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Forum: Pentax K-r 03-26-2013, 01:55 PM  
K-r Problem .. ??
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 3
Views: 1,444
Aye just get a can of electrical contact cleaner (leaves no residue), take battery out, spray a little bit into the gap around the edial, spin the wheel a few times, wait for it to dry and you're done. :)

There are other threads about this issue in the forum, do a quick search and you'll find em.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-20-2013, 01:07 PM  
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 15
Views: 1,348
Leave it. If you've never done portraits/groups shots/delivered this kind of stuff I honestly wouldn't bother. Weather they're on a budget or not, they'll expect more and more, and the whole thing becomes a headache - not only no the day, but also when editing. More stress than it's worth.

If you want to shoot weddings, find someone who you can assist or be the 2nd shooter - learn from them, and then you'll be able to decide if you want to do one on your own. ;)
Forum: Pentax K-01 03-17-2013, 12:41 AM  
Good lenses for video?
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 12
Views: 1,840
Errr, how long is a piece of string?

Could spend hours answering but it's mostly dependant on what you're shooting. In terms of actual footage/picture quality, it's going to be the same as what lens is best for photography. With the lenses you have, you probably already know the focal lengths you like to use and what image quality you can get from those lenses - you'll now what lenses are sharp/soft, what works better in low light, how smooth the bokeh is, how they flare and so on - these would be creative choices. What differs for video is how usable those lenses are when trying to hold a camera stable; e.g how smoothly they focus, and how smoothly they zoom (if you're using zooms that is).

You can use either AF or MF lenses, but I don't think the K-01 will autofocus while taking video, and I'd suggest you switch to manual focus anyway. Manual focus lenses most often have much longer focus throws compared to AF ones, which means you'll be able to focus a lot more precicely and smoothly. Also just try out taking video's with different lenses and see how well they 'fit' in your hand - it's important for hand-held footage that you can adjust focus/camera settings etc while holding steady, so a big bulky zoom will be harder to handle than a smaller prime and would result in a lot of shake, but also if a lens is too small it might not have enough weight to it, or the focus ring might be too fiddly to turn.

If you're using a tripod the size/weight becomes a non-issue, it's just the focus you still need to think about. Or, if your focus is locked down for a shot anyway, then the focus ring doesn't matter either.

Personally, I'd just start off with a fast-ish, wide-to-medium manual prime. Something like a manual 28mm or 35mm 2.8 (or 50 1.7) - it'll be wide enough to step back, stop down, and got a good depth of field for wide shots, plus you'll still have a nice shallow dof to isolate your subject when you go closer and open up. :)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-16-2013, 09:11 PM  
Pentax at WPPI in Las Vegas
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 34
Views: 6,479
Even that model looks bored! :P
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-16-2013, 04:25 AM  
Does upgrading firmware reset debug-mode focus adjustment?
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 4
Views: 1,347
Seems firmware upgrade does not reset the debug settings.

Spent this morning checking focus accross my lenses. Mainly for my tamron 28-75 2.8, and while I'm still not 100% happy with how that lens is focusing, got an ok middle ground. Had to set debug focus adjust to -100 and the menu one to -7. Seems excessive, something must be out of whack somewhere...but oh well.

Also, I'm getting more and more annoyed at how large the AF points on the K-r seem to be. Hell I only ever use the middle one but I wish it was smaller :/ Bring on the rumoured April announcements Pentax! :D
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-14-2013, 09:25 PM  
Does upgrading firmware reset debug-mode focus adjustment?
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 4
Views: 1,347
Hi all,

Just wondering if upgrading firmware resets any debug-mode focus adjustments done on a K-r? Or any other settings/camera.

Just wondering as I'm calibrating my Tamron 28-75 at the moment and I must have either messed up the (rather poorly set up) previous calibration test I did to fix FF/BF, or the lens has changed from use.

Just thought I'd ask while I try and find my USB cable that appears to have gone missing ... :p * I swear it's in my spaghetti-junction box of cables somewhere...or that bag...or draw... I suck at organising. :o *


Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-20-2013, 04:13 AM  
k5 doesn't fire when focussed.
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 15
Views: 2,084
Hey Rob,

I know exactly what you mean. It's one of those sad but inevitable things when you look at photography from a business point of view. At the end of the day you need the tools and the support network that allow you to keep doing your work and to keep your clients happy. There's no time for being sentimental in these cases. While I'm nowhere near the level you're at (only using the K-r at the moment), I am starting to get more and more work and starting to get more and more annoyed by the shortcomings of my camera. I'll most likely switch to a higher-end canon/nikon camera later in the year - not because the image quality is lacking, but just because the "other side" seem to be better from a "working photographer" point of view.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-18-2013, 10:28 PM  
Looking for video advice/tips
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 5
Views: 1,110
I havn't done much video shooting myself - and I don't know what video control's the K-5 has, but I'll try and give a few pointers.

