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Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 05-26-2014, 06:35 PM  
Abstract Planet Sydney
Posted By CX15
Replies: 0
Views: 407
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-08-2014, 05:43 AM  
Urban Decay
Posted By CX15
Replies: 0
Views: 193
Taken in Wong Chuk Yeung village, Hong Kong.
This village was abandoned in the mid 70s. But everything was left behind!
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 05-01-2012, 03:00 AM  
Night Scene
Posted By CX15
Replies: 0
Views: 272
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-05-2012, 07:20 AM  
Will K5 fix my low-light problems, or do I need fast glass?
Posted By CX15
Replies: 27
Views: 3,759
Thanks again for all the input!!
In order to wrap this thread up - here is my final decisions:

The K5 arrived a week ago and yes, the ISO performance is markedly better. I am reasonably confident up to ISO1600 now.

As for the lenses, in the end I stuck with the Pentax DA 12-24/F4 and the Pentax DA* 16-50/F2.8.
It was not an easy choice between the Pentax, Sigma and Tamron options, but in the end I guess I decided to spend the money on the Pentax brand. (I hope that doesn't sound too lame).

And then while the cash were flowing I also got a Tamron 90/F2.8 Macro - WOW! is all I can say so far!

Regards
CX
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-21-2012, 07:04 PM  
Will K5 fix my low-light problems, or do I need fast glass?
Posted By CX15
Replies: 27
Views: 3,759
Just bought a Pentax M 50/F1.7 off evilBay for USD50!
Not sure what to expect, but should at least give me practice (and hopefully more confidence) with MF!!

Oh, and now I'm addicted to e-bay browsing...damn, that Vivitar Series 1 105/F2.8 Macro looks soooo tempting...)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-21-2012, 02:14 AM  
Will K5 fix my low-light problems, or do I need fast glass?
Posted By CX15
Replies: 27
Views: 3,759
Thanks again everyone.

So far the decision is as follows:

1. DA 12-24/F4 for the "I need a wider angle" problem.
(I looked at the Sigma 10-20/F4-5.6, Sigma 10-20/F3.5, Tamron 10-24, and the DA 12-24.
I have to admit that I made my decision based mostly on reviews of the Tokina 12-24.
Also, that Tokina 11-16/F2.8 would have been ideal in DA* branding, but alas, how long can one wait...)

2. DA*16-50/2.8 as a walk-around lens with slightly better low-light performance.
(I have a DA17-70 but it's going to the wife. So I considered getting another of those or the DA*16-50, DA16-45/F4, Tamron 28-75/F2.8, Tamron 17-50/F2.8 or Sigma 17-70/F2.8-4.5 - tough choice!!)

3. So, the only decision left is a fast prime in the 20 - 40 range somewhere.
However, the budget is a bit blown now. I will try and find a cheap MF lens on evilBay - any suggestions??
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-20-2012, 12:02 AM  
Will K5 fix my low-light problems, or do I need fast glass?
Posted By CX15
Replies: 27
Views: 3,759
Wow, I forgot how handy this forum can be!!!
Thanks everyone for your comments, it really helps.

So, I guess I am slowly coming around to the fact that I will probably need 3 lenses for the K5:

1. Wide angle zoom (Choice between DA12-24/F4 and Sigma 10-20/F4-5.6)
2. Medium zoom (Choice between DA17-70/F4 and DA*16-50/F2.8)
3. Fast prime (Choice between a gazillion lenses, probably in the 21mm to 35mm range)

I will probably shoot with the K5 and my current DA17-70 first and see how that goes before deciding.
Also, to keep cost down I might get a MF prime first and see what it's like - I haven't shot with a MF lens before, so a bit apprehensive...

Thanks again for all the comments and ideas!
CX
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-18-2012, 08:55 PM  
Will K5 fix my low-light problems, or do I need fast glass?
Posted By CX15
Replies: 27
Views: 3,759
After 14 days of research I'm still at a loss...

95% of my shooting is done while travelling (i.e. landscapes, city streets and architecture, inside monuments/museums/churces/etc).
I currently have the K7 and the bulk of my photos is shot with the DA17-70/F4 (backed up with DA55-300 and 18-55WR when it gets rough).

I have two problems with my lens line-up:
1. Low light. I often find that I have to stop shooting because tripod is unpractical/not present and I run into too high ISO problems.
2. I cannot back up further, i.e. I need a wider lens.

I have just ordered a K5 (K7 is going to the wife) and can spend (appr) an additional USD1500 on lenses.
My first choice was the DA*16-50/F2.8. This will give a fraction wider angle and a fair bit better low-light performance.
I am a bit worried about IQ and quality control issues though. (Actually I still cannot decide if this lens will actually give better IQ over my DA17-70, seeing that its a fair bit more expensive).
B&H sells the DA*16-50 for USD800 at the moment leaving another USD700.

