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03-05-2020, 04:04 AM   #1
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That itch - what to get next.

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I feel the need to purchase something which will add to my photographic capability and take me from vaguely incompetent to mildly incompetent but I don't know what!

Lens wise, I've a Da21 a DA35mm F2.4 and D FA100mm F2.8, which pretty much covers the basic trio of core focal lengths I use. The DA 35 is probably my least favourite now but it's fine really. I could replace that with an DA40 LTD, I like the size for travel or maybe a 35mm macro but I don't use macro much and I have it on the F DA 100mm. Or I could leave them and supplement them with a 70 Ltd but really I don't know which way to jump on that.

I could invest in a filter system but all my lenses are 49mm thread and I have a polarizer and ND but I'm thinking about graduated filters and whether that would be better than adding graduation in PP.

Software wise I need to jump one way or another at some point. Lightroom 5.7 and CS2 is long in the tooth now but I don't like the monthly model, however I feel I might benefit from some plugins but either I can't or don't want to try them on older software versions and right now everything still works but some of the black and white plugins could be useful.

Then there's odd lenses like the Lensbaby type stuff, maybe they'd be worth a dabble.

I've scratched the bag itch, it didn't work and I still carry my stuff in an odd mish mash of rukkies and ancient bags and inserts.

I've got a new screen and calibration device. I'm not too interested in printing beyond the consumer Epson I have.

I may press the button on a 200mm manual lens on ebay, that'll give me something to play with for a bit.

At some point in the future the K5 may become a K3.

Basically I've reached the point where I don't need anything but would like something!

03-05-2020, 04:19 AM   #2
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Get a FA 43.... and shoot the world at f2..... there is a low serial one in the market place now... very desirable ....aussie dollars to....
03-05-2020, 04:40 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The Rokinon / samyang 8mm fisheye is fun and pretty affordable
03-05-2020, 04:42 AM - 4 Likes   #4
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You need the DA 15 Limited.
Then consider the DA* 55 for a serious portrait lens. Or the DA 10-17 Fisheye for some serious fun. Then there's the incomparable DA* 300.

03-05-2020, 04:45 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
Get a FA 43.... and shoot the world at f2..... there is a low serial one in the market place now... very desirable ....aussie dollars to....
I wish you hadn't pointed that out. My son is in Oz. I could get that delivered to him to bring back........darn!
03-05-2020, 06:06 AM - 10 Likes   #6
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Buying more gear will change you from a mildly incompetent photographer to a better equipped mildly incompetent photographer. Why not spend some money on a good photography workshop? There are lots in the UK within reach.

You might become vaguely competent instead!
03-05-2020, 06:24 AM - 3 Likes   #7
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I agree with @StiffLegged - gear is fun to buy and use, for sure, but won't make you a better photographer. Workshops are a great idea, but as an alternative I'd suggest some good books on composition, exposure, lighting etc. For very little outlay, you could arm yourself with some fantastic guides, read a little bit at a time and put it into practice, and see how your skills grow (they will).

You might like the following Bryan Peterson books (all of which I've read, enjoyed, and benefitted from):

Understanding Exposure, Fourth Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera: Amazon.co.uk: Bryan Peterson: 9781607748502: Books

Understanding Flash Photography: How to Shoot Great Photographs Using Electronic Flash and Other Artificial Light Sources: Amazon.co.uk: Bryan Peterson: Books

Bryan Peterson's Understanding Composition Field Guide: Amazon.co.uk: Bryan Peterson: 9780770433079: Books

03-05-2020, 06:34 AM   #8
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The course and books are a good thought. I do have books but they date from the film era.

A course is something I've thought about, one of the reasons I haven't given it serious thought is because I have no style. As in, no photographic style I aspire too, not as in, completely uncool, although that's probably true too. Lately though I've began to gravitate towards a style and I found someone in London who's style I liked and did courses. If only I'd bookmarked it when I found it! So for sure I would consider a course, this thread was more materialistic based.

I'm liking the idea of the FA43 at the moment and examining the fisheye thread to see if I could see in Fisheye perpsective
03-05-2020, 06:45 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
Software wise I need to jump one way or another at some point. Lightroom 5.7 and CS2 is long in the tooth now but I don't like the monthly model

My pp skills have improved leaps and bounds since I started with the Adobe Photographer pack (Lightroom; Photoshop; and your own website). For 10 per month it is great value. Why not try it for 12 months ?

