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Forum: Pentax K-3 10-30-2013, 04:23 PM  
Received my K-3 today
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 97
Views: 17,372
The critical bit of information for me is: Does tracking autofocus work during video shoot? Focus on something, start shooting video, walk towards the thing you focused on, and observe whether it stays in focus or not. If it does stay in focus, this camera will do it for me!
Forum: Pentax K-5 08-13-2013, 04:16 PM  
K5 Interval Shooting - anyone using it?
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 43
Views: 14,004
The interval setting is overridden by exposure time. You cannot combine some settings. See the first post here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/143409-k-5-astrophotography.html
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-02-2013, 09:06 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
Those are stunning Snowy Egret shots!

Thanks for the keen eye. I had done the conversion in the camera. In Lightroom, I was able to get some detail, including the sunlight reflecting onto the bird. It was already close to the quantization limit and there's still some blown points. But there was much more than the original print. Here's what I got. Also, a shot taken a few seconds earlier, which also yielded some detail. I had been shooting manual exposure, and had forgotten how much shadows the K-5 can tolerate.


Forum: Lens Clubs 01-01-2013, 10:30 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
Snowy Egret hunting in the shallows. This is my best shot of this bird from this Sunday's outing.
K-5, Bigma at 500, 1/2000s, ISO800.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-20-2012, 11:04 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
Thanks, but it isn't letting me post there. Do I have to join a group first? Answer: yes.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-20-2012, 03:10 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
It fits! Non-breeding plumage, that's why I didn't see it at first.
Thanks!
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-20-2012, 01:49 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
Thanks for putting it into a more artistic (or journalistic?) perspective. I do tend to over stress over the technicals and let the composition slide. If this had been a UFO I was photographing, I would have been happy just to have gotten the shot. I should feel that way about any unposed, non still-life shot that conveys something. I couldn't toss that shot because of its being the exact moment I was seeking, and one other thing, the thing that gets me is the eyes. That bird has eyes that just say Madness. If that bird were 100 times its size, it would do well in a monster film, with eyes like those. (Hopefully slightly sharper focused...)

Here's the same bird, about 2 seconds later than the previous shot. With less motion, it's sharper, but maybe not as interesting. Here's where the Tamron just loses it, with the purple fringing in the water reflection, though. Same settings as previous shot, but heavily cropped.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-19-2012, 05:24 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
Thanks. But you can see what I mean. It's a mistake to set your lens for F/9 for sharpest picture, then shoot at 1/320th here. You can see some of the water droplets in motion, and their shape implies that 1/1000 or faster is mandatory for this kind of shot. Which the K-5 could easily have handled by going to ISO 800. I learned a lot from this one error. Next time I get a chance for a shot like this, I'll be ready.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-19-2012, 02:26 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
Wow, I love that one with the fish. I've spent many hours trying to get shots like that. Colors are great too.

The only shot I've ever gotten of the instant when a bird actually pulls a fish out of the water is this one, of a Snowy Egret several weeks ago, after following it around for over an hour. It's semi-ruined by blurring and some purple fringing but I plan to make an enlargement of it anyway someday. I could have improved the shot by upping the ISO and shutter speed, as I've been doing recently.
K-5 with Tamron 70-300mm at 300mm, handheld, F/9, 1/320th, ISO200. Cloudy-bright afternoon. Pentax Green Mode Jpeg straight from camera. (a different crop of this was crossposted a few weeks ago.)
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-19-2012, 02:06 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
Thanks. That's about my rate too, thank goodness for digital media. I find at least half of the throwaways are bad focus. I often wonder if this would be better if I were using a Canon or Nikon camera. Any opinion on that?

Thanks stormtech. Yes I wish everyone posted as much detailed exposure, lens, and conditions info as possible. That's why I do it.
Thanks 8540Tomg and Dane.Dawg.

