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Forum: Lens Clubs 12-14-2016, 12:50 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 34,604
Views: 3,460,835

Forum: Pentax K-3 11-24-2015, 11:52 PM  
K-3 with Metz 58 AF-2
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 9
Views: 3,314
It's easy

First, you have to set the flash on camera (only for the first time), turn it (and camera) on, activate wireless function by going Sel->Remote->Slave. Then, go to Para->Channel, select whatever you want (default 1 is ok unless there are lots of other Pentaxians around doing wireless-flash shooting), this will set the same channel on flash and camera

Second (anytime when you want to use wireless flash)
1. Take the flash, set it to Sel->Remote->Slave
2. Take the camera, go to flash menu (arrow down), select wireless flash (the last symbol in sequence, with a "W" letter over the lightning). You have 2 options on K-3 (earlier models required digging in cFun to ajust the flavour). Wireless master means that in-built flash not only controls the slaves, but also lights the scene. If you choose Control, then in-bult flash tries not to lighten your subject. Pop the in-built flash (this is critical step!). Those having K-3II will have to mount Master-capable flash on top of camera to go wireless.
3. Take a test shot. Most common problem is that light sensor on Metz doesn't see the control flash impulses. That sensor is located on top of flash enclosure (not head, but "body"), on the left side. I usually rise the head upwards and turn it 90deg to clear sky for sensor, then it works fine even without direct visibility (in a moderate sized room).
4. You can control flash options via Para menu, including EV comp, zoom, etc, and switch on/off secondary reflector as usual (via Sel menu)

that is the sensor (little clear cap):

make sure it's not blocked by flash head or anything else
Forum: Lens Clubs 03-14-2016, 12:54 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 34,604
Views: 3,460,835
Hello all!

I've been luckily enough to buy a very good copy of DA*300 for a very good price locally. I've bought it almost solely for birding purposes, but the lens proved to be excellent landscape lens, too. If you have plenty of open space, of course!

So there are couple of shots taken on a cloudy and wintery day here in Latvia:
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-29-2016, 02:21 PM  
Budget Birding Lens... ooh
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 36
Views: 5,024
I used two above mentioned lenses extensively last year- a Tair 3 300/4.5 (the version twice as old as me) and Tokina AF SD 400/5.6

I think that pictures speak better than words in photography, so look at these:

Greater White-fronted Goose (Tair)

Common Rosenfinch (Tair)

Whinchat (Tair)

Eurasian Treecreeper (Tair)

Tree Sparrow (Tair)

Northern Showelers among other shorebirds @ Latvian coast (Tair)

Waxwing (Tokina)

Fieldfare (Tokina)

I started year ago with the Tair. It's a surprisingly good lens for it's class. It's as bright as F300/4.5, can be pixel-sharp on K-3 (stopped down to f8 and if you nail-in focus), is useable from wide open (f/4.5) and very good @f/5.6, has all-round aperture (of about 15 blades or so) and it gives the "old-school appearance" to every picture (read- low contrast and a bit dreamy look). On the other hand, it's HUGE and HEAVY (larger than DA*300 and almost twice as heavy despite having only 3 lenses in 2 groups!). The good side is that Tair is undestructable- a finger-thick all-metal body is made to resist anything. Picture quality suffers from CA in OOF areas (Tair is absolutely CA-less in focus zone, but everything that is out of focus is either green or purple. You can easily get green stripes of about 1/10 frame width in bokeh) and lack of AF. I had about 50-60% shots with quality good enough for documentary purposes, but only about 5% has perfect focus).

The next lense I've got was the Tokina. It's a bit shorter, about 1/2 in diameter and half the weight of Tair, has AF (lightning fast AF, you know!) and clever sliding hood. It's useable wide open if you don't want to crop images, very sharp @f/8 and has more reach than Tair. Unfortunately, my copy has a bit of haze on inner element, so it suffers from lowered contrast in certain situations. And it's slow- f/8@400 mm requires a whole lot of light in case you want some quality. Tokina has the same story with CA (no problem in-focus, but wide purple borders on anything OOF).

Tokina completely replaced Tair because of size, AF (and auto aperture, too), far better keeper rate (thanks to AF) and more reach. In a good light it can deliver great images, and K-3 helps to get recognizable snaps in those dark overcast days.

