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03-14-2009, 06:19 PM   #706
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Thanks song hm. I appreciate that.

Tom G

03-15-2009, 09:01 AM   #707
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SMC Pentax M 400/5.6

Robins are back in Southern Ontario. Next to the Canada Goose the most photographed bird in these parts but it is good to have them back.






Last but not least a Cardinal from a long, long way away. This fellow is going to be a challenge! Stay tuned - I know where he lives now.



Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 03-15-2009 at 12:13 PM.
03-15-2009, 09:15 AM   #708
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Question for Tom G:
Were the SMCP-M 400/5.6 shots of the Canada Geese, House Sparrow and American Robin sharpened in PP after shooting RAW? And were they taken at 5.6? If you have the metadata could you please have a look and send some of these details? I have the same lens and would like to know what I should do in the field with it and K200D.
Thanks.
03-15-2009, 09:37 AM   #709
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chhayanat,

All shots were with the K10 on a tripod (of course) with shake reduction turned off. I always use a Pentax cable release when I use this lens. I have a KatzEye focusing screen and I doubt I would be able to get some of these shots without it. I found focusing manually with the original screen very difficult.

I use the K10 and shoot RAW and jpeg. All images uploaded into Photoshop and I don't have the metadata.

Some but not all were sharpened but I can't recall which. Trough trial and error I found shooting on a bright day that ISO 100 and an f-stop somewhere between f 11 and f22 gives good results. Basically I follow the old sunny sixteen rule.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_16


I just took a look at the lens and it was set at f22 for the first Robin shot. I seldom shoot wide open as the DOF is too shallow for most nature shots. Shutter speed varies from a low of 1/50 sec to 1/125th sec on average. I normally start in this range and take a look at the result. If I'm not satisfied I adjust speed or f stop as lighting conditions dictate. It is a lot of trial and error but these settings should get you in the ballpark.

Hope this helps. Looking forward to seeing some of your shots soon. There don't seem to be many of us in the M 400 Club. I’ve only had this lens a short while but it looks like a keeper.

Tom G


Last edited by 8540tomg; 03-17-2009 at 04:45 AM. Reason: typo
03-15-2009, 01:52 PM   #710
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
chhayanat,

All shots were with the K10 on a tripod (of course) with shake reduction turned off. I always use a Pentax cable release. I have a KatzEye focusing screen and I doubt I would be able to get some of these shots without it. I found focusing manually with the original screen very difficult.

I use the K10 and shoot RAW and jpeg.......Some but not all were sharpened but I can't recall which. Trough trial and error I found shooting on a bright day that ISO 100 and an f-stop somewhere between f 11 and f22 gives good results. Basically I follow the old sunny sixteen rule.
I just took a look at the lens and it was set at f22 for the first Robin shot. I seldom shoot wide open as the DOF is too shallow for most nature shots. Shutter speed varies from a low of 1/50 sec to 1/125th sec on average. I normally start in this range and take a look at the result. If I'm not satisfied I adjust speed or f stop as lighting conditions dictate.
Hope this helps. Looking forward to seeing some of your shots soon. There don't seem to be many of us in the M 400 Club. Iíve only had this lens a short while but it looks like a keeper.

Tom G
As you say, not many people around with the M 400/5.6. The reason for my question was that I have been using this lens since 1981. In what might have been a mixed augury, I missed the very first picture of a White-bellied Sea Eagle in the New Territories of Hongkong. It turned literally on its tail when it saw the telephoto pointed at it. Thereafter, many misses have followed and a few hits as well. Since I almost never use a tripod (I have two), many of my shots have been taken wide-open with an MX film camera. The open aperture normally gives slightlly reduced sharpness and cropping does not give very good results. However, against a blue sky you need open aperture or something near it, to preserve the details of the bird. Looking forward to taking pictures with this lens on the K200d, which I bought recently.

In high contrast lighting, are you getting half-moon blackouts in the central microprism or split circle of the Katzeye with the M 400mm/5.6? This was frequently the case with film cameras and ought to be happening even with digital cameras as well: if it not, I would be very interested for confirmation. I used an all matte screen with a clear central circle when employing telephotos in film cameras. In case this is lengthening the thread excessively, please send a p.m.
s
03-15-2009, 02:55 PM   #711
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M 35/2.8

I took my M35 out for a walk/drive the other day. Unfortunately the images aren't as sharp as I think they could or should be with this lens, but that's probably due to my shaky hand and the lack of an image stabilizer on my *ist DL2. The shot was taken at 1/40th, hence the slight blur (although the downsized image might hide it a bit), but I quite like the bokeh

03-15-2009, 03:46 PM   #712
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In high contrast lighting, are you getting half-moon blackouts in the central microprism or split circle of the Katzeye with the M 400mm/5.6? This was frequently the case with film cameras and ought to be happening even with digital cameras as well: if it not, I would be very interested for confirmation. I used an all matte screen with a clear central circle when employing telephotos in film cameras. In case this is lengthening the thread excessively, please send a p.m.
s[/QUOTE]

