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Forum: Photo Critique 06-15-2011, 02:02 PM  
Landscape Sand Arch in Arches NP, Moab, UT
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 4
Views: 2,121

HDR (subtle, not a bomb of color like other HDRs) image of Sand Arch, Arches NP in Moab, UT. The arch is located between fins of a canyon so there is a harsh contrast of light between the sand, arch, and background. Please feel free to comment/let me know how to improve the shot. Thanks in advance!!

Link for large photo.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-09-2011, 11:32 AM  
Best BackPack,travel case, sorry wasnt sure where to post..but need help...
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 7
Views: 3,155
I have a Whickey and Cox backpack by Crumpler that I have used to transport a camera, lenses, assorted camera bits, and a 17" laptop from home to work or vacation.

The W/C holds around 4-6 lenses in padded dividers that can be moved as needed for larger or smaller lenses. The main compartment of the pack is a molded, padded shell that can be removed. The padding is held via sections of velcro throughout the interior of the pack.

I have used this pack as a carry on for flights throughout the USA as well as internationally. It is best used as a "Point A to Point B" transport rather than something that can be used during a shoot. The only way to get into the compartment is to open the single, main flap that is in contact with your back. One one hand, this means that your camera gear is extremely safe (unless someone steals your bag). There are no real functional zippers or compartments where someone standing behind you in a metro can open and steal the interior contents.

I should note that the pack will not fit in the overhead compartment of regional jets, and wont' fit underneath the seat in front of you. You may also have to remove the dedicated padded laptop sleeve prior to stowing the pack. Also, there are no wheels, so this thing gets affixed to your back.

I honestly use the W/C as a 2 day luggage back when not traveling with a camera for work. It's rugged, minimalist, and looks pretty good.

Good luck (and wish I was back in the 'burgh).
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 11-26-2010, 06:16 AM  
WINNERS Weekly Challenge 151: Religion
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 12
Views: 2,840
Congrats to all!
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 11-24-2010, 05:54 PM  
Soon to be Pentaxian in Indy
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 15
Views: 1,327
Welcome to the forum, from another Indianapolite (north side). Enjoy your time here - and I guess you've perused Crown Hill?
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 11-24-2010, 06:49 AM  
Weekly Challenge 151: Religion
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 44
Views: 6,886
Is there still no photo on my entry? Strange, I can see it. This is what happens when you disappear for a while and forget how to do simple tasks. Alrighty, lemme figure this out and try again.


Hope this works, if not, try try try again (for a fifth time, more or less).

Waymarker and makeshift shrine admist a fire-scarred field taken outside Valenca, Portugal, during my pilgrimadge in September to Santiago Compostella, ES, via the Camino Portugues.
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 11-22-2010, 07:43 AM  
Weekly Challenge 151: Religion
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 44
Views: 6,886

Waymarker and makeshift shrine admist a fire-scarred field taken outside Valenca, Portugal, during my pilgrimadge in September to Santiago Compostella, ES, via the Camino Portugues.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 11-15-2010, 07:35 AM  
Hi from Indiana!
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 6
Views: 516
Welcome to the forum - from the north side of Indy.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 10-29-2010, 09:41 AM  
Hello from Indianapolis
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 18
Views: 1,440
Cord Camera is now located in the Whole Foods plaza close to Form and Function, north end.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 10-29-2010, 08:14 AM  
Hello from Indianapolis
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 18
Views: 1,440
Roberts and Cord may have one, but I haven't stepped foot inside of either one in a few years. Their sites carry them .... but that doesn't mean they do not have any on the shelf for patrons to try.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 10-29-2010, 07:59 AM  
Hello from Indianapolis
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 18
Views: 1,440
Next to Smee's on the northwest corner of the intersection.

I haven't perused the brick and mortar stores in Indy to see if they are carrying the new Pentax cameras. Have you tried either of the new ones out first before buying them? Just curious.

I've talked about doing this before, but there are something like 15-20 Pentaxians in and around Indy. We could start a group and organize trips if there is enough interest.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 10-29-2010, 07:29 AM  
Hello from Indianapolis
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 18
Views: 1,440
Greetings from the north side. Enjoy your selection (can't go wrong I guess)!

As for coffee shops, Lulu's on 86th and Ditch is solid (and 2 for 1 hand made scones after 2pm on weekdays).

