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05-26-2011, 06:37 PM   #166
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It still matters under what conditions scenes are shot under using an acclaimed lens. We cannot expect pixie dust to shine through shooting under harsh backlighting and highly contrasted scenes. Where it makes a difference for me is in the finer details of a well-lit scene.

05-26-2011, 06:49 PM   #167
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I tried again... Found this rose in my backyard looking like something generated by a fractal CGI program and ... well, this is what I got:




Any dust? I mean, I thought it had a lot of "3D" snap to it...
05-26-2011, 06:56 PM   #168
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
I tried again... Found this rose in my backyard looking like something generated by a fractal CGI program and ... well, this is what I got:

Any dust? I mean, I thought it had a lot of "3D" snap to it...
I'm not qualified to comment on pixie dust. but it's at least 1/2 stop underexposed.
05-26-2011, 06:57 PM   #169
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
Well, if nothing else, this thread has encouraged me to get to know the FA77 a little better. I took some time this morning and shot several more images with it. Not necessarily exciting stuff, but I put more effort into picking out stuff that might yield interesting pics. Sorry, no more comparisons, I only had one camera with me today. I added about 20 more shots to the Flickr gallery I linked earlier in this thread, and I'll post a few favorites below.

The result is that I believe more than ever that the FA77 has a uniqueness about it which is somewhat identifiable, very repeatable, and I feel like if I used a different lens, the images would not be as nice. Call it what you will.

It also occurs to me to argue just a little with the point about a symbiosis of photographer and lens that arises from a shooter's familiarity and experience with using the lens. In my case, that is certainly not true: I am pretty new to Pentax, and while I like the K-5's small size and I am generally happy with the image quality, I can't say I know the system well, and certainly can't say I'm in love with it. Compared to my D3, the ergonomics are damn clunky. The feel in my hands is not as solid. The FA77 is clearly a well-constructed lens, but the pleasure of focusing it pales in comparison to my Zeiss Makro-Planar, and yes, even in comparison to my $100 Nikkor 105/2.5. If I am looking for a comfort zone that guarantees me I will get the quality and the files I want, and not miss any shots fumbling with settings, I grab the Nikon, every time. I'm not saying anything negative about Pentax, and it's largely an effect of me just being very familiar and comfortable with the Nikon setup; I know I'll get more comfortable with the K-5 over time, and the FA77 will encourage me to shoot Pentax more often. But not because the lens "feels" right to me or anything. Because I've got things that feel a lot more right. So in my case I can rule out my "love for using the lens" as a factor in getting better images with it than I might get with some others.
Some excellent images in there, Todd.

So let me get this straight... you don't like the 77ltd? I'd be happy to take it off your hands...

There's certainly a great deal of personal preference involved; Like I have said many times, for me, bokeh just needs to get out of the way, but once I notice it, some of those images look a little busy for my tastes. But, like i said, I didn't even notice until I *looked* for the bokeh. 3 of those images look very nice.. the first and the last two are very nice and smooth; the others look... busy? Jaggy? I dunno. I like the next to the last one the most - it has an almost preternatural sharpness to it.

They are all a step up from the first set, I have to agree with... who said that? These are much stronger images.

05-26-2011, 07:03 PM   #170
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I'm not qualified to comment on pixie dust. but it's at least 1/2 stop underexposed.
Really? What makes you say that? The rose is really that color, as are the bricks, the mortar, and the leaves.

Or do you mean the original image? (I shot it down a stop and pushed it back up in post with the fill light slider and the exposure slider because the red channel was pegging on the petals' edge )
05-26-2011, 07:19 PM   #171
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Doesn't look under-exposed on my monitor. I like it. The 3D is strong with this one.
05-26-2011, 07:20 PM   #172
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Thanks for the kind comments, everyone. I should say explicitly that while I was definitely TRYING to make nice images (as opposed to yesterday's quickie tests), this was still rather hurried, and without my normal level of previsualization/premeditation, tripod, etc. I had a lot to do today, and no business doing this, but it was fun. My point is that it's really easy to make nice pictures with this lens. Of course, I am somewhat experienced, and I like to think I have a natural sense of composition, so I can frame up some good images and expose them quickly. But I am far from a great photographer, and these images came almost effortlessly. Much easier than with most other lenses I have, or have had.

QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
So let me get this straight... you don't like the 77ltd? I'd be happy to take it off your hands...
Quite the contrary. I am, at this point, fairly well-enamored with this silly little piece of glass. What I meant to convey, is that I don't feel particularly attached or connected the lens...I don't instinctively gravitate toward using the FA77, especially when I can grab the Zeiss. But I could definitely see myself developing such a connection. I just wanted to make the point that such a connection may not necessarily be required for a halfway decent photographer to get some "dusty" pics.