Here's a mystery Sandpiper. Despite my online searching I can't pin down its species. It's larger than the Least Sandpiper (about 6 inches). Perhaps it's a juvenile.
K-5 with handheld Bigma, AF & ME, F/6 at 1/750th, ISO 800, heavy overcast afternoon. In-camera jpeg conversion from raw.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-17-2012, 12:22 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
Great one of the Fairy Wren, how many tries did it take before you got that one? I know how insanely fast those birds move and it more or less forces you to use a high shutter speed, and maybe burst mode too. And luck is a factor.

The smallest bird I've been chasing is these Least Sandpipers. They are like crazy fast little wind up toys which zip around at such a rate it's hard to get a decent focus without their already being elsewhere.
K-5 with Bigma at 500mm, 1/750th sec at F/6.7, ISO800, heavily overcast afternoon, at a breakwater lagoon near Moss Landing CA. Not a fine shot technically but it's the best I've managed so far of these little guys, they are approximately 4 inches long beak to tail.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-16-2012, 11:04 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
Great to see the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker. I've been working on the Sapsuckers too, without much luck, and so far this is the best shot I have, of a Red Breasted Sapsucker from quite a distance, at the top of a tree, taken on an overcast late afternoon last week. I'm hoping to improve on this shot, but it takes patience and a lot of time to get close enough to one of these fast-moving birds.
K-5 with Bigma.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-16-2012, 09:41 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
I love that shot of the Pipit.
Today despite the poor conditions (heavy overcast) I went out with the K-5 and Bigma, and found this male Brewer's Blackbird at water's edge catching small insects which I could not quite see from my distance, in the iceplant and succulent plants growing out of these rocks. For some reason the red and green coloration in the vegetation seems to make the shot sort of Christmas-y.
K-5, Bigma at 500mm, about 1/500s F/6.7, ISO 800, in poor lighting.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-11-2012, 04:47 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
Thanks. Got the Bigma yesterday. Testing it out. Here's a seal near my boat.
K-5 with Sigma 50-500mm at 500mm, handheld, F/6.7 at 1/1000, ISO 200, autofocus, cropped down about half, bright sun at midmorning.




Forum: Lens Clubs 12-07-2012, 12:44 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 31,419
Views: 2,913,765
I bought a Sigma 50-500mm Bigma, and will mostly be using it in an electric powered 8-foot dinghy in tidal waters on the central California coast. The uppermost thought in my mind is to protect the lens as best I can from the occasional droplet of salt water. Can someone tell me if the Lenscoat solution is effective in this respect? Or do I have to make something myself?

Just to insert some content, here's a shot of a Brown Pelican at sunset last weekend, using my Tamron 70--300, taken from same dinghy, using my K-5 in green mode, with a direct-from-camera Jpeg file, no postprocessing.

Forum: Sold Items 12-06-2012, 12:33 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Bigma 50-500, FA 50 1.4, Sigma 105 Macro, Fisheye, Large Tamrac Bag,Remote & Others!!
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 7
Views: 1,771
I'll take it! See my PM.
Forum: Pentax K-5 11-26-2012, 01:33 PM  
No more tests! just pictures
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 7,885
Views: 1,259,731
I followed this Snowy Egret around for almost an hour from my electric-powered 8-ft dinghy. It was hopping excitedly in the shallow water in a sand lagoon near the entrance to Moss Landing Harbor, grabbing minnows with a skill which amazed me. Shot was in "green mode" in my K-5 using my Tamron zoom at 300mm. Direct-from-camera JPEG format.

Forum: Pentax K-5 11-11-2012, 11:42 PM  
No more tests! just pictures
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 7,885
Views: 1,259,731
A Marbled Godwit (previously misidentified as a Curlew), taken from my electric dinghy this afternoon, using my K-5 and Tamron AF 300mm telephoto. This one was going for segmented worms hiding in the mud bottom.


