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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-06-2022, 04:02 PM  
Oops, I did it again
Posted By E-man
Replies: 16
Views: 793
Let's hope it turns out to. be the proverbial happy accident.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-06-2022, 08:47 AM  
how to use old lens on KS2?
Posted By E-man
Replies: 7
Views: 317
The only puzzling thing I've found with a manual focus zoom lens on any of my Pentax DSLRs is that the camera assumes I'm using a fixed focal length lens and wants me to select the correct focal length, My solution is to split the difference and set it somewhere in the middle. In the case of your 28-135mm lens, the midpoint would be 81.5 so somewhere 80ish would work. Under this formula, I select 140mm for my 70-210mm Vivitar Series 1 zoom lens with reasonably good results.
Forum: General Photography 12-28-2021, 09:26 AM  
Pentax camera design better than others ?
Posted By E-man
Replies: 104
Views: 4,199
Since the only non-Pentax DSLR I own is a Nikon D50 that belonged to my dad, I don't really have a lot to compare with my Pentax cameras. Yeah, my Samsung GX20 doesn't really count since it's a Pentax K20D in disguise. That said, the ergonomics and user interface are greatly superior on any of my Pentaxes, along with the user interface, which is far more intuitive. I took the Nikon out for an afternoon in a park shortly after I got it and it was such a pain to use, I've pretty much left it alone ever since.

The best 'apples-to-apples' comparison I can make between the D50 and any Pentax I've owned is the *istDL I briefly had at the beginning of my Pentax journey, as they're built around the same 6mp sensor. Beyond that, the two cameras couldn't be more different. The Nikon is bulky and its menus are arcane at best. Figuring out how to do even the simplest stuff is a total pain. The *istDL, on the other hand, was almost completely intuitive, right out of the box. I really didn't have to give much thought to the controls and instead could focus (no pun intended) on what I was seeing in the viewfinder. This served to quickly reawaken my photographic eye after several years away from shooting. Both cameras came with the same limitation of only accepting 2GB or smaller SD cards; but unlike the *istDL, Nikon never offered a firmware update to correct this shortcoming. As a result, my remaining 2GB cards are now resting peacefully in the bag with the Nikon.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 12-02-2021, 02:55 PM  
Why are all cameras Japanese?
Posted By E-man
Replies: 32
Views: 1,555
Another thing to consider is that after World War II, the best engineering minds in Japan were forbidden from developing anything military related so they turned their attention to consumer goods, including electronics, vehicles and cameras. One of the things they were exceptionally good at was production engineering; that is, taking a well-designed product and tweaking the design for more efficient manufacturing.
Forum: General Photography 09-25-2021, 06:42 PM  
How did you become a Pentaxian ?
Posted By E-man
Replies: 233
Views: 8,372
All of my 35mm gear was Minolta, beginning with an X-570 body and 50mm f1.7 lens that I got for my 21st birthday. I used it extensively, and even professionally for a few years when I worked for a newspaper from 1987-1991. They hired me as a reporter and then found out I had a camera and knew my way around a darkroom so I started pulling double duty almost from day one. The paper had a couple of Pentax K1000s with 50mm lenses and 70-210mm kit zooms that I'd use occasionally but I mostly just stuck with my Minoltas. When I left the paper to go to graduate school and my camera gear mostly sat idle. I'd occasionally pick one up and take a few snaps but I was far more interested in computers at that point.

My (now ex-) wife gave me a little Fujifilm point-n-shoot digital camera the first Christmas we were together in about 2001 It was fun but I always felt constrained by its lack of features. After we split up about three years later, I went to work for a university and one of my job functions was to oversee student media, including the school newspaper. They had a Canon DSLR (don't remember the model) that I'd occasionally borrow for various projects. I knew right away that was the type of camera I wanted but the cost was beyond my means at the time.

