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Forum: Ricoh GR 11-04-2013, 07:51 AM  
HELP. I can't seem to get anything in focus. - Ricoh GR
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 4
Views: 3,547
Thanks so much! I'll check it out!
Forum: Ricoh GR 11-03-2013, 12:07 AM  
HELP. I can't seem to get anything in focus. - Ricoh GR
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 4
Views: 3,547
A little Background:
First off I'm a graphic designer by trade, have been fror 16 years now professionally. Although I studied photography a lot in school, everything was film in my time and digital was just coming on the scene. I never really made the switch once digital took over. It felt very unnatural to me and I just never invested the time in making the transition. Eventually film seemed to die away in the late 90's early 2000's and I just put the camera on the shelf.

Recently with the resurgence in film photography I've dusted off the old cameras and taken it back up. In the process I've seen the need to learn digital photography as well (outside of my cell phone)

My wife and I just got a new puppy and are planning a trip to NYC in Dec, so it seemed like a good time to really dive into digital. I've had a K5 sitting on the shelf for awhile and have rarely used it. When I did I just set it to auto so I could get fast shots of the pups and family. As much as I love film it does have some down falls; cost, convince, speed and it's difficult to shot at night. The digital gave me the option to shoot at night easier and most of the time when I'm out with friends or family it's at night. But I very quickly noticed I'd leave the K5 at home and just use my iPhone just due to it's size and portability. So when I saw the GR it seemed like a prefect fit.

Small camera with big sensor + Pocketable + New Puppy + Trip to NY + better night shooting + Opportunity to finally learn digital = Purchase of GR

Now with all that said… I'm really struggling with the GR. I need some advice. I've read through several boards, tested, read, retested, searched YouTube, combed the net and the manual but I'm still missing too many shots. There are somethings about the camera that I don't understand and I can't seem to get anything in focus.

At first I was excited about Snap Focus, but I never can seem to hit the field correctly (from reading I think a lot of people have the same issue or they expected Snap to me more than it is) I decided to drop snap for awhile and just focus on learning the rest of the camera with using the autofocus.

Here is a list of things I've noticed or questions I have. If anyone can shed any light on these I would really, really appreciate it.

1. DNGs appear sharper than JPEGS. But DNGs seem to show more grain. Why?

2. DNGs appear truer to color, JPEGS take on a honey golden tone, especially on indoor photos. Any ideas?

3. TAV mode always seem to blow out the ISO when inside or low light conditions The results are very grainy. Is this common or am I at fault?

4. Snap Focus seems to miss focus more than I'd like. I know this is a result of my skill level in understanding zone focusing. Things like hyperfocial or infinity I just don't get.

5. In Av or P mode I seem to get a lot of missed focus shots due to s slower shutter speed. I can't imagine the light is always that low. ?

6. ND filter… what is it? Should I use it? Why is it in two places in the camera settings?

7. P mode never seems to drop below f4?

8. Full Press Snap, sometimes still seems to try and focus with both FPS and Snap focus on. I can feel/hear the lens adjust. I get the feeling that's why it misses focus a lot. I thought the point of FPS was to remove the autofocus half press since the focus point is already set.

9. AF seems to hunt in lower light. It helps if the AF light is turned on as it speeds up a little, but then I'm less incognito. Is this common for digital AF cameras? I'm used to old film manual focus. In low light or indoors it can hunt for focus for 3-5 seconds before grabbing a focus.

Here is a situation I ran into last night:

M Mode
ss 1/500
fstop 5.6
iso 3200

F1 button is set to AF/Snap
Snap is set at 2m
AF is set to Point
Button is set to Full Press Snap

I point the camera, using F1 I set it to AF, I press the AFL button to set the focus, and meter the exposure.

Obviously I'm way under exposed, so I tap the ExpComp + button.
The exposure corrects, I'm close maybe a tab bit over, but the SS drops all the way down to 1/20

Obviously I'll never get a image in focus with 1/20 due to shake, but why didn't the camera leave SS where I set it?

In the past it's done the same thing in other modes when I hit the ExpCom+ button but it would adjust the ISO or the Fstop

I've posted some images on my Flickr account if you want to take a look. You'll see how many are taken in daylight, at a high SS and with AF grabbing the areas I expect should be in focus, but they're not.

Ricoh GR Test Shots - a set on Flickr

Please help.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-16-2012, 03:40 PM  
The Film Shooters Guide to Digital - A Dummies Guide to the K5
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 10
Views: 2,126
Alright folks, I need your help.

I mainly shoot film. I have a Pentax LX, Bronica ETRSi and a NIKON FE2. I also have a K1000 that sits on a shelf since it was my first camera.
But I've run into an issue where Digital is something I need to get a better handle on. Why? Lots of reasons but in my case right now it's cost. As I learn I need to experiment, a lot. Shooting experiment shots with film get's costly very quickly. Digital gives me nearly unlimited shots at no additional cost with immediate feedback on each shots settings. So it's a great learning tool, if I knew how to use it.

