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12-19-2009, 08:52 AM   #1216
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M 40 - 80 / 2.8 - 4

From the 40 - 80 / 2.8 - 4. I like it.



12-19-2009, 02:21 PM   #1217
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SMC Pentax M 400/5.6

Managed a few shots of the Downy Woodpecker today.




Tom G
12-19-2009, 02:33 PM   #1218
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QuoteQuote:
8540tmg: Managed a few shots of the Downy Woodpecker today.
You sure did! I do not see any issues with PFing here--real nice, sharp shot. Thanks.
12-19-2009, 03:47 PM   #1219
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
You sure did! I do not see any issues with PFing here--real nice, sharp shot. Thanks.
Thanks Jewelltrail,

The PF/CA issues are still there but I cropped a lot of it out in the image above. It is more evident in this backlit image from the same series.



These are the conditions this M 400/5.6 and many other lenses have difficulty with. No problems with sharpness though.

Tom G


Last edited by 8540tomg; 12-20-2009 at 07:07 AM. Reason: typo
12-19-2009, 07:17 PM   #1220
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Nice woodpecker shots Tom
I tried my M400 on film for the first time yesterday, will post up some of the results later - if they turned out ok...
12-19-2009, 07:22 PM   #1221
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Thanks Jason,

I'm pretty pleased with the first one. They don't often sit still for me like this one did. The local hawk was in the area and all the small birds were a bit on edge.

I'm curious to see how the 400 does on film. Looking forward to your results.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 12-20-2009 at 07:08 AM. Reason: typo
12-19-2009, 11:33 PM   #1222
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8540TOMG: The PF/CA issues are still there but I cropped a lot of it out in the image above. It is more evident in this backlit image from the same series.
Sorry Tom, I did not mean to imply there was no PFing, just that it was so minimal that it did not matter (IMHO). Those are great shots--period. When I look at them my eyes are immediately drawn to the bird.

It is amazing how exponentially sensitized to flaws in pics we all are here at the forum. When I try to explain these things to regular P & S people, they think I am nuts at times. That lens is a winner--that is the bottom line. It is just a fact of bird shooting that the pics will have branches up against a bright sky.

12-19-2009, 11:51 PM   #1223
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I've NEVER gotten a good woodpecker shot, but

You've got two great ones right here. Sigh. Well done, Tom.

QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Thans Jewelltrail,

The PF/CA issues are still there but I cropped a lot of it out in the image above. It is more evident in this backlit image from the same series.

[Picture removed]

These are the conditions this M 400/5.6 and many other lenses have difficulty with. No problems with sharpness though.

Tom G
12-20-2009, 06:21 AM   #1224
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Sorry Tom, I did not mean to imply there was no PFing, just that it was so minimal that it did not matter (IMHO). Those are great shots--period. When I look at them my eyes are immediately drawn to the bird.

It is amazing how exponentially sensitized to flaws in pics we all are here at the forum. When I try to explain these things to regular P & S people, they think I am nuts at times. That lens is a winner--that is the bottom line. It is just a fact of bird shooting that the pics will have branches up against a bright sky.
No problem Jewelltrail.

You're right, we do get pretty anal about the CA/PF issues and any slight imperfections with our lenses. To hear us talk you would think the lens was unusable. If you are shooting birds you will often be operating in situations that are full of braches and twigs and backlit. This is where your subject lives after all. It is not a controlled studio situation and never will be. That is just one of its charms. Once you become aware of these issues and you can minimize the effects by keeping the sun at your back and stopping down. This is the sort of thing that comes with experience and learning from others in forums such as this. Albert has been a great help to me in this regard. The fact is, the Pentax M 400/5.6 has become my most used lens by far. I’m having a blast trying to capture images of as many of the small birds as possible that live in the area. I find this the most challenging and rewarding kind of photography I have ever attempted. I’m certainly far more aware of the wildlife around me and getting out in the fresh air is just an added bonus. The 400mm focal length is providing me with the extra reach to get the images I've always wanted. I’m still getting a lot of lousy shots but they are the result of poor technique rather than defects in my equipment. Because the subject matter is often uncooperative, and the conditions are seldom optimal, the rewards are so much more gratifying where you finally nail a shot.

