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Forum: General Talk 14 Hours Ago  
Help! I've run out of opinions!
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 42
Views: 423
You can always try arguing.

You Tube

Forum: General Photography 1 Day Ago  
What gear would you pack for a zombie apocalypse?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 44
Views: 720
I would take something with a high frame rate so I could get action shots of the rest of you all being eaten alive.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 2 Days Ago  
Ricoh P 50mm f1.4 on film?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 5
Views: 261
I have this lens but never shot it on film. I had it on a crop camera and I never really gave it a go to be honest. I wasn't in that phase of learning yet I guess (IE manual glass).

I bought the lens several years ago and it went largely unused for quite some time... then I put it on my K-1 and wow. I was impressed. It's now among my favorite lenses. When I parsed down my GAS kit, that one stayed.

I don't have any comment about the use on film. Not my forte. That said if it works like it does on the K-1 you can expect nice things.

Shoot some pics with it and let us know. I bought the lens kind of 'blind' more or less on a whim with even less reviews than before and I have been more than pleased with it.
Forum: Sold Items 3 Days Ago  
For Sale - Sold: Ricoh Rikenon "P" 50mm f/1.4 lens - near mint
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 4
Views: 324
I have this lens. It's my only manual focus lens. I absolutely love this lens. Stellar performer, at least my copy is. Your price is is insane. I bought mine for $100 but that included a certificate of a professional CLA that was just done like a month before I got it.

Definitely worth it for a good, better than 'good' manual focus lens. Particularly on FF it's now one of my favorite lenses.

Shot below was taken wide open with my copy of this lens on a K-1.

---------- Post added 08-17-18 at 01:24 AM ----------

No offense but you're crazy for selling this lens. :D
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 4 Days Ago  
Fun thread: If you were given $5,000 to spend...
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 106
Views: 1,981
I would order the 15-30, the new 50mm, and the DFA 70-200. Then I would order a DFA 100mm macro. Then maybe another K-1 body, because who likes to swap lenses right?
Forum: General Photography 6 Days Ago  
How do you get out of a slump
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 76
Views: 1,472
I am sort of in a 'slump' myself.

There is nothing wrong with taking a break.

I also definitely think doing things that are against your normal habits help. Turn your camera on full manual mode and get a full manual lens and pretend like it's 1975. You only have 10 shots that you can take all day long. You have to count them. You will find you do more observing than snapping and that helps.

Doing other stuff like macro and all that helps a lot too.

My current slump is caused by external stuff. Job, or rather lack of job, taking care of an ill parent, trying to get back out on my feet, etc etc. It's also so stifling hot outside that going outdoors almost kills me. It was 109 degrees the other day.

You know another thing you can try... it may sound weird but go to the store and buy a puzzle. Get something like 5,000 pieces and put that together in your spare time. Don't be thinking about pictures or photography or anything. Just have some 'zone space'. It really does help.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-13-2018, 09:02 PM  
Lens or lenses to bring for Asia trip?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 47
Views: 1,342
Wide is king when it comes to Asia.

That 16-85 though... it's only 1mm off of the 15mm on the K-5. It gets the job done for sure.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-13-2018, 08:57 PM  
Lens or lenses to bring for Asia trip?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 47
Views: 1,342

I went to I think 7 or 8 countries or more with just this one lens. If the OP can afford to invest in that lens I would take that and maybe the fast 50 he has, but probably just the one will be more than enough.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-13-2018, 08:51 PM  
Lens or lenses to bring for Asia trip?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 47
Views: 1,342
Another thing about travel photography. Go where the action is. Action means zoom lens. Action also means more than likely fun. If you focus on putting yourself in the most interesting and fun places as possible and document what you are doing (in that order) it will come across in your pictures. For the most part the more fun you have the more meaningful the pictures will be to you, and odds are they have a tendency to come across far better to other people too.

Basically you want to capture your excitement and experience in an image format. That is extremely hard to do if you are constantly looking down at the camera or worrying about which lens, the gear or whatever.

