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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 Days Ago  
SOOC: a detrimental choice or beneficial?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 40
Views: 1,421
You can safely count me among them. Although I'd feel kinda stupid wearing an "I shoot RAW" T shirt at this point. :lol:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 Days Ago  
SOOC: a detrimental choice or beneficial?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 40
Views: 1,421
From the heady days of the digital camera boom, helping to bring that boom about in the first place, even our most advanced DSLRs have retained that potential to be shot in both ways, essentially like a point-and-shoot (with good-enough-and-ready-to-use JPEGs) and/or to the best possible standard and end result (which would usually mean RAW). The conjunction and/or is appropriate, since you can tell your camera to save both JPEGs and RAWs, giving you the best of both worlds, or just the JPEGs, or just the RAWs.

Therefore, do whatever suites you, both approaches are perfectly legit. You needn't even go for the extremes, there are quite comfy positions in many places between. However, do spare us the winging five, ten, fifteen years down the road from now, along the lines, "Gee, I so wish a had some nice DNGs from that day when my daughter was wed / when we went down to Bryce Canyon / when Rosa had her cute kittens / ... and could really make them sing!" If you had RAW deselected on that fateful day in the past, you're going to be left with JPEGs that have lost tons of all those beautiful data that the camera once captured, with all that entails. I'm well aware that JPEG engines and editing have become better in recent years, but guess what, advances in RAW editing have been at least as impressive. I guess I'm trying to say that the choices we make as photographers (like elsewhere in life) have consequences.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 5 Days Ago  
New K-3 III video from Ricoh: OVF face, eye and bird detection is coming.
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 185
Views: 17,474
K-3 III more and more looks like an instant classic to me. This is TIPA award-winning stuff (as if that mattered). The kind of camera that can make you fall in love with photography again, the guilty pleasure of the hybrid shooter whose bread-winning camera is an uber-MP-Mach 3-tracking Sony mirrorless. :lol:
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-22-2021, 12:21 PM  
All three FA Limiteds to be updated + K-1 Mark II J-Limited 01
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 350
Views: 19,387
Nothing wrong with augmenting new releases - sparse as they may seem - with small but meaningful refreshes of beloved classics in the K-mount line-up. With the K-3 III likely to replace my K-3 in the not too distant future, I will likely focus on adding to my budding collection of DA Limiteds, rather than spending the premium on the bigger FA Limiteds, but camera systems are about choice, and I appreciate Ricoh's efforts to give the FA Limiteds a new, even slightly improved lease of life. As others have noted, Ricoh could have just dropped them, which would have been a loss to the system.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-22-2021, 01:55 AM  
HD 77mm f/1.8 LTD!
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 75
Views: 4,051
A clever and cost-effective little move to help ensure that one of their most acclaimed lenses remains relevant and attractive enough for new generations of buyers. The strategy seems to have worked with the HD DA Limiteds to a reasonable extent, otherwise they wouldn't repeat it here. So, we may well see HD updates with the other FA Limiteds, too, I guess.
Forum: Pentax K-3 02-20-2021, 04:37 AM  
K-3 Mark III reviews in the Japanese press
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 49
Views: 5,347
Thanks indeed for sharing this, JPT. Sounds like the K-3 III will bring exactly the kind of meaningful improvements that I was hoping for. Frankly, I don't particularly care whether influencers X, Y, or Z will like the camera or not, as long as they remain fair and don't just lazily badmouth the brand.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-12-2021, 02:35 AM  
An interpretation of MTF charts
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 5
Views: 554
Interesting points made in this thread. I have my own history of bothering, or not bothering too much, about MTF charts. Back in the 1980s, when I started my photographic journey, I used to study the MTF charts in the test magazines almost religiously, and developed a reasonable skill of interpreting them, at least for my layman's purposes. Over time, I read about complicating factors like sample variation and, likely not before the onset of the digital era, of various kinds of misalignments (decentering, bad spacing, tilt). Robert Cicala definitely deserves a lot of credit for educating photographers in that respect, even if his pragmatic approach is probably lost on much of the gear-sniffing, measurebating DPR crowd out there. Most recently, he helped me to understand field curvature deeply enough to get more and renewed fun out of my DA15. I also learned what an advanced RAW converter can do to mitigate various shortcomings of lenses, and I learned to appreciate the importance of human sensory evaluation of lenses, and that my personal impressions and tastes were "valid" enough in their own right and actually mattered. And I learned to appreciate "character" in a lens's rendering, without falling into the other extreme of completely dismissing lab testing, MTFs, and the like, and putting up with just about any objective or subjective flaw in a lens.

