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Forum: General Photography 02-12-2021, 02:22 PM  
What unwanted surprise have you found in your camera bag?
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 43
Views: 1,410
Most unpleasant discovery for me had been seeing water pooling in the bottom of my bag after a long day's hike through a thunderstorm in one of BC's coastal rainforests. (The Rain cover for my bag is the elastic pull over type and it collected the water running down my back as of it were an overfull diaper).

The water was pooling inside my bag right where all my gear was stored. Weather sealed gear saves the day again.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-11-2021, 11:50 AM  
Image Sync updated
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 73
Views: 15,448
That's great! Hopefully the K-1 will get similar treatment in the next update.
I just tested my K-1 with a 2 second timer using the image sync app (V2.1.3) and it still prompts me to "Set the drive mode to single frame shooting mode".
This is with the most recent version of the K-1 firmware (V1.53).
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 01-29-2021, 08:46 PM  
Sigma No Longer Offering Firmware Updates for Some K-mount Lenses
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 20
Views: 1,019
I haven't checked in the US. But, after reaching out to a Sigma rep through my local camera shop, I was informed that there aren't any parts left from Sigma Japan to get.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 01-29-2021, 05:30 PM  
Sigma No Longer Offering Firmware Updates for Some K-mount Lenses
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 20
Views: 1,019
Good to know. I wish I could have gotten one of those copies.
I wonder if there is a way to check to see which models are affected and which are not from the serial number of the lens for others who may want to buy this lens in the future?

My lens' serial number is 1034806 and it is unusable on any of the Pentax cameras made post 2016 (that I have been able to test thus far) and unrepairable / non-updateable.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 01-29-2021, 10:20 AM  
Sigma No Longer Offering Firmware Updates for Some K-mount Lenses
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 20
Views: 1,019
Gentec did certainly try their best. From July last year to mid January 2021, I have a list of around 7 correspondences between Gentec and myself. Though, I think it's worth pointing out that the first time they sent it back to me, they had removed the mounting plate from the lens and they hadn't bothered to put it back on. The box they sent me had a handful of loose pieces wrapped up in bubble wrap. (Ie: Plate, baffle, a few screws)


But you got your copy new for $900 AND with the 8-16 firmware from the factory! I must have drawn the short straw! :eek:
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 01-28-2021, 09:12 PM  
Sigma No Longer Offering Firmware Updates for Some K-mount Lenses
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 20
Views: 1,019
I wonder if this is still the case. When I reached out to my Sigma service centre about getting the firmware update done on my lens, they assured me that it could be done. Having read about other Pentax users positive experiences getting the lens updated, I took these assurances from Sigma's representatives at face value. The update certainly had been able to be completed in the past, but as it turns out, that is no longer the case for my lens.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 01-28-2021, 07:10 PM  
Sigma No Longer Offering Firmware Updates for Some K-mount Lenses
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 20
Views: 1,019
Hi all,

I just thought I'd share my recent experience with trying to get my Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 HSM II lens serviced at Gentec, the Sigma service centre for Canada.

I've used Gentec previously when I got my Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 firmware updated, roughly three years ago. At that time, service was prompt and the whole process took around 2 weeks from start to finish. Great!
This time around, however, while trying to get my 70-200mm f/2.8 HSM II lens' firmware updated and the lens mount replaced, things did not go as well.

The whole processes took seven months and the lens did not get it's firmware updated nor its lens mount replaced.
Gentec was unable to source parts for the replacement K mount plate (the one with the narrower bevelled edge which won't scratch the camera's paint).This, by itself, is not the end of the world since the lens still mounts.
The bigger issue is that Gentec claims that they are no longer able to update the firmware on this lens. Instead of flashing new firmware, they replaced the 'chip' with another they had in stock; however, this new chip still had the old firmware. (EXIF Data still reads as Sigma lens "8 255" not the newer "8 16").
Apparently, replacing the chipset was how this specific lens got its firmware updates in the past. Since these parts are no longer being manufactured, firmware updates are no longer offered. As I now only own cameras made post 2016, this lens is more or less a paperweight.

This seems to be rather lousy service from Sigma for a $2000+ lens (Canadian dollars) that, for my copy at least, is only ten years old and carried a 7 year warranty.

