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Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-18-2018, 04:52 PM  
New to photography - looking for advices on the Pentax system
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 59
Views: 2,107
The 55-300 PLM is a vastly superior lens to the older screw drive version (I own both), especially on the KP. Sharpness is similar, but bokeh is much better. The speed of focus and the fact that it is virtually silent makes it a must have in this price range.

I'm looking at the 20-40 as well, lets hope for a price drop. ;)
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-14-2018, 05:05 AM  
New to photography - looking for advices on the Pentax system
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 59
Views: 2,107
The best all around kit would be a KP with the 55-300 PLM, a 20-40, a 15 and a macro lens. Add a steady tripod and an Astrotracer and you are set.

Basically that is my dream kit.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 08-02-2018, 03:52 AM  
Pentax KP Silver $802 CDN
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 16
Views: 751
Thanks for the heads up on an excellent deal - looking forward to the new camera.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-11-2018, 07:39 PM  
K30 replacement; what would you do?
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 35
Views: 1,744
I would vote for the K3. It is a solid performer for me. $500 is reasonable and you will love the extra features. The only downside is the extra weight. I really like the K3II, but I use the on board flash quite a bit and I already have the stand alone GPS unit.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-11-2018, 08:19 AM  
Dark viewfinder - bad lens ?
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 33
Views: 1,402
I'm beginning to think the return spring for the iris has fallen off and jammed internally inside the lens. It obvious that from your further information that the contacts are fine. I believe the spring in that model is accessible be removing the mount, but I would advise against disassembly. The lens is not valuable enough to make it worthwhile.

The best solution is to file the claim (as you have done).

I would recommend a used Sigma 70-300 as a replacement and use the 18-55 kit lens to fill in the range if you want to keep the costs down.

Hope you have better luck in the future.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-11-2018, 04:32 AM  
Dark viewfinder - bad lens ?
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 33
Views: 1,402
It sounds like the "A" setting is not engaging on the lens.

Can you manually set aperture from the camera when the lens is in the "A" setting? There should be an indication for your f stop when use manual setting mode.

If the back screen indicates "f---", then there is no electrical connection to the lens. That means dirty contacts or the lens has internal electrical issues.

Normally dirty contacts are the problem. Try cleaning the contacts with alcohol solution 50-70% vigorously - try to get the contact points to rotate so that the entire surface is clean. They may appear to be clean, but they could be internal clogged with dirt.

Good Luck.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-09-2018, 03:28 PM  
How common is the aperture block failure, really?
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 100
Views: 7,172
I agree that the flagship models are excellent. (I've had one since they came out.)

That said, I also like having a lighter body and the ergonomics of the K30 were wonderful.

It's such a shame that Ricoh won't do the right thing and admit to the defect and rebuild customer confidence in the Pentax brand.

Here's an example:

The current price of a KP is about US$900. Intro price was US$1100.

Ricoh could have sold a lot of KP's and made a lot of happy customers by offering $200 trade in credit to aperture block failure owners.

As it is, I get to look at my K30 on the shelf as a reminder everyday.

I guess the bean counters don't get the big picture.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-09-2018, 04:55 AM  
How common is the aperture block failure, really?
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 100
Views: 7,172
My family experience:

My K30 lasted about 3 years and 8000 shots before failure.

My brother's K50 lasted about 2 1/2 years before failure.

My niece's K30 lasted about 2 1/2 years before failure.

All failures have identical symptoms related to aperture block failure.

My K30 was the last to fail and I will be swapping out a film body solenoid into it and hopefully that will cure the problem.

Obviously, I won't ever consider a new Pentax with that aperture control system again.


I really think Ricoh should address this issue with some form of compensation/trade in credit to owners of these cameras. The reasoning behind this is that it is painfully obvious that these cameras have a manufacturing defect and that they fail under normal use.


Personally, I would use the credit to pick up a KP as I have Pentax bodies dating back to the 1960's.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 12-27-2016, 10:15 AM  
Pentax DA 300 F4 - $945.13 CDN at Amazon.ca - 2 left
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 3
Views: 600
Now $975.25 CDN - still 2 left.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 12-26-2016, 08:38 PM  
Pentax DA 300 F4 - $945.13 CDN at Amazon.ca - 2 left
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 3
Views: 600
Just a heads up for those looking for a great deal on this lens. $945.13 CDN converts to about $698.14 US at current rates. I have never seen it this cheap.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B0013545U2/
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 08-08-2016, 10:21 AM  
Storm off Point Perron, Western Australia
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 12
Views: 511
Very nice. Nominated.
Forum: Winners' Showcase 08-08-2016, 10:18 AM  
July, 2016 Winner: Microburst
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 47
Views: 3,395
Amazing. Nominated.
Forum: Pentax K-3 01-25-2016, 09:50 AM  
Pentax O-ME53 on a K3
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 7
Views: 1,447
The O-ME53 is probably the best upgrade to do to any Pentax DSLR. (IMHO)

It does not interfere with the diopter adjustment at all, helps keep you face from touching (and smearing) the LCD and really helps in manual or quick-shift focusing.

