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Forum: General Photography 2 Days Ago  
Is This ND Filter Worthwhile?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 15
Views: 593
I agree with @Roadboat. Variable ND filters are essentially two polarizers and shooting through two pieces of glass is going to degrade your image unlike a single element ND.
I would not recommend it.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 2 Days Ago  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 5,619
Views: 734,711
I have never shot with a Leica, so this is my outsider's view as a photography teacher. All of these have been Leica film cameras. Have yet to have a student with a Leica digital:

a) 1996: First day of class students bring their SLRs for me to check if they are functional. One student hands me her Leica. It's in new condition. I (regretfully) told her that her camera and lens was worth more than everyone else's gear combined; so be careful with it. It scared her so badly, she brought a Canon AE-1 to the next class and I never saw the Leica again.

b) Early 2000's: Had a wealthy, only child art student, that shot with Leica rangefinders. He wore designer jeans, shoes, shirts, Rolex, etc. The Leica was sort of an accessory that took photos. He wore that red dot as a status symbol.

c) 2019: Student just replaced her Pentax K1000 for a Leica R4s. The Summicron 50mm on her Leica is razor sharp and the contrast is outstanding.

My opinion is mixed. I have shot with Zeiss lenses and they are almost too perfect that they have no character to the images they produce.

Leica is also more known for their rangefinders, and I've always preferred the ergonomics and optical finder of SLRs over mirrorless or rangefinders.

I lived in Switzerland for 4 years and found that although German engineering is robust and their optics second to none, but the electronics were less reliable than most Japanese counterparts.
I have always spent more on my cameras and lenses than I could reasonably afford (with no regrets), but I've never been able to justify the quantum cost leap into the Leica world. And because of that, I'd rather buy high end Pentax than the low end Leica. Also one should factor in the cost of repairs and parts, which anyone who's owned a Mercedes/Audi/Porsche/BMW can share with you.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 Days Ago  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 5,619
Views: 734,711
Tally of this semester's crop of cameras used in my photo classes:

B&W Film: Canon 7, Nikon 6, Pentax 5 (Spotmatic, (3) K1000, ZX-30).
Advanced Photo: Nikon 10, Canon 5, Pentax 2, Leica 2, Hasselblad 1, Mamiya 1. (Mixed film/digital, 35mm/medium format).
Color Digital: Canon 10, Nikon 9 (18 DSLR, 1 Mirrorless)
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 09-13-2019, 12:45 PM  
Vanguard Ball Head?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 19
Views: 482
I've bought and used Vanguard branded tripod legs and heads and have found them to be above average in quality. Factor in the price and they are one of the best.

Is a 44 lbs support weight overkill with your 400mm and K5IIs? Yes and no. Yes, you could get a cheaper, lighter head that supports a third of that weight, but it won't be as solidly secure than a better head like the Vanguard TBH-250.
Ball heads are inherently less secure than most other head types, so if you want the convenience of the ball head, getting a stronger model is wise.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-11-2019, 12:51 PM  
Spotmatic and 50 1.4 hard hit onto concrete
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 9
Views: 420
I agree with @photoptimist. Chances are, it will be less expensive to buy a replacement, but if it were me, I would get a repair estimate because:
a) It could be cheaper (with the assumption that it won't be).
b) Your repaired lens will be in great shape vs. the unknown of a replacement.
c) Sentimental value.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-11-2019, 12:14 PM  
Spotmatic and 50 1.4 hard hit onto concrete
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 9
Views: 420
I am sorry about your accident. It happens to all of us, and if it hasn't, you're probably not using your camera enough. Was it Murphy that said "Shiitake mushrooms happen"?

Hope your Spotmatic survived....they are tough, but it is what it is, and you'll want to test it to make sure it doesn't leak light or have other issues.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-10-2019, 09:02 AM  
Nikon aperture lever plastic broken?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 12
Views: 460
While the lens was on the camera, something hit the lens from the side and the force broke that part of the rear mount. It's happened to me (on a Nikon lens) and it cost around $150 at the time to fix.

The good news with plastic rear mounts is that they are lighter than their metal counterparts and when there is an impact, the lens will break, which is usually cheaper than a bent or misaligned lens mount on the camera. However, that's pretty rare and thus, getting a Nikon lens with a metal rear mount will give you peace of mind.

