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Old 01-18-2010, 11:35 PM   #1
Groucho
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Almost time for Groucho's traditional live trip report...

...which can only mean that it's time for another ridiculous amount of gear to be assembled!

First, a quick overview. Last trip, photography was not a big priority on the trip - relatively speaking, of course! This time, I am feeling more eager to get some good shots. However... this will be a bigger challenge than ever! Mostly because this will be our daughter's first trip. It's one thing to corral an almost-4-year-old... now my wife and I will be trying to take care of an almost-5-year-old and an 8-month-old! All with one stroller, which I'm pretty sure the older one will want to use once in a while. Oh, and being so late in January, the parks all close fairly early, so there won't be many opportunities for solo late-night wandering.

One other problem - I have feeling like I'm having a hard time getting to "the next level" and almost feel like I'm moving backwards. I need to think harder about composition, aperture, and shutter speed to get the desired results. Any way you slice it - I'm expecting to be a bit disappointed when all is said and done. (I'm kind of hoping that if I keep my expectations low, it will be easier to meet or even exceed them!)

Now then! On to the gear. There are some new additions... but unfortunately, one thing won't make it in time. I ordered an aftermarket battery grip (an exact clone - to the point where it may be coming off the same assembly line - of the factory one, minus weathersealing) that I found for ridiculously cheap, but it hasn't shipped yet and is coming from China so there's no chance of it making it in time. Alas!



Let's see... what have we got... the usual accessories (Slik carbon fiber tripod, small Bogen ball head, filters, flash, rocket blower, clamperpod, spare battery, spare memory cards, belt pouches, Op/Tech strap, etc) and some new accessories (R-Strap RS-7, cheapie lens pen, external stereo mic which I'm not completely happy with, and a completely rewired Tic-Tac Bold remote shutter release this time it will work perfectly the whole trip!)...

Lens-wise, we've got, starting in the top left, my Pentax 10-17mm fisheye (of course), Pentax A 50mm F1.2, Lester A Dine 105mm macro, Pentax 50-135mm F2.8, my new Lensbaby Composer (more on that in a minute), a Pentax 50mm F1.4 hidden by the mic's foam, and a Pentax 31mm F1.8. Mounted on the K-7 is the Pentax 16-50mm F2.8.

I just got the Lensbaby a few days ago. I finally got around to selling a bunch of stuff on eBay and did well enough that I decided to treat myself. I splurged for the Composer model as I figured that I'd probably end up getting it sooner or later anyway, so why not start there? I've only played with it a little but wow does it have a steep learning curve! I'm eager to try it out at WDW but it is a very humbling lens to use!

Speaking of manual focus, the K-7 just got an upgrade of a dual diagonal split-prism and microprism focusing screen. I went with a cheapie one instead of a Katz-Eye this time. The difference in price is big enough that I decided to take a chance. I'm still trying to decide if it is aligned quite perfectly or if it needs a different shim (the Katz Eye one needed one) - I think it's right but it's hard to tell for sure without breaking out the test charts. I'm loving the dual diagonal feature - makes it very quick and easy to determine focus - but the non-prism parts are a little darker (rougher ground glass) and I'm trying to decide how I feel. I may bring the original screen with me just in case I feel the need to swap it back in.

Now, one thing I enjoyed doing last trip and which I hope to do more of this trip is spend a few days using exclusively older manual-focus lenses, mainly M42 screw-mount ones. Here's the M42 collection along with related lens cases, caps, etc.



Starting from the top and working down, we have a Takumar 300mm F4 (18 aperture blades! mmmmm), Vivitar 200mm F3.5, early preset Takumar 135mm F3.5, Super Takumar 105mm F2.8, Vivitar 55mm F2.8 1:1 macro, Zeiss 135mm F3.5, (bottom row) Auto-Takumar 35mm F3.5, Auto-Takumar 55mm F1.8, and a 2x teleconverter. The two tiny lenses go with the Auto 110 SLR, which I haven't decided yet if I will bring. I really don't need to but it's not like it takes up much space, and it is sooooooo cool...

