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Old Sep 15, 2010, 4:21 PM   #11
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John, Thats exactly what i am getting at. People who are truly into photography by and large dont need or really want the gimicks. The main reason I went with pentax was that I already owned some pentax lenses from the film days. To me it seams apparent that Pentax has been afraid of losing market share if they were to stand on the technical merits of their cameras alone. So in order to attract the the happy point and shoot crowd and to make them think that they are now "photographers" if they own an slr pentax has included a boat load of gimics. If I wanted toy camera images I would go buy a toy camera at the goodwill store and get some discount film thats out of date and go shot with a toy camera. To me shooting in toy camera or cross processing mode is akin to dipping a donkeys tail in paint , letting him swish said tail on a canvas, framing the the results and procaiming " I meant for it to look that way" !
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Old Sep 15, 2010, 6:18 PM   #12
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Well it seems to me, even with all the fancy settings, they are harder to use if you don't let the camera do it all.
My Mamiya Sekor, you set the ISO when you put the film in. You focused the lens, set either shutter or aperture, then adjusted the other one until the circle was over the bar in the view finder. Easy Pesy.
Not so much today. If it isn't a fully automatic self identifying lens.
And it has nothing to do with the frills.
I do like AF since that is where a lot of my pictures on film fell flat.

I am not a big fan of the focus screen on my K2000. But i don't know what would be better.
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Old Sep 15, 2010, 10:44 PM   #13
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Well it seems to me, even with all the fancy settings, they are harder to use if you don't let the camera do it all.
My Mamiya Sekor, you set the ISO when you put the film in. You focused the lens, set either shutter or aperture, then adjusted the other one until the circle was over the bar in the view finder. Easy Pesy.
Not so much today. If it isn't a fully automatic self identifying lens.
And it has nothing to do with the frills.
I do like AF since that is where a lot of my pictures on film fell flat.

I am not a big fan of the focus screen on my K2000. But i don't know what would be better.
I don't really see how using a DLSR is any harder, in fact i find it easier in many ways. For example I no longer need to worry about using filters to correct color cast if I'm trying to use daylight film in something other than 'daylight'. The rest is all the same, I just set the aperture on the lens and focus, the camera picks the shutter speed and if it doesn't come out right I either adjust the EV or shoot on manual mode.

As for focus screens there are replacement ones out there. I'd have to go thru my bookmarks and see if I can find them.

John
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 2:27 AM   #14
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Any function that the camera can preform to get the result I want I'll do but that is up to getting the Raw picture.

I never do any processing on the camera because any pc can do it a lot better.

On the other hand I really understand that a lot of people want to have those 'gimmics' but they stay gimmics for me.

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Old Sep 17, 2010, 2:14 PM   #15
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One of the things I love about my E-1, and one reason I haven't switched to Pentax yet, is that it has no 'extras' like scene mode or filters. It's just a camera that has replaced film with a sensor. I'd rather pay for a camera with awesome basics than one with lots of frills. Things like scene modes can be replicated if you know what to adjust and you'll learn a lot more about shooting if you have to. As for the rest like filters etc post processing can take care of all that and then some. The only thing I couldn't live w/o anymore is RAW. So to answer your question, no i don't use the frills

John
I have to say that I never use the in-camera 'gimmicks' as you call them. All my processing is done in my computer, which can do a far better job than any camera can. That is not why I personally chose Pentax.

I use a K7 and almost exclusively in MF mode, often switching to manual focus too. However it is all the unseen bonuses of a modern (Pentax) camera (K20, K7, Km, Kx, Kr and the soon to be K5) - such as the legacy glass, M42 glass, SR, high ISO's, 5+ FPS etc etc that gives these cameras such an edge.
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 2:47 PM   #16
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Fropfish, I agree ! All the features that real photographers want/ need in a camera.

By the way can anyone here tell me what the fastest frames per second rate was / is on an auto 35mm film camera? just wondering
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 9:14 PM   #17
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Fropfish, I agree ! All the features that real photographers want/ need in a camera.

By the way can anyone here tell me what the fastest frames per second rate was / is on an auto 35mm film camera? just wondering
I'm not at all sure about the "professional" models. but most of the consumer power/speed winders did two or three frames per second.

The Nikon F6 does 8 fps, sells for over $1,ooo usd, body only.

The Canon EOS-1 will do 5.5 fps

You have to remember that the Nikon is still being made and is very expensive. People who buy this camera are serious film shooters..
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 8:50 AM   #18
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I really don't mess with those, either. Again, if I want them, they are much more easily done in PP than with filters. PP gives me control over how much of the effect I want, the way I want.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 1:48 PM   #19
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I'm not at all sure about the "professional" models. but most of the consumer power/speed winders did two or three frames per second.

The Nikon F6 does 8 fps, sells for over $1,ooo usd, body only.

