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Forum: Pentax K-3 III 1 Day Ago  
Lack of detail or contrast or.... something.
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 12
Views: 582
Are your shots from the same distance, with the same lens? Same lighting/white balance?

Highest quality JPEG? or RAW, but processed the same way?

Any in-camera processing? such as "custom image"

Image stabilization as appropriate? Or, a good solid tripod?

The K-3 III has 1.26 times as many pixels in X or Y as the K-5.
Forum: General Photography 5 Days Ago  
Mars will be Occulted by the Moon - December 7/8, 2022
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 8
Views: 495
For astronomers, YES!
Forum: Contest Voting 5 Days Ago  
check mate
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 7
Views: 50
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: General Photography 5 Days Ago  
Mars will be Occulted by the Moon - December 7/8, 2022
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 8
Views: 495
On the evening of December 7 (local time in the US), visible from much of the US and virtually all of Canada (as well as a fair fraction of Europe), the Moon will pass in front of Mars, occulting it (covering it up) for about an hour.

This should be an interesting and fairly easy event to photograph. It's also full Moon night and Mars is currently one of the brightest objects in the sky - so no problem locating your target (s)! You don't need fancy filters, unlike a solar eclipse. Exposure times can be short, so no need for a tracking mount (but a sturdy tripod is always helpful) - familiarize yourself with the "looney 11" rule (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Looney_11_rule) to get an estimate of good shutter speed and aperture settings. I rather prefer a "looney 8" rule as a starting estimate.

A long focal length lens will be useful. :lol:

If you want to try shooting this, I suggest you go out a night or two before the occultation to practice shooting the Moon and Mars. If you've never done it before, finding even bright objects at night with a long lens can be a bit of a challenge. Try various exposure settings, both on the Moon and on Mars. Both of these objects may be bright enough for autofocus to work, but practice your manual-focus-in-the-dark technique too!

The most interesting shots will be as Mars is covered/uncovered by the edge of the Moon. Those sequences will take a bit more than a minute each. Shooting the ingress (the initial covering up of Mars) will be straightforward - you can see when things are happening. The egress will be a bit more challenging - you will need to know the right time to start shooting. I suggest the Stellarium program, or something similar, set up for your particular location, to get the exact times.

Use your favorite search engine to search on e.g. "Mars occultation December 2022" for more information about details.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 6 Days Ago  
what's old may become new again
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 55
Views: 1,895
Our power went out for 13 hours (!) on Thanksgiving Day (leaving a lot of uncooked turkeys in the wake) - anybody depending on that technology is going to be blind as a bat for a while without some significant power backup.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 6 Days Ago  
what's old may become new again
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 55
Views: 1,895
The interface may be comparable, but I really like my 19" screen (and will probably get a bigger one when the current one dies (if ever) - it is on its 4th or 5th desktop) and I LOVE my 40-year old genuine IBM PC/AT keyboards! They are on their 10th computer or so!
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 6 Days Ago  
Does anyone have experience with New Leaf warranties?
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 17
Views: 641
It can be dusty there! As ramseybuckeye notes, make sure the contacts are clean - and that there is no sand or dust affecting any of the little contact balls.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 11-27-2022, 08:53 AM  
PC Socket Plug
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 10
Views: 346
Do you really need/want the wired connection? You could use remote triggers - less chance to knock things over!!

I have some Yongnuo RF603N II remote control units that work with my K-1 and K-3 various versions. For dumb flashes, everything pretty much just works. For a smarter Pentax flash, though, there seems to be some incompatibility with the contacts. See this thread for the solution (mount the Yongnuo backwards on the remote flash!!): AF 540 FGZ remote triggering - Feature, failure, or User Error? - PentaxForums.com
Forum: Pentax K-3 III 11-26-2022, 03:21 PM  
I think I am giving up, and am leaving Pentax, unless there is an effective solution
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 68
Views: 3,226
Yes - try a rental before you buy? Gives you a chance to check out the lenses for not too many $$$
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-23-2022, 07:02 PM  
Advantages of the 20-40 compared to the 16-50 PLM
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 17
Views: 977
You need a new/better arrangement?! My wife and I each have an "allowance" which we can spend any way we want (and can accumulate from month-to-month up to any amount - even enough for a new K-3 III a while ago).
Forum: Pentax K-3 III 11-20-2022, 07:09 PM  
Still struggling with AF
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 31
Views: 1,500
Yea, verily.

I almost never deviate from having my cameras have focus on the single, central spot - that's almost always where the action you want is.

If everybody had their camera set up this way, I think we would see a lot fewer complaints about focus! (imnsho!) Of course, you still need contrasty object(s) in the middle of the frame (that are not dominated by sparkly waves off to the side).
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 11-16-2022, 08:05 AM  
DPR: Nikon's Q2 financials show better-than-expected revenue...
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 23
Views: 1,185
Companies often have fiscal years which differ from calendar years.

reh321 beat me to it!!
Forum: General Photography 11-12-2022, 08:42 PM  
Transferring Camera Photos to Your Cellphone
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 12
Views: 612
I'm with Bob 256 on this. I've been using an older Apple phone (original SE) for only a year or so, after many years with a flip phone, and am definitely NO EXPERT on iPhone connectivity. I did try connecting my phone directly to a card reader with a camera card inserted (with some cable shenanigans), but couldn't see any evidence that the iPhone knew about the card. There's a fair probablity of user error here, however!!
Forum: Film SLRs and Compact Film Cameras 11-11-2022, 09:59 AM  
ME Super: Refreshing a classic from the 80's
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 7
Views: 615
It does have a somewhat satisfying buzz!
Forum: Pentax K-3 III 11-07-2022, 06:03 PM  
Lunar eclipse composite?
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 4
Views: 512
Depends on what is meant by "composite."

