Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009 - Pentaxdslrs expanding to include third party items for Pentax and more "How to" sessions"

Note that the picture above, obviously manipulated in PhotoShop, is my own creation and is not necessarily endorsed by Pentax.

Hi Pentaxian friends,

Having a blog site named PentaxDslrs certainly has its limitations. I'm obviously a Pentaxian and a little reluctant to post anything Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus and what not. These are the enemies...not really! All DSLR cameras are great. Some are more geared toward sport photography, some toward landscapes, some for the "money is no object" photographers, and a zillion of other reasons.

You want to have the best value for your hard earned money? I think Pentax has the advantage. Where else can you get a DSLR with a 14.6MP CMOS sensor, Shake reduction, Weather protection, 11 points auto-focus system, Built-in-flash, Available in-camera RAW images conversion, and so much more, for the current street prices of $800.00 to $1,000.00, with a 18-55mm kit lens?

For almost two years, I have written about Pentax but sometimes, I'm wondering if there is a lot more to write about Pentax before I start repeating myself. Okay! I will always have something good to write about Pentax, but, in the coming weeks & months, I plan to venture a little. No, I won't write about other camera brands, but I will try to post about third party accessories such as lenses, tripods, software, lighting, gadgets, photo printers, camera bags, etc. I also plan to do more "How to" articles, that will be useful to any photographers, but mostly to entry-level photographers.

I will borrow, get company loaners, or purchase third party accessories and will review these on a photographer's point-of-view. I will never review anything on a "pixel peeper" or "technical junky" point-of-view. Look at this link and you will understand what I mean. It's always the photographer. The equipment is there to help the photographer, and what I plan to review is equipment that will help Pentaxians get great shots.

If you have any particular item(s) or subject(s) you would like to read about, drop me a note at info@k10dbook.com or via the comments below this article.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Monday, December 29, 2008

Want to go on a Pentax photo safari? Just for fun!

If you are bored at work or something, try this. Photo Safari

Use the arrow keys for moving and the space bar for actions. I know, it's a little "Dorky" but it will pass time!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A 200mm lens is always a 200mm lens, whether it is used on a FF or an APS-C sized sensor DSLR. Am I confusing you? Revisions and clarifications!

Hi Pentaxian friends,

**Clarification added at the bottom of the post.

We all know that a 200mm lens is always a 200mm lens whether it is installed on an Full Frame DSLR or on an APS-C DSLR (you can replace the 200mm with any focal length, it all works the same). It is the crop factor of the APS-C sensors that changes as we are losing part of the image projected from the image circle. The angle of view changes, but never the focal length. As an example, shooting with a 200mm lens using the K20D , one would have an image similar, (in angle of view), to a 300mm lens. Right? Yes indeed, but the focal length would still be 200mm.

Some are concerned that since part of the image is actually lost, the cropping diminishes the quality of the picture. It doesn't. If you were to crop an image, taken with a full frame DSLR with, say, a 14.2MP sensor, to the size of an APS-C sensor, yes there would be a loss of details. You would wind up with an image re-sized to about 9.5MP. If you take a picture with the K20D equipped with an APS-C sensor, the crop actually happens outside the image circle of the sensor and the image remains that of a 14.2MP sensor. So isn't it a benefit to be able to extrapolate 300mm out of a 200mm lens? Oh yes, the next argument I usually hear is that wide angle lenses are also affected the same way and a 20mm wide angle lens would act like a 30mm lens. That's true, but since the maximum aperture of the lens installed remains the same when used on an APS-C sensor, don't you think that it's a positive thing? You can purchase a super wide angle lens for $300.00 to $600.00, but try to purchase a 300mm f/2.8 lens for under $4,000.00. You can purchase the Pentax DA* 200mm f/2.8 for around $800.00 and on your Pentax DSLR, it's like having a $4,000.00 300mm f/2.8 lens on a Full Frame DSLR.

