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04-30-2014, 08:46 AM   #286
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tsuken Quote
Get thee to lightzoneproject.org
I'll take a look when I get the chance. Though I expect it's either a memory or hard drive issue, so it likely will still show up with other editing software. (Though it may be a bit lessened? It's rather inconsistent.)

Edit:

Anyway, thoughts on the D FA 100mm f2.8 Macro:

A good macro lens. Pleasing bokeh and not too pronounced CA at that focusing distance. At longer distances the CA got surprisingly bad -- very little green fringing, but the purple fringing was probably the worst I've yet seen -- and it's extremely soft wide open.

I like the focal length, but though I eventually figured out its quirks I still didn't always find this particular lens to be preferred outside of macro shots.

An oddity that I don't know if is just a quirk of my copy or not: the quick-shift feature frequently was inconsistent in functionality. If the camera was in AF mode, turning the focusing ring would sometimes have no effect. (The ring would spin, but the focus didn't change. This tended to occur only in one direction, though I can't recall which now.) However, this never occurred if the camera was switched to manual focusing mode. There turning the ring was always perfectly responsive.

Finally: I didn't find the clamp to particularly useful, and mostly noticed it when I had accidentally activated it. If given the chance I'd gladly either downgrade to the FA version (same optical formula and no quick-shift but adds a focus limiter) or upgrade to the (no aperture ring) WR version.


Last edited by g026r; 04-30-2014 at 03:22 PM.
04-30-2014, 09:06 AM   #287
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Time to wrap up the month
I still have difficulty to see your photos and access flickr, but will get in soon.

About the lens, DA 35mm f/2.4, it is plastic fantastic.
perfectly sharp right from wide open, focuses fast and reliable in all lighting conditions. A very good and cheap lens for walkaround.

cons:
It only has 6 not round blade, which make the bokeh highlights hexagonal after you stop it down half a stop. and most of the times produce busy and funky bokeh at f/4 or f/5.6 or so on.

All in all, a perfect lens for what you've paid.
04-30-2014, 03:05 PM - 1 Like   #288
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Single in April 2014

Thoughts on my Soligor 1:2.8/35mm (M42 and all-manual):

tl;dr - cheap as chips; feels solid; indistinct aperture ring clicks; weird ninja-star or almost-swirly-but-spiky bokeh; super-long focus ring throw; good image quality in middle apertures; soft as a down coverlet wide-open; maHOOOOsive flare shooting into the sun (and my copy has fungusy weirdness in that flare). Definitely a good buy for the price.

This was bought for the princely sum of $26 AUD on eBay.

I'm just not quite sure about the focal length. It doesn't seem to make me as happy as did either my 28mm Takette, or my 50mm Pentax M. Then again, I don't know if it really is the focal length that niggles. Not sure...

The focus throw is loooooooooooooooooooooong. With the Takette's being so amazingly short, and me getting so quickly so comfortable with that, it's been rather odd this month.

Funkadelicalicious bokeh at times. Sometimes really busy and migrainous, sometimes close to normal, and sometimes just utterly bonkers but in a kind of cool way. I dunno if it's the ninja star curved diaphragm blades or what, but it's certainly not boring.

I got to thinking it's pretty soft - to the point of mushy - wide-open at f/2.8. Stop down to 4 or 5.6 and it's been well-good enough for me. I did a quick-and-dirty test using a bit of text on a sheet on my office wall. F/2.8 was appallingment; f/4 was fine; f/5.6 and 8 were the best; f/11 wasn't much behind; f/16 was starting to go off a bit - but my impression of that was also affected by the noise in the photo at the smaller apertures.

Hyperfocal messing-about has been a little confusticating. I tested on a couple of days, and found that it didn't seem to matter whether I was at f/5.6, 8, 11, or 16; focusing to 30 feet seemed the thing to do. It shouldn't oughta work like that, as far as I understand these things (which admittedly, is not that much).

The aperture ring is a little odd by comparison with my other manual lenses (though it's much better than the Sigma, which doesn't have one at all ): it has half-stops all the way from 2.8 to 16 (the narrowest it goes), which is nice, but all the clicks are really soft and hard to notice in the heat of battle. Thus it's not easy to just twist the ring a certain number of clicks and know where you are. That has led to slow-downs, as I've had to stop and check visually before shooting.

