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Forum: Pentax K-5 10-20-2010, 11:25 AM  
K20D to K-5 or “I am in love all over again”
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 44
Views: 10,262
thanks for sharing the comparison shots.

From my monitor, i would think that the richer color tones (of the skin) and a smoother transition of the k-5 makes the paler looking k20 looks more contrasty.

But then, the k-5 is warmer and this may be a contributing factor to a richer tone.
Forum: Pentax K-5 10-20-2010, 11:19 AM  
K20D to K-5 or “I am in love all over again”
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 44
Views: 10,262
I am with you on this...I went from k100d to k10d, the ergonomics of the later feels wrong for me as well (grip and button placement).

And straight out of the camera, the k100d seems to give better jpeg colors when the AWB is right.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-18-2010, 08:39 AM  
K10D - In Concert!
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 17
Views: 4,403
Thanks for sharing your excitement in shooting a concert.

i agree with you the TAv mode comes in very handy when you want to lock the aperture for the desired DOF and the shutter-speed to freeze motion, i love to use this when using a telephoto lens and lighting conditions which vary with a 2 EV range.

Frankly speaking, i don't think the metering of the k10d that reliable and for life stage performance, i would go full manual, measured a good median exposure, and adjust the exposure by experience.

Same for focusing...with enough practice, i would think MF can be more reliable than AF.

Of course, these all may change with the new breed of Pentax bodies.
Forum: Pentax K-5 10-16-2010, 11:40 AM  
K-5 + DA 35mm/2.4 - a very nice combo for street photos (many photos)
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 72
Views: 47,886
well, the new DA 35 is too harsh for taking portraits ( it is this kind of harshness that drove me away from Nikon).

Wondering what color mode are these shots taken?

With contrast/saturation/sharpness all set to neutral, the colors look very bright and contrasty ( a bit loud for my taste).
Forum: Pentax K-5 10-16-2010, 11:23 AM  
Hands-on with K-5 :)
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 94
Views: 32,191
thanks for sharing the shots by K-5.

maybe my exifviewer has to keep up with the latest models like K-5 , but it indicates (among other things) :

# Exposure Bias (EV) = -3/10 ===> -0.3
# Metering Mode = pattern / multi-segment (5)
# White Balance = auto (0)
# Scene Capture Type = standard (0)
# Contrast = hard (2)
# Saturation = normal (0)
# Sharpness = hard (2)

Do these read-outs correspond to the actual camera body setting?
What is the color mode used? Neutral/Standard?

Since Pentax metering has a track record of under-exposing, I instinctively have this question in mind when viewing test-shots from new models. (any improvements?)

Well, both shots look a little under-expose for my taste. (well, it could well be that my monitor is not as bright as yours). I am wondering why you opt to minus the exposure by 0.3 EV and what's your thought on the metering performance.

Given that both shots were taken with Contrast & Sharpness set to "hard" ( +1 in the Pentax scale?) by 2 very good primes, it is a surprise that we are not seeing punchier images. While the sharpness of the EOS lady is perfect (ie sharp with lots of details without being harsh), i am expecting a crisper image from a DA macro lens for the lotus (maybe the dull lighting is the culprit here).

So my question is ... is K-5 calibrated to give very neutral/subdued image by default?
Or to put it in perspective, does the K-5 exhibit a different character in image rendering when compared to earlier models (k-7/k20d/k10d)?

A case in point ... I absolutely love the color rendering of the EOS lady, the skin tone is gorgeous, the colors are all in harmony and reservedly pleasant ( none of the red, orange nor blue is jumpy) ... but then I think, it's a bit uncharacteristic of Pentax.

Pardon me for all these babbling and thanks for any thoughts you might like to share.
Forum: Pentax K-5 10-16-2010, 05:22 AM  
Hands-on with K-5 :)
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 94
Views: 32,191
I can't agree with you more, I always find the Magenta Cast a big turn off.

Unfortunately, it does seem quite typical of DA lenses' color rendering (or Pentax tendency to accent the red in the color pallet).
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-12-2010, 12:44 PM  
Nature puppy with da bone!
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 9
Views: 1,499
i have just bought the exact same lens off ebay ... and it is good to know it is as good as the best 28mm version.

one thing about this lens is that it really render colors on the cold side on a digital body.
maybe it is just the coating which tricks the white balance of the camera. I typically have to set WB to cloudy when it should be Sunny for a DA lens.

