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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-14-2008, 05:02 PM  
DA★50-135mm F2.8 ED lens hood querry
Posted By switch79
Replies: 23
Views: 5,434
Wow, I actually think the 50-135 hood is the best of any I have. It is thick, feels solid, strong and goes on and off the lens easily. No problems with the lens cap either, middle pinch version.

Other lens caps hoods especially the 18-250 Tamron is a massive pain to get on, not to mention it feels flimsy. But in the end as long as it produces a good quality image it's all im interested in.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-04-2008, 05:32 AM  
Any Brisbane shooters
Posted By switch79
Replies: 12
Views: 2,174
I had a chance to visit the PMA and visted the Pentax stand on the Friday. Although it was not as big as the Canon, Sony, Nikon and Olympus (Which were absolutley IMPRESSIVE) I had the chance to play with just about every lens in the cabinet on MY K20D. I played around with the 16-50, 50-135, DA200, DA35 Macro, FA31, 10-17, 18-250, FA77. It was great. DA* lenses are awesome and my next purchases. the 16-50 was great and sharp as, 100% crops on my monitor are brilliant. Lets hope the copy i get is as good as this one. 50-135 was great and the DA200 was amazing. Handling, weight, speed. That lens is the whole sherbang!

Anyways it not how big the stand or display is, its the quality of the products. In my view I got what I wanted from it. That being able to have a play with these lenses prior to purchase.

Oh and one more thing to keep an eye and an ear out for is a Pentax lens rental program to get underway in the near future. That would be great! I guess these are the benefits of attending something like this - a little inside info!
Forum: Photographic Technique 05-20-2008, 05:21 PM  
Tonight's full moon, K20D & the Bigma
Posted By switch79
Replies: 10
Views: 2,842
Sorry also forgot to mention that I even did some shots at ISO 1600 up to 1/4000. They were ok too. I prefer the shot I posted though.
Forum: Photographic Technique 05-20-2008, 05:20 PM  
Tonight's full moon, K20D & the Bigma
Posted By switch79
Replies: 10
Views: 2,842
Well basically I was just playing around with my settings and wanted to see how far I could push the shutter speed and get a reasonable exposure.

"you could have chosen ISO 200 f6.7 1/250
or ISO200 f/8-9.5 1/125?"

I actually did a shot with 400ISO f6.7 @ 1/250. Handheld with the Bigma there is a lot of lens movement especially at 500mm, I found that my shots weren't nearly as sharp than the 800ISO 1/1000 combo. The Bigma weighs as much as a small car so eliminating movement was the key. The moon was absolutley bright, and i wanted to test the noise levels in the dark sky. As you can see the result is pretty good. Probably lacks a little sharpness, but these are tradeoffs that are made when using fairly extreme settings.
Forum: Photographic Technique 05-20-2008, 07:07 AM  
Tonight's full moon, K20D & the Bigma
Posted By switch79
Replies: 10
Views: 2,842
Hi all, I was mucking around this evening getting re acquainted with my K20D and my Bigma as I've been spending my weekends of late playing too much golf, thus neglecting my wonderful equipment.

The moon was fantastic and it was a beautiful Aussie clear sky. I've attached just one of my images of the moon. This is a 100% crop. Handheld IS0 800 with D-Range enable 1/1000 @ f 6.7. Lying inclined on my weight bench I was pointed straight up as this was taken around 11.30pm. Lifting that Bigma is a workout itself so controlled breathing becomes part of the capture process.

I'd love to get one closer to dawn as it will be nearer the horizon but i've got to get some sleep.

I'm really impressed with the quality at ISO800. Lets see some other full moon shots over the next couple of nights from all you folk out there.


Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-07-2008, 11:56 PM  
Looking for opiniong on a Sigma 28-105
Posted By switch79
Replies: 8
Views: 6,824
I had the Sigma 28-105 2.8-4. Didn't really rate it that much. It was a little to soft for me. sold it on fleabay for more than what I paid and bought an FA50. I guess I was lucky. anyways there are other better lenses in that range.
Forum: Photographic Technique 05-07-2008, 11:45 PM  
PPG - Pentax Photo Gallery
Posted By switch79
Replies: 16
Views: 5,573
Just make sure that your image is a quality image and something that will grab the attention of the viewer/voter.

Of course voting is related to personal taste but a stunning, well composed image will appeal to anyone regardless of how they are feeling at that moment.

