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Forum: Photographic Technique 06-20-2012, 09:35 AM  
What is REAL photography? [final]
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 54
Views: 5,787
Let's go back to the Wikipedia definition:
"Photography is the process, activity and art of creating still or moving pictures by recording radiation on a sensitive medium, such as a photographic film, or an electronic sensor." --Wikipedia, right now.
So it's a process and art, not just shutter-snapping. PROCESS means that work proceeds before and after the snutter-snap. ART means we make the pictures look like we want them to look. SENSITIVE MEDIUM means anything that can record the image. RADIATION means UV and IR and Xrays and even radio waves. Ever seen a radio-telescope photo of the sky?

But where do holograms and sonograms and ideograms fit in here? If I use a low-power laser to sketch on a sheet of photo paper, then develop that, I'm certainly "recording radiation on a sensitive medium" -- but is it a photograph? If I use sonogram data or seismic data or other physical|acoustic waves to build an on-screen image, and do a screen-grab and print that, it it a photograph? Is a sunburn a photo?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-20-2012, 08:24 AM  
Ultra Wide Angle Zooms
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 33
Views: 7,308
My normal AF kit on my K20D are the DA10-17 fisheye (FE) zoom, Tamron 10-24 ultrawide (UWA) zoom, and DA18-250 superzoom. The FE and UWA complement each other; they don't overlap. AOV (angle of view) of the FE is about 100-175 degrees; for the UWA it's about 60-110 degrees. IMHO these three zooms allow more flexibility than any comparable glass. I use the shorter lenses in different situations:

* DA10-17 FE: Very tight spaces where edge deformation doesn't matter; rounded spaces; the intersections of angles; scenes where I want to emphasize the near and diminish the distant, or just stretch the subject; for full-sky shots.

* Tamron 10-24 UWA: Tight spaces where edge deformation DOES matter; emphasis and diminishing and stretching as with the FE, but not so much; the ability to work both tiny-to-medium interiors and non-claustrophobic street scenes.

Both are absolutely vital to me. The UWA sees more use, but are times and places where I *must* have the FE to make the shot. When a hemispherical AOV is needed, only the FE works. Note that these are NOT landscape lenses at their wider AOVs because of their shrink-the-distant action: mountains become molehills, skylines become ragged edges.

I also have a Vemar 12/8 fisheye (full-circle on FF) which is nearly useless, and a Zenitar 16/2.8 (slightly fishy on APS) which is still a favorite, although it sees less use now that I have the Tamron UWA. I also have a cheap 0.25x fisheye adapter that I'll screw onto the front of my DA18-250 or DA18-55 to get full-circle fisheye shots. Not real useful; lots of fun.

An ultrawide is a totally different tool than a fisheye. Not all ultrawides are equal. About 18 months ago I had the budget to buy any of the leading UWAs: DA12-24, Tamron 10-24, or either Sigma 10-20. I chose the Tamron because of its very useful focal range, its lower price and longer warranty, and known QC problems with the Sigmas. I recommend the Tamron.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-20-2012, 07:59 AM  
Ethics of photomanipulation
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 16
Views: 1,910
We do not, in our everyday lives, continually tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We withhold info. We mislead. We tell lies -- big lies, little lies, many lies. We introduce irrelevancies. We speak with bias and spin and deception. These 'unethical' practices are vitally necessary in social intercourse. Total truth corrodes human relations. (And it took me a LONG time to learn to keep my mouth shut, to not express my honest views.)

Photography, writing with light, is a communication medium, like writing with alphanumerics, or speaking, or gesturing. We can expect the same principles and standards to apply to such different media. By using a lens with less than 360-degree coverage, we withhold info, thus apply our bias and spin to an image. By carefully selecting subjects and backgrounds, we can lie and distort contexts. By directing and posing and staging shots, we can tell whatever stories we want. No PP is needed, but any PP is the same as editing our speech and writing.

Conclusion: The ethics of photomanipulation are exactly the same ethics we would apply to other forms of communication. You want to stay on good terms with your partner? Don't be totally truthful! Don't print unretouched pictures!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-20-2012, 07:36 AM  
Chinon 55mm 1:1.4 is Zeiss?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 30
Views: 22,909
Of the Chinons and Chinars I mentioned above, none have been any problem on my K20D. Canon dSLRs do have problems with adapted lenses fouling their mirrors, but Pentax mirrors don't stick out so far.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-20-2012, 07:12 AM  
Which combo?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 8
Views: 802
IMHO the 70/2.4 (AOV= 23 degrees) and 35/2.4 (AOV= 44 degrees) make the best pairing. The 55/1.8 (AOV= 29 degrees) and 85/1.4 (AOV= 19 degrees) have views too similar to the 70. And for low light, a 35/2.4 actually stops motion better than a 55/1.8 or 85/1.4 or 40/2.8 (AOV= 39 degrees). The main feature of those longer 'faster' lenses is their much thinner DOF and thus trickier focusing. The main feature of the 40XS is its tiny size, but it hasn't quite the speed nor motion-stopping of the 35/2.4. If your goal is a low-light lens, the 35/2.4 is the best. If you can stretch your budget, you might even think of the FA35/2 or a manual 28/2 like one of the Vivitars.

