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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-20-2020, 07:33 PM  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 6,446
Views: 834,700
I know that DSLR sales have been falling for years now, but I suspect that they will bottom out soon and even rise again as younger people yearn for something more than their smartphones can do, camera-wise. Unfortunately, Pentax doesn't seem to get the exposure that Canon/Nikon/Fuji/Sony get, but maybe there's a way that Pentax could get more prominent placement in searches for cameras online (whether regular search-engine searches like Google or shopping searches like at Amazon, B&H, etc.)... Pentax needs to get noticed by the younger generations...
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 11-15-2020, 03:14 PM  
Poll: Why did you go full frame?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 189
Views: 10,042
This is an interesting thread to me, and as a relatively newcomer to Pentax Forums, I just stumbled across this thread this weekend. I'll pitch in without owning a Pentax FF DSLR yet because I have been planning to buy one for a while and will do so in 2021 most likely (though I'm waiting to see if there will be any announcement in the coming 6-10 months by Pentax of a forthcoming K-1 III model; if not, I'll be getting the K-1 II, for reasons I'll describe below).

I've been a Pentax SLR owner for four full decades, starting with my K1000. I bought both an LX and PZ-1 in the following couple of decades (both flagship cameras in their era), and very slowly added more K-mount lenses with time. I subscribed to several photography print magazines a couple of decades ago and would eagerly follow the advances in film cameras (via their reviews) as well as the emergence of digital cameras. DSLRs were pretty crappy in the early days, and there was much talk in the magazines about how it would be a while before they could truly rival resolution of film cameras, and so I waited. To the chagrin of my wife, I still have a freezer with TMax P3200, Tri-X, and Kodak technical pan film for astrophotography -- for those of you who know such things. But because I had started with the K1000 at a time when money was scarce, I never felt a desire to leave Pentax as I slowly amassed more lenses, and I used Pentax for my family photos and my travel photos as well as my astrophotography. Back in the 1990s, I got experience renting multiple Pentax 6x7 cameras and doing black-and-white medium-format photography, and I spent a lot of time in the darkroom from my high-school days onwards (up until a couple of decades ago). I only felt the temptation to make one little stray away from Pentax in the SLR department a couple of decades ago when I got a tremendous offer that I couldn't refuse -- a really low price on a mint Nikon F4 camera (with digital databack that prints photo stats on film) with a 35-70mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens. But I vowed it was just for fun and that I'd not invest much more in Nikon (indeed, I only have three F-mount lenses bought to this day, and the other two are a Tokina and a Vivitar Series 1) because of my investment in, and great fondness for, my Pentax equipment. (Indeed, I personally have always felt sheepish about having ever bought Nikon, but ...)

I finally got my first digital camera (not counting a crappy digital camera in an early flip phone) in 2007 -- the K10D, a 10-Mpx camera. I bought the K10D primarily for astrophotography (something I've done heavily since my early teen years), and it proved to be somewhat disappointing for various reasons (small sensor, poor pixel size) but overall it's a fabulous camera given the context of 2007.
I bought the K10D chiefly because there was no FF digital SLR made by Pentax, as we all know, for the first decade of their digital cameras. After buying the K10D chielfly for astrophotography, the iPhone came out, making it just so much easier to do personal photography of the family, travels, etc., with a camera in my pocket. I had long stopped my photography-magazine subscriptions and hadn't gotten into any online forums. But I'd take my K10D on road trips with me (I pretty much stopped taking SLRs on plane trips after Sept. 11, with all the crackdowns on carry-on stuff including demanding that they x-ray even high-ASA film). All along I was seeing great astrophotographs posted by amateur astronomers with DSLRs (a large percentage using Canons, a company that has pitched dedicated cameras for astrophotography, even), and I started to want to try more of that again. Some more work with the K10D showed me that it simply was not up to the task. So I ended up getting off eBay mint copies of the K-3 II and the Nikon D800 after a bunch of research (the latter because of those F4 full-frame F-mount lenses sitting idle because I wasn't using the F4 for astrophotography much). I have been eyeing the K-1 for some time, but its cost put me off (I've never spent more than $900 USD for a camera), and I thought that a used/mint D800 (with only about 1400 shutter actuations) at less than half the cost of a new K-1 II would whet my appetite for FF digital and confirm for me that the K-1 is the right thing, even at the price of a new one. My foray into medium-format film photography in the 1990s was an exciting experiment that has never left my interest, and I've also been looking for a long time at the 645D and 645Z -- but cost always dampens my desire to plunge for one of those.

