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04-24-2019, 10:04 PM   #211
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No shot today as well. Yikes.

04-25-2019, 05:03 AM - 3 Likes   #212
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Wishing the Pentaxians of the Southern Hemisphere a memorable ANZAC Day.
[IMG][/IMG]

Last edited by robgski; 04-25-2019 at 05:29 AM.
04-25-2019, 05:58 PM   #213
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
Wishing the Pentaxians of the Southern Hemisphere a memorable ANZAC Day.
Thank you.
04-30-2019, 01:16 AM - 4 Likes   #214
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April done and dusted. My weapon of choice was the 18.3mm f/2.8 fixed lens which comes attached to the brand new stealth shooter from Ricoh - the GR III

I am thoroughly impressed.

It's sharp from the get go. To the corners. Chromatic aberration basically didn't happen. It's tiny. AF is quick and decisive (especially after the firmware update). Bokeh is pretty nice for a wide angle. Depth of field was sufficient that I rarely stopped it down past f/8.0. Basically nothing to criticise.

But the lens is only half the story. The GR series has an almost mythical reputation among street photographers, and I have been interested in trying one for a while. The feature set of this new model - with its 24MP sensor, image stabilisation and sensor shake dust reduction - was enough to tip the balance.

It is genuinely pocketable - something which my Q7 is only with the relatively useless 07 Mount Shield lens. Almost everything can be done when held with one hand - the controls are perfectly thought out over several generations. I can comfortably run long distances with it in my right hand, and still have fingers free to operate my sports watch. It looks completely non-threatening to the casual observer. It powers up almost immediately.

The feature set is amazing, and incredibly configurable. The menu system to access this is dense but relatively intuitive to Pentax folk. The touch screen AF point selection was eye-opening.

The images have great detail, and the files are easy to work with.

Negatives? Well, I guess it isn't cheap. And the starbursts aren't as nice as the DA15 or DA21. Honestly, I can't imagine a situation when I will not want to have it with me.

As for my own efforts, I missed one day (the 29th), when work followed by Game of Thrones S8E3 diverted my attentions elsewhere. My photographic mojo has been AWOL for some time, but I keep plugging along.

Thanks once again to you all for your often inspiring images, thoughtful comments, and continuing camaraderie.


Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 04-30-2019 at 01:41 AM.
04-30-2019, 01:40 AM - 4 Likes   #215
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...And I'm done with the month. I was shooting with M35/2.8 for a second month in a row, as it had the proviledge to finish my APSC round with M series primes and to begin the FF round. I was happy with my performance in the challenge. I took and delivered the shot every day. I was so pleased with my shots in early month, that it felt hard to do better, so I tried to lower my expectitions and just go with the flow. Extra nice weather on the latter part of the month made shooting outside a pleasure and beginning of the spring provided a lot to shoot. I think I figured something new also on PP which help to make bokeh shots better than before.

K1ii is awesome! Last month I liked what I produced with M35/2.8 and K5, but with K1ii it's all clearly better. It was a good decicion to go on with the same lens to see how camera's compare. I can't say how much of the difference is due to sencor size and pixel count, I think both paly their part, but there is so much more finesse and fine detail in the final shots. There's no turning back for me. I've been thinking on selling K5 as I don't see myself using it much after this, but in the end decided to keep it for the extra battery and charger. There's just no money in selling it. And more cameras is better when I shoot our windsurf club's competitions.

The lens itself work just as well in FF as in crop. Didn't find any negative side in step to FF. When stopped down for landscape the corners are sharp enough for me. Wide open for bokeh it doesn't matter as I don't tend to compose target into corner. This is a good lens, but I think I'm still going to sell it now. I just can't see the need for two M35 lenses and f2 is the one I'm going to keep.

In may challenge I shoot with M*300/4. After two months with wide it's time to go for long. Also it was my first lens in SIC, so it's been a while since I used it.

Shots from the month. I would like to post more, but have to put some limit to size of the post. You can find the rest in the album: SIC 2019 04 Pentax M35/2.8 FF | Flickr

Wide open


f4


f5.6


f8


f8


f8


f11


f16
04-30-2019, 04:10 AM - 2 Likes   #216
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Single in April 2019 - a summary:

I had a ball using the HD Pentax-DA* 50mm F1.4, wide-open for most of the month.

