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Forum: Lens Clubs 01-08-2018, 03:40 PM  
DA Limited Zoom Club
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 871
Views: 196,882
I have a new love - and it's the 20-40
Makes wonderful B&W images.
Forum: Ricoh GR 04-04-2019, 02:39 PM  
GR III - photos from owners
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 1,062
Views: 72,004
3 shots of the same subject from today using 3 different B&W presets showing the effect of each.


1) Soft B&W. It is soft, low-ish contrast...easy to get a landscape in DR even on a high contrast day like today was. I like this one for land/seascapes and it would probably be nice for portraits.



2) Hard B&W. Much higher contrast with a lot of what LR would call structure. It's more of a struggle to prevent blowing highlights - I use highlight priority exposure mode and the result is deep shadows, or to use exposure comp to blow highlights (or dig into options to boost shadows). You can also see some fairly obvious sharpening artefacts as a result of the structure boost, but this could be dialled down a bit if you wish. This would be better suited to street, but it's nice for gritty sinister looking landscapes.



3) Hi Contrast B&W. Deeper and harder contrast. Almost impossible to prevent blowing highlights without rendering shadows in silhouette. This is the only preset that the 'grain' option is enabled - this option can't be turned on or off at will, only by selecting the preset or not. This is a little disappointing, I would like to select it when I want and I would like more control over the amount and type...hopefully that will come in future.

Forum: Pentax Compact Cameras 07-26-2019, 11:26 AM  
Bad idea to Buy a GRII now that the 3 is out?
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 15
Views: 3,480
The GRII is still a fantastic camera. If you really want onboard flash, it's better than the GRIII in fact.
However, the improvements in the III are significant. IBIS and dust removal are worth the extra alone in my book.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 03-03-2017, 09:44 AM  
Replacement focusing screens now available for K-1
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 60
Views: 15,644
Regardless of the model, Pentax does not offer alternative focusing screens at all, only alternative composition screens. Many people would like better ways of manually focusing and a split prism or similar works much better in a lot of cases than matte screens do. It would be nice to have that option without hacking CaNikon products.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 03-02-2017, 05:54 PM  
Replacement focusing screens now available for K-1
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 60
Views: 15,644
Of course the obvious conclusion to all of this, is that it's a crying shame that Pentax doesn't offer any (useful) alternative focusing screens themselves and that manual focus shooters have to rely on hacking up Canon and Nikon screens...
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 03-02-2017, 08:52 AM  
Replacement focusing screens now available for K-1
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 60
Views: 15,644
FSB, FSL and FSX screens appear to be made by (or for) them. The rest are either Canon or Nikon made, as per the comparison page:
Focusing Screen
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-06-2019, 10:37 AM  
ISO film to ISO digital
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 17
Views: 1,073
There is no direct equivalence between film grain and digital 'grain', which is not grain at all (because there is no silver halide involved) but digital noise. Different sensors handle differently when it comes to noise, so your K-1 sensor will give different noise characteristics to another camera with a different sensor.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-18-2019, 05:44 AM  
Af questions
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 41
Views: 1,640
Yes. This would be the first thing I would try. You need to do it with every AF lens before using it.
Forum: Ricoh GR 06-27-2019, 05:57 AM  
GR III - photos from owners
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 1,062
Views: 72,004
Red Arrows displaying at the Torbay Airshow, Positive Film preset.


Beach Hut Life, Preston Sands, Positive Film again:


A few in BW from my recent trip to Kefalonia:

Jetty, Soft BW preset,



Seascape, Soft BW again


Night shot at Cova Bar, handheld at ISO 6400, f/8, 1/8s, Hard BW preset
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-13-2019, 07:20 AM  
"Ricoh/Pentax has no plans to announce a new camera this fall"
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 869
Views: 57,009
"Pentax has no plans" = "there is no official announcement"

Anybody publically announcing a release before an official announcement would be looking for a job right now.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-20-2019, 09:52 AM  
Lensbaby no longer making Pentax mounts
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 166
Views: 13,080
Maybe not this brand in particular, although they are far from the toys people think they are, they obviously aren't every photographer's cup of tea, certainly not Pentax photographers.

But every time a photographer looks at a lens that they've seen in a magazine, or in a blog, or advert, they drop down the 'available in' drop down and they see:

Nikon
Canon
Sony
Fuji
Olympus

Then they think, what about a flash, I like the look of that fancy TTL unit, or trigger system I saw...look at the 'supports' list:

Nikon
Canon
Sony
Fuji
Olympus
Pentax*
*manual control only



What about that fancy post-processing software with the tethered shooting I probably don't need but think I might want:

Nikon
Canon
Sony
Fuji
Olympus
Pentax*
*some or most features not supported

What about that remote control with the intervalometer on fleabay? What about that waterproof housing? What about that third party grip? That L bracket? The answer is always the same. After a while, they start to think there's one brand I should definitely avoid if I want any of this cool stuff I keep seeing in my favourite magazines and blogs. In fact, they would be forgiven for not knowing that Pentax even exists. I subscribe to The British Journal of Photograpy and B&W Magazine...90%+ of the stuff they review, use and recommend is not available for Pentax, the only recent exception being the K-1, which they loved apart from the fact that the 3rd party support is woeful and the current native lens selection is tiny, forcing you to buy aging lenses second hand to get what you want.

