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Forum: General Photography 05-07-2019, 12:13 PM  
Local Canadian source for JIS screwdrivers - Canadian Tire
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 10
Views: 521
I don't know what the quality or warranty is like on those tools, but if you're looking for a reputable alternative with a lifetime warranty that is easy to order online, I'd recommend the Ifixit Mako driver set. They're commonly referred to a the "best value" tools for those looking to buy tools for-life at a decent price.
They have a Canadian website with prices in CAD, however with added shipping costs, but if you have Amazon Prime you can buy the same sets for a slightly higher base price and no added shipping. If you wait for sales though, the website usually has limited quantities of bundled items at a really good price.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-30-2019, 01:35 PM  
Which AF Microadjustment do you use, by camera and lens ?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 18
Views: 1,062
I have a Pentax KP.
DA 15mm ltd: +4
DA 21mm ltd: -3
DA 35mm: -4
DFA 100mm WR: +1
DA 18-55mm: +4
M 50mm f1.7: -10 (maybe needs 11)
M 75-150mm: -8
M 200mm f4: -8
Vivitar (Komine) 28mm f2: +2

You can see there's a pretty wide range of adjustments, with the M series glass consistently front focusing.
I'm still a bit unsure about the 15mm's adjustment, but it's at least pretty close. My testing method was kinda messy, but I wanted the results to somewhat match real-world usage, and all the values have held up perfectly so far.
Forum: General Photography 04-19-2019, 07:50 AM  
Engadget on SLR vs Mirrorless
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 11
Views: 894
I just hope Pentax is keeping a close enough eye on EVFs so that when the time does come, they will be ready with an option for a k-mount EVF (or hybrid VF) camera. Pentax clearly wants to support OVFs all the way, but if EVFs ever get so good that even OVF purists (like me) will strongly consider adopting a MILC, then Pentax had better be ready with a compelling compromise.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-19-2019, 07:33 AM  
Figuring out what to do with my mirror lens.
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 17
Views: 1,146
I love my Sigma 600mm f8. I picked it up earlier this year, and while I didn't have much use for it in the winter, now that I can head outside in relative warmth I find that I have no trouble at all finding subjects. The talk about Pictorialism higher up interested me because I hadn't considered if there was ever a really movement in the type of photography I like, but it saddens me to know that there's now a widely held belief that absolute sharpness is so important for a good photograph. For me, it's nice to have a lens where sharpness is practically not a variable at all, so you can focus purely on composition and subject matter. A little bit of local contrast boosting or dehazing is really all you need to process a mirror lens photo, and that's partly because of atmosphere anyway, which would be an issue with a great refractive lens too.

My advice is to just go for a walk with the lens and a tripod, and take it slowly. Look for small or distant things and see how it looks framed in live view. The field of view at these high focal lengths is so vastly different from our eyesight, that I find it's actually difficult not to find an interesting perspective. Focus in on your subject, let the DoF do its thing, and don't expect technical perfection. I think it's a lot of fun.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-17-2019, 12:48 PM  
Inconsistant sharpness from my K5iis and 21mm limited
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 12
Views: 857
I also occasionally had issues with my 21mm rendering softer than expected, but it turned out to be a combination of a few errors, some on my part.

First of all, I also found my copy to be front focused, so I eventually found an adjustment of -3 to be accurate. The issues on my part were mostly to do with unfair pixel peeping, but also that the reason why I didn't AF adjust sooner is because I had always heard that f/8 at 21mm had practically infinite DoF, and I figured any small adjustment would make no difference. Well, that certainly isn't true with 24 megapixels on a crop sensor, so now I use the more accurate "single point AF", and I'm more careful about manually focusing to the hyperfocal distance. All that, in conjunction with my AF adjustment, means I don't get any front focusing anymore.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-14-2019, 01:46 PM  
ISO Window Counter
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 13
Views: 585
Off the top of my head, could it be the count for space left on the sd card? I never pay much attention to the unimportant information in the viewfinder, but I think that counter just estimates how many more images you can fit based on the file type you're using, and every time you reset the camera it reestimates the count, but it might be capped at an upper limit of 1394.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-10-2019, 02:16 PM  
How do I meter after setting up back button focus?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 28
Views: 1,244
Are you sure you're pressing it down enough? Did you turn off metering by accident? By default on the KP, metering is set to be active for 3 seconds on half-shutter press, even if back button focusing is used. I assume the K70 should be identical.
Forum: Pentax KP 04-05-2019, 05:58 PM  
What lenses do you use on your KP?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 26
Views: 1,763
Obviously, the Limiteds are the perfect companions to the KP, but in the absence of certain focal lengths (or the absence of enough money to buy them), I've been going with any of the most compact primes I can find.

