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03-10-2017, 03:47 AM - 1 Like   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Is this lens really so bad that he had to run around with a monopod and use hyperfocal focusing? I've got a garbage 28mm f2.8 lens that I've shot hand held at f2.8 in bars with some stage lighting and have been very pleased with the results.

I almost want to buy one of these Sigma 30 1.4's and shoot in the dark to see what's it's like to use...
I think people's definition of night photography simply differs. Some think of a long time exposure of a bridge with a stopped down lens that better features starburst highlights, other people need a dynamic lens and camera/film combo that allow for hand held shots in bars, at concerts or just in the streets with the obligatory shallow DoF. I see myself in the second camp and often notice that both parties tend to forget about each others needs. It's always good to know what kind of photography the OP wants to go for. Best case would be both kinds of course, since we all want to be versatile photographers, don't we?

03-10-2017, 03:55 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arvid Quote
I think people's definition of night photography simply differs. Some think of a long time exposure of a bridge with a stopped down lens that better features starburst highlights, other people need a dynamic lens and camera/film combo that allow for hand held shots in bars, at concerts or just in the streets with the obligatory shallow DoF. I see myself in the second camp and often notice that both parties tend to forget about each others needs. It's always good to know what kind of photography the OP wants to go for. Best case would be both kinds of course, since we all want to be versatile photographers, don't we?
Yeah, I'm in the second camp as well. If you can do the long exposure thing, most any lens will do, with regard to speed. And in that case the 18-135 would be a great candidate due to great performance in the focal length zone that Bui seems interested in.
03-10-2017, 04:58 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
In months I think I will surely get a DA 21mm, but for now I'm looking mostly for a night lens shooting, do you think it is sharp enough at f3/2 to do it?
I usually stop down to f3.5, I find it sharpest around f4-f5.6, but it is easily useable at f3.2. Here are a couple 21mm wide aperture photos:
Maple fall by Stolpulus II - Photo 185479247 / 500px
Autumn maple by Stolpulus II - Photo 186934219 / 500px
Twisted branches in autumn by Stolpulus II - Photo 182009401 / 500px

And feel free to use that A 28mm. At night, for landscapes, you don't need AF anyway.
So if you already have DA 40mm, Sigma 30mm, A 28mm.. then maybe it makes more sense to get DA 21mm before DA 35mm f2.4. Or to save up for the DA 35mm f2.8 limited - because the limited gives you full macro, something your other WA lenses don't! And it is brutally sharp. I love my DA 35mm f2.4, but you have a good collection of primes around that range, it probably makes more sense to get other focal lengths first.

Meanwhile, you can mitigate the Sigma's problems with using a cool jpeg mode (like film reversal, maybe add some clarity and sharpness) or doing heavier raw PP.
03-10-2017, 01:32 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bui Quote
Okay, it is LBA, I admit it at the first place to avoid hiding from myself so I recently came back from a trip to Portugal, trying to bring all of my 3 autofocus lenses (DA 18-135, DA 40ltd and Sigma 30 Ex Dc), reviewing my photos taken there, and while I'm quite happy with the results, I stil have some amateur questions that may be some of you could help to enlighten me

- I went to the Santa Justa Tower of Lisbon, trying to take thousands of panoramic photos there with both the DA 18-135 and DA 40ltd, It turned out that most of the keepers are taken by the zoom, not the prime, not because of the focal length but I prefer the sharpness and colour from the 18-135. For example here is the photo taken by the 18-135 PIC_2359 | Duc Hien Bui | Flickr and this is the 40 PIC_2384 | Duc Hien Bui | Flickr both at f8 and ISO 100, straight out from camera. Perharps it was the problem of focus, metering or my hands, or problem with my bad eyes?

- For night shots, I am not fully happy with both the DA 40 and Sigma 30, the DA 40 is a bit too narrow, there are a lot of small streets and corners there, it was difficult to use 40mm focal lenghth. Meanwhile the Sigma 30, while being perfect focal length speaking, was on-off. For every flat images without a main subject, for example a big square, or a panoramic landscape, it was soft and flat (again, I know this lens is not born for shots like that), I ended up shooting mostly at f4 and iso 1600 to keep the images sharp enough, effectively eliminating the advantage of its speed.

So I'm wondering if I should purchase a new lens to compensate for both of them for my next trip? A lens that is at the same time wide enough, fast enough, sharp enough, light enough and cheap enough than the weaknesses of those 2 lenses (it may not even exist I know), for example the DA 35mm 2.4? It is really sanity when I want the DA 35 while having already the 30 and 40? Or is there a more reasonable option? Can a manual lens like the A 28 2.8 or M 28 3.5 work? If not I will forget about that and have fun with my current gear anyway.

