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Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-17-2013, 09:29 PM  
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Coming for Pentax!
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 1,185
Views: 180,611
Definitely agree although Nikon gives you 5 years warranty (I've heard complaints about their customer service though, hopefully I don't have to find out) and Tamron gives you 5+ I think???

It's pretty astonishing to think you could spend over a thousand dollars on a lens (from multiple brand names) only to have it fail 1 year later and you're on your own:eek:
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-17-2013, 07:36 AM  
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Coming for Pentax!
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 1,185
Views: 180,611
More importantly than how well Sigma's hold value is that their pricing strategy remains sane - release a lens with great performance for a fair price and then maintain that price for the shelf life of that particular model! ie) if you buy a Sigma lens you don't have to worry about the price being randomly chopped in half a week after buying it. I bought the excellent 60mm macro 3 or 4 years ago and you can still get it new for the same price - it's a concept other *cough cough* brands could learn from ;)

Great build quality and performance as well - Sigma has really been hitting some lenses out of the park lately and I'm thrilled to see the OEMs get some competition!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-12-2013, 01:30 PM  
Pentax Lens Price Hike - Here we go again!
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 412
Views: 43,255
Do lenses not have to comply to ROHS in the EU? Seems unlikely but otherwise every lens sold by every manufacturer should be using lead free solder unless there's some loophole for lenses? ROHS compliant printed circuit board assemblies are the norm nowadays, as are components. Typically electronics manufacturers standardize a Bill Of Materials so they can be built on one line and sold to every market around the world. It's hard to imagine any camera manufacturer having separate manufacturing processes for countries that require ROHS and countries that don't, especially given that the legwork for a ROHS compliant lens would have to be done for the EU anyway.

Then again, any time I've made the mistake of clicking a link directing me to Ken Rockwell's site, I feel like my brain has been the victim of lead poisoning so who knows:lol:
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-01-2013, 06:56 PM  
Pentax Lens Price Hike - Here we go again!
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 412
Views: 43,255
Well this completely pushes me over the edge never to look back. I've recently bought into M43 and Nikon, you know Pentax is out of control when I can consider the 4 new, full frame Nikon lenses I bought recently to be a "bargain":( Throw in an amazing Yongnuo flash I bought for $200 that has full wireless i-TTL capability with remote flash control via the camera, great power, and exposure accuracy and my biggest regret now is not making the switch sooner...

Nikon, Canon and Olympus have all been offering deals with the Yen's devaluation and Pentax think they can raise prices even further??? Who's running the asylum???
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 04-06-2013, 04:55 PM  
An interview with Pentax Executive Vice President Jim Malcolm
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 308
Views: 27,894
Thanks to their recent pricing "strategies" if you're a current Pentax APS-C user and you want a high end (current lens) you're in this category like it or not:lol:

If the Veep happens to be reading this (hopefully he is, I think this forum can provide very valuable market research from many passionate and knowledgeable Pentax users) I had a lot of money invested in a nice Pentax collection that I had built up over about 6 years since purchasing the K100D way back. Full blown Pentax LBA with no end in sight:) Spent >$2k a year the last few years running on Pentax cameras and lenses. Due to my current main form of shooting - kids indoors with a "need" for better video features (I know many Pentax users would rather not have Pentax spend a dime on video features that could be spent on R&D elsewhere which I fully understand) many of these lenses were sitting around not being used at all. I initially thought, no problem, as the kids grow up we'll start getting out more and I'll get more use out of my gear, most of which I was extremely happy with. As prices started doing the yo-yo on a seemingly weekly basis and I looked at some of my lenses that I bought on the high side of the yo-yo, I became a very nervous investor and decided it was time to take my losses:o Pretty depressing at the time to be honest but "collecting" Pentax lenses (which many Pentax users seem to do, hard not to as there are a lot of gems to choose from) didn't make sense for me anymore...
Forum: Lens Clubs 04-06-2013, 04:06 PM  
DA* Club
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 5,159
Views: 753,862
That's an insane shot! Would you mind giving a quick run-through of your process for stacking the sky shots and how you calculate exposure? I've seen people crank up the ISO and take a ~30 second exposure with a fast lens before to capture the Milky Way in extremely dark areas but I'm guessing you're using lower ISO values with the stacks? Are you using the Pentax Star Tracer qizmo? Very well done!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-27-2013, 09:28 PM  
K-3 speculation
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 2,799
Views: 416,920
I'll second that:p
Forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive 03-23-2013, 11:02 AM  
Pentax DA* 55mm f/1.4 samples
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 159
Views: 60,944
So I looked at my sensor under a microscope yesterday and at least some of the "dust" looks like tiny metal shavings! Could possibly be silver paint too I guess but not confidence inspiring either way. I'm leaning towards "upgrading" to a D800 at this point but after reading about your experience with it I'm not so sure...the green tinge AWB is pretty ugly if you can't calibrate for it in camera. Maybe I need to spend some time with my K5 and DA*55 this weekend and re-evaluate:) If only the mythical Pentax full frame camera could make SDM motors spin faster I wouldn't bother with Nikon at all:p
Forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive 03-20-2013, 09:34 PM  
Pentax DA* 55mm f/1.4 samples
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 159
Views: 60,944
That sounds painful, can't blame you for being frustrated. I'm feeling the same thing on the K5 price right now, can't believe how much the used price has tanked for such a great APSC DSLR!

