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Forum: General Photography 18 Hours Ago  
Need a recommendation for a rolling camera bag
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 9
Views: 301
Maybe one of these will fit your existing luggage? dividers | B&H Photo Video

Since it's a one-time thing, you can do it very economically by making your own dividers. Create dividers by arranging shoeboxes or other small boxes, or by cutting and notching heavy foam board (craft store) or insulation panels (hardware store). Hand towels, socks, etc. can be used as padding in the dividers. Unless you are experienced at DIY projects whatever you build will not be good for frequent usage.

Check the zoo rules on what you are allowed to bring for photo day. They probably have a relaxed set of rules for the event, but they still need to make sure animals and guests are safe:
  • Is there a size limit on bags?

  • Will a rolling bag get in your own way even if it is permitted? Many zoos have narrow pathways and indoor exhibits that are awkward to navigate with a rolling bag. A rolling bag is also more likely to be stolen than a bag your wear.

  • Flash is likely forbidden in the dark indoor exhibits: it's harmful to the animals, and disturbs other guests who are trying to see their way in darkness.

  • Do you really need a tripod? For most animals you'll be using a reasonably fast shutter speed to prevent blur, so you may as well hold the camera. IMO the best reason to bring a tripod is if you can't hold the weight of your telephoto lens for long periods.

Regardless of zoo rules, I think you are bringing way too much gear. With 5 to 7 lenses you'll waste a lot of time swapping lenses. Consider bringing just the 24-70, 70-200, and 150-450. For a lighter kit, use the 28-105, 100 macro, and 150-450. Alternatively, the 24-70 and 50-500 does it with just 2 lenses (but the 150-450 is a better lens and a gap from 70 to 150mm might be too much for this 2 lens kit). All 3 of those combos have at least one f2.8 lens for low light.
Forum: Photo Critique 3 Days Ago  
Abstract Black background
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 22
Views: 346
I like the composition, color, and use of empty space.


Lack of sharpness is an issue. All the important parts look soft. Was this handheld and autofocus? You might need to adjust fine focus in the camera menu (assuming the K100D has that feature) if autofocus consistently misses focus, or use manual focus. Consider a tripod if the location allows.


EXIF says f5.6. Consider stopping down to get more sharpness and depth of field. Try f8 or f11. You can even try f16, but you may notice increased depth of field but reduced sharpness due to diffraction. Reduced aperture will force a slower shutter speed (and more risk of wind moving the flowers) or higher ISO (and more noise, but with your brightly lit subject and black background the noise shouldn't become an issue).
Forum: Photo Critique 3 Days Ago  
Nature Trees
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 5
Views: 211
I like the side framing using foreground trees, and the way trees at the 2 sides are close, trees at the center are far away.

Colors and light are good.


My least favorite part of the photo is the skinny tree just left of center, because it's a little too close. It lessens the effect of trees trailing into the distance.
Forum: General Photography 3 Days Ago  
Does that really add more value?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 93
Views: 1,540
You submitted a photo for critique, then complained when you got critiqued??? It's reasonable to mention removal of a distracting piece of grass.

I'm not saying you were wrong to decide to leave the stalk in your photo, but it's also not wrong to remove it (unless using the photo in a context that doesn't allow such editing).
Forum: Pentax K-3 3 Days Ago  
Sigma 70-200 f2.8 with optical stabilizer does it fit Pentax K3 II?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 7
Views: 356
Sigma made lenses for Pentax as well as Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. The different models are not interchangeable.

If you are ordering online, make sure that the seller says something like "for Pentax" or "for k-mount". If the sale makes no mention of the mount it is unlikely to fit your K-3 because only a small fraction of Sigma's sales were for Pentax.

If you already have a Sigma 70-200, compare its lens mount to another Pentax lens you own. Do the mounts look very similar with notches and tabs in the same places?
Forum: Post Your Photos! 4 Days Ago  
Abstract Blue Smoke
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 16
Views: 225
Thanks for confirming. I wasn't sure whether that top item was a match and smoke, or maybe a tube carrying fog from dry ice (which wouldn't be upside down).

My interest in science tends to stifle discussions of art ;)
Forum: Post Your Photos! 4 Days Ago  
Abstract Sentinel
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 5
Views: 126
EXIF says the photo is f8.0. Lens dust would be much more blurred than that, so much as to be invisible. I'll stick with sensor dust.

I don't want to hijack the thread so I'll end with this test that said lens dust was invisible. It takes something larger, such as an insect or screw, to show in images. Lens Rentals | Blog
Forum: Post Your Photos! 4 Days Ago  
Abstract Sentinel
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 5
Views: 126
I love the high desert. Thanks for sharing.

P.S. Clean your sensor. You have at least 3 dust spots.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 4 Days Ago  
Abstract Blue Smoke
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 16
Views: 225
Interesting. Would I be correct assuming the photo is upside down?
Forum: General Photography 4 Days Ago  
So is FLickr the place or somewhere else these days?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 32
Views: 662
I'm a Flickr user. I use it mostly for the photo hosting not for the social/comment aspect. It gives me a convenient place to store photos, link them to PF threads as needed, and show them from my phone or any PC I'm at.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 4 Days Ago  
Architecture Moon resting on a balcony
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 6
Views: 481
Thanks. I wish I could say it was carefully planned but it was impromptu, lots of zooming with my feet. I was visiting Niagara Falls and spotted the moon near that building. I had to scurry to get things lined up without any trees in the way before the sun set too far or the moon moved too high.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 4 Days Ago  
Night Pemaquid Point Milky Way and Mars
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 22
Views: 656
No light added by me. The local lighthouse did that.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 4 Days Ago  
Landscape Moments before Sunrise (Antisolar Rays over Chaco Canyon)
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 18
Views: 735
It's odd to see my 3 year old thread reopened. It's contest time ;)

Thanks for the comments.
Forum: General Photography 4 Days Ago  
Does that really add more value?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 93
Views: 1,540
What do you mean by "value"? Are you talking about making the photo better, or adding value to our discussion of the photo?


