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Forum: Post Your Photos! 03-26-2019, 07:55 PM  
Nature Pretty set up, but no idea what it is.
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 3
Views: 230
I'd guess a hellebore (genus helleborus: a number of species and many hybrids), but I've not grown them myself so not certain.
Forum: Pentax K-1 01-24-2019, 02:09 PM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 25,039
Views: 2,142,108
Whoever said copper toner was archival? Certainly not the old photo texts. Fun stuff though, and still more stable than dye-based toners. Personally I miss Dupont Varigam and Varilour myself. i have a so-so emulation of Varigam using Topaz Black and White that I sometimes use.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 01-07-2019, 08:38 PM  
Epson V600 vs V800 vs V850
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 25
Views: 25,360
As long as you are not trying to make big ( > letter size?) prints, you should be happy with the V600 with 120 film. The V600 is marginal for 35mm, especially for color negatives. I use Vuescan with my V600, which gives me some options for multiple scans of the same negative (mainly for noise reduction and dynamic range). All this assumes your negatives and slides are well exposed, otherwise you will probably do better with camera scanning (I use a K5 with the 100mm DFA macro) than with the V600. Overall, the V600 is a great value though.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-13-2018, 08:04 PM  
Questions about the D-FA 100 f/2.8 WR
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 40
Views: 1,788
+1 on the 70mm. It is so compact nobody will think it is a telephoto and even the older SMC version has excellent contrast and very good flare resistance. It can be forced to purple fringe, but only on very overexposed areas. i do expect the HD version will have better bokeh for portraiture and landscape, but the SMC is no slouch in that regard, albeit not comparable to the 77mm for bokeh.
Forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive 08-25-2018, 09:20 PM  
Pentax DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited samples
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 78
Views: 48,049
On the shore of Lake Champlain at Shelburne Farm, late afternoon. The 70mm is a great outdoors lens. Just basic processing in Lightroom 5.7. The tiny bit of vignetting is intentional.
Forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive 08-25-2018, 08:56 PM  
HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm Sample Photos
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 58
Views: 14,226
For the gardeners in the crowd, this is allium 'Sugar Melt' in bloom today in eastern Massachusetts. I leave it to others to identify the visitor. The HD 55-300 has pretty good bokeh, at least in this focal length range (c. 135mm). Processed entirely in Lighroom 5.7. The colors are out of the camera, K-5 embedded profile; I was tempted to tone them down a bit but didn't.
Forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive 08-25-2018, 08:42 PM  
HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm Sample Photos
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 58
Views: 14,226
I've never posted a photo here before, but I'm doing my bit to reach the K-1 giveaway goal. My copy of the 55-300 HD may not be the very sharpest, or it may be my aging arms, but I'm still happy with what a bit of post-processing can do with its images. This one has seen gentle treatment with Topaz Clarity and Detail plus toning down the bright green grass background in Photoshop.
Forum: Photographic Technique 05-01-2018, 04:04 PM  
Low-Light I'm ready to give up...
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 29
Views: 2,184
You know, your two photos are really not bad given the limitations imposed (no real telephoto, mixed lighting, no choice of distance, etc.). Note that the 70 f/2.4 is perfectly sharp wide open, so, if your shot doesn't need depth of field, don't be afraid to shoot wide open. Practice hand holding at slow shutter speeds. My aging (but not yet shaky) hands can often get sharp enough shots with my K-5 at 1/8 sec with shake reduction on. If you want to use the K-5 above ISO 1600 you need to learn about noise reduction in post-processing. I use Lightrrom, Topaz Denoise, and Raw Therapee—they all can help but not necessarily do miracles. Do "chimp" your photos (examine them on the camera screen and look at the histograms as well) in tough situations like yours and don't be afraid to do exposure adjustments. The K-5 has incredible exposure dynamic range (way wider than film), but it is finite and can easily be exceeded in auditorium/stage settings—that's just the way photography is. And do check the fine focus on your 70mm. If adjusted properly, this lens should be sharp as a tack. I learned to do stuff like this on film a long time ago so digital to me is a great improvement, but that doesn't mean it is easy even on digital. Good luck!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-20-2017, 06:36 PM  
Replacing portrait lenses, need suggestions
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 9
