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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-22-2022, 07:25 AM  
What happened to Bellows?
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 29
Views: 1,357
Unless you have a need for absolute framing or image ratio control, the combination of extension tubes and judicious cropping covers 99.9% of the close-up/copy/macro situations with a lot less complexity.

Throw in a few ounces of +diopter filters and a lens reversing adapter and you have a very efficient (and robust!) field kit too.
Forum: Photo Critique 06-21-2022, 06:17 PM  
Macro Mud Dauber digging
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 5
Views: 192
Depends on the purpose of the shot. If you're illustrating a wasp identification book I'd look for a little more tail.

If you're just celebrating a nice close-up of a bug I'd be quite pleased with it.
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-21-2022, 11:55 AM  
Adaptall Mount Club (Tamron).
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 4,442
Views: 811,720
The 63B IS addictive. I've never quite decided exactly why. The field of view at that particular target distance perhaps?

Something to experiment with is the 30A or a crisp 135mm lens with good +1 and +2 diopter close-up filters. Feels sort'a right and produces the same results after a l'il post processing, but . . . it's still like kissin' the bride's-maid instead of the bride.
Forum: Vintage Cameras and Equipment 06-17-2022, 09:35 PM  
Extinction light meter: What is it and how to use it?
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 8
Views: 309
The abacus of light meters - with a nod to Sunny Sixteen.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-17-2022, 10:22 AM  
What happened to Bellows?
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 29
Views: 1,357
Two possibilities:

Most bellows have a universal body with provisions for interchangeable lens and camera mount adapters. (Economical manufacturing.) If you don't have an OEM adapter you may find what you need by savaging from a defunct lens or body.

Epoxying adapters to a cheap bellows body can produce a unique, custom body if necessary. Since the bellows is adjustable, lens registration distance isn't critical.

If you don't have or want a bellows, a custom extension tube can be assembled. This one was made to use Pentax A110 lenses on a Q7 to include a slight extension effect. The body was from a cheap flashlight with plastic lens and body caps epoxied to it.The focusing rack is from a cannibalized bellows with the front mount inverted.

An old Spiratone hard-tube slide copier offers many scavengable parts and serves as a fixed 1:1 > 1:2 macro extension tube.

Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 06-14-2022, 05:18 PM  
Weekly Challenge Weekly Challenge #581 -- Grass
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 16
Views: 587
The GRASS? Oh, yes, please, please, please . . . That's where I belong. :D

Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 06-14-2022, 07:23 AM  
Caption Contest CAPTION CONTEST: Open Jun 9th through June 16th 2022, 6PM NZ Time
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 12
Views: 524
You can run, but ya can't hide!
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 06-07-2022, 10:17 AM  
Thematic Moody, minimalist and abstract landscapes and seascapes
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 13
Views: 520
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-02-2022, 05:35 PM  
Tamron 1.4x Pz-AF vs Pentax 1.4x TC
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 33
Views: 1,108
Yes, but . . . with the TC I'm stuck with the frame AS SHOT. With cropping I have many more options in later in composition. I can't remember being notably dissatisfied later when I didn't 'permanently crop' in that tiny VF with a TC.

Given time 'on target' you can enjoy the best of both methods.
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 06-02-2022, 04:55 PM  
Weekly Challenge Weekly Challenge #580 -- Liminal Spaces
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 21
Views: 661

Uhhh...okay, I'm out'a there. T'was between breakfast an' lunch.

There wasn't anything to read anyway. :(

[ Yeah, right. Walk into your local pub or biker bar an' ask, "Where's the...liminal space? :D]
Forum: Pentax Q 06-02-2022, 01:57 PM  
Q7 pop up sun shade
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 5
Views: 359
Nope, unfortunately that item's Dimensions, listed as 2.36 x 2.76 x 2.36 in, are too large and 'square' for the Q screen. You need something very close to 2.0 x 2.85 in. (51 x 73mm).

The Hoodman brand used to have one (pic below) but haven't seen it in years. I added a focus magnifier from a stamp collector's thingy.

The quickest, and certainly the cheapest, way to solve that is with a Spam can! :confused: Mounting tab cut from the lid and glued on. Scotch tape protects the flash contacts. Slightly oversized but works fine.

Or, heck, just fold one up to suit your fancy from stiff card stock -- a file folder? Double or triple fold the tongue as needed to fit the flash bracket snugly.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-02-2022, 09:57 AM  
Tamron 1.4x Pz-AF vs Pentax 1.4x TC
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 33
Views: 1,108
Then there's the other part of your problem -- support, stability and weight management.