And it wasn't hard, the lens is superbly sharp at nearly all apertures.
Bokeh is pretty nice at most apertures as well.
With the K-1 it pretty much nailed the focus every time.
Micro-contrast is good, colour is neutral, and very little post-processing was required.

Sandy asked for a comparison with the Tokina Opera FF 50mm f1.4 but there was no need, the lenses are identical.

I hope the new Pentax FF DSLR will use the new Sony 60MP sensor - IMX455 or IMX 555(like the forthcoming Nikon DSLR) , these lenses will really shine.
04-30-2019, 07:48 AM - 1 Like   #217
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Well, the Venus Optics Laowa 12 mm f2.8...I gotta say it's a difficult lens to use for everything and in that even harder to use for a month straight. I got it last year to shoot slot canyons in Utah and Arizona for which it was useful some of the time (actually DFA 15-30 is the better choice for slots as the Laowa 12 is too wide). Used it again early this month for more Utah and Arizona landscape stuff and for this...the Laowa 12 really shines. What's really nice about this is for all but close ups, you can usually just set it on infinity focus and fire, close ups are much more difficult and on the K-1 it's essentially spot focus. Had a hard time hitting focus close up shots. When I was researching this lens, the competitor was the Irix 11mm lenses but reviews suggested - to me - that the Laowa was a better product. Still feel that way now although I don't have any basis for comparison either. Regardless for a $900 lens, this little guy has really worked for me in those places where it's good for. I will say that the DFA 15-30 is the more versatile lens and on the K-1 15mm is plenty wide for most applications. I personally love UWA lenses regular and fisheye, this one has found a permanent place in my kit though.

One negative I ran into last year was the lens cap. It fell off down an 800 foot cliff. Tried to get a replacement from Venus Optics and could not find how to do that. A friend with the same issue told me he contacted them via email and low and behold they do have replacement parts but you have to ask them for the link. Got them on the way now from China.

Been a busy and difficult month for me for a lot of reasons. Thank you all who took the time to comment on my images, I apologize for not being attentive enough on everyone else's images. Lotta really good stuff was posted. Well done all.

Sandy, your work with the GR III was compelling enough for me to start thinking about getting one.
04-30-2019, 08:58 AM   #218
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Sandy, your work with the GR III was compelling enough for me to start thinking about getting one.
Same problem here. Luckily it's not water tight, so I believe I'll be able to resist
That IQ from camera that size that I could windsurf with would be fun.

04-30-2019, 12:04 PM - 5 Likes   #219
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What a fun, easy lens to use, I felt that my mojo was a little down with many outside issues the last couple of months. This lens provided the spark I needed to really explore my macro vision, the focal length also doubles as a nice regular 50mm for regular shooting on the K1. I used it on the K3 as well and both cameras delivered images I liked. The hood works well and even when at minimum focus distance, it never gets in the way. Unlike the attachment tube for the AF160FC ring flash, it works well when the combo was on the K3, however it vignettes on the K1, a simple change to the 49mm adapter and all was back to full frame. The colours really pop with photos from this lens and the contrast available from mono conversions is very impressive. I did find a strange zoom effect when shifting the focal point during long exposures that I found fun to play with as well. Focusing can be a little noisy if the camera is being used at closer distances, however this seems to be common with the small dof available on most macro lens. I find switching to manual focus can make for an easier time when getting near 1:1 anyway. The addition of the focus lock switch on the lens is a nice touch as well. Diffraction at very small apertures did not seem too bad and the bonus of some nice starbursts when used as a regular lens was a nice bonus.
Thanks for all the comments over the month, I enjoyed looking and commenting on your shots , the Laowa 12mm, GRIII and 45-125 are now all on my radar as potential new things to play with, The ongoing comparisons with Ismo's M lenses on the K1 should be fun over the next year or so as well, roll on May.









