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Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 15 Hours Ago  
Accessories for DSLR newbie
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 49
Views: 1,550
I think Faststone is excellent and I use it frequently, but it has two fundamental flaws for me:

1. I can't get the dynamic range out of its raw conversion that I can from my ancient Photoshop Elements, or On1, or... really any of the commercial programs. I know there are differences in things like highlight recovery capability between those commercial programs too but for me they are all in one category and Faststone another. That doesn't matter for a very low-contrast image, but lots of my images just barely squeeze into the histogram.

2. It doesn't have selection feathering, which is a fatal flaw for editing.

Otherwise, it's amazing for browsing and previewing. Maybe an expert would find flaws with color or lighting adjustments, sharpening, etc. but to me it seems like it does a good job with those, along with cropping and resizing and other editing functions.

---------- Post added 10-23-2020 at 09:52 PM ----------

I'd second the suggestion for batteries, but also suggest at least a couple of inexpensive travel chargers. I don't keep one in my camera bag because I want it as small and light as possible, but I keep one in both pieces of luggage I usually take on trips. That way I don't have to remember to pack one that I use at home. And if I leave one at a hotel ... I still have another one left. One thing about owning a Pentax vs. a more popular brand is that if you ever lose/forget something model-specific like a charger, you probably won't find one you can buy anywhere. And sometimes you'll find that having something shipped to you when traveling is problematic due to retailer security concerns - I've experienced that when I left a tripod QR plate behind (not a common Arca plate.)
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 6 Days Ago  
Pentax Prime Day Deals - 25% off K-1 II, K-70, GR III, 70-200mm, 55-300mm and more
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 25
Views: 2,866
Yes, I see that now. It seems the 25% includes the normal 5% you always receive for using the card, so actually 20% additional.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 10-15-2020, 03:00 PM  
Pentax Prime Day Deals - 25% off K-1 II, K-70, GR III, 70-200mm, 55-300mm and more
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 25
Views: 2,866
I thought the discount was for the Prime Store Card, not the Prime (Chase) Visa...? But I'm not buying anything that I know of so I haven't looked into it.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-07-2020, 08:46 PM  
Recommended Filter
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 31
Views: 1,180
I'm not sure what other people's experiences are but the newest filter (and lens, I'm sure) coatings do seem easier to clean than some older coatings - less likely to smudge and streak. However assuming you have the OEM hood for your lens, it's pretty deep, making it less likely you'll need to clean a filter than on a wide-angle, for example.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-07-2020, 08:37 AM  
New Pentax KP vs. used Nikon D800
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 60
Views: 2,623
In fairness most 50/2.8 macros provide extremely good optical performance and aren't expensive. You can probably find minor differences, bokeh etc., but among all lenses this would be the least one I'd be concerned about replacing in any mount.

---------- Post added 10-07-2020 at 08:55 AM ----------


I have the 16-85mm and it's a good lens, although the image shifting when you touch the focus ring is annoying (and widely reported here.) Occasionally the AF seems to go out to lunch (on my various bodies, so not a body issue), but less often than when it was newer. It took me a lot of tries to get a copy as good as the one I have (centering is still not quite perfect), but the same can be said for other brands of lenses too. I have the older 55-300 and again if you can find a good one it's a good lens, but probably not unique. The PLM is reportedly better in most respects so would probably be your choice - and mine if it worked on my bodies. Ironically when I first decided on Pentax for digital, the 16-45 was a big factor, being somewhat unique at the time to Pentax, so I do understand the reasoning of choosing based on some specific lens selectons.

An overwhelming issue here is size and weight of equipment - it's not like you're comparing like systems, unless maybe you opt for higher-end lenses.

