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Forum: Pentax Price Watch 01-17-2022, 07:47 PM  
Canada - DA21 C$387
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 1
Views: 165
this is a very competitive price for the silver da 21mm. $387 last i checked.

Pentax Lens HD DA 21mm F3.2 AL Ltd 21420-Silver Pentax Lens HD DA 21mm F3.2 AL Ltd 21420-Silver : Electronics
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 12-29-2021, 06:22 PM  
Dealer Inquiry, in Canada
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 37
Views: 1,002
I would also vouch for Camera Canada and The Camera Store (bought from both many times the last few years) - both seem to stock many Pentax products rather than rely on special order. I used to shop at Henrys and Downtown Camera in the 2000s, but lately, more Pentax products are on special order only (but they carry a solid range of other accessories such as tripods and bags).

As much as I hate to say it, is one of the more reliable suppliers of Pentax products, and I also buy from them. When possible, I order from the two aforementioned Canadian businesses and ship to BC so that only GST is added to the bill because they don't have a significant presence in that province.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-29-2021, 10:40 AM  
Affordable wide angle lens?
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 27
Views: 1,249
Have you considered one of the kit zooms from Olympus or Panasonic (14-42/45)? Many appear to be available for under $100. The one that came with my E-PL1 was perfectly good.

For m43 and APS-C format cameras, the kit zooms are the most economical way to get wide angle with decent image quality.

For 50mm equivalent or wider, you'll need to look at 24mm or wider legacy lenses. Many won't be fast, many will be expensive, and all will require manual focus and exposure. And many won't perform better than a native lens.

You didn't specify any other parameters but a native lens will likely be better suited to your objective unless there's something other than cost involved. Others also mentioned the 20mm f1.7. There's also a Panasonic 14mm f2.5, and Olympus has relatively affordable 17mm and 25mm m43 lenses.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-28-2021, 12:13 PM  
Lithium batteries for old flash unit
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 10
Views: 541
Have you tried to fire off a series of full power test flashes to see if the charging speed improves? In my old Vivitar 283 manual, I think this was referred to as "forming" the capacitor. Not sure if that will help here depending on the age of the flash but also worth noting good quality rechargeable batteries help (such as eneloops or the equivalent ikea Ladda).

My 283 and an AF240T are still working well and both are probably 30-40 years old.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 12-25-2021, 02:21 PM  
Pentax FA 645 150mm f2.8 - Canada
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 0
Views: 222
Currently 15% off for boxing week - very competitive price in my opinion since it usually goes for upwards of $500 on ebay.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 12-02-2021, 03:27 PM  
Pentax K1 and the limited lenses
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 44
Views: 2,651
Someone already mentioned in thread or another, but if people were OK with MF-only in OVF mode, we can devote pretty much 100% of the light to the viewfinder and get rid of the separate AF sensors and make the mirror fully reflective (depending on how the metering is done).

For AF, you would need to have the mirror up and use the imaging sensor to focus, but if Pentax can figure out how to put a transparent OLED in the OVF (e.g. where the glass focusing screen is), that's one way we could realize a hybrid viewfinder that has on-sensor PDAF/CDAF with an OVF that is "dark" because the mirror is flipped up, but is illuminated by the transparent OLED with an image feed from the sensor.

Given that most people wanting AF want modern on-sensor capabilities, it's unlikely they would miss the OVF in AF mode, but can still use an OVF for a traditional MF experience. Owning an MX, I can only hope the experience would be close to that!
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 12-02-2021, 10:15 AM  
Amazon Warehouse: D FA* 85mm lens for $1530
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 18
Views: 792
Agreed, the hoods for the A*85 and FA*85 are also pretty huge!

I really miss built in retractable hoods which seemed to be common on older M/A/F series telephotos. Might not be as effective but I'd actually use them!

The DA15 and DA35 Limited are wonderful examples of good built in retractable hoods.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-11-2021, 10:20 AM  
The former president of Ricoh Imaging is back
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 673
Views: 29,053
All it took was one old film body and two lenses for me. May sound nuts to some, but my entire stake in Pentax was initiated by borrowing/taking my dad's MX, 50/1.4, and 28/2.8 for a film photography class in high school nearly 20 years ago. If it was an FM instead of an MX, I'd probably be using Nikon and if it was an AE-1, who knows...