I agree that courses, either online or physical ones would be good. Or try and get to grips with flash photography. A lot to learn but very rewarding.
03-05-2020, 06:51 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
Lens wise, I've a Da21 a DA35mm F2.4 and D FA100mm F2.8, which pretty much covers the basic trio of core focal lengths I use.
That's a pretty good set. But 21mm isn't far off 35mm. Your kit lack wide angle and super tele, which would give you the ability to produce other kind of images that you can't produce right now.
So if your not into wildlife kind of photography, then you are missing on the wide angle side. I've had the DA15, well built but not good at edges and corner even stopped down, I'd get a Pentax DA*11-18 instead , or a DA15 ltd if you find that the 11-18 is too large, or get the 10-17 fisheye which can create special views on things. Since you already have the 35ltd, I don't think you benefit much from a 43ltd, and if the idea was to make bokeh images with the 43ltd you could already do it with your 100 macro ltd.

QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
Buying more gear will change you from a mildly incompetent photographer to a better equipped mildly incompetent photographer.
There is some truth in this, but having a wide angle lens opens up a new world of images, since wide angle produce images that the human eyes can't see, same goes with fisheye opening up a full range of images that can't be produced with other rectilinear lenses. Then of course come the desire to experiment new thing and actually take the photographs rather than just owning more lenses.

---------- Post added 05-03-20 at 15:00 ----------

Photos that catch attention are photographs that show things that aren't usually seen by the human eye. Fish eye lenses, wide angle lenses, macro lenses and super tele lenses can produce photographs unseen naturally with the human eye. Whereas 50mm (on FF) or 35mm (on apsc) being the most difficult focal length for make photos surprising photographs.
03-05-2020, 07:08 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
I do have books but they date from the film era.
If one ignores the recording medium aspects* of film era books they are still very applicable. Things like composition, how things like f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity affect each other, exposure techniques, lighting, etc. are all still just as applicable to digital as they are to film. In the racing world there is a joke about what to adjust to go faster where the standard answer is the one behind the wheel. In looking at your gear you have a pretty good setup to start from but if you really want to get more ask your self what do you find yourself wishing you had when shooting. Do you often find you want wider shots, if so is it just a little wider or is it a lot wider, same thing if you find you often want to go long. Do you find that you are always hitting the minimum focal distance and really want to get into the macro range? Ask your self what problem are you trying to solve by throwing gear at it. If it is that you think you take crappy pictures gear isn't going to solve that, if it is that you are hitting the limits of your gear then new/more gear is the correct solution. I'm all for encouraging others to spend their money but don't want someone to needlessly buy stuff. I say this as someone who last year went and bought the SMC A* 400/2.8 lens so spending my money isn't a problem. There I wanted a slightly narrower field of view than what I could get with my existing good but older 300/4 and also wanted a faster lens that could be run more wide open when doing astrophotography. So now instead of running a 300/4 at f/5.6 I run a 400/2.8 at f/3.5 and even with a reduced exposure time while using astrotracer with a longer lens I get dramatically better results. The next gear solution I go for will either be getting an equatorial mount so I can do longer exposures still and not waste time recomposing every few shots, or getting a modern good ultrawide because the S-M-C 17mm f/4 fisheye Takumar sucks for astro shooting. In either case I am throwing gear at a specific technical problem.

Also last year I took a year long class on photography that made the assumption that someone had purchased an interchangeable lens camera and really only knew how to press the shutter button. I didn't get much out of some of the lessons as a number of the beginning ones were geared towards learning the basic technical aspects of taking a picture but I knew those. There were some that focused more on editing that I felt were more meh because they went into more image creation than image editing and that isn't my thing, but I did get a lot out of it especially the many lessons on seeing and composition.

* There is some benefit in understanding the differences between how film and digital differ in how they handle over and under exposure but that would mostly affect shooting in very difficult lightning situations where you are getting close to the maximum dynamic range of your chosen medium. Most of the time digital shooter could ignore this and just avoid clipping the highlights.
03-05-2020, 07:08 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
I feel the need to purchase something which will add to my photographic capability and take me from vaguely incompetent to mildly incompetent but I don't know what!

