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Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 44 Minutes Ago  
Did you leave Adobe? Where did you go?
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 62
Views: 1,815
As a young teenager in the early-to-mid 80s, I'm ashamed to admit that my computer systems were powered almost-entirely by copied / pirated OS and software (none of which I could have afforded to buy, and all of which was obtained from others who'd copied it). It took me a little while to realise the error and moral impropriety of my ways (and the potential effect on others), but by the age of 16 or 17, I'd figured it out and started operating with respect to the software vendors. I'd never stolen anything before, and I've never stolen or pirated or stolen a single thing since, software or otherwise. The worst thing I do now is listen to songs on YouTube rather than buying the MP3 downloads or CDs (although I do still buy some of those for listening in the car :o).

Interestingly, one of the commercial Sharp MZ80K games I wrote back in the day was pirated by some people, and that cost me income. Small stuff, in the scheme of things, but it hurt :o
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 1 Hour Ago  
Did you leave Adobe? Where did you go?
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 62
Views: 1,815
I think you hit the nail on the head, there. In a real-world professional workflow, I've no doubt Adobe offers a premium suite of well-integrated products and services that fully justifies the monthly subscription.

In contrast, I'm an amateur stills photographer, and my entire workflow (the volume of which varies considerably week to week, and month to month) consists of library management, RAW development and TIFF export, editing of full-size TIFF, output to full-or-re-sized JPEGs, and viewing of all formats, with each step colour-managed, of course. For me, digiKam 5, Darktable 2.4.4 and GIMP 2.8.16 (with some plug-ins) does everything I need, and feels pretty well integrated - although most of that is probably down to Linux rather than inter-program communication.

In your situation, or for those amateurs with funds they're happy to commit monthly / continually and who like Windows or Mac, the Adobe subscription model makes absolute sense. But for guys like me who (a) won't make the most of every piece of software, services and integration capabilities, (b) won't use the software and services comprehensively and consistently every month, and / or (c) got fed-up with Windows / updates / virus protection / performance, the OS and tools I've moved to do a grand job. I'm not saying either setup is better or worse (though in my personal opinion, both could be true in different areas). But they're valid alternatives depending on user requirements, and neither is a poor relation to the other if your needs are fully covered by either one :)
Forum: Post Your Photos! 1 Hour Ago  
People More Niagara photographers - selfie shooters
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 19
Views: 812
Back then, I think it was to record something for personal reminiscence, or maybe to show a few close friends on one of those evenings where you're forced to sit through a vacation slide show after dinner :lol: Those were, in many respects, simpler times... and whilst I'm not saying the photos weren't ever shown to impress, I suspect the main reason for them was for recollection and reminder of enjoyable events.

Now, though, taking selfies and posting them on social media has become a thoroughly ghastly and crude display of self-promotion and self-validation among one's social "peers". If that sounds rather harsh, I'm afraid it demonstrates my feelings towards the prevalence of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all manner of other social media / networking sites. I can't abide them, though I realise - like most things - they probably have some positive uses (often very much down to the individual user, rather than the overall service)... :o

#PutThePhoneDownAndGetALife


(See what I did there? :p)
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 2 Hours Ago  
Did you leave Adobe? Where did you go?
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 62
Views: 1,815
LOL :lol: I'm with the freedom fighters who believe otherwise, but on Christmas Eve we can come out of the trenches, play football, exchange gifts, and compare post-processing results :D
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 2 Hours Ago  
It's a shame we can't talk about DPreview here...
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 46
Views: 1,641
Ricoh should ask you for permission to use that quote in marketing :p You make a very good, and very credible argument (one I happen to agree with, too) :)
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 2 Hours Ago  
Don't have money to burn
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 11
Views: 277
I should make clear that I'm not belittling the use of P-TTL (and HSS-capable) units, nor the control that's available with them, even one bit. There are situations where they're not just useful, but essential (for example, I doubt many press or wedding photographers use manual flash for candid / on-the-fly photography :p).

But I also read posts from those who buy a P-TTL flash and never do a great deal more with it other than pointing it at the subject, or a ceiling or wall, and letting the metering take care of the flash power. That's fine, in its limited way, but it's rather like using Auto mode on the camera instead of digging into Manual or semi-manual modes.

Of course, most of the P-TTL units (all but the most basic models) have a range of adjustments and, in most cases, full manual control, so they cover all modes of operation. But for those on a shoestring budget, I think low-cost manual flashes are worth exploring, and the fact that they make you learn the basics is a positive thing :)
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 3 Hours Ago  
Don't have money to burn
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 11
Views: 277
Yep, that's a good route to go. More upmarket than my own kit, though :p

I bought 2 x Powerextra DF-400 flashes (same as the Neewer / Godox TT520) and a simple Kaavie radio trigger and 3 x receiver set (same as the Neewer / Wansen PT-16). The flashes and radio trigger/receivers are dumb, entirely manual and don't support P-TTL - but they work superbly and have been reliable through two years of relatively light but quite regular use. I forget the exact cost, but I believe everything came to around GBP 60 - 70 in total :)
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 4 Hours Ago  
Don't have money to burn
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 11
Views: 277
^^^ This.

