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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-17-2013, 10:41 PM  
What lenses/gear do you still have from when you started?
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 54
Views: 4,277
I've not used it in a few years, but I still have the MX, M50/1.7 and M200/4.0 I got back in 1979.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-17-2013, 10:39 PM  
Hawaii trip - what to photograph
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 29
Views: 2,500
I recall an old lighthouse on the road that goes up towards the northeast end of the island that was fun to check out. I don't have any of them scanned, but it did make for some nice shots.
Forum: General Talk 03-02-2013, 06:52 PM  
Update Number *Seventeen* from my Afghan Deployment (**FINAL UPDATE**)
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 25
Views: 4,645
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-22-2013, 10:55 PM  
Post Your Fujifilm X100/X10 Pictures
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 4,931
Views: 441,662
Another from the X100, f/2.0 at ISO 1600.

Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-02-2013, 12:08 AM  
Where To Buy In San Diego, CA
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 4
Views: 1,139
Nelson's Photo, on India Street in the Little Italy section of San Diego, has a large selection of bags.

About the only other option for a real camera store, also with a large collection of bags, is George's, on 30th Street, just off University Ave.

Both are good stores.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-25-2013, 10:43 PM  
Post Your Fujifilm X100/X10 Pictures
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 4,931
Views: 441,662
I picked up an X100 right before Christmas, and really like it. It's the perfect compliment to my usual travel setup of K-5 and DA Limiteds. Here are a few from the San Diego Museum of Art. So far I'm using it primarily either in Aperture Priority or Auto, and often in Auto-ISO, to get the feel for how it handles things.

With all the sounds turned off, you can't even hear it go off.

These were all shot in jpg, with minimal post-processing Aperture.

I'm really liking this camera. It won't replace an SLR, but for certain things I like it a lot better.
Forum: General Talk 12-30-2012, 07:41 PM  
Update Number *Sixteen* from my Afghan Deployment
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 40
Views: 8,117
Thank You!

Best wishes to all of you over there.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-30-2012, 11:49 PM  
DA40 Ltd cheaper than DA40 xs, any reason ...
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 23
Views: 4,068
Does the XS have the quick shift focus like the LTD? If not, that is reason enough to get the LTD. For me, the DA40 LTD is one of my most used lenses, and I have the 15, 21 and 70 also. If I'm traveling really light, it's often only the DA40 LTD.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-17-2012, 11:32 PM  
France Study Abroad
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 33
Views: 2,710
I'm going to throw out a completely different idea here.

I just took a quick look at your Zenfolio gallery. Very nice stuff in there. And, after looking at it and seeing the type of shots you've taken, I like my idea even more.

For the amount you plan to spend on the lens rental, just go out and buy a DA40 Limited, and travel light. You'll love the quality of the images, and you really won't miss the extra weight and bulk of those big lenses, not to mention always trying to keep track of that much stuff. If you must, toss the 55-300 in your suitcase, for occasional long shots.
Forum: General Talk 08-29-2012, 10:15 PM  
Should We Build a Death Star?
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 25
Views: 1,942
I know this is an old thread I've stumbled on - but now I'm wondering if perhaps I missed something. Did something get changed from the original version of the movie to a later release? Is it the bounty hunter scene in the bar in the first movie maybe?

Thanks in advance for enlightening me.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-29-2012, 10:06 PM  
Which lens do I take with me to a convention?
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 23
Views: 3,511
This is not directed at the person quoted - but I'm wondering something. People often say to "take the DA40, it's so small it fits in a tiny pocket and you won't notice it". So, I'm wondering - if you're not carrying a bag, where do you put the big zoom when you're using the DA40? I doubt it will fit in very many pockets.

By the way - the DA40 is one of my favorite lenses, and often my first choice when I only want one lens.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-26-2012, 12:42 PM  
DA40 sharpness at infinity
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 12
Views: 2,205
I use my DA40 quite a lot as a travel-sightseeing lens. Of the 4 I generally carry when traveling (15, 21, 40, 70) I would guess that the 40 gets most use. I had to hunt around for a few shots that I was pretty sure were focused at infinity, but I'm pretty sure this one was. Most likely I focused on the clouds. It mIght not be the best for judging, but the objects in the far distance do look sharp to me.

K-5, DA40, 1/500 at f/6.3, ISO 100, -1.3EV, handheld. Shot as jpg, sharpened in Aperture.

Here is a similar shot that I'm pretty sure was focused on the building in the distance, which would be infinity on that lens.

K-5, DA40, 1/30 at f/5.0, ISO 100, -1.3EV, handheld. Shot as jpg, sharpened in Aperture.

Looking at these 2 in the preview panel they come fairly small. If you want to see them larger (but still downsized a lot from the original) you can go to this SmugMug gallery.

