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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-09-2016, 08:55 AM  
Upgrade advice - trip to Borneo & impressions on the 55-300
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 12
Views: 1,235
Haha wimpy husbands indeed. As much as I'd love to have a wider prime in my lineup I don't anticipate much use for it on this trip. Pretty much from day one we'll be in dense rainforest with no open clearings or elevations to speak of, so its very much going to be about the wildlife and the 18-135m should suffice for anything else.

Thanks everyone for their advice, it's convinced me enough that I'd get long term use out of a longer zoom. Now I need just keep an eye out for the sales, and hope I get a good copy of the 55-300!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-09-2016, 06:38 AM  
Upgrade advice - trip to Borneo & impressions on the 55-300
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 12
Views: 1,235
Hi there,

I'd really appreciate some advice. After much deliberation I'll be upgrading my k-30 to a k-70 in the next few months. This is principally for a trip to Borneo next year and consequently I'm also looking for a lens with more reach. Currently all I have to my name:

K-30
18-135 WR
Pentax-M 50mm F1.7
HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro

That being said my wife will be bringing along her Canon 7D (I'm afraid she was lost to the darkside long before I met her!) with a Sigma 150-500. So we will have long zoom capability but in my limited use of the lens:
a)It may be my relative unfamiliarity with Canon, difference in the bodies, or simple bias but it doesn't produce images nearly as nice as the 18-135.
b)The 7D's relatively ancient poor high ISO capability
c)I'm a wuss when it comes to heavy kit - I don't want to be carrying it around with me everywhere so, chivalrous as I am, if the wife isn't carrying at least some of the time, it may be left back at camp some days
d)no WR

There seems to be widely varying opinion on the 55-300 perhaps partly due to the reported variance in quality of individual models? I know what I'm like though and despite being willing to deliberate for hours over a purchase, once I've made my choice I'd find it difficult to be bothered with the hassle of rigorous testing and returning of a poor lens version.

Finally I love my primes and would always shoot in them if it was in any way practical.

What I'd really appreciate some advice on is:
  1. How does the 55-300 compare to the 18-135? (PLM or older as by all accounts the IQ is largely the same)

  2. For anyone with experience of rainforests is 500mm or even 300mm actually necessary?

  3. Would a teleconverter on the 18-135 be better?

  4. Given my love of primes and the broader versatility of the the 18-135 already owned would I get much use from the 55-300 or would it be more sensible to rent? My concern about renting a prime telephoto however is the expected very limited range of movement in the jungle (or a boat!)


My budget is realistically limited to £400 (after the K-70 purchase) and finally depending on the answers to the questions above should I think about convincing the wife to carry my old K-30? (would love to make us a Pentax family :D)

Any thoughts and advice greatly appreciated,

Thanks
Forum: Photo Critique 12-21-2012, 06:10 AM  
Architecture Fog in Hamburgs Warehouse Dist
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 10
Views: 1,229
See, I still prefer your original edit. The latest edit is perhaps nicer tonally but it seems to have lost some of the foggy ethereal quality of your original post, which to me, is what really sets the shot apart.

As for the right sided IQ issue I'm really not qualified to say but I would guess that there's so many variables in this shot (more light and perhaps more fog being cast on the right balconies than the left) that it would be very hard to be sure it was a lens issue.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 12-21-2012, 05:56 AM  
RAW vs JPG – I can’t see a difference.
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 51
Views: 7,243
Forgive me I didn't compose my post very well and came off far more cocksure and authoritative than I meant to. I wasn't disagreeing with RAW's similarity to analogue self-development giving you far more control over your photo's and didn't mean to say those things couldn't be done in a darkroom. I meant to point out that the time and cost (and practical and creative skill) of darkroom developing made it quite different from RAW. The flexibility and power of RAW combined with its relative ease and speed just seems to encourage someone to be less concerned with getting the front end right. Post-processing/darkroom technique is no less important for a stunning photograph certainly but Adam's was great not only for his darkroom abilities. His visualisation and understanding of light in the field were just as important. I don't imagine he took photographs thinking "oh I can just fix that later in the darkroom by investing thousands of hours and pioneering a revolutionary photographic technique!"

