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Forum: General Photography 10-25-2015, 08:07 AM  
Right or wrong decision ???
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 36
Views: 2,758
you should be able to figure out the flash. Bounce off the ceiling and use the front secondary reflector-if so equipped at a lower power setting 1/4 or 1/2 power to give eye highlight.

Off a white ceiling, this is pretty much a no brainer for nice Christmas photos, family stuff, etc.

So, to be blunt, the problem is with your technique, NOT the camera and/or flash.

Check the strobist site as noted above for ideas, or, probably even better, post your make/model flash here and I am sure someone can give you basic settings to dial it in better.

But these new cameras and any decent flash-hell even a legacy flash like af280t with bounce/tilt will be able to get great flash stuff indoors just using the auto and fill settings.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-14-2015, 10:07 AM  
Good walkaround/travel zoom lens for a trip to Mexico
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 45
Views: 4,578
glad I am not the only one that finds this whole "OMG CARTEL KIDNAP DRUG WAR" thing to be completely overblown.

again, anyone mentions drugs or women, avoid them.

use your head like you would in any US city.

make sure you stay as local as possible--you don't want to be in Miami, you want to be in Mexico, so eat, drink, stay, local.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-12-2015, 07:55 AM  
Good walkaround/travel zoom lens for a trip to Mexico
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 45
Views: 4,578
Mexican "drug war" has been ongoing for decades now.

Again, chances of you being involved in anything related to it are remote. Border towns close to the US are much less safe than actual Mexican cities--and I assume when we say "I am going to Mexico" we don't mean Juarez, Tijuana, Matamoros, etc.

Zona-Rosa (red-light district) activities of strippers and prostitutes will also result in you entering crime world and you should avoid this sort of thing in Mexico.

So, I state again, unless you decide you want to buy drugs and/or women in Mexico and you end up hanging out with shady people, your chances of coming to any harm because of that drug war are fairly remote--but, border towns are a different story as this is where drug activity is highly concentrated and most volatile.

OTOH, people I know who have been mugged while in Mexico were set up by tour operators, bus drivers, etc. That's standard tourist crime, NOT "cartel-related." Typical areas like Puerto Vallarta are very safe. People very nice. Tons of tourists, people with cameras. etc. They aren't looking to rob you, because bad publicity hurts their business and their resort's reputation.

And, the more "local" you are with your travels--unlike say, staying in an all-inclusive or coming off a cruise ship-- the more the locals are going to be looking out for you.

Back to subject at hand:

as far as the kit lens goes, if the kit lenses are $80 or so--like the 18-55 al-II, not sure why you would want legacy/vintage zoom to replace it. Not gonna save much cash, you can always replace the kit zoom if you lose it, it is AF and better performance than the--a bit cheaper-- legacy stuff, etc.

Like I said, on a recent trip to England, I was covered fine with kit lens ($85 or so from KEH), that tokina 80-200 ($35), and Pentax aft-200 flash ($20). I was shooting my K20d because I didn't want to lose my K-01 and the DSLR finder works better outside in bright light than the lcd screen on the K-01.

I shot interior museum stuff, outdoor landscapes and buildings, some posed group shots of a college study-abroad class, and candids (with and without flash) in pubs and restaurants.

Total replacement value of the entire kit would easily be under $500.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-10-2015, 06:53 PM  
Good walkaround/travel zoom lens for a trip to Mexico
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 45
Views: 4,578
I went to England recently and my light kit was the k20d, af200t flash, the 18-55 kit lens, and the MF Tokina 80-200 4.5-5.6 zoom. That Tokina is really small, really light, and really cheap on eBay. And it takes good pics, great value.

Also, most places in Mexico, unless you are involved in shady activities, aren't that different from any other big US city crime wise.

If you're not looking for drugs, you're probably not going to end up in some bad situation. Just keep your wits about you, don't get drunk and bust out the camera late at night, don't leave it in plain view on beach, etc.

