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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-12-2014, 02:58 PM  
Weird night behavior of pentax-a 50/1.7?
Posted By demp10
Replies: 9
Views: 800
Are you by any chance using a protective filter like UV? If you are, try it without, it may be the reflections from the filter.
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 03-11-2014, 11:14 AM  
Using a Computer Monitor for Live View?
Posted By demp10
Replies: 6
Views: 5,361
I have done it with my K-7 and K-3 and works very well especially for macro work. I used a HDMI cable to connect the camera to a 22” computer monitor and essentially view the rear camera LCD on the monitor.
Depending on your monitor connections you need the proper cables (e.g. standard HDMI, DVI, etc.). The cameras have mini or micro HDMI connections, so find the proper cable (e.g. mini to standard) and just plug it in.
Forum: Pentax K-3 03-07-2014, 02:32 PM  
Flucard impressions so far
Posted By demp10
Replies: 99
Views: 10,311
Can you specify also which card to use to download the file?

I normally save all .DNG files on card #1 and all the .JPG on card #2, and I think the FLU cards goes to slot #2.
Forum: Pentax K-3 03-07-2014, 01:15 PM  
Flucard impressions so far
Posted By demp10
Replies: 99
Views: 10,311
A ‘Pro’ usually does not wary about equipment; this is in the ‘enthusiast’ domain.

Was the expectation of this product to replace and hopefully improve the USB tethering software from the K10D era?
Forum: Pentax K-3 03-07-2014, 06:50 AM  
Flucard impressions so far
Posted By demp10
Replies: 99
Views: 10,311
The fundamental design flaw of this card for file transfers is that it operates as an access point. When your portable device connects to it, you are disconnected from your regular network (being a local one or the internet). Even if you are able to transfer your files, they must be stored locally on the portable device since you cannot map another drive in your regular network while connected to the camera. Unless you are using a laptop with real storage, your smartphone or tablet will have limited, if any, capacity to be worthwhile. You will have to transfer your files once more from the portable device (once disconnected from the camera) to your regular storage system being on your PC or on the cloud.


For all practical purposes it appears that this a WiFi remote control with live view with limited functionality as compared to using the camera in live view on its own. Any benefit of incorporating a smart device in the workflow (like accessing a web site for DOF) is negated once connected to the camera. Without an internet connection, your smart device is not that smart any longer.


The fact also that the embedded web server in the card does not support IE is mind boggling to me.
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-12-2013, 07:41 PM  
Himalaya - how to take photos of the stars
Posted By demp10
Replies: 11
Views: 1,151
Infinity point is where you set the focus ring so your lens is focused at infinity. All old lenses and some new ones (usually the more expensive) have distance scales with an infinity mark at one end. Some lenses (especially telephotos) allow focusing past the infinity mark to allow for temperature expansion.

With autofocus lenses, the distance scale is for the most part irrelevant, that's why is omitted from cheaper lenses.

Many lenses are perfectly calibrated to focus at infinity when their focusing ring is at the far end,but others are not. With normal distances and with smaller apertures where there is plenty of DOF, this is usually not an issue.

When photographing stars and using the lens wide open, correct focusing is necessary and cannot use autofocus, so you need to know where the true infinity marker on the lens is to get the sharpest possible image.
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-12-2013, 06:52 PM  
Himalaya - how to take photos of the stars
Posted By demp10
Replies: 11
Views: 1,151
Stars are point sources so aperture does not play a role in correct exposure, only ISO and shutter speed. Use as wide and as fast lens you can get and use it wide open.


One thing to remember is that the infinity point of many lenses is not necessarily at the infinity mark hard stop. It also changes with temperature. Best way to find out is to focus on something very far with enough light, like the moon, and note where the lens is at its sharpest. That will be your infinity point.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 12-12-2013, 09:47 AM  
Large Scale Mounting
Posted By demp10
Replies: 12
Views: 1,247
You cannot have a paper print uncovered or unprotected; it will not last very long even under the best conditions. Moisture, dust, pollen, mold all will take a toll.

If you print on matte paper then you can spay coat it with a protective layer that will be invisible but it will seal the print. Glossy papers are not that good for spray coating. They will also show reflections so you will have other issues to consider there.

For large prints you cannot use thin glass or Plexiglas because it will bend and create all sorts of distorted reflections. You are probably looking at 1/4 inch thickness that makes glass very heavy and difficult (and dangerous) to handle and work with it. Plexiglas will still be heavy also but it is a lot safer. Any frame you will use must be heavily reinforced to hold the weight. Some time ago we did 2 pieces for an office environment, one 24" x 72" and the other 44" x 60" both framed with 1/4 Plexi. We needed 3 people to lift and a large van to transport.

