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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-11-2018, 04:06 AM  
What's up with Pentax kit lenses?
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 41
Views: 2,911
Have to agree. Ricoh has bundled the 18-135 and 16-85 as a kit with bodies, and the Ďkití lens for the K1, the 28-105, is optically superb. I think they are moving away from the cheap type kit lens and into more premium bundles.

The 18-50/55 being harder to source in a kit might be done to Ricoh running down stock levels.
Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 07-30-2018, 04:00 AM  
July Pentax K-1 Giveaway: Raffle Thread 2, 11:00 UTC, July 30, 2018
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 75
Views: 4,621
Entry time!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-29-2018, 09:00 PM  
Best wifi SD to use
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 13
Views: 3,078
Yeah, there is only so much power you can get out of an SD card form factor. End of the day, itís the option when there is no other option.

The Wi-Fi in my K-1 is much, much better. Far more usable, though the software on my tablet/phone is still clunky (a common problem across camera brands as I understand).
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 07-29-2018, 08:00 PM  
K-1 & Samyang/Rokinon 8mm CS II Experience?
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 8
Views: 1,055
Itís a little bit more than an APSC crop, but this is very much an APSC lens. To me the real opportunity is narrower crop ratios, which also lets you get a bit more fishy in the vertical axis!

Canít deny the value though, great way to get into fisheye views - I should really play with mine some more!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-29-2018, 07:52 PM  
Best wifi SD to use
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 13
Views: 3,078
I canít really see the need for the Pentax flucard if you are purely after the transfer capability, shouldnít be any different to alternatives. That and the Pentax model is overpriced in my opinion, and the remote control was hardly flash (it was just the only option available).

That said, I find Wi-Fi SD cards to be a pain, slow, fiddly and unenjoyable user experiences. Can you read the SD card directly with the phone? I donít think you loose anything by popping the SD card out and connecting it for a traditional transfer.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-29-2018, 07:46 PM  
ist DS memory size issue - why too small
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 12
Views: 880
Yep, itíll show 999 until the estimated remaining capacity drops below 999. Thatís a lot of pictures!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-29-2018, 07:38 PM  
DFA 15-30 -- confidence
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 17
Views: 2,569
Nice pictures - I find the 15-30 excels with indoor architecture, and it looks like that translates to caves really well.

Good work to avoid shooting landscapes @15mm and end up with a whole lot of sky, a whole lot of grass and a whole lot of nothing!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-29-2018, 07:30 PM  
Which long lens do you recommend?
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 24
Views: 1,796
Woah... that would be a fun lens to take through airport security!

For the OP, if you are after a general purpose tele Iíd suggest stretching for the 55-300 PLM - good optics and snappy AF, even if it is slow at the long end (should be fine for birds in sunny daylight). Otherwise just keep saving - the DA* 300 + 1.4 TC is a popular combo that can be done second hand.
Forum: Photographic Technique 07-29-2018, 02:43 AM  
Low-Light Astrophotography tips - a short tutorial
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 12
Views: 1,526
That's an astounding end result from an outer-surban sky! I'd normally suggest for any single exposure shot to head out somewhere decently rural.

Excellent advice on equipment too - I have found the DFA 100 macro to be an excellent performer for astrophotography, and the astrotracer sweet-spot is 50-100mm, wider runs the risk of field rotation, longer becomes more and more restricted by the quality of your calibration.

The secret to getting serious in astrophotography is to have deep pockets ;)

Really though, you can have a lot of fun at night with regular lenses, going astro-landscapes and super-wide field (which in astrophotography is around 200mm and wider). Your lenses will also double up as useful when the sun is up - sadly my 8-inch telescope doesn't make for a very usable telephoto!
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 07-29-2018, 02:25 AM  
Full Lunar Eclipse and the 645Z
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 20
Views: 2,738
Any trip to the field is bound to have its own oopsies...

For me the eclipse was in the early morning, with the moon just before the end of totality, so it was going to be low on the horizon. I actually planned it out pretty well, but sadly the decently dark place I went to (with good western horizons) ended up experiencing rolling fog, so I ended up shooting through massive amounts of moisture... *sigh*. On the other hand I did get some decent mist-at-dawn shots after.

Nothing I could do about it, fog everywhere on the drive out, you just have to make the best of what you have when you get on site.

But I do like the lighting you got on your moon, really nice view with just a prick of sunlight fading to darkness across the surface! I think you can be pretty happy with that.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 07-25-2018, 05:40 AM  
K-1 & Samyang/Rokinon 8mm CS II Experience?
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 8
Views: 1,055
Just had a quick play and clickclick's sample is spot on. By a quick calc I'd say you could squeeze just under an extra 10% over the APSC frame in standard 3:2 before the corners are too noticeably vignetted. Not a huge amount, but you do get more vertical to play with. Plenty for 4:3 and 5:4, with both still having a little more width than APSC (and obviously much more height!). 1:1 ends up being just too much, with the corners being unrecoverable, but you could shoot 1:1 on the K-1 and then only need to crop a small amount to be fine.

If you like fisheyes, that's a pretty good price. It's not a bad little lens. I don't believe there was any changes to the optical formulae between the original and CS II versions, maybe new coatings, but it is quite likely that the only real change was mechanical (the detachable hood) and maybe some internal fix that we don't know about, or a fix for another mount.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-18-2018, 02:17 AM  
Looking for full res sample astro photos taken with K-1 & 15-30 2.8
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 17
Views: 1,686
Whoops, fixed! Sorry, I only just uploaded it, and forgot to set it to public!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-17-2018, 01:31 PM  
Looking for full res sample astro photos taken with K-1 & 15-30 2.8
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 17
Views: 1,686
Pure Milky Way:

K-1, DFA 15-30 @ 15mm, F2.8, 10 seconds, 800 ISO.

Southern celestial pole is just below and to the right of the centre of the image.

Same view with more processing and 30 seconds (so shows some trailing in the corners).
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 07-16-2018, 07:06 PM  
Ultra wide angle Irix 15mm or Irix 11mm
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 67
Views: 8,240
Honestly, if you still have the money for it, grab the DFA 28-105. With good WR and a range that covers both wide and tele landscape photography, its almost the perfect NZ lens! Itís also a lens that can easily find a home in almost any K-1 kit.

I found that my 28-105 is actually a little wider than my 28mm prime, Though still narrower than my 24mm, so I suspect it is really around 26-27mm at the wide end (rounded off focal lengths are pretty common). If you can combine it with a 20mm or so lens at some stage you will have as much width as a landscape photographer could ask for (things start getting very weird and hard to utilise beyond 20mm). That said, I donít think youíll need anything that wide for NZ - much of the scenic beauty over there is best appreciated at telephoto range! Anything that calls for more than 28mm you can just take several shots and stitch them together when you get home.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-04-2018, 01:41 PM  
Astrotracer star trails *sigh*
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 23
Views: 3,210
I thought I had previously posted my quick guide to the astrotracer, but I canít find it any more, so Iíll try to recreate it.

(I havenít used the OGPS, just the built in GPS on the K3II and the K1, but the actual operation is the same)

0. Make sure the camera has the right focal length for your lens - manual lenses will need this manually inputted!
1. Hook up and turn on the GPS
2. Switch the bulb mode.
3. Enable Astrotracer (from memory you canít precise calibrate until itís enabled in the menus)
4. Do a precise calibration. This calibrates the compass, not the GPS, so avoid magnetic fields - think power lines, anything iron (so basically metal), keep in mind what is underground as well as above. Even a small error in the calibration can have a big impact given th precision needed for the astrotracer.
5. Do another precise calibration. My first is never as good as my second.
6. Attach the camera to your sturdy tripod, point at some nice part of the sky. Avoid windy areas, and avoid photographing near the celestial poles (ie. straight north or south).
7. Take a test shot; 30 seconds, 1600 ISO, wide open is a good start. If the image is washed out, decrease ISO, if you see trails, recalibrate! Repeat until you have something you like. Your first image will probably be a mess.
8. Adjust exposure time up, increase ISO to compensate. When you get too much trailing, decrease exposure time or see if more calibration helps.

Astrotracer, and astrophotography generally is an art that involves a lot of patience and trial and error. My general experience is that I donít go over 60 seconds with the astrotracer, and longer lenses mean shorter exposures (so typically 30 seconds at 100mm). There are exceptions, given the right conditions, but you just need to play and tweak to find out where they lie.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-01-2017, 05:04 AM  
Best Starter Lens for All-Around Night Photography?
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 9
Views: 1,509
Well the 35 has a half stop advantage over the 40, so there is that - half a stop of extra light gathering power can be critical in low light situations, but you obviously like the size of the 40 - so it is a trade off between extra aperture and extra convenience.

Not sure I could recommend either for star photography - not wide enough for Milky Way shots, not long enough for inter-stellar detail. The range would be limiting, though that isn't necessarily a bad thing when starting out. If I had to pick one, probably the 35, and even then only on the assumption that the pancake build on the 40 involved compromising on the optical design negatively for coma and other attributes important to astrophotography (my FA 43 Limited, another pancake design, certainly shows this).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-15-2017, 12:45 AM  
Long term planning for a trip to Iceland
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 43
Views: 3,823
I spent 9 days in Iceland at the end of May and start of June this year - did the full loop around the island on Route 1, very nice place. My first piece of advice is don't just stay in the southwest. Sure, the Golden Circle has quite a bit in it, but if you head out you will get to see wonderful things that the stop-over-visitors don't and experience it without the crowds. Some of the best stuff I did involved being the only people there, and you wont get that in the southwest! Getting to Myvatn is totally worth it, not only is it stunning, but there is plenty to see on the way.

