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11-28-2012, 06:06 PM   #241
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Wired, I'm sorry to see you go, but family and work must come first, especially family. Thanks for your comments I've really appreciated your insight and input! Stay in touch with the group!

11-28-2012, 06:30 PM   #242
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
well im done. unless I get a spark of energy. This week has already started off on an emotional roller coaster between troubles with my side of the family and the nervous wreck that is my wife and I after coming to the realization that we are newly expecting...and with three miscarriages we are very nervous. Doesn't help that my position at work has evolved and I now spend anywhere from 11-13 hours a day there. I'm getting kind of sick doing night shots...even though I've had a blast doing them, I would like to see some bleeding sunlight!
We will miss you here, but I understand that work thing, I've been through that, and the expecting after miscarriages too. I pray everything goes well! And hopefully you can see some daylight soon!
11-29-2012, 02:51 PM   #243
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Found that tablet will read jpegs with no added software. Has it's own Gallery software and I could edit the jpeg if I so desire. So, until I find a good app for RAW reading/editing I'll keep doing this, shooting RAW+.
11-29-2012, 07:39 PM - 1 Like   #244
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Tonight is the 2nd last night of my first Single in Challenge. It's been a great month. I consider myself to be a relative newbie as I only started getting out of auto this summer. So I was a little nervous and worried about the calibre of my posts. I was also concerned that I wouldn't be able to provide worthwhile comments on the posts from the rest of the group. I'm pleased to be able to say I really enjoyed this month both as a poster and with making comments. So much so that I am going to try it again in December!

You are all truly wonderful people and I appreciate all of your feedback. I have learned a lot this month. Things like watch my ISO, wide is really wide, daylight isn't necessarily better, a great shot can come from nothing and finally nothing ventured nothing gained! Personally I learned that my poor health doesn't need to be the barrier I sometimes let it be. A fisheye lens wasn't a silly purchase (I had only just bought the lens) and that I will get a lot of use out of it. Did I say you guys are awesome?

So what next? Well shortly after I bought the fisheye I also picked up the plastic fantastic 50mm f1.8. Since I have had the fisheye on all month I haven't given it a chance to see what it can do. So I'm going to give it a workout.

So I have a question. This past month other than a series of baby portraits I did for a friend, I used the fisheye exclusively. I'm assuming that I took the single in challenge a little too rigidly and that as long as I post at least one from the lens I picked that I could use others in my arsenal. Am I correct?

Thanks again for making this challenge a lot of fun. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.

Stevi AKA bigted

11-29-2012, 07:49 PM   #245
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigted Quote
I'm assuming that I took the single in challenge a little too rigidly and that as long as I post at least one from the lens I picked that I could use others in my arsenal. Am I correct?
I'm as much of a veteran at this as you are, but I'm quite sure that you are correct here -- just post the one shot a day with your selected lens, and feel free to use your other gear the rest of the day. One thing I learned as the month went by was to try to get my Single-in shot early enough to leave some time for shooting with other lenses.
11-29-2012, 07:59 PM   #246
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigted Quote

So I have a question. This past month other than a series of baby portraits I did for a friend, I used the fisheye exclusively. I'm assuming that I took the single in challenge a little too rigidly and that as long as I post at least one from the lens I picked that I could use others in my arsenal. Am I correct?

Thanks again for making this challenge a lot of fun. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.

Stevi AKA bigted
BigTed,
You would be correct in your assessment. Considering I do a lot of paid work with my gear there would be no way I could limit my month to one lens.
It's a great exercise in understanding the limits of a given lens, and or a focal length. Plus, and most importantly is to have fun with it.
Glad to see you'll be joining us next month. I hope to continue here for many months more.
11-29-2012, 08:14 PM   #247
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Stevi, I carry my whole arsenal of lenses when I'm out shooting with my chosen lens. If I didn't I'd miss a lot of bird shots because I wouldn't have my long lenses with me. As long as your challenge shot is taken with your chosen lens, you can use other lenses any time.
12-01-2012, 04:15 AM - 2 Likes   #248
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Review of my month’s use of the Sigma DG 120-400mm 1:4.5-5.6 APO HSM telephoto lens.

I bought this lens primarily for photographing birds and other wildlife. Interestingly, such subjects are in the minority in this month’s album. However trying to post a variety of images has helped me more in familiarising myself with this lens' capabilities. After a month's fairly intensive use, I have no regrets about having bought it.

It is fast enough for my daylight purposes, especially given the K5’s good performance with higher sensitivities, although I didn’t generally use anything faster than ISO 800. The majority of my shots were taken at the widest apertures deliberately to test image quality. They were generally sharp even though I only used a monopod or bracing for a few shots. Contrast and colour rendition are quite good and I was not aware of any chromatic aberration. The lens delivered a pleasing bokeh, except where patches of bright sky were present, and even then it was acceptable. The auto focus is almost silent but can be slow – limiting for objects moving towards or away from me.

It clearly produced better quality images than my DA 55-300 with its noisy auto-focus. But you’d expect that given the relative prices. It weighs a ton; mounted on my K5 with extra battery pack, it came in at 2.8kg, not what you’d want on a day hike. For travelling overseas I’d certainly take the 55-300mm in its place but for self-drive touring at home, the Sigma will win out.

Thanks everyone for all your comments on my posted images. I was really pleased that you enjoyed so many of them.