Have fun is rule #1.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-13-2018, 08:44 PM  
Lens or lenses to bring for Asia trip?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 47
Views: 1,342
I've been to all of the places you are talking about going. Make life easy. Carry the 18-250. A small prime like the 50mm won't hurt and won't add much to the kit. Versatility is key for most trips. Unless you have some very specific needs I wouldn't bother taking a lot.

I've been all over the place with just one lens and it worked out fine. It is worth noting that having WR lens will help A LOT.

In my experience in the places you are going having the option for a wide angle lens will be very very useful. You will probably go wide a lot more than you will anything else.

I would also highly recommend getting a good camera sling. I don't know if you shoot with the grip or not but personally I love it and it gives a bit of flexibility and you can have two batteries instead of one.

The charger you have, get various wall plugs for it and leave the cables at home. Get a plug like the one in the photo for each country you are going to. The one below will work in Singapore. It will cut down the hassle factor a lot. No converters, inverters, or any of that stuff. Just plug and charge.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-11-2018, 01:58 PM  
Just got my first DSLR, a K-5! Any tips on using manual lenses?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 21
Views: 519
Tip #1. Try to wear out the shutter on the camera :)

Tip #2. Experiment a lot. It's free. While you are at it start keeping a small notebook so when you have aha! moments you can write it down.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-10-2018, 02:44 PM  
what would you do to get nice very shallow bokeh portraits?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 52
Views: 1,365
Shot on the street in Istanbul using a K3 and a 16-85mm set at 43mm and f5.6.

No flash. All natural lighting. Shot one handed with an ice cream cone in the other.

Don't be fooled into thinking you 'have to have' an f1.2 lens in order to get bokeh. Bokeh and depth of field are not the same thing.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-10-2018, 11:59 AM  
Help me choose Pentax 16-85 vs Sigma 18-35
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 21
Views: 736
I have no experience with the Sigma. I can tell you all about the 16-85 though. I bought that lens after a long stint of shooting almost exclusively primes. It was sharp and a very very good lens. I actually carried a camera and a single lens (the 16-85) around the world more than one time. I had that camera knee deep in a rice paddy taking pictures of a local with his water buffalo, to hanging off the side of a sail boat, to driving all over the place in the Kenyan outback chasing down wildabeest in a 4wd.

The only weaknesses I found in my lens/camera combo were

1. It does not have constant aperture, which is something I personally prefer.

2. When it gets to low light shooting (and I mean really low) I bumped my head a few times on the K3/16-85 combo.

Everything else about the lens and camera combo is great. If you are shooting in the daytime you will be hard pressed to find a better more durable zoom lens.

For a dynamic 'running around lens' where those scenes just aren't going to stop while you are getting set up the 16-85 is a very good choice.

That said it just depends on your personal use. This is only able to be defined by you.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-10-2018, 11:36 AM  
what would you do to get nice very shallow bokeh portraits?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 52
Views: 1,365
A longer lens provides a bit of a different perspective to the subject. Meaning what angle of view and many other things of that nature. If you get within the right zoom range you can obliterate the background or have as much or as little as you want.

It's important when doing true portraits to study the work of others as well as classical artwork. In the art world people have figured out which angles are the best to flatter and show off the subject. People who way back when would spend months or years painting a subject put a lot of thought into how their subject was posed, sitting, and many other things. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Composition matters, and this includes selecting a good backdrop for your images. Also composing with color matters a lot too. Do something intentional.

Above all though the question is all about light. Instead of asking 'which lens' it would be a lot better to discuss 'how to light' or 'how to see the right light'. A mediocre lens capturing a stellar subject in great light with good composition will win every single time.

The difference maker is not going to be your lens.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-10-2018, 11:17 AM  
what would you do to get nice very shallow bokeh portraits?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 52
Views: 1,365
Some of the best portraits I have ever seen were taken with a 70-200 stopped down a few stops to about f4 to f5.6.