So far, the SMC 21 is my only limited, though I'd like to get the 15, 35, 43, and 70 eventually, but until then I've rounded out my range with the M 50mm f1.7, DA 35mm f2.4, DFA 100mm f2.8 WR, M 75-150mm f4, M 200mm f4, the Vivitar (Komine) 28mm f2, and the Sigma 600mm f8 mirror lens [and a couple of cheap kit zooms for backup].

As you can see, mostly vintage, mostly M series (great companions to KP), mostly slow apertures, and mostly sacrificing sharpness for compactness. My main rule for choosing lenses is to not take anything with a filter thread diameter larger than 52mm, except in cases where I wouldn't use filters anyway. It's kinda arbitrary, but it keeps filter costs down, lens weight down, allows full-frame lenses to work with filters on my Super Program, and I also just like the look of lenses that taper down rather than open up past the lens base.
Forum: Pentax K-3 03-31-2019, 09:51 AM  
K3ii Sharpness issue
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 19
Views: 1,270
You wouldn't happen to be in southern Ontario (more specifically the GTA), would you? I only ask because I was just out in my backyard where I also took a picture of a red cardinal (with my 100mm WR). I'm sure there's a large area of the continent with this current weather and species of tree, but this honestly looks like it could have been taken from my own backyard, and I've had plenty of similar cases where I correctly guessed the location of a shot just because of a subconscious recognition of foliage/brickwork/etc...

Anyway, I have to agree that this looks like it was taken through a window, due to the glare on the right side of the image. Focus may be off very slightly, but even the sharpness of the sharpest point in the image isn't as good as you'd expect from that lens, but it's hard to tell from a jpeg. The way to troubleshoot an issue like this is to make test shots in a more controlled environment, both with and without the teleconverter, no filters or glass, electronic shutter, and ideally without any temperature differential between the lens and subject. Manually focus those test shots with live view, focus peaking, and zoomed to 100% to ensure focus is correct, and once you've ensured the image quality is good, don't forget to calibrate your AF micro adjustment for the lens (both with and without the TC).

Edit: I see you've mentioned that it was probably temperature differential from shooting out the door... Still won't hurt to check focus calibration with the TC if you haven't already.
Forum: Pentax KP 03-27-2019, 02:19 PM  
Pentax KP crashing issues?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 9
Views: 947
Is it not? Sun Camera confirmed to me that Amazon were an authorised dealer, and my repair was free.

I think the list of authorised dealers in Canada may he out of date, since I didn't see Amazon listed, but I can confirm here for future readers that Pentax purchases through "" (in my case, meaning Amazon proper, not one of the other resellers through Amazon) will have their warranty honoured by Pentax/Sun Camera.
Forum: Pentax KP 03-26-2019, 05:58 PM  
Pentax KP crashing issues?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 9
Views: 947
Today I received my KP back from Sun Camera. Email communication was not their strong point as they told me nothing more than to wait another week, every week for 2 weeks after the initial 2 weeks I was to wait. To be fair, the intermittent issue obviously made it hard to troubleshoot, and I was actually led to believe that I was simply waiting for the diagnosis, but actually since the camera was returned today fully repaired the whole process was actually faster than I had expected.

The summary of the work done is that they performed a CLA, and replaced the main PCB, so they effectively swapped out the computer component. This is pretty much what I had anticipated would be done, since it's the most logical and economical repair attempt when no physical fault can be found.

By most account, Sun Camera seems to do very good work, though reviews seem to agree that communication can be lacking, but I trust that they know what they are doing. We'll have to wait and see if the issue ever crops again, but hopefully this will be the end of my KP troubles.
Forum: Pentax K-70 03-09-2019, 10:35 AM  
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 11
Views: 708
Ah, I see. It could be that the position of the strap lug causes the strap to sit an an awkward angle. I had this issue with the KP, where it was even more prominent because of the strap lug sits quite far back, and the shutter release button is on the top plate rather than on the grip. I found that you can adjust the angle of the strap by rotating the quick release plate in 45 degrees increments, or moving the strap connection to a different lug on the plate.

