Pentax User Magazine 1 2008

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Issue 1 2008

Night photography Seals at sea Basel carnival Still life projects Focus stacking Pentax 50-135 f/2.8 Painter Essentials 4 Opaque frames Sharpshooting techniques


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Issue 1 2008


Night photography Seals at sea Basel carnival Still life projects Focus stacking Pentax 50-135 f/2.8 Painter Essentials 4 Opaque frames Sharpshooting techniques

Photo by Peter Bargh


TECHNIQUES & EQUIPMENT: 12. Painter Essentials 4 Duncan Evans dons a smock and reviews Corel’s entry-level paint program.

14. Darkness exposed


Craig Roberts goes into the night to explore the wealth of photo opportunities that are available.


18. Sharpshooter Matt Grayson explains how to be a sharper shooter with your zoom compact.

20. Seals at sea


Genevieve Leaper discovered that the Optio W20 is ideal for use when Kayaking to photograph seals.


22. Basel Carnival Geoff Cook shares his experiences at the Basel Carnival with a Pentax 85mm f/2.2 soft focus lens.


24. Still-life Roy Hampson turns his back bedroom into a creative mini still-life photo studio.

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26. Pentax 50-135mm f/2.8 David Askham found the Pentax 50-135mm filled an important gap in his digital armoury.

29. Opaque frames Duncan Evans shows us how to add an opaque frame to the outside of your photos.





30. Focus stacking How to get the depth-of-field equivalent to f/256 with the optimum lens quality of f/8?

READERS’ PICTURES: 06. Gallery Here are the six best reader photos submitted to the Gallery this issue. Each winner receives a Pictronic Photo Frame.

10. Reader portfolio Chris Burnell’s childhood passed in a blur of flashbulbs, and then he laid his hands on a Pentax ME Super.

Pentax User magazine is published quarterly (January, April, July and October) by Magezine Publishing Ltd Views expressed in this magazine are those of individual contributors and do not represent the policies of Pentax UK Ltd, unless otherwise stated. We welcome articles or photographs. Every care will be taken with any material submitted, but no responsibility can be taken for loss or damage. Send prints or duplicates if the original is irreplaceable, to:

Pentax User, The Turbine, Shireoaks Triangle Business Park, Coach Close, Shireoaks S81 8AP Tel/Fax: 01909 512147 e-mail: Web address:

PENTAX USER magazine

REGULARS: 04. Latest Pentax news Several new lenses to attach to your camera, plus proof Pentax are on the up, and more details of the merger with Hoya.

05. Classified ads Sell your unwanted Pentax equipment here or leaf through the adverts for some bargains.

08. Club offers Special offers on a range of items including our exclusive slave flash, Pentax User binders, books, a screen protector and a LensBaby.

32. Pentax accessories There’s 10% discount and free postage on a range of accessories.

I thought I’d illustrate this month’s cover with a very topical subject for the time of the year. The snowdrop or, as in my example snowflake (Leucojum vernum), typifies the beginning of the year’s colourful garden world. Snowdrops are one of the first flowers to crack through the hardened frosty soil to add a splash of colour to the murky winter landscape. I took this photo at Hodsock Priory, which is just off the A1 near Blyth, and opens its gates to the public each year on February 1st. It’s described on their website as “A magical sight you will never forget – a myriad of flowers in the five acre gardens plus a half-mile walk in the woods with carpets of snowdrops to delight you.” It’s a treat for garden photographers, but it’s worth giving them a call before traveling miles. When I went last year I was told by the ticket seller that I was too early for photography. The snowdrops hadn’t started coming through yet. I thanked him for his honesty and returned two weeks later to a carpet of white. I used the Pentax *ist D and Tamron 90mm Macro and this year I intend to return with the Pentax K10D (or, who knows, maybe the K20D? see news) and a Pentax 100mm Macro. For flowers I always try to get down to their level. I use a right-angle finder and a one meter square, cut up from a camping ground mat, to help me get to this perspective comfortably. I always use a wide aperture to throw the background out of focus. This year I will be experimenting with a LensBaby (see page 8) to produce creatively focused snowdrops. I hope you all enjoy photography in spring as much as I intend to.

CONTACT US: 34. Contact details and order forms Who does what at Pentax User with contact details for the people at Pentax.

Peter Bargh, Editor

Issue 1 2008 3



2008 - a promising year! PENTAX HAVE really started to up the game in the photographic sector. As mentioned in previous issues of the club magazine the company have been winning awards for cameras such as the K10D and, at last, they seem to have the digital SLR that not only competes, but blows away some of the competition. You only have to read

brief MAIN FEATURES Pentax K20D L 14-megapixel CMOS sensor L a 14-bit RAW A/D Processor L a 3-inch ‘live view’ LCD screen L improved built-in shake reduction

forum content to see dealers commenting about sales of Pentax overtaking other brands. They aim to be number three in a very competitive sector and that now looks very likely. This, backed up with the fact that companies such as Voigtländer are making lenses in the Pentax mount really is good for those who’ve stayed loyal to the Pentax brand. We had to put the magazine to bed at the end

Pentax K200D L 10-megapixel CMOS Sony sensor L PRIME 12-bit image processor L 3fps shooting mode L 11 auto-focus points L 3-inch LCD screen

of December and at that time rumours were rife about two new Pentax digital SLRs – the K20D and K200D. The embargo date for these products is 24th January and we will cover the news on the Pentax User web site when it’s confirmed. The K10D will soon have a big brother - the K20D Also, to make customer’s lives easier Sports Optic Centres too. Pentax have set up a series There’s a detailed plan of Pro Dealers where of future lenses on the Japanese web site. This you can go and find a wider selection of “RoadMap” includes info on kit including all the a 35mm f/2.8 macro lens, pro spec* DA lenses a 200mm f/2.8, 300mm as well as gain an f/4 ED, a 55-300mm and a extra year guarantee 60-250mm f/4. and have access to This shows Pentax’s preferential camera strong commitment to the servicing. Pentax are pro sector of the market doing the same with that they have been weak optics by introducing in for the last few years.

More on Hoya merger

Pentax on the rise

HOYA Corporation and Pentax Corporation, a consolidated subsidiary of Hoya, announced that they have agreed to the muchtalked-about merger which will become effective on March 31 2008. Following the merger, based on the common core technological foundation in optics, imaging, and materials, the new company will optimize its business portfolios, focusing on the life care, optics, information technology, eye care and imaging system areas.

PENTAX IMAGING System Business showed a 15.4% year-on-year growth. Contributing factors for this success included the introduction of the K10D digital SLR in November 2006, which went on to receive Japan’s “Camera Grand Prize” and European camera prizes such as TIPA and EISA. In July 2007, Pentax started selling the K100D Super – a new standardclass digital SLR along with two DA Star highperformance lenses. In the compact digital camera

All Pentax business divisions will be optimised within the same framework of Hoya’s other business divisions to strengthen its business. By doing so, better communication, prompt management decision and proper resource allocation are assured. The company will continue to devote their efforts to make the Pentax brand even more outstanding. Pentax promise to provide more satisfactory products and service to their customers.

Local groups BATH & WEST GROUP Contact Tony Seager on 01225 706533 KENT GROUP & FRIENDS: Contact Brian Collins 01303 256796 for more info YORKSHIRE GROUP Contact Dave Melling by email at for more details of the group’s activities.

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field, Pentax put their efforts into replenishing the product line of the Optio series that capitalise on their respective characteristics and the sales remained steady. As a result, the net sales of Imaging System Business as a whole amounted to 42,852 million yen (an increase of 15.4%) mainly because the sales of digital SLR cameras, interchangeable lenses and camera accessories remained steady both in Japanese and European markets.

Roof prism binoculars A NEW SERIES of DCF SW roof-prism binoculars includes two models, 8x25 and 10x25, offer a dualhinge design that folds to be ultra-compact and have advanced waterproof

capability in a slim, portable design. The Pentax 9x28 DCF LV high-end roofprism binoculars feature a maneuverable, lightweight, waterproof and impactresistant design. PENTAX USER magazine

Digital Super Zoom PENTAX SMC DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3ED AL [IF] is the latest interchangeable zoom lens to join the digital SLR range. With approximately 14-times zoom ratio covering from wide-angle to super-telephoto ranges, this versatile lens handles a great variety of applications without the need for lens changes. When mounted on a Pentax digital SLR this zoom offers a range from 27.5mm wide angle to 383mm super-telephoto in the 35mm format. This makes it ideal for landscape photography, snapshots and portrait at frequently used focal lengths, to specialist applications like sports and wildlife photography at the super-telephoto range. The two extra-low dispersion (ED) and two aspherical (AL) optical elements in its construction effectively compensates for the adverse effects of various aberrations, assuring outstanding image description. As this lens is designed for exclusive use with Pentax digital SLR cameras its image circle is perfectly proportioned to their image sensor size brief SPECIFICATIONS (23.5x15.7mm). Since the DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 coating, curvature and position of Pentax KAF mount Lens mount all optical elements are optimized Construction 16 elements in 13 groups for the characteristics of digital 76º - 6.5º Angle of view images, it effectively minimizes No of blades 7 flare and ghost images in the f/22 – f45 Minimum aperture resulting images. Min focus distance 0.45m (1.48ft ) An extra-short minimum Filter size 62mm focusing distance of 0.45 meters 0.28x Max magnification over the entire zoom range and Dimensions 75 x 85.5mm an Inner-focus (IF) mechanism 455g Weight to avoid lens extension during £399 Price focusing complete the spec.

