31 December 2010

Christmas weather-station


I've put everything up (and moved the wind gage twice!), and it seems to be fully operational. O what fun!
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12 December 2010

PK adaptor arrives for the G1

I can now use my elder PK lenses on the G1, which makes a telephoto option less pressing. I can use any Pentax lens in truth, but the new ones with no aperture ring will only shoot wide open. Initial tests look pretty good, but I need to investigate how I hold the camera with a heavier lens. Often while shooting the ISO-adjust screen pops up, which suggests that I'm pressing something without knowing. Since the adaptor has zero electronics I cannot blame it directly.. but right now I'm not sure what is going on.

The adaptor plus 50mm lens is a match for the 14-45 kit lens. Length and weight are very similar, and the 50 just a bit wider.. and it's a Rikenon so it even takes the 52mm filters! At first glance IQ looks good. The Vivitar 28-105 and Rikenon 35-135 also seem to do well, though at almost 500g these are the ones that make me adjust iso. I've yet to try the Big Gun (Sakar 28-200); lack of IS will be a problem in the gloom of December.

shot with Rikenon-P 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5

I've been struggling with the m4:3 telephoto question for a while now, with three options looking good for different reasons. The obvious answer is the Pana 45-200 with OIS, built for the G1 and able to combat shake. In the lightweight corner is the well-regarded Olympus 40-150, about half the weight and less telephoto - it would not be stabilized so stopping at 150 would be a sensible tradeoff. On the third hand, the Lumix 14-140 would do it all and be stabilized, for a bit more money net of selling off the 14-45. Current sentiment is to stick with number one; the 14-45 is very good and it's tiny, so selling it holds little appeal. Lack of IS can be learned now with the Rikenon 35-135, if that lens suffers from shake the 40-150 will fare no better. At least I have something to get me closer now.. and I get to learn all about the G1's white balance options! ;^)

04 December 2010

two systems? me?

Several things make the K-7 an amazing camera, things the G1 cannot touch. Larger sensor means wide-angle shots are easier, and weather resistance & durability are big deals.. some times. So I plan to limit the Pentax kit to 14mm Sigma, 16-45 and 50-200WR for now, and pick up a 45-200 OIS lens. I might "need" to swap my Sigma 14mm for an 8mm Samyang too, which can adapt as a 16mm equivalent on the G1. Hard to say which is the better backpacking camera though: durable and heavy + longer battery life, or small/light, presumably more fragile, and 2nd battery?

Could I not simply have adapted to Sony's offerings six months ago, had a bit more patience? That sub has sailed and submerged, so I don't often look back. If I'd had no A200 experience, the A5xx series would have likely served me well.. but I did, and it didn't. Becoming a 2-system owner was in no way part of my plans.. but given the Casio cam I was doing it anyway, just in denial.

We'll see what happens next!

01 December 2010

K7 & G1 part 2: working with RAW

Interesting how the sensors did with the same image scale and exposure. G1's WB was very close, but I manually set the K-7 WB so jpg images look better on the surface. Both 1/13s f/7.1 handheld and iso1250, K-7 at 34mm and G1 at 25mm. I just took the shot and processed in Elements IX to get a pleasant image. I felt no need to go to extremes by working on the iso2000 images, which I also shot. Also took iso160 shots, and must say the G1 image is less blurry in the one-off shootout at ~0.6 seconds.


The K-7 needed massive chroma NR, while the G1 needed less of both sliders. Interesting how the patterns on the star and the wall behind it are so different; I really could not get them to match. Let's face it though, I gave each less than 10 minutes in the 'darkroom' - however, I seldom do 1/2 hour processes so it was a fairly typical session.

Do I see a winner? Not exactly, not with this test shot. I prefer the K-7 image slightly better, the wall reflection is more correct with that shot. (BTW it's the upper one!) Both are very good and capable of more precise work; I used a saturation mask on both w/some transparency but no erasing. I really need to learn more about psE IX as it didn't do as I expected when I tried to erase! In any case: no strong winner, which by most folks' standards means a win for the smaller sensor on the G1. Let's not forget the 12.1M vs 14.6M-pixel sensor difference, which I ignored when I cropped the two images to match scale.

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