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Old 01-29-2005, 04:16 PM   #1
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New Camera

This year's travels are going to be shown to all of you, by way of a new digital camera, and plethora of lenses...

Today I paid for a Pentax *ist DS, with 28-80mm zoom, 70-300mm zoom, and a 500mm Mirror lens to get the long shots.. I have been an avid photographer for more years than I care to remember - my first SLR camera was a brand new Zenit E, some 35 years ago that served me well, until it literally fell apart in my hands, after a few thousand pictures. From that I progressed, eventually to a Canon F1, which lasted many years. When I came to the States, I rekindled my love for photography, and bought Pentax, culminating 3 years ago, in the purchase of a PZip, which I use often, and happily. I have had a few Digital cameras during the last 5 or 6 years, but have found their abilities too limited.. That is, until now. In our travels last year, we met a gentleman in Death Valley, who introduced us to high quality Digital Photography, so I began my search for the perfect addition to my camera bag, and decided on the Pentax *ist Ds after much deliberating. The deciding factor was the amazing picture of a young lady, taken with the camera, that was an incredible 3008 by 2008 pixels, which displayed on my very high resolution desk top, so beautifully, I just had to get the camera. Without difficulty, I could individual pores, on her face, tiny hairs shown in perfect detail, and this was not from a close up picture - not at all, it was from a half body portrait.

I do not doubt that there is similar quality available from other brands of camera, but the main attraction to the Pentax is the bag full of lenses, that will fit and operate on the *ist Ds. I have filters that will fit, lenses, accessories and macro gear, so the possibilities are as endless as my conventional photography.. SO, I shall show pictures of my stops, and allow you all to view the scenery of this amazing country.

I am looking forward to it with very much enthusiasm - it has rekindled my love of the art, almost back to the youthful zeal of my first camera.. Life, right now, looks pretty good.

Theo.
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Old 01-29-2005, 04:26 PM   #2
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Congrats Theo! I share your enthusiasm. I just (yesterday) upgraded from an Olympus E10 to an E20n. Thought about the new E1, but just can't justify the additional $1000...

Ah... a Zenit... an "E" no doubt? I still have a Zorki 4K and a black FED 5B and accessories as well as a couple of Kiev88CM bodies and an array of lenses and accessories. Gotta love that Ukranian stuff!

I'm looking forward to seeing your photographs!

Roger
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Old 01-29-2005, 05:29 PM   #3
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Theo, I recently bought the Pentax ist DS and the 16-46mm ( 24-70mm in 35mm format) digital Pentax len. I sold a near mint Pentax MX and a nice group of Pentax-M lenses and accessories on eBay to a bidder in Sweden. My Major in college ( Maryland Institute College of Art) was photography although I changed it to design and ended up a furniture/cabinetmaker. The Pentax ist DS is a beautifully made camera and the smallest digital SLR on the market. I've owned a lot of different cameras over the years including Nikon FTN and FM and FE as well as a Leica M6 and lenses. For the guality and the money Pentax just can't be beat. I'll be watching for your photographs in future posts.

Jack
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:08 PM   #4
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There will be plenty of them.. I can't wait for the delivery - I paid the extra $45 to get it next day, but they mean next business day, so I should have it, in my eager paws, by 3 pm Tuesday.. All I can do now, is sit, looking at the picture online, of my new camera.......

It has fantastic reviews written about it, and I hope to write a couple myself. I got it in an eBay "Buy it Now" sale, cheaper than any others I have seen online, so I suspect that I got me a deal. Whilst looking on eBay, I saw, with a touch of nostalgia, the very camera that I started with, as well as a couple I gained from dubious places overseas - A Praktica, given me by a guard, in the old East Germany, and a Zenit Photosniper I saw abandoned in a warzone my service took me to 15 years ago. I feel compelled to resist the sense of later years, and bid on them.. When I came to the US I came without any of my cameras, or much of anything else, so maybe I will get those two.

Theo
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:33 PM   #5
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Post Cool!