On top of that, I have to tweak the color cast towards magenta by at least 2 stops to get a neutral balance.

with the tweaking, the lens produces pleasing colors and good contrast.

sharpness is decent and usable wide open (unlike some "fast" lens).

However, at f4 i don't see a significant advantage over the DA 16-45 (a bit disappointing at that).

I have the lens for just over a week and more shooting is required for a definitive opinion. But so far this is my first impression.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-23-2010, 08:53 PM  
Can Vivitar fans help to identify this 28mm F2?
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 4
Views: 1,914
thanks for all the helpful information.

I guess I am right it is not a PK mount.

too bad.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-23-2010, 07:09 PM  
Can Vivitar fans help to identify this 28mm F2?
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 4
Views: 1,914
found this on flee bay .

Seller claims it is a Pentax mount. But judging by the erroneous info given in the "item specifics", I have my doubt.

Raising my suspicion is the picture of the aperture ring. It has an extra "EE" marking which does not look "Pentax" to me (neither K mount nor KA mount lens have this marking).

Have put forward the question to seller but would rather rely on the experience of Pentax users for enlightenment.

I have gone through the Vivitar 28mm thread extensive and knows that it is a Kiron version.

Thanks.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-19-2010, 09:14 AM  
Most functional NON SDM lens set.
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 8
Views: 2,186
I think you pretty much have it nailed.

The FA 35/2 used to be a real gem and a good bargain. Still a gem but the price is terribly inflated. Depending on how good you want your prime to be, maybe
DA35macro and the FA31 can come to your consideration as well.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-19-2010, 08:57 AM  
DA 50-200 vs DA 55-300 vs Vivitar S1 70-210 vs Pentax-A 70-210; Tele-Zoom Comparo
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 16
Views: 17,822
Although not all products (consumer or industrial) comes with a full spec, reputable
companies do make public their spec/standards when quality issues are being questioned by the public.

I used to be in the furniture business and if a customer question the emission standard of the particle board we use, I would gladly inform him we use E1 standards and welcome any testing by qualify 3rd party if it is up to spec.

When the quality level of a quantifiable attribute in a product is in question and after- sale service is refused based on the "within spec" excuse, I think it is only fare the consumer should know what the spec standard is, no matter how sloppy that would be (like a generous tolerance).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-19-2010, 08:09 AM  
DA 50-200 vs DA 55-300 vs Vivitar S1 70-210 vs Pentax-A 70-210; Tele-Zoom Comparo
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 16
Views: 17,822
Dear Timo,

I couldn't agree with you more.

laymen lens comparison can be quite misleading if one is not meticulous in checking the parameters (ridding of front/back focusing possibility to begin with).

And I totally agree with you that sample variance can be more significant than the general consensus of the rating of a lens.

When you say centering problems, are you referring to a lens element not position exactly parallel to the focal plane, with the effect of one side softer than the other?

I have a similar problem with my da16-45 which is quite wobbly when extended, resulting in images not always sharp edge-to-edge as many has marveled. I have tested the issue extensively and find that when tipping the extended lens barrel a bit , sharpness at the edges improve markedly.

Sent the lens to the Pentax dealer hoping they would "tighten things up for more sharpness consistency" only to be greeted with a "within spec" no.

I find it a blatant disregard of quality standards and unfair to the consumer when Pentax never publish their spec standards.

Anyone has any experience in fighting the "within spec" excuse?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-19-2010, 06:01 AM  
Pentax A 70-210mm vs Vivitar S1 70-210mm
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 11
Views: 4,384
Here are the test shots

Would owner of this lens care to comment on the sharpness at 70mm at f4 and f5.6.?

Also the contrast ... at 70mm wide open, the white shows the "haze/glow" effect. What is the proper term for this (is this the same as ghosting or halo effect)?

I have experienced such "glow" on previous lens test, usually found in faster lens from the film era (f2.8 and faster). Please see if my understanding of the possible causes is correct:

1. focusing issue, say slight front focusing (i have experienced this with my newer FA zoom). This should be accompanied by a weakness in sharpness;
2. Optical deterioration of the glass and/or coating.
3. Weaker contrast at full aperture , an intrinsic character of the lens, reflecting a short-coming in the lens's design/coating ( but i am confused if weaker contrast necessarily means the white haze/glow spilling over).

