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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 Days Ago  
Why Do YOU Stay With Pentax?
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 165
Views: 5,770
Pentax has a 35mm f/2.0 lens. There's also the more expensive Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art in K mount.
Forum: General Photography 3 Days Ago  
A digital back - but is it really what serious film camera fans want?
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 29
Views: 887
The image quality is pretty bad. It could still produce interesting images for sure, but if you want that "look" you can always add grain and bad IQ in post. It looks like it would be a very frustrating camera to use. Seems like just shooting film would be easier, and you'd get better quality.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 Days Ago  
Which 3rd party PK lenses you treasure the most?
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 53
Views: 1,271
I like the Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 lens. It has its weaknesses compared to the more expensive UWA lenses, but it can produce landscapes that I like anyway. It's just a really fun lens to use, when the right light is around. The only thing I really wish this lens had was better sunstars. And, maybe a bit better corner performance in the 10-12mm range.
Forum: General Photography 3 Days Ago  
Autofocus Accuracy across brands - any data?
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 5
Views: 423
Today's mirrorless cameras are more accurate than DSLRs though I think the difference is overstated a little. The cool thing about mirrorless is that no focus microadjustments are necessary. However, focus adjustments aren't that hard to do either and I think with DSLRs we will see some developments like auto-adjusting (like the Nikon D850) but maybe with more advanced machine-learning algorithms.

I think there will still be some resources poured into DSLR research and advancement with regard to autofocus, but it seems like the market is shifting and lots of people are switching to mirrorless. I happen to like my DSLR, as I like nature photography and I can look through the lens while the camera is in standby mode and not have to use up battery power to do so...I do this a lot to identify bird species. That way I don't have to carry around binoculars. With an EVF, that would use battery power to do. Also with regard to wildlife, mirrorless cameras don't have as many native long lenses.

What I am pretty confident about is that in my lifetime, I think I will surely have to switch to a mirrorless camera.
Forum: Pentax K-1 3 Days Ago  
Developing HDR mode on Linux
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 10
Views: 379
By the way, in case anyone was considering Photomatix, it does work. It's very easy to use, aligns images, and provides a variety of presets tweakable by sliders. It also has Raw support for many cameras, so that's an advantage over enfuse. The one downside of it is that it has a bunch of options at the beginning (like deghosting) that have to be selected before you actually start working on the image. In this respect I like darktable's HDR merge more, but the biggest disadvantage of darktable is that the image have to be perfectly aligned. That being said, in my one test of it, I didn't quite get the results I liked and I even preferred careful editing of one Raw file over it. Enfuse was pretty good, too.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 4 Days Ago  
Leica Sigma Panasonic working together.
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 48
Views: 1,206
Yes, I think also one thing Pentax has is that it offers a really solid, well-built camera at its price points. That's not something you get with a lot of other brands. Ricoh can keep the price of their cameras low by keeping some features underdeveloped with respect to the competition, and that is how it has market share. Video is a typical example. Personally, when I bought my first DSLR years ago, it was a Pentax K-50 and I was really happy to get such a solid, weather-sealed camera at such a price.
Forum: Pentax K-1 4 Days Ago  
Developing HDR mode on Linux
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 10
Views: 379
Not sure what DCU is, but another option is enfuse. You still need to run align-image-stack on the shots, but I have found that works quite well. Enfuse doesn't have tone-mapping and it's just exposure blending, so it looks more natural.

Still, another option I just found out about is that Photomatix is actually available for Linux! There is a free trial of it at Download HDR program Photomatix for Linux and I am in the process of testing it out. If it works really well I will buy it, but we'll see.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-17-2018, 08:44 PM  
Lighting Control for Flowers
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 23
Views: 669
Here is an example:



This is a quick shot to show the idea that I took a couple years ago. Sorry, my cactus at the time was dirty.

I don't have a picture of the setup at the moment, but basically it is a off-camera flash with the Rogue grid at the narrowest setting (all grids in place). The flower is on a desk, and the flash is aimed directly at it like this:


Excuse the bad drawing. The farther away the wall is, the better because then it will appear all black. Note in this shot it wasn't all dark gray like this because it was too close so I darkened it in post. If it is nearly black but not quite and you want it blacker you can just move the black point.

Also even with the grid you might want to block off the flash in certain ways to make the beam even more narrow. If the flower is somewhat small, then the light should still look pretty soft since the beam is quite large in relation to the flower.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-17-2018, 08:09 PM  
Lighting Control for Flowers
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 23
Views: 669
Nice flower shots.


One of my most used tools in flower flash photography is the grid. I use the Expoimaging Rogue grid but there are others out there as well. You can really isolate flowers or other small objects with a grid, preventing any sort of background whatsoever.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 09-17-2018, 04:46 PM  
Nature Hummingbird in Mirror Lens
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 4
Views: 144
Well done.


You know, this is actually pretty sharp for this lens. I actually don't mind the background. I have a soft spot for the bokeh. It's a nice shot.

I have this lens as a fun lens and I have found it exceptionally hard to use. I find that with slow, obliging birds I might get 1/20 shots that I really like, though as you have shown, it can be done.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 09-17-2018, 04:42 PM  
Macro Araneus diadematus
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 8
Views: 156
Nice capture!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-17-2018, 04:41 PM  
When will Pentax catch up to the other big makers?
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 358
Views: 11,132
Lots of stuff moved online, and P&S cameras have all but disappeared because of smartphones.

