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Forum: Photographic Equipment for Sale 06-03-2019, 08:48 AM  
For Sale: FA 77ltd, DA 35ltd, DA 15ltd, Cosina 55 f/1.2, Dine 100 macro, FA 50 1.7, K20D+grip
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 16
Views: 2,248
Pm sent on 15 and 85.
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-27-2019, 11:30 AM  
The DA Limited Club
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 5,197
Views: 971,796
DA 70mm limited and K-5. 1/60, f3,5, ISO 2200. Admittedly not a stellar shot, but one of the first I captured with (both new to me) my DA 70 and my K-5.

Piper:
Forum: Sold Items 05-20-2019, 06:54 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax DA F2.8-4 Limited DC WR 20-40mm
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 2
Views: 815
PM sent
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-11-2015, 06:45 PM  
SDM Deactivation Article
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 48
Views: 6,807
Mine worked with firmware 1.3. I think that there was a version 1.31 that broke the menus. Anyone have better info?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-10-2015, 01:29 PM  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 5,568
Views: 720,635
Last Friday, I was sitting at the local dance studio waiting for my little girl to finish up her ballet class, when I noticed that a gentleman and his wife who were there to visit their granddaughter were each carrying a K-5IIs (though they appeared to both have a cheap Sigma kit zoom attached). I had to control myself to not be creepy and ask to play with their cameras. :)

I typically watch, and I rarely even see Pentax gear at Disney. Sometimes, but not often.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-25-2015, 08:45 PM  
SDM Deactivation Article
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 48
Views: 6,807
May I ask why you are attacking me? All I did was post my own experience on a thread asking for such so that someone could distill the collected knowledge down to a usable format. Also, where did I say anything about sticky? I just said that the thread in question is a maze at best, and a giant pile of confusion at worst. Someone with less of a technical background than me might never have figured out why the process as spelled out was not working.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-25-2015, 06:34 PM  
SDM Deactivation Article
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 48
Views: 6,807
I thought the idea was to collect data and make it easier to follow. I didn't know what the issue was until I figured it out and didn't even know enough about why it might not be working to search. That thread is a mess, and I'm not sure it should require combing through it with a fine-toothed comb to uncover all the gotchas and potential problems one might find.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-25-2015, 08:48 AM  
SDM Deactivation Article
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 48
Views: 6,807
I can confirm that the text-file-on-the-SD-card method worked for me:
  • K10D

  • Firmware version 1.30

  • DA* 16-50

  • Hold down menu (I think... whatever button the instructions said) when turning the camera on.

Pretty boring combination (probably the most common one?), but I did have a problem to overcome that I didn't see mentioned anywhere else. The camera firmware expects the files on the card to be DOS/Windows formatted, and I had to insert a new blank line after the commands in square brackets []. What was tripping me up, and causing the camera to ignore the MODSET files was that I was doing the file edits on a Mac, which has a BSD (Unix) underpinning. I had to convert my Unix text file to a DOS file before the camera would recognize the commands and comply.


I'll give a bit of technical background on the issue. All plain text files use unprintable characters to signify the end of a line. The two that are typically used are the newline character (usually represented by the two characters \n whenever the writer wants to be clear that a newline is to be used) and the carriage return character (typically represented by \r when it needs to be shown). DOS uses a combination of newline and carriage return to indicate that the line is to end and a new one is to begin (\n\r). Unix systems use only a newline (\n) for the same thing. Whenever I created a MODSET file with a set of commands in it on my Mac, it used only the newline. The camera, not seeing the \n\r set just assumed that the file was malformed and ignored it. One I fixed this issue, everything went as expected.


If you are using Windows to follow the process, you should never run into this problem. To fix it, I opened the file in vim (MacVim to be exact) and just set the fileformat variable to dos (use the command :set ff=dos), then saved the file. Problem solved.
Forum: Sold Items 02-23-2015, 08:27 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Lenses - A*85, 60-250, 35 Macro, 24/2, 12-24
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 26
Views: 6,243
PM sent on the 24.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-23-2015, 09:33 AM  
Would I be happy with the K-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 29
Views: 2,315
I think the list in my signature is accurate with regards to lenses. I use the 43 ltd and the 16-50 for probably 99% of my shots (no exaggeration), so I have some good glass. I am simultaneously considering shuffling some of those around, too, so I'm really making a bigger decision on how to best use a limited budget to add to my capabilities. Upgrade the body, add to my lens collection, or maybe a little of both?

I honestly wasn't planning to make the body purchase just yet, but seeing the seemly fire sale price on the K-50 made me think I might want to make a quicker decision on what to do. The third option that I didn't mention in the original post is that I might just keep on shooting with my K10D and just make some lens additions. Other than being frustrated at the low ISO performance, I don't have any huge need to upgrade the body today. I might just ultimately take that same money and buy either a DA 21 or DA70 second hand.