While your mileage may vary, it may be worth considering the following when purchasing Sigma products for Pentax in the future; they may come with a rather short shelf life.

All the best!
-Gerb
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-23-2021, 03:10 PM  
Question about temp Changes
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 15
Views: 809
If you're bringing the camera from a warm environment to a cold one there's no issue. The drop in temp isn't enough to cause thermal shock or cause any damage.

Bringing your gear back inside is where you can run into trouble, due to condensation forming on (or in) the lens or camera.

Think of it this way, condensation won't form on a warm beer put into a cold fridge, but it will form on a cold beer brought into a warm house.

When you bring your equipment back inside, let it gradually come back up to temperature in an insulated container, such as a padded camera bag. Keep it zipped up tight, to prevent warm moist air from condensing on your cold equipment.

Regards from Canada
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-23-2021, 11:27 AM  
SMC FA 50mm glass issue
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 11
Views: 775
I've attempted to fix balsam seperation in a takumar 50mm f/1.4. I felt somewhat confident, as I had previously repaired a handful of other manual focus lenses with a variety of issues.

I managed to get the balsam out, but in doing so the element I was cleaning got scratched and the edge of the element got chipped.

In the end, it was a lot of work without a clear way to successfully reassemble the elements without the glue which held them together. It also exposes a great deal of risk to the internal and fragile elements. Lessons learned.

If it costs less than the value of the lens to get it professionally repaired, I'd go that route. If not, have at it. You can't make a useless more useless by trying to fix it. My 2
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 01-21-2021, 10:26 PM  
Albert Siegel | K-3 Mark III Hands-On
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 578
Views: 47,606
Ahhh, my eyes! The kitsch, it's too much for mere mortals!
Forum: General Talk 01-09-2021, 10:18 PM  
First Digital Camera
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 16
Views: 769
A 2008 Fujifilm F100fd. It was a high school graduation gift from my parents. Funny to think back on it and consider how it kicked off such a passion. Thanks for starting this thread Lochaber!
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 01-09-2021, 09:54 PM  
What happened with 35mm roll prices!!
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 20
Views: 1,293
This probably isn't what you're looking for per say, but if you're willing to bulk load, freestyle photo sells Artisan Edu 100, 200, and 400 in a 100 foot roll ~$52 USD. That's 30 rolls of 24 exposures ($1.73 a roll) or 20 rolls of 36 exposures ($2.60 a roll). Arista Edu is just rebranded Fomapan.

I've been bulk loading Arista Edu films for the last five years. By far, their 100 speed film is my favorite, especially when developed in Rodinal. I've been loading film into empty cassettes that my local camera shop would otherwise recycle. This makes them easy to give away to friends without having to hassle them to give back your reloadable cassettes when they're done.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-30-2020, 02:01 PM  
Please help with old telephoto lenses
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 27
Views: 1,612
Hi Neoma,

Sounds like you've got a bit of good news! Your camera and lenses are working as they should, no repairs or replacements needed.
The next step is to begin to learn more about the craft of photography.

Here's a video that will help explain how metering works with dSLRs. After watching a few videos, I think this one is the most beginner friendly.
But, be aware that when the presenter in the video talks about "partial metering" he's discussing a metering mode that Pentax cameras do not have.
The rest, however, is right on the money.
















You Tube




If you still have any questions, feel free to ask about it here on the forums.

While I agree with other posters in this thread that newer lenses can make your new camera really sing, I would first suggest that you work on improving your own knowledge and skills before shelling out lots of cash on gear! Without first developing the fundamentals, you'll not see dramatic improvements in the quality of the photos you take. (Plus, if you fall in love with photography like the rest of us here, you'll have plenty of time to buy more equipment!)

In the meantime, it sounds like you're beginning to take your first steps toward taking your photographic work more seriously. I hope your journey in photography brings you as much joy as it has for me!

All the best,
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-28-2020, 10:01 PM  
Please help with old telephoto lenses
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 27
Views: 1,612
This could be many things.