Voigtlanders Prize winner THE VOIGTLANDER R 58mm f/1.4 Nokton SL II and 40mm f/2 Ultron SL II lenses are new incarnations of the famed Topcor 58mm lens and 40mm pancake from Voigtlander. These version will be available in Pentax K bayonet mounts. On Pentax DSLRs the 58mm behaves as a fast portrait (equivalent to 85mm in 35mm terms) lens when taking the field of view crop into account. The 40mm f/2 Ultron is supplied with a stylish dome type lens hood and an accessory close-up lens to give a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4 (1/4 life size on 35mm film) at a focus distance of 25cm. Both lenses are available from Robert White at a retail price of £205 each. PENTAX USER magazine

PETER ELGAR R of Brentwood, Essex was invited to the Proud Galleries London for the prize-giving in the Daily Telegraph/ Curry’s Photographic Competition ‘Our Lives’. Peter was selected by David Bailey for the final shortlist of 45 entries out of over 34,000. Peter won a prize in the ‘Our People’ category for his photo ‘In the Wimpy Bar’ taken on Kodak Tri-X Film with his Pentax Spotmatic and 24mm f/3.5 SMC Takumar lens. The overall winner was from Thamesmead and won £8000 of travel vouchers to anywhere in the world. Peter received an Olympus MJU Digital compact amera which he’s giving to his daughter as a birthday present. Here Peter is seen with his prizewinning print, done by Ilford Limited from his ‘digitised negative’ and the actual Pentax Spotmatic SLR film camera he used.

classified ads FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE SMC PENTAX-A 1.4 50mm lens Serviced by pentax uk £70.00,SMC PENTAX DA 18-55mmF3.5-5.6 AL LENS BOXED £45.00 CONTACT Ronald at ronald-emmitt@ or 07776116832. PENTAX MZ5N, body only. Unused since serviced by Pentax UK. Superb condition, boxed with Manufacturers Operating Manual, Serial No. 7765280. A second MZ5n, with slight scratch on top of flash housing otherwise in excellent working order Serial No. 7593702 offered with Pentax zoom lens FA28-90mm and Jessops 1A filter, excellent condition owned from new 4 years old and Miranda flash gun 930TCD twin head multidedicated, guide no. 36 at 100 feet ASA100 complete with instruction manual and set of coloured filters. Needs a good home, will split, make me an offer. email or Tel: 01889 563469 (evenings/weekends). SIGMA 10-20MM f/4-5.6 DCEX Lens, PAF Fit. Mint never used. Complete with case hood and caps. Offers to Ron 01562 754 034. SIGMA 400MM f/5,6 Pentax AF fit optically and mechanically fantastic. Slight bump on the body so there’s an indent. but it does not affect performance just cosmetics. One went on ebay a few weeks ago for £160. This one is £100. PENTAX MZ3 & F lead & BG Grip £150. Tamron AF 28-200mm £70. Cosina AF 19-35+UV+CP+Filter Holder £40.Lowepro Mini Trekker AW Never used £40. All boxed apart from MZ3. Sold individually or £285 for the lot. (New this lot would have cost well over £1000 ) Terry 0208 684 6806 PENTAX *IST D Digital SLR 6.1 Megapixel. Pentax’s SAFOX VIII phase matching Auto Focus system. 11 point AF Sensor. The continuous-AF mode for recording up to 6 images at a rate of 2.6 frames per second. Pentax 18-35mm + Battery Pack. Compact Flash Cards + Spare Batteries.Tamarc Camera Bag.£295.00 O.N.O. Please e-mail Collection prefered. Will deliver if practical.Perthshire, Angus, Fife Area. SIGMA PKA 400mm f/5.6 multi coated lens with Hoya 72mm skylight and genuine front and rear caps. Super condition, free from fungus, scatches and dings, blades snappy and oil free. Reasonable offers for this very nice example. 07773765937. Clive. BPM BELLOWS in original box with instructions and slide copier £60. Pentax K Mount adaptors, one for lens and one for body £20 each

WANTED WANTED WANTED PENTAX AF adapter 1.7x. Must be in full working order. Call Maurice 0191 3862166 PENTAX FA*80-200MM f/2.8 ED [IF] ZOOM Lens. Must be in good working order. Will pay top price. Please email or call 07850 034426.

To advertise your sales and wants Don’t miss out, sell your unwanted Pentax gear here. Please send short details of the items for sale or wanted along with your name, contact details and your membership number. Include a phone number for best results – not all members have email! We will add these to the classified section in the next issue. All adverts will automatically be placed on the Pentax User web site unless you state otherwise. Postal address on P34. Pentax User cannot be held responsible for the accuracy, completeness, usefulness, quality or availability of any goods listed in the classified ads section. Please take all care when buying or selling that both parties are happy with the goods and transaction. Also when sending goods, package safely and send by recorded post.

Issue 1 2008 5

Dave Melling used a Pentax *ist DS and 18-55mm kit lens to capture this tree shot on the St Ives estate, Bingley, West Yorkshire. We say: “The use of the wide-angle setting on the 18-55mm zoom and upward angle has created a dynamic perspective of a colourful canopy that’s strong in colour and contrast.” Laing Donaldson captured this shot on his much-loved Optio S5i. It shows the ceiling of the central hall of the Pinakothek der Moderne art gallery in Munich. He has tried several crops, but this is the full image desaturated. We say: “Don’t always shoot architecture in its entirity. Here the detail of just the ceiling provides a superb pattern that’s become even bolder by converting to black & white.”


Chris Skinner’s combination of two images merges a barge, taken on the River Thames, just as the sun came out from black clouds, with a long exposure of a thunderstorm and lightning strike. We say: “This displays good use of Photoshop to make a very atmospheric image that’s almost like a painting. Poster material!”

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PENTAX USER magazine

John Jackman visited Hell’s Gate, British Columbia, Canada where he took this female Rufous Hummingbird on his K10D and 300mm lens. The exposure was 1/200sec at f/5.6 with shake reduction and centre-weighted metering. We say: “Stunning nature shot with a speed that was enough to freeze the main bird but shows good sense of movement in the blurred wings.”

See your images in print, and win a prize! You know how much we love receiving your photos here at the Pentax User Club. We have an all-new sponsor for the next 12 months, offering a fantastic prize to really show your photos in the best possible light. That’s because the Pictronic photo frame isn’t just a regular smart looking frame to stick your pictures in, oh no, it features advanced backlighting technology that shines through the photo and makes it literally glow. Pictronic photo frames are available in a wide variety of different sizes and styles, but we’ve bagged the metal and glass finish frame that takes a 7x5in photo. Insert your picture, plug the frame into the mains, and prepare to be amazed as the photo virtually comes to life. Go to for more details. Every picture printed in the Gallery will win a Pictronic photo frame. The runners up will appear on the website. To enter, all you need to do is submit up to three slides, prints or digital files per issue (colour or black & white), one month before the publication date. The coupon to enter is on page 34.

Visit to see more pictures

PENTAX USER magazine

David Townley’s Brighton light was taken with the K10D and 18-55mm lens. The RAW file was converted using Adobe CS2’s RAW processor. We say: “Sunset shots often have a missing element. Here the lamp adds the vital foreground detail, while the distant pier balances the scene.” Alan Booth of Dronfield used an M20 compact in daylight for this shot of model, Tabitha. We say: “The strong sunlight has given a sparkle to the eye along with a stong hairlight. We like the direct interaction with the lens and tight crop.”

Gift shop Special post-free offer on gadgets for your Pentax camera and lenses. Pentax User Magazine Binder £9

Xtraflash Slave Flash £7.70 Foldaway, pocket, remote slave flash that automatically fires as the flash on the camera goes off. Great for fill in flash or additional lighting for film-based or digital cameras. Use two for creative lighting effects. Attach filter gels over the tube for special effects and place them outside in areas to fill in the shadows. Bargain price!!! We now have the last stocks of these. Used ones sell for well over £20 on the eBay auction site. Powered by just one AA battery (not supplied).

Gorilla Pod £20 This gadget takes the bendable pocket tripod a stage further, making the legs even more bendy and gripping. The idea is that with the flexibility of this you can literally wrap the legs around the supporting structure such as a fence post, tree branch or chair leg. Ideal for your Optio digital camera or Espio film camera.

SLR version £40

Stofen Omni Bouncer £16 The high quality magazine binder is back in stock. Keep all your Pentax User club magazines safely stored in these binders. Each binder holds 12 magazines which are held in place using strong cord that runs down the spine. This makes it easy to insert them and the pages open fully when you want to read the contents. Add a back issue of your choice, when ordering a binder, for just £2.

Giottos Screen Protector £18

Optech Rainsleeve £5

Giottos AEGIS is a professional optical screen protector. The rigid optic glass by Schott, Germany, can protect a camera’s LCD panel against abrasion, scratches or accidental impact. Multi-layer, efficient, anti-reflective coatings can help with clarity and colour accuracy, so no more residual or ghost image, just high definition and transmission on your LCD screen. A suitable protector for the Pentax K10D digital camera’s 2.5in LCD.

Protects your Pentax from dust and weather. Designed for handheld or tripod-mounted use with unique eyepiece opening that adapts to most viewfinders for through the lens viewing. Camera & lens controls are easily visible and operable through the Rainsleeve. It fits lenses measuring up to 17.8cm in diameter and up to 45.7cm in length. A drawstring lens opening offers easy access and a snug fit. The price is for a pack of two rainsleeves.

Lensbaby 3G £160 Lensbaby 3G is like a hybrid of an old fashioned bellows camera and a tilt-shift lens. Lensbaby 3G allows precise focus control, longer exposures, and repeatability. With Lensbaby 3G you can lock the lens in place by pressing a button on the focusing collar. Then you can fine focus, using a traditional barrel focusing ring. Featuring a low dispersion, multi-coated optical glass doublet, the Lensbaby 3G delivers images with a tack-sharp sweet spot. Aperture settings range from f/2 to f/22. Fits all Pentax film and digital SLRs with a K mount.

Giottos Rocket Air £7 A large and powerful hurricane style blower that’s perfect for blasting the dust off your digital SLR’s CCD sensor, as well as cleaning the mirror in your film SLR, compact camera viewfinder or lens surface. The Rocket Air can also be used to remove dust from HiFi, computer and other items.

LensPen £10

Inspiring Professionals £11 Lee Filters are Save £1 renowned for Normally £10 + producing the £2 postage very best optical filters and are the choice of many professionals. Some of the best known landscape professionals have joined forces to produce a book about filters with a difference. This guide features outstanding images by masters such as Charlie Waite and Joe Cornish, and provides tips and techniques to getting the best from filters in a variety of ways. A fabulous book for inspiration and technical advice. No landscape photographer should be without it.

Often called the softie, this is an ideal product for your Pentax flashgun. It weighs in at just 15 grams and simply clips onto the head of the flash. It softens the light in general use, eliminates red eye, but in more specific use it gives the delightful softness of an umbrella and the all-directional coverage of a bare bulb. Very clever and now very famous. Often seen on TV in news programmes, the Omni is used by press photographers world-wide. We have two versions available for Pentax flash owners. Please state which you want on the order form: OM-C for Pentax AF500FTZ OM-MZ40 for Pentax AF-540FGZ OM-MZ2 for Pentax AF-240FT OM-MZ3 for Pentax 330FTZ OM-PZ8 for Pentax AF-360FGZ OM-UNI for Pentax AF220T and 300FTZ If you have a different flash look up Stofen for other models on

Pentax Photo Annual £26 Supplied by Pentax Japan, Limted this annual Edition features Collectors ’ amazing Item images shot by Japanese photographers using Pentax gear. Hardback, 200 pages supplied in cardboard packing with Pentax Photo Annual 2007-2008 printed on it. Picture captions in English and Japanese, text in Japanese. Set to be a collectable item. Order now to avoid missing out as we have very limited stock.

Pentax K100D/K110D £15 Pentax K10D £15

Superior lens cleaning system for fine optics. A special pen-shaped cleaning item that has a slide out brush on one end and a flat self-replenishing pad style cleaner on the other. The brush is used to remove dust and fluff while the pad can be used to remove smears and finger marks, even on the small lens of your digital camera. It doesn’t scratch and outperforms other cleaning items. No sprays, no chemicals, convenient and portable.

