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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-06-2019, 01:10 PM  
Taking a step further - new lenses or upgrade body (K-x)?
Posted By vector
Replies: 38
Views: 1,391
For astrophotography I might suggest looking at the options from Samyang/Rokinon. I personally found the resources at Lonely Speck to be very helpful. Lonely Speck – How to Photograph the Milky Way – Astrophotography Tutorials, Tools, Gear + Inspiration
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-06-2019, 10:22 AM  
Taking a step further - new lenses or upgrade body (K-x)?
Posted By vector
Replies: 38
Views: 1,391
I am going to throw some support behind what macman24054 suggested. I would look to a new body and new lenses. You mentioned you are kind of technical and like new gear so if budget is not an issue and you are interested in getting in deeper, then go all in. Pick up a new KP or look at some higher end used bodies (K5,K3). Lenses are more complicated as personal tastes really come into play. Personally I would grab the DA35 and/or DA50 primes (affordable but very good), and then something wider like maybe a DA21 or DA15. I suggest that because as I get in deeper myself I find I am shooting primes more and more (better image quality and pushing me to think more about composition), but your taste and style may differ. If zooms are more your thing then I think maybe the 16-85mm might be the way to go for sharpness and weather resistance, but personally I would look for an F2.8 zoom (DA16-50, Tamron 17-50).

My 2 cents. It's a fun hobby and if you think you want to get in deeper there are lots of ways to do it. You don't have to buy everything at once. Buy some lenses now and a body later... New APSC camera should be coming next year so that might be worth waiting for. So many ways to do this.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-16-2019, 01:37 PM  
Dust inside FA 24 and FA 85
Posted By vector
Replies: 6
Views: 493
A little dust inside a lens is normal, pretty much every lens ends up with some dust in it. It won't affect your pictures at all.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 06-21-2019, 09:38 AM  
Switched to FF, which lenses to change?
Posted By vector
Replies: 18
Views: 1,554
Your DA 50mm and 35mm will both work perfectly well on the K1, as will the Samyang 14mm (I use all 3 on mine). As has been mentioned here I think an every day zoom would be your highest priority and the reputation of the DFA 28-105mm is pretty good. Personally I have a Tamron 28-75mm and it is decent affordable option as well. It really depends on your budget and needs though, as the DFA 24-70mm will be better but cost 3-4x as much. If you really loved your 50mm on apsc then a FA 77 is the natural replacement. After that I would be looking for something in the 70-200mm range.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-01-2019, 04:06 PM  
Landscape Sunrise and Rocks
Posted By vector
Replies: 3
Views: 294
Thank you. Yeah it turned out ok. I wasn't too sure what the morning would be like but it came in mainly clear with just enough cloud to put at little texture in the sky and catch some color.

Thanks. We had a spring snow storm 2 days ago after a good month of springy weather. It is Canada though, so anything can happen in any month of the year. Spring snow is not unusual here until after the end of May.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 04-30-2019, 10:45 AM  
Landscape Sunrise and Rocks
Posted By vector
Replies: 3
Views: 294
The very much over photographed namesake of Okotoks, Alberta (blackfoot for big rock). Testing out a new nodal rail for panoramic shots. This pano is 3 vertical shots.

Full Size Image
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-10-2019, 08:31 AM  
D-LI90 shelf life of new batteries
Posted By vector
Replies: 14
Views: 935
Yeah, I haven't had a problem with them either. They worked great and lasted pretty well. The ones I bought just didn't aged as well as the genuine batteries did. I can't really complain though as they were a lot less expensive.

Probably the main reason I noticed is that I bought a Samyang 85mm and I tend to use live view a lot for focusing it. That is lot harder on batteries. I typically shoot with the OVF and have instant review turned off, and the back LCD turned off in general. Shooting like that I can go a long time on a battery.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-09-2019, 10:44 PM  
D-LI90 shelf life of new batteries
Posted By vector
Replies: 14
Views: 935
That's interesting. Every manufactured item has sample variation I guess. I wouldn't expect Pentax to be shipping new batteries with less capacity on purpose.

From the genuine Pentax batteries I have, 2 are from 2011 and came with the pair of K5's we own. They were always about equal. They still work and get used but they are showing their age. They lasted much better than the after market batteries of the same vintage which are now useless. My K3 battery is from 2013 and still going strong. The 2 after market batteries I bought for the K3 have been good but they don't last long in the K1, especially if I use live view for manual focusing, or if I chimp a lot. The K1 battery from 2016 is still very good. Anyway, I know they will last if they are regularly recharged. I just didn't know whether one sitting idle for years with no charge would damage it or otherwise reduce its capacity.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-09-2019, 05:45 PM  
D-LI90 shelf life of new batteries
Posted By vector
Replies: 14
Views: 935
Thank for this response. It sounds like a few charge/discharge cycles are in order before I decide.

