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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 Day Ago  
Travelling with a K1_2 and landscape photography lens selection
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 17
Views: 466
How long will you be travelling for?

You are planning to bring way too much stuff IMO. The way you described it you'll be staying at a base with family, so once you arrive you'll be able to just bring whatever gear you need for smaller photo trips, but think about the hassles of traveling internationally with multiple cases of fragile, bulky, expensive gear. I'd only bring so much if your trip will last several months.

I also don't like buying many new lenses at the same time, because I'd be inexperienced at using all of it. It takes a while to master new lenses and astro mounts.

Here's a more modest gear recommendation than what you were planning:
  • Landscape: Your Pentax 28-105 is a versatile landscape lens. Sharp, compact, contrasty, etc. Add one wider lens, discussed below under nightscape.

  • Nightscape: You said you were thinking of an Irix 15 and 30. Good choices and an alternative is the Pentax 15-30. The Pentax is heavy but offers the versatility of zoom and a single lens.

  • Astrophotography: The same Irix'es or 15-30 for nightscapes will be good for wide field astro. Learn and use the astrotracer with your Irix 150 for narrower targets. Forget buying a physical tracking mount for this trip; it takes time to learn quirks of astrogear and your trip might be done before you learn how to maximize new gear.

  • Macro: Irix 150.

  • Wildlife: You already have a plan for the Nikon D500 and 600mm zoom.

  • Travel: Already covered by all the other lenses.

  • Cityscape: Already covered; if it can do landscape or nightscape it's probably good for daytime cityscape.

Filtering: Add a CPL for the 28-105. 28mm wide is plenty for many landscapes, and if you want to go ultrawide 15mm it's often fine to skip filters because CPL can create uneven sky color at wider angles. Optionally add ND filter(s) if you like daytime long exposure.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 08-04-2022, 09:59 AM  
With New Lenses Coming is K-1iii on the Horizon?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 43
Views: 2,239
Maybe. I don't know, but I know that the people who do know can't answer if they want to keep their jobs.

There are only 2 possibilities long-term. One is to come out with new camera models. The other option is to exit the market as parts needed by current camera models are discontinued.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 06-29-2022, 09:16 PM  
Will we see a K1 Mark 3?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 107
Views: 6,092
Sony will eventually discontinue the current K-1 sensor. We'll get a K-1 Mark III (or renamed model) with different sensor or Ricoh will exit the FF market. I can't predict when it will happen and I'm just another outsider making guesses.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-28-2022, 12:39 PM  
Please recommend a standard-ish APS-C lens
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 71
Views: 2,625
@sajith, Decide whether you want f2.8. If yes, get the 16-50. If no, then 16-85 or 18-135. The best decision might also depend on what other lenses you currently have or plan to buy.
  1. Pentax HD DA 20-40mm f/2.8-4 ED Limited. IMO the restricted 2x zoom range defeats one of the main selling points for a zoom. For versatility I'd need to pack 2 other lenses with this to fill in the wider and longer ends.

  2. The new Pentax HD 16-50mm f/2.8 ED. A good choice. If you liked your old 16-50 it's obviously a good focal range for you. Downside is the bulk of a f2.8 lens when you don't need low light or thin depth of field.

  3. Pentax HD DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6. Another good choice. As wide as the 16-50, with more reach and less weight.

  4. Pentax 18-135. Another good choice. Twice the reach of the 16-50, much less expensive, much smaller. If you'll miss the wider 16mm of your old 16-50 and don't really need f2.8, maybe add a DA 15 Limited to the 18-135 and that combo still costs/weighs less than the 16-50.

Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-23-2022, 08:51 AM  
New firmware for K3 III and K-1 introduced season specific shooting modes
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 114
Views: 9,867
I'm almost always using DNG so this doesn't impact me but it looks like Ricoh did this feature in an overly complex way. Some modes only work with some lenses and no lens can access all 4 modes. It's impossible to compare all 4 modes using 1 lens.