The Canon EOS-1 will do 5.5 fps

You have to remember that the Nikon is still being made and is very expensive. People who buy this camera are serious film shooters..
So in 3-4.5 seconds I could shoot a roll of film with the Nikon? Wow. But I suppose those who use it buy roll film in bulk to avoid that problem. I wonder what the burst rate on my ZX-M is. I'm guessing 3fps but I'm not sure how much I ever used it.

John
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 5:34 PM   #20
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Hi Bock,

I actually answered the OP quite a while ago, but my post got lost as my new wireless IP went down before I posted it. It was a long post, but I've finally gotten some time to try to recreate it.

I truly understand your viewpoint. It seems so strange that one would need an owner's manual with hundreds of pages just to explain how to use a camera. . .and then not even do a real good job at describing how to actuall use all the features and what they really do.

I don't use a lot of the features you describe, but I've discovered that there are sometimes silver linings to features that I didn't expect.

Muliple exposures with the K20 and K-7 is one of these. In addition to being able to do "standard" double exposure type shots where a subject can appear in two different places in a scene, Pentax's implementation allows automatic exposure compensation so the resulting image is properly exposed as a whole. Somebody discovered that by using this, they could shoot "milky" waterfalls in most daylight conditions without using an ND filter, and without blowing the highlights.

What you do essentially is meter normally, then use multiple exposure mode to effectively extend the exposure time.

I'll give a hypothetical example:

Let's say that for a scene, the slowest shutter speed that you could get with a particular lens @f22 is 1/30. That would be enough to blur the water, but not slow enough to give that "milky" look. With Multiple Exposure (ME) mode, you could "extend" this to a virtual 1/3 second exposure by using 9 shot ME, and the resulting image would be exposed the same as if it were shot at 1/30. You would, of course, have to use a tripod, but you'd have to do this with a long exposure anyway. This would be equivalent to using about a 4 stop ND filter. You'd just set the camera for 1/30 @ f22, choose 9 shots and Ev compensation in the ME menu, then take the shots.

The advantages of this technique are that you don't need to carry an ND filter and that you can frame the scene with your normally bright viewfinder. The only disadvantage that I can see is that you might get multiple images of foliage if there's any wind -- but these would be blurred in a single long exposure, so it's probably pretty much of a wash. . .

This is an example where technology gives us a new option for an old technique. If we had any waterfalls around Chicago, I'd use this all the time. . .

Some of the other developments have side benefits:

Faster possible burst rate (FPS) requires a quicker mirror cycle time which reduces the VF black out period. This makes tracking a moving object easier since you can see it longer in the VF, even if you aren't shooting a continuous burst. It's surprising how much this helps me.

Angular (rotational) SR capability allows a Pentax body to automatically correct for frame leveling errors. Not important for me, but it's a really good feature, IMO.

I look at the sometimes silly filters as the Pentax software engineers showing off just how far you can take in-camera processing with their cameras. Don't forget that if you don't like the effect of the filter, you have the ability to tweak it somewhat, and this might make some of these more usable for your purposes, possibly giving you some convenient presets that are more subtle. This could work as a way to adjust for different lighting conditions for example.

Video and LV. I don't use these personally, but I appreciate the fact that their development has given me faster processing by doubling the pipeline from the sensor to the processor, a potentially more durable sensor, and a sensor which needs to be less affected by heat, so IQ should be more stable under varying conditions for the stills only shooter.

IMO, the "features explosion" has it's benefits, even if we don't really use all of the features all of the time. I used to resent the inclusion of a lot of features that were irrelevant to my style of shooting, but considering the fact that I'm pretty unusual in my use of Pentax cameras, it would be unrealistic to expect Pentax to come up with a model that only fits my needs. I've gotten over this. . .

Pentax, as a small company, is forced into a position where it can only offer a small model lineup. Each model needs to be a camera with different feature subsets that meet the needs of as many different types of photographers as possible, and that means that there will be many seemingly extraneous features for each individual. At this point, a limited feature set for any particular model is looked at as "crippling" -- holding back features to save money.

Look at how the professional reviewers perceived leaving out the focus indicators in the Km and Kx (which is a significant success, even without those little red squares). . . and remember the total lack of sales for the K110, which was a K100 without SR. Limiting features might sound like a good idea, but I don't think the concept will work in today's market. . .

I always consider what the photographers of the past (including me!) had done with the comparatively limited gear and resources we had to work with, and appreciate the tremendous advantages we now have with digital. I try to consider how I would have worked around a limitation that I encounter with one of my cameras as if I was still shooting my old Canon F1. More often than not, I find a solution.

Just as old school solutions can often be found to work around problems we have with current situations, it's just as reasonable to look for modern digital techniques to replace what we used to do with film. . . With a little out of the box thinking, we might all find some new uses (or at least find new appreciation) for the technology we've been offered.

Sorry for the long post, but for me, these seem to be the rule rather than the exception. . .

Scott
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