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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-12-2019, 05:36 AM  
Looking for 400mm option for K-3
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 21
Views: 1,642
I almost forgot about this thread after 2 years. I ended up getting an open box DA* 300 from B&H about a year ago. This gives me the option of 300 mm f4.0 or 420 mm f5.6 with the TC. To me the TC does not adversely affect image quality, so I got exactly what I wanted from this combination. The 150-450 was just too large and too expensive for me. If I do not need to go beyond 300 mm, the PLM is my go to lens.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-27-2019, 07:34 AM  
What is your favorite prime?
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 47
Views: 2,485
For me it is a 3 way tie: SMC DA 15 Limited, DFA 100 Macro WR and DA* 300. Even when I am using my DA 16-85 and 55-300 PLM zooms, these three are in my bag.
Forum: Pentax Q 08-22-2019, 06:22 AM  
A fewe from Skagway, Alaska
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 7
Views: 1,002
Nice pictures, they bring back memories of my trip there in 2012. Did you go on the White Pass and Yukon RailRoad? That was one of my favorite trips. If you cruise, Ketchikan is also a great stop and walking tour.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-19-2019, 01:18 PM  
What lenses to bring for a trip to Paris and a tour through France
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 19
Views: 793
Thank You to all for your suggestions. I decided I will take the 16-85 which will be the go to lens for the tour part of the trip. I will also take the 15 and 21 Limiteds for our Paris on our own, street shooting. Space permitting, the FA 50 1.7 may also come along
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-19-2019, 01:08 PM  
Pentax K50 reliability issues?
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 17
Views: 723
I have a K-5 and a K-3 and never had any problem issues or even minor glitches with either one. If the OP is looking to buy used then any of the cameras in the K-5 or K-3 series would be a good choice. If I were going to buy new I would probably go for the KP since that has no potential issues with it identified that I have heard of.
Forum: Pentax Compact Cameras 08-18-2019, 04:52 AM  
Purchasing advice
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 10
Views: 700
Where is Kenmore camera located? I never heard of them and would be curious to check them out. Regarding Adorama and B&H I have purchased almost all of my Pentax gear from both of them and never had any complaint issues with either of them. The fact that Adorama is out of stock on the GR III may be to your benefit since it would appear that when they get new stock in, it would most likely be from the latest production runs. Otherwise B&H is likely to have the latest production units since they are a very high volume retailer.
Forum: General Photography 08-09-2019, 02:27 PM  
Tunnel Tour - Tulsa
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 12
Views: 592
Looks to me the two 2.8 zooms are your best choices. If your 50 is a fast f1.7 or f1.4, I would bring that too.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-09-2019, 02:21 PM  
What lenses to bring for a trip to Paris and a tour through France
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 19
Views: 793
Hello All

I am looking for some suggestions of what lenses I should bring for an upcoming trip to France. We will be spending 9 days on a tour through France from Paris to Nice. Then we will be spending three days on our own in Paris. My camera is a K-3. My available lenses are as follows:
* Zooms DA 16-85 and 55-300 PLM
* Primes SMC DA 15, 21, 35 macro Limiteds and HD DA 40 Limited or FA 50mm f1.7
As far as I know I do not think the PLM will be necessary as I do not anticipate any wildlife/telephoto opportunities on this trip. Image quality is not a consideration with my lenses, they are all equivalent to my eyes. My big question is whether a kit of small primes would be lighter and easier to manipulate, especially in Paris, than the largish 16-85 zoom. On the other hand the DA 16-85 size and weight may be offset by its versatility. Any thoughts, especially from those familiar with photography in Paris as well as other parts of France would be appreciated.
To keep things light I will be carrying my kit in a Domke F803 satchel bag. This can handle the K-3, the two zooms, a spare battery and one prime. Alternatively it can handle the K-3 and 4 of the primes plus the spare battery.


Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-07-2019, 05:05 PM  
Suggested lenses to take on trip to Yosemite, King’s Canyon, Sequoia Nat’l Parks
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 45
Views: 1,502
I agree. These would be my three recommendations from the lenses you have.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-31-2019, 05:31 AM  
DA* 60-250 vs D-FA 150-450 (SDM vs DC) birds in flight
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 7
Views: 957
Nice video comparison. Thank You! I do not have either lens tested here but I did some informal assessments of my DA* 300 compared to my 55-300 PLM on some laughing gulls in flight at the Chesapeake bay shore areas. My subjects are a smaller and more agile gull species so I was able to make a good informal comparison of autofocus capability. No doubt, the PLM was much better at getting birds in flight than my DA* 300. My DA* 300 autofocus works perfectly fine with absolutely no autofocus issues but it is just not anywhere as fast for locking focus on fast moving targets like birds in flight. It is possible that if I did not have such bright sunny conditions (I was shooting in AV mode with f 8.0 and ISO at 200) the DA* 300 might have been the better performer in poorer lighting conditions
Forum: General Photography 07-20-2019, 03:08 PM  
National Parks Photo Excursion
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 42
Views: 1,798
I did a very similar trip to yours two years ago, visiting Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion and Yellowstone national parks. Having done the trip my feeling was that zoom lenses are your best option to minimize lens changes. I would think the 18-55 zoom and the 55-300 PLM will get the most usage of your lenses. Your one limitation is on the wide end. If your budget permits you can consider getting a DA 15 Limited or the DA 12-24 for the times you will really want wide angle. Unless you intent to photograph really distant wildlife you may not need the DA* 300 with the TC. That is a lot of extra weight to be carrying around on a sightseeing trip, but that is your decision.
When I went two years ago 95% of my photos were using DA 17-70 and HD 55-300 zooms. the remaining, but very valuable 5% was with my DA 15 Limited. I have since replaced the 17-70 with the DA 16-85 and replaced the older 55-300 with the PLM version. The 15 Limited, 16-85 and the 55-300 PLM are the 3 lenses I would take if I were doing the same trip again.
EDIT: I see you will be driving in the park so you can bring along more gear. In that case, I agree with bringing the DA* 300 with the 1.4 TC. This gives more reach than the PLM for distant wildlife.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-20-2019, 02:53 PM  
Why Ricoh should not let themselves be lured into the built-in obsolescence game
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 28
Views: 1,721
Agree. my 10 year old iMac and 10 year old MacBook Pro are still in use and performing well for most tasks. Still useful and in use even after I just bought a new iMac. The new model, however really has the older ones beat for display quality and speed in photo editing.
Similarly my K-5 and K-3 seem to be in no hurry becoming obsolete for my needs.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-19-2019, 01:14 PM  
Sigma 50-150 vs. Pentax 150-450
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 13
Views: 843
My experience with the 1.4X TC on the 55-300 PLM was that pictures were OK but no better than without the TC and just cropping the image. I do have to say, however that the two times I tried the PLM with the TC it was not in the best lighting conditions. I will try the combination again on a brighter day when the lens aperture will be stopped down and see if I get better results. So far, I have been using the TC with my DA* 300 most of the time.
When I am out using telephoto I bring either just the PLM for traveling light or the PLM and the DA*300 plus the TC when I need more reach and can carry around all of the lenses. The PLM turned out to be one of my most used and favorite lenses.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-12-2019, 05:41 AM  
Which modern Pentax lens has the nicest focus damping?
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 17
Views: 1,147
I agree, I have DA 35 macro Limited and DFA 100 macro WR. Both have nice well damped manual focus. I also find the DA* 200 and DA* 300 have nicely damped large manual focus rings. My basis for comparison is my strictly manual focus M 50mm f1.7. For all of my other modern lenses I just stick with autofocus only.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 07-12-2019, 05:23 AM  
MacBook Air 2018 for photo editing.
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 8
Views: 731
You may want to consider the MacBook pro or desktop iMac which have more power than the air. The air is really designed for lightweight/compact portability. I looked to upgrade my 2010 MacBook pro and ended up getting a desktop iMac instead. The one I bought has a 6 core 8th generation core i5 with a discrete 4GB video card. Everything on the computer, including Affinity Photo runs really fast. I think the 4GB video card, even more than the processor is what speeds up graphics intensive programs. The cost was actually less than many of the laptop options.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-07-2019, 07:36 AM  
K3 Firmware Update
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 5
Views: 763
I have done multiple firmware updates on K10D, K-5 and K-3 on my Mac computer. I never had any problems with any of the updates.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-07-2019, 07:32 AM  
Best Telephoto lens for K3
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 32
Views: 1,722
My telephoto combination for my K-3:
55-300 PLM
DFA 100 macro WR
1.4X Teleconverter which I use on the DFA 100 and the DA*300
The PLM is a super lightweight telephoto zoom that can be carried easily everywhere. If I have the capability for carrying heavier gear such as on car trips, I bring the the DA*300 and the teleconverter. This combo covers 55 to 420mm, is silent focusing and weather resistant. If cost difference is not an issue the DA* 60-250 is another great choice. The DFA 100 macro is very lightweight and super sharp. I considered the new DFA 150 - 450 but the cost was out of my budget and it was bigger than what I would want to carry around.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 07-04-2019, 02:16 PM  
Thematic Spiders
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 823
Views: 53,782
Looks like a brownish gray fishing (dolomedes) spider. I occasionally see them around my home, especially in the evening. They are a startling sight and they move really fast.

