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02-20-2012, 12:51 AM   #16
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Well done! Had mine for a week, and just got a SMC 50mmF2 from the States, $35+15 postage for a wicked, light and practically new lens, no need to spend $500+. The Bokeh and sharpness are unbelievable and the camera is much lighter now (with the kit lens off) and compact. Will be posting pics in the next week. this camera.

02-20-2012, 02:49 AM   #17
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I thought i'd give a quick update. never done any real lens test / review before, so please forgive the rudimentary nature of it.

ok, so i had to go to work today, but knowing that i was the only one in the office, i took the camera and the 500mm. unfortunately, it also rained. so, being stuck indoors, i set up at one end and ran some test shots across the office.

all shots are top-quality jpeg, "bright mode" with +1 sharpness, no noise reduction, straight off the camera. distance was around 7 meters (22 feet).

sample shot at 150mm, f 5.6 at iso 160 (point of focus was on the fluoro tube box just down from the door handle):

and then zoomed in to 500 (f6.3, iso 160):

and now some 100% crops. All shot at ISO 160, camera bench mounted, 2-second delay shutter release:

f 6.3

f 7.1

f 8.0

in all three i let the camera auto-focus on the "36 watt" lettering. the halo on the white edge at 6.3 is very obvious, but for my uses (field sports) i thought the detail and sharpness is pretty usable even wide open. I'm never going to print full-sized files anyway. It doesn't have a brilliant rep at 500mm, this lens, but i was pleasantly surprised at the overall scene quality. Stopping the crops down to 7.1 and 8.0 progressively removes the halo and i'd happily shoot at either without any issue. perhaps the halo is an easy fix in PP anyway? for bird photographers, the sharpness is perhaps not quite good enough? but for football, i think it will be fine.

However, i battled with what i considered poor image IQ from the camera in general over the weekend ( installing latest firmware helped a lot and improved my state-of-mind immeasurably ) and i was curious about front or back focus issues. To my eye, the top of the fluro box was better focused than the actual aim point. Given it was sloping away from the camera, it suggested an element of BF. So i rigged up a pretty rough test facility and decided the lens was indeed back-focusing a bit. It is pretty hard to tell when optimum focus is achieved, but in the end i settled for +4 on the micro adjustment.

Back to taking real pics, i extended the range by a couple of meters, focusing on the vertical bar of the cupboard handle in the following frame:

and then the 100% crop:

f7.1 (not sure why i didn't shoot it at 6.3, didn't realise until i got home)

Not sure if i'm seeing quality that isn't there, but I'm actually really happy with that. the handle looks pretty well defined, and detail via the texture on the door is visible. whether the af adjustment had a positive effect or not i don't know, but how does the focus look to you guys?

stopping down again:


gives a definite gain in the texture of the door paint - particularly behind the handle-plain, but also looks a tiny bit less exposed or 'glarey' which might be helping the look? (shutter speed at f7.1 was 1 second, at f9 was 1.6 seconds)

the next thing of course will be to see how it goes when the range is extended out to 60 or 70 meters on a sports field. 10 meters isn't it's natural domain in my use. whilst i'm sure that the "a bit soft wide open at the long end" comment often made is true compared to a L-series lens, fixed prime or similar, i suspect getting the right focus and minimising shake is just as important at this focal length. even at a relatively slow f6.3, 500mm will produce a fairly narrow DOF, yeah?

anyway, feel free to comment / advise. i'm not generally a pixel-peeper or technology expert anyway, just thought it might be a fun way to spend an hour or so and learn a bit about the new camera.

Last edited by saladin; 02-20-2012 at 07:28 PM.
02-20-2012, 11:50 AM   #18
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Great decision..I love the K5 :-)
02-20-2012, 01:35 PM   #19
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Saladin:You should be able to pin point a pimple from the boundry line no probs. I'd be making myself look silly by offering any technical advice, so I
l'll just say that your lens review/test is more in depth than some current high profile Youtube reviewers.
I'm sure that your most relevant data will be gained from the field, I hope you get a nice clear day and a good hard game.

02-20-2012, 03:23 PM   #20
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I will say one thing though, the last few days have shown me that when conditions suit it, my K10 gives away little - or maybe even nothing - in terms of imaging results. The two camera's produce a distinctly different feel to their pictures, but imo the '10 remains a distinctively great camera. especially in it's color rendering of people and places.

where the K5 will prove invaluable to me is on gloomy winter afternoons with the big lens. the ISO ability is the key for keeping shutter speeds adequate.

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