Oh, and there's one more new addition. Hey Kevin, see if this sounds familiar... upgrading a K100D to a new red K-x!



Here it is meeting its big brother...



What happened was that a lens that I just sold on eBay ended up selling for an absolutely ridiculous amount of money - like over 4x what I paid for it! There was easily enough to cover a new K-x for my wife along with two-day shipping. It just arrived today and I am certainly very impressed so far - the high-ISO performance is really remarkable (yes, it is clearly better than the K-7s even with both set to no NR) and overall it is a very nice speedy and competent camera. My wife knows that I will be stealing it for some on-ride photos a few times...

So, that is, more or less, what I'm bringing. Hopefully I'll get a few shots that'll make it all worthwhile! Maybe even some F1.2 stereo Haunted Mansion video...
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upcoming trips: WDW 11/20-12/2/2014, D23 Destination D!
trip reports: 1/11, Animal Kingdom Villas live TR, full TR (up to day 4); 6/10, Star Wars Weekend, Pop Century; 1/10, Beach Club Villas full TR, live TR; 1/09, Old Key West; 4/08, Beach Club Villas; 9/07, Disneyland Hotel; 1/07, Saratoga Springs Resort

groucho.org gallery (main site) - Flickr - Google+ Pentax Photo Gallery - Pentax Auto 110, H3, 2x Spotmatic, 3x K1000, red K-x, K-5, K-3, Q, WG3
Pentax 10-17mm fisheye, 16-50mm F2.8, 18-55mm, 31mm F1.8, 50mm F1.2/F1.4/F1.7/F2.0, 50-135mm F2.8, 50-200mm, 55-300, Zenitar 16mm fisheye, Lensbaby Composer, Tamron 70-200 F2.8, Lester A Dine 105mm F2.8 1:1 macro, F Nikkor 105mm F2.5, M42: Vivitar 55mm F2.8 1:1 macro, Pentax 35mm F3.5, 55mm F1.8, 105mm F2.8, 2x 135mm F3.5, 300mm F4, 2x Vivitar 200mm F3.5, Carl Zeiss 135mm F3.5
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:20 AM   #2
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Hey Groucho! I just booked a last minute trip Jan 30-Feb 4.. looks like we overlap a bit. I'd love to meet up, if only just to put a face to the name I'm flying solo this time (didn't think that would ever happen) so I'm flexible.. let me know if you have any spare time.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:24 AM   #3
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Yay! Can't wait for your upcoming trip report!

I'll have to show my wife all this gear you're bringing to WDW!

That HD video idea will be awesome!

Do you have a GPS receiver? I've started getting into geotagging all my photos recently, and finally got tired of doing it manually. It really is a lot easier & faster with a GPS receiver. (it's also neat opening up Google Earth / Google Maps to see where certain photos were taken on Kilimanjaro Safaris)

I want a Walt Disney World lens cap, too!

Oh, and congratulations on your brand new K-x! That's HOT!
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:45 AM   #4
Groucho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Code View Post
Hey Groucho! I just booked a last minute trip Jan 30-Feb 4.. looks like we overlap a bit. I'd love to meet up, if only just to put a face to the name I'm flying solo this time (didn't think that would ever happen) so I'm flexible.. let me know if you have any spare time.
Well, expect to be disappointed by my face but I'd be happy to meet up regardless. Our tentative schedule for those days is Magic Kingdom on the 30th, evening of the 31st, and morning of the 2nd; Epcot on the 1st, and either Studios or MK the rest of the 31st. (It probably depends on whether or not we've seen Fantasmic yet!) I will probably be checking in nightly so feel free to send me a message as the time gets closer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyboy2003 View Post
Yay! Can't wait for your upcoming trip report!

I'll have to show my wife all this gear you're bringing to WDW!

That HD video idea will be awesome!

