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Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-23-2010, 12:55 AM  
Best post processing program for a newbie?
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 33
Views: 12,100
Are you on a Mac or a PC?

For a complete beginner, I'd suggest Picasa (free, from Google, and works on both Mac and PC).

If you have a Mac, it came with iPhoto, which is fine for most people wanting to tweak their snapshots.

Photoshop Elements is also very good, and I agree with the above posters, with one exception - Elements for the Mac does NOT include the browser/organiser module for some strange reason.

Why not give Picasa a go - it's free after all?

Picasa 3: Free download from Google
Forum: Lens Clubs 09-12-2010, 11:40 PM  
The 15mm Limited controls my mind - club
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 11,661
Views: 2,052,814
Very, very nice! What a great lens for shooting into the sun this is. Or even stars occasionally ;)

Second one is my favourite - lovely shot!
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-12-2010, 11:36 PM  
CS5 - Refine Edge
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 19
Views: 6,641
Very good result there - even the hairs near the dog's chest are intact. Very impressive indeed. And a nice-looking pooch it is too :)

The dog has been sharpened in the second picture, so having a sharper background doesn't really clash, but I agree that throwing the background just slightly out of focus would make it look even more convincing that the dog was actually there.

The only jarring note I can spot is that the dog is sunlit from our right, while the tower in the background is sunlit from our left.

Excellent job - must have a go at that! :)
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 09-09-2010, 04:27 PM  
K-7 Noise Ninja profile
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 35
Views: 14,493
Just to reiterate - noise reduction being turned on at the camera has NO effect when shooting in RAW. Neither does white balance or any other processing. The RAW file is just as it says - raw, straight from the sensor and converted to 0s and 1s.

I use Noise ninja as my preferred noise reduction PP, although Topaz DeNoiser v5 is getting up there and is almost as good. But Noise Ninja were the first to upgrade their plugin to work in full 64-bit mode, and I use Aperture in 64-bit.

Unfortunately, my camera bodies are both K20D, so the K7 profile isn't much use to me. Now if someone were to take the trouble to make one for the K20D.... ?? ;) Then again, if I were to get off my lazy ass and do it....
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-03-2010, 12:48 AM  
Sigma 50 mm F1.4 EX DG HSM vs SMC Pentax FA 50 mm F1.4
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 27
Views: 11,205
No - I haven't tried it on a more compact camera. My cameras are two K20D bodies, each with battery pack. So the lens is a comfortable fit.

I can imagine that the lens may look a little oversized on a smaller camera, but why don't you go to the nearest camera store that has the lens, and try it on the body you're thinking of putting it on?

I generally carry two K20Ds with grips, with a lens on each, if I'm specifically out and about for taking photos. Often with either my ThinkTank Rotation 360 backpack, and the cameras attached to the two backpack straps.

If I'm travelling lighter, then I use a ThinkTank Retrospective 30 bag.

And I'm a fairly big individual anyway, so the size of camera and lens is not a problem for me. For someone more slightly built, then the size of the gear you carry, including a lens like the Sigma 50mm f/1.4, may be a consideration.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-02-2010, 10:09 PM  
Sigma 50 mm F1.4 EX DG HSM vs SMC Pentax FA 50 mm F1.4
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 27
Views: 11,205
Joe - I have many lenses, and they all get pretty much equal workouts.

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is a great lens for street photography, but also works well for portraits.

Here's one I took with it, using a bounced, diffused flash:



That's my Dad on his 96th birthday...! Sure hope I got his genes. :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-02-2010, 07:40 PM  
Sigma 50 mm F1.4 EX DG HSM vs SMC Pentax FA 50 mm F1.4
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 27
Views: 11,205
I have the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and LOVE it ...!

It's one large, very substantial chunk of glass, but boy - does it take some good photos, and the focusing is very fast on my K20D.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-30-2010, 05:58 AM  
Lens to bring to Brisbane
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 23
Views: 3,948
Nope. Not needed. The light up there is very bright, so you'll be operating stopped down anyway. I'd stick with just the 18-250, and that DA15mm for those "special" shots for the "Controls my Mind" thread of Jay Sherman's.

Oh yes - don't forget the polariser for up there too. :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-30-2010, 01:37 AM  
Lens to bring to Brisbane
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 23
Views: 3,948
50Km?? That's just down the street...! ;) This is Australia you're talking about. :) I think the sense of scale and distance is vastly different between Singapore and Australia. I drive 50Km just to go to the shops sometimes! Last weekend, I drove to Melbourne - just under 2000 Km.