Maybe this is already to much of a compromise to be helpful for you, but in my configuration, my strap is sort of tilted back, so my hand can firmly grasp the grip and reach the top controls, and my pinky rests on the plastic buckle of the strap. It's not the tightest feeling, but it is secure without being restrictive.
Forum: Pentax K-70 03-06-2019, 01:51 PM  
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 11
Views: 708
I don't think there's much you can do other than buy a bigger camera, or one with a battery grip.

What handstrap did you use? Perhaps a different one would feel more comfortable without being too tight.

I use the Peak Design Clutch, which is comfortable and easy to adjust, and though I don't have particularly large or small hands, I'm finding that there is plenty of slack to adjust tightness in either direction.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-03-2019, 05:02 PM  
The new APS-C silhouette speculation thread
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 93
Views: 4,946
Yeah, I guess what I was describing was a "D500 killer", but with the body of the D5. I don't know how useful portait orientation is for wildlife or sports, but from what I'm hearing I'm expecting something surprisingly different from Pentax's usual offerings. This would certainly be surprising.

I'm not really interested in what I was describing either, but if I'm trying to extrapolate anything from the statements already made by Pentax, and if I try to combine that with my expectation of what Pentax would need to do in order to compete in the marketplace, I think my proposed "K3iii" is quite plausible. Personally the KP is perfect for me, but if something were to exist between it and the K1, I think it would need to fill a niche not currently occupied by anything in the lineup, in order to justify its existence.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-03-2019, 01:24 PM  
The new APS-C silhouette speculation thread
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 93
Views: 4,946
In all likelihood, I think if the silhouette is seriously important, then it's probably a built-in battery grip, like the Nikon D5.

With the K1 being Pentax's flagship DSLR, and the KP being an excellent but affordable alternative, the next pro aps-c dslr needs to have a special focus to differentiate it from its predecessors.

I think the K3iii could probably have a much higher burst rate, maybe even a slightly lower resolution than the KP (20 mp?), several card slots and audio/video out ports, a significantly improved AF system, shake reduction, and possibly even a focus on video capabilities and live view features.

Those would all be features that would clearly separate the intended professional usage of the K3iii from the K1, rather than just making it a crop-sensor K1 clone, but it would require a larger camera body. However, Olympus's take on a giant crop sensor camera didn't go down so well, so maybe Pentax ought to try a different approach.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-21-2019, 02:47 PM  
Free negative sleeves
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 4
Views: 456
I just went through the process of trying to order these neg sleeves. Funnily enough, I nearly ordered the wrong kind of sleeves and binders several times, but finally settled on these exact same sleeves (100 pack) and a ringless binder.
It took a while for me to come around, but I think I prefer being able to fit a whole 36 roll into one sleeve over the ability to flick through pages.
I'm located in Canada, but if any other Canadians here are looking for sleeves, I found B&H to be cheaper than any Canadian stores, even with the cost of shipping (Print File sleeves are duty free).
Forum: Pentax KP 02-19-2019, 04:36 PM  
Pentax KP crashing issues?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 9
Views: 947
So, I've just been informed by Sun Camera that is an authorised dealer (though I can't find any mention in either the US or Canada Ricoh Authorised Dealers lists.), and they will honour the warranty. The email was very specific and clear, so I don't feel like there could be any error in their intention or in my comprehension.

However, I don't know if the warranty in play is the international one or the Canadian one. I would guess that it's the Canadian one, since was specified, rather than Amazon as an international entity, and also because I believe the 2-year Canadian warranty is the result of a law that may require the product sold in Canada to have a warranty of that length. Either way, I purchased the camera last March, though the exact date may vary depending on which point of the process they start counting from, but I should still have at least a week to bring it in.

The camera itself seems to be functioning normally again, but since this issue has already popped up a few times (with worse symptoms each time), and clearly is not an intended or commonly documented error, I will still bring it in in the hope that I won't have to ever worry about it again. In all other aspects the KP is an amazing camera, and I was hoping that it would last me a reasonably long time.
Forum: Pentax KP 02-18-2019, 04:38 PM  
Pentax KP crashing issues?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 9
Views: 947
When I bought the KP, it was at a very good price, perhaps an indicator that it wasn't made through an authorised channel. I hope for my sake that isn't the case, because otherwise Amazon should be on the hook for their misleading store pages (which I've heard many complaints about).
As for the potential voltage issue, I think that may be part of the issue.