Firstly, do some research and planning. Take a look at some gym video's online that match the style your going for and note down what you like about them/try and determine how they were shot. Try story boarding your shoot or at least note down how you think the final cut should be, maybe even include some timings. E.g. Opening shot -> wide shot outside of gym -> cut to close up of logo -> establishing shot of inside -> bla bla bla bla. This'll give you an idea of what shots you need to get, and it'll be a good reference point for when you're editing - you don't want end up with loads of random footage and then try to edit it blindly into some mish-mosh video.

Take long wide shots to use as masters and then shorter close-up clips to cut away to. Try to refrain from hand held shots unless they're close ups/faster cut aways, especially if you don't have a hand-held rig of some sort. Lock-down the focus on your wider shots and use a tripod for them - you can do some slow panning etc for a bit of movement. Don't try to force excitement into a shot by moving the camera around fast, as it can look amateurish and you'll probably get some bad rolling-shutter effects - instead use fast and short cuts, along with an energetic soundtrack, if you're going for "fast action". It'll will look cleaner and more professional than fast camera movement. E.g. short, static cuts of different parts of a moving exercise bike (gears, pedals, display) will look far better than one looooong shot of you moving around a bike.

If you're doing an interview with somone, it's probably best to use a tripod and have them sit/stand on the left/right 3rd of the frame with either a plain background behind them, or knock the background out of focus with a wide aperture. Again, maybe use this as a master shot - keep the dialogue running while you cut-away to some action shots -> then back to the master -> cut away, repeat. Also, when you're asking questions/they're talking, remember they'll probably be looking at you, so make sure you're standing by the camera or wherever you want them to be looking.

Know who your video is for - if it's a modern gym for younger people you'll have more skope to use interesting angles/experimentation/effects etc. if it's a more conservative place you'll want to refrain from pushing the boundries and just go for more of a conservative style. Talk it over with whoever it is you're making the video for and then gauge how far you can push it.

In terms of technical details, you'll want to to flatten out the in-camera settings as much as possible and then add any contrast/colour adjustments back-in during post. Try to get an even exposure across all of your shots, and refrain from using auto-white balance, set it to whatever wb looks best for the location your in and leave it there until you change location/the lighting changes. You won't have much leniency with jpg compressed video footage in terms of colour and exposure, so if you underexpose, don't expect to be able to pull it back without noise/issues when trying to match the rest of your footage, similarly if you mess up white balance for a shot, you might have trouble correcting it later. Don't go too high with your shutter speed or it'll look like a home-video, remember you're not trying to get pin-sharp frames like photography, you want to keep the motion present - try to keep it at 1/50 or so, and keep you're video frame rate the same for all of your footage. For everything else, just follow the rules you'd use for photography and you'll be fine - rule of thirds, depth of field to draw the viewers eye to your subject, lighting, and so on.

A tip for smooth panning on a tripod. Use an elastic band. :D Put the band on the tripod panning handle (if it has one), or the camera lens, and smoothly drag it across trying to keep the speed steady as you move. Also for focusing, you can wrap a band around the focus ring on your lens, and mark down focus points in it with a pen - this can make focusing a lot more precise. For example, say you have a static shot of treadmill display, and you want to start out of focus, and then pull it into focus - firstly focus on the display (this'll be the end of the shot) and mark it on the band, then turn it out of focus for your starting position - press record, move the focus ring to your little pen mark, and boom, focus will be spot on.

Time-lapses can also be a great way to spice up footage.

There's endless amount of things you can think about, but hope that helps a bit as an overview. Any questions give me a shout, hope I've made sense with all that. :o

Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-05-2013, 12:08 PM  
Is my DA 18-55mm lens defected
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 7
Views: 1,029
That traitor! :D Should be lined up against a contrasty wall and shot! ...ok maybe that was a bit too far...
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-05-2013, 10:24 AM  
Dirt/spots on my pictures :( Please help
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 15
Views: 2,328
Wouldn't worry, just looks like dust on sensor/back of lens.