Theoretically, there are other things to consider. The bokeh of a 300mm lens is different than that of a 200mm lens. It is usually smoother (but not necessarily as the lens construction and the number of Diaphragm Blades also make a difference). The compression effect of a 300mm is greater than that of a 200mm. In other words, a 300mm makes objects appear closer to each other that in reality, more so than a 200mm and certainly a lot more so than a 50mm lens or wide angle lens. I wanted to test the above and find out for myself what were the real tangible differences. I am lucky enough to have the DA* 200mm and the DA* 300mm lenses. I don't have a Pentax FF DSLR (nobody does thus far), but I figured that if I were to take some photos with both lenses using my K20D, then adjust the results so that the final images were the same sizes with the same framing, I would see what the differences were. Here are my results.

Difference in Bokeh! The pictures above show an image taken with the DA* 200mm @ f/4 (top photo) and with the DA* 300mm @ f/4 (above photo). The images were re-sized to show approximately the same image framing. There is a small difference between the bokeh. The 300mm produced a little creamier bokeh. Is the difference enough to prove a point? You decide.

Difference in compression! Above, I took roughly the same picture using the DA* 200mm and the DA* 300mm both set @ f/4. The darker portions of the images represent about the same framing. The two images below show the results taken with the 200mm and the 300mm when matched to the same framing sizes. I cannot see a big difference between the two. Can you?

I ask you, did I misunderstood something or did I misunderstood everything?

** See this article about DEPTH-OF-FIELD AND FOCUS, FOCAL-LENGTH AND PERSPECTIVE, OBJECT ISOLATION, SEPERATION, COMPRESSION and LAYERS. Pay particular attention to the Perspective and Compression.

** Looking at the comments and emails received, it seems that I have confused a lot of people with this post. Maybe my "Franglish" is getting in the way. My point is simply that the pictures taken with a 200mm lens used on an APS-C sensor will be similar to the pictures taken witth a 300mm used on a full frame DSLR. If there are differences, I don't think that they are noticeable enough to bother with. The K20D with the 14.6MP CMOS sensor gives me better results than I had using "Full Frame" 35mm films. Agreeing that the picture quality of the K20D meets your requirements, one is better off with an APS-C sensor when it comes to costs. The advantage of gaining on the telephoto side outweights the benefits of gaining on the wide angle side with a FF camera. A 35mm format wide angle lens (14mm @ f/2.8 or 21mm f/2.8 when used on APS-C) ~$300 to $600 - 35mm format telephoto (200mm @ f/2.8 or 300mm still at f/2.8 when used on APS-C) ~ $1400 to $5000. It gets even better when using a 35mm format telephoto of 300mm f/2.8 on an APS-C DSLR.

Thank you for reading,
Yvon Bourque

My Picture of the day - Dec 28, 2008

"American West hero" © Yvon Bourque 1984

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best Articles (most viewed) from pentaxdslrs in 2008

Hi Pentaxian friends,

Ever since David Letterman introduced the top ten list on his late night show, it seems that top ten lists of just about everything can be found just about everywhere. Who am I to break such tradition? I reviewed all the articles posted on this blog for 2008 and I too have a list of our top ten (most viewed) articles.

I don't necessarily think that these were our best articles, but the viewers have spoken. Here's the list, in order of popularity:

1- PART-1. Autofocus Adjustment for the Pentax K20D, Custom Setting No 35

2- You thought you couldn't use any DA/DA* lenses on future full frame DSLRs from Pentax? Well...think again. (See Update) By: Yvon Bourque


4- Owning a Pentax DSLR is more like being part of a family.

5- Don't Get Hung Up on the Pixels, Look at the Big Picture!

6- Do You Really Need a Full-Frame Camera? Article by: Miserere

7-The Pentax System Family Picture.

8- Peter Feldstein's Oxford Project

9- Daniel Gutierrez, 9 Years Old and Already an Enthusiast Pentax Shooter

10- How to use the Pentax AF-540-FGZ & AF-360-FGZ in wireless mode (Reprise).

Here's my personal top ten list of DSLR for 2008 (All based on value for the money):

1- Pentax K20D

2- Pentax K20D

3- Pentax K20D

4- Pentax K20D

5- Pentax K20D

6- Pentax K20D

7- Pentax K20D

8- Pentax K20D

9- Pentax K20D

10- Pentax K20D

I hesitated a little with No. 9 and No. 10. It was a tie.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

Friday, December 26, 2008

Give me a dozen SDHC 128GB cards please!

