Auto Sears MC 50mm F1.7 Lens

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Feb 7, 2013

The question of “what piece of photographic equipment has had the greatest positive impact on my photography” can’t be answered without determining where I’m at now and where I’ve come from.  Like many people, I’ve dabbled in photography off and on most of my life, but never really “invested” in it.  I used mostly cheap 110 cameras and 35mm cameras growing up, and then had several point-and-shoot digital cameras once they were introduced.   I’ve always been fascinated with light, from a scientific and artistic perspective, and I knew that I would need to acquire more flexible and higher quality equipment if I wanted to better use light and improve at photography.   Naturally, a DSLR was in order.  Initially (with “guidance” from friends and family) I purchased a Canon Rebel XTi.  Not a bad camera, but limited on lens selection – rather, my budget limited the number and quality of lenses that I could acquire in the Canon system.  At that time, a friend of mine began preaching the merits of Pentax to me, so I made the switch to the Pentax “lens system”, and acquired a Pentax K10D.  I was now free to explore the wonderful world of legacy lenses, specifically third-party manual focus lenses.  This leads me to the subject of my post, the Auto Sears MC 50mm f1.7 lens.

Pentax K1000: Biggest Impact on my Photography

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Feb 5, 2013

Some incidents in life might be trivial, but influence your decisions to such an extent they steer your life in certain direction. They have a huge impact on your life. One such moment changed the way I perceived photography. In introspect, I have always been in love with photography. It has always been my burning desire to be a very well known photographer and daydreaming about this hasn't ceased till this very moment. A Sony A 100 that I purchased way back in 2006 was surely my first serious attempt at photography. It still remains the most trusted tool that I own and whatever small work that I have done in this sphere is because of my purchase of that camera.

Honestly, for first two and a half years I seldom used the Sony A 100 for what it was designed to be used for, instead it was used as a point and shoot camera in major life events, and some Sunday mornings were spent checking various features that the camera had. This all changed the day I found a Pentax K1000 manual in a wooden chest that my Dad wanted me to clean. I was aware that my father owned this film camera and had used it a lot when I was a kid. I had seen it hanging in a camera bag in my dad's closet and I knew it was not in use. Out it came as I read the manual page by page.

It was not a very large manual and I finished reading it in one go. Starting from what each part was, to how to load a film, to DOF scale on lenses and how to read them and light meter etc. till the end where they gave the addresses of Pentax offices worldwide. The Sunday evening was spent reading about Pentax K1000 on  Wikipedia and understanding (read appreciating the fact that)  the respect that this fully manual camera had earned from users worldwide.

A Handkerchief in Brief

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Jan 28, 2013

Over the past few years, I used my SLR less and less and progressively used ever cheaper and more limited point and shoot digital cameras.  My quest to find something better ended with the unexpected but very rewarding acquisition of a Pentax K-5.  With that came two problems, lens buying addiction (LBA) and finding the time to shoot.  The LBA was satisfied, at least temporarily, with a few cheap Takumars.  But I only managed to find a few minutes here and there to shoot, usually somewhere in the neighborhood and this quickly became a frustration.  With the arrival of spring, inspiration came from Nature and this lead to an interest in macro, but I quickly found out that unless the sun was shining bright, I needed to find another source of light.

The Super Takumar 50mm 1.4

An M42 screwmount lens

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Jan 26, 2013

As someone who has always liked to take pictures (sometimes even some good ones by accident), it wasn't until the purchase of my first DSLR that I learned that I never knew anything about photography.  As a 27 year old, I grew up as film died and digital photography took off, so perhaps it's fitting that the most influential item in my photography was purchased by a young, 23 year old me; the M42 screwmounted Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 attached to my digital Pentax K100D.

Simply put, without this item, I would be one of those people you see walking around with a DSLR in fully automatic mode hoping to get a decent picture to show off my "skills". Before I even bought this lens it was teaching me. I would look around at beautiful portraits and wonder, how on earth did they do that? I have a sweet camera too! That's when I started to actually learn the theory behind photography, and I had to have a fast lens.

Shutter Holder Downer for the K-x

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Jan 25, 2013

Something that has made a big impact on my photography is an odd looking device I made myself. Let me explain why I made it. The Pentax K-x was the first DSLR that I bought. It's a great camera and I don't regret buying it. But unfortunately there was a limitation that prevented me from taking a certain kind of picture. I wanted to take star trail pictures that showed the apparent rotation of the stars. The best way to do this is to take many pictures one after the other and stack them together to show the trails. An intervalometer is used to make the camera take many pictures in a row. But unlike most newer cameras, the K-x lacks a built-in intervalometer. And if you were to buy an external one, there is nowhere to plug it in on the K-x. So I had to find some way to hold the shutter down.

 


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