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08-02-2008, 11:30 AM   #16
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Very well stated Monochrome. Not much I could possibly add to your post. Well written.

Marc, another stunning shot. I believe you posted either this one or another from the DA50-200mm of the hummingbirds. They were and remain excellent examples of exactly the point of the thread. Beautiful work.

I noticed that Julie Quarry, who's stuff is featured on the PPG Premier section, shoots with the DA50-200 and has some beautiful work there with this lens. See the "Enlightened" photo or "Balance" or "Fermentation" with the DA18-55mm


Last edited by Peter Zack; 08-02-2008 at 11:36 AM.
08-02-2008, 11:47 AM   #17
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Shoot with the lenses you have

Hi all,

Good thread Peter, Monochrome, rparmar, steve et al. You guys are either the ďvoice of sanityĒ or a bunch of party poopers. I think Iíll opt for the former. Like most of you I fell into the LBA trap and accumulated a dozen lenses Ė most of which I still own. They are all Pentax K, M and A series primes. I got most of them in the BC film days (before children). I took a million shots of the kids when they were small but life and other things took me away from photography for about ten years. The cameras and lenses gathered dust in the closet.

During this time digital eclipsed film and I started looking for a new camera. I got a K10 and a DA 70 to start me down the digital road. LBA started to kick in again and I began to lust after every DA* in the catalogue until I reminded myself why I bought the K10 to start with Ė backward compatibility. Then in a blinding flash - a lens theophany - hey stupid you have all this old glass. This forum and the K, M and A clubs have kept my LBA in check. Iíve since started taking the K10 and one lens only with me when I go for a walk. I explore what I can do with each lens and Iím just taking pictures. A lot of them are crap but unlike the film days itís pretty cheap to experiment in digital. Consequently, I find Iím having fun making images again. As rparmar said ďthatís what itís all about.Ē


Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-02-2008 at 11:49 AM. Reason: typo
08-02-2008, 12:06 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
...
Good thread Peter, Monochrome, rparmar, steve et al. You guys are either the “voice of sanity” or a bunch of party poopers. ...
Ummmm...my lady friend insists that I am insane, so I guess I am actually a party pooper...

QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
...until I reminded myself why I bought the K10 to start with – backward compatibility. Then in a blinding flash - a lens theophany - hey stupid you have all this old glass. This forum and the K, M and A clubs have kept my LBA in check. I’ve since started taking the K10 and one lens only with me when I go for a walk. I explore what I can do with each lens and I’m just taking pictures. A lot of them are crap but unlike the film days it’s pretty cheap to experiment in digital. Consequently, I find I’m having fun making images again. As rparmar said “that’s what it’s all about.”
Your experience parallels my own. I have found that I am enjoying my old and/or off-brand glass more than the three modern auto-focus lenses that I own. The pictures I have been most happy with this year have been taken using primitive (Jupiter-9) and/or old (M-42 Rikenon) glass. I also have gone down the very fulfilling path of going out with only one prime lens on the camera and seeing what I can do with that tool on that day. It is a lot of fun just taking pictures.

Well the clouds are breaking and it is time to go out and take some pictures!

Steve
08-02-2008, 12:38 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Very well stated Monochrome. Not much I could possibly add to your post. Well written.

Marc, another stunning shot. I believe you posted either this one or another from the DA50-200mm of the hummingbirds. They were and remain excellent examples of exactly the point of the thread. Beautiful work.

I noticed that Julie Quarry, who's stuff is featured on the PPG Premier section, shoots with the DA50-200 and has some beautiful work there with this lens. See the "Enlightened" photo or "Balance" or "Fermentation" with the DA18-55mm
Agreed about monochrome's post!!

I was pretty sure you've seen that hummingbird image - more for proof of concept for other readers of the thread...

Julie's images are really nice! Perhaps I'll have to show folks what the DA 50-200 can do (from the VLF competition)... as a landscape lens... and the 18-55 too. To say I am impressed is an understatement. I shall try to post soon in another thread.

Cheers,
Marc


Last edited by Marc Langille; 08-02-2008 at 02:16 PM. Reason: clarification
08-02-2008, 02:08 PM   #20
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The flip side of "use what you have" is that when it comes to buying you should get something that will open up new photographic possibilities for you... and then spend the time to explore those possibilities. That is why the best recommendation after the kit is likely a fast 50mm. Having the f/1.8 definitely opens up new worlds.

I also believe in buying the best I can. This circumvents LBA, since there is no need to also buy the second best, the third best, ad nauseum. After my first couple of "try it cheap" lenses I bought four lenses that are the best of breed in my eyes. Of course everyone has different needs, so I would never say these are the only options.

Some principles then:
1. Use what you have.
2. Only buy if it will widen your photographic horizons.
3. Buy the best you can afford.
4. Get out there and take photos.
5. Share what you do.
08-02-2008, 02:10 PM   #21
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Nice post, Peter. If anyone doubts that the original 18-55 can be used to take
shots, they should search on the 18-55 in the PPG - incredible stuff can be done
with any lens, if the photographer is willing to try to get the most out of the glass.

