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Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-10-2016, 12:41 PM  
Macro Guess the lens game
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 10
Views: 1,139
50mm f1.7 A, reversed
Forum: Pentax K-1 05-27-2016, 12:04 PM  
Wikipedia Pentax Cameras page needs updating
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 6
Views: 925
Anyone want to go and update this?

Currently it says only this about the K-1:
"In early 2015, Ricoh announced development of a Pentax full-frame DSLR for release later in the year, and at the CP+ show in Yokohama Japan, a mockup was displayed that suggested the camera's potential specifications, including: an IR port for remote release, an anti-aliasing filter simulation mode, and an articulating rear LCD.[29]"

I think it deserves a little photo and some words about actual release :)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-22-2016, 11:47 AM  
Specs of 15-30mm f/2.8 and 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 71
Views: 12,801
Agreed. In fact, it helps give confidence that the lenses will be good. The Tamron 15-30 gets great reviews.

Yep, taking pictures while running will be more difficult than with the other options you mentioned.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-22-2016, 11:39 AM  
Pentax K-1 Officially Announced
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 1,581
Views: 199,218
I assume it's related to the fact that optical vignetting is more pronounced at the wider aperture settings.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-18-2016, 01:38 PM  
Pentax K-1 Officially Announced
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 1,581
Views: 199,218
That screen articulation mechanism looks amazing for doing macro on a tripod.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-18-2016, 11:54 AM  
Pentax K-1 Officially Announced
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 1,581
Views: 199,218
I'm excited to see the photos people are going to take with this camera, the filled out lens range, and the classic lenses like the 55mm f/1.8 I learned on with the K1000. There's no doubt they've put a lot of thought into this launch. Yay PENTAX!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-12-2016, 12:50 PM  
Why is the 50mm Lens So Popular on APS-C?
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 51
Views: 4,333
Short answer: certain types of portrait taking, ones where a shorter focal length has its advantages, happen to be very popular.

A shorter focal length means that you're less cramped for space, and that's important for indoor shots. Shorter focal lengths tend to show off the subject's unique personality more, while longer focal lengths flatten features (granted, though, flattening the features is often more attractive).

50mm lenses are fast for cheap, too, and people are moving subjects by definition. Not to mention, there's little downside to opening up that aperture, since it just isolates the person which is just what you want.

So, casual indoor portraits of moving people in dim light are the "killer app" that makes 50mm lenses so popular, especially since this is a subject that many people have access to and which many people enjoy.

Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 01-22-2016, 11:13 AM  
READ ME! Pentax Tips from the Community (55-300mm Giveaway)
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 773
Views: 100,420
On dull days, we're gifted with deep colours. The temptation is often to cash in on this, by raising the overall apparent illumination (and by extension, saturation) by raising the midtones. If you want to remain true to the fact it was a dull day, try not raising the midtones.

Then when you raise up some of the highlights, as I did with the lamp bulbs in this photo, you get a remarkable contrast between those high key areas and the overall drab scene. Use Curves, and make sure you keep an interesting range of tones within each of the two contrasting areas, by carefully placing two moderately steep slopes in that curve.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-17-2015, 07:37 AM  
The Bokeh Club
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 20,349
Views: 1,812,014

Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-12-2015, 08:31 AM  
Easiest way to mount M42 lenses on K-3?
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 27
Views: 2,507
By flawlessly, do you mean in M mode with an external light meter? Or are you saying you have a Pentax DSLR that meters accurately (with the optical viewfinder used, i.e. not in Live View) with M42 lenses on the official adapter?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-23-2015, 08:00 AM  
What I want . . . . am I alone?
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 89
Views: 5,590
Interesting point that in many cases mirrorless cameras in some ways do manual focus better than DSLRs. But there's probably a lot of crossover between the group who prefer manual focus and the group who prefer an optical viewfinder.

I'm one of those. Photography for me is partly an experience that I enjoy, and partly a way to pursue self expression and artistic creation. The optical viewfinder helps with the former, and the former helps with the latter. Manual focus directly pertains to both.

If I have to switch from looking at the world around me to looking at a tiny TV screen showing a camera's automatic interpretation of what's around me, I can feel that as a psychological hiccup. So far, I haven't found an electronic finder that matches my perception in as satisfying a way as the optical finders do, so with an OVF, the experience is more smooth.

The process of focusing is also more smooth with manual. You frame the photo absolutely precisely by aiming the camera. Then you choose the plane of focus (autofocus systems have no such concept in their interface). You may choose the plane of focus based on any criteria you wish; you don't have to pick one of 8 or 15 focus points, or recompose.