I've only been shooting with the D600 for a little over a week and today I took some bright sky pictures stopped down and discovered the famous oil splatter all over my sensor! Not that I'm surprised but it still sucks. That's pushing me even more towards the D800 - as long as I can get one with the AF calibrated properly:lol: (what's with QC these days on all this insanely expensive gear?)

One thing I've found with AWB is that indoors with tungsten or mixed lighting the images have a horrible green cast. I tweaked the AWB calibration to run a little into the magenta/red side and that's been a big help. I was shocked to see that right out of the box though - doesn't anybody take a picture with these things before they start manufacturing! I haven't used Live View much, Nikon cripples the D600 so you can't even adjust aperture without exiting Live View so that's pretty annoying too. I'm definitely with you on weight and cost - the AF speed is helping with the adjustment though:) I'm a sucker for shallow depth of field photography so I got used to that part really quick! 36MP would probably be a little overwhelming though.

Thanks for the perspective!
Forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive 03-19-2013, 10:43 PM  
Pentax DA* 55mm f/1.4 samples
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 159
Views: 60,944
I agree on the great photos (love the DA*55 rendering) but am even more interested in the story behind you selling off your Pentax gear to finance a D800 only to return to Pentax again! I've been lusting after a full frame camera with good continuous / tracking focus for quite a while now and finally succumbed to a (factory refurbished) D600. It's been kind of bittersweet so far and even though I've sold off most of my Pentax lenses I'm wondering if I shouldn't keep the K5, DA*55, and Tamron 17-50 F2.8...

How do you like the D800 by the way? I would have gone that route but I take a lot of pictures and couldn't get past the fact that Nikon doesn't have a low res RAW option. I like the idea that the D600 is smaller but I guess if you're going to buy a tank it might as well be a big one!
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-27-2013, 08:50 AM  
DA* Club
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 5,159
Views: 753,862
Thanks! Would have been nice to capture that in the wild but zoos do make for good practice...
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-26-2013, 09:22 PM  
DA* Club
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 5,159
Views: 753,862
If that was for my owl shot - thanks! If not, I'll just pretend it was:lol: Lots of great stuff in this thread...
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-26-2013, 09:12 PM  
DA* Club
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 5,159
Views: 753,862
Not the most exciting subject but another good example of how the lens renders out of focus backgrounds I think...

Attachment 157162
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-26-2013, 07:08 PM  
DA* Club
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 5,159
Views: 753,862
Love the bokeh this lens produces even @ F5.6Attachment 157116
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-10-2012, 11:32 PM  
43mm 1.9 or DA*55???
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 71
Views: 7,516
I'd been holding out for the arrival of the new DA 50mm when I saw a post here that lens prices were on the way back up again a few weeks ago and pulled the trigger before Amazon jacked their prices back up - I ordered in the morning and when I got home the price had gone up over $100:eek: I was pretty happy at the time but now I'm peeved that the prices are back down again - if the DA 50 focuses faster than the DA 55 and is optically comparable to the 35 F2.4 I'm really going to be ticked! The 35 is a gem for the price...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-10-2012, 11:24 PM  
43mm 1.9 or DA*55???
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 71
Views: 7,516
That was a major concern of mine too - so far I've been pretty impressed with AF accuracy @ F1.4 & F2.0 so hopefully Pentax has improved QC to where it's not as big an issue anymore. Still need to do a formal focus test yet with AF charts but my initial impression is very good.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-10-2012, 12:16 AM  
43mm 1.9 or DA*55???
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 71
Views: 7,516
Trust me - I would love to have the 43mm Limited too:D That's one of the dilemmas of shooting Pentax - there are almost too many great portrait lenses to choose from. My only concern now is that the new DA 50mm will come out with comparable IQ & faster AF for a third of the price:(
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-08-2012, 12:14 PM  
43mm 1.9 or DA*55???
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 71
Views: 7,516
Which is why I based my decision on the best of both worlds - first hand experience with both lenses via one of the best photographers on this site (who happens to shoot the same type of subjects I'm most interested in with this lens - portraits of active kids) and defacto test results from a "lab". The DA*55 also has 9 rounded aperture blades which is a big plus for me. Great bokeh with nice rounded specular highlights, accurate AF and tack sharp corner to corner @ F2.8 plus very usable F2.0 corner to corner - hard to go wrong with that! Weathersealing is a great bonus. Although I'm not thrilled with Pentax's (lack of) SDM warranty...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-08-2012, 11:07 AM  
43mm 1.9 or DA*55???
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 71
Views: 7,516
This comparison was the deciding factor for me - not an issue if all your portraits are dead center in your frame on APS-C maybe, but you can imagine how much better the DA*55mm would fare on the mythical Pentax FF to be:D

