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Tuesday, 14 April 2009


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Ah, I see now why you didn't bother using the shots I sent to you that were taken with m'new 15mm f4 toy (apart from the fact that they were rubbish, of course). Still. if you will squander your hard-earned on fripperies like this, it's just as well that Uncle Sam takes what's left to prop up those poor banking execs.

It really is very annoying with dog owners who won't train their dogs. It's just irresponsible. It's like bad parenting. Such people shouldn't be allowed to have dogs... or kids.

Lulu needs training in how to mug a badly trained floor mop to get her ball back.

1. As a fellow slacker of the dog-won't-come-when-it-doesn't-suit-him variety, I find the "terrier" instincts of my own mutt to be hard to stamp out. I'm hoping as he grows older (2 now, in people years) he'll lose some of these rebellious instincts, but I'm not hopeful. I've resorted to leaving his leash attached to him as he runs about the yard/dog park.

2. Buds on trees.... yes, that would be nice, but the 4 inches of snow we just received yesterday (yay Edmonton!) doesn't bode for a quick arrival of spring.

3. Does the new lens give us insights into your own personal purchase of a camera body? I try to read all of the comments carefully, but I often miss things.

That's what obedience classes are for. There are experts to help you. Invest in your dog; you'll both be happier for it.

All right, I'll confess: my "new" camera was (past tense because it's no longer new, even to me) a used Bronica RF645.

Still thinking about what digital camera to get, and yet still quite happy with a Pentax K20D on long-term loan from Pentax.

Now that I've told you, go get your pup into an obedience class!


How does the new wideangle lens perform?

"dogs owners who won't train their animals"

Like most people I'm pretty good at coming up with what I should have said in a situation long after the time to say it has passed. One of the few times I did better was when a big beast of a dog bounded across the beach, heedless of the owner's calls, and frightened my children by jumping up at them. As the owner gathered it in saying, "It wouldn't harm anyone, it's just having fun", I said, "There's nothing like a well-trained dog,and that's nothing like a well-trained dog."

I admire Jim for admitting he uses Elements for his image editing. For some reason, some Elements users seem embarrassed about using it instead of the latest version of CS. I guess like a lot of things in photography, it's a status thing. Other Elements users are proud that they pocketed the $500+ they would have spent for features they can live without. Since Elements now has all most photographers really need, in today's economy, I guess there's a certain kind of status to that too.


I'm going to echo Mike here; you shouldn't skip this part of your dog's development. If you find difficulty in training him, attend an obedience course. Terriers can be very wilful, so they'll need more attention than most dogs.

In fact, don't wait for him to grow older. Like what you've suspected, it will not get better once he's got this behaviour ingrained into him.

I handled and trained explosives and drug detector dogs for nearly ten years in the Air Force. It drives me nuts watching someone who has no clue about training/handling a dog. "Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. I said sit. Sit. Sit." In the meantime, the dog, knowing full well that it has the stupid human on the other end of the leash trained to say "sit" over-and-over ignores the fool. Shows the dog is smarter, because it can get the human to work with no reward at all.

There was a show on PBS years ago with the late Barbara Woodhouse who ran obedience classes in Britain. We dog handlers loved it, as she was very brusque with the people in the class since they were much more difficult to train than the dogs. That was certainly what we observed about dogs and people.

So Mike, that first shot is offered as an accurate representation of a "lovely" early spring day. Looks to me like those clouds got a bit too much of the ole PShop treatment. Might wanna post the raw file on that one!
(just pulling your chain...couldn't resist..)

Good Dog Happy Man

I cannot walk past lichens without photographing them.

I don't know if it is the lens, or the sensor, but the package remains unable to resolve the leaves on the trees.

I'm surprised to learn that your "new" camera uses film, Mike. I'm also surprised that I'm surprised.

These days, I'm cherishing every minute I get to spend printing in a darkroom. Not so much the set up and clean up, though. Not yet.

Dear Mike and Jim,

The photos posted here seem especially clear to me. I don't just mean crisp (though that too) but that the tones and colors seem unusually transparent. Kinda like the difference in the way the world looks after you've cleaned your glasses vs before.

Is this just a chance result of the particular photos and subjects, or am I seeing a quality inherent in the lens itself?

pax / Ctein

Thanks for the encouragement, Mike.

Jasper has been to obedience class, and he did pretty well (second in his class, according to the final exam), and on-leash he's a very well behaved dog. Off leash he's not bad per se, just willful. My wife and I have been debating a second summer session of training, at a higher level. It's tough to recognize as a parent (of a dog or a child, I suppose) that their behaviors reflect the effort you put into them, but it's true, I suppose.