Also a fan of the Chatham Tap located on Mass Ave for food/beer.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-20-2010, 08:35 AM  
Hello from Indiana
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 5
Views: 624
An Indy welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy your system!
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 09-20-2010, 08:34 AM  
Backpacking with a camera: The review of the Syncpack front mounting system
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 2
Views: 5,651
I just completed walking the Camino Portugues (walking ~220km/150mi) starting in Porto, PT and finishing in Santiago Compostella, ES. Early in the decision process for this trip, I wanted to take my K20d with me but did not want to keep it stowed within my backpack, and did not want to keep it suspended around my neck the entire trip. During the planning process, I happened upon the Syncpack, a system that ties into the front webbing of the backpack thereby eliminating the need to remove a pack to get to the camera. I decided to give it a whirl, and this is my review of the system:

MOVEMENT: The Syncpack seems to be a rather novel idea for backpackers: remove heavy items from the backpack and keep it suspended on the chest, thereby balancing the load and placing more weight on the hips rather than the shoulders. The Syncpack is designed to move with you and not be a rigid fixture. After having this thing affixed to my chest for 10 days, I can wholeheartedly support the notion it moves with you every step of the way. I started walking and would glance down at the attachments to my hip and chest straps. The pack would move in tune with my body and did not hamper my movement, whether I was scrambling up or down loose rock hills or on flat pavement. I would bend over to tie a shoe or whatever, and the pistons would retract and not impede my movement at all.

STOWAGE: There is enough room within the main pouch to hold a guidebook, K20d with DA16-50mm attached, and a DA50-135mm waiting. In the front pouch, I had enough room for a small flip book for notes, a CPL, batteries (2), and memory cards. There are two mesh side pockets, one that held a 0.75L bottle of water and a second that held a sling strap (more on that function later) as well as my sunglasses. The main compartment did not have enough room for my grip so that was left at home. The Syncpack did an outstanding job of containing all of my gear and nothing was lost. I did notice that the petal shape of the lens hoods would occasionally catch on the interior pocket of the main compartment.

FUNCTIONALITY: One of the other attractive options was the ability to remove the framing from the Syncpack and attach a sling strap so it could be used as a carry on bag or daypack for walking around a town at the end of the day. The multifunction purpose of the Syncpack was outstanding for this: hike 15mi with the pack attacked to the backpack, then convert to a daypack for exploring at the end of the day.

USE IN THE FIELD: While walking, I would stop, unzip the main compartment and remove the camera, compose, snap, and stow. If I had the camera stowed in my backpack, I would have to remove everything to get to it and that would be the last thing I would have ever wanted to do. The Syncpack allowed me to stop every so often when the situation presented itself to compose a picture. Simply put, I could not imagine a better design for doing some distance hiking/walking with a pack and photography.

There are some areas that can be improved, though: There is no dedicated rain sleeve. I had three days of rain when I started from Porto. I was soooooo happy to have the weather sealing capabilities of the K20d and lenses. Paper items stowed in the Syncpack were wetted. I wound up either trying to protect the pack with a plastic grocery sack or removing the entire pack and daisy chaining it to my pack which was protected by a rain cover. If there was a dedicated rain sleeve, I’d snatch it up to make it a great compliment to walking in all conditions.

Also, I had some trouble attaching the hip belts to my pack, an Osprey Atmos 50L. The Atmos has thinner hip straps with two stowage pockets, which actually interfered with the placement of the supports for the Syncpack. I had to remove the two brackets for the Syncpack and reconfigure the alignment of the lower attachment pegs (adjustments using an Allen wrench provided with the pack). The brackets wanted to move freely when not attached to the system, so that was a constant issue.

I also noticed it would occasionally block my sight when looking down at my feet, something that was a bit troubling when walking down a steep, loose rock slope. I had to adjust a bit for the line-of-sight.

In summary:

• Movement of the pack is natural with your body. It moves and sways in rhythm with your steps, contracts when you bend over, and doesn’t feel unnatural at all.
• Stows a good amount of gear and balances the lode from the back to the front. More weight is placed on the hips rather than the shoulders.
• Easy access to camera to allow for quick composition.
• Two mesh containers for water bottle storage.
• Conversion to daypack is quick and easy, and it doesn’t look like a camera bag.

• Not weatherproof, and needs protection from water. No dedicated rain sleeve, and don’t depend on plastic grocery sacks to keep stuff dry.
• A wide hip belt with no pockets would be optimal for the system. The attachments are adjustable with provided Allen wrench, so there are ways around this problem.
• Interior pocket of the main compartment may catch the petal of a lens hood when removing a lens from the pouch.

If you are a backpacker and would like to carry your camera/lenses so they are accessible in a system that doesn’t impede your movement, this is a pretty solid design. It also converts to a daypack when you reach a destination – another big plus. However, if you will be exposed to the elements, you may have to figure out how to protect the contents.

If requested, I can provide some photos in a few days when I sort through and have a chance to process them.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-02-2010, 07:16 AM  
Saludos desde Compostela
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 8
Views: 1,016

Welcome to the forum. I hope that you find the lenses you are looking for and enjoy them.

I will be in SCQ following completion of the Camino de Portugues on Sept 15th (more or less). I cannot wait to reach the Catedral and the end of our (walking with my wife) journey.

Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 04-26-2010, 06:08 AM  
I need a new bag.
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 12
Views: 2,971
I can recommend a Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home - at least the older version. I can fit a K20D with grip and just about any lens attached (including a Tamron 70-200 or DA 60-250)-albeit a tight one with grip attached, one to two other lenses, flash, and other accessories.

One nice feature about Crumplers are they do not look like a camera bag - sure their colors are a bit funky. I'd rather have unique colors than a bag that is black, looks like a camera bag, and screams for someone to take it at the first opportunity.

The new design has two front panel clasps and less of a velco field, so you don't get that shrill ripping noise in a quiet environment as on the older models. Also, the size of the bag is pretty impressive; it doesn't protrude much from the body and is easy to control and watch in crowded urban environs.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 04-19-2010, 12:01 PM  
Help finding my best-fit trekking backpack
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 14
Views: 5,820
Someone at one time recommended a Syncpack - it is a separate front-loading system that ties into the chest and waist straps of a pack.

I think their website is Syncpack Frontpack Systems - Balance Comfort Accessibility.

I may be investing in this system this year to go with my pack and (hopefully) upcoming trips.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 03-29-2010, 06:04 AM  
New from Indiana
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 8
Views: 644
Welcome to the forum from up in Indianapolis.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 03-19-2010, 11:23 AM  
Messenger Bag
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 15
Views: 9,303
I have an older style of the Crumpler 6MDH and really like it. I do have most of the gear you have listed (K20 w/ grip, Tamron 28-75mm, small prime, etc.). I love using the Crumpler: it doesn't look like a camera bag, is very secure, and isn't bulky or boxy so it has a decent profile. The material is well made and generally resists stains and moisture. I've toted it through Istanbul and different festivals/excursions here in the States without any problems.

I felt the 6MDH was a better purchase over the 7MDH due to size: the 7 is a lot larger and a bit awkward to carry.

I have noticed that the K20 with grip attached is hard to fit in the central slot of the Crumpler. You may have to reconfigure the divider arrangements to make sure everything fits.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-25-2010, 06:19 AM  
Lens Mould?
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 6
Views: 1,750
I may add a slight correction: available light has little to no impact on mold growth. The primary component to controlling mold growth is moisture - remove the moisture, and mold will not grow.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-21-2010, 07:04 AM  
Media storage in field
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 26
Views: 5,536
I had a Wolverine 80gb media storage unit when I went to Istanbul and the damn thing bonked on me the first day I was using it. I brought my laptop and an external harddrive just in case so I didn't have any space constraints the rest of the trip. So ... maybe have a backup plan in case something goes wrong (malfunction, stolen, runs out of juice, etc.).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-21-2010, 07:00 AM  
Extension tubes anyone?
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 13
Views: 4,144
This picture was taken with a M50F2, Fotodiox 50mm extension tubes, and a tripod. The photo is of mold growing on a wall in the Lower 9th Ward in NOLA after Katrina, and I was using my flashlight to create the shadows on the wall.

Side note: extension tubes are fun, but can allow a lot of dust inside the camera if you are not careful when removing the tube(s).
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-07-2010, 08:43 PM  
Question about Crumpler bags
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 2
Views: 3,120
I believe within the past year, Crumpler redesigned the 6 and maybe the 7 million dollar home. If I am correct, the incorporated one or two new color schemes, changed the location and pattern of the velcro on the main body (to lessen the ripping noise compared to the older model), and either changed the location or amount of clapses. Maybe they also changed the zippers: mine has the older logo design and is one of the older models.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 01-28-2010, 04:01 AM  
Question regarding D-BG2 Grip
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 5
Views: 2,245
Yep, no joy with either suggestion. The pins are in excellent shape and there is no dirt/grime/lint inside the housing on the K20d. I remounted the grip making sure the edials are set.

Any other thoughts?
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 01-27-2010, 08:31 PM  
Question regarding D-BG2 Grip
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 5
Views: 2,245
My wife recently purchased a Pentax D-BG2 grip for my K20d, and I noticed (after gleefully putting a charged battery into the grip) that neither the green button nor the shutter button function correctly. The aperature and shutter speed can be adjusted using the rear dials and I can select the battery for the grip through the menu options - so I know the grip is powered and operational.

The green button, when depressed on the grip, does not adjust the exposure. I have to use the green button on the camera to reset the exposure.

Then, I noticed that I can only take a picture with the shutter release button. Typically, on the body, when depressed half-way, the shutter should auto focus on the designated spot. However, this does not occur. I can take a picture with it, but I cannot focus using the grip.

One other thing I noticed, I cannot activate the live-view from the D-BG2. Actually, I really don't care about this but it is another issue.

So ... what gives? Am I totally missing the point of the grip or is something amiss? Any help would be appreciated.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 01-21-2010, 06:03 AM  
Hello From Indiana
Posted By Bactman
Replies: 8
Views: 758
Welcome to the forum from a (non-native) Hoosier.
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