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Sunday, 14 November 2010


Mike, post whatever makes you happy. I'll read anything you write or edit. I would venture to say that you'll never please those pesky Nikon users.......so......

Just kidding.

I'd say 'often' rather than 'too often', myself, but that's just me.

And that's just it. This is your blog, not a blog devoted to any particular corner of the photographic world, and like most of us your attention tends to focus on one topic for a bit and then go to the next.

With apologies to Omar Khayyam:

'The Moving Blogger blogs, and having blogged,
moves on'

I'm sure some said that you've spent too much time on bicycles or darkroom construction or jazz. Personally, I enjoy the mix here and think you get it right far more often than not.

"As Sgt. Schultz used to say, verrry interesting...."

I believe it was Artie Johnson's character on Laugh-In that used to say, "verrry interesting, but stupid!"

Of course, I hope the stupid part doesn't apply to the Pentax 645D.

I for one am not bothered by the recent Pentax coverage in addition to the constant din of Nikon and Canon. Pentax is making some of the most interesting and best-priced cameras at the entry and semi-pro levels. When a $1,500 semi-pro camera has better measured IQ than any full-frame Canon or Sony pro body costing much more, then that really is good news.

I had Pentax K10D for few months back in 2007. Beautiful camera with, I think, one of the best White Balance calibration I ever experienced. But, the camera was not dust free as they had it in their advertisements. Mine had 6 or 7 dust spots which I had to clean every time I wanted to make a print. So I returned it. (I went back to Nikon.) Still, I think K10D (besides the dust) gave me many beautiful shots among the about 15,000 I took. Hope Pentax solved this problem, because the official images from Pentax 645D, and the Pentax K5/K7 look just perfect.

Pentax is a bit strange feel to me. When I shoot Nikon, I feel I shoot that. When I shoot Hassey, I feel I shot that. I do not remember I am a Pentax shooter at all in all your posting. I thought I am unrelated to this (except very much concern about Pentax 645d). Until I remember I did shoot a Pentax, in fact 67, with my 7 lens in the cabinet and just go to Shanghai with it for the expo and recently for Cricket 6! It is such a transparent camera. You forget about it, including ownership. You do not take pride in owing it. Just use it.

Friends does not let friends buy Canon. As long as it is not that, I think it is ok. Looking forward for you talking about, well not Shen Haos but Chamonix.

By now I'm probably the fifth person to point it out, but it was Arte Johnson on Laugh-In who said "verrry interestink", not John Banner ("I know nothink, I see nothink, I hear nuhhhh-think!").

Thanks Alex, I'll take catch-phrases of the 60s for $500...

Mike, I wouldn't worry about it. In any given 1000 photoblogs, 700 seem to devolve to Nikon vs Canon, and 150 seem to become film vs digital, and 149 are Lightroom vs Aperture. All 999 seem to not believe there's a world beyond the east or west coast of the US. Then there's TOP.

Personally, I seem to have left brandism behind with my 40th birthday (hey - why else drive an old Volvo and not care?), and technology for tech's sake behind on my 42nd birthday (the only temporary hiccup in that is my brand new Cervelo S1 road bike, with which I am extraordinarily pleased, believing somehow that the aeroframe is going to make my 45 year old frame just that couple of seconds quicker on my weekly time trial. Oh, very pleased indeed!). I'm glad to see mention of something other than Canikon, but I'm also glad to see some random excellence and articles on printing processes that I had never heard of, nor now would ever find available chemicals.

Dear Mike,

Please, don't listen to complaints too much.
One of the most pleasing things about your blog is that it shows (betrays?) the typical ephemeral /insert brand/ gearmania cycles photographers often go through.
The blog is not only interesting for its content but also for the fact we got to "know" you over time.
That is an integral part of it, in my opinion.

Pentaxily yours,


No. Not too much. There may well be more Google hits for Canikon than for Miley Cyrus, so anyone who offers an alternate point of view is worthy of my time.

And anyone who does so with your flair and style is worthier still.

And I'm not even in the market, nor do I expect to ever be, for a DSLR, so...


No complaints about too much Pentax info.

Pesky Nikon User

Too much talking about Pentax?

"Friends does not let friends buy Canon. As long as it is not that, I think it is ok. Looking forward for you talking about, well not Shen Haos but Chamonix.'

I gotta say that I went down the Canon path cause after my son was born a digital rebel (300D) seemed like the only thing out there.. but gee why does everyone have nasty thoughts about Canon?

"but gee why does everyone have nasty thoughts about Canon?"

They don't. People love Canon. Canons are great. In fact I was considering a 60D because it's been too long since I reacquainted with Canon...all the way since the EOS RT in 1991...

...Which I loved.


Ah, camera brands are becoming more like religion and politics. Over here, we have the
Nikocrats and over here, we have the
Canocrats and over here.....