I don't think information about technique makes a photo any better to a viewer or purchaser. Here on PF, though, many of us don't just share photos to harvest likes, and I appreciate details about how a photo was taken. That's also why knowing the camera and lens is helpful, but a good photo is good regardless of equipment and methods.

In the astrophotography niche, fellow astrophotographers frequently discuss equipment, how many images were stacked, and what software features were used for processing so we can learn from each other.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 Days Ago  
Improvements to the DA limited primes
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 63
Views: 1,478
As others have said, that's likely a major change and could result in a larger lens. The DA 15 is one of my favorite Pentax lenses.
Forum: Photo Critique 5 Days Ago  
Nature Damselfly photobomb
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 16
Views: 297
My $0.02 since I suggested removing the speck: IMO it's okay to do for "artistic" usage (as I think the OP intended), but not for "scientific" or "journalism" purposes.


Edit, but be open about your edits. I hate when people post images with the moon and claim that's how the scene looked, yet the moon is in front of background clouds, or seeing a full moon next to the sunset (full moon can only occur 180 degrees away from the sun) . It's more a problem on the big social media sites than it is on PF.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 Days Ago  
What's wrong with this picture? (Long lens focusing issue)
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 9
Views: 510
The photo looks ok to me.

The moon is not an ideal test for lens sharpness. Atmospheric conditions can cause portions of the moon to come in and out of focus, or appear to wiggle. The full moon lacks contrast, too, except at the edges.

For photographic purposes, the entire moon is at infinity focus because it's so far away. Backfocus won't affect the edges and the center differently.
Forum: Photo Critique 6 Days Ago  
People The God Emperor of the Ring
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 6
Views: 1,080
I agree that the crowd adds context. Without the crowd it's just some guy posing in a costume.
Forum: Photo Critique 6 Days Ago  
Nature Stream Crossing
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 15
Views: 431
Well done. Excellent pose. You got this shot at just the right moment.

Only thing I can think of changing is toning down the bright reflections in the water. The highlight slider in any processing software should suffice.
Forum: Photo Critique 6 Days Ago  
Landscape Belvedere (Tuscany)
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 29
Views: 651
I really like what you did. Print it.

As someone else pointed out, there's a bright object near the center reflecting light. Tone that down before printing.

Possible dust spot at the top edge. It's near the upper-right around 1/10 of the way towards the upper-left corner. It's subtle and is easier to detect while scrolling vertically.
Forum: Photo Critique 6 Days Ago  
Nature Damselfly photobomb
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 16
Views: 297
I don't think there are competing subjects. For me, this is an insect photo; much of the flower is out of focus which is okay.

The green bud or other plant cut off at the left edge is a tiny distraction. Maybe crop a little off the left edge of the photo.

The tiny dark speck on the central flower is another distraction. It's a little below and left of center. It interrupts the smooth yellow and maybe clone out the speck.
Forum: Photo Critique 6 Days Ago  
Abstract abstract tubas
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 7
Views: 186
I think the saturation has been turned up too much. It looks okay in most of the reflections on the tuba bell. It becomes objectionable (to me, this is opinion) in the red hat near lower right, and in the fringing around highlights.

You used "abstract" in your title. To make this photo more of an abstract, making it less obvious what's causing the reflections, try cropping tighter. Hide the faces of the foreground musicians. You could try a crop from the the upper-right or upper-left of your original. I think the upper-right will work best because the people are reflected in an arc pattern, as opposed to the other corner that's more linear.
Forum: Ricoh GR 6 Days Ago  
I might buy my first GR but I have questions
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 4
Views: 342
No, I haven't used it for concerts because it's too wide for good shots from the audience. If I am close enough to the action to use the GR, I must be in the photo pit or backstage and authorized to bring a bigger camera ;)

I have the GR. Low light is okay, similar to the K-5 but with a bit more color noise. My understanding is that the GR II has the same sensor as the original GR and will have similar low light performance. I usually convert to B&W beyond ISO 1600.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 Days Ago  
Most Expensive Pentax Lens?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 20
Views: 931
Only Pentax brand, or anything in a Pentax mount?

The Sigma 200-500mm f2.8 (the "green whale") used to be listed as available for k-mount. Price was roughly $25,000. I have yet to see evidence that any were sold in k-mount.
Forum: General Photography 6 Days Ago  
Ratings and Reviews do you trust them and why?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 56
Views: 1,055
I trust reviews of different models within the same brand more than I trust comparisons between brands. Reviewers tend to be biased towards their normal brand - I picked Pentax because it works for me, so of course I know less about unique features that might be offered by other brands.

The text of a review can be as important as the measurements. Why did the reviewer like or dislike a camera's controls and menus? The Ricoh GR is an example of a camera that was unremarkable if I went by statistics like frames per second and maximum ISO. After using it for a few days, though, and configuring TAv and snap focus to my liking, it's a near perfect camera for street photography.
  • Pentax Forums is the best source when comparing Pentax models. Have you ever heard of them? ;)

  • dpreview.com used to be a good resource when they did more reviews. Now they are more of a blogging site, similar to petapixel. Part of that change is due to new ownership, part is due to a changed camera industry (due to smartphone pressure). Websites focused on making a profit need new content every day to attract advertising dollars.

  • LensTip.com - lens review, lenses reviews, lens specification - LensTip.com is my favorite lens review site. They routinely test lenses for coma distortion which is important to me as a night photographer. They are slow to review new Pentax lenses, though.

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