As for which lens (the DA40 or DA70) is more versatile, if I could only pick one it would be the DA40. In fact, when I want to travel really light it is all I take.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-25-2012, 05:23 PM  
Do I Really Need Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 Lens?
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 27
Views: 4,531
I do a fair amount of sort-of-wildlife photos - at the San Diego Zoo mostly. I often have both a 300/4 and an 80-200/2.8 with me, but really, the 80-200/2.8 rarely comes out. Every now and then I find the 300 to be too long (and mine is somewhat ancient, with an almost 10" minimum focus distance), but I'm generally too lazy to change and just make due. For what you describe, especially if you are actually out in the field versus a zoo, the longer lenses suggested will likely serve you better.

That said, a 70 or 80-200/2.8 is a nice lens to have. I really like mine on an APS-C sensor too. It's a nice range of focal lengths. Mine works great with an old 1.4x teleconverter too.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-15-2012, 10:09 PM  
Switching from the K-5 to D7000; Am I overreacting?
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 131
Views: 15,408
I actually have both a Nikon D7000 and a Pentax K-5, so I can offer a few thoughts. I use the 2 cameras for totally different things.

The Nikon is used almost exclusively with a couple of older AF-D lenses, the 300 f/4.0 ED-IF and the 80-200 f/2.8,but it get used a lot. Each weighs about 3 pounds, and I generally shoot them handheld (as I did on the F100 film camera for many years), or more recently with a rather heavy Bogen monopod. Why the Nikon? Well, I bought the lenses a long time ago (late 90's) but did not sell my Nikon film gear when I switched to digital in mid-2007 with Pentax. The Nikon lenses sat in a cabinet until early 2011 when I noticed the D7000 was (a) not too expensive and (b) would autofocus the AF-D lenses. I had been looking at D100, D200 and D300 as each came out, but never wanted to spend that kind of money for something that was going to be so big I knew I would never take it traveling.

The Pentax is used primarily for travel / sightseeing / general-wandering-around-type photos. I really like the DA Limiteds for a compact travel package. I can carry a K-5, DA15, DA21, DA40, DA70 (and a DA35 Macro or FA 50/1.4 if I don't mind a tight fit) in a Domke F5-XB that can then fit inside a non-descript North Face day-pack. I've tried traveling and sightseeing with zooms, but I like to carry my camera in my hand, a zoom lens just makes it too awkward and uncomfortable for me. I also keep an older body with the DA16-45 for off-road trips to the desert or other places or situations where I don't want to be changing lenses.

Is one better than the other?

I can't tell a difference in the AF, but then I don't shoot sports with either. You can see what I shoot by looking at my blog. All of the zoo shots since Feb 2011 have been with the Nikon and the old AF-D lenses. No focusing problems that I can think of. All of the travel, exploring and sightseeing type shots have been with Pentax (although the K-5 only goes back to about last fall; K7 or K20D before that). No focusing problems that I can think of.

But - In my opinion there are some areas where ergonomics of the Nikon D7000 really sucks. A big one for me is the switch used to change from AF-S to AF-C, and also the one that changes the AF pattern (but don't use that as much, generally center point only, and move it as needed with the rear pad). But changing from AF-S to AF-C is a real pain when you need one hand to hold a heavy lens like the 300 or 80-200. It would be no big deal with smaller lighter lenses. I don't trust holding the body with both hands and letting those big lenses just hang out there while trying to fiddle with that tiny button on the side of the camera.

Another area that really sucks on the Nikon, at least when comparing to Pentax, is changing WB. I shoot only in jpg, and sometimes want to see what a change in WB will do. Pentax is great for that. I takes the last photo you took and shows what the change will look like. With the D7000 I have to first put on my reading glasses, then remember what the little icons mean, and then guess as to whether or not it will do what I like. The work-around: luckily Nikon AWB is pretty close to what I like for the mostly outdoor shots I take with the D7000. That might not work for everyone.

I like to shoot in Aperture Priority, and change ISO as needed to get a shutter speed I'm comfortable with. Very easy on the Pentax - front dial changes Aperture, and rear dial changes ISO. Normally on a Nikon you need two hands to change ISO (again, that's ok if you've got someone else handy to hold that heavy lens for you). Luckily the D7000 can be re-programmed to allow front dial to control Aperture and rear to control ISO, so now I can have the 2 cameras set up to almost handle the same. At an air show last year I carried both, and it was no problem moving back and forth between them. Only occasionally did I accidentally change the metering pattern on the D7000 when I thought I was changing Exposure Compensation. The placement of the buttons is reversed on the two bodies. Of course, on the Nikon that meant digging out the reading glasses to be able to see on the tiny top-deck LCD if I had put back to Matrix.
Forum: Lens Clubs 08-06-2012, 10:28 PM  
The 15mm Limited controls my mind - club
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 11,601
Views: 2,026,903
Does this work as a portrait? Needless to say, this is heavily cropped.