Now for the record, I'm not a film snob. I like digital, and it certainly has it's place, I've just never really learned how to transfer my film knowledge over to digital.
In short, I'm so used to shooting nearly full manual, dialing in Shutter Speed on the camera body and Aperture on the lens that when I pick up my digital I can't seem to do much more than set it to Auto.

Travesty, I know.

I've read books, watched videos (not many how to vids on the K5 out there), spent hours on learning about digital but still when I pick it up I'm confused and go back to Auto, meaning I learn nothing.

So I have two main for starters, but sadly really dumb questions. I was hoping you could help with on the K5...

1. In a Manual setting (M, TAv, Av, Tv, P) I press the button halfway, the camera meters and auto focuses. But how do I know I have a correct exposure? In my LX and FE2 I have some needles or lights that I have to line up. I can't find anything like that on the K5. I originally thought it was the Exposure Compensation meter.

2. I have the 18-55 and the 50-200 lenses. One is 3.5-5.6 the other is 4-5.6. So if the lens only goes to 5.6, how come I can dial in an F22? For example, on the 50-200 I can dial all the way up to F29, but I can't dial lower than F4. Not being able to dial lower than F4 makes sense, but the higher f-stops it allows me to put in leave me scratching my head.

I've considered putting a few older primes on the K5, Locking the ISO and just shoot the same way I would shot with film, but doing that seems like I'm missing out on some of the advantages a digital camera can offer.

Is there something fundamental in the usage and workings of a digital camera that I'm not grasping, or am I just seriously over thinking this?

Thanks everyone, I apologize in advance for posting such elementary questions.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 11-06-2012, 11:36 AM  
Thoughts on Light Meters?
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 23
Views: 5,836
Thanks for the feedback everyone. It really helped.

I shot a local state fair and used the Nikon FE2 to meter each shot. I'm going to drop off the film today so we'll see how it turned out.
It seemed to work ok, but it was a bit cumbersome. The Bronica, my bag, lenses, film backs, etc. were all in the mix, so having the Nikon around my neck just to meter was another item to keep up with.

The next day I ordered a used Sekonic L-208 off Amazon and shot a few rolls the day it arrived (will drop those off today as well)

Once again, seemed to work fine, certainly less cumbersome. But like some mentioned, the build isn't great. Glad I didn't buy new at full price.
Over all it should suit my needs for the time being.

I'll worry about getting one with more features when I graduate to flashes, strobes, etc.

The two biggest issues I have are remembering which way to point it for a reading, and remembering to adjust the ISO on the meter when I switch film backs.
Both I kept screwing up. :o
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-06-2012, 11:21 AM  
Which lens to carry...
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 15
Views: 1,608
Oh, you wouldn't believe how much I bought from him for a song.
He practically gave it to me just to get everything out of his wife's closet.

I got tons of Pentax gear, some Nikon stuff and an old Bronica, plus some darkroom equip.

He went out and bought 5dMII with a bunch of new lenses.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-06-2012, 11:06 AM  
Which lens to carry...
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 15
Views: 1,608
He switched to Canon. Wanted full frame.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-06-2012, 11:05 AM  
Which lens to carry...
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 15
Views: 1,608
Thanks everyone.
I switched the 1.4 for the 1.7 in my bag last night.

I'll shot with these a bit and see which zooms I want to carry.

I have:
SMC M 80-200mm 4.5
SMC M 135mm 3.5
SMC FA 28-105mm 4-5.6
StarD Macro 28-80mm 3.5-5.6
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-05-2012, 02:44 PM  
Which lens to carry...
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 15
Views: 1,608
OK, I have a problem. And I guess you could easily say it's a good problem to have. I have too many options. :D

My LX just came back from repair and CLA, so this is really the first time I feel like I'm really getting to give it a try.

When I bought a box of camera goodies from a friend who is a pro photographer (he went all digital) I ended up with several lenses.

Now, I'm not sure what to carry in my bag.

I've got a macro and two zooms lenses that I'll rarely use, but the other 4 are hard to choose from.

Here's what I have:

SMC M 28mm 2.8
SMC M 50mm 2.0
SMC M 50mm 1.4
SMC M 50mm 1.7

I don't want to carry too much in my bag, so I was thinking the 28mm for the wide angle (unless you guys tell me the lens is crap)
and one of the 50mm. I don't want to assume that faster is better.

I read over all the reviews and I can't get a good sense if there is a reasonable difference between the 1.4 and 1.7 and 2.0. One doesn't seem to stand above the rest.

