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Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-22-2010, 01:00 PM  
Nature Rose
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 3
Views: 1,413
I like #2 and #3 the best. Rocket Blowers work well for getting rid of bugs too :lol:

Pretty shots.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-22-2010, 11:29 AM  
Nature Petals in the rain
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 1
Views: 1,009
Petals in the rain
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-21-2010, 08:00 AM  
Nature Morning Flowers
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 1
Views: 939
Early Morning Flowers

Taken at the Manchester, NH Audubon Society Humming Bird & Butterfly Garden


82 views and not a single comment. Hmmm.......
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-14-2010, 08:06 AM  
DOMKE F-5XB Bag for a K7. Any experiences?
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 10
Views: 7,277
I think you are going to have a very tight fit for the camera and 4 lens, one attached to the camera.

Domke has a habit of "exaggerating" what can go in these bags. I have the F 7 AF as my main two camera bag, and a F 3x as my "OK I've had enough and have to bust out of here for a bit" bag. Only the F 7 comes close to holding what Domke says it will.

Wonderful bags, nicely made. Do yourself a favor and spend the 13 bucks and get the postal pad for the strap. You'll be glad you did.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-04-2010, 09:37 AM  
Got my "new" toy today ZX L
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 1
Views: 1,373
B&H rated it at a 9, which was way under rated. There's not a mark on this camera. It's perfect. I also picked up the battery grip with it., again, perfect.

Put some batteries in her, fired her up and she seems to work as advertised. Tried a few lens'. The DA 16 45 works from about 22 mm up, the DA 55-300 if fine, and the Sigma 105 seems to be OK as well. Even my remotes work with it. It's almost like having a full frame camera for 150 bucks. Of course the M and FA lens I have work just fine too.

Amazingly, it even appears I can get a dedicated camera plate for it from RRS or Acratech.

Well, I know what I'll be doing this weekend :D I just had to brag on the new camera a bit. Thanks for your indulgence.
Forum: Ask B&H Photo! 06-04-2010, 07:58 AM  
Thank You B&H
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 3
Views: 1,631
My "new" Pentax ZX L arrived today!

Your "9" condition is a solid 10 + in reality. There is not a mark on this camera. I would swear you just took it out of the box and sent it to me.

The battery grip was the same way. Perfect.

Thank You again for the great service and great products. It's a real pleasure doing business with you folks.

Al
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-02-2010, 04:09 AM  
New Pentax as good as FF?...
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 174
Views: 36,697
It's pretty sad when we have to compare Pentax/Hoya's latest and greatest to a competitors product that is almost 5 years old.......I mean...seriously.....
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-27-2010, 06:06 AM  
Poll: How long will you wait for a Pentax FF?
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 74
Views: 10,723
OK, the original Poll question was "How Long Will You Wait For a Pentax Full Frame Camera?"


One of the responses was "If I leave it will be for other reasons"

That's the one I chose, based on the premise that Hoya has no intention of EVER making a FF Pentax camera. Hoya has no intention of supporting anything other than the beginner/amateur market in DSLR's.

And I will restate my angst with their position It's a darn shame they wont because the FA limiteds would flat out KILL the competition in the advanced amateur/semi pro landscape markets and give Hoya a pretty good shot at taking back some much needed market share.

I could be, and hope I am wrong, but when 3rd party lens makers are cutting a lot of specialized lens' with Pentax mounts, and it would seem that they know better than most what is coming, or needed, or even marketable, it certainly doesn't look like we will ever see much more than Kx's and K7's.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-27-2010, 05:15 AM  
Poll: How long will you wait for a Pentax FF?
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 74
Views: 10,723
Which is why you will never see Full Frame or Long Glass from Pentax, or specialized lens like Macros in the 150 to 200 range from 3rd party manufacturers.

It's a shame too, with all the FA glass available, you would think they would have a lock on the semi pro or pro landscape market if they produced a FF Camera.

But the bottom line is, if you want full frame, shoot film or shoot someone elses gear. And I doubt that is ever going to change.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-26-2010, 07:42 AM  
opinions solicted
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 8
Views: 2,547
Yes, that is it, sorry for not posting a link.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-26-2010, 07:07 AM  
55-300mm WR?
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 24
Views: 6,002
Actually, it's a hop skip and a jump from where I grew up in Fox Lake, Il

My sister lives in Rockford now. Works for the PD. I'm there once a year anyway, to visit family when traveling on business.