Anyway, Pentax Forums has encouraged me to continue in my plans to buy a new K-1 within the next year or so. Over four decades, I have amassed two dozen K-mount lenses (about 3/4 Pentax-brand, with about a half-dozen non-Pentax lenses), and all of them except for two (DA 12-24mm and HD-DA 20-40mm Ltd.) are FF lenses. So I get frustrated that my FA* 24-mm f/2 lens and my smc-A 15mm f/3.5 lens aren't all that wide-angle on my K-3 II and K10D cameras, and I long (as many here did) for the ability to get those wide angles again on their FF film-era lenses. The forthcoming K-3 III looks very enticing to me, but I think that it's time to get a Pentax FF camera for me (my D800 camera certainly confirms that for me) and not invest any more in APS-C camera bodies with their smaller sensors. I'm ready to invest in a new K-1 II now in the next year, but am patient enough to wait to see if a K-1 III is a possibility; if so, I may wait for that (even if it's into 2022 because I can imagine a larger sensor and better image quality, faster buffering, etc. -- as we are seeing in the K-3 III). But if there's to be no new K-1 III by 2022, I'll happily be buying the K-1 II and I know that it'll become my primary camera.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-13-2020, 09:00 AM  
The K10D Club!
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 6,504
Views: 624,179
comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) taken on 2020 July 16 with a Pentax K10D camera + Pentax FA 50-mm f/1.4 lens at ISO 1600 and f/8, 10-s exposure on tripod; unprocessed image, but I note that one loses a LOT of detail in the posted astrophotos like this, vs. the original image.

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-19-2020, 10:51 PM  
Next Pentax FF body
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 54
Views: 4,079
I think that this could come full-circle, as you say in your first sentence: Many more people are doing photography today because of their smartphone cameras than were doing photography 15 years ago, and many more people are taking lots more photos than they were 15 years ago, because of good smartphone cameras that have improved in their capabilities. With so many millions of people taking more photos today with smartphones than they were taking 15 years ago, there's a good chance that a small percentage of the younger people will continue to want to move up to better cameras (whether DSLR or mirrorless) in the coming years. Ironically, smartphones could keep some camera companies in business if even a small percentage of these mirrorless-smartphone photographers decide to try DSLRs. And some of these will get interested enough to buy FF cameras after getting into interchangeable-lens cameras, as time goes by.