In the summer of 2012, after a few years of financial struggle, I landed the full time job I have now and I decided to celebrate by getting a DSLR. After looking at Canikons I decided the value proposition just wasn't there and eventually pulled the trigger on a barely used second hand Pentax *istDL with a DA 18-55mm kit lens. I loved the camera but sadly, I killed it in a botched firmware update. I'm not sure what happened but the camera got bricked. Thankfully, I had purchased a SquareTrade extended warranty an was able to get a refund for the entire kit and kept the lens and accessories. By that time, I had a couple of K-mount lenses and had gotten the appropriate hot shoe module to use my Quantaray flash with a Pentax so I decided the most logical thing to do was to get another Pentax DSLR body, which I did and the rest is history.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-19-2021, 08:21 PM  
lenses to stay clear of
Posted By E-man
Replies: 80
Views: 6,097
I would include Albinar lenses on that list. Inexpensive and cheaply made in Korea. Lenses with the 'Ricoh pin' can also be bad news because the pin lines up with the focusing shaft on autofocus K-mount bodies and they can get stuck. I'd also be leery of anything with a plastic mount just because they can break easily. I have a couple and they function fine but they just feel so flimsy I'm always afraid I'm going to snap one off, which actually happened to me not too long ago. The camera's strap caught on something and pulled the camera out of my hand. It fell on the floor and broke the lens mount. Fortunately, the camera was otherwise undamaged.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-10-2021, 11:16 AM  
ePhotozine Reviews an old Power Zoom Lens
Posted By E-man
Replies: 9
Views: 983
I came across this somewhat strange article while eating my breakfast this morning. ePhotozine ran a new review of the SMC Pentax-FA 70-200 F4-5.6 Power Zoom lens. The review was targeted at is usefulness in full frame digital applications, specifically the K1 series cameras. While I generally agreed with the reviewer's assessment, I was surprised that he called the lens "lightweight" when it's one of the heaviest lenses I own and makes any camera I put it on feel uncomfortably front heavy. He also failed to mention that the power zoom function only works on some Pentax (and corresponding Samsung) camera bodies. It does not, for instance, work on my K30 but it apparently does work on the K1 series. I find this lens and its shorter sibling, the FA 28-105, are seldom first-string choices for me, even though the power zoom feature is kind of fun to play with on my K10D, K20D and Samsung GX-20.
Forum: Pentax Compact Cameras 03-01-2021, 07:25 PM  
My next point and shoot
Posted By E-man
Replies: 30
Views: 3,020
The only point-n-shoot cameras I have are all Panasonics and are starting to get some age on them. All three are in the 10-12 megapixel range. The DMC SZ1 is shirt pocket sized, smaller than a smart phone but still feels more like a camera than a phone. It's what I carry with me when I think yeah, I might like to snap a few shots but I'm not really into doing heavy duty photography. Next up the line is the DMC FZ35, which is a compact bridge camera. It's not really pocket sized but it's nice and lightweight so it's easy to carry around all day without strain. The biggest of the lot is my DMC FZ50, which is built like a DSLR. Leica also offered the same camera as the V-LUX 1 and all three cameras have Leica zoom lenses. It's a good walking around camera when I don't want to carry a bunch of gear but for the weight and bulk involved, I might as well carry a Pentax DSLR. I've gone through phases where I used the Panasonics, especially the FZ35, as much, if not more, than the Panasonics but now, not so much.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-31-2021, 08:13 PM  
Anyone know how to get rid of red eye
Posted By E-man
Replies: 19
Views: 1,363
Removing red eye is actually one of the easiest things to do with any photo editing tool. Just place a black dot over the glowing red pupils. It works best if you zoom in first so you've got a little room to work with.