I'll go back to what you wrote, with an air of authority, at least that is how I perceived it, you said



Which I should have seen as a blanket statement meaning that just like the rest of us, you are hoping for good things at Photkina.

Again, my apologies. I assumed you knew what you were talking about.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-26-2010, 04:09 AM  
opinions solicted
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 8
Views: 2,547
I don't think you will want to go with a Ball Head with that lens. The Canon 500 F4 is about a pound and a half more, and most recommend a good gimbal head as almost a necessity.

The Sigma weighs in at about 7 pounds. Add in a 1 1/2 pound camera, a 2 gimbal, and you are looking at sticking 10 plus pounds on top of your tripod.

Rule of thumb would be a tripod that will support 2 to 3 (more like 3 for this combo) times the weight you are going to put on the legs as your starting point for the tripod.

Where you shoot, like salt water, sandy conditions, comes into play as you will have a lot of maintenance on the tripod if you want it to last for more than a year especially with the new AR twist lock legs, and Gitzo now does not even recommend their tripods be used in salt water.

Add in the fact that Gitzo changes models a lot. Some recent posters in other forums have run into problems with getting parts for older ones. I dont know if this will continue, Manfrotto and Gitzo are now aligned somehow from what I have read so maybe parts in the future will be easier to find. Anyway, there seems to be some jumping ship from the bird crowd when it comes to Gitzo. Not a huge amount, but enough to make one worry about spending 600 or more on a set of legs.

Depending on what you want to spend, there is the Really RIght Stuff tripod, about a grand I hear, that should work, and there are some rather large Fiesols that will probably support the load for less.

Anything with a wide base, that supports 25 pounds or more should be OK. That's where I would start. It's going to be heavy, and you might want to look into a shoulder pad for the legs (you can find them on Art Morris's site)

There was an old thread here about someone who got the Pentax 600 and showed the tripod he got for it. I would look back a couple months and you will probably find it. It was a well done post with some very good info.



On another note, I have been trying to find someone who owns this lens. How is it performing for you? How is the IQ at 4.5 and have you ever tried to put a TC on it? Sigma says it is compatible with both the 1.4 and 2x converters. Any overall impressions would be great, and much appreciated.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-26-2010, 03:41 AM  
55-300mm WR?
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 24
Views: 6,002
Well now, first you say....after you say you work in a camera store, and give the impression that you might have some inside info,




then when asked you come back with a wise guy reply about your crystal ball, your magic 8 ball.....and say




What store do you work in? I want to make sure I never shop there.

I certainly hope you dont sell cameras the same way, Come off like an expert and them have to admit, you dont know squat.

Anyway, thanks for your time.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-25-2010, 05:50 AM  
55-300mm WR?
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 24
Views: 6,002
Any insight on focal lengths or are they just planning on painting current stock to match the KX's?

Seriously - any info at all on Focal Lengths?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-20-2010, 04:02 AM  
K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 23
Views: 5,351
On thing that I rarely see mentioned is how you actually trip the shutter. It is important that you do so gently. If you stab at it, you could well be introducing some shake that the camera is not able or ready to over come. Roll your finger over the shutter, do it smoothly and gently and your photos sharpness should improve.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-20-2010, 03:47 AM  
How close is the K20D and K-7 on image quality?
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 67
Views: 9,759
The statement is true with the disclaimes

At Base ISO

and

not including full frame cameras

because there IS a difference, and you can see in in web postings.

Pixel peeping is what people do to justify spending thousands of dollars on camera gear.

If you want great IQ, buy great lens. There is just no other way around it. If you have to pixel peep to tell if your photos are sharp, they aren't.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-19-2010, 10:48 AM  
Pentax Rainbow K-x
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 90
Views: 18,634
John,

I shoot mostly landscape and macro with a Mamiya system, and have been since the 80's. This is why I have not invested int he limited lens. If I did not shoot the 645, I would think that a 12-24 zoom, 31, 43 and 77 limited would be about a perfect kit. Add in a good 200 and some long prime glass in the 500 range with a good TC, and I think a man might be able to wander off into the woods and just stay there.

My foray into digital came because I wanted to shoot some wildlife and birds now and then.