I *must not* shoot into the sun. Flare is ... interesting ... Not just for the ginormous ninja-stars, but for what I figure is fungus on the rear element, magnified about a gazillion times in the mahoosive flared ninja-star, vis:



My favourite shot for the month would be a little hard to choose (not because they're all so good, but because really my month's worth of photos doesn't look particularly inspiring to me), but the fact that I've wanted for donkey's years to photograph lightning, and early this month I finally succeeded, says this is probably it:



The other nice thing about that photograph is that what purports to be the official Flickr account on Flickr favourited it, and added it to a "lightning" gallery. So that was cool.
04-30-2014, 03:50 PM - 1 Like   #289
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Well it's the end of April already! I've enjoyed all y'alls photography very much as always. It became one of the slower months of overall participation that I've seen from all the Single challenges I've been in on, so hopefully it wasn't because of all my smelly fish chasing everybody away! j/k

My first month owning DA10-17 was wonderfully strange and fun. I spent most of the month fully fished out at 10mm and often times wished I could crank it even wider. It put a grin on my face every time I twisted the DA15 onto the camera this month to find it feeling a bit narrow hahaha. .. "Hey, how come I don't see my feet in the frame!?"

This lens has been plenty durable for me, thankfully. The first day I used it, I banged it's well exposed front element pretty good against a metal fence because I didn't realize how close I was to it while looking through the viewfinder. I've banged it around a couple times since then, and got it plenty wet on a couple occasions too (waterfall spray and ocean waves) but it's fine...

I've only missed two days of the challenge this month (assuming I get a shot on the card for today, which by my current estimation should be able to happen at some point between now and midnight). This is by far my lowest number of days missed from all the Single challenges I've been in on, and I have to attribute that to how much fun I've had embracing extreme barrel distortion... I could keep going for another month of daily fish production demands and not complain at all. The fisheye stirs in me a creative inspiration where I just know there is some fishy funky shot I can find out there somewhere... I enjoy all my lenses, but the fisheye just came at a good time for me, specifically for how it invites me to bend and break some of my own rules etc... For that aspect alone I would recommend any photographer who feels to be suffering from creative stagnation to try on a fisheye lens...

I was surprised when I discovered just how much of a PF monster the DA10-17 can be, even though I had read about it. It's doesn't matter to me because I haven't owned a lens that wasn't one, outside of the DA15 maybe.... That's the only 'con' I can think of with this lens, other than the fact that it's overloading my already crowded camera bag even more and has been causing me to choose to leave other cameras and lenses behind, but I guess that's a good problem to have. I have been finding myself not wanting to go anywhere without this lens in case I spot a subject that was made for it... But that will probably balance out more now that my Single In month with it is over.

I've read some reports from people who think it's such a specialty lens that they don't find use for it much. Seems to me that statement could apply to most lenses and maybe it's more a matter of whether one appreciates a specific specialty, or not. In this respect fisheye distortion is perhaps analogous to musical/audio distortion, where it could easily be considered music or noise depending on personal inclinations and perspective.

Considering how I got my copy used from a fellow PF member for $285, I am very pleasantly surprised at how happy I am with this purchase.

As I said previously in the Single in May challenge thread, I will probably take May off, so that I don't struggle under the pressure to readjust to life outside the fish bowl too quickly... I reserve the right to change my mind though, and am excited to start focusing more through my other latest lens purchase (FA43), so if you see an image from me in the May 1st thread tomorrow, you'll know that has happened. Otherwise I intend to be back for the June challenge (using FA43)...


Last edited by todd; 04-30-2014 at 03:57 PM.
04-30-2014, 05:14 PM   #290
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Q 01 Prime for me

Have to say, I have always been impressed by this lens, but after a month of shooting, I am more so. It is almost sharp from wide open (f1.9) but maybe more like f2.2. The deeper DOF can actually be an advantage for up close shots, you don't have to stop down so much, and lose shutter speed/gain ISO noise to get the DOF you need. Of course at the other end it is harder to get nice OOF areas, however I believe I have proven it is possible! Its sharp, its tiny, it requires correction yes, the distortion is quite bad if you disable the default corrections, but its a fun little lens.

