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Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-01-2009, 09:25 AM  
Ball heads - what to look for
Posted By AGW
Replies: 29
Views: 5,791
Don't put words in my mouth, it's not sanitary!

If you perhaps misread what I wrote, I apologize - But I never said that it was overkill to pay anything for a quality ball head.

I understand that I am not near the photographer of some, shooting a K200d and using a Manfrotto ball head.

Sheesh -


Al
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-01-2009, 05:45 AM  
Ball heads - what to look for
Posted By AGW
Replies: 29
Views: 5,791
Ah Mr. E -

I agree with you that torque is more important than the weight the ball head will hold, as is the vibration damping effects of the tripod/head set up.

It would be much more helpful to the prospective buyer if when he ask about tripods and ball head combos, if he would state up front what kind of photography he or she is going to be doing, and what kind of load or he or she plans on putting on it, and then, even more helpful if respondents would give some information on what they actually use and how it works for them.

In most of these threads, we see replies like "I use XYZ ball head and it works great for me!" or "I use XYZ Ball Head and I love it!"

That is pretty much useless information, and could lead one down a road of either overkill or poor performance.

What if we dont have the luxury of going into a camera shop and trying out several different types of ball heads and tripod combos with the equipment we are going to be using? Or if we lack the experience and knowledge of someone like yourself?

Your answer gave me a little clarity on what to really look for and ask when I next go searching for a new ball head, if I do.

Thank You.


Creampuff

That is the point of my entire question. It's not so much a matter of how much something cost, but of the performance it will provide given the parameters of it's intended use.

There are some ball heads on BH Photo that are priced at over 1000 bucks. Does that make a 300 buck RRS ball head cheap? Or not a good ball head?

Al
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-29-2009, 07:15 AM  
Ball heads - what to look for
Posted By AGW
Replies: 29
Views: 5,791
I agree and I am not suggesting that at all.

What I am asking is, is there a rule of thumb that says your tripod ball head combo should support "x" times more than your camera and heaviest lens?

I followed the other thread on Ball Heads, and I'm sorry, but I'm just not buying all the hype behind all these really expensive ball heads unless you have a specific need for them.

So with that in mind, I think it might be better to decide what you have, what you dream to move up to, and then pick the ball head leg combination that will suit you now AND in the future. But all this "I have "XYZ" ball head and love it" comments are just fluff, and dont really do anyone justice.

It would be nice to know, what are the base lines in choosing a ball head tripod set up so one does not buy too little and end up having to spend more, or buy too much and end up having spent too much.


In reply to Wheatfield

I think it has more to do with the mass at the top of the tripod/head in relationship to the area of the base at the bottom of the tripod. There has to come a time when even something that will hold 100 pounds becomes unstable and top heavy under load.

The ball head may be capable of keeping the camera and lens steady, and the legs of the tripod might support that much weight, but the weak link is the area of the base and how much it is able to support such a top heavy set up without toppling over. I think that is often overlooked in these discussions. The great pyramids are built the way they are for a reason :)

Al
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-29-2009, 05:58 AM  
Ball heads - what to look for
Posted By AGW
Replies: 29
Views: 5,791
What puzzles me about all these ball head discussions is this....

I have a Bogen 3221 tripod, rated to hold about 15 pounds.

I have a Manfrotto 488rc2 ball head rated to hold 17 + pounds

Sitting on top of all this is a K200D which weighs less than 2 pounds with batteries.

A Bigma only weighs 4 pounds -

so now I have 6 pounds on top of the head rated to hold more than 3 times that weight, on top of a set of legs rated to hold more than 2 times the total weight of camera, lens, and ball head.......

So is that enough?

Is there a rule of thumb that says your ball head should support 4 times the weight of the heaviest combo you are going to put on it? Or 5 times? 6 times?

I understand "buy the best you can afford" but doesn't it make more sense to determine what your needs are, what you are going to do with your tripod legs and ball head set up, the max weight you are going to put on it, and then buy a ball head that will meet those needs?

