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Old Dec 26, 2010, 11:50 AM   #11
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Hi Harriet,

A very good series!

Cats are indeed difficult, so you did very well. I've been frustrated over the years shooting my cats because I've needed to use flash to stop their constant motion when they're awake. They don't particularly like the flash, so they either turn away when I'm trying to focus, or they wander off altogether to one of their impossible to find hiding spots.

The other problem is that they seem to know what my minimum focusing distance is, and as soon as I get set to take a shot, they move closer than I can shoot, feigning curiosity at what I'm doing. . .

The K-5 has solved both of these problems, and the cats don't have a chance now. Shooting at very high ISO is now possible, so I can do without the flash, using smaller apertures and still get fast enough shutter speeds to get the whiskers sharp.

The DA 18-250 has a MFD of only about 18", so they have to get really close to be too close to focus, and they haven't figured this out yet. . . I'd never really considered it for indoor use because of the f4.5-6.3 aperture range and my preference to longer FLs -- so I always considered it an f5-6.3. With ISO 10,000 available and usable for me, this lens has found a new purpose. AF can be a little slow, but if it's not too far OOF, it's pretty quick, and even in pretty low light, it locks on the first try with an occasional stutter if I have any contrast at all.

I've attached one that I just snapped -- she's smiling. . . and a little dusty -- and a little overexposed. . . ISO 10,000, 142mm, f9, 1/13 sec Highlight Correction ON. Cropped to 8x10 and downsized from the original jpg, no other PP. The image settings are Natural, 0 for Sat, Hue, and Hi/Low Key, and -3 for Contrast and Sharpness. High ISO NR is turned OFF. I've found this gives me a jpg that's very close to the RAW file as a starting point for PP.

Available light shooting is almost too easy with this sensor. . .

Of course, I'm not trying to convince you to buy one. . . just sayin'. . .

Scott
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 1:00 PM   #12
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Beautiful, Harriet. I really like the first one. Just perfect. They are hard to shoot. Mine used to sit perfectly still like she was going to allow me to get the shot and then run off at the last minute. She's no longer with us, but I think she taught the dog about this, too. If he even sees a camera he's gone. I have shots of him like his rear sticking out from under the table where he's "hiding" from me.

And, yes, Scott, you are convincing me. But, I can wait! Too many other large ticket items we need to get right now. A generator before we lose power again. Highly on the list with a blizzard forecast for tonight into tomorrow. Not going to make that one and hopefully won't be needing it just yet. And, my Christmas present, to upgrade my wedding ring while it's off from my surgery a few months ago.

Patty
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 1:15 PM   #13
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Scott - orange tiger cats are much easier to shoot than a black and white one. I love your shot, it's excellent!

This cat didn't seem to be bothered by the flash (I used it a lot). But then, I was also bouncing it off the ceiling mostly and had my coffee filter diffuser on all the time.

Thanks for the settings that work for you, I'll give that a try when I get a K5. It might be sooner than I thought a couple of days ago - my other half found a penny machine that was friendly to him on Christmas Eve. Can't wait for the banks to open tomorrow.
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 1:21 PM   #14
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Your photos look fine on my monitor, Harriet. I really like #1

Scott... you're killing me man!
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Old Dec 27, 2010, 11:41 PM   #15
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Got home a little while ago and I agree, the pictures look fine on my big monitor. The MacBook Pro's monitor is pretty good but it will drift off it's calibration after a while.

Scott - You killed me. On the way home from Vegas we stopped at a bank and deposited his winnings. Then I tried to order the K5 on Amazon, but the only listing I saw was someone else's, not Amazon (as a prime member upgrading to next day shipping isn't expensive). I was so disappointed while sitting in a Starbuck's parking lot in Lancaster, about 50 miles from the house. Dan suggested that I call Samys, the only camera store in SoCal that carries Pentax. I tried their Pasadena store, and they told me that they had one (and one only). So we continued on to Pasadena (50 miles away, in the WRONG direction!), then home. I might have paid more than what I would have if I had ordered from Amazon (California sales tax is a killer!) but I'm always happy to support a local store. First picture was to check for spots/stains/whatever it is - clean. Can't wait to play with my new camera tomorrow!

Unfortunately, the cat I photographed is back in Las Vegas. And will probably be in Laramie the next time I get back there.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 10:40 AM   #16
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Hi Harriet,

Congrats. . . to you for the new body, and Dan for the picking that lucky machine. . . that had to be one mighty friendly penny slot!

The best I've ever done on a slot was one night, after losing my allotment for the day, I had one quarter in my pocket, and on the way back to my room, I just threw it in the last quarter slot before I got to the elevator -- and it hit for a $175 jackpot! While the machine was ringing, flashing, and spitting out quarters, all the little old slot ladies in the area kept telling me how I should've played the max bet. . . but I only had the one quarter!. . .

Sounds like you were pretty determined to get that K-5! I think you'll find it a very worthwhile investment of your "ill gotten gains".

Scott
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 10:51 AM   #17
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Great shots.
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Old Dec 28, 2010, 6:02 PM   #18
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Dan walked out of the casino with a little over $1,000. What I don't know is how much he put into the machine before hitting the winning numbers. It couldn't have been too much since the bank account was healthy enough to pay for the camera.

I got it for the high ISO capability and it sure doesn't disappoint. It focuses differently than my K7 and previous K20 (sold before Christmas) so I'm going to have to shoot some focus charts. It seems to front focus more than the K7 did, but its dead on with the DA*50-135, maybe a hair front focus but not much. That's the lens that backfocused with my earlier cameras. It definitely front focuses with the 77 (which was perfect on the other cameras). The 12-24 didn't seem as bad for focus as it had been with the K7 (it front focused significantly with the K7, a little less with the K20). I haven't checked all of my lenses yet so I don't know if I'll do a general adjustment for front focus or handle each lens individually. More thoughts in a new thread, when I get a little further along with it.
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