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Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 09-23-2020, 06:54 AM  
Deformed batteries
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 18
Views: 1,198
I have a theory that part of the reason 3rd party batteries may have higher capacity but poor longevity is also because of the way theyíre provisioned. I have an electric car and the entire battery capacity is not fully accessible; this prevents very low or very high voltages when the battery is sitting idle (eg fully depleted or charged respectively). So when your battery appears to be fully charged or fully empty it actually isnít and that improves its longevity. Anecdotally my OEM batteries seem to lose relatively little capacity over many years while the few 3rd party batteries Iíve had became so unpredictable after a year itís not worth the inconvenience.

Itís similar to overprovisioning on SSDs which increases longevity at the cost of storage capacity.

3rd parties may utilize all the capacity which runs the battery from absolutely full to flat and so the battery is getting ruined faster if you leave it fully charged until youíre ready to use it
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 09-04-2020, 02:20 PM  
Dfa*85 - $2300 cad
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 0
Views: 447
Already bought during pre-order but if someone in Canada is looking for the spectacular new 85mm, it's gone down $200 on

If you collect airmiles, shop using the referral link at and you should get 115 air miles (1 per $20 spent) - that's worth over $10.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-10-2020, 06:44 PM  
645D, Cheapest Used Digital MF Camera to Buy?
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 59
Views: 3,788
The Mamiya ZD appears to be pretty close to the 645D in price but I can't think of any compelling reason to go that route.

I invested in a T/S adapter for my K-1 (the Mirex) and got a handful of used Pentax 645 lenses for pretty good prices over the span of a few months around 12-18 months agi. I had experimented with a homemade cardboard bellows and a 67 lens ages ago (10+ years) with a K100D.

Then I got an itch for a native 645 body so started looking on ebay and locally. I was fortunate to find someone local willing to sell his 645D and DFA55 for C$1800 and then on a whim, after losing out on a 645Z on ebay (with a bit I didn't expect to win with, just testing the waters), I got a second chance offer to buy it for C$2800, and since it was a Canadian seller, I jumped on it to save the hassle of an international purchase if I ever got serious again.

So, yes, the 645D is probably the cheapest "good" medium format DSLR. The IQ is perfectly good, the AF is not meaningfully different than the 645Z (we don't buy Pentax for the AF), and the battery life is good (bonus: uses the same battery as my K-1 and K-01). The write speed isn't even that bad with good SD cards (two card slots too), and it supports contemporary SDXC cards with the latest firmware.

There are three primary drawbacks compared to the 645Z. The first is the image review delay mentioned earlier, which reminds me of my *ist D - it takes what feels like an eternity (actually about 3-4 seconds) for the image to appear after taking the photo. The shutter itself also reminds me of the *ist D - the actuation has a distinct whirring sound and longer duration that feels quite a bit longer than the K-1 and 645Z which both sound more like a snap or click and feel more instant and a bit quieter.

The second is the fact there is no live view. To justify going through the trouble of MFD for image quality, you need to nail focus. I managed fine for over a decade with film and digital SLRs that lacked live view, but it's a nice to have since the Pentax AF can be frustrating to deal with accuracy wise, even with fine adjust (available on the D and Z). About half my lenses are AF, and the rest are A-series or 67 series. You can get a focusing screen with aids but the OEM versions are either impossible to find or very expensive. I found an Australian dealer online that appeared to have them in stock but were unwilling/unable to ship to Canada.

The last is high ISO. I survived with usable ISO 1600 for a very long time with my K100D and *ist D, but equivalently usable ISO 6400+ on the K-1 is a treat; you're back to usable ISO 1600 on the 645D. Combined with slower lenses (the zooms are generally F4.5-5.6, and primes F2.8-4), you must have good light, a tripod, or a flash. You also lose in-body SR; there are a couple of expensive 645 lenses with in-lens SR (the 90mm macro, and the 28-45 - each runs about C$2500-3000 used). Combined with a heavier camera, the hit rate under identical conditions vs the K-1 will be much lower. But when you do hit, you are rewarded with beautiful images.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-25-2020, 07:06 AM  
DA60-250 SDM speed in live view
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 4
Views: 509
Thanks for the offer. Before going into details, the behaviour was so vastly different by focal length that I don't think you need to be very scientific:

1) focus on a distant near infinity object (I live downtown in a large city, so I just pointed to another building in the distance)
2) focus on a nearby object (e.g. my balcony or something inside)
3) focus on a distant object again
4) focus on nearby object again

I performed this on my K-01 (live view only), in good daytime light in single (not continuous) AF (multi point) at 60, 85, 135, 200, and 250mm. At 60/85/135mm, the times were pretty constant and pretty short. At 200/250mm, the time is at least 2-3x as long, and the way the lens focuses seems different. You can see the focusing slowly gliding towards the right distance (the SDM makes a steady very quiet whine), while at shorter focal lengths it tends to "snap" a few times to quickly converge to the right distance (the SDM makes a series of quiet squeaks).

