Oct 31 2013

Pentax K-3 first impressions


Despite how much I enjoy shooting film and using older cameras there is a part of me that enjoys new technology as well.  My primary DSLR up until now has been the 2009 Pentax K-7 but I’ve also been waiting for what I felt was enough of a technological advance to spur an upgrade.  The release of the Pentax K-3 appeared to be the progress I had been waiting for so I pre-ordered it as soon as it was announced.  Today I received the camera and have had a brief time shooting with it.  One of the immediately apparent differences with the new camera over the K-7/K-5,K5II models is the method of making changes to the autofocus selections.  Previously it was a 3 position switch (Manual,continuous AF,AF Single) this has been replaced with a 2 position switch between AF and Manual and the addition of a button.  I can not stress enough what an improvement this is.  While pressing the button and turning the front control dial you can select the type of autofocus you want to use and the rear wheel changes the parameters such as the number of focus points, from 27 to zone to spot also when set to select the indicator of focus points on the rear LCD enlarges and the menu buttons can be used to move the point around.  There are more parameters to describe and it is simpler in operation than my feeble attempt to describe it conveys, but it works well and is very intuitive.

There is also a marked improvement in the focus speed and accuracy over my previous camera but I may leave that to others to quantify it as most people will want to compare it to the Pentax K-5II DSLR.

One thing I never saw mentioned and is new to me is that when zooming in playback it lets you know when you are at 100% zoom a nice touch when checking your images.

Another surprise is how much quieter the shutter is and that is despite the K-7 already being incredibly quite.  I will have more to say after I’ve had more time with the camera so for now here are some of the first images I’ve taken with the Pentax K-3.


Pentax K-3 200 ISO 1/80 f3.5 (SMC  Pentax-DA 1:2.8 35mm macro Limited)


100% crop from above image.


Pentax K-3 400 ISO 1/50 f6.3 (SMC Pentax DA 18-55 AL WR)


100% crop from above image


Pentax K-3 1600 ISO 1/200 f5.6 (SMC  Pentax-DA 1:2.8 35mm macro Limited)


100 % crop from image above Lightroom Noise reduction Luimnance +24, Color +20


Pentax K-3 800 ISO 1/50 f7.1 (SMC  Pentax-DA 1:2.8 35mm macro Limited)


100 % crop from image above Lightroom Noise reduction Luimnance +24, Color +15


Pentax K-3 200 ISO 1/125 f7.1 (SMC A 70-210)


100% crop of above image.

Again my initial impression is a very positive one with all around performace improvements over the K-7 especially with higher ISO’s.  In fact here is a shot at 12800  ISO with a little noise reduction in Lightroom, a full stop higher than the K-7 goes let alone performs at.




Oct 29 2013

Autumn Colours 2013

Just like spring has its blossoms Autumn has its leaves.  I  love the fall colours and can’t seem to get enough of them, the following is a selection from this year.  More pictures can be seen here Autumn Pictures 2012 Autumn Pictures 2011Autumn Sun And more images and info about the night pictures at Duncan Turners Blog



Oct 26 2013

Olympus XA


One of the smallest rangefinders you can find, the Olympus XA is a great little carry anywhere camera. The only drawback is the tiny little focus control and it’s semi hidden nature makes focusing somewhat fussy. You can set the aperture and focus in such a way that it works as zone focusing. At f5.6 and focused at xyz everything from x feet to infinity is rendered clearly enough for most uses.


Oct 24 2013

Fuji fp100c 2013 (8)


Oct 21 2013

M42 lenses with the Pentax K-01


The K-01 is an excellent camera for using manual focus lenses especially because of its focus peaking feature. On a recent outing with a friend I took a selection of M42 lenses, primarily using the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 2.4 35mm with a little bit from the SMC Takumar 1.4 50mm and the Takumar 3.5 200mm aka the Bokehmon I would describe focus peaking as looking like the image is severely over sharpened within the plane of focus with a white halo around areas of high contrast. It is best seen when actually focusing as it sweeps across the image. I also used these lenses with my Pentax Z1p and Portra 400 film and I will update this post with a link to those as well.


Oct 21 2013

Pentax Z1p images

I’ve been working on a photographic series using my Pentax Z1p SLR more than any other camera so of course there are more images from it too.  Past posts and information can be found here (Z1p Images Ektar100) , Z1p and Images , Oct 2013

Oct 16 2013

Konica Zup28W


The film point and shoot cameras that have a wide-angle of 28mm are a bit of an odd bunch and this one fits right in.  This Konica though is one of  the best of them optically.  It has very little vingetting unlike the Sigma 28 AF Zoom and much less distortion than others like the Fuji DL super Mini or the Konica Lexio 70.  The only other film point and shoot that seems to be as good is the Canon Z90W.

The zoom function operates in an interesting way with a single button.  The way it works is that it starts at 28mm and zooms in to 56mm and then starts back down towards 28mm so don’t go too far because it’s a long way back.

There isn’t much info available online about this camera likely because of its rarity but it appears to have a lens formed through 8 elements in 7 groups with apertures of 3.5 – 6.6 .  It’s also large and heavy which limits my desire to pack it around.  The Fuji Cardia is much easier to pack and the Canon Z90W is more versatile while also being smaller.   Sorry Konica Zup28W your good but not good enough.



Oct 13 2013

Pentax z1p


Some images taken with various lenses on the Pentax Z1p with either Kodak Ektar or Portra 400.  When it’s important to me and I want to capture it on film this is the camera I turn to.  It can be very fun to play around with all kinds of different gear but sometimes I want to know that I am going to get consistent results yet I don’t want to use digital.  The images I have included here are not necessarily important to me but are a combination of having the camera with me and finishing off the roll.



Oct 11 2013

iPad Painting 17 (Williams Creek)


Oct 8 2013

Still shooting film

I’ve been forced to look for alternatives in having my film processed so I thought I would explore what the true costs of continuing to shoot film were for me.


So what did I discover? Well for one thing using less expensive film with 24 frames is a bit of false economy I might as well use the Kodak Ektar that I love so much because it works out to only pennies per frame difference over Fuji Superia. I also discovered that the instant film I am using isn’t prohibitively expensive. Yes it certainly is more than using 35mm film but it compares well to the cost of using medium format and don’t forget you get a print. What this chart doesn’t take into account though is just how much enjoyment I derive from using my film cameras. I might be slightly less inclined however to use a camera I know will give questionable results when it costs around $0.30 every time I click the shutter.

An update I’ve actually located a place that will develop C41 120 film at the same price as 35mm giving me a total cost of $1.22/0.82/0.61 per frame depending on the format I’m using.