The biggest thing that I've seen that makes a difference above all gear of any type is lighting and careful background selection. If you can select a good background and get the right kind of light on the subject it's hard to screw it up.

Producing or recognizing good lighting and being able to 'see' good backgrounds before you shoot is a skill. It's stuff that has to be learned not bought.
Forum: General Photography 08-05-2018, 05:10 PM  
Street photography. Weapon of choice
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 11
Views: 538
Whenever I get the chance to do street photography I see people using various techniques. As a general rule when I walk around with everyone else trying to chase down that action shot has only had marginal success. It really depends on the environment. Really festive situations or getting caught in a near riot (happened to me) both provided great run around shooting. In that situation a zoom lens with a constant aperture is best.

You are right though, content trumps pixel peeping all day every day.

My other technique is much more subdued. I walk around looking at stuff, particularly light. Where is the light at? Where is it coming from, where are the shadows, etc etc. As I identify those places that exhibit stellar lighting I also make note of places that COULD have stellar lighting at different times of the day. Some places you might get a peek of light for 30 minutes at 6am and others it might be better late in the evening or even during the middle of the day.

Once those places are identified (usually it takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute max) I ask myself if there are people around, what they are doing, Which direction they are going and many other things.

If I find places where the action and light intersect, that is where I set up shop. I can sit on a bench, a stool, a chair, a curb, a park bench, in an outdoor cafe, or where ever I get the best vantage point from. That is when the flippy screen comes into play. I often have set my camera down on a table and waited for a scene to unfold. If lunch break starts at noon, get in position about 11:30 order snacks and a drink and just wait for the action to come to me.

It all just depends on what your goal is and what kind of photos you want.

I don't live in an area that allows for much street photography so I don't do it very often, but when I do go somewhere I always like trying new and interesting things.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-01-2018, 10:29 PM  
Thoughts on the D FA 24-70mm f 2.8?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 18
Views: 1,212
On a K-1 it's my most used lens for sure. Stellar.

I am a die hard prime user, but this lens (and prior to that the 16-85 when I was still shooting crop) made me a believer in zooms.

I absolutely love the constant aperture. It's sharp and definitely gets the job done.

W/Regards to sports, my personal experience is unless you have up close access, 95% of the time the lighting will suck. This is not the fault of any camera, but is something that must be dealt with accordingly. Investing in a camera or lens to compensate for crappy lighting conditions can help, but it's a lot more involved than that. That said a K-1 with a 24-70 can handle bad light a lot better than most cameras can.
Forum: General Photography 08-01-2018, 10:14 AM  
To 'bank transfer' or not?
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 17
Views: 689
Depends on the method. There are tons of completely legit bank to bank transfer options out there.

My credit union offers "Pop Money" and it works.

You never give your own info to the seller or buyer.

That one works like this:

I get your email address. Same as paypal. I tell pop money I want to send you $200.

Pop Money then sends you a secure form via email where you authorize a one time deposit and fill in your info.

I never would see or know even what bank you use much less the numbers.

It costs a flat .50 cents for me to send money that way and it's as fast or faster than paypal.
Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 07-29-2018, 11:08 AM  
Sticky: Official Pentax K-1 Summer 2018 Giveaway Discussion Thread
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 153
Views: 3,377
Maybe I am just dumb but I can't sort out when this raffle will actually start in my time zone. I did the converter and it says 12:00 Sunday but that was one hour ago, and no posts.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-28-2018, 05:23 PM  
Northrup’s video about the history of Pentax
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 25
Views: 1,046
I learned a long time ago to ignore threads with the words "Tony" and "Northrup" in the title.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-24-2018, 11:12 AM  
Travel portraits on crop vs full frame
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 8
Views: 871
To directly address that, it depends on the situation and what you are trying to accomplish. Usually for me I use a range of apertures. If I am somewhere doing something in a place that there are no second chances, f4 to f8 is it.

If I have a chance to take more liberties I will take a dozen shots all at different apertures. Sometimes when I get back looking at the shots I go 'ooooh look at that one!'.

