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Forum: General Photography 20 Hours Ago  
Beginner's photography course
Posted By E-man
Replies: 14
Views: 428
To my way of thinking, snapping with a smart phone isn't photography. I would make clear what the course is about--and just as importantly isn't about--in the course description. That way, you at least make an effort to head off unrealistic expectations. Of course, human nature being what it is, one cannot accomplish that entirely. Exposure, lighting, composition and the bare basics of digital post-production are what I'd emphasize. I'm thankful my first photography course that I took in high school almost 40 years ago (Whew! where does the time go?) centered around fully manual cameras, specifically the Minolta SRT-102, which was much like the Pentax K-1000. I think it's important to learn those basics to have a working knowledge of how photography works. That said, the course I took in college, which was taught in my university's physics department, was all about mathematical formulas for optics, which I never fully grasped. The one thing I got out of it was a better understanding of the relationship between aperture and shutter speed as it relates to depth of field.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 Days Ago  
Picked up a Pentax camera & some lenses.
Posted By E-man
Replies: 10
Views: 896
I've had that Albinar 80-200 lens with a Minolta mount for about 35 years. I loved it when I didn't know any better but over the years, I've had the opportunity to use better glass and in the process have come to realize just how thoroughly crap-tastic it really is. I also have two other Albinar lenses in my Minolta kit--a mediocre 35-70 zoom and a 28mm f2.8 that's actually pretty decent.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-04-2019, 05:38 PM  
(Un)popular Opinion: Pentax AF Doesn't Suck
Posted By E-man
Replies: 80
Views: 3,623
Autofocus works great when you're at least ten feet away from your subject, but for macro/close focus work, I just switch the camera to manual focus and save myself some headaches. That way, the camera's focus mechanism is linked directly to my brain via my fingertips and I more consistently get the shots I want. That's how I learned to shoot almost 40 years ago and you know what? No matter how complicated the technology gets it still just plain works.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 03-05-2019, 08:38 AM  
Cringe Worthy
Posted By E-man
Replies: 11
Views: 1,365
To my western eyes, that camera is perfectly hideous but it's important to remember that in many Asian cultures, red is a color associated with good fortune, which may be what the seller is trying to reap by asking such an exorbitant price for it.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-18-2019, 07:07 PM  
SD card problem with K70
Posted By E-man
Replies: 9
Views: 529
The trick is to respond rather than react. And remember to BREATHE!
Forum: Lens Clubs 02-16-2019, 07:29 PM  
The "Cheap AF 28ish-80ish zoom lens" club
Posted By E-man
Replies: 152
Views: 55,048
I think at least half of my lenses fall into this category: Sigma 28-80 macro ($30-ish), Quantaray 28-90 non-macro ($36), Tamron 28-105 ($32), Sigma Zoom Master 35-70 ($7), Pentax FA 28-105 power zoom ($28). The newest addition to the collection is a Takumar F 28-80 macro that I picked up last month for $14 ($8 plus $6 shipping). Here are a couple of the first shots I've taken with it on my K30. I especially like the fact that it doesn't oversaturate the reds.
Forum: General Photography 01-20-2019, 11:12 AM  
Opinion on Colorization of old B&W photos or films
Posted By E-man
Replies: 25
Views: 1,048
I haven't yet seen They Shall Not Grow Old but I look forward to doing so. The clips I've watched online are amazing, not only showing the true potential of the technology but demonstrating its appropriate use. But like anything else, just because one can do something doesn't mean it should be done in all cases. Many photographers and film directors optimize their images to take maximum advantage of the monochromatic medium. Colorizing such still or moving images would indeed have the potential to compromise their artistic integrity, especially when it is done sloppily and with a severely limited color palate as it often was in the '80s. I remember watching a colorized version of It's a Wonderful Life on TV back in the late '80s and after about ten minutes, I had to get up and turn the color saturation all the way down on the TV set. It made me respect what Orson Welles is reported to have said regarding Citizen Kane shortly before his passing: "Don't let Ted Turner near my masterpiece with his crayons!" And he was exactly right, not only about that movie but also his film noir classic, The Third Man, which makes heavy use contrast and shadow to set the mood. Any attempt to inject color into either of those films, which were never meant to have it, would absolutely ruin them. By the same token, could you imagine the original Twilight Zone in color? Black and white is part of what makes these things work.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 05-15-2017, 10:31 PM  
SquareTrade Experience?
Posted By E-man
Replies: 3
Views: 791
I bought a Square Trade warranty for my very first Pentax DSLR body, an *ist DL. I killed the camera with a botched firmware upgrade and they didn't mince words. I got a full refund of the purchase price in a couple of weeks and I got to keep the lens and all the other accessories that came with it.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 12-14-2018, 08:16 AM  
Disturbing news about an important photojournalist ...
Posted By E-man
Replies: 19
Views: 1,755
All the more reason not to excuse or ignore it.