But I also don't mean to grumble like a luddite or accuse other photographer's of being lazy in any way. Thinking this through is really more of a reminder to myself to not become too wrapped up in the power of RAW that I become lazy about considering the front end of photography.

Similarly I didn't mean to make out that my experience and personal tastes applied to everyone or every shooting scenario. Waxing lyrical about time spent at the beginning or end of a photograph I particularly had nice immovable landscapes in mind, but even then sometimes you have to act quickly due to changing light conditions or even passing clouds. Lovely shot of the bird btw although the original poster about the reds issue might say it looks a little orange?! (which it may well just be naturally, my ornithological knowledge even more rudimentary than my photography!)

Pleased to hear its an issue (if at all) of high sensor sensitivity rather than a fundamental flaw though.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 12-21-2012, 05:00 AM  
Considering becoming a part-time pro. Thoughts?
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 12
Views: 1,842
This is a really interesting and helpful thread to me. It makes sense those advising don't do anything for free but what about offering to prospective clients your services where they pay only for the photographs they wish to use? To my amateur mind that says two things immediately to a customer:

1)I'm so confident you'll like my work I won't charge anything up front.
2)You can see photographs of your product/event/venue paying only for what you want to use.

Obviously this wouldn't be cost effective for full professionals but for someone just starting out/still learning it sounds like a good idea. If a client doesn't take you up on any of your photographs its not time wasted (or money spent printed in this digital age) because you will have gained valuable shooting experience to further improve your work.

I really don't know what I'm talking about however (may be spouting the obvious) know no professional photographers and may be blazing my ignorance of the profession for all to see. Please tell me if I am :)
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 12-20-2012, 06:01 AM  
RAW vs JPG – I can’t see a difference.
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 51
Views: 7,243
I'm pretty new to modern digital but this thread exemplifies my love/hate relationship with post-processing. They might not have more 'punch' but I prefer the 'before' shots to the 'after' of every example in this thread. Its interesting someone said the advent of RAW is like a throwback to the film days, because I feel like its quite the opposite. With RAW you can take a dozen shots not worrying about exposure (even intentionally under-exposing), white balance, or even flare and composition given the power of the software available now and the megapixel wiggle room we have to play with.

You didn't have anything like those controls in a darkroom and it was still essential you got the perfectly (or near as) exposed and composed shot. I appreciate the power of PP and if darkroom magic was your passion its great to be able to do that and more in the comfort of your own home. And the ability to 'rescue' an amazing shot relatively simply is a fantastic thing for photography I'd never besmirch.

But for me personally I like taking time out in the field to get it right, not spending forever (partly because I'm so new to PP) tinkering in front of a computer screen. But at the same time I understand the rationale that you don't want to be head down fiddling with your white balance on a tiny screen when you can do it far more efficiently and superiorly at home.

I shoot in RAW+ (although can't bring myself to shoot smaller jpegs even though it would make sense) for that reason, and why I also love the K-30's option to delete RAW in camera but keep the jpeg or vice versa. As I'll keep the RAW's only of my best shots or ones that need a little fixing whilst keep jpegs for the standard shots.

Now a little off topic (but also a RAW/Jpg comparison):



I'm brand new to Pentax (got my k-30 yesterday!) and pretty darn new to DSLR but this is the first I'd heard of such colour issues, to save me another enjoyable morning lost reading through the forum could you elaborate?

Maybe it's only dark reds because I went out yesterday and snapped this shot, the first is RAW unprocessed and the 2nd is the in camera Jpg ('natural' custom image, not a fan of the default 'bright' so far).

