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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-07-2022, 06:28 PM  
Disassembling the DA 12-24mm (esp. front lens)
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 1
Views: 560
I'd like to get below the front element of one of mine, too.
Forum: Pentax K-5 & K-5 II 01-04-2022, 04:30 PM  
K5ii - wide angle lens
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 31
Views: 2,619
I know this is old now, but in case anyone reads this thread, I now own the DA 12-24 by Pentax. Wanna buy my Sigma 10-20? There is NO comparison, the Pentax blows the Sigma away. Sharp as hell in the corners, even wide open! Absolutely the best uwa I've encountered, and I have quite a collection from 17mm on up for both Nikon and Pentax. Sigma is OK, but look at the same scene from both it and the 12-24, and you'll never buy the Sigma. By the way, it's even awesome on my full frame K1 II, turns into a 16-24mm without vignette. On full frame, it pretty much kills my FA 20-35mm.
Forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive 01-03-2022, 02:45 PM  
HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm Sample Photos
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 79
Views: 18,464
I own several copies of this lens. I did some test shots about a year ago around my house, and found that indeed, the DAL variant is optically slightly inferior to the DA. My personal opinion is that the DA simply cannot be beaten when you take the price point (particularly a used one) in relation to the image quality. I keep one with every camera, including my full frame K1 II.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-31-2021, 06:59 PM  
Nature Ballerina
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 7
Views: 173
Oh, this is just freakin' COOL! what timing!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-31-2021, 06:01 PM  
Macro Last bee of autumn
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 4
Views: 177
Went to Kinzua bridge in the fall to see if there were any colored leaves worth a shot. There weren't, and the bridge was packed with people, so I grabbed the macro and started having fun with some bees that were working over the last remaining blooms in front of the parking area. Got several great shots, this is I think the best. I haven't shot really anything in almost two decades, so getting back into things after accumulating equipment. This was basically a practice session, and I learned a lot about how to do it better next time!
Forum: General Photography 12-28-2021, 05:26 PM  
Nikon vs Pentax discussion
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 93
Views: 4,691
This very thought (minus the hilarious wife analogy) went through my mind today. I mean no disrespect to the OP who seems like a decent enough guy, but I started wondering, "If I suddenly went Canon, would I mention it in the Nikon forum?" I don't think so, for two reasons: one, if I've left the brand then I'm DONE, and two, well, have you guys ever SEEN the Nikon forum??? I mean THIS place can SPOIL a person real quick if you actually want intelligent discussion, accurate technical reviews especially of lenses, and so on. Just like my experience with settings on my Nikon, after being here in the Pentax forum, I just ASSUMED that the Nikon forum would be AT LEAST on a par...THEN I FOUND OUT...

---------- Post added 12-28-21 at 05:40 PM ----------

I use such an adapter for my much loved Nikkor 105 f2.5 Ai lens. Admittedly my testing hasn't been extensive yet, but what I've seen thus far, that singular element adapter is pretty much imperceptible. As time permits I want to test more of my Nikon lenses on my K1 II, as well as some Pentax lenses on my D750. I picked up a neat adapter for this that actually has an aperture ring built-in, to allow you to adjust the iris on Pentax lenses such as the DA series which have no ring to manually adjust. Maybe sometime I'll post a review 🤗
Forum: General Photography 12-26-2021, 01:31 PM  
Nikon vs Pentax discussion
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 93
Views: 4,691
Sadly, you are probably right...
Dear God I miss shooting my F2...😭

---------- Post added 12-26-21 at 01:32 PM ----------

Wise words...

---------- Post added 12-26-21 at 01:43 PM ----------

Again, I own BOTH Nikon (D750) and Pentax (K1II, K5IIs, K3II, K01), and as I have suggested earlier in this post, the Nikon IS way more frustrating to find settings in. My experience is similar; you just expect that a "modern" camera from none other than Nikon would HAVE the feature you're looking for...THEN YOU FIND OUT...

