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Forum: Pentax Full Frame 04-12-2019, 06:38 PM  
Longer Telephoto Lens for the K-1
Posted By DSims
Replies: 61
Views: 7,096
When I was putting my lens kit together, I realized the F/FA/DA * 300 is the optimal telephoto in terms of cost, size, weight, aperture, hand hold-ability, and image quality.

The D FA 150-450 wasn’t available at that time, but honestly the DA 560 is the only longer telephoto I occasionally think I might want someday - not the 150-450.

The F * 300/4.5 is the lens I “must have” with me most of the time. I slightly prefer the images from it over the DA *, although I think the DA *300 may be more practical because of the slightly faster f/4 aperture, the weather sealing, the (I believe) better suitably for TC use, and the ability to buy it new for $850 right now,

Why not either rent it (or both it and the 150-450) or buy the DA * 300 and return it if it doesn’t suit you? Then you’ll be able to decide which is better for you.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-10-2019, 03:22 PM  
Feedback on Lenses to Purchase for a Trip in December 2019
Posted By DSims
Replies: 31
Views: 2,036
That sounds like a good plan. The most important factor is that you like the images from a lens you choose, such as as the DA12-24.

Those lenses will get you familiar with the focal lengths. You will be able to concentrate on that and composition.

Eventually you’ll look at subject isolation (Depth of Field) too. That was my idea behind suggesting the D FA 100/2.8 WR Macro. There are many other lenses (some more expensive, some much less expensive) of f/2.8 or faster at similar focal lengths that will achieve the same purpose. Examples include the (manual focus) M or A 100/2.8 (non-Macro), the F or FA 135/2.8, FA and earlier 100/2.8 macros, the FA 77/1.8, and the DA 70/2.4.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 04-10-2019, 02:14 PM  
In my mail box this morning from DCW
Posted By DSims
Replies: 30
Views: 3,037
This is an interesting perspective I didn’t expect, and I’ll continue to think about it more.

But I do believe that even within our personal collections, the explosion in the number of digital images (whether from a higher quality camera or not) lowers our perceived value of them. Think about how we consider historical family photos one of the first possessions we’d save in the event of a fire. The number of good family photographs from the film era are relatively few, while there’s a proliferation of quality personal digital photos.

This makes it harder for us to justify the additional time and cost of better photographic gear - because we’ll get “good enough” images from our cell phones anyway. Obviously Forum members think otherwise, but our ranks are slowly shrinking.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 04-08-2019, 06:47 PM  
In my mail box this morning from DCW
Posted By DSims
Replies: 30
Views: 3,037
I think you are closest to the causal issue here. The perceived (and actual) value of photographic images is the root problem. This was caused primarily by the explosion of online images, fueled both by the popularity of social media/online galleries (e.g. Instagram) and the ease of acquiring/posting images (e.g. via smart phones).

The resulting heavy over saturation of images has lowered their value, which in turn has lowered the expectations for professional quality. People believe anybody can produce good images while investing almost no time or money. Only special events such as weddings are seen as important enough to justify the (erroneously perceived) “slight” improvement a photographer can bring.

So the saturation of images has led to people’s belief that they’ve already seen everything there is to be seen; therefore neither photographers nor viewers can drive as many camera sales anymore.
Forum: Pentax K-r 04-08-2019, 06:10 PM  
I just bought a 2nd hand K-R
Posted By DSims
Replies: 7
Views: 2,044
I had the nice K-x as my first great high-ISO camera, but when I later got one for my daughter I opted for the similar K-r since (as I recall) only the K-r has an AF point indicator in the viewfinder (and BTW I seldom use center-point AF).

So yes, it makes sense.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-08-2019, 06:02 PM  
Landscape lens for Glacier National Park
Posted By DSims
Replies: 20
Views: 2,177
Like you, I still have the K-5 IIs as my main body too.

I agree. Go all the way to the F/FA/DA * 300 if you can afford the expense and size (it can still be hand-held); otherwise the PLM is good.

As for wide angle, you have good options already - especially the DA21. I wouldn’t be surprised if you used the DA21 the most. Nevertheless, I had the excellent DA15 and eventually consolidated by keeping only the DA10-17 FishEye, which is much like the 15mm at the 17mm end (where the FE distortion is minimized). Obviously it goes really wide when desired, and it renders colors similarly nicely as the DA15.

