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Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 02-03-2021, 05:29 PM  
What film for wildlife photography in 1997?
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 9
Views: 596
By the late '90's the publication game was largely Fuji Velvia for anything possible at that slow speed (50), Kodak chrome films popular in the '80's had fallen away by the early '90's but bounced back with E100VS for "very saturated" in 1999. Fuji Provia 400 got the high speed nod along with some holdout Ektachrome 200 fans--both were so grainy that we all tried to stay with Velvia 50 and Provia 100. I probably still have each of these films in the freezer...35mm and 120 rolls if you need them for accuracy and want them cheap--like free. Can't recall anybody in the late '90's using Kodachrome 64 other than scientific "record" stuff requiring less saturated colors. Pretty much all magazine work was Fuji by then. Check the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest books for worldwide "prove its" or to see that I'm correct on this if you doubt me.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-29-2021, 04:46 PM  
Polarizer insert for FA* 600mm lens
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 9
Views: 1,022
Late reply for someone researching someday...The photos used for the lead-in for the lens review of the FA*600/4 were taken by me and I included the polarizer in the pic because it's a super cool option. I bought the lens new from B&H in 1995/1996 and the polarizer is not standard with the lens. The polarizer comes with it's own geared drawer--gears for rotating the polarizer when inside the lens barrel. To use the polarizer you remove the standard filter drawer and insert the special polarizer drawer in the same slot the standard filter drawer had been in.

The drop-in polarizer was a great "get" for me and I got the drop-in polarizer drawer for the M*400/4 for 67 that same month. Back in the mid '90's there was a way to click enough tabs to get into Pentax USA's inventory via the back end somehow--I did it regularly and even printed pages of item numbers from time to time. And though the part number was listed as unavailable, I found one in the pages of item numbers in their inventory. Can't recall which of the drop-in polarizers I found that way? Couldn't order the item because their retail system didn't recognize it as being in stock, but called a guy I knew in the service department at Pentax USA and asked him to pull the part from whatever hidden shelf it was on. He was then able to bill me for it and ship via the service department. So for more than 10 years I had both the 35mm silver FA* drop-in polarizer AND the medium format cream colored and larger M* drop-in polarizer. Should have played the lottery just because I obviously had a golden horseshoe stuck in my craw or something.

Unfortunately for cmohr who bought the 600/4 from me a couple years ago, the drop-in polarizer was sold to a different forum member.
Forum: Photographic Technique 08-07-2020, 04:23 PM  
PEG rejection
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 29
Views: 1,952
Hardest part of landscape work--other than lighting--is the layers of interest. Unfortunately your foreground is "trees chopped in half" that serve as a fence to block the eye from moving into the image. I'm terrible at multi-plane landscapes that judges commonly look for, especially hard to get the various planes--foreground, mid-distance, background and infinity to tie together nicely with each other and with the subject. In addition, with well-known landscapes judges will be evaluating on uniqueness. How did you handle this subject in a manner that hasn't ever (or seldom) been seen before. Generally, the tourism overlooks and parking lots rule you out as "same old view."

To avoid such critical eyes, I've always avoided the contests and just tried to get editors to like (and buy) my images or galleries to hang and sell a few. It's much easier to get publication quality images sold than it is to get past the reviewers of such "judged" forums.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 08-07-2020, 03:13 PM  
Seeking screws for Hot Shoe Adapter F and Off Camera Shoe Adapter F
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 6
Views: 882
I too am missing a few screws--all who know me agree--in a handful of those flash adapters. What I did was just divide up the screws so no more than one is missing from any adapter and they've held well enough for my rough life-style. I never did detect wiggle or loose parts on any of them. If you find screws but have to buy more than you want, I'd take a half dozen of each of the two in the pic...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-07-2020, 02:48 PM  
Pentax 300mm primes
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 44
Views: 3,689
Crisp, stunning images with all three as long as you can get your own technique up to the quality of the lenses. Telephoto's are unforgiving of marginal technique. I've owned FA*--twice-- and currently own the F* --had to have the tripod shoe b/c I pretty much only shoot from a tripod. Buddy with DA* seems to get equivilent images but different color cast than the old star lenses. Digi body messes with the color cast anyway so buy any of the three and be happy!

Note that the 67mm front filter on the F* and FA* accommodates more and less costly filters--polarizers and even macro close-up lenses (old 6x7 tele close-up lens works fabulous on F* and FA*).