Seriously, my Nikon is a great piece of 2014 engineering. I bought mine to take advantage of my Nikon lens collection. Then I got ahold of a K1 II. You see how many Pentax DSLR's I now own vs. Nikon. THERE'S A REASON FOR THIS...
Forum: General Photography 12-24-2021, 04:19 PM  
Nikon vs Pentax discussion
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 93
Views: 4,691
Ok in fairness to Nikon I DID figure out how to achieve TAv and Sv modes. You have to cheat a bit but it CAN be done on a Nikon. For TAv, set (M)Manual mode, then simply twiddle with the command dials to get auto-iso. Set an acceptable range for sensitivity and away you go. Not as easy as having a dedicated slot on the mode dial, but doable. Sv is similar: set mode to (P)Program, then you have to hold down the iso button with some finger of the left hand, while your right thumb rolls the thumb-wheel. If you plan on adjusting while shooting, you had better be composed as you will need a third hand to zoom or manual focus. Still, not as easy as Pentax. Do they have a patent or something on these modes? Does any other company provide them?
Forum: General Photography 12-23-2021, 10:03 AM  
Nikon vs Pentax discussion
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 93
Views: 4,691
Good question! And to be honest, it's just a personal thing I guess, has nothing to do with the mechanicals. I find when I'm gripping a camera, it's uncomfortable to manipulate the front wheel. I guess I feel more secure with my fingers firmly planted out front, palming the side, and a portion of my thumb moving that little wheel in the back. I more often than not shoot aperture priority, so with only one control that needs moved, I have, from the time aperture rings became "obsolete", liked using the thumb wheel for that control. Your mileage may vary...😁

---------- Post added 12-23-21 at 10:08 AM ----------

AGREE COMPLETELY with everything here.🤗

---------- Post added 12-23-21 at 10:18 AM ----------

Update: I just tried to find the menu setting for that wheel reversal craziness, and found yet another thing that frustrates me with my D750. I just ASSUMED that since Pentax had TAv and Sensitivity priority modes, my Nikon did as well. THEN I FOUND OUT 😒. As much as I do like Nikon stuff in general, every time I go to USE that crazy thing, I end up looking all over for settings it just plain doesn't HAVE compared to the Pentax. I think my new go-to mode is going to be TAv: lock in an iso range that provides quality, set a shutter that does what I need and get a depth of field I like and have at it. I see this will not be possible with the Nikon. By the way, if you are laughing that I'm just now realizing this, bear in mind I'm only just getting back into things, and I've spent the last 18 months curating a collection of equipment, not necessarily USING it lol. That's for 2022...🙄
Forum: General Photography 12-22-2021, 06:00 PM  
Nikon vs Pentax discussion
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 93
Views: 4,691
I am a long time Nikon fan, having film bodies such as an F2, EM, FG, F801S, F501 (have a couple of these), and some other sundry bodies and point and shoots. I quit shooting for many years, and when I more recently decided to get back into it, bought a D750 to take advantage of my considerable investment in F-mount glass. At first, the D750 impressed me, and honestly it still does, but then I got a K1 II for astro photography. The more I used the Pentax, the more I wished the D750 was more like my K1 II. I now have the K1 II, a K3 II, K5 IIs, and a K01. Bottom line, ALL are impressive in their own way. Nikon's menu system and overall user interface is OK, but clumsy compared to Pentax. I give Pentax the highest marks for UI over anything else I have looked at. I rate Nikon #2 in this regard, but that's not to say it's a BAD interface. I have to give it to the D750, at 24 megapixels, it's EASILY right there with the K1 II's 36mp for image quality, and in some situations may surpass it. I also have all the lenses the OP mentioned, except for the 80-200 (I'm currently using a Tamron 70-200 F2.8 for that slot). His observation on lenses is right on the money, down to the Nikon screw drive autofocus being quieter.

In my humble opinion, I think Pentax provides more bang for buck, feature for feature, but a D750 is an awesome and very desirable camera. I have a complete kit for it, attempting to match my K1 II outfit lens for lens (or lens type/focal length) so whichever camera bag I grab, I have the same equipment for a shoot. I'm pleased with both.

