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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-17-2019, 06:07 PM  
Leaving Pentax
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 71
Views: 7,584
Are you kidding me? I once mentioned I had an item for sale and the moderators were quick to issue me a "citation" for violation of terms. (PM: "A rule reminder from the moderators: Mention of an available camera technically constitutes a sales solicitation, so I've deleted your message.") And here we have an Administrator apparently doing the same thing? Double standard?

BTW, I spent most of today photographing my Pentax gear so I can post it for sale (not on this site). I will keep my Pentax film cameras (2 MX bodies and 5 lenses), but I am switching to Fuji for digital because their APS-C cameras have replaced Pentax as the go-to supplier for smaller, lightweight cameras that punch above their weight. Carrying my K-3, I felt like I was geared up for a National Geographic assignment which was overkill for hiking the trails, city streets, vacation shooting, or just taking a few snaps on walkabout.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-12-2019, 04:34 PM  
B&W Lab Recommendation
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 25
Views: 1,490
Thanks, especially for mentioning Process One. For those of us who live in the middle of the country, it's good to find some labs closer to home. Their prices are good, and I like the fact that you can send them just about anything: E6, C41 or monochrome in Kodak X-Tol, 135 or 120. But what about quality? And have you seen any scans done by Process One?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-10-2019, 12:14 PM  
B&W Lab Recommendation
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 25
Views: 1,490
Not b&w, but I recently had Dwayne's develop and scan some Portra 160 color neg film. The negatives looked fine, but I did not care for the scans done by Dwayne's. If examined at 100% pixel magnification, there were some kind of speckled, grainy artifacts present. When I rescanned the same negs on my home scanner, the images were much better, so I'm pretty sure the gritty speckles were somehow introduced by Dwayne's scanning or digital processing.

I have used Dwayne's in the past - a lot - for E6, which was fine. But if you want scans, I would suggest testing a roll first and look at it close.

I did find one lab which mentions the type of developer they normally use, and they give you option to use some others, as well:
Photolab (Photolaboratory), Berkeley, CA
High Quality Film processing at Photolab
... says their Standard b&w processing is in Kodak Xtol, but they also offer "Special" b&w processing in Acufine, Rodinal, or HC110
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-10-2019, 10:06 AM  
B&W Lab Recommendation
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 25
Views: 1,490
This is a good suggestion, especially for those of a certain age. A friend who teaches photography at a nearby state university told me about a program for "seniors" (over age 62) who can enroll in one course per semester - for free!

Tomorrow I hope to enroll in her Medium Format Photography class. I have been thinking about getting a 645 or 6x6 film camera, and now I can get some hands-on experience with several models as provided by the school.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-09-2019, 11:48 PM  
B&W Lab Recommendation
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 25
Views: 1,490
After not shooting any B&W for 40-plus years, I just started shooting mono in my old Pentax MX(s) again. I have collected a small list of labs recommended by members of another forum. I haven't tried any of these yet, but I trust the folks who say these labs are good:

The Darkroom, San Clemente, CA,
The Darkroom | 35mm Film Developing by Mail

Richard Photo Lab, Los Angeles,
Richard Photo Lab

Photolab (Photolaboratory), Berkeley, CA
High Quality Film processing at Photolab

Precision Photo, Austin, TX
B&W Film Processing- 35mm

For my first few rolls of b&w I have been trying out something different - there is a lab in Stuart, Iowa called DR5 that can develop many standard b&w films (but not all) as positives. That is, b&w "chromes" or slides. If you plan to scan the film rather than making prints in a chemical darkroom, DR5 claims their reversal process has several advantages compared to the same films developed as negatives (finer grain, wider dynamic range, higher D-max, etc). You probably don't want to fall in love with b&w positives if you plan on home developing because I doubt dr5's propritary process can be duplicated at home. And there are very few other options for b&w positives in the US.

