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Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-02-2020, 09:31 PM  
[New video Oct 27] New information about upcoming APS-C flagship model
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 1,149
Views: 68,575
I get that, Serkevan. I have a Fuji X-E2 for my mirrorless needs, which aren't extensive. Mostly I use it with my Sigma 12-24 FF lens on a shift adaptor, for perspective control for architecture. It's sleek, black and metallic- a Leica wouldn't look any better. It fits my right hand perfectly, and a leather half case turns that into a warm, friendly handshake. Remember those?

All right, let's go make some X-pix! That's where the disappointment begins. The XE-2, like the X-Pro 1 I had before it, lacks a front dial, and I miss that. Then there's the EVF: harsh, grainy and unpleasant. It's a target acquisition device, a means to an end, not a pleasure like the picture window of a K-camera. You can get upgraded EVFs in later models, but not in the XE's rangefinder-style format. Like the K-1, it's multi-format; you can easily select square or 2:3 aspect ratios... but not 4:3, which I most prefer. That's the name of a competing camera family, so Fuji can't be including that in their cameras, can they?

Once we get to the actual photos, all's well. Fuji's JPGs are justly famous, the RAWs are fine and sharpness abounds. Nothing to complain about there. Fuji's lenses are excellent, but they also tend to be heavy, "pro" builds. Once you put two or three premium X-lenses in your pack, it's not much smaller and lighter a K-3 and a slower zoom, or the DA Limited set. So every time I think about building my Fuji collection, it just makes more sense to use my Pentaxes instead.

Micro Four Thirds offers lighter cameras and much lighter and smaller lenses. I'm test-driving a GX8 now, to see if it gives up any IQ to the X-E2.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 10-29-2020, 10:13 PM  
Micro Four Thirds Club
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 3,373
Views: 344,495
I'm about to get a used GX8 from KEH, to check out the modern MFT system. Presently I have no MFT lenses, but I do have a Kipon shift adaptor that will work with my older F-series lenses. I'm expecting the F 35-70 to be very useful. It's as small as a typical MFT lens, so it won't over balance the camera. I'll also be testing the F 80-200 on it, and that's also a small, light Plastic Fantastic. My 28-105 is a superb lens, but the size defeats the purpose. If I wanted to carry a lens that big, I'd carry it on a Pentax.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 10-29-2020, 09:48 PM  
Wondering where to go camera-wise (especially re: MFT)
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 33
Views: 1,498
It's wise to run both systems for a little while, until you see whether Pentax's strengths matter to you. I'm doing the very same thing now, except in the other direction. As a longtime Pentax user, I'm trying out a GX8 as a second system. Pentax and Panny seem to cover each others' weaknesses: the GX promises all that Pentax doesn't provide, including fast AF, great video, light weight and compactness. Pentax offers larger sensors, higher IQ and a traditional OVF, which I prefer. Will the GX8 give me the quality I need? We'll see. Looking at DXOmark, my K-1 gets a "Sports" score (measuring sensitivity) of 3200, against 820 for the GX8, which is a class-leading MFT sensor. I just spent time processing RAWs from a gloomy real estate listing. The K-1 files allow me to use the full range of Shadow & Highlight sliders without causing excessive noise.

We'll see how this experiment works out. Meanwhile, a few things you might not realize about the K-1:
- It doesn't require "only the best" lenses. Initially, I used F-series autofocus film lenses with excellent results.
fun fact: a K-1 with a Pentax-F 24-50/4 is about the same weight and size as a K-3 with the DA 16-50/4 zoom!
- Set the K-1's third control wheel to Crop and you have three formats at the push of a button. It's easy to crop down any lens 1.5x, with no real loss of quality, since you're removing flaws at the edges. It's even more fun to select the 1:1 option and compose in a square. This is the biggest thing I miss when I take my K-3 out for a walk.