---------- Post added 12-22-21 at 06:07 PM ----------

I also have a D750, and wanted it to have aperture control on thumbwheel. Not just because I shoot Pentax as well, but because I simply find it more intuitive. Off the top of my head I can't tell you where in the menu to change it, but I was able to do it. It's one of those Nikon-esque menus that isn't as obvious as it should be, but once you find it, it made sense. At any rate, this CAN be done.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 11-03-2021, 05:05 PM  
Wireless RF shutter release reviews for your consideration...
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 10
Views: 613
Looks to me now that I study it more, the model number is RW-221, and any added suffix indicates the plug type. Look at the designations above the various camera plug types in the picture about halfway down the page. I never bothered to research this deeply lol. Anyway, had I been thinking I would have included a link to each company's product website. Hey, it's my first review 🤗!
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 11-02-2021, 02:36 PM  
Wireless RF shutter release reviews for your consideration...
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 10
Views: 613
I'm sorry, I guess the actual model number for the unit that I got is PXL-RW-221 E3. Looks the same to me and fits all the right cameras according to the specs. My bad, should have included that bit of info. Anyway, as I'm remembering it from when I played with those different modes, single shot does just what you would expect a cable release to do. Multi-shot AUTOMATICALLY presses your shutter button 3 times. Possibly useful in the right situation, but only if your exposure is fast enough that the camera will "see" all three "button presses". Bulb mode is interesting. As I recall on the Pixel, using that mode simply HOLDS the shutter button down essentially, until you hit the button again to release it. If I'm wrong on this one I'm not far off, I'll have to play with it again to be sure. I remember thinking this mode had possibilities, but still was not likely to be something I would use much. The timer function just gives you a built in self timer, I forget the delay time. This struck me as the most useful (for most people anyway) of the modes.

Like I said, they all have possibilities, especially when combined with similar settings in you camera. Experiment and you'll get ideas how it might be useful for you.

---------- Post added 11-02-21 at 02:39 PM ----------

Just checked...still $29 for the one I got. : Wireless Remote Shutter Compatible for Canon, PIXEL Timer Remote Control Shutter Release Cable RW-221 E3 Compatible with Canon Eos Camera 60D 70D 77D 80D : Electronics?tag=pentaxforums-20&

---------- Post added 11-02-21 at 03:03 PM ----------

The hardshell case was an Amazon find as well, $7. I use them to hold lots of little gear, basically turning my camera bag into a modular affair.

As far as the fear of the thing. I DOUBT it did anything to your previous camera, but obviously I can't be 100% on that. I'm about 99.998%, but can't be 100 lol. If the thing WAS capable of sending raw voltage to the shutter release port, the MAX it could get is 3 volts. I have no idea how sensitive that subsystem in a Pentax IS, but I know I've accidentally sent more voltage to circuits that shouldn't have it on other things I've torn apart, and they handled it fine. Yes I should be more careful, but hey it was fun 😀. Anyway, if you are handy with a multimeter you could just do some checking at the plug-tip that would go into the camera. If I'm thinking right, you should see ZERO volts there, EVER. All it should do is quickly provide continuity between the different barrel contacts on the plug. Think about it: a wired shutter release cable has no power, the button just closes the circuit on the plug's contacts. The battery in these wireless remotes is there to operate the reciever and to close a solid-state relay, which temporarily connects the contacts for that plug.

All this being said, if there IS some bizarre defect in your unit, theoretically it would be possible for that relay to do more than just close a circuit; it COULD have a defect where it was sending some voltage too. I doubt it, but it could. Even if it was, I don't think it would be capable of dumping the entire content of the battery into your camera without being completely disabled itself.

Electrical engineers are welcome to comment...🤔
Good luck. Unless someone can come up with a good reason not to, I'd plug it in.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 11-01-2021, 02:32 PM  
Wireless RF shutter release reviews for your consideration...
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 10
Views: 613
I have recently purchased two RF wireless shutter release units, and thought I would share my findings with the forum. The first is the JJC “JM-II” wireless remote, the other is the Pixel “Oppilas”. Both units have proven to be very good, and it’s hard to pick a winner between the two. I found both on Amazon. The JJC version currently goes for about $20, while the Pixel version runs about $30. I cannot find anything serious to complain about, and it seems to me that this bit of camera gear represents a very high value for those who buy it.