Keep in mind that - even at 10mm - as long as you’re willing to “break the rules” of traditional composition and place the horizon in the middle of the frame (which you may or may not crop later) you can get rather normal looking landscape shots, because the horizon will be straight while rocks and other objects in e.g. the foreground won’t look wrong because in nature they normally have odd shapes anyway.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 04-08-2019, 05:33 PM  
Late to the Party - Pentax 645D for portraits ?
Posted By DSims
Replies: 16
Views: 3,550
First, if you’re tethering, make sure there’s a tethering solution that works for you with this camera.

Secondly, make sure your Post Processing solution is to your liking. In particular, Capture One won’t support Pentax MF cameras - whether tethered or not - because Phase One views them as competition to their own (somewhat superior but more expensive) MF camera systems. Most other PP software will probably be fine. This is unfortunate :(, since IMO Capture One is the best.

As you know, like most Digital MF sensors it's cropped compared to film. But once you’ve verified the necessary infrastructure (as above) is in place you should probably find a good lens or two and try it!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-08-2019, 05:05 PM  
Feedback on Lenses to Purchase for a Trip in December 2019
Posted By DSims
Replies: 31
Views: 2,036
At the risk of sounding as corny as the first line of a product manual, Congratulations on your purchase of the Pentax KP kit! Amongst many quality cameras on the market, you couldn’t have done better. The KP is an ideal platform, and you’ve bought into a community at Pentax Forums that’s anxious to help.

I’m glad to hear your trip is in December - this gives you time to prepare.

First and foremost, I suggest taking one or two photography classes in landscape or general photography. If you can, take them in person, such as at a local camera shop. Ignore the fact that everyone else uses a different brand - Pentax forces you to focus on the fundamentals, which is to your benefit.

The two topics you want to concentrate on the most - even if you have to study by yourself - are “The Golden Spiral” (Composition) and Depth of Field. Continue to think about them, even after you already know them.

Next is what you asked about - one or two lenses to buy or rent. As you know you’ll need to get hands-on with them to understand what you’re capable of.

My essential kit is the FA*24/2, the FA*85/1.4, and the F*300/4.5. Why do I mention this? These are three vastly different lenses/focal lengths, but their fast apertures give me so much flexibility that I usually don’t need the focal lengths in between. Experience with any one of them (or a similar lens) will change how you look at photography, and equip you for specific types of shots.

The other two lenses I can’t avoid needing sometimes are a macro (the D FA 100/2.8 WR Macro) and a wider angle (the DA 10-17 Fisheye), so I carry them too.

Let me attempt to summarize at the end of this exceedingly long post:

After studying Composition and DOF, immediately get your hands on a couple of lenses. If you can afford it, I’d suggest the D FA 100/2.8 WR Macro plus either the FA*24/2 or DA21/3.2
(each of these lenses has also been recommended by somebody else in this thread). While I think you may gain even more (learning and capability-wise) from the FA*24’s faster f/2 aperture, the DA21 (even the HD version) is an excellent value that’s hard to pass up, whether new or used.

While these overlap focal lengths you already have, they provide at least three advantages you can’t duplicate with your zoom:

1) Their faster apertures provide advantages you have to use to appreciate
2) They create higher quality images without requiring much stopping down
3) They force you to concentrate on a specific focal length, which is important right now
4) The Macro is so good it can double as your affordable medium-long Portrait (~70-100mm) lens

Your DA18-135 is a nice lens, but these will help you expand your photography.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-07-2019, 08:36 PM  
HD Pentax-FA 35mm f/2 on K1-II
Posted By DSims
Replies: 41
Views: 6,292
My experience with the original FA35/2 is similar to yours, amstel78. I had 2 (actually I think 3) copies of this lens. My first one was a new Samsung version; then I tried one or two used Pentax FA35/2 copies, hoping to get a different result.

I kept trying, but I decided the lens wasn't for me. Simply put, the image quality suffered noticeably at apertures wider than f/2.5. Softness was part of it; the other was probably the "glow" that you describe (I don't have a better description either). But the image degradation (perhaps a lack of contrast?) at f/2.2 was obvious and consistent on all my copies. It's clearly in the design of the lens - and I didn't like it.

While you may be "spoiled" by the D FA * 50/1.4, I don't think it's tainting your view. Your observations still appear accurate and valid.

Of course it still produces nice images, and this includes yours. In fact I rather like the DA35/2.4 variant, but it's easy to like a lens that performs so well wide-open while being so affordable. It produces bokeh circles with high IQ. But I understand it's not good for FF.

So you can use this somewhat overpriced (IMO) (HD)"FA35/2.5," or wrestle with the amazing but hard to tame FA31/1.8 that's fantastic wide open and can't seem to produce harsh backgrounds no matter what you do. But it also was difficult for me to get many interesting images out of it - at least on APS-C (I never tried it on FF).
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 04-07-2019, 06:40 PM  
Cheap kit to get started with Macro photography
Posted By DSims
Replies: 37
Views: 2,415
The already mentioned D FA 100 WR Macro is an absolutely fantastic lens - a standout, despite being in the one category (macro) where almost all lenses produce nice quality images. It's worth considering.