The main thing for me though, is my first month of shooting daily. It was a struggle at times, and a relief not to have to think about something to take a picture of this morning, however at the same time also a bit of a let down to think I probably wont be taking a photo today.
04-30-2014, 06:23 PM   #291
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I had a bit of a cop-out month. Somehow I had set the camera to do no noise reduction, so I was getting weird grain on all my shots up to about the 10th April, and two different worrying problems arrived in real life.= house prices are going to plummet soon in China, and I bought a new flat recently, plus there are going to be significant changes in my job situation soon, maybe even redundancy. So I went into my shell. Today I am hoping to complete the monumental task of commenting on all the shots posted by members from 14th to today... (Wow, I was surprised by the fact that I continued posting shots up to about the 18th)


But the Pentax SMC M50 f1.4. What a wonderful lens. I got it real cheap online, about 16 dollars I believe, and fetched it to China six years ago because I couldn't bear to part with it, even though I had never used it, I chose it for April's single in... because I was feeling guilty, and it was the first time I used it regularly. I am surprised by how EASY it is to use manual lenses on the K-5, and I know there is a dealer in Chengdu with a 135 f2.5 manual lens, which he has had for over 3 years now, so I might haggle for that! The f1.4 has absolutely beautiful bokeh at its wider apertures, and seems to be just as sharp as my DA Ltds. I have a 40 XS and a 70, so the 50 fits in nicely, and it seems very small for the aperture, especially compared to some of these new Sigma behemoths. I did worry a bit about flare, but don't recall it ever being present. I really liked the colour rendition, and intend one day to do same-scene shots against the 40 and the 18-135WR, to see if the 50 is redundant.

However, the nitty-gritty for me always boils down to whether or not I enjoyed using the lens. Maybe it was a problematic month, but I feel the one or two extra actions I had to perform, or often forgot to perform, made the process of taking shots that tiny bit more tricky, which lessened the fun for me. So the lens will probably remain as the prime candidate (sorry) for shots where I really need the light gathering capabilities -indoor and night shots, at which it is awesome. There were time times when I almost couldn't see the camera, but found that the lens was still coping to the extent that I had to guard against overexposure.

If you can buy this lens cheap, do so, it's a keeper. And for me, anything below 250-300 dollars would be cheap, compared to the results. But aim for 25-30 dollars, and chortle with glee if you get one.
______________________________________________________

Whew, 8 hours later and I finally caught up with all the comments. So many super shots from everyone, and such a range of creative ideas. I try to note ideas for later plagiarisation, no I mean inspiration, but there are sio many my brane hurts now.

Last edited by Bagga_Txips; 05-01-2014 at 04:30 AM.
04-30-2014, 07:17 PM   #292
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Well I officially missed getting any shots yesterday (a grand total of one missed day, which I won't beat myself up over too much) and am behind posting by a couple days more. Like I posted earlier in the thread, posting and commenting daily kind of just became a chore, and I don't want that for this hobby. I'll be sitting out next month, but I have a couple of new fun lenses cheap on ebay, so I'll be having some casual fun....

As far as my "lens" of choice:

Pentax MX-1

I really enjoyed the portability of the small camera. I was able to keep it in my purse or coat pocket and it was very discreet. When it was out it was fun and attractive. Many people thought it was an old film camera, which solidified its charm.

I shot the images in RAW to have maximum editing possibilities and I did not suffer any anguish about write-time. None at all. The RAW files had excellent offerings for post-processing and I was able to utilize ISOs up to 1600 or 3200 without feeling like the image quality suffered terribly, especially in black and white.

I vacillated at first between Av and P mode and ended up enjoying the Program mode. I did appreciate the Tv setting and utilized this capability as well. The lens was plenty fast, with a max aperture of 1.8, but the small sensor size obviously limited the sort of subject isolation that I could utilize and I had trouble adapting some of my preferences for shots. The ease of creating a wide DoF was appreciated.

Being accustomed to shooting fixed-focal-lengths on my K30, I had a tendency to turn on the camera and "zoom with my feet" instead of utilizing the camera's zoom feature. I regret this because the lens has rather significant barrel distortion and images at the short end bulge noticeably, especially in portraits or architectural shots. Thankfully, Photoshop Elements has distortion correction and I had to de-bulge many shots.

The lens is sharp as a tack and contrast is fine. I did not notice any CA, but I converted all shots to black-and-white as the first step of my post processing ritual.

This camera is wonderful and I am so so so so glad I bought it. It is so nice to be able to pull out a capable, good-looking, sorta pocket-sized point and shoot and just set it and forget it for fun time shots, especially knowing what can be done with the RAW files. It is the ideal small camera for me. However, using the camera is much less charming, less creative and less engaging than what I am used to with my K30 and plethora of old manual lenses. I'm glad to have it and it takes great pictures. I have barely scratched the surface of it's capabilities. At the price it's at now, if you're on the fence about it, allow me to push you over!
04-30-2014, 08:07 PM   #293
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I'm lame.. i didnt get a shot today because of the crappy peasoup conditions. That being said, It seemed like this was a tough month on the participants. I've been suffering with ...something.. (the Doc will see me Fri - lucky me) - That and a rigourous schedule made shooting an interesting challenge, but I got most days in. I really appreciated a normal length and tried hard to offer photos of people (if you look through the single challenges I've participated in there seems to be a reason why I excel at landscape photography... its what i offer most often). The street shooting was fun. I also spent a few days shooting with friends which is always good for extra shots to fill in the gaps.

