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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-07-2021, 09:47 AM  
Pentax for my daughter
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 21
Views: 954
Between my K5 and K5ii, the AF is definitely different on the K5ii: of course I'm sure the tungsten light issue was addressed and the sensitivity is higher. But it's still not what it needs to be; by that I mean that my f2.8 lenses either:

1. require more than the sadly insufficient +/-10 adjustment range (Pentax and 3rd party - even * lenses - both new and used);

2. can't be adjusted for both ends of the focal length range;

3. can't be adjusted for every subject distance (all my prime f2.8 lenses are macros, so maybe a bigger challenge than other primes.)

But CDAF is pretty good with any K5, original or ii variety. I should have said it before but the other huge leap I got with the K5 was having live view for the first time, and thus the more accurate AF capability. I was pretty happy with PDAF with all my cameras honestly when I only used small apertures, which is still a high percentage of my photos. Using longer lenses at larger apertures is what made me realize the shortcomings of the PDAF implementations.

Anyway I'd pay a premium - but only a very small one - for a K5ii vs. K5. Generally I find the premiums for the ii versions, especially the iis, more than I could justify, unless maybe I could test the camera with a lens I wanted to use and found it could give me the PDAF results that I needed in lighting conditions were an older K5 wouldn't be likely to focus accurately.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-06-2021, 10:30 PM  
Pentax for my daughter
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 21
Views: 954
I haven't used a K3 but have used the K5 and K5ii and K70 and think a K5 is "enough", or would be if it worked with KAF4. Honestly coming from the K100 and K200, the K5 was the only big jump I've experienced in practical performance, due mostly to dynamic range. Unlike everybody else on PF I dumped the 10mp sensor instantaneously when I got the K5 and never looked back. The 24mp sensor without the AA filter does have higher resolution, but a good bit of the practical difference for me goes away with sharpening, which (while obviously not actually increasing resolution) makes a much larger improvement for K5 images due to the AA filter. For what I photograph, which is mostly static subjects, I've mostly given up on PDAF and either use CDAF or (now that I have some f2.8 lenses) manual focus.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-05-2021, 10:06 PM  
Finally upgrading my K10d...to what?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 60
Views: 2,562
The K-5 can be a good value, but all of them have the fatal flaw of no KAF4 compatibility. If you're going to stick with Pentax going forward, I wouldn't recommend one. If this will likely be your last dance with Pentax and you'll only use older lenses, then a K-5 would be fine. The ii varieties, particularly the iis, seem to be in sufficient demand that they're not worth the premium over the original, unless you find an unusually low-priced example.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-05-2021, 02:10 PM  
Premium lens on smaller format vs average zoom on larger format dilemma
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 22
Views: 971
That table is interesting but it's not reflecting my experience in terms of consistency between corners. Maybe that's worse with zooms at various focal lengths, but even with primes. I'd say only my macro lenses are pretty consistent between corners (and they also have relatively low corner falloff.) So while the best corners are usually pretty good for most lenses, that doesn't really help in real life when you have four corners to deal with, and at least a couple of them are pretty terrible.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-26-2021, 09:14 AM  
Pentax DA 21 - Soft Wide Open?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 43
Views: 2,045
Something is seriously wrong if the entire range of adjustments don't produce obviously different results, although I thought I'd take the opportunity to complain about the overly restrictive adjustment range: 10 just isn't enough, even for some of the Pentax-manufactured lenses I've purchased new.
Forum: General Photography 08-17-2021, 08:25 AM  
Lower resolution sensors are not better in low light
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 51
Views: 3,100
I must be one of the self-proclaimed "enthusiasts" because I don't understand why, within the same generation/technology of sensor, less density and larger pixel size won't produce less noise. Until somewhat recently photography didn't even include the concept of "pixel" so I'm not sure why you'd expect everyone to suddenly understand the nuances of sensor noise and resolution.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-04-2021, 04:58 PM  
Pentax kp being repaired - which camera to rent
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 20
Views: 748
One concern about having equipment shipped to a location is that you won't have a chance to verify that it works. The 60-250 I rented needed a considerable amount of effort and time to wake up the SDM. It really didn't want to work.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-27-2021, 08:23 AM  
"New" camera body suggestion
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 72
Views: 2,379
My K-5, bought about the same time, also started freezing exactly a you describe, requiring removal of the battery to get it going again. At first it seemed to be happening only with my Sigma AF lenses. Around the beginning of this year I recycled all my batteries (some as recent as 2017) and haven't had that problem since. The Sigmas do occasionally fail to register with the body and need wiggling to get the camera to recognize them, but not every often, and they haven't locked up my camera with the new batteries (although I'm not sure I have enough observations to totally declare victory yet.) For whatever reason the new batteries (three different brands of third-party batteries) don't seem to be lasting the way the earlier copies of the same-brand batteries used to when they were new.