Maybe its just my crappy laptop monitor but the reds don't look that different to me and certainly not orange, the jpeg is a little more saturated and some detail is lost in the shadows but there's not a lot in it is there?
Forum: Photo Critique 12-20-2012, 05:32 AM  
Architecture Fog in Hamburgs Warehouse Dist
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 10
Views: 1,229
I'm a complete novice to post-processing but after Schraubstock's quite dramatic edit I'd love to ask FlashMuller a question:

Which version posted actually looks closer to what you saw yourself on that night? Because I actually prefer your original post (and Greg's edit) to Schraub's post but can't imagine the evening actually looked that purple.
Forum: Sold Items 12-12-2012, 05:36 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax SMC M 50mm f1.7
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 9
Views: 1,647
Just my luck, I've been thinking about the M 50 for a while and was in Timpanagos just three weeks ago. But now I'm all the way across the Atlantic.

What would you charge for shipment to the U.K? Feel free to PM me.

Cheers
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-09-2012, 04:17 PM  
Taken the plunge with the K-30 - Which lenses?
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 19
Views: 2,592
I've had a glance at the DA but according to photozone its on a par with the tamron 70-300 and considerably pricier/less available (from the UK at least) so unless photozone is chatting nonsense (quite possible) you'll have to try harder to convince me its worth it!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-09-2012, 04:06 PM  
Taken the plunge with the K-30 - Which lenses?
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 19
Views: 2,592
Gah I'm still undecided. If I could get the 18-135 as a discounted kit my mind would be made up but as it is its the most expensive lens I'm considering for now.

I could get it for £270 or the inferior (but how inferior?) Tamron 18-250, the extra telephoto kinda makes up for the lack of WR, greateter weight, slower focus etc, but does it make up for worse IQ?

Or I can get some sort of 18-55 and 50-300 combo for around £150 and have a little money to get a great prime straight away. Although this is my best value option its a compromise on IQ and flexibility (do hate missing that stella shot cos I'm faffing around swapping lenses).


Or the 18-135 is available used for £80 on ebay at the moment....

At least I've narrowed it down to these options and I can safely say I couldn't be satisfied with just a 17-50 length.

Thanks for everyone's advice and help btw.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-07-2012, 03:55 PM  
Taken the plunge with the K-30 - Which lenses?
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 19
Views: 2,592
You had me dithering all over again for a moment there Civiletti, but I've just had a browse through my collection for my average focal length and nope its the telephoto for me. If anything it has me a little worried I'll find myself frustrated with the 135 length at times. I'm expecting a good quality prime will keep me happy with any close shots.


As for your other suggestion Norm, I've heard a lot of people say the 18-135 is considerably superior to the kit and by the time I've paid for the lattter and the Sigma I'm looking at around £200. I'd pay the extra £100 for better image quality and similar range in one lens. Maybe... I'm still not sure! the 300 end of the Sigma might be really great to have.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-07-2012, 02:08 PM  
Taken the plunge with the K-30 - Which lenses?
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 19
Views: 2,592
I agree SpecialK and I've definitely dismissed options 5) and 6) from my mind.


Norm everything you mentioned makes sense, and it'd be nice to use the time I've spent reading up on the 18-135 to know its strengths. But the absolute best I can get the 18-135 for is £300 whilst there's a few tamron's swimming around for half that. I'd hate to plump for the latter though and be disatisfied with its IQ and want an upgrade in no time. But on the other hand maybe it'd be fine for flexibility shots and I can simply switch to a prime for the killer IQ. Gah I still don't know.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-07-2012, 11:36 AM  
Taken the plunge with the K-30 - Which lenses?
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 19
Views: 2,592
thanks norm that's just what I was looking for. It's hard to find the 18-135 as a kit though, one site in the UK offers it (currently out of stock) but the saving from buying the lens seperately (albeit from abroad) is negligible. But along with the prime recs I think you've convinced me. Loco I look forward to proving my impressions wrong about the bokeh!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-07-2012, 08:55 AM  
Taken the plunge with the K-30 - Which lenses?
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 19
Views: 2,592
Interesting you note the 18-135 is a better lense, what does it do better than the 18-250?

I see your point about churches etc but I can imagine quite a few babies who'd be fascinated by loud mechanical noises, might just be perfect for that wide-eyed amazement shot!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-07-2012, 07:58 AM  
Taken the plunge with the K-30 - Which lenses?
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 19
Views: 2,592
Thanks for the advice.