When I was still in my "mostly-lab-test-led" phase, I probably wouldn't have touched a lens like the DA10-17 fisheye, which cannot exactly be said to excel in lab tests. I'm glad that I gave it a chance anyway, as it turned out to be one of the most fun lenses in my bag, and one that gives me images that I happen to like a lot. I kinda dig what its designers, among them the much-revered Jun Hirakawa, tried to and did achieve with it.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 01-25-2021, 10:25 AM  
Digital Camera Utility (DCU) 5.8.5 out and ready for download
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 3
Views: 1,106
Sorry for answering this late , but I think that's what the buttons "Copy parameters" and "Insert parameters" seem to be for. Actually, I use DxO products - PL4 and the Nik Collection 3 - for virtually all my processing and keep DCU only updated for specialties like Pixel Shift and in-camera HDR, of which my K-3 can only do the latter anyway. Besides, I have my language set to German, which means that I cannot be sure that the wording on the buttons is exactly as I described it. It would seem you need to select the image whose processing you want to copy, hit the button for copying those parameters, and then insert them in an extra step into the selected target image file or files.

Hope that helps (unless you have meanwhile found out on your own).
Forum: Pentax K-3 01-24-2021, 06:02 AM  
Excited about the K3mk3
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 19
Views: 1,550
Well, being excited about and wishing for new gear is not quite the same as saying you absolutely need it for a given job. Sure, with the right settings, technique, and coupled with the right lens, it is possible to pull off pretty decent action shots with the classic K-3. But the keeper rate could be higher, and if your subject is moving at anything more than a leisurely pace towards the camera (think, children or pets at play), it's getting kinda hard to achieve anything much that's critically in focus. (At least, that has been my experience, even if my screw-driven AF lenses were not particularly suited to the task.) For the pic of the dolphin, I prefocused my non-PLM 55-300 and otherwise waited till the animal changed its course to sideways, before I tracked it in a burst of several shots. If the K-3 III actually made this kind of shooting a little easier and more likely to produce in-focus results, that wouldn't be a mean feat, in my book.


Forum: Pentax K-3 01-23-2021, 03:30 PM  
Anyone planning to grow old with their K3?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 157
Views: 13,209
Since the March of 2017, when I posted to this thread, we have learned quite a bit about the upcoming K-3 III, and I must say Ricoh Imaging has convinced me that the new flagship should be compelling enough in what it will bring to my photography. I kinda dig why its designers are so proud of it, and you can sense that it goes beyond mere marketing blah. It would also seem that besides the nice touches they have so leisurely extolled in their product stories, they might have actually managed to pull off a marked improvement of their tracking AF. With a lens like the affordable 50-300 PLM, that beast might finally be a decent family action camera. Even at slightly less than D500-level performance, it would make a real difference. And I have come to accept that such an overall proposition must have its price tag. Therefore, a couple of months ago, I started putting aside a bit of money every week for the new camera, which I definitely want to get, be it this year or (more likely) next year, or even later.

Meanwhile, my trusty K-3 will serve me just as well as it has for the past 6+ years. It's been a hell of a camera, that's for sure. And with DxO PL4 on my computer, its output still looks decidedly gorgeous for a camera purchased back in 2014.

