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Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 02-23-2019, 09:25 PM  
Smart photo gear kit for nature hiking, sailing, and big city visit
Posted By akptc
Replies: 45
Views: 1,478
Yep, I am very aware of the potential compromise.. What's more, in this scenario, I would probably delegate all "wet" picture taking to the Oly TG waterproof P&S, which has served me well in the past.



Thank you. I need this kind of advice. The D3500 is not super fun to shoot with so that kit is a sizeable compromise. I guess my local walks with the various kits will tell me what I can tolerate. It helps that I have no doubts at all about the rest of my gear...
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 02-23-2019, 04:36 PM  
Smart photo gear kit for nature hiking, sailing, and big city visit
Posted By akptc
Replies: 45
Views: 1,478
Nah, see here

Nikon D3500 gets smaller and cheaper, battery life gets a boost: Digital Photography Review

Weight (inc. batteries) 365 g (0.80 lb / 12.87 oz)

Also, an SD card weigh "nothing" :)
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 02-23-2019, 03:52 PM  
Smart photo gear kit for nature hiking, sailing, and big city visit
Posted By akptc
Replies: 45
Views: 1,478
I will probably burn in Pentax hell for this but currently I am practicing with this lightest always-on-me DSLR set I could come up with so far.

NIKON D3500(365g); NIKON 35/1.8(210g); TAMRON 16-300 (540g) = total weight 1115g = 2.46 lbs

Who knows, maybe come July I will be in a much better form and an extra kilo or two won't make a difference, I sure hope so. My dream is to be able to use the 15-31-77-300-K3 kit and still breath normally after the 5th mile of the hike ;) I am 5'8", 54 yo, and not in great physical form (yet) so every gram matters to me.

Btw, while looking for the lightest Pentax DSLR I found Pentax K-S1 at 558 g, not bad for a feature-full body. But, I don't own one of these.
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 02-20-2019, 04:38 PM  
Smart photo gear kit for nature hiking, sailing, and big city visit
Posted By akptc
Replies: 45
Views: 1,478
I was just thinking that.. I have this widget from Peak Design that clamps onto the backpack's shoulder strap and allows the lens+body to hang by the lens foot. It's not bad, the wobbling is not too distracting.
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 02-19-2019, 09:22 AM  
Smart photo gear kit for nature hiking, sailing, and big city visit
Posted By akptc
Replies: 45
Views: 1,478
I had no idea.. thanks!
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 02-18-2019, 10:19 PM  
Smart photo gear kit for nature hiking, sailing, and big city visit
Posted By akptc
Replies: 45
Views: 1,478
Well, it's my understanding that the 16-50 is not as weather sealed as the 18-135.. Also the 16-50 is F/2.8.. so the 18-135 (and high ISO) would only come out in bad weather.... But yes, it's an overlap.. I could do 15, 50/1.4, 18-135 and the 300+TC. With 18-135 mounted most of the time.. hmm... less is more ?

I may need to hire a local sherpa and a donkey to carry all the gear I want ...
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 02-18-2019, 09:45 PM  
Smart photo gear kit for nature hiking, sailing, and big city visit
Posted By akptc
Replies: 45
Views: 1,478
I really like the close-up lens idea, will definitely pack one of those.

The DA200 is 245 gram lighter than the 300 but at 825 grams, the 200 is already on the heavy side, so I think I'd still rather take the 300 and the TC, for the overall greater reach. The good news is that I've managed to convince the girlfriend to carry the DA300 :D

I have to confess, tempted by my own research, I checked out the D3500 with its 18-55 kit lens and that kit is about as heavy as three Kit Kat bars.. yikes.

So, at the moment I am thinking 16-50 always on until it rains then 18-135. In decent weather, 15-31-77 depending on the subject. And the DA300+TC for the birds and such. Like Gary H Perth suggested, I will take this kit out on shorter trips locally and see how my back fares.