Another option to consider is to use Gatorfoam for backing and double-sided film to adhere the paper print on it. It must be done in cold laminator place where they have the equipment to do it without air bubbles. This approach is particularly useful if you are willing to slice the long panorama into panels and create a frameless installation with several smaller (and easier to handle) pieces.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 12-11-2013, 08:29 PM  
Large Scale Mounting
Posted By demp10
Replies: 12
Views: 1,247
Have you considered printing on canvas and stretching on standard stretcher bars?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-06-2013, 03:19 PM  
Logical lens upgrades beyond the kit lenses
Posted By demp10
Replies: 18
Views: 1,347
Have you analyzed your photos to see what focal lengths you use more often? Try a tool like Exposure Plot, it is quite revealing.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-05-2013, 10:19 AM  
Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 vs the Pentax DA 16-50 f/2.8
Posted By demp10
Replies: 9
Views: 4,046
At 18mm and F1.8 it will be very useful for night landscapes with stars in the sky, minimizing the need for long exposures and star trails. All the reviews indicate that it is very sharp even wide open at all focal lengths.


Looking forward to get it once available for K mount.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-05-2013, 10:06 AM  
DA 12-24 vs DA 15 vs Samyang 14?
Posted By demp10
Replies: 31
Views: 6,107
The Samyang (like any other ultra wide lens) is very easy to use in the field. Once you figure its infinity focus point (mine has it at the 2m mark on the distance scale), just set it there and close it to F5.6 or F8. Everything from a couple meters to infinity will be in focus. For typical landscapes no need to focus ever. For anything closer and critical, you can use Live view which is the only way to really nail focus on most lenses.


The easiest way to find the infinity point is to set the camera on a tripod, use 2sec delay, SR off, keep the lens wide open at F2.8 and take a series of shots of a stationary object in far distance (e.g. mountain top, buildings, etc.) at various points on the distance scale (end of infinity marker, start of infinity marker, 3m, 2m, 1.5m, etc.) and examine which is the sharpest. That is your infinity point.


This lens is very sharp corner to corner, something that very few wide angle lenses can claim. It is even usable wide open, but it is superb at 5.6 or 8.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-03-2013, 08:45 AM  
UWA Manual Landscape Lens
Posted By demp10
Replies: 12
Views: 1,194
I run a series of tests on mine and the infinity point was on the 2m marker on the distance scale. Once I determined that, for normal landscape settings, I use the lens at F5.6 or F8, set it to 2m and forget about focus. The DOF is great to cover all relevant distances.


The lens is very sharp corner to corner even at F2.8 if you nail focus.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-29-2013, 10:14 PM  
Wide Angle lens
Posted By demp10
Replies: 39
Views: 3,209
If you can wait for a few months, the Sigma 18-35 F1.8 will be available in Pentax mount. All reviews (for other mounts) are superlative. It is big and heavy, but for any serious landscape work, you will be using a tripod anyway. It is cheaper than the Pentax 20-40 and a lot faster.

Also, you should consider the Samyang (and all variants) 14 F2.8. It is manual focus and if you master it, it is an amazingly sharp lens corner to corner, something necessary for landscapes. The price is very attractive also.
Forum: Pentax K-3 11-29-2013, 03:40 PM  
Landscape/nature photographers only
Posted By demp10
Replies: 18
Views: 4,512
Processing an image, even if it was shot at 100 ISO, through a noise reduction software (like Topaz DeNoise) can produce spectacular results especially in large uniform areas like the sky and clouds where fine grain noise is always visible.


In the grand scheme, the camera contributes very little in the final image (assuming that you want a print). More than 70% of the effort will be in post processing and printing.
Forum: Pentax K-3 11-29-2013, 02:44 PM  
Raw-converter test
Posted By demp10
Replies: 14
Views: 3,791
Did you use the default parameters on each converter? If yes, then try to adjust them to get the best possible image and then compare the results.


The image on the left is clearly brighter that the others. If you try and adjust the highlights on the first, I am sure you will be able to see much more detail.
Forum: Pentax K-3 11-29-2013, 10:19 AM  
Landscape/nature photographers only
Posted By demp10
Replies: 18
Views: 4,512
First things first:
  • You will need a sturdy tripod and a remote release.

  • Set the camera in 2sec timer mode (it will turn off SR) and will flip the mirror before the exposure

  • Set the mode to Av (or to manual)

  • Use ISO 100 (or 200 if you use highlight correction)

  • Stop down the lens to F8; you can use anything between F5.6 and F11, but F8 for most lenses is the sweet spot.

  • Auofocus is not particularly useful unless you center-point focus on a particular point in the scene, then switch to manual focus and not touch the camera afterwards (remember if you are using a zoom lens the focus will change if you adjust the zoom level and you will have to refocus).

  • Use Live view if possible to really nail focus.

  • Take several exposures and view the histogram to make sure you are not clipping highlights or shadows; use exposure compensation as needed (or switch to manual) until you nail the exposure.

