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Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 2 Hours Ago  
Hi. New to Pentax---looking to switch to Pentax SLRs
Posted By Des
Replies: 16
Views: 424
And the K-P.

The K-30 can also be made to work with a firmware hack (at the user's own risk).

AFAIK, no-one has come up with a solution for any of the K-5 series, and it seems increasingly unlikely that Pentax will release a firmware update for those cameras that allows the 55-300 PLM (or any future PLM lens) to work.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 5 Hours Ago  
Hi. New to Pentax---looking to switch to Pentax SLRs
Posted By Des
Replies: 16
Views: 424
Welcome to PF.


I had a K-30 which had the same sweet sensor. But if you crop a lot the 24mp sensor in the K-3 is even better. There are plenty of affordable used K-3 models out there too. They have similarly rugged build to the K-5 series, but better AF, better metering and some extra features. The K-5 series cameras also won't work with the DA 55-300 PLM, which is the fastest-focusing lens Pentax has ever made.
Forum: Pentax K-70 6 Hours Ago  
Which lens option for a new K-70?
Posted By Des
Replies: 12
Views: 211
The aversion to zooms is a legacy from the old SLR days, when there was generally a big gap between primes and zooms. The gap has narrowed a lot. In fact a good zoom will often beat a mediocre prime. I've got 5 zooms and 7 primes, so I like both. I still get more "wow" images with the primes, but the versatility of the DA 18-135 is invaluable, and it can produce some very good images. Here are a few DA 18-135 samples to illustrate its range, capability and flare-resistance.











Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 8 Hours Ago  
Thematic Post your Sculptures and Statues!
Posted By Des
Replies: 685
Views: 61,326
"Jan, you imbecile I told you we should have pruned earlier, but no, you knew better didn't you. It's a worse harvest than last year. And you drink too much of it too. And I saw the way that you look at that blonde in church. Don't think she'd be interested in you, you dolt. I should have listened to my mother and married Hans the tailor."
Forum: General Talk 2 Days Ago  
Iím done with PentaxForums
Posted By Des
Replies: 82
Views: 2,496
They can be until they get personal or bombastic.

Some of the discussions about hot debates like equivalence, or whether to leave a filter on, or zooms v primes, or DSLR v mirrorless can be entertaining when conducted with a light touch and without arrogance or self-aggrandisement. But all too often they can slide into aggression and something like bullying.

Sounds funny saying it. I mean, seriously, staking your sense of self on something like whether a zoom is better than a prime? Seriously??
Forum: General Talk 2 Days Ago  
Iím done with PentaxForums
Posted By Des
Replies: 82
Views: 2,496
Public discourse generally is in a downward spiral, in many places. That's why it matters to preserve the culture here, which has been built up over a number of years.
Forum: General Talk 2 Days Ago  
Iím done with PentaxForums
Posted By Des
Replies: 82
Views: 2,496
It's a great shame if we lose such a valuable member as Monochrome because of an unpleasant, unhelpful, negative or antisocial minority. Be assured that that's not the culture most of us want or value.

The other PF, the one I want to be part of, is the one that has genuinely mourned Rupert and celebrated his contributions.

It's the one that provides courteous and patient responses to newbies who don't frame a question well. Even when it's the 15th time the same question has been asked.

It's the one that has a wealth of knowledge and experience about all kinds of arcane things, photographic and otherwise, and is generous in sharing it.

It's the one where people post images that teach us something, that inspire and entertain and amuse.

It's contrary, and original, and funny. Sometimes confronting and challenging.

It has a great founder and administrator, and a team of dedicated and diplomatic moderators.

It's welcoming to a diverse world of members, united by passion about photography in its many aspects.

This thread tells me many of us share the same view about the PF culture.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 3 Days Ago  
Sub-$100 Lens Wish List
Posted By Des
Replies: 58
Views: 1,214
That might be more of a collector's item than some of the lenses listed.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 3 Days Ago  
Thematic The Yard Birds Thread
Posted By Des
Replies: 1,014
Views: 60,394
Pollen and all. Splendid shot Noel.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 3 Days Ago  
novice question: macro lens for k200d
Posted By Des
Replies: 9
Views: 247
Good luck with it @Mytime and I hope you share some images when you get it going.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 4 Days Ago  
Sub-$100 Lens Wish List
Posted By Des
Replies: 58
Views: 1,214
You're the only one I have ever heard of Dave! Even having been on the receiving end of Pentax marketing is pretty special.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 4 Days Ago  
Sub-$100 Lens Wish List
Posted By Des
Replies: 58
Views: 1,214
I'll just comment on the telephoto lens question.

I can't comment on the Promaster, although I note that Carol likes hers.