Be warned, DR5's website is Not Pretty. In fact, it's almost laughably bad. But if you want to check it out, this page is as good a place to start as any
... and these two pages show some comparisons to conventional processing
dr5 CHROME - Black and White transparency process + THE ONLY RELIABLE SCALA PROCESSING WORLDWIDE
dr5 CHROME - Black and White transparency process + THE ONLY RELIABLE SCALA PROCESSING WORLDWIDE

I have no affiliation; not even really recommending them because my experiece is still very limited. Anyway, like I said, it's something different.

Ilford HP5 Plus developed as positives by dr5 and home scanned on my old Minolta film scanner; post processed in Photoshop:

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-02-2019, 08:01 PM  
Pentax Bellows and Slide Duplicator What am I doing wrong?
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 31
Views: 2,276
There is a link for EXIF data just above the posted image - indicates ss = 1/10th second, but does not include f-stop.

If the image looks sharp through the viewfinder, then I can think of only a few explanations:
1. motion blur
2. focus calibration is not accurate for this combination
3. dirty/damaged sensor
I assume the camera works normally without the bellows (?) which would rule out #3

To check #2 you could set up a scene with more front-to-back depth - lay a hair comb flat and shoot it lengthwise to see if there is anything in focus, even if the focus is not where you would expect it.

I can't think of anyway to prove that the problem is due to motion blur, but the solutions for preventing it have already been mentioned - faster shutter speed, solid setup (tripod, slide holder, etc), mirror lockup, use time delay or shutter release, etc. Also, be sure shake reduction is turned off for tripod shots.

Unlikely, but possible: maybe some kind of "special effects" filters have been accidently applied either in camera or when imported into Photoshop? Rule out by checking a RAW exposure.

As for the lens, I have read a dozen posts on several forums where people have used cheap zoom lenses to photograph slides, and the results were far better than this. Whatever the problem, I'm pretty sure it is not due to the lens, alone. Also, if the problem was a combination of film curvature and too shallow depth of field, that would be seen through the viewfinder, right?

---------- Post added 01-02-19 at 09:15 PM ----------

Final thought. Are you focusing with aperture wide open, then manually rotating the aperture to the correct f-stop before taking the exposure? Or does your rig automatically stop down at the time of exposure? Or are you trying to focus with the lens stopped down?
Forum: General Photography 12-27-2018, 01:44 PM  
Full frame vs the rest, can you see it?
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 50
Views: 3,547
One specification which is often overlooked when picking the better of two cameras is measured between the photographer's ears.

Pop Quiz

Given the choice, would you rather
a. own the perfect camera?
b. make the perfect photo?

My present camera is limiting my ability to take better photos because ________________________________ .

A better camera will enable me to finally take photos good enough to
a. sell to National Geographic
b. get a million hits on my YouTube blog
c. put on my Mom's refrigerator

If Camera A is "good enough" - and Camera B is "better" - how much more would you pay for camera B?

The other photographers kick sand in your face on the beach. To get the respect you deserve, are you going to
a. start working out?
b. buy a bigger camera?
c. start taking better pictures?

Circle one:
True False I may not know art, but I know an expensive camera when I see one.
True False I plan to start trying to take better photos as soon as my collection of cameras and lenses is complete.
True False My collection of cameras and lenses will never be complete.

The bigger the sensor, the smaller the __________________.

Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-24-2018, 11:34 AM  
shooting in black and white
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 10
Views: 1,094
In other words, the RAW file itself cannot be edited - but it can be used as a basis for editing, and the resulting edits can be saved as some other kind of file: JPG, TIF, etc. You can shoot RAW+JPG and have the camera do the conversion from RAW to a b&w JPG - and/or - you can import the RAW file into your editing software and do the conversion from RAW to b&w yourself. Either way, the RAW file is unchanged, and the b&w edits apply only to a new file.

If you are happy with the b&w JPGs produced by your camera, that's great! And if your camera is set to take monochrome JPGs it offers the additional advantage of being able to preview/review in monochrome on the camera's LED screen. You can also edit the b&w JPG produced by the camera on your computer.

