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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-31-2019, 02:19 PM  
Lens & Filter recommendations for travel photography
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 19
Views: 1,018
Might I add insurance for gear. I purchased insurance the day before I left for an AK cruise. I'm so glad I did. We went on a whale watching trip. The boat seated 50-75 people, but there was still a wave big enough to knock my tripod over and take out my K-1 and 300mm lens. When I got back, insurance covered the gear.


Thankfully I had a K-5IIs as backup. The DFA 28-105, while better than nothing, was too short for the task. As noted earlier, whales can approach boats, but boats must stay a certain distance away. While I got better shots than those using IPhones, the whales were too far away for good shots. I own the Pentax version of the 18-250 (unfortunately did not take it on the trip), and it lives on my K-5IIs. It is not a prime, but my copy performs great stopped down a bit. I would definitely take your 18-250. You will most likely see a bit of rain, so take the 18-135 WR and plenty of microfiber cloths to clean your protective filters.


Here is a post from a while back that also includes an actual pixel crop of a whale, and gives you an idea of what to expect if you use a lens in range of 105-135 for whales.


While I did not use need to use it, I also purchased a folded up plastic cape with hood and an inexpensive plastic camera/lens cape. They take next to no room, but will help protect you and your gear if you want to shoot in the rain.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 07-23-2019, 09:19 PM  
Video from stills.
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 6
Views: 381
Our camera club uses this very capable software. Our image handlers send images away to be judged. The judges record audio, which the image handler syncs with the images for viewing at our meetings. Recording the slideshow as video does degrade the image quality, so I only did it as a back up.

It was my experience that computer resources needed increased with the number of images and length of audio. Eventually I handed off the job to someone with a better computer. If a trial version is available, check to ensure the computer you own is powerful enough to do the job.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 06-18-2019, 03:25 PM  
Thematic Tiny Flowers
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 1,211
Views: 117,692
Especially like your capture of the first yellow flower. I've tried several times (unsuccessfully) to get a nice image and found that the bright yellow waxy surface is a tough subject. Well done.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 06-17-2019, 09:50 PM  
Thematic Tiny Flowers
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 1,211
Views: 117,692
Butterfly Weed. Not so tiny when enlarged!

Got a Chinese Zhong Yi Freewalker 4-4.5x F2 macro from B&H around Christmas time. DOF is quite shallow. Most people (including me) will not get much in the line of usable images unless they focus stack.

This is one of the first stacks taken with the lens. Unfortunately I did not record the aperture value. Probably at 5.6 to 8, so diffraction is likely an issue. The manual recommends taking images at f2. This was taken at 4x on the K-1. Approximately 70 images. To really get a sharp image, one needs an automated rig. This is at the limit of what I can do with a hand adjusted macro rail, so take that into account when you look at the image.

The second image (crop) is of a different butterfly weed flower (different year, regular macro lens) with an ant approximately one-half cm long.

The third image is of the same flower as the first image, and shows what happens when an ant photo-bombs (ruins) my stack!

I knew I had a few dust spots. But not the extent of it. High Magnification lenses will highlight every single dust spot, and leave bad trails when stacked. I opened the stack in camera raw, healed 30-40 spots, synchronized spot removal, saved the stack then re-assembled in Zerene Stacker. I missed one spot that I had to clone out later.

Xposted to Macro.



Butterfly Weed


Ant on Butterfly Weed


Butterfly weed with photo-bomber
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-17-2019, 08:56 PM  
*Macro* lens club
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 3,464
Views: 463,028
Nice image, Walt!

---------- Post added 06-17-19 at 11:35 PM ----------

Butterfly Weed.


Got a Chinese Zhong Yi Freewalker 4-4.5x F2 macro from B&H around Christmas time. DOF is quite shallow. Most people (including me) will not get much in the line of usable images unless they focus stack.

This is one of the first stacks taken with the lens. Unfortunately I did not record the aperture value. Probably at 5.6 to 8. The manual recommends taking images at f2. This was taken at 4x on the K-1. Approximately 70 images. To really get a sharp image, one needs an automated rig. This is at the limit of what I can do with hand adjusted macro rail, so take that into account when you look at the image.

The second image (crop) is of a different butterfly weed flower with an ant approximately one-half cm long.

The third image is of the same flower as the first image, and shows what happens when an ant photo-bombs (ruins) my stack!