Kinda tough to completely ignore equipment, but to be honest, I don't tune into your blog to geek out over equipment.

But----gotta love a company that has the guts to make a $1000 prime lens for an APS-C camera. At least they had the smarts to make a camera that appears to be worthy of the lens. Oh, well, enough of that.

I'm ready to talk and read about pictures again.

" ... but gee why does everyone have nasty thoughts about Canon?"

Just "Top Dog" syndrome, I think (alternatively "Tall Poppy" syndrome). People generally love to heap abuse on the leader. But if you gather 10 pros in a room, chances are that at least seven or eight of 'em will be Canon shooters.

I shoot mostly Nikon myself, but there's a little Canon S95 that currently lives in my pocket or bag wherever I go. Sometimes that big top dog company *really* gets it right.

Oh, and Mike, no problem with the plethora of Pentax posts ... especially if they involve the 645D. Can I join in the Shen Hao discussion if I own a Tachihara?

Talk about Pentax as much as you want, just don't stop showing photos, art, jazz, audio, and everything else that makes this blog the great general info source it is!

BTW, hanging on to the end of my life as a paid photographer with all finger-tips, but interesting to read the minor shake-out of the Pentax Digital 645 on your Luminous Landscape jump. I think Pentax has made the medium format digital possibility more likely for all of the medium format film shooters out there that are unwilling to give up our Hasselblad V system stuff. Whatever that Hasselfuji thing is that people use to shoot digital medium format was, it was certainly NOT possible to buy based on small and medium market paychecks for freelancers. Not to mention that every one who uses one in production settings has bent my ear with stories of the lenses and body parts just falling apart and and falling off. Ridiculous for an item that pricey (or "spendy" if you're from Portland).

Maybe Pentax has delivered the "great-white-hope" for those of us still shooting the big-boys. Now if I was only billing what I was billing 12 years ago. What Pentax needs to do now is get that chip and technology into a back for Hasselblad V and Mamiya RZ/RB stuff, for 3 grand!

Too much Pentax? Personally, I'm glad to see someone besides Nikon/Canon getting a little love. The K5 is the hot camera for the moment, and the 645D will cause quite a stir also. Speaking as an Olympus owner, I've got no problem with Pentax getting some time in the spotlight.

interesting, indeed. I wasn't aware that it was possible to talk about Pentax too much.

I love my Shen Hao HZX 4X5-IIA! I only bought it because you told me to, so thanks.

As a pesky (I hope) Nikon user, I'm happy to hear about what Pentax is doing. The recent up-tick in Pentax posts is because they've been doing interesting things lately.

And the really valuable posts and comments here aren't that much about equipment, anyway, even if they're in the context of equipment discussion. I do probably learn something about hardware every now and then here, but I learn about other things more.

Too much mentioning of Pentax? What, you should have ignored the 645D? Perhaps you shouldn’t have mentioned the DXO rating of the K5 sensor? What is about Pentax that inspires such antipathy in some photographers?

NB I believe this is the first time I’ve written a paragraph punctuated entirely with question marks, is that possible?

"Sock it to *me*?"

Quote source and context.

I believe Donald Barthelme once wrote an entire short story consisting entirely of questions....


""Sock it to *me*?" Quote source and context."

Richard M. Nixon on Rowan and Martin's "Laugh-In," September 16th, 1968. (Nobody socked it to him, though...well, not until much later. [g])


Complaint? No, a compliment for mentioning Pentax a lot. Thank you for running what you run in your blog. I have more Pentax 645 gear than I do Canon DSLR gear and Pentax DSLR gear combined, so I thoroughly enjoy the Pentax spike in your blog statistics.

Hey, when are we going to see some photos from your new Pentax? I'm looking forward to a six part write-up with a three part addendum with Ctein showing how he can maximize the K5 image quality even in his crippled Photoshop. : )

Pentax is doing a lot of things "right" these days. Glad you are covering it.

"Hey, when are we going to see some photos from your new Pentax?"

I don't know, but I don't have it yet....


probably the biggest joke in history


I think it's finally time that you come clean Mike. Why do you hate Nikon? All the years I've been reading you (since the early CompuServe PhotoForum days) I don't recall you ever owning a Nikon. So what happened between you and Nikon? :)

No Nikon-hatred that I'm aware of. I like Nikons. I shot Nikons during my pro years. I did prefer my 8008's to the F4 and wore out three 8008's while the F4 stayed in good condition. Heck, I own a Nikon NOW, albeit one I never actually shoot with--a collector-quality Nikkormat FT3, with 28/2.8 and 85/2 lenses in mint condition. It looks like it just came out of the box.


