Wednesday, May 14, 2008

K20D and K200D on the Pacific Crest Trail

PCT crossing in Big Bear, California.








Hi Pentaxians and friends,

Lately, I have not been able to post new articles on my blog site as often as I would have liked to. My day job is getting in the way of my hobby. I may have to remedy that and quit my day job.

My stepson has just started to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from the US/Mexican border, with the intention of walking it all the way to the US/Canadian border. That’s nearly 2,000 miles. It will take him all summer and part of the fall. We met him this past weekend as he was getting his food supplies in Big Bear, California. I was surprised to see how many hikers walk the trail every summer. They all gathered at the post office waiting for the door to open to get their supplies. They can walk about 100 to 150 miles before the dry food supplies runs out. They mail food supplies ahead of time, in boxes, to small Post Offices near the trail. They all are well organized.

After I had breakfast with him, I drove him back to the location where the PCT crosses the road, at an elevation of approximately 8,000 feet. The vegetation is quite different at that elevation and the wild flowers are currently in bloom. I walked with him for a little while, taking pictures along the short distance I walked. I’m not a hiker myself and I don’t think I could walk that enormous distance, alone, at elevations where the air is real thin. If my Jeep cannot go, I do not go.

On my way back, I had time to myself and took pictures of the surroundings. I had my K200D with the DA 10-20mm and the K20D with the DA 16-45mm. I was amazed at the view and no matter where I looked, there was something beautiful to photograph. In the pictures above, I tried to show that regardless of the distance, there was beauty everywhere, from far away to very close to the ground. All pictures were taken in RAW and converted to JPEG in Lightroom. I had a polarizer on the 16-45mm. The 10-20mm does not accept filters because of the lens curvature.

Although the K20D is a much better camera than the K200D, I have to admit that I do love the K200D. It is lighter than the now retired K10D, but has the same digital engine with the newest updates. The available battery grip makes it very comfortable to hold and it looks good. It reminds me of the *ist D, only better. Unless I am going on a photo trek, the K20D stays at home. The K200D has become my camera of choice to bring with me everywhere I go. It is light, and the picture quality is great. I have the DA 10-20mm attached to it. I find it to be good for a walk about lens. When I get more money to spend, I will probably get the DA 12-24mm, because it has most of the focal lengths I usually shoot at, but being a rectilinear lens, there is less distortion.

Thank you for reading.

P.S. In a few days, I will release a new AF adjustment chart for free downloading on this blog site as well as on my website. I designed it with AutoCAD (Engineering Computer Aided Drafting, for those who are not familiar with the software) and it is very precise. It is designed for all Pentax users, and especially the K20D users, as the camera is capable of adjusting front or back focusing errors, and keep it in memory for up to 20 lenses. It is quite different from the chart floating around on the internet for the Nikon D-70. It will also come free with all our K20D books in the future. I will post the link to download the chart on all major Pentax forums. It will be free for downloading it.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque
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