Lets begin with the most simple solutions and work toward more complex ones:

1) Check your exposure compensation. Is this setting +? If so, change it so that it is no longer + or -.
To change exposure compensation, simply press the (+/-) button on the top of the camera near to the shutter release button. Then, roll the thumb wheel left or right until the reading is neither positive nor negative.

2) The K-70 has several metering modes for measuring the light in a photograph. Adjust your metering mode to 'Matrix' Metering.
If you are unsure how to do so, watch the following video.














You Tube




3) Inspect the blades of your telephoto lens for oil.
If oil is present, the lens' aperture will not close down very well due to increased friction. This results in overexposed photographs.
To check for oil, simply remove the lens from the camera, set the aperture ring to the A position (or ~f/22) and close the bayonet on the back of you lens with your finger. Look at the aperture blades through the front of the lens and then the back of the lens. If oil is present, you can get your lens repaired at VanCam in Vancouver BC for ~$100 Canadian. They do good work.

UncleVanya and AstroDave give good advice! Try their suggestions too.
Forum: General Photography 12-27-2020, 12:21 AM  
Do I NEED a Dry Cabinet?
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 15
Views: 976
All my camera gear is kept in the credenza, which is wooden except for it's sliding glass front. To keep things nice and dry, I've dumped a 2kg bag of indicating 100% silica crystal kitty litter into two plastic totes. I think this cost ~$20 CAD. So far, this solution has worked great.

Once the blue crystals turn white (~once a year), I pour them into a baking tray and then pop it into the oven for an hour or so until the moisture is driven out and the crystals are blue again.

My original thought was to buy myself a camera drying cabinet, but given the price they fetch and the power they draw (and the fact that they're rather ugly to look at) I decided against it.

Since humidity where I live is generally high, and air conditioners aren't all that common, the DIY route seemed the best solution. That's been my experience here in British Columbia, living on the outskirts of worlds largest deciduous rainforest. Your mileage may vary.

In the end, I think with enough desiccant, you'll be fine with whatever route you go.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-14-2020, 10:04 AM  
Lens mount type
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 12
Views: 792
Not true. On the forum there we have K mount, m42 mount, 645 mount, 67 mount, m37 mount, Q mount, and auto 110 mount. (Among others)

When reviewing lenses in the review section, look for the heading for each section regarding lens type. All lenses will be listed under the appropriate heading. Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

When in doubt, you can also check the specific lens mount listed in the table near the top of each lens review. For example: SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8 Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Enjoy the hunt!
Forum: General Photography 12-03-2020, 09:13 PM  
Focal length doesn't affect subject compression - demonstrated
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 70
Views: 2,746
Yep, DOF is a product of three factors: Distance to subject, focal length, and aperture value. That's it!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-19-2020, 10:28 PM  
Camera's and the coming cold weather
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 22
Views: 1,164
I'll just add my 2 here.

Most Pentax dSLR cameras are rated to -10c so letting them get below freezing isn't an issue. Here in Canada, I've routinely taken my K-5 and K-1 to ~ -35c without any functionality problems cropping up.

As stated by others, it'll be the reduced battery performance that can become a problem in the cold. Keep a spare battery or two in an inner pocket to keep them warm until you need to swap a 'dead' cold battery.

I'd also recommend gradually bringing your camera to ambient temperature slowly once returning indoors. The easiest way to accomplish this is to zip your gear into a camera bag before going back inside and then leaving it all in the bag for a few hours to let the temperature change slowly.The padding typically found in a camera bag acts as an insulator and helps make changes in temperature gradual.

This is because warm air can hold much more moisture than cold air is able to. By leaving your gear in a bag, you can avoid condensation from forming on your equipment. Just as water condenses on a cold glass on a hot day, so too will water condense on/in a cold camera or lens in a warm home.

Don't worry too much about the other way around, though. You can take your gear from warm to cold quickly with no ill effects, just like you can put warm beer in a cold fridge without condensation forming on it inside the fridge.
Forum: Pentax K-r 11-11-2020, 10:26 AM  
Issues with batteries.
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 6
Views: 677
I had a K-x with the same issue years ago. My suggestion is the same as "not a number's". Pop in a fresh set of batteries and leave the camera turned off overnight. In the morning, turn the camera back on and you should be golden.
Forum: Pentax K-1 11-08-2020, 03:01 PM  
K-1 Portrait Lens
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 46
Views: 2,849
I can recommend both the Fa 77mm and the Fa 135mm. I own them both.