that odd zoom effect shifting focus on long exposures

05-01-2019, 01:46 AM - 2 Likes   #220
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The Pentax SMC M 50/f2 has been a complete pain to use this month. I found it very difficult to get it focussed accurately, even using liveview and focus peaking. The double mirror movement that the K-S1 does when shooting in liveview didn't help with sharp shots at slower speeds. I don't recall having focus problems with this lens in the past on the K1000, but maybe the microprism focussing aid did the job.
Having said that, the lens can produce some good images, there were quite a few that I was pleased with, and I managed to get a shot most days, so I'm reasonably happy. Looking forward to next month.
05-01-2019, 02:50 AM - 2 Likes   #221
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end of month review for the Soligor C/D 35mm f2 P

what a surprise this lens is - able to produce stunningly sharp, contrasty, color-rich shots, with a close-focusing ability (MFD of about 9 inches) that was quite useful throughout the month...

you can tell its age when the light gets bright and strong, however, with lost contrast and color-shifts, especially noticeable in blue sky shots in broad daylight - careful management of light (maybe a filter?) is key if you are out in the fields and wanting to capture a landscape...

this M42 lens produced great shots all month long on my K-5 IIs, but I found that it is nearly hopeless wide open at f2, so I shot mostly at f4 and beyond all month...

the focus ring is well-damped, the aperture ring has a lovely snickety feel to it - just a joy to use...

and the shots:














and the rest of the month's shots:

Single In Challenge - April '19 | Flickr


it's a shame that the rest of the 'P' line is so difficult/expensive to source, or I'd have the rest of them already...
05-01-2019, 04:23 AM - 1 Like   #222
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The DA 21mm on the K-1 works very well Despite vignetting, it is still a sharp lens. I was too busy to really show it off to full effect.
05-01-2019, 04:51 AM - 4 Likes   #223
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Single In - April 2019

So then. Second month back then. Takumar Bayonet 135 mm f2.5 then.

I've Singled this lens before - also in April as it happens (2016), as well as in February and July 2015.

I think it's a really nice lens. Build quality seems great, looks really nice . Has a strange integrated hood thing which I can’t really see being long enough to make a significant difference to anything. It can make some lovely images, can be super-sharp, is quite easy to focus accurately (especially with the good old focus-confirmation beep), though the focus ring throw is long and slow. It's not that quick to get a photo with, and for instance, that lost me what this image could have been:

Focus missed by -Occasionally Focused-

Conversely, I managed to get some photos I really like. Probably my favourite of the month:

Marigolds and bee by -Occasionally Focused-

And:

Chillin’ by -Occasionally Focused-

This was Explored and became my most-viewed photo:

Purple foliage by -Occasionally Focused-

However ... I really found myself getting fed up with the 135mm view on the world; it's far too narrow. Hence my choice for May: DA16-45.
05-01-2019, 07:59 PM - 3 Likes   #224
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Bein' as I also shot an old manual 135mm, I feel like I could just copy and paste most of what Raf said. ;-)

The SMC Pentax-M 135/3.5 is fine. I don't mind the field of view too much (maybe a full frame privilege), but the minimum focusing distance is just too far to have much fun, and to be honest, I think I need a new prescription for my vision... Haha!

The telephoto effect for isolation was fun and the lens was as sharp as it needed to be, but I think the sheer age of the glass/coatings just makes images a little hazy and desaturated. I dressed them in post, but there just wasn't a WOW fact for any of the shots that I made, so it was tough to be really excited about the lens, even though it's a reliable performer with no surprises. Great paired with a bounced flash, and using macro tubes was a nice treat to escape the MFD. I regret not doing more stitches or landscapes. I must trek to downtown KC for May. :-)









05-02-2019, 02:16 PM - 2 Likes   #225
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QuoteOriginally posted by severalsnakes Quote
Bein' as I also shot an old manual 135mm, I feel like I could just copy and paste most of what Raf said. ;-)
They’d be close to the same lens, I’d guess.



QuoteQuote:
I think the sheer age of the glass/coatings just makes images a little hazy and desaturated. I dressed them in post, but there just wasn't a WOW fact for any of the shots that I made, so it was tough to be really excited about the lens, even though it's a reliable performer

That’s a really good point, and one that really resonates with my experience - probably last month as well as this.

I also think that having spent quite a while taking photos almost exclusively with my iPhone - which is very good at making things look impactful when seen on the iPhone screen - the contrast is quite stark, despite so many other aspects of photograph and photography being orders of magnitude better with the “real” camera.
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