Note also that the FA* has sort-of quick shift focus by pulling or pushing the focus ring if I recall correctly...or is that just the other FA*'s? Pretty much never use autofocus so didn't use the function and haven't attempted it with the F*.
Forum: Sold Items 02-15-2020, 12:45 PM  
For Sale - Sold: SMC Pentax FA* 80-200mm F2.8 Power-Zoom
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 5
Views: 824
I love this lens too!

And I really like the tiny tripod foot that bothers SSGGeezer. I use a small square bi-directional plate from RRS which keeps the footprint small and light. I have at times used a long plate from RRS which then gives the handhold similar to a long foot. When this lens came out it got a Pop Photo lens test which placed it WAY above both Canon and Nikon lenses of that era. Coolest thing...this lens has it's best resolution results at the long end of the zoom. Most other similar lenses resolve best at the short end getting progressively worse when zoomed in.

Once had this lens get manhandled in a checked Pelican case going to Alaska...broke the Pentax Cloudy filter (film era) in front of the lens but no damage to the lens itself. I know...don't check lenses...had medium format kit in carry on...35 mm stuff got checked...

This lens works extremely well at minimum focusing distance and substitutes for a macro when fitted with the nice Canon 500D Close-Up lens.

Substitutes for a supertele when fitted with a 1.4X converter and shot on APS-C format.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-06-2020, 05:38 PM  
UV filters degrade image quality
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 76
Views: 7,757
We all worry about various factors in our photography...and those are subjective concerns based on our individual photo needs.

Cleaning damage has been underdiscussed in this old topic. If you shoot outdoor/wildlife/nature in dry, dusty conditions like here in Montana you may need to clean your lens as often as daily and certainly weekly if you are a frequent shooter. So lets say that's 40-50 cleanings annually. And if you purchased a pro quality star lens for over $1000 you'll want to use it for at least 10 years (I owned one of my 600/4's for 23 years) that's 400 to 500 cleanings or more. I don't care how careful you are, cleaning sandy grit from lenses hundreds of times suggests that you should opt for something covering the front element. I guess we could all opt to just shoot through the dusty front element but...

I always use the highest quality filter/UV/Protective Front any cost! Over the years, editors have purchased about 1000 images from me including a current cover photo on a small-market mag released last week. As long as it's competitively saleable I don't care about other issues in Lightroom. That's just me...
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-06-2020, 05:07 PM  
Dual Flash Hot shoe Bracket
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 4
Views: 608
Version I 540 FGZ flashes are now cheap on the used market and have direct port for F5p cords. Combined with Off-camera Shoe Adapter(s) and F5p cords you can daisy-chain as many flashes as you want. I've gone as far as 3 units with one for primary illumination, one for fill and one on the longer flash synch cord for backlighting.

You might want to play around with bouncing flash off small reflectors too. Adds angled fill flash and if you use metallic surface reflectors you can pop the specular highlights too...I usually prefer white bounced flash but have a few gold and silver images that worked quite well and sold to magazine editors.

Done this type of stuff a bunch, primarily with rigs like Stevebrot describes and always for macro or intimate landscape stuff. For portrait work I must bow out as a complete unknowing fool...

Double up flash heads on an inline two flash bracket from Really Right Stuff...lots of configurations. All that I've used worked great.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-05-2020, 12:32 PM  
Protector Filter vs UV Filter
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 79
Views: 3,260
Many Pentax supertelephotos came with PF filter installed--Protective Front. I've looked at several...the PF on the front of the F*600/4 and FA*600/4 was a slight pinkish skylight color. The PF filter for the FA*250-600/5.6 appeared to be completely clear...I never looked at the color cast on the PF for the A*300/2.8...that filter did not come with the lens. I purchased it used and never really assessed the color. PF for the M*400/4 for 67 was slightly pinkish skylight color too and it really hated stacking any other filters...completely lost focus...

All claimed to be multi-coated and some were mentioned in the respective manuals to be "Part of the optical formula" and not to be removed for shooting. I know this because when I purchased a used F*600 the used equipment seller also had the big 145mm PF filter for sale separately (that they had removed from the lens) I sent the verbiage in the manual describing the PF filter as part of the optical formula and I insisted they send it to me at no charge...which they did. That's when I noticed the skylight pink color.