---------- Post added 01-23-21 at 11:46 PM ----------




Great idea, Larry. I've owned the smc version of that lens since 2012, but took a while really getting the hang of it. Over the last one or two years, this little gem has become one of the most essential tools in my kit, hands down. What a capable macro standard this is, absolutely love it.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-16-2021, 01:02 PM  
What is the purpose of the 15mm limited?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 210
Views: 10,173
Could it do better? If it was redesigned today, perhaps, though the laws of physics are still hard to beat. As for the price, that also pays for the adorable metal build, at least two kinds of specialty optical glass used, industry-leading coatings, a leather pouch, and whatnot. If I take all that together and the potential fun to be had in using it, plus a little profit for Ricoh Imaging, given that this lens is supposed to make them at least some money, I think the price is actually pretty reasonable. If a crop-shooting Pentaxian needs a corner-to-corner-sharp ultrawide, there's always the formidable DA*11-18 to be had. Actually, I wouldn't mind owning one of those, but so far I haven't been able to afford one ... :D
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-16-2021, 11:38 AM  
What is the purpose of the 15mm limited?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 210
Views: 10,173
Not trying to argue away that the DA15 may not be the sharpest-corners lens around, nor particularly suited to certain kinds of pictures, but when you shoot it to its advantage it will turn out those kinds of images it is admired for. Let's not forget that every lens design brings compromises, and there is some price to be paid for that compact form factor and easy portability, I guess.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-16-2021, 11:08 AM  
What is the purpose of the 15mm limited?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 210
Views: 10,173
Much of the oft-bemoaned corner softness of the DA15 is actually down to field curvature, which in the case of this lens means that the edges of the focal plane bend towards the photographer, particularly at wider distances. And that field curvature also affects lab test results of the lens, given that they use two-dimensional test targets. LensRental's Roger Cicala has written a quite illuminating series of articles on field curvature (published in his own blog and on DPR), stressing the influence of your framing decisions if you want to make the most of such a lens. That is, a good-copy DA15 may actually be plenty sharp in the corners, but at distances that will puzzle many users.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-11-2021, 01:09 PM  
What is the purpose of the 15mm limited?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 210
Views: 10,173
The smc DA15 Limited? My only wideangle lens, particularly since I passed on my 18-55 kit zoom to my wife. Actually it borders on ultrawide, but then again not so ultrawide that it would give you too pronounced volume deformations in the corners. The barrel distortion is only mild and not of the hard-to-correct and somewhat ugly "mustachio" type. It has a distinctly curved field, which makes it not the easiest lens to use when you want to achieve sharp corners.

Some of my most common usage scenarios for this lens:
  • emphasis of interesting foreground matter in its wider context

  • tight spaces and interiors

  • close landscapes

  • close reportage

  • "intimate" architecture

  • some interior-framing scenarios

  • dramatic backlit shots

  • images featuring sunbursts (smc version only)

Recent sample shots illustrating some of the above:







Forum: Pentax K-1 01-08-2021, 10:24 AM  
2 weeks old K-1 II user
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 10
Views: 996
The jokes aside, MossyRocks's beginner's guide to astrophotography may be of interest to you to get some first orientation:

A beginners guide to Astrophotography - PentaxForums.com

There also seems to be a forum group which you might want to join:

Astrophotography - PentaxForums.com

I haven't even tried my hand at astrophotography in any but the most superficial ways yet. The links I'm listing are among the hits of a quick for-giggles search here on the forums. I bet there's lots of useful information out there.
Forum: Pentax K-1 01-07-2021, 04:01 PM  
2 weeks old K-1 II user
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 10
Views: 996
Will readily admit that I came to this thread expecting to see and chuckle over a picture of a cute newborn wielding a flagship Pentax DSLR, but, alas, it wasn't meant to be ... :lol:
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-07-2021, 03:51 PM  
Pentax O-RC1 Remote Control
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 11
Views: 569
It is rare for me to recommend third-party over Pentax-branded accessories, but with its soldered battery, which basically renders it a disposable product, the O-RC1 Remote Control is a fail in the sustainability department, while still being priced like a responsible product.

In the light of this, and as someone who usually manages to keep small accessories dry, I have opted for a China-made cheapo alternative which is at least honest about the possible unsustainability involved in its production, as reflected in its dirt-cheap price:

IR Wireless Remote for Pentax and Samsung Cameras - JJC

For PF user reviews (including my own), look here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/accessoryreviews/jjc-rm-e7-remote-control.html

Does what it is supposed to do with my K-3, runs on a common replaceable battery, and is fun to use. I should mention that I also own and still occasionally use the original Pentax Remote F (whose battery could also be replaced if I employed a micro scroogie).
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 01-07-2021, 03:20 AM  
New half mirror OVF&EVF Hybrid Viewfinder patent
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 45
Views: 3,719
Fits with their reaffirmed commitment to further evolving existing DSLR technology. Patents like the one you digged up show that they are busy trying to do just what they announce, which should be a good thing.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 01-05-2021, 10:19 AM  
Albert Siegel | K-3 Mark III Hands-On
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 578
Views: 47,751
Sorry, just couldn't resist. I usually try to stay on topic. With its BSI sensor, Accelerator Unit and all, I wouldn't be surprised if the K-3 III gave us 1 or 2 stops more of perfectly usuable high-ISO room. (Mere speculation at this point, of course.)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 01-05-2021, 09:44 AM  
Albert Siegel | K-3 Mark III Hands-On
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 578
Views: 47,751
Exactly. Except that I'm usually happy with what I get with DeepPrime at the magic-wand default levels, so no need to unduly sacrifice detail at all IMO. All three shot with my K-3 at ISO 5000:







That said, can't wait to see what will be possible with the K-3 III in the high-ISO department ... :)
Forum: General Photography 01-05-2021, 02:17 AM  
K70 YouTube Channel?
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 6
Views: 706
Frankly, I doubt that such a thing exists. Pentax is too much of a niche brand nowadays for that to be likely. Besides, your criterion of someone using the K-70 exclusively strikes me as pretty strict. (Including video, which is clearly not the K-70's forte?)

Nor have I found it to be necessary for me to get useful advice and/or major inspiration from a channel if they are not shooting Pentax. After all, photography remains photography, and even technical advice can often be adapted from other brands to what you find on your Pentax. There also seem to be excellent ebooks which you can order on these forums, if you need something that goes beyond the manual.

If I had more time, I would recommend a selection of channels that I have found helpful over the years, but you write little about your actual needs and likes, so what I would come up with might be of little worth to you either. And here's another thing that I have found: The greatest learning tool remains the camera in your hands itself. Take it out, shoot it a lot, fail, analyse what went wrong, fail better, get better, have fun. I know it has worked for me.
Forum: General Photography 01-02-2021, 06:49 AM  
To All Here On The Forum
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 42
Views: 1,439
Appreciated, not just in these unusual times. Same wish to everyone here and to you in particular, Kerrowdown. Let's also renew our resolve not just to live long - as far as that can be influenced in the first place - but to make it count as well, to make a difference, even if it's mostly in the small things.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-02-2021, 04:53 AM  
Sweetgum seed pods on plain china
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 2
Views: 59
Taken during the first lockdown here in Germany in the spring, this image exemplifies the twist that my photography has taken in that unusual 2020. Among other things, I learned to be even more appreciative of the small, simple, almost mundane things found by the wayside, and of the less spectacular bits of nature in general. My wife had no small part in this particular subject, given that it was her who brought home the first sweetgum pods from a stroll with our dog - to try them for some closeups herself! Motivated by her efforts, and realizing how photogenic those little contraptions of the plant kingdom were up close, I went out to collect mine own and opted for a minimalist ambient-light setup utilizing our dining table, which receives a generous amount of light from the garden. The 35-mil Macro Limited was not just a natural pick for the task at hand, it was also a lens that I kind of rediscovered for its strong and versatile capabilities last year.

Check out a full-res version of the image here: https://needacreate.smugmug.com/Still-life/i-k3wqJkt/A
Forum: General Photography 01-01-2021, 09:10 AM  
2020, New Year thoughts, and photography...
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 14
Views: 843
Hey, no offence taken here. BTW, we Germans are a pretty quirky bunch in many respects, and there are uglier sides to our national character, to put it mildly. I could get more specific, but then we would soon enter the realm of politics, which these forums have been prudently kept free of, and therefore I'll not comment on the Boris vs. Angela swap either ... :D

Bummer, too, that you've lost your job. May you soon find a new one. That kind of thing can really wear people down; I know it would test my sanity.
Forum: General Photography 01-01-2021, 02:22 AM  
2020, New Year thoughts, and photography...
Posted By Madaboutpix
Replies: 14
Views: 843
Not so sure about your assessment of sentiment here in Germany, despite our (sadly, not altogether undeserved) reputation of habitual aloofness. While the German COVID-19 numbers may not look as bad as in America or in some other European countries, they look much less impressive internationally (think New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, even Japan by comparison), and the second wave has hit Germany hard enough to remind people of that. Vaccinations have started here, but there is a sense in some regions and states that the local governments could have done a better job of preparing for the second wave during the relative lull of the summer, and that the second lockdown came too late, and it has dawned on people that it will take substantial time till the vaccine will actually reach them.

But the main thing I wanted to say and do is to commend Mike for his elegant and touching post and wish everyone on these forums all of that goodness he mentioned. Looking back, both photographically and otherwise, 2020 could have been much worse under the circumstances than it turned out to be for me personally, and I feel lucky in that and am quite aware that others have fared less luckily.

And I'm grateful for the relative peace and freedom from harm and worry that I was able to enjoy during a stay in the Palatinate Forest in autumn, where this picture was taken:

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