The units comes with a receiver that you attach to your camera and a handheld transmitter (see illustration 1 which shows the Oppilas unit). You can choose from 16 channels to transmit over, allowing you a ton of flexibility using multiple units in the same area; one transmitter can even trigger multiple cameras. The receiver simply plugs into the remote cable release port on your camera, and then attaches to the flash hot shoe so it’s fastened down. When I need the hot shoe for an external flash, I just use whatever I have available to fasten the receiver to my tripod: Velcro cable ties, widely available in the hardware section of your local “mart” store, or anything else you can think of to keep the receiver from dangling and putting stress on the cable that connects it to your camera. The transmitter has a release button on it as well, turning it into a wired shutter release. To use the transmitter this way, you do not even need the batteries installed. By including this feature, the unit can effectively replace both a wired and an infrared shutter release. Considering the very limited range of an infrared release, and the fact that they have to be line of sight to the IR receiver on the camera, one of these wireless RF units really shines as a terrific value.

The handheld transmitters are just the right size for a pocket, but I worry about dropping the thing and loosing it. JJC thoughtfully designed a small “loop” at the bottom that allowed me to attach a small keyring and a miniature carabiner from NiteIze (see illustration 2). The Oppilas transmitter is larger than some, but that’s OK as it makes it easier to hang on to. Pixel’s transmitter features two small holes in the case near the shutter release button that allowed me to attach a very small keyring and then the same carabiner I used on the JJC (see illustration 1). One of the only complaints I have with the Oppilas is the fact that these holes are so small, I was lucky to find a ring that would fit through them. This little modification is very handy if you are shooting an event and have more than one camera set up using these remotes; I can clip them onto belt loops or other parts of clothing and trigger them quickly as needed without fumbling in a pocket.

The JM-II transmitter features three modes: Single shot, timer, and multi shot. The Oppilas features four modes: Single shot, multi shot, timer, and bulb. For the most part, I leave mine in single shot mode and I’m betting you will too, but experiment with the other modes; you will find using them in combination with your camera’s settings gives you extra functionality. The release button on the JM-II transmitter is ever so slightly recessed, making it less prone to accidentally being pressed, while not at all being difficult to use. This brings me to the only other “complaint” I have with the Oppilas: the release button on the transmitter should be recessed slightly like the JJC. While I don’t find myself accidentally setting it off all the time, it would certainly FEEL more secure to me if it were more like the JJC release. If I can find some sort of black plastic washer or machine bushing that could be carefully glued around the button, effectively recessing it a bit, I’ll probably try it. Again, this is both minor and subjective; others may like the design.

Batteries are included with both units. The JM-II uses widely available CR-2 and A23 batteries, and this helps keep the size of both transmitter and receiver smaller than the Oppilas. Because I don’t use it all the time, I didn’t want to leave the batteries in the unit constantly, for fear of leakage. I looked around for some small plastic container to house the batteries on their own, so if they leak, they destroy nothing. I found the perfect container in a miniature Vaseline tub, sold as “lip therapy”, usually hidden on an endcap in the cosmetics aisle (see illustration 3). Throw away the product and keep the container, you’ll just have to work a bit to remove all the grease. The Pixel Oppilas uses nice, standard AAA batteries. I haven’t found the perfect container for 4 tripple A’s yet, so for now I just keep them wrapped up in a very small plastic bag when not in use.

Construction of the JJC JM-II is very “plasticky”, and admittedly the battery door on the transmitter made me nervous about breakage at first, but I don’t think it’s going to snap apart in my hands anytime soon. Overall construction seems robust enough. The Pixel Oppilas feels like high quality plastic. Battery doors and other things don’t feel like they are going to break right away, yet the whole thing holds together very well. Neither piece is disappointing in this regard, and I’m looking forward to having this gear for quite some time.

Range is where these two products really show their differences. Both are more than adequate, but the Oppilas is the clear winner. I tested both with a direct line of sight to the camera and no objects in between. The product specs on the JJC JM-II state 30 meters, or about 100 feet. The JM-II features an extendable antenna, and with the antenna collapsed, I got 50 feet of range. Extending the antenna got me to 150 feet or approximately 45 meters. The product specs for the Pixel Oppilas state 100+ meters, or about 350 feet or more. The antenna is entirely enclosed on the Oppilas. Testing it, I still had control of my K1 II as I walked past the specified 100 meter range, so I kept going. I had to walk off of my property, cross a road, and continue into a farmer’s field. At around 450+ feet, I simply gave up. I can foresee no situation where I will need more range than this thing will provide. Of course, this was under ideal conditions with nothing at all between transmitter and receiver, but even assuming you got HALF of that range because of object interference, it should still be sufficient.