Let me see:

There is the Currumbin Sanctuary a few Km south of Broadbeach, there are numerous National Parks in the Gold Coast hinterland, up through Beechmont, Canungra, Natural Arch - far too many to mention. Then there is the Scenic Rim/Border Ranges national Park.

And of course, if you really want to see a "good" sanctuary, Steve Irwin's "Australia Zoo" is about an hour's drive north of Brisbane - so about 2 hours or so from Broadbeach (maybe a little bit more depending on traffic). Australia Zoo is well worth a visit, apart from being associated with the Irwins - it is really well done.

I see you will only have 7 days here, but there is just SO much to see and do, you'll probably run out of time anyway.

Oh yes - the other thing you may want to bring with you is a polarising filter - the sun can be very bright, with a lot of glare, especially near the coast (eg Broadbeach).

Hope you have a great time :)
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 08-29-2010, 08:43 PM  
Good mourning
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 8
Views: 2,108
His screen protector died? ;)
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-29-2010, 03:05 PM  
Aperture 3
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 18
Views: 7,608
Why do you need to sharpen AFTER you've exported to JPG? I never do....

Simply do everything you need to do to the photo in Aperture, then "Export version" as a JPG. I use high quality JPG.

To post to Flickr, I use the Flickr Uploadr (don't use the Aperture built-in Flickr thing - that will sync both ways, so that if you delete a photo from Flickr, you'll suddenly find it gone from your Aperture library as well). I simply drag the JPGs onto the Flickr Uploadr. Works perfectly.

Posting to forums like this one is easy - I use the code from the Flickr picture which then simply "points" to the Flickr picture.

I think you maybe haven't been exporting the VERSION, which has had all the work done including sharpening. Once you've done that, the Flickr Uploadr automatically does the resizing etc as needed.

Hope that makes sense....
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-29-2010, 07:16 AM  
Lens to bring to Brisbane
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 23
Views: 3,948
I too live in Brisbane, and I'd agree with the 17-70, but would add the 70-200. You'd have it all covered with just those two. If you really want a prime for lower light situations, then add the FA50 or the DA40 if you like. But I'd just bring the two. And I'd agree also that I wouldn't bring an external flash - travel light.

I know you don't have one, but for tourist stuff and travelling light, I'll often just stick to my 18-250mm "Superzoom" and not change lenses at all. Mine is the Tamron/Pentax one, but I see Sigma now have one out with OS in it as well - although I've never really needed stabilisation that is better than I already have in my K20D.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-28-2010, 05:57 PM  
Looking for a long portrait lens.
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 46
Views: 8,534
At a recent course I did, which included renowned portrait photographer David Oliver, he was using a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens for his portrait work. But then - I realised he was also using a full-frame camera (Nikon D3s), so the equivalent lens for me would be my Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8

That is a great portrait lens if a zoom is what you're after for compositional reasons.

If a prime would do the job, then I agree with others that the 77mm Ltd is excellent.

Another old favourite for portraits is the Tamron SP90mm Macro.

But my pick would be that Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8
Forum: Lens Clubs 08-17-2010, 02:45 AM  
The 15mm Limited controls my mind - club
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 11,661
Views: 2,052,814
Gotcha...!!! :)
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-16-2010, 09:31 PM  
Adobe educational rebate
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 18
Views: 4,530
And of course, if you're on a Mac, don't overlook Aperture. For the price, it is amazingly powerful (although it loves RAM - the more the better). And there are a lot of plugins originally designed for Photoshop that now work directly within Aperture.

I use Aperture, and I have to admit that I rarely need to flip out for the round trip to Photoshop much at all, these days. Probably 95% or more of what I need to do is done within Aperture.

Having said that, if it is an Adobe product that you want to get, then Lightroom will do what you need. Photoshop is for specific pixel editing, or creative manipulation.
Forum: Lens Clubs 08-16-2010, 08:42 PM  
The 15mm Limited controls my mind - club
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 11,661
Views: 2,052,814
The on-board flash certainly doesn't cause a shadow of the lens, like it does with physically bigger lenses.

The only way of covering the angle of view with flash though is to use a flash diffuser. I must admit that on the rare occasion I do use flash with the DA15mm, I tend to use my Metz AF 48 with a diffuser "sock" on it, and even then, I usually bounce it off the ceiling if indoors. That just about covers the field of view.

