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11-18-2010, 07:14 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by abacus07 Quote
Money is also a factor. I'm building up a nice set of high IQ primes for less than the cost of one DA lens. I've even decided that for the time being I'm going to venture into the film camera world as a cheap wide angle alternative. A 28mm lens on film is wider than a DA21 and a 24mm lens ($150-200) on film is almost as wide as a DA 15.
This is a good point.

When you look at the cost of many of todays AF primes, or even AF zooms, you can put a very good kit together.

Consider a simple lens like a tamron 28-75 F2.8 zoom. They go for about $450 from memory. In that range for M42 screw mounts, I have a Vivitar 28mm F2.5 a 35mmF2 SMC tak, a 50mmF1.4 Super tak, A 50mmF4 SMC Mactro Tak, a 58mmF2 Helios M44, and an 85mm F1.9 Super Tak.

All of the above cost less than the tamron 28-75F2.8 (which I also own) Every single lens is faster, and with the exception of the 28mmF2.5 faster by at least 1 stop. In the above I also have all the functionality of the tammy including macro.

So you can put a very good kit together. Even widening this out to the range of 24-200mm will cost you less than the zooms that cover that range, and are a lot more fun to use, at the expense of needing to take your time.

The only drawback is the lack of ultra wides, these are few and far between, and as expensive as new ultra wide primes. 24mm is where the price break is. BUT going film for ultra wide, if you have a body available is a good option.

11-18-2010, 07:22 AM   #17
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QuoteQuote:
A 28mm lens on film is wider than a DA21 and a 24mm lens ($150-200) on film is almost as wide as a DA 15.
QuoteQuote:
24mm is where the price break is. BUT going film for ultra wide, if you have a body available is a good option.
These are actually exactly why I wanted the 24mm I purchased, outside of how great the lens turned out to be. Our k1000 takes the super wide photos that I want and cannot get (because of price point) with my dslr. it's the more affordable option.
11-18-2010, 07:40 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Capslock118 Quote
These are actually exactly why I wanted the 24mm I purchased, outside of how great the lens turned out to be. Our k1000 takes the super wide photos that I want and cannot get (because of price point) with my dslr. it's the more affordable option.
but 24 is not super wide on film either. at least not for me. When I went digital in 2003, my *istD came with an FA-J 18-35. 18mm on digital is not really wide (same FOV as a 28mm on film) BUT I had moved from a PZ-1 which is arguably one of the best full sized film bodies pentax ever made, and it could use the FA-J lens perfectly (The FA-J has no aperture ring)

now, 17mm on film is really really wide (11-12mm on digital) and I used my PZ-1 quite a lot until I got a sigma 10-20mm zoom.

If you want to look at the film plus digital option, look at a PZ-1 as it is a great camera, and is relitively in expensive, then look for some of the AF kit lenses that were available in the 17-18mm -35mm+ range from the late 1990's
11-18-2010, 07:49 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
There is nothing improper or imperfect about the old lenses. They behave the way they do because they were designed to do exactly what they do... does not mean the designers were stupid, or the designs flawed... does not mean they cannot perform... he makes the shot because he understands his equipment, not because his equipment is the latest and greatest... none of us to day would ever consider taking landscape photos with the equipment that Ansel Adams used...
I think you completely missed the point of my post, brother. The point was that the modern designs are NOT the be all and end all (case in point - the old 50mm 1.4's with tonnes of spherical aberrations thats look beautiful when used properly). I never said those designs were stupid or flawed - but you might draw such a conclusion if all you paid attention to was MTF charts and other lens tests.

Read DP's review of the FA 50mm 1.4 to see what I mean (the FA uses a very old lens design, so it is an appropriate comparison). They conclude that the lens is too soft compared to modern counterparts, making it a sub-par lens. I completely disagree with this sentiment, because the fact is that my A 50 1.7, which is much more corrected for sharpness, actually falls behind the 1.4 in circumstances when that softness is desirable.

One could go on and on about "corner softness", but if you want the 3d look, you WANT the corners to be soft. It's all about using the right tool for the right shot, and by overlooking many older lenses, you are overlooking all sorts of tools one cannot buy new today.

An old lens might be "imperfect" by lens-test standards, but they might be absolutely proper if the effect is used by a photographer. In fact, someone might WANT a really old lens like Mr. Adams used in order to get that vintage feel. Maybe he/she might not ever take a picture as captivating, but that tool would still be useful for the intended effect.

My point was that old lenses have a series of great qualities that you might not be able to find in many modern lenses, and should not be overlooked. Some other MF lenses might take pictures on par with newer tech, and others will take pictures unobtainable with a technically perfect lens.

One who understands his/her equipment will know exactly when each and every lens would be most useful. My point was that by overlooking the lenses of the yesteryear, one would actually be limiting themselves and miss out on all sorts of fantastic designs that are much less common today.