EDIT: C'mon somebody, ask me for my "motion-stopping lens" rant!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-20-2012, 12:33 AM  
Do we really need bigger sensors?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 30
Views: 3,007
The TOP article reinforces one of my rants here: Thin DOF is for art. Thick DOF is for sales. Look at photos in general magazines -- how many are bokeh showpieces? Thin DOF is great if a subjects demands isolation, not so great otherwise.

Guess what? Super-thin DOF doesn't flatter most faces, and generally loses context. Here's today's Wisdom Of The Ancients, folks: For best modeling of human features, use about an 80/4 lens, whether the frame is APS|HF or FF or MF. That's my experience from Back In The Day when I shot (un)official portraits constantly, with all those formats.

But I digress. I love thin DOF. I exploit thin DOF. I abuse thin DOF. I should join TDA (Thin DOF'ers Anonymous). But I tell myself that I can control my addiction. It takes work. Set the camera to Av and the aperture to two stops off wide-open. Use a shorter lens. Back off a bit. Use flash. Heed the background. Stay calm. Don't think about bokeh, or space aliens.

Would I like a digicam with frame larger than APS-C? Sure. Do I need such, to get the effects I want? Not really. I can shoot film. I'll admit that a 6x6cm fine-grain negative offers a LOT of flexibility when enlarging and cropping. And if that shot was at 75/22, DOF is nicely thick (like 28/8 on APS), and details really show. THAT is the main gain with larger frames: more detail.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-19-2012, 11:54 PM  
CIF -- lenses incompatible with this option?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 2
Views: 776
Is this an autofocus lens? Then you must press the lens-lock button and the shutter at the same time.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-19-2012, 08:40 PM  
Are film bodies getting more expensive?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 54
Views: 3,743
Just in case you feel like standing a page written in braille upright and only want the raised portions of the characters in focus.
I already take too many pictures up close with cat and dog noses out of focus at 1.4 on my A50[/QUOTE]
What I mentioned is also pretty equivalent to 55/2 on APS-C. Stand back a little and the noses will be sharp too.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-19-2012, 08:35 PM  
Zoom lenses with best IQ
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 17
Views: 2,356
F35-70/3.5-4.5 -- smallest zoom Pentax ever made, extremely agile (VERY fast AF), sharp as a bag of primes, a real deal at around US$50.

FA100-300/4.7-5.8 (silver) -- best deal in medium-long zooms, sharp at both ends, very nice color rendition, a best-buy at around US$100.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 06-19-2012, 08:30 PM  
New to the Forums... been using for a while... need your thoughts!
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 10
Views: 701
Extrapolating from dmort a little: The best camera (or lens) is the one you use. The worst is the one you don't use. Sometimes my best camera is the P&S in my pocket, because it's THERE. (And my worst are the cameras I left home.) When I'm lugging my K20D around, my best lens is whatever I'm using -- again, because it's THERE.

I've been shooting for 5+ decades. It was my job long ago. But in all that time, my first Pentax was the K20D I got 4 years ago. The qualities that brought me to Pentax had nothing to do with the size of the company or product line -- it had the best price-performance index, and Pentaxians bitched much less than other-brand owners about how they wanted to 'upgrade' their cameras immediately.

Pentax ruled the SLR world long ago. Pentax-Ricoh isn't in the same sales bracket as Canikon -- not at the moment, anyway. That should change. Ricoh seems intent on growing Pentax into a major player again. So, you're not stuck with a luzer camera maker -- you're an Early Adopter!

Oh yeah, welcome aboard. Have fun here. Or else...
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-19-2012, 08:18 PM  
Do we really need bigger sensors?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 30
Views: 3,007
Bigger frames give more room for cropping. Smaller frames (and their shorter lenses) give much thicker DOF. Those are the major differences.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-19-2012, 05:16 PM  
Pentax Lens prices are back up
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 12
Views: 1,592
OP: Your question on the ASK B&H forum will go unanswered for a couple weeks. The B&H buy is on vacation. How DARE he?!?!?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-19-2012, 05:13 PM  
IQ of Legacy Lenses
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 85
Views: 12,365
For the most part, yes. I've kept a few that don't. Vivitar Series 1: Kiron 70-210/3.5, Komine 70-210/2.8-4, Cosina 19-35/3.5-4.5. Vivitar-Kiron 80-200/4.5. Samyang-Sears: 70-210/4, 80-200/4. Schneider Betavaron 50-125/4-5.6. Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5. Tokina SD 35-200/4-5.6.