So the question of whether to use or not use is already answered on some of the supertele's. If it came with the lens, Pentax says, "Use it."
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-10-2019, 05:16 PM  
Best Flash option for Real Estate?
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 11
Views: 765
Can't use flash to light up the entire exterior of a home without a very fancy and expensive multi-light system and flash skills to match. And due to inverse square law you probably won't be able to use flash indoors either...any surface/wall/ceiling twice as far away as another surface with get only one fourth the light so you will have terrible uneven lighting in many instances. Pro's have to work hard to pull off flash in real estate. You state that you don't want to be a pro or spend like one. I'd suggest a quick google search to try to find an alternative method for flash in real estate, then save your time and move on. Get a quality tripod and shoot long exposures...use focus stacking to increase depth of field...have fun and good luck!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-12-2019, 04:18 PM  
Pentax 645 A* 600mm f/5.6 or 67 600mm f/4
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 20
Views: 1,231
Since you have friends with the lenses, it's time for you to do some borrowing...shoot them both side by side in the same light with the same colorful subjects, especially some varying shades of green. In less time than it takes to swap the lenses you'll completely reject the old non-ED lens. Surprising how reds look similar but greens look like gray through the oldy...Don't bother worrying about your tripod set up, that can come later. I'm strictly talking test shots of stable subjects. Actually, for sharpness tests you might want to have the tripod specifics worked out (you'll need an extremely heavy duty tripod to shoot this type of glass...took me a year and several tripods to get anything sharp with monster glass)...To start, set your white balance to 5000Kelvin for neutrality and minimize or shut off the various JPEG customizations. After shots at 5000K you might want to play around with some extra JPEG pop for fun. Play 'em in raw if you want, but I'm pretty certain the first couple glances at the LCD screen on the camera (JPEG) will make your decision glaringly obvious!

I did this years ago with 35mm lenses. Shot the old non-ED 500/4.5 (with minimal lens elements) and I handed my 2nd body to my neighbor with a newer star lens FA*300/4.5 (with lots of groups of elements). We shot the same feeding osprey side by side. The difference is so extreme that you won't even believe it. I guess you could "create" all the colors in post, but that's a bad work-around. Just buy the lens that works and the *600/5.6 is a fantastic lens. Have a local friend still using it adapted down to his APSC bodies and shooting grizzly bears in Alaska for a month at a time etc.

I've owned 13 different star lenses over the years and can promise you won't regret it! They are universally sharp and produce wickedly vibrant colors. The other lens will be passably sharp but with hideously awful color. I'd bet on it!
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-31-2019, 03:43 PM  
Pentax D-6x7 series
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 14
Views: 1,167
I would think the newer designs like the M*300/4 ED IF which I loved...and the frighteningly sharp 100/4 Macro should both be part of any modern system. Both those lenses came out just after the 67II and have not only newer design, but also newer coatings. The newer lenses seemed to produce vibrant colors much better than the previous versions. Gawd I miss shooting Velvia transparencies through these two lenses--and blowing them into 30x40 Ilfochromes...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-25-2019, 04:58 PM  
I've lost the tripod foot to my 70-200 how can I get another?
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 45
Views: 3,048
Best bet is to sell the lens with missing tripod foot--with full disclosure. Buy a fresh lens and NEVER remove the tripod foot. Easy for me to say as a "tripod only" shooter (OK monopod every few years)...The tripod foot is a bit obtrusive on that lens, but if it can be handheld without removing the foot, then that may be an option to avoid risk of loss.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-25-2019, 04:22 PM  
Pentax 600mm: F* vs FA*
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 12
Views: 1,125
I've owned both F* and FA* 600's...optics and performance are identical. Both have better minimum focus distance than Canon or Nikon 600's from that era. Both have that dreamy color cast the F* and FA* lenses are famous for. Both do work better with a filter in the drop-in drawer and both are factory recommended to use the stock PF filter (was that 145mm?).

Cosmetically the FA* has rounded edges/corners and is smoother to the hand.

F* has a doubled hood that extends so far it requires an extra county to hold it...jk. The FA* single extension hood was easier for me in the field. Both lenses have hoods that are permanently attached so you can't drop it and watch it bounce down the hillside.

Both lenses are autofocus with push/pull instant switching from manual to autofocus and back without touching switches on the lens or camera.

The dedicated polarizer on it's own drop-in for the FA* was something I found hidden in a warehouse (back when we could search the then Colorado Pentax warehouse digitally). So I've owned the FA* then the F* had been sold to a buddy who didn't care if I could find a polarizer, but I suspect there is not a drop in polarizer for the F*. Don't think I ever shot a single frame through the polarizer with this lens though it worked great on the FA*250-600 when I was playing heavy landscape extraction games.

The F* finish is a touch tougher than the silver FA* but if you don't take care, either 16 pound lens will scratch against sharp metal objects.

Both lenses have a focus limiter that when you read the instructions you'll be scared to even try to I never used the focus limit system on either lens.

