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Forum: Photo Critique 08-11-2013, 10:14 PM  
People Patricia again
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 8
Views: 1,415
I disagree with K-9 to an extent. Yes they are over-exposed but only by a 1/2 stop for images 1 and 2. That can easily be adjusted in PS/LR. so no big deal there.

The last image is spot on. I love it in nearly every respect. I love the flare, the exposure, pose, contrast etc. I am tired of same-old-same-old and this image is creative, artistic but still retains the beauty of the subject. My only very tiny nit pick would be if you cropped the shot after taking it and the original shows her chin completely, then that should be there. The first thing I noticed was the cut off chin.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 08-11-2013, 10:00 PM  
Landscape Shades of Grey
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 22
Views: 1,582
They are all very good but that first one is a knock out. Nice work and very good conversion.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-11-2013, 09:58 PM  
Newbie - Wedding Lens setup? (on a budget)
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 18
Views: 3,534
Agreed, and there's certainly no point in renewing that tired debate. I wouldn't consider a used one for this type of work but a new stock version and have some form of backup (the Tamron 20-200mm would be my choice) ready if needed. Or a couple of longer primes.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-11-2013, 07:42 PM  
Newbie - Wedding Lens setup? (on a budget)
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 18
Views: 3,534
Yes but have you used it when it needs to take 500 in focus shots in a single day? And during that time, not babied at all.

Maybe SDM has gotten better in the last year or so but the reason I left Pentax for Nikon a couple years ago was SDM $ucked and cost me many paniced moments and missed shots.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-11-2013, 07:18 PM  
Newbie - Wedding Lens setup? (on a budget)
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 18
Views: 3,534
I always liked the 16-45mm. Wished it was faster only to control DOF with candid and portrait shots. Otherwise a fantastic lens and tough. I've used it in rain, sandy and windy beaches etc and literally taken thousands of shots with the 2 I owned.

Had a Tamron 28-75 as well and I it just didn't cut it for my shooting style on APS-c Too long on the wide end and too short on the long end. Never seemed to be the right lens at the right time. I also had 2 when I shot Nikon D700's and loved it on FF. One body always had that lens strapped to a body at all times. My style was always a wider lens on one body and a longer lens on the other to just switch back and forth without changing lenses often.

One note about zooms, when shooting a wedding, you use flash a lot. You want a lens that does not have a variable aperture like the 18-55mm or 50-200mm does (and frankly these lenses are far too soft for shooting people). You want the exposures constant through the zoom range. Over time you will shoot flash in manual mode more and more to get exposures that auto mode mess up too often. Then you want the zooms to have a constant aperture so your exposures remain consistent.

As for the business vs fun of shooting, Jatrax is correct. 10% of the business is shooting and the rest is all the things needed to make it successful plus editing time, designing albums, running to the courier and printer shop etc. That's not a bad thing but there's so much more than clicking the shutter. Once I turned full time pro, I took ZERO shots for fun. In fact the only images that where not done for paid work where to test out a new lens or other part added to the kit.

I think if you hold it to part time work, that can be controlled. Set a strict policy of say 10-12 weddings a year and no more. Then the camera is still a device you can enjoy just for yourself. My problem was, I needed to shoot every week to pay the bills and stay sharp. Too much down time makes me a bit rusty, it's not the same as riding a bike....
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-11-2013, 10:15 AM  
Newbie - Wedding Lens setup? (on a budget)
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 18
Views: 3,534
That's true but the operative word there is "skilled". If you've done 40+ solid weddings and other pressure shooting, you might pull off some good work with sub-standard gear. There is no substitute for top quality lenses and to a lesser extent, a solid body with reliable results and high ISO qualities.

As for the 12mm. We're talking APS-c here and that's an 18mm equivalent lens. In a crowded hotel room with the bride, 2 flower girls, mom and 4+ bridesmaids, you need everything you can get to capture the room. An ultra wide has many other uses during the day. In fact if you asked me to shoot a wedding with only 2 lenses in the bag (assuming the camera was good to at least ISO 1600), I'd take a 12-24mm and a 17-50mm and do just fine. I'd miss some of my other glass for certain shots but could get the job done with these 2.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-11-2013, 08:18 AM  
Newbie - Wedding Lens setup? (on a budget)
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 18
Views: 3,534
Beautiful shot of your daughter. She's a cutie!!