Hi Theo,

I also love photography and sure appreciate the convenience of the new digital cameras, having once lugged a medium format with lenses and tripod over hill and dale in search of the perfect landscape! I am also looking at D-SLRs but haven't made the plunge yet, finding my older Nikon Coolpix 995 to still be quite capable.

I thought I would point out something that you are already probably aware of, but that I just learned - due to their design the digital SLR's are very susceptible to dust getting on the CMOS or CCD sensor when swapping lenses, since it is not protected by a shutter, and even a speck is noticeable due to the smaller size of the sensor compared with film. I know with my Nikon film SLR's I used to think nothing of swapping lenses frequently but will have to rethink that strategy when I go to a D-SLR, unless I want to become an expert in Photoshop. Just a head's up.

Have fun with it and I look forward to seeing some of those great travel shots!

john
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:30 PM   #6
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Kodak Box Camera

My first camera ever was a Kodak box camera, not much more sophisticated than the pin-hole box cameras we made as experiments. My first SLR was a Miranda. Remember them--the low cost Nikon knockoff? I still have it after 43 years.

I'm into my fourth digital camera but have decided with self-print inkjet technology that I use or sending over the Internet or displaying online or on TVs that 4 mega-pixels seems to be more than enough. I'm currently using an Olympus C750 with a 10X zoom and extender to get 17X. My next camera though will be a pocket Olympus Stylus or Canon Elf when I travel to South America in August. Convenience, lightness, small and unobtrusiveness seems to be my priority.
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:35 PM   #7
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Theo: Congrats on the camera...I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Get creative with it! Check out my website for some tips. A good star-trail image with your AS in the foreground would be a thing of beauty. See my articles page at the link in my sig to learn how to shoot one.

John: Actually, you are half-correct. These chips are succeptible to dust accumulation, but they are still covered by the flip mirror and a thin membrane, just like a regular SLR. But because these cameras aren't like normal film negatives that get advanced each frame, the dirt will accumulate over time...but no big deal. My Canon Digital Rebel has a "cleaning" mode that will give access to the chip so that you can polish it off with a camel hair brush or compressed air...and I'm sure that the Nikons and Pentax will have this capability as well. And even so, you can tolerate some dust accumulation on the chip. It's not all that apparent, especially at shorter focal lengths. The longer the focal length, the more dust motes appear on the final image.

I don't post often here at the forums, but this is in my field of expertese.

Take care...
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo
There will be plenty of them.. I can't wait for the delivery - I paid the extra $45 to get it next day, but they mean next business day, so I should have it, in my eager paws, by 3 pm Tuesday.. All I can do now, is sit, looking at the picture online, of my new camera.......

It has fantastic reviews written about it, and I hope to write a couple myself. I got it in an eBay "Buy it Now" sale, cheaper than any others I have seen online, so I suspect that I got me a deal. Whilst looking on eBay, I saw, with a touch of nostalgia, the very camera that I started with, as well as a couple I gained from dubious places overseas - A Praktica, given me by a guard, in the old East Germany, and a Zenit Photosniper I saw abandoned in a warzone my service took me to 15 years ago. I feel compelled to resist the sense of later years, and bid on them.. When I came to the US I came without any of my cameras, or much of anything else, so maybe I will get those two.

Theo
Theo, for the prices that Practicas and the Photosnipers are bringing in the US today, I'd urge you to indulge yourself and pick them up if it makes you happy! After all, it's not like you're laying out $1500 for a M4/Summicron combo! Frankly, I sold the last of my Leica and Hassy equipment a couple of years ago and went with the MUCH less expensive stuff 'cause I'm doing photography now for fun, not a living. It doesn't make sense to have a ton of money tied up when it's not earning you anything, and although the Ukranian equipment probably isn't up to the demands of pro work, it's plenty sufficient for having fun (and actually the glass is amazingly good!)

I have to confess that the instant gratification of digital is fun tho!