That said, I can think of one photo I took many years ago, back in my newspaper days, where I intentionally used red eye to great effect. A local equipment rental company had gotten a new security dog and I went over there at closing time, when they let the dog out of its holding pen and gave it run of the equipment yard. It immediately came over to where I was standing—on the opposite side of the fence—and started barking at me. Since it was dusk, I had the flash on my camera and intentionally aimed it straight into the dog's eyes to produce a 'hell hound' effect, which was made all the more effective by its bared teeth.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 01-17-2021, 09:07 AM  
Samsung gx20 sample photos in 2021
Posted By E-man
Replies: 9
Views: 864
Yeah, I have a GX20 and a K20D. Close focusing is problematic on both of them, as it is on the K10D. I find I have less trouble with the center focus setting (CAF on the Samsung, AF.C on the Pentax) but manual focus works even better.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-04-2021, 04:03 PM  
The K20D Club
Posted By E-man
Replies: 566
Views: 97,713
Great find! I've got two K20D's—sort of. One is actually its 'evil twin' the Samsung GX20. I've had the Samsung about five years and the K20D I picked up a little over a year ago. I've also got a K10D that I've had for a little longer than the Samsung. Although they have some age on them, they are still fine cameras, especially for how little I had to pay for them. The K10D and K20D both have exceptionally shutter counts in the four figures (5,700 and 3,100, respectively) and the the Samsung is by no means worn out with just under 15,000 shutter actuations.
Forum: General Photography 12-31-2020, 09:55 AM  
What's Your 2021 New Years "Photography Resolution" ?
Posted By E-man
Replies: 50
Views: 2,410
I make the same resolution every year—not to make any resolutions because I most likely won't keep them.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-29-2020, 11:30 AM  
Please help with old telephoto lenses
Posted By E-man
Replies: 27
Views: 1,975
I wouldn't give up on those lenses too quickly. As others have mentioned, you may just need to make some adjustments to the camera itself. I had a similar experience with a lens that I thought was producing muddy, yellowish images. It turned out the white balance was waaaay out of whack on the camera body on which I was testing the lens. Also for sure put the 80-320 in 'A' mode on the aperture ring. That way, the camera can control the aperture. Otherwise, it may just leave the aperture wide open, which can produce overexposed shots and shallow depth of field. When considering a particular lens, be sure to check the lens reviews on this site to see what other users think of it.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 12-18-2020, 05:08 PM  
Pentax not selling parts to vendors now?
Posted By E-man
Replies: 14
Views: 1,741
Yeah, I had that happen about a month ago. Fortunately, it was a crap lens, Pentax F 28-90, the plastic, craptastic silver version with a plastic mount. Thankfully, the camera body suffered no damage. I figure the lens acted sort of like a crumple zone on a car and absorbed most of the energy of the impact. I'm just writing the lens off.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-15-2020, 05:55 PM  
The future of Pentax is in your hands!
Posted By E-man
Replies: 141
Views: 8,783
Yeah, I wouldn't be able to help with that effort. I have no idea where a bricks-and-mortar camera shop is anywhere within 100 miles of me, maybe even 200 miles. Back in 2004, when I moved to the city where I now live, there were exactly two dedicated camera stores—Ritz Camera and Ritz Camera. One location was shuttered in about 2008 or 2009 and the other one went out in 2012 when the whole company shut down. I have been using Pentax gear since 2012 and 100 percent of my Pentax purchases have been second hand via eBay. I honestly don't understand Ricoh's thinking regarding its (non)marketing strategy for Pentax. They don't seem to really care whether they sell any cameras or not.
Forum: General Photography 12-15-2020, 10:41 AM  
We've all seen it, we all knew it happens.
Posted By E-man
Replies: 61
Views: 3,734
Back about 30 years ago when I was a newspaper photographer, I was hiking with a friend of mine who decided to try and free climb up a rock face off the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. He got about two thirds of the way up and got stuck. I decided to teach him a lesson by taking a photo of him up there before I went off to get help. It got published in the paper the following week and although that incident followed him the rest of his life, he continued taking stupid risks until he finally committed suicide about eight years ago.
Forum: General Photography 12-13-2020, 02:14 PM  
Who Needs "Camera Cases"? ... Not Me!
Posted By E-man
Replies: 20
Views: 1,463
I have three Land's End messenger bags made of heavy canvas with leather reinforcing trim. I don't use them as camera bags but they are darn near indestructible. I prefer camera bags that are padded to protect my gear. I've had good luck finding them at thrift shops for anywhere from about $2-$7. The last brand new ones I bought were from Ritz Camera when they were going out of business about eight years ago and everything was 80-90 percent off.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-29-2020, 07:48 PM  
Pentax K100D Super
Posted By E-man
Replies: 42
Views: 2,458
Another free, open source software title to consider is GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) GIMP - Downloads. It is somewhat equivalent to Photoshop but perhaps not quite as user friendly. You can do a lot with it and there are plenty of good tutorials online.
Forum: Pentax K-r 11-29-2020, 08:57 AM  
Battery Problem
Posted By E-man
Replies: 17
Views: 2,383
If it works okay with AA batteries, just use those instead of the proprietary battery pack. Problem solved. I have the same issue with my K30. I ordered an AA adapter online, loaded it up with Eneloops and never looked back. Probably the best $3 I ever spent on a camera.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-26-2020, 07:16 PM  
How can I tell if the camera I just purchased has the Rear LCD screen Protector
Posted By E-man
Replies: 11
Views: 724
One of my K200Ds has a clear plastic screen protector that anchors in behind the rubber cushion on the viewfinder. It's pretty obvious it's there, compared to the other camera that doesn't have one.
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 11-09-2020, 04:37 PM  
K30 firmware update and aperture issues
Posted By E-man
Replies: 10
Views: 984
I updated the firmware on my K30 as soon as I got it about four years ago and have had zero problems. Don't be afraid to update your firmware; just make sure you have a fully charged battery and don't touch any controls while the update is happening. Most importantly, DO NOT TURN THE CAMERA OFF!!! You will brick it if you do.
Forum: General Photography 10-25-2020, 05:48 PM  
A Halloween Horror Story in One Photo
Posted By E-man
Replies: 19
Views: 1,479
Oh, the horror.... the horror...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-19-2020, 01:50 PM  
Considering selling things - what lenses would you keep?
Posted By E-man
Replies: 34
Views: 3,019
You're making me feel both a little better and a little worse at the same time. Better in the sense that overall, you've got more gear than I have but worse in that most of mine is just one step above junk by comparison. I know I need to slim down my fleet of seven Pentax camera bodies and I have waaaay too much redundancy in my lenses. Do I really need six DA and DA-L 18-55mm zoom lenses and at least as many 28-80, 90, or 105 mm zooms from various manufacturers? And what about the longer 70 or 80-200 or 300mm zooms?