Regardless, I suggest you check out that Tokina zoom, it's basically the same size at the 18-55 kit lens, takes great pics, and is so cheap that you won't kill yourself if you lose it, drop it in the ocean, or get mugged.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-10-2013, 05:42 AM  
How to best cushion camera and lenses while traveling internationally?
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 23
Views: 3,609
I use a Lowe pro Aventura or similar bag for my kit. Then I put that bag inside my large messenger bag which is my "personal item." so all electronics, camera, glasses, I pods, sunglasses, etc go in that bag. Never check that stuff. Then you still have backpack which you can throw in overhead bin. Not a big deal. Those decent size bags from Lowe pro carry all the gear you'll need. Many bag manufacturers make similar models. I don't think putting gear mixed in with clothes is the best solution because you will sometimes be forced to check that backpack if the overheads are full. And there will be nothing you can do at that point.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-24-2013, 12:21 PM  
K-01: help me choose from these lens combos
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 28
Views: 2,314
maybe it's just me, but so far I find the K-01 is a bit of a drag with large zooms attached.

It is a small camera.

When I run the kit zoom, or the A35-105, or any other zoom, the size of the lens really blows some of the handling and fun of the camera--and faster ones are bigger and WORSE.


When I run the 40mm xs it is fun.

When I run the FA 50 1.4 or the FA 35 f2, or even a smaller tele prime like the A-135 f2.8, it still handles great, is discreet, and fun.

I went out and bought an A-28 f2,8 just to get a smaller, wider prime.

That thing works great, much less of a monstrosity than K-01 with Sigma 28 f1.8

The focus peeking makes manual focus very easy--much better results than I ever got with my K-100d with a split prism screen installed.

The low-light performance is very good, I feel like I can ditch the flash in most situations--within reason.

If I was outfitting this thing I would look for fast primes of A series if I had a budget

An A 28 2.8, an A 50 1.4, an A 100 2.8 may be achievable for $400.

OTOH, if money was not so much an object, I would stick with all of the smaller, pancake DA primes--21, 40xs, 70.

K-01 is very interesting camera, so different than K-20d (my current DSLR).

If you already have lenses for Pentax, it is great to just slap them on there and try it all out...
Forum: Pentax K-5 01-09-2013, 08:29 AM  
Pentax for Nightclub Photography
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 7
Views: 1,572
I have done some nightclub shooting with a K-20D and Metz 58 AF1. The focus assist lamp is bright, red, and it throws a good pattern. That flash is awesome for all applications I have found. I think it is one of the best flash units for Pentax.
Forum: Pentax K-01 12-13-2012, 11:32 AM  
Ease my buyers remorse...
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 21
Views: 2,310
I got one last week and I opted for the DA XS 40mm because I already had other lenses.

Also, because the XS 40mm matches the camera and I figured if I hated it I could sell it easier with the matching kit lens.

That said, I think the K-01 is a steal at the price they have now (316). It is very fun, very easy to use with manual lenses, very high IQ, just an all around cool camera.

It has way better low ISO performance than my DSLR (k-20d).

I would have bought the 40mm XS lens, but you would quickly end up buying a kit zoom or something to fill in all that range and spent 50-100$ for it. That would be 416 plus the cost of that lens, so you would already be up in the $500 range.

And you got the 50-200, so that is a bonus.

I bet you will really like the camera, and I second the suggestion that you find a manual focus lens--I would go with A series--to play with. The focus peaking makes it really easy to use those older lenses.
Forum: Pentax K-01 12-13-2012, 11:24 AM  
What case for the K-01?
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 47
Views: 15,746
I just got the Optio PTL-X80 case for $9.95 for the K-01 from Amazon. Not sure what happened for user above, but my camera fits perfectly in case with DA XS 40mm lens attached. It does bulge the case out a bit, but it fits in there fine and there is room at end for a spare battery or one of the small 27mm lens hoods. I guess you could also put body in main part and a small limited lens in end divided compartment as well, but that's about it.

