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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-30-2015, 07:49 PM  
DA 50/1.8 or DA35/2.4 or ?
Posted By jon404
Replies: 87
Views: 4,030
I have the 35mm f/2.4. Small, light, sharp, excellent. Very usable FL... about the same as a 'standard' 50mm on a full-frame camera. Recommended.
Forum: Ricoh GR 07-11-2015, 06:21 PM  
GRD IV at Comic-Con
Posted By jon404
Replies: 3
Views: 1,291
Yesterday, armed with my new very-small-sensor Ricoh GRD IV pocket rocket, I went to San Diego's Comic-Con convention. Went with a friend who loves comic books, and, well, this massive downtown blowout fanfest isn't about comic books anymore. Not at all. It is totally Hollywood now... promos for upcoming movies and ... the most money of all these days ... soon-to-be-seen TV shows. Sadly lost on us two old guys ... we had to ask, over and over, "What's THAT about?" But this show is a Big F*****g Deal, as our Joe Biden is wont to say. Tickets are sold out online in 1/2 hour, months ahead -- and the Convention Center can only hold 130,000 people at any one time (take that, football fans). It is on the waterfront, with Gaslamp District nearby -- restaurants, bars, and huge, huge crowds. Good crowds... not drunks like the Super Bowl fans. This one? Sort of a giant nerd party, very fine.

Hollywood, spending the big bucks. Wrapping whole buildings with ads for their shows... and wrapping our streetcars with even more ads! Happily as counterpoint to this corporate culture heist, we found scads of suitably repulsive zombies roaming here and there. But -- even the zombies are going corporate, like the 'Scream' group you'll see below. The whole place was such a visual treat. Ladies dressed like sharks dancing around tall guys on stilts -- another promo. A little girl in a cute pink outfit, who actually was about 35. And, right on the busiest corner, some evangelist group set up shop -- with their minister using a Tim Curry -- Rocky Horror lookalike to point out the wages of sin to the crowd, many of whom seemed to be turned on rather than horrified.

So many people spending so much time making their costumes, hours and hours getting their makeup just right. Amazing, when you think about it. Halloween in mid-summer, but here you make your own costumes. Very creative and inventive and all a tribute to these TV shows and movies they watch. And, now and then, an honest-to-God comic book Super Hero -- like Superman, who I think started all this, back when.

Before we left, went out to the back of the Center, which overlooks the bay. Down below, the loading dock where all the exhibit crates are stored -- and where the famous Hollywood actors go in and out. Joined three excitedly screaming teenage girls yelling to get the attention of their favorite star -- "Sam! Sam! Up here, Sam!" we all yelled, and sure enough, he looked up and waved, and I thought the kids would pass out, mega OMG sort of thing.

Photos below. Hopefully, proof-positive that a pocket camera with a good lens in front of a teeny sensor can do the job -- thanks to plenty of sunshine and Comic-Con!
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-11-2015, 04:20 PM  
K3 died in the middle of a photo session
Posted By jon404
Replies: 20
Views: 2,110
Yes, you're right -- I guess the problem wouldn't appear on both. You know, it's too bad that a camera -- or any digital device for that matter -- can't emit a big squacking sound just before it fails, so the owner would know that it failed at that moment and could reboot it without losing any further information. In my computer world, it's no big deal if they crash now and then, as long as it doesn't happen very often. Digital photographers could look at these infrequent meltdowns the same way as film photographers felt, back when, if they hadn't loaded the film correctly, and didn't notice, shot after shot, that it just wasn't advancing... something like that?
Forum: Ricoh GR 07-11-2015, 03:49 PM  
Just bought a new (2011) GRD IV
Posted By jon404
Replies: 0
Views: 1,052
Just bought a new Ricoh GR Digital IV (actually made around 2011), after thinking very seriously about buying a replacement GR for the one I lost about 6 months ago... or waiting another month or two for the really new GR II to show up.

