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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 9 Hours Ago  
What is the purpose of TAv Mode on Pentax DSLRS?
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 26
Views: 1,068
TAv for me is long-lens mode. Lock down a fast exposure and a mid-range aperture and float the ISO.

Main thing to beware of, as has been mentioned, is drifting out of the exposure range your settings can address. I shot day to day stuff in TAv for a while with the 15 Limited but found I was too often overexposing, which, of course, even Pentax can't handle in post-processing.
Forum: Photographic Technique 10 Hours Ago  
The "everything but gear talk" thread. What's your project, what's your take on it?
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 75
Views: 2,678
Norm: Great idea for a thread! This is what the whole forum should be about.

I'm in a retrenching/consolidation stage right now, looking for new landscape approaches that (1) don't look like they got stolen from someone's calendar but (2) are compelling enough not to require explaining. I spend a lot of time in the Oregon forest, and may start exploring the boundaries between different patches of woods: the edge of an old-growth tract, for example, or the boundary between two plantations of significantly different ages.
Forum: Pentax KP 3 Days Ago  
Can anyone help me calibrate my lenses with the KP
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 16
Views: 445
I agree with the careful tripod-test chart method here. But I'll also suggest you don't need to be so formal.

You can simply sit down outside on a sunny day (giving you very high shutter speed) and photograph a scene, with the lens wide open, that includes a detailed object (could be a traffic sign or license plate) at the distance you're most interested in optimizing for. Zoom in to 100 percent on the LCD to see how it looks. Then try an adjustment of +5 and -5 and photograph the scene again. That will give you a notion of which way to go. Then gradually close in on the setting that gives you the sharpest result.

After the first or second iteration changing the settings becomes second nature, so it goes quite quickly. Further, you can't harm anything. If you screw it all up, just put everything back to zero and try a different method.

Works very well for me.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-08-2018, 06:40 PM  
I wish this would be the next Pentax
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 20
Views: 1,626
All art is non-functional and generally over-priced ;)
Forum: Product Suggestions and Feedback 03-08-2018, 09:41 AM  
In-body scripting engine
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 7
Views: 357
I think it's a great idea. And I agree that camera makers are conservative -- way too conservative. Pentax has already headed well down the road of user customization. Scripting would be a natural extension.

Now I just need to figure out what I would do with it ;)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-05-2018, 01:18 PM  
Thinking of Making a switch away from Pentax. is it right or just gear envy?
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 324
Views: 15,224
It's not just Pentax. The last time I set foot in a camera store here in Oregon, some years ago, a sales clerk told me I should be looking at a full-frame camera "like the Canon 7D."

I suggested as diplomatically as possible that I thought the 7D might be a crop camera.

He told me I didn't know what I was talking about. I asked if he had a 7D we could look at to resolve the issue. The store didn't.

End of visit.
Forum: Pentax KP 02-28-2018, 09:10 PM  
First new glass for my KP is a DA 20-40 Limited and Im very excited !
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 28
Views: 1,034
You'll love the DA 15 Limited.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-27-2018, 09:02 PM  
What do Pentax dslr's recall from restarts?
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 16
Views: 898
Thanks, Steve. It apparently just doesn't work that way.

I guess I can find another use for that user mode!

---------- Post added 02-27-18 at 08:08 PM ----------

Sadly, it seems you also can't save the Outdoor View Setting or the Night Vision Display in the user modes. Between the two of them you can almost shut the LCD off.
Forum: Pentax KP 02-27-2018, 05:17 PM  
My 65 year photography journey ends with the KP !
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 39
Views: 1,768

Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing.

And here's another vote to see your Pentax photos. We need illustrations!


Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-27-2018, 04:23 PM  
What do Pentax dslr's recall from restarts?
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 16
Views: 898
Are you still with the K-5IIs? Starting with the K-3, the instant review feature setting can be assigned to a User mode, but not on earlier cameras.

Actually I'm using the KP.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-26-2018, 10:47 PM  
What do Pentax dslr's recall from restarts?
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 16
Views: 898
Thanks, Bruce.

I've had the display turned off since I got the camera.

The issue is getting it to skip the image review -- but only in Dark mode. I can set the image review to off, but then I don't get the image review in any other mode.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-26-2018, 08:53 PM  
What do Pentax dslr's recall from restarts?
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 16
Views: 898
One place I'm struggling is that I'd like to set a User mode -- let's call it "Dark" mode -- to display no information or light of any kind on the back LCD. This would be useful in certain settings, like shooting at a quiet concert where other patrons might be irritated by the light from the camera.