Incidentally, I also use a GRll. With a larger sensor in a much smaller package, that questions the whole rationale of MFT cameras. No viewfinder, though, which I can't abide.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 10-28-2020, 06:15 PM  
Micro Four Thirds Club
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 3,373
Views: 344,495
How do you control the aperture?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-26-2020, 06:42 PM  
[New video Oct 27] New information about upcoming APS-C flagship model
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 1,149
Views: 68,575
I almost bought a Fuji today. Glad I didn't, now that I've seen this. Everything looks great so far. I might wind up preferring this to my K-1. What's the weight, that's my biggest remaining question. The price is... daunting. I paid that much for my K-1 years ago. But considering that my K-3 is worth no more than $300-400 now, that's a big jump!

At that price, it's directly competitive with the K-1. I wonder how many will choose the APS-C flagship instead? Probably depends on the lenses you have.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 10-23-2020, 10:12 PM  
Is Precision Camera really a dangerous website?
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 17
Views: 1,146
Malware Bytes, plus whatever's under the hood of Safari and Chrome.
Forum: Pentax K-1 10-23-2020, 09:03 PM  
Hiking with a K-1ii
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 70
Views: 4,125
Hiking is more and more theoretical with me now, but I find a there are several older Pentax lenses that perform very well on the K-1 and don't weigh so much. First of all, though, forget about F2.8 zooms. They're the all-purpose Swiss Army Knives of photojournalists, not the sharp scalpels of landscape photogs. Consider the F series: the 35-70 is tiny, very lightweight and sharp at all apertures. The F80-200 is very slow, but quite usable with the K-1's ISO strength and stabilization. Together, they weigh about 500 grams, just over one pound. Because one is slow and the other is only a 2x zoom, it wasn't so hard to achieve good performance with these designs.

These days, since I have a 31 Limited, I'd probably use that instead and crop it as necessary. Add a 77 Limited, croppable to a 105mm, and you'd be set, with premium quality lens pair also weighing about 500 grams together. Also, the DFA 28-105 is a superb one-lens solution at 440 grams.

Any of these three options will give you a camera & lenses total weight of around three pounds, and that isn't bad.

Another suggestion, if it hasn't been mentioned: those blue neoprene OpTech straps really spread the weight on your shoulder and cushion the bumps!
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 10-23-2020, 08:39 PM  
Is Precision Camera really a dangerous website?
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 17
Views: 1,146
I have a Ricoh Theta that needs service, and our beloved Precision Camera is the only source. Every time I visit their website to initiate a repair, I get warnings like this, from Safari: "THIS CONNECTION IS NOT PRIVATE: This website has an outdated security configuration, which may allow an attacker to steal personal or financial information. You should go back to the previous page."

In Chrome, I got three screens farther in before this popped up: "Your connection is not fully secure
This site uses an outdated security configuration, which may expose your information (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards) when it is sent to this site. Go back to safety."

I've been getting these warnings for weeks, and I haven't proceeded. Is anyone else getting this problem? It sounds like everybody's problem, considering that they're the sole authorized repair shop in North America for Ricoh.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-30-2020, 10:43 AM  
K1 swapping aperture to front dial?
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 15
Views: 825
I've never understood why, on so many cameras, the default is to assign the aperture the rear dial. The aperture is a real thing, and it's within the lens. The shutter is a real thing, too, located in the back of the camera body. Setting up the dials the opposite way turns both exposure factors into abstractions, and could be an obstacle to understanding the process.