But, they're different beasts to be sure.
The 135mm has faster autofocus and really benefits from being stopped down to f/3.5. (sharpness/glow, PF, contrast, OOF smoothness all dramatically improve @ f/3.5).

The FA 77 performs better wide open, but the bokeh also smooths out around f/2.2-2.8.

You can get a bit more more isolation with the FA 135 and you get a bit better control of what you can include (or remove) in your background due to its higher compression.

Both have a place in one's kit. I tend to shoot my 77mm more often, simply because it has more flexibility shooting indoors.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-06-2020, 06:51 PM  
120 film processing in BC
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 5
Views: 432
Glad you've found a photo lab that works for you!
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-05-2020, 09:45 PM  
120 film processing in BC
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 5
Views: 432
Hi, in the lower mainland there are a few good choices.

I get my colour negative film (135 and 120) done at Kerrisdale Camera in Vancouver. They do great work. Plus, it's only ~$5 a roll for development in either format. I do black and white at home. Kerrisdale Cameras doesn't do slide film development though. Instead, they ship it out to "The Lab", which is also in Vancouver.

"The Lab" will do great work as well. They accept black and white, color negative (c41), and slide film (e6). But run about double the price relative to Kerrisdale.

Kerrisdale gives 'meh' scans at reasonable prices. The Lab gives top notch scans for an arm and a leg.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 11-02-2020, 09:25 PM  
Carpenter ants on Trumpet Creeper buds
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 17
Views: 321
Thanks! This single exposure was the result of patience, luck, and the suffering endured by my overheating fgz360af
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 10-31-2020, 11:16 PM  
ND filters?
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 24
Views: 1,314
I'm of the opinion that ND filters are really no longer necessary for landscape photography. (Graduated ND filters still have a place in my bag, however).

Check out the following article on how your Pentax camera may be able to use it's built in interval timer to automatically composite several shorter exposures into a single long exposure RAW file.
In-camera Composites Using Creative Shooting Modes - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com
I've been using this feature to good effect since purchasing my own K-1 in 2016 and have left my ND filters in the cabinet ever since.

Worth noting is that this 'in camera' method doesn't allow for shooting wide open apertures of f/1.4 or similar in full sunlight the way an ND filter would allow (by cutting out enough light to bring the shutter speed to 1/8000 or less). Similarly, this in camera method would not allow the photographer to keep shutter speeds at or below the 1/200s or 1/180s maximum sync speeds of most Pentax cameras when shooting at wide apertures in bright light outdoors with flash off camera (outside of p-ttl enabled wireless flash methods). However, neither of these two scenarios have proven to be an issue for me personally in the last 10 years of shooting and I am doubtful that they ever will.

Finally, I think it's worth pointing out that there are all sorts of photography websites that routinely create content marketed to amateurs and enthusiasts extolling the virtues of all sorts of equipment that "you've just got to buy!" Don't believe the hype.

Call me old fashioned, but I'm of the opinion that the best investment you can make in photography is, more often than not, in yourself. Before succumbing to GAS, make sure that the new equipment your are looking at purchasing will help you overcome the limits of the gear you already own, in a way that you have actually encountered before. I, for one, have certainly fallen down the rabbit hole of researching all sorts of camera gadgets and gizmos that I can buy, to the detriment of actually spending time out in the field taking photos, or reflecting on past successes and failures, or brushing up on colour theory, or learning composition technique, or a thousand and one other ways to improve my craft.

But, hey, that's just me. Best wishes and good luck with whatever you choose!
Forum: Pentax KP 10-27-2020, 09:54 PM  
to grip or not to grip!?
Posted By Gerbermiester
Replies: 27
Views: 1,082
Depends on your needs.

Would I buy the grip as a daily carry accessory? No. I'd just slip a svelte second battery into the front pocket of my jeans if I was worried about running out of juice.

If, however, I needed to balance out a larger lens, such as the Da* 300mm, or if I found myself shooting an event for an extended period, I'd grip up for the improvement in ergonomics.
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