Decided on the GRD IV for several reasons. First, price. Way less now than new. Second, size -- smaller and lighter than the GR... and the new GR II is even larger/heavier. Third, the small sensor, so much smaller than APS-C. Because it plays to my taste. I don't like bokeh effects for snapshots, I want everything in focus. And the teeny GRD IV sensor really delivers on that even at apertures like f/2.8 and f/4. Which also means, at those apertures, no more dust spots like I had on my lost GR at f/8 and f/10. Which is philosophical -- there might be dust spots on the GRD IV sensor, but if I never see them, do they exist? Like the sound of a tree falling in a forest, if no-one is there to hear it, does it make a noise? Might take a few beers to figure this one out.

Anyway, it came today. Won't use it for work -- I have the Pentax K-5 IIs for that, usually with the 16-45mm lens... and, at work, I really need the dynamic range you can tease out of an APS-C image with Lightroom, and the 16 MP for cropping, where the GRD IV is 10 MP. But non-work, for me, for my snapshots? Who cares. Am looking forward to a fun summer, and will post some GRD IV pictures here soon.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-11-2015, 03:44 PM  
K3 died in the middle of a photo session
Posted By jon404
Replies: 20
Views: 2,110
there's a note about Pentax recalling some K-3s on DPReview today... see
Ricoh addresses 'power off' issue on some Pentax K-3 II cameras: Digital Photography Review
Forum: Visitors' Center 06-24-2015, 11:36 AM  
Pentax ME and off camera flash
Posted By jon404
Replies: 12
Views: 1,171
I use a PocketWizard PlusX radio sender on the hotshoe of my K-01, with another PocketWizard PlusX on a YongNuo 560 II flash. They work fine... also used them on a K-5 IIs, but prefer them on the K-01, since I gaffer-taped a Hoodman 3" loupe to it, and it is so easy now to accurately compose a scene in any light. I leave the flash on M manual, and adjusting the output power only takes a few seconds, no big deal.

What's neat about radio wireless is that you can put the flash inside a building, and then take a picture from the outside, like in twilight. And, if you are outside in bright sunlight, the flash will always fire, unlike the regular optical wireless flashes, where the sunlight washes out the infrared flash signal.
Forum: Ricoh GR 06-18-2015, 08:25 PM  
Ricoh GR II Officially Announced
Posted By jon404
Replies: 34
Views: 3,186
Does anybody know ... if the GRII has better dust sealing? The GR I bought at the end of 2013 got a lot of spots, and it didn't have the Pentax self-cleaning technology. Does it now?

---------- Post added 06-18-15 at 08:31 PM ----------


Ogl, there's a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you...

Seriously, would you agree that no camera is perfect? Although, maybe you would get that perfect corner to corner sharpness with a Leica... but, for $10,000 or so, you could take a LOT of vacations with your GR, sharpening the images in Lightroom, and laughing all the way tonthe bank.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-12-2015, 06:29 PM  
Hail Ricoh! GRII is coming!
Posted By jon404
Replies: 138
Views: 22,885
I suppose, if their marketing department is aware of American buying seasons, that it should be on sale by November 1, in time for Christmas. So going backwards from there... what, three months or so? Probably an announcement August 1. Japanese companies are so good at wrecking sales of their existing products with very long announcement-to-store lead times!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-09-2015, 07:33 AM  
"Everything Changes" with this Announcement: June 8
Posted By jon404
Replies: 769
Views: 92,175
We might also ask the government to de-mothball a few older RF-84 Thunderflash reconnaisance planes, that taxpayers could schedule on demand, sort of like Uber cars, to arrive over a wedding and at a given moment and drop brilliant magnesium flares over the excited wedding party.

