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Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-06-2018, 11:23 PM  
Nature Hey, ever hear of knocking first?
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 12
Views: 706
Very nice capture, interesting encounter, and looks like fur was definitely about to fly.

If I may probe. Those look like Leopard and the tree looks a lot like Savannah thorn tree. Was this in Africa.?? Leopard are normally solitary, so might be brief mating encounter, or else mom and cub having a spat. Hence curious as to location and circumstance.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-06-2018, 10:58 PM  
Long Lense for K20D
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 21
Views: 1,702
If you are happy with the quality and results from the DAL 18-55 lens which is a typical Pentax consumer grade kit lens, then your best option is a second hand SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED or DAL 55-300 lens. Both very good optically for the price and with few "faults". You can get better lens, but only for significantly more cost and this would apply to all the other brands.

Lens review note here Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 Review - Introduction | Reviews

Can also do HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR which is better build quality and weather resistant, but not HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE which is not compatible with K20D.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-18-2017, 12:32 PM  
Travel Come with me and enjoy wildlife,landscapes and some cities of South Africa
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 93
Views: 7,382
Thanks for the great travel diary.
That is a very long route you took through the KNP from top to bottom. Looks like the sky was overcast with lots of cloud, so you didn't always have the best light to rely on.

You where lucky at Satara that the restaurant was still running. We visited the KNP for a week in Oct on a fly-in and rent-a-car trip to mostly in the southern regions (camps Pretoriuskop; Skukuza; Crocodile Bridge; Satara). Very nice overall, but both the restaurants at Satara had suddenly closed and there was a dispute between the Park authorities and the restaurant concession holders over rights. So no ready made food which we had planned on. The camp reception said that the standard had gone down.

Fortunately the camp provided us with cooking utensils as I have not booked a self-catering chalet, and we enjoyed a delightful fire-cooked meal from the camp-shop which was well stocked. And sampled some fine South African red wine to wash it down.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-18-2017, 11:20 AM  
Repair internal anti-reflexring SMC 500mm f4.5
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 18
Views: 2,050
yes, @squareeyes is correct. They locate the sight ring but nothing else.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-17-2017, 12:17 PM  
Repair internal anti-reflexring SMC 500mm f4.5
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 18
Views: 2,050
The entire front end will turn off fairly easily, and the front end comprises of the 3 front elements. Diagrams in link below. I have removed the front end to clean out dust and haze on my Tak-500/4.5 which is identical except for M42 mount.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 11-12-2017, 04:41 AM  
Travel Come with me and enjoy wildlife,landscapes and some cities of South Africa
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 93
Views: 7,382
Sounds very interesting routing. Kgalagadi NP is extremely hot in Jan/Feb. I hope to go there perhaps in winter (July) 2018.

For info, my Avitar is from a 4x4 trip up the mountain on a farm on the opposite side of the mountain from the Mountain Zebra NP. That area has a “big open skies” beauty. Enjoy.!

---------- Post added 11-12-17 at 01:46 PM ----------

OMG. Idiots on the road..! Very frustrating, and that is one of the safety issues in SA. You have to not only look out for your self, but also other idiots on the road.

Very glad you are ok.

Stunning pictures of the Leopard. Must have been a highlight.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 11-09-2017, 12:20 PM  
Travel Come with me and enjoy wildlife,landscapes and some cities of South Africa
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 93
Views: 7,382
Great to see all your stunning photos, and glad you have had wonderful experiences travelling around South Africa. Cape Town to Addo along the Garden Route has to be one of the best self drive tourist routes in the world.

All in, South Africa is a tourist paradise with so much to offer (not that I should in any way be biased), and self drive and self planning is very do-able provided one is sensible. Hope we see you again in South Africa soon. Alternatively, if you have not already visited Namibia, or closest neighbour, they to are a magnificent tourist destination, offering surreal wonderful desert experiences of "vast open spaces" proportions.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-24-2017, 09:56 AM  
Blind Test (Pentax D-Fa 50mm f2.8 vs Sigma Ex Dg 70mm F2.8 Macro)
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 36
Views: 3,249
Prefer Y samples. My guess would be Y=Pentax based on more consistent exposure over aperture range and less blue/purple hue than the X sample which I think i characteristic of Sigma.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-23-2016, 10:59 AM  
Nature Sunbird
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 10
Views: 621
Nice capture and composition. Lovely Double Collared. Did you have to crop, or was this how close you got?