Thank you Everyone for your advice, I appreciate it very much.
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 02-15-2019, 02:30 PM  
Smart photo gear kit for nature hiking, sailing, and big city visit
Posted By akptc
Replies: 45
Views: 1,478
The D3500 is my kid's camera, she has a good compliment of lenses for it. The camera is very light and does indeed feel a little odd in the hand. The K-3 has spoiled me with its ergonomics, that body just feels right. To finish with the Nikon idea, I even considered taking just the D700 with 24-120/4 but that kit feels heavy and "thick" in longer use.

I no longer own any M43 gear..

Good question about my photo targets:

- landscapes and landscape details (wide and long tele)
- birds while visiting wildlife preserves, probably no birds in flight (long tele +TC)
- village and urban architecture (wide mostly?)
- interiors (not much of that) (~fast wide-ish)
- street life, street festivals (wide to short tele I think)
- friends goofing off (wide to short tele)
- spectacular shots from and including the sailboat (wide, WR)
- possibly some macros, starting to seriously consider the 90/2.8 Tamron; only other AF macro I have is the 50/2.8 Pentax

I expect variable weather so WR would be a benefit to have on all/most gear.

I currently really enjoy using primes as opposed to zooms and prefer zooms with wide/grippy focus rings, not those flimsy 1 cm ones.

Backup camera is easy, another K-3 that will stay in the trunk until needed.

Backpacks - I recently started using Peak Design's 20 liter "Everyday Backpack", super comfy and adjustable but not super light at 4 lbs..

Tripods - looking at Gorillapods, Ultrapods, and my ultra-light monopod; leaning towards a monopod plus a smallish Gorillapod.

This is kind of fun, I am really looking forward to a well thought-out decision as opposed to the usual throwing a kit together at the last minute.
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 02-14-2019, 11:06 PM  
Smart photo gear kit for nature hiking, sailing, and big city visit
Posted By akptc
Replies: 45
Views: 1,478
Thank you for the ideas, I've been comparing weights and focal length all evening.. so glad I have a few months to decide.

I've decided to also throw in non-Pentax gear, just to see how much I can save on total weight while sticking to APS-C with lots of pixels. Please don't get offended by my off-brand references :) So far I've discovered that no matter what I will probably be sacrificing potential image quality for weight savings... not too happy about that.. Here is where I am so far..



Looks like I will need to build up some muscle to get the lens quality I want, at nearly 2.5 kilo. If not, it gets lighter by going with a not-so-fast normal 35/2.4 and a not-so-long zoom 18-135 on the Pentax side. The lightest option takes me out of the Pentax gear altogether.

Honestly, it's easier to buy a car than pick travel gear.. I am pretty sure I will keep postponing the final decision until the very last minute.
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 02-14-2019, 03:09 PM  
Smart photo gear kit for nature hiking, sailing, and big city visit
Posted By akptc
Replies: 45
Views: 1,478
I am planning a July-August trip to Europe and thought Id ask for your advice about the smartest photo gear kit to take with me. The itinerary will include hiking in Slovakia, a few days in Vienna, sailing and kayaking in the Mazury region in northern Poland.

I've read a similar thread and still am not quite sure what to bring..

Here are the lens kits I am considering in addition to the K-3.

A: 15mm, 31mm, 77mm, 300mm, 1.4x TC
Id carry 15+300 for nature hikes; 15+77 for city walks; and the 31 when I cant decide

B: 18-135mm and 55-300mm WR lenses
Can carry one or both as they are light

C: 16-50mm, 300mm, TC
Carry both on nature walks, 16-50 the rest of the time

I was also considering the 90/2.8 Tamron macro to possibly replace the 77.

I have considered a 1" sensor small zoom camera as the only one to take with me but I don't have any experience with those.. I tried the SONY RX100M6 and my fingers hurt from trying to hold it and use the buttons at the same time.