I know RRS and Kirk and Markins and all the other top end manufacturers would LOVE for me to come buy their top of the line ball heads and plates, but is there a point at which it all becomes complete overkill for the photographer? Does putting a ball head that will hold 50 pounds on top of a set of legs rated to hold 25 pounds make any sense or is all this ball head talk just BHBA?

My tripod/ball head combo holds my camera, doesn't droop, is easy enough to position, and I can still put gas in the truck to get to the places I want to actually use it.

500 bucks for a tripod, 400 for a ball head, 200 for plates, just so you can set it all up in your living room and wish you could afford to drive somewhere to take some pictures doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Especially when my camera and largest lens only weigh a combined 6 pounds.

What am I missing?

Al
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-26-2009, 06:36 PM  
Domke Bug Bag 30
Posted By AGW
Replies: 8
Views: 4,373
You must have put the fear of God in them. I just went to take a look at that bag and you cant even pull up their Domke shoulder bags LOL

Al
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-26-2009, 12:25 PM  
Holster bag, keeping it simple
Posted By AGW
Replies: 6
Views: 3,059
The Tamrac 5627 will hold a gripped K200d with a 55-300 or the 16-45 both with hood attached.

For your application, it also has two belt loops on the back as well as two D rings under the loops about 3 inches down so you could lash it onto something.

there are slots on the side of the bag for extra cases if you want to ever use it for that. Under the main flap you can fit in some spare batteries and SD cards. the inside flap also has a velcro enclosed area that I stick an SD card case in and there is a zipper closed area under the very top of the bag that holds a couple of boxed filters. You can get a rocket blower in the front compartment also. The front compartment zips closed.

The bag seems pretty well padded and zippers shut but with two zippers on the closure there is a small gap that might let trail dust in, although the zipper is under the flap which also has a snap buckle closure.

It might be worth checking out.

Al
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-21-2009, 04:28 AM  
Dust Magnet
Posted By AGW
Replies: 3
Views: 2,146
My K200D is a Dust Magnet.

I keep it in a case, hardly if ever take the DA 55 - 300 off the camera yet every morning we seem to be going through the same little ritual.

The sensor is covered in dust. Do the cleaning, blow off the sensor, run the dust removal, and the dust alert shows the sensor clean.

Next morning - covered in dust again. Like the thing is statically charged to collect dust or something.

So what am I doing wrong or what should I be doing differently? How do you keep dust off your sensor?

Thanks for any tips or advice you might have.

Al
Forum: Sold Items 06-15-2009, 02:49 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Crumpler 7 MDH camera/lens bag.
Posted By AGW
Replies: 2
Views: 2,054
Always a day late and $6,999,999.00 short.

Al
Forum: Sold Items 06-02-2009, 05:07 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax Remote Control F (3 Available)
Posted By AGW
Replies: 7
Views: 2,081
I also would like one. Personal Message sent.

Thanks

Al
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-23-2009, 10:45 AM  
Hybrid backpack
Posted By AGW
Replies: 9
Views: 3,675
Here is one that appeared here on this board somewhere, I kept it because it looked interesting and not too expensive. Might be a bit big for your needs. The ones from National Geographic are nice also. A bit more money.

Amazon.com: Wolverine BP202 Camera and Laptop Backpack - 10x14x20 Inches: Camera & Photo

Al
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-17-2009, 03:33 AM  
Dynamic Range of K20D and K200D
Posted By AGW
Replies: 8
Views: 2,831
Don't know the answer, but you sure do have some wonderful photos in your gallery.

Al
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-08-2009, 07:08 AM  
Lowepro Cirrus tlz 25 & similar holsters for backpacking
Posted By AGW
Replies: 8
Views: 4,166
I'm currently using the Tamrac 5627. It fits my k200D with grip and the 16-45 hooded perfectly.

It can be attached to a belt, but I use a strap from another bag to carry it over my shoulder cross body style.

99% of my photography is done in the woods. I use either a badlands monster fanny pack or the badlands superday back pack depending on how long I plan to be out and the weather.

