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speaklightly
05-16-2005, 06:22 PM
Jeisner and Wightwalker-

Well, I have finally done it. As we speak, (hopefully thanks to overnight air service) I have indeed purchased the Pentax 1st DS and the Pentax 28-105mm F 3.2 lens to begin my collection. Naturally, I am pleased.

I was told that Pentax 28-105mm F 3.2 lens is a good one. I would love to hear your opinions. And yes, now I will have to deal with raw images within a new foramat. Whisch is the best software to use for raw images from the Pentax 1st DS?

Sarah Joyce

WightWalker
05-17-2005, 12:30 AM
Jeisner and Wightwalker-

And yes, now I will have to deal with raw images within a new foramat. Which is the best software to use for raw images from the Pentax 1st DS?

Sarah Joyce
From my experience, I've found Adobe Photoshop CS using the RAW plug-in produces the best results; CS2 extends RAW processing capabilities somewhat & allows 'batch' processing of multiple images.

Bibble produced strange sky effects & no matter what I did, I couldn't seem to get it right - I gave up, perhaps too soon but RAW shooter was quicker to get to grips with.

RAW Shooter, a 'freebie', is quite good but images would still require additional post processing in Photoshop or PSP to improve/adjust colour/contrast/saturation/sharpness.

Pentax PhotLab is quite good but I found that it overdid things and 'burnt out' dome detail.

Enjoy your new *istDS & I look forward to seeing some, if not all, of your results.

I've gone for a Sigma 28-135mm with 1:2 macro capability as 'cheap' extension to the top end of my 'kit lens'. It should arrive soon & I'll post some samples for comparison.

jeisner
05-17-2005, 12:36 AM
I was told that Pentax 28-105mm F 3.2 lens is a good one. I would love to hear your opinions. And yes, now I will have to deal with raw images within a new foramat. Whisch is the best software to use for raw images from the Pentax 1st DS?

I use Photoshop CS2 for RAW processing, I have also tried Bibble and it is a good option if you don't have photoshop, as Photoshop is far from cheap....

Was it me who mentioned that lens? Maybe I just mentioned it to someone else recently... I don't actually have one myself but have heard good things about it... Out of curiousity where did you order it from, I was going to order one for my film camera but Bhphoto are out of stock....

iRobie
05-17-2005, 01:04 AM
Well, my college graduation finally came, giving me more time for photography. Also, all of my family and friends came together and purchased a *istDS for me. What friends! They bought it from Ritz Camera, giving me 10 days to get my money back, and 30 days to exchange it for a different camera.

So I've been experimenting with the DS for three days now. Here is what I notice:

So far, what I like best about this camera is the feel, comfort, and ease of use of everything. Then, changing settings is fast and easy. I know many people complain about the Rebel XT because changing the ISO setting and such is a slow process compared to any other SLR.

Manual controls are quick to access and easy to use. I've got it set up so I can choose where the camera focuses, rather than it trying to decide. If I want to manual focus, I hold the OK button with my thumb and focus. I actually like manually focusing - it's faster than AF in low light.

What I don't care for - first, pictures in low light. The flash sucks, and low light just doesn't work. It takes long to focus, and it cannot focus on my black lab in anything but sunlight. But I can override that with manual settings, then it looks good.

The other bad thing about the camera, which is almost a deal breaker - red eye. Turning on the red-eye reduction does get rid of it, but it adds extra time between when I say fire and when it actually does. The more zoom, the more red eye. Very disappointed with this.

Both of these complaints so far can be solved by getting an external flash with AF assist. The only thing that cannot - it is not as snappy as the XT or the D70 in terms of focus speeds (slight difference except low light) and shot-to-shot (bigger difference). But this doesn't bother me at all, except in low light.

So I'm lightly toying with the idea of switching it out for the Rebel XT or a Nikon (D70 or D50, not sure). Ritz has a sale on the D70 now. If I did not do this, I would get an external flash instead (I would eventually need to get one for whatever camera I ended up with anyway).

