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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-02-2020, 06:29 AM  
Further reflections on my K3, KP and the "new" Fuji X-T1 and not so new X-E2s.
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 21
Views: 1,602
Thanks for sharing.

Your experience with the XE2 matches my experience dabbling with an XE1. Very fun camera, capable of lovely OOC images, but I was quite disappointed when using adapted glass. Even lenses I love on Pentax (the Limiteds) were’t very good on the Fuji. But I was unwilling to buy a lot of Fuji lenses and run two systems, so the Fuji left and I kept the Pentax gear.

I’ve always dabbled in other brands. Buying used and selling them for what I paid, has given me a moderated perspective on Pentax - your post reminds me of that.

Pentax is rarely as “desperately far behind” as some internet wonks would like you to believe. And in so many important ways (image quality, handling, build quality, lens choices) Pentax offers more than any other camera maker. It’s why I’m still here.
Forum: Pentax KP 01-14-2020, 08:39 AM  
KP size - is it really smaller ?
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 21
Views: 1,925
I went to the store and handled a KP to answer this question for myself.

Honestly, the KP is essentially the same size as the K5 -- but with the big grip shorn off the K5. Handling and seeing the KP in real life, you recognize how much of the KP actually directly carries over from the K7-->K3 body style.

I do think it makes for a "subjectively" smaller camera in the hand, But the K7-->K3 body style was always "compact" and "dense" compared to the blobby empty plastic cameras from Nikon and Canon. So the "compactness" of the KP vs the K5 is already part of the DNA.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 01-02-2020, 11:33 AM  
Just made the switch and need some assistance.
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 32
Views: 6,963
There's lots of fun to be had with the classic M 40mm, but I was never really happy with it (on film.) Mine showed a lack of contrast, and was hard to focus with that little focus ring (and a slower open aperture of f/2.8).

But I love the 40ish field of view, so I splurged on a used FA 43mm when one came up.

I simply love it -- it's a good deal sharper than the 40mm, it has lovely microcontrast that makes black & white images sparkle, and being autofocus (with a brighter maximum aperture) makes focusing easy to do and easy to see where the focal point is. I recommend the FA 43mm wholeheartedly.

Congrats on the K-1. I'm looking forward to eventually getting one.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-02-2020, 07:45 AM  
Off-the-film metering after the Pentax LX
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 11
Views: 690
One of the vaunted features of the Pentax LX is "off-the-film" metering, giving amazingly accurate automatic exposures in exceedingly low light. As it has been described, once the shutter opens, metering continues off the surface of the film, allowing an accurate reading of the accumulated exposure, even in changing lighting conditions. The shutter will eventually close once sufficient light has been captured by the film. I can attest to it working very well -- I have taken some nice nightime landscapes and cityscapes that would have been very tricky to accurately meter -- and the LX gave perfect exposures automatically.

"Off-the-film" metering was clearly a new approach to metering when the LX was introduced. It was promoted and discussed widely at the time.

But what about Pentax (or other) cameras since the LX? Did newer cameras, after the LX, incorporate this technique? None of the descriptions of metering on newer cameras (A-series, Z-series, or MZ-series) mention "off-the-film" metering. Did the approach die with the LX? If so, why?
Forum: General Photography 07-12-2019, 06:16 AM  
What single thing improved your photography the most?
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 84
Views: 5,397
I have lots of photographic training, and an undergraduate degree in film studies with a focus on production. But two books had the biggest influence on me since then. One for when I am shooting -- the other for when I am completing the photograph (editing, printing.) Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure, and Tim Rudman's The Photographer's Master Printing Course.

Already mentioned is Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure. This slim book has the rare ability to be simple, straightforward, and nicely illustrated from the author's own photos -- but to be grounded in excellent technique, and full of wisdom. Some books wow you with the photography but have no actionable insight. Some books have great technical information but the photography is underwhelming. Brian's book succeeds in bringing to life the technical choices that inform artistic choice. He inspires you to take what you've learned and go out shooting -- but not slavishly to recreate his photos. That's the sign of a great teacher.