Let's use the example of Pentax' best customer, someone who owns every lens. That person packs their 21mm and 77mm lenses for a day of shooting and wants to use a new style, but wants to use one style with both lenses so their photos that day have a consistent look. It's impossible because those lenses don't have any "season style" in common. (The photographer needed to bring their 70mm instead of the 77mm because then the 21+70 can share the Autumn style.)

It's confusing and needlessly restrictive. If Pentax wants to only support some lenses to encourage sales, fine, but let every supported lens work with all 4 modes. If someone really likes the Summer look and want to use it for everything, Ricoh is restricting that photographer to only 2 lenses. I don't see how this will increase lens sales.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-16-2022, 02:06 PM  
Pentax Aperture Block, Black Picture Problem Class Action Lawsuit
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 553
Views: 52,597
Was initial purchase price a factor in the judge's decision? I think they said a manufacturer is free of responsibility after warranty ends (which is mostly consistent with how warranties are assumed to work in the USA). A $5 hundred K-50 and $5 thousand 645Z both come with a one year warranty.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-06-2022, 11:57 AM  
Cameras and Right to Repair law in New York State
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 23
Views: 1,037
Read the full text:

"Requires OEMs to make available, for purposes of diagnosis, mainte-nance, or repair, to any independent repair provider, or to the owner ofdigital electronic equipment manufactured by or on behalf of, or soldby, the OEM, on fair and reasonable terms, documentation, parts, andtools, inclusive of any updates to information."
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-06-2022, 11:39 AM  
Cameras and Right to Repair law in New York State
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 23
Views: 1,037
Manufacturers brought this on by their own policies.

Staying on-topic, I'll use a repeating example with Ricoh. They only have one authorized repair center in USA and do not make parts available to consumers. So, when someone breaks a removable lens foot and needs a simple replacement part, the customer is forced to ship their entire lens and pay for a "lens repair".

Ricoh's policies are hostile to consumers. 70-200 "lens repair" costs $478; that's insane for a lens foot. Shipping the lens when it doesn't really need to be shipped needlessly risks damage to the lens. Customers can't use the lens for several weeks while it's in transit and sitting at the repair center.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-06-2022, 10:01 AM  
Cameras and Right to Repair law in New York State
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 23
Views: 1,037
Doing it at the federal level seems smart, efficient, and consistent, but those things are too often ignored in a patchwork legal system. My expectation is that more states will pass their own right to repair in coming years, and the confusing fragmentation will have manufacturers crying for national repair regulations.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-06-2022, 09:12 AM  
Cameras and Right to Repair law in New York State
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 23
Views: 1,037
The law has been passed by the state legislature. It still needs governor signature but that's expected to happen soon. The law has curious exceptions for automobiles, home appliances, and less common items like police radios and medical devices. There's no exception for consumer cameras.

Ricoh/Pentax would have to make parts available to repair shops and consumers. We wouldn't have to ship cameras to Precision for everything.

I suppose Ricoh could stop selling anything to NY customers to skirt the law, but the loss of B&H (because they are in NY) would further cripple USA Pentax sales, and I don't know whether Amazon would get into the middle of the right to repair battle by limiting products by state. Other states also have pending right to repair laws.

Text of the NY law and status is available at
Forum: General Photography 05-20-2022, 08:51 AM  
Sand Dunes 2
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 3
Views: 506
Well done. Big improvements over the 1st set. Since there's no obvious "subject" in these photos and fewer distractions, viewers feel encouraged to look around the entire image.

I was one of the posters who suggested trying B&W. With this set, though, the color and B&W are equally appealing. The improved composition is the main factor.

I notice you lowered the ISO, too. That gives better contrast, less noise, nicer color; it's a subtle yet significant difference.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 05-19-2022, 08:27 AM  
Kelby One Making Money with Your Photography Online Conference
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 9
Views: 650
How to make money with photography? Get a bunch of other photographers to pay you $139 ;)

Joke aside, I don't know whether that conference is any good or not, but in general the photography business is very challenging. There are many hobbyists who will work cheaply or for free.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-18-2022, 02:04 PM  
Night Lunar Eclipse and Fire Island NY Lighthouse (set of 4)
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 1
Views: 114
The weather was mostly overcast but I had several good breaks through the clouds.