Here's my solution for mobility afield -- a stubby mono-pod. Just long enough to be supported by a pants or shirt pocket, a belt holster or cell phone wallet. Like the waist belt for large flag poles in parades...? Balance out the support triangle with an appropriately short camera strap.

This gear is highly modifiable for seasonal clothes, you never trip over those %^$#@ 'pod legs and you can (mostly) have both hands free when needed. Transferring some of the weight off your neck and onto your belt makes a lot of difference and frees the fingers of the support hand to manipulate the lens; especially helpful with MF lenses.

This isn't intended to replace the function of a 10 pound tripod. It does augment SR (IME about two stops worth), provides noticeable relief from fatigue and potentially gets you into places that prohibit tripods or out into the weeds.

A two-legged Gorillapod bi-pod offers even more options and adjustments for on-person support and the three-legged one may also serve as a stand-alone solution as well; the extra leg isn't THAT noticeable.
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 06-02-2022, 07:56 AM  
Weekly Challenge Winners - Weekly Challenge #579 - Perfect imperfections
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 10
Views: 321
"Yesterday and tomorrow: The difference a day makes."

Meant metaphorically, not literally.

04/14 and 04/22 actually - per EXIF.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-01-2022, 11:07 PM  
Tamron 1.4x Pz-AF vs Pentax 1.4x TC
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 33
Views: 1,108
A few years ago I had in hand 2 Pz AF 1,4's. two Tam SP 1.4 TC's, one Tam 200 TC, and the Pentax 1.4 AF. [Don't ask!] I also had the Adaptall SP 300 (360), SP 180 (63B), SP 80-200 (30A) and the Pentax DA*300 and three DA 50-200s.

After months of careful record keeping and comparing lens combinations from a steady rest with weighted bags I had a grunch of images. Two reliable K-5's were used. A few lessons learned:

1) I'd acquired the Pentax AF TC to see if it was useful with the MF Adaptall lenses. I spent far more time reconfirming critical auto focus and pre-setting the manual lenses to the TC acceptance range than I did simply manually focusing MF lenses. The process was frustratingly nit-picky and too hit-or-miss.

2) Immediately viewing images straight OOC I could usually detect some minor differences in the TC results. But when mixing the images later (blind test), I couldn't be sure as to which TC was involved without reference to notes.

3) When comparing lens/TC combinations in field conditions and after routine post-processing tweaks it was simply impossible to reliably differentiate between images -- sometimes even using notes. The uncontrolled variables from shot-to-shot, scene-to-scene and lens-to-lens were greater than between TC's on a lens. Subject and camera motion and critical focus far outweighed any quality difference between TC's.

4) I always shoot TC's only with the optically best lens available that allows me to use the shooting position and perspective or viewpoint desired. Never at min or max aperture if at all possible -- better to bump ISO as that has the possibility of improvement in PP.

5) Any TC on the SP 500 f-8 (55B/BB) is too light-limiting to be practically useful in most conditions.*

6) Adding 40% to a 35mm lens (~50) can offer more utility than adding 40% to 300mm (420) when considering typical subject distances and circumstances; and motion blur issues are much less.

End game: I've kept only one Tamron Pz-AF 1.4 TC and don't regret selling the more expensive Pentax 1.4 AF. With current high pixel count sensors I rarely use it except to allow shooting from an alternative position; often garden and zoo close-ups at 5 - 10 ft.

* @CSA: Yeah, used yours.

[The Tam 200 TC was optically designed specifically for close-up, flat-focal-plane copy use (art & advertisement) and has no advantage otherwise or in the field. That TC came out shortly before the end of the Adaptall era and that info never was well advertised or common knowledge.]
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-30-2022, 03:39 PM  
Stacking extension rings and teleconverters (P67II)
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 9
Views: 441
Aggie's above illustration's a good, if simple, explanation of the effect of both rings and TC's (and 'crop factor' too).

The difference is that TC's spread the light rays optically independent of body length with whatever advantages and decrements in IQ the combined lens formulas impose. With rings there's no 'optical intervention' -- for either better or worse -- for any specific application or lens combination.

With today's high mega-pixel sensors cropping must be part of the trial with due consideration for other unavoidable effects such as MFD, DOF, perspective angles, stand-off distance and available lighting constraints on exposure.

