Pentax Users (Advice?)

Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby MiG_Eater on Fri 08 Jun 2018, 3:28 pm

Hi all,

I think I made a post like this a while ago, but I switched over to Pentax in order to upgrade the overall quality of my gear but pay a bit less. I now have a K-3ii and Sigma 50-500 (non OS). My results are very mixed with some great results in good light but some very poor and soft images in darker conditions.

I think the camera itself is excellent and have found it superb for shooting anything other than aircraft, but I wonder if the lens itself is not up to scratch (it was incredibly cheap).

I am interested in upgrading or changing the lens and was thinking about the Sigma 18-300. Has anyone any experience of this - or any other recommendations for aircraft?

Thanks.
MiG_Eater

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby ikarus on Fri 08 Jun 2018, 4:25 pm

Fellow Pentax User .....are you able to post a couple of examples , straight out of the camera with no processing.

I tend to find that processing on the pc improves some results. I've had Pentax cameras for over 35 years and the Digital Pentax SLR's
I find tend to underexpose if no tweaking is carried out.
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Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby trebleone on Fri 08 Jun 2018, 4:32 pm

I rather think you'd find 300mm somewhat restricting for aviation - especially after having had 500mm available. Also, the Sigma 18-300mm is f/6.3 at the long end of the zoom, which isn't very good for 300mm.

When it comes to 3rd party lenses, unfortunately Pentax is not very well supported, especially in the longer focal lengths; so unless there are adapters available to enable the use of lenses for other mounts, your options are rather limited - unless you have around £1800 to spare for the Pentax 150-450mm.
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Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby MiG_Eater on Wed 13 Jun 2018, 6:15 pm

Hi guys,

Thanks for the response.

Below is a photograph I took from the station at Cosford on Saturday. Notice that the right hand wing is relatively sharp whilst the nose and tail are soft. With a bit of editing I am usually able to get photographs to a passable level, but compared to the results I get when using (borrowed) Canon gear, using my setup can be a real struggle.

I am curious as to whether there are any better lenses out there without totally breaking the bank and, of course, any advice on getting the most out of what I do have.

ImageIMGP9458 by Alex Body, on Flickr
MiG_Eater

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby tankbuster on Wed 13 Jun 2018, 7:16 pm

I don't think you can blame the lens for that. It is underexposed, not well focused, too little depth of field and looks like it could have done with a faster shutter speed and the light looks crap. Sort all that out and the lens may have been more than adequate.

A bit harsh but I should know, I've taken lots of crap pictures. The thing here is too understand why it didn't work, not to rush out and buy better equipment.
Trevor C
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Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 13 Jun 2018, 7:21 pm

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Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby MiG_Eater on Wed 13 Jun 2018, 7:32 pm

tankbuster wrote:I don't think you can blame the lens for that. It is underexposed, not well focused, too little depth of field and looks like it could have done with a faster shutter speed and the light looks crap. Sort all that out and the lens may have been more than adequate.

A bit harsh but I should know, I've taken lots of crap pictures. The thing here is too understand why it didn't work, not to rush out and buy better equipment.


Genuinely, I hope you're right - but the fact is that whenever I use better gear my hit rate becomes close to 100%.

Settings used are as follows:

ƒ/8.0
420.0 mm
1/2500
ISO 400


Shutter speed couldn't have realistically been much faster - F8.0 should give a reasonable depth of field and with ISO 400 and aperture priority I would have expected the camera's exposure to be decent enough.
MiG_Eater

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby tankbuster on Wed 13 Jun 2018, 8:04 pm

MiG_Eater wrote:
tankbuster wrote:I don't think you can blame the lens for that. It is underexposed, not well focused, too little depth of field and looks like it could have done with a faster shutter speed and the light looks crap. Sort all that out and the lens may have been more than adequate.

A bit harsh but I should know, I've taken lots of crap pictures. The thing here is too understand why it didn't work, not to rush out and buy better equipment.


Genuinely, I hope you're right - but the fact is that whenever I use better gear my hit rate becomes close to 100%.

Settings used are as follows:

ƒ/8.0
420.0 mm
1/2500
ISO 400


Shutter speed couldn't have realistically been much faster - F8.0 should give a reasonable depth of field and with ISO 400 and aperture priority I would have expected the camera's exposure to be decent enough.