Chhayanat,

Looks like we are both old MX users. My KatzEye screen is identical to the original screen which came with the MX. It is a split prism with microprism collar. As I recall I used to get the half-moon blackout with some of the slower lenses in the film days. I bought one of the MX screens to take care of the problem. With the K10 I spent a little extra and got the OptiBrite coating for the new screen. The KatzEye is noticeably brighter than my old MX screens. There is still a hint of blackout at times but you can still focus with it. There is a whole tread on the KatzEye you might want to take a look at if you are considering purchase. I'm an admitted KatzEye fanboy and I wouldn’t be without it. Here is the KatzEye thread followed by a link to the supplier.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-accessories/44163-katzeye-f...al-review.html


Pentax K10D K20D Focusing Screen - Katz Eye Optics


I’ve pretty much determined that I won’t be able to get acceptable shots without the tripod. Birds on the wing aren’t worth wasting the time to raise the camera with the M 400mm. It just isn’t going to happen without some sort of Devine intervention for me. Shortly after I got the lens I had the chance to get some shots of a Sharp Shinned Hawk. Naturally there was no tripod at hand so I tried some hand held shots. This was the best I could do that day.













I can’t help but think things would have gone a whole lot better with the tripod. Sadly, I haven’t seen the hawk since. In any case I hope this helps. I don’t think we need to worry about lengthening the thread too much. The other guy who has one of the M 400s might be interested as well.

Tom G


Last edited by 8540tomg; 03-15-2009 at 03:52 PM. Reason: typo
03-16-2009, 03:34 AM   #713
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"I had the chance to get some shots of a Sharp Shinned Hawk."
Thank you for all the helpful hints. I must find out how a Katzeye can be fitted to a K200d as I am not in North America.
Sharp-shinned Hawk: No. 4 from the top seems pretty acceptable for such a large image. One of the advantages of a DSLR, I suppose. Of course there is grain (noise) and magenta chromatic aberration on the beak; nonetheless, the M 400/5.6 rises in my esteem.
03-16-2009, 04:39 AM   #714
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
[hawk pictures]
That's some pretty bad purple/green fringing
03-16-2009, 05:33 AM   #715
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Erik,

It was even worse before I cropped the shot. As I recall this series was hand held and wide open or close to it. The M 400/5.6 is almost 30 years old and doesn't have ED glass. No doubt about it - CAs and PF are what you get with this lens wide open in scenarios like that. Stopping down helps a lot. The lens can deliver stellar images (the Robin above) but it does have its limits, I can accept these flaws as the lens gives me affordable extra reach allows me to get shots I otherwise could not get. I just have to live with the fact I'm going to have to try to shoot with the sun at my back and avoid high constrast situations.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 03-16-2009 at 06:54 AM. Reason: typo
03-16-2009, 12:42 PM   #716
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
As I recall this series was hand held and wide open or close to it. The M 400/5.6 is almost 30 years old and doesn't have ED glass. No doubt about it - CAs and PF are what you get with this lens wide open in scenarios like that.
Tom G
I found a picture of a Peregrine taken in Africa, scanned on an HP 4970 flatbed and further cropped and downsampled to get it below 1.5Mb. This not the African race but rather the migratory Eurasian race which is larger and paler.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by chhayanat; 03-16-2009 at 12:50 PM. Reason: syntax
03-16-2009, 04:48 PM   #717
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Over exposed photos...?

I have a question.

When I use either of my Pentax-M lenses (50mm F2 / 28mm F2.8) I find the photos to be over exposed. But since I shoot RAW I can fix it quite easily, but it'd be nice to have it almost perfect before hand.

So before I shoot, I set the aperture I want, then I click the green button, then focus, and shoot.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

-Isaac
03-16-2009, 04:59 PM   #718
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A few things:

- With "M" lenses, multi-segment metering is not available, so it defaults to center-weighted instead, which cannot try to protect highlights. So it's normal in that case to see a difference. I use center-weighted all the time to minimize this effect.

- The K10D & K20D have an issue where exposure errors can results at smaller apertures, apparently due at least in part to their focusing screens. Not so much an issue on other models.

- The lens *might* have aperture blades that close too slowly, resulting in a picture being taken before they have fully closed down. you might play with the aperture lever with the lens off the camera to see if this seems like it might be an issue with your lenses.
03-17-2009, 01:18 AM   #719
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QuoteOriginally posted by IsaacSteiner Quote
I have a question.

When I use either of my Pentax-M lenses (50mm F2 / 28mm F2.8) I find the photos to be over exposed. .........
So before I shoot, I set the aperture I want, then I click the green button, then focus, and shoot.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

-Isaac
The answer suggested by Mark Sabatella might well be the correct one. However, after clicking the green button you could use the depth of field preview (set to optical)to see the exposure situation. In the camera's interpretation of correct exposure you will see 0.0 in the viewfinder. You might experiment with changing either shutter speed or aperture to achieve underexposure,0 depending on how much overexposure you are getting.
03-17-2009, 02:04 AM   #720
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My rather unrare M contribution

the 50/1.4 M wide open


K100D 50/1.4@1.4 1/1000 iso400
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