Think of it as a very small form-fitting case for K-01 that is well padded and has room for a spare battery, some cards, and a cleaning cloth or something. You will NOT be able to fit the charger and cord in it too...

And there is no way you could use it with any lens other than 40mm XS or other small pancake lens.

I just throw this little bag into whatever else I am carrying so I always have the K-01 with me.

This is a REALLY nice leather bag for $9.95. It has two velcro dividers in it, a strap, has a belt loop on back, side velcro pocket, mesh pocket under zipper lid, AND it is genuine leather. It is a very nice little bag.

Even if you decided you didn't like how the K-01 fits in there, you could use it for a small shaving kit, other electronics--phone, charger, cables, headphones, etc.

I mean I am thinking of ordering another one just because it is so nice and cheap.

I think it is just what you need if all you want is bare bones protection for the K-01 with DA XS40mm.

Also, I am really shocked at how much more you can carry in a "regular" camera bag when you don't have a big DSLR --K-20d and grip-- in it and just the K-01. I added some dividers to my Lowepro Adventura 120 bag and I can fit the K-01 with a ton of lenses in there.

The K-01 really reinvigorated my collection of small(er) camera bags due to its small size.
Forum: Pentax K-01 12-10-2012, 10:44 AM  
Hand strap for K-01
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 44
Views: 8,768
I just got one of these delivered today from ETSY. Nice and simple, kind of hybrid wrist strap. Just the bare bones...She has a lot of other cool camera straps, bags, cases, etc. too...very fast shipping as well New Color Black DSLR Wrist Strap Camera Strap by PorteenGear
Forum: Ask B&H Photo! 11-27-2012, 12:27 PM  
think I blew it on K-01 2% program?
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 1
Views: 1,048
Hi there,

So, here's my story:

I finally pulled trigger on the K-01 late last night.

I did this in a compromised position for shopping--sitting on toilet and using my ipod touch rather than at a laptop.

Gross I know, but it is where I do my best thinking, deciding, and (in this case) shopping.

I had trouble logging into B&H account while I was shopping for K-01 due to small keyboard, hassles in typing on there, inability to retrieve password via email,etc.

But, I pulled the trigger on the K-01 anyway because I was convinced the incredibly good deal could disappear at any moment.

Today, I realized the reason I had issues logging into my account is that I was not actually registered--despite making B&H purchases in the past both online and in person at the NYC store.

I know I am on the mailing list because I always get the catalog sent to my house.

So, is there any way I can get some help with the 2% back rebate?

I figured this is best place to ask since I am a loyal Pentax person and as a group we just had quite the weekend shopping spree at B&H!

Thanks for any assistance you might be able to provide.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-18-2012, 02:50 PM  
Need help deciding on lens
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 7
Views: 1,173
Do not sell that lens to buy the other zoom. You will be trading a much better lens for a
Lower quality one. You probably got a steal on the lens due to price changes as they cleared inventory. Dont do it. You will regret it. Read
The reviews in the lens review section.
Forum: Photographic Technique 08-15-2012, 07:31 AM  
Polaroid vs Pentax
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 2
Views: 1,348
Hipsters stunned as vintage cameras fail to make them professional photographers - Hayibo

Hipsters stunned as vintage cameras fail to make them professional photographers

The international hipster community is in shock this week after the purchase of a vintage Polaroid camera by a young hipster failed to bring him instant acclaim as a gritty, original, yet quirky photographer. Meanwhile, the non-profit Hipster Photographer Rescue has revealed that “this kind of tragic occurrence is happening so often now that it’s almost become mainstream”.

Leaning against the exposed brickwork in his loft-slash-studio, 28-year-old ‘creative’ and part-time barista, Zak Retrough, said that he is “like, shocked?” that his totally deck photographs of his friends looking moody next to some kitchen appliances from the 70′s have continued to be ignored by independent art galleries.

