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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-18-2017, 01:28 PM  
Another dilemma: I will need a zoom lens in the 70-200mm range ... Relatively Cheap !
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 37
Views: 3,252
Are you sure you need such a long lens for those venues? I'm not a pro by any means, but to me, anything longer than 50mm starts to feel cramped indoors. I would think your 16-50 would be all you'd need. If you really do want something longer, I'd recommend the DA 50-200. I'm guessing that your clients aren't going to be very discerning. And IMHO, the 50-200 is actually an underrated lens. It's cheap, light, small, and the IQ is decent. And it's WR, in case you get splashed near the pool. :-)
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 12-23-2016, 04:15 PM  
Silkypix, Anyone use/reccommend it?
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 21
Views: 3,086
I tried Silkypix once. ONCE. (Johnny Dangerously reference)
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 09-14-2016, 04:39 AM  
Bastille Day at the Eiffel Tower
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 3
Views: 596
Thanks - I could have cropped out the foreground objects (and actually, I have a few good shots without them at all), but for some reason I like them - probably because it reminds me of where we were when the shot was taken. Standing on a bridge over the Seine, with thousands of other people, all enjoying the show. For some reason it seems like a shot of the tower all by itself would be too abstract.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 08-05-2016, 06:24 AM  
Bastille Day at the Eiffel Tower
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 3
Views: 596
As we watched the amazing fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower, we had no idea what was happening a few hundred miles away in Nice. Godspeed to all those who lost their lives that night, and peace and comfort be with their loved ones. Paris was safe, and it was a real blessing to be a part of the celebration.

I managed to catch this shot handheld with the kit DA-L 50-200mm lens on my K-S2.
Forum: Pentax K-70 06-30-2016, 12:59 PM  
K-70 makes a difficult decision even harder
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 20
Views: 4,478
So I had a chance to re-shoot the Milky Way behind the lightpole on the Harwich Jetty on Cape Cod, using my new K-S2 and O-GPS1. I think the results are very promising!

Harwich Jetty

It's not perfect, but this was literally the first day I spent with the K-S2, so I was still very much in learning mode. It's really not that different from the K-30, K-01 and even my old K-r, but any little change is significant, especially when fumbling around in the dark! I also realized after I got there and got set up, that the battery in my remote control had died! So the milky way portion of this combined picture was literally taken with me holding my finger on the shutter button for about a minute and a half with the camera in bulb mode! Still, the galactic core looks pretty good to my eye. With a bit more practice, I'm sure I can do even better.

So far I love the camera. Biggest improvement over the K-30 is the articulating LCD screen. I used to think that an articulating screen was for wimps, but oh boy was I wrong. I is soooo convenient sometimes! The following shot I literally could not have gotten without it, because in order to get the framing I wanted, I had to position the camera on my backpack, which was wedged down low, between two boulders. It would have been really hard to see the LCD screen if I hadn't been able to swing it out and tilt it up:

Paine's Creek, Brewster

The K-S2's extra resolution and filterless AA are noticeable when pixel peeping. I haven't had the chance to compare shot for shot with the K-30 or K-01 yet, but I'm pretty sure that the detail I see when zooming in during post processing is quite a bit better than I've seen before.
Forum: Pentax K-70 06-20-2016, 12:57 PM  
K-70 makes a difficult decision even harder
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 20
Views: 4,478
Thanks for the info - I ended up getting a really good deal on a K-S2 from B&H - I don't know if I can post the price here, but it was very reasonable and included the new 18-50 kit lens and the flash. I don't actually need either of those, so I'll probably sell them and recoup some of my money. :-) Considering I can now sell the K-30 as well, this will be a pretty inexpensive camera upgrade. I also sprung for the O-GPS1... don't tell the Mrs.! I'm really dying to try the Astrotracer functionality. We're going down to Cape Cod this weekend and I know of a few good places that are at least reasonably dark and afford a view of the Milky Way to the South. Looks like the weather should be clear and the moon won't be rising until a few hours after the sun sets, so hopefully conditions will be perfect. I already have something to compare it to. The picture below was taken with my K-01 (same sensor as the K-30), with no Astrotracer:

Harwich Jetty

It took quite a bit of tweaking to get the image this far. Light pollution in the area certainly doesn't help. It will be interesting to see what the K-S2 and O-GPS1 can do with this same subject.