Cool. Yeah that is kind of what I was expecting - something from 2018. I live in western Canada though and I actually have the benefit of a few brick and mortar chains that carry Pentax. I like to support them so they keep carrying Pentax. I ordered the battery from their website as they didn't have any stock in the stores closest to me but listed it available in their warehouse. Anyway, benefit is that if I need to return it I can just walk into the store.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-09-2019, 04:08 PM  
D-LI90 shelf life of new batteries
Posted By vector
Replies: 14
Views: 935
I have had a few after market D-LI90's for a few years. They have worked well but their life isn't what it used to be. I decided to pony up and get a genuine Pentax battery as my second battery for my K1. The battery that came in the mail has the date 201408 on the back. It is, well... a few years older than I was expecting for a new battery purchase. The battery in my K1 is from 2016 after all. I put it on the charger and the light flashed green. I have never seen that before but some searching suggested that is normal behavior if a battery is below recommended voltage when you put it on the charger. For a nearly 5 year old battery that has been sitting on a shelf with no charge, I would say that is expected. After 20 minutes or so the light went solid green and it appears to be charging.

There are a lot of smarter folks than I am regarding batteries on this forum, so I thought I would ask if I should return this battery or keep it? Genuine Pentax batteries cost a pretty penny and I would like to get my moneys worth. I don't like the idea of just returning it due to the date if I can expect good performance from a battery that has sat uncharged for nearly 5 years. My experience and a little googling suggest this battery will not perform optimally though.

Comments, thoughts?
Forum: Pentax K-1 03-30-2019, 02:38 PM  
Considering your K-1 use, what are your favourite features.
Posted By vector
Replies: 38
Views: 2,082
- Viewfinder (I like the overlay and in particular the always on levels in the viewfinder - apsc models could only do it by taking over the meter display and only horizontal level)
- Controls (generally just like the placement of controls also use the top wheel set to ISO - top wheel is way more useful than I first thought it would be)
- The camera body lights (this has been very handy at night for astro but also in some dark venues)
- Self timer can be set to take many shots (super useful at family gatherings for group shots)
- Articulating screen (has been handy for some tough to get shots and its just super cool how its built)
- SR on all lenses old or new
- Focus peaking in live view for faster manual focusing
- Pixel shift
- High image quality

The feature I don't take advantage of enough is the GPS. Need to remember to have it on when out doing landscapes, and also use the astro tracer.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-27-2019, 09:21 AM  
Decisions... Any thoughts?
Posted By vector
Replies: 17
Views: 1,272
Disclaimer: I am a total novice, and not even a good one.

I have a K1, K3, and K5. The K3 was a big upgrade over the K5 for me, and I hardly touch the K5 anymore, should really sell it. I loved my K3, until I got a K1... now I hardly touch the K3 and when I compare perfectly decent shots from the K3 vs the K1, I just like that full frame look. Honestly I couldn't go on flickr or 500px and tell you what was or wasn't FF vs APSC, but I do test shots side by side between the 2 and maybe it is psychological bias to justify my unnecessary purchase, but I am personally happier and more satisfied with my K1 images. Beyond the images I just like holding and using the K1. It just feels great, handles great, I love the controls. It is just better and I enjoy it. All purely personal and subjective I know, but this is a hobby for me and enjoyment is why I do it.

I also like to use and handle old manual lenses and have a small collection of Takumars. I just like them, and when I have time to be slow and deliberate I shoot with them. But mostly, I don't. The AF lenses are just faster, less tedious and contribute more to my joy of shooting. I personally would go for whatever brings you the most joyful photography experience. If it's Fuji and awesome manual focus lenses, do it. Full frame K1 is also a very enjoyable experience.
Forum: Pentax K-1 03-27-2019, 08:46 AM  
Highest acceptable ISO
Posted By vector
Replies: 22
Views: 1,329
I was just testing this out the other day. I have a bad tendency to want to keep my ISO as low as possible, preferably max of 800, but at the cost of shutter speed. Slow shutter speed is wrecking more images for me than ISO noise so I decided to spend a few hours testing it out. Did a bunch of shots on a tripod and handheld, repeated with K1 and K3. I concluded that in a low light situation 12800 is still very usable on my K1. I also concluded that 12800 on the K1 is better than 6400 on my K3. So I am retraining myself to let the ISO run 1600-6400 for indoors, low light stuff, and even push to 12800 to keep that shutter speed up. At higher ISO what I am really losing is the ability to crop as the detail degrades, but at normal viewing sizes it is quite good.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-26-2019, 09:38 PM  
What's the highest rated lens you own according to PF?
Posted By vector
Replies: 111
Views: 4,996
I have read a lot of lens reviews on this site, always wary of bias and lack of qualifications of the reviewer as I read. I can only compare against my own experience and averages do mean something even if it's only something subjective. Higher ranked glass is "liked" by the reviewer for whatever reason. Comparing against the list of glass I own I have surmised that anything in the mid 8's and above is likely more than good enough for my amateur skills. Lower 8's probably still ok but not great. Lower, maybe not worth it as I am unlikely to really like something that everyone else generally doesn't. Ranking my glass like this I wouldn't necessarily rank them in this order. My F 28 is not my favourite or best lens though it is good. Likewise for my DA15. The FA 50 f1.4 doesn't seem to get as much love as it deserves. It renders some beautiful images, much better than the DA 35 or 50. I also have never really loved the Tamron 90 macro, but the 70-200 is fantastic.