Like I said, it's a good problem to have.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-05-2012, 02:29 PM  
Flash advice needed
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 10
Views: 1,399
Thanks a lot for all the feedback everyone.
I still haven't figured out what to purchase, I'm gonna put it on hold for awhile (can't spend too much right now)
But after reading your responses I have a better idea of what I'm looking at.

So much to learn.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 10-17-2012, 08:35 AM  
Flash advice needed
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 10
Views: 1,399
OK, let me say that I'm an idiot when it comes to flashes.
In my early years I've done mostly outdoor daylight shooting so flashes have never really entered into the picture. (Although I've come to learn that you can use them in daylight as well, fill light on a portrait anyone?)

Since taking up photography again after nearly 20 years I've really enjoyed shooting more at night and indoors. So I think it's time to look into getting a flash.

Right now I'm shooting mainly with a Pentax LX so I'm not sure what to get. I've read everything on the net I can find and I think I've just gotten more confused.

Do I get an older flash from the film era? Do I buy a newer flash that is compatible with my LX and a digital body (which I might get soon)?

Which brands? Which models?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-09-2012, 01:32 PM  
Thoughts on Light Meters?
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 23
Views: 5,836
Thanks for the feedback everyone.
Gives me a direction to go in.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-09-2012, 01:31 PM  
Thoughts on Light Meters?
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 23
Views: 5,836
This one has the waist level finder, which is ok, but it does take some getting use to when you are so use to a pentaprism. What was it you didn't like about the AE?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-09-2012, 01:28 PM  
Thoughts on Light Meters?
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 23
Views: 5,836
I guess technically I could do that.
The last few times I went out I left the Nikon in the car and just took the Bronica.
But I'll give it a try.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-09-2012, 01:24 PM  
Film Buyer's Guide?
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 23
Views: 2,321
Check all the local Wallgreens in your area, I think they are going to stop carrying the BW400CN so they've discounted what they have. Last I checked they had 3 roll packs for 7 bucks. So far I've bought $70 worth for $30.
Looks like Kodak is still making it the time being, so you can still order it. I was impressed about how nice it turned out. But I have several local places that will process it.

If you want to go with TriX or TMax you can always send it out yourself. I can highly recommend E-Six Lab here in Atlanta
E-Six Lab of Atlanta - professional film processing, E6, C41, digital
E-6 Lab of Atlanta Inc - Westside / Home Park - Atlanta, GA
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-09-2012, 09:15 AM  
Thoughts on Light Meters?
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 23
Views: 5,836
My Pentax LX is out for a repair and CLA, so I've been shooting with my Nikon FE2. Last week I borrowed a Bronica ETRSI from a friend to mess around with medium format for the first time.
It has no internal metering, so I'm using a combination of the Sunny16 rule and guessing. We'll see how the film comes out.

With that, what are everyones thoughts on light meters?
New? Used? There are a bunch of old ones on Ebay and Etsy for cheap. Or is it better to spring for a new fancy model?
What about the iPhone/Android apps? Do they work well?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-09-2012, 09:10 AM  
Film Buyer's Guide?
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 23
Views: 2,321
I try to buy as much Kodak as possible. I just like to give them the business, maybe help keep them going.

So, I buy TMax and TriX for B&W. I also like the BW400CN film, pretty nice stuff.

I rarely do color neg film, but I usually try to buy Ektar when I do.

Sadly, Kodak stopped making color slide film, and when I shoot color I almost always shoot slide film.

So in those cases I usually buy Fuji Velvia 100.
Forum: General Talk 09-30-2012, 03:43 PM  
Just now discovering the X Files TV series
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 36
Views: 2,446
Did you watch the one about the Peacock Family yet?

You can't keep a Peacock down.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 09-30-2012, 03:32 PM  
Well Darn....
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 20
Views: 2,248
I use E-Six Lab here in Atlanta. You can mail them your stuff. Highly recommended.

E-Six Lab of Atlanta - professional film processing, E6, C41, digital

E-6 Lab of Atlanta Inc - Westside / Home Park - Atlanta, GA
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-27-2012, 09:44 AM  
What to Keep - What to Sell
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 21
Views: 2,144
Thanks for all the input. Helps me start to narrow it down.

Selecting lenses going forward is tough. With so many options and so many different variations it's hard to decide which ones are really worth buying due to quality and which ones you would really get use out of on a daily basis.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-27-2012, 09:41 AM  
LX battery drain?
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 5
Views: 941
I've been through 2 sets of batteries on the LX in about a month.

I've looked around and can't seem to find anything that might point to a solution.

Any ideas? Do I need to send it to Eric?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-25-2012, 09:52 AM  
What to Keep - What to Sell
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 21
Views: 2,144
Hilo, good point. Maybe I should be more clear.