When we photograph, part of us is mentally travelling through the photo. I would rather travel smoothly, through a natural looking space, than jumping around by the AF system's algorithm in a white-balanced, contrast adjusted video. Each to his own! It's true that this can be the less stimulating route, and not always the most efficient route to best results, but to me the preference is clear.

I did use mirrorless for a while, when I decided to prioritize the size of the camera and lens combo very highly (I had an NX200 with 30mm f/2). Later, I decided that reliability and the creative experience were more important, and switched back to Pentax.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-22-2015, 12:59 PM  
What I want . . . . am I alone?
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 89
Views: 5,590
I would not be surprised if there's a bunch of sensors out there that were thrown away in favour of a respin because of a bug in one feature or another that we do not use.

With the advent of 3D printing, economy of scale is shrinking. It is no longer necessary to make 1000 of something in order to make it for a reasonable price. With the proliferation of connected devices, finding out which features users actually use is becoming possible on a grand scale. With e-commerce, it's possible to find markets for arbitrary things. Put those together and you have the possibility for niche products that are economical because the customers see the entire product as being 100% valuable, and the product can be manufactured close to the market. Less money could be spent trying to convince potential customers to desire things they don't need, and finding customers at random for things that were easy to design. More money could be spent understanding customers' needs.

Now is the time for people to speak up and say what they really want.

Sure, I don't think it's reasonable to expect any maker will match what I want 100%, but if enough of us express what we want, someone may see a business case for something that hits most of the important points. If you think the population of this forum is too small, then go out and find this forum some more members! One way to do that might be to create an intersecting space that is common to forums that are otherwise about different vendors. I wonder if for example could be made to have areas in common with this forum.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-21-2015, 10:00 AM  
What I want . . . . am I alone?
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 89
Views: 5,590
I'll settle for Canada annexing a small part of Vietnam. ;)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-21-2015, 08:32 AM  
What I want . . . . am I alone?
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 89
Views: 5,590
Not quite. :)

I want:

* match-needle APS-C DSLR
* centre-weighted metering and spot metering only
* modern, ergonomic grip
* available battery/portrait grip
* Dual SD slots with % full readout
* control wheels with built-in setting displays for aperture, shutter and ISO, and clicking/detent ability to feel 1/3 stop adjustments
* minimum 14 MP
* minimum 14 Ev Dynamic Range, 3200 ISO low light, 25 bit colour score on DXOMark
* DNG only
* single shot mode only. No bracketing, no continuous shooting
* 1.0x equivalent magnification, 120% coverage viewfinder (using a magnifying prism, and a mirror that reflects more than what the APS-C sensor can see. Some vignetting in the viewfinder outside the 100% range with some APS-C lenses)
* shock, dust, moisture and temperature resistant from -30 to +50 degrees Celsius
* Shake Reduction and sensor cleaning function
* sleep function
* cold boot in less than 50 ms
* power off in less than 50 ms
* less than 50 ms shutter lag
* subdued, modern styling
* comes with case made of natural materials resistant to mould and fungus
* non-slip strap included, works with lenses weighing up to 1 kg, fits in case
* the kit lens is the 31mm f1.8 but without the "Limited" marking, smaller, without autofocus
* standard tripod interface as usual
* made in Canada, in a carbon-neutral facility

To the people who always say "it's just as expensive, you still need a big CPU, etc": here is what would not be required:
* large buffer
* sensor with live view capability or fast readout
* autofocus sensor (since I did not ask for a focus dot)
* sophisticated mirror (since there is no autofocus sensor below, and no fps requirement)
* dim screen (since there is no autofocus)
* plugs or jacks or hotshoes for flash or HDMI or USB
* electronic displays such as top or rear LCD
* JPEG engine, white balance controls, contrast controls, on-board defishing or filleting, etc
* speaker for sound effects
* delete, play, or arrow buttons, since there is no review
* exposure compensation, since there is a needle
* flash
* interoperability with any devices other than lenses and SD cards
* complicated CPU
* software bundle
* user manual
* being the "digital equivalent" of anything in particular

To the people who always say "get a Leica": this has the following advantages over a Leica:
* it is not a piece of jewellery, nor is it a showpiece, nor does it masterfully balance form and function
* the average person can learn to use the viewfinder to compose and focus very easily and accurately
* it does not have a $1000 red dot
* it works with Pentax lenses :-P
* did you read the feature set?
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 12-16-2014, 07:31 AM  
Any Pentax FF camera field testers out there?
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 46
Views: 7,511
I have been testing FF VII in-camera, on and off since the late 90s... spent a lot of time in the field, checking Cloud statistics on my screen, burst-shooting (Barret) and leveling up near the dynamic range. I can say it's quite expansive and involves a lot of different materia. Not sure if it will ever get old, but it is a bit like playing a Link to the Past, which makes the experience that much sharper and raises the gamut of what you can imagine. As for the mounts, the important thing is the heritage, but what you put in their mouth (or beak, as it were) is important as well.