If you own a Pentax K100D or the K110D and want to make the most of it, consider this guide by Joe Farace. It’s a convenient sized, 208 page book that covers all the operating systems in detail so you can work your way around the controls and modes with ease. There’s also a Quick Reference Wallet card supplied that you can carry in your wallet/purse to pull out when you forget how to do something. We also have the K10D guide, written by Peter K Burian.

Save £2 Normally £15 + £2 postage

TO ORDER ITEMS: please turn to page 34. 8 Issue 1 2008

PENTAX USER magazine

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Chris Burnell’s childhood passed in a blur of flashbulbs, and then he laid his hands on a Pentax ME Super – the rest, as they say, is history.


credit my mum for my interest in photography – she is an avid snapper and my childhood passed in a blur of flashbulbs! Despite my dislike for having my picture taken, I can’t remember a time when I haven’t enjoyed being the other side of the lens. I had a succession of compact cameras until on holiday one year my Dad allowed me to use his Pentax ME Super. I still remember how impressed I was with the feel and operation of the camera and from that point on I was determined to own a Pentax of my own. I borrowed my Dad’s old Zenit E to improve my skills and gain further experience until I was able to afford a Pentax P30n, complete with 50mm f/1.7 lens and AF260 flashgun. I still love the way that camera handles, the simplicity of the controls and the sharpness of the lens. I sometimes think that modern cameras are overloaded with features,

not all of which assist the picture taking process. This camera remained my first choice body although I did add a Super A as a back up. Having pondered whether I needed to switch to autofocus I eventually succumbed and purchased an MZ-5n. By the time digital SLR cameras became more mainstream, I had acquired a large number of Pentax lenses and was reluctant to change systems. Although the price of the initial *ist D deterred me I was pleased when prices began to fall. I resisted as long as possible but eventually purchased an *ist DL2 last year. Since this purchase I have never looked back and now shoot almost exclusively on digital. At the same time as purchasing the *ist DL2 I signed up for a photography GCSE course at my local college. The focus that this course provided, combined with my new digital camera, reinvigorated my passion and interest in my hobby such that it’s now rare for me to leave the house A female swan dozing at Abbotsbury Swannery. Zooming to 300mm has produced a without my camera. I will generally turn my hand to any form of photography. strong composition with the *ist DL2. The exposure was f/8 at 1/250sec and ISO800. However, I love being outdoors and therefore my favourite subjects are probably nature and motorsport. Due to these interests my favourite lenses are a Pentax 300mm f/4 and a 70-210mm f/4 KA mount zoom. The fixed lens is a standard K mount and although it works well the manual metering is a bit of a pain and I would like to replace this with a KA lens at some point. I also enjoy landscape photography, however, as I bore easily, I find waiting for the ‘right’ light difficult. Although I am generally pleased with the results when I make the effort. I have always been a fan of the Pentax system, due to the handling, quality and backward compatibility of the system. Due to these advantages I have always recommended this system to any of my friends who have sought advice regarding a digital SLR. Although it’s sometimes hard to purchase accessories I quite like the exclusivity of the system – if you see someone else with a Pentax you know they’ve sought it out and not just bought the first camera recommended by the sales assistant!

Mousehole in Cornwall is a favourite holiday destination and the dawn sky warmed this view of the harbour beautifully. Taken with an*ist DL2, 18-55mm at 18mm and an exposure of f/22 and1/45sec at ISO400, Manfrotto 055CL tripod. 4 Issue 3 2003

PENTAX USER magazine

While photographing bluebells in local woodland I tried an alternative zoom burst approach. *istDL2 with 18-55mm at 18mm. The exposure was f/22, 1/10sec and ISO800. The BTCC cars like to hop the kerbs whenever possible. I was able to time my shot to capture the moment of take off. *ist DL2, 170mm, f/5.6 at 1/1000sec using ISO200.

Otters are my favourite animals and this one at the Sealife Centre in Oban was happy to pose for pictures. *istDL2, 150mm, f/8, 1/180sec, ISO200. The brightly coloured Porsche passes through the Club Chicane at Thruxton. *ist DL2, 300mm, f/11, 1/250sec, ISO200.

Ferraris are my favourite cars and at a local display I was drawn to the bright brake calliper to produce a bold composition. *ist DL2, 18-55mm at 55mm f/5.6, 1/90sec, ISO200.

Truck racing is a fantastic spectacle. I was able to capture the truck powersliding as it entered the Campbell corner at Thruxton Circuit. *istDL2, 210mm, f8, 1/500sec, ISO 200

PENTAX USER magazine

Issue 1 2008 11


Corel Painter

Essentials 4 Duncan Evans dons a smock and picks up a palette, but stops short of any ear-cutting shenanigans while reviewing Corel’s entry-level paint program.


ainter Essentials 4 is an entry-level version of Corel’s Painter X. It’s cheaper and a lot easier to use than its big brother. If you’re an artist, creating digital masterpieces, then hardcore Painter is for you, but if you like dabbling and are interested in turning your photos into different types of artwork, pull up a stool and make yourself comfortable. In this version Corel have put thought into what people use the program for and how it should work. So, when the opening screen splashes there’s a fair bit of hand-holding. What this boils down to is using two different workspaces, accessed by tabs in the top right corner. One is for drawing and painting, the other for photo painting. So simple, it’s genius. All tools are set up to use with just a few clicks in that workspace, while brushes are readily set up in the Photo Painting workspace so they can clone from a photo without having to go through fiddly settings. To start, the Source Image palette allows the source image to be loaded and then sets how transparent this appears. You need to be able to see it so you can paint over the top. A tick box toggles transparency on and off so the image can be checked for any missed areas. Thoughtfully, when the work in progress is saved, it saves a copy of the original with it, so that when the file is reloaded later, it’s ready to go and there’s no head-scratching wondering where the original came from. Over on the workspace’s left are the tools that allow fills, text, cropping, rotation, colour sampling, cloning, 12 Issue 1 2008

erasing, dodge & burn and the brushes. The current brush appears with a flyout arrow next to it. Click on this and a tabbed catalogue of brushes and media types appear. Recently selected brushes appear listed under the flyout arrow so you can switch back and forth between different types without having to navigate through the catalogue. Brush size and opacity are set at the top of the screen. Any confusing detail has been carefully hidden in the Auto Painting area. A drop down list of presets gives access to everything from pen & pencil drawings to oils, watercolours and old master styles. There’s a choice of 17 styles which, once selected, load in the defaults for edge effects, colour spread, paper type and brush effect. Settings can be adjusted once you have experience. Otherwise, select the painting style and have a go. As more of the original photo is painted over, it darkens on the screen, but the transparency toggle should be used as it’s easy to miss little bits. With large brushes for plain, exterior areas, and smaller ones for the detail, it’s all down to you as to how much effort you want to put into making it look good, rather than the efforts of a five year old. It’s possible to turn a photo into a decent watercolour in just 10 minutes. This can be done with a mouse, though it’s better to use a pen and tablet. While using a mouse won’t give you the pressure sensitive effect of using a pen, there are still some neat touches – the faster the mouse is moved, the thinner the paint is applied, so broad strokes are possible with a few quick flicks. For the painting half of the program, it’s better to use a pen and tablet which you can get quite cheaply these days. Generally, the system keeps up with the pace of painting, even the more complex paints. Watercolours blend and interact with the canvas,

and impasto paints are laid down with apparent thickness. However, this is fairly superficial as you could paint ten strokes of green on top of each other and yet two strokes of red would wipe it out. The program interacts with what it sees, but it doesn’t remember how much was there. If you want that kind of sophistication you need to be using Painter, not Essentials. There are extra features to play with, like adding canvas textures, lighting, a new and improved mixer palette, the RealBristle brushes from Painter X, blenders and dry media and 32 levels of undo if it all goes horribly wrong. The good news is that no matter what kind of damage gets inflicted on a photo, the original is left untouched. There’s plenty to play with in Painter Essentials 4, but Corel have really got to grips with making this the most userfriendly, well organised and outright enjoyable version of the program to date. It’s also the most affordable. If you like to dabble in paint or want to turn photos into artistic masterpieces, this is highly recommended.

brief FACTS & RATINGS System requirement


Guide Price RATINGS Features Ease of Use Performance Overall

Painter Essentials 4 CPU: Pentium III, 700MHz+ or Power Mac G4, 700MHz+ RAM: 256Mb OS: Windows Vista/XP with latest SPs or Mac OS X Corel £33.19 8/10 9/10 9/10 9/10 PENTAX USER magazine

* ' " "&' "' $ #'# #$$#%'(" ', ' % & "# '' % ! % '# $'(% ' !#! "' ' " ' ! $ + "' + "& '& ( , * ' % & # , ' % & " ) " '(% & ' ' ' "# #' % ' " '& && " ! ' " #" # % & "&#% & ' " ( ' #" &,&' ! $#* % ( " * ! " " " " ' ', '# & ##' (" ! ' $ & ' % ! & $ % & #" ! ' ' ' #" ! % '-& $(% "' +

Now all you need is a ZOOM LEN S, SHAKE RE DUCTION and a head for heights!



Exposed Craig Roberts disappears into the night to explore the wealth of opportunities that are available in night time photography.


s the sun sets below the horizon and day slips into night, all but the most dedicated photographers usually pack-up their gear and head for home. But boy, if you’re one of these you’re missing a treat, as under the cover of darkness a wealth of new photo opportunities unfolds as towns and cities begin to glow with a new, artificial light. The local cinema on the end of the main shopping centre looks a lot more impressive after dark.

As day turns to night, a transformation happens. Office buildings that once looked quite bland in daylight, spring to life in a colourful spectacle and hundreds of street lamps bathe the streets in pools of sodium lighting. Neon signs flicker into life, flashing multi-coloured adverts and shop names for all to see, whilst pubs and shops radiate a warm glow with their interior lights, enticing passers-by inside. Cars and buses light up the roads with their red and white beams, leaving trails of light as evidence of their journey. All these new subjects are just crying out to be captured on film or CCD, so what techniques do we need to look at to capture these wonderful sights?