The sad reality is I didn't do enough homework when I did buy a digital camera. I looked at exactly 3 - the K200, the K20, and the Canon 40D. I chose the K200 because just like in my 35mm film days, I wanted a good basic camera. Live view, FPS, and other things were of little importance to me. I bought the camera as a body only. I had some old Pentax lens, and I purchased the DA 55-300 thinking the crop factor giving a perceived 450 mm view would be a good start. For most of the larger animals, moose, deer, bear, even coyotes and fox, that worked OK. The lens wasn't all that useful early and late in the day however, so I started looking for longer faster glass, which we know, does not readily exist for Pentax shooters.

I went to the K20 for the better ISO and more pixels that I thought would be better for cropping, which I was having to do a lot with the 55-300. But the lens is not up to the quality of the sensor in the K20d. Even stopped down, it is marginal.

I finally settled on a Sigma 150-500. as I could not find anything better. The bigma at that time was discontinued pending the updated version, and I was unaware of the Sigma 500 F4.5 The 150 500 is very nice at F9. But the shutter speed needs to be up there as it has no OS capability, and the K20 was not much good over ISO 800 so again, early and late day shooting were not very fruitful.

This strange journey eventually brought me to the KX with the higher ISO capability. I even made a post on this forum about that possibility. After a couple weeks with the KX though, I found that the mirror slap was a big issue with the Sigma. You can actually see the lens move when shooting the KX on it.
In addition, the Kx did not have the K200 or K20 feel to it.

Now you made a statement that today's digital cameras are so good that you would have a hard time picking one over the other from a bunch of A4 prints. While I would agree with you on this at base ISO, I would disagree with you at higher ISO's. But more important than the camera, is the lens. Yes the sigma 150 500 is very sharp at F9, it is still, F9, which means your background is not as pleasing as it might be at 5.6 or even 6.3, and the lack of sharpness there is very evident not only in prints, but on screen as well.

Right now, to do what I want to do with Digital Photography I see four options.

1) buy a Sigma 300 2.8 for 3 grand and use a TC.

2) buy a Sigma 500 F 4.5 for $4,600 and maybe a TC

3) buy into a new system all together at about the same price of the 500 4.5 and get higher ISO capability to boot.

4) wait till September and see what shakes out of the Hoya/Pentax tree, and perhaps be in exactly the same position I am in now.

If I thought for a minute that Hoya would allow Pentax to produce a K7 boxy with KX sensor, a moderately fast prime in the 400 to 500 range with a TC possible, it would be a very easy decision. But Pentax has already said they have no intention of making a TC, so........

I just dont see Hoya moving in the direction I want to take my photography. I'm not the only one who thinks this way, you should go read Ben's last few post in the New Pentax body thread in this same forum. I think you will get a good perspective of a Pro's view on the subject, and it doesn't differ that much from mine.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-19-2010, 04:26 AM  
Pentax Rainbow K-x
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 90
Views: 18,634
I guess we will see come September.

If you think I loathe Pentax you're completely wrong. I still think the K200d was, for the money, the best camera ever made by any company for someone who likes to shoot nature. Maybe not great in the high ISO range, maybe not perfect for sports guys, but for sitting on a tripod, taking landscape or macro photos, for the money, it just cannot be beat. It's a shame that none of the big ball head companies never embraced it by making camera plates or L brackets for it though. Which is pretty much part of my frustration with Pentax. Sure you can get generic, and universal plates, and maybe third party lens and right angle adapters with adapters to make them sort of work. I'm just sick and tired of everything with Pentax being a compromise.

Have you tried to get a camera plate for the "serious" KX lately?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-18-2010, 03:56 PM  
Pentax Rainbow K-x
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 90
Views: 18,634
johnmflores,

I would have to respectfully disagree with you on several points.

While it is a game of reading tea leaves, you don't have to be an archeologist to read the hand writing on the wall.

The K7 falls far short of the K20 in every category of DXOMark testings, and only best the K200d in color depth. It's low light ISO capabilities are even worse than the K200d. Even the Canon 40D gets higher marks in all but Color Depth, and it is almost three years old and about to be replaced for the second time by the 60D.

Auto Focus is still mediocre at best Frame rate is slower than the competitions, and the flash system is pitiful compared to Nikon and Canon.

You mentioned long glass. When was the last time you saw a lens road map from Hoya? It's been almost 2 years now? Why have they completely ignored SDM problems? Remember the "old days" when you could buy a TC or a Right Angle Finder for a Pentax Camera? Try that today. Even third party lens makers are cutting back on their offerings in the Pentax mount.

Both Canon and Nikon are well established companies that are well entrenched in the advanced armature and semi pro market, and have the lens line ups to go with those cameras.