I can honestly say I get five times the use from my inexpensive, generic manual flash units as I do from my Pentax and Metz P-TTL models. Purely automatic P-TTL operation is an easy habit to get into, and whilst it can be useful in certain circumstances, it really pays to get into manual flash. It's pretty straightforward once you learn the basics (there are plenty of resources online, and some excellent books on the subject).

If I was recommending a flash purchase to someone, I'd suggest getting one or two inexpensive manual units, plus an equally inexpensive radio trigger and receiver(s). Maybe add in a good book on flash photography, too. All of that will come to less than one good P-TTL unit.

That aside, if you're set on a P-TTL / HSS unit, I mostly use the Metz 52 AF-1 and I've been very happy with it. It's powerful, rugged and - once you get used to the unusual user interface - straightforward to operate :)
Forum: General Photography 6 Hours Ago  
Ming Thein on format equivalence, engineering and practical envelope
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 41
Views: 1,583
I've seen some of Annet de Graaf's work before. She's excellent, and proof that you don't need a bag full of gear for certain types of photography. That said, I don't believe she does much "birds in flight" or long exposure astro work :p Clearly, the iPhone fits her requirements well.

Numerous professional photographers have limited themselves to one camera and/or lens over the years. The obvious advantage to the approach is that you become so familiar with the field of view, optical characteristics and camera operation that you don't need to consciously think about those things. You can just concentrate on the subject, composition and lighting.

In the latter part of her career, Jane Bown used an Olympus OM-1 and primarily (though not always) shot with an 85mm lens, usually at the same f/2.8 aperture and with a shutter speed around 1/60s. It worked for her :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 7 Hours Ago  
15mm WR?
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 7
Views: 349
It's on Ricoh Imaging's US website:

HD PENTAX DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited

The text shown is for one of the HD DA55-300 models, not the DA15...
Forum: General Photography 7 Hours Ago  
Ming Thein on format equivalence, engineering and practical envelope
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 41
Views: 1,583
Even an old Olympus Trip 35 might be all you need to be a photographer. As always, it's a case of how much creative control the photographer wants, and whether that can be satisfied by the lens(es), sensor (or film) format and camera performance.

Phone cameras have advanced incredibly, and I'm amazed at what they're capable of - yet still acutely aware of the limitations, despite all of the advances in recent years. If the limitations fit with your use case and your creative control requirements, you're in business :)
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 7 Hours Ago  
Did you leave Adobe? Where did you go?
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 62
Views: 1,815
I understand that must have played a part... But I suspect there's more to it. Specifically, with the subscription model they're generating, and can forecast, on-going revenue streams from each subscriber.

I bought LR6 stand-alone and Photoshop Elements 14 in 2015, and didn't buy a single additional Adobe product or service since, as the software did most of what I wanted very well. There was very little incentive for me to spend more money, and no way for Adobe to know if I would or wouldn't do so in future (and if I would, when that might be). If I'd used Lightroom CC instead, they'd know I would be spending a certain amount every month, and that I'd be very unlikely to cancel that subscription. My business, however small, would be all but guaranteed. Revenue forecasting, therefore, becomes much easier for them.

I think I'd have paid around twice the amount in subscriptions over that three year period than I did for my one-off purchases. Of course, as a subscriber I'd have received numerous benefits - additional and new functionality, camera and lens profiles, cloud storage, etc... But those only have value if I'd actually use them.

I can see customer benefits with the subscription model, but only for those making frequent, regular use of the software and facilities on a monthly basis. For those like me who might use it a great deal one month, then very little the following month, it's a tough sell (unless money is no object).

From a selfish point of view, I'm actually pleased Adobe switched to the subscription-only model. If they hadn't, I probably wouldn't have looked into changing my OS and post-processing software, and in my case the move was beneficial.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 8 Hours Ago  
DFA*50/1.4 first review
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 307
Views: 15,524
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference... :)
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 9 Hours Ago  
New to the Q
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 10
Views: 163
Welcome to the forums, from another Q fan - and my compliments on your excellent work with HSS... That's a very nice contribution to kick off with! :)

The Q-series cameras are capable of very impressive results, especially with a little post-processing. I frequently take my Q7 on trips in preference to my larger DSLR and mirrorless gear, and I'm rarely disappointed.

Good to have you with us! :)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 12 Hours Ago  
DFA*50/1.4 first review
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 307
Views: 15,524
They've obviously invested a lot of time and money to design and produce them. I think we can safely assume a company like Ricoh doesn't do that to tease...
Forum: Photo Critique 12 Hours Ago  
Landscape Green monster!
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 5
Views: 176
You can actually get 95% of the way there by simply adjusting the "tint" in your white balance, moving the slider gradually towards the magenta side. Then, exposure / shadow / highlight adjustments to suit.

If you have trouble achieving the same result on the full size JPEG, you can always send me the file and I'll do it for you :)

EDIT: Re your checklist, I have two 16GB cards that never, ever leave my camera bag. I don't think I've used them in three years, other than to test they're still working.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 Hours Ago  
15mm WR?
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 7
Views: 349
Are you referring to the DA15 f/4 Limited? If so, no - it's not WR. The only WR Limited model is the HD DA20-40.