Hi Pentaxian friends,

We have come a long way with memory cards. In the beginning, Compact Flash (CF) were the king of the digital memory medium. They are still used today in most Nikon and Canon cameras, but gradually, they are being replaced by the Secured Digital High Capacity (SDHC) memory cards. Why not? SDHC cards are much smaller and they have about the same capacity of the CF cards. Isn't going smaller, with the same results, what it's all about? Some DSLR cameras have the ability to use CF and SDHC cards. Why not make slots for two SDHC cards? Maybe one for RAW and the other for JPEG, recording simultaneously. That would solve the RAW or JPEG dilemma. I anticipate that one day, the memory cards will be cheap enough that we will buy them by the dozens, and instead or worrying about our hard drives capacity for keeping our images, we'll just keep the memory cards and file them in special containers with labels. It will be like keeping negatives or slides in the film era. I think that it would save a lot of problems. You know, you can lock these memory cards so that they cannot be written over.

Here is an excerpt from Sandisk Website:
Which way to turn?
In a few short years since the launch of the first flash memory cards, the number available for digital cameras and other devices has exploded with a number of different formats and speeds of memory card. It's no wonder the average person is totally baffled by this plethora of memory cards.For most people speed is not important, but there are occasions where having a fast card will be preferable.
What is Card Speed?
Card speed is quantified by stating the read and write speeds in megabytes per second (MB/sec). This gives an indication of how quickly data can be written and read from a card. These figures, given by the manufacturer in their specifications, are to be considered as guidance only, as speed and performance will vary with almost every combination of card and device.
What difference does it make?
So, if a photographer using a digital camera wants to take a string of photographs in quick succession, the memory card must be able to accept the pictures quickly (high write speed) in order to keep up with the camera. With a slow write speed card, the camera will pause while the card accepts the data, slowing down the rate at which photographs can be taken. As the resolution, or pixel rate, of new cameras continues to rise, the time taken to write a file to a memory card will increase. While this may only involve a wait of a second or two, it may be enough to make you miss that all important picture.

When photographs were recorded onto film, each picture was precious. With digital photography, you can take as many pictures as you like at no cost, deleting those, which didn’t work out, or were blurred. Large capacity cards are capable of accepting several hundred pictures. At some point these have to be transferred onto your PC, and that might take quite a while. OK, so we’re talking just a few minutes – not a big deal. However, a professional photographer will be doing this time after time. A memory card with a high read speed will help to reduce this time considerably.

Different speed ratings
Memory card manufacturers use different ways to state read and write speeds. Some use the ‘times’ rating such as 12X or 20X, just as the speeds of recordable CDs or DVDs are measured. Others state these speeds in megabytes per second. Some quote speed as a classification. All very confusing.

This chart shows the relationship between speeds:
8X = 1.2 Mb/sec
12X = 1.8 Mb/sec
20X = 3.0 Mb/sec
25X = 3.8 Mb/sec
30X = 4.5 Mb/sec
40X = 6.0 Mb/sec
60X = 9.0 Mb/sec
66X = 10.0 Mb/sec
80X = 12.0 Mb/sec
90X = 15.0 Mb/sec
133X = 20.0 Mb/sec
200X = 30.0 Mb/sec

Secure digital (SD and SDHC) cards often have their speed quoted as a classification:
Class 2Cards have a minimum sustained write speed of about 2 Mb/sec
Class 4Cards have a minimum sustained write speed of about 4 Mb/sec
Class 6Cards have a minimum sustained write speed of about 6 Mb/sec

As a generalization, it is possible to re-classify card speeds as follows:
Normal use or standard speed – 3Mb/sec (20X) or slower
Medium speed – up to 6Mb/sec (40X)
High speed, professional grade – up to 20Mb/sec (133X)
Extra high speed, high-end professional grade – over 20Mb/sec (133X)

The speed of card required depends upon its intended use, and it’s difficult to say which would be best. Obviously, the higher the speed, the higher the cost, so a happy medium should be found.