Or would there be some advantage to setting up the dials that way?
Forum: Pentax K-1 08-29-2020, 09:11 AM  
Ugh the temptation
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 31
Views: 4,272
There's a place in my bag for both the K-1 and the K-3 (or K-new). The K-1 is my best choice for wide angle and landscapes; the crop camera is for telephoto and action (something the K-1's buffer just isn't up to, IMHO). The K-2 wears the DA 50-135, and the K-1 best fits the FA 31 or something wider. Last spring, just before the year turned sour, both these lenses fell in my lap for under $600 combined, used. The 50-135 is an exceptional lens, and considerably smaller, lighter and cheaper than the FF equivalent. In the rare event I do sports or action, I wouldn't want to wait for the K-1's slow buffer to clear, so I wouldn't use the K-1 anyhow. But the K-1 has its strengths: it makes my wide lenses wider. The best part is how I can easily switch from FF to crop to square, a format I've loved since my Rolleiflex days.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-19-2020, 03:59 PM  
how dangerous is the K 1 and K 1 II
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 90
Views: 4,918
On the contrary, I was quite happy for a few years using my FF K-1 with very small F-series lenses, including the 35-70, the 24-50 and the tiny, slow 80-200. Later, I added the 28-105 which is not that big, but my personal lens road map has no place for those beefy 2.8 zooms. Except for the DA 50-135, a masterpiece that keeps one of my feet in the crop camp.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-19-2020, 02:11 PM  
how dangerous is the K 1 and K 1 II
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 90
Views: 4,918
Keep your Rocky Mountain plans loose for now. There are four big fires in the state right now, and one of them is five miles from the park's eastern edge. In Denver, we haven't seen truly clear skies for over a week, and it's hot as heck everywhere. That might change, but we're headed into our driest couple of months. Bottom line: it ain't pretty here...
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 08-17-2020, 07:23 PM  
A New Way To Do Serious Damage With A High Voltage Flash
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 39
Views: 2,145
Whenever I've used off-camera flash, I rely on optical or radio slave triggers. There's no way they can feed back voltages like a cord. I'd probably get all tangled up in a long cord, anyway.

When I hear about someone using the Vivitar 283, I just shake my head. Those flashes were affordable and widely popular, and made in huge numbers in the '70s and '80s. Maybe even now, though I don't care. It was a terrible flash then, compared to the Euro units from Braun, Metz, Rollei and others. I quickly grew sick of setting blue to red on the front, then looking at the tiny round side dial to translate that to an f-number. What, you mean nobody does that anymore? That was back when exposure settings really mattered.

A better choice in studio flash is the Metz 45. More powerful, more flexible, with excellent controls. I've used them since 1985 as my primary flash. Now mine is connected to my K-1 with a PC cord, with no harm done in thousands of exposures.
Forum: Ricoh Theta 360į Cameras 08-13-2020, 08:37 PM  
Z1 battery behavior
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 1
Views: 567
Sometimes, this little black obelisk is just as mysterious as the symbolic obelisks of "2001: A Space Odyssey." Like yesterday, when I discovered another way the Z1 differs from every other camera or computer I own. When left turned on and unattended, it won't time out and turn itself off. So if you're driving, say, 75 miles for an important virtual tour job, your fully charged Theta will be dead flat when you arrive. Hypothetically. I've tested it since and watched it drop about one percent per minute. Yes, sitting in "on" status, it loses charge at the same rate that it recharges! It gets worse- I've been timing it for 11 hours and it's lost 8% in 11 hours, turned "off!"

This is an even bigger problem for the first camera I've owned where battery changes are impossible.

If anybody knows what I'm doing wrong here, I will thank you profusely and forgive the camera...
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 08-10-2020, 08:32 PM  
Hello from Middle TN
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 4
Views: 297
Greetings! My family hails from Nashville -- Fort Nashborough, in fact -- and I grew up there. I've lived longer here in Denver, though. All roads lead to Pentax, eventually...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-10-2020, 08:05 PM  
Pentax 300mm primes
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 43
Views: 3,327
I'm all about smaller and cheaper lenses, so I tried the silver FA* first. One of my first tests involved photographing the headlight of a white car, in the brightest sunset. The headlight edge was outlined in magenta, showing the worst Chromatic Aberration I've ever seen. So I bought a DA* 300 and gave it the same test. It was perfect, with no color fringing. The difference was night and day. CA can be corrected, of course, so I'd understand someone making the opposite choice.
Forum: Photo Critique 08-04-2020, 08:11 PM  
Landscape Storm over the Sangres
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 3
Views: 574
Sun, wind and rain dance over the Sangre de Christo Mountains.
Forum: Photo Critique 08-04-2020, 07:44 PM  
Landscape Mining Ruins, Creede Colorado
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 2
Views: 447
I'm just returned from a whirlwind 30-hour vacation in the central Rockies, with a high percentage of keepers. Want to see some more?

