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Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 1 Day Ago  
moving to a new laptop
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 11
Views: 447
You might try (something like) this: Free PC transfer/migration software - EaseUS® Todo PCTrans Free

I used it when I moved from a Win 7 to a Win 10 PC. Some applications moved OK, but not all. Still, it saved a LOT of reinstalling.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 2 Days Ago  
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 13
Views: 519
Well, I guess you could do your old trick - turn 180 and take a picture in the "wrong" direction (or just see what the camera thinks the settings should be) - that gets your your "reading," and then turn around and switch to manual and insert those exposure values.
Forum: Contest Voting 5 Days Ago  
Skateboard sled dog
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 17
Views: 147
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 Days Ago  
Lens Decision for new K1
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 27
Views: 1,261
I agree with many above: you can't beat the 28-105 for price, performance, and focal length coverage. I took it on a 3 hour hike yesterday and it did fine. At one point, I wished for wider, and alternatively, I wished for longer (at the Osprey nest) briefly, but unless I had had an unwieldy camera bag with me to hold alternatives, it can't be beat. I'd have missed the action at the nest if I had to change lenses.

It's a (the!) great starter lens for the K1.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-09-2019, 06:55 PM  
Nikon recommendation: sell! sell! sell!
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 85
Views: 3,441
But it still sucked! I managed to get so screwed up in there that I wound up once with a forward arrow resulting in a destructive backspace!

Give me WordPerfect any day - it's still my standard, go-to word processor, and I can read (and re-create) files from the 80s - try that with Word!!!!! Works best with my genuine PC/AT keyboards, with the function keys on the left where they belong!
Forum: General Photography 06-08-2019, 06:52 PM  
Robert's Camera condition grading?
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 15
Views: 779
I've bought cameras and lenses from them before, but always in new condition, with never any problems. I suspect they are fairly conservative, but ....

What's the return policy? If you don't like it, can you send it back?
Forum: Pentax K-70 06-07-2019, 08:35 AM  
Tamron Adaptall 35-70 (17a) on a k70 help needed
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 5
Views: 257
Do you have the custom menu (the "C" menus) "Using Aperture Ring" function set? You need to enable it so you can fire no matter what state the camera thinks the lens is in.
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 06-07-2019, 06:54 AM  
Vegas - recommendations sought
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 3
Views: 256
You bet! It's awfully bright at night everywhere.

I used to live there (1990-2005).

The first two videos appear to have been shot from (near) the top of the Aria hotel.

As you can well see, Vegas is well lit up at night.

Also, as you can see, there are lots of tall buildings, pretty much all hotels.

Some, at least, have observation decks. Perhaps the best (highest!), and quite easy to get to, if costing a few bucks (free - at least it used to be - if you eat dinner in their rotating restaurant - quite nice at sunset!) is the Stratosphere. They have a nice observation deck, and as far as I know, no policy against tripods. Better check, though.

Here’s a list: List of tallest buildings in Las Vegas - Wikipedia

There are various cross-over pedestrian bridges at several of the major Strip intersections where you could perch a camera/tripod.

There is a small parking lot at the canonical Welcome to Las Vegas sign, and it’s a not too far walk from the hotels on the south end of the strip.

If, instead, you’d like to shoot some scenery and have a rental car, don’t miss Red Rock (very close to town) and Valley of Fire (farther out) parks. A drive up Mt. Charleston is scenic. And, walk out on the bridge over the Colorado at Hoover Dam - take your wide angle lens. The dam itself is interesting and you can walk around on the top, and they have a tour you can take down inside it to see the power plant.

Death Valley would be a long day trip (and awfully hot during the summer!!!!!) - not to say that Vegas is cool. You could well see daytime temps approaching 110 degrees. No matter what they say about a “dry heat,” that is very warm!
Forum: General Photography 06-06-2019, 02:37 PM  
Need help in guiding a beginner
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 20
Views: 670
Got a Best Buy nearby?