Do a dust removal / sensor shake thing in the menu a couple of times first to see if that works. If not clean the rear element of the lens. Invest in a little rocket blower to clean bits of dust off the sensor too. :)
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 02-01-2013, 06:35 PM  
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 21
Views: 2,308
"It's not blury, it's artistic."

"My photo is ace, your interpretation of it is wrong."

"I am challenging the accepted rules of photography by cutting people's heads off."

Forum: Pentax K-r 01-31-2013, 06:51 AM  
K-r firmware update 1.13
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 22
Views: 11,946
:( Wonder if they're ever going to update firmware so you can control ISO/Shutter Speed in video mode ...
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-29-2013, 04:16 PM  
Party Shoot
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 11
Views: 1,080
Keep hearing this kind of thing more and more. :p I don't shoot weddings either but, I just find it strage how some people can budget for the location/reception/band etc, but when it comes to the photo's (or video), the things that are going to last and that they're going to be able to look at years from now, they want to do it on the cheap. :( Having said that though, I've looked at some wedding video's/sites that are expensive and .. oh ... my ... god - some of this stuff is down right awful! So expensive for what they are! Just horrible DV cam footage with zoom/swipe effects, or slideshows with such cheesy music! Arrrrggggh! /end rant :P
Forum: Photographic Technique 01-28-2013, 08:10 AM  
Concert Photography tutorials
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 22
Views: 6,364
Aw man you shot Kurt Elling ... no fair! :mad: :o
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-28-2013, 05:52 AM  
Shooting Gymnastics Photos
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 13
Views: 1,512
Remember you can always intentionally under-expose with a lower ISO and then increase exposure later when editing. Depending on the software/how much you push it, this can result in less noise than you would have had at a properly exposed, but higher ISO, photo.

Don't forget that it's not always about fast-action shots. Try some slower shots when the gymnast isn't moving as much - e.g. before a run up, holds, landings.

Hope it goes well :) Good luck.

EDIT: Did a mimi-guide similar to this on an older post - more about using manual mode, but might help a bit. Scroll down a touch from here:
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-28-2013, 05:38 AM  
Bokeh at f2.8
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 11
Views: 4,932
Swirly tiiiiiime! :D

But yea, in regards to the 28, because it expands perspective, you get a lot of the background in the frame. If you kept the subject at the same size and increased focal length, you'd find that the background compresses (zoom's in) so there's less detail there to distract from your subject.

If you want to lessen the impact of bokeh in with your 28 you could try - filling the frame with your flower/subject more, frame the shot so you have a cleaner background (fewer branches for example), or increase the distance between the foreground and background. Wide lenses are much better suited, as Na Horuk mentioned, for street photography, or landscape shots, where you want a greater depth of field.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-28-2013, 04:44 AM  
Party Shoot
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 11
Views: 1,080
Like others have said, I wouldn't charge for it, since it's a family event etc.

I'd say read up on "party" type shots, low light shooting, and take a look at some group photo's so you have an idea of posing if you want to have a go at that. Nabbing a flash from college is a good idea too.

Family events are perfect for trying things out - no pressure, people know you, it'll be easy to talk to people, and at the end of the day people will end up being happy with whatever pictures you end up with. However, what I would suggest though, is use this to learn as much as possible, not only using the camera, but how to get reactions out of people, how to not get in people's way, how to be subtle and grab little moments and expressions, and how to edit/select your final shots - you have nothing to lose! :). You could even go as far as treating it like it was a paying job if you wanted to, and go in there with such a mindset, so that you get a feel for event photography.

Remember you can always use the best pics for your portfolio too.
Forum: Pentax K-r 01-28-2013, 04:10 AM  
K-r owners: still happy?
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 98
Views: 14,797
Had my K-r for about 1.5 years or so (about 23k shots). I don't think I'd ever sell it, as it would make a great backup if I ever upgraded. Plus I've scratched the bottom, worn the buttons, and I've managed to dirty the focusing screen a bit :P (wooooops).

I'd only upgrade it if I got more jobs and needed something more "pro". I've shot a few gigs/events in low light situations where sketchy focus, and lack of better quality high-iso, meant I had to work much harder to get the pics than I would have done with a k-5 or similar canon/nikon.

I always remind myself that photographers with much worse equipment have gotten far better shots than I have in the past, so it isn't the equipment that's at fault - the question is always what resource do I want to use to make my pictures better; time or money?
Forum: Photo Critique 10-06-2012, 08:50 AM  
People High Contrast - yes or no?
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 11
Views: 1,790
Good point, didn't think of that, I'll try burning down the highlights and muting the coat tails, or even crop em out.