I wouldn't trust that lens if you had an important event or subject to shoot.
Forum: General Photography 09-08-2019, 01:57 PM  
Filter ?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 10
Views: 505
Does the peg itself rotate? If so, it's used to lock the polarizer position so the polarizer doesn't accidentally move/shift. If not, then it's just to help rotate the filter.

Tiffen filters are now made in the USA, so my best guess is that this older 60's made in Japan version is a linear polarizer which is not compatible with modern DSLRs and autofocus cameras. You'll want to get a circular polarizer instead.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-05-2019, 02:09 PM  
Letís Guess the name of new gear in the future?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 50
Views: 1,757
From 1952-2017, Pentax came out with 104 different SLR cameras. Approx. 42 had even numbers. Approx. 32 had odd numbers. The rest were letters.

One thing I appreciate about Pentax is that since 2003 and the *ist, all models sold worldwide had the same name (no more MZ-6=ZX-L=MZ-L).
Forum: Pentax K-5 09-05-2019, 10:30 AM  
margin of error for shutter speed?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 10
Views: 530
For my beginning B&W Film Photography students, I still recommend that they use a photo log but not for the reasons stated. I recommend beginners shooting in manual exposure mode to keep a photo log so that:
a) I can verify that they are shooting the assignment correctly. For example, are they bracketing exposures enough?
b) If something is amiss but they technically used the correct shutter speed and aperture, then this may indicate a problem with the aperture or the shutter.
c) It reinforces the beginning photographer's awareness of their shutter, aperture, and ISO settings and discourages a snapshot approach.

I do agree it is a drudgery to record exposure data and I wish all film cameras were like the Nikon F6 and Pentax 645N that record exposure data on the film edge.
EXIF files are a blessing on digital files; they are invisible but if you need the info, it's there.
Forum: Pentax K-5 09-05-2019, 03:57 AM  
margin of error for shutter speed?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 10
Views: 530
I have a Calumet sensor that can measure actual shutter speeds in 35mm focal plane (and leaf) shutters. When focal plane shutters went from horizontal travel cloth types to vertical titanium metal alloy guillotine types, the accuracy improved. My exposure time reading device has an accuracy scale of zero error, +/- 1/6 EV and +/- 1/3 EV. As it measures down to tens of thousandths of a second, I have never seen a perfect shutter and the margin of error usually varies at different speeds. The faster shutter speeds have a smaller margin for error and therefore actually have a greater margin of error (percentage wise).

Also note that stated shutter settings are also rounded numbers. Although the camera shows "whole EVs" as 30", 15", 8", 4", 2", 1", 1/2", 1/4", 1/8", 1/15", 1/30", 1/60", 1/125", 1/250", 1/500", 1/1000", 1/2000", 1/4000", in reality it is giving you 32", 16", 8", 4", 2", 1", 1/2", 1/4", 1/8", 1/16", 1/32", 1/64", 1/128", 1/256", 1/512", 1/1024", 1/2048", 1/4096".

When testing shutter speeds, I usually either shoot with the lens aperture wide open or with no lens at all and the mirror up to eliminate the aperture closing to affect the test.

Also for high shutter speeds, you want to make sure you're using a continuous light source such as the sun or tungsten.

Last, you may want to research if digital sensors have "reciprocity failure" like film does as that may be another factor that could effect your measurements.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-04-2019, 12:00 PM  
How do you decide what lens to use . . . . ???
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 46
Views: 1,577
One of two things dictate what lens I use:

a) the subject matter
or
b) the vision

With the subject matter, the focal length, prime vs. zoom, largest aperture, IQ, etc, is all chosen based on the needs to capture the image. How do you determine that? Education, experience, or trial and error. There is an opportunity to shoot a paradox between the foreground and background that require great depth of field, then a wide angle focal length would be my choice. I need to shoot a portrait with a little bit of flattering compression and bokeh background, then a short fast telephoto prime.

If there is no specific subject matter, then I may have a vision of what I want to make. For example with a macro, I can seek out the world of flowers, bugs, small details, that are common place but often overlooked in a familiar environment.
When I'm in this vision "mode", I ignore or try to not think about all my other lenses and other possibilities.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-28-2019, 09:17 AM  
645 light leaks?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 11
Views: 519
Can you confirm that there are no creases or dents on your negs where it's dark and creating these light marks? We also want to make sure it's not a problem with the scanner.

If not, then it does appear to be from your camera.