I choose this holster because of the ability to put a lens case on the side and a small pouch on the other. I carry the DA 55-300 in the case and polarizing filters in the pouch.

Without a grip, you might find there is a little wiggle room in there for the camera, but with a grip it is a nice fit.

I have found it to be pretty durable as well (though I have only used this set up about 2 dozen times in the last few months. The holster seems to be very well made and the lens case and pouches attach very securely with velcro and snaps.

It carries better with the fanny pack, but acceptably well with the superday back pack. I can rotate the holster around so it rides more in the front.

It also opens towards you, but I don't think a flash would work with this bag.

It has zippers and a buckle to close the top so you can forgo the zipper and still have a secure closure.

At any rate, it is another option. I'm happy with it but then again, I have not tried anything else so have no point of comparison to make for you.

Al
Forum: Sold Items 03-19-2009, 06:55 AM  
For Sale - Sold: K200D + DA16-45mm + DA50-200mm + FA77mm limited
Posted By AGW
Replies: 23
Views: 5,073
Thank you for the concern.

I understand what you are saying, but I run a commercial web site along with my own forum and that is one of my business E mails. With the forum, and the e mail listed on the web site in several places, it doesn't make any difference anymore.

Spam is a fact of life. I deal with it and choose not to worry about it too much. There are other things much more important to worry about.

Like how my reply to the individual selling the lens I want is out of site because of these two nonessential post, which, in a way, are worse than spam.

So to the seller - again, I cannot tell if my Personal Messages went through or not. Please either PM me or contact me at

al (at) thogamecalls (dot) com

Thank You

Al

(a veteran of Al Gore's Internet since back when AOL charged by he minute)
Forum: Sold Items 03-19-2009, 05:15 AM  
For Sale - Sold: K200D + DA16-45mm + DA50-200mm + FA77mm limited
Posted By AGW
Replies: 23
Views: 5,073
I would like to buy the DA 16-45 if it is still available.

I sent you a PM but not sure it went through. Hope to hear from you soon. If you dont get the PM, (it does not show in my out box but I sent it twice) you can e mail me at al@thogamecalls.com

Al
Forum: Photographic Technique 03-18-2009, 12:10 PM  
Do you grow?
Posted By AGW
Replies: 64
Views: 9,755
One of the reasons I came back to photography was because of the growth I experienced when I first started.

I'm not talking about technical growth, but something more important to me.

I learned, perhaps for the first time in my life, how to actually see.

So I would answer "yes" to your question.

Al
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-03-2009, 09:30 AM  
Need advice on a lens
Posted By AGW
Replies: 11
Views: 2,952
Amazon has the DA 16 -45 for 274 and change. You can even get free shipping. Overnight and it still comes in under 300 bucks.

Al
Forum: Sold Items 02-25-2009, 08:20 AM  
For Sale - Sold: SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 (2 lenses)
Posted By AGW
Replies: 3
Views: 3,984
PM Sent - I would like to purchase one of the lenses.

Thanks

Al
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-20-2009, 10:23 AM  
How do you guys protect your camera?
Posted By AGW
Replies: 49
Views: 9,285
I got one of the Tamarac Zoom bags to protect my camera. So far, it's working really well.

I just hang the camera around my neck and put the 9mm in the bag :)

Seriously though, I just have a screen protector on it, and am planning on the one that was posted here last week somewhere - it looked like a great idea. I do admit to wiping it off and making sure it is clean and dry when I get back from shooting though. The camera that is. Shooting the camera.

Al
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-18-2009, 09:42 AM  
LCD on K20D
Posted By AGW
Replies: 8
Views: 1,845
Well that worked on my K200d. :)

And thank you for the tip. I must have completely missed that in the book. :o

Al
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-13-2009, 11:02 AM  
K200D Battery compatibility
Posted By AGW
Replies: 10
Views: 2,324
I've only had my K200d for three days so take this for what it's worth, but I stuck a set of fully charged Energizer Rechargeable 2500 mAh batteries in it the day it arrived and they still show a full charge on the LCD. This is with the camera on for a couple hours a day while going through the manual and taking and deleting some pictures around the shop and house to get used to it. It seems to be working just fine with these batteries.