The Cape should be a good dry run for our big trip to Europe. Caliscouser, here's what's in my lens stable at the moment:

Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM (Great lens, but a bit heavy, so I'm not really looking forward to lugging it around!)
Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED
Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 AL
Samyang 14mm F2.8 ED AS IF UMC

I guess I'd have to include the new 18-50 kit lens too, since it is going to be coming to me soon with the new K-S2. Technically, I could take all of these... but I'm aware of the need to pack light. If I were smart, I'd probably leave the Sigma at home in favor of the much smaller and much lighter kit lens. But the Siggy is a really great piece of glass and I'd hate to leave it behind. I could also leave the Samyang behind, but that's just such a fun lens that I'll probably end up taking it anyway. So that leaves the D-FA 50 and the DA 35. Technically I've got that focal range covered... but they are the two smallest lenses I have! And most of my filters are 49mm. Decisions, decisions!

Thanks again for all the info and opinions everyone!
Forum: Pentax K-70 06-13-2016, 12:29 PM  
K-70 makes a difficult decision even harder
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 20
Views: 4,478
Wow, I'm glad I asked, thank you everybody for your replies! I honestly just spent the past 15 minutes reading ALL of your responses 3 and 4 times and letting the words sink in. And like I said, I'm glad I asked, because you folks have helped me narrow the field. RGlasel makes an excellent point about the potential for me kicking myself down the line if I spend big now, only to watch Pentax come out with something even more awesome a few months down the line. So I guess the K-3 II is out of the running. And BigDavePhoto is probably right that the timeline for the K-70 is cutting it too close to our trip. So that narrows it down to the K-S2 and the K-3, with the possibility of buying a (preferably used) O-GPS1 unit just in case I get lucky and conditions are right for some Milky Way shots, with the possibility of reselling it upon our return.

So OK, I'll poke around for the next week or so and see if there are any compelling deals on a K-3, and if not, go with the K-S2.

Thanks again everyone - this was most helpful!
Forum: Pentax K-70 06-13-2016, 09:06 AM  
K-70 makes a difficult decision even harder
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 20
Views: 4,478
Your thoughts and comments are appreciated, my fellow Pentaxians. We're going on a big trip to Europe on July 12th, and I had planned a camera upgrade before we go. I had been debating between the K-S2, K-3, and K-3 II, but now I have a 4th option - the K-70! The fiscally responsible side of my brain tells me what I should do, which is to buy the K-S2, because it is affordable and still a sweet camera. But I'm lured by the other options as well. The two main factors that concern me are:

1) Resolution, with respect to cost. I'd like to make some large prints when we get home, so resolution is very important to me. BUT... if the real-world resolution of the 24 mp sensor is only marginally better than the 20 mp sensor in the K-S2, then it would be hard to justify the extra cost.

2) Low light performance, also with respect to cost. I have decided to not bring a flash on the trip, so I'll be working exclusively with ambient light. Some indoors, plenty outdoors, some evening/night shots. So low light performance is important, but then again, I really have to keep an eye on the budget.

3) Astrotracer. I would LOVE to come back with a few milky way shots with castles or something in the foreground. Haven't used Astrotracer before, but I'd be anxious to try. The caveat here is that because of moonrise/set, I'm only going to get a couple of nights to try it anyway, and if the weather on those nights doesn't cooperate, then I may not be able to try it at all. I'm aware that the K-3 II is not the only camera with this feature - for that matter, I can buy an O-GPS1 and stick it on my current K-30 if I really wanted to save money! So I don't know how important Astrotracer will be, nor even really how well it works.