And welcome to the forum btw. Not too may ZA Pentax members, but getting to reasonable numbers.
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 10-16-2016, 09:59 AM  
Shooting in Norway (northern lights) equipment help!
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 4
Views: 1,637
You don't need that much special. Any good wide angle fast lens and good high iso performance camera and a tripod is the basic setup you need. You most likely will not be shooting in the snow or rain as that is when there is cloud, and hence no view of lights. So WR might be useful for other time but not for Northern Lights photography.

I did Hurtigruten cruise Kirkenes to Bergen a few years ago in March with light snow every day and temperatures close to freezing. Best time was during land excursions, and we did snow mobile trip through the night close to Nordkaap which gave best opportunities.

Setup was mostly Pentax K-5 (which is good to about ISO3200) and Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6

You can look up settings advice online. There is good references and advice with pictures. Typically you need about 6-20s exposures, so remote also helps. And remember that when on the ship, you will be a moving reference so not good for long exposure as all stars become jagged lines
Forum: Lens Clubs 08-13-2016, 12:14 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 33,855
Views: 3,302,226
And some Flamingos from Milnerton Lagoon with K3 and DA*300 + DA-1.4x TC

K3__7278_proc by Kevin Richardson, on Flickr

K3__7289 by Kevin Richardson, on Flickr

K3__7324_processed by Kevin Richardson, on Flickr
Forum: Lens Clubs 08-13-2016, 11:51 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 33,855
Views: 3,302,226
Some with the Sigma 170-500 DG and K-5 at Intaka Island bird sanctuary in Century City development in Cape Town. The lens needs to be stopped down a lot (f/9.5-f/13 my normal working range) to get reasonable sharpness at distance, but otherwise renders colors and OoF fairly well.

Red Bishop

K5__6021_a_processed by Kevin Richardson, on Flickr

LBJ? / Cisticola

K5__6044_processed by Kevin Richardson, on Flickr

White Brested Cormorant

K5__6082_processed by Kevin Richardson, on Flickr

Pied Kingfisher

K5__6170_processed by Kevin Richardson, on Flickr

Grey Heron

K5__6213_processed by Kevin Richardson, on Flickr
Forum: Lens Clubs 08-12-2016, 12:34 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 33,855
Views: 3,302,226
Indeed, it's been a long dry season :eek: since KNP with long lenses. But have gained some inspiration this past long weekend again.

Thanks for this advice. Light angle and exposure are tips I need to work on some time. Will be a challenge worth it some time as I am working with the less sharp and light hungry Sigma 170-500 while encouraging the wife into photography by letting her use the K3 and DA*300+DA-1.4x which is a very easy combination to work with.
Forum: Lens Clubs 08-12-2016, 10:43 AM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 33,855
Views: 3,302,226
Wow, you have really gotten that old legend to perform. I have achieved good sharpness out of my Tak SMC 500/4.5 (same optics), but nothing like you have achieved. Also normally a fair bit of CA as well. And a real monster to handle.

Really liked the Golden Eagles shots. Would like to know your "secrets"..!!

---------- Post added 08-12-16 at 07:48 PM ----------

Great shots Philip, and the perfect setup in kit. Very envious of that 560 sharpness at distance...!
Forum: General Talk 04-01-2016, 12:07 PM  
European Pentaxians! I need your help!
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 7
Views: 870
Presumably you went to Kenya with some view in mind. Perhaps either about Africa or the wildlife. If so, you might look a bit further south and definitely more organized at Namibia. It has a very different, almost desolate beauty in the south and some good wildlife in the north.

You could also look at South Africa to be much more organized but still in Africa. Cape Town through to Port Elizabeth along the so called Garden Route has great beaches and lots of natural beauty. There is opportunity for stunning wildlife in Kruger National Park amongst several others. Cape Town is also a great destination on its own (no bias here of course...:)).

But tough choices indeed. So many great places out there to visit around the world.
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 01-15-2016, 11:29 AM  
Need advice for Namibia trip
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 15
Views: 2,559
Having 2 bodies would be very useful to reduce lens swapping. As far a lens recommendations, I would suggest 15/31/18-55/70-210 as a good and flexible balance of quality and range plus a WR walkabout for around town.
I would avoid the Tamron 70-300 for Namibia because of the bad CA/purple fringe in high contract bright sun conditions. It becomes a purple-fringe monster of note IMHO.
The 15 will be great for the many wide vitas all around that beautiful country, while the 31 should be good for high quality normal work for people/village/markets/etc. The 18-55WR good for around town and when in the sand dunes or dolphin viewing boat.
70-210 is a little short for some wildlife, but if you go to 300 and beyond you need good quality gear as well as conditions to get those real printable memories. On the other hand, from a vehicle in a game park, you will often be fairly close to large animals, so 210mm should be fairly good.
Hope you enjoy, it is a remarkable desert touched land. And very hot in February with common afternoon thunderstorm.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 12-06-2015, 12:50 PM  
Hi from Pentax fan
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 7
Views: 542
Welcome from another South African. PF is a great reference for all things Pentax and photography in general.