Pentax has (wisely IMHO) chosen to be a bit different. It's likely (but not certain) that competing on tech specs will continue to be challenging for Pentax, and that their existing ecosystem plus unique design for their new products is their best shot at a sustainable existence, provided the tech gap does not widen too much. We are lucky that Pentax had a path to FF unlike Olympus, because for whatever reason, the 35mm FF format had enough inertia (or marketing) to make it a desirable feature and partially make up for other perceived shortcomings of Pentax ("They may not have a mirrorless and their AF isn't the best, but at least they have FF and IBIS").
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 11-08-2021, 07:48 PM  
Canada - Pentax K3-III premium kit $2500
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 2
Views: 524
Notwithstanding any sales on the body only, the premium kit can be had for the same price:
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-04-2021, 10:29 AM  
The former president of Ricoh Imaging is back
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 673
Views: 29,053
There is likely more upside staying with the OVF as others have stated. Mirrorless is so saturated with companies with vast resources and various lengths of head starts that despite a large addressable market, Pentax's strengths are likely to not bear fruit.

There seem to be a few different proposals floating around:

K-3/K-1 but swap out the mirror and OVF for an EVF - keep Pentax ergonomics (appears to be one of the most universally praised / least frequently panned qualities) but lose access to potentially modern shorter registration distance lenses and therefore cannot adapt other SLR or rangefinder lenses easily (popular cottage industry for those who aren't shelling out for new lenses - many Pentaxians can relate). Alienate OVF users (potentially any Pentax shooter today).

K-3/K-1 but create short registration K-mount and adapter - Canon and Nikon went this route - their ML cameras have a good bit of DSLR DNA in them. Nikon/Canon are also building out their mirrorless lens ranges while offering fairly painless backward compatibility with EF/F lenses (though Nikon omitted screw drive). Pentax may not have the resources to pull this off, and even if they could, the MO of many people familiar with Pentax is to stick to K mount lenses for too long to give Pentax a chance to recover its investment.

Brand new ML - Sony more or less started their ML from scratch comparing against their pre-ML Minolta-inspired bodies. They spent years building out a very broad body and lens range, and just like Canon/Nikon, their high end GM series is the most visible. I actually think my K-01 isn't particularly terrible - if it got more real Pentax ergonomic guts and an EVF, maybe that's viable?

L mount - is this a lens and/or body play for Pentax? How many buyers would choose a Pentax lens over Sigma, or a Pentax body over Panasonic, and wouldn't have chosen K mount if that was Pentax's only offering?

What could Pentax offer that these companies could not for ML? Pentax cannot easily go head to head on specs, which leaves their branding/legacy, design, or price. Price is almost certainly a no-go. Brand is a wild card but would likely lean on being a bit eccentric/nostalgic - no guarantees it will resonate with those who can afford to pour money into Pentax (who weren't already sold on the brand).

This leaves design - The K3-III can act like a boxy mirrorless. It would be awesome to have some sort of transparent OLED overlay in the OVF for edge detection/peaking, zebra, face/eye detect, etc., but that's another engineering effort (time and money) and every bit of light that feeds this system makes the optical view that much dimmer (ML doesn't need to split the light, except for very minor artifacts for phase detect). To compete with true ML, Pentax also needs on sensor phase detect AF.

The other design wild card is 645 - people are adapting 35mm lenses to GFX because some can cover 44x33. If Pentax goes ML, I think 645 is the most viable option because there is primarily just Fuji to contend with. With native adapters for K mount and 645 (with or without speedbooster), it would afford a lot of flexibility and make spec comparisons harder against the 35mm ML cameras, which is what Pentax needs. For now, Fuji can get away with worse AF, FPS, and video than 35mm ML by focusing on the sensor and the lenses (not dissimilar from the niche of 645 in the film days). Not going to be cheap, but 35mm ML is saturated and succeeds on strengths that do not align with Pentax.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-31-2021, 12:12 PM  
Pre Auto Takumar 55mm f2 Digital Camera Operation
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 9
Views: 427
Is it labeled as an “auto takumar”? That line of takumars is generally equipped with what is called a semi automatic diaphragm.