Low resolution and occasional-use cameras, satellite navigation devices, digital picture frames, games consoles (Wii, PSP, etc.) will perform adequately with normal, everyday cards.Professional photographers using expensive and specialized equipment will benefit from high speed cards, as will those with the latest video equipment. Most other users, with high resolution and digital SLR cameras, video equipment, mobile phones, PDAs and mp3 players, should find medium range memory cards sufficient for most circumstances. Those using high speed cards in equipment that has been on the market for a while may not notice any difference in performance, and those who need a number of memory cards in their work may find that they can mix and match performances depending on the task at hand. There are memory cards currently available with read and write speeds of 60Mb/sec. These are so fast that they out perform the USB connections when transferring data to PCs and need Firewire enabled equipment.

I recently purchased a Sandisk Ultra II 8GB SDHC card with a read and write speed of 15Mb/sec. The price? $39.00 at Costco. Looking at a Shutterbug magazine dated October 2006, a Sandisk standard 2GB SD Class 2 card (read and write speed of 2Mb/sec) was selling for $74.95 at Adorama. You do the math!

Available now...SanDisk Extreme III SDHC memory card offers turbocharged read/write speeds of up to 30MB/second, top-flight security (including a cool write protection feature that never overwrites files unless authorized), and a surprisingly high capacity in such a small size. Digital pictures now have a place they can call home.

We are getting close to buying the SDHC cards by the dozen, don't you think?

Thank you for reading,
Yvon Bourque

My Picture of the day - Dec 26, 2008

"Big wheels keep on turning" © Yvon Bourque 2000

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pasadena, California - Camera show and Sale.

Hi Pentaxian friends,

This past Sunday, (Dec 21, 2008) I attended the monthly Pasadena Camera Show and Sale. I pretty much go every Month. These camera shows are not as popular as they were years ago, when photography was mostly dominated by film cameras. In the digital world, there isn't much that you can purchase used. The new DSLR cameras change model so often that it would be hard to keep up. There wouldn't be much money to be made with used DSLRs.
However, lenses and equipment such as tripods, lighting, adapters, caps, filters, etc, are still selling well. It seems that most vendors are from the film era and some still think that the world at large still use film cameras. They all hate EBay, and you can imagine why. I rarely purchase anything of great value. This weekend, I purchased an older 500mm mirror lens, several genuine Pentax lens hoods, body and lens caps, two camera stands (which I will convert to vehicle remote shooting stands) and an older "Like new" Pentax 3Deg/21mm spot meter.
I probably need any of the above like I need a hole in the head, but it's fun to get that stuff. I have boxes of that kind of stuff, and sometimes they come in handy. You can never get too much camera "Stuff"!
This is one end of the hall. It is "L" shaped and the overall show occupies about twice of what's pictures here. The best vendors are in the other section, near the entrance.
This vendor also has a camera store somewhere in California. I purchased all of my tripod equipment from him, little by little each Month. All my tripods are Giottos and I really think they are superior, and is priced about 20% less than B&H from this vendor. He and his wife are from the digital era and they have really good stuff. I purchase from them often.

I bought a 500mm mirror lens from this vendor. His prices were very reasonable.

This man had a lot of Pentax Equipment, but his prices were more than what I would consider reasonable. He wanted about 90% of MSRP. For that, he gets to keep his equipment to himself. Who could resist that smile!

People also trade their equipment with vendors or sell their equipment outright. The vendors' equipment is always "pristine" and your equipment for sale or trade is always in very bad shape or not in much demand. Sure!
Sometimes, it's not the big stuff that you need. Lens caps, filters, adapters, there's always plenty of those and cheap. I always find something in these treasure bins.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

My Picture of the day - Dec 23, 2008

"Santa, this is what I want for Christmas" © Yvon Bourque 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's not the camera. It's not FF or APS-C. It's the photographer.

Hi Pentaxian friends,

As Editor and publisher of this blogsite, I try to stay in touch by reading as many other sites as possible. I belong to most Pentax forums and participate in discussions as much as time permits. You can also see that there are certain blogsites or websites that are included in my Links on the right side of this blog. These are my preferred sites.

For months, we have been preaching that FF versus APS-C will not produce pictures that the viewers will be able to differentiate. The Online Photographer (TOP), administered by Michael Johnston, has a great post Today, joining our position on the subject.