As for what Pentax could do in a new FF camera, I think that there are really two key obvious ways to improve: more pixels (i.e., smaller pixels) and better buffering speeds. As explained in one analysis, it would take a 156-Mpx sensor to equal the resolution of the best film in a 35-mm camera (I STILL SHOOT FILM - The Real Resolution of Film vs. Digital). But more pixels means you need faster processors and better buffering. It's hard to imagine any two things that would be more important to improve upon in any FF camera such as the K-1 II (which already is a fabulous camera). (Yes, you could say "improve the video capabilities", but I argue that the video in current Pentax cameras is plenty fine for shooting YouTube videos and pretty much anything most people would want to do; if you want more than Pentax can do with video, buy a dedicated Sony video camera.)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-01-2020, 02:17 PM  
Challenging the APS-C Flagship Series
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 217
Views: 8,974
My main curiosity is why Pentax/Ricoh stopped making their flagship APS-C camera, the K-3 II, and are only manufacturing a lesser model (the KP) currently that lacks some of the key K-3 II features (no dual-card slot, no standard GPS, less battery life, etc.). Is it because of the presence of the K-1 II and the fact that Pentax is a shrinking company? I don't see how Pentax can improve upon the K-3 II in their forthcoming APS-C camera unless they retain all the features of the K-3 II and add a better sensor with smaller pixel sizes (with, say, 26, 28, or 30 Mpx, or even more) and thus better resolution. Nothing that Pentax has been revealing in bits about the new APS-C camera sounds that much better than what's already in the K-3 II. Of more interest to me is whether they are working on a K-1 III that may have smaller pixel sizes, for example.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-13-2020, 05:49 PM  
Which Pentax lens do you most enjoy showing off to friends?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 76
Views: 4,632
I'm the opposite: I don't like to draw attention to my camera equipment, and I often will not bring a lens to a certain situation because I feel that it might draw too much attention. So I would couch my answer in two ways: (1) the lens that I'm most "embarrassed" to have in public, and (2) the lens that I personally find the most attractive to me (not necessarily to anybody else). So my answers might be (1) smc 500-mm f/4.5 and (2) smc 200-mm f/2.5. That said, I agree with numerous posters to this thread that my DA 20-40mm lens is very attractive.
Forum: Site Suggestions and Help 09-02-2020, 01:04 PM  
I can't post photos to Pentax Forums... why not?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 16
Views: 724
OK, I didn't find this before, for whatever reason... This is a test posting of an image I took this week of the moon... And this is just a screenshot, so a very small file, from the original RAW file... Photo taken with Pentax smc 500-mm f/4.5 + K10D camera...

Thanks to all who gave very helpful replies to my question!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-28-2020, 07:15 AM  
Confession game: how many lenses do you have? Why do you keep them? Which was let go?
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 140
Views: 11,888
Your last remark made me think how I wish for a DFA 12-24mm and DFA 20-40mm to go on my FF cameras (I have both the DA 12-24mm and DA 20-40mm lenses for my APS-C cameras). Other than these, I'm pretty happy with the huge list of good lenses that I can get for Pentax cameras -- whether new or used off Ebay.

Here's my current list of K-mount lenses, slowly amassed over 40 years of shooting with Pentax cameras:

no longer used much (all bought new):

Cosmicar MC 28mm f/2.8
Koboron 28-105mm f/3.5 Macro
Vivitar Ser. 1 28-105mm f/2.8-3.8
Meade 1000mm f/11 (90-mm aperture) mirror lens

in active use (about half bought new; the prime teles > 105mm bought used):

Pentax smc-DA 12-24mm f/4
Pentax HD DA 20-40mm f/2.8-4 Limited
Pentax smc-FA* 24mm f/2
Pentax smc-F 28mm f/2.8
Pentax SMC[-K] 30mm f/2.8
Pentax smc-FA 35mm f/2 AL [first version]
Pentax smc-F 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5
Pentax smc-FA 50mm f/1.4
Sigma EX 70-200mm f/2.8
Vivitar Ser. 1 70-210mm f/3.5 Macro [ver. 1]
Pentax smc-M 85mm f/2
Pentax smc-FA 100-300mm f/4.7-5.8
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro
Pentax smc-M 120mm f/2.8
Pentax 135mm f/2.5 Takumar
Pentax smc-A* 200mm f/2.8
Pentax smc[-K] 200mm f/2.5
Pentax smc-A* 300mm f/4
Pentax smc-A 400mm f/5.6
Pentax smc[-K] 500mm f/4.5

