Photography Lesson - Pentax

Steve Cottrell cotty at
Sun Oct 18 14:22:55 EDT 2020

Hidehi PDMLers

A friend of my wife's has been after a 'digital camera lesson' for some time, and she finally came around last Friday. I had been dreading it, but actually it went very well. She's a musician (violin) and artist.

She's in her 60s and many years ago had used 35mm cameras and even developed her own film, and printed. But this new-fangled digital was giving her a headache...

I pinched a few pics of the interwebz and printed them out, breakdown of a mirrorless and DSLR, f-stops, ISO sensitivity etc - I knew she had a DSLR and was prepared for her to produce a Canon - but no! Out came a Pentax Kr....

The lesson was about 90 minutes and started with basics, progressing onto exposure and how crucial the lens choice was and so on. The one thing that threw her was the mode dial up top. So we went through the whole PASM thing, and I explained what each meant. She was very enthusiastic and despite my providing some primer sheets, she took notes in a booklet. I had my Olympus Pen F on hand, and of course then sensor sizes needed explaining. 

When we got onto how aperture affects the photo, I retrieved my K50/1.4 and put that on her camera (which only had an 18-55 kit lens) and let her have a play - she was amazed that the lens worked and illustrated perfectly the concepts discussed using the live preview facility. She was astonished to learn that you can pick up a 50/1.7 for peanuts off eBay - and apparently spent the evening scouring for some bargains.

I also had my MX at hand, and that was great for showing how the shutter works, stripped of lens and back. So much better to have the hardware in front of you to illustrate theory....

That's all really. Found the Kr to be a usable camera, perfect for her. Some of the menus were a bit confusing, but got there. And the rubbish up there on the mode dial! Get rid of it all and just have PASM (although it took me a minute to figure out that Sv was not 'shutter priority' haha - the Pentax obviously being 'PATMS'....)

Work picking up a bit for me finally, and been shooting some more sailing things, got a 30 minute doc about a gaff-rigged cutter built in France in 1913 called the Jolie Brise coming out soon, so will post a link in case anyone's interested. All shot on a (new to me) Sony PMW-F3.

Meanwhile, more boat building tomorrow! Filmmaker, photographer, and also now rigger, cabinet-maker, plumber and electrician.

Needs must...

Cheers all



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