I would only carry what I need for the next few hours/day. When kayaking, I would only carry a small waterproof camera like the TG-5. My group will be traveling by train, plain, and car and I can leave extra gear in the car or at the hotel.

I don't want to overdo it weight/bulk wise but also would not want to compromise too much on IQ, I mean, I will be seeing spectacular vistas and places..
Forum: Sold Items 01-29-2019, 09:23 PM  
For Sale - Sold: $475 New Price SMC Pentax FA 77/1.8 Limited Black LN- AIV
Posted By akptc
Replies: 7
Views: 1,031
I love this lens. With the 15/31/77 and 300 in my sling-bag, I am slowly forgetting about zooms.. and the 77 is my staple lens. You will not regret buying it.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-16-2019, 08:47 PM  
One more time: DA* 16-50mm vs. Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 (AF adjustment)
Posted By akptc
Replies: 21
Views: 1,530
The 16-50 came back all shiny and new-like, with the tech's comment "seal ring replaced; a complete repair and return all functions to factory specs; complete cleaning (internal - external) and optical system". So I can't tell what was actually wrong with it but luckily it looks like the lens is now usable. I've been able to correct the AF to where I can no longer complain, I guess it's a keeper after all. The repair was a flat fee of $212.50, shipping included.
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-31-2018, 07:30 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By akptc
Replies: 31,313
Views: 2,890,063
I am cherry-picking your input here of course but I think the message is clear - get the lens! I just needed to hear it from someone else :D:D

THANK YOU.

-------------
Just ordered it from B&H, can't wait!
In the immortal words of Harry "when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of the life to start as soon as possible." :p
Forum: Lens Clubs 12-31-2018, 01:18 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By akptc
Replies: 31,313
Views: 2,890,063
Another GAS attack has me thinking that I must have the DA 300/4.

To delay the inevitable, I have been comparing the IQ of the Pentax M*300/4, Pentax DA 55-300, and the Sigma 50-500, all at 300 mm (I happen to have these three lenses) against the DA 300/4.

I ask myself, given decent light, could I not achieve the same detail, sharpness, micro-contrast, etc when shooting a stationary bird with the Bigma at 300mm as someone else shooting the same bird with the DA 300/4?

Flickr.com has lots of images from all of these lenses so it should be easy to tell but it's not that easy. Just as I thought I had my final opinion, a picture by the Bigma or by the 55-300 would show up and blow me away.

Also, how about this logic - most pros use primes or super-high-end zooms, so clearly most good pics from the DA 300/4 would have been produced by more experienced nature photographers than lets say users of the other lenses. Which means that comparing pics on Flickr.com is not a sure-fire way to make a choice.

I know that skills are the paramount ingredient in making a great picture. So my quest has to do with giving myself the best chance I can afford, of taking that one amazing photo w/out having a poorer quality glass get in the way.

I wonder if this makes sense to other GAS-affected Pentaxians..

Andy
Forum: Sold Items 12-30-2018, 12:19 AM  
Wanted - Acquired: Pentax M 50/1.4
Posted By akptc
Replies: 2
Views: 231
Wow, that was quick!.
Forum: Sold Items 12-29-2018, 08:33 PM  
Wanted - Acquired: Pentax M 50/1.4
Posted By akptc
Replies: 2
Views: 231
Looking for an optically clean / healthy and mechanically functional Pentax M 50/1.4 for a reasonable price. Should not have any haze or fungus and very little dust.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-29-2018, 08:28 PM  
One more time: DA* 16-50mm vs. Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 (AF adjustment)
Posted By akptc
Replies: 21
Views: 1,530
Paulo, you are seriously bumming me out. I appreciate the comment though :)
I emailed the repair tech to let me know if he wants to me send the camera as well.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-29-2018, 03:03 PM  
One more time: DA* 16-50mm vs. Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 (AF adjustment)
Posted By akptc
Replies: 21
Views: 1,530
I didn't include the camera following most of the advice out there.. which generally says that if other lenses are easily calibrated with the camera, it's probably not the camera but the one bad lens that's at fault.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-28-2018, 06:30 PM  
One more time: DA* 16-50mm vs. Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 (AF adjustment)
Posted By akptc
Replies: 21
Views: 1,530
Shipped off the 16-50 to Precision-Camera today, fingers crossed.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 12-28-2018, 06:25 PM  
MX with viewfinder balsam separation
Posted By akptc
Replies: 19
Views: 1,011
The MX has arrived and it's a beauty. Like new in every way I can think of. The black paint is factory and simply breathtaking. I compared the shutter speeds against my other bodies and they are good. The seals are good. I feel like I've traveled 40+ years back in time and bought a brand new MX. I should post some product pics.. will try this weekend.

