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05-14-2009, 12:15 PM   #91
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I started on a *ist DS and the 18-55mm kit lens. My dad gave it to me when he bought a K20D and a 16mm-45mm.

I loved that camera, it really got me into photography and I read up on all the theory and really got to know how to use the camera and the lens to its best. The kit lens really wet my appetite, it was a brilliant way into photography and I'm eternally greatful to my dad for donating it to me.

That all said, once I really got into it, I did feel that the kit lens was limiting, as was the body (6mp wasn't enough for what I was getting into). I bought a K20D which further showed up the limits of the kit lens - I started doing some landscape photography which revealed it was very soft in the corners at 18mm and not great at centre shaprness either. Chromatic aberations were also problematic at the wider angles, although I managed to correct most of those in RAW. It was really very decent around 50mm.

I did some back to back testing against my dad's 16-45 and it revealed how much sharper and better the 16-45 was in addition to the constant f/4. After researching and reviewing, I went for the 17-70 which gave me a great landscape lens but also the flexibility of a walk about lens, getting into a slight telephoto at the 70mm end. I love the 17-70.

I've stuck with my 17-70, but I recently purchased a second hand 50m f/1.7 Pentax - M for about 」40 to see if I would use it or like the results. I love the bokeh, I love it for portraits, I love it for low light use, I loved how good it was for wedding shots, so I am seriously considering the DA * 55mm prime or the Sigma 50mm prime. In addition, my dad gave me his old Pentax - M 80mm-200mm for playing around with telephoto - it's also a very good lens, but I don't use it all that much so would be senseless for me to shell out ~」800 for a DA* 300 just now.

The kit lens is great, really got me into photography. I'd also recommend anyone to pick up some older Pentax manual primes on the cheap just to play about, you might be surprised how superb they are. If anything, you'll get a better idea to see if an expensive 50mm prime is your cup of tea or not, or whether an intermediate zoom (like a 17-70, or DA* 17-50, or a 16-45) would be a much better investment for you.

05-14-2009, 01:55 PM   #92
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Great story Big G. Would love to see shots from wherever it is you are in Scotland.
05-14-2009, 02:37 PM   #93
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I've uploaded a few into my gallery here if you want to take a look. Will upload some more when I can!
05-14-2009, 07:48 PM   #94
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I see you like the wider angle. Some nice landscapes there. So where are you from? I love Scotland and would love to visit again soon. Tried to get to Edinburgh over Christmas but the rates were nuts.

05-14-2009, 08:23 PM   #95
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Great eye you've got there, Big G Thanks for sharing your story and your photos
05-14-2009, 11:20 PM   #96
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QuoteQuote:
GeneV: The glass is definitely a big reason for the high IQ, but for me, it is only one. As Marc pointed out, the glass in better P&S cameras now is often quite good.

The sensor and the viewing system are huge contributors as well which often negate the glass. A P&S with a beautiful zoom with a fantastic maximum aperature, but with with a tiny sensor, does me little good (except for the size savings). I am generally not satisfied with any any ISO over 200 in a P&S, and even that looks about like an SLR at 800. Noise is a huge problem. I say this as a disappointed purchaser of a decent P&S, who tried quite a few.

For me, (and this is just my problem) a camera without an optical viewfinder leads to shaky holds and poor IQ. Too often, I have to hold the camera almost at arms lenght to see the screen--darned middle age.

And then there is focus accuracy, and the inability to tweak focus, quirky automation with poor shutter speed choices, puny flashes, etc. etc.

There is also the shutter lag--not strictly an IQ problem, but it prevents many photos.

These little technical marvels have so much to contend with that the quality of their glass is overshadowed.
Gene, thanks again for your response. You make some nice observations. In your last post, you do answer to my first sentence, but make no comments on the next 3, small paragraphs. I felt the points in those 3 paragraphs were integral to my prioritizing of the glass.

I own and shoot with a Panasonic FZ 28 mega-zoom. It allows me to make small prints even at ISO 1600. And the camera makes some high quality shots at ISO 100, though even @ 100 noise reduction is evident when carefully viewed. The camera has an awesome Leica lens which amazingly allows for (35mm equivalent) 27mm to 486mm zoom range. And it does this with almost no CA due to an amazing processing engine. On top of that, pincushion is very well controlled. But, even with all this, the camera in no way comes close to matching the performance I get with my K20d. The images have a certain less-than quality aspect to them when compared with the Pentax DSLR--can't quite put my finger on it, but it is clear.