Forum: General Photography 09-26-2018, 08:42 PM  
$2 Tripod
Posted By E-man
Replies: 10
Views: 835
So I was killing a little time walking around Goodwill this evening and spotted a tripod lying on its side on a shelf. I could tell at a glance that it had a quick release head and to my amazement the quick release plate was present! They're always missing. At that point, it was worth picking up off the shelf and actually examining in detail. It's a Star-D brand, no model name or number showing, but it's well built, probably designed to use with a VHS camcorder, and looked to be in great shape. The best feature was the price tag--$1.99! I didn't really need another tripod, but at that price I just couldn't leave it behind. The funny thing is when I got it home, I lifted out the quick release plate and found an older orange Goodwill price tag hidden underneath (the ones they're using now are light blue) that read $9.99. Somebody had bought it and re-donated it. The only piece that's missing is the pan-and-tilt lever but it's just a friction fit so it'll be an easy fix. For now, I've got a Bic Round Stic pen stuck in there and it works okay but flexes a bit more than I'd like so I'll probably be looking at replacing it in the near future with something else, maybe a cheap screwdriver or a slender stove bolt or a turn signal lever off of an old car. The possibilities are endless and I know right thing will come along eventually.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-26-2018, 08:05 PM  
Fake Nikon camera
Posted By E-man
Replies: 12
Views: 905
There are knockoffs of legitimate products that are then altered to more closely resemble the product they were initially intended to imitate. I've posted elsewhere about my dad's vintage Soviet-made Leica knockoff that had been refitted with a top plate bearing the Leica logo as well as a Nazi emblem. These are frequently sold to unwitting tourists (like my dad) in street markets.

Another amusing story is that of a Chinese manufacturer that made very good quality knockoffs of Minolta cameras and sold them under brands like Seagull, Panda and Long March. Minolta tolerated these cameras for many years, mainly because there was little they could do about a manufacturer in mainland China. But when they brought out the Maxxum line of autofocus cameras and needed to free up production capacity in their own factories, they ended up contracting with the knockoff manufacturer to produce their legacy manual focus cameras like the X-370 and X-700 under the supervision of Minolta engineers.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-06-2018, 10:32 AM  
Choosing a inexpensive Kit Zoom lens for my K-R
Posted By E-man
Replies: 35
Views: 1,336
My only objection to the DAL lenses is their plastic mount. Optically, there's no real difference between DA and DAL lenses. I had an DAL 18-55 that I got with my K30 and sold it on very quickly since I already had two DA 18-55's and didn't need any more redundancy. If I had to slim things down to one body and two lenses from what I presently own, I'd go with my K200D, a DA 18-55 and my DAL 50-200 ED WR. While I'd prefer a metal mount, I have no other complaints regarding its optics, handling or overall performance.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-10-2018, 08:26 AM  
Pentax durability
Posted By E-man
Replies: 31
Views: 3,444
Congrats on your landmark shutter count--and what a great shot to reach it on. A 300,000 shutter count on a camera is kind of like going 300,000 miles in a car.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 05-30-2018, 09:25 AM  
How long should a CMOS battery last (Johnston's photopia)
Posted By E-man
Replies: 4
Views: 687
Easy solution--Keep a spare, fully charged battery on hand to swap in immediately so you don't lose that data.
Forum: Pentax K-1 05-25-2018, 03:47 PM  
Will it brick my K-1 if I apply K-1 Mark II firmware upgrade to it?
Posted By E-man
Replies: 21
Views: 1,867
Given that Pentax is pimping the K1-II conversions pretty heavily--and can make money off of that, I'd be very, very surprised if that firmware update would even work. And if it were my camera, I wouldn't even think of trying it. I still remember how sickened I was when I bricked my lowly *istDL on a botched firmware update six years ago. Don't do it, Don't Do It, DON'T DO IT!!!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-14-2018, 03:52 PM  
The K10D Club!
Posted By E-man
Replies: 4,554
Views: 423,352
Okay, so this is another one I shot with my K200D, which has the same sensor as the K10D in a lighter weigh and (IMO) more user friendly package. I took a little trip to the Virginia Museum of Transportation on Saturday and while I was walking around the rail yard, shooting pictures of very large objects, it was something quite small and fragile in a sea of big, heavy metal that ended up producing the most interesting image of the lot. The light was hitting that spider web just right and the black of the steam locomotive's boiler was the perfect background.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-24-2018, 02:06 PM  
Updating firmware
Posted By E-man
Replies: 2
Views: 516
I hear you. After I killed my first Pentax DSLR, an *istDL, on a botched firmware update, it was three years before I managed to summon up the courage to try it again. My successful updates now outnumber my failures by a ratio of seven to one. Freshly charged batteries are an absolute MUST!
Forum: General Talk 04-07-2018, 02:05 PM  
I'll never have to buy AA batteries again!!!