Next, while that's nice gear for fun shooting, it's in no way good enough for paid work. With 500+ weddings and a number of other paid work done, I hope I can give some advice.

The only lens you have for this work is the 50mm. The other 2 are "fun" lenses. The flash is fine.
For paid work, you need 2 of everything and of equal ability. At a minimum, it would be 2 K20D's but I would recommend 2 K5's or better. Then some serious glass and at least 2 (3 is better) good flash heads. You need solid lenses that encompass the wide (12mm) to long (200mm) range. Zooms must be fixed aperture at F2.8 (there are a few exceptions such as the 16-45mm F4 lens that is excellent) and primes that are as fast as is available.

DO NOT TAKE A DIME from anyone before you've spent that money and prepared your kit carefully. Like any business, an investment must be made before opening the shop. Like any career an investment (education etc) must be made before starting work.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 03-31-2013, 08:09 AM  
Cityscape Open water ......
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 8
Views: 797
I recognize that view. :) The warmer weather certainly is welcome! Very nicely done Dave.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 03-29-2013, 08:45 AM  
Travel ..we say adios to Mexico ....
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 14
Views: 930
Jealous! Looks like a great spot and seems you missed the big storms back home last week. Nice series of shots. Cheers.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 03-27-2013, 12:50 AM  
Is this a dream or reality? Waking up to Mt. Hood Oregon.
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 1
Views: 836
Quite simply beautiful and very well captured.
Forum: Sold Items 02-27-2013, 06:55 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Nikon or Pentax mount 1000mm mirror f10 Meade lens
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 0
Views: 2,864 Marketplace Listing

Item for Sale
Nikon or Pentax mount 1000mm mirror f10 Meade lens

Asking Price
175.00 USD

Item Location
Edmonton (Canada)

Item Description
Fully manual lens (AE and focus) works very well and has both mounts for Nikon or Pentax. Fixed f10 aperture. 1500mm on a crop sensor. Light enough to be used on a regular tripod.

I would prefer to ship within Canada on this if possible just because shipping will be expensive to the USA due to weight. The lens isn't heavy but the case is.

I've taken some great long distance shots with this lens.

Glass in great condition. Includes tripod mounting threaded hole. Calibrated and quite sharp. I paid $300 for it and would like to make a quick sale due to some unforeseen expenses.
Shipping in Canada will be $$35. USA $50

Are you the original owner of the item being sold?

Are you selling or trading this item?

Item Condition (Key)

Shipping Destinations
North America

Shipping Charge

Shipping Services
Canada Post

Accepted Payment Types

Return Policy & Additional Details
7 days return at buyers shipping cost expense if different than described.

Please send me a private message if interested in the item!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-01-2013, 06:58 PM  
Nature A Cat in The Window -- A Winter "Scene"
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 12
Views: 2,931
I like the shot quite a bit. Since the image has several lines I think I'd try a more symmetrical crop, either expand (if the shot was wider originally) the left side or crop the right to match the left side.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-01-2013, 06:54 PM  
Sigma 500mm 4.5 ex losing connection
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 8
Views: 1,558
One thought, how are you supporting the lens? Are you hand holding the setup or using a tripod mounted to the lens? If hand holding, there might be too much torque/weight on the mount. Since the camera is so light, if the lens is mounted on a solid tripod, then there shouldn't be an issue.

Since it's new, if tightening the mounts and making sure the contacts are clean doesn't help, I'd send the lens back to Sigma and tell them what's happening.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-28-2012, 09:47 PM  
Nature Butterflies
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 22
Views: 1,659
Very nice series. I especially like the last one with the rich colours and the purple flower really goes well with the butterfly's colours. Nice work!
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-28-2012, 11:21 AM  
Disappointing results
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 58
Views: 6,730
What you might be missing in the comparison is the ways these 2 camera designs work.