The Full-Frame Dilemma...and a Cure. Pay him a visit. It is also comforting to know that he has used a Pentax K20D for his picture example in the article. He also has a link to a Canon point and shoot photo contest. There were fifty-five thousand participant, and the overall winning shot was taken with a point and shoot camera, installed on a $20.00 tripod. You see...it's not the camera!

Thank you for your visit,

Yvon Bourque

Focusing Speed: K200D vs K20D

by Miserere

Ever wondered which camera focused faster? Josh Emmons did. But instead of pondering the deep philosophical implications that different autofocus speeds would have on the evolution of one's inner self, he simply took his K200D and K20D and did some testing. Props to Josh! He even tested whether battery charge affects AF speed on the K20D. Want to know the results? Then check out Josh's blog.

You might be thinking that Josh is just a couch photographer who has nothing better to do than measure AF speeds, but he has been known to go out and take some pictures from time to time.

©2008 Josh Emmons

©2008 Josh Emmons

Thank you to Josh for taking the time to carry out these tests. And thank you for reading.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Pentax K1000 North American Tour.

Hy Pentaxian friends,

If you read the Pentax Forum on photo.net, you probably know about this tour. If not, here's what it's all about. Javier Gutierrez, who's son, Daniel, was featured on this blog a little while back, had this great idea.

Why not send a Pentax K1000 to regular forum participants across North America, loaded with film, and get two pictures from each location. When the camera returns, we will have a travel story with pictures from all over, taken by forum friends.

Javier, we all thank you for this great idea.

Stay tuned. I will post the itinerary with a map and will follow the camera until it returns to Javier. Upon its return, we will post the photos and the travel story of the camera and the photographers involved.

I'm excited.

The picture of the real travel camera will be posted shortly.

Thanks for reading,
Yvon Bourque

My Picture of the day - Dec 22, 2008

"My Hometown trough a 500mm lens" © Yvon Bourque 2008

Until Christmas, my pictures of the day will all be about the Holiday Season and winter.

I purchased a used 500mm mirror lens yesterday at a camera show in Pasadena. It's not the best lens I have ever owned, but the perspective compression effect of the 500mm lens makes this Town look like a place I would actually like to live in! The mountains are about 30 miles away, but here they look like they are on the edge of the City.

Fun in the Snowstorm

by Miserere

I was very envious of Yvon the other day, driving around the snow taking pictures, so I decided I wouldn't be left behind in the snow picture-taking department. Of course, I was missing a few a things. There are no deserts around Boston, I don't have a fancy red jeep, and my wife just laughed at me when I asked her to come take photos with me in the cold. Oh, and there was no snow. That last one really foiled my plans.

As luck would have it, the same storm that dumped a few inches of snow in the Mojave Desert kept working its way across the United States and eventually made it to Boston last Friday, December 19. It started snowing around 13:00 and by the time I left work to head home a little before 18:00 we had several inches of snow. The worst part was that it was still snowing and the wind was blowing quite fiercely, making me wish I had snow goggles.

I'm not one to turn down a photo opportunity, so I bundled up, put my K10D inside my jacket, and went outside. Taking pictures was tricky because I had to keep snow from blowing onto the front of the lens...and my fingers from freezing. I was using an old manual-focus Kiron 24mm f/2, so focusing was also challenging. Most of the time I just kept the lens at the hyperfocal setting or guessed the focusing distance. Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy using old lenses?

Here are a few photos taken during my trek home. You'll be happy to know that I didn't lose any fingers in the process and the K10D performed admirably. Note the snow flying sideways!

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Pentax System Family Picture.

Hi Pentaxian friends,

When I was young, in my teens, I used to walk downtown Montreal, and window shop at all of the camera stores. Just like in New York City, all the camera stores were pretty much in the same area, on Notre Dame street. I didn't have enough money back then to purchase a new camera. I would stare hours on end, at everything they had in the display windows. Sometimes, I would go inside, but the sales people would chase me off since I was not purchasing anything. They actually knew me, the kid with no money to buy anything. I would also go to magazine stands, and look at all of the ads at the back of the magazines. Somehow, I 've always been attracted to the photos of cameras, lenses, gadgets, anything photographic. I still do that today. B&H photo and Adorama have several pages of advertisement in just about every American magazines. I still spend more time looking at the small print ads and equipment pictures than I do reading the articles. I actually read magazines starting by the back cover and working my way to the front cover. After spending a lifetime reading photographic magazines, I see the same articles years after years, recycled for the cameras available at the publishing time. Y0u know, there is just so much you can write about photography before you start repeating yourself.