It’s dusk! Well, first of all, even though we are talking about night photography here, the best time to actually start shooting these scenes is in the first hour after sunset when there’s still some colour left in the sky. The deep blue hue of twilight is the perfect backdrop to the twinkling lights and looks a lot better than a pitch black sky. There’s not long to shoot at this peak time however, as it only lasts around half an hour, so make the most of it and when the sky does turn black concentrate more on detail shots and avoid great expanses of blackness in your compositions. Ideally, a camera with a B-setting is needed or one that has shutter speeds of two seconds or more, which includes practically every SLR camera in the Pentax range. Even the Optio compacts have shutter speeds of either two or four seconds, which will still give some great results, especially if combined with a higher ISO rating, but an SLR is more versatile. An SLR also makes it easier to fit a cable-release, which avoids touching the camera during the long exposures needed. Although, as an alternative, 14 Issue 1 2008

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use the camera’s self timer to release the shutter instead, a feature even compacts now boast. Many Pentax cameras also have an infrared remote trigger using the optional Pentax Remote Control F for £18. (See page 33) Next, because of all these long exposures, some form of support to hold the camera is required and, ideally, this means a good, solid tripod. The heavier the tripod the better, to avoid it being blown in a breeze, but a lightweight model can be made sturdier by hanging a camera bag on it, to increase stability. There are plenty of objects around that can be used as a temporary support for your camera if you don’t have a tripod. You could use a brick wall, some railings, a bench or seat of some kind or even balanced on top of a waste bin. It’s surprising how many objects, especially around town, can provide a quick support when needed. A wide variety of lenses can be used for all the different subjects, but a basic kit is all that is really needed. This may just mean whatever focal lengths are covered by the zoom on your camera, but from wide to telephoto, and every setting in between, there will always be a subject suitable for each one. A wide-angle lens helps to frame any large, floodlit buildings, but be careful to avoid converging verticals when using one. This occurs with these lenses, when you point them upwards, and gives the impression that the sides of the building are leaning inwards. It’s better to switch to a standard 50mm lens and choose a more distant viewpoint. A telephoto is also useful, especially for picking out details in the scene, such as neon signs, as you can fill the frame with their bright colours. As mentioned earlier, the ISO setting you use greatly depends on the camera. It’s best, where possible, to stick with a low setting of ISO100 or ISO200 rather than a high setting of ISO800 or more. As the camera will be on a tripod, camera shake is not be a problem and a lower ISO setting enables you to record the vibrant colours as there’s less grain (when using film) or less noise (with digital). A low ISO setting results in longer shutter speeds which could be several seconds or more, but this is ideal for capturing plenty of detail in a night scene.

Exposure It’s best to bracket your exposures, even if shooting digital, so that you have a range of exposures to choose the best result from. To do this, first, take a meter reading off the brightest part of the building or subject, although not the floodlight itself. This is where a spot meter comes in useful if your camera has one. If not, take a reading with the long end of a telephoto lens. Taking a reading from the brightest spot is very useful for digital, as you don’t want your highlights to burn out. Take a photo at this meter reading, then take another one stop above the reading and a third, one stop below. For example, if the initial reading is two seconds at f/8, take a second shot at four seconds and then a third at one second. You can do this quite easily on your camera’s manual exposure mode. If your camera has auto-exposure bracketing, put this feature to good use. Alternatively, the exposure compensation setting will do the same job. If using film you need to allow an extra couple of stops for reciprocity failure when the exposures are into seconds. This is because film suffers a loss of speed due to the extra long exposure and needs compensating for. Luckily, digital doesn’t suffer this problem. As long as you bracket your exposures enough, it shouldn’t cause you any headaches. One of the most exciting subjects to try out at night is capturing car light trails. You’ll first need to find a suitable A collection of car trails. Top right: A famous landmark looks even better at night and I made sure I postioned myself close to the road to capture the car trails as well. Middle: This is the view from the multi-storey car park in my old home town. I timed this rush hour view with the sunset as well as a weekday evening, so that the office block would only be lit up. Bottom: I found this bridge above a busy dual carriageway to try out a long exposure capturing p g the car light g trails. 30 seconds was enough g to capture p this scene. PENTAX USER magazine

Issue 1 2008

TECHNIQUES NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY vantage point. A footbridge over a busy dual-carriageway or a multi-storey car park over-looking a road are both perfect. Then, with the camera firmly on its tripod, set an aperture of about f/11 and vary the shutter speed from a few seconds to a whole minute, depending on how busy the traffic is. If there is a break in the traffic at any point, hold the exposure by covering the front of the lens with a piece of black card. Once cars reappear, remove the card and continue with the exposure. The results can be amazing, but be prepared to take a lot of shots to get a perfect one. If you have an SLR with a zoom lens, there is another technique worth trying. Zooming during the exposure is a great technique that works well on buildings, as well as neon signs. It involves adjusting the lens from one end of its focal length to the other during the exposure, thus creating a 3D zooming effect with the lights bursting out of the picture. To do this, mount the camera on a tripod and set an aperture that will give you a shutter speed of about one second. Then, as you press the shutter, zoom the lens from the shortest focal length setting all the way to the longest setting. Make sure you keep the action smooth, or you’ll get camera shake. Again, bracket your exposures at different shutter speeds to achieve the best results. Do a practice run first to determine the length of time you have to rotate the zoom from one extreme to the other. As the night wears on, look for reflections in puddles, brightly lit cafes, traffic lights and road signs, floodlit bridges and, in the winter months, Christmas decorations. When you think about it, there’s so much to photograph once the sun

has gone down. So, wrap up warm, grab a tripod and head off into the night for the prospect of capturing some truly wonderful pictures. I used the zoom technique on this neon sign to great effect.

A rainy evening still provided me with some pleasing shots. You just need to seek out different kinds of subjects that suit the weather.

Floodlit buildings, a colourful sky and water for reflections are all ideal ingredients for the perfect night shot.

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This office building looks quite impressive during the day, but at night it looks stunning..

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Issue 1 2008 17



Shooter Matt Grayson explains how to be a sharper shooter with your zoom compact.


igital compacts are being released with bigger and bigger zooms every year. While this is an exciting new chapter in photographic accessibility, it also has its downfalls, and the main problem we’re faced with is camera shake. Manufacturers install preset modes to combat the issues, but these are generally quick fixes or cheap ways of getting around the problem There are a number of precautions you can take to ensure you gain a sharp image every time, without having to rely on the cameras’ systems. In this article we’ll start from the beginning, working our way through the picture-taking process and ending up with the photo in an editing suite for some additional sharpening to get an image that can cut glass.

Taking control There are subjects that you are not able to get close to where you have to rely on a telephoto lens. It may be The original shot with the Pentax Optio Z10 set at ISO800. The magnified versions show the noise that appears as the ISO is increased.

a dangerous and cordoned off animal, or one that’s wary of people or could be a sporting event or distant subject. And in such situations, when using a lens that magnifies, there is always the possibility of incurring camera shake. For this technique I’m using the Pentax Optio Z10 – a small digital compact with 8Mp and 7x optical zoom, which is 38-266mm in 35mm terms. Most compacts have some overriding features that enable you to reduce camera shake. It’s usually possible to increase the ISO rating to gain speed. Take care not to adjust this too high or This version has had the speed increase will be outweighed the noise removed by noise that’s introduced. Play safe using Corel Paint Shop Pro X2. and stay to ISO400 or below. Take care when Depressing the shutter button by using any Noise hand can move the camera slightly, removal filters that even when it’s tripod mounted. If the image isn’t you’re shooting a static subject you softened too much. could try switching on the self-timer, which is a shutter delay, or use a remote release. If the subject is moving you could use a continuous focusing system – it is surprising how many compacts have this feature. Moving subjects need a faster shutter speed, so the ISO may need to be increased to compensate. For still subjects use the selective AF focusing area so that the camera doesn’t focus The Gorilla on an area slightly off from Pod makes a your subject, resulting in out useful compact of focus shots. camera support on Despite the size of most fences and posts. LCD viewing screens, the true quality of the image cannot always be seen. If the camera has a zoom magnifier for its preview you can get a decent idea, but always be prepared for a shock when you check the pictures on your computer.

Out and about A visit to the local wildlife centre meant a chance to put the theory to test. Armed with the Pentax Optio Z10 and a Gorilla 18 Issue 1 2008

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Pod, I ventured out on probably the wettest day of the year to photograph some creatures, from leaf cutting ants to birds of prey at the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife & Falconry Centre in North Anston, Nr Sheffield. After looking around the centre for a suitable subject, I discovered a few Hawks in their covers. I set up the Gorilla Pod by wrapping the individually movable joints around the fence of the enclosure. I fixed the Pentax Optio Z10 to the Gorilla Pod and set the self-timer. The image came out steady with no camera shake. I would have normally gone into the ISO settings in the main menu to set the ISO to the lowest possible, but on this occasion I purposefully pushed the ISO up to 800 to show an additional technique available during processing.

Back at the ranch I uploaded the image to my PC and opened it using Corel Paint Shop Pro X2. You could use Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS for the same features. First I will amend my “error” of the high noise. This will often happen if your camera’s ISO is left on Auto, so it’s an easy problem to have occurred. Go to Adjust and choose Digital Camera Noise removal which opens the image in a separate window to remove the noise. The Image I have has fine detail in the feathers so I don’t want to remove too much noise as this has a softening effect on the image. The next step is to sharpen the image. Go to Adjust again and scroll down to Unsharp Mask so that you can choose your own level of Sharpening. Practice is the best approach to image sharpening so you can get the threshold to your personal preference. Start off by setting the radius to 3, Strength to 50 and Clipping to 3. Tweak the settings from there and settle on what you think is right. Adding contrast to the image will bring more definition in the feathers, making the image look more detailed and sharper. Don’t go too mad with contrast. Setting it to a value of around 10 will give you an idea of what it does and you can adjust to your own tastes from there. Another image-editing trick, to give the picture an illusion of being sharper than it actually is, is to select the background and blur it, keeping the point of interest in focus. It’s merely an optical illusion and shouldn’t be used as a fix, but rather as an enhancement.

Unsharp mask lets you fine tune sharpness to get razor sharp results.

top tips for SHARP PHOTOS L Use a tripod for extra stability L Use the self timer to avoid contact with camera. L Get as low an ISO as possible. L Be patient. L Prepare – use a checklist if necessary. L Sharpen using image editor’s Unsharp Mask

feature for ultimate control. L Contrast will add detail, but be careful. L Practice and try new things.

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Issue 1 2008 19



Seals Genevieve Leaper discovered that the Optio W20 would be ideal for use when kayaking to photograph seals. Here’s her adventure...


hen I started sea kayaking a few years ago, I discovered that it’s a great way to get close to the wildlife, as well as giving a whole new perspective of the local coastline. I do take my SLR camera, but most of the time it stays in its drybag. It’s frustrating to miss loads of great photos, because I can’t get the camera out quick enough – or I simply dare not risk it. So when I saw the Optio W20 – a camera that’s not afraid of water and small enough to always keep to hand – I just had to have one. I take it dinghy sailing and powerboating too, but it really comes into its own in the kayak and my favourite subjects are the grey seals. Just two miles south of Stonehaven, Wine Cove is a deep inlet in the cliffs with a waterfall cascading down in front of a big cave. This is where the young seals hang out in summer. Seals are always curious, but the older animals have learned caution and generally just stare from a safe distance. On the other hand, the youngsters are bold and playful as well as inquisitive. At times it feels like they’re playing a game of dare – with me as the scary monster they challenge each other to approach. It starts with a gentle A young seal nudges the front of the Kayak.