Tim's book was my introduction to a particular school of British photography that was tangentially familiar to me from reading Black + White Photography Magazine. This book shows Tim's original negatives (or flat prints) and then walks through the process that yields his incredible prints. Tim's book inspired me to stop looking at photographs as slavish recreations of reality (which has been dominant in North American photography since Ansel Adams, Group f/64, etc.) I felt freed to find the "inner" light and to shape the tones of my photos to much more directly control the final print. The result are photographs much more like what I witnessed "in my mind" and less reliant on the vagaries of luck and timing.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 07-10-2019, 07:27 AM  
Announcement of the PENTAX 100 Celebration Instagram Photo Contest
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 53
Views: 6,519
You folks are hilarious. Feel free to ignore if you don't want to play along.

The last thing I want Pentax to waste their limited resources on is a web platform to compete with existing giants (Instagram etc.)

As for Instagram, I don't "waste" a single moment on it. I have an account, and I use it to post a handful of my favourite images (all of which are either Pentax DSLR or film-based). I treat Instagram like a free gallery service that lets people around the world easily find my work -- compared to my web-based gallery which is such a quiet corner of the internet that it may as well not exist. Every time someone "likes" one of my images, I check out what they have posted themselves. With few exceptions, I see excellent work that nourishes my artistic interests. I've spent a total of a few hours over the last few years on Instagram. It has been a worthwhile exchange for whatever lost "privacy" I have given up to use it.

I am well aware of the drawbacks of social media. But don't kid yourself -- your indignation sounds like your great-grand-parent's complaints about how "I don't want a newfangled telephone in my house! How dare they have a telephone-based contest! What's wrong with writing a letter?! Kids these days have terrible penmanship!" All of these points may be valid. There are benefits to staying "off the grid." But it starts to sound like wanton anachronism to everybody else.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 06-14-2019, 06:36 AM  
2nd gen Pentaxian
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 15
Views: 755
Welcome! Second generation is good.

My dad bought his black Spotmatic F in the 70's when it came back from a photojournalist's stint in Viet Nam. I still have that camera and have followed my Dad in using Pentax.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-14-2019, 06:31 AM  
Pentax KP J Limited edition released
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 138
Views: 15,002
This is... the world's ugliest camera. I hope it makes Pentax truckloads of money, but doesn't give them any "ideas" about design.

I've come to regard the regular KP as the handsomest camera Pentax has released since the MZ-S. It *almost* delivers on the fabled MZ-1.

I hope Pentax keep the basic KP layout around. I think it would be a good platform for an EVF successor to the K-01...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-05-2019, 07:22 AM  
Pentax D-6x7 series
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 14
Views: 1,115
Also a brilliant lens. Sharp, well behaved, very modern rendering. With this lens and a 90mm 2.8 you could shoot pretty well anything.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-30-2019, 09:51 AM  
Pentax D-6x7 series
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 14
Views: 1,115
The 105mm/2.4 is THE legendary lens for the 6x7 line. The rendering of that lens is something special. Not sure if you intend the 105/2.8 to be a refined version of that with new coatings.... but keeping the optical construction of the 105/2.4 would provide a natural attraction for everyone who has been awed by the results of the classic original.

As to the question of digital 6x7 in the first place ... I am not going to pour cold water on this idea. I merely offer two thoughts:

* 6x7 is the perfect format to adopt in mirrorless form. You get massive image area, and keep the size and weight of the camera in check. Plus, digital resolves so much detail that avoiding a swinging mirror would be useful. Having a shallower flange focal distance would also make buying new, native lenses attractive (while still allowing folks to use old classics by way of adapter.)

* I wish existing mainstream digital medium format was even actually 6x4.5 Everybody, including Pentax, should be honest that they are actually selling 345 cameras, not 645 cameras. I don't think 345 is really enough to warrant the jump from 36mmx24mm "full frame" formats. 645 is where most of the digital MF action should be.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-30-2019, 05:49 AM  
The Pentax K1 III might be close
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 332
Views: 55,395
That settles it! I'm predicting the introduction of an HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm F2.8 Soft LS with both defocus control and leaf shutter!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-29-2019, 10:19 AM  
The Pentax K1 III might be close
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 332
Views: 55,395
Great info, thanks.

Also confirms -- Pentax should make a portrait lens with a leaf shutter! :D
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-29-2019, 05:45 AM  
The Pentax K1 III might be close
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 332
Views: 55,395
Not to abandon my love of the leaf shutter ... but I was perplexed that the lowly Nikon D70 used a hybrid shutter with mechanical first curtain and electronic final curtain shutter. It had an official flash sync speed of 1/500 and with manual flashes could sync up to 1/8000.