Besides, lots of old glass is an outright steal.


Last edited by paperbag846; 11-18-2010 at 08:46 AM.
11-18-2010, 08:03 AM   #20
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I use both, though lately more of the MF lenses. most of my lenses are designed for 35mm/FF even the AF ones so strictly speaking I really only use one Digital lens my DA14 which is a great lense but is somewhat limited in application (though I do love the 21mm equivalent field of view, I wish I still had my old A series 20 mm f2.8 that I let go for a song 8 years back now that i've returned to shooting 35mm film because the prices are nuts for them now
11-18-2010, 08:13 AM   #21
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QuoteQuote:
but 24 is not super wide on film either. at least not for me.
right but by whose standards?

k100d dslr equivilent i believe is a 16mm, and my smallest is lens for my dslr is the 18-55mm. So it's the widest lense I have when using it on a film camera so by default it is what it is for me, a super wide ...and anyways, the 24mm seems sharper to me on my dslr then setting my 18-55 to 24mm, so that's another plus...again though that might be a zoom vs prime thing - i don't know.

anyways that's all i meant by 'super wide' - i wasn't trying to imply anything if there is a standard definition of the word.
11-18-2010, 08:23 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Capslock118 Quote
...and anyways, the 24mm seems sharper to me on my dslr then setting my 18-55 to 24mm, so that's another plus...again though that might be a zoom vs prime thing - i don't know.
I do the same thing with my 28mm... it's absurdly sharp compared to the kit lens (apparently, the 28mm 2.8 isn't even that great in the grand scheme of thing) - but it's far from a wide angle lens... it's pretty much the FOV of the FA 43 ltd on film, so I suppose it is a "true normal" (whatever that means ).

In aspc land you pretty much have to love zooms, or not really get to go wider than the 21mm equivalent. Now I was raised on digital photography and I find 18mm plenty wide, but I suppose the film experts here would laugh at that.
11-18-2010, 08:35 AM   #23
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I have, and use, both old and "modern" lenses and find that I simply use whatever lens will enable me to get the shot I am after.

And for those of you who don't like auto focus... you do realize you can manually focus just about every AF lens ever made don't you? I MF 90% of the time but that is more due to Pentaxes relatively poor AF rather than any problems with the lenses.

I will admit that I am looking forward to the K-5's improved AF because frankly my focus skills and reflexes are slowing down a bit. LOL

Mike

11-18-2010, 08:39 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Capslock118 Quote
right but by whose standards?

k100d dslr equivilent i believe is a 16mm, and my smallest is lens for my dslr is the 18-55mm. So it's the widest lense I have when using it on a film camera so by default it is what it is for me, a super wide ...and anyways, the 24mm seems sharper to me on my dslr then setting my 18-55 to 24mm, so that's another plus...again though that might be a zoom vs prime thing - i don't know.

anyways that's all i meant by 'super wide' - i wasn't trying to imply anything if there is a standard definition of the word.
what is wide will always be an issue. I spent a lot of time when I shot film, living abroad, and in many european cities, a 24mm simply was not a wide enough field of view due to physical limitations (you can't always back up any further on a narrow street, to fit a cathedral in the viewfinder). that's why I like my sigma 10-20 on digital or my FA-J 18-35 on film.

as for sharpness, although the gap is narrowing, old primes can still out perform new zooms. no suprise there. but as I said, the gap is sufficiently narrow that many people opt for zooms today/.
11-18-2010, 08:43 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I think you completely missed the point of my post, brother.
I, m not so sure, my point is that the lenses were designed to meet requirements of the day, and that while new computer designed lenses can meet different requirements, that does not make them automatically better, it is the photographer not the equipment that makes the shot, regardless of technology.

Control of off axis depth of field or softness is achieved many ways, and is ultimately achieved by a photographer who knows how to get the effect with his lens. Not just by the lens.

And note, even the new lenses are not perfect, and the quest for numbers on the Lens test chart, or the compromises for sealing and internal focusing that results from it leave them with harsh bokeh and distracting OOF highlights.

These too can be avoided but only if the photographer knows what he is doing. It is all about knowing your own equipment
11-18-2010, 09:04 AM   #26
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I would certainly love to own a full collection of DA lenses but shoot with what I can afford and already own. I recently purchased an M300/4 for shooting critters from my kayak as I end up using manual focus most of the time anyhow due to sitting low with a lot of brush and vegetation getting in the way. If money was no object, I would have just bought the DA300 or one of the high end long zooms from Sigma or Tamron.
11-18-2010, 10:41 AM   #27
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Of course I do realize I can manually focus my Tamron. I do it all the time actually because I've found I just don't care much for using the auto-focus on my camera most of the time. I'm just wondering if I'll like the all manual lenses better on my *ist. I think I will. The main thing I've liked about using my SLR's has been being able to focus for myself, control all the lens and camera settings for myself. My Fuji was all auto-focus and it used to annoy me to no end that I couldn't control that.