Decisions, decisions... Part of it depends on when the K-70 will begin shipping. The release dates just say July, but WHEN in July? Would it arrive before we leave on the 12th? Any advice is appreciated!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-12-2016, 01:56 PM  
Thinking about buying a DA 35mm f:2.4 AL
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 34
Views: 3,072
If I had to pick one lens with which to be stuck on a desert island, it would be the 35/2.4.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-06-2016, 12:26 PM  
Stupid me :-)
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 16
Views: 1,608
Luftluss, thank you for bringing a little humor to my day! I'm still chuckling! :-)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-14-2015, 01:04 PM  
All-around mountain lens dilemma
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 53
Views: 4,459
The Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 HSM really is a great lens. Apart from some vignetting at the low end, it is a stellar performer, optically. True, it's not weather sealed, and admittedly, it's heavy. But it's pretty awesome. Have you considered adding just one more lens to your walkabout bag? I've found the DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR to be a good performer, especially for the price. It would be a good and affordable way to cover the long end of your focal range. It's a very likable lens, and doesn't take up much space or weight.
Forum: Winners' Showcase 10-09-2015, 07:57 AM  
September, 2015 Winner: Yaquina Head Lighthouse
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 43
Views: 4,282
Very nice!
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 10-09-2015, 07:54 AM  
Clouds over Boston
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 10
Views: 967
Love it!
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 10-09-2015, 07:53 AM  
Night Sky
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 4
Views: 477
Lovely!
Forum: Winners' Showcase 10-09-2015, 07:52 AM  
September, 2015 Runner-up: In the Misty City Park
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 58
Views: 3,742
Nice shot.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 10-09-2015, 07:52 AM  
Urban stars.
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 6
Views: 666
Nominated.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 10-09-2015, 07:20 AM  
-MidNight Blue-
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 6
Views: 596
Neat perspective.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 10-09-2015, 07:19 AM  
Lighting the milky Way.
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 12
Views: 1,057
Love this!
Forum: General Photography 08-26-2015, 08:32 AM  
Photos you couldn't have taken without Weather Resistance
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 37
Views: 4,477
Raining like the dickens and a 40 mph or so wind coming in off the water at the Portland Head Lighthouse. I didn't worry about my K-30, but the widest lens I had with me which had any semblance of weather rating was my DA 35mm f/2.4, which is rated at "AL" and not "WR." And I was a little worried about water seeping in at the mount. My wife held an umbrella which kept peeling back every few seconds in the wind. Camera and lens were pretty much drenched the whole time in a mix of rain and salt spray, but after drying out and cleaning they were good as new. The bigger problem was water spots. In order to get the framing I wanted with the 35mm lens and fewest water spots, I had to blast away a whole bunch of shots, then stitch them together later. Then clean up more water spots in post!

Portland Head Lighthouse by Brion Keagle, on Flickr
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-21-2015, 09:03 AM  
Portrait lens
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 33
Views: 3,041
Both great options. You'll be very happy with either one.

One thing to think about is what else you're going to be doing with the lens once your portrait gig is over. What I'm getting at is that (in my opinion, at least), 35mm is a more useful focal length on APS-C than 50mm for general walkabout, vacation, family photos, etc.. 50 just feels too tight sometimes, especially for landscapes. Even for family group portraits, I'd prefer the 35mm 2.4.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-21-2015, 07:51 AM  
Portrait lens
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 33
Views: 3,041
I'm glad Stevebrot made his points so well because now I don't feel so strange in making an unconventional recommendation - the DA 35mm f/2.4. It is really cheap, and surprisingly wonderful for portraits, especially in close quarters and/or indoors. It is an incredibly versatile lens and very sharp, especially for the price. Or, if you can handle manual focus, check out the 50mm A f/1.7. Another of my favorite lenses and also quite affordable.

Really though, I'm no pro portrait shooter, but in my humble experience I'd recommend worrying less about exactly which lens to buy and instead worrying about how you are going to light your subjects. Soft box? Strobes? Natural? Etc. etc. Lenses are important, but proper lighting makes all the difference in portraits.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-02-2014, 06:21 AM  
Cookie Trail
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 2
Views: 1,084
Nom, nom, nom, nom "nominated" he said with a mouth full of cookies.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-02-2014, 06:19 AM  
Apple Pie Please!
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 5
Views: 1,052
Nominated!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-24-2014, 10:34 AM  
Photokina 2014: Ricoh confirm full frame camera is coming in 2015
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 671
Views: 95,620
Looks nice, but I'm not a big fan of touchscreens. And it's not FF. I know, I know, I'm fussy. :-)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-24-2014, 09:56 AM  
Photokina 2014: Ricoh confirm full frame camera is coming in 2015
Posted By pericombobulation
Replies: 671
Views: 95,620
If Pentax wants to set themselves apart, I think they should go for a larger LCD, not necessarily a tilting LCD. Think about it - why is it that practically every camera on the market has an LCD that is around 3" or less? It makes no sense, especially on a MILC, where the LCD is the only tool you have for composing the scene. I know we all want smaller cameras, but I for one would like a bigger LCD. Much bigger! I think it is possible to make a small camera with a huge screen - you just have to move all the buttons to the top (or even the sides or front), so that every square millimeter on the back is LCD real estate.

My dream is a full-frame K-02 with a giant LCD. It would be unique and might be a good niche for Pentax. Picture a camera shaped like a roll of 110 film (when viewed from above). The tubes on the sides are of course symmetrical, so it would be easy to grip with one hand OR with 2 hands, for righties OR lefties. Dual batteries could go in the tubes. All the buttons up top. And a giant LCD screen on the back. I think landscapers would love it, and it should be great in a studio too. My $0.02. Just dreaming.
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