Whenever I show someone how well it works, they immediately want one.
Forum: Pentax K-3 12-13-2015, 07:26 AM  
Question to K3 owners about intervalometer.
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 5
Views: 1,479
Unfortunately, the Astrotracer function is a 1 shot deal.

If you want to do multiple shots (for stacking?), you will need a tracking mount such as an iOptron SkyTracker or similar and a wired programmable remote.

Remember, the camera sensor can only be moved a few degrees during an exposure - you have to move the entire camera to properly track an object over a long period of time.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-29-2015, 05:29 AM  
Manual focussing moving subjects
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 18
Views: 1,477
A few questions:

What lens are you using?
What is the average distance to the target?
Can a flash be used in your situation?

I'm thinking of times I had to shoot equestrian events. I found a tripod/monopod is really more of a hindrance. I would forget the zooming and use a fast prime ( F,A,or M 135mm) in burst mode. The K-3 has plenty of pixels to crop later in PP.

I would really recommend shooting handheld in your situation. Leaning against a tree or post helps.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 10-26-2015, 04:41 PM  
Tripod Slik 500DX vs 780DX
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 5
Views: 1,294
I prefer the larger of the 2 tripods because of my height. The additional load capacity helps stability a lot.

You might also consider the older model (Slik Pro DX700). It has the same capacity as the 780, is just as solid and is on sale at B&H for $139. The 700 uses the round plates, which many people really like. They make setting up fast and easy, especially in low light.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 07-01-2015, 05:11 PM  
how will FF improve your photography?
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 156
Views: 12,519
I am a little wary of edge distortion on FF using wide angle lenses.
Forum: Pentax K-5 01-26-2015, 05:50 AM  
K-5IIs vs K-50
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 19
Views: 2,678
The K5iis is a bargain for only $100 more.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-24-2015, 05:05 AM  
Vivitar lens query
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 12
Views: 922
This is an very early version, probably made by Tokina, as indicated by the serial number starting with 37x.

It was available in many different mounts. Not a real spectacular lens, but at this price it might be fun to play with it.

The mount may be a little crudely finished and that is what is causing the fitment problems. I usually check the mount for binding with a magnifier. If it is too tight, remove the mount and buff it a little if necessary. You can also apply an extremely thin (almost invisible) coat of wax with a Q tip. I would also check that the aperture lever is not binding, by moving it back and forth with the f stop set to f22. The mount is marked P/K so it is definitely for your camera.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-24-2015, 04:05 AM  
Help to find a lens
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 19
Views: 1,481
I have not tried the new 16-85, but I feel it is too expensive for what you get in performance.

The 17-70 is optically OK, but has major reliability issues. I can see this one being discontinued. It is also over priced.

That leaves the 18-135. It is actually a very nice, quiet lens. It focuses very fast and accurately on my K3. I only take it off if I need a specific feature like macro or need a wider angle.

I would choose the 18-135.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-12-2015, 08:26 AM  
RPS Eitar 28mm f2.8
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 4
Views: 1,234
Please post a some pictures of the lens.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-12-2015, 07:58 AM  
Let's talk lens filters
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 38
Views: 3,495
I think the point that can be made here is that circumstances, available choice of optics, can alter the decision on whether or not to use a filter.

The best choice is the one that improves the end result. UV filters and yellow filters, like the Baader 495, can increase the apparent contrast and reduce CA in less expensive optics, but most modern photographic lenses are quite good in this respect.

Note the example images are from a 80mm f/4 achromatic refractor, not a typical camera lens and the filter is on the eyepiece not the objective lens.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-12-2015, 07:13 AM  
Let's talk lens filters
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 38
Views: 3,495
If you are taking shots in the midst of flying debris, you might consider a blind or shelter.

Actually the shot posted would have been drastically improved with a Circular polariser, not a UV filter.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-12-2015, 06:44 AM  
Let's talk lens filters
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 38
Views: 3,495
I think people should consider hoods before "protection" filters.

It is important to remember filters were never made for protection in the first place. They were made to alter the wavelengths reaching the film.

If they were for protection, they would be hardened "Corning" or similar glass.

I get a laugh when I hear a salesperson trying to up-sell a customer a cheap, fragile filter as "protection".
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-12-2015, 06:23 AM  
Sensor shifted composite shot of 40MP resolution
Posted By Hamiltom
Replies: 23
Views: 2,557
I believe this is possible using "composition adjustment".

Take 1 image centered, then 9 images while tilting the sensor to maximum in all directions and merging the images.

Here the video explaining it:
















You Tube



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