“Mainstream sellouts think that we use old cameras and only shoot in natural light because we can’t learn all that artificial strobe-flash stuff,” said Retrough. “But it’s actually because we’re shooting it the way we saw it. It’s, like, our truth,” he added, pausing to crack the plastic case of his new Lomograph camera to create light leaks.

According to a spokesman from Hipster Photographer Rescue, ever-increasing numbers of tiny-trousered, vintage-Polaroid-wielding 20-somethings are putting a strain on their limited resources.

“The problem is so much bigger than we thought” said Phil Anthropy. “Whoever it was who first told a hipster that extreme cross-processing and vignetting instantly elevates a photo of themselves looking bewilderedly off-camera through their asymmetrical fringe into art has a lot to answer for.”

He said that there was a persistent belief among the community that using old film cameras was somehow more “authentic”.

“But the sad truth is that they just can’t be bothered to learn about ISO, shutter-speed, and aperture,” explained Anthropy. “And we’re seeing a lot of injuries caused by them trying to force a spare film cartridge into the pocket of already too-tight skinny jeans.”

But, he said, there was hope.

“Here at Hipster Photographer Rescue we give these kids options, and make them see that lurking self-consciously on street corners, wearing a messenger bag filled with old cameras, cigarettes, a James Joyce novel, organic cashews and a Macbook Pro, does not make you a professional photographer.

“Still, we can only detox, de-program and re-home so many of these little guys,” he sighed.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-03-2012, 06:05 AM  
Why do you shoot Pentax?
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 51
Views: 5,787
I started in photography with an ME Super in like 1981. got out of it after the military and didn't take real pictures again for years--always used a crappy APS point and shoot film camera. When I finally bought a digital point and shoot for a trip to Lisbon in 2008, I figured I woudl get better results if I got a DSLR. When it came time to buy, there was no real choice. The ability to use vintage lenses and the in body SR makes it a no brainer. Got the K100d from Woot refurbished. Started the dreaded LBA. A few years later I got a K20d refurbished from Woot as well.

I have always liked the Pentax design and ergonomics better than Nikon or Canon. When I go to B&H Photo and try out all the hot cameras the Pentax always fells better in my hand and seems laid out better than the Canikons. I think they have some real advantages--whether or not they make the sort of business decisions that allow them to capitalize on their advantages.

And the whole backwards lens compatibility thing is so cool and fun.

just waiting for the FULL FRAME!!!
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-30-2011, 08:51 AM  
Cleaning help
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 3
Views: 816
the blower should be used first, then if the spot remains use the Pentax Image Sensor Cleaning Kit, #O-ICK1, it works great.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-30-2011, 08:48 AM  
Bought my flash before I really understood how.
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 9
Views: 1,321
Go here:

and start with his first primer on using flash:
Strobist: Lighting 101

very helpful.

no reason to buy a book with the internets.

I also agree with others that if you set flash to A, and maybe cut 1 stop, you cannot go wrong.

and, get a stofen diffuser, they do wonders.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-29-2011, 09:38 AM  
Off-camera cord question
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 3
Views: 1,259
you have a pentax dedicated flash, but a universal cord.

so, the cord cannot give all the data needed for the flash to work in p-ttl.

the k20d does not have ttl, just p-ttl.

so, the cord is only sending a trigger signal and the flash will only work in whatever mode you have it set.

you need to spend a bit more to buy a dedicated pentax flash cord, then the flash will work with all functionality.

i bought one of the cheap ones from ebay and it works fine.
Forum: General Talk 11-14-2011, 08:51 AM  
Your latest acquisition
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 20,071
Views: 1,418,255
I went to B&H yesterday while on an amtrak layover in NYC and scored a Lowepro Nova 3 bag from the "used/close out" section of the store for 20$. looks like this:Recent image by rx100 on Photobucket
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-08-2011, 04:05 PM  
Normally Prime shooter but need zoom advice for family trip
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 44
Views: 4,779
I just got the tamron 28-105 4-5.6 and I am digging it, pretty nice, and I like it better than the Pentax F35-70,
Forum: Pentax K-5 07-27-2011, 08:50 AM  
k20d to k5
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 13
Views: 2,298
I got a k20 with kit lens for 505 from woot last year.