Roger
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:28 PM   #9
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Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay52
John: Actually, you are half-correct. These chips are succeptible to dust accumulation, but they are still covered by the flip mirror and a thin membrane, just like a regular SLR. But because these cameras aren't like normal film negatives that get advanced each frame, the dirt will accumulate over time...but no big deal. My Canon Digital Rebel has a "cleaning" mode that will give access to the chip so that you can polish it off with a camel hair brush or compressed air...and I'm sure that the Nikons and Pentax will have this capability as well. And even so, you can tolerate some dust accumulation on the chip. It's not all that apparent, especially at shorter focal lengths. The longer the focal length, the more dust motes appear on the final image.
...
Thanks for the clarification, Jay, I appreciate it... and wow, what a website! Some of those shots are incredible! I will definitely have to spend some more time on there later today when I'm not rushing off for a bike ride. That is amazing work.

-john
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Old 01-30-2005, 01:27 PM   #10
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Don't use compressed air!!!

Jay and John.

As a pro, I sure wish digital was around 25 years ago at the beginning of my carreer...it been just amazing!!!

A word of caution on the cleaning aspect of your camera's sensor: do not use compressed air to clean the CCD! I can show you the canceled $200.00 check and time lost with one of my Nikon D1x's in the Mellville shop getting repaired!

The problem with compressed air is the propellant in the can could actually spray out, effectively clouding over your nice new camera's sensor. I would also be hesitant to use the "camel brush" as that makes direct contact with the imager as well. Any minute traces of oil or crap, and you end up in worse shape than before the cleaning.

There are companies that sell specialized sensor swabs, and cleaner. These are expensive, and you really have to use them with care and steady hands. They do work though.

What I recommend, and my equipment goes through the mill, is to buy a large blower bulb and just use that. If you are having real problems with dust showing, then send the camera off to the manufacturer to be cleaned. I believe Nikon charges about 25-50 dollars for this service, but if something awful happens, it is their problem.

Changing lenses is the biggest culprit of dust, followed by wear and tear of the internal parts flopping around every time you actuate the shutter. I carefully blow out the rear of the lens I'm about to attach, and then quickly remove lens from camera, and replace with just cleaned lens.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need any further info.

Jonathan
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Old 01-30-2005, 01:42 PM   #11
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That is very useful information to know, thank you. I had not thought of the problems with dust... I have no experience whatsoever with digital SLR, so from now on, I will be in learning mode.

Why is it, when your expected camera is to come in four days, that time goes very slowly, or even backwards... I feel that I have been waiting for ages.....

Theo
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:53 PM   #12
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Jonathan, that's good advice even for conventional film SLRs. The propellant in cans of compressed air can cloud mirrors as well. It doesn't do negs any good either!

Roger
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:46 PM   #13
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Jonathan:

You make a good point about the compressed air, but most people don't realize that the chip isn't bare. There is actually an IR filter over the chip which aggressively cuts down into the red portion of the spectrum, emulating film emulsions designed to give better skin tones. I know this because I've removed the IR filter over the chip to allow 656.3nm hydrogen-alpha light to pass to the sensor. This is a common procedure with the Digital Rebels among astrophotographers in order to capture emission nebulae, as much as a 10x improvement at these wavelengths. Of course, we either replace this filter with a less-aggressive IR glass or use a UV-IR cut filter in the optical train...this keep the color data from being contaminated by infrared light.

These filters are just glass, so touching it is no big deal. You could have saved yourself $200 by cleaning it with a mix of high-grade isopropyl and distilled water. Sorry for that news. :-} However, don't kick yourself...you are smart to have it done professionally...such things are not for the faint of heart, especially on a D1x.

Thus, camel hair brushes are no big deal since you aren't physically touching the sensor.

Still, you make a good point. IF the chip needs cleaning, often times blowing on it is enough.
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 71_safari
Thanks for the clarification, Jay, I appreciate it... and wow, what a website! Some of those shots are incredible! I will definitely have to spend some more time on there later today when I'm not rushing off for a bike ride. That is amazing work.

-john
Thanks very much, john. I'm thrilled that you like it! It's not easy to do, but it's a lot of fun!
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