But you will have the potential for a lot more creative control over what the final monochrome looks like if you start with the RAW in your computer editing software and do the conversion there. This is especially true if you need to recover shadow or highlight detail from a high contrast scene. Of course, much depends on the capabilities of your editing software and your skill using the software.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 12-15-2018, 09:12 AM  
What cataloguing software to use
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 8
Views: 1,114
When asking for software recomendations, it's helpful to know whether for Mac or PC. The big developers, like Adobe, will offer both, but if you are looking at free / shareware those apps are often developed for only one or the other.

It is not at all free, but Lightroom provides excellent cataloging capabilities (and a whole lot more). Lightroom provides the capability to create Import presets and multiple kinds of tags - should easily be able to do what you want if you are willing to pay for it. Can't say Lightroom is really simple, but capable software always requires a certain amount of effort to learn how it works.

*Some* EXIF data can be edited in Lightroom, but not all. For example you could write free text in the Caption field "Shot with xyz lens" - but you can not edit the field for "Lens" from Lightroom.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 12-12-2018, 07:59 PM  
LX or MX?
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 12
Views: 1,747
I can't comment on winder performance, but none of the 4 or 5 MX bodies I have owned ever had any 'battery drain problems'

The MX I am using now was last used in April of 2010; when I turned it on 8 years later the old battery powered up the meter like it was yesterday.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 12-09-2018, 07:18 PM  
Carry on vs checked baggage for camera Equipment
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 26
Views: 1,863
Are you on some kind of paid photographic work assignment? Because that is seriously a lot of gear for family vacation travel.

I would respectfully suggest one K-3, no flash, no tripod, and no tele-zoom unless you know you have very specific needs for them.

After 50 years of traveling with a camera, I've discovered the joy of traveling light far outweighs the limited value of those very few shots I might miss by not having a flash, tripod or long tele. Justin Case is not your friend.
Forum: General Photography 12-09-2018, 06:43 PM  
Searching for an specific photograph and willing to pay for it...
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 9
Views: 1,455

The middle one would need some cleaning up...
Forum: Pentax K-30 & K-50 12-07-2018, 10:57 AM  
35mm Focal Length?
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 6
Views: 1,412
EXIF is short for Exchangeable Image File Format. EXIF a standard established by the Japan Electronic Industries Development Association (JEIDA) for the purpose of embedding metadata in image files. Like most standards, it gets updated from time to time, and each update gets a version number. That's all "0230" means - version 0230, (or 2.30).

Just to be clear, all that information (properties) such as focal length, shutter speed aperture, etc. are collectively called "metadata" or "EXIF" information. Most software that shows EXIF data does not show all of it. Most likely your software is showing you a limited number of items that someone thought you would be most interested in. Some other software might show more or fewer items, but I would think most would show actual focal length, and not just 35mm equivalents.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-06-2018, 02:46 PM  
Is anybody interested in test pictures of vintage lenses?
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 27
Views: 1,981
Every photo is a test of the photographer's ability to find an interesting subject, a good composition, and good lighting. If the photo also demonstrates the capability of a lens, that's fine - but without a decent subject, composition and lighting, a "test" photo is not something I care about looking at.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-02-2018, 08:17 AM  
Meter reads underexposed in decent light
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 22
Views: 1,958
I believe the OP intends on digital darkroom from scans of the negatives. My immediate thought was the "look" might be more easily and reliably created in post-processing rather than trying to shoot at ISO 200 in anything less than bright light - but - I've never tried it, so I shouldn't say.

I shot slide film for 40 years, much of it at ISO 100. In any lighting other than sunshine, I remember what a constant struggle it was trying to balance slow shutter speeds against not-quite enough depth-of-field. ISO 200 is not that much better.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-30-2018, 12:46 PM  
Meter reads underexposed in decent light
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 22
Views: 1,958
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-30-2018, 12:25 PM  
Meter reads underexposed in decent light
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 22
Views: 1,958
Not sure why your post was directed a me rather than the OP. I think I already know the answer.

I just searched my entire catalog of 4319 images in Lightroom for those shot at ISO 200 or less. I found 1270 images, and virtually all of them were taken out of doors. Of the very few that were taken indoors, none were lit only by artificial light; either my subject was directly in front of a sun-lit open window, or I used a flash.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-29-2018, 11:25 PM  
Meter reads underexposed in decent light
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 22
Views: 1,958
So, you are metering at ISO 200 get the high exposure look you want - but at ISO 200 you can't get a decent shutter speed in low light, right?