Views: 825
If you are sticking with APS-C, the 70mm f/2.4 is vastly underrated as a portrait lens and is a much better price than the 55mm or 77mm. Character is different than the 77mm, but still very good.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-20-2017, 06:33 PM  
Help me trouble shoot my -DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR at 300mm
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 25
Views: 1,996
I find that my 55-300 WR at 300 is a good test of my hand-holding technique: gently depressing the shutter button fully after giving the shake reduction time to kick in (2 seconds but definitely not instantly on my K5), holding the camera with my arms gently pressed into my sides, and being relaxed so no muscle-induced shaking. Also, in contrasty light definitely stop down to f8 or smaller, not wide open. On a tripod (and probably a monopod or park bench), make sure shake reduction is off since it will do more harm than good under those conditions. With all of that, my lens is better at 250mm than at 300mm, but the difference is not very great.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 02-18-2016, 03:14 PM  
Negatives stuck to plastic sheets
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 20
Views: 3,466
As long as the negatives were fixed in a hardening fixer, distilled water is your safest choice. If either the negatives were not hardened (B&W, all color negs are hardened as far as I know) or you know for sure that the plastic sleeves were PVC (polyvinyl chloride, which is definitely not archival), then 91% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol, but 91% preferred over 70%) may be a better choice. Do test several drops of alcohol on an unimportant strip of negatives. Isopropyl alcohol should be fine on black and white films but might damage color negs.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-12-2015, 11:05 AM  
Pentax 16-50mm f2.8
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 31
Views: 3,561
I've had mine since 2011 without SDM issues. It gets light but fairly regular use. Optically it is excellent for a zoom of its range and complexity - great colors and plenty sharp if stopped down a bit. Definitely usable wide open if you need to. Flare and reflections can be an issue at 16mm if the sun is in or close to the frame, but I've seen far worse in other lenses. Contrast drops a bit going from 45 to 50mm, but its barely noticeable. Yes I also have the 43mm FA Limited and it is even sharper than is the zoom at 45mm, but I doubt any zoom could come close to the Limited. In any case, it takes great pictures, as a quick search through the Forum will show.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-27-2015, 11:13 AM  
Debating on which lenses to buy?
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 18
Views: 1,598
The 70 f/2.4 is really a spectacular lens that gets lost in the glory of the quite different 77mm f/1.8. The 70 is one of the most flare-resistant lenses I have ever used (I've shot quite a few Minolta MC and Canon FD lenses on film as well as several Pentax on digital) and is sharp across the image right from wide open. It's also amazingly small and light. Colors are excellent and as long as you don't grossly overexpose there is little or no purple fringing. I currently have the 16-50, 43, 70, 100 DFA and 55-300 HD and love them all, but the 70 is special. it is the APC-S equivalent to the 100-105mm short teles on film and full frame, and that is a field of view I have always found to be versatile.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 10-01-2015, 03:29 PM  
77mm Circular polarizer Recommendations for Pentax 16-50 and 12-24?
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 7
Views: 1,319
I have the Marumi 77mm and the B+W 49mm Kaeseman. The B+W imparts less of a color shift but I don't find the slight yellowness of the Marumi to be a problem. Otherwise I am perfectly happy with both although the plastic case the Marumi came in broke fairly early on.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-12-2015, 12:41 PM  
Filters and Digital B&W
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 9
Views: 1,183
One issue with filters is that the sensitivity curves for digital sensors look very different than those for film: film is inherently most sensitive to blue light, while silicon-based sensors are least sensitive to blue. Of course the digital camera compensates to produce a more or less color-accurate scene, but putting a filter in front of the sensor and making a monochrome image from the result need not be and in my experience is not the same as putting the same filter in front of film. Actually, I have been frustrated with the digital monochrome filter emulations I have tried in post-processing. The red "digital filters" do not give the same effects I used to get on film (mostly Ilford FP4+ and HP4+, some Kodak Tmax) with a 23A or 25 red filter. I keep yellow and green filters in my camera bag with my K-5, but haven't yet seen a situation where I clearly liked the results better than what I can do in post-processing (Lightroom, PS, Topaz B&W).
Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 12-14-2014, 08:12 PM  
3 Million Post Giveaway: Confirm your entry!
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 2,854
Views: 98,304
Confirming that I'd love to have a 31mm and this might be the only way I ever get it.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-10-2014, 10:41 AM  
Properly cleaning lens elements
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 7
Views: 968
Fungus can actually attack lens coatings and dissolve them so you may be seeing spots where this has happened. If that is the case and the spots are small, I wouldn't worry about it. At worse they may slightly increase lens flare under the most severe conditions but you may also never notice their effects.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 11-21-2014, 11:58 AM  
Mixing chemicals from scratch, anyone?
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 37
Views: 2,991
Several decades ago when I was in college I routinely mixed several print developers as I was not a fan of Dektol's tendency to block shadows and also liked to work with warmer-tome papers like Portriga Rapid and DuPont Varilour (there: I've dated myself pretty precisely). I liked Ilford ID-78 for warm tone papers, Ansco 120 as the soft developer in a two-developer printing process (the commercial alternative was Kodak Selectol-Soft). For cold-tone papers I remember using DuPont 54-D on Varigam and 55-D on Varilour. Frankly, the differences are subtle though real. Haven't had access to a wet darkroom in many years so no idea how modern materials would respond to these. For published film formulas that were not D-76 clones the problem was to determine the processing time for a given film, which took a fair amount of film and time and preferably access to a densitometer.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-18-2014, 12:06 PM  
Who else loves the 16-50mm?
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 14
Views: 946
Maybe it's just because the 16-50 was the first modern zoom I have used (mainly a prime shooter but previously had a Canon FD 80-200 on an A-1), but I was blown away by the quality of most of the images it makes. Yes flare can be a problem, especially at the shorter focal lengths—I always use the hood but having the sun in or very near the edge of an image can still be a problem, Mine is an older copy but so far (fingers crossed) no SDM issues.Excellent color rendering and very good sharpness stopped down beyond f/4 (even wide open is not too bad on my copy).
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 03-11-2014, 01:52 PM  
Chemical storage options
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 21
Views: 3,437
Metal and developers is generally not a good combination. Plastic is OK if the length of storage is in the weeks range, not many months. Thicker-walled plastic (e.g. Nalgene bottles) is better, but then you can't squeeze to reduce the air content. Also, some developers (D-23) keep better than others (D-76). As mentioned above, the developer concentrates (Kodak HC-110. Adox Adonal [replaces discontinued Agfa Rodinal]) are excellent keepers even in plastic bottles, but it is important to have accurate measures for dilution to the working strength, and the diluted solutions don't keep.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 10-08-2013, 12:20 PM  
Domke F2 for storing all my gear
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 10
Views: 1,737
I have two Domke F-2s. One I bought back in the '70s for my Minolta SRT-101 outfit. I liked it so much that when my dad gave me his Canon A-1 outfit, I bought a second F-2 for it. I sold the Canon outfit to buy a K-5. Currently I keep the K-5, 16-50, 43, 70, and 100 WR lenses in it along with the charger, USB cable, 49mm and 77mm polarizer filters, a USB flash drive, a Demb Saucer flash diffuser, and some miscellaneous cleaning and note-taking supplies. Everything fits well except the flash diffuser is barely small enough to fit in the inner pocket on the lid. I do think that to put any more than what I have in (like 250mm lenses), you will be happier with the F-1X.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-04-2012, 07:54 PM  
*PETITION* Lets put an end to the crazy online Pentax lens prices in the US!
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 550
Views: 37,304
Count me in. In 2010 for my first digital camera I took a chance on Pentax (K-5 & 16-50) in spite of the quality control issues that were evident with both camera and lens at that time. I took the chance because not only was the IQ of the K-5 at least as good as the Nikon D7000 that was my alternative, but the camera and lens represented a sufficiently good value to justify the QC risk. I apparently lucked out and am satisfied with both plus the DA 70 and 100 MacroWR that I added shortly after. At today's lens prices there is no question I would have gone Nikon or Sony instead. While I need a wider lens and would consider the 12-24 or the 14, at the current prices if I get another lens at all it will be one of the Sigma 10-20s.
Forum: Pentax K-5 04-19-2012, 11:58 AM  
Proprietary Remote Shutter Release
Posted By Sholom
Replies: 8
Views: 8,775
The "Select" button on the IR remote for my old Sony TV works fine as a wireless trigger for my K-5. Haven't tried it for video though.
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