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10-25-2011, 02:04 AM   #151
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Hey Hoanpham,

Yes... reversal rings. Not sure I ended up buying one of those last night in my LBA haze. There are SO many accessories/fun/alternative things to do!! Why did I wait so long to get involved???? How am I going to get all the cashies I need? Seriously, buying Pentax is NOT a money saving hobby!!

10-25-2011, 02:40 AM   #152
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You've gone through the CHEAP MACRO article by now. You know about the limitations of lens reversal -- gotta work real close, no aperture automation, etc. But those don't matter, eh? I think I recommended an ultra-cheap solution there: the lousy A35-80, reversed. It becomes an actual macro-zoom! And sharp! And it's like maybe fifteen bucks! Add another fiver for the 49mm-PK mount-reversal ring, and VOILA! Then you can save your cashies for something hawt, like a Schneider Betavaron.
10-25-2011, 02:49 AM   #153
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I've read it 3 times now Rico, and every time I read it, I find there's something else I "need" to buy..
10-25-2011, 03:00 AM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I think I recommended an ultra-cheap solution there: the lousy A35-80, reversed. It becomes an actual macro-zoom! And sharp! And it's like maybe fifteen bucks! Add another fiver for the 49mm-PK mount-reversal ring, and VOILA! Then you can save your cashies for something hawt, like a Schneider Betavaron.
Ah yup. Thanks for the reminder Rico! I got um... sidetracked

10-25-2011, 03:09 AM   #156
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Hey Jolepp, what on earth is that first piccie of? It looks like a thing you put on the gas cannister on the bbq...
10-25-2011, 03:14 AM   #157
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
Hey Jolepp, what on earth is that first piccie of? It looks like a thing you put on the gas cannister on the bbq...
Oh, I initially pasted a wrong link . It should be fixed now .
10-25-2011, 03:14 AM   #158
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Ah yup. I was reading that one earlier this evening

10-25-2011, 03:26 AM   #159
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And, well, the first piccie was a car battery terminal clamp with integrated switch for cutting off the battery; the link was apparently left on the clipboard yesterday evening from a different discussion and I must have omitted the first part of Copy+Paste. Very limited use in macro photography I must admit .
10-25-2011, 03:29 AM - 1 Like   #160
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I wondered whether or not I had missed something or if perhaps it was some fancy adapter I knew nothing about.

10-25-2011, 07:45 AM   #161
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I think it might be worthwhile to go on LBA hiatus until you've actually used some of your lenses and understand what you limited by and what you wish you had instead.

I've bought a lot of cheap but very good Pentax brand lenses (easy to resell if you choose) and strangely I gravitate towards two lenses all of the time. I do have a big box of lenses finally arriving tomorrow or the next day. But I actually have to go on an all at once buying spree since everything gets reshipped across an ocean. The F35-70 that I won for $17 (plus shipping minus redeemed Ebay bucks) last week might not be shipped for 6 months to a year because the shipping would cost way more than the lens. I have to tip my hat to Rico for pimping it and naming the specific search method that I found it. I was very surprised.

Very, very excited to receive all of my new toys. I might have overdone it but I'm largely cut off for the next year from buying. I guess it's like the alcoholic that chooses to get wasted one last time before choosing to quit. Of course this might not be the most successful method...
10-25-2011, 11:55 AM   #162
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
You've gone through the CHEAP MACRO article by now. You know about the limitations of lens reversal -- gotta work real close, no aperture automation, etc. But those don't matter, eh? I think I recommended an ultra-cheap solution there: the lousy A35-80, reversed. It becomes an actual macro-zoom! And sharp! And it's like maybe fifteen bucks! Add another fiver for the 49mm-PK mount-reversal ring, and VOILA! Then you can save your cashies for something hawt, like a Schneider Betavaron.
I've read a bit about the Schneider-Kreuznach Betavaron; it's a world's first zoom lens for an enlarger or printing machine with the expected Schneider-Kreuznach quality optics but you are not using it in a darkroom situation, so what can you do with this lens that is unique as an objective lens? Obviously it's a flat field lens like any other enlarger lens but is it any more sharper or versatile than say a Schneider-Kreuznach Componon-S enlarger lens used as an objective lens on bellows or extension tubes?
10-25-2011, 12:56 PM   #163
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
I've read a bit about the Schneider-Kreuznach Betavaron; it's a world's first zoom lens for an enlarger or printing machine with the expected Schneider-Kreuznach quality optics but you are not using it in a darkroom situation, so what can you do with this lens that is unique as an objective lens? Obviously it's a flat field lens like any other enlarger lens but is it any more sharper or versatile than say a Schneider-Kreuznach Componon-S enlarger lens used as an objective lens on bellows or extension tubes?
Yes, it's flatfield and brutally sharp and rather heavy at over 800g. Mine is a later version marked Betavaron 3,5...11/0.08. It think that means its enlargement scale is in the range of 3.5-11x, which is how its zoom is marked. Apertures are marked 1-2-3-4-5, not as f/stops, because this isn't a camera lens. Maximum aperture seems to be f/4 @50mm, f/5.6 @125mm. I haven't tried light transmission tests to nail those down. I just have fun with it.