Forum: Pentax K-5 07-07-2012, 11:35 AM  
K5 Interval Shooting - anyone using it?
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 43
Views: 14,004
I watched it and it looks fairly good already. The .5s shutter speed is good but could be longer. I think you just need a lot more shots. Start by deciding how long the view time of your final video should be. 20 seconds might be a good starting point. With a 24fps display speed, you want 480 shots, and if that's an 8 hour day your interval will need to be 1 minute. To accentuate the blur, increase your shutter speed to say 30s. You'll need a dark neutral density filter to permit that. Playback will then look smoother but moving objects will just be streaks of color. The longer your shutter is open, relative to the interval time, the less jumpy things will seem. The ultimate is having the shutter open almost 100%, but you'll have to experiment to get the interval you want then. For optimum settings, see my post here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/143409-k-5-astrophotography.html#post1497528 With DFS off, you could try shutter 30s and interval 32s, to get a 40 second play time, 960 frame video of an 8 hour timespan with minimum shutter closed time, but proper filter selection will be important.
Forum: Pentax K-5 03-31-2012, 05:07 AM  
I swear these things are indestructible.
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 72
Views: 12,994
For the other side of the story, one only needs to see what happens to a very expensive Canon with one tiny splash of water:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) PARTS OR REPAIR AS-IS (827514783812) | eBay
Forum: Pentax K-01 03-30-2012, 08:34 PM  
Pentax K-01 Camera Overview
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 20
Views: 20,685
Well, OK. It does depend on what you compare it against. However, I honestly still don't see a real continuity of style between the two cameras pictured. Fundamentals such as the nature of the curves and overall shape just seem too different for more than a very weak connection, in my eyes. And it's amazing how disturbing the candy apple red button can be to the overall esthetic.
Forum: Pentax K-01 03-29-2012, 11:05 PM  
Pentax K-01 Camera Overview
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 20
Views: 20,685
Well OK. It's taken me a long time to decide what to make of the K-01. I don't like the dismissive attitude that many have. Yet I cannot embrace the styling with any kind of enthusiasm. Technically, the camera is worthy. It is the only lens system compatible mirrorless camera with in-body image stabilization, and that's a big deal. The new focus outlining is a great feature, and the improved video functionality is welcome. But as a niche-filler, the camera is a mistake. That's because there is a crippling conflict between two facts here:

(1) The camera's features will appeal most to loyal Pentax fans and Pentax lens owners.
(2) Of all those who might want the camera, the camera's style will be least appealing to those who are loyal Pentax fans and Pentax lens owners.

So, it's an unsolvable dilemma. Sales will be poor.
Pentax can make mistakes. This is one. This is Pentax's "Edsel", the very fine Ford luxury car whose styling insulted its own target audience. What happened to Ford will unfortunately probably happen to Pentax, and the K-01 will become an interesting but short-lived aberration.
Forum: Pentax K-01 02-15-2012, 05:54 PM  
Pentax K-01 Camera Overview
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 20
Views: 20,685
Well, I should hope so!
Seriously, did you mean K-5?
Forum: Pentax K-5 02-07-2012, 01:29 AM  
No more tests! just pictures
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 7,885
Views: 1,259,731
Finally, I had a chance to do try out some subtle and not-so-subtle HDR processing.
Diner in Columbia, SC in late afternoon. Three-shot 1.5ev HDR, K-5 with Pentax SMC-DAL 18-55mm at F/4, 1/20th S, ISO 800.


The Cockabooses. HDR provided the gradient necessary to keep the sides of the cars evenly lit. K-5 3-shot, F/8, 1/1000S, 18mm Pentax 18-55mm SMC-DAL lens.


Library of the SC State Capitol looking west at midday. Same lens, F/4.5 at 1/25S, 3 shots at 1.5ev steps, HDR & B/W convert.
Forum: Pentax K-5 02-05-2012, 07:58 PM  
Microphone with K-5
Posted By Skymist
Replies: 44
Views: 20,374
I verified it: without a microphone attached, the K-5 makes a monaural file. Connect a stereo source to the mic-in and it makes a stereo file.
So, you will not be able to append files using most software (such as MKVmerge) unless they are all mono or stereo, or you do a conversion first. I don't think the savings in file size is balanced by the inconvenience.
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