I agree the boke from the FA77 can take on a little more character than some might wish. But for me personally, that's a big part of "pixie dust." I like the personality, and adds another dimension to the images for me. I like noticing some of the off-the-wall stuff going on in the out of focus areas. I used to shoot a lot on my D3 with the CV58/1.4, and it did some of the same stuff. Only sometimes it would be a little too weird even for me, I still loved shooting with that lens. For the longest time I regretted selling it, but now that I am starting to see what's possible with the FA77, I no longer miss the CV58. In fact, I'm pretty sure the reason I sold it was to help fund the FA77. Anyway, the "jaggy" stuff that appears in the boke both with the CV58 and the FA77 is often referred to as "nervous" with a somewhat negative connotation. While I occasionally found it a negative with the CV, I really feel like the FA77 can do very similar things but without degrading the artistry of the rendering. It's very painterly to me.
05-26-2011, 07:25 PM   #173
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
Please post your pixie dust lens images in The Pixie Dust Lens club https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/145324-pixie-dust-lens-club.html
I have to FIND a pixie dust lens FIRST. Is there an official list?

05-26-2011, 07:27 PM   #174
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
I agree the boke from the FA77 can take on a little more character than some might wish. But for me personally, that's a big part of "pixie dust." I like the personality, and adds another dimension to the images for me. I like noticing some of the off-the-wall stuff going on in the out of focus areas. I used to shoot a lot on my D3 with the CV58/1.4, and it did some of the same stuff. Only sometimes it would be a little too weird even for me, I still loved shooting with that lens. For the longest time I regretted selling it, but now that I am starting to see what's possible with the FA77, I no longer miss the CV58. In fact, I'm pretty sure the reason I sold it was to help fund the FA77. Anyway, the "jaggy" stuff that appears in the boke both with the CV58 and the FA77 is often referred to as "nervous" with a somewhat negative connotation. While I occasionally found it a negative with the CV, I really feel like the FA77 can do very similar things but without degrading the artistry of the rendering. It's very painterly to me.
After looking the yellow flower picture again, I can see how you could learn to like that. It's very interesting, and, as you suggest, painterly. The fence and fern make my eyes crazy, though.
05-26-2011, 07:36 PM   #175
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"Pixie dust" is what we make it to be. It's not necessarily nor exclusively from a Pentax lens...













05-26-2011, 08:22 PM   #176
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinceloc Quote
"Pixie dust" is what we make it to be. It's not necessarily nor exclusively from a Pentax lens...
Sacrilege!
05-26-2011, 08:22 PM   #177
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Really? What makes you say that? The rose is really that color, as are the bricks, the mortar, and the leaves.

Or do you mean the original image?
I mean the image you posted is underexposed. My histogram shows it runs off the scale on the left side.

Your posted image:



Unfortunately I can't say how much I boosted this version because I couldn't use DCU4. I added some fill light in Picasa. I expect it was about 1/2 stop. It's still nowhere near clipping the highlights. This looks much better on my screen and better on my histogram too.

05-26-2011, 08:24 PM   #178
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Geez Vincent, those are some great photos.
05-26-2011, 08:39 PM   #179
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I mean the image you posted is underexposed. My histogram shows it runs off the scale on the left side.

Your posted image:

Unfortunately I can't say how much I boosted this version because I couldn't use DCU4. I added some fill light in Picasa. I expect it was about 1/2 stop. It's still nowhere near clipping the highlights. This looks much better on my screen and better on my histogram too.
I see... well, the modified one looks ok, but it doesn't look like the scene I photographed. The rose isn't that color, nor are the leaves; they're much too light in the new image. And, seein' as how I really like the darker images with richer color - that's part of what drew me to the roses to begin with... If it had looked like your rendition, I wouldn't have stopped to photograph it.

Thanks for takin' the time to explain!
05-26-2011, 08:39 PM   #180
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I mean the image you posted is underexposed. My histogram shows it runs off the scale on the left side.

Your posted image:



Unfortunately I can't say how much I boosted this version because I couldn't use DCU4. I added some fill light in Picasa. I expect it was about 1/2 stop. It's still nowhere near clipping the highlights. This looks much better on my screen and better on my histogram too.
Sorry, but that completely ruined the image. The original is much more pleasant to look at. This is what happens when you rely too much on a histogram instead of trusting your eyes.
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