20220515-IMGP3731.jpg by jvsperoni, on Flickr

20220515-IMGP3739.jpg by jvsperoni, on Flickr

20220515-IMGP3760.jpg by jvsperoni, on Flickr

20220515-IMGP3768.jpg by jvsperoni, on Flickr
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-15-2022, 06:13 PM  
Lens for roaming around Boston?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 14
Views: 1,132
There's so much to see in Boston that you can get good photos with any focal length. I could spend an entire day there with anything from 15mm through 100mm.

My recollection of the 16-50 performance is that it's sharper at the 50mm end. 16mm is usable but not great. I would therefore pair the 21mm, or maybe even the DA Limited 15, with the 16-50.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 05-13-2022, 01:15 PM  
Precision Camera and K5 Repair
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 17
Views: 999
"Out of Service Life" could mean many things. They might say that if there are no available spare parts, or maybe so few K-5's come in for service that Precision just doesn't want to be bothered with the old model.

I just checked Precision's website and their intake webform still invites people to send in their K-5 for service, though. Precision's reputation for being vague and inconsistent continues.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-13-2022, 10:02 AM  
Preferred place to post unsquished photos?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 23
Views: 1,196
It's my understanding that Flickr converts TIFF to JPG. Have you actually tested uploading then downloading a TIFF with Flickr to confirm that you get your original TIFF back, or does it go through a lossy compression?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-12-2022, 06:54 AM  
Should I go for worn, but fully working K5?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 19
Views: 1,042
That K-5 sounds too beaten up. Cracked viewfinder suggests a very hard impact. Maybe it was dropped onto concrete or tile, maybe it was banged around inside the wrong type of storage case, maybe someone opened the camera to try fixing the mode wheel and horribly mishandled the reassembly.

I would only risk buying that if I personally knew and trusted the seller to tell me when and how the 3 problems occurred. If the mode wheel has been slowly getting worse avoid that camera, since the dial will keep getting worse. If the dial problem came on all at once a long time ago, perhaps at the same time as the viewfinder cracked, and has been stable since it might be worth the risk depending on the asking price. The price would have to be very low for me to gamble on it.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-12-2022, 06:31 AM  
Preferred place to post unsquished photos?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 23
Views: 1,196
I like Flickr but note that it stores jpgs, not RAW (DNG or PEF) format. That's adequate for sharing and large screen display. If you want a RAW photo backup in case you want to edit the photo later, though, Flickr will come up short.
Forum: General Photography 05-11-2022, 09:09 AM  
Sand Dunes
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 12
Views: 675
Is that EXIF information correct: ISO 5000? Why are you shooting at such high ISO? You'll get much better dynamic range at lower ISO. Maybe blowing sand was a concern but even at ISO 1600 you'll get a very fast shutter speed in daylight.

There's not much color interest to sand so consider converting your photos into black and white. Those dunes are too small for wide angle with sky included for color. Experiment with zooming into fewer dunes so the photo becomes more abstract. With respect to your 3 sample photos:

#1: I like the way reflections and shadows change across the frame. Dunes to the left side have bright edges from sun reflections, dunes to the right have dark edges from shadows. I would try cropping out the dead plants at the top edge and the dark shadow along the bottom edge.

#2: I like the repeating shadow patterns. You took this one at a different angle from the sun than #1 and you can experiment with that to get the look you want. I would try cropping out the background at the top edge because it's uninteresting.

3: Just my opinion but I don't like this because it seems like random clutter. The grass and rocks don't form interesting patterns. Zooming in close on a patch of grass, or a grouping of one to three rocks, might work for this scene.
Forum: Photographic Technique 05-06-2022, 07:41 AM  
KS-1 or K-1 , TC or no TC -- Choice for the day.
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 13
Views: 669
Based on the crops in the top post, #4 ("KS1 with TC") has the finest detail, #1 comes in second (just labeled "K-1" without indicating with or without TC).