I think the PPG is great, but it's not the be all and end all though. It is tarnished somewhat by some of the crap that people post and we have to vote on. On the other hand though, photography is for everyone and if people continue to have images rejected naturally they want to know why and will work harder to get better. It can only be a good thing even if we have to look at 30 images of someones family, holiday and backyard that are enough to send us to sleep.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-29-2008, 11:10 PM  
B&H international warranty
Posted By switch79
Replies: 18
Views: 7,125
Dale, You need to conatct Joe Virgil from Pentax in Golden, Colorado, USA. You can scan your receipt from B&H send it to him in an email and you will be sent an International Warranty card with the stamp on it. I got mine about a week after I sent a request to Pentax.

I've had some issues with my 540 flash purchased from B&H. I too am an Aussie. My flash is with CR Kennedy at the moment getting the treatment it needs. You need the International Warranty Card with the stamp. Of course I you have purchased your camera within a year you'll have it serviced/repaired and the only cost you'll need to bear will be the postage. the service I have receievd to date has been excellent.


Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-10-2008, 07:20 AM  
Pentax K20d flash system
Posted By switch79
Replies: 23
Views: 9,505
Codiac, many thanks for your advice. I've been having all sorts of dramas with my flash, here is a post I made on the other forum regarding my flash experience:

Dramas with my damn AF540FGZ Flash!

I have been back and forth with a solution and am now left with no idea.

The flash does the following and some more: On my K10D and two K20's. Cant be the camera's surely

When set on P-TTL it will randomly switch to TTL, and at times flash will not fire, even when recharged after a cycle, when it does flash it can massively over expose. It sometimes will jump modes to say manual, auto etc. Sometimes the auto focus assist lamp will not work, then does even when shooting the same subject a couple of times. The LCD screen will disappear sometimes. Usually a fix is turning the flash off and it seems to reset itself only to bugger up at another stage.

Sometimes it works fine, other not. Very frustrated, especially in situations when i NEED the flash to work.

Here is the crazy thing. I pull out my istDS and it works 100% every time without failure, perfect exposure no matter what.

Before I got my K20 i thought the problem was with the K10, but no same issue with a brand new camera. (x2 K20's)

There is a difference between the DS and the k10&20 with the PTTL system isn't there? The flash is faulty and I believe the fault lies in there somewhere.

What's worse is I'm in Australia, bought the flash from the US in October 07. Warranty enquiries has been a pain, but thanks to a link on here I got an international warranty card sent so I can get it attended to locally. Hopefully CR Kennedy will replace the damn thing and give me a new flash.

I'm shooting a wedding tomorrow so fingers crossed the weather is good and I can limit the use of the flash. I will be taking my good mate DS with me if flash is needed.



I've been mucking around with the A Zoom function, referring back to the manual and my little training session tonight is looking good. Great exposures everytime. I still believe somewhere in my flash is a flaw with the P-TTL system, hence all my troubles.

Flash photography is a whole other universe!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-06-2008, 11:52 PM  
My Trip to the Pentax Forum, Tokyo-Japan December 2007
Posted By switch79
Replies: 20
Views: 6,525
Thanks for the comments. Expense wise I didn't it was too bad. At the time the aussie dollar to the Yen was pretty much even given or take a couple of cents. If you're smart with where you eat and sleep you can do pretty well. If your happy with backpacker accomodation you'll get a great service and product. We stayed at a place Sakura Hostel in Asakusa, real close to the temples and where the "one in a million" shot was taken. The bullet trains are a bit expensive. From Tokyo to Kyoto you'd be looking at about $120-130 USD one way and maybe a little less from Kyoto to Osaka. Don't forget that time is money also. I'd rather spend a little extra on transport for a comfortabe FAST ride than take a slow train or bus. It's all relative. A good Tripod is a must. You'll kick yourself if you don't take one.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-06-2008, 04:44 PM  
My Trip to the Pentax Forum, Tokyo-Japan December 2007
Posted By switch79
Replies: 20
Views: 6,525
Japan is a photographers paradise on a number of fronts. shops shops and shops of camera gear. I've never been more excited in my life. There are a few 2nd hand stores, one in Kyoto I can remember had a good selection old old and new Pentax lenses. It is one one of the main streets near a Huge Bowling alley, not much to go on though.