Regarding the AA filter I have some experience now with the AA-filterless models, and I do think some of the excitement comes from comparing unsharpened images. I know that sharpening can't actually add back in the sharpness lost to the filter, but it does add in a considerable amount of the appearance of sharpness. And certainly the lack of an AA filter doesn't have nearly the effect of going to a 20+mp body.

Ultimately the problem with all K-5 models is lack of KAF4 support, so while I've very satisfied that the recent low-mileage K-5 I added was worth the roughly $160 I paid for it, I wouldn't sink much more into a KAF4-incompatible model.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-26-2021, 07:24 PM  
Do I *need* to upgrade from the "kit" lens?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 66
Views: 2,616
I've had the Tamron and Sigma 17-50s, and the Pentax 16-85. I haven't had complete success with PDAF on any of them (that is, getting them to work wide open at every focal length), but with CDAF or MF all three will be an upgrade from the kit lens (which I also have.) It's as important to get a good copy of whatever lens you choose, as it is to worry about the relative performance. Even the kit lens can be okay at moderate apertures. Obviously the others have some capabilities the kit lens doesn't. Every extra mm on the wide end is definitely beneficial.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-26-2021, 02:58 PM  
Do I *need* to upgrade from the "kit" lens?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 66
Views: 2,616
Unfortunately if the new lens is a KAF4 some of us would.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-26-2021, 11:30 AM  
Traveling by air with tripod gear
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 40
Views: 1,691
There are definitely limits and it's common for luggage available for sale to be above the limits, unless you consciously purchase for the lowest common denominator. If you're over, you'll be subject to the whims of the gate agents - and the fees can be significant if your item is found to be over the limit. I've had cases where I could fly outbound with a bag, but returning with the same bag it was flagged as oversized. And not because I'd add more to it. It was semi-soft-sided, so more subject to interpretation (and it was close to the limit) than a hard-sided model.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-25-2021, 09:59 AM  
Pentax K10D partially blurry images
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 21
Views: 867
Having both the Tamron and Sigma 17-50s, I'd recommend the Sigma, although as you've discovered, all results are copy-specific. My Tamron can produce very sharp images, but has weaker corners at wider apertures, maybe partly due to greater field curvature, making it difficult to get the entire image in focus. The Sigma gives more consistent across-the-frame results. I don't use PDAF (viewfinder autofocus) with either of them, even with the per-lens adjustments in newer cameras; I can't get results that apply across the focal length range. I think you're going to find that's an issue with almost any f2.8 lens (less if you stop down, of course.) My Pentax 16-45 suffers from barrel wobble and doesn't perform as well overall, although it does have that valuable one extra mm (although I've never measured the difference.)