Whatever gear you use you will adapt to it. It hardly took me any time to get used to the K-1. People will make huge deals about math formulas for DOF---but I say 'forget that stuff. Who cares?'

I rather famous photographer once told me during one of our many talks.... 'don't ask me which sensor makes a better smurf purple because I don't know. I just take the pictures"

I still laugh at that but definitely do NOT over think the DOF stuff. Like I said, you will adapt in no time.

As far as choices go I like to take a range of shots at different apertures. If you have the time to do so by all means adopt that habit. Some of the best portraits I've ever seen were taken with a 70-200 zoom lens stopped down to f5.6 to f8.

It's not like you are wasting film here. Try different things.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-24-2018, 10:32 AM  
Travel portraits on crop vs full frame
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 8
Views: 871
Just as a few examples... all of these are taken hand held with no flash, just walking around, no planning, just snap snap.

This one below was shot in horrible lighting at f2.8 with a K-1 and a 24-70 zoom.

This one below was shot at f5.6 with a crop sensor.

Below was shot f4 with a crop sensor.

At the end of the day I am in love with the K-1. It gives way better low light capabilities and allows faster shutter speeds. You can take good shots with any camera, but the K-1 gives you a lot more flexibility in low light situations.

Here is one (below), full frame K-1, manual focus at f1.4.

Below is one, f8 with a crop sensor.

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-24-2018, 10:05 AM  
Travel portraits on crop vs full frame
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 8
Views: 871
I think adding to this post... using the term 'field of view' will make it less confusing.

Basically a 50mm lens on a crop sensor camera will be X wide in what you can see edge to edge. Put that exact same lens on a full frame sensor camera and it will be Y (wider) than the crop.

I don't want to get off into a rabbit hole but I can say that my personal experience has been I just need to zoom in a little bit more or take a step closer to the subject to get the same framing when using a K-1 vs any of the other crop sensors. Basically this gives you much more control over what DOF you actually get.

Of course you can just shoot the exact same way and in post production crop the shot then. The files are much more forgiving in this regard using the K-1.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-24-2018, 10:00 AM  
Travel portraits on crop vs full frame
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 8
Views: 871
The only 'somewhat' of a penalty using the K-1 is that it's slightly bigger but by now I don't even notice it, especially with a good sling. With a 24-70 on there you have a combination that will be extremely hard to beat. As for specifics to travel shots, it just depends, but I have gone around all day long never taking my camera off of of f8. F4 to F8 tend to give the best results for all around 'keepers' for me mainly because a lot of my shots are not of posed people just sitting around waiting for their picture to be taken. Like you said, it's more forgiving. The lighting conditions matter a lot too.

With the K-1 you will gain quite a bit of low light capacity. F4 at X ISO with a K-1 will give you better results than F4 at X ISO with a crop sensor. That bigger sensor makes a big difference in it's ability to gather and process light. You can also use a lot higher ISO with a lot less noise. This means lower light you can have higher shutter speeds and still get really good results.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-20-2018, 10:38 PM  
Tough choice for travel.
Posted By alamo5000
Replies: 15
Views: 798
I should also add that I have an OPTECH sling that I have TWO security points with (one on the camera body and one on the grip) for my K-1. I have to say if you plan to walk, hike, ride motorcycles, boats or anything like that it's by far the best most comfortable thing I have used. I would never go back to a neck strap. EVER.

I got to the point on certain travel destinations to where absolutely everything I take in complete sum total should be able to be carried (by me) while I still have two hands free to drive a scooter. This depends largely on where I am going and for how long.

Over packing really sucks.

I really like to carry my own laptop but depending on the situation I might opt for a small tablet instead. I can't process pictures on the road with that but I can hook up to a hotel wifi or whatever without having to find a internet cafe.

Depending on what you will be doing (no business meetings etc) find yourself a decent small backpack. If it can't fit in the bag, you don't need it. Three or four days of clothes (only very fast drying wicking material), a small dry bag, and wear the sandals on your feet. I wouldn't even bother having a check in bag.
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