So, for the time being, I'll instruct Jasper to leave Lulu's ball alone. You know, in case we're ever waaaaay down in Wisconsin.

"Is this just a chance result of the particular photos and subjects, or am I seeing a quality inherent in the lens itself?"

I got the lens from Pentax at about 3pm yesterday and we went to the dog park two hours later. I'll let you know more detailed impressions when I've had a chance to do more shooting with it.

It's at least a gorgeous little thing, all metal with an andodized aluminum screw-on lenscap (with black velvet or flocking on the inside surface) and a pull-out lens shade.


The warmth and clarity of those shots immediately caught my eye. I wondered... which film was he shooting... too saturated to be C41... too much shadow detail for E6... When I saw the lens info, I had a "doh!" moment.
The best SMC lenses from Pentax have a look unlike anything else. I have a new lens to save up for/aspire to...

Concerning your title--the Ides of April is the 13th, not the 15th.

The Calends and Nones were always on the first and ninth of the month, respectively, but the Ides was either the 13th or the 15th based on the number of days in the month.

Dictionary is quickest source of info on this.


"Other Elements users are proud that they pocketed the $500+ they would have spent for features they can live without."

I lived without the features for a while, and I loved Elements (and still wish I had some things that it had, and CS4 doesn't). But if you have Elements, and want to upgrade, you can do it for $299 using this link :


For some reason, you can't get this price going through the main Adobe page (that will tell you $599). You could even buy Elements for about $80-$100 (maybe using Mike's Amazon link?), then use this link immediately, and get CS4 for a total of $399.

That's a big difference from the $699 regular price in the store. Strange - but a great deal. Of course, it's still a boatload of money, but if you want it, that price is the way to go.

I just finally got back into digital and decided on the Pentax K20D. Now I think I'll sell my 43 limited and start getting the DA primes starting with the 15mm. All the test shots on various blogs that I've seen show an excellent lens.

'The photos posted here seem especially clear to me. I don't just mean crisp (though that too) but that the tones and colors seem unusually transparent. Kinda like the difference in the way the world looks after you've cleaned your glasses vs before.

Is this just a chance result of the particular photos and subjects, or am I seeing a quality inherent in the lens itself?'

pax / Ctein

Dear Ctein,

Hard to say - the shots I took were helped by a crystal clear day. However, I haven't, as yet, taken a 'dull' photo with this lens (other than in the compositional sense, naturally). It is, by the way, a compact little beauty.


Jim McDermott

I just got the leaves comment, after puzzling over it for several minutes. That's going back, what, six months now? Way too long for my goldfish brain.

Actually those two files were underexposed slightly and then adjusted for levels, that's all. No color correction or anything else.

I converted the profile to sRGB for the web as I always do, but between the image in Photoshop and the image on the blog, something did happen to that blue sky--it looks a little brighter and a little more cyan than it did in the JPEG here at home.

It *was* very pretty on Earth, though.


D'oh - Looks like the link I posted went awry. Mike, I hope you don't mind me posting it again, properly this time I hope :

https://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/store/index.cfm?store=OLS-US&view=ols_prod&category=/SpecialPages/Photoshop&affiliateID=59949#loc=en_us&rangeUpper=6%2C0%2C65%2C0&HTMLVerRedirect=true&returnURL=%2Fcfusion%2Fstore%2Fhtml%2Findex.cfm%3Fstore%3DOLS-US%26affiliateID%3D59949%26event%3DdisplayProduct%26categoryPath%3D%2FSpecialPages%2FPhotoshop&store=OLS-US&view=ols_prod&category=/SpecialPages/Photoshop&affiliateID=59949&viewName=Adobe%20Store%20-%20North%20America&pageNotFound=0>PS CS4 Upgrade from Elements for $299

I had seen ads before on the "The dog whisperer" show, but my curiosity really piqued after I read a profile about Cesar Millan, the show host, written by Malcom Gladwell and published in the New Yorker.

I highly recommend the read (What the dog saw). And surely recommend the show. I was amazed with the results he attains with dogs and owners.

Although, I guess that not all dog owners interest themselves in the show. Usually they think their dog is all right, when in fact it is not. All of them could use a little obedience, at least.


eagerly awaiting your lens review Mike, interested to hear your take after the 35DA macro review..

you had once mentioned the regret of Pentax not having a 35mm equivalent prime but I know there were a couple of old 24mm full-framers out there, including this FA* one:


were you expressing that Pentax should have a current DA 35mm equiv. as you see it as a big hole? how far did you feel the current 21mm DA limited strayed?

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