoriented, as I'm used to the tighter view of the 35-58mm range with my primes.

I went through some pics I took with it yesterday and am starting to get a feel for it; definitely brings its advantages indoors, though wide open it's fairly soft. It'll still take some practice, glad to hear it's a good "all-round" focal length :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-12-2013, 06:17 AM  
What to do with a 24mm?
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 23
Views: 2,278
Hey all,

I suffer from the poor man's LBA, meaning when I find a nifty lens for under $25 or so I'll pick it up. At a recent yard sale I found a Vivitar (Kiron made) 24mm f/2, and thought it'd be neat to have a wide prime, as I'd never seen an (affordable) one before.

So I got it, snapped it onto the camera, admired its condition and build, and after taking some shots over a few days I realized... I have no idea how to use this focal length!

What do you all typically use a wider prime for? Any tips or technique to get the best out if it? Thanks!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-10-2013, 12:21 PM  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 5,028
Views: 607,298
Watching Let's Make A Deal today, behind curtain #2 was a yellow K-01 as part of a digital camera package. Didn't get the name spoken out loud, but featured a nice closeup of the camera.

The things you see when watching network daytime television... I was more excited than I should have been, as evinced by the raised eyebrows of my wife at my outburst of delight.
Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 07-03-2013, 05:44 AM  
Ricoh GR Digital IV Giveaway: Ending 7/8/2013!
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 630
Views: 73,213
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/230141-travel-temple-trees.html#post2439492

Here's my entry. The Ricoh compact seems like a beast, be nice to be randomly chosen to receive it!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 07-03-2013, 05:40 AM  
Travel Temple Trees
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 0
Views: 348
(This was actually 1/640s with a -4 EV by mistake)

Here's one of many many many pictures from Thailand, the old 28mm prime actually performed admirably. A simple topiary racks on a Bangkok temple, but not something folks would fly thousands of miles to see :)

Pentax K5 K-5 Digital SLR Camera Body, Black 14748
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-20-2013, 03:45 AM  
If you were to give one piece of advice to a complete beginner?
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 57
Views: 4,090
One top thing that helped me become more familiar with my dSLR was to pick up a cheap manual focus prime lens (an M 50/2 can surely be found for less than $15), as using one slows you down and releases you from easy reliance on autofocus and auto-everything and makes you learn the functions and handling of your camera more. Plus, it's just more fun with a prime!
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 06-19-2013, 06:37 PM  
Canon EoS Aperture open or closed off camera?
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 3
Views: 1,041
I'm guessing it doesn't have an aperture ring? Many autofocus lenses will default to the minimum aperture when off camera, so tend to serve poorly as reversed macro setups. Not sure if there are any workarounds for it, but others may have some ideas...
Forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive 06-19-2013, 05:44 PM  
Spiratone Plura-Coat By Mitake 35mm 1:1.8 Samples
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 3
Views: 3,814
This is a lens I could find out zilch about online, but is a surprisingly sharp and fast M42 lens, and very affordable as well. I just wanted to share some samples with it in case someone else out there has a copy as well!

The pics lost a little sharpness in the upload, but the color and tone remain, and I am extremely pleased with the lens and am sure it's gonna become one of my favorites.

All taken with the K-5, I think at f/1.8 or f/2.0, ISO 800.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-12-2013, 11:53 AM  
Travel Gear - my kit, what yours?
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 94
Views: 9,202
On my trip to Thailand last year, I took a pretty bare kit (I wanted to travel EXTREMELY light):

K-5
Pentax A 50/1.7
Rokinon 28/2.8
Charger, Spare Batteries, SD cards

And to tell the truth, this setup made me happy for about 85% of my shooting situations. Would have been nice to have something super-wide at times, but I never once thought, "Man, I wish I had a zoom!" or anything. My wife brought her (my old) K-x with the kit lens, and she was happy... but only took about 12 pictures in two weeks :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-08-2013, 02:53 PM  
Help with a lens history
Posted By dmeadows85
Replies: 3
Views: 1,413
Hey all!

So, after a long and financially intimidating search for a 35mm focal length, I finally found one. A visit to the local thrift store for a sewing machine (no luck) turned into a treasure find: a beat up old Chinon with a "Spiratone Plura-Coat (By Mitake) 1:1.8 f=35mm No. 352237". I'm pleased as punch to find this gem for... wait for it... $12.99, and after grafting the lens to the K-5 it is quite a performer!

Only thing is, I can't find a breath of information about it online, and I always like to have some history of my lenses, as it's neat to see where and when they came from. Anyone ever heard of this particular lens (or this mysterious Mitake)? I'd love to have some insight!
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