On our forum we often get questions about teleconverters from new users. While the objective of the teleconverter - to extend the reach of a lens - is not in question, many other aspects of teleconverters may seem a bit overwhelming at first.
We will try to shed some light on this topic in this article. Our purpose is not to review the many available converters in terms of optical performance, but rather to explain the features and interaction with the camera's exposure and autofocus mechanisms. For product reviews and teleconverter options please consult the user reviews in the lens databases (Pentax teleconverters, Third-party teleconverters).
Pentax calls many of their teleconverters "Rear Adapters". We will use the more common term teleconverter or simply converter in this article.
We recently stumbled over what looks like the ultimate storage solution at our local electronics store: the Buffalo MiniStation Extreme (pictured below).
We were looking for a rugged solution that would allow us to bring several years worth of images with us when we travel. This 1 TB ruggedized hard disk from Buffalo was the answer and we now have a few more on order. This drive supports USB 2.0 as well as USB 3.0, and we have experienced transfer rates exceeding 50 MB/s from our Dell desktop computer to this drive when using USB 3.0. Even with USB 2.0 this is the fastest drive we have experienced.
As a side effect of our ongoing review of the Pentax DA 560mm super telephoto, we were wondering how big of an advantage the 560mm would have over a cropped image from a shorther lens like a 400mm.
For this purpose we took some comparative test chart photos using the FA* 400mm F5.6 (Pentax's most recent 400mm lens) and the 560mm, both at F11 and ISO 100 with the K-5 IIs. The images from the 400mm were cropped so that both lenses achieved the same effective field of view.
The full image of the chart when shot with the DA 560mm looked like this - we have marked the crop used below for the comparison:
The width of the visible part of the chart above is 11.8 inches.
When it first came out, the Pentax Q didn't attract very much attention in the US, even though it was the smallest interchangeable-lens camera on the market. Part of the reason for this was that a key part of the Q system was missing: the adapter that allows you to use DSLR lenses on this tiny little camera. Let's face it: without the adapter, the Q doesn't hold many advantages over the competition.
Now that the Pentax K-mount to Q-mount adapter is available, things have changed completely, however. As you will learn in our Pentax K to Q adapter review, this handy adapter lets you capture stunning telephoto shots without spending very much on gear.
In fact, with this adapter and a telephoto lens, the Pentax Q can outperform just about any Pentax DSLR when it comes to resolution. Thanks for the Q's 5.6x crop factor, capturing photos of distant subjects is easier (and more affordable) than ever. This may be a bit surprising, considering that the Q has a mere 1/2.3" sensor.
As we find in our review, the Q with this adapter and a telephoto lens (< $600 value) comes reasonably close to the image quality of a professional DSLR system valued at over $5000! There's no question that you're getting much more than your money's worth with the Q and the adapter.
So, if you're a bird shooter or enjoy tele photography, what are you waiting for? Read the review, get your Q, and then get your adapter. You'll get stunning images and you'll have a lot of fun while you're at it! Best of all, the Q currently retails for less than $280!
On the 17th of February I had arranged to meet up with a group of lads from a band called "Less Than Sober". Less Than Sober are a Rock/Punk/Pop band from Saltcoats, Scotland who aim to take the music industry by storm in 2013 with their energetic sound and the release of their new album called "57 steps". They have also just recently released their promo single/video called "Wanted".
As I pulled up to the meeting point early in the morning the guys directed me to the street that wanted to use for some shots. As I unloaded my gear we got to talking and decided to play around with some ideas. The street itself posed a technical challenge: how to light five guys in bright sunshine with one 400w/s strobe.
Even though I had a bunch of lights with me, only one of my lights had the power to overcome this kind of situation, even then without any modifiers and in close proximity.
For me the best way to do this was to split the image up into multiple frames. This would let me move my light between frames and light the members of the band properly. It gave me the flexibility to capture them doing fun stuff like running and jumping so I could pick the best frames to merge later. The down side was that I couldn't move the camera between frames, and with it being in the middle of a road we, had cars to attend to (but luckily for us, it was relatively quiet).
The final shot, shown above, was made up of four frames:
- Sandy on the floor with Ricardo jumping over him
- Malcolm and Darren in the middle
- Gok on the right
- Extra sky
This may sound crazy, but we've found an interesting "Pay What You Want" deal on several educational photography products that's going to blow you away! This is from the same web site that offered our members discounted photo e-books last month.
The products we're about share with you can be had for just $1 or if you like what the company has to offer, you can drop them a few more bucks. It’s up to you. Either way, you get the same quality product.
What type of photographer are these deals perfect for?
Anyone who wants to:
- Learn how to edit photos so they look more dynamic and appealing
- Increase the value and impact of their portraits without having to possess special graphic design skills
- Create high quality portrait photos using a variety of backgrounds without having to own expensive studio equipment
If you fall into any of those categories, read on!
As you already know if you checked our blog earlier this week, we've been fortunate enough to receive one of the first production copies of the new Pentax 560mm super-telephoto lens, and we've been very busy evaluating it for some days now! The first major test we performed was to find out if this lens truly is an APS-C lens, or if it might cover the 24x36mm full-frame format.
So, we mounted the lens on our trusted MZ-S film SLR, took some shots and patiently waited for the lab to develop the film (yes, you're right, the illustration above shows the lens with our K-5 IIs, not the MZ-S. Trust us, the test shots below were made with the MZ-S!).
From time to time the question comes up if the SMC Pentax-DA* 60-250mm zoom is a full-frame lens. As the likelihood of a Pentax full-frame digital camera seems to be increasing based on recent buzz, we though we'd do a test!
This particular zoom is an excellent lens on APS-C, and it is one of our favorites. Your tireless PentaxForums staff just shot a series of photos using the MZ-S film camera and, while the lens was easy enough to use in Tv mode (since it lacks an aperture ring it cannot be used in Av mode on the MZ-S), the resulting images left something to be desired in the corners.