The other issue is that today with Nikon you have a vast selection of modern third party lenses, including some excellent ones, that you don't with Pentax. Third party lens support for Pentax has deteriorated since I decided on Pentax, and would be a factor for me today.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-09-2020, 10:35 AM  
Landscape lens question
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 26
Views: 1,698
It's not so much about the camera being too big. You're in a group of maybe 15-20 people, walking from one site to another, stopping for a few minutes at each one. Often you're trying to get close enough to the guide to hear and maybe ask questions. There is no time between sites: even when you're walking from one to another, the guide is still narrating. I find myself either ignoring the narration or trying (but usually failing) to take more serious photographs. I don't think it's possible to multitask effectively: looking for compositions and lighting etc. while trying to listen to the history etc. One or the other suffers. And I don't want to be "that guy" who's always lagging behind when everybody else is ready to move on - it's not fair to the rest of the group.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-08-2020, 08:22 PM  
Landscape lens question
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 26
Views: 1,698
Just my opinion but historic city tours are the place for a phone or small pocketable superzoom camera and not a dslr. There just isn't enough time to take advantage of the dslr and you miss too much of the experience, plus there are usually too many other people obstructing the subject. You can sometimes go back later on your own for more extensive photography.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-02-2020, 05:07 PM  
D FA 24-70 2.8 question
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 19
Views: 1,097
I would have thought so too, but not since being introduced to the digital Pentax era with the 16-45mm. Now I assume all lenses are poorly designed, regardless of price.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-02-2020, 07:57 AM  
D FA 24-70 2.8 question
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 19
Views: 1,097
I don't understand why noticeable play in any lens control - or the notorious barrel wobble so common today - is "normal."
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-15-2020, 11:54 AM  
New APS-C is
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 1,045
Views: 71,372
The problem with using a smartphone is that you need an accessory (an articulating arm) to hold the phone unless the camera is tripod-mounted.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-08-2020, 07:13 AM  
Pentax DA-L 1:4-5. 55-300mm ED - upgrade
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 34
Views: 1,778
The PLM is not an option for me since I have a K-5. The 60-250 is noticable better than the older 55-300s, but not the fastest focusing (and much bigger and heavier.)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-04-2020, 04:50 PM  
Is Pentax DA* 60-250 mm f/4 a good landscape MANUAL telephoto lens?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 17
Views: 1,061
The 70-210 was not available at the time I rented and eventually bought a 60-250. I would also prefer a 70-210 today, except that as far as I know the 70-210 is also not compatible with my newest cameras, all K5 models. Of course the extra range on the 60-250 is also an advantage. Overall I'd probably prefer a wider range with slightly more modest variable aperture, but with the performance of the 60-250.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-04-2020, 09:40 AM  
Is Pentax DA* 60-250 mm f/4 a good landscape MANUAL telephoto lens?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 17
Views: 1,061
I rented a 60-250. Intially upon unboxing SDM didn't work, but neither did manual focus. I could turn the focus ring but nothing happened. SDM came back on its own and worked for the rest of the 3-day rental (manual focus worked too.)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-15-2020, 08:42 AM  
Vintage landscape lens recommendations
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 37
Views: 1,945
My suggestion is to diagnose the problem with your existing situation. The 18-55 (I assume the original metal-mount version that I have) should not be that bad a lens, but like all lenses there can be bad copies. I would post some full-res images (hosted elsewhere probably - not on the forum necessarily) at f8 or f11, but first check the corners to make sure they're all the same. Post the exif so people can see somewhat what you're doing. The photos have to be of a nature to show the problem you're experiencing. Brick walls are good, but not if you're only experiencing problems at more "landscape" distances, and are happy with your brick walls photos. Also what are you comparing your results against? Remember you have 16mp and and AA filter you're shooting through. You're going to have to sharpen the images to compensate for the filter at least. I have used primes and zooms and if you have a good copy of a fairly good lens, I don't think you're going to get disappointing results unless maybe you compare to a 50/60mp body and some serious glass - and you just aren't going to get to that level no matter what you do with what you have.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-15-2020, 05:36 AM  
John J Bloomfield's subjective review of D FA* 70-200 f2.8.
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 18
Views: 1,449
That is an excellent point. Lots of my (mostly 135mm actually) action photos were a little off, but absolutely when AF loses lock, you can end up at the other extreme of the focusing scale in a short time (or with some lenses, a long time.)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-08-2020, 04:44 PM  
John J Bloomfield's subjective review of D FA* 70-200 f2.8.
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 18
Views: 1,449
Well, shimming and trivial don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. But even with full-frame 35mm screens (I had microprisms and split image both on various bodies), focus for 200mm on action was entirely hit or miss, and K5 with Katzeye was not better than good 35mm finders and screens. And practice with film was too expensive for ordinary purposes. Some things are simply a matter of ability - some people ruin a clutch or two learning to drive stick shift; some don't.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-07-2020, 08:12 PM  
Pentax K-70 soft image issues
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 7
Views: 1,003
I would check your camera/lens for front-focus or back-focus with a static subject.
Forum: Visitors' Center 04-07-2020, 10:46 AM  
Help
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 5
Views: 1,147
I don't think anybody knows what "Pentax User group" is.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-06-2020, 07:38 AM  
John J Bloomfield's subjective review of D FA* 70-200 f2.8.
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 18
Views: 1,449
Grandpa here. I had a Spotmatic and 200/4 SMC Takumar back in the day. Most of those (fast action) pictures at f4 were out of focus, and that got expensive, so pretty quickly I stopped taking them. Thus the affinity for rocks and trees that continues to this day. And that was with a 35mm viewfinder. With my K5 viewfinder? Not a chance.

On the other hand, 200mm at f2.8 isn't trivial for an electric motor, either.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-05-2020, 02:46 PM  
16-50: Bad Idea?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 80
Views: 3,162
Except the main value of having the warranty is Pentax's SDM
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-05-2020, 01:26 PM  
16-50: Bad Idea?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 80
Views: 3,162
For a roughly a similar price you could get a slighly used 17-70 Sigma, which - if you get a good copy - by virtually all accounts would perform better than the Pentax. Still not WR of course. Or a 17-50 Sigma that would - again assuming a good copy - outperform the Pentax equivalent, but also without WR.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-05-2020, 10:26 AM  
Advice on Taking Portraits with K10D
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 25
Views: 1,223
Have these bodies and lenses in question ever been tested in a somewhat controlled environment?

Until recently I had been getting not-quite sharp pictures of some subjects with my K5 and 60-250. But only occasionally. Finally I took the required hundreds of test photos and determined that the lens was just not autofocusing correctly at some combinations of focal length and subject distance - and that was repeatable. My K5ii - no issues that I could find. The difference was remarkable, although the AF hardware is completely different so maybe not surprising.

With regards to the photos just posted above, I think you have to say something about each one - what it's supposed to illustrate, and what you were trying to focus on. The results don't seem out of context for the situations. Some of the situations are ones where AF is unlikely to do what you want. The last photo is confusing in that nothing seems to be in focus. And it's missing by a lot, beyond traditional focus adjustment ranges of newer bodies (without using debug mode.)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-05-2020, 08:37 AM  
Anyone else miss the K200D?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 1,009
Views: 170,284
Did you mean that the other way around?
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 03-31-2020, 02:04 PM  
KEH - 15% off select items on sale
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 2
Views: 498
Interesting, when I tried the code it gave me a $.01 discount - I guess on a non-featured product?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-31-2020, 09:33 AM  
SMC DA* 16-50 vs HD DA 16-85
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 24
Views: 2,251
I would have preferred that 70mm but they are much harder to come by and more expensive generally. And of course WR would be nice and so too would be a bayonet hood. I took some photos recently with the 50mm with some OOF areas and I should check to see how they look, I honestly don't think I've paid much attention but now that you mention it, I should.
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