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Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-16-2016, 04:24 PM  
"Re-Skinning" Pentax SLR's
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 38
Views: 3,034
Got ya. :) I looked at CameraLeather pricing for genuine leather kits for SLR's - they are $34-48 plus shipping. Not that cheap... Leatherette is less expensive, of course, but the choices are limited. They seem to have a lot of dead links on the website, kinda hard to pull the trigger on something you can't really see from a tiny thumbnail image. Halcyon site seems brand new in comparison, photos are nice.



Do they use laser to cut their kits, can you tell - how did the edges look? What sort of adhesive backing and overall thickness? I am sure most people don't really care that much, just curious.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-15-2016, 10:52 PM  
"Re-Skinning" Pentax SLR's
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 38
Views: 3,034
Yes, they sell cameras, but also re-cover your own for $40. Considering labor to make the skin and free return shipping (~$15?), the cost is not unreasonable, I think.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-14-2016, 08:44 AM  
"Re-Skinning" Pentax SLR's
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 38
Views: 3,034
Was just looking for new covers for my old film SLRs and found this:

Halcyon Cameras

These guys have a bunch of options for custom leather skins (some pretty nice!) and the prices seem reasonable. They also do light seals, but don't seem to sell DYI kits - you would have to send your camera in.
Forum: Pentax K-3 02-20-2016, 05:33 PM  
Selling K-3 now the K-1 has arrived?
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 29
Views: 2,270
I suspect that majority that expects to keep both cameras to "complement each other" will end up using K1 more and eventually sell K3/5 in a few months anyway. Unless they find that K-1 is an overkill for them, and sell it instead.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-17-2016, 10:53 PM  
Racking my brain - purchase advice, wwyd
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 62
Views: 3,824
Naturally, anyone who has an opinion opposing to clackers is "whining". I agree - a unique bad example is of little note. However, Tamron lenses are infamous for having higher variability than others. I am certainly not the only one who experienced Tamron focusing issues, and not just with this particular lens. Maybe you should take your own advice and read some more reviews, instead of spewing insults and bullying your way around - it doesn't really help your credibility. Then again, some people don't really care about credibility, they just feel the need to be the loudest in the room :hmm:

As to my not understanding the fascination with this lens - I (and others) also mentioned two other parameters that may or may not be important to OP. Even if the optics are perfect, to many people added weight and cost still remain cons of the 70-200mm. It is just not offered in a "cheap and light" variety.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-07-2016, 11:44 PM  
Racking my brain - purchase advice, wwyd
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 62
Views: 3,824
Sigh... Since you insist on being arrogant -



Even if you knew me personally (which you don't), a comment like this would be rude and presumptuous.



Rude again. Despite what you might think, the number of posts you logged on this forum does NOT inversely correlate with IQ of others (nor, sadly, directly with your own IQ). IQ in this case is Intelligence Quotient, not Image Quality :)



Just for the sake of clarity - he may in fact be purchasing "my lens", since it is no longer mine, and he didn't state that he wanted to buy new.






^ Now this is a nice, objective analysis, with pros and cons of both lenses, undoubtedly helpful to OP and others reading this thread. That's what these forums are for, presumably?.. I fully admit that there maybe Tamron copies around that produce stellar photos - clearly you and audiobomber had better copies. However, this doesn't change my opinion of it, invalidates my experience with it, or somehow enables you to claim that my feedback is less helpful than yours.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-06-2016, 05:09 PM  
Racking my brain - purchase advice, wwyd
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 62
Views: 3,824
Hmm, can't quite figure out if you are still trying to help OP with your commentary or simply determined to berate anyone of different opinion?

I am one of those people that tend to trust their own experiences more than reviews. I simply suggested that DA 55-300 might meet OP' needs at 1/3 the cost and weight of the Tamron, even if he gets lucky with his copy of the latter. Some samples of DA product - JPG's straight from the camera, slightly cropped and resized, no additional processing:

230mm, f/6.7, 1/750s, ISO 200, K-x

https://flic.kr/p/DQB1is

210mm, f/6.7, 1/1000s, ISO 200, K-5II

https://flic.kr/p/DGvsss

100mm, f/6.7, 1/60s, ISO 3200, K-5II

https://flic.kr/p/DqPgnu
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-06-2016, 01:48 AM  
Racking my brain - purchase advice, wwyd
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 62
Views: 3,824
Nice photos. I am sure I could also find a couple like these per each 100 I took with that lens. Maybe it was a bad copy, but frankly, I have better uses for my time (and money) than to screen through a bunch of these in order to find one that works. Tamron is not exactly known for consistent quality - misfocusing in particular is not at all uncommon. I have a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 also - nice versatile zoom lens, MY COPY happens to be pretty sharp and doesn't back-focus too often. But I still don't love the colors it produces straight out of the camera, compared to my Pentax DA lenses (not just the 55-300). Without additional manipulation, just looks flat somehow.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-05-2016, 04:40 PM  
Racking my brain - purchase advice, wwyd
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 62
Views: 3,824
I have experience with all three lenses (100mm macro, DA 55-300mm and the Tamron). I shoot A LOT of soccer with K5IIs, mostly straight to JPG's (too many shots to post-process manually).