The lens ultimately manages to lock focus. The slowness is most obvious when the lens hunts, which might be more likely at longer focal lengths. For small changes in focus, 200/250mm seem to behave no different than 60/85/135mm.

If a video helps, let me know, but the difference was not subtle at all.

I then did the same thing on my K-1 II in live view, and the behaviour was almost identical.

I then switched to OVF (phase detect AF), and there was hardly any variability in AF time at various focal lengths; the SDM behaves by "snapping" to the right focus with progressively smaller corrections (series of quiet squeaks). So the slowness is unique to longer focal lengths using contrast detect (live view) and most noticeable when the distance changes a lot (e.g. hunting / MFD-infinity / infinity-MFD)

The other SDM lenses I have are the DA*55, DA*50-135, and DA*300. The prime lenses seem to behave fine, but obviously don't zoom. The 50-135 does not slow down much on the long end.

I would summarize the "problem" as very slow hunting at 200/250mm in live view only. So maybe it's just by design and I never noticed it before.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-24-2020, 09:21 PM  
DA60-250 SDM speed in live view
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 4
Views: 509
Hi everyone,
I took out my 60-250 for the first time in a while. I was surprised and worried to note that on my K-01, the AF was extremely slow when set past 135mm (literally 10+ seconds to focus from one end of the range to the other). It seemed fine at 135mm and lower, where it might be at most a couple of seconds.

On my K-1 II, it exhibited the exact same behaviour in live view, but using the OVF the AF was about as fast as I would expect for SDM at any focal length.

Can anybody with that lens and a live view camera confirm if that's the behaviour you're seeing or if I could be in trouble?

Edit: for clarity I've owned the lens for almost 3 years and can't remember the live view phenomenon since I mostly used the OVF and hardly mounted it on the K-01. The DA55 and DA50-135 don't behave this way either.

Forum: General Talk 03-23-2011, 10:37 PM  
Seeking the help of a Japanese Pentaxian
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 2
Views: 2,122
Haven't posted to the forum in awhile but hope everyone's well!

I have a friend here in Canada who is looking for a pair of headphones that is seemingly impossible to find outside of Japan. He'd be quite appreciative of anybody in Japan who might be able to find a pair and ship them to Toronto. The model is Elega DR-631.

Understandably, my timing is not the greatest and the more/most important focus of a lot of Japanese these days is rebuilding, so either way I send my regards to those affected by the earthquake over the past week and a half!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-23-2010, 07:51 PM  
Cheap/Old AF Telezoom Help
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 10
Views: 2,206
The 70-210 is really good. Heavy, but good. Works on film too. It's quite a bit larger and heavier than the DA.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-20-2010, 10:15 AM  
How to make ANY non-A K mount lens into an A lens.
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 125
Views: 14,877
The K100D has a known exposure bug when the contacts aren't shorted. I don't think other bodies have this issue.

I first noticed it because someone I knew used a K100D and M42 lenses without issues and I was underexposing by 1-2 stops. He was using a flanged adapter which shorted the contacts; I was using the genuine adapter which doesn't.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-15-2010, 06:38 PM  
Samyang 35mm f1.4 photos
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 73
Views: 28,240
If it's significantly cheaper than the FA31 I will be thoroughly impressed. From the results of the 85mm and 14mm lenses, it might be killer if ppl don't mind MF (unfortunately I do)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-12-2010, 08:10 PM  
So a full plastic 35/2.4 is available at Nikkor 35/1.8 price?
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 79
Views: 15,621
That's completely fair :)

I brought up build quality because many of us Pentax folk used the Canon 50/1.8 to justify having Pentax make a flimsy lens (split between 35 and 50) as long as it was affordable and fast. Now Pentax has done that (presumably not as flimsy nor as fast), and we're bringing up the fact that the Nikon is better built! If Pentax had made a plain DA 35 (with metal mount and quick shift) for, say, $250, we might all be discussing why they didn't make it DA-L and $50 cheaper :lol:
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-12-2010, 06:39 PM  
So a full plastic 35/2.4 is available at Nikkor 35/1.8 price?
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 79
Views: 15,621
While 35/1.8 would have been nice (I have the FA31 so it's moot to me anyway), I think the grievances are a bit unjustified:

1) The FA35 was F2. Yes, and it was more expensive even at $300 (much less $450). So now you get 1/2 stop slower and about 35% cheaper. Pretty fair deal.