I agree that the glass is "not the only" reason for great IQ, but would say it is the most important one.

QuoteQuote:
GeneV: And then there is focus accuracy, and the inability to tweak focus,.....
My little Panny allows for manual fous with a very clever engineering design. Should Pentax find a way to incorporate it into their DSLRS, focusing screens will become obsolete at this forum.
05-14-2009, 11:24 PM   #97
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Soccerjoe5: Great eye you've got there, Big G
Yes, excellent eye!
05-15-2009, 07:27 AM   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Gene, thanks again for your response. You make some nice observations. In your last post, you do answer to my first sentence, but make no comments on the next 3, small paragraphs. I felt the points in those 3 paragraphs were integral to my prioritizing of the glass.

I own and shoot with a Panasonic FZ 28 mega-zoom. It allows me to make small prints even at ISO 1600. And the camera makes some high quality shots at ISO 100, though even @ 100 noise reduction is evident when carefully viewed. The camera has an awesome Leica lens which amazingly allows for (35mm equivalent) 27mm to 486mm zoom range. And it does this with almost no CA due to an amazing processing engine. On top of that, pincushion is very well controlled. But, even with all this, the camera in no way comes close to matching the performance I get with my K20d. The images have a certain less-than quality aspect to them when compared with the Pentax DSLR--can't quite put my finger on it, but it is clear.

I agree that the glass is "not the only" reason for great IQ, but would say it is the most important one.



My little Panny allows for manual fous with a very clever engineering design. Should Pentax find a way to incorporate it into their DSLRS, focusing screens will become obsolete at this forum.
It sounds like I should try out the Panasonic.

I didn't comment on the other paragraphs of your post because I agree with them 100%. Those are reasons I own a Pentax SLR, and they are very good ones.

But I really didn't see how those observations address the point I was trying to make: The SLR/ kit lens will deliver better quality than 95% of the cameras in use, and, as Diego noted, there are other aspects of photography that the beginning SLR user should emphasize before going on the quest for sharper glass. This in no way means that you or I do not enjoy or benefit from having other tools in the toolbox, but the quest for the best is often distracting.

I've seen how the equipment fetish takes hold in every hobby I've been involved with. Woodworkers go buy a super-sharp Lie-Nielsen plane before they know how to use a plane. Table Tennis players fool around with rubber gluing techniques before they can hit a decent shot (plead guilty, here). I like the idea of exploring the full potential of a decent piece of equipment before we are urged to buy something better. FWIW, In the 70s, I used my first SLR for years before buying a lens other than the screw-mount 50mm. It was probably a blessing that I was a student with little money.

05-15-2009, 09:08 AM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
It sounds like I should try out the Panasonic.
You should try the LX3, I'm absolutely loving mine
05-28-2009, 09:50 PM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
So it would seem that 135 format just happens to be the one that happens to yield 100% magnification with no additional magnification at the FOV that many would, for whatever subjective reason they care to state - consider "normal". And in that sense, it seems 135 format got something "right"in a way I've never seen discussed before.

I wonder if any of this actually makes sense?
It doesn't make sense for me, since you are assuming "no additional magnification" for the 135 format. However, I don't think that's the case. I'm pretty sure the optics between the focusing screen and the eye of a 135 format camera has some magnification that is designed to exactly yield the combined 100% magnification when used in conjunction with a 50mm.

EDIT: Just read that while 135 format may have 100% coverage they don't seem to go beyond 70% magnification.

For a different format (say APS-C) that viewfinder magnification obviously has to be different (higher) but I don't see where the resulting magnification is any more "wrong", "right" or "natural" than the one used in 135 format viewfinders.

Perhaps a source of confusion is that one refers to the 135 format viewfinder magnification as 100%, suggesting that it is 1:1. However, AFAIU, this is not the case. Only a 50mm in combination with a certain viewfinder magnification X yields the apparent 1:1 magnification. If instead of 50mm, 43mm had been chosen as the standard lens then another viewfinder magnification Y would have been necessary to yield the 1:1 mapping. But it would have been referred to as "100%" as well since one would have defined "viewfinder magnification" in terms of 43mm as opposed to 50mm.