You should visit in Tokyo: Shibuya at night, infact anywhere at night will be better, i like doing night shots and the colours made available from the lights are cool. Asakusa Markets, Government Building in Shinjuku - has a good looout over the city. Try to get there just before dusk to get day, sunset ansd night shots all in one. Note, getting a good night shot of the city will be tough. I wasn't allowed to set my tripod up on the window sill and there is too much reflection from the inside lights. If you use photshop you can mess with the levels to make the shot acceptable.

Kyoto - you should not miss the Fushimi Inari shrine, that was my favourite place by far and very different. I've had a shot accepted in the PPG of this, check it out:

PENTAX Photo Gallery: Artist Bio - Matt Streatfeild

There is also a large temple on top of a hill in Kyoto, the name escapes me but you will get some good shots. Do plenty of walking there is always something unique to shoot. You'll be surprised what a BW conversion can do some some of your pics.

Can't speak for Osaka, didn't make it there. Have a great time.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-01-2008, 05:46 PM  
My Trip to the Pentax Forum, Tokyo-Japan December 2007
Posted By switch79
Replies: 20
Views: 6,525
More like crying! Being a millionaire would have been nice. I'd have bought everything and sent it home.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-01-2008, 05:35 PM  
My Trip to the Pentax Forum, Tokyo-Japan December 2007
Posted By switch79
Replies: 20
Views: 6,525
Hi all,

I thought I'd share a little from my visit to the Pentax Forum in Tokyo, December 07. I'm a little slack in posting and can't believe i've left it to now to do so.

Here is a link to the forum: PENTAX Forum : PENTAX

Anyways myself and my wife had 1 full day in Tokyo and it is amazing how much you can do in 15hrs. Prior to leaving Australia on our 6 week world trip I made it a priority to visit the Pentax Square just to check it out. It was a challenge and going off unrelaible maps we found it. It is nestled away and you would only really find it if you knew where you were going. But it was a rewarding experience nevertheless. Infact it was like a kid in a candy store. On display and available for play were all the camera body models like the K10, 100 etc. Also the medium format camera as well. As well as all the DA & DA* lenses and medium format lenses. Even old film bodies displaying a timeline of cameras were set up.

Being December the new ones like the 200mm, 300m and 35mm macro weren't realesed and the K20 would probably still have been in production or awaiting release. The announcement was 6 weeks away.

I had a great time and no doubt my favourite was the glass cabinet with all the Pentax lenses. I wish I could have taken them all. But a stint in a Japanese jail wasn't appealing.

Availabe to buy were lenses and things like a shirt, cap accessories, calenders etc. Having to buy something as a reminder I managed to get a really cool hard cased weather sealed 8 SD card holder, which came in very handy for the rest of my trip.

For any Pentaxian heading to Tokyo the Forum is a worthwhile visit. The attached Gallery was great and an exhibition runs all the time. I was luck enough to talk with a Pentax Pro who was displaying his work. He loved the fact that Australians were using Pentax and encouraged me to spread the word. He also was very happy to give some pointers and explain the story behind each of his images.

Here are a few images from the forum, but it is much better to be there in person.


Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-30-2008, 05:56 AM  
K20D Front Focusing Issues
Posted By switch79
Replies: 18
Views: 4,465
I've read the manual and applied the fixes. I tried both options for individual and apply to all. I took the slider all the way to -10 to take the focus backward. It did make some very slight improvement but the sharpest part of the image remains between the 30-40mm range on all lenses. The most noticable difference was with the FA50 @1.4 the improvement was 20mm but the focus was still 20mm off the acceptable range. Unlucky for me the slider doesn't go all the way to -20 otherwise i'd be OK!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-30-2008, 05:16 AM  
K20D Front Focusing Issues
Posted By switch79
Replies: 18
Views: 4,465
G'day all,

I purchased my K20D last week and so far have been impressed. After playing around tonight with it I suspected there may be some front focus issues. I downloaded the Focus Test Chart and sure enough it seems to be front focusing between 30mm & 40mm on all lenses tested. With the sharpest of the results almost always at 40mm. I tested the K20 with the 16-45, FA50 & Tamron 18-250 with identical results within this range. I also did the test on my K10 and it came up perfect. This is my first real issue with all of the equipment I have purchased so it leaves a little sour taste.