Unless you want a body, a couple of very 'straight', standard native lenses and a native flash, Pentax is not a fun system to buy into. That setup definitely appeals to some people, but to turn that into lots of people, you need to be in most or all of those support lists, magazines, blogs and videos so that at least the brand is visible to people who want to do more than take lovely sharp images of their kids, flowers and sunsets. Anybody with even the slightest artistic and creative intentions will be put off.

So no, Lensbaby by themselves is not having a huge effect on the existing fans of Pentax here. But they are (yet) another mark in the 'cons' column for people who have their mind open to buying into an ILC system and that can only be bad news.
Forum: Pentax Compact Cameras 08-22-2019, 10:17 AM  
GR III - Full snap with back button focusing
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 5
Views: 3,531
Yes, this is how it works if you have disabled focusing on the shutter button. Leave it enabled, then if you focus with the back button it will ignore the half press of the shutter button or if you just use the shutter button it will focus as normal, including snap.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-21-2019, 03:44 AM  
Lensbaby no longer making Pentax mounts
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 166
Views: 13,080
Pentax isn't niche because it does things that nobody else does. It's niche because it is a high value proposition, with inconveniences to suffer. I think it's similar to phones...yes, you can buy an Apple or a Samsung or a Huawei or Google and everything will be very convenient...for a price. But get yourself a Doogee from China and you can get all of the same features for half the price - but if you want a case for it, or to use Google Pay, you'll suffer for your choice.


Lensbaby is niche because they offer 'out-there' products with a highly creative focus, that no other lens offers. I think that the people who want a system that does quality photography at the cheapest price are not the same people who are willing to drop $500 on a single-purpose bonkers lens that they might use for one project and then move on. Those people are not interested in saving a few hundred dollars, they just need a tool that will achieve their vision for the minimum of time and effort...and that is not Pentax. They want a big-three and be done with it - knowing that whatever they want to do, there will be a suitable tool available for their system, from stock, today.

The good news is that Pentax people still exist. I think that there are a lot more potential Pentax people out there with Canikon + Kit Lens combos round their neck that would be very happy with a Pentax and some change, if they had known it existed.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-12-2019, 02:36 PM  
Lensbaby no longer making Pentax mounts
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 166
Views: 13,080
It's a shame. Not surprising, but a shame. I don't think the more out-there creativity of their products really suits the majority of the Pentax customer base, as demonstrated by the sparse population of the Lensbaby group here. A tiny market then, so hardly worth it for them. But unfortunately it's yet another third-party that no longer supports Pentax, which is another entry in the 'cons' column when weighing up buying one.
Forum: Ricoh GR 08-20-2019, 04:09 PM  
Build quality of GRIII - the problem of wobbly control dial
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 131
Views: 11,529
I would presume that, given qualified staff and good instructions, this repair is probably very easy. I'm sure that if there were any problems with the repair that they or Ricoh would make it right. But all of that was not acceptable to me - on a brand new unit, with new good units already on the way, I personally think Ricoh should replace them and repair the returns on their own time.
Forum: Ricoh GR 08-20-2019, 03:27 PM  
Build quality of GRIII - the problem of wobbly control dial
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 131
Views: 11,529
The camera itself, yes. It is amazing.


I am extremely disappointed with Ricoh's performance so far on the Image Sync app. For me at least, it's still not functional. It took 3 months to release any support for the GRIII and only last week did they release the full functionality with remote control. But even now, on Android 9 and iOS its reliability is patchy at best and I cannot connect at all on my Pixel 3A. But if you intend on transferring files to a computer the 'old' way, then it isn't a problem.

---------- Post added 08-20-19 at 03:37 PM ----------



The company (John Pye Technical) is new to electronics repair, having up until recently been just an aution house (John Pye Auctions selling cars, antiques, and used tech), before purchasing a shed and employing a handful of technicians, presumably to repair the iphones and such that they sell on their site.


I could find precisely zero mention online of them having repaired anything either successully or otherwise. I just googled them again and stlll the only result that mentions the name John Pye Technical is the Ricoh Service page. I have no reaon not to trust them, but equally no reason to trust them with my brand new eye-wateringly expensive camera.
Forum: Ricoh GR 08-20-2019, 09:55 AM  
GR III - photos from owners
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 1,062
Views: 72,004
How did you manage to get flare? I have so far completely failed!
Forum: Ricoh GR 08-14-2019, 02:51 PM  
Image Sync update: Remote, Bluetooth and more with GR III
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 11
Views: 4,350
It's not just the bluetooth, the wifi function is also very unreliable. Just before I made my earlier post I corrected the permissions issue, connected to the camera and used the functions successfully. Hooray I thought, I'll play with that tomorrow. This has happened on one or two occasions before.


