“Sun sets on the Baker“; April 7, 2015 (70mm 1/2500” f4.5 iso100, cropped, greyed out for text) image by (c:2015) me.
This last month I’ve been fighting with my camera, which has now been to the repair shop twice in the last six months due to an aperture control issue that presents as random very dark underexposures. The first time they repaired it, they told me they had to take it completely apart and clean some magnets that were sticking deep within the bowels of the camera. This time they said they had to do the same thing, but that they “were more meticulous” about it! me:HUHWTH (why didn’t you be that “meticulous” the FIRST time?! They said that this was somewhat common with my particular camera model (Pentax K-30), but I was the FIRST one that had had to come BACK. Anyway, they jacked up their price for this “service” from $169 to $199, but gave me a “discount” back to $169 – Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Anyway, this is “strike TWO” for this cam, which is <2 years old, so if this happenz again, I’m (very likely) removing the lens and throwing this thing against a brick wall and getting a new, DIFFERENT camera! This is sad because I really do like this camera (otherwise). I ended up shooting the annual LTC DFW (“Leadership Training for Christ” interchurch convention) for our church using my old Pentax K-x, which made things difficult. The K-x’s autofocus motor is kaput (meaning manually focusing) and I didn’t realize how dependent I had become on my current camera’s dual-dials and “TAv” mode for shooting indoor stuff! That special Pentax mode allows me to set both shutter and aperture with the dials while the camera then selects a proper ISO within an preset range. This is very handy for moving subjects indoors! With the K-x I had to somewhat guess a reasonable ISO, so that Av mode would get me proper DOF and a high enough shutter speed to handle the subject’s movement. The result was I took fewer photos and got even fewer keepers, but did manage to have a successful shoot! I decided to take my K-30 out on a short shoot at Mineral Wells State Park with the local camera club just afterwards, when it seemed to be working a bit better, but that was a bad idea. I spent the whole time struggling to get shots that were not nearly black while everyone else had a great time with their big heavy Nikons and Cannons. I faked smiles and having fun while inside, I was grumpy and ready to fling my camera as far as I could throw it. Fortunately, I did manage to get several good shots (usually having to take 3-4 to get one to turn out right), but that’s when I made up my mind to take it back to the shop. This included a couple of great candids for which the camera did manage to work. It’s now back and working properly now, for the moment at least. I would love to get a K-3, but they are expen$ive since they are Pentax’s “flagship” DSLR right now, but should drop a bunch in a few months when Pentax finally releases it’s first 35mm full-frame. I hope mine can hold out at least until then! This is also tax season and I finally got ours done. Wifey “audited” them with a fine-toothed comb and found a descrepancy in the software’s calculation of the sales-tax deduction. I went in fearing I’d have to redo everything manually if I couldn’t get the software to correctly do it, but fortunately when I re-entered everything for that part of it, it came out correct and I regenerated the final forms for printing. I still do not know why it came up wrong the first time though. I would really like to take a long road trip, but am having difficulty finding a photography friend who’s not working to drive with. If I go alone, I will have to stop and spend the nights alone in crappy little motels that still cost $$$ (where I won’t sleep well anyway). This I absolutely hate! Anything nice and confortable will cost $$$$, but with a partner would only be $$!