I knew I had a few dust spots. But not the extent of it. High Magnification lenses will highlight every single dust spot, and leave bad trails when stacked. I opened the stack in camera raw, healed 30-40 spots, synchronized spot removal, saved the stack then re-assembled in Zerene Stacker. I missed one spot that I had to clone out later.




Butterfly Weed


Ant on Butterfly Weed


Butterfly weed with photo-bomber
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-09-2019, 10:26 PM  
Teleconverter and Adapter club
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 69
Views: 4,274
What do you get with an A 400, 2x, 1.7x, Q7 and a supermoon on a windy night going behind clouds? You get this video. Angle of view approximately 6392mm. I exported the video's frames, batch processed them to remove some of the haze, then combined them back into video. I hope to revisit this combination this year with better seeing conditions!

Below is the same lens combination with the K-1. I didn't expect much. It was basically a test to see what can be done under bad seeing conditions. I combined 91 images to almost get a 50% level of detail you expect from one good image:


2017 Supermoon
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-09-2019, 08:10 PM  
300mm plus Lens Club: discuss your long lenses
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 31,683
Views: 2,985,187
Best from first batch of test shots with 150-450 & K-1: ISO 1600 at minimum focus distance, handheld, followed by crop. Hummer quite dark in original image. Processed with Silkypix 7 & Topaz Denoise 6.


Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird


Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird, crop
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 06-01-2019, 11:28 PM  
Looking for twin macro light bracket
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 10
Views: 638
An update. I purchased the flash at the sale price from B&H, and was pleased to receive the updated model with LCD display. So they are not liquidating an older model. The product page just has the picture of the older model.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 06-01-2019, 06:15 PM  
Venus Optics KX-800 Flexible Macro Twin Flash - Adorama and B&H sale $229 USD
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 1
Views: 458
Update: I purchased this flash from B&H at the sale price. I was pleasantly surprised to receive the updated model with LCD instead of the older model pictured on the product information page. :)
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-30-2019, 08:57 PM  
Looking for twin macro light bracket
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 10
Views: 638
Both B&H and Adorama have a sale on this flash. It appears this is to make way for an updated model. A quick look at the Laowa website seems to indicate a newer model with a LCD display. I posted a thread in price watch for anyone interested in the flash.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 05-30-2019, 07:57 PM  
Venus Optics KX-800 Flexible Macro Twin Flash - Adorama and B&H sale $229 USD
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 1
Views: 458
B&H has a "limited supply at this price" of $229 on the Laowa KX-800. Adorama also has it listed for the same price. It appears that they are selling off previous model stock. If one looks at the Laowa website, it appears that the newer model has a LCD screen. Otherwise the general specs seem to be the same.


While I've not spent a lot of time looking, this is the lowest price I've seen on the flash.

Does anyone else have any further info on the differences between the old and new models?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-07-2019, 02:18 PM  
Switching fast videos to normal speed
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 2
Views: 475
If the video is short, and shot at 30 fps non-interlaced, you could use Photoshop to export all frames, then re-encode as a 24 fps movie. That would slow things down slightly. You would also need to stretch the audio to fit the time frame of the new video. I've played around with that, and it is time consuming, and can take several hours to re-encode depending on the computer you own.




A far simpler solutions is Bob's. VideoLAN is free. You might try to use its feature to speed up or slow down video. I don't watch entire movies that way, but for portions of a video it often works well. Your mileage may vary based on your hardware and the movie's attributes.
Forum: Lens Clubs 04-14-2019, 03:44 PM  
*Macro* lens club
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 3,464
Views: 463,028
Ready to Fly. K-5 and FA 100mm F2.8. Zerene 6 image stack. Xposted to Bokeh, except this version processed in Topaz Detail to smooth out ISO 800 image grain exaggerated by Zerene. Used JPG moderate setting with no loss of detail.



Ready to Fly
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 04-13-2019, 08:51 PM  
Panorama-orama - Post your Panos
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 1,963
Views: 175,409
Cana Island & Lighthouse, Door County, Wisconsin. K-5, A* 300 F4 and Pentax-A 2X teleconverter. Distance approximately one half mile over the bay. 23 images, 41092x4904 pixels after crop to eliminate stair steps. Manually aligned in CS6E using difference, then autoblend. Probably have dozens of unassembled panoramics of this island from different years and times of the day. When I took them I did not have a computer that could process them in a timely fashion. Now the computer is a little better, but not enough hours to complete them in a timely fashion! :)


Cana Island & Lighthouse

Actual Pixel Crop from above panoramic for scale. If you look at the bottom of the top ball you can see the holes for venting the exhaust produced by burning lamp oil. Today the lens uses a small 200 watt bulb, if memory serves.