If you just want to take a picture every, say, 5 minutes or so of the entire event, you can point the camera to where the moon will be when fully eclipsed (use Stellarium or similar to get the numbers/pointing). The entire eclipse lasts on the order of 3-4 hours. In that much time, the moon will move 50-60 degrees across the sky. To capture the entire sequence, without repointing the camera, you need a lens with that big of a field of view.

As to exposure (and some other tips) do a google/yahoo search. You'll find something like How to Photograph a Lunar Eclipse | Nikon .

Mostly, have fun and take some notes, so you can do better the next time around!
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-06-2022, 05:24 PM  
WG-1 battery won’t hold its charge
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 12
Views: 461
This is why EVERYBODY should have a drawer full of resistors and a voltmeter :lol:

(but more likely to have a 470 or 560 ohm resistor! Either would work here.)
Forum: Film SLRs and Compact Film Cameras 11-03-2022, 02:22 PM  
Resurrecting a Dead Spotmatic Light Meter
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 4
Views: 600
I've got some old CdS sensors (I think) collected over the years (some rescued from dead solar driveway lights). I can readily measure their resistance at varying (but arbitrary/unknown) light levels. If I remember correctly, they are a few mm in diameter.

Looks like you want a few K ohms to a few hundred K ohms. Do you need both of them (i.e. do they operate in parallel to the same light source or are they in different locations (some sort of bridge circuit)?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-03-2022, 09:25 AM  
K-70 „noises“
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 8
Views: 587
The sensor assembly is a bit "loose" when the camera is turned off, so it can wiggle around a bit. That's what you hear/feel.

When the camera is turned on, the assembly is held in place (and moved as necessary when stabilization is activated, to counteract for the shaking of your hands) by electromagnets.

The Canon EOS system puts the anti-shake action into the lens, not the body.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-31-2022, 06:40 PM  
Pre-purchase opinions on some listing pictures?
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 7
Views: 518
Maybe you can make it a "greater" deal. There is probably little to no competition, so the seller may be happy to just get rid of it for practically nothing (other than postage). Try a really low ball offer? I know this irks me when somebody tries it on something I know has some value, but if the value just isn't there (i.e. not much market), he may be happy to get it off his hands.
Forum: Pentax KP 10-28-2022, 07:37 AM  
The KP shoot that didn’t happen
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 29
Views: 1,384
It helps to have an extra (charged) battery. When I take out a battery, the backup is in there in a few seconds. Then the tired battery goes immediately on the charger and then in the drawer, to await its turn to go back into business. It helps that all three camera (K1, K3, K3 III) use the same battery - just need one spare.
Forum: Pentax KP 10-27-2022, 08:31 PM  
The KP shoot that didn’t happen
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 29
Views: 1,384
We've all done something like this at one time or another.

At a tad older age (Freshman in college), I tried out for the college newspaper as a photographer. I shot a roll of what I thought was really good stuff, until I went to rewind and had little resistance. The film had gotten stuck somehow and didn't advance - I had torn out the film sprocket holes on frame one. There were 36 really good shots there, all piled on top of each other as frame one!
Forum: Pentax Q 10-27-2022, 02:47 PM  
Autopsy of a 02 Standard Zoom
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 14
Views: 742
Wow - you learn something new every day. I had to go play with my 02 and 06 - yes, I see - turning the focus ring with the lens off the camera does nothing, and the ring does not have any limits - it will just keep rotating in whichever direction you are turning it. I never noticed that before ('cause I never looked!). Thanks for the enlightenment!!!

My first thought was that this was overly complex, but then I realized the lens maker does not need some kind of additional mechanical linkage system - the motorized focus system is already in there.
Forum: Pentax Q 10-27-2022, 11:48 AM  
Autopsy of a 02 Standard Zoom
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 14
Views: 742
How did this stop manual focus from working? Unless it got physically in the way and jammed things?
Forum: Pentax K-01 10-27-2022, 07:45 AM  
Rear dial dead on K-01
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 5
Views: 391
Always a good idea - but, I'm afraid, better for older equipment. I'm not sure, but I suspect that a lot of the dials on our newer cameras actually have an optical system that actually senses dial motion. The "clicky" feel is from spring-loaded indentations. Anybody know for sure.

So, give it a workout, but ... . Depending on your inclination to get it fixed, if you assume that it is dead (a "brick") otherwise, try giving it a shot or two of contact cleaner while you work the dial. Will help remove any oxidation if the contacts are metal, or help wash out any dust interfering with either metal contacts or in an optical path.
Forum: Pentax K-1 & K-1 II 10-26-2022, 06:26 AM  
Some beginners questions regarding Astrotracer and INT shooting :-)
Posted By AstroDave
Replies: 17
Views: 965
For (original) K-1, check p. 45 in the manual, or find "noise reduction" in the index.
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