The K-1000 I'll keep for sentimental reasons. I used a K-1000 in college that I had to sell later, so it will most likely just sit on a shelf and look pretty.

In terms of what I shoot, right now I like to shoot a lot of night/city and landscape shots. I usually shoot Velvia color slide or B&W. I'm sure soon I'll branch out a little more. It's completely a hobby, not professional.

What I'm looking for right now is to just put together a good kit for everyday use. Maybe 2 bodies and a few useful lenses to keep in my bag. I was thinking about loading one body with B&W film and the other with color slide. Right now I'm leaning towards the LX and FE2. I'm still trying to learn to use the LX.

I'm really confused as to which lenses are the most useful for which situations.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-24-2012, 07:48 AM  
What to Keep - What to Sell
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 21
Views: 2,144
Some of you may recall in a previous thread that I recently ran into a deal where I could purchase a bunch of gear from a friend who was getting rid of all of his film equipment and going all digital.

Here is that thread

I decided it was best to just purchase everything he was willing to sell and then decide what to keep.

Here is what I ended up with:

Pentax K1000
Pentax LX
Pentax PZ-1P
Pentax PZ-70
Pentax ZX-5N
Nikon FE
Nikon FE2

Pentax SMC - M - 50mm 1:2
Pentax SMC - M - 80-200mm 1:4.5
Pentax SMC - M - 135mm 1:3.5
Takumar Bayonet - 80-200 1:4.5
Star-D - MC - 28mm 1:2.8

Pentax SMC - FA - 28-105mm 1:4-5.6
Pentax SMC - F - 35-80mm 1:4-5.6
Sigma Zoom - 28-80mm 1:3.5-5.6 Macro


He had a ME-Super and K2 but they are both dead, he also kept the Nikon F3 just incase he ever got the urge to shoot film.

I know I'm keeping the K-1000, LX and FE2. I might keep the FE as well.

I'm probably going to sell the PZ-1P, PZ-70 and ZX-5N.

Any thought or suggestions? Which lenses do I keep? Should I keep the AF lenses to use on the MF cameras, if I can do that?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-19-2012, 06:26 PM  
It's Eric
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 64
Views: 6,411
Very sorry to hear Eric. Lean on your friends.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-17-2012, 09:54 AM  
If you could pick from this list...
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 18
Views: 2,055
I imagine if I keep any of the AF bodies it will be the PZ-1P just due to it has the larger upside.

I can see your point on Nikon. Like you I have a certain love for Pentax but I really like these Nikon FEs. The LX right now is my fav but I'm going to give this F3 a good work out as well.
At that point like I said in my previous post, it's a question of selecting an ecosystem more than a camera.

I have this large selection of Cameras to try out, but very few lenses. For the most part I only have the lens that came with the camera (he sold most of the manual lenses long ago)
For the Nikon's I think there is only 1 lens in the box. And all the Pentax cameras all have the standard 1.2 50mm. So I have to take into consideration the purchase of future lenses with whatever main bodies I select.

I went by Wings, great place, it's the old school camera candy store no doubt. I'm sure I'll be in there often. KEH will definitely be a resource going forward as well, thanks for the tip!
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-17-2012, 09:43 AM  
If you could pick from this list...
Posted By SCADjacket
Replies: 18
Views: 2,055
I think I'm going to go with Fedya's suggestion and just make him an offer on everything. His wife wants him to clean out the closet, which comes with getting rid of all the film equipment he doesn't use and I know he doesn't want to bother listing it on e-bay. I'll pay more than he'll get from the local used camera shop anyway. The trick is explaining to my wife that I can resell half the stuff in this big box of old camera equipment. :-)

Over this weekend I shot a few rolls in various cameras.

The ZX-5N is a nice little camera, I like the more manual controls but it's really made to use on auto, changing the settings in manual is not as smooth and accessible as on the all manual cameras.

The PZ-1P is a beast. Nice but heavy. It feels so much like a standard modern day DLSR I'm not sure I'd use it. If I wanted that experience I would probably just pick up the DSLR (when I ever get one) I'll have to think about this one a bit.

I'm not a big fan of the PZ-70. Seems like a good sold camera, feels like it falls above the ZX-5N and below the PZ-1P, but it's just not for me.

The K2 is very nice, but I like the LX better and if I had two cameras in my bag right now it would be the LX and FE.

On the NIkon side the F3 matches up with the LX. Also there are two FEs. One is a standard FE the other is a FE2.

I've always been a fan of Pentax but I have to admit I like these Nikon's as well. The big question is do I stick with one ecosystem?

And if I have Pentax and Nikon bodies and lenses sitting around the house how does that effect my decision when I finally break down and get a DSLR. Don't be the guy who goes out and gets a Sony a99!
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