Btw, I don't think you were in Manual mode. It sounds more like Aperture Priority. In manual. You set the ISO, shutter speeds and aperture. Nothing should change by itself.

Your P&S and most brands/versions are like your cell phone camera. They are meant to do everything for you and process the image for you to give you and image you don't edit or modify. They and preprogrammed to edit a resulting image to be used as is.

All DSLR's are much more like a film camera. They do produce a jpeg but also produce a RAW image that equates to a film negative that is meant to be edited to taste before viewing or sharing. This isn;t just Pentax but all DSLR models and brands. They do provide some basic editing software in the box but if you search this forum and others, discussions are everywhere about various software programs to edit RAW files to your taste and needs.

So if you want a DSLR to produce viewing and sharing ready shots without any processing, they do a decent job most of the time but not in all situations and lighting conditions. You need to do something with the RAW file first before getting the final result you want.

So yes they require more from you but the end result after some basic editing is far, far superior to what most P&S cameras can produce in the end. Far finer details, wider dynamic range and so on. DSLR's are not for everyone but if you're prepared to take the extra steps, you'll produce much better images.

Think of it like a new computer for the first time. It comes with some basic software to get you started but if you want to do say office work, you need to go buy MS Office and add that to the system. With you new camera, it's the same. You can find plenty of free software to do the editing and you can spend some money on even better software to go further.

To get started, Download a program like GIMP or to do some editing. If you want more, buy Photoshop Elements or even more, Photoshop CS4,5 or 6.
Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 10-30-2012, 01:37 PM  
Some Full-frame shots & thoughts
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 5,579
Views: 713,955
Twilight, is that still the case? When I log out, I can see the image as a guest. Maybe the page is in my cache though. It's from my new Zenfolio account and I have all the permissions set as public.
Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 10-30-2012, 11:30 AM  
Some Full-frame shots & thoughts
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 5,579
Views: 713,955
Recent wedding, Older 80-200mm f2.8 push pull (first version) and D700 with 3 off camera strobes remote triggered. Love shooting weddings in the fall.

Forum: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Other Camera Brands 10-22-2012, 09:12 PM  
Some Full-frame shots & thoughts
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 5,579
Views: 713,955
Bossa, Honestly I like the way the Pentax renders the image the best from these Rose samples. But I'll qualify that is asking if you did some PP on them? There's a huge difference between image #2 and #3 in colour, highlight preservation and contrast.
Forum: Lens Clubs 10-08-2012, 09:27 PM  
Tokina AT-X PRO lens club.
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 378
Views: 70,912
Well an update. Good reason to use Paypal. My seller was an ass and accused me of being a dealer who took his own stock then switched it to return to the seller. Fortunately one of his photos clearly showed the serial number and I could prove he was full of hot air. Got my money back including shipping although I had to pay shipping to return it.

2 lessons
1) Use Paypal and NOT the gift option (no buyer protections) or a credit card that offers similar online buying protections.
2) If the item has a serial number, ask for it or better yet a photo of it before committing to the sale. If not, some other unique identifier.

FYI, my last 10 items (over the past 6 weeks) on Ebay have not been so great. 4 were new and worked out fine. the other 6 were used camera gear items and every one was defective in some way (3 were lenses). Ebay was good (I have over 700 transactions) but not so much lately.

OK enough of that, Back to your thread.

Konstantinos, I don't know if you can return the lens but it really sounds like it has a couple issues. One the chip that controls camera body communication sounds fried. 2 in looking at the wide open shots, CA is normal for fast zooms and the metal lighter against green grass in bright light is to be expected. Might be more than normal a bit but I'm not one bit surprised. Remember that this is a pre-digital era lens and has no special coatings for the more reflective digital sensor. You will have a few things that don't work as well as a more modern lens.

