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08-03-2008, 11:22 AM   #31
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I currently have a Zeiss 35/2.0, Voigtlander 58/1.4, Sigma 105/2.8 macro, Pentax 43/2.8 ltd, Pentax 17-70/4.0 and the Pentax 18-55 kit lens (1st version). The single most commented on picture that I have displayed is of a local Railroad bridge. It was taken with the 18-55 kit lens.

08-03-2008, 11:31 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
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.
First of all I'd change the order:

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

A few anecdotes.

Another photographer who admired my shots was wondering about my gear.
When he found out my lenses did not allow auto focus he couldn't imagine
using them. I'm 70 years old with extreme astigmatism in one eye and
only so-so vision in the other and here was a 30 year old with perfect
vision who couldn't imagine being burdened with manual focus. Some times
you have to think out of the box.

Also I had a lawn party one time. I set out a 3mp Canon point and shoot
and told everyone they should feel free to use it and take pictures of
what ever they wanted. No skill needed just point and shoot.

When I loaded the files into the computer there was a string of pictures
that were obviously much better than the rest. Interesting composition and
angles and the shooter seemed to have a sensitivity to the play of light
and color on the human face. First rate stuff.

Who was it? A 25 year old young woman who had studied art in Europe for
the last two years and had just came back. She knew nothing about
"photography" but she sure as h**l knew a good picture when she saw it.

Speaking only for myself I'd rather have a good eye over a thousand
dollar lens anytime.
08-03-2008, 01:21 PM   #33
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Wow, kind of a surprising thread here...I wasn't expecting it

It is fun to think about "what ifs"...what could I do with "it"? How have I lived without "it"? There's nothing harmful about browsing the Lens section. But when you have it just to have it, it's an issue.

If you want to try it out, ok. If you want to have a 50/1.4 shootout, fine...I'd like to see that. When you end up with 15 lenses and use 1 or 2 of them, then that's just being foolish.

There is nothing wrong with having "your" focal lengths covered, but when that new lens comes out, the old one is suddenly not good enough. Only the best and brightest is fine, until it's to the point where only the best, brightest, and newest is what you live by.

I buy lenses. So? I use em all. I find what works and what doesn't. The FA I have is nice for its zoom and weight/size. But I want to get a 300/400mm prime since the FA is weak on the long end and that's where I use it most. Is this LBA/lens whoring?
08-03-2008, 03:42 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
I buy lenses. So? I use em all. I find what works and what doesn't. The FA I have is nice for its zoom and weight/size. But I want to get a 300/400mm prime since the FA is weak on the long end and that's where I use it most. Is this LBA/lens whoring?
No. You've already figured out that 300mm is one of the lengths you use the most, so why settle for mediocre if a prime is what you can afford and you'll know you'll use it?

I could give you some more suggestions for good lenses at that range, but that's a whole other thread.

I think what it's all about is finding out which lenses you will use and not basing your lens buying habits simply on what everybody else has or on "cache'" (ie--owning all 3 FA ltds).

Each lens that is currently (or will be) in my bag is there for a specific shooting reason. If I can't come up with a distinct reason of how a specfic lens will be different that what I already have, then I really don't need it.

Heather

08-03-2008, 05:29 PM   #35
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So true...

I think we all enjoy our equipment or even shooting with the best thing out there.
Truth remain though, it is knowing the limitations of what we use and make that work for the image that counts.

Truth is most equipment out there is capable of excellent photos in the right hands.

Thanks for posting a bit of common sense.
08-03-2008, 05:50 PM   #36
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Peter, thanks for the post - we all need a wake up call once in a while.
And we also need to develop contentment appropriate to our 'needs'.
But then, those who have the means and splurge - keep sharing your experiences!
With enough discipline, we can admire but not necessarily desire...
08-03-2008, 07:47 PM   #37
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Thanks for the thread, Peter, and all the other posters. This is in fact a light of sanity in the world of LBA and CBA and all the other buying addictions. As many of you know, I do use what I have. In percentage of usage, the M400 comes first, the DA16-50 comes next, but when I was using the MZ-S, it was the 24-90 - the same type and almost the same range of lens. The third most used lens is the M100 macro. Then comes the 12-24. I have eight lenses, and use four of them almost all of the time. I would love to have an A100/2.8 macro (not AF, thank you, but faster, and with auto exposure that works). I would also love to have a Pentax FA* or A* 250-600 f/5.6. I think my physiotherapist would like it even more, though, and my Visa card issuer would be ecstatic!