This is exactly why I established the M-Club thread - because I noticed that I was
getting great shots from my 'lowly' M's, and that made me appreciate them even
more. In fact, if I were to opt out of the Pentax system altogether, I would still keep
my M's, Taks, K's and K100D - too many good images, too many good memories
of those lenses.





(Taken with : K 35 3.5, M 100 2.8, M 28 2.8, M 50 1.4)



.
08-02-2008, 04:56 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
The flip side of "use what you have" is that when it comes to buying you should get something that will open up new photographic possibilities for you... and then spend the time to explore those possibilities. That is why the best recommendation after the kit is likely a fast 50mm. Having the f/1.8 definitely opens up new worlds.

I also believe in buying the best I can. This circumvents LBA, since there is no need to also buy the second best, the third best, ad nauseum. After my first couple of "try it cheap" lenses I bought four lenses that are the best of breed in my eyes. Of course everyone has different needs, so I would never say these are the only options.

Some principles then:
1. Use what you have.
2. Only buy if it will widen your photographic horizons.
3. Buy the best you can afford.
4. Get out there and take photos.
5. Share what you do.
I agree with those points. I guess my main idea is that if all you can afford is the kit lenses then don't feel that you can't also participate. It just seems that some don't like to post shots or discuss stuff because so many shoot with and discuss glass only a few can afford.

What really got me thinking about this was 2 events that happened at the same time. Hin Man posted an LBA challenge on PN where all who signed up would cease buying lenses for 3 months. That ended a month ago. I did buy one (a good deal on a Sigma 28mm) but we all just focused on the gear we had and as the time passed, most wound up selling lenses that they realized they didn't need. Second was a portrait shooting seminar that the Pro doing the teaching had more camera bodies than lenses. She had 4 Canon bodies and 3 lenses. A long telephoto, a wide zoom and an mid to long zoom. That was it and the work she displayed was stunning.

QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Nice post, Peter. If anyone doubts that the original 18-55 can be used to take
shots, they should search on the 18-55 in the PPG - incredible stuff can be done
with any lens, if the photographer is willing to try to get the most out of the glass.

This is exactly why I established the M-Club thread - because I noticed that I was
getting great shots from my 'lowly' M's, and that made me appreciate them even
more. In fact, if I were to opt out of the Pentax system altogether, I would still keep
my M's, Taks, K's and K100D - too many good images, too many good memories
of those lenses.
Exactly. As has been discussed many times before, the old lenses which are cheap now can produce some excellent work in the right hands and with practice. You don't need a 31mm etc to produce shots that are as good or better than any other shooter.
08-02-2008, 05:39 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
...Exactly. As has been discussed many times before, the old lenses which are cheap now can produce some excellent work in the right hands and with practice. You don't need a 31mm etc to produce shots that are as good or better than any other shooter.
I got a little devil on my shoulder and he keeps speaking to me. he wants me to type this out, so its not me, its the devil.

None of this is based on need.

Making the most of what we have is probably everyones ultimate aim, but scratching that itch of doubt that another lens might be doing a better job has driven me to the edges of the internet scouring for images, stats and prices. Buy, try, sell or keep and use, repeat if necessary.

Like we were saying in the bokeh thread - every lens makes an out of focus area, but some do it specifically in a way that is pleasing to the eye of the beholder. For certain styles, you really need a certain lens and if home is where the heart is, buy it up! Go LBA on it!

I can honestly say I wouldn't bother to shoot 'bokeh' for example without certain lenses, just wouldn't be the same now that I know what I'd be missing. Each lens has its own personality - close-focuser, infinity shooter, crazy bokeh, sharpest res, etc, etc. I like finding those extreme tools that can do several things at peak levels where the lens is giving me back the joy of its unique perspective which in turn fuels my creative juices. I look for reasons to shoot and to talk about my gear because I'm very proud of it.

As is agreed here, one can do a lot of stuff with any lens, all of them can make a picture and a computer can make nearly anything look great. 'Being there' is the most important thing of all - even the devil agrees with that - but those great shots only take up a little space on my hard drive. Its the thousands of others that I enjoyed just for me because I was getting the results I wanted consistantly with tools that show me something I like to see on the back of my camera. That took a lot of buying trying and selling. I'll bet even that teacher with four bodies and three lenses didn't just buy all that one day and decide that was it.

Actually, after the first sentence, the only thing the devil actually said was what follows here (I just have a way of extrapolating). I guarantee you'de be happier driving to the store for milk in a lambourghini over a pinto. You only live once and then you're mine!

EDIT - ps, All my Voigtlanders, Zeiss and FA put together, my expensive tripod and K20 too only make a 6th of the cost of a Hassy - and somebody somewhere has one they are not using. Its true, money can't buy you love, but if you love it - what is money?