Just in case there are other "photogs" like me out there, someone that likes to look at pictures of equipment and examine all the details, someone that spends more time reading the ads than the articles, the Pentax Family Picture at the top shows the current Pentax line of DSLR cameras, lenses, flashes and some smaller items. There are no text, just pictures that you can examine to your heart's content. It all there, all in the same photograph, so that you can at least dream of what you would like for Santa to leave under the Christmas Tree.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

My Picture of the day - Dec 21, 2008

"Alone" © Yvon Bourque 2008

Until Christmas, my pictures of the day will all be about the Holiday Season and winter.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Miserere's Musings on the White K2000

by Miserere

On the tail-end of Yvon's survey, I'd like to say a few words about what I think about the white edition K2000; not because my opinion is better than anyone else's, but because Yvon has let me use his soap box :-)

Before I begin, I would like to point out the results of another poll conducted independently on PentaxForums.com; these were the results as of today at 21:30 ET, with 312 votes:

Great idea, I have to get one! 134.17%
Nice idea, I might add such a design to my collection one day. 7022.44%
I won't buy it, but I embrace that it will attract new customers. 18057.69%
It might sell out to trendy girls, but as a photo enthusiast and Pentaxian I feel embarrassed. 3812.18%
Pentax is digging it's own grave! Nobody will buy such a DSLR. 113.53%

The bottom line from this poll is similar to Yvon's: less than 16% of the respondents think it's a bad idea; everyone else agrees with it to some extent. More importantly, I think, is that almost 58% think it's a good idea even though they won't buy one themselves. Why do I think this is important? Because the people who hang out in camera forums are very enthusiastic about their hobby, and are generally advanced amateurs, or aspiring to be through their learning and interactions in the fora. These are not the people Pentax are targeting.

This camera, which I will call the K2000W from now on, is clearly designed to appeal to those who value cool looks and trendiness. I suspect the average technology user thinks along these lines when they enter an electronics store: I want to buy a piece of techware (mp3 player, laptop, phone, camera, etc.), and I have a certain amount of money to spend; I'm sure just about all brands make similar products, so I'm simply going to choose the item that looks the best that's within my budget.

There's nothing wrong with this approach, and it is true that most major brands offer items of similar quality at the same price range, so why not choose based on appearance only?

By now you can imagine what my opinion is: I think the K2000W is a good idea. (If you want to read my full opinion of the K2000/K-m model, you can find it here.) The only problem I see is that the camera won't be sitting on shelves at major stores, and it's there where it would really attract buyers, sitting amongst a sea of dull, black cameras. But hey, if Pentax can somehow bring it to the attention of potential buyers through internet advertising, then their plan can still pay off. Of course, the other way it can pay off is if Pentax users buying an entry-level camera for a loved one (especially if it's a teenager or a woman) buy a K2000W. After all, the best exposure is seeing people with this camera out on the streets and at gatherings. You can be sure that if you're at a party and someone has a white DSLR, people are going to be asking the owner about it.

Oh, and it's a well-known fact that Pentax were thinking about women when they designed this camera. And there is nothing the matter with that. It's not that women are less intelligent or less capable than men, it's mostly about women having smaller hands and, generally, being a lot less crazy about gadgets (toys?) than men are. Women are also more practical in general (that's just my opinion), and are more likely to want a camera that just takes pictures and needs little messing about with, and is also easy to handle. You'll notice that the K2000/K-m has all controls on the right hand side; that was a very deliberate decision. Having all buttons and wheels on the right makes it a lot easier to use the camera with just one hand, which is something P&S shooters are used to. Another thing they're used to is being able to choose different colours for their cameras. Are you starting to see a trend? The K2000/K-m is a bridge camera between two worlds, and if it manages to attract people who are currently using a P&S and thinking of upgrading, then Pentax has succeeded in it's goal. If offering a white version attracts even more buyers, then even better. After all, if Pentax makes a few extra bucks in these tough economic times, it's a good thing for all of us.