Learn to use what you have. What a refreshing idea!
08-03-2008, 08:27 PM   #38
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<==(* Enters thread & looks around. Offers up a nod & casual salute to the OP, then continues mission to sing the praises of inexpensive glass & using the strengths of your existing gear to best advantage. *)

08-04-2008, 01:21 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
snip... I sometimes wonder how the new DSLR owner or lurker reads this stuff and why so many join, post 3 times and we never hear from them again. Everyone has something to offer and I'd like to see ideas and pictures from all those old camera owners or new owners who sit in the background.
Peter,

This is a great thread. Thanks for starting it.

This month marks the end of my first year as a DSLR owner.

Years ago (15+) I shot with a K1000. I had two lenses, one that came with the camera, and a short zoom (a takumar-a 28-80). I used the zoom almost 90% of the time. I liked the lens. I liked the results. I was a student and had little money for additional gear.

Spin forward to last year. I ran into an old friend at a wedding. He was shooting a DSLR (Can*n). I was shooting an old, slow point and shoot. I was missing shots. So, the next day i looked up my friends camera on the internet. Wow. Still allot of money for me. Then I looked up the "entry level" cameras. These were better. But which one to buy? This is the point in my story where information availability differs from 15 years ago.

I had no internet access in those days. I did not suffer from information overload, and desision lock-up from too much info. I had no way to look up the opinion of "Fred" in Singapore on the merits of my 28-80 takumar. Eventually I got through the info-overload, and bought a K100D. So then I looked up my lens from 15 years ago. It was not very faverable. I still have this lens. But I never use it. Function wise the kit lens replaced it. Emotion wise, "Freds" comments kind of stuck.

So with the power of the internet behind me, I put together my very own lens map. Looking back it was very nieve. I really do not know why I thought I new what lenses I needed, I was only a month into my new K100D. It was a "best of the best" list that Pentax and others offered. I was going to save until I had the lenses I wanted (the best, remeber?). I was not going to own another dud lens.

Then I started to miss shots because I did not have the glass I needed to get my vision onto the SD card. I needed a solution. I needed to change my plan but I did not yet know it.

Still saving for my very own 31 ltd, I thought I'll check out ebay. wow. lots of lenses. back to the internet for reviews and comments. Picked up a 28, 50, and 135. But it was no real improvemant to my kit overall. I was still missing a long lens. But it was ok, I would wait and save and get the DA*50-135. Along with the 31. Just be patient.

Then I went on a trip and missed more shots. I was missing a long lens. By this point I was becoming a little more savy in what I needed for a lens. I was missing shots. There was no way could afford a DA*300, the 31 ltd, and the 50-135.

Back to the internet. Insted of using the information on the net to find the best of the best, I used it to see what other people were doing with lenses that were "less then the best". People were producing AWSOME shots with these "cheep" lenses. It started to sink in. If I was to wait my life time to get those top lenses, I was going to miss a lifetime of shots.

Hinman's blog, and a thread comparing the Jupiter 9 to the 77 ltd were two things that really help change my view. Hinman put together a great section about the Tamron 70-300 Di. So I bought one. Very much NOT one of the lenses on my list. Purple fringe?! There was no way I would want this lens. But then I saw what Hinman and others were doing with this lens! Wow! great photos! Hinman also posted a link and discussed techniques to tame the purple monster. I used the techniques posted. They work 90% of the time, the rest I fix in PP. The lens has a 1:2 (I think?) macro feature. I had no idea I would have such enjoyment taking colour pictures of flowers!

I bought the jupiter 9. It is my Ltd 77. Love the lens. Love the sharpness, the soft focus, the variable aperture, the weight (heavy), and the smell of machinist's grease. I enjoy using it. Yes, it flairs. I use a lens hood. But, I have this idea in my head to use the flair as an element in the photo. Try that with the 77! I just need to learn to use the lens to its fullest.