There are still lots of stuff in stores though. The Toronto Henry's store was doing pretty well and full of customers when I was there last. An employee was even demonstrating the use of a flashgun to someone.
Forum: Pentax K-70 09-17-2018, 04:23 PM  
Strange behaviour from my K-70...aperture block?
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 11
Views: 580
If you bought if from a store, you could try calling them and see what they say about the warranty...maybe they will still honour it?
Forum: Post Your Photos! 09-17-2018, 04:06 PM  
Machinery Face to face...
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 7
Views: 190
Quite a neat view. Not many people will get a chance to take this kind of shot!
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-17-2018, 02:40 PM  
K-3ii to D500... Is this the right move?
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 256
Views: 4,859
I am convinced you should get the D500. Here are my reasons:
  1. Autofocus will be superior

  2. Greater lens selection for wildlife, no question. If you get even more serious you can trade up your 200-500 for the newer 500 PF f/5.6 later or an even more exotic option

  3. VR with the Nikon lenses in the lens vs. in body, designed for the specific lens. You should look at tests yourself, but in my experience I have found that in-body stabilization works poorly for 300mm+ lengths.

  4. Another point for #3: in-lens stabilization gives you a stable viewfinder. Around the 400mm mark and above, I find the viewfinder somewhat difficult to use because of the camera shake (and yes, I DO go to the gym and lift weights

I understand thought that you would not immediately be able to replace your limited lenses and 100mm macro, and that would be the sad part. I love my macro lens. I think though that in photography, as with all else in life, if you have a burning desire to pursue something specific, you just have to go for it. Are there some tradeoffs with Nikon? Absolutely - but I think in the long run the D500 will make you happier overall.

Regarding the 200-500, you should also check out the Sigma Sport 150-600, which is supposed to be sharper at 500...though it is of course a lot heavier, but the price difference is not too great.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-16-2018, 06:33 PM  
iPhone bokeh slider
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 5
Views: 310
The shallow depth of field in the iPhone isn't there in the first place, it's always added after. It's just that in the default portrait mode, it is automatically put there. By increasing the depth of field with the slider, the iPhone just decreases the strength of the blur mask, that's it.


The effect is pretty decent for what it is. It has more trouble where part of the scene gradually recedes into the background.

I think in a few more years this type of technology will look pretty good. Right now the results are a little off-putting, but good enough for many people already.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 09-16-2018, 05:56 PM  
Nature Flame Robin
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 9
Views: 218
Saw these a few times in Terrick Terrick NP, but never so detailed. Lovely!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-16-2018, 06:46 AM  
Wild rumour: Samsung to provide APS-C sensors to Ricoh Imaging (and Fujifilm)
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 150
Views: 7,941
Just curious, do you have a source for the Nikon's Z6/Z7's sensor? I ask because initially it was thought that the D850's sensor was not a Sony but it turned out it was a Sony, but with design input by Nikon.

By the way, not really sure the first statement is true either. Multiple camera companies can compete because they do so with different feature sets. If all they were competing on was the sensor, you would be right. The reason why people still buy Pentax over a Sony is because of the different set of features - for example, weather sealing on all bodies. Some people prefer to have an "entry level" camera with weather sealing, rather than pay a higher price for a less rugged camera with other features.
Forum: Pentax KP 09-15-2018, 08:28 PM  
My new KP overexposes nearly every short
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 19
Views: 742
Can you try a different lens?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-14-2018, 09:35 PM  
Gel sticks for sensor cleaning?
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 9
Views: 509
I used to have a ton of dust spots on my sensor, and a rocket blower got rid of all of them. So, definitely try that first. It's cheap and can be used an unlimited number of times. It's also good for getting dust off lenses as well.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-14-2018, 09:32 PM  
Is there a single feature that would prompt you to upgrade?
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 29
Views: 914
I would say high ISO performance for sure. In fact, I am upgrading my camera soon and that is one of the reasons for it...
Forum: Post Your Photos! 09-08-2018, 12:27 PM  
Nature Evening Machair
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 6
Views: 175
There's some good colour in this shot!
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-08-2018, 12:27 PM  
Full frame Mirrorless cameras...are they going to dominate ? Who will buy?
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 174
Views: 3,802
I think in the future most people will shoot mirrorless. That's not really a bad thing. I know that if one day DSLRs aren't sold any more or are in such a minority as to make them not really worth it, I wouldn't have a problem shooting mirrorless either. All cameras these days are good, and if you keep an open mind about it, you can make some great photography with pretty much any camera. EVFs are getting so good these days that it doesn't matter that much.


Today though, there are many features in both types of systems to make choosing one more dependent on your shooting style.


For example, if the eye-AF of the latest Sony cameras gives you less of a headache when shooting weddings, you should go with the Sony. If you like really compact APS-C lenses, maybe Fuji is really great. If you want high-end, long 400mm-800mm primes, it makes the most sense to go with Canon or Nikon. If you want a really rugged full-frame landscape camera at an excellent price, go with Pentax.

I think it's not good to be attached to any kind of camera. If you've tried the latest mirrorless cameras but prefer DSLRs, hey that's great. On the other hand, if the time comes when DSLRs become scarce, you could probably be pretty happy with mirrorless, too.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-08-2018, 12:15 PM  
Help! Advice on Super Wide Angle Lens for K-30
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 14
Views: 355
I own the Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6. It's a pretty decent lens that accepts screw-on filters. I would say that its main weakness is that in the 10-12mm range, the corner performance is mediocre enough to bother me, though certainly usable if you're careful. I think for landscapes, 13-14mm is pretty good on an APS-C, and then this lens does a pretty good job. I don't own the DA15 but I'm guessing that would be a bit sharper.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 09-03-2018, 07:51 AM  
Is Pentax in the need of a M/L system?
Posted By automorphism
Replies: 111
Views: 3,073
This was true in the past comparing the best DSLRs with the best mirrorless cameras. However, that gap is narrowing and with advancing technology mirrorless focusing will become pretty much equivalent to the best DSLR focusing systems, like in the Sony A9.
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