Edit: what is your opinion of the DA 21ltd? Is it sharp enough from f3.2 for night shots? I don't want to use a tripod, walking around with the family, I don't have much time to setup a shot, just a quick snap :-)


Thank you and bonne journée à tout
Honestly from the link I find both picture sharp... In both case the focus is done on the front plane and the background seems less sharp.

What can I say? DAltds like DA21, DA40 etc are prone to focus issue, in particular if you don't use the center AF point and if your sample is not perfect. I have issues with the DA21 due to field curvature or if I don't use the center AF point. My father has the same issue with his own sample and his first sample of DA40 was decentered.

18-135 AF is truely great but the lens is too slow for low light.

DA35 f/2.4 may be a better fit for the focal lens and it sharp enough at f/2.4, but it is slow vs the sigma and the half stop isn't going to that much vs the DA40.

The lens you'd really want is the FA31 I guess; Focal length, rendering, apperture. The price is not the same.

Your sigma 30 from your own opinion is supposed to make things flat and all, but I'd really think this isn't really the lens fault. You should just have a bit more punching PP profile and the JPEGs are not corrected in body because it is not a Pentax. But I am sure that pushing a bit contrast/micro constrast/vibrance would solve the issue. The DA35 f/2.4 is a truely great lens, the sigma 30 too. but with the wrong light/scene in the city, like any lens they would not make for anything interresting because where the scene isn't interresting to begin with.

The problem is that what you need basically is to keep that 18-135 that work so well (yes! why throw away something that work so nicely ?) and learn to use the sigma 30 for the nights shots. The biggest improvement you would get is to shot RAW and perform some PP, adding punch when needed but more importantly for night shoot, work on the white balance.

Beside from you shots, you don't seem to use that much the f/1.4... Then you could replace that lens with a 17-50 from tamron or sigma. For similar price as the 30, you would get quite more possibilities in term of zooming.

03-10-2017, 02:14 PM - 1 Like   #35
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I pretty much use my zooms for situations when I need flexibility. If I have a situation where I'm controlling the environment (portrait session, landscape shooting, night club, etc.), or need a low profile such as street shooting, I'm using primes. Not that everyone thinks this way, but the utility factor should play some role.

For a long time, I thought issues with coloration and saturation always can be addressed. Even as processing software (and especially raw converters) have progressed, getting the look readily obtained from especially distinctive Pentax optics - especially lenses such as the DA40/xs, FA 35, or 35-105/3.5 - isn't easily recreated by some very fine lenses that rarely show a special pop. I have the very fine Sigma 17-50, and perhaps in time I will find ways to get the very best out of it, but the lens simply doesn't saturate as well as the better Pentax lenses.

By the way, the FA 35 is a far cry from the DA 35 - they really provide a different look no matter the relative similarity in optical formula. The DA 35 might be a tad sharper (at least in the center) with higher saturation, but the FA 35 is markedly superior in the corners and renders far-more naturally (at least to my eye).
03-10-2017, 10:15 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
By the way, the FA 35 is a far cry from the DA 35 - they really provide a different look no matter the relative similarity in optical formula. The DA 35 might be a tad sharper (at least in the center) with higher saturation, but the FA 35 is markedly superior in the corners and renders far-more naturally (at least to my eye).
I concur. I have used both and had the same conclusion.
03-13-2017, 12:53 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
By the way, the FA 35 is a far cry from the DA 35 - they really provide a different look no matter the relative similarity in optical formula. The DA 35 might be a tad sharper (at least in the center) with higher saturation, but the FA 35 is markedly superior in the corners and renders far-more naturally (at least to my eye).
For the rendering I agree, for corner performance, and aberations from my experience the DA35 f/2.4 is better. I guess it may be sample related. And honestly for the rendering the DA35 f/2.4 is far from being bad. It is less specialized than say the DA35 f/2.8 ltd that while constrasty is not at all suited to peoples. And the price of the DA35 is kind of sweet.

Is the sigma 30 that bad? Many could not even guess on the FA31 vs sigma 30... So that's subtle. I have actually the FA31, so I recognize the assets, but I also know that most of the thing is the subject, the photographer, the composition, the light and then only far after come in the lens.

The great think with gear like lenses is that it is just a matter of money while the rest may be more complex to fix... But learning how to use the gear to its best is much much more valuable.
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