I think the sense of this announcement is that pros can get into high-speed powerful flash now for a LOT less money than yesterday. But portable? Yes... if you are on an outdoor shoot with a couple of helpers to carry the Priolites...
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-09-2015, 07:21 AM  
18-135mm lens being discontinued?
Posted By jon404
Replies: 134
Views: 16,161
I ordered one from Amazon yesterday. Confusing -- the Ricoh website said $500, and nothing about being discontinued... although they seem to be selling an 18-270 lens, but no price on the website for it. Japanese marketing is so fun! Anyway, the Amazon price was $365, and says it IS discontinued.

I like Amazon. Sold my books via them for four years, did very well. Never had any problems with camera gear from them, or anything else. I think of them as the modern Sears-Roebuck, revolutionizing distribution. About a month ago, a friend of mine self-published a book via Amazon's CreateSpace. I ordered one -- hardcopy paperback -- and it arrived 22 hours after I ordered it ... printed on demand at the Amazon facility 150 miles away in San Bernardino. And the 18-135 lens, which I ordered last night, will be here in San Diego today. Amazon can keep companies like Ricoh/Pentax afloat in the USA... offsetting the advantages held by Nikon, Canon, and Sony.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-08-2015, 10:17 PM  
"Everything Changes" with this Announcement: June 8
Posted By jon404
Replies: 769
Views: 92,175
Great for professional photographers, with their heavy large studio flash systems.

For all the rest of us, not trapped in a studio, maybe a Ricoh GR, two PocketWizard Plus X sender-receivers, and a Yongnuo 560-II flash... all for way less than $1,000. With the GR's 1/2000 flash sync speed. Not so bad, since you totally freeze sports motion and eliminate handheld shake at 1/1600!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-08-2015, 07:31 AM  
"Everything Changes" with this Announcement: June 8
Posted By jon404
Replies: 769
Views: 92,175
Alex, being from a wealthy old-money family, will announce his successful leveraged buyout of Ricoh Corporation, and his plans for a glorious new company history chapter after the move to Mazatlan.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-07-2015, 09:06 PM  
"Everything Changes" with this Announcement: June 8
Posted By jon404
Replies: 769
Views: 92,175
We might all be on the wrong track. Maybe it's a breakthrough to bring APS-C quality to small 1:1.7 sensors, ushering in a Golden Age for whatever point 'n shooters are still out there. Or is it 1.1:7? One or the other is massively incorrect, forgive me.

More seriously, picking up on Monochrome's suggestion from several pages ago... would love to see Ricoh spending a lot of money fast to offer working professionals the same support -- and rental gear when needed -- that they get from Nikon and Canon. Starting now, so that next year, at the Olympics, there will be a Pentax tent filled with 645Zs and long lenses for the sports pros to use...
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-06-2015, 10:48 PM  
"Everything Changes" with this Announcement: June 8
Posted By jon404
Replies: 769
Views: 92,175
Culmination of five years Ricoh research into sub-atomic particle image enhancement, at their highly restricted test lab at an old salt mine on the southwest slope of Mt. Niitaka. Very, very trick stuff, developing lenses and shutter mechanisms for this new approach to imaging. Looks like they've made the final breakthroughs and productized it. We can expect very different DSLRs, with 10-500mm equiv teles and the whole package coming in at about 4 ounces weight...
Forum: Photographic Technique 06-01-2015, 05:58 PM  
Realestate photography
Posted By jon404
Replies: 27
Views: 2,581
Camera position halfway from floor to ceiling... exterior at twilight, where you can get the warm glow of interior lamps... be VERY careful with that wide-angle lens, or you'll get a tunnel effect... bring a second regular or short tele lens for closeups of details... maybe get a couple of cheap LED lights from the hardware store and tape them over with orange gels... like the post above said, expose for the windows (overexpose a little), then bring up the interior lighting and your flash... and RAW, RAW, RAW!

You might also want to pose people, not close up, but here and there. Julius Shulman did this very well in his photos of Los Angeles homes, back when. And maybe an interesting car in the driveway outside the garage.