I really like the DS, but I do take a lot of photos in low light situations and don't always want to carry an extra flash. What are your thoughts on the 'problems' mentioned here?

jeisner
05-17-2005, 04:23 AM
What I don't care for - first, pictures in low light. The flash sucks, and low light just doesn't work. It takes long to focus, and it cannot focus on my black lab in anything but sunlight. But I can override that with manual settings, then it looks good.

I find this is more dependant on the lens than the camera.. The kit lens isn't great in low light conditions. But my 20mm and 28mm f1.8 lenses both focus fast and accurate in low-light...

I don't like using flashes at all to be honest, hence I have the two lenses mentioned and a Pentax-A 50/1.7 to cover my low-light needs without resorting to using a flash...

speaklightly
05-17-2005, 05:54 PM
I would certainly agree with Jeisner-

Please do not make judgements based on the kit lens. It is surely not the ideal lens for existing light situations. You are going to need a lens with a wider (brighter) aperture lens.

For Jeisner- Yes, I found the Pentax 28-105mm out of stock at B & H and in stock, hopefully as I have not yet received it, at www.adorama.com, which Jamison recommended.

Sarah Joyce

jeisner
05-17-2005, 10:23 PM
For Jeisner- Yes, I found the Pentax 28-105mm out of stock at B & H and in stock, hopefully as I have not yet received it, at www.adorama.com, which Jamison recommended.

Thanks I will have a look!

speaklightly
05-17-2005, 10:36 PM
jeisner-

How do you feel about the Tokina 24-200mm lens being paired up with the Pentax !st DS? It has worked well with my husband's Canon 350 XT. How will it work with the Pentax 1st DS?

Just wondering, because I have ordered one! The Pentax 28-105mm F 3.2 has been hung up at www.adorama.com so because I desperately needed a back-up lens for the China trip on 05/24 I ordered the Tokina lens. Here's hoping! Wish me luck, as the Pentax 1st DS will be my primary camera for the China trip? I really feel confident with the Pentax 1st DS.

Sarah Joyce

jeisner
05-17-2005, 11:57 PM
Tokina are hard to get in Australia, I don't think they have an offical importer/distributor at all here anymore, so to be honest I have never used or even seen for that matter, a Tokina lens, apart from older manual focus ones :confused:

EDIT: Found some info regarding this lens at the other forum

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=10935820

speaklightly
05-18-2005, 12:31 PM
Jeisner-

Many thanks for your post regarding the Tokina 24-200mm lens. I was able to cancel the Tokina order with B & H and then I found the Sigma 55-200mm lens and verified that it was stock at Adorama, and order it. That was the recommended in the same dpreview post at www.adorama.com

By the way, Adorama has the Pentax 28-105mm on back order, so I told then to keep the order in place and to ship when they received the lens.

I really appreciate all your help, Jeisner.

Sarah Joyce

jeisner
05-18-2005, 05:25 PM
No problem Sarah, glad to help...

speaklightly
05-18-2005, 10:46 PM
Jeisner-

I am willing to wait for the Pentax 28-105 F 3.2 lens, I am on the "notify" list at both B & H and Adorama. In the meantime, I will make do with the Sigma 55-200mm lens which is nothing to scream about. Thanks again for your help.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
05-20-2005, 08:34 PM
jeisner-

Even getting the Sigma 55-200m has proven to be a real problem. Here it is late Friday evening, and I am still scratching and clawing to get a lens here by Tuesday. 'Such a problem.

Sarah Joyce

WightWalker
05-22-2005, 11:55 AM
No matter what I do, Bibble just doesn't produce the right effect with the blue sky/grey clouds.

CS2 looks much better.

speaklightly
05-23-2005, 05:21 PM
WightWalker-

Thanks for your comments on Bibble. I have Photoshop 7 but not Photoshop CS, so where do I go?

Sarah Joyce

WightWalker
05-24-2005, 02:29 AM
WightWalker-

Thanks for your comments on Bibble. I have Photoshop 7 but not Photoshop CS, so where do I go?