Is there any way I can resolve this issue myself or will I need it to be fixed or serviced through warranty. I'm in Australia and will be contacting CR Kennedy to find the best course of action. It would be nice if the store where I purchased from just did an exchange but it was a special order so I dont think that will happen, I'll be directed through warranty is mt hunch.

The biggest pain is that i'll be shooting a wedding next week and if the camera goes off for service I won't get it back in time. Some consolation is that 30-40mm won't make hardly any difference to the wedding shots I will take.

Any experiences, advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-26-2008, 09:10 PM  
Dang!! - K20 file sizes are huge!!
Posted By switch79
Replies: 9
Views: 1,943
Not that I'm complaining. Picked up my K20 last night and my K10 is now Robin (sidekick) to Batman (K20) after being the top dog for the last year and a bit. My DS is moving on to my dad who is keen to start up photography. I'm happy to keep my first DSLR in the family.

Anyways I've only had a chance to duck home on my lunch break and have a play with the K20. I got it with a 16-45 and was very well looked after by my sales person. It is the first time i've used the 16-45 and it looks good so far. Something I didn't expect was the reverse movement of the lens when going wide. If the Tamron 17-50 2.8 results are good i'll be selling a brand new 16-45 very soon, so keep an eye out in the market place.

So about the file sizes. As I have yet to play with the settings in depth, I have it on max res and max quality JPEG in bright mode. Average file size for a pic is between 7-11MB for a JPEG. Over double from the K10. But that is due obviously to the great sensor inside. I guess there will always be a market for portable hardrives these days.

Here are some shots. They were taken in my yard about 2 hours ago. They have been resized and may effect the viewing quality a little.

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-05-2008, 03:07 AM  
Anyone had this problem - K10D with AF540FGZ Flash
Posted By switch79
Replies: 1
Views: 1,968
After trying several different things here is what I think my problem is. On my K10 the hotshoe is having an issue with connectivity to the flash. As a result these are the symptoms: Not all the time but often enough to be a concern

Will randomly go from P-TTL to TTL and massively over expose the shot.
Switch through the mode button and sometimes will just go from TTL-SB with no AUTO, MANUAL or PTTL function available.

Flash will not fire
Auto zoom feature will not function
Auto assist beam will not work
LCD screen will just disappear
Turning off the flash can some times "restore things" to how it should be
There are probably other things i can't think of right now.

Other times it works as it should and like an absolute gem. It's driving me crazy.

Some general observations I've noticed is that on the K10 it has troubles getting a correct exposure when photographing black or dark objects (like my camera). It sometimes is hit or miss when photographing light objects such as a wedding dress.

I originally thought it was a fault with the flash but I have used it on my istDS and have used several different lenses on both cameras and have had not one single problem. Every time the flash fires without issue, prefect exposure.

I have also noticed that the flash recycle times are way way quicker on the DS.

My question to anyone out there who has the k10 540 combo, are you experiencing or have experienced difficulties. If so what were they and how did you fix them.

Is there known issues with the hotshoe related to connectivity and crazy things going on. It does seem a little looser than the DS when it it mounted. I have cleaned it, but it doesn't seem to rectify the problem.

Suggestions, solutions or shared experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-24-2007, 04:53 PM  
Just pulled the trigger on the Bigma
Posted By switch79
Replies: 2
Views: 2,276
After a lot of thought and going back and forth deciding wether or not to get the Bigma, i have just pulled the trigger and placed an order through B&H. $999. I have used them before with no dramas so i don't mind paying that little extra for peace of mind. I also got a little omni pod bean bag to accompany this apparent monster.

The reason i bought it was that i am going on a 6 week trip Japan, Austria & England which will include 3 weeks in Africa with 2 of those weeks on a full on safari. My only other zoom lens worthy of taking on the trip is the Tamron 18-250 and i wasn't convinced it would be long enough.

After i saw some Bigma galleries on Flickr of people Safari's i thought to myself. I cannot travel that far and not be able to get the type of shots I want without the Bigma.

I am sacrificing a few bits of clothing and other stuff to bring my gear and have settled on this lineup.

istDS as a back up body
Tamron 18-250
18-55 kit lens (as a backup), its small, light so why not.
smallish velbon tripod, but does the job wonderfully.
omni bean bag
plus batteries, 14GB worth of memory, chargers etc.

I'm am going to leave my 10-20 behind, don't think i'll use it that much and i'm happy to sacrifice 8mm at the short end to replace with an extra 250 on the long.