Not sure why this is no longer possible? Presumably the move from CCD to CMOS prevented using a hybrid shutter like this?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-26-2019, 06:25 AM  
The Pentax K1 III might be close
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 332
Views: 55,395
You understand that offering leaf shutters inside one or two lenses does not mean getting rid of the focal plane shutter inside the camera right?

You can investigate how LS lenses work on the Pentax 67s to see this in action. The 67 lineup included 90mm and 165mm leaf shutter lenses. Some folks are even using them on the 645D/Z.

All that has to happen for leaf shutters to work on focal plane SLRs is:
-- the camera fires the focal plane shutter at a speed that is slower than the leaf shutter and slow enough to expose the whole frame at once (i.e. the trailing curtain doesn't start moving before the first curtain has completely opened.)
-- the lens receives a trigger from the camera to fire the leaf shutter.

Given the current state of electronic communication between camera body and lens, this whole process could be completely seamless and invisible to most users. If you mounted a theoretical modern leaf shutter lens, the camera would automatically set the appropriate focal plane shutter speed (i.e. 1/8 second) and communicate the correct shutter speed to the lens (between Bulb and 1/500 or 1/1000.) If a shutter speed above 1/500 were selected (by the user or by the Program mode) the camera could simply leave the lens-based shutter open and use the camera's focal plane shutter.

This is the kind of photographer-friendly feature that Pentax is already known for (like weather sealing, IBIS, the 645D/Z line). Does everybody need this? No. But for some photographers (fixated either on absolute sharpness without shutter shock, or on achieving best-in-class flash sync speeds for portraits) having a leaf shutter lens available in the lineup could be a deciding factor to invest in a Pentax K-1 iii.
Forum: Sold Items 04-25-2019, 08:03 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Sigma 24mm Super Wide II AF 2.8 - hard to find autofocus version, .18m min focus!
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 3
Views: 957
Bump for a great lens.

It took me years to find this lens. It's still one of my favourites. Does three jobs really well -- as a 35mm equivalent on APS-C cameras, as a true wide 24mm on full frame, and for stunning closeups and near-far compositions with that close focus ability.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-25-2019, 07:56 AM  
The Pentax K1 III might be close
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 332
Views: 55,395
xandos and Rondec,

Lower ISOs are provided by attenuating the output in some manner.

Nikon D750: ISO range 100-12800, expandable to 50-51200
Nikon D800: ISO range 100-6400, expandable to 50-25600
Canon 5D Mk IV: ISO range 100-32000, expandable to 50-102400

Results from these "Low" or 50 ISO settings look great and provide flexibility if you need to lose a stop without using an ND filter.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-25-2019, 06:41 AM  
The Pentax K1 III might be close
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 332
Views: 55,395
LOL, amazingly I shoot daylight fill-flash all the time at ISO 160 (Portra) and with leaf shutters that top out at 1/500 (Bronica.)

Having lower ISOs makes daylight fill easier and more flexible, especially to get large apertures and shallow DOF. The Pentax K-1 already goes lower than Portra (ISO 100) and it would be trivial for Pentax to add ISO 50 to a Pentax K-1 iii.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-24-2019, 06:22 PM  
The Pentax K1 III might be close
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 332
Views: 55,395
The other reason I love leaf shutters is having universal flash sync (with real, full power flash.) That makes daylight flash photography into a very useful and creative option, especially for portraits.

I would love to see a full-frame K-mount 85mm with leaf shutter — in exactly the same way that one or two leaf shutter lenses were available for the Pentax 67. With electronic lens control, it’s definitely achievable. That would make the K1ii/iii an irresistible portrait machine.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-24-2019, 09:41 AM  
The Pentax K1 III might be close
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 332
Views: 55,395
Shutter shock is just part of process, since the invention of the focal plane shutter. You can't throw mass in one direction without generating force in the other. Camera makers can make the problem worse by having camera bodies without adequate mass (for damping) or having a body that seems to ring at a resonant frequency to the shutter.

I'm sure in the vast majority of photographs it makes little difference. But it is one reason I enjoy shooting medium format with leaf-shutter cameras. Regardless of shutter speed, the leaf shutter in a Bronica, or Rollei, or Fuji GW, has no impact on resolving details. I loved my Pentax 67 but went back to Bronica because of the shutter type.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 12-12-2018, 09:18 AM  
Sony squatting on
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 46
Views: 4,437
Why is Sony squatting on a Pentax website?