CIL Panoramic Detail, actual pixels
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-12-2019, 06:19 PM  
The Bokeh Club
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 16,470
Views: 1,480,396
Ready to Fly. FA 100mm Macro F2.8


Ready to Fly
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-09-2019, 02:07 PM  
Landscape lens for Glacier National Park
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 20
Views: 1,283
I was not aware that there was a Glacier National Park in Montana! :D
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-08-2019, 08:41 PM  
Landscape lens for Glacier National Park
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 20
Views: 1,283
A thought about macro photography in AK. The breeze rarely seemed to stop. My natural light macros with the K-1 meant I spent a fair bit of time waiting for that breeze to stop. After the broken K-1, I did use the onboard flash of the K-5iis with varying degrees of success. A flash with diffuser would have saved me time, and garnered more images.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-08-2019, 07:31 PM  
Landscape lens for Glacier National Park
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 20
Views: 1,283
Some ramblings about my experiences on our AK trip, which included Glacier Bay.

Our family went via Princess Cruise package in 2016. The ship we took made for a very stable platform the day we visited. If the temperature is nice, get up the the bow an hour or so ahead of time to take pictures of the bay as you enter and go to the ice face. Note that the ship is allowed to only approach to a certain distance from the glacier face. The distance varies with the size of the ship. The ship then used the bow/stern thrusters to turn the ship counter clockwise about 2 mph so all areas of the ship could see the ice face. I was in the bow (go early to get to the front--it fills up) and used a tripod to take panoramics. Even with the legs closer together, it was a better platform than handheld. Everything stitched together well, in spite of the movement of the ship. Don't make the mistake of going inside to your room when the ship begins to leave. Go to the stern. I was the only one there as we left. It's a different show, going to and leaving from, even though the scenery is the same! Don't miss half the show. I continued to take panoramics on the tripod until I got tired of it. Since there was no cross wind, the trip out was protected from wind.

I took a MePhoto tripod, 16" folded, max height 62", 3.6lbs, load rating 17lb. I could not afford carbon fiber. On that I used K-1 and DFA 28-105 for Glacier Bay. A prime will give you maximum sharpness, but you do not know how far you will be from the ice face. I recommend a zoom for that reason.

There will be a breeze if you need to swap lenses. I took a small garbage bag (get one with ties so you can attach it to your wrist, they don't want garbage in the bay--bags kill whales) so I could change lenses in the bag. Practice at home in a breeze. You could also zip shut a jacket, put your hands through the sleeves to the inside for changing, assuming the jacket does not shed on the inside. If I had to do it over again, I would wear a light photographer's vest with pockets for lenses, or a couple of fanny packs to carry them.

I overloaded a backpack. I got real weary by the end of two weeks, as I did not want to leave gear in the cabin when I was gone. My gear included a spare body, at least 4 or 5 primes, which included a macro lens and a 300mm. I did not use most of it. Put all the gear you want to take together. Carry it (including tripod) with you everywhere you want to go for three days straight prior to the trip. You will quickly find out what is too much.

We were blessed with excellent weather. Only 2 days with some minor precipitation. I'm told that is unusual. Do yourself a favor and purchase a couple of plastic camera & lens capes so you can take photos in a drizzle, light rain, or mist. Carry a few extra microfiber cloths to clean the front of your protective filter when it mists up. I'm glad I did. Also get a spare inexpensive 3rd party lens cap for each lens size. A baggie & rubber band works in a pinch. It took a bit more time, but I put my cameras and all my lenses in heavy duty ziplock bags for a bit more protection, and put a few extra in my suitcase. Bring or buy plenty of Deet based mosquito repellent, and wear a shirt or light jacket they cannot bite through. Note: Deet is incompatible with some fabrics. Mosquitoes can ruin an outing, and sometimes the AK ones are real bad.

If I had to do it again, my essentials would be two bodies (I had K-5IIs & K-1), DFA 28-105, macro lens, 15mm LTD, 12-24 sigma, a 300mm prime or lens that zooms zooms to 300mm, HD 1.4x converter, two chargers & spare batteries, 256GB SD cards (at least 128GBs for K-5IIs) so you don't run out during a day of shooting, light duty laptop for transferring and backing up files from cards, and one or two small 3T drives. Don't worry about deleting files until you get home. I wasted too much time doing that on the trip.