I'll get a focusing helicoid one of these days (maybe for Xmas!) so its use will be a bit less quirky. Understand that focus varies with zoom. I mount mine on about 33mm of extension. Zoomed out to 50mm, it focuses just past infinity. Zoomed in to 125mm, it focuses at about 60cm. Yes, a 30-60mm M42 focusing helicoid is just what I need. As is, I focus by zooming and moving. Framing pictures is weird, as I must dance about to get the right focus.

Why is it unique on a camera? Its brilliance, and the challenge of using it. The bokeh wide-open is very creamy from its circular aperture. Stop it down at all, and the convex 5-blade iris makes pronounced starry patterns. But mostly it's the dance. Will a helicoid make it any less special? Oh I hope not. And how does it compare to Schneider ELs? I have a Comporon 50/4 and a Componar 75/4.5 but I really haven't tried comparing them. One of these days...

This Betavaron's list price, before digital destroyed the mass custom-enlargement portion of the business, was US$3500. These were being liquidated a couple years ago for around US$70. Nice discount!

Last edited by RioRico; 10-25-2011 at 01:05 PM.
10-25-2011, 01:47 PM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by abacus07 Quote
I think it might be worthwhile to go on LBA hiatus until you've actually used some of your lenses and understand what you limited by and what you wish you had instead.

I've bought a lot of cheap but very good Pentax brand lenses (easy to resell if you choose) and strangely I gravitate towards two lenses all of the time. I do have a big box of lenses finally arriving tomorrow or the next day. But I actually have to go on an all at once buying spree since everything gets reshipped across an ocean. The F35-70 that I won for $17 (plus shipping minus redeemed Ebay bucks) last week might not be shipped for 6 months to a year because the shipping would cost way more than the lens. I have to tip my hat to Rico for pimping it and naming the specific search method that I found it. I was very surprised.

Very, very excited to receive all of my new toys. I might have overdone it but I'm largely cut off for the next year from buying. I guess it's like the alcoholic that chooses to get wasted one last time before choosing to quit. Of course this might not be the most successful method...
Hi Abacus,

Yeah, Rico's great that way isn't he? Always pimping out those lenses and helping us find them. *looks at coffee table covered in lenses*

In my defence, I have been using my lenses. Atm I'm mainly toying with the two 50s I've got - the 1.7 and 1.4. Their capacity in low light (note evenings inside the house with only one light on - or sometimes even no night on during dusk) is amazing. Not so great during daylight though. All the pics I've taken of my wolfies in the morning with the 1.4 have come out overexposed despite putting the aperture down. I also love the rendering and clarity of the pictures that come out with these two primes.

Having said that, re low light, I tried using the primes as semi macros on some flowers and they all came out blurry and yuck. Obvs I'm doing something wrong. Even when I step back to get clearer pictures, when I crop, the depth of field is something shocking.

The Miranda 70-300 while great in reach is disappointing at 300. Not half as sharp as I'd like. It may also have to do with the fungus coating on the back lens. That or I've been super spoilt by the primes. I need to play around with it more. Oh! And I nearly forgot about my freebie Ozunkon. That one is probably my most neglected at the moment.

The Tak F Zoom 28-80 has done some surprisingly great macro shots but the colour and contrast on general zoom isn't half as wonderful as my 50-200 kit lens.

Often I'm finding my lenses limit what I can take pictures of. I've gotten so used to my 18-55 to get general wide angle shots, and reliant on the camera to auto focus when I want to take action shots that using the primes leaves a lot to be desired. I've bookmarked the catch in focus articles and need to sit down and read those properly (when I'm not busy searching for more lenses). I know everyone says to read the manual but personally I find the manual full of jargon and not half as clear in instructions as I would like. I prefer illustrations showing me exactly what I need to do, and explanations in more plain english (I was one of those who never *really* understood aperture and step down and blah blah blah).

Some of my other lenses are either duds (full of fungus - I'm looking at you Tokina) or broken in some way (yes, 50mm 2.0 with your stuck focus ring) and will require time for me to decide/sort out what to do with it before I'll use it.

The remaining lenses are all m42 mounts. You have no idea how desperately I want to use them (1.8/55 (!!), 1:3.5 180mm, etc etc) but I can't until my m42 adapter(s) arrive. I got the shipping notice from the US yesterday so we'll see how that works.

In the meantime I'm constantly gravitating towards my primes, and every time I see something I want to photograph I want to try old glass to see what amazing results occur because so far all my old glass has exceeded my expectations in some way or another.

I feel for you re shipping costs. In some ways Australia is the same. I've lost out on many an auction (the US is RIFE with bargains) due to shipping. And then there was that 2.8 zoom I was eyeing in South Africa with a whopping fed ex cost of $56(!!!).

Last edited by wolfiegirl; 10-25-2011 at 03:47 PM.
10-25-2011, 01:59 PM   #165
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
All the pics I've taken of my wolfies in the morning with the 1.4 have come out overexposed despite putting the aperture down. I also love the rendering and clarity of the pictures that come out with these two primes.
That shouldn't happen if you're using a mode that gives some control (Av or M as opposed to green), and your ISO is set low and fixed (as opposed to a range). The way I try to shoot is using aperture to control depth of field, not exposure, which I leave to the shutter speed. ISO over about 200 is only for emergencies, or very difficult lighting. You should be able to shoot wide open in bright daylight without overexposing, just by using a very fast shutter.
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