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08-18-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
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Going to the redwoods

in Northern California and am looking to purchase a few lenses before the trip. I currently have a K30 w/18-135 and am considering the A 28 2.8 and A 50 1.7. Would these two be a worthwhile choice on a trip like this? If my research is correct I simply place the lens on the A setting and can then use the mode of my choosing which more often than not is aperture priority. Is there any menu diving or setup needed prior to using these lenses?

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions...

08-18-2013, 06:50 PM   #2
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Nothing else needed as long as you keep the lens in A setting.

Make sure you have a tripod it is dark in there.
08-18-2013, 06:54 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Nothing else needed as long as you keep the lens in A setting.

Make sure you have a tripod it is dark in there.
Thanks Jatrax,

I'm looking forward to trying my hand at manual focusing. Pretty sure I'll be going for the A 50 1.7, wasn't to sure about the 28 though.
08-18-2013, 07:55 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ShawnG Quote
Pretty sure I'll be going for the A 50 1.7, wasn't to sure about the 28 though.
You might want to think about the 28mm though. I just checked my photos from my last trip and 80% were at 12mm with the DA 12-24. It is very hard to get far enough away to compose properly without an UWA. I suspect you will end up using the 18-135 the most.

And it is almost impossible to shoot free hand as it is so dim. Early morning or cloudy day is best as the sunlight filtering into the dim forest gives you an extreme dynamic range. Think about bracketing shots and combining with HDR.

08-18-2013, 08:08 PM   #5
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Welcome to the Forum!!! You might want to try stitching vertically.
  • Learn about stitching - as its a quick inexpensive alternative to wide angle lenses. Use Microsoft ICE (a free download) to stitch images together to form one large resultant image. You can handhold the camera with good light, but a tripod is really needed in bad (or low) light.
Also, you can get some cool shooting ideas by googling redwoods and then clicking on images. Also, if it looks overcast or an uninteresting sky - shoot anyway, especially in RAW. A little post processing can produce wondrous results.


08-18-2013, 08:43 PM   #6
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Of my primes I'd lean on my SMC-A 24mm a lot, more than my 40 50 or 70mm. Wide is good because the trees really are huge, no point in a picture of half a huge tree... Your 18-135 will cover lots of bases (plus it's a moist place so WR is your friend!) but I too would encourage a 28mm before a 50.
08-19-2013, 07:14 PM   #7
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The A lenses I'm eyeing don't have caps included - can newer caps be used on these lenses? Yep, I'm new to the legacy lens game...
08-19-2013, 07:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ShawnG Quote
The A lenses I'm eyeing don't have caps included - can newer caps be used on these lenses?
Yes. Front caps are generic to the size of the filter ring. Most (but not all) of Pentax older lenses are 49mm so you just need to buy a 49mm center pinch cap such as: Amazon.com: 49MM Center Pinch Lens Cap (for Camera Lens with 49MM Filter Thread) + MagicFiber Microfiber Lens Cleaning Cloth: Camera & Photo or whatever diameter you need. I think both of the lenses you mentioned are 49mm.

Rear caps must be for k-mount and are readily available for very little on fleabay or any other retailer.

08-19-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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Appreciate it - I've got the Photosport Sling 100 AW and the Pentax battery holder/adapter on the way as well...
08-19-2013, 08:52 PM   #10
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The redwoods are the tall breed. I'd pack up a super wide angle. I see limited use of 28A. A macro may come in handy though.
08-19-2013, 08:57 PM   #11
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I would suggest something wider than 18. The 12-24 is a very handy focal length range. A Sigma 10-20 is a bit cheaper.

Last edited by SpecialK; 08-20-2013 at 03:05 PM.
08-20-2013, 10:35 AM   #12
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I would take along something like a 10-20 or similar as it would have some pretty cool effects wide open (or is the "sic") more appropriate

Sounds like a great trip to do

Cheers

Randy
08-20-2013, 02:39 PM   #13
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While ultra-wides have their place in photographing redwoods, I find 20mm to be the sweet spot for capturing these magnificant trees. Ultra-wides tend to make the trees look smaller than they really are and you get severe keystoning. You also pick up large parts of the sky with ultra-wides; and the skies, whether overcast are not, are much brighter than ground of the forest and don't always photograph all that well. My favorite lens for redwoods is the Pentax M 20/4. Other excellent choices would be the DA 16-45 or the DA 12-24.

Redwoods are best photographed in fog. In the summer months, there's often marine layers that buildup over night and cover the skies in the morning. The trick to finding redwoods in fog is to find groves that are high enough in elevation so that the trees are vaulting right into the marine layer.
08-23-2013, 10:15 PM   #14
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I didn't have much $ to spare so I went with the A 50 1.7. I'll be taking my EPL1 and 14mm along though while I continue to save towards a couple of Limited lenses.
08-24-2013, 03:49 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ShawnG Quote
in Northern California and am looking to purchase a few lenses before the trip. I currently have a K30 w/18-135 and am considering the A 28 2.8 and A 50 1.7. Would these two be a worthwhile choice on a trip like this? If my research is correct I simply place the lens on the A setting and can then use the mode of my choosing which more often than not is aperture priority. Is there any menu diving or setup needed prior to using these lenses?

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions...
Hello ShawnG, Welcome to the Forum!
The answer to your final question is "Yes". If you don't first enable the use of manual-focus lenses, the shutter won't fire.
In the main menu, go to Custom Functions ("C") and scroll to custom function # C23, 'Using Aperture Ring". Set to "Enable". You only have to do this once, unless you re-set all the settings back to Default.
Now, when you mount a manual-focus lens and power up, the first screen will be a dark background with white letters "Input Focal Length".and a selection of numbers like 24, 28, 30, etc. Use (either) the rear thumb wheel or right/left buttons on the circle switch (the one with OK in the middle) to scroll to the correct FL (in this case, 50mm) and hit 'OK". This adjusts the shake reduction for the size lens used and (importantly) adds the focal length to the EXIF information.
Every time you turn the camera off, then on again, you'll have to OK the focal length, as long as a MF lens is on the camera. Actually, that's not quite true. If you forget to input (by hitting OK) the FL and depress the shutter 1/2 way, it overrides the screen and the camera will function, but once you have more than one MF lens, this becomes a terrible PIA! It uses the last length set, so if you switch to a MF 100mm, forget to change the input, it will be recorded as the fifty.
If you switch to an AF lens, this screen doesn't appear.
Hope this helps!
Ron

Last edited by rbefly; 08-24-2013 at 03:59 AM.
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