This collection of mine buildings is the most extensive and best preserved of any easily accessible mining site in Colorado.

What's your pick, vertical or horizontal- and why?

NOTE- The second photo is critically sharp in the original, but fuzzy here. I uploaded it as a 1 MB file, same as the horizontal here. I am new at posting to the critique forum. Any ideas?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-04-2020, 12:46 PM  
Product Stories of New APS-C
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 501
Views: 41,279
This new OVF sounds like just what I value in a camera! I'd consider it a possible replacement for my K-1 if it had just one VF feature- a square crop frame option. Please throw in 4:3 for good measure, since at least half my personal photos get cropped that way. Heck, with more than 24 mpx, give me a 1:5 crop frame, too. The best aspect of the K-1 is that it gives me three quick framing options at once. Most mirrorless cameras do this, but it's not a unique capability.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-31-2020, 10:14 AM  
Why you donít really want a hybrid viewfinder
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 36
Views: 4,564
Mirrorless cameras can be set to pop up a captured image in the EVF for a short time, so that you can be a chimp without looking like one. It's a darn shame how that captivating image of a primate enjoying his own selfie has turned into a slur that shames photographers into replacing their perfectly useful DSLRs. That's why we can't have nice things anymore!

I chimp openly and proudly- it's a sign of craftsmanship.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-30-2020, 10:34 PM  
Why you donít really want a hybrid viewfinder
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 36
Views: 4,564
I have just one wish for the K-New, and It's something I haven't heard anyone else talking about. I want a square (1:1) crop frame in the OVF, like the K-1. My favorite feature of the K-1 is the ability to choose two aspect ratios on the fly, with a bold square frame visible to show me where the edges are. I spent a lot of time carrying a Rolleiflex, and I've always loved the square. Almost as much as 4:3, which I prefer for vertical compositions.
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 07-26-2020, 05:46 PM  
Weekly Challenge Weekly challenge # 504 - "Night Outside"
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 14
Views: 961
Cemetery gate with comet, 7-23-20
Pentax K-1 w/ 31 Limited, 13 sec. f5.6 @6400
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-23-2020, 04:40 PM  
Astrotracker advice linking focal length to time, Neowise Comet
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 11
Views: 911
I probably was within 10 feet of my car. Thanks!


Now if you can tell me why my upload stalled? I've reduced the size to meet the site's JPG requirements, and my account is showing plenty of green bar, which I assume means space available. The Manage Attachments window just sits on Uploading File(s)- Please Wait.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-23-2020, 10:23 AM  
Astrotracker advice linking focal length to time, Neowise Comet
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 11
Views: 911
Astrotracer gave me inconsistent results, with a real oddity. In several 20-30 sec. exposures, star movement showed on the left side of the frame, but not on the right. Right was northwards for this evening session, because I was facing northwest. The PF article on Astrotracer noted that results were best aimed north towards Polaris, and got worse as you aimed east or west. I'd upload an example, but that feature doesn't seem to be working for me now.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 07-16-2020, 12:17 PM  
What Pentax Values Most in Future Cameras
Posted By Wheatridger
Replies: 363
Views: 25,267
"A point in the presentation that struck a note with me; the evaluation of cost of ownership over life versus simply the initial purchase. Other than issues related to my stupidity (and a warranty repair with my MZ-S), I've never had to have my Pentax cameras in for repair."


My Nikon-using friend seems to send a lens or body back for repair every six months or so! He's a hard-working pro, but that still seems excessive. The inclusion of stabilization motors and elements may be part of this, and AF motors are another. I'm quite happy to skip all that (though half my lenses have AF motors).
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