If you're not familiar with the FA 35mm f2.0 AL... you ought to be. It is a good performer with excellent bokeh, sharpness and speed. If it weren't crappy FA build quality i probably would never let it go.. but one day, it will be replaced by a 31 Ltd (maybe the forthcoming HD version will be DC and WR... and maybe pigs will fly).

I am still prevaricting over May.. I thought 6x7 with a 90mm f2.8, but with the terrible weather we are getting, I dont want to lug around a borrowed camera. I think I may shoot K1000 with SMC Pentax 35mm f3.5. Yes, I know, same focal length as this month, but different format, and a much more difficult challenge with a bare bones mechanical camera, and slower aperture.

Thanks for participating all, and also for all your kind comments, I have viewed so many photos, but I owe you comments for the past couple of weeks, i'll do what I can as I wait for film to be developed i guess.

Cheers all.

05-01-2014, 06:01 PM   #294
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I'm sorry about April. I never got around to commenting on other's photos and had too many obstacles to keep up with trying to post daily. Also spent 10 glorious days with the nifty-fifty which interfered with my ability to appreciate my chosen lens (the Pentax M 28mm f2.8). Will try again in May and my apologies to all.
05-01-2014, 07:28 PM   #295
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bill2849 Quote
I'm sorry about April. I never got around to commenting on other's photos and had too many obstacles to keep up with trying to post daily. Also spent 10 glorious days with the nifty-fifty which interfered with my ability to appreciate my chosen lens (the Pentax M 28mm f2.8). Will try again in May and my apologies to all.
No worries. You do what you can on these challenges. If you keep participating, it will all even out.
05-01-2014, 07:50 PM   #296
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
No worries. You do what you can on these challenges. If you keep participating, it will all even out.
Well said- its not like it's your job to participate.
05-01-2014, 08:18 PM   #297
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
Well said- its not like it's your job to participate.
This challenge is about doing what you can.
05-02-2014, 05:09 AM   #298
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What a month. The first time I've managed to skip a few days. I think I missed 3 in total. One for a funeral, and two because work got the better of me.

All in all the 135 has surprised me. I used to think I was a telephoto gal, but after my epiphany with the 50mm back in January I seem to have changed my tune. Am starting to think 70mm might be the furthest I want to shoot these days, especially with wolfiepup being my main subject.

So often I found 135 to be to close for me. I'd spot an interesting landscape and want to shoot but when I brought the 135 to my eye, found my subject was waay too close or I'd have to stitch shots together to get what I needed.

Am surprised at how sharp this lens can be open wide and even managed a starburst or two, not that you saw them as the rest of the compositions in those shots were duds.

By the end of the month the lens seems to have fallen apart, leading me to think that this is in fact a t mount lens? It has a ridge at the end that I managed to accidently unscrew when I went to change lenses. I think it will be easy to fix, just screw it back on and then add some super glue to the screws to make sure they don't loosen again.

Interestingly, I used this lens on my k100d and found the results surprising. 6 megapixel still does it in many ways. Sure there's a bit of noise and ISO rendering could be better, but I still think I got lots of keeper shots. It would be interesting to see how this lens fares on something like my k-01 which has a better sensor. Will have to do that one day.

I paid hardly any money for this lens (I think $15 or so) so value for money, I think this has come up trumps. Do I keep or replace? For now keep, I think. But I will need to shoot with my Jupiter 135 one day soon to compare.
05-02-2014, 01:21 PM   #299
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
All in all the 135 has surprised me. I used to think I was a telephoto gal, but after my epiphany with the 50mm back in January I seem to have changed my tune. Am starting to think 70mm might be the furthest I want to shoot these days, especially with wolfiepup being my main subject.

Interesting. I've had the same experience of thinking myself to be all about the telephoto - and then just being won over by the wider side of the Force,
05-02-2014, 01:27 PM   #300
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I've said this many times. For film, 135mm was a wonderful length, for digital on a cropped sensor, I've just never found the love there.
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