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Forum: General Photography 1 Day Ago  
Poll: Right Eye vs Left Eye through the Viewfinder and Why?
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 30
Views: 765
Here's an interesting challenge:

Each eye is associated with a different hemisphere of your brain, much like your handedness. It's why right handers in VERY broad general terms tend to be more analytical than left handers.

I am left eye dominant, but right handed. I just naturally put my camera to my right eye starting out so that is how I predominantly shoot, HOWEVER I have found that looking through the viewfinder with my left eye often gives me a VERY different perspective on the same scene I just composed with my right eye. My theory is that the "creative" right hemisphere is now playing more of role.

Sometimes I like it better, sometimes I compromise, at least 60% i stick with my original composition. What I have found, is that in scenes where I'm struggling to capture in a frame what I'm seeing with my eyes, it's often because the left eye isn't involved. More than once I've "found" what was missing. I've also unfortunately just shook my head on occasion and said, I just can't get "it". Time to move on.

The point of this rambling post is to note if your brain processes the scene differently using different eyes, and to try to learn how to use that to your advantage.

I only use this technique for my critter hunts, especially when shooting whales or other creatures where you don't know their location until they suddenly appear. For landscape work, I'm of the mindset that I'm shooting in 2D, I need to analyze and compose in the same 2D vision, so I only use one eye.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-17-2017, 07:20 AM  
Pentax 15-30 for Pro Landscape - Travelling
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 45
Views: 2,807
I have been debating this question myself for nearly 2 years since I purchased my K-1 in May of 2015. I have owned a FA 20-35, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 12-24, Sigma 20-40 and Tokina 20-35.

For me, size/weight means little; the added weight would be minimal over the Sigma 20-40 which it would replace and nearly insignificant compared to the current weight of my full kit.

With that said, I STILL haven't purchased a DFA 15-30 for two reasons:

The lack of filter compatibility - I don't have the budget for the insanely expensive filter kit required
The lack of real world need - I very rarely find myself switching out my 24-70 for the Sigma 20-40. 20mm for me is a niche perspective that is very rarely needed. (I did a focal length comparison of all my shoots since I purchased my K1 and only 5% of my images were BELOW 28mm. Less than 1% of all my images taken were between 20-24mm. I find if I do require a much wider view, I shoot and stitch a panorama. 5 shots stitched together at 35mm is much more pleasing to my eye than a 15-20mm single shot.

So it's possible, you may be pondering a lens for which you would have very little use. Unless you find yourself considering permanently soldering your 10-20 to your K3, you may be contemplating adding weight and expense to your kit with very little reward.

As a trial run, find a used Tokina 20-35 or Sigma 20-40. I prefer either over the FA 20-35 and they both are 82mm threads. Both deliver "pro" IQ, maybe not to the Pentax standard if you are a 300% pixel peeper on a 40" 8k monitor, but honestly good enough to get wall space in a gallery). Carry your 20mm lens for 6-12 months and see if you find yourself shooting consistently at 20mm and wishing for that extra 5mm. If you don't/aren't, you probably don't really need the 15-30. If you do, the Tokina I owned and sold, lasted less than a week on the Marketplace. You then also have the justification for the added expense and you'll just have to suck up the filter requirements because they would now be tools necessary for completing the task.

I've tried really hard to justify purchasing a 15-30 since it's release, but so far I haven't been able.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 08-04-2017, 03:51 PM  
Trade up your Pentax FF or Medium format for a GFX 50S ??
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 15
Views: 1,068
Is this camera 2x as good as the 645z? If I did trade in my K-1, I'd be inclined to get a 645z, given the reviews, or a Nikon D850 since I almost switched systems in 2014 and got very familiar with Nikon in my testing phase. An $8500 Fuji never even crossed my mind.
Forum: Pentax K-1 07-06-2017, 02:38 PM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 15,221
Views: 1,331,876
first time i ever saw a swallow sit
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-23-2017, 12:51 PM  
looking help: whale photography baja california.
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 86
Views: 5,032
I have been on 6 whale watching excursions over the last 5 years (Juneau) (Washington) (Monterrey CA). I have used the K5iis 2x, K3 2x and the K1 for 2 trips. I have a Sigma 100-300 f4 and Sigma 500 f4.5 in my bag and I have always ended up using the 100-300 (even with the K1) . The FoV of a 500mm lens is jut too narrow for the random actions of a whale and the rapid panning of the photog trying to find the whale. I would recommend the 150-450 on your K3 but stay around 150-200mm. Use high burst, (my recommended settings to start: TAv, 1/1500 and f8) AND A MONOPOD! Your arms will get really shakey after 4 hours hand holding the 150-450 AND combating the roll of the boat.

I do NOT recommend changing lenses at any time while on the boat; your sensor will get nasty sticky salt water spots guaranteed. If you must use a wider lens for atmosphere or really close whale shots, have it on a second body (K5), but that's a lot of weight to carry around and you will knock one body on something at least once if you aren't holding it in your hands. It also depend on the capacity of the boat. If it's near 100% you are going to have a tough time moving about.

I generally pick the upper deck rear starboard (left) corner which gives me about 180 deg view. Also pay attention to the sun. I generally won't shoot into back light subjects; they lose all detail.

As you know, whales are large and the depth of field of f8 is needed. They also move surprisingly quick, and the photo below really could have used a faster shutter speed. It was that close to being a keeper.
Forum: General Photography 06-12-2017, 04:33 PM  
Me: Then and Now
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 13
Views: 1,027
Your pragmatism always makes me chuckle.
Forum: General Photography 06-12-2017, 04:17 PM  
My favorite bitch about modern digital cameras - ergonomics.
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 25
Views: 1,740
I shall chose to wholeheartedly disagree. I believe the internal exposure meter was never designed to accommodate ETTR. ETTR is a digital derivation of the zone system and the application of external light meter practice. Don't get me wrong, I am an ETTR fan, and as dedicated to the technique as anyone. But that is the very reason for image playback. Or, if you want to simulate the EVF experience, use Live View and the the histogram overlay. It's basically turning your OVF DSLR into an EVF mirroless. But what a mirrorless CAN'T do is the reverse. An EVF camera cannot (currently) provide real time responsiveness and the sense of unity with the equipment an OVF DSLR provides.

And since this tread is actually about ergonomics, I'll conclude with this: I can't imagine trying to shoot a mirrorless camera with my 500mm lens! Maybe 20 years in the future, when there is less than a millosecond lag in image response AND the camera is somehow designed to facilitate marksmanship quality stability with long, fast FF lenses, I would consider a mirrorless/EVF camera.

I've found the histogram to very accurate/useful for judging ETTR success. What is unequivocally useLESS is the overly contrasty LCD screen. A proper ETTR image looks almost washed out and overexposed on playback. Additionally, I keep the JPEG processing parameters to neutral if not slightly subdued, just for that reason. But honestly, I could probably get very excited about a histogram ONLY display, in which the histogram takes up the entire LCD with no image projection whatsoever. In my workflow, I've already composed the scene through the viewfinder and have a very good idea based on hyperfocal calculations and/or experience what my depth of field rendering will be. The last step in the process is dialing in the exposure. I need the histogram on playback to tell me what the sensor actually recorded.

So if Pentax wants my two cents worth, give me a LARGE histogram ONLY option for the LCD!
Forum: General Photography 06-12-2017, 03:54 PM  
Me: Then and Now
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 13
Views: 1,027
If you will indulge some musings, I was struck by the contrast/evolution of Paul the Photographer over the last 20 years.

This was precipitated by a recent trip to Washington and chance to reshoot Willaby Creek Falls.

To create context, I had visited Willaby Creek Falls circa 2000 when vacationing in Ocean Shores. It was roughly my second year as a "serious" phootgrapher, i.e. I planned vacations around potential photo ops. My equipment was a K1000 film camera and 2 Kitstar lens becuase my photo equipment budget at the time was nearly zero. As such, my standard image was captured at f2.8 and 1/60th of a second (because I had read somewhere that that was the slowest shutter speed one could reasonably expect to create decent images handheld). I purchased ASA 400 film and pushed it to ASA 1600 when developing.

I mention this so that the focus is not on the "poor" technical aspects of the early image. The low resolution scan certainly doesn't help either.

What really struck me was the composition of each image, the conscious choices the two Pauls made. It's the same waterfall, with the same opportunities, yet the younger (amateur) me chose the blurred foreground object framing "method". Until today, I had never really analyzed or realized the change in photographic style that has taken place of the last two decades. Since the first photo was taken, I have been judged, juried, crucified, praised, featured and castigated in various measures with regard to my work. The most obvious scars would be the "never ever had a blurry foreground object" mantra that had never more obviously manifested itself in my work than these two images.

The most recent was taken per my standard methods of crawling down a moss covered embankment of rocks and perching my tripod precariously across two rocks with the third leg in the flowing stream. At all times my bag and myself were within inches of plunging into a 6-8 foot deep Now bear in mind, this was a consciously chosen vantage point determined by a compositional eye honed over the last 10 years after I decided I was going to try and make some extra money selling my photography. I have been successful enough at this venture to have paid for all my past and current equipment with my earnings, so there is some validation of my expertise.

Compare that to the younger me, and the framing which was just as meticulously chosen. I remained on the trail, never venturing to water level. Instead I found various angles in which foliage shrouded portions of the image. I took 5 different images, which in film, and on my budget, was extravagant. I still remember the excitement, the sense of revelation when I "discovered" this waterfall, as if its a ghost still haunting me. Additionally, I still find the compositional choices of the younger me somewhat intriguing, although they break a cardinal rule in landscape photography. Then again diabetics still love chocolate, too....

What was the lingering fascination with this particular waterfall? I had spoken numerous times of wishing to return to reshoot Willaby Creek falls, because I remembered it fondly; it was cool, awesome, cute etc. Yet interestingly enough, I had not bothered to look at the old digital scan in close to a decade.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago... As I approached Willaby Creek Falls on the trail, my first thought was, "That can't be it." I asked my hiking companion (sister) to confirm that this was indeed the waterfall I had longed to reshoot. Indeed it was. Sadly, it was. So what changed? How jaded I have become after shooting nearly one hundred waterfalls across the country? Poor little Willaby Creek Falls no longer held the same mystique. It was a realization echoing in my head throughout the hour or so I spent trying to make amends with my fancy camera and fancy lenses. I was determined to recreate that magic.

But I could not, did not. Today when processing the new image, I could not shake a sense of disappointment, a sense of somehow being "betrayed" by my own expectations.

For reference, here are the two images prompting this introspection:

Forum: Pentax K-1 06-12-2017, 02:02 PM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 15,221
Views: 1,331,876
Willaby Creek Falls Olympic NP WA

K-1 and DFA 24-70
Forum: Pentax K-1 06-08-2017, 09:27 AM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 15,221
Views: 1,331,876
Burney Falls about 45 mins NE of Redding, CA

K-1 and Sigma 20-40
Forum: Lens Clubs 06-06-2017, 03:08 PM  
The 300mm plus lens Club discuss your long lenses.
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 27,919
Views: 2,418,011
i'm not a wildlife photographer by trade, but I'm getting better at realizing opportunities. Sat in my car for 30 minutes, waiting for a blackbird to land amidst this patch of colorful plants. One finally obliged.

K-1 and Sigma 500 f4.5 @ Sacramento NWR
Forum: Pentax K-1 06-06-2017, 02:21 PM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 15,221
Views: 1,331,876
Recreated a road trip I took back in 2003, drove Hwy 1/101 from Bodega Bay to Newport OR.

Stopped near Crescent City for this sunset.

On a side note: This shoot almost cost me my DFA 24-70 but my Cokin filter took one for the team instead. Oh the gamut of emotions you experience as you see your lens roll between your feet when it had last been seen SECURELY perched on a rock ledge next to you. Only thing I can think of is that a couple really large waves shook the rocks I was standing on just enough to dislodge it. Fortunately the filters are (were) large rectangles, so the lens stopped about 2 feet from the roiling surf.

Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-04-2017, 08:10 AM  
Nature When a compliment isn't a compliment...
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 5
Views: 323
Said my mother, "Oh that's the type of picture that would be perfect for hanging over the toilet!"

Thanks mom.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-03-2017, 04:03 PM  
Black & White Umpqua River RR Bridge, Reedsport OR
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 1
Views: 266
Historic RR bridge from my trip up the coast

Forum: Pentax K-1 06-02-2017, 05:43 PM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 15,221
Views: 1,331,876
Historic Umpqua River bridge in Reedsport OR
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-10-2017, 08:24 AM  
Options for FF, WR, 16-24, screw-in filters
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 18
Views: 849
FWIW 13.33 - 26.67 mm on a 1.5x APS-C DSLR.

My issue with such a UWA lens is the foreground to background and geometric distortions. I went back through my recent work with this lens and I shot it mostly in the 29-40mm range. I have the DFA 24-70 as well so that explains why it's rarely used now. If I need a wider view, I find stitching together images into a pano works much better.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-09-2017, 08:44 PM  
Options for FF, WR, 16-24, screw-in filters
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 18
Views: 849
LOL. I don't know how I forgot about that one. I've got one sitting in my safe. I think I've only used it once since getting my K-1. 20mm on FF is usually too wide for my style.
I keep it around mainly on the chance I might do so astrophotography. Problem is I go narcoleptic at 11p.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-09-2017, 04:51 PM  
Options for FF, WR, 16-24, screw-in filters
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 18
Views: 849
not only is WR an field narrower, the requirement for a a screw in filter (ND/CPL).

I have shot waterfalls and landscapes for "a long time."

Here's your options:

DFA 24-70

take away the weather sealing and you can add:

FA 20
FA 20-35
Various Sigma 24-70's
Sigma 24-60
FA* 24

I think that about covers it.

Pretty much everything else requires really expenses adapters for filter holder (DFA 15-30/Sigma 12-25/15-30) (Or horrible gel filters. I hate those things, they crinkle, bend and do just about anything they can to ruin the shot.)
Or aren't true FF lenses (why get a Pentax 12-24 to only use from 20mm up? Better off getting a Sigma 10-20 and that DOES take screw in filters!)

Final note, I've shot in misting waterfalls and light rain for years will no issues. I ALWAYS take 3 bath towels with me - 1 to clean the front of the lens, 1 to drape over the lens and body and the 3rd stays in the car to wipe things down after shooting. Take a light meter with you so you can set camera settings with lens cap ON. Take image, clean front of lens, replace lens cap, chimp, repeat.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-19-2017, 11:54 AM  
Sigma 100-300 f4 owners: is this what I should expect from this lens??
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 25
Views: 1,633
To give the seller the benefit of the doubt, not ALL lens/camera combinations encounter this issue. The new owner of my 100-300 from that ad is thrilled with the performance for him at f4, so he apparently has compatible body/lens combination. The lens very well may have worked fine for the seller, thus he may not have been aware of the possible issues.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-19-2017, 11:15 AM  
Sigma 100-300 f4 owners: is this what I should expect from this lens??
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 25
Views: 1,633
I own/have owned 3 different copies of the Sigma 100-300 f4 for nearly 10 years.

I also own the Sigma 300 f2.8 and Sigma 500 f4.5. I have owned a Sigma 150-500, 50-500, Pentax 55-300 and 150-450 and Tokina 80-200 and 400 f5.6.

I wish I had experience with the DA* so I have 100% clarity, but I feel my experience with long zooms gives me a pretty good feel for what to expect.

In my experience the 100-300 outperforms every lens I have owned save the Sigma 500 f4.5 and Sigma 300 f2.8.

I would expect images from a 100-300 to be similar to the DA* 300.

Here are several other things to consider;

Sigma lenses are notorious for NOT playing well with Pentax CDAF. Any focusing testing should be done via manually focusing. Calibration is also tricky because of this, but it just takes a extra time little time.

The Sigma 100-300 comes in TWO different versions, version 1 has square dimple like grip, version 2 has a vertical ribbed grip. If you have version 1 it is a well documented fact that some copies of this lens have irreconcilable back focusing issues at f4. I owned two copies of version 1 and suffered through this frustration for years before selling and eventually acquiring a version 2.

here is my marketplace ad for my most recent sale (my first version 1 was stolen and replaced with another version 1 before I "knew" better:

Sigma 100-300 F4 - Great Price - As is - Read Description Carefully -

note the discussion in the ad as well as a link to another thread as well:

if you have version 1, you may be suffering from this lens idiosyncrasy.

In terms of returns, I can only speak from my perspective: based on lens performance in pictures, I would ask to return the lens. From a seller perspective, I would ensure you have covered all calibration and focusing methods, even walking you through the steps. If in the end, your camera and this lens just do not play well together, you would ship the lens to me at your expense (fully insured) and upon receipt of the lens, I would refund you your purchase price less incurred original shipping.

FWIW I own Stavri's 300 f2.8 now...:)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-07-2017, 09:22 AM  
Pentax 150-450 vs Sigma 50-500 OS
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 41
Views: 3,565
Here's my post from a similar thread a month or so ago:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-01-2017, 07:13 PM  
Pentax K-1 native iso?
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 20
Views: 1,766
Astrotracer is not friendly to foreground objects. The sensor actually moves to track a fixed point in the sky, thus it will motion blur all foreground objects. You would have to shoot one exposure for the foreground and stack and mask you star exposure behind the foreground. that's a lot of PP.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-01-2017, 07:09 PM  
D-FA HD 28-105 WR first impressions
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 22
Views: 1,740
My first thought was return the lens. After rereading your post, my second and third thoughts are: return the lens.

It sounds like it's badly decentered at least (the diving line of sharpness), and the impingement and visible separation just sound like issues waiting to happen. call B&H and describe the condition of the lens on arrival and the poor resolution. they should give you an rma to send it back.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-21-2017, 07:56 AM  
Which 17-50 2.8?
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 13
Views: 789
I've owned both, and the one thing that really sets the Tamron apart is it's flare resistance.

Sigma's are notorious for awful flare, and the 17-50, 17-70, 24-70 and 24-60 (all of which I've owned) flare badly with the sun within about 30 degrees of the front element. It's so bad it's almost always uncorrectable in PP. For landscapes, it makes them unusable.

I have owned the Tamron 17-50 for about 4 years, and love it. I like it so much, the one thing that saddens me the most is it does not cover the FF image circle. I would have loved to use it with my K-1.

I would also recommend the Tamron because I personally believe it's better from f11-f16 compared any of the Sigma's I've owned. Again, for landscapes that extra bit of resistance to diffraction makes all the difference.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-21-2017, 07:43 AM  
Help selecting the perfect lens for copying artwork with a K-1
Posted By nomadkng
Replies: 27
Views: 1,373
I'm going to suggest it must be a macro in the 50--100mm range.

You want a flat field lens, ie absolutely no distortion, and this range is the only area you are going to find such. You can get much more expensive macros in the 180-200 range, but that's overkill and your distance needed for larger paintings starts to get cumbersome.

My personal favorite macro is the Sigma 70mm.

You can also find a lot of ideas and suggestions in stamp collector's websites, their photography needs are similar.

Lastly, one item you didn't list was lens mounted ring lights, I think you'd really need those due to the perpendicular angle requirements of artwork shooting. It's tough to fill in all the shadows with external lighting.
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