Maybe I just haven't been out there in that many shooting environments (or with noisy enough lenses) but I don't get how silent focus is such a major plus. Other than for video which I don't have much interest in.

The thing is there doesnt seem to be many 2nd hand 18-135's about but quite a few Tamron's 18-250. But with the WR of K-30 it would definitely be a plus to have a WR walkabout. I could get the WR kit lens and a used Tamron for the price of a new 18-135 though.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-07-2012, 05:53 AM  
Taken the plunge with the K-30 - Which lenses?
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 19
Views: 2,592
After a great deal of research and deliberating I will soon be ordering the K-30. My digital experience is largely with my girlfriends 60D and I was very tempted to stick with Canon, but the K-30 just seems to do everything better at (still) nearly half the price. Leaving me budget for a nice lens. One of the things that made me wary of Pentax though was less familiarity with the lenses, less range, and less of a 2nd hand market than the big two.

But now that I'm happily committed to Pentax I would really appreciate anyone's help. Now, here's the tricky part.

I am hoping to make some money on the side with my photography but can't be doing it full time or dedicating myself to a particular field. Add to this the fact I'm on such a tight budget my thinking was a good walk around lens and then perhaps some affordable MF primes for sellable shots. With roughly £300 to spend on lenses (bearing in mind it'd be nice to have some leftover for filters & accessories) these are my considerations:


1) Be happy with the 18-55 WR kit (no significant discount with buying it in a kit but a lot of leftover budget for high quality primes)

2) The SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm (I've read through the reviews on this forum and it seems mixed, I do like the Macro like focus at full zoom but am a bit underwhelmed by the quality of the bokeh... but that's what my primes would be for, although it'd be a while until I could purchase one with this lense)

3) There's currently a used Tamron 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 LD going on ebay for about £100 (with a lot of interest). Bargain? Is this lense worth its price new? Is it considerably better than its 18-200 predecessor? How does it compare to the Pentax 18-135 above? Are used lenses reliable? So many questions sorry!

4) Are there any reliable (AF issues etc) zoom lenses from the film era I should consider, does anyone have specific k-30 experience with them?

5) I can get the 18-55 WR and 50-200 WR with a body for an extra £210 leaving me wiggle room for primes but how inferior are they to my options above?

6)Should I consider any 17-70? Is IQ that much better than the 18-135? I can live without the long telephoto end but the main point of my walkabout is flexibility and capturing unusual or hard to reach things, and the longer zoom gives me useful shallow DOF.



Finally just to complicate matters further and to field the obvious question, I like to shoot a broad range of subjects. I enjoy landscapes a lot but want to improve my portraiture (and believe it will be one of the things that could make me money on the side) and I'll be moving back to London in the new year and have a keen interest in street art and architecture. Finally its great to get the odd wildlife shot too (I have contacts in the westcountry to whom I could perhaps sell wildlife shots to). I also love indoor, night, and star photography.

So yup that's people, animals, landscapes and buildings I'd all love to photograph!


Anyone's help or experience of particular lenses would be hugely appreciated, particularly the vast range of old MF primes out there. I've spent days researching and pricing which body and which modern lens, I don't have the time to delve in to 60 years worth of Pentax lenses!
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 12-07-2012, 04:25 AM  
Excited to be here, plumped for the K-30
Posted By Jay-K
Replies: 2
Views: 542
Hi everyone,

After some exhaustive research I've decided on Pentax and the K-30 as my first DSLR. After a long break from photography (well making do with camera phones and point and shoots if that counts) I've got the bug again after having a play, and two holidays with my girlfriends 60D. The temptation to stick with Canon was great but Pentax just seemed to win all over on quality, features and value.

I'm on a tight budget but also hope to make some money from my photography if possible so I think the K-30 was the only thing out there that met my needs.

This forum and community played a part in my decision too, didn't find anything quite like it out there for the Canikon folks.

I look forward to contributing in the future
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