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Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-28-2017, 01:50 PM  
DxO OpticsPro 11 Essential Edition available for free
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 8
Views: 3,539
I'm not surprised that this product is not too popular. I used its predecessor (version 4.2) many years ago. Back then, they used a DRM tool called Pace Interlok that really put it hooks into the operating system and there were many reports of it causing all sorts of trouble with users' computers. Moreover, merely uninstalling DxO didn't remove the DRM tool. Repairing a computer sometimes meant reinstalling everything. Also, DxO didn't have profiles for many Pentax cameras or lenses. After having trouble with the software, I switched to another RAW converter, removed all traces of DxO and Pace from my machine and have never touched any of their products again.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-17-2017, 05:11 PM  
A really dumb question about ISO
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 17
Views: 1,477
As noted, it would help to know what camera you are using. A k-5 or k-3 can easily shoot at 3200 with little or no noise. With a k-3, 6400 is even pretty decent in good light, as you would expect on a volleyball court. As far as "pushing" goes, there is no real equivalent for digital. If you shoot jpeg files, you don't have much latitude if the image is grossly underexposed. If you shoot RAW, you can sometimes get a decent image from the RAW converter even if it is underexposed by 3 stops, although this depends on the ISO; the higher the ISO, the more noise you will see if you try to recover from a badly underexposed image.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-08-2017, 07:24 PM  
Dust problem ?
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 10
Views: 869
Dust visible in the viewfinder typically does not show up on the photos. Dust spots on the photos are usually due to dust on the sensor. It most often shows up in the sky. What f stop was this photo taken at? In general, photos taken at small f stops (higher numbers) seem to show dust more frequently. The k-5 has a pretty effective dust removal system. Go into the tools menu and find the dust removal item and activate it several times while pointing the camera down, then, using a small f stop, say f16 or 22, and a focal length around 50mm, take a photo with the sky featured prominently. If there are no spots, great. If there are spots, you need to take other steps to clean the sensor. Sensor cleaning is almost an issue for an academic treatise. Search the forum for more info, and maybe use Google on the web. The bottom line is be very careful, and only use the least invasive technique that will remove the dust. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, investigate having the sensor cleaned professionally.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-29-2017, 05:18 PM  
Help needed pentax 300mm da star or pentax150-450
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 8
Views: 1,054
Never had a 150-450. I did have the 300mm DA*. The image quality was wonderful. The SDM autofocus sucked. It worked for 13 months and then started failing 1 month out of warranty. The 300 worked well with the 1,4 DA TC, but I sold out of Pentax because I was tired of waiting for the SDM to fail completely. Be forewarned.
Forum: Pentax K-70 06-26-2017, 06:07 PM  
Anyone checked how much waterproof is K-70?
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 12
Views: 3,170
I have had a k-10, a k-5 and a k-3, with both WR and non-WR lenses. If I have been out in more than a light drizzle for any length of time, I have used an OpTech rainsleeve (Rainsleeve - Camera cover for rain and snow | OP/TECH USA). They are very cheap insurance against a very expensive disaster.
Forum: Photographic Technique 06-26-2017, 01:43 PM  
Upcoming eclipse
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 4
Views: 771
While a 1200mm might be nice for a full frame shot, 300mm on an APS-C is enough to get a decent photo. I have attached a photo of the moon that I shot with a k-5 and the 300mm DA* lens on Aug. 10, 2014 when the moon was unusually close, and so a bit larger than normal. Although it doesn't fill the frame, there is decent detail in the lunar surface. Since, by definition, the moon and sun are about the same size during an eclipse, this is what you can expect with a 300mm lens on an APS-C camera. 1200mm pretty much means a telescope, and since the original poster is asking very basic questions, I figured he was unlikely to have such a piece of equipment, but he might have a modest zoom lens.
Forum: Photographic Technique 06-26-2017, 12:42 PM  
Upcoming eclipse
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 4
Views: 771
If you don't have a total eclipse, you must have an appropriate filter for your lens or you risk permanent eye damage, much less sensor damage. Theoretically, you could avoid potential eye damage by sticking to live view (never looking through the eyepiece), but you still need some kind of filter for proper exposure. Assuming you have a Pentax SLR, you will want some kind of telephoto lens. If it is not a K-1, something around 200-300mm will give a nice image size. For a k-1, 400mm would be better. You have several choices when it comes to filters. For simplicity's sake a threaded filter to match the filter thread of the lens would be the easiest to use. There are two basic choices that I am aware of. Thousand Oaks sells solar filters here (Threaded Camera Filters – Thousand Oaks Optical). They have been around for many years. This would be my choice. The other option is a very dark ND filter such as this from B&H: Marumi Marumi 77mm DHG ND-100000 Solid Neutral Density AMDN01ON. A standard ND filter is not nearly dark enough to handle the full brightness of the sun. Assuming you don't have a tracking mount (something that uses a motor to follow that movement of the sun), you should try to set up before the eclipse and get aimed at the sun early on. It will be harder to aim the camera the closer the eclipse gets to totality. The way to do this is to put the camera and lens with the filter on a tripod and watch the shadow made by the camera and lens on the ground while moving the camera and lens. When the shadow is at its smallest, you should be pointed directly at the sun. If you have the filter on the lens, you can then look through the eyepiece and make any final adjustments. Then you simply keep moving the camera and lens on the tripod to follow the sun through the eclipse. The camera's exposure meter should give you a starting point for exposure, esp in live view.. IF you are somewhere the eclipse is total, you can (and must) remove the filter during totality but be prepared to replace it as soon as it is over. Again, it is important not to look directly at the sun except during totality; even a small sliver of the sun's disk is enough to cause serious eye damage.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-23-2017, 01:03 PM  
Moisture Control for Photo Equipment Storage
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 12
Views: 1,509
I don't worry about my camera since I live in a house that has ac and isn't in a particularly humid area, but I don't keep it in a backpack. I store my lenses in clear plastic shoe boxes with tight fitting lids and keep a reusable silica gel container in each. The point of the clear plastic is to let light in as darkness helps to encourage fungus. There are many silica gel containers that are reusable. These things can be reused by baking in an oven: Hydrosorbent OSG-40 Silica Gel Dehumidifier Desiccant 40 Gram Orange NO Cobalt (II) Chloride: amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific?tag=pentaxforums-20&. These can be reused by simply plugging them into 120v overnight: amazon.com: New and Improved Eva-dry E-333 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier: Dehumidifiers: Wall Art?tag=pentaxforums-20& or amazon.com: TOP TOP-300 Wireless Mini Dehumidifier with Moisture Indicator: Home & Kitchen?tag=pentaxforums-20&. These last two would be better in a larger box than a shoe box.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-20-2017, 06:28 PM  
Which versatile lens?
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 22
Views: 2,035
My choice is the Sigma 18-200. It had very good reviews from Popular Photography before it went under. Not quite as long as the 18-250/300, but better at the long end.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 06-19-2017, 06:25 PM  
is 300 ppi really recommended for printing?
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 45
Views: 4,663
My understanding is that on larger prints that are intended to be viewed from a greater distance, you can go down to 240ppi or so. That said, you still need to "res up" the file. For a number of large prints, I have successfully used Genuine Fractals (a very old version) which was a plugin that works with Photoshop and Elements to do the job. (For example, I have a 20x30 print from a K-10 on canvas hanging on my living room wall--it looks great.) It is now known as "Perfect Resize". I don't know whether it works with other image processing programs, but there is a trial version. I believe there are other such programs but I haven't tried them.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-29-2017, 06:34 PM  
Size and weight are truly factors to consider.
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 59
Views: 3,642
Actually, another way of looking at this is the 120-400 is a 180-600 in crop mode, so your what your really comparing is what you need to get a specific focal length equivalent in crop vs full frame. If you are satisfied with 450mm equivalent, then a 300mm (long end) zoom or a 300mm prime in APS-C is all you need. If you want even more reach, then you need more focal length, which is going to get bigger/heavier than the 55-300. Since there are no such lenses made for APS-C, you are looking at a full frame lens. If you compare an inexpensive full frame 70-300 (eg. the Sigma 70-300 f4-5.6 for Pentax) with the 55-300, which is pretty close in focal length, it is slightly longer and heavier, but not by much.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 04-29-2017, 12:35 PM  
New B&H catalog changes.
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 25
Views: 2,417
Be careful. Reading that thing can bring on LBA.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 04-22-2017, 01:11 PM  
Birding lens
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 13
Views: 1,993
Not trying to start a war or anything, but for what you would spend on the medium format 300mm f4, you could buy a Canon (7D) , Nikon (D500) or Sony (A77 ii) top-of-thel-line crop sensor DSLR and a mighty nice full frame zoom (100-400, or so) or prime (400) that would get you great image quality, and much faster autofocus and frame rates than your medium format, and you would have change left over.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-22-2017, 09:15 AM  
Which lens to use for photographing a four foot long suspension bridge model?
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 6
Views: 839
If you are going to use the 10-20, you should be careful to keep the camera level with the subject and not tilted, otherwise you will have a lot of distortion to deal with.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 04-22-2017, 09:13 AM  
Birding lens
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 13
Views: 1,993
It has been a looong time since I used a medium format camera (like well BD-before digital), but I suspect that you need more focal length than what you are looking at. I have been shooting with APS-C format DSLRs for a number of years now, and find that 300mm (450mm is the 35mm equivalent) is the minimum for medium to large birds (hawks to cranes or herons, egrets, etc.) unless you can get really close. For smaller birds, I'll add a 1.4 TC which brings it up to about 630mm equivalent. If I had the cash to blow, I'd go even longer than that. As I understand it, 300mm on the Pentax is medium format equivalent to about 237mm in the 35mm world. 400mm translates to 315mm in 35mm speak. Unless you can crop such an image drastically without losing much quality because of the larger file size, I doubt that either would work for small birds. The 400mm would strike me as the minimum for larger ones.
Forum: Pentax K-1 04-05-2017, 09:16 AM  
underestimated K-1 editing requirements - upgrade required?
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 18
Views: 2,284
Does your computer have on board Intel Graphics, and what version of Lightroom do you have? I have an Intel i7 that uses Intel Graphics. Under the Performance tab of the Edit Menu item Preferences, you can choose to have the program use the graphics processor, and it offers the Intel on board graphics system as an option, so you don't need a separate graphics card to take advantage of this feature, at least not on LR6.
Forum: Pentax Compact Cameras 04-03-2017, 01:55 PM  
Buying Advice - Travel Compact
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 16
Views: 2,210
I'd add the following comment. If you go for a compact with a superzoom lens (which I'd sure want if I were going to Africa), I'd also insist on a viewfinder in addition to the usual lcd screen. In that class of camera it will likely be an EVF rather than an optical finder. We have a small superzoom compact that has only an lcd screen and I find it impossible to hold it sufficiently steady at arm's length when attempting to shoot at long focal lengths. The viewfinder lets you brace the camera against your face when using long focal lengths; I can easily steady a k-3 with the 300mm f4 and a TC in good light, but forget about using the superzoom at arm's length and, say, 400mm equivalent.

I'd think that if you can find a reasonable solar charger, 2-3 sets of eneloop AAs would do for the entire trip. I'd also carry a small conventional charger and whatever plug adapter is needed for the countries she will be visiting. I'd also take some device for backing up the memory cards, as well as more than one card.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-02-2017, 04:48 PM  
Is fungus in lenses 'contagious'?
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 21
Views: 4,013
Call me paranoid, but I store all my lenses when not in use or on a trip away from home in a translucent storage container (shoe box size) with the front elements uncovered in a room that sees at least occasional light, with a silica gel container in the box. IMHOP, this is the best way to avoid fungus.
Forum: Sold Items 04-02-2017, 09:13 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax k-3, k2000, k100D, DA*300, DA35 f2.4, DA 18-250 and more
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 11
Views: 3,210
Bump!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-27-2017, 05:05 PM  
Fast(er) short to mid zoom?
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 8
Views: 1,086
Thanks for that correction. I had one of the older versions for awhile and really liked it. I finally decided I'd prefer a modest superzoom (I use the Sigma 18-200) to have more flexibility for different subjects while avoiding lens changes in the open. When I shot film, for years I used a 28-70 f2.8-4 (which was similar to the 17-70, albeit a bit shorter at the long end) and a 70-210. Of course, changing lenses outside was not an issue with film.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-27-2017, 02:16 PM  
Fast(er) short to mid zoom?
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 8
Views: 1,086
There is one other option if you don't mind buying used. Sigma used to make a 17-70 f2.8-4 that had extremely good image quality. Unfortunately, they no longer make it in a Pentax mount.
Forum: Sold Items 03-26-2017, 09:25 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax k-3, k2000, k100D, DA*300, DA35 f2.4, DA 18-250 and more
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 11
Views: 3,210
Bump for further price reduction on the DA*300mm.
Forum: Sold Items 03-22-2017, 06:51 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax k-3, k2000, k100D, DA*300, DA35 f2.4, DA 18-250 and more
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 11
Views: 3,210
Bump. One item is all that remains--the 300mm f4.
Forum: Sold Items 03-16-2017, 07:46 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax k-3, k2000, k100D, DA*300, DA35 f2.4, DA 18-250 and more
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 11
Views: 3,210
Bump for price reductions.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-16-2017, 07:33 AM  
Broken filter thread
Posted By mechmike10
Replies: 3
Views: 658
If by broken, you mean bent, you may be able to fix it with a lens filter vise. ere is an example: https://www.amazon.com/Lens-Filter-Ring-Vise-LV1/dp/B002RPJ930?tag=pentaxforums-20&.
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