Last edited by thePiRaTE!!; 08-02-2008 at 05:44 PM.
08-02-2008, 05:57 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
As has been discussed many times before, the old lenses which are cheap now can produce some excellent work in the right hands and with practice. You don't need a 31mm etc to produce shots that are as good or better than any other shooter.
I think however we may be our own worst emeny since the Takumar forum was created the price of these lens have gone up. I think pentax need to release more lens as a distraction
08-02-2008, 07:29 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by gokenin Quote
I think however we may be our own worst emeny since the Takumar forum was created the price of these lens have gone up. I think pentax need to release more lens as a distraction
Yes that's true. I've seen this happen right before my eyes. A thread gets posted here on a few other well read forums, the lurkers are watching. A lens you saw sell routinely for $75.00 and is now on your watch list. You watch it and the next 5 that come up sell for $125.00 or more.

A perfect example of that is the Viv, LD, Kiron 105mm macro. You could get those for $250.00 all the time a year ago. Now they sell for $450+ which is $150.00 higher than the list price when they were new. If I worked at Vivitar, I'd be checking every corner of the warehouse!

thePiRaTE!! I get your point and frankly now that you have tested that many lenses and bought what are considered the 'best in class', you can't turn that clock back. You now look for certain things and nothing less will do. But the reality is about 5% or less of the trained viewers will see what you are looking to produce. Sure lots of people have read the 85mm thread and many more like it. But to even the above average viewer will not see those subtle differences.

Sure the Pro would have bought and sold dozens of lenses in a 30 year career. She clearly found the simple approach and knowing each lens like it was a part of her body, was more important. Knowing how to get exactly the image or effect she visualized, to come from that tool.

My point is to get the best you can. If it's a 31mm, then great. If it's an 18-55mm then that is equally great. Don't lament the so called shortcomings but relish in the strengths of whatever lens you can get. Use it, study it and know exactly what it can do.

have fun and shoot lots of pictures. Post some here so we can all enjoy the show.

I know I'm swimming upstream for some and that's fine. To each his or her own.
08-02-2008, 07:35 PM   #26
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The Lens Sanity Society :)

This thread is so refreshing! I've about come to the same conclusion myself--I have lens buying hangover. It's almost like trying to eat when your eyes are bigger than your stomach--by the time you're done eating, you feel so full that you're miserable and you know if you eat one more bite, you'll get sick. Once I buy Ed in GA's 12-24 off of him, I'm done with buying lenses for a while. I'll have 12-300mm covered and that should work for just about any situation I may run into.

I really do like Hin's idea of taking a 3-month break from buying lenses. I propose that we give it a try, say from September 1-November 30. It will end before Christmas, so if any of us notice any deficiencies in our lens collections, we'll be able to remedy them with Christmas presents of lenses and money for lenses. For those of us who decide that we want or need to sell lenses, other people can use their Christmas money to buy our lenses off of us.

One exercise that I've tried that I need to try more is to go out with only one lens and see what I can shoot with it and get to know it better that way.

Just my thoughts...
Heather
08-03-2008, 03:34 AM   #27
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"The goal is the photograph. If it's a good one, I for one, could care less if it was taken with an Albinar."

I couldn't agree more.

I take pictures of mostly fast moving small passerines in their native habitat and I don't use any conventional photographic lens' at all for this purpose.

All of the following were taken with a $100 (new) Celestron 500mm FL f/5 two element achromat intended for visual astro use. All of these shots have been drastically downsized and comressed but you can get some idea of what a $100 glass can do that was not even intended for photographic use. A 6mp Pentax DL was used.

Last edited by wildman; 12-26-2008 at 01:00 PM.
08-03-2008, 05:49 AM   #28
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Wow, those are great Wildman!
08-03-2008, 06:33 AM   #29
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i'm more of a techie. and so i enjoy talking about specs and seeing comparisons. that's just me and that's why i love the SLR Lens forum more than any other here and a lot of the lens posts here are backed up with many photos. a lens can also offer more than just an image. i enjoy the build quality of the FA Limiteds and handling and others offer special types of renderings that can be fun.

but as for your point, shoot with the lenses you have, i agree wholeheartedly. i'm at the stage where i want to cut down on the number of lenses i have because i'm at the point of anti-LBA, to get rid of what i do not use.
08-03-2008, 07:06 AM   #30
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I was just reading DSLR review website and noticed *iststeves signature there and realized how it was relevant to this conversation and thought I'd share, hope you don't mind Steve!

When I can master technique I'll be a photographer.
When I can realise a vision I'll be an artist.
When I get paid I'll be a professional.

And it's so true. I guess what you were saying Peter is very relevant to focusing on technique, not gear. Basically - become a better photographer. What I was saying was that it wasn't until certain gear unlocked my vision that I was able to realize my goals, as an artist. Now - that last part is tricky, heh.
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