The viewfinder separation/issue/blemish is not visible in any way once you put the eye to the viewfinder which is completely clean and unobstructed. I tried capturing the VF glass issue but failed to get a better pic than the one I already posted.

I am now pondering whether or not to send the camera to Eric. It's probably silly to worry about it but I am a bit concerned about the VF repair resulting in some accidental scratches to the body. Yes, concerning this beauty I am that superficial :) That's the only like-new old Pentax I have..

I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS MX :D:D

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-26-2018, 10:21 PM  
One more time: DA* 16-50mm vs. Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 (AF adjustment)
Posted By akptc
Replies: 21
Views: 1,530
PJV, not at all, I am kind of glad to have suffered through it, I think I can now fine tune any healthy zoom quickly, with my eyes (almost) closed ;)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-26-2018, 10:05 PM  
One more time: DA* 16-50mm vs. Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 (AF adjustment)
Posted By akptc
Replies: 21
Views: 1,530
After about two hours of fine tuning the AF on the 16-50, I have concluded that this specimen is the spawn of the devil himself and as such needs an exorcism by CRIS.

I tried everything, assuring myself of the angles and distances, used a variety of rulers and other objects and still, just as it looked that I have finally converged on the right fine-tune setting, if I then focused on something a little closer or farther, the lens would again be severely off-focus. I am physically exhausted by this process and have used up my entire curse word vocabulary several times over. This lens is going in for a major surgery. Or the trash can. I do own a large hammer...

Thanks everyone for your advice, I greatly appreciate each and every post.

Edit: Apparently CRIS is not the place for Pentax repairs, I will be sending the lens to Precision Camera

Andy
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-25-2018, 07:25 PM  
One more time: DA* 16-50mm vs. Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 (AF adjustment)
Posted By akptc
Replies: 21
Views: 1,530
Thank you PJV, I found a decent ruler and plan to take my time adjusting AF at 50mm on the DA tomorrow. Will report on the results. Also thank you everyone who contributed. Btw, I will probably end up also getting the Tamron just to "taste the sharpness".
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-24-2018, 01:16 PM  
One more time: DA* 16-50mm vs. Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 (AF adjustment)
Posted By akptc
Replies: 21
Views: 1,530
Hi, I just need to confirm what I've gathered through reading older posts and my own experience with the Pentax lens. These two points appear to be true - please kindly comment.

1. Pentax 16-50 is a varifocal lens. As such, it may be impossible to perfectly fine-tune the AF on both the wide and the long ends at the same time. If one end is well-tuned, the other will most likely back/front-focus.

2. Tamron 17-50 is a par-focal lens and can achieve perfect AF at all focal lengths with a single in-camera AF correction.

I have the Pentax 16-50 and have been fighting with the AF tuning for a while now. Tried averaging the error but can never achieve AF quality on both ends to my satisfaction. I am hoping the Tamron lens will free me from this stress.

Looking forward to your advice.

Andy
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 12-21-2018, 10:48 AM  
MX with viewfinder balsam separation
Posted By akptc
Replies: 19
Views: 1,011
I theorize that the camera was a shelf queen with good exposure to direct sunlight...
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