I live in Canada. I have often gone to the Pentax Canada website by directly typing w w w . p e n t a x . c a into the URL address bar. Regardless of the actual path to the site (currently Welcome?RICOH IMAGING CANADA), this has always worked, redirecting me where I want to go.This is standard practice for big companies with international presence and nation-specific web sites.

But I just typed w w w . p e n t a x . c a and was redirected to the SONY camera site. (Cameras | Best Digital Cameras & Lenses | Sony CA)

SONY are squatting on a long-standing Pentax domain. This is not cool in two ways:

1) Ricoh / Pentax how could you let this domain lapse?!?!
2) Sony, squatting like this is very misleading. I like you FAR LESS when you pull tricks like this.
Forum: Pentax KP 12-10-2018, 09:26 AM  
Pentax KP Now or Wait?
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 27
Views: 4,152
You've got two great APS-C cameras ... but your DA Limiteds are idle.

Why is that? What do you expect the KP (or any newer camera) to have that will make you want to shoot your Limiteds?

I've handled the KP in-store, and I really like what I felt. But I was surprised by how much the KP is SIMILAR to the K-7/K-5/K3 line. The main body feel is similar, with the biggest changes being the top deck, pentaprism and the grip. Personally I really like the KP and will probably purchase one. I expect it will pair nicely with my FA Limiteds.

However, the KP is NOT magically a small mirrorless-style camera. I'd love to see the DA and FA Limiteds on a body the size of the Fuji X-T1/2/3 (which is more like a Pentax ME Super in size). But with DSLR viewfinders I don't think we will see a camera much smaller than the KP.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-14-2018, 01:24 PM  
FA Limited Colours
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 34
Views: 2,863
I have the 43mm and 77mm.

I wouldn't describe the images from these lenses as "punchy". The qualities they exhibit are subtler, and may actually not be to everyone's taste.

I would describe these lens as having a "Zeiss-like" rendering. They remind me of the results I would see from my Rollei 2.8 F with a Zeiss Planar lens.

At first glance, the images don't jump out at you. They have a moderate overall contrast, that could be mistaken for muddiness. But the images have lots of microcontrast, and hold up well to further processing to taste, adding both local and overall contrast and saturation if desired. The microcontrast also gives the appearance of quite high resolution. These lenses don't test as being razor sharp on a test chart, but the subjective impression of the photographs is that they are very detailed.

I feel that shooting with the 43mm and 77mm is best aligned with shooting on film (where you have a negative that you can interpret for prints) or in RAW (where you can also interpret the final image.)

Sounds like the Pentax KP offers a nice .JPG straight out of camera, and I'm sure you could dial in a look you like. But these lenses seem like they are best deployed as part of an overall approach to capture a flexible image that you will work with in post.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-09-2018, 09:39 AM  
46 min Interview with Ricoh's Mr. Baus (in German) from Photokina 2018
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 244
Views: 22,877
In the tradition of terrible Pentax names (*ist D anyone?) the new camera will be the Pentax 10^2 (pronounced "ten squared"). Official branding will be a 10 with a superscript 2.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-23-2018, 06:56 AM  
The real truth on the MZ-S mirror motor gear?
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 59
Views: 8,256
I've had two MZ-S and I've sold both because of fear of eventual demise of a very expensive (to me) camera.

The "melting" issue in the MZ-S rang a bell, but not for the mirror gear. The only issue I experienced was with the weather sealing rings on the big control dials. My first MZ-S became almost impossible to adjust -- a trip to the local repair shop showed that the rubber rings had melted and were jamming the works. The shop cleaned out the rubber and it worked perfectly. So long as I was OK with not having weather sealing on those dials, it was great. My second MZ-S was a bit grabby on the dials but not as bad as the first, so I didn't have it cleaned out.

Of course in the mean time I've added an MZ-5n and MZ-3 to the collection. So far the MZ-3 is still going but the MZ-5n packed it in this summer. I ordered 2 custom replacement gears in brass in case I ever decide to have one of these cameras fixed. So maybe it's time to embrace the MZ-S, knowing that I have a gear in stock if it should ever fail?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-17-2018, 06:09 AM  
Any reason *not* to use Winder on my ME Super?
Posted By filmamigo
Replies: 11
Views: 1,505
Thanks Steve, good to know.
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