Aye this was just the first style I tried for it, so will try some other ideas - I've got some more from the same location where I'll be able to draw the eyes out more so I'll try those too.

I've got another shot which I edited differently which was easier to control - I'll attach that and the original of the black and white in case anyone's interested, or if anyone wants to have a quick go at other processing. :)

Cheers for taking a look folks, appreciate it. :D
Forum: Photo Critique 10-05-2012, 01:22 PM  
People High Contrast - yes or no?
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 11
Views: 1,790
Indeed :( Tried to brighten it up but it's on due to the processing, just nothing to work with, even though it's raw. Might have a go cloning the other eye over ... I'd so bodge that up, lol.
Forum: Photo Critique 10-05-2012, 10:12 AM  
People High Contrast - yes or no?
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 11
Views: 1,790
K-r, 18-55 Kit Lens, 18mm, f8, 1/125th, 1 x Speedlite camera left - foot or so above, 45 pointing degrees down and around, or somewhere around there.

Hey all, just did a photo shoot for a local guitarist I know, first time doing an "out and about" session, but anywho, the image. Quick edit on one of the pics. Loved this shot and wanted to do something with it right away. Any advice?

I tend to go for crushed blacks/realy high contrast most of the time - does it work well here, or would a flater image be better? I just noticed theres a little bit of ...something..on the left hand side that didnt go to black, but I'll polish it up later to make sure its solid black all around him.

I also just saw the shadow on the forehead right in the middle above the nose, should I leave it as that? Or lighten it a touch maybe? The 3 top strings of the guitar have also pretty much disappeared, not too sure that matters as you get a silhouette of them instead.

Don't know how much re-touching to do realy. :p Would love to hear your thoughts.

Higher res version here:


Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-16-2012, 10:36 AM  
Zenit E - Light meter reliable?
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 5
Views: 5,786
Hey all,

I know it's not a Pentax, but hey it's M42 mount so that has to count ...right? :D

Picked up a Zenit E in my local pawn shop for around 15 - thought I'd go for it since it also had a great condition helios 44-2 on it, and for 15, what the hell. Seems in decent nick, shutter curtain intact, seals seem ok, shutter working fine etc. The only problem I've found with it is the plastic around the hot shoe is snapped on one side, and some glued it back into place.

I've picked up a roll of Ilford 400 XP2, and I'm ready to go! Well ... not quite. How in gods name will I get exposure correct? Even if the light meter seems to "work", and I've tested it against my K-r in a number of situations - it seems to be getting in the right areas, do I trust it? Does the sunny 16 rule actually work too? It'll be my first time shooting a roll of film, so it'll be pretty interesting. :p

Also, could anyone confirm if ASA is the same as modern ISO values? Or are they slightly different? Am I also right in thinking for film you overexpose to save shadow detail - as in the opposite of digital?

I'll google around/do a forum search to learn as much as I can, but any help to get me on the right track would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,

Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-16-2012, 10:22 AM  
Korean 27" High Res Displays
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 10
Views: 2,015
Monitor arrived a few days ago. :D

Very pleased with it - as far as I can tell there are no dead pixels, but having said that the pixels are so tiny I doubt I could find any even if they were there.

I calibrated it by eye as best I could with windows calibration tool / websites, and it's performing great. I'm trying to get hold of a spyder or something to calibrate it properly so hopefully that'll make it even better.

Angle of view is brilliant, as are the colours and black levels. The brightness control on the monitor (which is the only control I might add...) doesn't really have much of a range, but oh well. Lightroom is running a little more slugish in survey mode but I'm due for a reinstall of windows too, so hopefully that'll cancel it out. Very please I took the risk, but it was a risk none the less, as some people have had stuck/dead pixels and/or noticeable back-light bleed.

Now I just have to hope it doesn't go boom on me after a bit of use. :)


Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-07-2012, 07:38 PM  
Korean 27" High Res Displays
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 10
Views: 2,015
Got a 5770 which should hold me over for a little bit. Got a couple so could always run em in crossfire if I ever do any gaming. :p

I will have to upgrade at some point though - this comp is starting to show it's age...
Forum: Pentax K-r 08-07-2012, 06:32 PM  
It's like my view finder just doesnt work with old lenses
Posted By Tom Woj
Replies: 13
Views: 1,895
I had the same issue when first using manual lenses on my K-r.

The big thing that helped me was calibrating the focus confirmation (green hexagon) and then learning to trust it. :p
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