2) The Nikon is F1.8 for the same(ish) price. Yes, but Nikon sells tons of them (certainly more than Pentax would have sold of its DA35 even at F1.8) and benefits from economies of scale. Pentax probably cannot afford a loss leader, or at the very least, lower margins.

3) The Nikon is AF-S. Yes, but partially because entry level bodies don't have a screwdrive. It's true that quickshift would have been nice, but the majority of the target buyers probably want just AF anyway.

4) The Nikon is better built. Yes, but it sounds like people are picking their comparisons. Everybody is OK having a crummy-built Canon 50/1.8 because of its low price and that is brought up when comparing to Pentax. Finally Pentax offers a DA-L which probably isn't half as crummy as the Canon 50, and now we're saying the Nikon is higher quality.

I think most folks would observe that the only way to get "fast" apertures is to go big (DA* and FA Limited) or go old (old used lenses, FA Limited haha). The only DA lens faster than F2 is the 55. All the DA Limiteds are slower. It's not good when Pentax users feel the competition is better, but Pentax has made their offer on an affordable normal and if it's not good enough, users will leave and that's the way it is (sadly). Personally I have a friend with an F50/1.7 who likes the red version :)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-10-2010, 07:43 PM  
Photokina 2010, Pentax and the full frame mystery
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 727
Views: 122,105
A FF roadmap wouldn't be the end of the world. I think that anybody who was giving FF strong consideration wouldn't really care what happens in the APS-C world and similarly, most APS-C users will hang around and use APS-C equipment for reasons like cost ($1500-2000 is still a lot for a body even if it's FF since APS-C bodies will be under $1000), telephoto reach (unless the FF bodies have crazy pixel density), and potentially cheaper/smaller lenses (mostly because they're slower when you compare aperture size for a given FOV in two formats)

The 645D is not a solution because lenses are nowhere as interchangeable as they are between APS-C and FF, it is much more expensive, it is much heavier and larger, and the lenses are also not that equivalently fast (probably more even in sharpness though)
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 08-05-2010, 08:55 AM  
Voltage of eneloop charger
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 8
Views: 3,594
Thanks for the info folks. Checked online and my model looks like it will fry at 240V, so the 100-120V indication on the charger itself and the French manual are correct; the English manual is in all likelihood wrong.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 08-03-2010, 11:16 AM  
Voltage of eneloop charger
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 8
Views: 3,594
Looking again, the French side of the manual says 100-120V, the English side 100-240V (This is Canadian). I'm guessing it's 100-120V, but quite the glaring typo.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 08-03-2010, 11:10 AM  
Voltage of eneloop charger
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 8
Views: 3,594
I have the 4-AA charger NC-MQN05. On the charger itself, it says the voltage range is 100-120v, 50-60Hz. In the specs given in the printed manual that came with it, I am reading 100-240V, 50-60Hz. I hadn't consulted the manual before going to Europe, so I brought other non-eneloop batteries but this might mean I could have brought it.

Which is correct?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-31-2010, 12:39 PM  
long fast zooms WHY???
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 21
Views: 3,503
The older Sigma 70-200 non-macro was very good and so is the FA* 80-200.

Cost and/or availability are issues for both ;)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 07-27-2010, 04:44 PM  
"K-Rumors" reporting of two new K models at Photokina
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 219
Views: 42,311
On a recent 6-week trip to Europe, I observed that most DSLR shooters were wearing either under $1000 (Rebel/Dx000 with kit/cheap lenses) or over $3000 (5DII/D700 with pro/expensive lenses) on their necks. I think this is due to the user base being partitioned into the casual day shooters who want any kind of DSLR to improve their photos without breaking the bank and the rich amateurs who buy high end because they can.

Most of the folks who stick with cheaper DSLRs will probably remain happy with APS-C. The mid-level APS-C shooters are probably affluent enough to not mind migrating to FF whenever they see fit, or are skilled and experienced enough to get good results out of a cheaper APS-C DSLR if the mid-range ever gets neglected.

I sort of fall into the last category. I have never bought a mid-range Pentax DSLR new; I paid $1200 for a DS in 2005 and $700 for a K100D in 2006 (my newest DSLR). I have a mix of new/used DA/FA lenses. The only new DSLR I would pay for would be FF, or else I will remain happy with my old APS-C cameras as long as I can buy them new or used.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-05-2010, 12:45 PM  
Ultra-wide angle - are there little known gems?
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 40
Views: 18,920
The kit lens is one of the best wide-angle lenses for the money (almost none). It would be unwise to discount it simply because it isn't a prime, made of metal, nor manual focus. Manual focus metal primes are not automatically better. (Autofocus metal primes...sometimes are :))
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-29-2010, 05:11 PM  
wide angle auto focus prime
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 7
Views: 2,558
What about the DA 21? Small sharp and not super expensive (probably 350-400 used)

Anything longer than 24mm is not that wide on a digital.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-27-2010, 04:26 PM  
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 21
Views: 6,268
As someone with an istD, it does have numerous advantages (some have already been mentioned):

1) TTL flash support with external and built-in flash and wireless control. You can put a K/M lens or M42 lens and you won't get the burnt-out overexposed photos you always hear about with any other Pentax DSLR + built in flash.