20 Issue 1 2008

nuzzle of the bow of the kayak, then the next touches the hull a little closer, another nudges the paddle, until finally the bravest swims right up to me. The first time I failed to get any photos because my SLR couldn’t focus close enough. Even now I could wish the Optio had a widerangle lens! Most of my best seal photos were taken at maximum wide-angle. I find I need to be ready with my finger on the shutter – too much time fiddling with the camera settings and I’m likely to miss the moment. And one time, when I was looking down at the camera, I was startled by a nudge on my elbow and looked round into a big-eyed, whiskery face. The seal was stretching his neck out of the water as if to get a better look at the LCD screen! So I’ve worked out some basic settings. In a kayak, or any small boat, a fast shutter speed is essential to avoid camera shake. I tend to use Sports Mode even when I’m shooting landscapes. I always control the ISO manually and have Sensitivity as the first function assigned to the Green button so I can change it quickly. I prefer to use ISO200 whenever possible, but ISO400 is the usual setting for the seals. I bought the waterproof camera so it would survive accidental immersion. I wasn’t planning on underwater photography, but, as I watched the

seals swimming below the kayak, it occurred to me that I didn’t need to go swimming to try. Composition is a hit and miss affair with the camera at arm’s length underwater and I have lots of shots of empty sea and fuzzy bits of seal disappearing out of the frame. Nor are the waters of the North Sea clear enough very often but, just occasionally, I get lucky and it’s amazing to come home and see the streamlined form of a seal in its element when all I could see at the time was a distorted blur. The star of many of my seal photos is a youngster (about eight months old) I first met at the beginning of August. Scarbelly, as I call him (or her) is even bolder than the others and spends a lot of time swimming on his back, showing a distinctive six-inch scar. He swims the length of the kayak, caressing it with his flippers, plays with the paddle and tugs at ropes with his teeth. He shows no fear whatsoever, in fact, I think he would like to join me in the boat. Several times I have had to dissuade him from hauling out across the spraydeck as I fear it would most likely end with me joining him in the water. In October there were more of the adult seals around as they gathered to breed, but as the Winter weather became wilder most of the whitecoated pups were born in the safety of caves. By summer, there will be a new generation of young seals hanging around in Wine Cove. PENTAX USER magazine

I use the Optio W20’s sports mode to be sure of a quick shot.

Being able to use the camera underwater is a bonus.

With the camera underwater at arms length it’s hit & miss to get decent shots like these.

The Pentax Optio W20 has now been updated to the Optio W30 which has an RRP of £230.

The North sea water is murky so it’s tricky to get a decent shot like this.

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Issue 1 2008 21



Time Geoff Cook shares his experiences at the Basel Carnival with images taken using the Pentax 85mm f/2.2 soft focus lens.


ome have the opinion that there are only three ‘real’ carnivals in the world – Rio de Janeiro, Venice and Basel. Basel? Where? Basel is a small industrial town in the North of Switzerland, in the corner where Switzerland meets France and Germany, and is normally associated with the Chemical industry and lesser known (but nonetheless wealthy) investment banks. The art galleries and museums of Basel are also a mustsee for the cognoscenti, and this has perhaps led the people of Basel to their own form of art which challenges the conventional image of the stern and serious Swiss. In Basel, every year on the first Monday after Shrove Tuesday, madness rules for three days. Before 4am on the Monday morning, expectant crowds pack the Marktplatz (the central town square), the surrounding narrow streets and alleys, and across the River Rhein, the district known as Klein Basel. All around the town small (and not so small!) groups of pipers and drummers make their final arrangements, and lanterns of many different sizes shapes and colours are prepared and lit. At precisely 4am, all the town lights are extinguished, the light of the lanterns becomes the only light source, the actors in the carnival and the mass of onlookers stand still and a million piccolos all play Morgenstraich, the Fasnacht theme. After that, the drums strike up and the cliques process randomly throughout the town centre, playing what sound suspiciously like English military marches, and making as much noise as possible to scare away the devils of winter. Fasnacht will continue until late in the night on Wednesday, before Basel returns to its normal state of serious tranquillity. But during those three days, there are countless opportunities for the photographer, each with its own specific challenges. I worked with transparency stock when I took the shots in this article, 22 Issue 1 2008

and choice of film speed is an obvious issue. For night shots I used Ektachrome 400, and either Ektachrome 100 or Kodachrome 64 for daytime work. Time teaches valuable lessons – years on the Ektachrome slides have started to adopt a colour cast, whereas the Kodachrome slides have retained their original brightness. I was fortunate in 1994 to digitally archive a An 85mm portrait shot of a ‘Waggis’ – a delightful creature that rides selection of 100 Fasnacht around on decorated wagons in groups of eight to twelve, pulled by images onto a Kodak tractors and hurling confetti, oranges, flowers and other special treats at Photo CD, preserving the all and sundry. If they really like you, they entice you onto the wagon (or simply jump down and capture you) and stuff your clothes with confetti. original quality. Funny that they mostly seem to target young ladies for this activity! Today, with my K10D, I appreciate the flexibility of changing ISO sensitivity setting on between the spectators and procession to capture dynamic close-up images. the fly, using shake reduction to greatly A later acquisition, a Pentax SMC improve the night shots and eliminating the risk of deteriorating images, thanks 85mm f/2.2 Soft Focus not only to digital image capture. delivers the useful angle-of-view You would never expect to use a but also offers a range of soft focus tripod at ground level because of the settings and the ability to create surging mass of onlookers during the magnificent flare effects. The resulting carnival, so you need to find alternative photographs can be beautiful. solutions. Solid items such as walls and At the end of the organised carnival trees allow you to brace the camera processions small groups of pipers firmly, with elbows well into the body. and drummers make their way home A bean bag or camera bag top can be and the medieval buildings lining the used on a hard surface to support the narrow, steeply sloping town centre camera for longer exposures. streets may be used as backdrop for The main challenge during the some very evocative images. daytime is avoiding being pushed and brief ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER jostled by the crowd at the decisive Geoff Cook is a 1953 vintage Mancunian training moment. There are alternative and development specialist, and started taking strategies for achieving this, first of photographs at a very early age with an Ensign E29 which is the choice of lens. (which he still has!) and 120 B&W roll film. He I have an SMC M 20mm f/4 widere-started his hobby with a Ricoh KR10 apertureangle, which is a lovely lens for priority SLR in 1979, moving on to a manual Pentax architecture, landscape and interior MX to really learn how to take photographs. work, but have found this to be too Numerous Pentax lenses and accessories were wide for most carnival situations. acquired over the years, including a second-hand LX My favourite lens for carnival body. He bought a compact digital camera in 2002 reportage was the SMC M 85mm f/2 on to explore the new technology, and has just become either an MX or LX body. This lens gave the proud owner of a K10D. Geoff photographs a me the freedom to shoot the carnival range of subjects including landscape, architecture, procession from behind the spectators. flora & fauna, classic sports cars, as well as the The slightly longer perspective of type of reportage which you see here, and is in the this lens also allows you to move in process of developing his work as a freelancer. PENTAX USER magazine





6 1: A slower shutter speed was used to create a blur 1 eeffect to illustrate the force of the drummers. 2 The drum major is essential to every pipe and drum 2: c clique. 3: A classic ‘Waggis’ – the Baslers’ comic view of the French who live in the Vosges. 4 4&5: Traditional costumes of the pipers and drummers sshot on Kodachrome 64. 6: Confetti provides numerous opportunities for dynamic contre jour shots. This one was taken on the SMC 85mm f/2.2 Soft Focus. PENTAX USER magazine

5 Issue 1 2008 23


Window of

Opportunity Roy Hampson turned his back bedroom into a creative mini still-life photo studio for something to do on rainy days.


f you’re like me and ocassionally find yourself stuck indoors waiting for something to be delivered, a tradesman to arrive, or for the weather to brighten up you may also be left with that constant nagging desire to take photos. To banish away these frustrations I decided to set aside part of a spare bedroom and utilise some space for setting up and photographing still-life studies. A spot of indoor, home grown photography as a productive pastime to drive away the blues. The room I use has a south facing window that provides wonderful natural light to filter-in through late in the afternoon. These rays even transform items of junk left in the room into quite photogenic subjects, revealing colour and textures. I’ve used this room before, but each photo session began with the arduous chore of making space to work, then having to gather various bits of photographic equipment from all over the household. I often ended up worn out before I’d actually got down to any form of photography. Especially as the objects needed to create still-lifes were

Still lifes like this come in handy for submitting to Nostalgic /social history, and collectors magazines. 50mm lens and a touch of sunlight from window. 24 Issue 1 2008

stored all over the place too. I now leave still-life sets undisturbed for ages, allowing me to re-photograph them time and time again under different lighting situations. Ideally, for photographic work, your room should be emulsioned white to reflect as much daylight as possible. My wife wouldn’t agree with a pure white makeover, so I compromised with a light lilac paint and kept the ceiling white. As my still-life set-ups aren’t huge elaborate affairs it doesn’t really matter about the colour of the room. A few handy white pieces of card, acting as reflectors, provide a little extra daylight if needed to illuminate or fill in shadows of my subjects being photographed. The quality and type of natural light can vary even after a few minutes. So shooting the same subject several times on different days gives me an opportunity to choose which type of light suits a particular subject best. I’ve always had a deep affection for photographing still-lifes. It’s good because you’re in full control, not seeking out photogenic landscapes or waiting for the light to be just right. I can set up colourful subjects to photograph and decide how and when I want to illuminate these set-ups. All that’s required is a flat surface close to the window, along with enough room for a camera, tripod and myself to manoeuver. I used an old desk placed near a window, its surface illuminated by the daylight outdoors. I added an angle poise desk lamp, which comes in handy to light my still-life set-ups when the light outdoors isn’t all that inspiring. Now we’re ready to get down to some desktop studio photography. All that’s needed are some suitable objects to shoot. Everything I need for creative stilllife sessions is stored nearby. I’ve assembled a few wooden racks to store essential photographic equipment and various objects I’ve collected over the years. In the main these are all small objects that fit into plastic storage boxes to keep them all together. The camera equipment and accessories, my tripod and all the bits

and pieces employed in my table top set-ups are stored alongside. Although I love to practice the art of still-life photography I’ve never been keen on shooting images that the mere mention of the two words conjure up. You know, the usual stuff – a bunch of grapes, wine glasses or vases of flowers. Instead of relying on clichés like these I try to be more inventive and make use of the fact that I really love colour and like to seek out basic everyday objects for my creations. It’s just a matter of searching out various shops for suitable subjects to place in front of my camera lens. Pound shops, hardware stores, craft shops and stationers are just a few of

I required a nostalgic feel to this still-life of old theatre memorabilia, so the modelling lamp from my old Courtenay studio light added a warm glow.