Empty your camera of film. Remove the power grip. Unscrew the manual advance knob on the base so you can take a manual shot. Remove the film holder and put on the false back cover protector. Take a shot, but do not manually advance. Remove the lens. Take the back off. You should be looking at the second or rear shutter curtain. Point the front of the camera at the sun. Does the second or rear curtain have any degradation or light leaks? The problem is probably the first or front curtain. However, if you manually advance the camera at this point, the mirror will lower and I don't know how you can do this same test with the first or front curtain other than inspect it from the back without the benefit of light coming thru it. Do you see any anomalies on the curtain surface?

Of course using the same batch of film with a second camera will help to eliminate the film as the cause.

Long shot: Is there any shiny foreign object in the camera box? Do you see an anomaly in the lens?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-27-2019, 04:59 PM  
Can you recommend a good "budget" tripod?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 28
Views: 1,340
An under $100 tripod or a $500 tripod is useless if it isn't designed for what you're using it with and for. Stores like BHphotovideo carry over 650 different tripods and 130 of those model sare under $100.

What type of head best suits your needs? What is the max or min height wanted? For example, I wanted a lateral center column arm to extend over a table and there is only one model under $100 that offers that.

Is stability more important or light weight and compact for easy travel?

Unless you want to waste your money on upgrading over the years from mediocrity to finally a keeper, consider a tripod as a lifetime investment. I like sites like BHphotovideo where you can filter your options to narrow the choices. But then, of course, nothing beats a brick and mortar to actually get your hands on different tripods to see the quality, features, and size.

When it comes to monopods, beware the load capacity. Many photographers sort of use their monopods for more support than just their cameras (aka walking stick) and a cheap monopod will slip or collapse. For $40 I would consider the Manfrotto Element Aluminum Monopod with a 33 lbs. load capacity.
Manfrotto Element Aluminum Monopod (Red) MMELEA5RD B&H Photo

But aluminum can bend, so if you can increase your budget, I'd go with a lighter but stronger carbon fiber model like the Leofoto MP-284C Carbon Fiber Monopod with 110 lbs. load capacity.
Leofoto MP-284C Carbon Fiber Monopod MP-284 B&H Photo Video
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-27-2019, 03:13 PM  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 5,619
Views: 734,711
Glad you found a new camera system that fits your needs, but I'm not sure the growing vs. shrinking is a valid reason to evaluate a system.

On BHphotovideo I'm seeing that there are 26 Nikon Z lenses available vs. 115 Pentax mount lenses. No doubt the Nikon is growing and the Pentax is shrinking, but there are still 4x more Pentax lenses to choose from if we don't count legacy glass. To me both systems have their pros and cons. So far I have no regrets running two systems because I appreciate the differences.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-24-2019, 07:47 PM  
Use of AWB (Automatic White Balance)
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 63
Views: 2,815
Earlier versions of Photos would convert all RAW files automatically to jpeg, so updating your Mac OS might help.

As others have stated, RAW is not affected by white balance settings, so what you're seeing is definitely a jpeg issue.

You are right, if you set it to AWB, it should automatically give you a decent color balance. 99% of the time it's operator error and 1% of the time it's the camera. But just as an experiment, run a manual test in daylight but compare results with AWB vs. Daylight vs. other WB settings to see what's going on.

Another suggestion might be to look at Pentax Forum members map and see if there is a member close to you and send them a message asking if they'd be willing to meet up and check out your camera settings.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-24-2019, 02:48 PM  
Pentax 645N, 67ii, long lenses and mirror / shutter shake
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 15
Views: 695
As stated in post #2, I am only referring to the 645N, not the 67ii. But the comments of others makes sense in that a 67 will have more shutter shock/mirror slap than a 645, if for no other reason, it's bigger.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-24-2019, 10:34 AM  
Pentax 645N, 67ii, long lenses and mirror / shutter shake
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 15
Views: 695
You would prefer to use "short shutter speed times than 1/250"? Short means 1/500 or 1/1000". Then that's fine. Even the 1/250" is on the envelope with an effective 600mm. But if you meant longer shutter speed times than 1/250, such as 1/125" and slower, then it's problematic. If you're not enlarging the image too much, you could have a few per roll that will be fine, but any cropping or 8x10" and bigger is going to lose sharpness in part due to mirror slap/shutter shake.