Lens wise, I've a Da21 a DA35mm F2.4 and D FA100mm F2.8, which pretty much covers the basic trio of core focal lengths I use. The DA 35 is probably my least favourite now but it's fine really. I could replace that with an DA40 LTD, I like the size for travel or maybe a 35mm macro but I don't use macro much and I have it on the F DA 100mm. Or I could leave them and supplement them with a 70 Ltd but really I don't know which way to jump on that.

I could invest in a filter system but all my lenses are 49mm thread and I have a polarizer and ND but I'm thinking about graduated filters and whether that would be better than adding graduation in PP.

Software wise I need to jump one way or another at some point. Lightroom 5.7 and CS2 is long in the tooth now but I don't like the monthly model, however I feel I might benefit from some plugins but either I can't or don't want to try them on older software versions and right now everything still works but some of the black and white plugins could be useful.

Then there's odd lenses like the Lensbaby type stuff, maybe they'd be worth a dabble.

I've scratched the bag itch, it didn't work and I still carry my stuff in an odd mish mash of rukkies and ancient bags and inserts.

I've got a new screen and calibration device. I'm not too interested in printing beyond the consumer Epson I have.

I may press the button on a 200mm manual lens on ebay, that'll give me something to play with for a bit.

At some point in the future the K5 may become a K3.

Basically I've reached the point where I don't need anything but would like something!
You should probably post what kind of Photography you are into.

I would suggest if you have what you need already maybe spend the money on taking a trip where the focus is just using that stuff.


hth,

al
03-05-2020, 07:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
same goes with fisheye opening up a full range of images that can't be produced with other rectilinear lenses
If someone is just starting out a fisheye is a steep learning curve to get pictures that don't suck and I usually put that type of lens in the same category as the really long glass in that beginners want that sort of thing because, as you point out, people have created some stunning images with them but they really are special purpose items and it is best to understand how you might use them and why you want it before getting one. I always wanted a really big lens, specifically the M42 500/4.5, and never got it. As I got better at taking pictures I found that I had only taken 3 pictures near that focal length in all the film shooting I did and that was using a 200mm + 2x converter. What I really wanted when still using film was a little longer than 200 and was happy for several years with the old S-M-C 300/4 Takumar. Then I got into astrophotography and after getting better at that and still having in the back of my mind the 500/4.5 thought long and hard about what I would be best served by and came to the conclusion that the SMC A* 400/2.8 was a much better solution and eventually if I want longer should instead get a nice telescope. On the wide side of thigns I had the S-M-C 28/3.5 and found myself wanting wider a fair amount of the time so I got the S-M-C 17mm fisheye takumar. That was a mistake at the time and I ended up with a number of hot mess images because while I wanted wider I didn't want that wide and had no idea how to work that distortion. I would have been better served by a 24mm or 20mm rectilinear. Now go forward 5 years and now that I've figured out that fisheye it is one of my favorites but I still get a hot messes but I have gotten some good images using it with fewer awful ones.
03-05-2020, 07:43 AM   #14
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Just for fun, the DA 10-17 fisheye is a hoot.
The DA* 55 1.4 is my, "one lens on a desert island" lens.
Looking at what you have, the DA 16-85 would be a great addition.
And the Sigma 8-16 if you could find one would also add a whole new dimension, as would the DA 55-30 PLM.
If you want to stay with primes, then the 15 ltd or DA*200.
The 1.4 TC works fine with your DFA 100 macro, and could extend your range to 140mm and increase macro magnification, and would be especially worthwhile with longer lenses.

Maybe watch this video.... for further education, many good points and examples.

But from my perspective, if you are looking for fun, the DA 10-17 is just it. Being confined to 21mm to 100 mm is a very small part of the lens spectrum. About half my lenses fall into that range. But fully half my lenses 10-17, 8-16, 14 2.8, 200, 60-250, 300 2.8, 55-300, F-70-210 are outside that range.
03-05-2020, 08:49 AM   #15
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Beware GAS [ gear acquisition syndrome ] and LBS [ lens buying syndrome ]

Unless you want to get stuff

To me, good photography is a combination of gear, knowledge and experience

[ I am definitely not an example of a good photographer but I try ]

The FA limiteds are nice
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