But now I have to leave this thread. I've got DA*300 yesterday (a very good local offering, I just couldn't resist) and it's another galaxy far far away, but not a budget lens in every aspect. So I'll have to sell both T's to cover at least part of my expences.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-24-2016, 11:36 AM  
Budget Birding Lens... ooh
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 36
Views: 5,024
Let's add a bit of color to all-white snowy day!

Blue Tit in front of Tokina SD 400/5.6@6.7. These are not the sharpest images I have from this lens, but looks like I've missed focus a bit.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-27-2015, 10:25 AM  
appreciate the K100D
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 329
Views: 49,334
K100D Super is my first Pentax camera and first DSLR, too. And it's like first love- thing you will never forget. I still have this camera and won't sell it.

Most worthy thing about K100D is the way it can make these grayish foggy and cloudy days so usual in Latvia really brilliant.

Just like this:

or this

or this:

And when I PP images from K100D, I often realize that one couldn't do better than just extract JPG from RAW.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-12-2015, 09:05 AM  
appreciate the K100D
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 329
Views: 49,334
I agree. It's hard to imagine louder camera than K100D (in Pentax line-up, of course). And this mirror really causes camera to jump up in your hands!

But this can't spoil the party, I'm still fan of that little plastic beauty!

One of my favourite shots with K100Ds:

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-07-2015, 12:54 PM  
appreciate the K100D
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 329
Views: 49,334
Straight from camera

DA40XS f5.6

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-28-2015, 05:27 AM  
Impressions of the Pentax system
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 137
Views: 10,963
Leaf shutter is no way to go, because it is difficult to make one that is faster than 1/500 in any size larger than in P&S cameras. Even in P&S leaf shutter often can't go faster than 1/1000s wide open. For example, you get 1/4000 only with F8. I doubt you wish such stupid limitation on DSLR. And then you will have to have shutter built-in in every lens (cost, compatibility, size, weight).

If you didn't know, no mirrorless cameras use leaf shutter. All MLC use conventional focal-plane shutter. Some of them (like Sony A7) have even more loud and shaky shutter than K-50 and no SR :) Also, MLC have to CLOSE shutter before taking picture, then OPEN it and CLOSE once more after exposure is done, which adds (sometimes significant) delay and shake (you can google for Olympus 1/100s blur).

If you want quiet, just go with Pentax one-digit cameras (K-5 and K-3), their shutter sound is at least on par with most MLCs.

The other thing is fully electronic shutter, but it has it's own drawbacks. And any LiveView-capable DSLR has all the hardware to use electronic shutter, so it's matter of firmware. I think we will see electronic shutter in DSLRs in next 1-2 years.

As to me, I suppose that any modern DSLR is basically a MILC with added optical viewfinder and phase-detect focus system. So it is better than MILC at little cost of being slightly bigger and heavier. If you look at serious MILC, you will find that even K-3 is actually SMALLER than Panasonic GH4 or Samsung NX1 :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-23-2015, 01:53 PM  
DA 15mm Reversing...
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 11
Views: 1,174
It works with Canon (which has aperture motor in-lens), but all K-mount lenses have just "stupid" (ie no electronics at all) spring-loaded aperture lever. Once the lens is removed from camera, aperture closes to the value defined by aperture ring.

If lens has no aperture ring, then aperture goes full close.

To keep aperture open, you have to pull aperture lever towards full-open and just fix it in that position. Everything that keeps aperture in place and does not damage the lens is OK. Unfortunately, a toothpick is little too thin, but safety match is OK, so does small piece of cardboard or so. Just make sure that object is not going to fall into the lens!

Unfortunately, setting precise aperture is hardly possible this way, as it requires very precise aperture lever positioning with no feedback.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 12-16-2014, 01:35 PM  
Hi from Latvia
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 5
Views: 881
Tere, Aksel!

Nice to see some Pentaxians nearby

I had very nice trip to Tallinn (and Stockholm) last February


Welcome from Latvia and welcome to Latvia!

Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 12-16-2014, 01:33 AM  
Hi from Latvia
Posted By elektrolitr
Replies: 5
Views: 881
Hello, I'm Jurijs from Riga, Latvia

Bought my first Pentax (K100D super) camera in 2010

Now have K100Ds, *istD, K-3 (recent upgrade from K-5) and some lenses- *16-50, 40XS, 50/1.8, 50-200WR, Sam 8mm.

I had good times (with K100D color and K-5 high ISOs) and bad times (with K100D a bit slow and K-5's color rendition and focus accuracy way off), but K-3 looks like an answer to all my problems.

Have a nice day and enjoy taking pictures
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