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04-06-2009, 03:45 PM   #1
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Colourful blackbird with K 500/4.5

I have this old Pentax K 500/4.5 lying around for some time. It is an original K mount lens, not the M42 version. Yesterday I took some shots in the garden, in comparisson with the Bigma.

The good news is, that sharpness and contrast of the old Pentax stopped down to around f/8 (to get at least a bit of DOF) is still very acceptable, even on the K20. Indeed much better, than I expected. The Bigma is visibly softer at 500mm fl, but otherwise nice and sharp and with very good colour rendition.

But the K 500 shows its age in form of CAs clearly.

I have attached three examples:
1. the full shot, just reduced in size and a bit of LightRoom curves adjustment
2. a 100% crop without fringe removal
3. a 100% crop with fringe removal fully applied = LR cannot remove the red/cyan fringing.

Ben

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PENTAX K20D  Photo     
04-06-2009, 04:03 PM   #2
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i think PSP X2 is better
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04-06-2009, 04:08 PM   #3
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Hey Ben.

Good to see you showing some off some of that fine old K series glass. No escaping the CAs and PF with these old telephotos is there? If you have the time is there any chance of giving us a look at how it performs in the f 16 to 22 range. Im finding I get my best results with the M400/5.6 in that area and Im curious to see how the 500/4.5 performs.

Cheers

Tom G
04-06-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Hey Ben.

Good to see you showing some off some of that fine old K series glass. No escaping the CAs and PF with these old telephotos is there? If you have the time is there any chance of giving us a look at how it performs in the f 16 to 22 range. Im finding I get my best results with the M400/5.6 in that area and Im curious to see how the 500/4.5 performs.
I'll try, but need brighter light for that purpose (at least for birds...). My SMC A 400/5.6 is much better by the way and so sharp, that even the A*300/4 envys it... The 500 is (despite the CAs) a nice lens. With the right subject, its sharpness and contrast are impressive. I deliberately posted this example, because it really showed these flaws at "their best".

Ben

04-06-2009, 04:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
i think PSP X2 is better
Lowell, that certainly looks better. I will try different software with these images later. If I ever get CaptureOne running again on my machine, that would be one of the contenders. Otherwise I can use ACR with Photoshop and Bibble and ofcourse the Pentax software (No idea, of that sports fringe removal at all...)

Ben
04-06-2009, 04:38 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
I'll try, but need brighter light for that purpose (at least for birds...). My SMC A 400/5.6 is much better by the way and so sharp, that even the A*300/4 envys it... The 500 is (despite the CAs) a nice lens. With the right subject, its sharpness and contrast are impressive. I deliberately posted this example, because it really showed these flaws at "their best".

Ben
I know what you mean about the light. I bet under optimal conditions your Pentax 500/4.5 is awesome. It would be great to see some images from the A 400 as well. As for myself I tend to shoot at high noon with the M400/5.6. The light is harsh but at least I can get some depth of field. Just a sidebar - I had a chance to buy the screw mount SMC Takumar 500/4.5 a number of years ago. As fate would have it my wife was with me in the store at the time. I can see the married guys nodding knowing what happened next. As I recall she got a new outfit and I got the bill. I went back a week later to find it had been sold. Here's my best with the 400 so far.



If I stay away from the branches and keep the sun at my back I think the old glass performs pretty well.

Last edited by 8540tomg; 04-06-2009 at 05:24 PM. Reason: typo
04-06-2009, 10:10 PM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
8540tomg: Here's my best with the 400 so far.
You certainly got some DOF here--very nice work!
04-07-2009, 02:29 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
I know what you mean about the light. I bet under optimal conditions your Pentax 500/4.5 is awesome. It would be great to see some images from the A 400 as well. As for myself I tend to shoot at high noon with the M400/5.6. The light is harsh but at least I can get some depth of field. Just a sidebar - I had a chance to buy the screw mount SMC Takumar 500/4.5 a number of years ago. As fate would have it my wife was with me in the store at the time. I can see the married guys nodding knowing what happened next. As I recall she got a new outfit and I got the bill. I went back a week later to find it had been sold. Here's my best with the 400 so far.

If I stay away from the branches and keep the sun at my back I think the old glass performs pretty well.
This is certainly a very nice shot. Very good colours and light. I think, in many situation the 400/5.6, every version of it, will exhibit less colour fringes, than the 500/4.5, because it is of shorter fl and 1/2 f-stop slower to start with. And the 500 is really not an old, but a historic lens design.