Today, the problem only started occuring right after I had switched from a depleted DSTE battery to the fresh OEM battery, and now that I've waited a few hours, the camera appears to be functioning normally again. However, the consistent symptoms and unreliability obviously indicate a real issue in the hardware, though I'm still unclear as to what the triggers are, since the previous times I had the issue were before I even had non-OEM batteries.

I will still try to ascertain whether I am eligible for free repair service, though if not, I will at least try to make use of my camera until it completely gives up the ghost. When I finally do get it checked and serviced, I will report the diagnosis here so that the information will be publicly available.
Forum: Pentax KP 02-18-2019, 01:05 PM  
Pentax KP crashing issues?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 9
Views: 947
Hi, I purchased a Pentax KP nearly an entire year ago, and though I love the camera and have since expanded my Pentax collection, one issue that I found with the camera is that it would occasionally (rarely) start up with a blank screen covered with random coloured boxes. The first time this happened was only a few months after I received it, but turning it off and on again had it back to normal. The next time was in the summer, on quite a hot day (for Toronto), where it would occasionally boot with the same problem whenever it seemed to "overheat" (I don't shoot video, but I'm not aware of what the upper temperature limits normally are on a DSLR.)

Since that day, I hadn't had any issues with the camera, until today, when I started the process of calibrating my AF Fine Adjustments. Just as I was finishing up with the fourth lens, the issue came up again, but this time the next boot would reset all my settings to factory defaults, and the issue would occur again every second time I boot it up. I've also noticed that the occurrence of the event seems to be triggered once I've adjusted any of the settings, since it doesn't seem to happen if I leave all settings in their default states (at least not in the short time I've been experimenting with variable conditions).

So now I've got a camera that is no longer reliably working, and I can't narrow down any action on my part that could have caused the problem (no physical damage or wear from bad weather, and the issue started while it was still new). I'm currently using firmware 1.10, though it was still on version 1.00 when I first received it.

So, now I'm looking into repair options. I've inquired with Sun Camera, since they are the local Pentax-authorised repair centre, and are fairly close-by, but today is a holiday so I will need to wait for an answer. I'm also concerned about the fact that I purchased the camera from, as I've heard conflicting reports of whether warranties on Pentax products purchased through Amazon are valid. I really hope that I can receive a warranty repair, because I find it worrying that a company known for their durability (one of the major selling points for me), would have such an issue after less than a year of gentle use.

Has anyone else experienced such an issue before? Does anyone have experience with Sun Camera for KP repairs? And finally, does anyone here know definitively if the Amazon-purchased product warranty is valid?
Forum: General Photography 01-19-2019, 08:51 PM  
Opinion on Colorization of old B&W photos or films
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 25
Views: 1,140
Ramsey, in the case of They Shall Not Grow Old, the purpose of the restorations was to provide context and perspective to modern generations who misinterpret black & white photography as "ancient history".

For fine art, clearly there is no reason to recolour black and white photographs because it destroys the artist's intent when they originally created the image with the palette in mind.

However, with historical documentarian photography (particularly war footage), artistic expression was probably not the focus of the photographer, and black and white film was likely not a choice of creativity as much as a practical necessity. Colourising and restoring this footage can be a valuable tool to provide education to future generations, so that history is not forgotten or trivialised, as the title of the film suggests. For this film in particular, Peter Jackson and his team have been using actual WW1 artifacts like uniforms and weapons, as reference to recreate the appearance and sound of the war as accurately as possible, it truly was an immense undertaking.

Of course, for archival purposes the original black and white negatives should be preserved and shared as well, but it isn't as effective at making the time period seem connected to our current reality.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 12-15-2018, 09:35 AM  
What cataloguing software to use
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 8
Views: 809
I believe Digikam works exactly as you'd want it.

I use Rawtherapee rather than Digikam, so I can't actually see my Digikam ratings from Rawtherapee (they use different sidecar formats), but I'm pretty sure Digikam and Darktable are compatible when it comes to tags.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 11-02-2018, 11:48 AM  
Esme and Jack
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 17
Views: 308
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 11-02-2018, 11:48 AM  
Dining forks
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 46
Views: 586
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 11-02-2018, 11:47 AM  
Smooth as Glass
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 6
Views: 188
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 11-02-2018, 11:44 AM  
Strangers on a bridge
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 4
Views: 131
I would like to nominate this photo
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