Apparently Struycken also played Lurch: http://www.carelstruycken.com/filmography.html

Here I am at the bottom of this heap of messages :-) Sigh, I AM still shooting with my seven year old Canon 300D. Though I am using a 24-70 F2.8L on it. I stepped up after about 6 months on the 18-55 kit lens. I do hope very soon to get a new body with better performance. Wish I could do the same with my body.

One thing that does interest me is having a Polaroid 95 overhauled to shoot either roll film or the current Polaroid pack film. They cost nothing on ebay and it would be fun to set one up outside and take some images. Not to mention shooting with my dad's circa 1953-55 Roleiflex. Has anyone else here done this with a Polaroid?


Hey Mike,

...might as well hold on to that Nikkormat forever (if you don't need the money), I sold my stuff to get my Nikon D90 and was crying while I packed up the carton. My literally mint condition Nikkormat, completely CLA'd and "re-rubbered" 7 years ago (working meter too), and a 28mm that, I kid you not, could have been taken off the manufacturing line and carried right to the Nikon museum; went on eBay for $79.00! Sniff....

The heck with all this stuff about Pentax, Shen Haos, Nikon, and so forth. I want to know how you made 20x24" proof sheets. A piece of cake if printed digitally, but how did you do it in the darkroom?

Hi Mike,
Feel free to write about whatever you like.
I never read any of the Pentex entries and I suggest to your readers to just ignore the entries that they are not interested in.

Okay Mike, fair enough. I do recall you saying that you didn't really care too much for Nikon lenses (if my memory is correct).

As an aside, I was thinking of you as I was looking at RAW comparisons between the Canon 50D/ 60D, Nikon D7000 and the Pentax K-5. The D7000 files look the best to me:


No such thing as 'Too Much Pentax'. Your acquisition of a K-5 was a good choice, and something I look forward to reading more about as you play with it.

I believe Arnie did it with an 8x10 enlarger, but I did it with a Saunders (LPL) 4x5 glass carrier. If you cut your negs in strips of six, you can lay three strips of film in the carrier so that their sprocket-holed edges overlap, and fit nine negs neatly in the 4x5 opening. You can then enlarge the whole thing just as you would a 4x5 negative, on to whatever sized paper you want--I typically made 4 enlargements per roll on 11x14 paper, which is a very luxurious way indeed to look at proofs.

I guess if there's a problem I had with the method, it's that I tended to get interested in the nine-frame prints as aesthetic productions in and of themselves--some of them are very pretty and it's fascinating to try to manipulate how the nine frames you choose interact together. But "that's just me," as they say.


No such thing as too much Pentax. For years I've read buying advice on forums that made me cringe. Sooner or later, someone would write "It's the SYSTEM that counts", and the word system would either be capitalized or italicized. Then they'd go on to stress about how Canikon have everything a pro needs and that lenses can be rented more easily than with other brands. This advice was often given out to some poor guy who was about to buy his first camera, to whom the availability of rental lenses or pro equipment might not mean anything for 10 years, if ever.

The better advice would simply have been to stop wasting time and buy the first thing you see that's maybe on sale if you want to save some bucks. Then take pictures.

Given the way that people "upgrade" or "switch" all the time, or seem to if you can believe internet forums, maintaining compatibility for future "system" purchases is relevant to only an extremely small number of people.

Personally, I think it's kind of neat the way a relatively smaller camera manufacturer can come up with perfectly reasonable alternatives to the big names, including medium format. I am probably completely wrong, but I bet there isn't a committee of boring conservative M.B.A.s running the place, I bet there is some ornery old iconoclast who thinks he's right. At least, that's what I like to imagine the company to be like, but I've probably seen too many movies or worked in too many bureaucracies.

Good on them.

I read anything but I'll pout and look surly if I have to read too much about.....workflow. What a dumbass word.

Okay I'm a little late on this, but its amazing that "verrry in-teresting" is one of my imbedded mental mantras and, with its follow up- "But Shtupid!" was my first reaction to the "Manufactured Totems" post a while back... great minds... great minds.... all grew up on "Laugh In"...

I heartily agree with the sentiments others expressed above: the mix at TOP and what we learn about you through it all is why I read almost every post.

If you end up with a wider sigma prime for your K5 rather than the pentax 1.8 31mm... here's your leave to dip a little deeper into the pot and add another prime... the 35 mm macro D you love so much. Life is short, even for those with tight fists!

My excuse: it is your article with Carl on this beauty to finalized my decision to settle on a pentax DSLR when I bought my first (and so far only) one.


Stick a nice macro lens on your K5 and 'scan' your Mamiya 7 negs will you.

I'm hoping a faster 'scan' will get you do show us what you have been doing with the 7. I need help on deciding whether to keep mine.


Complaints? I have none. Keep doing
what you're doing. Yours is #1
in my queue of photo sites on the
internet. It's the first thing I
check out every day.

There can never be enough Pentax. ;)

Darn Mike, that seed you planted with the K5 post is growing!

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