IMO it's one of the best macro lenses you can get from any brand on any body. But why? Aside from the quality construction and feel:

- Picks up fantastic colors that look better than real life, but not so much that they look artificial (like stripes on hard candy do - some cameras/lenses go too far)
- Rounded aperture blades produce nice backgrounds and bokeh
- Sharp, high quality images at both macro distances and infinity

I can't think of any category in which it doesn't rate at least a 9 out of 10 -> the perfect all-around macro lens.

It should be a great addition if you like your FA77 - but don't think it overlaps, because while they both produce beautiful images, the D FA 100 WR macro could be sharper than you want sometimes. At the same time, the FA77 can often focus faster, because it has a normal focusing range.

In the meantime, since there are so many high-quality used macro lenses on the market, you could try almost any brand or model. I like the F/FA 50 or 100 f/2.8 models, and the (Cosina made) FA 100 3.5 macro (or its even cheaper versions under other brands - mine happens to be Vivitar).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-07-2019, 06:02 PM  
Three Amigos: Completing the Collection in Black or Silver?
Posted By DSims
Replies: 21
Views: 1,812
The silver MIJ, early S/N FA43 I had (in fact I sold it to monochrome) always looked like it was the native color of the metal to me (even though that's probably an illusion), so the finish is durable and nice. My other two FA Ltds were black, which was fine, but I have to say the silver was the most eye-catching and it always gave me this feeling of "the real deal" whenever I looked at it on the camera. It made me feel good even before I looked through the lens - as if I had a rare German classic on my camera.

It sounds like it still looks great according to monochrome, so I wouldn't hesitate in getting silver if it suits your taste.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-28-2018, 07:03 PM  
DA*11-18/2.8 delay to 2019
Posted By DSims
Replies: 227
Views: 19,783
Their scheme is to get us to buy both, even if we weren't planning to. So we get the 50 now since we can't get the 11-18, and then we have plenty of time to prepare to lay out another big chunk of change next year for the 11-18!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-28-2018, 06:52 PM  
Posted By DSims
Replies: 1,144
Views: 100,116
Oh, no, it looks pretty good!

$1200, and I didn't even want a 50 ...
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-28-2018, 06:18 PM  
DA*11-18/2.8 delay to 2019
Posted By DSims
Replies: 227
Views: 19,783
Oh, no. This is bigger news than the D FA * 50/1.4 release next month.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-27-2018, 11:12 PM  
Help with lens selection
Posted By DSims
Replies: 23
Views: 1,366
I may be the wrong one to ask, because Purple Fringing doesn’t bother me much. But you can fix it easily in Post Processing.

You might prefer a used FA*85/1.4 (which I have, as does Adam in his profile picture) or the ~85mm that is on the future roadmap. There are third-party options as well.

Personally, I think the D FA 150-450 might be the most interesting next lens for you, since it’s a well executed modern design (which seems to be your preference). In fact I t and the D FA 28-105 you have are the only two of the newer releases which really interest me, although I still favor “artistic” lenses like the FA*85 even more.
Forum: General Photography 06-27-2018, 10:26 PM  
The crap you find on Craigslist
Posted By DSims
Replies: 27
Views: 1,896
Oh no, minty is really bad - Mint anything always turns out to be in much worse condition than something “Like New” (which is often accurate) - don’t ask me why it’s this way. But if they can’t even commit to “Mint,” well ...

Coin collectors know Mint is better than Uncirculated, but for some reason Mint in any other product means “noticeably used.” It would be better if they just said “lot’s of potential!”
Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 06-27-2018, 08:06 PM  
What is your Prediction??
Posted By DSims
Replies: 390
Views: 10,921
All I ever saw was 40,000 for the K-1 and 60,000 for the K-1 I.

---------- Post added 06-27-18 at 08:07 PM ----------

OK, since you’re so optimistic I’ll pick 40,265.
Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 06-27-2018, 04:13 PM  
What is your Prediction??
Posted By DSims
Replies: 390
Views: 10,921
Adam, since June is shorter than July or August I think 30/31, or 38,710 posts should qualify.