I went with the 55mm over the 43 for this reason and Tougec's child portraits even though I would have preferred a limited lens for the metal body and aperture ring (and cool factor) but it's hard to argue with these test results. SLRGear.com considers a "blur index" of 1 to be tack sharp for reference. Of course the 55 has the extra advantage of going to F1.4 with still impressive sharpness and good corner to corner results (and high contrast).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-07-2012, 12:12 PM  
43mm 1.9 or DA*55???
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 71
Views: 7,516
That's not what I wanted to hear:p If only I could buy a D800 with a K mount!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-05-2012, 09:19 PM  
43mm 1.9 or DA*55???
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 71
Views: 7,516
I recently decided on a DA*55 in large part due to how great your kids pics are and how you've been able to expertly capture kids in motion with a shallow depth of field (I had heard all the stigmas about this lens being too slow which made me very hesitant). I love the rendering and sharpness even wide open, and have also been pleasantly surprised by the AF (both speed and accuracy) but I can't help to wonder how it compares to a D800 with the 85mm F1.8 (AF speed - specifically continuous/tracking mode). I see you have the D700 & 85mm F1.8 - how would you compare the K5/DA*55mm for tracking AF? I've captured many great shots already, but have also missed many split second shots where my son looks away or changes expression before the AF is locked and the shot is no good. I'm not sure if I'm dreaming of something that doesn't exist or if that type of thing would be relatively easy with Nikon's D700/D800 AF???
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-27-2012, 05:16 PM  
How to assess 55-300 specimen quality
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 21
Views: 2,299
Like others mentioned stopping down on the long end offers a huge improvement with this lens. Here's some samples I have online. I'm pretty happy with mine, at least with enough light to use F8 on the long end.

http://jaywallphotography.smugmug.com/Photography/Pentax-Lens-Sample-Shots/17003181_7LL7fX#!i=1286569377&k=xjJhJnN
Forum: Lens Sample Photo Archive 06-22-2012, 09:00 AM  
Pentax DA* 55mm f/1.4 samples
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 159
Views: 60,944
TOUGEFC - I've been on the fence about which portrait lens to buy (77mm FA, DA*55, 43mm FA, Sigma 50mm F1.4 or Sigma 85mm F1.4) for over a year now and your DA*55 photos finally pushed me over the edge and made me pull the trigger. Now if only I could buy your photographers eye and post processing prowess so easily ;)

I'll second (and third) previous posters questions on your PP techniques. If you ever get the time it'd be awesome to see a before and after of your work. What's really amazing to me is how many kid shots you have that are tack sharp wide open!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-20-2012, 08:42 PM  
b&h price drops
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 298
Views: 27,852
Glad you posted this and I caught it - I bought the 55mm DA* for $670 this morning and it was up to 800 when I got home:eek: (directly from Amazon).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-20-2012, 08:35 AM  
Is the DA*60-250mm hand-holdable?
Posted By jay_akita
Replies: 45
Views: 3,513
Another confirmation of the K5/60-250 combo being very hand holdable. It's clumsy if you plan to hang it around your neck while say hiking (I've done it for short, scenic stretches but end up stabilizing it with one hand) but if you have a toploader like other people mentioned it's not an issue. As far as actually shooting with it, between the K5's SR & High ISO performance and the constant F4 it makes for a great combo. Awesome IQ and great reach in one lens.
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