+1 @tuco. You can make both systems work, but they both have their limitations and advantages.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-24-2019, 12:26 AM  
Pentax 645N, 67ii, long lenses and mirror / shutter shake
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 15
Views: 695
I can only speak for the 645N. With a lot of magnification, I have NOT seen mirror shake induced blur at 1/250" or faster, and with the 300mm at 1/500"+ you should be fine. With a 2x teleconverter, I would shoot at 1/1000", which means full sun, ISO 400 and probably around f/8 or f/11.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-23-2019, 11:55 PM  
Use of AWB (Automatic White Balance)
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 63
Views: 2,815
a) A few years back, Apple's Photos only worked with jpegs, but I just tested opening a DNG on Photos (version 2.0, circa 2016), and it worked fine without any WB anomalies.
What version of Photos are you running, and did you shoot your RAW as a DNG or PEF? Maybe that's a factor. Personally I use Photoshop, Lightroom, or Nik because I find Photos too limiting. Fine for my phone, but that's about it.

b) Your metadata says your white balance was set on manual. So the Custom Image setting may have over-ruled your AWB setting somehow and skewed the color balance. Try to not use a Custom Image setting and make sure you do have it set to AWB.

c) Photos doesn't have any color balance correction settings and at best for this situation, allow you to make it monochrome. Below I've adjusted the color balance on Photoshop CC. It was mostly too cyan and needed red.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-23-2019, 12:03 PM  
645 light leaks?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 11
Views: 519
If the location and appearance of the light leak was consistently in the same area of the frame, or even off frame on the negative or edges, that would suggest a light leak.

Based on your posted examples, that appears to be pressure marks due to mishandling by the lab. If the film were hand developed, which is more common for B&W developing, this usually happens when putting the film onto the developing reel. Most color is machine processed, but the operator/tech needs to remove the film from the reel and paper into a cassette, and if they are rough or careless, what you've posted will occur.

Look carefully at you original film where the anomaly is: Is either side of the film bent/irregular/creased in those dark areas of the "leak"? If so, it's due to the lab.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-23-2019, 03:32 AM  
battery grip AA battery life
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 7
Views: 574
Ricoh/Pentax has done actual tests or 'experimented' and AA lithium with nearly 10 times the life of AA alkaline is a pretty "huge difference". I doubt anyone other than Ricoh or a battery company has bothered to systematically burn through shutter actuations other than with brand new cells in ideal vs. extreme conditions. But anecdotally the relative life expectancy (actuations per charge) reported in the owner's manual corresponds with reality in my experience.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-22-2019, 02:29 AM  
battery grip AA battery life
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 7
Views: 574
On page 284 of the K50 owner's manual their tests indicate that under "normal conditions" at 23 degrees celsius they report:

AA alkaline batteries: 170 shots
D-LI109: 480 shots
AA NiMh (1900 mAh): 580 shots
AA lithium: 1250 shots

And then of course, other factors like flash usage, auto vs. manual focus, video or live view, etc, will reduce those numbers.

This is about what I've found in my own usage of the K50. Nowadays, I rarely shoot more than 480 shots in a days outing, but I always have a freshly charged spare D-Li109 with me. I prefer not to fumble around with six (or 12) AA cells and disposable lithium, although by far the longest lasting, are not cost effective.

Note that the original Pentax D-Li109 was rated at 1200mAh. There are other brands that make a D-Li109 like DSTE that are rated at 2100mAh or Wasabi Power at 2300mAh.

So to answer your question: if your NiMh is rated at 2460mAh, then theoretically they would last longer than even the best D-Li109 like the Wasabi 2300mAh.

http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/man-pdf/k-50.pdf

---------- Post added 08-22-19 at 02:33 AM ----------



Note that NiMh batteries will typically have less voltage than alkaline but higher amperage.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-21-2019, 01:44 PM  
Use of AWB (Automatic White Balance)
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 63
Views: 2,815
Although I usually shoot RAW, I haven't noticed this problem with AWB jpegs in the shade on a K-50. I suspect there is some setting in your menu that is creating that cool bias.

As the OP, please post some examples with the metadata from both your K50 and the Nikon Coolpix in the shade so we can help identify the cause. What you described is not 'normal'.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-15-2019, 10:25 AM  
Three cameras
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 10
Views: 1,651
Vincent,
In the third posted attachment, the metadata says it was shot with your KP at 31mm prime, but your crop and the border suggests it was shot in film with a 6x7. The color palette is also more film like. Was this digital or film, and if it was film, why the faux framing aesthetic?

I like a lot of your color and monochrome image choices and how you cropped and framed them....especially the square B&W of the men playing the board game. But that one simulated analog image raises a flag for me. It's as if each image holds up on its own, but that one needed the fake border to give it value. What were your thoughts?
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