In far to many words, that is where my lens purchasing has taken me over this last year. Instead of one Ltd 31, I have a variety of consumer lenses covering a fairly good range, and some interesting lenses to boot.

Now had I bought the 31 ltd last year, I would have posted a "What is the purple fringe on the tree branches?" thread. But having used the Tamron 70-300 Di, I have no doubt that instead of asking the question, I can now answer it.

Peter, You asked for ideas and images from some of us that lurke more then we post. Above are my ideas. Here is my image. Its a brick wall test to check the sharpness of the 31 ltd I don't yet have. Actually it's my SMC-M 2.8/28 with a stuck aperture, and a flea bite on the rear element. But to me it's my 31 ltd.

08-04-2008, 02:56 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
If I was to wait my life time to get those top lenses, I was going to miss a lifetime of shots.
Great post with an important message.

QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
Instead of one Ltd 31, I have a variety of consumer lenses covering a fairly good range, and some interesting lenses to boot.
At first glance this looks like the opposite of one of the principles I posted, "Buy the best you can afford". But on closer inspection I don't think it is. You could not afford the FA31 so you did not buy it. In fact, the same is true for myself.

You prefer to have lots of interesting lenses whereas I might prefer one that serves multiple purposes. The difference can come down to practicality. Every lens I have bought I need to pay for shipping, handling, etc. So multiple lenses mean a lot of "wasted" money, whereas if I get one more expensive and more versatile lens, I am putting a larger proportion of my money into glass.

Also, I have little interest in carrying around too many lenses. I usually leave the house with one if on foot and two if by car. If I'm going on a trip then three or even four. Because I do a wide variety of photography it is impossible for me to limit myself any further, or I would.

Too bad I am not happy with the IQ of a super-zoom. Would make life easier!

Obviously you know what you are doing and why you are doing it. Perhaps not coincidentally I like your photo.
08-04-2008, 03:36 AM   #41
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Wow! Great thread. A true classic. Thanks Peter

Now, if only I had something smart, sensible, and new to add to all the excellent posts so far, I'd write it just about here......

Nope - it's all been said far better than I could, so well done all - much appreciated thoughts, comments, and pictures.

I'm off overseas in a few weeks, and I'll be forced to choose what SMALL amount of kit to take with me, as photography is not the main purpose of the trip. I'll take my K20 body for sure, and the 18-250 as a walkabout lens, but I'll want one other - that's the $64,000 question.... Do I take the Sigma 10-20? The 31 ltd? The Pentax 16-50? or the 50-135?

Whatever I eventually choose to pack, I'll have the comments of all the posters on this thread ringing in my ears, because whatever lenses I take, I will be in the position of having to use only what I'm carrying for about 3 weeks, and it will be only 1 or 2 lenses. This thread will keep bringing me down to earth every time I think "Gee - i wish I'd packed the xxxx f/z.zz instead".

Thanks troops
08-04-2008, 04:47 AM   #42
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Thank you Peter for bringing this up,

that's the reason why I enjoy being here and quit all the german forums. Really, the amount of gear-fetishism on those forums is beyond imagination - and very much inversely proportional to the time spent on actually taking pictures.

Seemingly there is no brigde between creatively using photographic equipment and talking and writing about it, let alone collecting stuff.

I once heard about an old man having died, and his flat was filled with 10.000 cameras he'd collected. He did not let anybody in anymore and was very lonely.

If I had won as many people's hearts as internet auctions on lenses I'd be a rich man :-)
Georg (the other)
08-04-2008, 05:09 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by georgweb Quote
If I had won as many people's hearts as internet auctions on lenses I'd be a rich man :-)
Georg (the other)
Beautifully stated, now that puts things in perspective!


It's interesting, enlightening and refreshing to read everyone's prespectives. A few too many posts to respond directly to but clearly my original idea is not new and part of many other's thinking in the LBA GAS drive.

I'm as guilty as the next for getting caught up in "the next lens I really, really need". For 20 years I had a good simple 4-5 lens 35mm kit that got me all the shots I wanted and you found a way to "zoom with your feet" or other work around's for any limitations. As I was selling that gear on Ebay and looking for a DSLR, the internet reviews and forums were discovered. A curse and a godsend.