If the camera meter says you need a shutter speed of 1/25th second, and you take a shot at 1/25th - is the negative properly exposed? And does metering the same scene with another light meter also indicate 1/25th? If so, then the problem is not enough light, and I don't see how playing with a spot meter is going to help.

I have to wonder what are the world renowned wedding photographers doing differently that enables them to shoot their indoor weddings at ISO 200 without using unacceptably slow shutter speeds? Are they using wider apertures than you are? Are they choosing venues with more light than yours has, or possibly they are adding more light to the venue (with flash or...) ?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-29-2018, 03:18 PM  
Meter reads underexposed in decent light
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 22
Views: 1,958
Actually, you can 'adjust your ISO' on the analog camera - buy faster film and/or push process the Portra. Obviously, you will need to research and test the results before shooting a wedding.

Have you tested your Portra at it's rated speed of 400? When you set your camera ISO to 200, you lost a stop right there. Your 1/25th second at ISO 200 becomes 1/50th at 400. Some guy suggests ISO 200 in a blog, Kodak says 400 - but only your own testing will show who is right. You may need to work with your processing lab to help decide which ISO gives the best exposure.

The way your original post was worded made it sound like you were concerned about a meter accuracy problem, but actually, you have a lighting problem. Either get higher speed film which is better matched to your available light, or suppliment the available light with more light (flash or whatever).


Are you going to print directly from the negatives, or will you scan the negatives first, post process the digital file, and then print?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-28-2018, 09:08 PM  
From Fuji to Pentax? May be yes, may be not.
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 306
Views: 21,116
I have a Fuji X-E2 and a Pentax K-3. For me, the 4 main differences between the two camera systems are:

1. Viewfinders. The optical Pentax pentaprisim viewfinders give a bigger view than most of the electronic viewfinders (EVF) used by Fuji. The Pentax view finder may be brighter if you have a lens with a wide maximum aperture mounted in bright light. As you know from using your X-E1, EVFs can amplify the screen so with a slow lens in poor light, the EVF can be much brighter. The Fuji EVF can also show you an electronic preview of the image including exposure compensation, digital filters, depth of field, white balance, etc. that cannot be displayed on an optical viewfinder.

2. Size and weight. All current production Pentax bodies are significantly larger and heavier than your X-E1 and the X-E3. Even the bigger Fuji X-T1 and X-T2 are quite a bit smaller and lighter than the smallest Pentax.

3. Lenses. Pentax has half a dozen excellent prime lenses in the DA Limited series which are small and light enough to partially offset the big, heavy Pentax bodies, but they are slower than most of the Fuji primes. If you prefer a zoom in the 18-55mm range Pentax offers mostly kit zooms. They are light and affordable, slow maximum apertures, and pretty good image quality, but not in the same league with Fuji's kit zooms. Pentaxes higher quality zooms tend to have wider apertures and/or greater zoom ranges which makes them quite hefty compared to Fuji's most excellent XF 18-55mm F2.8-4. Fuji's offers several prime lenses with f/1.4 maximum apertures and slower versions at F/2.0. Pentax offers very few primes as fast as that. However, few of the Fuji primes include OIS (optical image stabilization), which may be significant because ...

4. Image stabilization. All Pentax bodies include IBIS (in body image stabilization), but most Fujis, including all of the models you mentioned, do not. Fuji does have one model with IBIS, the X-H1. So, if you want image stabilization for most Fujis, you will need to buy Fuji lenses which include it.