Ah, I imagine I've triggered a few BS sensors by this point, so I'll leave it there ...
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-16-2014, 07:01 AM  
How to Photograph Upper Antelope Canyon
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 15
Views: 2,333
Go and click, people; you'll be surprised and delighted. Great post!
Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 12-13-2014, 04:18 PM  
3 Million Post Giveaway: Confirm your entry!
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 2,854
Views: 110,971
Confirmation is hereby made. ;)
I was tempted to make a few thousand posts before anyone else noticed the contest was on. Y'all are so lucky I don't have that much time.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-11-2014, 09:47 AM  
Prime lens for a K5
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 14
Views: 1,360
Unless "indoors" is in big rooms like auditoriums, churches, etcetera, a group is probably going to need something wider than 75mm-equivalent. How about the HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 ED Limited DC WR? I know, it's not a prime, but this seems like a prime application for it... ($575 used from B&H)
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-11-2014, 09:22 AM  
Recommendations for a camera/lens combo to photograph circuit boards?
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 44
Views: 3,948
Considering the whole workflow, one thing to consider might be whether you can tether the camera to your choice of workstation, whether it be wirelessly to a tablet, or wired to a PC. Tethering speeds up the workflow. Having seen the convenience of this in a studio, I could see it made sense; you have the photo open in your editor, Photoshop or whatever, instantly as soon as you've clicked the shutter.

P.S. The K100D was the first Pentax DSLR to have Shake Reduction. The name looks like "K1000", a popular film camera. The K100D has a nice CCD sensor, and I have a 24x36 inch print from it that I enjoy very much. That said, one way to get a little extra magnification with a sharp lens is to have more pixels, and the K100D only has 6 MP.
Forum: Pentax Q 12-08-2014, 05:22 AM  
Q S-1 high ISO when using internal flash problem
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 6
Views: 1,036
What mode is it in?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-03-2014, 07:49 AM  
K30, need some convincing....
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 36
Views: 2,917
Cool! There's tons you can do with that. Enjoy!

---------- Post added 12-03-14 at 09:55 AM ----------

You might be inspired by these:
Flickriver: Photos taken with Pentax smc P-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 lens
Flickriver: Photos taken with Pentax smc P-M 75-150mm F4 lens
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-03-2014, 07:09 AM  
K30, need some convincing....
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 36
Views: 2,917


Until the lens is chosen, the camera's not really chosen :)

The 35mm would be more general purpose; you could make a photo of any subject with it as long as you aren't too picky and/or can walk, run and jump to a good vantage point. You'll probably find more people who live with a 35mm as their only lens than you would find the same for a 50.

The 50mm would be a great choice if you want to focus on more abstracted views, indoor sports, portraits, ...? It has lovely circular bokeh.

The good thing is, those are both fine choices.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-02-2014, 07:08 AM  
K30, need some convincing....
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 36
Views: 2,917
K-30 is:
1. Better than the best.
2. The most reliable, shoot anywhere, no-nonsense, high image quality, feature-packed beast anywhere for the price.
3. What I use. ;)
4. Not a video camera. :-D

Therefore, you should buy it. See attached.


P.S. Despite being full of seductively glowing words about Olympus, Leica and Fuji, Mike Johnston's blog is wonderful, especially the comments, and is a small part of what got me into PENTAX in the first place.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-21-2011, 09:43 AM  
The forthcoming Pentax Mirrorless Camera
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 553
Views: 122,592
Apparently, Nikon heard my plea...
Forum: Pentax Q 06-29-2011, 06:10 AM  
Pentax Q in the Flesh
Posted By Michael Barker
Replies: 1,310
Views: 206,988
Not everyone wants control of DOF (Admittedly, I want it). There are plenty of people shooting 99% of the time at f/8 and higher on m43 and DSLR, where, by the way, diffraction is already eating away at image quality and they are using high ISO sometimes to get to f/8. Why would they do that? Ergonomics, smooth precise manual zoom, and because the IQ of circa-2009 sub-$600 compacts was not enough at the focal lengths they wanted to use. Now it's 2011 and they can shoot a Pentax Q wide open, losing nothing relevant to their needs vs. an E-PL1 or 500D.

It's a product targeted at people who like high-end compacts, i.e. not Pentax users.

If they make a profit then there's more to spend on new APS-C stuff. Thank your lucky stars they did not create an APS-C or m43 mirrorless. That might have taken users away from APS-C DSLR which might have reduced Pentax's motivation to support that mount.
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