I can set the instant review to OFF, but that setting is not recorded in the user mode. Instead, it affects all modes across the board. That also takes care of only the image review, and doesn't turn off other things on the LCD, such as the "processing image" message.

The LCD settings adjustment in the menu only turns it down, not off.

Any ideas?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-26-2018, 07:20 PM  
What do Pentax dslr's recall from restarts?
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 16
Views: 898
I'd love to see a simple coherent explanation of Memory settings and User modes. I'm a beginner at using User modes on the KP, and find that what I expect is rarely quite what happens.
Forum: Pentax KP 02-18-2018, 10:44 PM  
Experiences With Raw
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 6
Views: 607
Been shooting with a KP since early October. Got it in large part because of its high-ISO abilities, and after some struggles, I love it.

I've wondered myself about the idea of baked-in RAW manipulations. When I go back and look at my RAW files shot at 20000 or more in DarkTable, I don't find anything to object to. Not every photo is perfect, but for the most part the KP files at high ISO are about as good as what I get from a FF Canon 6D, though some are better and some are worse. I don't find any weird artifacts or other problems that might indicate clumsy processing in the camera.

So whatever the accelerator unit is doing, I approve. My personal opinion is the objection to extra processing is overblown. ALL digital images are processed to some degree by the time they become a RAW file. Pentax has apparently figured out how to do that better. That's fine with me.

I think the KP has, in fact, been somewhat ignored by the market, largely because it goes off in an unexpected direction, trying to capture a bit of mirrorless vibe and not addressing the big, in many minds, Pentax flaw -- its relaxed autofocus system. I didn't like the KP at first when I rented it for a week last spring. It's a bit weird and different from the K-5, and the battery life is ridiculous. (The battery on my rental went dead on me after about 200 shots.) But after the camera had gone back to and some time had passed and I had looked back again and again at the pictures I had made with it, I decided to buy one.

The RAW files, cooked or not, sold the camera. (The camera JPGs, by the way, are pretty excellent, too -- they do a good job of cleaning up hi-ISO noise that's still in the RAW files.)
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-18-2018, 03:51 PM  
To repair or not to repair???
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 10
Views: 476
Another repair place to check out is I've had work done there on other Pentax lenses, and they were reasonable in price and quick to deliver.
Forum: Pentax K-1 02-17-2018, 05:31 PM  
My Canon to Pentax experience: Why I love Pentax, but might still leave.
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 46
Views: 3,312
What Mike said.

Plus a bit of this: Your post is a very well thought out response to shooting with Pentax, and particularly the K-1. I don't think you've missed much, and I don't think you're wrong about anything.

My only suggestion is to move slowly. Take a deep breath. Take pictures! You've been caught up in a change of gear, which is both fun and stressful, and which naturally leads to wanting to continue the process of gear acquisition.

The best remedy I can think of is this: Take pictures. I know, that sounds dismissive, but it's something I have to remind myself of from time to time as well. The better you get with the K-1 -- or any camera -- the easier and more pleasurable it is to use. What we're really all in this for is photography.

With your investment of time and money in Pentax, I'd be inclined to give it a full year. Stop reading photo forums like this one if need be. Just take the photos you like to take, and make them as good as humanly possible with what you have. If, at the end of a year, or whatever period you assign yourself, you feel you could do better with another camera or another system, move right on and don't look back.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-16-2018, 06:00 PM  
Format Question: can you switch to same model?
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 18
Views: 798
I have actually taken an SD card out of my K-5, with JPGs on it, and put it in my Canon 6D so I could use the 6D's wifi to send an image to my phone for email. It worked.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-07-2018, 09:23 PM  
Pentax * lenses do they live up to the reputation and why
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 55
Views: 2,955
They replaced the motor, as I recall.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-06-2018, 04:56 PM  
Pentax * lenses do they live up to the reputation and why
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 55
Views: 2,955
As to repair, I recommend KEH for out of warranty work. They fixed the SDM on my DA* 50-135 three years ago for $195. Communication was good and work was done quickly. I also, about the same time, had my 21 Limited fixed (the front element came loose, as sometimes happens with this lens). Again very satisfactory work.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-06-2018, 04:41 PM  
Beware the neck strap!
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 16
Views: 1,212
I like neck straps and rely on them. Often that means hiking a fair distance with two cameras slung around my neck or over a shoulder for quick availability. As a result, I wear straps out fairly often.