Last edited by Class A; 05-29-2009 at 03:45 AM.
05-28-2009, 11:15 PM   #101
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
It doesn't make sense for me, since you are assuming "no additional magnification" for the 135 format. However, I don't think that's the case. I'm pretty sure the optics between the focusing screen and the eye of a 135 format camera has some magnification that is designed to exactly yield the combined 100% magnification when used in conjunction with a 50mm.
OK, but then still, apparently, that amount of magnification is common and easy, which is a point in faovr of 135 format, since it is *not* common (completely unheard of, in fact) and presumably not easy on APS-C to get 100% magnification with a "normal" lens on APS-C (ie, around 30-35mm).

QuoteQuote:
For a different format (say APS-C) that viewfinder magnification obviously has to be different (higher) but I don't see where the resulting magnification is any more "wrong", "right" or "natural" than the one used in 135 format viewfinders.
First one has to accept the idea that a "normal" lenses in terms of FOV is a good thing. The point I was makng is that, additional optics of not, 135 format may be the only format in which a lens with a "normal" FOV can also yield 100% magnification. Certainly no APS-C camera has a viewfinder that comes anywhere even remotely close to 100% with a "normal" lens for APS-C (ie, 30-35mm) - instead, you generally need a 50mm lens to get close to 100% magnification, just as with 135.

QuoteQuote:
If instead of 50mm, 43mm had been chosen as the standard lens then another viewfinder magnification Y would have been necessary to yield the 1:1 mapping.
OK, but if that had turned out to be technically feasible and common, that would still be a point in favor of 135 format. It's clearly not practical for APS-C, or we'd be seeing cameras that actually do this. But the reality seems to be that 100% magnification with a 30-35mm lens is completely out of question on an APS-C camera. Physics might not completely prevent it but it's obviously impractical, or we'd be seeing cameras actually do that - camera manufacturers know that people do want larger viewfinders, after all.

This relates to the current discussion about Ken Rockwell's article along very similar lines. He suggests a different way of putting things:

135 format is able to achieve 100% magnification with a normal lens. But APS-C format is not able to achieve 100% magnification with a normal lens - it requires a telephoto FOV in order to get 100% magnification.

So if you accept that a "normal" FOV has any special significance, then so does this fact about magnification.
05-29-2009, 04:05 AM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
OK, but then still, apparently, that amount of magnification is common and easy, which is a point in faovr of 135 format, since it is *not* common (completely unheard of, in fact) and presumably not easy on APS-C to get 100% magnification with a "normal" lens on APS-C (ie, around 30-35mm).
Not sure how difficult/impossible a respective APS-C viewfinder magnification would be to achieve but the current offerings certainly speak in favour of your hypothesis.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The point I was makng is that, additional optics of not, 135 format may be the only format in which a lens with a "normal" FOV can also yield 100% magnification.
I'm pretty certain that there is a range of formats for which 100% (or should I write "70%"?) magnification viewfinders are feasible.

For the 135 format, the maximum viewfinder magnification seems to be 70%, not 100%.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
So if you accept that a "normal" FOV has any special significance, then so does this fact about magnification.
I accept the first fact, but am not entirely sure what your suggested consequence is. I can see that maybe APS-C may not allow a 1:1 view but a) I don't think that the 135 format is the only one that does and that 1:1 is necessarily the best. "Bigger" could be better in that it would simplify focusing? Or smaller, as long it is not too small, could be better to allow the scene to be seen at once without requiring one to scan the corners? Is a 1:1 view really the most desirable? At the end of the day the final image counts and this is completely independent of viewfinder magnification. I sometimes wish I could view a focusing screen directly from any distance I wish, like with a view camera or a Rolleiflex. These screens seem to make it easier to judge the composition. I'm (currently still) a lot better at framing/cropping at the computer screen than framing with the viewfinder.
05-29-2009, 04:35 AM   #103
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Hi all

I was introduced to photography by my father who got me a film camera when I was young, (Kalimar SR300 aka Zenit EM with Helios 44-2).
Then, due to development costs, other priorities like having money to study and get an education the camera collect some dust during a lot of years.
I got back to images seven years ago with an HP 850 with four mp. I could rediscover that I still loved this hobby even because I could shoot and grow this love together documenting my new born sons all the way.
Believe me, any camera takes good shoots. But then you want better shoots

After more then 15 years away from slr cameras, in September 2008 I got myself some Pentax gear, at the time k200d and kit lens. I mature the kit lens in a couple of months and develop this passion, that if one can afford, leads also to get some gear. (Don't take me wrong, I still use my "kit lens" when it's appropriate)

I build (didn't finish yet) two sets of gear, the zoom one I use with the family and other occasions and the prime set "I use for myself". I enjoy both just have for myself a better enjoyment with the primes.