Al
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-12-2009, 05:49 PM  
Pentax K200D or Canon Rebel XSi?
Posted By AGW
Replies: 172
Views: 22,629
Wow, that's pretty harsh.

I was willing to pay up to 2 grand for a camera and a lens.

I was able to find everything I needed in a Pentax for a little less than 900. I had enough left over to buy another lens. And still have a few bucks left over to take the wife out to dinner.

I don't call that cheap, I call it smart. Especially the part about taking the wife out to dinner after spending all that money on a camera. I never ate a lens, but no matter what it cost, I'm betting that prime rib was better :rolleyes:

Al
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-12-2009, 12:39 PM  
Clarification on Raw Button Function
Posted By AGW
Replies: 5
Views: 2,325
Thank You, I am going to get one when I order my Grip next week. It's a great suggestion.

Al
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-12-2009, 05:29 AM  
Pentax K200D or Canon Rebel XSi?
Posted By AGW
Replies: 172
Views: 22,629
There were 6 things that made me choose the K200d as my camera.

In reading the reviews, three little bits of information popped up

1) the Canon 40d (which I was also considering) gave "soft" photos.

2) the XSI's resolution put the Canon 40d's to shame

3) the Raw test showed that while the XSI displayed slightly better detail in RAW due to it's two extra megapixels than the K200d, they were essentially the same

Those are the words of the reviewers. They aren't mine. But they were there, and I read them, and putting two and two together, I came up with the K200d as having the ability to take great pics on par with the 12 MP Canon XSI and better than the 40D. That may or may not be fact, but it is how I saw it after spending countless hours trying to come to a decision. And again, it was just the conclusion I came to, and I have nothing other than the reviews to back that up.

4) One forum had a number of very heated debates about in lens or in body stabilization. And while the consensus on that forum was that in lens was better, the majority of them were shooting with non stabilized lenses because they could not afford the IS lenses. Even if SR only gave one or two stops vs the 3 or 4 of a stabilized lens, the IS in the lens was pointless if you can't afford the lens to begin with. I'm not a pro. I've got a wife, kids, mortgage and car payments like a lot of folks. Something is always better than nothing. Well, usually anyway :)

5) focus issues with the XSI. They are out there, and if you read, there are post all over the web about it. Some of it is attributed to being new to DSLRs but one review site even noted it in their review.

6) Build Quality. Even compared to the 40d, the Pentax camera line seems very solid. The lenses all have metal where they seat, not plastic. I dont know if that makes a huge difference, but it is just a small detail that points to the care with which these cameras are made. Holding an XSI and a K200d in your hand is night and day. It is pretty obvious that one is made for the consumer market with mass sales in mind.

Just so you don't think I am anti Canon, I was looking very hard at the K20d also. In my mind, there were just too many post about things with that camera that made me shy away from it. Being a brand new sensor, it might be that some of these issues are real and need to be worked out. I also own a Canon S5IS and it is a wonderful and fun camera that takes great pictures and I am glad I bought it and will continue to use it.

If live view is important to you, and you see yourself shooting a lot of pictures very fast, then maybe the K200d is not for you. Those things were not that important to me, so I choose the K200d. If the XSI would have had the same build quality as the K200d, it might have been a different story, or at least I would still be thinking on it instead of learning my new camera.

Al
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 02-12-2009, 05:00 AM  
Waiting On The Big Brown Truck
Posted By AGW
Replies: 9
Views: 1,082
LOL - that's funny - and sneaky - I like it LOL


AL
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 02-11-2009, 08:31 AM  
Waiting On The Big Brown Truck
Posted By AGW
Replies: 9
Views: 1,082
Thank you all for the warm welcome! The big brown truck brought my camera and one lens, the other is on the way still.

Time to sit down with a cup of coffee and read the manual with the camera in hand and then go see if my eyes and my head can cooperate so the camera sees what I do!

Thanks again.

Al
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