Next day, it won't connect again. I've hunted high and low for solutions. I've deleted all data and reinstalled the app, connected manually outside the app, tried the bluetooth function, tried every combination of wifi settings, nothing. The phone says the wifi is connected, but the app doesn't recognise it and just sits with the spinny wheel forever. According to reviews, Android 9 seems to be the problem version, although my Pixel 3A is absolutely stock unadulterated fully up-to-date Android, so I doubt very much it's the OS that's at fault - especially since my $10 Chinese smart lightbulb came with a companion app that can connect P2P wifi on my phone without issue.


I can only wait and see what the next version will bring. The camera will be 6 months old by then......that's a seriously long wait for a working companion app.
Forum: General Photography 08-12-2019, 02:45 PM  
Does greater sensor "real estate" equate to better image quality?
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 107
Views: 5,453
I think that in general the statement should be that "all other factors being equal...larger sensors are capable of providing higher image quality"

The 'all other factors' takes into account pixel count, lens, processing, AA filters etc.

The 'are capable of' takes into account that you might wish to throw away that additional quality with a reduced quality output.
Forum: General Photography 08-14-2019, 03:38 AM  
Does greater sensor "real estate" equate to better image quality?
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 107
Views: 5,453
Putting aside the engine, a Ferrari would match a Honda for speed. Since SNR is the biggest benefit of greater pixel size, putting it aside is meaningless.


SNR does not just affect those scenarios, but all scenarios. For very small pixel pitches, a good exposure will involve counting a small number of photons. That means that quantum granularity becomes very real. A handful of photons either way (due to noise, or chaos) will make a significant difference to the measured light level, whereas on a large pixel they would be overwhelmed by the true signal. This means greater fidelity at all light levels and ISOs. It has a similar effect to bit depth in this regard. Yes, it is more noticeable when raising the noise floor, but not exclusive to it.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-12-2019, 03:17 PM  
Lensbaby no longer making Pentax mounts
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 166
Views: 13,080
Keeping a separate line of inventory is expensive. Separate production runs cost significant time and money to set up and tool for. Even small things like needing an additional shelf in the warehouse for each lens model, maintaining websites, support staff training, spares, it all adds up. Fairly small costs for a run of 10k units, but unsustainable for runs of 100s. Especially if it takes a couple of years to shift them.
Forum: General Photography 08-13-2019, 03:11 PM  
Does greater sensor "real estate" equate to better image quality?
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 107
Views: 5,453
The biggest problem with the whole discussion and the idea of testing it, it this (from my earlier post):


Unfortunately, it is impossible for all other factors to be equal in the the real world. Even if you had two sensors with the same number of pixels, built in exactly the same way, just in different sizes, the knock on effects of that different geometry affect numerous other factors which also have an impact on image quality. Isolating the effect of the sensor while excluding all others is impossible.
Forum: General Photography 08-13-2019, 09:57 AM  
Does greater sensor "real estate" equate to better image quality?
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 107
Views: 5,453
No, because there are two things that are important:

1) Resolution (number of pixels) - more is always better within reason, but impacts on file size and therefore processing overheads. Unfortunately this is what most people think is the one and only measure of sensor 'quality', which is why 20+ MP on a tiny phone sensor seems like a good thing to put in your sales brochure, but alongside that what matters is:


2) SNR (signal to noise ratio) - bigger pixels gather more light, so the effect of sensor noise is reduced in proportion to the signal. This is good, but means a bigger device.


Really what is best is an enormous sensor with kabillions of pixels. But the practicalities of carrying it and the requisite lenses around mean that it's only really good if you're a space telescope. The result is a trade-off between pixel size, resolution and portability.
Forum: Ricoh GR 07-25-2019, 03:51 AM  
GR III - photos from owners
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 1,062
Views: 72,004
Berry Head, Devon. With GA-1 and CPL filter, my own B&W development preset.

Forum: General Photography 08-03-2019, 03:15 PM  
The worst of Craigslist/Shopgoodwill/eBay etc.
Posted By victormeldrew
Replies: 2,307
Views: 101,789
Hate to be 'that guy', but both are correct, in both American and British English

A motor can be anything that imparts motion - a 'motion-er' so to speak. You can compare here both American and British usage, which both specify an automobile motor/engine (in British it is also a colloquial term for a car as a whole by the way):

Motor definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary


An Engine is more specific in modern usage, but historically is any kind of machine (such as a seige engine). Nowadays it is mostly used for cars and such, but also the entire front end of a train and of course steam engines, which use an external power source.
Engine definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary


English is a fantastic language, mainly because it is actually very vague and flexible and can rarely be pinned down to 'correct' or 'incorrect' such as you attempted there... In the end, 'correct' is whatever people commonly use and incorrect is whatever people commonly believe is wrong. There is no prescriptive authority to define what words do and don't mean unlike, for example, French. So if many people use 'motor' as you use 'engine', then they are correct and so are you and both will end up in the dictionary. Just like LOL and cellphone and twerk have...which is why it evolves and remains useful over time.
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