Have fun with it!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-22-2015, 02:05 PM  
Using the K-500 and looking at the K-3II - Is it worth the upgrade price?
Posted By jon404
Replies: 13
Views: 1,442
@disconnekt -- shocking price reductions is such short periods of time. Scary, worse than cars. Tough business to be in. But so good for any consumer who can wait 24 months... it is AMAZING to me how much camera you get then for the money. Just amazing. So much highly evolved high-tech techology for so little... and you can use the camera easily for five years to earn income, or have all sorts of fun for any kind of amateur interests. Amazing! Golden age of photography?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-22-2015, 01:44 PM  
Using the K-500 and looking at the K-3II - Is it worth the upgrade price?
Posted By jon404
Replies: 13
Views: 1,442
I use a K-5 IIs, and it is an excellent camera. I sell photos as part of creating ads, websites, the -newsletters, etc... and since almost all of the pictures I take are used for screen display -- never for large prints -- the 16 MP image size is more than enough... plenty of room to crop. And for what it's worth, i occasionally use a K-01 for shots of things that don't move. Both cameras take good sharp pictures -- I use the Pentax 16-45mm lens for most work -- and, shooting RAW, can always get a picture 'just right' in Lightroom.

Both cameras also use the same large battery -- and to me, this is a VERY important difference between the K-5 / K3 type and the K-50 / K-S2. So for your upgrading, I'd go with a K-5 IIs... about $600 on Amazon now for the body... probably will go down to $500 before long. The K-5 IIs ergonomics are superb... you rarely miss a shot... and I'll bet the K-3 handles every bit as well.

This isn't to disparage your K-500 though... it is a very good camera... but you'll find that the 'high-end' K-5s and K-3s are better, and more enjoyable to use.

EDIT -- re colors and Lightroom... I use version 5.7 on the .DNGs from the K-5 IIs. So far so good. But -- I do not, repeat not, take on any jobs from highly color-critical clients, like food or fashion or makeup. Sometimes, before delivering a job, I'll post the images on a scratch website and then go to the public library to see how they look on a couple of the shared computers there... just to double-check that what I'm seeing on my PC is sort of the same. Going for perfection will drive you crazy -- so many different screens, so many different lighting conditions, and Mac vs PC gamma-brightness differences.

And now, we're seeing so many people getting their info on those dinky little smartphone screens -- so your focus has to be to make a good strong image rather than one with lots of detail. For those club pictures? Your 16-50mm lens is perfect, just get them laughing, and crop tight to the head. Fun!
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-18-2015, 07:52 PM  
Trying to make my K-01 into a fast sports camera, but --
Posted By jon404
Replies: 16
Views: 2,362
Well, you're right about the K-3 being better for birds -- particularly when they take off and fly around. With the K-01, I would have to give them birdseed laced with Valium to get them to slow down.

Beautiful pictures!
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-18-2015, 10:01 AM  
Trying to make my K-01 into a fast sports camera, but --
Posted By jon404
Replies: 16
Views: 2,362
Yes -- will go back and check those settings. Got a faster #10 card, and, as you said, turned off Instant Review. Strange how settings that buyers demand-- like instant review -- can really turn a delightful camera into a frustrating experience.

For me, it is interesting to compare the K-01 with the K-5 IIs. Apples and oranges of course... but the K-01 has a few advantages. Like how you HAVE to gaffer-tape a loupe on the back to see that screen in any light... and then, suddenly, you have this amazing 3" EVF viewfinder. The simple K-01 design makes it very easy to use without thinking, particularly if you are on Manual/Tav. It is ALMOST as good as the K-5 for ergonomics... the K-5 has a much better grip, very well-thought-out control placement... but using the Picture Review button is a pain. Lastly, image quality is about the same, unless you are a serious pixel-peeper, when you'll probably find that the K-5 IIs has an advantage. But in my real world, taking RAW images that go into Lightroom anyway... both cameras are superb, and probably so because just about every Pentax lens is superb, as far as color etc.
Anyway, thanks all for the help. Will keep looking for something fast to photograph, and see if my sped-up K-01 can do that now!
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-17-2015, 09:39 PM  
Trying to make my K-01 into a fast sports camera, but --
Posted By jon404
Replies: 16
Views: 2,362
Went out looking for action sports at sunset with the K-01, no luck, too late in the day. Drove by the Mormon Cathedral off I-5 here in San Diego, and a shiny metal-plated business building.

