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03-22-2012, 09:28 AM   #16
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clumsy oaf strikes again

QuoteOriginally posted by Welfl Quote
I've really been looking forward to having to take fewer panoramic "segment" shots once I start shooting with a wide-angle lens.
Stitched panos are great... when appropriate. They're not appropriate when shooting in tight dimly-lit jam-packed spaces like the tourista marketplace in Nogales.

Which prompts a brief description of my yesterday. We left Old Bisbee early, drove up Tombstone Canyon, through the Time Tunnel, across the San Pedro valley past Fort Huachuca, through Sonoita and Patagonia, to Nogales and our favorite cheap parking lot (a shuttle stand) just 1/2 block from the border. We stopped for numerous shoots along the way, with the DA18-250, my default on-the-road lens.

As soon as we reached the border I mounted my PKM Vivitar-Komine 24/2, whose iris blades are stuck open at f/2. To shoot in bright desert daylight, I had an assembly screwed into the lens: step-ring, CPL, step-ring, wide metal hood, enough to cut flare and keep shutter speed below 1/4000 (the K20D's limit). I'd remove that assembly to shoot indoors, quickly replace it when outside. That works fine. I got good close shots of day-of-the-dead artifacts and curious displays and vivid street scenes, mostly impossible with a 28mm or longer lens.

Then we stood in line 1/2 hour to walk back across the border into USA. Just one CBP officer to check thousands of passports, what a lousy system, grumble bitch whine moan. But I digress. We drove north through the village of Rio Rico (no relation) to Tubac Presidio, an art+craft community with shops just marginally bigger and brighter than the Nogales stalls, for more gift-shopping.

And I didn't watch where I was walking. Duh. I tripped over a boulder, a 50cm / 20in black cube in front of a shop. The camera was slung around my neck and went front-on into the rock and then the ground. The old Vivitar CPL snapped apart. Camera and lens survived just fine.

My surmise: the CPL took the shock of the fall, and failed. If I'd had only the metal hood, it would have bent and maybe the lens objective would have been scratched by rock or dirt. If I'd had a 'protective' UV filter mounted, it too could have bent and broken, maybe denting the lens' front thread. But the failure-point left the camera and lens and threads intact. And I later dusted-off the CPL and snapped it back together. All is right as rain now.

My point there is that some shock-absorbing mechanism mounted on the lens, like a two-piece filter or a collapsible lens hood, is much more protection than a single filter. Other point: No matter what splendid sights are around you, watch where you walk!


Last edited by RioRico; 03-22-2012 at 10:48 AM.
03-22-2012, 09:28 AM   #17
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I think either lens will work fine. Of course you can't shoot wider than 28mm with that lens. You also can't shoot longer than 80mm. (Just call me Captain Obvious.)

My point is that you shouldn't worry about the shots you can't take and instead focus on the shots you can take with the lens. It's the same as when I go out with a prime lens, or a long telephoto, or whatever. Regardless of the lens or system, there are always shots that I can't take with it. Just focus on the shots you can take with it and have fun. You'll be able to take plenty of shots with a 28-80 lens, and have lots of fun doing it. When you add another lens (wider or longer), you'll be amazed all over again at the shots you can now take.

Worry less, shoot more. Have fun. Even bad photography can be fun. I'm proof of that.
03-22-2012, 10:53 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
(Just call me Captain Obvious.)
But you beat me to it. It wouldn't mean as much now.

QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
My point is that you shouldn't worry about the shots you can't take and instead focus on the shots you can take with the lens. It's the same as when I go out with a prime lens, or a long telephoto, or whatever. Regardless of the lens or system, there are always shots that I can't take with it. Just focus on the shots you can take with it and have fun. You'll be able to take plenty of shots with a 28-80 lens, and have lots of fun doing it.
I like that philosophy. It is exactly what I was trying to tell myself -- and what I was hoping others would tell me -- when I started this thread. But, with the way the economy is going, and if gas prices rise too dramatically (which they probably will, thanks to the actions of a few in power), retail prices may rise even more than they already are. That's one reason I probably should not wait very long to buy a camera and at least one lens (the affordable 18-55, I guess).

QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
When you add another lens (wider or longer)...
Yes, "when," not "if." The only "if" in this situation is "if I decide to buy a K-5," or wait for the rumored K-z, which, I hope(!), will be a "K-5 Lite" -- with the K-5's sensor, focus peaking(!!!), much, much better movie mode, viewfinder, a not-too-outrageous starting price, etc.*

QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
Worry less, shoot more. Have fun.
That's been my philosophy since I got my first camera in 1974 at age 13. It has only been since I 1.) decided that I should finally upgrade to a DSLR last year (and learn in advance how to use them); 2. decided to use the internet to learn the many, many things my two college photography instructors obviously never taught us! 3.) started reading the posts of the many "lens elitists" here on PentaxForums , and 4.) saw all the stunning images here on PentaxForums that I finally started to worry that I might be wasting my money on a high-level camera if I didn't try to use it to the best of its and my combined abilities. This last reason is also ONE reason that I keep dawdling around and not making the leap (price and lack of personally meaningful subject matter are the two primary reasons, though).

QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
Even bad photography can be fun. I'm proof of that.
First, I disagree that you are proof of that!

Second, you capture and preserve memories of meaningful people and places. You capture moments in time. Those are the very reasons I became fascinated with photographs and photography before I was even ten years old (regrettably, I just didn't realize that I was "old enough" to use a camera until I was 13). Without those ingredients, photography is not entirely unlike an artist painting various bowls of fruit. For me, photography is now just an excuse to get out and about and see the world with more interested eyes (so to speak).

Last edited by Welfl; 03-22-2012 at 10:59 AM.
03-22-2012, 11:02 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
(Just call me Captain Obvious.)

My point is that you shouldn't worry about the shots you can't take and instead focus on the shots you can take with the lens.
Yes, that's obvious, and a mentality I employ with my LOTD (lens of the day) strategy. I'll mount just one lens for a day or ten. I'll look for what it *can* shoot, not for what it can't. If my LOTD is the M42 Alpa-Chinon (Cosina?) 300/5.6 using a thick-flange no-infinity-focus M42-PK adapter, I'm forced to look for adequately-lit subjects within a 5-degree AOV at a range from 1.5-75m. Whatever is beyond those limits just isn't a subject unless I move around a lot -- and I find surprising targets there, because I *must* look for them. Stuff I wouldn't notice if I had the DA18-250 or F35-70 mounted.

As I said, the 28-80mm range on APS-C isn't bad, it's just constrained. Each lens is a distinct "window on the world". I just like big windows, eh?

Geeky numbers department: On my K20D (almost but not quite nominal APS-C), with an 18-55mm zoom, the AOVs range from 76-29 degrees. With a 28-80mm zoom, the range is 53-20 degrees, a little less on the long end and a lot less on the short end. Sure, the difference can be made up (somewhat) by foot-zooming. But how far can we back up before falling off a cliff?

QuoteQuote:
Worry less, shoot more. Have fun. Even bad photography can be fun. I'm proof of that.


03-22-2012, 11:16 AM   #20
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have you think about the pentax-F 35-70mm?
it has a very high rating on pentax forum.

i got mine 2 months ago and i must say it is a pretty big improvement over the kit lens.
a little bit hard to find but you can check out ebay more often. i bid mine for $39 with a film camera.

35mm isn't wide but enough for my need, and the 70mm end is a lot more useful for portrait shots than 55mm.
aperture is slightly faster than kit, also the macro function is another big plus.
03-22-2012, 11:26 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Stitched panos are great... when appropriate. They're not appropriate when shooting in tight dimly-lit jam-packed spaces...
I don't think it would ever have occurred to me to do a panorama in such a setting. The distortions would be just too great. I want my panoramas to look as natural as possible. I had to laugh in frustration when a person I know tried to stitch several pictures together that he had taken in a small, possession-filled room in his house. He was unsuccessful, of course, and it was his only attempt. Along those same lines, I tried to stitch together several images of a six-story-tall building last year. I was standing much too close to it when I took the "segment pictures" (maybe 30 or 40 feet away); therefore, the software could not resolve all the straight lines that are at ever so slightly different angles in every shot. Even though I manually added dozens of control points, it still made a huge mess of things.

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
like the tourista marketplace in Nogales.
Not to mention, the "seams" would either be really ugly or nearly impossible to stitch together due to all those people constantly moving around.
03-22-2012, 11:39 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by telly0050 Quote
have you think about the pentax-F 35-70mm?
it has a very high rating on pentax forum.
No, I hadn't heard of it before.

QuoteOriginally posted by telly0050 Quote
i got mine 2 months ago and i must say it is a pretty big improvement over the kit lens.
I agree. I just now looked at the samples from the 35-70mm in the lens database. They really are crisp and clear.