Both lenses are nicely damped for manual focusing and I used both about 95% of the time in manual mode...I'm just not an autofocus person...more picky than the camera about focus point.

Both lenses have similar hard case/trunk for storage, both have similar tripod feet, both have slip-on lens cover to serve as the lens cap.

You can't go wrong with either lens. I've had many images published from both lenses. Everything from large wildlife to tiny birds in flight to outdoor enthusiasts practicing their craft. The issue with these lenses is not which is more expensive or better. The issue is if you get lucky enough to find one, you best quit quibbling about pricing and buy it now! You may not find another for several years! And they hold value really well. I bought the FA* new in the mid '90's and when I sold it last spring to another forum member my cost averaged out to $27 per year to own the lens. When you buy one used, it likely will hold very close to your purchase price until you decide to sell it someday, so your cost to own this lens is 0$ FREE! So go buy it immediately no matter which version!
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 11-30-2018, 05:53 PM  
Can someone identify this Pentax ballhead clamp thingie? For 67?
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 14
Views: 1,413
If you haven't played around with RAM gear yet it's time! Many major manufacturers now offer RAM products...Garmin, several boat manufacturers, CanAm ATV's etc. Very functional with ball sizes up to 2" for really heavy items. I use 'em for my heavy sonar/GPS units in my boat and sometimes for camera gear and flash set ups.

The RAM story is a great "guy makes good on idea" story. I met the developer/owner of RAM at his first public showing--the Seattle Boat Show about 20 years ago. The product was called Round-A-Mount which over the years was shortened to RAM. If you start looking at the full line-up, it seems there's nothing under 25 pounds that can't be RAM'ed. Better build quality than any of the other copycats I've ever played with.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 11-30-2018, 05:34 PM  
Hard case in car, smaller case for field
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 16
Views: 1,280
You may find that the smallish Peli cases work great in the field--they set down in dirt or dewy grass much better than canvas/cloth bags. They kick around on the floor of my boat or in the back of a truck without having to fret. Carried by the handle they are like a briefcase and work well for up to a mile of walking. I have half a dozen different sizes, but somehow always have a 1450 (I think) with either bodies and lenses or with flash accessories stashed in my vehicle. I commonly carry my tripod with mounted largish lens (with tripod foot) on camera with a Peli for lens changes. For a bunch of tiny limited lenses, the Pentax sling bag has served me very well for longer hikes when conditions merit. I've experimented with various soft shoulder bags and vests and other options. In the end, for field work it's hard to beat the Peli cases and I typically just carry a Peli or two. In the film era I carried different color Peli cases for medium format and 35 mm. Grab the gray or grab the black and know exactly what you are getting.

For security, I use cable locks like bicycle locks, gun locks or longer cables with padlocks to be able to leave gear cabled to seat frames, pickup tie downs etc. The handles of the Pelican cases are big enough to accommodate most cable systems I've tried. Sure a real criminal can just hacksaw the handle off, but most real criminals aren't prowling cars. In "legal" states, just leave half a joint sticking out of the ashtray and the dopey car prowlers won't even notice your camera gear!
Forum: Sold Items 06-11-2018, 09:45 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax FA* 200/4 Macro--Still Available--Lower Price!
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 33
Views: 3,816
Thanks for the kind words Wheatfield! Actually the lens is newer than that. First released in early 2001 and sold through 2004 with new old stock still selling up through about '07 ish in Canada anyway.

My current probable buyer is also Canadian. Should know by mid-day Wednesday if this sale will work. If not the line waiting for this lens is getting pretty long. Apparently $3500 is the trigger figure for selling this lens?
Forum: Sold Items 06-11-2018, 01:37 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax FA* 200/4 Macro--Still Available--Lower Price!
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 33
Views: 3,816
Sale Pending (again)
Forum: Sold Items 06-10-2018, 09:31 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax FA* 200/4 Macro--Still Available--Lower Price!
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 33
Views: 3,816

---------- Post added 06-10-18 at 12:09 PM ----------

sale fell through due to issues getting it into China

Forum: Sold Items 06-08-2018, 07:19 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax FA* 200/4 Macro--Still Available--Lower Price!
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 33
Views: 3,816
bump with lower price