Do you have a GPS receiver? I've started getting into geotagging all my photos recently, and finally got tired of doing it manually. It really is a lot easier & faster with a GPS receiver. (it's also neat opening up Google Earth / Google Maps to see where certain photos were taken on Kilimanjaro Safaris)

I want a Walt Disney World lens cap, too!

Oh, and congratulations on your brand new K-x! That's HOT!
Thanks! I actually am not particularly interested in geotagging (no offense) so I haven't paid any attention to what's out there. As for the lens caps, they appear on eBay once in a while or maybe at a local used photo shop... I actually just bought another one on eBay and it would have been two of 'em if I had been paying attention and put in a higher bid. (I should bid higher in the first place... argh.) I lost one in Disneyland a couple years ago but the one I just bought will replace that one - a 49mm - and I also have a 52mm (in the pic) and a 55mm (no lens to put it on though!)
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upcoming trips: WDW 11/20-12/2/2014, D23 Destination D!
trip reports: 1/11, Animal Kingdom Villas live TR, full TR (up to day 4); 6/10, Star Wars Weekend, Pop Century; 1/10, Beach Club Villas full TR, live TR; 1/09, Old Key West; 4/08, Beach Club Villas; 9/07, Disneyland Hotel; 1/07, Saratoga Springs Resort

groucho.org gallery (main site) - Flickr - Google+ Pentax Photo Gallery - Pentax Auto 110, H3, 2x Spotmatic, 3x K1000, red K-x, K-5, K-3, Q, WG3
Pentax 10-17mm fisheye, 16-50mm F2.8, 18-55mm, 31mm F1.8, 50mm F1.2/F1.4/F1.7/F2.0, 50-135mm F2.8, 50-200mm, 55-300, Zenitar 16mm fisheye, Lensbaby Composer, Tamron 70-200 F2.8, Lester A Dine 105mm F2.8 1:1 macro, F Nikkor 105mm F2.5, M42: Vivitar 55mm F2.8 1:1 macro, Pentax 35mm F3.5, 55mm F1.8, 105mm F2.8, 2x 135mm F3.5, 300mm F4, 2x Vivitar 200mm F3.5, Carl Zeiss 135mm F3.5
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:43 AM   #5
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Groucho, looking forward to the live trip report. I used my RS-7 strap the last time I was in Disney in December and it was awesome. Enjoy!!
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Art of Animation - Nov '12

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Old 01-19-2010, 06:09 AM   #6
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Congrats on the upgrade to a K-x! I have been enjoying mine and hope to get it to the World sooner than later. I "might" have a chance at a day trip here in a couple weeks.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:01 AM   #7
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Woohoo!! I love your TRs and am so looking forward to this one, since I'm in need of a Disney fix. I'm excited to see what you can do with the Lensbaby, it's a blast to use. If you do anything near as creative as you do with the fisheye, I'm sure we're all in for a real treat.

Good luck, safe travels and have a great time----can't wait to see some shots!
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:48 PM   #8
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Signing on for the ride .
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:38 PM   #9
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I can't wait to see what you bring back!

Have you considered a double stroller???? Not for the 5 year old.... but for all your gear??????
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:15 PM   #10
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Looking forward to it!
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I LOVE this!! Where did you get that lens cap??
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:23 AM   #12
Groucho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2rtk View Post
I can't wait to see what you bring back!