Anyway, I took my K-1 and probably too many lenses (but I did much more than just Iceland, that's my excuse). At a minimum, you will want something wide:

(Myvatn - FA* 24mm; ~16mm on APS-C)

(On the northern road to Akureyri - DFA 28-105mm @ 28mm; ~18mm on APS-C)

You'd be surprised how often you are taking landscape shots at normal and tele focal lengths - the air is so clear your visibility just goes on and on and on. So you definately want something in the middle - say 30-75mm on APS-C:

(SiglufjŲrūur - DFA 28-105mm @ 105mm; ~70mm on APS-C)

And you will want something with reach, because... well... this:

(Puffin - DA* 60-250 @ 250 and then cropped some; probably 300-400mm on APS-C)

And finally, some good ND filters and a sturdy tripod. Lots and lots of waterfalls, like this:

(One of god-knows-how-many waterfalls just by the side of the road - though I didn't actually use an ND filter for this one, I used the Composite mode to stack, from memory, 25 shots taken at 1/15; I kept switching between ND filters and composite mode depending on what I had remembered to take from the car).

Ok, so that is a huge range. But I think you can cover it off with the DA 15 Limited (magic lens, small, really good stopped down), the DA 55-300 (very portable telephoto, decent range, and good enough in good light) and a new DA 16-85 (weather resistant, which is all important in Iceland, great IQ, covers off the wide to mild-tele range really well). With all that you just have to hope for good photo weather.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-10-2017, 04:58 PM  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 6,514
Views: 859,656
Completely OT, but despite a very mixed bag of experiences with your airport officials, I did once have a hispanic Immigration officer in Hawaii start cracking jokes with me, and he was pretty funny! We had some back-and-forth and I think he was right - he was the only hispanic we met in the State.

A nice change from the usual experience where it always feels like you are suspected of being a criminal/terrorist/illegal immigrant.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-04-2017, 01:10 PM  
Replace K50 with what?
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 17
Views: 2,418
The K-50 is still a very capable camera, with the aperture block being its only major issue. Sadly, when if it does go (as it has for you) it's a pretty big problem.

If the camera is still fairly new, check to see what your warranty options are. If you can get the camera replaced or repaired under warranty you can save your 600 pounds for another day.

A second hand K-3 is a very good value option. Lots of camera for your pound. A new K-3II is also a good value way to go, being at the end of its sales life (due for replacement with a new model) it is going at a good discount, but it might be just out of your budget.

The K-70 is the other major option. It occupies the same place in the lineup as the K-50, but has some pretty nice tech updates to make it a substantial improvement. As I understand it also uses a different aperture motor, to address the failure problem you have already experienced.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-25-2017, 06:57 PM  
The difference in flash types
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 20
Views: 1,963
+1 to this, the older 540 FGZ (and its smaller 360 brother) are brilliant flashes. They lack the WR of the Mk II models, and are larger, but they come with A mode (dropped on the Mk II) which as already described uses a sensor built into the flash. A mode means manual lenses are no problem, and you can have automation without the P-TTL preflash. I find A mode's results to be as good as P-TTL.

If you are patient you can snap up a bargain - I got mine for $140AU off eBay last year, pretty happy with that. It even came with a 3m extension cord (which is a rip off if bought on its own).
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 06-21-2017, 11:40 AM  
15% off Pentax Australia web store
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 17
Views: 2,367
$2,124.15. Which equates to about $1,600 USD. Damn good price. If I didn't already have one, I'd jump on that.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 06-20-2017, 10:05 PM  
15% off Pentax Australia web store
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 17
Views: 2,367
Well this isn't going to end well....

for my wallet.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 05-06-2017, 09:51 PM  
Is it possible to program the K-1 for multiple long exposures?
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 9
Views: 1,037
As long as there is a cable running from the control unit that is used to remotely trip the shutter, it shouldn't be a problem. My mount for my telescope has something similar, a cable release output - as it happens it is a 2.5mm mini jack (designed principally for Canon, and 2.5mm plugs are dirt cheap, it just happens to be that the K-1 uses the same cable jack), though there are adapters available for other makes. The mount's hand controller can than be programmed to trip the shutter - I don't actually use this feature as I prefer to use the intervalometer I liked before, but the idea is the same.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 05-06-2017, 02:26 PM  
Is it possible to program the K-1 for multiple long exposures?
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 9
Views: 1,037
Sure can. I use one of these: Timer Remote Shutter Cord for CANON RS-60E3 / PENTAX CS-205 / CONTAX LA-50 - JJC, you can buy them (and other options) from your favorite retailer/ebay. Just remember that the K-1 has a dedicated remote port, so it uses the stereo mini jack (same as Canon's that don't use their proprietary N3 port), the K-70 and K-P use a tri-channel mini jack as the remote uses the microphone port. It looks like you can now get 3rd party intervalometers for the K-70/K-P so there are now two very similar looking setups for Pentax. You should be able to use an adapter to switch anyway, but it is worth keeping in mind.
Forum: Sold Items 05-05-2017, 09:05 PM  
For Sale - Sold: FA* 24mm; Kooka Ext. Tube
Posted By GodsPetMonkey
Replies: 15
Views: 3,962
The K-3II and DA16-85 are now sold and off to a new home that just leaves the FA* 24mm and the Kooka tube.

Unfortunately (;)) I am off to Europe later this week, so if there is no further interest over the next couple of days I may need to take it down and relist it when I return.
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