Pentax Rear Converter-A 2X-S
Pentax Rear Converter-K T6-2X

The 12-24mm DA lens sits on my K10D most of the time when it sits idle, ready to take quick shots of interesting clouds or sunsets. The next lens that spends the most time on my K10D would be the Rear Converter-A 2X-S, for sure, as I use it a lot with most of the lenses in my collection when doing tripod work (though not when doing hand-held work). The HD DA 20-40mm lens sits on my K-3 II most of the time when it sits idle.
Forum: Pentax K-1 08-23-2020, 08:07 AM  
K1 or FF mirrorless for manual lenses
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 30
Views: 2,337
I'm fairly new to this forum, as I'm getting back into my Pentax cameras after a while of not doing much photography outside of my iPhone. I carried into the digital era with my Pentax PZ-1 and LX and my Nikon F4 film cameras, only getting one digital camera so far (K10D, new in 2007). The 10-megapixel CCD detector (in the K10D) has gotten a lot of good shots, but I never felt it had better resolution than my film cameras. But film has just gotten too difficult to use now (I don't develop my own film anymore), and I'm ready to move up to the K-1 II before the end of this year. Here's my question: I have been searching reviews and the online K-1 II manual but have been unable to find anything regarding the very useful "hyper-manual" green button in my PZ-1 and K10D cameras. The K-1 II manual says that the green button there on the upper center back side is used for "reset" -- which I suppose could be used to describe the use on my PZ-1 and K10D. Can any of you help me with this? I have a lot of older lenses that I shoot with, so I shoot in manual mode most of the time, and pushing the green hyper-manual button on my cameras sets the exposure fairly close so I can then tweak aperture or exposure time with my dials. Is this the same on the K-1 II, and if not, how can I use "hyper-manual" on the K-1 II? Why did Pentax stop calling it "hyper-manual"? This feature is what I would say is the single most useful camera function for me on my current cameras.
Forum: Pentax K-1 08-02-2020, 12:22 PM  
Question about compatibility of APSC-designed lenses with K-1
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 16
Views: 1,399
Yes, I've been able to see the comet on numerous nights. I only have a K10D (but am getting a K-1 Mk II soon) so I don't have the astrotracker feature and I just bought an iOptron ProGuider Pro clockdrive to mount my camera on (but it arrived in bright moonlight so haven't had a chance yet to really test it -- though it tracks stars well (I've tested it in moonlight, but no good pics of the comet).
Attached is a photo that I took of the comet before moonlight, perhaps 10 days ago, taken with my K10D camera and my DA 12-24-mm f/4 lens on a tripod (no tracking), exposure 20 seconds wide open; this photo is interesting because I caught a meteor up near the bowl of the Big Dipper, as well as the comet just above the central tree (taken overlooking the Atlantic Ocean from Gloucester, Massachusetts).
Forum: Pentax K-1 08-16-2020, 09:24 PM  
Question about compatibility of APSC-designed lenses with K-1
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 16
Views: 1,399
What I don't get is that the pixel size in the KP is 61% smaller than the pixel size in the K-1. That means better resolution in the KP than in the K-1. Why doesn't Pentax use the same pixel size in the K-1, at least? I've not been able to find pixel size in any Ricoh literature or on the Pentax Forums specs for these cameras, so I calculated it myself. In astronomy imaging, pixel size is advertised on all cameras because it is extremely important. So the APS-C crop in the K-1 has lower (worse) resolution by a large amount (1.6x) compared to the full-size APS-C sensor in the KP. I want to know why, in a camera that costs twice as much.

---------- Post added 08-16-20 at 09:26 PM ----------

I have not yet had time to update the firmware, but it's on my list (low priority because I rarely use autofocus; I prefer to manually focus). I modified my review to reflect the comments I've received about my lack of autofocus with my non-updated K10D.
Forum: Pentax K-1 08-03-2020, 02:06 PM  
Question about compatibility of APSC-designed lenses with K-1
Posted By cometguy
Replies: 16
Views: 1,399
I do still use my LX occasionally. So the K-1 sensor is supposed to be the same size as the area exposed on 35-mm film?
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