My ultimate wish list is to procure the following kit:
- A new(ish) body that gives me at least 2-3 stops better ISO performance than the 400 I am comfortable with now, plus some improved AF performance. Compactness and some form of WIFI compatibility are also highly desired.
- A mostly prime lens kit: (DA21 or FA*24) / FA 43 / DA 70 / DFA 100WR / 50-200WR

I just have to decide when the time is right to spend the money on a body upgrade and when it's better to just add to the lens stable.

Edit: I just realized that I didn't have the M150 listed in my signature. Not sure why I left that one off.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-23-2015, 08:11 AM  
Would I be happy with the K-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 29
Views: 2,315
I think this might be the sense I needed injected into my thought process. Thank you.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-23-2015, 06:32 AM  
Would I be happy with the K-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 29
Views: 2,315
Great discussion. Thank you to everyone who has replied. For clarification, is there a noticeable difference in video capabilities between the two bodies? I might like to start playing with that to capture events with my kids, and extra flexibility and usability for shooting video might help sway me one way or the other.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-22-2015, 09:28 PM  
Would I be happy with the K-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 29
Views: 2,315
Is the image quality noticeably better, then? Remember I'm stepping up from a camera I've had for about 9 years. Either will be such a huge step up that I won't know what to do with myself.

I forgot to mention that the K-50 that I can get is white. Not sure how I'd get along with that color scheme on an SLR.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-22-2015, 09:00 PM  
Would I be happy with the K-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 29
Views: 2,315
I know. These threads are done to death. I wouldn't bother, but this might be a sort of unique proposition. I want to upgrade my body to get better high ISO performance and better autofocus. A little more consistent metering and better general performance would be nice, too. I had just about decided to get the K IIs, which looks like the best deal on the planet right now.

But I saw a local clearance on the K-50 with the 18-55 kit for $310. Knowing that A) size is important, since I was recently considering replacing my whole kit with mirrorless; and B) budget is tight and the difference between 310 and 500 is not a tiny one, would it make sense to go with the K-50, or should I try to stretch to the 5IIs?

My uses? I shoot mostly in Av, a lot of available light indoors stuff, but with the K10D's sensor I can't really go much above ISO 400 comfortably. I've started experimenting a little with flash to try to get better results, but I'm not sure that is much of a difference between the 50 and the 5IIs. Has anyone made the jump from a previous flagship body to a lower specified one? Will I miss the top LCD? I do sometimes use the external metering mode and autofocus mode switches. Is it a pain to use the menu system for those settings? Is there anything else I'll not like that I'm not thinking of? I wish the K-S2 was at this point in its life, because I would love the articulating LCD and the built-in WIFI, but that isn't going to happen for a while.

Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. ;)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-10-2015, 07:54 AM  
What to do with my DA* 16-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 25
Views: 2,503
You would be surprised at how bad my family snapshots can be, even with good glass. :p I'm not trying to please myself, but rather my wife, who is unfortunately a harsh critic of kid pics. I've been trying to practice manual focus, but the lighting can sometimes be bad enough that I either have to crank my ISO way up, or I can't budge from f2.8, which just makes it that much harder. Posed shots are usually ok, but I like to catch them doing things a little kid does, which implies seemingly randomized motion. Semi-reliable autofocus would at least take that off my hands. Plus there's the whole 5-pound brick that I get to tote around (exaggeration, but it seems like it sometimes).

I've been staring longingly at the Fuji X cameras for a little while, and I'd love to take that plunge. It would require me to get decent money in exchange for some (or all? yikes) of my Pentax gear first, though. The budget is effectively zero for photography equipment at present. I'm sure I'd have to either step way back in lens quality (though the Fuji kit lenses get a good rap) or down to probably just one lens for the time being. Problem is that I have competing needs of fastish wide for inside and because I just happen to like it and longer for my son's soccer games. Hard to get a fast 24mm and 150-200mm in one lens.

---------- Post added 02-10-15 at 09:58 AM ----------



I figured out the issue with the process, and I think you're right about being able to activate debug without PKTether. The camera's firmware is very particular about the stream of characters it reads, and it seems like that (for mine, at least) if there isn't a DOS carriage-return/line-feed pair at the end of the line, it ignores the MODSET.XXX file. Once I figured that out and converted the (Mac OS X-created) file to DOS, it worked like a charm.

I'm now happily screw-driving to my heart's content. Now I get to be reminded of just how mediocre the K10D's low-light autofocus really is. ;)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-10-2015, 05:24 AM  
What to do with my DA* 16-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 25
Views: 2,503
I have, but I find that when I'm trying to get a shot of my kids in the house, say in the wee hours of the morning on Christmas, I'm not good enough with manual focus to get any keepers. The 35 is an option that I've considered, but I do find that, for me, somewhere around a 35mm FF equivalent FOV is where I'm most comfortable. The 40 is only a tiny bit wider than my 43, which is what I default to but have trouble with framing (too tight) when I'm indoors. I guess if I'm looking to spend upwards of 6-700 on a single lens, I could always consider something like a second hand Fuji X100s, but I'm not sure I'm a two-brand kind of guy. :D
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-10-2015, 05:04 AM  
What to do with my DA* 16-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 25
Views: 2,503
I'm not complaining about image quality. I have a K10D, so high ISO starts at 400 and quickly degrades from there, so that WOULD be a consideration. I acknowledge that I could use a body update to get the most out of my lenses, but the main complaint that I was making is that the 16-50 is way too bulky when packaged with the K10D, and I just don't take it with me very often. For me, more portability would equate to using the equipment much more often.