PENTAX USER magazine

my hunting grounds. It’s all about using your eyes and imagination. I’m often called upon by a magazine to come up with one of my still-life creations to illustrate an article printed within its pages. The magazine in question is aimed at older people and its readers contribute the written material, but don’t supply any illustrations to go with it. So the magazine contacts me to supply a photo or two to bring the article to life. The photos are simple set-ups of nostalgic themed objects - anything from old biscuit tins to a collection of cigarette cards. So I’m always on the lookout for suitable subjects of this kind to photograph. For this reason a friend of mine scours eBay for old show business memorabilia, which is the most common requirement of the magazine. He’s certainly come up with some interesting photogenic material including old variety bills, photographs and theatre programmes – all of which came at an amazingly low cost. I shoot the set-ups using my Pentax LX fitted with 50mm standard lens and the camera is always loaded with my favourite film, Fuji Velvia. It makes the best of those strong colours and the sharpness required for top class results. The illumination is usually just daylight from the window. I set the aperture at f/16 for maximum depth-of-field which results in shutter speeds of around 1/4sec. Even though I mount the camera on a rock-steady Benbo Mk1 tripod I still have to be careful of camera movement as some of the floorboards in the room are rickety, so I use a shutter release cable, hold my breath, and try not to move during the long exposures. For the actual exposures I’ve started to use my wife’s digital camera to photograph the still-life set up first. This acts like a Polaroid where I can instantly check out any errors that might have been made. Objects that don’t look that good or positioned wrongly can then be displayed much better to improve the composition. Even blank gaping holes that stare you in the face come to light in this pre-photography. A little tweaking can vastly improve the overall result and all can be put right before attempting any film photography to avoid wasting time and valuable film frames. The most common error in these situations is strong highlights on reflective surfaces from plastic or paper objects. The areas of white light go a long way to ruin the whole effect, so tilting these troublesome items or holding a piece of black card out of view from the lens usually does the trick of banishing the reflections. When assembling my still-lifes I make sure that I build right out of the edges of my set up – even if it isn’t visible through the camera viewfinder. This keeps the corners and edges of the final results packed with interest. PENTAX USER magazine

The desk used to photograph still-life set-ups is placed near the window to utilise the natural light. Shelves are nearby for quick access to props. Right: Plastic toys placed on a piece of wood painted with blue powder paint, taken with 50mm lens. Below: A tray that I utilise when messing with powder paints for still-lifes. I thought this also made an interesting still-life study in its own right. Also taken using the 50mm lens with window light on dull day.

Issue 1 2008 25



marvellous David Askham was excited when he received his new Pentax 50-135mm lens as it filled an important gap in his digital armoury. Here’s his first experiences with it.


he launch of the Pentax K10D camera was a milestone in many photographers’ lives. Its build quality and specification marked it out as a serious camera for professional and ambitious amateur use. Yet its launch was unmatched by new technology lenses for which many photographers craved. True, there were a lot of current and older lenses that would work well with the camera but users hankered after something better. In order to pacify global demand for new generation Pentax lenses, several new designs were announced early in 2007, including two zoom lenses with desirable specifications. At that time I mentally earmarked my interest in the new 50-135mm and waited. The lenses were many months coming, but in September 2007 my order was satisfied and I set about exploring its handling and performance. This article reflects my early experiences with the lens.

First impressions Straightaway it was clear that the highest build quality and materials had been employed. It feels every bit a professional quality lens. It’s not so big and bulky as I had anticipated, for such a relatively fast lens; although once the sizeable lens hood has been fitted it becomes a fairly chunky object. Nevertheless the lens handles well, is well-balanced and in no time I was in business. At this point I should explain that two new kittens had recently joined our household. So it was unsurprising that they should be a target of my attention. Up to that point I had been using my two favoured prime lenses, the Limited Edition 43mm and 77mm which are firm favourites and will not be displaced by the new lens. But I had noticed that invariably I had the wrong lens on the K10D to capture their antics. That is why the zoom became so important. Although handling is easy and smooth, I realised that I was not getting the benefit of the new SDM ultrasonic automatic focusing. I checked and found that I needed to upgrade my camera firmware to Version 1.30. (See Pentax User magazine, Issue 3 2007, page 30 for upgrade procedures). Once updated, focusing is virtually silent and quick. In fact if you have inadvertently brief MAIN FEATURES switched off the L Lens construction: 8 elements in 14 groups. autofocus, you L Focusing type: Internal focusing. get no audible L Focal length range: 50-135mm (Equivalent to reminder of your 75-202.5mm in 35mm terms). omission. However, L Aperture: Constant maximum aperture of f/2.8. the kittens didn’t L Minimum aperture: f/22. even notice the L Minimum focusing distance: 1.0m. lens in action! L Filter size: 67mm. Ergonomically L Weight: 320g. my only slight L Price: £630. Stock No: 21660 criticism is that L 10% discount for PU Members (see page 33) when altering the 26 Issue 1 2008

zoom setting my instinct is to adjust the focusing mount because my left hand naturally supports that part of the barrel. In some ways I wish the zoom barrel was slightly longer, even at the expense of reducing the length of the focusing mount. Most of my photography involves the use of wide-angle to normal focal length lenses. It’s rare I exceed 105mm focal length, so why should I be tempted by this new zoom lens? The first reason is hinted at above. Once you aim to shoot head & shoulder portraits or similar subjects, a longer focal length lens is needed in order to avoid distortion of features. You simply need a stand-off distance. Sometimes you have no choice, such as shooting animals in open spaces. For my type of photography the 50-135mm lens is perfect. It’s an ideal companion to my Pentax 16-45mm which, although an older design, is very good and meets all my requirements in this range. (I have faster primes if necessary). It’s worth noting that I do have a Sigma EX legacy lens which I used with my MZ cameras. Its range is from 100-300mm at f/4.0 and I have used it successfully with the K10D. But I find its bulk and weight (1440gm - more than four times the weight of the new Pentax lens) a deterrent to use on trips away from home. Granted, it has longer reach, but I rarely need a telephoto lens longer than 200mm.

Bright boy Another advantage of the 50-135mm lens is it can be used at f/2.8 throughout its zoom range. That is a distinct advantage when working indoors in available light, particularly when using the K10D with the ever-useful SV setting. (Dial in a higher ISO, if necessary). Possibly the biggest advantage of a telephoto zoom lens is its better ability to control depth-of-field. With sensors smaller than 35mm full frame, necessitating much shorter actual lens focal lengths, it has been a perpetual bugbear making a subject stand out clearly against an out-of-focus background. Work-arounds in Photoshop are time consuming and call for a lot of skill. So, if you can achieve the desired result at the taking stage, life is much easier. With a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and lens performance to match, the photographer has much greater control of imaging. I have been pleasantly surprised at how well this works in practice. One quirky feature of the K10D needs a mention. For some reason the camera anti-shake reduction feature needs to be turned off when the camera is mounted on a tripod. I forgot once and was puzzled why some portraits, under settled conditions, were not quite sharp. There was consistent loss PENTAX USER magazine

of definition which was restored when the SR function was disabled. Of course, you have to remember to switch it back on when you need it!

Conclusions The new Pentax 50-135mm lens is an exciting new addition to the range of optics available for use with the K10D and slightly earlier models. The balance struck by the designers to achieve harmony between lens bulk, weight and performance is highly laudable and I can see it being a regular on photographic trips as well as around the home. Although supplies of the lens have been problematic in the past, the situation should be much better by the time this article is published early in 2008. I cannot believe anyone would be disappointed with its performance.

Red roses well out of reach at the top of a barn, but accessible with the new lens.

Close-up detail of an autumnal leaf in dull lighting with lens set to 135mm hand-held.

PENTAX USER magazine

Catching an active three-year old running on the lawn (ISO400 f/3.5 1/320sec at 135mm lens setting).

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Pentax User Club back issues We still have just a few copies left of the following back issues of the Pentax club magazine: January, April, July and 4 for October 2000, January, £10.00! April, July and October 2001. They are £3 each or order any 4 for £10. We also have stocks of the following 4 for Pentax User magazines: £12.00! January, April, July and October 2002. January, April, July and October 2003. January, April, July and October 2004. January, April, July and October 2005 Sold out Jan, April, July and Oct 2006, Jan, April, July and Oct 2007 and Jan 2008. These are £4 each or four or more for £3 each. For full details of what's in each issue look on Check out page 8 for details of the Pentax User magazine binder that will hold your copies neatly for reference. Please use the coupon on page 34,

the UK’s leading online photography magazine If you have access to the Internet, there's one place you should bookmark as a favourite: The web site, made by the creators of Pentax User, has over 411,000 visitors each month who enjoy the tests, forums, galleries, daily news and reviews on all things photographic. L Visit our archive of step by step techniques to help you improve your photography L Compete in the Challenge Gallery L Ask questions and find useful advice in our friendly forums L Enter the monthly prize competitions L Post your photos in the gallery and get comments on them L Comment on other photos L New tag search L Have a go at Picture Sudoku OR Create an album Take advantage of our free registration offer to gain life membership to the best club on the net.

NEW Before & After Gallery L Upload a before and after photo to show your technical skills with flash, exposure, filters, use of lens, digital manipulation etc. L Viewing B&A pictures is a great visual way to learn new techniques. This feature is unique to ePHOTOzine


Making opaque

Frames Duncan Evans explains how to add an opaque frame to the outside of your photos, without losing any of the picture.


hile this tutorial was created using Photoshop CS3, it’s very straightforward and can be emulated by any software package that uses layers. The idea is to add an opaque frame to the image, based on what is already in the picture, but without losing any of the detail. In our example, the top of the church tower and some of the walls are very close to the edges, so the trick is to not eat into the picture.


First, load the picture and then create a duplicate layer which can be renamed as Interior. Then select the background layer and go to Image 4Canvas Size. Click on the Relative tick box and enter values of 250 pixels. This increases the canvas size of the bottom layer, but not the top one.


Select the Magic Wand tool and ensure it is using a low Tolerance, try 10 or less, and click in the white area of the background layer. This selects the band of white. Then go to Select 4Inverse and this will change the selection so that it is surrounding the interior only.

the stretched version on the outside edge.


Remove the selection. Ensure the background layer is selected and go to Filter 4Blur 4Gaussian Blur. Enter a value of 50 pixels and apply it. Now right click on the Background layer and select Layer from Background. This turns the background into a floating layer so that the Opacity can be changed. Now change this to 75% to knock it back.


Select the interior layer and go to Layer 4Layer Style 4Bevel and Emboss. Change the Style to Outer Bevel and increase the size to 10 pixels. In the Shading section click in the top left side of the Angle circle to set the light source so that the shadow falls on the bottom right. Apply this and flatten all the layers and save the completed image. This will now show the main image sitting above an opaque border.