There are many other differences which may be minor, or deal-breakers, depending on your needs: Pentax has better battery life, Fuji offers a lot more firmware updates, sometimes providing significant upgrades to older cameras, Pentax may take a little more rough stuff, Fuji make less noise (electronic shutter and no mirror flop), Pentax offers more weather sealed bodies and lenses, and some longer telephotos not offered by Fuji, etc.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-27-2018, 08:05 PM  
Meter reads underexposed in decent light
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 22
Views: 1,958
Usually, when the meter indicates not enough light, you would select a slower shutter speed and/or wider aperture - is that not working for you?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-27-2018, 09:00 AM  
Meter reads underexposed in decent light
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 22
Views: 1,958
What criteria are you using when you say "my meter always reads significantly underexposed"? That is, are you checking the camera meter against another meter of known accuracy? Or do you mean your negatives are consistently underexposed under low light conditions?
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-16-2018, 02:27 PM  
Studio wall colour.
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 11
Views: 849
Unless the "product" is huge, I imagine you will set up a backdrop, right? The simple answer to the question of wall color is: Whatever color your wife wants; otherwise, white!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-14-2018, 01:34 PM  
FA Limited Colours
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 34
Views: 2,953
Thanks for the information and the link.

Fuji's camera profiles are film-themed with names like Provia, Arcos, and Velvia. In the Fuji community some say the Adobe-provided versions of Fuji's film simulations in Lightroom are different from what you see in a camera-created JPEG using the same film simulation. No big deal for me, as I consider the film sim/profile as only a starting point for my RAW file and not a goal.

I have noticed that if I use the "Auto" button in Lightroom's Basic Development panel, I get better results if starting with an Adobe profile than I do with a Fuji profile. But a Fuji profile can be applied after "Auto" with more reasonable results.

The linked article mentions third party profiles, including the collection from Matt Kloskowski. For what it is worth, I own the Kloskowski collection, and I rarely use any of them. Far too many of them have that obvious, overdone look of a false-color fantasy fillter. My style sometimes involves quite a bit of post processing in Lightroom, but I try not to cross the line into the territory of the absurdlly unnatural. Hopefully, some of the other 3rd party collections focus on more believable results.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-14-2018, 08:13 AM  
FA Limited Colours
Posted By runswithsizzers
Replies: 34
Views: 2,953
Sorry this is off-topic, since it does not discuss color, but your comment about exposure needs exploration.

Your shadows will be even easier to recover if you set your EV to +(plus)0.7. Search for articles about ETTR (Expose To The Right, like <here>) and <here>. In the vast majority of scenes, the extra exposure will not result in "loosing" any highlight detail in the RAW file. Even though your JPEGs will look pale, and the histogram (which is for the JPEG) may look like near-overexposure, most often any "lost" highlight detail can be recovered from the RAW file in Lightroom - and - you will gain more shadow detail while reducing noise.

Of course this assumes you are a RAW shooter who doesn't care about the camera JPEGs. And there are high contrast lighting conditions where negative EV is indicated. But for a RAW shooter to routinely underexpose in normal lighting conditions is throwing away dynamc range for no good reason.

I don't know what options your cameras have for User Presets and Highlight contol, but if you are not comfortable with the ETTR technique, consider making a User Preset to protect highlights in high contrast scenes, and return your EV to +/- 0 for routine lighting.

---------- Post added 11-14-18 at 09:46 AM ----------

Yes. If you are using an older version of Lightroom/Camera Raw, then Adobe will, by default, display your RAW with a Profile called "Adobe Standard" which I NEVER used because it is very boring. A few months ago, Adobe changed the default Profile to "Adobe Color" which is a big improvement, in my opinion. However, Adobe offers half-a-dozen other options as well. And as pschlute says, there should be some profiles which are specific to Pentax, as well. Oddly, I just checked, and I am not seeing ANY Pentax-specific Camera Profiles for my K-3 in the latest version of Lightroom. Perhaps it is because I have my camera to deliver my raw files as DNG rather than PEF?

I haven't been shooting my K-3 enough to get to know it like I do my Fuji. In the case of Fuji, most often I tend to pick one of the Fuji profiles in Lightroom as preferable to the Adobe options, but more recently I do find myself using "Adobe Color" some.

I should say, no matter what camera profile I start with in Lightroom, that is usually just a starting point for additional corrections.

As for the OPs concern with the coloration of this lens vs. that one, in my limited experiece, any differences in coloration provided by a particular lens are rather subtle compared to the significant shift in coloration that occurs from changing a camera profile in Lightroom.
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