I have no connection to BB, nor do I have any idea how good their classes are, but might be worth a try for the free 2-hour workshop.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-04-2019, 07:25 AM  
Astophotography: K-200 F4 or K-200 F2.5
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 11
Views: 489
What are you trying to shoot?

200mm seems to be a bit odd length for astro photo. If you want deep space objects, they are generally pretty small - the Andromeda galaxy is about as big as they get at around a few degrees across. Most are much smaller. I wish I had longer than my 300mm for these.

For Milky Way/Constellation shots, you want wider - tens of degrees field of view.
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-01-2019, 10:09 AM  
Astrotracer question
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 5
Views: 348
Hi Mark,

Welcome to the Forum.

As to re-aiming your camera, consider the field of view of your lenses and the size of your target object.

The sky rotates 1 degree in 4 minutes. You can check the lens reviews here in the Forum (Pentax F Prime Lenses - Reviews and Specifications - SLR and Interchangeable Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database) for the field of view size. For a 135mm lens, the FoV is only 10 degree wide. You will probably want to re-aim every 10-20 minutes.

Your stacking software will have to be able to deal with aligning exposures that do not cover exactly the same area (and may need to be rotated as well). For Az/El mounts, like a tripod, the sky will generally appear to rotate around the center of the field as well as across the FoV during an exposure.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-25-2019, 03:08 PM  
Advice for new KP user: lenses
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 41
Views: 1,584
Let me add my vote for both the Sigma 17-50 and the DA 18-135. These are the two lenses that live on my K-3 (only one at a time!).
Forum: Do-It-Yourself 05-23-2019, 03:22 PM  
DIY K-70 L-Bracket
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 2
Views: 334
Sounds like about the proper trade-off. I keep telling my wife "If somebody offers you a milling machine, the answer is 'YES' "!
Forum: General Photography 05-23-2019, 08:58 AM  
This Airport Made Fence Holes for Planespotting Photographers
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 16
Views: 973
That happened to me (lens cap) at Casa Grande National Monument (Casa Grande Ruins National Monument (U.S. National Park Service))!

Fortunately, a nice ranger went inside the fence to retrieve it. Doubt the average airport would be so accommodating!!
Forum: General Photography 05-22-2019, 07:19 PM  
This Airport Made Fence Holes for Planespotting Photographers
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 16
Views: 973
Las Vegas airport has a similar viewing area, and if I recall correctly, some holes for cameras to look through. You can also situate yourself on the approach path (at a McDonalds, if you need some sustenance) for some great close-up underbelly shots.

Nothing I know of, though, compares with the position you can take at Washington, DC's national airport - on the north end of the approach. You are only a few hundred feet below the jets as they come in.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-21-2019, 12:21 PM  
Nature Late Spring in the High Country!
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 2
Views: 174
Contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t all hot and dry in Arizona. Flagstaff is at an elevation of 7000 feet, and generally nice and cool (sometimes VERY cold, as in -30 Fahrenheit!) year round.

Some of you may have viewed my “Spring in the High Country” entry for the recent springtime photo contest (Spring (?!) in the High Country - That photo showed a few blooming daffodils with their feet in the snow, here in the high country of Arizona.

The daffodil picture was taken in late February 2017. Now, almost 2 months later in the season, this spring has recently been exceptionally cool, and we had snow yesterday (May 20, 2019).

Here are a few shots of this event.

First, our local hummingbird getting some sips from the snow-covered feeder.

Then, the (homemade) bird bath, looking more like a salt-rimmed margarita glass.

Finally, the snow-tipped tree, looking more like a snow-flocked Christmas tree.
Forum: Pentax K-1 05-15-2019, 07:21 AM  
Weather resistance of wr ff/fa lenses on the k-1
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 24
Views: 1,042
I used my then few-months old K1 with the D-FA 28-105 lens on the Maid of the Mist boat ride at Niagara Falls. That was somewhat wetter than your spitting drizzle. The passengers all wore plastic rain coats, the camera wore nothing. It got moist, but no where near soaked.