The girls promoting the movie Iron Sky, at Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego last month. I was trying for a shot of the whole line (maybe 20 of them) but they wound up all looking in different directions and I had to grab this fast. I was pretty close to these 2. I guess that's one of the benefits of using a 15 for portraits. You definitely get to interact with your models.

There is more Comic-Con stuff on my blog, much of it with the DA15.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-31-2012, 11:16 PM  
LBA again - my next prime lens?
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 18
Views: 2,153
I think you'll find that you can use the 15 for a lot more than sweeping landscapes. I actually prefer to use something that wide for near-far compositions. For me, at least, it's often too wide outdoors, unless there are some really dramatic clouds. Here are a few recent examples that are certainly not sweeping landscapes.

Inside the San Diego Museum of Art recently.

At Comic-Con in San Diego a couple of weeks ago. This is actually a pretty heavy crop, since what I originally intended did not work as I had hoped for. The lens is good enough that you can crop like this.

Just for reference, here's the full frame that the crop above was cut from.

Overall, the DA15 can be a pretty versatile lens. Of course, that said, I do really like the DA21 as well.
Forum: Photographic Technique 07-23-2012, 10:37 PM  
Copying transparencies to digital - best technique?
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 14
Views: 6,517
I've got 30 or so years of slides, and don't have the patience (or money) for a real slide scanner. So, I went about it in a slightly different way.

That's a DA35 Macro on a K20D, pointed at a daylight-balanced light box covered with black construction paper with a rudimentary cut-out for the subject slide. I'm probably not the most meticulous person, so someone with more attention to detail could probably do a better job. In any event, this setup has worked well for my purposes. Here are some examples. I shoot only in jpg, generally on the Bright setting. These were all shot before I got Aperture, back when I was using iPhoto, so they were probably only cropped a tiny bit to correct sloppy placement on the lightbox, and maybe sharpened up a bit. Auto white balance, aperture priority around f/6.3 or so, ISO usually 200, center autofocus point.

Kodachrome 64 slide, originally shot in June 1980 with a Pentax MX and an M 200/4.

Ektachrome Slide, originally shot in May 2000 with a Pentax ZX-5n and probably an A 50/1.4.

There are more examples in these two SmugMug galleries:

Various from Europe.

From US and Canada.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-22-2012, 05:17 PM  
Ever feel like you were born too late to get the good shots?
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 22
Views: 2,586
I thought this was a camera forum not a gun forum.

On a more serious note - depending on where you live you might try to find an informal camera club like the one I hang out with in San Diego. It's not one of those competitive clubs with meetings and slide shows, instead we meet up at least once a month someplace in town and take pictures for a morning. Then we share our results on a website. For me, the result has been that I've gone to places it would never have occurred to me to go before (thinking they would be boring), and let me see other people's ways of viewing the same thing that I saw. One of the more common comments when we get back from some location is "why didn't I see that?".

For anyone in San Diego (or nearby) the club is:
Forum: Lens Clubs 07-22-2012, 11:51 AM  
The 15mm Limited controls my mind - club
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 11,601
Views: 2,026,903
Here's a shot from last weekend at Comic-Con in San Diego, with the DA15, that is cropped heavily.

Here's the full frame it was cropped from.

There are more Comic-Con images on my blog.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-27-2012, 09:49 PM  
Looking for a "Compartment Separator" sleeve for a messenger bag
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 13
Views: 2,758
Snake - I enjoyed looking at your blog. You have some nice shots on there.
Forum: Pentax K-5 06-27-2012, 09:34 PM  
K-5 purchased! (and a DA15 weehaw)
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 21
Views: 2,139
I use 8GB cards in my K5, and always have a few on hand. They hold a reasonable amount of shots, without risking an entire trip on just one card. I think I get about 5-600 shots on a card (only shoot jpg, no raw). I don't trust the idea of just having one huge card for a multi-day trip. Around town just playing, I never fill the single 8GB that's in the camera.

Cards are cheap, have more than one.
Forum: Pentax K-5 06-27-2012, 09:26 PM  
Should I regret??
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 32
Views: 3,793
I would say go enjoy your new camera (if you haven't already). Realistically, how many lenses were you planning to buy in the near future? Why care about the price of lenses you personally aren't planning to buy? By the time you do get ready to buy more lenses a lot of things could change.
Forum: General Talk 05-28-2012, 10:39 PM  
Update Number *Seven* of my Afghan Deployment
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 18
Views: 6,592
Thanks. And that's not just for the pictures and updates.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-24-2012, 10:40 PM  
Cityscape Name that City
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 20
Views: 1,165
You beat me to it (Vancouver). Not many hills near Miami.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-24-2012, 10:38 PM  
Cityscape Name that City
Posted By Frank B
Replies: 20
Views: 1,165
#1 looks like Paris.
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