I got my 500 from KEH. They have beaten up ones several times a year for really small money and even the KEH "bargains" are often in better condition, than "good" ones via ebay. Mine was practially in as new conditions and showed no signs of use, except for the lens case, which is completely beaten up. May be it isn't the original one. I have seen lenses in this immaculate condition on ebay for nearly double the price I payed at KEH and they provide excellent service on top.

I will go out with the A 400 and the Novoflex, to make some comparisson shots in the next days.

Ben

04-07-2009, 03:33 AM   #9
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Great Ben,

I look forward to seeing what you come up with. I finish teaching my university course in a week or so and hope to get some more time in the field myself.

Tom G
04-07-2009, 04:56 AM   #10
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Ben,

I have two rule simple rules with achromatic glass:

1. Underexpose slightly and bring back up in PP
2. Avoid backlight

Wildman

Corrected with two passes (PhotoImpact and Power Retouche)

Last edited by wildman; 04-17-2009 at 02:55 AM.
04-07-2009, 05:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Lowell, that certainly looks better. I will try different software with these images later. If I ever get CaptureOne running again on my machine, that would be one of the contenders. Otherwise I can use ACR with Photoshop and Bibble and ofcourse the Pentax software (No idea, of that sports fringe removal at all...)

Ben
I used the chromaric aboration removal tool in PSP X2. I found the PF removal tool is useless, where as the CA removal tool aloows you to pick the colors you want to remove and the radius or size of the fringe you want to remove.

I have used it a little in the past with my SMC-300mm F4 and had good success, but I generally avoid white subjects or back lit with that lens.

This weekend, just by accident I found this guy. shot with the 300 F4 at F8. I have just put a split image into my K10D, this is a 100% crop as I was a little far away.

i did not adjust the CA in this shot, and you can see a little in the whites

04-07-2009, 11:38 AM   #12
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Couldn't ask for better timing for this thread. I've only had a couple chances to use the Tele-Takumar 400/5.6 I bought last year, and I had my first run-in with the dreaded purple fringe on Sunday...



I was limited as to stopping-down much (this was handheld from ~30 feet).

This pic is after using LR2 removal @ 100%. Is there anything else I can do? What's the best way to remove this in PSP?
04-07-2009, 02:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Ben,

I have two rule simple rules with achromatic glass:

1. Underexpose slightly and bring back up in PP
2. Avoid backlight

Wildman

Corrected with two passes (PhotoImpact and Power Retouche)
That looks very good with a hardly noticeable loss of detail (which could also be due, to the second JPG compression). I have heard of PhotoImpact, but not of Power Retouche. Is it a Windows-only application?

Anyway, your rules are ofcourse very valid, but sometimes the birds don't listen...

The blackbird was just there and I was just testing the lens on my Manfrotto gimbal mount and so I gave it a try. I have more old glass, so I'll think I'll do some comparissons between what I have in that focal length range:
- Pentax SMC-A 400/5.6
- Novoflex T-Noflexar 400/5.6
- Pentax SMC K 500/4.5
- Meyer Optik 500/5.6
- Novoflex Noflexar 600/8
and a Bigma and a Tokina reflex lens, which should be more or less free of colour aberrations. Perhaps I try the Tamron 60B 300/2.8+1.4x-L Pentax TC as well. Lots of work, but I keep at it.

Ben
04-07-2009, 03:48 PM   #14
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My k500mm f4.5 worked really well with my k100dsuper, it would tend to overexpose with the k20d. I got some shots I really like with it, the bokeh was really good IMO. I sold it recently because I didn't use it much and wanted to save for a FA300mm 2.8 The 500mm took alot of effort to use, I wish the tripod mount was farther forward as it is pretty front heavy.



04-08-2009, 01:39 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
My k500mm f4.5 worked really well with my k100dsuper, it would tend to overexpose with the k20d. I got some shots I really like with it, the bokeh was really good IMO. I sold it recently because I didn't use it much and wanted to save for a FA300mm 2.8 The 500mm took alot of effort to use, I wish the tripod mount was farther forward as it is pretty front heavy.
beautiful shots, which show nicely the capabilities of the old lens. I use it on a Manfrotto gimbal mount with a sliding adapter and that allows for fine balancing the whole set-up.

Ben
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