  • ALWAYS shoot RAW. There is no way that you can capture perfectly a complex landscape scene with a JPEG that allows only 8 bit of color data; RAW will give you 14 bits (about 6 stops of additional dynamic range) to use in post-processing.

  • Use post-processing software to “develop” your images (Lightroom is one of the best) and learn how to use it to its full potential.

Regarding the equipment (which for most landscape work is less important):

Either camera can produce great results. You will not be able to see any differences in noise or dynamic range at ISO 100 or 200. Lens choices will be rather easy; most lenses perform quite well at F8. You will need a lens that is sharp throughout the frame and of a focal length that is appropriate for you setting. Primes will produce sharper images but zooms will give more flexibility. You can start with a zoom, then analyze your shooting habits and then get one or more primes centered to your most popular focal lengths.

The bottom line is that all things being equal, more megapixels will give you the flexibility to print larger and / or to crop the image and still have enough pixels left. Unless budget is tight, go with the K-3.
Forum: Pentax K-3 11-23-2013, 01:42 PM  
Lens information missing in EXIF
Posted By demp10
Replies: 24
Views: 2,954
Thanks! The new version works much better. I can see all the EXIF data both from DNG and JPEG files.
Forum: Pentax K-3 11-23-2013, 10:06 AM  
Lens information missing in EXIF
Posted By demp10
Replies: 24
Views: 2,954
Lightroom 5.2 seems to read lens info fine from K-3 DNG files but not from in-camera JPEGs.

PhotoME misses the Lens name from both DNG and JPEG images. It also misses the entire "Manufacturer Notes" section, the one that provides info about the camera's build date, Shutter count, etc. The information is in the file since you can see it if you use the Pentax Forums tool.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-02-2013, 11:06 AM  
printing a large Canvas Question
Posted By demp10
Replies: 18
Views: 2,144
I have a K-7 and an EPSON 7600 printer (24" wide) and routinely print 24" x 36" on EPSON Canvas with excellent results (for gallery exhibits).

At that size, the image resolution is about 130 dpi and I use a separate printing/resampling application to upscale the images to 360 dpi before sending them to the printer which prints at 1440 dpi.

If you plan to send your images to an outside lab for printing, you should upscale them to their specs (usually at 300 dpi) using the best resampling algorithms your image processing software provides (most likely bi-cubic).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-29-2013, 06:12 PM  
Front cap for Bower 14mm lens
Posted By demp10
Replies: 4
Views: 783
You can get a 95mm metal hood for long telephotos, the one that is cylindrical (about 3'' long) and has 95mm threads in the front also. It slides nicely over the existing hood and you can attach any filters there. You will need to hold it though if you point the lens downwards to stay put.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-04-2013, 06:17 AM  
Show me your bad DA 15mm Limited Photos
Posted By demp10
Replies: 18
Views: 2,675
If you don't mind manual focus (and for landscapes you set it once and forget it), have you considered the Samyang 14mm F2.8?

If sharpness is your main concern, this is a very sharp lens edge to edge even wide open at F2.8. It is superb at 5.6 and 8.

It does have its issues, heavy and bulky, no filter threads and miss-calibrated distance scale on many samples, but in terms or image quality and price is unbeatable.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-22-2013, 06:47 AM  
Bower 14mm f/2.8 question
Posted By demp10
Replies: 4
Views: 822
You can get a 95mm metal telephoto cylindrical hood with front threads (Sonia makes one that is 3" long) and slide it over the lens. You can attach any 95mm filter on it. There are a couple mm of play between the extra hood and the build in hood, but if the lens is not pointed down you can just rest it over. If pointed down you must hold it to prevent from sliding out.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-22-2013, 06:40 AM  
Need Lens Profiling help for LR3
Posted By demp10
Replies: 4
Views: 773
You can use the Adobe Lens Profile Creator (free download from Adobe) and build a profile for you lens. You can load that profile in Lightroom to do lens corrections.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 08-22-2013, 06:35 AM  
Trigger flash faster than 1/160??
Posted By demp10
Replies: 26
Views: 2,287
Given that the t1 time for most flashes in full power is in the range 1/500 to 1/1000, firing both the camera and the flash with external means (e.g. remote triggers, etc.) should work. Adding a delay unit to the flash trigger signal, will allow fine tuning down to the msec. One issue though will be exposure consistency. The flash output is not linear; it goes up very quickly and then decays gradually. At high speed, the shutter is not fully open, so each section will be exposed at different levels that may be several stops apart.

Perhaps at very high shutter speeds (over 1/1000) and with careful delay timing to get the peak of the flash output, the difference will be small.

I have a trigger delay device to photograph water droplets (which works great) so I'll give it a try when I have some time and see if it will work with high speed shutter.
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