I raise you an LF, and call. Show yer cards, pardner. [/me whips out dad's old Conley Model XI 8x14cm view cam]
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-19-2012, 03:55 PM  
Tessar Type 4-element lens in K-mount?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 12
Views: 2,145
The Ikonta folder was trashed. I didn't have to sacrifice it. I *will* admit to sacrificing an Ansco Speedex Special R 6x6 folder to get the Agfa Apotar 85/4.5 lens. So sue me.


Nope, I stick it on a focusing helicoid. Much easier.
Forum: Pentax K-r 06-19-2012, 03:52 PM  
How to Use Catch In Focus
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 7
Views: 4,628
Enable CIF in menu. Set AF to AF.S. The metering mode does not matter.

Using a manual lens: Be sure the base is not painted, and covers the electric contacts.
Using an AF lens: If the lens has an A/M switch, set it to M. If not, you must press the lens-lock button and the shutter simultaneously.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-19-2012, 03:04 PM  
Are film bodies getting more expensive?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 54
Views: 3,743
HOLGA!

Well, you won't get thin DOF with that, but you might find an old Ikonta 6x6 folder with a Tessar 80/2.8. This is AOV+DOF equivalent to 28/1 on my K20D. Woo woo.
Forum: Photographic Technique 06-19-2012, 02:44 PM  
What do members think of moving beyond Ansel Adams?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 53
Views: 3,496
Manipulation goes far beyond PP. We manipulate images by our choices of light, filters, angle, subject, background, all sorts of stuff, even before a shutter has been pressed. We manipulate an image just by choosing a viewpoint, which is a type of staging. If shots from both positions A and B show the same truth, but position B makes a more interesting composition, that's manipulation, right? Or suppose we give directions to a shoot subject. Is a posed portrait less truthful than an impromptu? Suppose you can't tell that a scene has been staged or posed -- do you care?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-19-2012, 02:35 PM  
Tessar Type 4-element lens in K-mount?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 12
Views: 2,145
Tessar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



But none of those are PK mount. I have a Zeiss Tessar 80/2.8 scavenged from an Ikonta folder; it's not PK. I think my Meyer Helioplan 40/4.5 and Kilfitt Makro Kilar E 40/3.5 and Meyer Primotar-E 50/3.5 are Tessars, but in Exakta mount. I've some Xenars and Ektars and enlarger lenses that are tessar-type also, but not in PK mount.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-19-2012, 02:22 PM  
IQ of Legacy Lenses
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 85
Views: 12,365
I have a zillion lenses. Most are old. Some are quite new. The differences I notice:

* Newer zooms and ultrawides and even fisheyes are better optically.
* Older glass seems to have 'character'; newer glass is more uniform.
* Newer lenses tend to be made of lighter and more resilient materials.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-19-2012, 02:14 PM  
Is the DA*60-250mm hand-holdable?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 45
Views: 3,089
I have not heard of that before. How does one do that?[/QUOTE]
Ha! Nifty idea! Cut a small piece of plastic. Countersink a hole in it for a short 1/4" screw. Screw that into P&S base. Slide the assembly into the SLR hotshoe. Brilliant!
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-19-2012, 01:58 PM  
Ethics of photomanipulation
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 16
Views: 1,910
Do what you want. Just don't lie about it.
Forum: Photographic Technique 06-19-2012, 01:13 PM  
photography when you don't have a camera
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 1
Views: 838
Forum: Photographic Technique 06-19-2012, 01:00 PM  
What is REAL photography? [final]
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 54
Views: 5,787
And then we get photo-realistic painting as a reaction to messy, subjective, non-representational painting. And then shooped photography as a reaction to photo-realism. And so on. I get dizzy sometimes. I have a couple small prints, images of old locomotives. These are photos of paintings based on photos based on paintings. Ay yi yi. (And I have another train painting based on a photo based on a painting.) Has art been advanced by this process? I don't know. I just like them.


Except that good artists borrow and great artists steal. Art doesn't spring forth in full-blown originality; it rides on the shoulders of predecessors. So: Art is whatever we can get away with.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-19-2012, 12:15 PM  
Good fast lens on a budget?
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 33
Views: 5,411
Yeah, we think of 50/1.4 as fast (and I do love my Fast Fifties) but do the math and be amazed: My Zenitar 16/2.8 (slightly fishy on APS-C) has an AOV (angle of view) equivalent to a 12mm rectilinear lens. So in terms of stopping motion, it is twice as fast as a 50/1.4! Of course, one does not substitute for the other. Different tools for different tasks, etc.
Forum: Photographic Technique 06-19-2012, 12:07 PM  
What is REAL photography? [final]
Posted By RioRico
Replies: 54
Views: 5,787
Evolution: The survival of change over time. Some styles will survive and influence future photography. Some will have less influence. The survivors will write the histories.
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