---------- Post added 06-09-18 at 05:05 PM ----------

Forum: Sold Items 06-06-2018, 07:21 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax FA* 200/4 Macro--Still Available--Lower Price!
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 33
Views: 3,816
Shot with a K5 set on JPEG which means very little post processing. I've never made a RAW image...and have had perhaps 800 images sold/published (in print media--I don't count web stuff). I choose old-school instead...every image shot from a tripod at the lowest ISO setting the camera can produce and I bracket white balance when it's tricky. Usually use mirror lock up and 2 sec. delay to take my vibes out of it. I never shoot mid-day or in full sun. I play it as if shooting picky slide film and throw away anything that isn't nearly perfect as shot. I don't "rescue" missed images. A miss is a miss for me. Of course, I understand virtually nobody on a photo forum does it my way, but I don't mind that.
Forum: Sold Items 06-05-2018, 02:38 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax FA* 200/4 Macro--Still Available--Lower Price!
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 33
Views: 3,816
OK, a couple shots...Tachenid Fly to show depth of field without stacking and super rare Kelseya Uniflora blooms to show great front bokeh as well as the legendary rear bokeh this lens produces. Both images have previously been published in different years of the annual photo issue of Montana Outdoors (very competitive publication to get in due to the National Parks and seven bizillion photogs submitting their life-experience photos).
Forum: Sold Items 06-05-2018, 02:18 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax FA* 200/4 Macro--Still Available--Lower Price!
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 33
Views: 3,816
Anyone can buy it and play hard for a year or two and then sell it off...the risk is low due to the never-going-away residual value.

I haven't shot through it in 2 years so it just sits in the safe in a hard Pelican case. BTW, though I made frequent trips to Alaska and Northwest Territories back when I was shooting semi-professionally, I never flew this lens on those trips. In fact, this lens may have never flown (can't recall). For the far North, I generally used FA* 80-200 with a Canon 77mm 500D close-up adapter for macro with 35mm gear. I have to admit, most of my high-end arctic macro work was on 67 with the unfreakin' believable 100/4 macro for that format--and Velvia film of course.
Forum: Sold Items 06-05-2018, 10:34 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax FA* 200/4 Macro--Still Available--Lower Price!
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 33
Views: 3,816
Forum: Sold Items 06-03-2018, 12:20 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax FA* 200/4 Macro--Still Available--Lower Price!
Posted By Ron Boggs
Replies: 33
Views: 3,816 Marketplace Listing

Item for Sale
Pentax FA* 200/4 Macro

Asking Price
3,500.00 USD

Item Location
Montana (United States)

Item Description
How many years since the last one posted on this forum?

The time to buy an ultra-rare item is when you see it--well, here it is!

This lens is in impressive condition. Even the mount shows almost no brassing. Aperture lever/shroud and tripod foot are the only two spots with obvious wear (visible in images). Glass is perfect and coatings do not show cleaning/rub marks. Lens has lived in very low humidity (so risk of future "growth" inside is VERY low). All systems operate as new--focus limiter; push-pull auto/manual focus shift; tripod collar; distance scale & window; reversible hood; polarizer window; nine snappy aperture blades.

Fine-toothed-comb will find a couple barely visible marks in silver finish. Please zoom in to see if you can find any!

Found a copy of this lens on ebay this morning for $4300 with wicked fungus, big scratches and missing polarizer door so my lens is not priced outside the market.

Includes original box, manual, heavy-duty soft case with strap, front and rear caps.

This lens has produced dozens of published images of everything from bugs, to flowers, to fish hatchlings, to ice crystals...many sold/published images were shot within view of my home!

Original Pentax press release from Sept. 19, 2000 said of the optical formula:

Incorporating two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) lens elements, an abnormal-dispersion lens element as well as a high-refraction lens element, the lens is designed to provide professional and advanced amateur photographers with extremely high-resolution macro images with minimal aberrations.

Be aware that I commonly spend a couple days a week afield with no cell service or computer access, so be patient with me please.

Are you the original owner of the item being sold?

Are you selling or trading this item?

Item Condition (Key)
Like New

Shipping Destinations

Shipping Charge
free to continental U.S. By Quote for International

Shipping Services
USPS for domestic, likely UPS for international

Accepted Payment Types

Return Policy & Additional Details
10 day return policy. Buyer pays return postage, insurance and fees if applicable.

International buyers must contact me for specifics. I have issues with exporter's license etc. that we have to work through.

Please send me a private message if interested in the item!

---------- Post added 06-04-18 at 12:44 PM ----------

Yes, I'm hearing the collective gasp at the price, but my lens is in better shape and more complete with original materials than anything else hitting the market this year. Thanks for the fairly reasonable offers so far. But I'm going to wait a few days before starting to backpedal.

You know you want this lens...make your K1 really sing!
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