Before I realized how fast straps wear, and how easily they slip loose, I had a neck strap unexpectedly come undone twice, despite proper threading. Both times it happened while I was standing still at a reception (I cover a lot of art events). Once I caught the camera before it hit ground; the other time, it bounced off the floor but was unharmed. I also had a strap simply break at the attachment point. Again, caught the camera.

Now all my straps are also secured with a wrap of gaffer tape. Nothing has slipped in the past three or so years I've been doing this. Taping also keeps those annoying strap ends from poking you in the eye while photographing.

The main thing is to inspect straps fairly regularly. It's astonishing how quickly woven straps can deteriorate in the loop that attaches to the camera when you use them a lot.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-31-2018, 09:45 PM  
Is Ricoh pushing Pentax/Ricoh name enough?
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 17
Views: 1,165
Interesting the order Ricoh lists their bodies in on the Canadian site: KP is below K-3 II, above K-70. (In case anyone is holding out for its being the K-3 III).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-22-2018, 09:05 PM  
the limiteds do they live up to the reputation and why
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 140
Views: 8,188
I'm a big fan of the Limited lenses -- I use the 15, 21 and 70 almost daily -- and have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread (unless I've missed it!) is the interesting white paper from Pentax's designer Jun Hirakawa, in which he explains the design philosophy behind the 43 and 77 FA Limiteds (and, presumably, the rest of the line).

Some of the Limiteds' characteristics that a few users don't like, such as field curvature (not to be confused with distortion) and less-than-perfect MTF curves are, in Hirakawa's explanation, a deliberate choice. His technical explanation is a bit over my head, especially in the English translation published in 2000, but the Northcoast Photographer blog offers a somewhat clearer translation of a key section:

An ideal of current lens design is to make the subject plane as flat as possible. Through specific techniques [detailed in the original article], field curvature is reduced, leading to a lens that will produce excellent scores on numerical tests. However, flattening the subject plane comes at a cost: pictures taken with such a lens will lack spice.

Turns out it's not pixie dust after all that makes all the difference, but spice!
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-19-2018, 11:22 PM  
Interesting KEH prices on Nikon D800, Canon 5D3, etc
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 17
Views: 796
I don't know whether they do or not. You might call them. Some digital cameras, like Canon, make it difficult to determine the shutter count.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-19-2018, 05:10 PM  
Interesting KEH prices on Nikon D800, Canon 5D3, etc
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 17
Views: 796
A couple things to add to the conversation here. What got me going on this was thinking about adding a high-res (as in 36Mpixel+) body to my arsenal for landscape/portrait work. I could buy a K-1, which I've shot with, but realized it could be quite a bit less expensive to look at Nikon. Jury's still out, so to speak.

I know some people are wary of used gear. My experience over many years of buying from KEH is that they rate condition very conservatively. A "bargain" body or lens typically arrives without a blemish, and I've never had a piece of used equipment bought there fail, though a used KP I bought last fall from B&H is back to them for warranty repair.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-18-2018, 06:21 PM  
Interesting KEH prices on Nikon D800, Canon 5D3, etc
Posted By bkpix
Replies: 17
Views: 796
KEH just yesterday had a bargain D800 for $999. It's gone today, but you can still get a bargain one for $1,079 and a LN- for $1,429. Add to that D800 an EX+ 24/1.8 for $648 and you've got a body and great landscape lens for less than a K-1 usually runs. (Yes, you can buy the K-1 used for a bit less than $1,800, but it will take you a while to find one.)

So that's like getting a 36meg camera with great image quality that also autofocuses, with a top lens, for less than the Pentax body alone.

Continuing in that vein, the D750 is just $1,359 in EX condition. That's like the more-nimble K-1 Mark II that a lot of people fantasize about -- for a lot less money.

KEH is also listing a LN D7500 for $1,169. That's not a whole lot more than the KP, and it has good autofocus AND the same hi-ISO sensor as the D500. Want an even better price? Go to the Nikon refurb site and it's $1,149.

Thinking Canon? You can get a bargain 6D now for $792. That's incredible FF image quality for less than the price of a used K-3II, and speedier AF than the best of Pentax. The 5D3, the 6D's grown-up cousin, is down to $1,542.

Of course, you'd have to jump ship.

Why am I posting this? Not entirely sure, except that people who have well-defined photographic needs should know that Pentax is no longer the bargain solution.
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