Fair enough, sounds good so that just leaves underexposure. I tried lifting the shadows etc with a copy taken straight from here etc and had to push it quite hard and in truth it doesn't look that soft at all once the exposure is better.
Trevor C
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tankbuster

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby MiG_Eater on Wed 13 Jun 2018, 11:12 pm

That's interesting. What editing software do you use?

Also - can the other Pentax users here talk about your gear and maybe share your flickr pages? Would be good to see what's possible!
MiG_Eater

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby tankbuster on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 9:37 am

MiG_Eater wrote:That's interesting. What editing software do you use?

Also - can the other Pentax users here talk about your gear and maybe share your flickr pages? Would be good to see what's possible!


apologies, I seem to have misled you, I'm not a Pentax user, I was just commenting on your picture from the perspective of a flawed photographer always trying to understand why some pictures work and some don't.

The edit below was done using PS elements. It was deliberately pushed to bring out detail at the expense of noise. I could have achieved a better result I'm sure with the original and a bit of time. What it shows to me however is that the picture is fairly sharp. The writing on the far wing is pretty close to the quality on the forewing. The nose still looks a bit soft but that is not uncommon on panned pictures. What I am attempting to show is that judging a picture that is flawed in its capture , in this case underexposed, and making buying decisions based upon that is probably not a good idea. The time to make that decision is when someone is clearly taking better pictures than you are taking at your best.

n.b I've just seen the preview of this post and the deterioration caused by the post to UKAR doesn't help.

Image
Trevor C
recent and not so recent pictures here https://trevorc28a.wixsite.com/trevspics
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Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby MiG_Eater on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 9:47 am

Thanks for the edit. Editing is something I spend almost no time on and have very little knowledge of so it's good to know what can be done with better software.

The reason I am looking for better gear is that when using top quality gear (7dii with 100-400lii) my photographs are excellent with a great hit rate and very little softness (see below)

ImageImg_9750 by Alex Body, on Flickr

However, I switched to Pentax mainly as I was able to easily afford a 500mm lens without breaking the bank. I was using a K30 and upgraded to K3ii which was a significant improvement, but I still feel the lens is leaving something to be desired and so - although I know i'm not going to reach the levels of quality I have when using the aforementioned Canon gear, i'm interested in what is out there for Pentax that would be a step up from the Sigma 50-500 (non OS).
MiG_Eater

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby tankbuster on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 10:24 am

MiG_Eater wrote:Thanks for the edit. Editing is something I spend almost no time on and have very little knowledge of so it's good to know what can be done with better software.

The reason I am looking for better gear is that when using top quality gear (7dii with 100-400lii) my photographs are excellent with a great hit rate and very little softness (see below)

ImageImg_9750 by Alex Body, on Flickr

However, I switched to Pentax mainly as I was able to easily afford a 500mm lens without breaking the bank. I was using a K30 and upgraded to K3ii which was a significant improvement, but I still feel the lens is leaving something to be desired and so - although I know i'm not going to reach the levels of quality I have when using the aforementioned Canon gear, i'm interested in what is out there for Pentax that would be a step up from the Sigma 50-500 (non OS).


I see why you are concerned. That is very good in difficult conditions.
Trevor C
recent and not so recent pictures here https://trevorc28a.wixsite.com/trevspics
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tankbuster

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby MiG_Eater on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 10:43 am

True, but it's £2k+ worth of gear.

If you look at my Flickr album of RIAT 2017 you will see loads of excellent photos, and a few which are much, much poorer. This is because for the first two days I was using a Pentax K30 with Sigma 50-500 (non OS). From Saturday onwards I borrowed some Canon gear after my Pentax bit the dust and the results were absolutely astonishing.

Clearly it's important to know how to use camera gear, but ultimately - I think if you understand the basics of panning, ISO, aperture and shutter speed - you really are in the hands of what kind of gear you have. I am utterly willing to be proved wrong on this - as I really want to improve my photography without changing gear, but I think i'm at the point where that is not going to be possible.
MiG_Eater

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby Brevet Cable on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 11:03 am

MiG_Eater wrote:However, I switched to Pentax mainly as I was able to easily afford a 500mm lens without breaking the bank. I was using a K30 and upgraded to K3ii which was a significant improvement, but I still feel the lens is leaving something to be desired and so - although I know i'm not going to reach the levels of quality I have when using the aforementioned Canon gear, i'm interested in what is out there for Pentax that would be a step up from the Sigma 50-500 (non OS).