If so then all you have to do is push the pin on the back of the lens and then as you adjust the aperture it should open and close accordingly.

If you had a compatible M42 body, how the lever works is that after every shot, the pin would have been pushed by a mechanism in the body to set it to the aperture indicated on the ring at the time of exposure. Then you would wind up the aperture to open position by moving the lever so you could focus more easily. Turning the aperture ring wouldn’t affect the lens aperture until the pin was pushed on the next shot.

Since no modern camera can do this, you simply have to push the pin once to release the aperture and then use the aperture ring. You never need to use the lever, other than to play around for fun to see the lens stop down.

If you wind the lever with the lens mounted, there’s no way to release it without unscrewing the lens since your mirrorless camera can’t push the pin!
Forum: Non-Pentax: Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. 10-29-2021, 09:39 AM  
Used APS-C from one of those "other" brands
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 16
Views: 886
I also find that Nikon handles the most closely to Pentax vs other brands.

Every time I have used a Canon, the power button is in a weird place and the front dial is frequently on the top vs in front on the grip. The focus and zoom are also backwards vs Pentax and Nikon (3rd party lenses are inconsistent)

In addition to the 3rd party lenses, the Nikon 200-500 is a very popular model in the class you described and by most accounts is excellent value for the money.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-21-2021, 05:30 PM  
Amateur Photographers (UK) Predicts End for Pentax
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 1,318
Views: 104,280
Pentax has a pretty solid lens lineup for all budgets (maybe not budgets AND tastes). When I bought my first DSLR in 2005 after saving for several months, prices were higher and options were more limited (not to mention how much better today's cameras are).

It's only natural the higher end products get updated more often - they probably generate much of the profits to reinvest into more products likely to be profitable while more inexpensive products "keep the lights on" so it takes longer for an entry level product line to generate enough R&D budget to revamp the lineup (not to mention that when cost is a constraint, there isn't much to reinvent).

Pentax is unlikely to have success competing on specs alone because price becomes a key comparison. When the products are harder to compare spec-wise, it gives Pentax more latitude to control the price instead of racing to the bottom. If they can retain enough customers with that philosophy, it's arguably better than bleeding money on every unit sold until Ricoh decides to pull the plug.

Entry level prices: 18-55 and 50-200 are WR and reasonable quality for about C$200-250 each (cheaper in a kit); you also have the DA 35 and 50 which are by nearly all accounts good quality and around C$150-200 (and would do OK on FF)

Mid level prices: 16-85 (WR and C$700), 18-135 (WR and C$500), 55-300 PLM (awesome lens, WR and C$500), most of the DA Limited lenses are C$500-600, plus the HDFA35 (but the primes are generally missing WR)

The HD FA Limited lenses are right in between mid-end and high-end, with prices from C$800-1300. Adjusted for inflation, these prices are fairly comparable to those of the original SMC FA Limited lenses if I look at how much I paid 14 years ago.

High end prices: all the DA* and DFA* lenses being discussed which are generally upwards of C$1200 (though the DA*55 is about C$700 and if you monitor Amazon, you could occasionally get the 50-135, 60-250, 200, or 300 for under C$1000)

And for FF, we also have a huge legacy catalogue of $1-$10000 lenses, metal or plastic, AF or MF, zoom or prime, etc. The great part about the new high end FF lenses is that it has kept most older high end lenses relatively affordable except some of the rarer ones (like the Voigtlanders, Zeiss ZK, FA*200 macro). Look at the FA*28-70, FA*80-200, FA*24, FA*85.

So perhaps we could argue there are no "new entry/mid range products", but there's hardly a shortage of entry/mid range options. Maybe ultra-wide, but the DA14 and DA15 exist.