I have to say I知 having a blast with this passion and some of the blame is due to Pentax. The other ones to blame are all of you on this great forum. None of the blame is mine of course

As a end note, I agree with the two points of view since they are, for me, both corrects in the right situations of course.

Forgot to mention my "Zenit EM" was on service and it's fully operational again

I was going to submit this when I decided to share also some more extra information. I知 on a local photo club. Almost everyone are canikons with huge gear, then some sony/olympus shooters and I知 the only pentax camera guy. I must say that痴 the hard, true and crude concept of Pentax 的知 interesting
At the beginning, when I joined the club I got joked all the time like 努hat is this ? or 的s it a Panasonic ? stuff like that. I never replied because that痴 just ignorance and 的知 not paid to educate canikons. The proper answer, I知 giving in all the contests or expositions I enter. I even make the time to enter . Until now I never got a first place, but in every contest and/or exposition I manage to enter, at least, two out of ten possible images and already got some third and forth places several times. Due to this and of course all the other great Pentax qualities everyone here on the forum know about, two club members from sony already are thinking on switch over to Pentax and for my content, a lot of canikons are unhappy with their gear again ignorance since in some cases the problem is not the gear.
Finally, I attended a professional workshop about shooting landscape. The photographer was from NG Portugal (Nikon guy). I was really mad because the guy joked so much about my gear and I have really great Pentax gear. I had to reply that I was astonish that for him my gear was more important that my eventual skills as a hobbyist photographer. Point is, NG also have stupid people working there.
Either way I make him unhappy at least since he compared our gear, concerning money, and Pentax own of course for a long shoot (valuable for money).

This was going to be a two paragraph post. Sorry about that.
06-08-2009, 02:27 PM   #104
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I'm actually in the situation where, because of other financial priorities, I've had to stick with the kit lens for far longer than I was expecting.

Luckily I also 'inherited' an old Vivitar 285 flash and a Super Takumar 50mm. Inherited in the sense that they belonged to my late grandfather and I found them lying forgotten in a box in my parents basement. Suffice to say, those have been my REAL learning tools.

I do honestly covet a whole range of glass, from the DA* 50-135 to the 31mm ltd (I'm sort of an LBA window shopper)...but so far my hobby has been bizarrely cheap in comparison to what could have been if I'd had more disposable income. I'm a marketing exec's worst nightmare.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan Glisin Quote
All we can expect from an "entry-level" cameras and lenses are entry level results, right? Yeah, right. And getting a "professional" 1D Mark III and expensive L glass would guarantee that one will jump right on the cover pages and double spreads of Vogue or National Geographic, right?[/I]
Wouldn't a fair number of fashion photographers be using medium format anyway? Though there are probably a couple of amateur 1D Mark III owners who'd say "medium-what?" if you said something like that to them.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Was the 50/1.4 ever really a "kit" lens? I believe it was offered for sale in conjunction with bodies, but generally as an upgrade option from a 55/1.8 or 50/2 or some such.
But even a 55/1.8 would be a 'fast fifty' in comparison to a 18-55/3.5-5.6.

I wish something like the FA 35mm f2 was the kit lens. The DA 35 f2.8 is a bit too expensive for me (and a stop slower) and, with my finances at the moment, the 31mm limited is an impossible dream.
06-09-2009, 10:53 AM   #105
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QuoteOriginally posted by swordfishtrombone Quote
...I wish something like the FA 35mm f2 was the kit lens. The DA 35 f2.8 is a bit too expensive for me (and a stop slower) and, with my finances at the moment, the 31mm limited is an impossible dream.
Well, there is an interesting thread in the lens section about less expensive alternatives for the FA31. You could check it out.


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/34654-vivitar-...placement.html
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