DA 55-300 is my favorite sports zoom, has been for 5 years now (mine is non-WR, SMC version). I can not overemphasize how light and well-balanced on the K5 this lens is, compared to all faster options (Tamron, Sigma, Pentax f/2.8). I find that by shooting at f/5.6-6.5 (ISO 200-400 depending on light, to allow 1/500-1000 shutter speeds), I get sharp results, good background blur, and added DOF makes it easier to get everything in focus. Colors from this lens are excellent (true and saturated, typical Pentax). Focus is reliable and fast, and the images are quite sharp in 55-230mm range (gets softer and less contrasty above 230mm). I typically get ~25-30% keeper rate with this lens, which is amazing in sports photography. It's only limitation is that it needs good light.

I don't understand people's fascination with the Tamron. I recently bought a mint copy secondhand, thinking that I could tolerate the extra weight for (supposedly) better sharpness and sensitivity. Boy was I disappointed. The lens misfocused a lot (front and back, inconsistently), and surprisingly even hunted more than my 55-300. Colors are very different from Pentax (not in a good way, imo). I am sure it could be fixed in post, but I don't want to spend hours after every game correcting color. Anyway, my keeper rate with the Tamron was <10%, with a lot of good shots missed. So I promptly sold it and went back to Pentax.

I also tried Pentax DA* 60-250 couple of years ago. This is definitely a quality lens. Color reproduction is very similar to the 55-300. I haven't noticed a whole lot more sharpness within my usual working focal range (maybe because 55-300 is quite sharp for me), which made it really hard to justify 3x the cost and weight over the DA 55-300. It may be slightly more useful indoors (f/4 constant).

DFA100 macro is a wonderful lens, but not a good choice for sports. If you find other uses for it - by all means get one. So my suggestion to OP would be to go with the 55-300 and 100macro, if you are still on the fence. You will not regret it.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-12-2016, 05:03 PM  
K-3 II overexposing?!?
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 14
Views: 2,220
I have just received my K3II and looks like I might be having a slight overexposure issue as well. I have tried to duplicate my shots with my K5II and it seems to consistently underexpose them compared to K3II by about +0.5 stop (same lens and settings on both cameras). Of the settings you mention, is there a suggested optimal set for K3II? (D-range, etc)

I'll give it a couple more sessions and if it proves to be a real issue, I will probably send the camera off to Pentax for calibration, rather than trying to exchange it. I don't see this being a major hardware issue, should be easily fixable through software/calibration - no reason to replace an otherwise perfectly working SLR. In the meantime I will just compensate my exposures, no big deal.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-12-2016, 10:24 AM  
Pentax K3II + Yangnuo YN560-III
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 25
Views: 4,041
OP - If you just need a basic manual flash (no need high-speed sync) - I would highly recommend Neewer TT660 II. I just picked one up for about $44, it fits K3II just fine and works very well:

Neewer 2 4G Wireless Speedlite Flash TT660 II for Nikon Canon Pentax Em 01 | eBay
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-12-2016, 10:15 AM  
Speedlight flash not firing at fast shutter speeds??
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 25
Views: 1,373
Thanks for your feedback. When I shoot soccer, my main objective is to capture the spirit of the game in the heat of the moment. To time and capture a fleeting challenge perfectly is way more important to me, than shooting well-illuminated, but static players against a dark background. This is not macro photography - rarely do I have any control over lighting or subject positioning. I rarely do any heavy post-processing either, just minor cropping and levels adjustment. The image above is not even sharpened.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-11-2016, 11:26 PM  
Speedlight flash not firing at fast shutter speeds??
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 25
Views: 1,373
I have seen others using flash, so I guess so. But I agree - it must distract the athletes. I was surprised when I got that reply from MaxPreps too - presumably they should know better. I sent them a few samples of my work, similar to the photo above (slightly cropped and resized .jpg to save bandwidth). The response from their editor was pretty obnoxious and condescending. Here is the another bit:

>
> Note: Hi genesmasher, we really need full res images to really evaluate your ability to make high quality images. Please look at each image at full res to verify they are tack sharp and clean of noise.
>

I said "screw this" and made a Shutterfly page instead for the team to enjoy.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-11-2016, 04:36 PM  
Speedlight flash not firing at fast shutter speeds??
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 25
Views: 1,373
Sure. Funny thing is I only shoot soccer (no football or any indoor sports), and 95% of soccer games are in broad daylight - that's why flash photography was never an issue for me :D
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-11-2016, 12:43 PM  
Speedlight flash not firing at fast shutter speeds??
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 25
Views: 1,373
Apparently not THAT uncommon. Here is what I got from one of the sports websites I tried to load my photos to:

>
> Thank you for submitting your application to become a MaxPreps Photographer. We regret to inform you that your application has not been accepted at this time for the following reason(s):
> -Need To See Night Football Sample Images - preferably taken with high-powered flash
> -Need To See Indoor Basketball Sample Images - preferably taken with high-powered flash/strobes
>
> Please feel free to resubmit your application in the future.
>
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 01-11-2016, 10:26 AM  
D FA 100mm WR Macro $359
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 73
Views: 8,352
This is an INSANE price for such a great lens. I bought one for $500 a year ago, and thought I got a great deal. One of my favorite lenses.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-11-2016, 10:18 AM  
Speedlight flash not firing at fast shutter speeds??
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 25
Views: 1,373
Good point! :) Like I said, I have no experience shooting with a flash at all, just learning the basics. But this makes sense - so if I set a relatively low ISO and just fire a flash it will freeze the action even at the longer shutter speed? This flash is rated down to 1/20000s apparently, but I could not find a way to vary the flash time so far, only power output. Manual sucks.

BTW, I will be shooting with a Tamron 70-20 f/2.8, so I might be able to get some good shots at higher ISO without the flash - just wanted to see if I can minimize the noise with the flash instead. And I didn't want to spend $400 on a Pentax flash, being flash novice - hence the el-cheapo chinese flash. Although I must say, it does produce impressive results, from my limited testing so far - I don't regret buying it, even if I cant use it for my intended purpose :)
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-10-2016, 10:16 PM  
Speedlight flash not firing at fast shutter speeds??
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 25
Views: 1,373
I am sure it doesn't have HSS mode. Oh well. Seems silly of Pentax to limit flash sync to slow shutter speeds only. Is this some kind of physical hardware limitation?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-10-2016, 08:58 PM  
Speedlight flash not firing at fast shutter speeds??
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 25
Views: 1,373
This maybe a stupid question, so forgive me. I have no experience using external flash and just bought a Neewer TT660 II to use with my Pentax K5 II camera, hoping to use it when I shoot soccer under the lights. The problem I am having is that no matter what settings I try, the flash only works at shutter speeds of 1/125 and slower. I am using M setting on the camera and the flash, and it works perfectly at lower shutter speeds - I tested full range of flash output and sensitivity values. But as soon as I switch to 1/180 and faster shutter on the camera, the flash doesn't fire anymore (shutter still works fine). Is there something I am not doing right, or is this a limitation of the system? Is there a way to trick the flash to fire at fast shutter (I need 1/500 or faster). Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-09-2016, 07:02 PM  
Does anyone prefer DA 40 over FA 43?
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 39
Views: 2,837
Hahaha, this was great Zig!! :D You made me watch that youtube video, it was hilarious. Size is not the main reason why I want to try DA40, FA43 is small enough. BTW, I almost never shoot FA wide open, so shallow DOF is not the problem. But maybe I need to go back and re-evaluate its center vs edge sharpness in my photos - may be its not as bad as I remember. I will try to find some shots of my FA43 to post, like I said I don't use it very often. DA35macro is a interesting option.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-08-2016, 06:22 PM  
Does anyone prefer DA 40 over FA 43?
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 39
Views: 2,837
This has probably been beaten to death. I've had FA 43 f/1.9 couple of years now, but every time I use it, cant help but notice that it's not as sharp as the other primes I own (DA21, DFA 100, etc) - even stepped down. Color is great, bokeh is great - just not as sharp. I even had my camera (K5II) focus calibrated by Pentax using this lens... I don't shoot at this length a lot (just a random portrait here and there). Did anyone go from FA 43 to DA 40 ?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-07-2016, 11:08 PM  
Honesty - 60-250 vs 70-200
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 69
Views: 5,339
Pricing gap is still significant. I just bought a mint copy of the Tamron for $480 last week. 60-250 is $850 new. I will be using the Tamron extensively in the next couple of months shooting high school soccer, will see how it does. Initial tests show that it is pretty sharp and fast focusing on K5II.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 12-30-2015, 11:55 PM  
K-3 ii B&H down to $729
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 23
Views: 3,004
As far as BuyDig - I have bought a bunch of stuff from them in the past (mostly computer parts, some expensive), never an issue, all products were US copies, not grey-market. This is from the website:

"
Q. Are you an authorized dealer for the products that you carry?

A. We are authorized dealers for most of the products and manufacturers' that are advertised on our website. There are certain products which we are not authorized for that we do buy from authorized distributors. Please note that any item that we sell which we do not purchase directly from the manufacturer is still eligible for the manufacturer's warranty.
"
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 12-30-2015, 08:57 PM  
K-3 ii B&H down to $729
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 23
Views: 3,004
BuyDig has it for $684 with some extras already (after $15 off coupon), no rebate needed, free shipping, no tax for most.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 12-30-2015, 08:47 PM  
Pentax K3 ll
Posted By genesmasher
Replies: 11
Views: 1,388
K3II body is now only $684 (after $15-off coupon) with full USA warranty and some freebies from BuyDig.com :)
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