Body-wise, the *ist DS was C$1100 in 2005 (equivalent to more than C$1500 today). That buys a KP with room to spare (if you can find one). I think in real terms, the K3-III is about the same price or a bit cheaper than the *ist D was when it was new. So, Pentax isn't necessarily more expensive today than their former self.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-21-2021, 06:18 AM  
Black vs silver Limited - finish quality
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 16
Views: 1,342
Thanks everyone. I’m not particularly fussed by the colour nor am I under any delusion the optical qualities differ by colour. I suppose my question boils down to if the newer black HD DA Limited lenses are painted to a smooth finish like the older black DA and FA Limited lenses or anodized (if i’m using that term correctly) like the silver ones? A good comparison is the finish of various colours of aluminum (or more recently, stainless steel) iPhones.

Presumably, the fact we have a choice suggests that aesthetics are at least somewhat relevant!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-20-2021, 06:21 PM  
Black vs silver Limited - finish quality
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 16
Views: 1,342
I have one black Limited lens (FA31). While it matches black bodies nicely, I've found it hasn't aged that well over many years of travel/use, with the smooth black paint flaking/peeling from the smooth surfaces and also wearing off from the focus ring. That's had me sticking to silver when I have the option (e.g. for rest of the FA Limited lenses or the HD DA Limited lenses).

Is this an issue with newer HD DA Limited lenses? I like the texture on the silver lenses - it's not perfectly smooth and doesn't show scratches as easily. Plus I don't think there's any paint to flake off.

(also eyeing a colour choice for the DFA21!)
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 10-19-2021, 01:36 PM  
Pentax K1 and the limited lenses
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 44
Views: 2,651
Given the registration distance of about 46mm, I'd love to see how close we could get to that for thickness. The sensor has thickness of course, but maybe an OLED screen could help.

A non-fixed screen will inevitably require additional thickness depending on the desired design and durability.

A drastic shift would be to move the screen toward the grip so that it can be placed beside the sensor rather than behind it. However, that's where most buttons are. Maybe you could design a flip screen which flips over to the region behind the sensor, revealing the buttons in their usual spot. That way you could transport/store the camera in a thin layout (also protect the buttons), and the added thickness when engaged isn't as big of a deal. In my head it looks like a solution looking for a problem - it would make the grip side much thinner when engaged, and the left side would be boxy because the thickness of the screen will shift from one side of the camera to the other!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-16-2021, 03:38 PM  
DFA 21 Limited designers' discussion
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 79
Views: 4,735
The way the design process is described reminds me of Grand Seiko. The two brands' philosophies are quite similar, and both brands are highly respected by a small group of enthusiasts in their respective spaces (cameras / watches) while having reputations for certain perceived chronic flaws that are charming or manageable for some but dealbreakers or reasons not to buy for others.

The terms "beauty" and "nature" are frequently used to describe both the process of crafting the products and the resulting product itself.

Both are also backed by huge Japanese companies who I hope will sustain the brands for the long term in very competitive markets by being somewhat different, but successfully.

Oddly enough, when I consider some of the common issues people more familiar with Swiss brands have with Grand Seiko - thickness, too many "Limited Editions", rising prices / worsening value for money compared to the past - it's hard to not notice some similarities with how Pentax is compared against Canon/Nikon/Sony.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-15-2021, 11:25 AM  
DFA 21 f/2.4 Limited
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 203
Views: 13,726
There are at least alternatives if people are willing to compromise:

If the comparison is APS-C, then there's the DA21 and various older 20mm lenses going all the way back to Takumars - all are broadly available for CAD $500 or less (give or take)

If the comparison is a similar AOV, then the DA14/15 on APS-C (or FF in crop mode), or various older 20mm lenses on FF are all possible - I think CAD $500 is also doable. Under various conditions, you could get fairly indistinguishable (or at least more than satisfactory) results vs the new 21mm.