Thanks again Albert.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 12-20-2009 at 04:52 PM. Reason: typo
12-20-2009, 07:19 AM   #1225
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Thanks Jewelltrail,

The PF/CA issues are still there but I cropped a lot of it out in the image above. It is more evident in this backlit image from the same series.



These are the conditions this M 400/5.6 and many other lenses have difficulty with. No problems with sharpness though.

Tom G
It's in no way a criticism of the photo (which is great) or the lens to say that this is an excellent demonstration of green CA behind the plane of focus and red in front of it. That's the one thing that stops me using my K105 2.8 wide open in certain high-contrast situations - it's a master at this effect. But once you learn to anticipate it, life becomes easier!

Nice shot.
12-20-2009, 07:55 AM   #1226
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QuoteOriginally posted by timo Quote
It's in no way a criticism of the photo (which is great) or the lens to say that this is an excellent demonstration of green CA behind the plane of focus and red in front of it. That's the one thing that stops me using my K105 2.8 wide open in certain high-contrast situations - it's a master at this effect. But once you learn to anticipate it, life becomes easier!

Nice shot.
Thanks Timo.

You are, of course, correct. You have to know the limits of your gear and make the best of it. I don't have any experience with ED glass in longer lenses but have newer designs all but eliminated CA/PF issues or are they still an issue with longer lenses?

Tom G
12-20-2009, 09:39 AM   #1227
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Timo - that's quite interesting.
I was somewhat surprised to see red and green CA on each half of the split prism when using my M400 on my ME Super recently, only in some conditions of course. Will have the photos tomorrow morning. Have had many issues with the ME Super so I just hope the photos were exposed ok :/

cheers
12-20-2009, 01:06 PM   #1228
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QuoteQuote:
... <SNIP> ... Iím still getting a lot of lousy shots but they are the result of poor technique rather than defects in my equipment. Because the subject matter is often uncooperative and the conditions are seldom optimal the rewards are so much more gratifying where you finally nail a shot.

Thanks again Albert.

Tom G
Thanks to you, Tom. I also get a lot of lousy shots, even having used the M 400 for some 20+ years now. You inspire me with your great shots of small birds.

I think that those of us who work with this old beauty, which was near perfect on film except for the slow aperture when we did not examine huge magnifications of our slides/negatives, feed off each other's successes and failures. I'm already planning an extended trip to the Creston Wildlife Management Area, a few hours west of here in the spring. I'll be chasing waterfowl and living in our trailer a few minutes away.

Here is a shot with the old beauty from last May in Creston, to inspire you all to what this lens can do when pushed to the limit. This is cropped to 772x517 pixels in Lightroom, and is otherwise not post processed. This is a 100% crop!. ISO 400, 1/250 at f/8, Duck Lake, Creston Wildlife Management Area, British Columbia, Canada. Tripod, of course. I've included the uncropped image for comparison.
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12-20-2009, 05:47 PM   #1229
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Albert,

I envy you living so close to those spectacular mountain vistas. Very fertile ground for the M400 to work its magic. The M 400/5.6 seems to be a pretty rare lens with few of us using it with any regularity in this forum. Just myself, you and Jason as I recall. In my last few M series posts I’ve been focusing on its CA/PF issues, which are present, but the lens is capable of producing some very fine images. No it is not the SMC A 400/2.8 with ED and IF but nor is it going to cost anywhere near as much. Those who maybe be looking for an entry-level “super telephoto” lens are the natural market for this lens. I wouldn’t let the CA/PF issue scare you off purchasing this optic. If you can get it for a reasonable price it will serve you well. I’m hanging on to mine and I’m enjoying it immensely.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 12-20-2009 at 06:39 PM. Reason: typo
12-20-2009, 06:23 PM   #1230
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Tom, Albert,
If it wasn't for the real bargain price and a bit of luck I wouldn't have found my M400. Originally I was thinking of an A 400 5.6 but the price would have been about 5x more! It really is great fun to use and rewarding when the final image works out.

Albert that crop really is quite impressive, plenty of detail there.

cheers,
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