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02-03-2011, 05:45 AM   #1
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Pentax color (and more)

Just returned from a trip to San Diego, where I made some time for a vist to the zoo and around town for some K-x action. First off, a problem with having different lenses: I realized I put the wrong lens in my bag - 70 instead of 21- so most of the shooting was do ne with the 50-200. I have taken a lot of pictures at my local zoo with a Tamron 70-300, but the colors that came out of this trip were truly exceptional! I have read about this before but never saw it that clearly myself. Does everyone agree then that Pentax lenses produce better color than 3rd party lenses?

02-03-2011, 05:50 AM   #2
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They have their own quality, that's for sure. Pentax is known for the quality and richness of its colours.

That being said, there are differences even between Pentax lenses. For instance, the F50 f1,7 (which I lovE) produces much cooler results than my other Pentax lenses, I can spot it easily at a glance by looking at pictures. And the DA 18-55 WR produces contrasts that are a bit harsh, not displeasing but again very characteristic of that lens.
02-03-2011, 10:11 AM   #3
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Well know for years...

QuoteOriginally posted by tbirdas Quote
Just returned from a trip to San Diego, where I made some time for a vist to the zoo and around town for some K-x action. First off, a problem with having different lenses: I realized I put the wrong lens in my bag - 70 instead of 21- so most of the shooting was do ne with the 50-200. I have taken a lot of pictures at my local zoo with a Tamron 70-300, but the colors that came out of this trip were truly exceptional! I have read about this before but never saw it that clearly myself. Does everyone agree then that Pentax lenses produce better color than 3rd party lenses?
QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
They have their own quality, that's for sure. Pentax is known for the quality and richness of its colours.

That being said, there are differences even between Pentax lenses. For instance, the F50 f1,7 (which I lovE) produces much cooler results than my other Pentax lenses, I can spot it easily at a glance by looking at pictures. And the DA 18-55 WR produces contrasts that are a bit harsh, not displeasing but again very characteristic of that lens.
...that Pentax glass has beautiful 'natural' colour rendition. And I remember seeing my first images from my FA* lenses, and being blown away by how different their colour rendition and contrast was even from other Pentax glass. I took several shots (back in the film days) of a bay on one of the gulf islands with my old FA 28mm, and with the FA* 28-70, and the differences were astonishing. I subsequently sold that 28 to finance the purchase of an FA* 24 f=2, another mind-blowing but much-maligned Pentax optic.

And have compared my images to that of friends with their similar Canon/Nikon setups, and personally feel I made the right choice in sticking with Pentax; Pentax glass is stunning.

Cheers,
Cameron

02-03-2011, 01:11 PM   #4
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But what is the reason for the color difference?

I've read before that among brands, and even between generations of lenses from the same brand, that one can see differences in color rendition. People often point to element coatings among brands/lenses as the reason.

To my way of thinking, though, this doesn't make sense. Suppose someone has two lenses that, apart from brand (and therefor, coating), are identical. Wouldn't a DSLR's automatic white balance compensate for any differences? I figured the white point would be appropriately adjusted and the rest of the image color would fall into place accordingly. I can understand marginal differences between to lenses, but the strong commentary on Pentax vs. Tamron vs. Sigma etc. overwhelming indicates noticeable differences.

What am I overlooking here, Enlightened Ones?!

02-03-2011, 02:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LowVoltage Quote
What am I overlooking here, Enlightened Ones?!
the white balance is like an "offset" applied to the whole image. So if the relative renderings of each colour is different, the white balance will not even that out. That's the simple explanation.
02-05-2011, 01:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
the white balance is like an "offset" applied to the whole image. So if the relative renderings of each colour is different, the white balance will not even that out. That's the simple explanation.
A simple, but effective explanation! That makes complete sense. And, I'm surprised I haven't thought of it before as I have explained color correction to many of my customers in the past when discussing restoration of an old photo.

Sometimes I need to explain to customers that I can't simply apply one color to offset a fade or some other color difference in an old photo because the individual colors have not changed at the same rate. The same basic principle would apply here.

Thanks!
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