The problem now lies with the second lens. Do I go with the DA14/F2.8 (sorts out the wider angle and low-light) or do I go for the 12-24/F.4?
The 12-24 will be the ideal zoom range for what I need but there will be no improvement for low-light. Which forms my next question: Will the K5 make up for some of my current low-light problems with the 17-70/F4?

Alternatively, I just keep the DA17-70/F.4 (and hope for better ISO performance from the K5) and spend the dollars on a really fast prime thats a bit more narrow. FA*24/F2 or FA31/F1.8Ltd.

I know I'm re-hashing the "fantasy travel lens" question here, but any thoughts (especially on K7 vs K5 low light performance) will be greatly appreciated.
I dont mind carrying up to 3/4 lenses while travelling though, so I just need a good combination here.
Also, I guess I can wait till I have the K5 and shoot with DA17-70 to see what the low-light difference from the K7 is.

Regards
CX
Forum: Winners' Showcase 08-06-2010, 01:21 AM  
August 2010 Winner: Weee!!
Posted By CX15
Replies: 7
Views: 3,580
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-18-2010, 08:54 AM  
Is SDM getting more reliable?
Posted By CX15
Replies: 90
Views: 7,476
My 17-70 SDM went in for repairs (USA workshop in Arizona) on 20 Dec 09.
I only got it back 15th of Feb. They just kept saying they are waiting for parts from Japan.

I got it back one day before going to Jordan on holiday - and off course it was now even more broken than before...

So it's back to the repair shop next week.
Forum: Winners' Showcase 03-13-2010, 08:01 AM  
January 2010 Co-Runner-Up: Bayon, Cambodia
Posted By CX15
Replies: 4
Views: 5,425
Thanks for the comments!

It's quite amazing to get this sort of recognition!!

The shot was done handheld with 3 exposures.
I then made a tone-mapped HDR (photomatix) with a few extra tone adjustments (Silkypix).
The orange umbrella and sash around the budha is however directly from the original picture. It was so vivd that it didn't need any further saturation.

Here is the 2nd of the original photos:


If anyone is interested in my other favourite Angkor photos, there is a few posted here: Flickr Angkor Set

Thanks again,
Andre
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-05-2010, 12:00 PM  
How long should a lens repair take?
Posted By CX15
Replies: 1
Views: 1,603
Hi all

Just a question if anyone has had some experience with lens repairs done by Pentax USA?

I sent a DA17-70mm in for repair and it has been 41 days with no result.
When I phone customer support I keep getting "we are waiting for spare parts from Japan and dont know how long it will take".

Can I consider this as normal; should I speak to someone higher up the foodchain?

Any comments are welcome.

Regards
CX

P.S. The lens was sent in to get cleaned only - My dog managed to get sand in it (long story but the last photo it took is here)
So it's interesting to hear they are waiting for parts. As far as I could tell the lens was still functioning fine, it just had a few grains of sand inside.
Also, they are fixing it under warranty and not charging me, which Im obviously very happy about but might point to something else entirely being wrong with it...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-01-2010, 12:41 PM  
How long should a lens repair take?
Posted By CX15
Replies: 2
Views: 1,658
Post moved by CX15
Forum: Winners' Showcase 01-03-2010, 06:31 AM  
January 2010 Co-Runner-Up: Bayon, Cambodia
Posted By CX15
Replies: 4
Views: 5,425
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-30-2009, 01:54 AM  
K7 Noise at ISO800
Posted By CX15
Replies: 19
Views: 4,173
First: Thanks for all the posts so far - I am definately learning a lot, fast! :p

Went for a quick hike to experiment a bit more...

Here is two ISO 800 shots (mostly clear blue sky) with considerable better results than what I got initially!!

ISO 800 Test Shot #3

ISO 800 Test Shot #4

Both shots straight from the camera - no PP.

Obvious changes I made:

1. D-Range settings off (Highlight Correction: Off; Shadow Correction: Off)
2. Wider Aperture

I'll keep on experimenting though!!

P.S.
Another thing I learned (inadvertently) is the amount of vignetting I got with this lens (SMC DA 17-70 SDM IF) at F/4.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-29-2009, 12:14 PM  
K7 Noise at ISO800
Posted By CX15
Replies: 19
Views: 4,173
As I mention in my second post: This picture was taken at these settings purely as a TEST. I was playing around with the different ISO settings to see what the results will look like.

The reason for my post is: To find out if the amount of noise is to be expected with settings like that, or if I made an obvious mistake.

As some posters suggest (thanks mtags24 & emalvick) this is actually normal for any dslr with these settings.
So it actually comes as a relief!!
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-25-2009, 05:12 AM  
K7 Noise at ISO800
Posted By CX15
Replies: 19
Views: 4,173
Hi Lithos - I simplified the links provided to include a direct link to the original size pics.