Then, at the shore when the sun went down, took a picture of a southbound train. Overexposed for the sun area, underexposed for the land. RAW > Lightroom. Made three copies... one exposed correctly for the sun, a second exposed for the middle part of the sea, and the third with the shadows brought up as much as I dared for the land and the train. Composited all three together using Xara Graphic Designer... fading each into the next. Original and result below. Comes out OK in color, too.

Before I became a RAW convert, I would have tried to take an identical image -- exposing for the land, with a graduated ND filter to knock back the bright sun. This is a lot easier!
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-17-2015, 05:48 PM  
Trying to make my K-01 into a fast sports camera, but --
Posted By jon404
Replies: 16
Views: 2,362
Good! Now comes the REAL problem... using my SUPER FAST K-01 on some likely ladies' beach volleyball game... "Hi, girls, I'm Ron Hendricks!" He says he uses a K-5 for those action pix ... but we know better ... his Yellow K-01 is his secret 'go-to' camera for those beautiful shots!
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-17-2015, 05:02 PM  
Trying to make my K-01 into a fast sports camera, but --
Posted By jon404
Replies: 16
Views: 2,362
Thanks -- will get a speed 10 card asap... also, turned off the Image Preview, and tried the auto to manual focus again... very fast now. But my error in having it on Interval Shooting was the real problem! Next, will go find some fast sports action to try it on, but that,s another day,s story...
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-17-2015, 04:33 PM  
Trying to make my K-01 into a fast sports camera, but --
Posted By jon404
Replies: 16
Views: 2,362
As we know, the K-01 is painfully slow for sports photography. Had the bright idea this AM that I could use auto-focus to preselect a given spot, then switch to manual focus (in Manual mode with TAv) and blast away. but no. Yes, it works for the first picture... but then takes 5 to 10 seconds to write the file, show a quick preview of the results, then clear the screen and let me take a second shot. this is also happening in Av mode.

Why is the K-01 taking so long between shots? I'm using a 16 GB speed 4 SD card, and I checked that it's not set to HDR or multiple exposure or dynamic range, etc. Any ideas?

Edit -- just tried aain, seems to be a painfully slow write to the card, and I guess there's no buffer to help out? Also it is very slow both in Manual focus and Auto focus. And the battery has a full charge.

edit edit -- stupid me, had it on Interval Shooting by mistake, after using the self-timer earlier. Back now to my manual focus sports cam experiment!
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-17-2015, 12:33 PM  
Happy Birthday to the K-01!
Posted By jon404
Replies: 97
Views: 11,477
K-01 forever! As long as the subject is standing still, or sort of still. Sports? Action? Oh, no. K-5 etc for that stuff, like Ron Hendriks' beautiful pictures of athletes. But there's a whole world of K-01-acceptable possibilities. This morning, on the coast at Del Mar, California --
Forum: Pentax K-01 05-17-2015, 01:25 AM  
Happy Birthday to the K-01!
Posted By jon404
Replies: 97
Views: 11,477
Ron, I do too. With a Hoodman loupe gaffer-taped on it, I've got the perfect camera for static subjects.

Earlier today, I read an article about the new Leica Monochrom. It's a good camera, but the K-01 is excellent for B/W also. Just set the screen on Mono, shoot RAW, and you can go to color if the B/W composition doesn't work out. Images are very sharp. The sensor captures lots of shadow details. And maybe best of all, the K-01 is so easy to use. Clear simple controls. Can't miss!
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