The lenses I'm looking at (if I stay with Pentax, which I still love in so many ways) are the 21 and 20-40mm limiteds. I still wish there was a faster (at the expense of some size) prime in the vicinity of 24mm. That would fill a big hole for my use. I was thinking of selling off the DA* to help finance whatever it is I choose to buy.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-07-2015, 10:21 PM  
What to do with my DA* 16-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 25
Views: 2,503
Quick update, in case anyone is curious: I was able to successfully disable the SDM on my lens. The issue was that since I'm editing the MODSET files on a Mac, the line terminator didn't match what the camera expected. I just had to use VIM to convert the file to an MSDOS text file and everything worked as the instructions said. Autofocus for everyone!

Thanks for the help and the ideas. I think I'll still consider selling the lenses off in favor of something else.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-07-2015, 08:24 AM  
What to do with my DA* 16-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 25
Views: 2,503
Wow, I hadn't seen the price increases. I'm going to give the screw drive hack another go this weekend, then if it works I might be posting it on the forum for sale.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-06-2015, 05:24 AM  
What lens is on your camera right now?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 287
Views: 18,177
The 43 is on my camera 75% of the time. Partially because it's the only lens I currently have that will autofocus, but mostly because I love the output I get from it. If it was wider, I could use it for almost all my pictures.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-06-2015, 05:14 AM  
What to do with my DA* 16-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 25
Views: 2,503
Actually, it was abortive before it even got started. I couldn't get my camera body into debug mode. I don't have a Windows PC, so I can't use PKTether. I sort of half tried, so I'll just have to go give it a real attempt. Is it possible to do this without PKTether?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-05-2015, 01:52 PM  
What to do with my DA* 16-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 25
Views: 2,503
No doubt the body needs to be upgraded, even if I figure out a good way to meet my needs and stay with Pentax. Either way, it doesn't look like I will get a lot out of what I have. I'll need to buy any new lenses and body using whatever funds I can get out of selling off current gear, so I might be priced into just finding a decent point and shoot at this point. I would probably only be able to net about $600 total.

Maybe I was too hasty. This listing is for one with the hack performed, currently with one bid at $400:

Pentax SMC Da 16 50 mm F 2 8 Al SDM If Ed Lens | eBay

Hmm, so maybe I could sell it plus the K10D with grip and finance a more budget option...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-05-2015, 10:54 AM  
What to do with my DA* 16-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 25
Views: 2,503
Thank you for all the alternative lens suggestions. I think I might look seriously at the 20-40 limited, though I do love primes. I wish that Pentax had a fast 35mm equivalent in the lineup. I think if I had that plus one of the telephoto zooms for the oddball occasion that I need reach, I would have 90%+ of my needs covered. It has me seriously contemplating selling off my DA* and my beloved FA43 to move to a Fuji with their 23/1.4.

So, back to the original question, has anyone had an SDM repair done lately? Any idea of what I'd be looking at, cost-wise? Any idea what I could get for the lens if I don't fix it (maybe if I do the screw drive hack)?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-04-2015, 08:31 PM  
What to do with my DA* 16-50?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 25
Views: 2,503
Hi, all. I just realized that I've not posted on here in about 3 years. Life got in the way and the family got bigger, so priorities just shifted, I guess. Anyway, I have a 16-50 with what seems to be a dead SDM motor. I've tried converting it to screw drive, with no luck for some reason. In the time that it has been dead, I've shot a bunch manually focusing it (DA* zooms are not optimized for manual focus, by the way) and a bunch with my FA 43.

What I've learned is that I don't like the size and weight of the DA*, but the 43 isn't wide enough. I think it might be time to get rid of the DA* and look for wider, more portable equipment. In this situation, what would you do? How much do you think I could expect to get for the lens in its current state? Is it worthwhile to get it fixed first, or maybe figure out how to convert it to screw drive? Other suggestions?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-05-2012, 06:10 PM  
Which lens should I take to Florida?
Posted By Jason 407
Replies: 18
Views: 2,056
I'll echo the other posts on weather. Depending on where you are on the peninsula, you'll get heavy thunderstorms at some point during most days in the summer. Keep that in mind.

If you make it as far as Orlando, you can go to Leu Gardens, which are beautiful. There's also the Disney parks -- Animal Kingdom offers some interesting things to shoot and Epcot can be awesome if the Flower and Garden Festival isn't past when you get here. Also, consider an airboat ride where ever you can find one. Gators and other wetlands creatures should abound. WR might come in handy here, too.
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