The second turtle crop is another issue though. I would guess that there is an element inside the lens that is misaligned. That's just awful and it shouldn't be that soft. I will comment though that it's not the best test subject. It would appear that you focused on the far leg and not on the eye. Either that or the lens is backfocusing. Use a large ruler with clean and clear measurement markings. Put the camera on a tripod and at about 45 degrees from the ruler. Take some test shots in good light that is well controlled and allows ISO 200. That will help you determine if it's backfocusing and how sharp the lens is wide open.

If the results are similar to the second turtle shot above, then get rid of this and find another lens. It has too many issues IMO.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-25-2012, 10:52 AM  
Embarassing Vintage Pentax Issue
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 18
Views: 2,489
That button on the underside is the film advance gear release. it doesn't open the door. The 2 above are right, pull up the knob.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-25-2012, 10:44 AM  
Embarassing Vintage Pentax Issue
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 18
Views: 2,489
The real question is what lenses were included? Camera bodies are easily found and very cheap. In fact most very old models with need a cleaning and service before using them again.
Forum: Lens Clubs 09-21-2012, 12:56 AM  
Tokina AT-X PRO lens club.
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 378
Views: 70,912
I think from the reading I've done, no manufacturer has programmed the f2.6 setting into their cameras. Probably since this might be the only lens ever built that can be set to 2.6. So they all see it as a 2.8. That's not much of a variance to matter in exposure terms.

Further testing with the lens I have, has me convinced the inner lens barrel/cam is worn out or damaged. If you take the lens off the camera and shake it, you can hear and feel a fair amount of movement. Not some little click of a loose screw but you can feel the weight of something heavy moving. I'd guess it's the lens groups moving back and forth as a unit.

After taking a 150 test shots or so, it seems the lens will focus sometimes (sort of). I'd guess if I shake the lens the right way, the lens group is almost in the correct position to allow the AF to at least move the lens groups. So AF appears to work and the camera thinks it's locked on.

When I do that, it front focuses like crazy. IE if the subject is "focused" 15 feet away at 70mm, the focus is actually about 20 feet. That front focused part of the image is very sharp. Looking at that tells me the entire lens group inside has shifted from where it should be.

The seller wrote me back and offered $40 for my trouble. Ah no, I'll be going to Paypal for a full refund please. I wish it was possible to fix this for that price but I highly doubt it. It's a solid lens and I will find another one for sure.
Forum: Lens Clubs 09-20-2012, 07:51 AM  
Tokina AT-X PRO lens club.
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 378
Views: 70,912
I just picked up the Tokina AT-X Pro 28-70mm f2.6-2.8 (Japanese version that just shows f2.8 on the front) 77mm Filter thread. This is the one that does not take the bayonet hood but the screw on hood.

Before I email the Ebay seller, I want to check and make sure I'm not doing something wrong with the odd focus clutch this lens has. It sounds a bit noisy (almost a grinding noise sometimes but not always) and if the camera is in single shot AF and the clutch is in the AF position, the lens won't always focus. For example, it will focus somewhat close (maybe a meter) and then if I leave the focal range alone (say leaving it at 70mm) and just focus on something distant, the focus ring turns to infinity but the actual focus does not, it's still at the 1 meter focus.

So from the reading I've done on this lens, it seems that to go to manual focus, you turn the camera to MF, then turn the focus ring to the point where the clutch will allow the focus ring to be put in the MF position. That seems to work as all the research I read.

To go back to AF, the lens focus ring will move back into the AF spot (pushing it forward) at any spot. So unlike going to MF, you don't have to find the exact spot where you were last in AF. Is that correct?

What I'm guessing is wrong with this lens is, the clutch is defective (not properly locking the lens in AF mode) or the part that actually moves the glass to focus is worn out and even though the camera motor spins the focus ring, the inner barrel that moves the lens elements isn't engaging any more. So the lens elements are not focusing.

Also, my understanding is that if the MF/AF ring on the lens is in the MF position but the camera switch is in the AF position, the lens AF is still supposed to work. The same thing happens when it's set up like this. The focus ring will turn and the lens may or may not get the correct focus. Also if both are in the MF position, I can't always get it to focus using the lens focus ring. It spins fine but particularly from about 20 feet to infinity, it may or may not focus sharply or at all.