Given the cost of the kit you're comparing it to, you should get one of these : https://www.parkcameras.com/p/5241105K/pentax-lenses-k-mount/pentax/150-450mm-f45-56-hd-ed-dc-wr
Unfortunately, neither Tamron or Sigma do their new 150-600 ( or whatever ) in Pentax K-mount, so you're limited to either Pentax's own lens or old second-hand aftermarket ones.
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Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby MiG_Eater on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 11:15 am

I am aware of that lens - it seems a heck of a lot of money and wonder how it compares to what else is about.

What i'd really like to see is some other Pentax users shots and the gear they used. Is there anything that would be a step up from the lens i'm currently using but that is sub-£1000?
MiG_Eater

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby cg_341 on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 11:33 am

Put simply, if you want better you're going to need to dip in to your pocket. You've already been told that the newer third-party lenses that are on part with manufacturer lenses don't exist in K-mount, so you have two options:

1) Pay the money for the Pentax lens above
2) Buy a body from Canon, Nikon, or Sony, and then a manufacturer or third-party lens to go with it.
cg_341

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby Brevet Cable on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 11:52 am

Is there anything that would be a step up from the lens i'm currently using but that is sub-£1000?

Not a lot, really.
You could try the slightly newer Sigma 50-500 or 150-500 models ( the ones with IS ) or you could try something like the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 & chuck a TC on it when you need a longer reach.
You may find that getting your current lens serviced will improve things.
Don't know if you've already tried the Pentax forums ( https://www.pentaxuser.com/forum and http://www.thepentaxforum.co.uk/ ) for example images & ideas on lenses?
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Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby MiG_Eater on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 11:55 am

Cool. Thanks guys.

Can any Pentax users share a flickr account so I can get an idea of what is possible?
MiG_Eater

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby Mooshie1956 on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 12:36 pm

You could also just type in Pentax in Flickr. I'm sure there will be groups for Pentax and even the model you use.

Edit
Here you go Pentax K3-11 group on Flickr. Maybe not aircraft but at least you get to see other Pentax Photo's. https://www.flickr.com/groups/2819135@N24/pool/
My Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/mooshie1956/
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Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby MiG_Eater on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 12:54 pm

I am specifically looking for aviation photography - there seems to be very few Pentax users who photograph aviation and it's tough to find anyone on Flickr. Would be good to see examples from any of you guys.

P.s. Part of it as well is that the standard of aviation photography on Flickr is generally fairly low - whereas the guys who post on UKAR tend to have pretty fab shots, so it would be nice to see what standard is possible!
MiG_Eater

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby Brevet Cable on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 12:54 pm

Brevet.. Meh !!
Not an enthusiast or a spotter
trollpikken fforwm swyddogol
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Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby MiG_Eater on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 12:55 pm

I stand corrected... clearly I didn't search properly before!
MiG_Eater

Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby Brevet Cable on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 2:24 pm

Depending on the algorithm, search engines can be pretty dumb.....chances are you'll get different results if you search for 'Pentax aircraft' than if you search for 'aircraft Pentax'
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Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby phreakf4 on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 5:56 pm

Without wishing to blow my own trumpet (much) take a look at my post from the Old Warden May evening air show at viewtopic.php?f=8&t=80912

All shot with Sigma 50-500 OS on a Pentax K3, All shot at 1/100 sec using a Sigma polariser.

My son achieves similar results using a K5 with a non-OS Sigma 50-500 which is 9 years old, his hands are steadier than mine.....
nothing is confirmed at a show until it's u/c hits the tarmac or it's running in for it's display.....
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Re: Pentax Users (Advice?)

Postby ikarus on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 7:54 pm

Also , not sure what other Digital Pentax users think , but I find the built in image stabiliser sometimes makes the image worse if panning.

I find I get better panning shots with the body stabilisation off

Under exposure has always been an issue with Pentax , I just set the camera to +3 or +7 depending on the lighting situation.
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