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01-21-2015, 12:20 PM   #16
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I would say forget the 2x macro converter. Get a Raynox instead.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/54-pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macr...lose-work.html

A 2x converter will turn a 50mm lens into a 100mm macro, but it will make it slower. A diopter adapter like the Raynox will get you closer, but not eat light. The DCR-250 will give you 1:1 at around 150mm.

01-21-2015, 04:53 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I keep hearing this thing about the viewfinder not being bright enough. Weird stuff. You guys do know that your eyes adjust to brightness and darkness, and that the camera viewfinder doesn't really appear to be brighter or darker unless you are using a really slow lens because your eye's own internal adjustment will deal quite effectively with the difference in light?
Even back when my vision was perfect, and I was shooting with my old Pentax MX, I noticed how much more pleasurable it was to look through the viewfinder when I had my 50 f1.7 mounted vs my
35-70 F4. It was like night and day. Sure, I could shoot just fine using the f4 lens, but it was a lot nicer to have the brighter view. These days, about 95% of my shooting is through a 100mm macro lens. I found switching from an f4 to an f2.8 lens to be a big improvement. Similarly, when I went from the penta-mirror viewfinder in my K200D to the pentaprism viewfinder in my K30, it was also a huge improvement. My shooting became easier, more pleasurable, and less of a strain on my eye ( I sometimes spend long intervals looking through the viewfinder when I have a cooperative subject - plenty of time for my one eye to adjust - but sometimes, I don't have much time ).

I like having a bright viewfinder. If it doesn't matter to you, well, bully for you.

The original poster said that the viewfinder is a "key issue" for him. If he wants to have a nice bright viewfinder, for WHATEVER reason, why shouldn't he pursue that objective?

For the record, I didn't not say he should not buy either of those lenses. I'm considering getting the 55-300 myself.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
There are some things people say that are just ignorant.
Hello Kettle? I've got Pot on line 2, please hold while I connect you.

For the record, I've read your postings in other threads, and you make some good points, and some of them are well argued. But in this case, you come off sounding like a zealot of some sort.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
No one cares that it's 5.6 at 135, if the lens you are comparing it to doesn't go to 135mm.
Also completely irrelevant if he's got that part of the range covered by the 55-300.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The AF system is better than your eyes, split screen or not, doesn't matter.
Perhaps you're confusing precision with accuracy. AF is great when it works - if it's properly calibrated and it locks onto what you want it to in a scene. In my experience, it often locks on the wrong thing, and I personally find it hard to detect that
if I don't have a bright viewfinder. For much of my shooting, auto-focus is
( mostly ) useless - but that's particular to what I'm doing. My subjects rarely hold still long enough to allow me to fiddle around with selecting focus points, or trying to coax the autofocus system to lock on to what I want it to. Auto-focus fine tuning ( which
I've tried to do ) works for one particular focal length and focusing distance, and may not fix front/back focus elsewhere in the zoom/focus range ( from what I've gathered ). For what I'm doing most of the time, manual focus is simpler and easier, but that's all beside the point. The original poster never mentioned anything about manual vs auto focus, and neither did I.

He said the viewfinder was a key issue, and from that I'm assuming he means that the bright, 100% viewfinder in the K50 is a positive selling point. I was just pointing out that he should be aware that he might be giving up a bit of that brightness with those lenses. I didn't say he shouldn't buy them. I pretty much said there's no better alternative to the 55-300 anywhere near that price point, and that something like the Tamron 17-50 probably wasn't going to be worth the trade-off in other features vs the 18-135.

I wasn't suggesting that the original poster should get a split screen focus screen, or even a brighter one. A faster lens might be worth considering, maybe, but I don't think a focus screen is going to make enough difference to be worthwhile ( but I've never looked through a camera equipped with the katzeye ). A split focus screen is something I might look at, but that's peculiar to what I'm doing.

When I see a scene and think 'Wow', I want to look through the viewfinder, and think the same thing. With a dim viewfinder, I look at the same scene and I think ... meh. It reminds me too much of the mediocre photographs I've taken in the past ( and that's all down to my own lack of skill as a photographer ).

When I have a bright, vivid view through the viewfinder, I feel more inspired. It makes me think - ok, maybe I can do something with this if I just get everything right. I find I'm more inclined to look at the scene and PAY ATTENTION. I examine my composition and focus more carefully. I think more about my exposure, and whether a chance of position/stance might get me a more pleasing composition.

When I look through the viewfinder and I have to squint to see any detail at all, it's like the photo is already a disappointment before I've even hit the shutter. And so sometimes, I don't even bother. Or I do so in a hurried fashion - hitting autofocus and crossing my fingers because the view is too dim to really see if my subject is in proper focus or not - and it becomes a self-fulling prophecy ( of failure ). It becomes insidious. After a while, I don't bother
to swap lenses to try to get a photo that requires that slower telezoom because the view is dim and most of the shots I take with it are a disappointment anyways. Eventually, I don't even bother taking the camera out of the bag, or to bring it along on the outing at all.

Sure, all this might be psychological, but does that matter? If having a bright viewfinder is what I need to make me feel inspired, and it gets me to take more pictures, isn't that a good enough reason to try to have one?

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
As for focusing with old eyes, focus confirmation is a lot more useful than a split screen focuser, especially used in combination with the selectable focus points.
Sorry, that won't work for most of the shooting I do. How nice of you to decide on my behalf what is and is not most useful for me.
01-21-2015, 05:29 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
I like having a bright viewfinder. If it doesn't matter to you, well, bully for you.
Actually , my point was that your eyes adjust to the level of the lighting, so it doesn't actually matter as long as the level of light meets acceptable standards. If your viewfinder is brighter, your iris simply shuts out more light.

QuoteQuote:
Sorry, that won't work for most of the shooting I do. How nice of you to decide on my behalf what is and is not most useful for me.
I just gave my opinion, just like you do. If you can't handle an opinion other than your own, don't read them. Now take a pill and slow down a bit.
I'd answer more of your post but, it's too long. and you're Boriscletoed so I won't see anything else you post unless someone else quotes you. Life is too short.
01-22-2015, 10:12 PM   #19
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Thanks to all for the interesting comments and insights. My take-away from this is that my choice of camera and lenses seem to be just fine for what I want to do. Also there seem to be plenty of alternative lenses and lots of room to grow and still be a casual amateur.

There is a school here in Houston where I will take some classes after I buy my kit. Up until now I have just been shooting on my own, but that can be a long and tedious way to learn.

This forum also seems like a good place to pick up tips and learn things. Thanks again for paying attention to me.

Don

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