Sarah Joyce
I took over 100 RAW images the other day and initially used CS2 RAW to get a preview of the results.

I'd taken a number of RAW shots previously using RAW Essentials, Pentax PhotoLab & Adobe CS RAW to do the conversion & found that Adobe was sharper, RAW Essentials next & PhotoLab third (seemed to boost saturation a tad too much & clumsy interface. Latterly, I tried Bibble which, on the shot posted, didn't cope with that particular sky rendition so Adobe RAW seemed the best logical choice.

The first thing I noticed was that I was struggling to achieve those 'punchy' shots that came so much easily out of the camera in JPEG with a slight tweak to the histogram curve & touch of UnSharpMask. Using CS2, I was pushing Shadow detail to darken down what were bright images, too bright at their default settings. I then adjusted the Tone Curve to Strong Contrast setting & even then, added in a bit more just to produce an image that started to appear like those in JPEG. I converted them in CS2 using these settings, fine tuning one or two on the fly, with results that appeared OK. But, I'd lost a lot of detail due to increasing the darkness applied to the shadows - this RAW is not as easy as I'd thought it might be.

I then processed them in both CS2, set to Medium Contrast on the Tone Curve with camera settings set to Auto, & Bibble to make a general comparison between the two.

Bibble appears to handle batch conversion much more easily but I couldn't find a way to boost the settings, which would then be applied to all - it's probably there, but I haven't found it. It produced a set of images that appeared reasonably OK with none of the sky shots suffering in the same way that I had previously experienced. I re-did the earlier sky shot with exactly the same result - so at least it's consistent.

CS2 RAW converted shots were similar in their converted output but appeared sharper than Bibble – maybe it was just the way that Bibble was set up. The exposure was too bright producing light images, which required considerable post processing to get some ‘bite’ into them. The finished results were considerably better that the original CS2 RAW conversions but to my mind still fall short or what I can achieve from JPEG.

Clearly RAW has the potential to produce the best but from my limited experience, it’s something that has to be worked at & with over 100 images to process this could take considerable time. The JPEG output produces something that I can immediately see and tweak in next to no time to produce a result that I am pleased with. I will give RAW a few more tries but it’s probably not necessary for my requirement.

In respect of your question – where do I go from here – I would suggest that you try RAW Essentials which is a free download, try PhotoLab which probably produces results that are closer to the JPEG in terms of saturation but be prepared to experiment and have patience to achieve results that should be better than JPEG. You also might find that Bibble provides the results and ease of use that you seek & is suitable for your needs - try them all and see what's best for you.

WightWalker
05-24-2005, 01:57 PM
This is the same image shown in Bibble

WightWalker
05-24-2005, 02:04 PM
And with RAW Shooter Essentials

WightWalker
05-24-2005, 02:11 PM
This is the converted image using Adobe RAW

WightWalker
05-24-2005, 02:16 PM
Converted using RAW Shooter Essentials

WightWalker
05-24-2005, 02:21 PM
And converted using Bibble

jeisner
05-25-2005, 09:24 PM
To fix Bibble go into preferences and turn off their 'advanced Highlight recovery' it screws a lot of stuff up imho, bibble works much better without it :)

Bodryn
06-17-2005, 08:31 PM
JASC Paint Shop Pro V.9 is supposed to also offer raw processing. I haven't tried it yet so I can't comment on how good it is. I am very impressed with other things I can do with PSP v.9. From what I read I think it is second only to Adobe PS full version.

MatH
08-15-2005, 02:44 AM
I tried Capture One Pro 3.71 , Raw Shooter Essentials and Pentax Photolab 2. With Capture One and RSE you can get vey comparable results, it's just a matter of tweaking while Photolab can't really compare to those two.

The strangest thing I noticed using RSE is that it sees pixels other programs don't. What I mean is, RSE makes jpegs with resolution of 3029x2014 (don't remember exact number). At first I thought that RSE zooms a bit, bu you can actually see moret arround the edges of picture than with other two.