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Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 04-24-2021, 04:04 PM  
Pentax D FA* 50mm F1.4 Giveaway - Enter here once per day until May 18th
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 2,853
Views: 54,639
Entry please.
Forum: Pentax KP 04-24-2021, 04:00 PM  
KP discontinued then dis-discontinued?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 15
Views: 1,483
I hope Ricoh keeps the concept of the KP alive in some manner going forward. With the K3iii being a similarly priced camera to the K1ii, each apparently specialising in a different area of "pro" photography, it seems that Ricoh may be restructuring its already small lineup. If we assume that the K70 will eventually see a successor to keep the value-oriented "entry level" enthusiast position filled, then I believe Pentax should also keep at least one tier in between the top and bottom. The KP, being a sort of experiment, filled that role nicely once its price dropped a bit, mostly because it seemed to stray from the typical DSLR style by adopting a "mirrorless-like" style. If the hypothetical hybrid e/ovf ever develops into something tangible, I can imagine it being used in a KPii., even if it's too janky to be implemented into the K3 or K1 lines.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-24-2021, 03:47 PM  
Comparison K3 III versus Sony A7 III
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 51
Views: 2,911
Those are some really nice results. I'm looking forward to seeing the studio shot comparisons on dpreview. The K3iii has the unfortunate mission to validate the continued development of DSLRs and APS-C cameras, both of which are coming under fire these days, but I think Ricoh's doing a real admirable job of proving their value. Fortunately, I think Fuji's also doing well enough to keep crop sensors alive, but I actually hope the advancements Pentax always makes with their processing tech also make their way to Fuji and m43 cameras, particularly the latter as IQ hasn't really improved there for a while. I'd like to see the debate between formats cease to be about absolute image quality, and just be about lens selection.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-24-2021, 03:25 PM  
The challenge of the new Pentaprism
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 114
Views: 7,764
It's cool that Ricoh is willing to invest to redevelop what many consider to be a stagnant (if not dead) field. It may not be the hybrid e/ovf that some of us were hypothesizing, but it shows that there's room for improvement in SLR tech. I think if Ricoh really is this serious about holding this niche, they really ought to bring back a line of film SLRs. There's a lot of modern tech and production methods that could easily be adapted to a film camera, but I wonder if this new pentaprism could fit in an SLR without getting too unbalanced.
Forum: Lens Clubs 04-24-2021, 03:13 PM  
The DA Limited Club
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 5,634
Views: 1,110,129
Finally got a 40mm smc, just the 70mm to go. Haven't had many opportunities to use the 40 yet, but I'm really loving the FoV. I think I find the [roughly] 58mm equivalent FoVs to be my favourite standard focal lengths. Makes sense to match it with a [roughly] 35mm equivalent lens like the 21, which might otherwise be too close to 50mm. Without further ado, my first willing model of the year:

Forum: Lens Clubs 04-24-2021, 03:08 PM  
The M Club!
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 8,711
Views: 1,303,105
Some pics from last summer with the 50mm f/1.7, around Southern Ontario, but north of the GTA. Not sure if I shared these already but I can't find them in my post history, although some posts seem to have lost their images for some reason. Anyway...

Forum: Lens Clubs 04-24-2021, 03:04 PM  
The 15mm Limited controls my mind - club
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 11,796
Views: 2,111,697
Here's something I took this past winter. The image was practically black and white and very contrasty to begin with, so I hardly had to edit it at all. What I ended up doing was removing colour entirely with Rawtherapee, and then very subtly colour toning it. I wonder if it's at all distinguishable in a jpeg.

Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-22-2020, 06:52 AM  
How to make an invisible visible?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 17
Views: 1,336
Assuming you have the Raw file, you may be able to accentuate the fishing line by using a different demosaicing algorithm. The algorithm currently being used may be diminishing whatever data may have been captured if it thinks the fishing line is some sort of unwanted artifact.

I don't know what software you use, but RawTherapee is a free raw processor that allows you to pick from a large selection of demosaicing methods, some of which are better for keeping certain types of details vs cleaning up artifacts. The default method used is AMaZE, but I prefer RCD+VNG4. You'll have to tinker with the various options and settings to see which method offers the best balance of retaining detail while diminishing moire, false colours, noise, and other artifacts.
Forum: Lens Clubs 07-18-2020, 05:44 PM  
The 50mm Lens Club
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 1,906
Views: 279,185
Here's a shot of a local landmark that I've been trying to capture for a long time. I could never quite get the right light or composition, but this is by far the best I've managed so far. I plan on moving pretty soon, though I'll still be working in the area, I'm not sure if I'll ever get another shot at it.

Forum: Lens Clubs 07-18-2020, 05:36 PM  
DA35 f2.4 - the Plastic Fantastic club
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 1,162
Views: 243,170
Here's a shot I dug up from last year. Initially I felt it suffered too much from poor framing and distractions, but with my ever-improving ability with RawTherapee, I felt confident enough today to try and make something decent out of it.

Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-04-2020, 07:11 PM  
Can I have the automatic live view on/off thing while looking thru the viewfinder?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 7
Views: 702
I don't believe Ricoh would use the eye-sensor to automatically switch between OVF and live view. Those things can be so finicky even in their best implementation, so the possibility of necessarily wearing out the mirror mechanism just because the sensor keeps flipping live view off and on is not worth any benefit. Adding a delay or making the sensor less sensitive in order to prevent accidental switching would only mar the experience as it wouldn't feel anywhere as responsive as simply switching to live view yourself. I'm certain the sensor will only serve to disable the back screen to save battery.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-01-2020, 05:48 PM  
Pentax KP. Missing pics when importing to light room.
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 18
Views: 1,378
I could have sworn OSX already had write-caching disabled by default the same way Windows 10 does now. I also remember hearing elsewhere that mobile devices typically did the same, but that may have been a bad source. Personally, I always safely eject my devices, and I re-enable write-caching in Windows because I want the better performance, but I'm surprised Microsoft was the first to make the big change to cater to the common denominator; that's normally Apple's ethos. Still, yanking an SD card might cause data corruption, but I wouldn't expect any physical damage that could permanently affect it.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-31-2020, 09:19 AM  
Pentax KP. Missing pics when importing to light room.
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 18
Views: 1,378
In addition to reformatting with the aforementioned SD association tool, also check for physical damage or corrosion on the contacts. Sometimes wiping the contacts with some isopropyl will solve connection issues that may also cause file corruption. If the entire card itself was ever subjected to high heat, moisture, or bending, then it could be fubar, or you may just have a dud. I've never used an SD card with an iPad, but I'd be surprised if pulling it out without ejecting caused any corruption, as storage devices nowadays tend to be hotswappable, and devices often disable write caching so that they can be removed with being safely ejected as long as data isn't currently being transferred.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-19-2020, 04:09 PM  
Different aperture holes in similar lenses... Why?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 17
Views: 1,169
Is it possible that the front elements have a magnifying effect on the aperture blades when viewed from the front? I'm not well versed enough to understand if that's really possible, but personally I wouldn't trust the apparent size of something just by eyeballing through curved glass.

Also, the advertised focal lengths and f/stop is rarely ever 100% accurate. Either of the lenses could be on opposite ends of the spectrum of "acceptably close to 50mm", like maybe one is really 48mm and the other is 52mm. Combined with a reasonable margin of error during production and some tolerance of inexact aperture measurements between the two designs, that could account for the apparent difference.
I think the best way to see if either one has an issue is to put them to the test. Take identical pictures with both lenses at each aperture and consistent ISO/SS then directly compare the level of exposure (and depth of field, if that's important to you.) Even though t/stops are the better measurement for exposure, both lenses should still be perceptibly identical at the same aperture.

Also, make sure that both apertures remain fully open when actuated at f/1.8. If one closes down slightly, then that would mean it was probably damaged or improperly assembled.
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-12-2020, 05:22 PM  
Takumar club
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 17,891
Views: 3,465,744
Do the m37 Taks count? I picked up the old 58mm f/2.4 a short while ago, mainly for shooting film, but I've mainly been using it on the KP so far. It's fun to use a fully-manual preset lens, and I felt like I needed a slow 58mm to complement my 50mm f/1.7, rather than just get a 55mm or 50mm f/1.4, and having so many aperture blades at this price point is pretty much impossible for any lenses from the 60's ad beyond, so the smoothness of the bokeh will probably stay unmatched in my collection. Here's two shots of one of my cats, Tiger.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-13-2020, 12:22 PM  
Vintage landscape lens recommendations
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 37
Views: 2,939
There are plenty of decent and cheap vintage 28mms for k-mount or m42 mount (you'll need an adaptor for m42 lenses, though). Even the Pentax brand ones will be quite affordable, and they'll likely have better coatings than any lens from any other brand at the time. There are also a bunch of different Vivitar 28mm lenses made for k-mount, with varying qualities, but the lens database here and the Vivitar 28mm bestiary are good resources for judging which ones are a good value.

I'll disagree with the previous post and say that you don't need an A lens, because you're not gonna need to change aperture frequently anyway, and its not worth the extra cost when you're on such a tight budget. I will agree, though, that the kit zoom from 18-28mm at f/8 or 11 should be quite good already, and any cheap vintage prime may not be noticeably better at all once you've stopped down that far.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-11-2020, 07:22 PM  
Testing my Pentax-M 150/3.5 vs. S-M-C Takumar 150/4 (APS-C)
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 13
Views: 853
I wonder how the M 75-150/4 compares to the primes. I suppose back when zooms were much worse, the need to fill out the focal range with primes was more necessary, but the 75-150 is considered to be quite a good zoom for the time.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-22-2020, 03:33 PM  
Lens or camera issue?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 7
Views: 1,041
Are you setting the aperture manually via the aperture ring, or do you have it set to A? Is the issue repeatable if you try setting it to A or manually, respectively?

If this isn't happening to other lenses, then I suppose it's more likely a lens issue. Perhaps the aperture blades are sticky, but then I don't see why they would ever stop down more than is necessary. Could you check the aperture lever on the lens to see if it's bent, or maybe if the action is stiff or sticky?