Let me know if you still can't see them properly.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-25-2009, 03:24 AM  
K7 Noise at ISO800
Posted By CX15
Replies: 19
Views: 4,173
Thanks Marc & Rondec!



Both D-Range Settings was on: Highlight correction and Shadow Correction to Med.

I will definately try shooting without them and see if there is any difference.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-24-2009, 05:26 PM  
K7 Noise at ISO800
Posted By CX15
Replies: 19
Views: 4,173
Here we go again...

This was a test shot in hazy conditions - I did not expect to get a perfect picture. The same shot was taken at lower ISO settings as well and produced much better results. Taking a picture of a mountain in ISO800 in bright sunlight is probably not standard practise anyway and I would definately not have tried it in the film days as you say.

The purpose of my original post was simple: It was in no way a complaint about noise!! It was simply a question to more experienced photographers to help me - i.e. can anyone spot an obvious mistake with my settings. I am trying to figure out how ISO works with this camera, that's all.
If this level of noise is normal for the conditions, then so be it - I am not expecting any miracles here...



Good question. NR is set to Medium (Option 1, Item 19 in menu C3) and to start at ISO800 (Option 1, Item 20 in menu C3). However, Im not sure if the NR will start at ISO800 or only at ISO1600. The manual states that Item 20 sets the NR start ISO, but the camera states: "NR is activated when ISO sensitivity is set to higher than 800"

I will play around with that the in camera NR a bit more when I have time and see if I can produce different results.



Looking at the histogram, I cannot see any glaring mistake here, but please correct me on this if I'm wrong...



Can haze actually be mistaken for noise? It was fairly hazy on that day - I will upload an ISO200 shot of the same scene for comparison purposes...

ISO 200 Sample - Flickr Page

ISO 200 Sample - Original Size

-Thanks for the inputs so far-
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-24-2009, 08:55 AM  
K7 Noise at ISO800
Posted By CX15
Replies: 19
Views: 4,173
Hi All

(Ground rules first:
1. For all practical purposes this can be considered as my first post.
2. The K7 is my first DSLR - I know many will consider that ambitious (or even stupid)
3. I understand the fact that I have a lot to learn. I have a few books I'm busy working through, but thought I will also benefit from learning from other users.
4. I LOVE this camera - I havent used a SLR for many years and were instantly reminded of how satisfying it is to shoot with a decent camera that was clearly made for enthusiasts! I therefore acknowledge that most of my current problems is most probably down to me!)

Right, now on to ISO and noise.
This subject is fairly new to me as I have never before used a DSLR.
I restricted all my shooting with P&S to the lowest ISO.
However, the advantages of a higher ISO is very desirable and I started experimenting.

The following photo was taken at ISO800. (EXIF hopefully intact)

ISO 800 Sample - Flickr Page

ISO 800 Sample - Original Size
(This JPEG is straight from the camera)

I find the level of noise in the blue (sky) parts quite high.

Can anyone spot any obvious mistake I made here?
Is this level of noise to be expected?

I tried using Noise Ninja to reduse noise, but I lose so much IQ that I'm either using the program incorrectly, or the noise is just too much.

Any input will be greatly appreciated.

Regards CX

P.S.
I have not played too much with in-camera NR.
I have not shot using RAW yet.
I did not play around with Sharpness settings at all.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-02-2009, 05:59 AM  
Pentax K7 Price Watch? Or I am waiting because I am a cheap, errr, frugal SOB thread
Posted By CX15
Replies: 240
Views: 48,025
The most painfull part of buying the K7 is...
...
waiting...
...
for..
...
the..
...
battery...
to...
charge................
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-27-2009, 10:21 PM  
Pentax K7 Price Watch? Or I am waiting because I am a cheap, errr, frugal SOB thread
Posted By CX15
Replies: 240
Views: 48,025
Now I'm jealous!!
Just ordered mine from a local dealer for the equivalent of US$1070. Only comes with 1 year warranty though :-(

Anyway - pick-up tomorrow!! :p:p:D:D
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-26-2009, 08:05 AM  
Pentax K7 Price Watch? Or I am waiting because I am a cheap, errr, frugal SOB thread
Posted By CX15
Replies: 240
Views: 48,025
Amazon now down to $1,151.89...
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-25-2009, 02:19 AM  
Pentax K7 Price Watch? Or I am waiting because I am a cheap, errr, frugal SOB thread
Posted By CX15
Replies: 240
Views: 48,025
Just checked Amazon: $1181.89.

Looking better every day almost!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-03-2009, 10:56 PM  
K7 busted sensor strikes production body
Posted By CX15
Replies: 543
Views: 81,336
I'll gladly take that paperweight from you if you dont find it usefull anymore...:D:D:D
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