If I were mentally healthier about such things, I would engage in a wholesale sell-off of all but two, maybe three camera bodies and just one or two lenses from each of the above categories along with a couple of other oddball and junk lenses and flashes that I never use. While all of my camera bodies are older units, it would still be a tough decision:
  • CCD bodies—The unique warmth of a CCD sensor makes me want to keep one of these cameras, even though they are the oldest in my collection. My K10D and my two K200D's are in very nice shape shape and have very low shutter counts. While the K10D would seem an obvious choice, I do like the K200Ds' lighter, more compact form factor and simplified user interface.

  • K20D or Samsung GX20—This is a fairly easy decision since the Samsung has a few mildly annoying quirks that the K20D, which also has a lower shutter count, does not.

  • K-X Blue or K-X black—The blue one has a much lower shutter count and it's just so darned cute that it easily wins out over the black one, even though I don't remember the last time I shot a photo with it.

  • K30—It's my newest camera body and essentially in a category by itself so it's a keeper except for its high shutter count, which brings with it the looming specter of a possible aperture block failure; thus it might actually make more sense to keep the aforementioned blue K-X.

Of course, part of me says it would make sense to sell off all seven cameras and most of my lenses and put the proceeds toward something newer and more capable like a K3II or a KP but while I am fully capable of thinking that logically, carrying through with it is another consideration entirely.
Forum: Pentax K-3 & K-3 II 10-13-2020, 06:22 PM  
Summer is Over
Posted By E-man
Replies: 11
Views: 1,269
It was nice here in North Carolina today—Sunny and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Perfect day to take my convertible out for a drive.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-12-2020, 12:53 PM  
A Potential New Young Pentaxian
Posted By E-man
Replies: 9
Views: 1,211
Yes, I think the K-X is the right camera. I don't have any spare prime lenses so the lens options for her are a DA-L 18-55mm zoom or a silver FA 28-90mm zoom. Those are my two most disposable lenses. So far, she's only been shooting with the 18-55 but the 28-90 lens has a slight advantage in that it already has a lanyard for the lens cap. I'd need to get one for the other lens. I'll have to start watching the thrift stores for a padded bag to put it in. My biggest concern is she has ADHD and the short attention span that goes along with it. When something draws her attention away she drops the thing she was doing—literally—and temporarily forgets about it. She was using the camera Friday evening—she'd discovered the built-in flash—but then she decided to go in and get some nacho chips and left the camera in one of the chairs on the deck, where I found it when I was policing things up after her mom had picked her up. There's going to have to be some lessons on camera care and responsibility along with just handing it off to her.
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