---------- Post added 07-25-2021 at 10:10 AM ----------


I do wonder how often lenses are decentered now (particular now that zooms are so popular, which are surely more difficult to construct) vs. the "old days." I seem to recall reading lens reviews in photo magazines at the time (like of the 50/1.4 SMCT) mentioning "centering is nearly perfect", and actually don't recall any instances of centering being significantly off as reported in so many reviews today, but I'm sure someone will let me know if my memory is faulty. And it seems like today a lot of reports don't mention centering - some even say they're only using the best corner of the image for their testing, and not even showing us results from the other ones, which seems like a terrible approach.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-24-2021, 07:05 AM  
Who Needs Modern Lenses?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 111
Views: 7,280
But as with automatic transmission supplanting manual for efficiency and performance, it's just a matter of time before AF will produce higher success rates than MF - with "time" allowing for both advances in technology and your own deteriorating abilities. Having had almost no experience with any AF other than Pentax, I know CDAF is much more accurate for me than manual focus, but ironically in the K100 PDAF-only era and the lenses I had (the 16-45 and 50-200) I had no complaints with AF accuracy (speed of course was another matter); with the K5 and newer, despite endless adjustments, my "better" lenses (DA* or similar) are either out-of-range of the restrictive +/-10 adjustments that Pentax allows, or need different adjustments at different focal lengths and/or subject distances. So now I'm doing CDAF whenever possible, or sometimes even MF (only with faster lenses though.) Of course part of my PDAF issues with "newer" cameras results from having more megapixels and thus magnification, plus faster lenses (f2.8 or f4 vs. f4 or f5.6 at most) with less depth of field. Still, "good" AF would clearly be superior to MF in every situation; we just have to wait for technology in whatever equipment we're using to get to where it needs to be.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-23-2021, 08:39 AM  
Traveling by air with tripod gear
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 40
Views: 1,691
My aluminum Slik tripod was slightly damaged in my checked bag. I tried to surround it with clothes but didn't pack it well enough. But that's one out of dozens of trips, and the damage was just that a leg was dented such that it didn't slide as smoothly as before. It was damaged in a soft-side bag; now I use a semi-soft-side, so the bag has a little more resistance to it. I would never consider trying to bring a tripod as carry-on. One object I've had trouble with is a rocket blower, so I do carry that with me, so I can explain what it is before it goes through the x-ray machine.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-23-2021, 07:31 AM  
Slide film "tint"
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 13
Views: 827
My contrarian comment is that the "tint" varied a lot more from roll to roll than from one film to another, at least in the case of Kodachrome in the 25/64 K14-process era. I went through hundreds of rolls of "pro" versions and used Kodak processing, and the results you got, basically green vs. magenta, were all over the map, even from the same emulsion batch. There was less variation in Ektachrome and Fujichrome, again processed by their respective manufacturers, and my recollection of KII was that there was less variation in that (although there was no "pro" version that I was aware of.) Today when people talk about CMOS vs. CCD or whatever I just don't get it, since to me those results are so similar that I can't tell them apart (except for other aspects of the sensor like noise or dynamic range.) On the other hand, if I'm using automatic white balance now, and maybe move the camera by just a fraction of an inch, that will often be even more dramatic than going from exposure #37 on one roll of Kodachrome to #1 on the next - completely different result.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-22-2021, 10:04 AM  
Warning! Just a rant about Pentax lens' QC
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 42
Views: 2,076
My experiences have been more similar to yours than to all the people who say they've had no QC problems. I've had problems with Pentax (which is what most of my digital-era equipment is) but also with Tamron and Sigma lenses, so it's not a Pentax-only issue. I do think the extremely limited +/-10 adjustment range, and lack of ability to adjust independently for different focal lengths with zooms, is an example of inadequate engineering. As I've acquired "better" lenses I've mostly given up on PDAF. I assume it can be made to work with some other manufacturer's body/lens combinations, but don't have enough experience to say.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-20-2021, 05:08 PM  
Brand new Pentax DFA* 70-200 focus weirdness with K1. Please help
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 39
Views: 1,428
My Pentax bodies and lenses are older than yours (except for one) but I've thrown in the towel on PDAF, so my solution was to adjust my expectations. Maybe I'll try again someday if I get a mirrorless body, or a dslr body/lens combination that allows multiple PDAF adjustments at different focal lengths and maybe focusing distances.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-19-2021, 10:50 AM  
Do you ever take off your CPL filter?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 50
Views: 1,663
I don't think anybody is saying a linear polarizer is "not supposed to work" on a digital camera, rather than in some cases can be incompatible with accurate operation of some digital or film SLR components used for viewing, AF or metering on some models. Regardless of camera, if you use manual exposure and focus I don't think the results will be different from a circular polarizer.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-18-2021, 08:49 PM  
Do you ever take off your CPL filter?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 50
Views: 1,663
I use a polarizer somewhat frequently, more for reducing reflections on foliage than for skies. However if I don't see a benefit in a situation I normally remove it, since I don't want to lose any light I don't have to. Sometimes I want to use MF and want light for that; other times I want to limit the higher ISOs I have to use anyway to reduce subject motion (leaves, for example.) Of course sometimes I have to moderate the polarizer effect due to it removing too much reflection, usually from water. Other times the polarizer seems to remove at most about 90% of what I need it to no matter what I do. And annoyingly, about half the time I forget to adjust the polarizer entirely, so I get a completely random effect. Sometimes I'll realize that in time to reshoot; sometimes not.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-18-2021, 05:17 PM  
Best Pentax Outfit for Landscapes?
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 55
Views: 2,420
For landscapes the OP might be like me and almost always use a tripod and either MF or AF in live view, so focus adjustments would not be required. Some of my lenses are so far off that they can't be adjusted so even for other subjects I can't necessarily use viewfinder AF.
Forum: Visitors' Center 07-13-2021, 11:03 AM  
thin haze cleaning advice
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 18
Views: 2,311
This was a consumer-but-above-kit level "normal" zoom. At the time I dropped it the cost of the lens new was, within a few dollars, equal to the cost of having it serviced would have been, plus amount I got for it (with disclosure) on a trade-in.