And, No problems.

As Victor noted, though, YMMV

It will be tested again in two weeks at DUSTY Antelope Canyon.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-13-2019, 08:41 AM  
Pentax DA* 60-250mm F4 should I use one for a night baseball game ?
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 22
Views: 1,150
I've been to a couple of pro football games, and the camera checkers were pretty diligent at checking lens size. They may even ask you to extend the 55-300. OTOH, at the Diamondbacks baseball game a few years ago, they didn't seem to care at all. Local option, I guess.

Do you have a Q series and K adapter? Your 100 macro becomes a ~500 tele in that situation! They won't bat an eyelash at that combo,
Forum: Pentax K-3 05-04-2019, 06:31 PM  
Max SD memory card capacity?
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 5
Views: 615
But, don't put all of your eggs in one basket! Depending on how often you download what's on your card, you may not want to put a lot of pictures on a single card.

I find a 16 GB card about optimum - holds a lot of frames, but I download everyday's shots as well, in case something goes south with the card.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-30-2019, 11:56 AM  
Meike MK-PT01
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 3
Views: 347
If you have an ohmmeter, you can check continuity between corresponding pins (as well as ground) on the extension cable - there should be essentially no resistance (maybe a few tenths of an ohm). Maybe cross check, too, to make sure nothing is shorted.

Does the flash register correctly when it is mounted directly on the camera hot shoe?
Forum: Pentax K-01 04-30-2019, 07:24 AM  
Help me not to part with my beloved K-01
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 49
Views: 2,381
Are you aware of the lens review data bases? They include dimensions and weights. Check there to find that the Tamron weighs twice as much as the 18-55:

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Forum: Pentax K-01 04-29-2019, 04:32 PM  
Help me not to part with my beloved K-01
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 49
Views: 2,381
Image quality is comparable, but for low light, the Sigma will be better (one or more stops). Don't know about the K-01, but on the K-3, the Sigma has a snappy focus (not sure I've tried it in real low light, though).
Forum: Do-It-Yourself 04-29-2019, 04:29 PM  
Lightning Trigger build
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 14
Views: 756
Keep the voltages below 24 V or so, and you can't get hurt!

I learned, too, by hands-on experience.

"How do you learn good judgment - from experience
How do you get experience - from bad judgment!"
Forum: Pentax K-01 04-29-2019, 04:07 PM  
Help me not to part with my beloved K-01
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 49
Views: 2,381
Here's a Sigma 17-50 just above your price range:

Sigma AF 17-50mm F2.8 DC EX HSM OS Lens17-50/2.8 Pentax #402 | eBay

Roberts is a reputable operation; I've bought several lenses from them.

I have this lens, and prior to my 18-135 showing up, it was what lived on my K-5 and K-3 for everyday use. It's fairly sharp.
Forum: Do-It-Yourself 04-29-2019, 03:55 PM  
Lightning Trigger build
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 14
Views: 756
The optical response of the diodes peaks in the infrared, but they are sensitive over a wide range of wavelengths (do a search on SFH 229 or SFH 309 for typical values). So, don't bother/worry about any kind of optical filtering - just expose them to the lightning. I think the trickiest part will be having some kind of a differentiator circuit - you will want to crank up the sensitivity of the diode (use a big resistor - 100k or more; hurts the time constant a bit, but still in the microseconds) to "see" the lightning, but it will be getting lots of ambient light as well. You want to be able to pick out a sudden increase in light intensity. The diodes also tend to have a narrow angle of sensitivity, so you may need a diffuser in front.

Yeah, I got mine from Digikey - bought 5 of them, 'cause the postage was more than the diodes otherwise!! I think they were 60 cents a piece for QSD2030s.
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