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Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-17-2018, 07:09 AM  
Best Equatorial mount for under 600$
Posted By Bob 256
Replies: 20
Views: 1,600
You can brighten the image by making the slots as wide as possible (and the bars that block light thinner). The width of the bars isn't important as long as they are straight. They could be pretty thin and the mask would still work since it's the diffraction of light off the pattern that makes focusing possible. Good astro-shooting!
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-17-2018, 06:45 AM  
Best Equatorial mount for under 600$
Posted By MossyRocks
Replies: 20
Views: 1,600
I actually made a 3d model of one last night from an SVG and it wasn't too difficult to do once I figured out how to start to work with freeCAD. My goal is to have one I can stuff inside the lens hood of my 300mm f/4 SMC takumar lens. Since I am not going to be cutting things out I have been playing with settings to get as many slots as possible so that the image for focusing is as bright as possible.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-09-2018, 02:26 PM  
Best Equatorial mount for under 600$
Posted By SteveinSLC
Replies: 20
Views: 1,600
Those look like about what I'd expect. Pretty good at 90 secs. 260 is too long for the astrotracer. At that length you will really need a tracking mount.
The iOptron and Star Adventurer are definitely the most popular choices.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-09-2018, 02:38 PM  
Best Equatorial mount for under 600$
Posted By jeffdrew
Replies: 20
Views: 1,600
Cloudynights.com has a great deal of helpful info. Skywatcher and Ioptron brands are big sellers and work great! Many of these small kits backpack and fit medium tripods nicely. They usually deliver excellent results fir timed exposures. Also check Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines. First, before investing several hundred dollars more, calibrate and test your GPS & astrotracer.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-04-2018, 02:58 PM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By clickclick
Replies: 51
Views: 3,064
Easy. Not knowing much about the shooter's holding technique other than new to this, and knowing it's a large heavy telephoto lens and the question is about ruling out lens issues, getting a stable platform and a high shutter speed help to rule out user induced variables like shake. Regarding leaves, right, what's the point of shooting leaves as described, but from an educational standpoint, if the new shooter isn't familiar with this type of thing, they probably don't realize if you're trying to stop the motion on something like little leaves fluttering in the wind with a 200mm lens, they're going to need a pretty high shutter speed or they will see blur, and if they're trying to figure out how the lens is performing and just took such a shot, seems to make sense to give a little info on what would be more likely to work.

And yes, getting out and taking real life pictures is the best, and brick walls do make great test subjects for a variety of reasons.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-04-2018, 02:00 PM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By Rondec
Replies: 51
Views: 3,064
I use a tripod a lot for landscape images, but I am shooting at sunrise stopped down and doing traditional pixel shift. I get excellent results, but as you say, for middle of the day shooting there is plenty of light to get good results without using a tripod.

I typically use standard auto focus through the viewfinder and it is fine. I don't typically shoot at f2.8 unless I am shooting portraits (or something else I want more narrow depth of field) or, if light conditions demand it.

As far as telling sharpness of a lens, much as I hate to say it, taking a photo of a brick wall with the camera perpendicular to it is probably the best way I've found to identify real issues with a lens. That said, often the issues you see there aren't a problem in real world shooting.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-04-2018, 01:48 PM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By MetteHHH
Replies: 51
Views: 3,064
I'm with Eric. Honestly, why are people advising a tripod and faster than 1/1000 shutter speed for shooting LEAVES on what appears to be a not-too-windy summer day? Getting your shots right is NOT so much about extreme stabilization or faster-than-sound shutter speeds. Or about hoarding expensive prime lenses. It is, to a very large degree, about picking subjects and compositions that allow your photos to pop - and of course about getting to know your camera.

It takes a very good lens to deliver razor sharpness at a fully open aperture - but do you really need that? I'm sure sharpness improves from f4 and down. Also, the focus plane at that aperture is narrow enough that most of the leaves on your second foliage shot are out of focus.

I would suggest playing around with the TAv-setting - it is what I use for 90% or more of my pictures. Set the aperture for something-less-than-fully-open, and play around with the shutter time. In my world, 1/2000 is reserved for birds and insects in flight, and tripods are for my 500mm lens - but find your own style. And most of all, like Eric suggests, find a rewarding subject with colour and contrast! :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-04-2018, 10:31 AM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By TwoUptons
Replies: 51
Views: 3,064
Ill be a little contrarian...

Leave the tripod at home and go find a bright day and a sporting event with bright uniforms... 🙂

-Eric
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-04-2018, 09:23 AM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By clickclick
Replies: 51
Views: 3,064
And as has been touched on, get your shutter speed up. If you are trying to freeze leaves in a scene, if there's a breeze, you may well find you need much higher speeds, like 1/2000 or more. Find a new test scene and if needed to get speed up, try an ISO around 400, do a series of shots picking the same focus point, and stop them down as you go. You'll soon start to pick out the sweet spot of the lens. You can do the same thing changing ISO and shutter speed to see how them come into play, and if you want to get real "scientific", you'll even pick some standard scenes you will shoot with all your lenses as you get them e.g, front of the house, neighbor's chimney, etc. And fill your frame with something like the front of a building, and you can start moving around the frame and see where sharpness falls off, or x lens renders the gutter in the top right corner better than y lens - position yourself so you get the same frame coverage when doing the shots. Also, you can set 1/3 EV steps under the C section of the menu setup. This can be nice when you want to just nudge the ISO up a little and are trying to minimize noise but need a bit more speed for stability.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-04-2018, 07:45 AM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By mikeSF
Replies: 51
Views: 3,064
Plenty of great advice in this thread. The best thing you can do now is practice. None of us are as good as our gear, remember that.
Good luck!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-04-2018, 07:09 AM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By SSGGeezer
Replies: 51
Views: 3,064
That is an issue where I live since I am surrounded by trees! :lol:

---------- Post added 07-04-18 at 07:12 AM ----------



It may actually induce unsteadiness in the sensor causing blurring when you are focused. If you are on 2 second or 15 second delay it is turned off automatically by the camera.
If you shoot a wall or a tapestry to test sharpness, make sure that your plane of focus is perfectly square to the flat surface you are imaging. A tape measure is a big help with that. Or a well laid tile floor.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-04-2018, 06:42 AM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By eyrr
Replies: 51
Views: 3,064
... and that's likely contributing to the problem. If you're worn out physically and mentally, it's harder to focus - both physically and mentally. (Source: ample personal experience) There are time constraints for returning an unsatisfactory lens, so I understand why you had to try. I'm glad you posted here for feedback before letting your frustration and disappointment lead you to a potentially wrong conclusion.

f2.8 is a fairly shallow depth of field. Even a slight amount of change in your stance or grip could easily result in the shot no longer being in focus, which is possibly what happened with your second leaf picture. (Again, ample personal experience). The older I get, the less steady I get, the more tired I am, the more I rely on my tripod.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-03-2018, 11:30 PM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 51
Views: 3,064
I am old school and believe leaving SR on when it is not really needed because of good technique and fast enough shutter speeds will slightly shorten battery life and adds another tech complication that should be used when needed, but not when it is a redundancy. I'm splitting hairs here, but sometimes the devil is in the details.

Part of my reasoning is based on experience with Nikon's VR and Canon's IS, but at worse leaving those on all the time could lead to lens issues, which is less costly than a camera sensor issue.

The price difference between the 70-200mm vs. 28-105mm has a lot to do with:
a) Constant f/2.8 vs. variable f/3.5-5.6
b) 19 elements in 16 groups vs. 15 elements in 11 groups
c) AW all weather seals vs. WR weather resistant seals
d) Pentax rates the 70-200mm as one of their top of the line star lenses.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-03-2018, 09:36 PM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By C_Jones
Replies: 51
Views: 3,064
You may want to make sure you are in FF (full frame) mode, set your aperture to F8 or higher aperture number, shutter to about 250, and set the camera to TAV mode, and also set the camera AF mode to AF.C and the AF area mode to "Spot" (center point). Subjects you may want to try to approach could be flowers, signs, a parked car, or even a household item like a cup. Outside with daylight will most likely give you the best test results, or with a flash on the camera in or outdoors. Make sure the AF and SR are on also. For longer exposures of a still subject, you may want to use a tripod.

Those are just some suggestions that I have found effective for testing.

You should be alright. Good luck!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-03-2018, 10:05 PM  
Either I'm a noob or I had a bad copy or I'm just Paranoid. What's your say?
Posted By repaap
Replies: 51
Views: 3,064
Well actually my 70-200 seems to be sharp from 70-200..especially 200 is good. Perfectly good @2.8 and really good little stopped down. Ofcourse prime would be better, but..zoom is handy. Posted couple shots at 70-200 club. There are couple @200mm and 100ish. Might be couple at 70 too. But really choosing subject and all means a lot too. SR is on except when on tripod. Really effective feature. Good shooting techique helps too.
Forum: Pentax K-1 07-02-2018, 08:41 AM  
Can anyone help me with the content of a new camera?
Posted By eyrr
Replies: 28
Views: 1,473
from B&H

You live relatively close to B&H and Adorama. The OP is in Medicine Hat Alberta Canada which is not only much further but also international shipping and clearances etc. Something coming by air would likely go to Calgary (?) then to Medicine Hat from there. I'm in Toronto and it takes about a week for me to get something from B&H. (Not a complaint, just an observation. I've never been less than 100% satisfied with my dealings with B&H.) Amazon.ca is located in Canada and a camera purchased through them would have a 2 year Canadian warranty. International shipping / returns and warranty are always a bit more hassle, so I understand why somebody would prefer to deal with them.
Forum: Pentax K-1 07-02-2018, 03:59 AM  
Can anyone help me with the content of a new camera?
Posted By MJKoski
Replies: 28
Views: 1,473
Ya! Superb deal. And you still have full warranty.
Forum: Pentax K-1 07-01-2018, 05:47 PM  
Can anyone help me with the content of a new camera?
Posted By stillshot2
Replies: 28
Views: 1,473
Yep contacting the seller was the right thing to do. 20% off was very generous!
Forum: Pentax K-1 07-01-2018, 05:46 PM  
Can anyone help me with the content of a new camera?
Posted By Larrymc
Replies: 28
Views: 1,473
B&H is an excellent supplier, don't believe a lot of the hype! So you ended up with quite a deal 20% off on the camera and lens savings too!!
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