I've got the Pentax DA-L 55-300 f4-5.8 and for around $US100 it seems like outstanding value to me. The optically-identical DA 55-300 f4-5.8 would be even better if you can snag one for $120 or less - it adds a hood, metal mount and quick shift. The later WR version has the same optical formula but adds newer coatings and WR, and nicer construction. They have come down a lot in price and it's a good buy if you can find one in good condition for around $200. The current model, DA 55-300 f4.5-6.3 PLM WR is a new optical formula and uses fast and quiet PLM autofocus - it works with your K-3 but not with the K-5 series or older (not clear which "older DSLRs" your kids have). The PLM is nicely built and has better bokeh than the older screw-driven AF versions, but there isn't much difference in resolution. That's not a criticism - the resolution is good in the older models (for a consumer zoom). The PLM costs a fair bit more.

Many users find that an xx-300mm zoom is as much telephoto lens as they need. Going beyond that, in an AF lens (AF is really worthwhile for wildlife or sport), usually involves a jump in weight and/or cost. I had a Sigma 170-500 (non-DG version) - it was a fun lens to learn with, and good if you didn't push it too hard, but I'd say a Sigma 50-500 or 150-500 for a bit more is probably the better value proposition for affordable serious reach. But here we are talking about something like $500 second hand and 2kg - and using a big heavy lens like that is, um, character-building. If you do decide to get serious about a wildlife lens, a F/FA*300 f4.5 or a second-hand DA*300 f4 with a teleconverter is IMO the better option - but now we are talking $750 upwards.

I say this so you know what the next stops are on the telephoto line. I'd say don't think about going there unless you have developed a great fondness for wildlife photography (I don't think you need anything longer than 300mm for kids' sport) and you have reached the limits of what an xx-300 zoom can do. Which is quite a lot really, once you practise a bit. Here are some DA-L 55-300 samples:

















More in my Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskrsej56
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 4 Days Ago  
Panorama-orama - Post your Panos
Posted By Des
Replies: 1,494
Views: 128,913
That's crazy Racer! I like it, and I like the way you are thinking outside the square (rectangle?) Reminds me a bit of those M C Escher images.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 4 Days Ago  
Thematic Forest-walks_Lichen-Fungi-Moss-dead-leaves
Posted By Des
Replies: 697
Views: 32,551
Should have listened to his old man.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 4 Days Ago  
Thematic The Yard Birds Thread
Posted By Des
Replies: 1,014
Views: 60,394
Nice set of images. That female Bunting is a striking looking bird, even though (I gather) the male gets all the attention. :-)
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 5 Days Ago  
novice question: macro lens for k200d
Posted By Des
Replies: 9
Views: 247
A few comments.

There are lots of ways of doing macro on the cheap without getting a dedicated macro lens. But generally you want a pretty sharp lens as a base. Old MF primes 50mm or longer are a good cheap way to get started. But getting a dedicated macro lens is a lot less trouble - and the lens will be good for lots of other things too. The good news is that there is no such thing as a bad macro lens, only very good and better (assuming the lens is in good condition of course). The other good news is that manual focus is fine for macro - which means you have more choice and cheaper options. Even with an autofocus lens people tend to use it in manual focus for true macro, and the conventional way of focusing precisely at the minimum working distance is to move the camera fore and aft very slightly. A cheap rail mounted on a tripod would help for this.

What @Skodadriver says about lighting is right too - but again there are cheap options. Plenty of suggestions for diffusers out there, but a ring flash may be the easiest way to go. See this thread for suggestions: Cheap ring flash with 1 point hotshot? - PentaxForums.com
Forum: Pentax K-S1 & K-S2 5 Days Ago  
So a Canon guy picks up a new K-S2...
Posted By Des
Replies: 16
Views: 683
Thoughtful and interesting post. Thanks for sharing your experiences, and welcome to PF.


Er, 5 zooms and 7 primes in my case. Which maybe puts me about average in PF. ;-) You get a taste for good lenses (and you find interesting niches) and it's like a box of chocolates - you can't stop at one!

But I take your point. There was a time when there were lots of big holes in the Pentax APS-C lens line up, but it's a very good spread now. And even the kit lenses are pretty good.


The answer to that is to get a DA 55-300 PLM. Lightning fast AF and very quiet. And very good image quality too.


I agree. I got a K-S2 in white - mainly because it was heavily discounted. But I've come to like the colour. You're right - people don't feel intimidated by it, and it feels like fun. I wish more models were in colours other than black or silver.