I'm not a big fan of repairs vs. replacement on photo or electronic equipment when the cost is anywhere close, and should have listened to myself with regard to a recent laptop repair. I'm typing now on the new replacement laptop I ended up with anyway, although the old one is back in partially operating condition. I'm okay with factory service if time is not a factor, or service by someone you know - although I'm somewhat cautious when the only references I have are reviews on the internet.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-12-2021, 04:39 PM  
Help with testing Bower / Samyang 24mm f/1.4 lens
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 8
Views: 455
I'd say that whether you like the lens or whether it fails a test for defects are two different issues. You have to evaluate both of those possibilities.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-12-2021, 10:07 AM  
My first camera with little budget
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 35
Views: 1,375
I would probably look mostly at cameras around or under about 30,000 cycles. I've purchased a body with about 30k cycles and as far as I've been able to tell it was very well cared for. The more cycles the more the odds of "stuff" having happened to the body, so obviously if you know the previous owner that would be a factor. A well-cared for body could have more cycles and be a better value. Roughly I'd guess you should be able to get somewhere in the range of 100k cycles with most cameras.

Just to provide a contrarian view, I'm not an expert but have a K200 and honestly don't find anything special at all about the CCD sensor, except that it's noisy and has very limited dynamic range compared to my K-5. To me color is all about how the camera or I choose white balance, the editing/viewing software I'm using and any adjustments I make, how my monitor is calibrated (or not), and even the ambient light I'm viewing the photo (monitor or even a print) in. Also now that I've had a camera (K-5) with live view there's no way I'd even consider one without that feature.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-11-2021, 03:27 PM  
Pentax K70 Autofocus - Viewfinder vs Live View
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 11
Views: 614
There are really two situations: the same image (well, zoom setting, distance, etc. the same) being inconsistently focused, or being consistently misfocused. In the case of the latter focus adjustment might be necessary and helpful. The challenge for me with focus adjustment is lenses that require different adjustments at different focal lengths or difficult focusing distances, and/or adjustments are required beyond the camera's ability (that's been the case with multiple Pentax lenses I've owned, including brand new lenses - the adjustment range leaves a lot to be desired.) Increasingly now I just use live view and CDAF whenever at all possible. This would be one of the appeals of a mirrorless camera: not having to deal with PDAF adjustments.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-11-2021, 11:01 AM  
AF adjusted suddenly that lens isn't such crap any more
Posted By tibbitts
Replies: 38
Views: 3,187
It would be better for the body to offer multiple calibrations for focal lengths (on zooms) and distance ranges and different apertures. And it would be much better (and also dramatically easier for Pentax to implement) for the body to allow a reasonable adjustment range. "Reasonable" is defined obviously as at least the amount of adjustment my personal copies of the lenses I happen to own require, not the ridiculously tiny +/- 10 adjustment that the bodies provide. Has this been fixed on any of the newer bodies?

Shouldn't it be possible to have the body calibrate each lens automatically for PDAF using the body's own CDAF capability...?
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