Have you considered a double stroller???? Not for the 5 year old.... but for all your gear??????
A double stroller was mentioned but it's difficult enough to push a single stroller through the crowds (even in the off season)... I just couldn't bring myself to bring a double. I do like our full-size single stroller much better than the rental ones - ours has enough room in the basket under the seat to fit my tripod.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooh_Girl View Post
I LOVE this!! Where did you get that lens cap??
eBay, naturally. I did find my first one at a local consignment shop but have found the others on eBay. They don't show up often but occasionally you'll find one. If you look closely, you'll note that there's no Animal Kingdom in the design, to give an idea of what how old it is. I saw another official Disney lens cap on eBay recently but it was basically a standard cap with a round Mickey sticker on it - I took a pass on that one, but I do like these. Since I love my wife, I let her put it on her K-x; it had been residing comfortably on my Lester Dine macro, which now is stuck with a Vivitar cap.
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upcoming trips: WDW 11/20-12/2/2014, D23 Destination D!
trip reports: 1/11, Animal Kingdom Villas live TR, full TR (up to day 4); 6/10, Star Wars Weekend, Pop Century; 1/10, Beach Club Villas full TR, live TR; 1/09, Old Key West; 4/08, Beach Club Villas; 9/07, Disneyland Hotel; 1/07, Saratoga Springs Resort

groucho.org gallery (main site) - Flickr - Google+ Pentax Photo Gallery - Pentax Auto 110, H3, 2x Spotmatic, 3x K1000, red K-x, K-5, K-3, Q, WG3
Pentax 10-17mm fisheye, 16-50mm F2.8, 18-55mm, 31mm F1.8, 50mm F1.2/F1.4/F1.7/F2.0, 50-135mm F2.8, 50-200mm, 55-300, Zenitar 16mm fisheye, Lensbaby Composer, Tamron 70-200 F2.8, Lester A Dine 105mm F2.8 1:1 macro, F Nikkor 105mm F2.5, M42: Vivitar 55mm F2.8 1:1 macro, Pentax 35mm F3.5, 55mm F1.8, 105mm F2.8, 2x 135mm F3.5, 300mm F4, 2x Vivitar 200mm F3.5, Carl Zeiss 135mm F3.5
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
A double stroller was mentioned but it's difficult enough to push a single stroller through the crowds (even in the off season)... I just couldn't bring myself to bring a double. I do like our full-size single stroller much better than the rental ones - ours has enough room in the basket under the seat to fit my tripod.
Have you ever considered one of the strollers with the standing platform for a bigger kid? Not as long as an inline double.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:38 AM   #14
Groucho
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Have you ever considered one of the strollers with the standing platform for a bigger kid? Not as long as an inline double.
I've seen them but we use a stroller so rarely that it's not worth buying another one. Our big investment with baby #2 was an "Ergo" carrier, which is kind of the Mercedes of baby carriers. I was a bit nervous spending the money for it but it really does work well and it allows my wife to very comfortably carry Leila, so she'll go in there sometimes, especially if Jack completely conks out and needs to sleep in the stroller.
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upcoming trips: WDW 11/20-12/2/2014, D23 Destination D!
trip reports: 1/11, Animal Kingdom Villas live TR, full TR (up to day 4); 6/10, Star Wars Weekend, Pop Century; 1/10, Beach Club Villas full TR, live TR; 1/09, Old Key West; 4/08, Beach Club Villas; 9/07, Disneyland Hotel; 1/07, Saratoga Springs Resort

groucho.org gallery (main site) - Flickr - Google+ Pentax Photo Gallery - Pentax Auto 110, H3, 2x Spotmatic, 3x K1000, red K-x, K-5, K-3, Q, WG3
Pentax 10-17mm fisheye, 16-50mm F2.8, 18-55mm, 31mm F1.8, 50mm F1.2/F1.4/F1.7/F2.0, 50-135mm F2.8, 50-200mm, 55-300, Zenitar 16mm fisheye, Lensbaby Composer, Tamron 70-200 F2.8, Lester A Dine 105mm F2.8 1:1 macro, F Nikkor 105mm F2.5, M42: Vivitar 55mm F2.8 1:1 macro, Pentax 35mm F3.5, 55mm F1.8, 105mm F2.8, 2x 135mm F3.5, 300mm F4, 2x Vivitar 200mm F3.5, Carl Zeiss 135mm F3.5
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:59 AM   #15
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Gotta say that K-X looks pretty nice. Can't wait to see the pictures.
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