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08-30-2008, 07:15 PM   #1
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An oldie but a goodie, the Pentax "A" 70-210 F4.0

The more I work with this lens, the more I really enjoy it. My DA 50-200 has been sitting on the shelf, I think it's time to sell it. I'm getting better images, and I enjoy the "macro" capability even if it's at 70mm rather than 210. (and to be truthful more "closeup" than true macro). In the beginning I was a bit put off by the push-pull "one touch" zoom, but now I really like it. My main gripe with the lens is a bit of a niggle, the barrel rotates as it focuses so working with a CP filter is a bit of a pain. Other than that it's a very nice lens. Here are a few shots I took at the water gardens at the New York Botanical Gardens.

Incoming.


waiting for liftoff


love the quality of the reflections in this one


almost same shot zoomed out and a slightly different angle. Can you tell that I like the color green?


more nice reflections


I think the lotus is almost the perfect shaped flower


Amazonian lily pads/flower and a dragonfly


Oh, BTW, fall is coming


Anybody else like this lens? Feel free to show us some of your favs taken with it.

NaCl(it's so great that I can use such good old glass on my good new camera!)H2O

08-30-2008, 07:38 PM   #2
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I bought the Takumar version of this lens, the Takumar A 70-200 F4.0, but unfortunately it has what looks like drops of oil on one of the front inner elements, and not just a few, a LOT. ( was bought "as is" on eBay for practically nothing, so no real complaints ) BUT, I took a few test shots with it, and I couldn't see them in the photos. I'll have to take it out and give it a whirl sometime !!
08-30-2008, 07:58 PM   #3
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Bought one on fleabay 2 weeks ago and have yet to take it for some real test. The lens is built like a tank and feel so much more solid than the 18-250. Very clunky and gives a good workout to my arms

I plan to use the lens at night or indoor (ie: stage performance) for its constant F4 aperture so I can get away without using flash. Now I just need to practice to get better at MF.
08-30-2008, 09:04 PM   #4
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Nice shots Salty
That is a really nice zoom, and made real nice too. I lucked out and found one at a pawn shop almost two years ago for $35 usd and it looked like new. here is a couple of shots:





this was with a kenko 1.5x and shadows boosted a good bit, still not too bad



same bird different angle



08-31-2008, 07:02 AM   #5
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Tom, I love all the shots especially the second eagle (? I'm not real good at bird id) shot, but I think the seagulls on the pilings is simply superb! That one is a wall hanger for sure.

NaCl(sunset colors, moonrise---who could ask for more?)H2O
08-31-2008, 09:28 AM   #6
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Thanks Salty, Yes that was a young Bald Eagle and I think he was molting because he sure looked miserable. I could make out a blue leg band, I think that is from NY state. And the seagull pic made the PPG, I've had some on review for quite a while now
08-31-2008, 11:02 AM   #7
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some very nice shots!

one comment: the sharpening radius is distractingly high / too much sharpening for my taste. it has a funny look to it, and unnatural looking darkening/brightening at high-contrast edges. most obvious in the last shot, but apparent and disconcerting in some of the others, imo. it's almost like hdr tonemapping halos...
08-31-2008, 11:14 AM   #8
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Great lens!



08-31-2008, 12:11 PM   #9
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Very nice pics. everyone. I really like this lens, very versatile and nice to use. Here comes another pic, for NaClH2O taking into account that you like green.




It's been up before but it's the only one I've got in digital form.
08-31-2008, 06:51 PM   #10
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No sharpening used at all

QuoteOriginally posted by architorture Quote
some very nice shots!

one comment: the sharpening radius is distractingly high / too much sharpening for my taste. it has a funny look to it, and unnatural looking darkening/brightening at high-contrast edges. most obvious in the last shot, but apparent and disconcerting in some of the others, imo. it's almost like hdr tonemapping halos...
I very very very rarely use sharpening on my photos. I'm not a big fan of unsharp mask or any of the other sharpening tools at my disposal in PSE. I did bump the mid tone contrast about 15% and dropped the exposure a bit but that's all.

NaCl(I don't sharpen and I don't mess with color tools, exposure and contrast curves only and not a lot of those)H2O
08-31-2008, 06:59 PM   #11
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Some good focus exercises to check out

QuoteOriginally posted by Kei Quote
Bought one on fleabay 2 weeks ago and have yet to take it for some real test. The lens is built like a tank and feel so much more solid than the 18-250. Very clunky and gives a good workout to my arms

I plan to use the lens at night or indoor (ie: stage performance) for its constant F4 aperture so I can get away without using flash. Now I just need to practice to get better at MF.
Kei, if you don't mind some boring practice, check out the link below for a good set of manual focusing exercises. They are pretty boring, but they work.
Re: Is a KatzEye required for those using manual focus?: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

NaCl(practicing scales is boring too, just ask any accomplished musician)H2O
08-31-2008, 07:39 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Kei, if you don't mind some boring practice, check out the link below for a good set of manual focusing exercises. They are pretty boring, but they work.
Re: Is a KatzEye required for those using manual focus?: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

NaCl(practicing scales is boring too, just ask any accomplished musician)H2O
Thanks for the link, I saw something like this previously but that was before I bought the k200d. Now I wouldn't let this post go . I've been practicing MF using the smc-A 50mm f2 (its much lighter than the A70-210mm) using similar method but not as systematic. It's great to have all the steps written out so I am not missing anything.
08-31-2008, 07:51 PM   #13
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thx salty

QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Kei, if you don't mind some boring practice, check out the link below for a good set of manual focusing exercises. They are pretty boring, but they work.
Re: Is a KatzEye required for those using manual focus?: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

NaCl(practicing scales is boring too, just ask any accomplished musician)H2O
I was never a natural athlete, but I'm quick and coachable. If a coach shows me once or twice how to do something I can do it by imitation - and I'll practice it until I develop muscle memory or eye-hand coordination. Eventually I will develop a repertoire of skills that my mind rapidly draws upon to "play" the sport with. All this happens without conscious thought.

I may not have a natural photographer's eye, but I can certainly develop lots of helpful skills that will get me closer to being a good photographer - a repertoire of skills, if you will (that might together come close to being a photographer's eye - just not a natural one!).

This looks like a great exercise - and another reason to cull my lenses -
08-31-2008, 07:56 PM   #14
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I have the CPC version of this (I read it was still made by Pentax but under a different name, and without the SMC coating...). Anyway, this lens is great! I sold off most of my old zooms when I got the DA*s, but the 70-200/4 I still keep. It's that good! I use it mostly on my bellows, but I'll post pics from it as soon as I find some in my archives folder!
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