Go to Edit 4Transform 4Scale and drag the top left corner of the selection to the far top left of the canvas. Repeat with the bottom right corner to the far bottom right of the canvas. Let go and apply the transformation. You should now see the original image in the middle and


PENTAX USER magazine

Issue 1 2008 29



Focus depth Do you shoot close-ups? Would you like the depth-of-field equivalent to f/256 with the optimum lens quality of f/8? Read on...


ere’s a digital technique that could astound you. It involves taking several photos and putting them together to make one super sharp photo. It’s called focus stacking. Although the technique has been around for a number of years, it’s starting to become more popular now the software that’s used to process the images is becoming easier and cheaper (free in some cases) to use. First, let’s look at the problem. If you’ve ever taken an ultra close-up photo of a subject that’s not parallel to the film/CCD you will recall that you either had to stop the aperture right down to minimum setting to get the subject sharp or adjust the angle so the subject was parallel. Stopping down to minimum does two things. 1; it results in a slower shutter speed, which may cause subject or camera blur and 2; it makes the lens perform at an aperture that’s not its optimum so the results can never be as finely resolved. Lenses have an optimum aperture of between f/5,6 and f/11 depending on the optical design.

Click on Run and the CombineZM goes into action cropping and matching size, position and colour of subject for each stacking image. The information window is very basic and unvisual. 30 Issue 1 2008

Even if you do stop down to the minimum aperture it’s often not small enough to get enough depth-of-field, especially when using extension tubes or bellows, so a compromise is made. The idea behind focus stacking is that you take a number of photographs at different focus points and merge them using special stacking software. To show you how the technique works we used a Pentax 100mm macro lens on the Pentax K10D and focused at several points on a watch. The series of photos is displayed to the right, along with the larger stacked and fully focused image. Set the camera on manual focus and mount it on a tripod. Set the exposure to manual so all frames are consistent. Use a remote release to prevent camera shake. Use the lens set a couple of stops down from wide open to get the best performance. Focus at the closest point in the frame and take a shot. Focus slightly further back and take another shot. Repeat until you are focusing on the furthest part of the subject in the frame. You could have between six and 30 shots depending on the subject. Make sure that each focus point is at regular distance intervals. Then stack them. We used the free program CombineZM and compared this with the option from Heliconsoft Helicon Focus. Both operate in the same way in that you locate your series of images

Helicon Focus has a much better interface with a second preview that shows you the progress of the stack and is much better graphically than CombineZM.

to be stacked and click a run button to automatically combine the photos. CombineZM is a very crude program which needs some level of skill to find your way around. There’s no manual so it’s all trial and error, but as it’s free you certainly can’t complain and it’s worth a go to see if you can manage with it. Helicon Focus costs $30 (about £15) and has a much friendlier interface so I’d prefer to pay the small fee for the much better user interface. It takes around 3 minutes to process a stack using CombineZM and about 2mins with Helicon Focus. CombineZM produces a shot that needs cropping to remove distorted edges while Helicon Focus automatically crops.

When CombineZM has finished its shows a preview window. It uses all the info from each frame so edges may be distorted and need to be cropped. Helicon Focus automatically produces a cropped version. PENTAX USER magazine

The nine shots of the pocket watch on this page and two overleaf were imported into CombineZM and stacked to create this razor sharp image. Notice how there’s detail from the very front to back. This process is perfect for macro and microscope photography and is ideal in insect photography providing, of course, the subject doesn’t move!

Helicon Focus is available from and CombineZM is from

PENTAX USER magazine

Issue 1 2008 31

MAIL ORDER CLUB OFFERS S Exclusive – 10% discount on 100’s of accessories only for PENTAX USER club members* Simply choose the items you would like from the list below, write the part number and item description down on the coupon overleaf, deduct 10% off the total and send to the address on the coupon, making sure the order value is £20 or more. If you can’t remember your membership number please supply your postcode. (Please note photos are not to scale). *Minimum order £20



DIGITAL SLR LENSES** 21580 DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 fisheye £400 21547 DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL £200 21507 DA 16-45mm f/4 AL £400 21650 DA 16-50mm f/2.8 *ED £550 21577 DA 12-24mm f/4 ED AL (IF) £600 21550 DA 40mm f/2.8 limited £280 21620 DA 70mm f/2.4 LTD £380 21510 DA 14mm f/2.8 ED IF £600 21590 DA 21mm f/3.2 AL LTD £420 21567 DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED £200 21660 DA 50-135mm f/2.8 *ED £200 **These lenses aren’t recommended for use with film cameras


RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES for OPTIO 39587 Lithium Ion Battery D-L163 (Optio W30, M30, T30) 39121 Lithium Ion Battery D-L18 (Optio SV, SVi X WPi, WP, S6, S5z, S5n, S5i, S4i. S4, S) CASES for OPTIO DIGITAL CAMERAS 50085 Soft Leather Case (Optio SVi, SV, S60, S55) 50092 Croco Luxury Case (Optio SVi, S60, S55) 50097 Soft Textured Leather Case (Optio 6, S5z, S5n, S5i) 50103 Soft Leather Case (Optio WPi, WP) 50113 Soft Case (Optio 6, S5z, S5n) 50101 Nylon Case (Optio 50) 50129 Leather case LC-A1 for A20 50128 Leather case LCT1 for T10 50130 Leather case LCW1 for W10/W20 50134 Neoprene Case W series

£25 £32

£20 £25 £20 £21 £15 £15 £20 £20 £20 £15

50161 Leather Soft Case LC-M1 for OptioM and L series including L30, M30 L40 and M40. Only one in stock: £20 AC ADAPTERS for OPTIO DIGITAL CAMERAS 39130 AC Adaptor Kit K-AC7H (Optio 750Z, MX4) 39146 AC Adaptor Kit K-AC8H (Optio SV, SVi, WPi, WP, S6, S5z, S5n, S5i) 39184 AC Adaptor Kit K-AC12B (was 5E) (Optio 230, 30, 330GS, 33-L, 33LF, S30, S40, 33WR, 43WR) 39617 AC Adaptor Kit K-AC63H (Optio Optio A30, T30, W30i) 39595 AC Adaptor Kit K-AC64H STRAPS for OPTIO DIGITAL CAMERAS 39195 Strap O-ST20 (Optio SVi, SV, X WPi WP, S6, S5n, S5i, S60, S45, S50, S4i, S40, S30) 39270 Sports strap O-ST30 (Optio S6, D5z, WPi) 39263 Leather strap O-ST24 (Optio SVi, S6, S5z, WPi, S60, S45, S50 39106 Strap O-ST33 (Optio S50) AV CABLES for OPTIO DIGITAL CAMERAS 39552 AV Cable I-VC7 (Optio 750z, SVi, SV, X, WPi, WP, S5z, S5n, S5i, S60, S55, S45, S50, MX4, S, S4,S4i, S40, S30, 450, 550, 555, 33WR, 43WR) 39489 AV Cable I-VC2 (Optio 230, 330, 430, 330GS, 33-L, 33LF) 39104 AV Cable I-AVC33 (Optio 50)

USB CABLES for OPTIO DIGITAL CAMERAS 39233 USB Cable I-USB17 (S6, SVi, SV, MX-4) £10 39551 USB Cable I-USB7 (Optio 750z, X, WPi, WP, £10 S5z, S5n, S5i, S60, S55, S45, S50, S, S4, S4i, S40, S30, 450, 550, 555, 33WR, 43WR) 39488 USB Cable I-USB2 £10 (Optio 230, 330, 430, 330GS, 33-L, 33LF) 39536 USB Cable I-USB2C (Optio 330GS) LAST ONE £10

£42 £42 £42 39488 USB Cable I-USB2 for Optio 230, 330, 430, 330GS, 33-L, 33LF. £30 £30

£9 £10 £20 £9


£9 £9

UNDERWATER HOUSING for OPTIO DIGITAL CAMERAS 39261 Underwater Housing OWP4 (Optio S50) £208

32 Issue 1 2008


ACCESSORIES FOR ALL DIGITAL COMPACTS 39520 D Image Viewer O-3DV1 37376 Remote Control E (zoom compacts) BATTERY CHARGERS for OPTIO CAMERAS 39138 Charger Kit K-BC7H (Optio 750Z, MX4, MX, 555, 550, 450) 39252 USB Cradle D-CR24 (Optio X) 39207 Charging Stand D-BC20 (Optio S4i) 39154 Charger Kit K-BC8H (Optio SVi, S6, S5z, WPi, WP, S4, S)

£8 £20 £42 £50 £42 £42

39135 Charging Kit K-BC2/BC7 £42 (Optio 330, 430, 330RS, 430RS)

SLR LENSES 21520 SMC 100mm f/2.8 D FA Macro 21530 SMC 50mm f/2.8 D FA Macro 27707 SMC 28-80mm FA J 20280 SMC 31mm f/1.8 FA limited 20170 SMC 43mm f/1.9 FA limited 27970 SMC 77mm f/1.8 FA limited 20290 SMC 31mm F1.8 FA BLK 20180 SMC 43mm F1.9 FA BLK 22190 SMC 35mm F2 FA 20817 SMC 50mm f/1.4 27960 SMC 20-35mm F4 SMC-FA AL 27957 SMC 28-80mm SMC-FAJ AL 27997 SMC 28-105mm SMC-FA SILV 28007 SMC 28-105mm SMC-FA BLK 27718 PEN 75-300mm SMC-FAJ AL SOFT LENS CASES 37725 Soft Lens Case (S90-100) 28-80,75-300mm 33923 S (small) 50mm, 28mm, 35-70mm 33924 M (medium) std zoom, 135mm, 50mm M 33925 L (long) tele, 35-135mm, 100mm M 33944 For 40mm DA 37755 For 14mm DA

£30 £30 £30 £30 £25 £33

LENS CAPS 31491 Lens Cap F 49mm 31515 Lens Cap F 52mm 31573 Lens Cap F 58mm 31653 Lens Cap F 67mm 31820 Lens Cap F 82mm 31703 Metal cap for 43mm & 77mm 31709 Metal cap for 31mm f/1.8 31493 Metal cap for 40mm DA

£13 £13 £13 £13 £13 £20 £28 £28

CLEANING PRODUCTS 39357 CCD Sensor Cleaning Kit CLPE Supaclean MicroFibre Cleaning Cloth

£28 £3.50

£450 £400 £187 £820 £430 £650 £820 £430 £280 £200 £500 £100 £240 £240 £150

39628 Charging Kit K-BC63H £42 (Optio L30, M30, T30, W30) 39474 AC Plug Cord (UK) £4

39135 Charging Kit K-BC2 – £42. PENTAX USER magazine

Pentax User Discount Accessory mail order form (Prices quoted are valid until 1st April 2008) Send to Pentax User, The Turbine, Coach Close, Shireoaks S81 8AP I would like to order the following items: or Credit Card number:

Part No Item description


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35MM SLR CAMERAS ACCESSORIES FOR DIGITAL SLRS 39216 AC Adaptor Kit K-AC10H (*ist D, DL, DS) 39367 AC Adaptor Kit K-AC50H (K10D) 39557 Battery Grip BG2 (K10D) 39581 Li-ion Battery DL150 39488 USB Cable I-USB2 (*ist D) 39233 USB Cable I-USB17 (*ist DS, DL) 39262 AV Cable I-VC28 (*ist DS, DL) 39489 AV Cable I-VC2 (*ist D) 31040 Hotshoe Cover FK (*ist D, DL, DS) 31016 Body Mount cover (*ist D, DL, DS) 39724 Case O-CC28 (*ist DS) 39356 Case O-CC55 (K10D with 16-55mm) 39190 Strap O-ST10 (*ist D, DL, DS) 39323 Strap O-ST53 38571 Focusing Screen LF-60 (framed matt) 38572 Focusing Screen LL-60 (divided matt) 38573 Focusing Screen LI-60 (scaled matt) 38574 Focusing Screen LF80 (framed) 38575 Focusing Screen LL80 (divided) 38576 Focusing Screen LI80 (scaled) 50121 Screen Protector Film 2.5” 39357 CCD Sensor Cleaning Kit

£46 £40 £180 £50 £10 £10 £9 £9 £5 £5 £55 £50 £19 £19 £30 £30 £30 £30 £30 £30 £10 £28

39233 USB Cable I-USB17 £10

£13 £13 £400 £50 £30

ONE-OFF DISCONTINUED ITEMS The items below are accessories that are no longer available from Pentax or retailers. They are in very limited stock and subject to availability. We suggest you use the phone order system to reserve any of these items. 37393 Winder MX Remote Trigger Socket cap £8 N/A 67 Eye correction lens (-1, -4,) £8ea N/A SMC (ME) Eye correction lens (-5,) £8ea 30802 Focusing screen (unknown fit) £10 30804 Focusing screen (unknown fit) £10 30805 Focusing screen (unknown fit) £10 30812 Focusing screen (unknown fit) £10 38735 Pentax Lens Hood PH-RBE 58MM £30 30283 RARE Correction Lens Adaptor M £10 UA-21 and UB-21 645 focusing screens £25ea

30425 AF540FGZ Flash £370

37377 Remote Control F £18

49mm Square (28mm, 35mm) £30 49mm Metal for (43mm f/1.9) £30 58mm (PH-RBA) (20-35mm) £30 52mm rubber (RH-RA) (50mm Macro) £30 58mm rubber(80-320mm, 100-300mm F+FA) £28 58mm in silver (PH-RBC) (28-105mm) £30 58mm in black (PH-RBC)(28-105mm) £30 72mm in silver (PH-RBA) (28-200mm) £40 52mm Lenshood (PH-RBA52)(18-55mm DA) £30 49mm Lenshood (MH-RB) (40mm DA) £30 49mm Lenshood (PH-RBH) (14mm DA) £40

VIEWING AIDS & EYEPIECE ACCESSORIES 30132 Eyecup FL for *ist D-series digital cameras 30184 Eyecup FP for K10D 30148 Ref converter A with Case 30990 Magnifier FB + case 30150 Magnifier Eyecup 0-ME53

31046 Hotshoe Adaptor F £35

37248 Cable Switch CS-205

LENSHOODS 34110 34022 34779 34764 38701 34782 34784 31707 38741 38742 38738

39489 AV Cable I-VC2 £9

37349 3m Flash Extension Cord 5P £59

30132 Eyecup FL £13

31045 Hotshoe Adaptor Fg £33

39357 CCD Sensor Cleaning Kit £28

ADAPTORS 37955 Reverse Adaptor K 52mm 38454 645 Adaptor (67 lenses on 645 body) 38455 K Adaptor (645 lenses on 35mm body) 30120 K Mount adaptor for screw thread lenses

£20 £180 £160 £20

CAMERA GADGET BAGS 50099 SLR Multi bag 50098 Backpack for SLR outfits CABLE 37248 37377 37376

£30 £55

RELEASES AND ACCESSORIES Cable Switch CS-205 (*ist D, DL, DS, MZ-6) £33 Remote Control F (*ist D, DL, DS) £18 Remote Control E (zoom compacts) £20

PHOTO LOUPE 60053 SMC Photo Loupe 5-11X 60051 SMC Photo Loupe 5.5X

£175 £90

39557 Battery Grip BG2 £180 DIGITAL EXPOSURE METER 36141 Digital 1deg Spot Meter


FLASHGUNS & ACCESSORIES 30465 AF 200FG flash 30333 AF 360FGZ TTL bounce flash wih case 30425 AF 540FGZ TTL flashgun 30336 Off camera Shoe Clip CL-10 31040 Hotshoe Cover FK for *ist, MZ-60, 645NII 31041 Hotshoe Cover FL for MZ-S 31045 Hotshoe Adaptor Fg (for camera hotshoe) 31046 Off Camera Adaptor F (for flashgun base) 37349 Extension Cord F5P (L) 3m cable 37347 5P Extension Cord F (1m cable) 31014 Hot Shoe Adaptor 2P (converts hotshoe into pc socket)

£100 £200 £370 £60 £5 £5 £33 £35 £59 £27 £17

These prices are valid until 1st April 2008 and DO NOT include the 10% discount which can be deducted for all Pentax User club members. PENTAX USER magazine

Issue 1 2008 33

INFORMATION BACK PAGE HAVE YOUR DETAILS CHANGED? IF YOU CHANGE, or have changed, address or have a new credit card number (for members who use Continuous Credit Card Authority) and you haven’t informed us, please do so ASAP to ensure you obtain the best service possible. Please also let us know if you change e-mail address.

E-MAIL NEWSLETTER OUR free membership newsletter, sent by e-mail informs you of new Pentax products and offers that are launched in between the magazine cycle. We will also let you know in advance about competitions and other opportunities. To be added to this list please e-mail and request inclusion. This is not a junk-mail circular.

SUBMISSION & ORDER FORMS USE THE COUPONS below to submit to various sections of Pentax User. If you don’t want to cut up your magazine please make a photocopy or visit our web site and print out the order forms or coupons from there:

Gallery competition Issue 3 2008 Send to Pentax User, The Turbine, Shireoaks Triangle Business Park, Coach Close, Shireoaks S81 8AP

I enclose prints/slides/digital files (maximum 3) for entry into the Issue 3 Gallery competition. (Closing date 1 June 2008) Name

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Or insert postcode if Memb no. not known

Phone Please include a S.A.E. with adequate postage if you want your entry returning.

We will be placing runner-up photos on the Pentax User web site. Please tick here if you don’t wish to have your photos included There are no prizes for this section, but it’s an opportunity for you to show off your photos to other club members.

Mail order form

Issue 2 2008

Send to Pentax User, The Turbine, Shireoaks Triangle Business Park, Coach Close, Shireoaks S81 8AP (Mail order prices quoted in this magazine are valid until 30 June 2008)

I would like to order the following items: Item description



Total enclosed I wish to pay by cheque

made payable to Pentax User

or Credit Card number: (minimum order value £5)

Card expiry date:

Three digit security no*:

* the last three digits on the signature strip on the back of your card.

Signature Name

Date Member no

Delivery Address (UK Only)

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34 Issue 2 2008


CONTACTS WHERE TO GO FOR INFORMATION PENTAX USER CLUB Please contact Pentax User (within office hours) if you have membership enquiries, want to submit material or have any Club related requests. This number is not for Pentax technical queries, brochure requests etc. (See Pentax UK below for those enquires)

Office hours: Monday to Friday 9.30-5.00pm Post: Pentax User, The Turbine, Shireoaks Triangle Business Park, Coach Close, Shireoaks S81 8AP Phone/Fax 01909 512147 Web: E-mail: Publisher: Magezine Publishing Ltd Editor: Peter Bargh Technical writer: Matt Grayson Editorial assistant: Nikita Morris Subscriptions manager: Daniel Bell Web site coordination: Daniel Bell Advertising & marketing: Tracey Johnson Advertising: Tricia Aylward

PENTAX UK LTD Contact Pentax UK if you want information about specific Pentax products, brochures, current guide prices, repair estimates, spare parts, details of local stockists or Pentax technical enquiries.

Post: Pentax UK Ltd, Pentax House, Heron Drive, Langley, Slough SL3 8PN Main switchboard: 01753 792792 Brochures & Instruction books: 01753 792792 Spare parts: 01753 792767 Product and service enquiries: 01753 792731 Repair Estimate progression: 01753 792761 Fax to customer services: 01753 792769 Web site:

MEMBERSHIP SERVICES 10% discount off many genuine Pentax accessories for cameras and lenses. See details on or send a SAE to Pentax User for a price list. 20% discount on servicing and spare parts for equipment taken or sent to Pentax UK Ltd. A special form must be included when you send your equipment to Pentax to receive this discount. Forms are available on request from Pentax User (please send SAE) or visit our web site and print one off from there. Please do not send equipment to the Club office. Special Insurance Scheme offers comprehensive all-risks cover for all types of photographic equipment including tripods, flashguns and darkroom items, as well as cameras and lenses. Full details available on request. Free Classified Advertising. Use the Club to reach fellow Pentax users to buy and sell equipment. Submit ads by the beginning of the month prior to publication. Ads now appear on the web site too, so they can be displayed as soon as we receive them. Club Gallery Competition. Your chance to submit pictures to our members’ gallery and win a prize. Mail order discounts and exclusive Club deals. Buy your accessories from the comfort of your home. ONLINE CLUB RENEWALS You can now renew your Pentax User membership online. To save a stamp and a trip to the post office, just go to click on the “Subscribe” box and follow the simple instructions. The subscription cost of £16.75 is held at the 2001 price. PENTAX USER magazine

CAPTURE ONE 4 Refreshingly simple raw workflow software

what the world’s best photography is made of


In the Nig ger Delta, even routine cooking looks extraordinary. ED KASHI: B Born in 1957 in New York. Earned a degree in photojournalism at Syracuse University. Photographed in more than 60 countries. Received numerous awards for a wide range of work. PPhotographs appeared in National Geographic magazine, among many other publications. PPhoto data: SIGMA 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM, 1/250 second exposure at f13.


The ultra-wide angle capabilities of this Sigma lens open up new possibilities to digital photographers. The image circle of the lens is specially designed to suit digital SLRs with APS-C size sensors. Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass and aspheric lens elements correct aberrations for clear, distinctive image quality at all times and allows a minimum focusing distance of 24cm (9.4inches) throughout the entire zoom range. The Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) provides silent, responsive auto-focus with full-time manual focus override. This compact lens is finished to advanced EX standards and comes complete with a matched petal-shaped lens hood. This affordable, extraordinary ultra-wide-angle zoom lens will transform your photography.

SIGMA 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM *Vignetting (a darkening of the corners of the image) will occur if the lens is used with digital SLR cameras with image sensors larger than APS-C size or 35mm SLRs, and APS SLRs

Available for: Sigma SA, Canon EOS, Nikon-D, Pentax and Sony digital SLRs.

Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd, 13 Little Mundells, Welwyn Garden City, Herts. AL7 1EW. Tel: 01707 329 999 Fax: 01707 327 822 E-mail: