Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
Log in or register to remove ads.

Showing results 1 to 25 of 300 Search:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-26-2022, 11:44 AM  
Clean those contacts
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 8
Views: 1,990
It worked for one of the Apollo crews (I think it was 17, not sure). Their TV camera was not working, so the astronaut gave it a good whack on the side and it started working again.

OTOH, I've always wondered why equipment manufacturers continue to use copper in contacts, rather than nickel-silver. Copper oxide is an insulator, while silver oxide is a conductor. Its not that much more expensive, either.

Back in the eighties, I worked in a large data center. This was before the internet, of course. We had a couple of circuit board modems, mounted with edge connectors in an equipment rack. Every few months, dialup users would complain about poor connections. We simply removed the modem, cleaned the edge connectors with a pencil eraser and remounted them. Voila!

Pencil erasers work well, because they are abrasive enough to clean the oxidation off the contacts, but not so abrasive that they will rub through the copper traces. In addition, if any of the rubber that wears off the eraser and falls into the equipment, it is a non-conductor so it won't cause any damage.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-19-2021, 08:31 PM  
AF360FGZ Optical Slave Mode
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 24
Views: 1,141
Thanks for your quick response.

I was approaching the problem from the wrong direction. That video from Gary Fong helped a lot.

In addition to the AF360, I have a Yongnuo YN-560, an inexpensive non-pttl flash. These are my two battery-operated flashes. My goal is to get away from being tethered to a wall outlet.

The Yongnuo flash has two optical slave modes. One mode is traditional slave mode: it sees a flash and it fires. The other mode is designed for modern pttl, ittl or ettl flashes. In this mode, it ignore the first flash that it sees and fires on the second flash.

I duplicated Mr. Fong's demonstration of pointing the two flashes on either side of an object, basically pointing at each other. The AF360 was at 9:00 o'clock, the Yongnuo was at 3:00, and I with the K5 was at 6:00. As he showed, I set the onboard flash to not contribute to the exposure. When I took the picture, in a darkened room, the object was harshly lit from both sides, but mostly shadow in the front, indicating that the onboard flash played no part in the exposure.

I think I will give up on the radio setup and let the AF360 do the work. This seems to have solved my problem.

I still am not sure if the AF360 can function as a simple optical slave, in the absence of a pttl capable camera.

Thanks again.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-19-2021, 08:10 PM  
AF360FGZ Optical Slave Mode
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 24
Views: 1,141
I have a K5 and an AF360FGZ flash.

I would like to use the flash off-camera, using its builtin optical slave mode, but I can't get it to work.

I found the section in the user's guide (pg. 49), that explains how to setup slave mode.

First it says to "slide the setting switch up". The press and hold the "Light" switch for 2 seconds. The LCD will display the slave mode, 1 or 2.

From my reading of the manual, slave mode 1 is when the flash is being controlled by another flash, such as another AF540FGZ, that is capable of acting as a wireless controller. Mode 2 is for a simple optical slave.

Or, am I wrong. Will the AF360FGZ only act as a slave to another P-TTL flash? Does slave mode 2 fire the AF360FGZ after on the second flash of the P-TTL cycle, skipping the pre-flash? I am trying to trigger it with a stand-mounted studio flash that is, itself triggered by a poverty wizard, radio controller. Obviously, the studio flash is not P-TTL capable.

What am I doing wrong?
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 10-09-2021, 06:59 PM  
Pentax product placement opportunity
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 5
Views: 947
I wasn't sure if this is the right place for this or not, but here goes.

A couple of days ago, I watched the premier episode of CSI: Vegas, which is a reboot of the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation series. It wasn't bad.

I noticed one thing, though. In the original series, the cameras being used to photograph crime scenes were clearly Nikons. The name was prominently displayed across the front of the prism housing. I always suspected that Nikon paid for that.

In the new series, the cameras were obviously dslrs, but the brand name had been obscured. It looked like the old electrical-tape-over-the-name trick.

I always believed that such product placement helped Nikon's marketing efforts.

Since Nikon has apparently chosen not to repeat the placement in this series, Ricoh/Pentax should jump in and have their cameras used. They could give them a couple of K1s and flashes to use, with the proviso that the Pentax name should not be obscured.

Advertising in general and product placement in particular has been a weak point in Pentax' marketing for at least twenty years. This is a golden opportunity for them to change that.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 09-29-2021, 06:38 PM  
Goldcoast tripod
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 1
Views: 760
I took my wife to an antigue show/flea market last weekend. One vendor had a large tripod that seemed out of place with the wooden knick knacks that she was selling. It was marked $10. I asked if that was correct and she said yes, so I snapped it up.

It is a Goldcoast GT-850 tripod. I believe it is intended to be used as a video tripod more than for still cameras, but, hey, for $10 how could I go wrong?

Here is one for sale on eBay: GoldCoast GT-850 Twin Leg Fluid Action Professional Photo / Video Tripod | eBay

It seems rock solid and very steady. It has a three-way tilt/pan head with a proprietary quick release plate (which, fortunately, was included). It does have a 1/4-20 mounting screw, so I can use it as is.

Does anyone know anything about these tripods? B & H does not sell them, and I could not find a website for the manufacturer. Amazon doesn't have them, either. The only one I could find is the one I linked on eBay. There were a few other Goldcoast tripods, but they were different models.

Does anyone know if the video head can be removed? I looked, but couldn't find any obvious way. There is a round plate at the top of the center column and a slightly larger round plate that appears to be the base of the video head. I tried to unscrew the head from the column, but it wouldn't budge and I didn't want to force it.

I suspect that Goldcoast was one of those brands that was intended to be sold as a "house" brand at camera stores and at discount outlets, like K-Mart, Target or Walmart, but I really can't find any information on the brand.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-25-2021, 05:38 PM  
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 12
Views: 1,281
The Robot was a line of 35mm cameras that used a 24 x 24mm square image format.

This allowed it to get 50 images on a 36 exposure roll.

Of course, the square image format was around almost from the beginning of photography.

A lot of 120 film cameras shot a 60 x 60mm image. The 127 film size was most often a square image (I believe it was also 24 x 24mm).

I think that most TLRs were square format. Think Rolleiflex, Hassleblad, etc.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-25-2021, 05:24 PM  
Microphone Connector - TRS or TRRS?
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 5
Views: 460
Thanks for the replies.

I suspected that RTS was the one I wanted, based on the descriptions I found. Just wanted to be sure.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-23-2021, 02:54 PM  
Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic light meter issues
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 10
Views: 673
Have you tried the built-in battery check on the camera?

How to check it
1. Set the shutter speed dial to B (bulb) position.

2. Turn the ASA dial to ASA 100.

3. Push the meter switch to "on" position.

Look at the meters needle through the viewfinder. If the needle rapidly drops, the meter battery has sufficient capacity; if it does not, replace the mercury battery.

A good battery will cause the needle to rapidly deflect to the full down position. If the needle just sits there, either the battery is bad or the battery circuit in the camera is bad.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-23-2021, 02:40 PM  
Microphone Connector - TRS or TRRS?
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 5
Views: 460
I have a K5. Love it.

Recently, I used the video for the first time, to record my father-in-law's memorial service. The video image was good, but the audio was pretty poor.

Since I had not done much video, I used the built-in microphone, which I believe accounts for the mediocre audio quality.

I bought an external microphone that clips onto the hot shoe and connects to the microphone input socket.

My problem is that it came with two cords. One is coiled and has a three-conductor plug at each end. The other is straight and has a three connector plug at one end and a four conductor plug at the other end.

I did a little research and found the the three conductor plug is referred to as a TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) connector, while the four-conductor plug is a TRRS (tip-ring-ring-sleeve).

It appears that the TRRS connector is used for computer headsets with a built-in microphone. So, there is a ground/common wire, right headset, left headset and microphone wires.

The K5 manual is silent as to which connector to use.

I'm guessing I want to use the three-conductor TRS cable, since there is a left microphone, right microphone and common/ground. Is that correct?
Forum: General Photography 04-30-2021, 10:26 AM  
Camera shops?
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 43
Views: 3,397
It didn't seem to help Denver, CO. Pentax US operation has historically been based in Boulder, just outside of Denver.

Last I heard, there were no camera stores in the Denver area that carried Pentax equipment.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-26-2021, 12:07 PM  
Enough is enough
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 46
Views: 2,780
Back in the last century, the product life cycle for cameras was 3 - 5 years. The Pentax K-1000 was in production for 19 years! I believe it is still a record.

After electronics companies, like Sony, got into the camera business, they brought their six month product life cycle with them. Now camera makers feel compelled to release a "new" model every six months, even if the changes are minimal.

So, I agree that, if you can't get the picture you want with the camera you have, it is probably not the camera's fault.
Forum: General Photography 04-26-2021, 11:58 AM  
Camera shops?
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 43
Views: 3,397
Here in Cleveland, we have one remaining camera store, Dodd's. They used to have about seven stores in the Cleveland area. Now they have two. They also have a few stores in Columbus, Dayton and (I believe) Cincinnati.

They do carry professional grade equipment. They also carry Pentax and have a few in stock.

I remember hearing, ten or fifteen years ago, when the Ritz camera chain went bankrupt, that one of the reasons many stores stopped stocking Pentax, was that Nikon and Canon would sell equipment on consignment, meaning that the store didn't pay for it until they sold it. C and N also paid commissions directly to the salesman, over and above what the store paid them, so the salesmen would much rather sell a C or N than a P.

Pentax would not sell on consignment, nor would they pay direct commissions.

I also read that, when Ritz went bankrupt, they owed Nikon an amount equal to Nikon's annual US revenue. That is why Nikon was a primary investor when Michael Ritz bought the stores from the bankruptcy court. They hoped to recoup some of their losses. It didn't work. Ritz went bankrupt again and closed for good a couple of years later.

Pentax has also been terrible about product placement in movies and TV shows. All the CSI and NCIS franchise use Nikon and the name is prominently visible when they are taking photos of crimes scenes. I think that the last time I saw a Pentax in a movie was "A Hard Days Night", starring the Beatles. Ringo had an S3. That was what, 1964?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-26-2021, 11:47 AM  
Pentax K200D monochrome converted camera and pictures
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 21
Views: 2,002
I'm curious. Just how is this conversion done?

When Leica released their monochrome RF camera years ago, they did it by eliminating the red, green and blue micro filters over the sensor. This allowed them to treat each photo-site as one pixel, rather than treating every three photo-sites as one pixel. This, effectively tripled the resolution of the lens.

I believe that it required significant change to the firmware of the camera, to eliminated the combining of the three (RGB) photo-sites into a single pixel.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-26-2021, 11:41 AM  
K220D - Too limited ou possible to "upgrade"?
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 24
Views: 1,013
As far as enlargements go, I am looking a shot I took a few years ago with my K10d, which also has 10.2 megapixels.

It is about 85 percent crop enlarged to 8 x 12 and sharp as a tack. I have others that I have enlarged to as large as 16 x 20.

As long as you don't need to crop out the central 10 percent of the image and blow it up to 16 x 20, 10.2 MP is fine.
Forum: Film SLRs and Compact Film Cameras 03-17-2021, 08:55 AM  
Spotmatic SPII help, please
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 9
Views: 1,031
The meter switch also stops the lens down to the working aperture, so it works as a depth-of-field preview, as well as turning on the meter.

With most Pentax brand lenses, there is an A/M switch. Sliding the switch to the M (manual) position, will also stop it down, so you could live without the switch.

Still, I would contact KEH. They have a good reputation and might well have another SPII that they could send you.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-16-2021, 11:14 AM  
I Heard about a 72 frame k1000, and can you help me?
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 26
Views: 2,753
As someone else mentioned, Pentax did make some half-frame versions of their regular cameras. These were for specialty purposes and were not sold for general use. I vaguely remember hearing about them, back in the day, when the Spotmatic and K1000 were still in production. It would be a relatively simple change. Add a half-frame mask, change the gears so the film only advances 18mm instead of 36mm, and similar modifications to the frame counter.

As for the motor drive and bulk film magazine, the K1000 was basically a Spotmatic F with a K-mount. I remember that you could buy a Spotmatic motor drive camera from the factory, or, for a fee, they would convert you regular Spotmatic into a motor drive unit. Basically, it involved replacing the bottom plate and a couple gears to connect the motor to the film advance.

I don't know if Pentax ever offered such a service for the K-1000, but someone with enough pull within the Pentax organization could probably have gotten them to do it. A good camera repair tech could probably do it easily. Back when the K-1000 first appeared, spare parts for the Spotmatic were probably still readily available, so a technician who knew how to convert a Spottie could easily use those parts to convert a K-1000.

Its too bad that Eric Hendrickson doesn't frequent this forum. He could probably answer these questions. He probably did a few Spotmatic motor drive conversions, himself.
The bulk magazine from a Spotmatic probably fits a K-1000 for the same reasons.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-16-2021, 10:54 AM  
Converting RAW PEF files from Pentax K7 camera into JPG
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 22
Views: 1,545
I don't have a K7 (I have a K5), but it looks like Rec Mode 1 sets the file format to Jpeg/Raw/Raw+Jpeg.

Rec mode 4 sets the Raw File Format to PEF/DNG.

See page 189 of the user manual.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-10-2021, 08:06 AM  
The ideal DSLR for me
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 10
Views: 1,109
I sympathize with your desire for the simplicity and small size of the M-series cameras.

However, this strikes me as very much like the discussions we've had in the past about "why can't Pentax make the digital equivalent of a K1000?"

They could, but they won't.

A dslr has a couple of things that a film camera doesn't, which take up a lot of space and add a relatively lot of weight. The battery is a big one, although it is about the same size as a 35mm film cartridge, but it is heavier. The motors for the mirror and the shutter. The circuit boards for the electronics that make everything work.

As for leaving out features, most of the features are implemented in software. Leaving them out saves nothing in manufacturing costs, while scaring modern customers away. A few features that are hardware oriented could be left out, but Pentax learned their lesson with the K110d, which lacked IS. I don't know how many were sold, but it wasn't many. They don't even show up on eBay. That experiment has never been repeated.

They could leave the LCD panel off of the back and top of the camera. That would save weight and manufacturing costs. This, counter-intuitively, would increase software development costs. I'm sure that software code in one camera becomes the basis for the code in the next generation of cameras. That is the way software development is done. The problem is that all of that software is geared around using the LCD for the various settings that are necessary to operate the camera. New software would have to be written to enable the user to control those settings without the LCD. That software would have no use in the rest of the product line, and the development costs would have to be amortized solely in the putative digital M-series.

Lastly, there would be a very, very small market for such a camera. The camera buying public seems to be infatuated with new features that many users don't completely understand.

Don't get me wrong. I have a Spotmatic (two, actually), a K1000 and an Me Super. They are all a delight to look at, a joy to hold and a lot of fun to use.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-02-2021, 12:30 PM  
K-x displays "command: 00 hex" on startup
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 25
Views: 1,407
Make sure that the MODSET.492 file is in the root directory of the SD card. It can not be in the DCIM, or any other folder.

I would try to download the latest firmware update for you camera. Pentax packages firmware updates in self-extracting zip files. Download the file from the Ricoh website. Double click on the file to run it. Find the resulting xxxx.BIN file and copy it to the root directory of the SD card.

Put the SD card in the camera and turn it on. A normally functioning camera will detect the xxxx.bin file and load the new firmware.
Forum: Pentax K-5 & K-5 II 02-14-2021, 07:52 PM  
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 35
Views: 3,963
I bought a used K5 from KEH about a year and a half ago. So far, it has served me perfectly. No problems, whatsoever.

It replaced a K10d that I had had for ten years. I loved the K10d, and I still read the "K10d Club" thread in this forum, even though I gave the K10d to my son.

The biggest difference that I see is the vastly improved high-ISO performance. The K10d got very noisy above ISO 400 and 1600 was almost unusable. By contrast I get acceptable (to me) results at the extremes of ISO setting (ISO 51,200). I haven't really used that high of an ISO setting, except for testing, but it was less noisy than the K10d was at 1,600.

All that being said, I have gotten very acceptable 16 x 20 prints from the K10d, using 90 percent of the image size. I don't shoot birds in flight or anything that requires cropping a very small portion of the image and blowing it up to that large a print, but it is nice to have the extra 4 megapixels in the K5.

In short, I am very happy with my K5 and see no real need to "upgrade" to a newer camera. I am hardly using the full capability of the one I have.

I have the battery grip for the K5. I also had one for the K10d. I highly recommend it. I know that some people like a smaller camera in their hands, but I feel the opposite. I like the extra size and even the extra weight of the battery grip. I have fairly large hands. I also like the shutter button on the bottom corner of the grip, which falls nicely under my right index finger when I hold the camera in the portrait orientation. I find it a little awkward wrapping my hand over the top of the camera to reach the normal shutter button when not using the grip.

The extra battery and SD card in the grip is a plus, although I really miss being able to store the Pentax remote control in the grip, as I could in the K10d. I don't know why Pentax dropped that feature.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-14-2021, 07:34 PM  
Cleaning hot shoe, next step
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 7
Views: 1,013
I have always found that a pencil eraser does a very good job of cleaning electrical contacts.

It is just abrasive enough to remove all but the heaviest oxidation, but no so abrasive as to damage the underlying contact.

Just make sure that you blow away all the rubber particles that come off in the process.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-10-2021, 12:47 PM  
SP500 Lightmeter
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 6
Views: 728
This is normal for the Spotmatic cameras, except for the Spotmatic F.

They all use stop-down metering, meaning that, when the meter is turned on by pushing the slide switch on the side of the lens mount up, the lens actually stops down to the selected aperture. So, it will definitely get darker.

On a Super Takumar (or equivalent) lens, the auto/manual switch simply tells the lens to always stop down, regardless of the actuator pin's position (manual mode), or to only stop down when the actuator pin is pressed (auto mode). In auto mode, with the meter off, the lens stops down momentarily for the exposure and then opens up again. In manual mode, it stays stopped down.

Beginning with the Spotmatic F, and all current cameras, the lens can communicate the selected aperture to the camera without actually stopping it down until the moment of exposure. The camera reads the amount of light coming through the lens and, using the aperture information from the lens, calculates how much light will be coming through the lens when the exposure is made.
Forum: Film SLRs and Compact Film Cameras 01-17-2021, 07:04 PM  
Asahi Pentax SL
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 19
Views: 2,088
I was in high-school in 1968, when the SL was released.

I think it was a marketing ploy. At the time, TTL meters were relatively new. I remember reading in the camera magazines that there were many old-school photographers who not only didn't feel that they needed a ttl meter, but actively scorned them. Sort of a "real men don't eat quiche" attitude. Real photographers were comfortable with the rule of sunny 16, or used a handheld meter.

The SL was, of course, less expensive than a Spotmatic. IIRC, it wasn't all that much cheaper, but it was cheaper.

I imagine that some potential buyers went into the camera store (remember them?) looking to buy an SL, but walked out with a Spotmatic. It appears that they didn't sell very many SL's. On eBay, there are a gazillion Spotmatics, in varying states of repair. I have only seen a couple of SL's. There just aren't very many of them.

A similar thing happened when they released the SP500 and SP1000. There were intended as less expensive versions of the Spotmatic, to capture the lower end of the market, that was dominated by Praktica, Mamiya/Sekor and others. The SP500/1000 were even closer to the SP than the SL was. The SP500/1000 had the meter, but lacked the self-timer. Like the H1A, the 1/1000 shutter speed on the SP500 was there and fully functional, but was not marked on the dial.

As for the 55, f/2 Super Tak, it only became available on the SP500/1000. Again, I believe that this was a marketing change, not an engineering one. At the time, I heard that the f/2 was identical to the f/1.8, except for the marking on the aperture ring. The difference in exposure is minimal, if it exists at all, but it was another way for Pentax to knock a few bucks off the price.

Its kind of like what happened with the K100 and K110. The K110 lacked the shake reduction system. Pentax was hedging their bets and keeping the price low. Again, they didn't sell very many K110's at all. They too, are not represented on eBay much at all.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-03-2021, 07:28 PM  
Does wind chill mean anything to a Pentax? (KP example)
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 29
Views: 1,758
I'm not sure that is entirely true.

Wind chill, as I understand it, is really a rate of heat loss. That means that a warm object will lose heat faster, but will not get colder than the ambient temperature.

IOW, if an object (with no internal heat source) at 70 degrees (F) is placed in an environment where the ambient temperature is 40 degrees, the object will eventually drop to that temperature. The amount of time this takes is dependent on several factors, including the mass of the object and its surface area. Let's say it takes this particular object 20 minutes to drop from 70 degrees to 40 in still air. If there is a breeze blowing, it will lose heat faster, perhaps in 15 minutes. But it will not go below the 40 degree ambient temperature.

Batteries are chemical devices. All battery technologies that I know of provide less amperage at cooler temperatures than at higher ones. So, the battery in you camera will produce less current and may fail sooner in cold weather than in warm. Wind chill might make it reach that point a little sooner, but it is the actual ambient temperature that is the culprit.

The mechanical parts of your camera, such as the shutter and mirror mechanisms may suffer as well. Again, it is the ambient temperature, rather than the wind chill that is the problem. Parts, especially of different materials, may contract due to the cold, at different rates. Tolerances that are perfectly fine in warm temperatures may suddenly be too tight or too loose, causing binding between moving parts.

Lubricants may harden, as well, restricting the free movement of parts.

All that being said, I think that the battery issues are the most relevant to real life. I've never heard of a camera binding up because of cold, but I have heard of batteries failing due to cold.

Back in the film ear, some cameras, notably the Pentax SF1, had an option of a remote battery. You replaced the in-camera battery with an adapter that had a wire to a battery pack that you could put inside your coat or in a pocket. This kept the battery warm and minimized the current or voltage drop.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-22-2020, 10:13 AM  
Spotmatic focus issue
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 9
Views: 775
Spotmatics don't have user-replaceable focusing screens.

That's not to say that someone, either a misguided pro or an amateur camera mechanic, hasn't dismantled the camera and improperly installed a screen.

To the OP: have you been able to try these lenses on another M42 camera? That would help determine if it is the camera or the lenses.

I agree with the other posters. A thorough inspection and careful cleaning is probably the first order of business.
Search took 0.02 seconds | Showing results 1 to 25 of 300

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:07 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]