Finally, I wanted to have the whole kit in one place in my camera bag, and I found the ideal answer with a small hard-shell case originally designed for pocket cameras (see illustration 4). This small case cost under $10 and keeps all the parts in one central place and gives them some protection.

Conclusion: Overall, both are well designed and provide a great deal of value, especially if you add up the cost of a far less effective wireless infrared shutter release, as well as a wired one, as these units effectively do both jobs simultaneously and BETTER. I now own a couple of these to use with multi-camera setups at events, and so far I’ve had no problems. My personal preference now that I’ve used both? If I get any more, I’ll probably shell out the extra $10 and go with the Pixel Oppilas. While I’m not QUITE as fond of the release button or the small holes I used to get that clip attached, I like the construction a little bit better; the plastic simply SEEMS to be better quality and less breakable. The fact that there is no extendable antenna to break off or need to fiddle with is also a plus, and I like the idea of standard AAA batteries. And the range, oh wow, the RANGE. Honestly, however, my gripes of either of these units are MINOR. I LIKE the JJC unit very much, just as I like the Pixel. Reality is, either one of these will be a very useful addition to your camera bag. Each has it’s strong points, and I doubt either one will disappoint.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 10-31-2021, 05:40 PM  
Large Bag Recommendations
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 35
Views: 1,434
Hope my 2 cents worth can be of use to someone here. I also have scoured the web for a large gear bag, and never found anything I was REALLY happy with. What I have settled on is the "ultimaxx" large camera bag. I've only seen them on eBay. The dimensions are:

Inner Dimensions: 19” (W) x 11” (D) x 9” (H).
Outer Dimensions: 23” (W) x 13” (D) x 10.5” (H).

They cost around $50 and I own 4 myself, and have two friends who now have them as well. We are all pretty satisfied with them. The only thing I didn't like about this bag is it has no pockets on the top cover. I solved this by getting a pair of black pencil/pen bags that had two zipper compartments and used Gorilla glue to attach them to the lid. The glue seems to not have any issues being in a hot car for some length of time. I attached them so that I could use the provided pocket on the back side of the zipper case to hold instructions, etc. I have all of my bags MASSIVELY overloaded, and they seem to take the abuse just fine. Has two side pockets and a large front pocket. Side pockets are great for batteries and charger, the front I use for filters, cable release, and even my quick flip for my flash. Adding a better shoulder strap pad if you have a lot of weight is helpful.

Hope this helps someone.
Forum: Pentax K-5 & K-5 II 01-18-2021, 07:10 PM  
K5ii - wide angle lens
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 31
Views: 2,619
I have the sigma 10-20. So far quite happy, got it for less than $150 usd, so hard to beat. I agree with bertrand3000, wider isn't always better, but of course that depends on what you have to shoot🙄. I do a fair amount of car shows, and going WIDE and LOW on the bumper makes a great shot, but ultra wide can actually just be annoying there as the distortion isn't always flattering to the vehicle. Now when I'm doing an interior shot, like a dashboard, there is no other way and that's when you're happy you have some extra leeway with your lens. On my full frame K1 II and Nikon bodies, I have Tokina Atx 19-35 as well as an older rmc Tokina 17mm. Nice as 17mm is, it seldom comes out of the bag; the 19-35 on full frame in my opinion is most versatile/useful. Converting that focal length for your sensor, again, you probably won't use the ultra wide as much. Your mileage may vary...😃
Forum: Pentax K-5 & K-5 II 01-18-2021, 06:56 PM  
I have turned my K5 IIs into a paperweight.
Posted By VariousThingsAndStuf
Replies: 28
Views: 3,041

Man, that hurts ME just to think about the sound of that hitting terra firma. So sorry.

I recently took the dive and bought a K1 II. WOW. Astro-photos (with the built in gps), insane resolution, and the ability to use nice, cheap and great ff lenses, as well as some great apsc glass was too much to pass on. WELL worth the investment, and if rogue seagulls don't spoil your day again, you will have it long after Pentax replaces it with something newer and shinier, and still be ridiculously happy with it.
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