Pentax-F 28mm f2.8 -- 9.5
Pentax HD DA 15mm Limited f4 -- 9.33
Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 -- 9.28
Tamron 90mm Macro f2.8 -- 9.27
Pentax DA 50mm f1.8 -- 9.22
Pentax DA 35mm f2.4 -- 9.16
Samyang 85mm f1.4 -- 8.98
Pentax FA 50mm f1.4 -- 8.91
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 -- 8.79
Samyang 14mm f2.8 -- 8.71
Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 -- 8.67
Pentax-M 50mm f2 -- 8.22
Pentax-A 50mm f2 -- 7.88
Forum: Pentax K-3 03-18-2019, 08:31 PM  
Can I Do This?
Posted By vector
Replies: 11
Views: 1,284
I don't think you can do it such that it shows the color and BW instantly, but as 2 step process it works in camera. First shoot raw, view the image, then push the down button to convert to JPG and choose BW and save it. Doing this my K3 does still show both the color and BW images and I can flip between them on the camera display.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 03-18-2019, 07:31 PM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By vector
Replies: 6,197
Views: 756,422
Picked up what looked like a barely used Pentax P30T from ebay. Waited patiently for it to arrive and it does indeed look to be hardly used at all. Meter seems to be accurate, shutter seems good. Ran a film through it today, so I will know soon if everything is good. Pretty happy with it. Not bad for $30.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-22-2019, 09:56 AM  
Mitakon Creator II 85mm f2, experience, samples?
Posted By vector
Replies: 8
Views: 716
I could be wrong here but you guys don't seem to be talking about the same lens. The OP asked about the Mitakon Creator II 85mm f2 while felixkh responded with info about the Mitakon Speedmaster 85mm F1.2.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-20-2019, 04:23 PM  
Mitakon Creator II 85mm f2, experience, samples?
Posted By vector
Replies: 8
Views: 716
I went looking for info on this lens a while back. Just a handful of sample images and a few videos about it but no where near enough. What I did find were many recommendations to get the Samyang 85mm instead since it has the contacts to work like an A lens, whereas the Mitakon is fully manual. In the end I bought the Samyang, and I am quite happy with it. It's a bit more but not a lot. Ultimately I want to save up and get the new 85mm when it comes out, but I expect it to be a lot more expensive. Initially I just wanted to try out a fast 85mm without spending a fortune to see if I would use one regularly. I have zooms and and Tamron 90mm but they are f2.8. They are good but not exactly like having an f1.4 prime. I use mine at f2 most of the time and I quite like it.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 02-11-2019, 01:55 PM  
K1 users: what lenses do you use?
Posted By vector
Replies: 150
Views: 11,355
My most used lenses are the Tamron 28-75 and Tamron 70-200 mainly because of convenience and that most of the photos are of my kids. The 28-75 is sharp enough in the center and makes a good every day lens, the 70-200 is excellent and a great value. When I am out to shoot landscape I have a set of primes to choose from.

Rokinon 14mm F2,8
Pentax-F 28mm F2.8
Pentax DA 35mm F2.4
Pentax FA 50mm F1.4
Samyang 85mm F1.4

Some of my best landscape photos actually come from the DA 35mm even though its not technically full frame. I have some pixel shift landscapes from it that are absolutely razor sharp with superb detail. I sometimes consider switching to the FA 35mm f2 so I am excited for the new version of it. The F 28mm is very sharp and nice as well. I also have some very nice Takumar 28mm F3.5 landscape shots. There is a just a little vintage character to that lens that I like. I find I don't shoot 50mm very often on FF or APSC. Not sure why. The Samyang 85mm is also amazing to shoot with using focus peaking in live view. For portraits at f2 I can nail focus on the eyes easily and have beautiful soft background.