C&N certainly dominate the market, especially here in SA, and it can be tricky to get gear off the shelf. But hey, nothing wrong with Pentax performance, and old glass still works well.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 11-25-2015, 11:41 AM  
Photographing Old Slides
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 7
Views: 1,744
You can also try using a Cool White CFL (compact fluorescent globe) as a strong light source. You tablet solution seems to be loosing light intensity with the gap to blur the display pixels. Most displays are LED or CFL backlit so you get a brighter source without the pixels. I did this with a Cool White 13W CFL globe in a desk lamp and the light level and color was fairly good.

BTW: I see one of your slide scans is the wrong way round (mirrored image)

Example from my simple setup. Photo credit to Hilary Pooley who I helped with a major scanning project.
Forum: Photographic Technique 11-25-2015, 11:26 AM  
Macro Suggestions for improving the quality of photographed negatives
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 13
Views: 1,439
DFA-50/2.8 macro or DFA-100/2.8 macro or there earlier versions should do the trick. They seem to have very good flat field of view focus and edge to edge sharpness. With good lighting, slide scanning using both these worked a treat.
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 11-17-2015, 11:29 AM  
Lens for Maasai Mara
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 9
Views: 1,038
Take a second body if you can. A slightly older body would be fine to shoot with a shorter FL lens which will allow you to switch between long and short distance without issues (dust/time/hassle).

150-450 would be a great option for the long end, but might be overkill if you don't have use afterwards. I have had good success with a combo of DA*300+1.4x on one body for long end, and FA*80-200 on another for mid range. As others have mentioned, animal are often up close.

And don't forget something wide for vistas and sunsets/twilight. DA-15 or 21 are very small and light.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 11-12-2015, 11:47 AM  
Hallo from Durban, South Africa
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 16
Views: 2,506
Welcome Charlie. More than just a couple..! You should check out user @Neville who is also a Durbanite.

PF is a great reference for all things Pentax and photography in general. Enjoy and look forward to some posts.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-30-2015, 11:22 AM  
Question re use of tele-converter
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 17
Views: 1,553
Most points already covered by others, but in essence your presumptions are correct. Good TC magnifies lens defects including CA. Good len good result. And you do need a slightly faster lens to work with AF1.4x TC, say not more that F/4.5.

Some results and observations from my testing here:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-28-2015, 01:54 PM  
suitable 1.4x tele-extender for Takumar 200 f/4 astronomy?
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 8
Views: 1,332
I posted a fairly extensive testing of TCs with DA*300/4 and also FA*600/4 here:

Hopefully this shows the TC benefit over crop. BTW, the Saitex Auto 2xTC cost me about $15 so there are some obscure gems out there.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-28-2015, 11:07 AM  
suitable 1.4x tele-extender for Takumar 200 f/4 astronomy?
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 8
Views: 1,332
My experience with converters is that if good quality, they tend only to magnify the lens defects with very little degrading from the TC itself. If the lens is sharp with low CA, you should be good. The Pentax A 1.4xS should be a good match at that FL. I tested one on the DA*300 prior to purchasing the DA-1.4xHD model and it produced good results. The Pentax A 1.4xL is a better design optimised for longer FL but has a protruding front which will likely not be compatible with the Tak 200/4.

I am also lucky enough to have a random Saitex A-2xTC which works very well, and I have test stacked with DA-1.4x on DA*300. The results were very good and much much better than cropping.

Nothing beats optical zoom imho. Just need good version of TC.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 10-18-2015, 09:08 AM  
Hello from South Africa
Posted By KevinR
Replies: 7
Views: 692
Welcome Cedric, Although very useful for Pentax gear and talk, PF is also a great and friendly reference for many other topics on all things photograph. Although not very popular in SA, Pentax still has a small loyal following and plenty of great gear from the old days which are still very usable on modern DSLR gear. And most of the modern bodies are up there with the best from C&N in APS-C ,and class leading ruggedness and weather proofing. BTW Grant is a very impressive photographer and I see his pangolin marketing and coverage in media quite often.
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