12-01-2012, 07:28 AM   #249
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Nice review.
12-01-2012, 12:35 PM   #250
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Great Review Rod. I ought to put my 2 bits in about M40/2.8 - its bloody small - I did much focusing using the hyperfocal scale because I had difficulty managing the focus ring with my giant mitts. In the few times where i shot it wide open and used live view... the lens is brilliant - plenty sharp, and the colour is pleasing. I noticed that the fringing on the 40 is similar to that on the M85... of a blue variety instead of purple mush. My biggest critique of the lens, and probably a drawback related to the pancake design, is the distant close focus. I think my DA 50-200 zoom focuses closer than the M40. I picked this up for about $65 to be a companion to the ME Super - and its a great fit - super for street shooting, and a nice FL on APS-C. If you can find one for a reasonable price, and dont have the DA 40/2.8 Ltd give it consideration. F8 & B There - set it and forget it.

Thanks for the fun - some great shots, and congrats on a wicked run of "explored" photos.
12-01-2012, 04:22 PM   #251
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I've sorta included my review comments on the fly throughout the month. In summary though, the Tamron Adaptall 52B 90macro (with it's optional 2x extender) is a brick of a lens and by that I mean it's build solid and heavy. I've used it this month mostly as an all around lens and included a few days using the 2x extender which makes a 1:1 macro. As a macro lens, this lens provides excellent service and wonderful bokeh. For that alone, it's staying in my stable and will be a nice complement to my DFA 100 macro. I did some small amount of portrait work with it too and there again it's very nice for this too. The rest of the time as an all around lens, my feeling is that it's 1, too slow to get a sharp focus, 2, too long for lots of shots with an APS-c sensor, and 3, has a sensor reflection flaring problem (see reviews in the data base about that, I agree completely with them on this). As this was my first real prolonged experience with any Adaptall lens, I'm quite impressed with it and now have several others to try. Note that I used this lens with the preferred PKA adapter which does communicate lens into to the camera.

So for me, this is a keeper.
12-01-2012, 09:43 PM   #252
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I'm not sure the FA 43 limited really needs much of a review from me. I chose it for November because I knew I was going to have a hard month, and I hoped it would make shooting a bit easier.
It really is a great lens, tack sharp from 2.8 on, and I find my copy very acceptable wide open. Build is true to a limited in being exceptional. I found focus to be quick and accurate, just be careful at 1.9 that focus is where you want it. The only thing that could make the lens better would be quick shift focusing.
12-02-2012, 01:12 AM   #253
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Hmmm...so for the Tokina 80-200mm f/4 lens from this month!

Heavy chunk of old world glass. Happy with the bokeh, colour rendition and clarity. It seemed to respond favourably to extension tubes, and had a very positive feel during focussing. The front element of the lens barrel rotates however, which makes using a polariser fiddly.

All in all it was a fun lens, but I think it falls short of the Pentax F 70-210 in me kit. Still...not bad though!

Cheers Paddy
12-03-2012, 06:37 AM - 1 Like   #254
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Thanks for the favourites folks! My shot of the 26th got Explored! How many did we get in total?!


12-03-2012, 06:58 AM   #255
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And my second challenge month comes to an end having just posted the last three days' images.

The Challenge wouldn't be too difficult it all I had to do was take photos! But then there's the post processing and narrowing down a day's images to select the one to post (some days that was pretty easy as only one or two images were any good). Followed by keeping up with all the good work everyone here has been posting. And after all that, everyday life! December is mad enough at the best of times, so I'll come back into a Single in.. month early next year. In the meantime, Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for all the comments made on my posted photos - much appreciated. I'll continue to lurk about the Single in.. threads and post the occasional comment.

As for the M85 2.0:

It felt like a bit of a roller coaster with this lens. As a portrait lens it's great and seems to be designed for exactly that. It's just that I don't do portraits much and forced it to do other things for most of the month. As blackcloudbrew commented on his Tamron 90mm, it's a slightly awkward focal length on APS-C. Great for portraits when you don't want to intrude in the subject's personal space, but often too tight for city shooting. Found I was happier with it up in the hills or at the beach where more open spaces meant you didn't have to rule out as many potential shots.

Some tendency to chromatic aberrations but considering the strong sunshine we had over November, behaved pretty well on average for an old tele lens. I avoided wide open as blue chromatic fringing appears at a drop of a hat at F2, but F2.8 was quite usable with any fringing easily cured in Lightroom (which, BTW, has much better fringing removal tools in v4.2). Fringing mostly gone by F4 and I don't think I noticed any at F5.6. Most of my photos were taken at F4 or F5.6 where the lens is very sharp (when I managed to exactly nail the focus where I intended it to be), but F2.8 was no slouch either. F2 is noticeably soft in a nice dreamy way and with the blue fringing tendency, I think F2 was intended purely for studio based controlled lighting environments, and not for outdoor use.

It hates doing starbursts - hard to provoke to start with, and when you got some, you also ended up with some sort of a big coma smear and lots and lots of rainbow chromatics around the light source. If you want pretty starbursts, choose another lens.

Colours not as rich as some of the other M series primes but it does do skin tones well. Really appreciates a good hood outdoors and a CPL helps as well.

A few days ago, I looked back on the M28 3.5 images I posted for Single in September and came to the view that those images had a lot more pop that the M85. I am resisting blaming the M85 entirely for that at the moment - I upgraded to Lightroom 4 at the start of November and I think the changes to the processing engine defaults contribute quite a lot to what I am seeing as the differences in rendering between the two lens. In particular, changes to the default Tone Curve has reduced the starting amount of contrast. I may well yet decide to add a Tone Curve contrast boost to my standard File Import presets. Annoyingly I've only realised this right at the end of the month. I'd hazard a guess thought that the M85 would still be a little lower in contrast.

In conclusion, it really feels like Pentax developed this lens purely and simply for portraiture and resisted any temptation to make it an all-rounder.

Oh, and my new to me M35 2.0 has just arrived from Ohio. Oh no, something else to be taken out for a photo session Better go and update my signature yet again too.
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