Also, maybe this is a silly question, but are you shooting with manually set exposure values, and then zooming in after your first shot? If you perhaps forgot that it has a variable aperture, maybe you didn't notice that wide-open at high zoom is slower than the widest zoom.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 03-22-2020, 07:00 AM  
K1 or K1 II ? (both same price)
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 18
Views: 1,862
The accelerator kicks in at around ISO 636, where you'll begin to notice an improvement in usable dynamic range. You can already find comparisons online between the two cameras, but the difference in image quality basically boils down to the K1ii having slightly improved noise at the cost of slight softness (however detail is still retained, unlike the infamous star-eating Sony had). At print/display sizes you'd be hard pressed to see any difference, but in theory the K1ii could have be usable around 1 stop higher ISO than the K1.

The more quantifiable difference between the two is that the K1ii has a slightly improved AF algorithm, and the handheld pixelshift mode. Neither of those are huge upgrades or major selling points, but if the K1ii is the same price and in the same or better condition, it's really a no-brainer to pick it up over the K1.
Forum: General Photography 02-23-2020, 10:49 AM  
Not all of us are rich
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 89
Views: 4,290
Even if I were rich, I'd still be using Pentax and affordable vintage lenses. I just don't see the point of paying twice the cost for things that are only 50% better in certain conditions (hyperbole, but you get the idea.) In any case, part of the fun of photography, IMO, is researching and collecting interesting things, not just owning the latest and greatest. So, if I went out and spent top dollar on the highest rated pro gear, I'd be robbing myself of half the experience, and I certainly wouldn't be any better of a photographer if I couldn't ever complain about the technical limitations of my gear (not that I complain about my cheap gear either.)

If I were rich, I'd probably get myself any Leica with a a small range of primes, and some sort of medium format system (maybe Pentax 67 or 645), and maybe some obscure collectible compacts and dead systems, but my daily driver will always continue to be the most affordable, highest value-to-cost gear I can possibly find, which will likely remain enthusiast-level K-mount stuff for quite some time.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-22-2020, 05:53 PM  
Why haven't Pentax made more Plm lens ?
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 25
Views: 2,066
Focus by wire is one of the main reasons why I still don't want to go mirrorless yet. Focusing by wire just doesn't suit me at the state it's in right now. Maybe someday when every camera body allows the customisation of focus direction, rotation distance, and focus distance limits, and once the latency is 100% unnoticeable, I'll reconsider, but until then classic helicoid focusing is the only method that appeals to me. Plus, one of the main reasons I still prefer OVFs is because I can see through them without powering up the camera, but if I use a focus by wire lens on a DSLR I wouldn't be able to focus and that advantage would be lost for me.

Again, once mirrorless tech gets better I can reconsider, but in the meantime I'm more than happy with having both AF motors and image stabilisation systems consolidated into the camera body, rather than inserted into every single lens. It just makes more sense to me to avoid redundancies and over-engineering, because having more electronics in the lenses just means there's more components susceptible to failure.
Forum: Pentax KP 02-18-2020, 06:54 PM  
All we need is a KP
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 121
Views: 6,429
Some people use the "pinky under the camera" point as an automatic negative, which I don't understand. To me, having a free pinky makes no difference in comfort or grip strength, so if a camera is even small enough to give me a free pinky, I'd say it would be a success as long as the camera was intended to be compact in the first place.

By the way, how do you like that flash bracket? Have you use it on the KP? I was thinking of getting a bracket, but I want something more compact and less flimsy than the tilting/rotating brackets. Your bracket looks good from what I can see in its B&H page, however I'm unsure if having the flash that low and off to the side was good for landscape orientation images.
Forum: Pentax KP 02-12-2020, 05:34 PM  
I just bought a KP... and maybe you should too!
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 10
Views: 1,300
That's a neat feature I hadn't really considered until this point! I've been considering getting a couple of ND filters at some point, maybe a 3-stop for daylight flash portraits, and a 6-stop to layer with the 3-stop for long exposures if I wanted to experiment, but this way I can forget the 6 stop ND and just hold out for a high quality 3-stop in the future. I really ought to play around more with the fancy features, but normally I don't take advantage of all the ways modern DSLRs have improved over manual SLRs.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 02-09-2020, 06:04 AM  
Dynamic range
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 2
Views: 881
Interesting article. This is probably the most concise explanation of seen of dynamic range and the various sources of noise I've ever seen, so it really oughta be shown to more people to prevent further misconceptions about [print] dynamic range being affected just by the size of pixels.

What I find interesting about the dual-gain system kicking in at ISO640 is that it's the same threshold at which Pentax's accelerator kicks in, but to my knowledge neither the K70, KP, nor K1ii use dual-gain sensors. Whether its just coincidence or if its just a logical point to to place a transition, I wonder if the next Pentax cameras will continue to use the accelerator alongside the BSI sensor, or if Ricoh will begin to back off from that tech (as it's become a bit controversial).
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-05-2020, 06:28 PM  
Flying with flashes
Posted By StarTroop
Replies: 10
Views: 752
Just don't call it that if they ask you what it is.
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