Thanks
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-19-2010, 04:45 AM  
DA 50-200 vs DA 55-300 vs Vivitar S1 70-210 vs Pentax-A 70-210; Tele-Zoom Comparo
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 16
Views: 17,822
very disappointed for not seeing a follow-up on this post by PentHassyKon .
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-19-2010, 04:36 AM  
Pentax A 70-210mm vs Vivitar S1 70-210mm
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 11
Views: 4,384
i am facing the same delima too ... not that i own the lens but see the chance of picking either one from net sale.

I have a Sun 80-200 f4.5 which amazes me for the image it produces ... not particularly sharp nor contrasty, but some basic pp would produce very 3-dimensional images not matched by my newer lens (DAs and FAs zoom).

Could it be the lens formula of that age (aka one-touch zoom/focus design) that produces such effect? Given that Sun lenses are rebadged and pretty generic, i don't think the IQ is attributed to their design/manufacturing abilities.

I would be more that happy shooting with the Sun zoom but one of its glass element shows an orange fringe and is showing its adverse effect in larger apertures at the longer ranges.

So, I would hope similar zoom design from the same era would produce the same 3D IQ which I lust for.

The seller of a Pentax-a 70-210 is nice enough to provide test shots at f4 and f8, and the lens don't seem particularly sharp (sample variance? front/back focus issue?)

Does anyone using the one-touch zoom share my observation on the IQ or is it just my imagination.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-05-2008, 11:26 PM  
bright vs. natural: another comparison
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 22
Views: 5,015
it is quite obvious that most would prefer Natural in this shot.

To get serious about image quality, one should really be well acquainted with the performance of one's photo equipment, which i find quite an overwhelming undertaking.

Specifically, there are two sets of variables, camera body and lens.

For the modern dslr body alone, the matrix of image quality variance is simply mind boggling, natural/bright x saturation x sharpness x contrast x white balance x +/-EV ....

And coupling with 2 to 3 zooms, each exhibiting variance in contrast, color, exposure bias, sweet spots, DOF behaviour ...

I am wondering how can one ever manage ?

Which reminds me the K10d do offer the User Define mode which should be helpful in calibrating the camera to the characteristics of different lens ... is anyone taking the trouble to do that ? Is this a valid thought?

Or would it make life much easier if one just rely on photo editing for controlling image rendering ?
And in doing do, would it make you feel more like a painter than a photographer ? Does it still make sense choosing a camera or lens for its colors ?
Forum: Post Your Photos! 05-31-2008, 05:39 AM  
A few 70-300 pics. Silhouettes, books, & leaves!
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 11
Views: 1,252
Is it a Tamron or Sigma or .... ?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-27-2008, 10:31 AM  
Vivitar mystery lens ?
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 14
Views: 3,526
well Mike, since you have the lens in hand, wouldn't it be interesting to run some test shots and show yourself (and us) the results ?:confused:
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-18-2008, 10:24 PM  
Anyone with 1st hand experience with 18-55 kit & T 24-135 ?
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 3
Views: 1,485
Given the Tamron 24-135 is SP designated and have read some good reviews (give and take sample quality variance), is it right to expect the image quality of the tamron is a notch better than the kit lens?

Well, at least in terms of sharpness and contrast.

Color-wise, pentax is pentax and tamron is tamron (frankly speaking, after thousands of shots with the kit lens, it is hard for me to pinpoint a particular out-of-the-box image with color that really moves me ).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-18-2008, 09:52 PM  
Ebay mistake?
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 21
Views: 3,323
of course, otherwise i won't be able to take photos with a manual lens !

like i said, it stops down for a split second, no metering.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-18-2008, 09:44 PM  
Tamron 28-200 Asp. XR IF (non-DI)
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 9
Views: 3,143
well i wouldn't call that a "very good review".
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-18-2008, 06:11 PM  
Ebay mistake?
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 21
Views: 3,323
I don't get it ... everyone says that in M mode hit the green button and the camera will meter

Not my k10d though ... when i hit the green button, it does stop down to the selected aperture for a split second and that's it ! NO METER reading

I can only get a meter reading using the optical preview ... when turned it stops down and give a meter reading .

So what 's wrong with my green button? ... I have tried all 3 options in the Custom menu for allocating the Green button in M mode (P shift, Tv shift, Av shift) , all the same with no metering.