And for those who are prepared to "compromise" by spending an extra $1000 or so, you get what is likely to be better optical quality, wider max aperture, modern in-lens quiet AF, and WR. Hard to put a price on the combination of all those factors! Pentax is expecting that the combination of these features will be deemed worthwhile for enough people to consider paying the premium over the aforementioned alternatives. There's nothing wrong with being happy with "75% of the performance for 25% of the price", but there's also nothing wrong with accepting paying a premium for something with no equivalent.
Forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive 10-14-2021, 11:49 AM  
Coastar 28mm f/2.8 No. 440222
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 9
Views: 400
There may still be good choices out there that are inexpensive. The Pentax-M 28mm f3.5 is a good example. The K version is even better but borderline not inexpensive.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-14-2021, 11:43 AM  
DA* 16-50 2.8 PLM and KA4 lenses adapted to the Pentax Q
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 14
Views: 712
Sounds about right. The KAF4 DFA*50 and 85 can be focused manually so for those lenses you lose mechanical aperture control and for the DA18-50 you have a mechanical lever to control the aperture but lose mechanically coupled focusing. I think PLM lenses can focus on KAF3 bodies but they all happen to have electronically controlled apertures so they will be stuck wide open.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-13-2021, 08:49 PM  
Super A love and hate
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 20
Views: 1,039
While not automatic, why not consider a fully mechanical SLR? I have owned an MX for nearly 20 years and while I don't use it as much as I used to, it's a marvel of engineering and design. I used to have a K2 and now have two Spotmatics. There's something to be said about being fully in control of exposure without electronics; I shot a roll of negative film ages ago by just using sunny 16 and no external metering!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-13-2021, 10:55 AM  
Best affordable heavy manual lenses on a Pentax K1
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 32
Views: 1,518
Other interesting inexpensive but fairly heavy medium format lenses include the 6x7 55mm f3.5, 6x7 150mm f2.8 and 6x7 200mm f4. In 645, the 150mm f3.5 and 200mm f4 are also fairly inexpensive.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-13-2021, 10:50 AM  
Pentax K1 and APS-C lenses
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 8
Views: 698
I generally use APS-C lenses in FF mode like others have said, and crop later. However, depending on the lens, you need to be a bit careful to avoid expecting to use more of the FF area at a longer focal length (vs using a shorter FL and cropping like APS-C mode would have done anyway). In many cases, the vignetting is greater in the final image than the optical viewfinder would suggest.

For example, the DA55-300 RE PLM at 300mm (and longer FLs in general) has a fair bit of vignetting, while 200mm cropped at 1.5x will have basically none, at the cost of lower resolution. So the 300mm FF shot may realistically need to be cropped to a narrower field of view which may eliminate part of the image you want to keep, if the vignetting is distracting to you.

The DA*60-250 doesn't exhibit this behaviour extremely enough to be an issue. The DA*50-135, 20-40, 18-135, and 50-200 also require considerable cropping.

If it matters to you, one disadvantage of FF mode is that lens corrections will not be applied, except for DA lenses identified by Ricoh as fully FF compatible (such as the DA*300). The files are also bigger, burst rate lower, and buffer smaller. None of these bothers me enough to use APS-C mode with DA lenses!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-30-2021, 01:43 PM  
Irix 30 f/1.4 Dragonfly
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 31
Views: 3,938
Not only that, it's another mechanical complication with or without WR. Canon EF is electronic, and Nikon also ditched the aperture ring with G lenses that have existed for awhile.

While I might lament that my MX (or someone else's ME Super, K1000, etc. all the way to an MZ-S) won't shoot with it properly, it's also from a principled view rather than anything borne out of practicality.

In fact, with the right know-how, they could have made the Pentax version a manual focus KAF4 lens since the Canon version likely already has an electromagnetically controlled aperture.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-29-2021, 10:19 AM  
Irix 30 f/1.4 Dragonfly
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 31
Views: 3,938
Also, neither the FA31 nor FA35 is particularly poorly corrected. While strictly speculation, the gap vs the announced 30/1.4 is probably going to be narrower than that between the FA50 and DFA*50, though to their credit, there is up to a one stop difference which for wide angles is not trivial.

The 86m filter diameter is still quite mind boggling. For reference, the DFA*50 is 72mm and the DFA*85 is 82mm.

Not owning any Irix lenses, can anybody verify if they are plain vanilla "KA" lenses (or "KA-J" given the lack of aperture ring), or "KA2(-J)" lens with a data pin for focal length and possibly distance data despite being MF? I don't think any genuine Pentax lens has such a design unlike Nikon and their "AI-P" lenses which are MF but have a chip.
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