Two tips:
1. Set the EV and sensitivity increments to 1/3 stops. Go to Menu C1, item 1 EV steps. Set to 1 (one-third EV Steps), if it's not already. Then go to the next item "2 Sensitivity steps" and change to setting 2 ("As EV steps"). That will give you three ISO steps for each stop; e.g., instead of jumping from 1600 ISO to 3200 ISO, it will give you ISO 2000 and 2500. If you use a mode that lets the camera choose the ISO within a band, you might find it useful to cap the band at 2000 or 2500 rather than 3200.
2. Sandy and Norm both suggested trying other modes such as Av or P. P is good because you can manually override the settings the camera chooses - use the front dial to adjust the shutter speed or the rear dial to adjust the aperture. Personally I like TAv mode, which is a Pentax special. You set the aperture and shutter speed and the camera sets the ISO within a band you set. Kind of semi-manual.


The Pentax base models have always had noisy shutters. Once you go up a grade it's much quieter. My K-3 is really quiet.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 6 Days Ago  
Thematic Wildlife
Posted By Des
Replies: 6,707
Views: 300,667
Great shots Racer!
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 6 Days Ago  
Hiya from Downunder ( Australia)
Posted By Des
Replies: 84
Views: 1,129
The only K mount lens that won't work on the K200D is the DA 55-300mm f4.5-6.3 PLM.


Welcome Laurie, from another Victorian.

As for the macro lens, it sounds like a macro around 90-105mm would suit you best. The gold standard is the current model, the Pentax D FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR - they run for about $500 or so second hand. If that's a bit pricey, really any of the earlier Pentax 100mm macro lenses will do very well (here's a manual focus one from the A series, asking $250: Pentax Lense | Lenses | Gumtree Australia Morphett Vale Area - Flagstaff Hill | 1173206910). Other good macros include the Tamron 90mm (here's one asking $350: Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 Lens Pentax Mount | Lenses | Gumtree Australia Hornsby Area - Hornsby | 1174920693) and the Sigma 105mm.

There are also Pentax 35mm and 50mm macros available. With those shorter focal lengths, to get true 1:1 macro you need to get a lot closer to the subject. I got an FA 50 f2.8 macro for about $120 - it's a very sharp lens, but I don't use it as much for macro as the DFA 100.

You'll find the term "macro" bandied about a bit - Sigma is particular offender, calling zoom lenses "macro" when they are nothing like it.

People try all sorts of ways to do macro shooting on the cheap, using diopters, extension tubes, lens reversal and other tricks. This might give you some ideas: Macro by any means necessary club - PentaxForums.com You'll find lots more on the forum about macro and shooting fungi and plants if you look around.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 Days Ago  
55-200, 55-200 WR, 55-300, 55-300 PLM, etc, which telezoom I should get?
Posted By Des
Replies: 62
Views: 3,213
It's not that bad. In the wide to normal range, as Jatrax says the DA 16-85 and DA 18-135 are both quiet (so is the DA 20-40 Ltd) and the AF is fast enough for most situations. It's not like they are crying out for PLM to make them usable! If any new lenses are DC rather than PLM it won't be the end of the world.


Depends on the situation, and the lens. You'd put up with a little AF noise to get the results that the Limited and star (*) lenses can offer. ;-)

Having said that, I used my old DA-L 55-300 rather than the PLM yesterday and it does seem rather crude. The image quality is good though.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 6 Days Ago  
Thematic Wildlife
Posted By Des
Replies: 6,707
Views: 300,667
Great get Rob.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 6 Days Ago  
Show me a Sign! Billboards,sign,bus ads,shop signs go here!
Posted By Des
Replies: 4,129
Views: 314,946
It doesn't say no photography anyway.


There were no flags and no lifeguards on duty when the first guy drowned. The second guy was in a sense both in the sand and between the flags: he was washed off a sandbank while swimming between the flags, and drowned before he could be rescued. Some years ago two people died at this beach after being dragged into a rip while standing in knee-deep water.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/mitcham-man-paul-baker-identified-as...bcc43f3b179207
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/second-man-to-drown-in-dangerous...02-p4yy6n.html
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 02-17-2018, 03:44 AM  
Thematic Post Your shot Across Australia
Posted By Des
Replies: 108
Views: 17,078
Thanks Rod. The big cone is a saw banksia (B. serrata) just beginning to bud. They end up looking like this (also from the Prom).

Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 02-17-2018, 02:01 AM  
Thematic Post Your Cloudscapes
Posted By Des
Replies: 1,253
Views: 62,551
+1. Thanks for sharing Taks.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 02-17-2018, 01:35 AM  
Thematic Post Your shot Across Australia
Posted By Des
Replies: 108
Views: 17,078
Well these will have to do.

Wilson's Promontory National Park, South Gippsland, Victoria. Or, to any Victorian, simply "The Prom".

























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