QuoteOriginally posted by telly0050 Quote
35mm isn't wide but enough for my need...
I agree. If I bought one I would have to sell my Tamron 28-80mm and also (for sure) buy the Pentax 18-55mm to make up the 18-34mm difference. The problem is that I like buying used items in person. That way I can see and touch them before paying for them. The price of the 35-70mm certainly seems great though.
03-22-2012, 01:53 PM   #23
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Well, let's go at it from a different angle (). Get the uber-discounted K-5, use the 28-80 as a kit and then, when you're buying the next lens, get the 15mm. IMHO the only other options are Penny and Siggy 17-70.

03-22-2012, 03:04 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
then, when you're buying the next lens, get the 15mm
Okay, when I win the lottery.
03-22-2012, 07:10 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Welfl Quote
Not to mention, the "seams" would either be really ugly or nearly impossible to stitch together due to all those people constantly moving around.
As it happens, our visits to Nogales last week and yesterday revealed very few gringo turistas spending money. The border delay is really a pain, and many just stay away. So I didn't fret so much over people moving around, as much as the parrots in a few shots. They're quite peripatetic.

QuoteOriginally posted by Welfl Quote
The price of the 35-70mm certainly seems great though.
The F35-70 is a superb little lens, the smallest zoom Pentax ever made, and it's sharp and agile (ultra-quick AF). For a bargain deal, look for an old SF-1 or other 1990's Pentax AF film camera, where this was the kit lens. The lens by itself may go for US$50 while the camera+lens may only fetch half that.

Some call the F35-70 the ideal 'backyard' lens for shooting kids and pets and flowers. Yes, it's a very limited focal range, but it's like a bag of primes in that range. Highly recommended.
03-22-2012, 07:33 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
The F35-70 is a superb little lens, the smallest zoom Pentax ever made, and it's sharp and agile (ultra-quick AF). For a bargain deal, look for an old SF-1 or other 1990's Pentax AF film camera, where this was the kit lens. The lens by itself may go for US$50 while the camera+lens may only fetch half that.
Great advice! Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
...it's like a bag of primes in that range. Highly recommended.
What a great quote!
03-22-2012, 09:41 PM   #27
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QuoteQuote:
The odds of my finding Pentax gear anywhere in western Nebraska or east-central Wyoming is normally slim to none, so I considered myself extremely lucky to stumble onto this little treasure trove.
You're right about that. And there's none in the Denver area, I can assure you. I got my K-5 from B+H. however, I'm in the Omaha area this week, and Nebraska Furniture Mart's electronics store has the K-01 in stock, as well as the Q and some DA zooms. I was really surprised. When I was here in November, they had no Pentax gear at all. Progress.
03-23-2012, 02:26 AM   #28
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Unless you have the $$$ you could think of the DA*16-50 F2.8. A versatile lens and WR too but very pricey. The other alternative is the DA18-135WR. I have both and both copies are sharp.
03-23-2012, 09:02 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by emergo Quote
And there's none in the Denver area, I can assure you.
Wow! And Denver is the home of Pentax USA!? Wow...... All this time I was thinking I would have to go all the way to Denver if I ever wanted to look at a Pentax camera in person (which I wouldn't have done anyway). [Note: The only place I could find just now that definitely carries Pentax products in Colorado (at least east of the Rockies?) is the Camera Trader in Englewood; but that is all used stuff. They have a decent selection of used Pentax lenses (mostly manual), but not much else.]

QuoteOriginally posted by emergo Quote
I'm in the Omaha area this week, and Nebraska Furniture Mart's electronics store...
For the past twelve or thirteen years I've been amazed at what that "furniture" store carries. I've never been there myself, but I know at least one person who goes there whenever he visits Omaha. That store even sold Macs back when the rest of the world was still sneering at them. As a longtime Mac tech (etc., etc.), that really impressed me.

QuoteOriginally posted by emergo Quote
has the K-01 in stock, as well as the Q and some DA zooms. I was really surprised.
If Omaha wasn't so far away (it's about twice as far away from me as Denver is), I would love to go there and check them out, but it is, so I won't. I have no other valid reason to go to Omaha either, especially with gas prices so insanely high.

QuoteOriginally posted by emergo Quote
When I was here in November, they had no Pentax gear at all. Progress.
Yes, someone at the Furniture Mart must have recently experienced one or more Pentax products in person and was inspired.
03-23-2012, 09:06 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by felixkh Quote
Unless you have the $$$ you could think of the DA*16-50 F2.8. A versatile lens and WR too but very pricey. The other alternative is the DA18-135WR. I have both and both copies are sharp.
Those prices are just a little bit above my self-imposed budget ceiling. I guess I'm just not that dedicated to image perfection (at least in the technical/digital sense) for something that is presently just a pastime. Besides, I'm actually quite impressed by the images I've seen so far in The Kit Lens Club (I thank sterretje for recommending that I look there).
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