29 January 2014

200th post, this better be good!

Well one can dream :^) 

It's new, and it's green! 

The ASUS HD 7 tablet is here! For one who only uses Android on a phone it's quite an update (for iPad users, not) - larger screen, decent resolution + faster updating, and a newer Android version (4.2.?? rutabaga soufflè or some such). I picked the green, which is almost chartreuse but on the green side; presumably it will be hard to misplace, though once a cover goes 'round it matters not. Now I can waste time in any room I please, and not have to rush to the 'office' to look at something stupid or irrelevant online. Yes I do occasionally do something productive on computers, like lots of research on which tablet to buy :^)

Pentax kit update

Maybe this time my list will last more than two weeks - though rumors are floating now of the 18-70 DA DC WR ETC update.  It was once a DA* 16-85, then DA no*, now of lesser range though decently fast.  I would prefer a 17-85 f/3.5-4.5 DA DC WR myself but we'll see how rumors settle out during the coming weeks.  If this can be had for substantially less than the DA 20-40 DC WR LTD then I am probably in.  I dislike having a lens that stops around 50mm!

Primes: Rokinon 8 fisheye - Pentaxi DA21 Ltd, DA40xs, DA70 Ltd - Sigma 105 1:1 macro - Hanimar 400mm preset
Zooms: DA L 18-55 (white), Quantarays 28-90 1:2 macro & 100-300 (both full frame), Pentax DA WR 50-200

25 January 2014

so many ways to play

So assume you have a couple of lenses you like, and some you don't.  An easy assumption since nearly every camera user will invent reasons to rework the kit, sometimes on a mere whim or rumor! In any case, how does one go about rearranging the kit, and find true imaging happiness?

I have a few great primes in the DA21 and DA70 Limiteds plus a nice Sigma 105mm macro.  I can stick a prime in between the Limiteds (35 or 40mm?), or choose the new 20-40mm Limited zoom and release the DA21 back into the wild.  Another option is a 17-50mm f/2.8, which would go nicely with the 70 and 105.  I could also abandon Pentax and pick a Sigma or Tamron 28-70 or 28-75 zoom at f/2.8, which could send the DA70 packing¹.

I really dislike Pentax' forcing a lens change around 50mm (16-45, 16-50, 18-55 + 50-135, 50-200, 55-300 etc.)² as I find the 50mm zone worth moving past in one direction or another.  This suggests that I'm a good candidate for their upcoming DA 17-85mm± offering, which should appear in 2014.   In the meantime a DA35/2.4 would fill my gap with the least expense - assuming a DA40xs does not magically appear.

A few shots with the DA50-200 have shown how the primes obliterate this compact lens - but what after that will I be willing to carry?  Actually the Sigma 100-300 can cover that ground for a while despite its relatively slow f/4.5-6.7 aperture, though the HD 55-300WR would be a good option too.  I owned and liked the Sigma 50-150, and the DA* 50-135 does drop into my price range at times.  This is less of a priority so I can punt on telephoto decisions for now - but I'd think a weather-resistant 17-85 + 100-300mm would make a simple and impressive pair most days!

P.S.  The magic worked: I found a used DA40XS for less than the price of a used DA35/2.4!  I did not expect that, but I'll cheerfully take it.  Most reviews say this is an optical clone of the Limited lens without quick shift, but some like it a lot less.  When the time comes it can be sold with my K-01 and bring it back to its original complete and bizarre nature. :^)

¹ I do have a Quantaray 28-90 with 1:2 macro, but it's f/5.6 at the long end, and it flares some when the light is wrong.
² the DA 17-70 bridges that gap, but with no WR I'll wait and manage with primes.

tool, or toy? we shall see..

I've (re)joined the Android tablet crowd.  My previous venture was not quite a tablet, it was the color Nook; Android beneath, but Barnes and Noble kept that secret well hidden behind their firmware!

Given a tight budget, I was torn between the well-liked Nexus-7 (2012 refurbished) or a 10-inch Asus (closeout); each had something I liked, but neither was quite the right one.  I then searched a review site for the best battery life, and up came the ASUS HD 7 tablet: mostly like the 2012 Nexus-7 but with a memory slot.  That allows me to move a microSD card from camera to tablet.  Other tablet sites were a bit less impressed than the first on one item or another, but the majority agreed that if you must spend less than $200 this was a very good choice.  In fact it sells for under $150, making it a still-better choice!

I chose green but let's face it - that looks like lemon-chartreuse to me.  Well, it's less likely to hide from me in that color!

03 January 2014

Not possible... well maybe.

No way can this photo exist.  It was taken in a dark room lit from the hallway, just before my mom's birthday cake with several candles showed up at the other end of a long table.  It was taken one-handed using live view, and the screen showed no detail but the AF-confirm light was lit.  Click.

K-5 ii, 1/13 second & f/3.5 at iso8000 with the DA70mm Limited.  No processing done: this is a small web copy of the original jpeg image.  I will need to calculate the EV value on this one to see how dim that is. 
Doesn't really matter though: it can't be done - even with two hands.  Right?
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