I've owned all the limiteds and don't have any now. Frankly I got caught up in the hype and I couldn't afford most of them when I bought them. Sure they are beautiful lenses. But I've realized that what KungPOW so eloquently described is the much more rational way to look at what you really need and not what you want because everyone else says so. If you can afford to own one, then great, but wear the lens out using it. Don't get it so your signature shows you have it.

When it arrives at the door, try to use only that lens for 2 weeks and understand it's strengths and weakness. Why? So when you want to go shooting, the camera and lens chosen is and extension of your vision and art that you don't have to think about. There's nothing worse than fumbling through the camera bag of 18 lenses to find the perfect lens that some guy in Bulgaria said 3 weeks ago was the "perfect" lens to shoot a purple and black butterfly with. Once you have that perfect lens attached (that you have only taken 14 test shots with). The butterfly is now headed back to Bulgaria. Even if you had gotten the lens on the camera on time, could you really take a decent shot with a lens you've never used?

The comparison threads and lens tests are valuable threads. If someone says, "hey I shoot a Jupiter 9 I got for $150.00 and love it" in a thread discussing the FA*85mm then options are now available to all of us.

I hope I don't come across as preachy. It's just an opinion that's been brewing for the last 6 months and I find I'm coming full circle. I had 4-5 lenses back then and with the exception of one recent addition, I've sold 50% of my kit and like the remaining lenses far more than the 2 bag kit I was lugging around last year.

One day back in December was a real eye opener. Here I was like a dope (if someone had taken a pic of this I'd be in that thread of idiot photogs with way too much crap)
Name:  PreparedE.jpg
Views: 537
Size:  22.8 KB
(Note: have a look at all the duct tape. Think he's broken a few hoods from just falling over?)

Anyway, here I am trudging though deep snow with a backpack, *istD and Bigma, K10D and Sigma 70-200mm, monopod and a few other bits looking for winter birds and wildlife.
So:
a) I was so noisy I would never find one anyway.
b) I was too slow to move if there was a shooting subject. (tangled in camera straps)
c) damn the bird is behind me and I can't move or I'll fall down!

Don't get me wrong, 2 cameras and 2 lenses makes sense and I will still do it. I still carry more than I should though and need to reduce further just to enjoy the process more and get better shots.

The Bigma was sold later that week and all this reducing started.


QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
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.
Very true and I like Wildman's twist on that list. Focus on the gear you have and the technique, then just enjoy taking pictures.

QuoteOriginally posted by Derridale Quote
Wow! Great thread. A true classic. Thanks Peter

Now, if only I had something smart, sensible, and new to add to all the excellent posts so far, I'd write it just about here......

Nope - it's all been said far better than I could, so well done all - much appreciated thoughts, comments, and pictures.

I'm off overseas in a few weeks, and I'll be forced to choose what SMALL amount of kit to take with me, as photography is not the main purpose of the trip. I'll take my K20 body for sure, and the 18-250 as a walkabout lens, but I'll want one other - that's the $64,000 question.... Do I take the Sigma 10-20? The 31 ltd? The Pentax 16-50? or the 50-135?

Whatever I eventually choose to pack, I'll have the comments of all the posters on this thread ringing in my ears, because whatever lenses I take, I will be in the position of having to use only what I'm carrying for about 3 weeks, and it will be only 1 or 2 lenses. This thread will keep bringing me down to earth every time I think "Gee - i wish I'd packed the xxxx f/z.zz instead".

Thanks troops
My first question would be will you be shooting a lot of architecture? If so then the 10-20mm makes the most sense. The 16-50 is great but overlaps the 18-250 and still has good IQ. Get a small monopod and take it along if that's possible. If not get an Ultra pod or some other mini tripod. With those 2 lenses, you have it all covered. Enjoy the trip.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 08-04-2008 at 05:18 AM.
08-04-2008, 07:02 AM   #44
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What can be said that hasn't already? I know....nice bum!

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08-04-2008, 07:34 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by beaumont Quote
What can be said that hasn't already? I know....nice bum!

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