Hoya has not been able to break into that market and draw new customers to the brand because they have yet to produce a camera that can actually compete with Canon or Nikon's mid level advanced amateur and semi pro bodies. The K20 fell short, and the K7 falls well short of comparable bodies from the other two makers.

In addition, Pentax offers no room to grow in their line up. You choose one or the other. Even though they have the 645D, an $8,000 camera is well out of reach of most people, where a $2500 camera might not be such a stretch.

None of this is "news", but none of us wants to admit it either.

Hoya is not Pentax. They never will be. They just do not understand the history, the tradition and the love people have for the compay that produced cameras like the K1000, the MX the Spotmatic's and the wonderful small prime lens that went with them.

Hoya is a 21st century business whose sole intent is to make money. Weather by design or by luck, they hit a home run with the KX, and they would be crazy not to exploit it to the fullest. There can be no doubt they are doing just that. The rainbow, robot and colored cameras point to it. The new mantra, "be interesting" complements these new cool little cameras to a "T".

Today, if someone really wants a semi pro or advanced amateur camera, no camera shop in the world is going to point them towards Pentax. If someone wants a cool little camera that takes great pics of the family and friends that they can e mail and post on the web, AND comes in an array of colors, no one but Pentax offers that, and they have the perfect camera for them in the KX. Heck, it even uses AA batteries! Do you think for one minute Hoya isn't going to run with that for as long and far as they can? They would be crazy not too.

Hoya would have to spend way too much money and probably not see results for years, if ever, to even attempt to compete with the offerings of Semi Pro or advanced amateur cameras from Nikon and Canon. Even if they did, they would still need to spend even more enhancing the lens line up.

In short, it's pointless. They KX and cameras like it will shape the future of the Hoya/Pentax merger, and there isn't anything any of us can do about it. It is, what it is.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-18-2010, 12:30 PM  
Pentax Rainbow K-x
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 90
Views: 18,634
Or......it could mean Hoya thinks it has a winning strategy on it's hands and will ride that horse until it drops. Why change? Why take a shot at something that "might" excite the photo world when they already have something that does?

They have created a niche market, and everything they are doing, from the "Be Interesting" slogan to the Rainbow cameras is being done to exploit that market.

The KX was the breath of life Hoya needed, and it came at the perfect time. It will also be the death of Pentax as a camera company for anyone other than those who want to "Be Interesting". The 645D is geared towards the Pro studio shooter, the KX towards the Now Generation, and those in between, well, those in between will have to look elsewhere. There is no reason for Hoya to even attempt to compete with the other camera companies now. They have a niche market on the low end, and a niche market on the high end, and they can save their resources to capitalize on those two areas and let the other guys fight it out for the middle ground.

Thee is nothing wrong with that strategy either. They are in business to make a profit. But it still sits poorly with those who remember Pentax as a once great camera company.
Forum: Sold Items 05-17-2010, 07:56 AM  
For Sale - Sold: KX with 18-55 Kit Lens Black (US)
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 5
Views: 1,819
No, it was a learning experience, and while the cost of an education is sometimes expensive, it is more often priceless. This is a wonderful camera for someone who wants to have fun and have a nice small and responsive camera capable of very good photos. It simply lacks some of the sophistication of a a high ISO capable camera for bird and wildlife photography that I am looking for, and I am simply moving to something a bit more on the semi pro or pro level. If I were planning on staying with Pentax, this camera would never leave my side.

Al


The camera is now SOLD. Thank You.
Forum: Sold Items 05-17-2010, 07:41 AM  
For Sale - Sold: KX with 18-55 Kit Lens Black (US)
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 5
Views: 1,819
All Pm's have been answered. First 350 takes it. thanks

Al
Forum: Sold Items 05-17-2010, 06:12 AM  
For Sale - Sold: KX with 18-55 Kit Lens Black (US)
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 5
Views: 1,819
PentaxForums.com Marketplace Listing

Item for Sale
KX with 18-55 Kit Lens Black

Asking Price
350.00

Item Location
New Hampshire

Item Description
KX with 18-55 Kit lens. Purchased on April 23, 2010 from Hunts Photo and Video in Manchester NH. Original price paid was $560.00 Original sales receipt will be included. The warranty card is still in the plastic bag it came in, never filled out.

Camera has less than 1000 shots on it, and is mint like new condition. The Kit lens has never even been on the camera.