In two minds about taking my 540FGZ flash? Do you think the onboard flash will be enough?

in a Lowerpro Orion Trekker backpack. Which i will be making some modifications on. This is going to be my carry on bag.
Forum: Photographic Technique 11-06-2007, 09:09 PM  
Pentax Photo Gallery & Third Party Lenses
Posted By switch79
Replies: 13
Views: 2,688
I also forgot to mention, i have look through the submission rules and haven't found a clear answer.
Forum: Photographic Technique 11-06-2007, 09:08 PM  
Pentax Photo Gallery & Third Party Lenses
Posted By switch79
Replies: 13
Views: 2,688
Hi all,

I am curious as to what the rules are now for submissions into the Pentax Photo Gallery. Can we submit entries that have used a 3rd party lens or Pentax lenses only. I'm confused.

BTW I had my first two entries accepted. How exciting. Here is a link to my profile

PENTAX Photo Gallery

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-15-2007, 06:15 AM  
Pentax 540 Flash, K10D and what hot shoes adapters to get
Posted By switch79
Replies: 12
Views: 4,462
Hi all,

I will be purchasing the Pentax 540 flash in the next day or so and was wondering about some of the Pentax accessories that can go with it in partticular the hot shoe adapters.

What advantage will these provide and what are their main functions. Here are the links to the BH Photo page with the respective products.

Pentax | Hot Shoe Adapter F | 31022 | B&H Photo Video

Pentax | Off Camera Shoe Adpater F | 31046 | B&H Photo Video

Pentax | Hot Shoe Adapter FG | 31045 | B&H Photo Video

also, will it be worth my while to purchase the extension cords as well? For alot of the stuff I do i dont need a flash, however when i do need it i have been using a Sigma EF430ST with some good results

All this gear has got me a little confused. The main thing for me is to have a top notch flash with an option to do some wireless flash photography. Thats all.

Thanks in advance

1 confused flash photographer seeking advice!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-01-2007, 09:51 PM  
Setting up a new flash kit
Posted By switch79
Replies: 4
Views: 2,505
Thanks Will. What equipment do you have, how much did it cost you to set up.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-01-2007, 08:03 PM  
Setting up a new flash kit
Posted By switch79
Replies: 4
Views: 2,505
Hey all,

I'm looking to upgrading and expanding my current flash set up. I want to get the newest Pentax 540FGZ as it seems to do the job pretty well. As the demand for my photography work is ever increasing and varying I'm needing a multi-purpose flash and this one seems to fit the bill.

I'm currently using an old school Sigma EF430ST, does OK, but now that my expectations on myself are greater, this flash will no longer cut the mustard.

As part of the work i'm going to be doing i'm thinking about the wireless set up and some cool stuff i could do with it.

Is it possible to say, mount the flash (Pentax 540FGZ) on a tripod and use the on board flash to trigger the unit?

Also what flash set up could you recommend would be good in terms of using slaves and how does that generally work?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-13-2007, 11:17 PM  
Mastering the FA50
Posted By switch79
Replies: 2
Views: 1,600
Well I've had this lens for about two weeks now and have been mucking around a little. After work yesterday and last night I took some random shots and are posting them here for people to view.

The FA 50 is a great lens, however getting used it can be a challenge. Managing the narrow DOF at certain apertures is fun. Using a fixed focal length to compose a requires skills and patience. These shots below were shot between f1.4 and 2.8 and the iso between 100-400. If the EXIF doesn't come across here is a reference.

1. friends - f2, 1/20, ISO 400
2. fruit - f/2, 1/45, ISO 200
3. red grevilia - f/2, 1/30, IS0 100

IQ may have been lost a little due to resizing

I'll get some more up
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-12-2007, 06:40 PM  
Transfering images from to K10D to a Portable Hard drivre
Posted By switch79
Replies: 41
Views: 5,054
I was having a flick through the K10D manual last night as I was curious about transferring files. We obviously can transfer to a PC with no issues, but is it possible to plug our K10Dís via the cable provided to a USB Portable hard drive like a 250GB? I couldnít find any info on this

Is there a function within the K10Dís menu to transfer to this. I know there is a transfer to PC option, but will this work with a portable drive? Has anyone done anything similar?

If possible, this would be awesome for an upcoming trip of mine. A little peace of mind to shoot to my hearts content, and also be able to store a heap of RAWS.

Any feedback welcome,

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