Results of the White Pentax K2000 survey.

Hi Pentaxian friends.

This past week, we had a survey about the introduction of the white K2000. The unveiling of the white K2000 caused quite a stir. Some Pentaxians were even upset about it. I personally think it's a great idea. Being an entry-level camera, more women and families will be upgrading from a point and shoot to DSLR. Women are more likely to like the white DSLR.

Here are the results we received:

Total of people answering the call: 238

Total Yes, I like the White K2000: 120 - 71%
Total No, I do not like the White K2000: 48 - 29%
Total Yes/No survey: 168 -100%

Women liking the White K2000 : 18 - 100%
Women not liking the White K2000 : 0 - 0%
Total women Yes/No survey: 18

I am angry survey: 11-13%
Does not affect me survey: 71 - 87%
Total angry/does not affect survey: 82

  • So the bottom line, of the straight yes or no votes: 71% like the white K2000.

  • Of the 18 women who answered wether they like or don't like the white K2000, 18 said yes and 0 said no.: 100%

  • 82 people answered to the angry or does not affect me survey. 87% said it didn't affect them.

My Picture of the day - Dec 20, 2008

"Santa's California Sleigh" © Yvon Bourque 2008

Until Christmas, my pictures of the day will all be about the Holiday Season and winter.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rare "Snow in the Mojave Desert" photo shoot, accompanied by my beloved wife. Something to cherish forever!

Hi Pentaxian friends,

As you might have read in my previous posts this week, it snowed here in the Mojave Desert. Depending on the elevation, there were 6" to 15" accumulation. Though it might not sound like some extraordinary event for most, this was a big deal here.

The storm was yesterday, and I did not venture too far from our residence. I know how to drive in snow, but most Southern Californians are not used to that white stuff. I wanted to take a picture of my wife wearing a red coat and carrying an opened red umbrella, in the blizzard, but she said she would do it in the morning.

Today, it was a different story, no more blizzard but snow covered trees and a white magical blanket covering the landscape. I got up early and we got in my beloved "Jeep", my more beloved wife and me. I had my K20D with the DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 and she had the new K2000 (the black one) with the supplied DA 18-55mm lens.

I love my wife dearly, but ...going to a photo shoot in a Jeep, through mud and snow, across the back roads, was not exactly her cup of tea after all. She didn't really know it until we got going. First, since it was so early, we had to go for breakfast. That was fine, plenty more daylight to go. As we left the restaurant, walking across the parking lot, her socks got wet. So from there we went to "Big 5", purchased a new pair of heavy wool socks, and a pair for me too as I was told I needed, and some of those "toe warmers" and oh yes... a blanket so her legs would not get cold in the Jeep. I have a heater, but air does come in from all around. It's a Jeep with canvas top and doors and not very winter friendly. So ready to go again, we started driving toward the mountains where there wasn't many houses and lots of Joshua trees. We passed a "Target" along the way, and had to stop so that she could "feel better" after drinking so much coffee at the restaurant. While in the store, she thought that a Christmas Wreath would look good in front of the Jeep. It's the Holiday Season...let's show the world how joyous we are. So I obliged. There was that nice purse she started to look at, selling at more than 50% off the regular price. It was challenging, but I promised we would go back this weekend. It's 12:30 now and the sun sets around five. There are no clouds in the sky and the temperature has warmed up quite a bit. The sun has started melting the snow that was covering the trees, from Joshua trees to Palm trees. That's something that is rarely seen. What a photographic opportunity. We finally got to our destination, drove the Jeep through mud and snow and took some pictures. What now! My cell phone is ringing and I am stupid enough to answer it. It's an employee working at the Post Office Contract Unit located within the business place. "We ran out of Christmas stamps, and on your way back, you think you could you stop by the Main Post Office and get some more?" The streets are still dangerous to drive on, and since I drive this Jeep, that's the right thing to do. So that was the end of a wonderful day in the snow covered desert, something that happens every thirty to forty years. Not to worry, it'll come again.