From Wikipedia:
Dolomedes tenebrosus or dark fishing spider is a fishing spider found in the USA and Canada.[1][2]

It is able to bite humans but will run from people. In most cases the bite is no more severe than a bee or wasp sting.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-01-2019, 04:52 AM  
Should I buy a DA☆300 F4 instead of 55-300PLM?
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 24
Views: 1,572
I will keep it short and simple since you have received a number of good responses already. I have both the 55-300 PLM and the DA*300. The DA* is sharper at 300 mm than the PLM and paired with the 1.4x TC it is a fairly lightweight 420mm f5.6 lens. This is what I use when photographing birds and wildlife in a place like a wildlife refuge where all of the subjects are far away.
On the other hand the PLM is so compact and lightweight that I can now bring it in my bag almost everywhere including places where I would never have brought a telephoto lens before.
Both lenses are WR and quiet focusing and I never had any issues with water or dust intrusion into the lenses. In summary as others have said, the DA* is the lens for sharpness at 300 mm and the PLM is the lens for its exceptional versatility.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-25-2019, 04:30 PM  
I'm thinking of selling all my Pentax stuff and moving elsewhere.
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 137
Views: 6,748
My feelings exactly. I have a K-5 and K-3 and both of them fulfill all of my needs.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-23-2019, 02:19 PM  
Poll: Full frame or APS-c, you be the judge.
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 156
Views: 6,296
OK I did my best guesses on my old 2010 iMac. Having both a K-3 and DFA 100 macro WR, I know that combination is capable of really sharp pictures but since I do not have a K-1 I do not know how much better my DFA 100 macro WR would be on a K-1.
I will finally be retiring my reliable old iMac and replacing it with a new retina 4K version. It will be interesting to check these pictures again once I have the new iMac up and running and see if I can better differentiate FF vs. APSC
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-15-2019, 09:28 AM  
pentax Kp with HD 16-85mm lens
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 10
Views: 898
My 16-85 is one of my most solid and reliable lenses which has resulted in it becoming my most used lens very soon after I bought it. I would be interested in what the problem issue with yours is.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 06-15-2019, 05:35 AM  
Photo Editing Software
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 28
Views: 2,038
I use both Photos and Affinity Photo on my two Mac computers. The combination works well for me. I can use Affinity Photo with as an add in for Photos or I could use it as a stand alone program. For me using Photos as the primary software program with Affinity as an add in for more advanced editing works well.
I have not considered photoshop or Lightroom since I do not like that Adobe is forcing users to go to a cloud based service. I prefer having the photo editing program on my computer without having to pay yet another monthly subscription fee.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-01-2019, 05:51 AM  
55-300 PLM and 1.4x aw rear converter metering incorrect
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 10
Views: 753
I tried the 1.4X TC with my 55-300 PLM on my K-3. It worked fine with respect to focusing and metering on my camera, but I was not happy with the results. I felt that cropping pictures without the TC were as sharp or sharper than with the TC. This may be due to needing to bump up the ISO to offset the effect of losing one stop of light. I have a DA* 300 and results with the TC are much better with that lens. I prefer to use my PLM up to about 280mm where it is still f5.6 and use the DA* for 300mm and 420mm with the TC. I also tried the TC with my DFA 100 macro WR and got good results with that combination.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-30-2019, 04:34 AM  
What's your favorite 2008-2013 APS-C Pentax DSLR and do you still use it?
Posted By jddwoods
Replies: 71
Views: 4,460
I originally bought a K10D which I gifted to my son when I bought my K-5 in 2010. In late 2013 I bought my K-3 and I am using both the K-5 and the K-3. The K-3 I use mainly for birds and wildlife and main travel camera since I can pair it with the 55-300 PLM and 24 MP allows for more cropping. I use the K-5 as my lightweight walk around city camera with smaller lenses. One day I may upgrade one of them but both are serving me well now. For me the only real limitation of the K-5 is that I can't use the PLM with it.
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