As always, the best answer is to try all options and choose the best results for your unique application. The best will almost always be that with the best optical result with the lens only -- especially if not doing >1:1 true macro.

My experience has been that the most critical factor for practical use of close-ups has been to optimize gear and exposure for maximum depth of field rather than for the greatest magnification.

Truth is, in field use my most useful 'macro' accessories over the years have been a set of quality diopter filters. They're economical and take very little pocket-space so they're always available when needed. Today, a compact LED lamp with a USB battery pack has been very useful.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-30-2022, 11:23 AM  
White balance, gray balance, beginners tips
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 19
Views: 1,012
An objective evaluation of 'white balance' must be based upon the incident light source.

As you've discovered, reflected light is subject to too many uncontrolled variables in the scene and alternative TTL metering modes. But reflected light controls the exposure of the scene.

With the prevalence of TTL, in-camera metering we seem to have lost awareness of incident light.
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 05-26-2022, 12:45 PM  
Weekly Challenge Weekly Challenge #579 - Perfect imperfections
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 11
Views: 449
Yesterday and tomorrow: The difference a day makes.

Attempting to suggest the very brief life of imperfections;

each existential moment an instantaneous, fleeting 'truth'.

But which 'truth' is real? And who gets to choose?
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 05-24-2022, 02:45 PM  
Weekly Challenge WINNERS- #578- I spy something beginning with .... M
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 6
Views: 279
An interesting example of the subjective compromises we make in selecting topical images to submit. Each of these four potential images of an MG has a different approach to the overall statement which was, in this case, the topical 'M'.

As such, the first image HAD to be the choice to minimize ambiguity even if it might not be (subjectively) the most emotionally interesting presentation.

E.g., is it the 'guitar' or 'musician' . . . 'Moon' or 'sky/clouds' . . . 'MG or 'bright yellow car'? That choice may be clear only within the understood context of the challenge.

Not everyone would recognize three of the four pics as an MG.
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 05-24-2022, 11:16 AM  
Weekly Challenge WINNERS- #578- I spy something beginning with .... M
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 6
Views: 279
But of course. Climb aboard. Close your eyes an' . . . hope it doesn't rain?

Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 05-22-2022, 09:38 PM  
Weekly Challenge Weekly Challenge #578 - I spy something beginning with ... M
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 15
Views: 639
'53 MG TD . . . or is that a canary?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-22-2022, 07:11 AM  
Pentax da 300mm F4 + pentax 1.4x TC AF fine adjustment help
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 13
Views: 776
What is ACTUALLY being identified/read/calibrated/stored/adjusted with TWO AF lenses involved?

Might first try with only the lens mounted as a comparison.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-12-2022, 09:06 AM  
What is "One Stop"?
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 68
Views: 3,262
If the goal is not to predict and define precise 'cubic glumps' of illumination or squishy bokeh effects but rather to produce pleasing images, your friend is instant review and histograms.
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 05-04-2022, 10:38 AM  
Weekly Challenge Weekly Challenge #576 - Sunrise or Sunset
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 11
Views: 637
James Marine Boatyard
Mississippi Rvr at Wickliff, KY
Sky effect of West Coast forest fires - 2009
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 05-03-2022, 10:42 PM  
simple quick convenient basic editor but with specific features for ease of use
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 17
Views: 1,043
Another Faststone vote. I've been using it since the first version for for about 90% of my JPG processing. One big advantage is its a very straight forward image browser and file manager. Access to all tools is just a mouse flick to a margin. Combining images to print or to save save is easy. All of the BASIC color, drawing and batch tools are available. You can link to other resources like the NIK tools as stand-alone add-ons. There's good Help/tutorial links. You can learn everything you need for basic PP simply by clicking on the menu items around the margins.

It does NOT provide for layers or complex brushes but saving original files and before making trial adjustments provides a back up if done diligently.

Just for fun -- 20 minutes messin' about in FSIV:
Forum: Pentax K-3 III 04-25-2022, 10:50 PM  
The ins and outs of the K-3 III AF.C system - My own experience and understandings
Posted By pacerr
Replies: 56
Views: 5,553
One must wonder what overall AF reputation would be if the first 2-3 frames of burst mode were simply suppressed and discarded by software as necessary acquisition process.

Same for the widest aperture of a lens being intended solely for brighter low light view and marketing position.
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