Is it a firmware difference here? I am still in ver 1.10.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-08-2008, 08:07 AM  
K100D, K200D, or K10D? (first time DSRL purchase)
Posted By badbrother
Replies: 42
Views: 7,036
apparently, Aperture has made up his mind and I personally think he has made a fine and wise choice. (I would opt for the k100ds for the shake reduction and sdm lenses compatibility, if ever i can afford them).

this thread is getting very long (and tiresome) but i still feel strongly enough to add my 2 cents for those who are still pondering over the choice between k100ds/k10d/k200d

for the casual shooter/hobbyist who is tempted to get the k10d at the current clearance price , CAUTION ! ...

speaking from my own experience as a k100d owner for the past year and a new k10d owner for a week, i would say k10d is more suitable for enthusiasts who ...

a/ prefer to shoot in RAW as their primary format
b/ accustomed to digital darkroom tweaking

for the casual shooters who would like to shoot away for reliable JPEG quality and the freedom to use iso range between 200 and 800 for flexibility, k100ds is a better choice hands down.

as a new owner of the k10d, i have been unpleasantly surprised by the noticeable noise level from iso 200 onwards! (even at iso 100, some hint of noise can be found in the dimmer areas)

k100d on the other hand stays very clean up to iso 400, and iso 800 is an acceptable compromise for more challenging lighting

given the raving reviews, awards, and positive endorsement by many happy users on the internet, i was quite taken aback that no one pointed it out as an issue before , thinking that i have bought a defective machine.

i posted comparison JPEG shots for k100d and k10d on the net yesterday seeking advice if my machine has a problem, the general responses are :

a/ the noise level is what to be expected for k10d
b/ a k10d user is better off shooting in RAW, the general preference for enthususiasts.

if you are interested, you can see the shots in my chinese thread (photos are marked for model , iso, etc so you know what you are looking at ... ??k10d, ????????????????????????? - Pentax Fans Club

well, many happy k10d users would tell you that the noise is generally not noticeable in size-down version for web browsing or prints under a4 size, which is true ... but i still find them a pain on my screen.

another point to note, and others have pointed it out in older threads, is that k10d has a much tighter tolerance for highlights. Some have complained that the metering of k10d is customarily under for 1/3 ev and i suspect that it maybe intentional by default.

my early experience with the k10d is that a 1/3 ev discrepancy in jpeg can make a significant difference to the image quality, challenging the photographer to be more critical and precise in judging exposure "sweet point" from the lcd monitor ( takes a learning curve since the screen inevitably shows the contrast very differently from what you see in the big screen when loaded in your pc).

so, be prepare for lots of bracketing, and, again, better off shoot in RAW where you have more ability to correct highlights errors.

other points to consider for k10d:

Pro

1/ because of its positioning, k10d could be a better build compared to k100ds/k200d, more seal points and more robust maybe. (the main reason that i have sort-of "upgraded" to the k10d is that i have dropped my k100d from waist height and went dead while the body only showed a small scratch... turned out the main board socket was crashed during the fall and required a replacement ... so have my reservation about the robustness of the build)

2/ more dials for direct access vs menu operations (the additional front dials can be a blessing but i often accidentally turn it when i try to push the digital preview lever)

Cons

1/ k10d is known for focus shift issues for different lenses and it has become a first check for every knowledgeable new owner in my part of the world (Taiwan and China). Of course you can send it back to the dealer for adjustment, though not before you have done your own tiresome test yourself.

Alternatively, you can try to make the correction yourself if your firmware version is 1.10 by entering into hidden debug mode (instructions only found in forums and not officially from Pentax). If your machine is v1.3, no debug mode by default and you have to seek additional remedy on the internet to crack this.

focus shift issues are known to other models and brand as well, so not unique to k10d, but still a hassle for the new owner.

Maybe Cons

1/ the slightly different grip between the k10d and k100d/k200d make a difference to me ... while the k10d grip is fatter and suggest better fitted for bigger hands, in reality, the k100d has deeper finger groove which can be held more securely for my long fingers ... so try it out to see which is a better fit for you.

Well, there are other significant advantages k10d holds over k100d, most noticeably the white balance controls, but all of these advantages has been wiped out by k200d, which also has the added real benefits of expanded dynamic range (to compensate for the highlight sensitivity of the k10d) and the focus adjustment for lenses (addressing the focus shift issue)!

All in all, for those who can be intimidated by the k10d, the k100ds is really a steal at their price now, or you should take a hard look at the k200d for noise performance improvement (which i have no knowledge whatsoever) before jumping in bed with the k10d for all its sexy appeals.;)
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