Finally, with the lens off the body, the AF screw turns through the full range from infinity to close focus. So that works but just may not be engaging the inner focus barrel?

Last, the zoom ring is a bit tight from 35mm to 28mm. It may be that the lens was dropped even though it does not look like it.

Thoughts? Am I doing something wrong in setting the clutch?
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 09-13-2012, 08:08 PM  
Nikon has opened the door a crack, could Pentax see the opportunity?
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 6
Views: 1,641
Yet another tiresome Full Frame thread.....

OK I have to come clean, I don't post that much because I don't have much Pentax gear left after switching mostly to Nikon (2 D700's, 1 D7000) a couple years ago. But I will always be a Pentaxian at heart and if the bodies for my needs were ever to be offered, I'd switch back in a heartbeat.

The latest Nikon Full Frame, the D600 is now out. It will sell like hotcakes at this price and feature set. For the hobbiest, landscape shooter and many other genres, it's just fine. For an event and wedding shooter (and I would suggest a portrait or sports shooter as well), like I am, this camera just doesn't cut it. It's a consumer camera with a FF sensor marketed to the masses without the professional feature set.

So the thread title? There are lots of happy Nikon shooters out there but there's plenty of rumbling as well. Nikon product cycles for upper end bodies is 3-4 years. These 3 cameras (D4, D800 and D600) are most likely it for the next 2-3 years. So if Pentax was to step up, take the excellent designs they have shown they can build and look at what's really needed in a FF (look at the 5DMKIII for direction), then the door is open. Not wide open, but it's open. Not everyone wants to shoot Canon. Right now is when Pentax could offer an alternative.

D4 beautiful camera in all respects with few if any issues other than the price. It's just out of reach for most, especially considering that any working shooter would need (not want) 2. You just do not get paid to cover an event and not have a spare camera in the bag.

D800, Again a great camera in many respects but it has issues. Focus problems, Green tinted LCD's, slow frame rate, out resolves many lenses (costing you more in buying new glass) and probably the biggest thing, file sizes. If you go out and take 100 landscape shots (or a 1000, whatever) and pick out 4 you nailed to process, well then the file sizes are not an issue. But if you shoot a sporting event, wedding or whatever and have 1200+ shots to process, then you need a lot more hard drive space, more expensive bandwidth if you use the cloud, and a new computer than can handle 1200 shots in LR4 or Capture One. Plus the high ISO ability of this camera isn't that much better than the 2008, D700.

D600. Not a D700 replacement in any fashion.
It's a D7000 with a bigger sensor.
-No PC sync port. So you need an adapter on the hot shoe to gain the PC port for your wireless triggers. Sure it's $20 for the adapter. But you're going to put your $550.00 HEAVY flash on a $20 plastic part and hope the thing doesn't break under the beating it's going to take. Sure.
- SD cards, not a deal breaker but I'm speaking from someone who doesn't have the time to baby the gear. SD cards are not as durable and they are generally slower. Having used CF cards for a couple years, I prefer these but not a deal breaker.
- Partly plastic body. Bits and pieces of this body are mag alloy and parts are plastic. WS is not going to be great and the body will not be able to take the punishment over time (let me tell you how I broke 3 K20D's in 6 weeks one year).
-Flash sync of 1/200th and top shutter speed of 1/4000? Huh, really? Huge limits.
- No improvement in High ISO shooting.
- Downgrade in the AF (39/9 vs 51/15)
- No rear AF button.
I could add to this list....

OK I've gone on enough. So Pentax, if you took what you have designed in the past, used the same 24MP FF Sony sensor, looked closely at the great feature set of the D700 and the 5DMKIII and built a camera that offered the best of both in a Pentax camera, you would have people like me coming home.

I'll take 2 please.
Forum: General Talk 09-05-2012, 05:32 AM  
Joke Thread!
Posted By Peter Zack
Replies: 327
Views: 59,986
Bloody brilliant mate!
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