Posted By E-man
Replies: 11
Views: 696
Okay, this is almost the stuff of urban legend. The other night, I ordered an 8-pack of Amazon Basics pre-charged, low self-discharge rechargeable AA cells (black label 1,900 mAh, equivalent to white label Eneloops). The package just arrived a few minutes ago and it was much larger--and heavier--than expected. When I lifted it off the front stoop, I thought they must have sent me a lawnmower battery by mistake. Well yeah, they made a mistake alright but it was a mistake in my favor. Imagine my surprise when I opened up the box and discovered they had indeed sent me the rechargeable AA batteries I'd ordered. The only thing is they sent me a WHOLE CARTON of them--twenty 8-packs in all. That's 160 batteries for the price of eight or $240 worth of batteries for $14 (8.75 cents per battery). Needless to say, I double-checked my order online and they had indeed charged me for just one 8-pack so Amazon's loss is my gain! I don't think their stock price will suffer too much.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 04-05-2018, 08:29 AM  
Amazon Basics Flash--Structural Failure
Posted By E-man
Replies: 2
Views: 578
So I picked up my Amazon Basics flash out of my camera bag last night and noticed that the battery door had cracked in half vertically, end-to end. The only thing holding the door together was the metal contact plate on the inside. It appears to be a structural defect resulting from the batteries exerting too much pressure on the battery door. I feel the batteries fit down in the compartment a little too snugly and the springs at the bottom of the battery compartment were too big for their purpose. I always had a bit of difficulty closing the battery door, which is attached to the body of the flash by a hinge.

I had bought the flash in August and it still had a few months left on its one-year warranty, so I contacted Amazon and they couldn't have been any nicer about it. Without mincing words or even asking for a lot of details, they offered me the option of a refund or replacement. After a few moments of deliberation, I opted for the refund. It was an impulse purchase to begin with, and while it performed well for the role in which I used it—to photograph items from my dad's toy collection to sell on eBay. Up until last night, I'd felt like it was a pretty good value for what it was, but I felt like another flash of the same type would have the same inherent design flaw. It's a bit disappointing that it wasn't better constructed but I guess you can't expect all that much from a sub-$30 flash.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-28-2018, 06:39 AM  
An almost perfect PB-RHA lens hood knock-off
Posted By E-man
Replies: 1
Views: 620
So I've had this DA 18-55 lens knocking around my camera bag for a while and I've always been mildly irritated that the little insert is missing off the lens hood and slightly more irritated that you can't get just the insert as a replacement part. Well, I finally broke down and ordered a third-party knock-off lens hood off of eBay for all of $1.74--including shipping--from China. I figured for that price, I could use the insert on my genuine Pentax lens hood and throw the knock-off lens hood in my parts drawer or in a worst case scenario, I could just the entire lens hood. As luck would have it, the knock-off insert fit the Pentax lens hood almost perfectly! The only imperfections are that the insert is, if you can believe this, a somewhat lighter shade of black, almost of bordering on graphite, and the insert's corners where it meets the lens hood are ever so slightly more rounded than the corresponding corners on the lens hood but it doesn't affect fitment at all. The third party insert fits the OEM hood just as snugly and securely as an OEM insert does.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 03-04-2018, 09:50 PM  
Guess who is using a Pentax.....
Posted By E-man
Replies: 51
Views: 5,462
I remember seeing pictures of George Harrison shooting with one as well in the Beatles documentary Eight Days A Week and the George Harrison documentary Living in the Material World. It would behoove Pentax to get their cameras into the hands of a few celebrities today.
Forum: Pentax K-1 03-04-2018, 10:22 PM  
Totally Bewildered
Posted By E-man
Replies: 73
Views: 4,536
I have no complaint about Pentax's products. I just wish they would promote them more extensively so there would be greater public demand. I see the KP as an aspirational camera but while I'm aspiring, which will likely be a good long while, I'll be enjoying the gear I've got.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 01-16-2018, 08:20 AM  
Male Models Say Mario Testino and Bruce Weber Sexually Exploited Them
Posted By E-man
Replies: 22
Views: 1,774
While I find such allegations of sexual assault/exploitation/impropriety, etc. disturbing and worthy of investigation, I'm equally disturbed by the total lack of due process we're seeing regarding these allegations--and more importantly, the widespread acceptance of the denial of such due process. If a person is guilty, then they do indeed need and deserve punishment but the allegations need to be proven first. Suspicion does not equal guilt.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 02-19-2018, 12:20 PM  
Aperture block repair reliability
Posted By E-man
Replies: 19
Views: 1,988
I don't know exactly how much it costs but the numbers I've seen bandied about suggest to me that it's far more cost effective to replace the camera than to repair it. I have a K30 that's working fine for now but whenever the aperture block failure occurs, I will just sell it on eBay as being for parts or repair and let it be somebody else's headache. At that point, I'll have to decide whether I need to invest in another camera or just use the ones I've got. My thinking at this point is toward going with what I've got.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-08-2018, 07:14 AM  
K30 screen misbehaving
Posted By E-man
Replies: 6
Views: 483
If proper functionality came back once you got the camera indoors and warmed up, chances are it's just temperature related. I used to have that same problem with my Minolta X-570 back in my 35mm days. Made it tough when I had to go out and shoot on the ski slopes. It was better with a motor drive attached, which seemed to provide a small degree of insulation to the bottom of the camera.

FWIW: I also use AA Eneloops with my K30 and find them far more satisfactory than the proprietary battery pack that came with the camera.
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