It looks like Ricoh US has posted the wrong text on its website for the DA15. It's referring to a WR zoom lens covering a 35mm equivalent of 84.5 to 460mm. On that basis, it must be the text for either the older or newer HD DA 55-300...

The "red ring" is a bit of a "red herring". If there's a rubber ring around the edge of the lens mount, that usually signifies WR construction. But a red ring on the body merely shows that it uses the HD coatings (and I'm not entirely sure if that's consistent).
Forum: Post Your Photos! 23 Hours Ago  
People More Niagara photographers - selfie shooters
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 19
Views: 812
I do wonder if it's more a display of insecurity, or a lack of self-value / self-confidence - a desire not to be seen as inferior, and too much interest in what others think. It seems that the selfie folks are forever wanting to show everyone else that they're having a good time, doing interesting things, or being involved in popular / topical occasions... Some narcissistic tendencies there, for sure, but I think it's even sadder than that :(
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 23 Hours Ago  
Helios 44 SN#0000xxx slight differences with SN#000xxxx
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 37
Views: 635
No, you didn't troll :p :lol:

I'd actually agree that there's a general and sometimes undeserved popularity with some Helios-44-series lenses. But even with this isolated series, the variations are very significant indeed. They really can't be looked at all that generally. Some really do deserve the popularity - depending, that is, on what the photographer is looking for... others, less so. It's worth considering, for anyone reading this thread who's not that familiar with the lenses :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 23 Hours Ago  
M42 adapter with flange for aperture pin
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 16
Views: 354
If your Kipon adapter mounts flush and has the cut-outs to allow a tool for removal, then it's just as susceptible as other adapters to light leaks. That's the main trouble spot. But unless you have reasonably strong light sources in front of (and, even more so, in front of but at an angle to) the camera, it's usually not a problem...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 23 Hours Ago  
Helios 44 SN#0000xxx slight differences with SN#000xxxx
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 37
Views: 635
Are you talking specifically about the Helios-44-x and Helios-40-x lenses, as opposed to all of the other Helios - and all other Soviet "brand" - lenses?

I've never suggested that swirly bokeh is a sign of "quality", but nor is it a sign of poor quality.... it's just one of many characteristics that lenses from many manufacturers may or may not display when used at wide apertures. The Helios-44-x and Helios-40-x are known for it, of course, but that's just one aspect of their rendering, and not the only thing they're capable of when used effectively. Whether you or I choose to use that effect (and like it) or not, doesn't relate to the "quality" of the lens.

My apologies if I seem to push you on this :p But to me, your original statement might just as easily have been "Ironically, bad quality made Helios / [Sigma / Tamron / any other manufacturer] lenses so popular". We all know that some lenses from each manufacturer are excellent, some only OK, and some poor (even then, our assessments will be different). So far as my own experience goes, what you said originally is a very big generalisation, and doesn't take into account individual models, let alone personal preferences.

If you're only talking about Helios-44-x and Helios-40-x series lenses, then there's still massive variation between models and even individual copies depending on the year of manufacture. But most of them can offer some very attractive optical properties depending on the individual photographer. Very few are what I would personally call "bad quality", but that's still subjective :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 Day Ago  
Helios 44 SN#0000xxx slight differences with SN#000xxxx
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 37
Views: 635
I don't dispute that... at least, not for some of the models. Of course, some of those Zeiss lenses were gems, and that carried forward to the Soviet versions. Soviet optics may or may not be to the same standard, but in some (many?) cases they were very good indeed.

It was your "bad quality made Helios lenses so popular now" assertion that I was questioning, and asking for a bit more detail on... Not because I disagree with it entirely, but because I disagree with it as a broad statement (based on my own experience) :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 Day Ago  
Helios 44 SN#0000xxx slight differences with SN#000xxxx
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 37
Views: 635
That's a pretty bold and vague statement, with all due respect :o

Do you mean they're optically or mechanically "bad quality" (or both)? Which specific models are you talking about, and have you taken sample variation into account? There are some absolutely fantastic Helios lenses around, but how good or bad they are (mechanically and/or optically) depends on your priorities and preferences (it's highly subjective) and quality control from the Soviet factories (which was variable by period and factory).

I can't speak authoritatively on every one, but I've reasonable experience of the majority of Soviet lens models, along with useful experience of other non-Soviet lenses from the same era...
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 1 Day Ago  
Sony A7 iii or Pentax K1
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 21
Views: 725
It'd be kind of surprising if it wasn't, though... right? It's one of the biggest domestic brands for that market :p
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 Day Ago  
M42 adapter with flange for aperture pin
Posted By BigMackCam
Replies: 16
Views: 354
LOL :lol:



Excellent news, and good work! Also, good news re closing down of the diaphragm. Just bear it in mind when trying other M42 lenses with an aperture pin... You might come across a few that don't push down far enough... but you can always try a washer or shim of some sort if and when that happens :)
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