There's hope! Medical science is making progress every year and maybe, just maybe, the expected lifespan will be prolonged in the future and I will still be able to photograph this rare meteorological event the next time around. As for my Jeep, if we can still purchase gasoline then, I will drive it through the snow again. I will keep the Christmas Wreath in the back of the Jeep, just-in-case. By then, I might be using "the then new" Full-Frame Pentax K30D. I just can't wait for the next snowstorm. It will be fun!

Thank you for reading,
Yvon Bourque

Most stories are half fiction and half reality, and so is this story. Here are some pictures that Anne, my beloved wife, took with the new Pentax K2000. She absolutely wants the new white K2000, it's more color coordinated with what she usually wear. It makes perfect sense to me. The K2000 is a real good entry-level DSLR. She likes it a lot. She had the chance to try all of the Pentax DSLRs, because I bought them all at one point or another. Yet she likes the K2000 the best.

Broken Hot shoe on your AF540FGZ or AF360FGZ? Peter Zak has the solution.

Hi Pentaxian friends,

We all know how fragile the Pentax hot shoes on the AF360FGZ & AF540FGZ are. I received this email from Peter Zack, and since he had to change the hot shoe on his AF540FGZ, he wanted to share this with all Pentaxians. So here it is:

This is so simple that it's almost not worth posting but I just thought it was worth showing everyone the replacement fix of a broken shoe. It's something anyone could do and save the shop charge for the repair. I got the part through Pentax in about 3 days. All you need is a clean spot to work so you don't loose the small screws and a jewelers screwdriver in Philips head. Some slide show pictures are on the bottom of the post.

Just remove the batteries when if the flash shoe breaks and allow the capacitors to drain for a few days (just to be safe).

1) Then remove 4 screws from the bottom of the broken shoe.

2) Unplug the broken one. At this point you can see the locking pin that some people have reported will cause the flash to lock on the camera body if it fails. You might want to remove that pin which is very easy. Try doing it on the broken part first. You just loosen the 4 screws inside the shoe and remove the pin quite easily.

3) The white connection plug only fits in one way. Just check the orientation of the guide tabs and plug it in.

4) Replace the screws and you're done. 60 seconds.I only posted this in case someone wants to remove the locking pin and wanted to see what it looks like before opening the flash.

Picasa Web Albums - Peter - Flash shoe

Thank you Peter.
I'm sure this will help some of our readers.

Yvon Bourque

My Picture of the day - Dec 19, 2008

"Mojave Desert" © Yvon Bourque 2008

Until Christmas, my pictures of the day will all be about the Holiday Season and winter.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another Great Pentax Blog Site. Check it out!

Hi Pentaxian friends,

I found another great Pentax oriented Blog Site. Actually, I found it a while back, but couldn't never find the time to list it on my links. So today, I introduce Exposing pixels.

Exposing Pixels is administered by Frank M. from Porto, Portugal.Visit his blog and tell him pentaxdslrs sent you there. Enjoy!

A lot has been written about Full Frame versus APS-C sized sensors in the last months. Specially after Nikon came out with the D700. The discussions have been so intense (and fruitless) in some forums, that many now feel nauseated when they see the two acronyms (FF and APS-C) together.Many Nikon and Sony users are questioning themselves whether they should switch to FF, since the D700 and the Alpha 900 seem to be excellent (yet expensive) cameras.Many Pentax users are questioning themselves whether they should switch brand, since Pentax does not seem to be interested in introducing an FF camera in the nearest future...Sensors and good sense

Thanks for reading,
Yvon Bourque

My Picture of the day - Dec 18, 2008

"Racing through the snow..." © Yvon Bourque 2008

Until Christmas, my pictures of the day will all be about the Holiday Season and winter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Picture(s) of the day - Dec 17, 2008

"Snowing in the Mojave desert" © Yvon Bourque 2008

These pictures might not be special for most of you, but these pictures were taken today, near the Mojave Desert where I live. So far, we got 14 inches. This is very rare in this part of the Country. According to a long time resident, they haven't seen that much snow ever. Go figure!

Until Christmas, my pictures of the day will all be about the Holiday Season and winter.