I predict 38,712.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-27-2018, 02:15 PM  
Nikons downward spin
Posted By DSims
Replies: 45
Views: 3,549
For Nikon’s sake let’s hope so, but the grounds for such optimism seem dubious. What Thom describes sounds exactly like corporations behave.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 06-27-2018, 01:47 PM  
Canon Pixma 100 Error Code B200
Posted By DSims
Replies: 7
Views: 3,254
I would suggest doing a google search on the title of your post. You will get many results.

I believe the last time my Pro-100 gave a “needs maintenance error” (after not using it for months) I simply needed to replace an ink cartridge or two. Since you’re planning on staying with the same printer model, why not invest in the ink now? Just replace the ones that are visibly, physically empty on the reservoir side, and if that doesn’t work then also replace the ones that are really, really low.

My printer now prints nice, hassle free photos again.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-27-2018, 01:34 PM  
Nikons downward spin
Posted By DSims
Replies: 45
Views: 3,549
Thanks for the link to an article with valuable insight (especially regarding how Nikon is running its business vs. how Thom does)!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-27-2018, 09:49 AM  
Best Pentax lenses
Posted By DSims
Replies: 27
Views: 2,408
Not a guess. For pure IQ DA*300 wins. Likewise for AF performance, IIRC.

Pentax has not produced the first ever TC which improves IQ!

Nevertheless, you make a good argument for the versatility of f/2.8 combined with a TC.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-26-2018, 11:11 PM  
Best Pentax lenses
Posted By DSims
Replies: 27
Views: 2,408
From both my experience with the lenses and my study of other’s shots with them, I would say no. The DA*200 is good, but the DA*300 is better. Adding a 1.4x TC to the DA*200 will slightly degrade performance further.

I would argue for either the DA*300 or the FA77 Ltd being number one.

---------- Post added 06-26-18 at 11:22 PM ----------

It’s funny - I have a complete lens kit, but only two from this list any more.

I mostly like what Pentax is doing with the new D FA releases; nevertheless, I don’t own any of the recent ones.

The F generation is my favorite, but if I could only own lenses from one generation it would be the FA series, hands down. Most of the desirable F lenses have FA replacements that are nearly as good (sometimes even better), and many of the DA lenses have FA substitutes as well - the variety of FA lenses is tremendous!
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-26-2018, 05:39 PM  
Old Ideas?
Posted By DSims
Replies: 21
Views: 1,777
I attended a presentation by this professional wildlife photographer last week. She is average size and strength, yet she lugs a 500mm f/4 lens around to get shots like this:

Sandra Lee Photography | Dakotas

The backgrounds are very important to her (you may want to browse her other shots). Her Canon Digital Pro body is nearly 10 years old (I’m not kidding) but she (appropriately) insists on the fastest (widest aperture) lenses for most of her shots - a 300/2.8 and the aforementioned 500/4.

While there are photographic situations where you can take fantastic pictures with older, slower, inexpensive Pentax lenses (and you can learn about them on this forum), there are very good reasons pros want wide-aperture lenses.

You just purchased an excellent lens and camera - I suggest you take full advantage of it. I also suggest you pick up a reasonably priced 100 or 135mm lens (such as the f/2.8 models - used is fine) and see what it does for you. This experience should answer most of your questions.

You may also want to browse the Pentax Photo Gallery, selecting different lenses, and see what appeals to you. Most photos include information on the lens and camera settings used.

PENTAX : Welcome to the PENTAX Photo Gallery
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 06-26-2018, 04:45 PM  
Picture quality - how to get it bettet?
Posted By DSims
Replies: 36
Views: 3,024
Others here may help you with your technical problems. It’s entirely possible you need to change your camera settings, shooting technique, or even some of your equipment. For example, demanding enviroments such as sports/action/wildlife work better with certain lenses and cameras.

But I’d like to see you quickly move past these issues and focus on something else - content.

Composition is your most important photo characteristic. On top of that, you want to shoot subjects that matter to you personally.

You said you are “Frustrated,” and speculated that you may be a “miserable photographer.”

Good photography has little to do with technical quality. My best photos evoke some kind of emotional response. I physically feel a small change in my chest area when I look at them. If you’re not yet trained in classical composition, I suggest you spent some time studying the golden ratio (Fibonacci Spiral). Then spend more time in art galleries, looking mostly at paintings (rather than photos). You see, painters have one distinct advantage over us - they can make the scene look however they want. You have to position yourself - and point your lens - to compose your scene as close as you can get to what you would’ve painted (if you could).

For most of my shots, if they look good on my monitor at 50% size, that’s good enough. They don’t need to be sharp at 100%, they just need a good overall appearance. If I demanded perfect sharpness at 100% I would throw away a lot of great photos!

Getting frustrated is a sign that you have standards, and having standards means you are becoming a good photographer.
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