I will include a new set of Lithium batteries as the ones that came with the camera have been used.

Firmware has been updated to the latest version.

Price is the total price. Shipping via Priority Mail with insurance and PayPal fees will be covered on my end.

NOTE: The box for this camera has been in the office of my shop for the last 3 weeks. People in my office sometimes smoke. I do not but I am putting it out there. The camera has been in a Domke bag since I purchased it, in my home.

I am selling this camera because I would like to move to something a bit more sophisticated. It has been described as a "fun" camera, and it is that. It is just not what I was looking for.

Are you the original owner of the item being sold?
Yes

Are you selling or trading this item?
Selling

Item Condition (Key)
Used
Mint

Shipping Destinations
United States

Shipping Charge
None

Shipping Services
US Postal Priority Mail

Accepted Payment Types
PayPal

Return Policy & Additional Details
1 week from date of delivery and only if camera is returned in the same condition it was delivered in.

Please send me a private message if interested in the item!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-17-2010, 05:25 AM  
Pentax Rainbow K-x
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 90
Views: 18,634
I'm glad you're getting some mileage out of this, and I was able to give you some new material for you repertoire.

It's funny, I was browsing B&H and found they had a Sigma 500mm F4.5 in stock. Within my price range, but, after this kind of stuff, I think I'm going to take a pass.

I'm glad you are having fun at my expense, and am thrilled that I was able to amuse you for a short time. Or a long drawn out time, as the case may be.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-14-2010, 10:17 AM  
Pentax Rainbow K-x
Posted By Al_in_the_Shire
Replies: 90
Views: 18,634
Camera brand is not the point here. The camera is a tool. But you cannot build a house with just a screw driver. If Pentax offered a camera that could compete with the 7D or one of the 300's, and some readily available long glass, it would be a no brainer for me to stick with Pentax.

The point is, there are no choices in the higher end cameras and lens' with Pentax, and I just dont see them going in that direction.

The KX is a compromise, high ISO in an entry level camera, with serious mirror slap and shutter noise, no grip, and no third party accessorizes. Like a dedicated camera plate for one.

My current long lens is a Sigma 150-500. Again, a compromise. It was mentioned that the FA 600 could be special ordered. I looked on the Pentax Imaging web site and found nothing about it. A quick google search said it was discontinued in 2004. Even if it could be ordered, how long would it take to get? If I were able to get one, what about a 1.4 TC? Could I get one if I wanted it?

As for kicking myself if they improve the K7, it is still pointless if there are no long lens readily available. There's not even a TC available for the DA* 300.

If I was going to shoot landscapes or macro with my Pentax gear, I would buy into the limited lens' and get a K7. At base ISO it is a remarkable camera. The only reason I have not done so is because I have the Mamiya system for that. I did rob a guy of a Sigma 105 macro for 200 bucks off Craigs List though a while back. A very nice lens.

My interest with the digital gear is wildlife and birds. The Sigma 150 500 is a very nice lens, slow, but the little KX makes up for a lot of that, but if we are honest about it, it's not near the quality of a good prime lens.

Take a quick look over on KEH. A 400, 500 or even 600mm lens can be had today for 2000 to 3000 bucks used. A new 500mm F4 can be had for 5,000 at B&H and delivered by Monday.

If I thought there were any chance that Hoya was going to let Pentax come out with a good 400 F4 and a matching TC, I would wait for it and be ready to jump the day it arrived. A 500 F4 or even F5.6 would be worth waiting for as well. But Hoya is not aiming at people in this market. They want to sell a ton of $500 cameras. And in truth, I don't blame them. For everyone who says they want a good 400 or 500mm lens from Hoya, 1 in 100 will actually buy one. There is no money in it. The reason you don't see Canikon coming out with a rainbow colored T1i or D50 is because they don't have too. Hoya has too. There corporate sites are now set on the younger generation, the casual photographer, the enthusiast who just wants a nice simple camera that is a step up from a point and shoot and takes good pictures that they can e mail and plaster on their Facebook walls. The KX fits that bill, and they are going to run with it until they run out of room to run. They've found a niche, and they are going to exploit it as much as they can. I think, what that means is, there isn't going to be a whole lot of time and effort, let alone money, put into developing camera's that are going to have to compete with canikon and will for the most part, just sit on shelves and cost them money in the long run.

Anyway, it's really not personal. I may hold out until September and hope for the best, but I just don't see it coming, and like Salty, I'm not getting any younger.
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