I don't think the on-board flash covers anywhere near the field of view needed, and even if you do fit a diffuser on it, it is not very strong.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-16-2010, 03:56 PM  
Adobe educational rebate
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 18
Views: 4,530
Yup - I agree. If it's just one, then Lightroom would be the better one to get.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-16-2010, 02:59 PM  
Adobe educational rebate
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 18
Views: 4,530
For those prices, I'd get both, since they do different jobs. Bring your RAW files in and organise them through Lightroom, and use CS5 as the default external editor for pixel-tweaking.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-15-2010, 06:54 PM  
Sunlight "ray" discussion
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 21
Views: 3,983
Sam - jsut be aware that stopping down TOO far may cause refractive errors and artifacts, particularly when shooting into the sun. A shot at f/22 will not be as good as one at f/16, in most cases.

That DA15mm is the best by far of all the lenses I have, at this lark. I think it's a combination of the spacing of the lens elements and the Pentax coatings used. There seems to be very little flare with the lens.

It's a wonderful lens, as I'm sure you've already seen from that long thread, started by the very wicked Jay Sherman - who would be responsible for many sales of that lens!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-15-2010, 03:21 PM  
Sunlight "ray" discussion
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 21
Views: 3,983
Perhaps it should be done from a computer rather than a phone? I wonder if Adam could combine the separate posts into one?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-15-2010, 03:00 PM  
Sunlight "ray" discussion
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 21
Views: 3,983
Trog - your posts are getting split into segments..... Not sure what you're doing, but we're getting bits at a time.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-15-2010, 02:57 PM  
Sunlight "ray" discussion
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 21
Views: 3,983
Actually, while that photo is excellent, I don't think that's what the OP meant, as he refers to the pictures on the DA 15mm thread. And most of those (including some of mine) have the 14-point rays produced by the 7-blade iris. I actually posted the question a few posts back up the thread, as to where exactly did the interpolated "rays" come from - are they reflections off the back lens element, for example?



That's just one example. The thread's last page is here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/86234-15mm-lim...y-mind-28.html

There are several examples on that page of the effect.

Of all the lenses I own (a lot!!) this DA 15mm is by far the best at shooting straight into the sun. Stopping down to about f/16 will give that "ray" effect.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 08-14-2010, 02:36 PM  
Topaz Denoise 5 brings debanding to NR engine
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 28
Views: 10,918
It is compatible with Aperture via Topaz's Fusion Express. This acts as an external editor when installed as the default external editor in Aperture (although it's a pain to go the round trip, and to replace Photoshop as default editor). I don't know if you could try the same thing with the Gimp?

See here: http://www.topazlabs.com/fusion/

Aperture does over 95% of what I need to do, including using Topaz, Nik, and Noise Ninja plugins, needing only to flip out to Photoshop on the oddoccasion for pixel tweaking. Noise Ninja though seems to give results that, to my eye at least, are better than Topaz or Nik's denoisers. And Noise Ninja has been updated to 64-bit, and works directly within the program (Aperture) and NOT requiring a flip-out round trip (which Topaz does).

So of all the denoisers that I have, Noise Ninja is the one I use. I use Topaz's other modules for their intended purposes, but the denoiser doesn't get used (I got the whole Topaz package, so Denoiser just came as part of it).
Forum: Photographic Technique 08-14-2010, 02:10 PM  
Wanting to create high resolution slideshow for emailing
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 9
Views: 4,565
If you're using a Mac, just do it in iPhoto. I use Aperture which produces some excellent slide shows, complete with music tracks from your iTunes collection.
Forum: Photographic Technique 08-14-2010, 02:05 PM  
72Hr turnaround times for CR Kennedy
Posted By Derridale
Replies: 2
Views: 2,664
Thanks for that - it's good to hear that CRK can provide that level of service.

As they distribute not only Pentax stuff, but also Sigma lenses here in Australia, there are a lot of dealings with CRK either directly or via a retailer among the Aussie Pentax users. I've not had any need for severe repairs like the ones you needed (yet) but I do need to get a couple of Sigma lenses recalibrated.

Given that I'm in Brisbane, I have to deal with the local retailer (in my case it's Digital Camera Warehouse) who then has to deal with CRKennedy. Those contacts you posted are very useful - many thanks for those. It would be worth a polite phone call, methinks, just to make sure that there is no breakdown in communication between me handing the lenses in here, and them getting to Melbourne.

And you're right - gentle, polite, and respectful approaches will usually get things done, whereas angry, annoyed, aggressive antics tend to be counterproductive.
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