So, 450 or so for lightly used k20 with lens and spare battery seems fair.

I handled a k5 recently at B&H. the screen, menus, and all the rest just made it seem like a big upgrade from the k20d. really fast autofocus, really quiet autofocus, felt even better in my hands that k20d.

I love the k20d, but after having the k5 in my hands for a brief moment all I can say is "WANT!"
Forum: Pentax K-5 07-23-2011, 06:51 PM  
Fun Factor of the K5?
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 60
Views: 7,859
I will say this,

I had the misfortune to handle a k5 at b&h a few weeks ago and I was dumbfounded at how much nicer it was than my k20d.

I mean it made my k20d seem like some ancient technology.

I want it bad.

also, all electronics have a defect rate.

my first pentax, the me super I spent my paper route cash on in 1981, was defective and I had to return it.

but electronics that fail typically do it in the 90 day easy warranty period and you get a brand new one free.

not usually a hassle.

I will be waiting for the k5 with baited breath, as soon as I can afford it I will buy one--probably refurb'd like my k100d and my k20d.

All this other stuff is just internet BS.

always some haters, always some people that are paranoid about everything.'

that k5 was amazing when I handled it.

cannot wait to get my own.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-27-2011, 01:54 PM  
Your 5 Most Used Lenses ?
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 148
Views: 16,756
1. DA 18-55 al II
2. FA 50 1.4
3. FA 100-300 4.7 (the silver one)
4. A 35-105 3.5
5. DA 14 2.8
Forum: Pentax K-5 06-21-2011, 10:18 AM  
Not love at 1st touch!
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 38
Views: 5,173
I currently shoot the k20d with grip.

I was in B&H yesterday and got a hold of the K5.

I have big hands as well but I was so blown away by the camera I was ready to work with a slightly smaller body.

I figured the k5 with a grip would be fine for my hands.

I mean I used to shoot an me super and that was small right?

In all aspects that k5 was a superior machine, I thought the k20d was a huge step up from the k100d, but the k5 makes the k20d seem like some 80s relic.

I also tried out that huge ass Nikon DS1 or whatever--the full frame monster.

I also seemed kind of behind the times in terms of ergonomics and functions, although the viewfinder was so huge and bright it was a dream.

It was hard to really concentrate though, that B&H is so crazy and full of toys that you feel like the proverbial kid in the candy store.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 04-18-2011, 03:28 PM  
Best flash under 100$?
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 70
Views: 16,157
i just got the vivitar 285 hv last week. can use it on camera, off camera with radio triggers or wired to cam viz pc port--I have k20d.
has limited old school auto mode--will not p-ttl with camera.
but works great and is a real beast.
not as nice as my metz af 58, but 300 cheaper!
that strobist site is agold mine and will answer all your questions...
read the lighting 101 and 201 sections
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-05-2011, 04:39 AM  
Upgrading from K20 to newer model
Posted By steveeboy
Replies: 7
Views: 2,049
i upgraded my k100 to a k20 and absolutely love it.

figure you can find a k20 refurb for @500 with the kit lens.

sell the lens on here for 80-100 and you get the body for like 400 or so...

I like all the k20 controls and the ability to tweak everything out.

and I like finally having a more "pro" camera.

everything works better on this thing--including accessories like my metz flash.

I have pretty much decided that I will only buy the upper level pentax camera from now on, I will just by it 2-3 years after it goes up for sale so that it costs 500$ instead of 1500$.

already thinking about that k5 I'm gonna buy in 2013!
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