2) Direct button access to multiple WB presets. You can calibrate one for daylight, one for tungsten, and one for fluorescent, and never need to use a menu to set WB again.

3) Multiple-image overlay and hyper-program. Can get on mid-range Pentax DSLRs but not the cheaper ones, I think?

4) AA battery support. Now unavailable with mid-range unless you get the grip.

Of course you need to deal with a tiny LCD, slow writes (decent buffer though), and a somewhat less responsive interface. Generally it doesn't slow you down unless you're shooting RAWs which each take about 10 seconds to write from the buffer.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-27-2010, 04:18 PM  
Why does Pentax consistently UNDER-EXPOSE and usually under-saturate images?
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 122
Views: 17,418
I find with Canon, its exposure tends to yield more cyan or white skies than Pentax. I would rather err on the side of underexposue to keep skies blue. I'm usually entering -2/3 on Canons.

I also do not like the matrix metering. I use centre-weighted and can predict its behaviour better so I can use ev-comp more effectively.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-26-2010, 06:09 PM  
Is the extra $ on the FA77mm worth it over the DA70mm?
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 71
Views: 13,589
Worth mentioning is that if you include the lens hood, the DA70 isn't a whole lot more compact than the FA77, whose hood is built in and retracts.

Don't worry about IQ. Worry about price, speed, and whether the DA70 focus advantages (speed and quickshift) are more important than the aperture ring and designed film coverage (DA70 is quasi-ff like many DA lenses)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-22-2010, 04:11 PM  
Wide-Angle Manual Focus Lens
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 41
Views: 9,354
No worries; good luck in your quest for whichever lens is picking your fancy. The beauty of Pentax is that we have tons of old lenses to fiddle with (with SR no less) :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-21-2010, 02:55 PM  
Wide-Angle Manual Focus Lens
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 41
Views: 9,354
Another thought: what's wrong with the kit lens? It looks like you aren't looking for a classic lens wider than 18mm, nor are many readily available for a reasonable amount of money. I think it is one of the best wide angle lenses you can get for Pentax for the money (i.e. almost nothing). Getting a third party MF lens in that range might only gain you a bit of speed at F2.8 (unless you find a more expensive F2.0 lens), not gain any quality (the kit lens is taken for granted since it's "free" in a kit and contains the word "kit" in its given name), and gain you the ever dubious "build quality" and "silky smooth MF", which are both mostly brought up in the context of old MF lenses despite many new AF lenses being excellent in these departments. I used to have quite a few M, K, and M42 lenses, and most of them are gone now.

This isn't to say it's a bad idea, but is it really worth spending on a lens your kit lens covers while losing AF and possibly AE and only justify it because it's a smooth-focusing tank? About the only AF lenses that are really horrible for MF are the ones where the ring is about 2mm thick (see Nikon and Canon kit lenses) and the front element rotates and wobbles. If the AF devil is too tempting, tape the AF/MF switch over, or somehow jam it stuck to MF :D

The real value in old MF lenses lies outside of ultrawides. You can get fantastic 28s, 35s, 50s, 85s, 100/105s, 135s, etc that are manual focus but affordable and good quality. You will typically get either affordability OR quality when going wider, but not both. You might also need to wait awhile to find one. In the meantime, Pentax and 3rd party mfrs offer a myriad of modern ultra-wide options for quite moderate prices.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-21-2010, 06:57 AM  
Wide-Angle Manual Focus Lens
Posted By jslifoaw
Replies: 41
Views: 9,354
I'm not sure why you're anti-AF. Is it because you're assuming MF will be cheaper for the same quality? In the wide range price often doesn't indicate anything about quality more than scarcity or subjective views (such as if one gets hyped up). There might be amazing wides for not much, or really crappy and expensive ones.

I think if you look long enough you can get a DA21 for a bit more than $300 and get AF, AE, distortion/CA correction, and high quality. A lot of old wide angles for film weren't great; it would be difficult for me to visualize a better wide than the DA21 other than the Zeiss 21 (which is huge and probably 4-5x more expensive). I've used an SMC Tak 20 and it wasn't even close. Ones reputed to be good such as the A20 or the K18 are expensive and rare.
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