And now for the bay itself. All images are K-1 & DFA 28-105 unless otherwise noted. This is an 8 image panorama. 28mm, F8, 1/750th sec, ISO 100



Glacier Bay Panoramic

This is 26 images combined. 105mm, F8, 1/350, ISO 100.


Glacier Bay National Park

This is an actual pixel crop from above.


Glacier Face Detail

Here is the view leaving the bay. 58mm, F13, 1/180th sec, ISO 100.

If you take the crop factor of the K-5IIs into account, a zoom of 18-70mm should give you the same angle of view I had at Glacier Bay with the K-1 & DFA 28-105.


One final thought. Insure your gear before you leave. I did it a day or two before I left. I'm glad I did.

When on the whale watching tour I had my K-1 & 300mm on tripod knocked over when a wave hit. Both unusable. Both covered by insurance.

I was glad that day I had the heavy backpack along. I would have gotten better pictures with the 300mm, but at least I got better than the iPhones I saw!

This is an actual pixel crop, taken with the spare K-5IIs and the DFA 28-105 at 105mm. Hence photoptimist's encouragement for a longer lens if possible. No matter what you take, you are going to get great pictures, and have a wonderful time. I hope to go back sometime.



_RGK8290_Humpback_Breach _1_wm_q70
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-03-2019, 05:00 PM  
FA* 300mm f4.5 vs. DA*300mm f4 - which is better full-frame?
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 13
Views: 1,130
I think you saw this Des, but in case someone does not know, this post gives an idea of the vignette that the DA*300, K-1, & 1.4x TC combination produces. My actual pixel crop shows why I like the combination. It's usable on the K-1 and gives more pixels than the K-1's auto crop area. One just needs to remember that it will vignette. For some folks it will be too much. I'm quite happy with it.
Forum: General Photography 03-27-2019, 08:41 PM  
A contraption for taking panoramas with the camera in portrait mode.
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 19
Views: 1,107
Back when I got my K20D, I had an idea for a panoramic head. My Dad built the unit, I drilled the indexing plate. There are 8 or 9 different angles from which to choose. The outer two sets of holes are each 3 degrees, offset so one can choose 1.5 degree increments. I did not have the foresight to build in flexibility. It would take a bit of reworking to use with the K-1.


Homemade Panoramic Head
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 03-15-2019, 06:03 PM  
Thematic Show your texture, pattern, repetition, shape etc. shots here!
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 2,332
Views: 170,492
Patterns from metal.


Ice Fence



Hall Tree Hook
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 02-22-2019, 05:21 PM  
Thematic Bigger Flowers
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 2,225
Views: 110,960
That is the approach I took with the orchid. This variety also "sparkles" (for want of a different term) which makes macro detail challenging. Here is the original, unprocessed (except resized crop) from RAW, which demonstrates that about which the gentlemen speak. No doubt some of you can do better from this JPG than I could starting from the raw. :)


Mom's Orchid Prior to Processing
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 02-18-2019, 03:42 PM  
Thematic Bigger Flowers
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 2,225
Views: 110,960
Orchid. My Mom's orchid almost died when she took a trip last summer. It is now in full bloom. She is pretty happy, as it's the first time she nursed one back to health. White is always a challenge for me to shoot.

K-1 & DFA 28-105 @ 105mm, f10, 3 sec.


Mom's Orchid
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 12-12-2018, 04:12 PM  
Cyber Monday 2018 - $200 off the Pentax KP - just $697!
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 173
Views: 10,023
I had no problems with my purchase at all. I knew when I purchased that it was on back order, so I was willing to wait however long it took. The accessories arrived a couple days before the camera.

Was going to take PS images of our Christmas cactus in bloom. Unfortunately, I found out quickly that the KP does not have an IR sensor for my remote. I never dreamed that Pentax would produce a camera of those specs without. Even the Q series has it. At least 75% of the time, maybe more, I use a IR remote. Eventually the water resistance for the cable cover would be worn out probably sooner than later.


Feel bad about sending it back used with shutter count of 5. Had the customer service rep look to see if there was a low mileage K-3 II in any of their inventory to exchange, but there were none. So I'm sending it back. :(

I sure hope the replacement for the KP/K3 series comes with capability for a wireless remote.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-01-2018, 04:38 PM  
135-600mm vs 300mm f4
Posted By rgknief60
Replies: 17
Views: 1,102
Thanks, but I cannot take credit for the photos. I wish I had taken them. I simply linked to them so you could see what the lens is capable of producing. :)
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