The images are pretty close and it's tough to make a conclusion based on a single test. Maybe the KS1 with TC is really best because of more pixel density. Or maybe it was just the randomness of getting focus exactly right.

Another test that might be worth trying is to stop down and boost ISO to compensate. Does extra sharpness from stopping down beat noise from higher ISO? Your EXIF on the wide shot says ISO 100, 1/200s shutter so I think you have room to boost ISO.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-03-2022, 06:44 AM  
Landscape Early Morning Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 5
Views: 250
Thank you. 6 seconds.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-02-2022, 02:35 PM  
Landscape Early Morning Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 5
Views: 250
The planets Venus and Jupiter had a visually close encounter this weekend, passing within one degree of each other as viewed from our vantage point on Earth. In terms of true distances, they remained more than 700 billion meters apart.

This photo was taken April 30 with brighter Venus to the right of Jupiter. The following morning May 1, the movement of those 2 planets plus Earth's own movement around the sun caused their relative positions to change with Venus shifting left of Jupiter.

The bright light on the left edge of the frame is a lighthouse not sun. The sun was still below the horizon.

Conjunction of Jupiter and Venus by John Speroni, on Flickr
Forum: General Photography 05-02-2022, 02:15 PM  
Black and White vs Monochrome - so there is a difference
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 20
Views: 1,400
I'll add another word to the B&W or monochrome discussion: "panchromatic". Pan=all. Most "monochrome" sensors are really "panchrome" if we want to get pedantic.

A monochromatic sensor or film could be defined as collecting a single color. B&W film behind a color filter is monochromatic, since only one wavelength (or range of wavelengths) is being collected.

A panchromatic sensor or film detects all wavelengths. B&W film without any filter is panchrome, since light from all colors gets added up onto each pixel or grain.

Depending on how your process/print that mono- or pan- data, the final result can be B&W or tinted monochrome.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 04-27-2022, 05:55 PM  
Using AF on moving objects like planes and birds
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 36
Views: 1,898
Weevil wrote "Aperture 1/3 to 1 step stop down from max aperture". In that context "max aperture" means the widest and largest aperture which I think is f4.5 for your lens. 1 stop down from that would be f6.3.

You might be fine at f8. Most lenses are sharp there. You get more depth of field than f6.3 which is more forgiving for focus. In dimmer light, though, rather than staying at f/8 and boosting ISO or slowing shutter speed, you can try to change the aperture.

P.S. Aperture f-stops are counterintuitive when learning. Larger numbers = smaller opening.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 04-25-2022, 09:27 PM  
Using AF on moving objects like planes and birds
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 36
Views: 1,898
Birds in flight are challenging. Passenger jets much less so because their movements are predictable. Stay near a takeoff or landing path to an airport to get good airplane practice.

When evaluating plane photos, don't mistake atmospheric haze for missed focus, and expect to boost contrast a little with software. You said you do astrophotography so you probably already have experiences with hazy weather.

Have you calibrated your camera for your lenses? You don't need that for liveview or manual focus, but you do need that to get the most out of viewfinder autofocus. Put your lens on a tripod, find some non-moving faraway targets (utility pole, water tower, building, parked car), use liveview autofocus to take several test photos. Then using the same targets turn off liveview and use autofocus through the viewfinder.
  • If liveview photos are blurred something is going wrong. It's probably not camera settings because liveview doesn't have many settings. Check for a shaky tripod or a lens mechanical issue.

  • If liveview is sharp while viewfinder is blurred, you might need to use the AF Fine Tuning menu to adjust your camera to each of your lenses. This article is 10 years old but the concepts still apply to newer Pentax cameras: Fixing Front and Back Focus - The Remedy - In-Depth Articles

  • If both liveview and viewfinder AF are sharp on a non-moving target with a tripod, but blurred for handheld viewfinder AF, then start looking at AF point selection settings, other advanced AF settings, and technique.

P.S. This is the best plane photo I've taken. It was done with K-5 AF which is slower and less accurate than your K-1.

20150523-IMGP3902.jpg by John Speroni, on Flickr
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