Pentax K10D, 35mm f/2 SMC Pentax-FA AL

I photographed our family Christmas celebrations with my Pentax K10D and the 35/2 Pentax FA attached. And overall it didn’t work out. The autofocus chose the wrong thing to focus on about half the time. Given that I was shooting with the flash off, my in-focus patch was always pretty narrow. If the camera didn’t nail focus, my subject was blurry.

I switched to manual focus late in the celebration. My eyes did a much better job of judging focus than the camera did.

But when the camera got focus right, it nailed everything else. Exposure and color were spot on. I shot RAW+JPEG, but I didn’t need to — my edits to the RAW images made them no better than the in-camera JPEGs. That is the way I like it. My stalwart Canon S95 can’t do that.

I didn’t know until the celebrations were all over that auto-ISO mode limits the camera to ISO 100-400. The camera is of ISOs up to 1600 — but, north of ISO 400, only if you hand select them. Kind of frustrating, as higher ISOs would have increased the in-focus patch enough to make probably half of the botched shots work. It would, probably, have also increased the noise in the photographs, but you can’t have everything.

The K10D may not be cut out for everyday duty. My Canon S95 gets focus right every time. Even though most shots are much improved with little quick editing in the RAW editor, I can use its photos straight from the camera if I must. And so the S95 is a better choice for family work.


single frame: Jimmy


Reflected in the bulbs

My family celebrated Christmas yesterday. We have to be flexible around the holiday schedule I share with my ex-wife and everybody’s work schedules. Fortunately, it matters more that we celebrate than just when we celebrate.

Wherever you are and however you celebrate, I wish you a merry Christmas!

Film Photography

Captured: Reflected in the bulbs


A little Christmas wish

Plastic Kindergarten bell
Plastic Kindergarten bell

My Kindergarten teacher, Edith Coles, gave these little bell ornaments to all of her students every Christmas. She hand-painted the student’s name, along with hers and the year, on each one. She must have made hundreds of them during her teaching career. Can you imagine the hand cramps?

I shared these photos on Facebook, where many of my childhood friends remembered their bells. Several still had theirs. Some of them posted happy memories of Mrs. Coles and of childhood Christmases. One friend even posted a photo of her bell, which has hung on every tree in her home since she received it in 1969.

A few cents’ worth of shiny plastic, a few strokes of paint, a whole bunch of good memories. It takes so little. May your Christmas be filled with such little things that create lingering good memories.