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Forum: Pentax K-5 04-11-2011, 04:30 PM  
Pentax K 5 and IR filter
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 5
Views: 3,935
If its anything like my K10D and K7, you'll be happy with the results. Expect 30 second exposures at or around max aperture unless you go with a really high ISO. IR's pretty much useless in anything but bright sun though.

Here's a recent shot from the K7
Through The Lens
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-09-2011, 08:55 PM  
Poll: What do "we" realy want?
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 152
Views: 30,072
I havnt voted because most of the options dont interest me much.

I could give a rat's ass about EVERYTHING VIDEO and think that it lessens my camera somehow. Still cameras take still photos. If video's so damn important, make a k-mount video camera and get it out of my SLRs please.
More AF options dont help any camera. If you can't shoot it with center spot focus on AF-S, why bother? Dont track a subject, anticipate where and when it's going to be most photogenic and shoot that.
I must admit, a true Full Frame sensor does interest me, mostly because i covet my Super Multi Coated Takumars and M-series primes. It's going to be way out of my normal price range though, and my K7 and K10D do just about everything i need them to right now.
Regarding flash sync, please invest in an electronic first curtain so we can have 1/500th for once. It's about the only way my digitals are inferior to my PZ-1.
Faster FPS and bigger buffer dont interest me, and they shouldnt interest the vast majority of people beyond what the K5 can offer. How many photos do you need to take to get *one* good shot? Pentax is not CaNikon, they make fast cameras. Pentax makes good cameras and AMAZING GLASS.

Which leads me to my wish from Pentax,

Revive the FA series, both in 35mm and 645. Maybe not entirely, as there will be much overlap, but i and many others would saw off our pinky toes with a rusty saw to have a chance to purchace NEW near perfect glass like the 85mm f1.4 and 28-70mm f2.8. Seriously, with a rusty saw. I would tell my boss to just make my pay out to Pentax Canada, because thats where it woud all go.
In a perfect world, it'd be the 20mm f2.8, 50mm f1.7 (that's right), 85mm f1.4, 135mm f2.8, 28-70 f2.8, and 70-200 f2.8, and any others that dont directly replace a DA.

pretty please? with sugar on top?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-31-2009, 12:17 AM  
K-7 owners' satisfaction/dissatisfaction?
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 87
Views: 12,603
The only thing that irked me about my K7 was how much the P TTL system missed. at anything other than 100 iso i find it unreliable at best, and i havnt had time to test out wireless, but i had issues when i tried it the first time. Firmware update, please!

Everything else is a hair short of magic. So much faster. Amazing dynamic range. Features upon features. Well worth the money.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-20-2009, 04:37 PM  
My New K7
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 14
Views: 2,284
samuelk: I ordered it through a local repair shop.

glanglois: You actually saw the white balance miss? I'm amazed ;-)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-18-2009, 07:18 PM  
My New K7
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 14
Views: 2,284
My bad. I didnt feel like doing a complete review, otherwise i would have posted it as such. Just wanted to put another positive voice behind the camera after the issues with bad units and high iso complaints.

Its not perfect, but it'll do until the sensor design changes.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-16-2009, 06:31 PM  
My New K7
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 14
Views: 2,284
So i shot my first wedding with the K7. Went the whole day (750ish shots, no LV, very minor chimping) on just one of the two batteries.
Holy sensors batman! I took as many as a dozen shots that my borrowed Metz 60 CT-1 missed by up to as much as *3 stops* and turned them into shots i had no problem at all giving to a customer. 100-400iso is magical. In comparisson, my backup photographer was using my K10D and in ACR CS4 i had almost twice the exposure latitude with the K7 at any iso.
A note about the AF; it still hunts in low light, even when using just not nearly as bad as the K10D. My backup was so pissed she just shot MF while the K7 eventually found focus for a shot as dark as 1s @ f1.4 w/iso 400, howerver many EV that might be.
Picked up a 4gb extreme 3 card before the shoot. Honestly didnt seem much faster than my other class 6 cards. Maybe i have a bad copy. 'Flash memory toolkit found *a lot* of bad sectors. Burned through an 8gb and a 4gb on top of that.

Overall i think i've come to one conclusion. It doesnt really make much sense, but i'm pretty sure that the K7 is twice the camera that the K10D is.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-15-2009, 01:43 PM  
Sad with K-7
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 45
Views: 7,059
Its probably already been mentioned, but make sure your SR is off when using a tripod. I've actually had SR kick in on longer exposures with my K10 and fuzz what should be a perfectly sharp image.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-09-2009, 06:57 PM  
My New K7
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 14
Views: 2,284
Actually i used to hand-print my TMax 3200 shots as 8x10's and was surprised that it was still able to maintain some good tonal range, especially with a Hoya Yellow filter.

And yes, the D700 can outperform the K7, but it's an entirely different sensor in an entirely different camera. I don't compare my K7 to any full frames except the pentax film slrs (for shutter speed, flash sync, and other indicators of quality and usefullness). In that regard, the K7 is the new MZ-S.
When pentax eventually does go full-frame (Even Pentax refered to the K7 as a 'Mid-Level" camera), then you can start comparing with other full frames.

The only reason i'd want full frame is so i can get the ultra-wide shots i do in my spare time. Crop factor's a bitch if you don't shoot telephoto.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-08-2009, 02:49 PM  
My New K7
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 14
Views: 2,284
My backordered K7 arrived Wednesday.

First off, my sensor is defect free. I had faith. For those who werent so lucky and are greatly bother by this, call nikon's repair department and ask them about the D5000, or call canon about the 50D and G10. I dont expect more from Pentax than i do from Canon who still seems to be running the show the imaging market. Have a little faith that the problem will be fixed and that you'll end up loving this fantastic camera and all the amazing glass that goes with it.
Secondly, my flash sync seems fine. Wireless has missed a few times, but it seems to depend on the ambient lighting. I'm not bothered by that because i saw a brand new Einchrome powerpack w/600ws strobe do the same thing in bright sun just last week. Keep in mind i use a Metz 48 AF-1 (which i love), so the results with the Pentax 360 and 540 may vary slightly.
I *DID* have a LARGE number of washed-out test shots in my room, but later discovered that the 6400iso i was using to save the batteries in my flash is not supported with external dedicated strobes. Same with 3200. This doesnt bother me since i'd only ever use 400iso at the most. The flash *does* miss more often than i remember with my K10D. This doest bother me either, because the dynamic range of the raw files is more than enought to correct it 9 times out of 10 using even just Silkypix.
This brings me to the high ISO performance. Honestly, i don't particularly care. Who in thier right mind has to shoot at 6400 iso all the time? Why not buy faster glass? In my experience the FA 50 f1.4 almost *makes* light for under $300. If you cant get a handheld shot with that at 400 or lower, that's your hint to find a flash, tripod, or even just a monopod.
The one time i might actually venture into 3200 or 6400iso, it'll be when i'm shooting with my IR filter. As IR shots are usually rife with grain anyway, why should this truly bother me?
Film can still outperform digital in high iso. Pick up an MZ-6 for $50 on ebay and get a couple of rolls of Kodak's 3200 iso films. Any lab worth thier salt can push that another two or maybe 3 stops to 25,600 iso without utterly destroying your images. With the B&W TMax 3200 this can actually be a PLEASING effect in numerous situations. I use iso 100-400 when im occasionally shooting professionally, and iso 100 almost exclusively otherwise. Why isnt anyone bitching about *lower* iso options??
The AF impressed me from the start. The FA 50 f1.4 seems to focus almost twice as fast as my K10D, surpassing even my trusty PZ-1 in performance. Even the old DA 18-55 is snappier. Contrast Detect and Face Detect are too slow, but it is on most brands at any level. Mirror-Flip AF is a very fast and happy solution during live view.
Build quality is superb. Feels very confidant in even my large hands despite the clearly smaller size. It makes my K10 look like it needs a diet. The magnesium body shell was one of the things on my wish list, but it doesnt quite have the feel im used to on the Canon and Nikon pro bodies. It could be something as simple as the texture. Either way, im glad its there.
I like the tighter feel of the switches on the body, they're much less likely to move during shooting and transport. Love the lock button on the Mode Select. I remember being angry on many occasions during 100iso night shots when the K10 would slip into the Tav mode and i'd suddenly be faced with moise mess when the camera changed to 1600 automatically.
the buttons are hit and miss. Some of the rear buttons are a little too hard to press. Others like the AF, ISO and Ex. Compensation buttons seem to regularly get accidentally pressed. It's only a minor irritation as the index and thumbwheels need to turn to actually adjust the latter settings by accident. The wheels themselves are actually under less tension than the K10 (a good thing) but also seem to be recessed far enough for not to be any accidental changes.
The dynamic and tonal ranges of the sensor have truly impressed me. Coming from the K10, it took only about 30 minutes of shooting to find out how much better the processing has become since 2007.
The white balance seems to have develloped a 6th sense. I swear it hasn't missed yet. Vastly improved.
I'll definately be making use of the IR remote i ordered. Will be nice to be able to be wireless even during bulb exposures.
The mechanical sound is really really nice. It's whisper quiet, even at 5.2fps. This camera could easily go undetected in places where a slapping mirror and noisy shutter are rude, such as weddings.
The button and menu layout took about 15 minutes to figure out. Very similar to the K10 in the menus, only with many more and better implimented options. the buttons are actually quite different. The playback button is actually the one that's caught me the most. My thumb tends to fall more easily onto the lower left on my k10. The ISO button is a nice change too. I like the raw button, but i think it would be much better used as a shortcut button like canon did with thier direct print buttons. I only ever shoot RAW+, so the need for a dedicated button isnt there for me.
The 900,000+ pixel LCD is tasty and the size is great. Very useful for live view and playback. Info screen is also a breese to use because of this.
Unfortunately the batteries arent living up to the hype just yet, and live view seems to slay them but i dont use it anyway. The huge LCD probably has a big effect on this, so turning your info screen off and cut back on the chimping. Neither of those two are really necessary most of the time anyway. I assume my incoming grip and extra battery will make a marked improvement.

Overall, this is a fantastic camera that will be in my collection for as long as possible. Everyone who'se seen it have remarked that its a very well built camera and seems very much worth its price tag. There *are* a few things that i think are sadly missing, like an aprture coupler for the metered use of an aperture ring set to anything other than the widest aperture so the M and K lenses will be more compatible. My FA 50 f1.4 is tasty, but i'd prefer to be able to use my M 50 f1.7 as well as other M classics like the 28mm f3.5. A 1/250th flash sync would have been nice, but with dedication and HSS it's rather moot. I could also use an internal eyepiece blocker for my IR and night shots (Yeah, it came with a plastic slip-on, but those are easy to lose on a dark night). And pentax...? Can we have Full Frame soon?

Despite the issues this is still a workhorse. it's bred for speed and performance and fills the gap in pentax's pro bodies nicely with sold feel, features to sink a ship, and ease of use. Thank you Pentax for reminding me why i chose you.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-03-2009, 08:15 PM  
Pentax USA out of repair business
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 58
Views: 10,925
This isnt really surprising news. Here in Canada, Canon has been changing thier repair proceedures and service locations during the last year or so. I'd be lying if i said they were having an easy go of it.

Having Pentax US hand off thier repair work to another company means they spend less time fixing broken cameras and more time designing more solid products. ;-)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-21-2009, 07:33 PM  
The Last Lens I Ever Will Need...
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 20
Views: 4,594
In my experience, long zooms actually put MORE dust on your sensor. Most 18-200ish lenses extend several inches between wide end and tele end. The air that the lens draws in has to go somewhere when the zoom returns to its wide end it tends to sneeze all of that dust back into your cameras mirror cage. Take most any zoom lens off of your camera, hold one hand closely over the lens mount, and zoom all the way in and out a couple of times.
One lens in particular has earned notariety where i work. The Canon 100-400L is affectionately referred to as "the hoover."
The very best option is a weather-sealed lens.
Switching between 2 or 3 primes (which i do) shouldn't create much dust at all so long as you keep the mounts clean.
Also keep a lookout for lenses with stationary rear elements. I think pentax called this feature FREE, or fixed rear element extension. Air cant pass through the lens mount if theres always glass in the way. Some consumer Canon wide angle to short telephoto lenses had rear elements attatched directly to the mount itself, practically air-tight.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-21-2009, 07:14 PM  
What lens should Pentax make/remake?
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 138
Views: 11,766
FA 28-70mm f2.8 -firstly, its often called one of the nicest zoom lenses ever made. Secondly, 28-70 is a perfect portrait range on either digital or film, and only the 17-70 f4 covers that now.
FA 70-200mm f2.8 - a longer, better built, full frame alternative to the 50-135 f2.8
FA 85mm f1.4 though it'd be competition for the limiteds.

DA or DFA 50mm f1.7 - Pentax needs a really cheap, good standard prime to compete with Canon EF 50 f1.8 and the Nikon equivilent, which sell like hotcakes.
DFA 20, 24, or 28 F1.4 - I'd really like to have a really fast wide lens without 'resorting' to sigma. Pentax can surely do it and do it better.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-21-2009, 06:56 PM  
Why Abandon Canon/Nikon for Pentax k-7
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 111
Views: 16,949
The best reason to pick Pentax over any brand is its sensor, or rather its sensor's movement. Yes, other systems have Sensor-Shake style IS, but no other system has as many options to mount in front of that sensor. There's over 25 million K-Mount lenses on this little blue marble, and few systems can boast such nice glass. My favorite lens of any brand is still my M 50mm f1.7, and i clean and repair all brands gear where i work.
I was always told you base your camera around your lenses, and IMO Pentax makes the best at a very nice price.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-20-2009, 06:53 PM  
Strange lights with long exposures
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 21
Views: 4,031
Your camera probably came with a little dealy that fits over the eyepiece to block out light coming through the viewfinder during long exposures. Light entering the camera through the eyepiece can give errant lights as well as trick your meter.
It also stands to reason that different photos and different people experience different reults. the first images in the thread look as if intense light was spilling around the mirror in specific places, where as the one above this post looks very diffuse. Every camera is built different, set different, and equipped different.

Try doing the same shots with and without your eyepiece obscured and see if it has any effect.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-03-2008, 10:13 PM  
K30D/K300D speculations and new lenses
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 355
Views: 73,480
I could quite honestly give a rat's ass about sensor size. I just want the best quality i can get for Pentax's usual low price. I believe that it'll be APS-C. Resolution-wise, 14 meg is lots but 16 or 18 would be cherry. If they keep up the tradition of 4 meg jumps, 18 is next. I could see them putting out another 14mp tho.

I'm a k10 user, so image quality is my concern. I've seen and heard results from the 20 that tempted me and reassured me. I don't shoot over 400 iso unless i HAVE to. I want useful results from 1600.

plrase keep screw drive AF.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 10-21-2008, 04:52 PM  
Sticky: Dear Pentax
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 1,309
Views: 371,924
I think that pentax should take the best parts of thier best film cameras and put them in a digital body. it's time.
Basically i want my "MZ-D". Take the MZ-S, throw in the PZ-1's faster shutter, put a nice 16mp plus sensor behind it, give it the LX's near bulletproof construction and available accessories, Live View without mirror up, and better backwards compatability with pre A-Series glass. Oh, allow both TTL *and* P-TTL please.

Lenses? Keep making full frame, as well as APS-C. More primes. Totally agree about a new 85mm f1.4. Make sure they keep the screw-drive AF, and put the aperture ring back on. A slew of new D-FA lenses would make me a very happy pentaxian.

Dream Setup? 18mp MZ-D with a D-FA 17-70mm f2.8. Aww yeah.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-13-2008, 01:11 PM  
About the K20D Price Drop...
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 111
Views: 18,940
Just to clarify; nobody used the term full frame in regards to the upcoming body. I simply meant that i, personaly, will be spending the money i had saved for DA* lenses on the new body, and using my full frame primes on it until i can afford the DA* glass to make the most of it's sensor, which will be 18mp if pentax keeps up with thier habit for 4mp increases. It might seem like a little much, but the k20's *still* very competitive pixel-wise, even compared the the d90 and 50d, and since its release about a year ago we've seen the pixel counts jump substancially.

The christmas body is more or less guaranteed to be the APS-C K30D. the 'KX' i mentioned is educated speculation.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-09-2008, 04:09 PM  
About the K20D Price Drop...
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 111
Views: 18,940
i have a very solid feeling and a reliable source that says the k20 price drop is ahead of a schedualled pre-christmas DSLR release.

Seing as the K200 still has a lot of interest in the market and the KM is priced at least $100 cheaper, it's looking like we'll see a K30 or a 'KX'. if they keep with the KM name line, oldskool film folks will tell you that the next logical progression is the KX as per the top-of-the-line K-series film bodies.

I feel secure enough about my source that i'm re-directing my funds for nice glass for my k10 to whatever awesomeness occurs before santa comes. I'll just use my FF primes instead of getting the DA* 16-50 and 50-135.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-07-2008, 02:05 PM  
DA Glass on Film Body Questions
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 5
Views: 1,950
as i mentioned above, the 50-200 did not vignet in the viewfinder of my PZ-1. Since it's got no aperture ring, you'll have to use it on a Super Program or better to get the body side apertue control. Af worked well, if not a little slowly.

And yes, the 28-90 is an acceptable performer for most simple portaits or as a walk-around lens. It has a great range, but i want faster maximum aperture and better build. It feels and looks much worse than it performs. My options for replacement are the nicer DAs like the 16-50 2.8 and the 17-70 f4 which is aparently SDM only, possibly being a big hinderance for film use. I'm also keeping an eye out for a cheap used FA* 28-70 2.8. One of those will run me as much or more than any of my other options, but i *know* how useful it is to me now and will be if pentax returns to FF. Also, more than a few people have called it the nicest zoom ever made.
I'm also considering in, order of preferance, the Tokina 28-70 2.8, 16-50 2.8, and the tamron, sigma equivilants as a replacement. Again, the tokinas offer FF lenses with aperture rings in some models, a definate plus.

What i have makes good pictures, but as i'm slowly trying to get into more professional work, i need to show clients that i can give as good or better images than my (usually canon) competitors. L-series glass is not the end-all, be-all of lenses, but it does set a high standard. $100 pentax zooms just don't cut the mustard when it comes to selling product in the market i'm in.

If this was still a film world, i might keep using it, i love the color images it renders. Got a couple really nice B&W wide-angle shots too. I did find the B&W contrast quite flat with it though, not even in the same area code as my old primes. Yellow or red filters made everything pop though.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-05-2008, 11:58 AM  
DA Glass on Film Body Questions
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 5
Views: 1,950
i didn't think tokina and pentax were still in bed as far as lens development. Now i know. Still rather have that SMC stampted on the lens, though. Call me old fashioned.

I've played with some of the aps-c Sigma/Tamron/Tokina 2.8 zooms and a couple fast primes on canons at work, and they all seem to give great IQ on the canon 20/30d and 5d. Not sure how they'd look on my k10.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-05-2008, 11:19 AM  
DA Glass on Film Body Questions
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 5
Views: 1,950
Not many pentaxians around my place, so this seems like a good place to ask.

I've had my K10 for a year and a half now and love it. Unfortunately the shutter's seen a lot of use and it's soon time to upgrade. I'm trying to build up a collection of really nice glass to put in front of the K30D/KxD, as i'm willing to bet that the sensor's going to have more resolving power than any of my zooms (da 18-55 and fa 28-90) can produce, so it's upgrade time. i have a pair of sharp primes (F 28, FA 50) that get a lot of use, and i'd like to try and keep future lens IQ in the same general neighbourhood.

The DA* 16-50 and 50-135 are pretty high on my list at the moment, as are a couple of the Tokina 2.8 zooms. Having read review after review and actually getting to take a shot or two with the 16-50 (which blew me away, almost as nice as my FA 50 f1.4 when they're both wide open.
I'd also REALLY like a fisheye, but that's more of a guilty pleasure than a necessity.
Most of the appeal that the 'Tonka Toys' (Tokina AT-X's) have with me are the availability of full frame lenses with aperture rings and great price/IQ ratio. I'd rather give my money to pentax though.

All of that being said, i'm going to be a stubborn bastard about backwards compatability with my later film gear (PZ-1 and an MZ-6 eventually, mostly for high speed sync), as well as being a contingency plan for if/when pentax decides to make a full frame. I personally think we'll see it in a year or two once the market stabilizes a little.

To the actual questions;
-To anyone using *any* DA lenses on film bodies; what are your general experiences regarding vignetting?
My 18-55 seems fine past 24mm (which is slightly ironic since i bought a used tamron PK adaptall 2 24mm f2.8 around the same time.) Also, having had the chance to play with a DA 50-200 at work, i found no visible vignetting at any focal length through the PZ-1's viewfinder. A little research found something about all DA's (and perhaps all no-name APS-C designed PK lenses) over 50mm being vignet free. Can anyone help verify that? It will more or less seal the deal on the DA 50-135 for me.

-Anyone have experience with trying SDM with power-zoom film bodies?
I found one report that the SDM was very slow to lock and hunted far too much on one of the later 'plastic fantastic' bodies. Anyone tried it on the MZ 6 or 7, PZ-1/1P, or the MZ-S?

-Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is how do the film images from DA glass compare to less recent film-designed glass?
I'm sure the DA*s all hold thier own, are sharp, colorful, and contrasty. That being said, my results with the DA 18-55 were honestly not the best. Images seemed to lack contrast and color when compared even to my FA 28-90, which is not a particularly sharp lens by most people's standards. Anyone have some experience with this?

Just as a footnote; i find it entertaining that people are referring to the rumored pro DSLR as the KxD, with the x standing in for a number, especially with the introduction of the Km. Anyone who'se familiar with the K-series film bodies knows that the KX was the top of its line with Optical aperture readout, mirror lock-up, and self-timer. If you ask me, KXd is more likely than K1d, K2d, or K20/200 super. Pentax has already pretty much guaranteed a K30 in the spring.
Forum: Photographic Technique 07-11-2007, 03:50 AM  
The Super Macro Setup - SUCCESS!!!
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 23
Views: 8,785
My macro setup includes a Tamron 100mm macro, pentax auto extension tube set, and occasionally a DuJour 2x TC. check out 0432 - bigbadwolf by *gremlindesign on deviantART for a sample without teleconverter. I find that the TC works best when put directly on the camera, then the tubes, then the lens. I can, using my vivitar 285HV, take shots with this setup without needing a tripod. With the TC on, i find that the focus is too close and too small of an area to use effectively in this way and i'm also a bit concerned about the TC reducing Image Quality.
Forum: Pentax DSLR and Camera Articles 07-08-2007, 07:00 PM  
285HV compatibility for the K10D
Posted By gremlindesign
Replies: 42
Views: 18,029
The local registered pentax repair center has tested two seperate 285HV units to operate at between 7.5 and 8.2 volts. The same store told me that the K10d can handle up to 16 and that there should never be any problems related to voltage. I've been using my k10 and 285HV a lot over the last little while for macro shots.
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