With the digital lens doing the auto focus thing I always feel like it's in control. I guess I'm just a complete control freak when it comes to my cameras. I don't mind trying out the modes, but inevitably I end up on complete manual even when I know that going that route is a much slower process for me.

I'm kind of feeling the same way about the Tamron. It's a perfectly respectable lens but something about using it just makes me long for my non-digital lenses. I think it's partly the auto focus thing, but also I think it's the feel of the lens. It's just not quite the same experience as shooting manually with one of my older and heavier lenses.

I'm a bit strange when it comes to my old cameras too. I don't like too much plastic when it comes to the bodies or the lenses. With my Fuji I've gotten used to using a mostly plastic digital body but I really don't prefer it. With the old cameras they have got to be mostly metal for me to want to keep them. That's why I just can't relate at all to the P series SLR's. They're like ugly plastic kid's cameras compared to a Spotmatic series...

I actually prefer the metal lenses over the plastic too, I think. I'll use either but the heft of the metal ones in my hand, that just feels right, balanced somehow in a way plastic lenses never do.
11-18-2010, 11:37 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I would certainly love to own a full collection of DA lenses but shoot with what I can afford and already own. I recently purchased an M300/4 for shooting critters from my kayak as I end up using manual focus most of the time anyhow due to sitting low with a lot of brush and vegetation getting in the way. If money was no object, I would have just bought the DA300 or one of the high end long zooms from Sigma or Tamron.
you should really ad the SMC-F 1.7x AF converter to that lens. I shoot my K300F4 with the converter all the time from my Kayak. The length, along with good quality high ISO from my K7 and shake reduction make the lens very interesting with the 1.7x. AF is no issue and the resulting Selective focus range of a lens like the 300 with the AF converter make for a great wild life pairing.

I have posted a lot of shots using this pair.
11-18-2010, 11:41 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley Quote
I have, and use, both old and "modern" lenses and find that I simply use whatever lens will enable me to get the shot I am after.

And for those of you who don't like auto focus... you do realize you can manually focus just about every AF lens ever made don't you? I MF 90% of the time but that is more due to Pentaxes relatively poor AF rather than any problems with the lenses.
except that many AF lenses have either very short focus throws which make accuracy difficult, or the focusing collar is in an out of the way place, because it does not disengage in AF mode and is placed where it is least likely to find your hand. These two issues make for somewhat difficult MF when using an AF lens. unfortunately in many cases you can't have it all
QuoteQuote:

I will admit that I am looking forward to the K-5's improved AF because frankly my focus skills and reflexes are slowing down a bit. LOL

Mike
I have never heard of old age as an excuse for CBA I'll need to remember that one. I have already hinted that the K5 would be a nive xmass gift, but I don't really believe in santa any more, so the K7, K10 and *istD will have to work a little longer.
11-18-2010, 11:43 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
I recently shot about 1400 photos at a dance recital. About half were with Takumars (manual focus) and about half with a Tamron 17-50/2.8 (autofocus).

When I came home and did the initial keep/cull review of the photos I found six that I had to toss due to focus error. Two were from the Takumars and four were from the Tamron.

To answer the OP's question: I shoot non-digital lenses every day and have trouble imagining how anyone derives any satisfaction from using modern autofocus/zoom lenses.
That's such an absurdly low error rate (2 out of 700 vs. 4 out of 700, assuming a half/half mixture) so as to effectively not matter. Especially since the shooting situations were clearly different between the two lenses, otherwise you would not have switched lenses.

As to "digital"lenses - It generally means that the lens has met higher standards of antireflective coatings and such in order to deal with the higher sensor reflectivity compared to film, which was discussed earlier in this thread.

Old non-digital lenses don't necessarily fail to meet this standard, it's just that "digital" lenses (I'm speaking of full frame coverage "digital", not reduced-image-circle digital) have higher minimum standards for coatings. Even first generation SMC coatings exceeeded this standard.

As to the OP not happy with a Tamron 28-200 - Superzooms are generally regarded as suboptimal lenses with rare exceptions (The three I can think of off the top of my head are the Tamron 18-250, Tamron 18-270, and Sigma 18-250) - Many 28-200 superzooms were utter crap, like the first generation Sigma 28-200 I used when in high school on a PZ-70. I thought the washed-out nature of my photos was user error until I tried the same lens on my K10D - it washed out everything, while the 18-55 kit had no such problems.

One thing to keep in mind is that time has culled out the "bad" old lenses - those often just go into the trash or dustbin, it's the good ones that stay around despite being old and manual focus. So this skews the minimum and average quality you see in old lenses.
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