Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fire Truck at the T. Joe Gonzales Museum!

DSCN0706-001 by wizowel
DSCN0706-001, a photo by wizowel on Flickr.
Here's one of my photos that is part of the Ascension Parish Group offerings on Flickr.

Check it out!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Scientific Experimentation!

I finally got a chance to experiment with my manual prime lenses on the Pentax istDL DSLR. It took a little doing but I think I’ve figured out how to make it work.

What you see here is a shot of Gandalf the Grey on top of my old truck taken with the 50mm, f1.7 lens set at f2.8 on the “istDL.” When a manual lens is mounted this camera it apparently sets itself up in aperture priority mode (unless you set it to manual mode) and in this case matched a 1/500 shutter speed @ ISO400 to my f2.8 aperture for the exposure.

There are apparently some other things you can do to affect and perhaps improve the outcome. In manual mode for instance, you can set everything yourself. Controlling the ISO setting (using a slower speed) would likely result in better quality photos too, and I am planning some more experimentation to flesh those things out but my first attempts weren’t too shabby. 

The biggest issue is focusing.  The istDL has a neat feature for use with a manual lens. It will allow you to push the shutter button half way (just as you do with a fully automatic lens) and as you slowly turn the focusing ring it will signal you when it thinks your picture is in focus.

This only works about half the time since the camera uses contrast-detection AF based on some kind of averaging algorithm. When I was shooting wide open (shallow depth of field) it seemed to invariably focus on the wrong spot. Of course this could just me my inexperience with the process too! It is not impossible to focus manually using the matte screen but not nearly as easy as with my SLR’s which have the split screen assist.

I have long said that I would be willing to switch to digital completely if I could ever find a DSLR that just worked like my 35mm SLR but with a full sized digital sensor instead of the film. Clearly we are not there yet but I am optimistic that we will get there eventually.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ascension Parish

DSCN0697-001DSCN0706-001DSCN0695-001DSCN0711-001N'teresting Neighbor #1N'teresting Neighbor #2
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Ascension Parish, a group on Flickr.

Here's what I have been working on lately. Ascension Parish is a great place to work & live. I joined this Flickr group and have been trying to show some of the "iconic" scenes around the parish.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The New Pentax K-5 II's

For us Pentax lovers the announcement a couple weeks ago that their flagship DSLR the K-5, was being discontinued came with the expectation that it would be replaced by an even better camera with a bigger better sensor and exciting new capabilities. There have been rumors for a while now of a full frame Pentax DSLR being developed using the new 24.3 MP sensor from Sony.

Well just last week Sony announced their new full framed DSLR using the new sensor,  the A99, but apparently the best Pentax could come up with was a slightly improved pair of K-5's. One billed the K-5 II and the K-5 IIs without the anti-aliasing filter. I'm not really sure what the anti-aliasing filter thing is all about but getting rid of  it is supposed to be a good thing.

The original K-5 is an impressive camera. In fact it is the only DSLR described by reviewers as both an amateur and professional's camera of choice at an amateur camera price. With the improvements the K-5 II & IIs pair should be even more impressive.

The only negative is that most of us were hoping for more. The new K-5's still utilize a 16 MP sensor when most DSLR's are moving on to 18 to 24 MP sensors although to be truthful, the sensor in the K-5 always delivered better performance than some of the so-called more advanced sensors. The improved AF will be a welcomed improvement but overall I don't think many folks will be trading in their old K-5's for the new K-5's.

Here's the link to the Pentax press release for more details.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Photokina Approaches!

Here’s a real example of “Street Photography.”  In fact, most of the composition is the street itself. There are no people of course but that’s not my fault. I didn’t tell them all to go away. If only there was a mime on one corner, a street musician on the other and an old lady walking her duck crossing the street in the background it would be perfect . The shot does contains one of my favorite subjects though. Anybody know what that little red flag is for?

I have been so busy lately there just hasn’t been much time to post anything so this is my attempt to remedy that situation. My lack of attention to this blog doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned photography though. I have been taking a few photos whenever I can and gobbling up each and every new press release and article from all the Giants of the photo world as Photokina gets closer and closer.

For those of you who don’t know, Photokina is probably the single biggest most eagerly awaited Photography event in the world. It occurs every two years and usually is when all the new cameras and equipment comes out. It is kind of like the annual “New Car Shows” for cameras except that it’s every other year. …and like the new car announcements, the press releases begin a few weeks before and the build us is designed to get everyone’s “juices” flowing and get them to Photokina.

This year Photokina is in Cologne, from September 18th through the 23rd. I won’t be going, of course. I’m still much too busy and only fly when absolutely necessary, but I will share the most interesting (to me anyway) announcements with you here. So stay tuned!