I have more of a budget lens collection but they deliver very nice images.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-17-2019, 08:17 PM  
Leaving Pentax
Posted By vector
Replies: 71
Views: 5,399
I recently got a box full of negatives from my mother-in-law and scanned them in. They were taken with a 1930's Agfa box camera that her mother had saved up for and bought new in the 30's. The range of photos in the box covered probably 40+ years. Those photos are priceless and technically terrible. I totally get it, you have to run a business and you feel you don't have the tools for the job. Do what you want with your money - it is yours after all. No opinion here on the forum should matter. I am just a hobby photographer. I can't yet take full advantage of the K100D, or the K5, or the K3, or the K1 I have.

I have a few guarantees for you after the switch:
- At some point you will wish for a new lens that Nikon has not released yet (or the one you want will come in Z mount not F)
- You will find that sometimes Nikon AF is not good enough, and a set of photos will all be out of focus
- You will sometimes wish you had a different lens on the camera for that shot
- It will sometimes appear that other photographers are having an easier time with their gear

Not saying don't switch - you have specified some valid requirements. Just don't be mad when everything is not perfect. 60+ years from now that slightly out of focus (85% good) photo will be a priceless memory/keepsake to someone and they won't care one bit that it's only 85% good.

Good luck and have fun. It should be fun after all.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-11-2019, 02:50 PM  
Yongnuo Speedlite YN 460 II and Pentax KX, how to control flash wirelessly?
Posted By vector
Replies: 37
Views: 1,999
Yongnuo makes wireless triggers. They are basic and cheap but I have found them to be reliable as well. The one I use is the Yongnuo RF-602 which has no TTL or anything and will work with Pentax/Nikon/Canon even if you find one that says its for a specific brand. I have 2 of these and use them with my flashes and monolights.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-11-2018, 03:26 PM  
Posted By vector
Replies: 12
Views: 775
Is this the same lens? If so my copy is in good working condition and has been sitting on the shelf for some time. If you want it, it's all yours.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-11-2018, 08:37 AM  
Why Do YOU Stay With Pentax?
Posted By vector
Replies: 165
Views: 8,464
My Father and Grandfather had Pentax gear in the 80's and 90's. I have since inherited that gear, not that I shoot with it much. When it came time to get into my own gear I naturally looked to Pentax as it was a familiar brand, but I decided I should weigh all my options. Being in Alberta we have stores that stock Pentax gear. The Camera Store, London Drugs, McBain Camera. You can go in and handle all the brands side by side with Pentax. I handled Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Olympus, and then Pentax last. I knew as soon as I picked up that K100D Super that Pentax was my brand. It felt better built and more intuitive, plus I had some old glass it would still work with. After a couple K5's, K3, and now a K1, I still go and handle other brands every once in a while, just too see what I'm missing. For what I do, I am not missing anything. I am still not good enough to hit the limits of what I have. Plus I seem to like to be different, and Pentax is different in a good way.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-31-2018, 11:18 AM  
Best Cloud storage
Posted By vector
Replies: 14
Views: 551
I should add to, that if you are only concerned about jpg's and you are ok with google doing their own re-compression of your files, then you can sync an unlimited amount of jpg data to your google drive for free. It's not ideal as they do modify the copy they keep, but for cell phone pics, and old jpegs from my pre DSLR days I do make use of that.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-31-2018, 10:55 AM  
Best Cloud storage
Posted By vector
Replies: 14
Views: 551
Absolutely. Like I said if you have the time and expertise, then you can do it yourself. If not, then that managed cloud service is probably worth it for you. I don't see a lot of difference between Dropbox or Google Drive. They auto sync and have file versioning capabilities. Backup only tools like Crashplan or Backblaze are good too and more affordable, but they are just backups not file viewing/sharing. Services like flickr can be a sort of backup as they will store your jpg's, but it's not really a backup service. Looks like the pro version has a bulk uploader though.

For myself, I build and manage complex IT systems for a living, so it's really hard to justify paying someone else to do it for me. I also don't think it's that hard for anyone to rotate backups and keep offsite copies, but again my perspective may be skewed.

A real backup solution keeps multiple copies on multiple storage devices/mediums. I don't use RAID for any of my data drives because I don't need high availability, I back them up to multiple locations instead. The software you need for it is already included in your OS (Mac/Linux use rsync, Windows use robocopy) and is a command line tool.

Examples (you have to adjust the source and destination) - not tested, just spitballing here:

rsync -a --delete /home/myuser/Pictures/ /mnt/mybackupdrive/Pictures-2018-08-31/

rsync -a --delete /Users/myuser/Pictures/ /mnt/mybackupdrive/Pictures-2018-08-31/

robocopy C:\Users\myuser\Pictures E:\Pictures-2018-08-31 /MIR

These can be scripted and scheduled to run automatically if you are so inclined, using the built in tools of your OS.

Taking a copy offsite definitely requires some discipline. Just rotate which drive you are backing up to and regularly take a copy out of your house. At the most basic level, keep one copy in your car, but preferably another location like your place of work, or a friends house. Even better if you encrypt your backup drives in case they are stolen.
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