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01-31-2020, 02:16 PM - 4 Likes   #151
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I enjoyed this month with the Pentax-F 50/1.4. I wanted to buy this lens for quite a long time and eventually, I bought it via our marketplace. I like the build quality of the F-series (ok, nothing will beat the M-series but when it comes to AF, I prefer F over FA) and I also have 50/1.7 version (very likely I will sell it).
The sharpness wide open is very good although it requires precision in focusing. The best results I get by fine-tuning the focus by focus peaking. Below f/2.0 the contrast is a bit low but above it gets much better. Below my favorites. Thanks for all the comments!

F/1.4


F/2


F/2.4


F/4


01-31-2020, 04:11 PM - 4 Likes   #152
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One of my 2020 resolutions is to get more use out of my medium format gear, so I started off with the HD Pentax-DFA645 1:3.5 35mm AL [IF]

On the "cropped" sensor of the 645Z it is roughly equivalent to a 28mm on 36x24, or 18mm on APS-C. An angle view I like a lot, so visualising shots was nicely intuitive. Sort of like a gargantuan GR III, or humungous iPhone

Physically, it is a substantial lens, but not really bigger (and considerably lighter) than the Sigma 35/1.4 Art. Build quality is * level, (without the weather sealing). The AF/MF clutch is a neat way around the lack of Quick Shift, and manual focus is reasonably smooth. The focus throw is short, and AF is achieved quite smartly. Minimum focussing distance is about 0.3 metres (less than a foot), so it is very versatile. As it is designed for 645 film (where the focal length is in the ultra-wide range) the hood is fairly extravagant, adding significantly to the diameter when it's in the bag.

Optically it is superb. Wide open, it is certainly sharp enough to the edges of the 645Z sensor, and focussed closely enough it provides pleasing out of focus rendering. Between f/5.6 and f/11 it is very sharp indeed. It has oodles of resolution, which given the 50 megapixel sensor of the camera is saying something. I did see some diffractive loss from about f/16, but only when looking hard. There is some minor LoCA, but purple and green fringing was only an issue in heavy contrast, and often only a pixel or two wide. Distortion is minor, but sometimes a little difficult to correct; the Lightroom profile did not work well at all and when I really wanted to correct things I did it manually. Summary - I'm very happy with this lens!


And a word about the camera. Yes it's big. Yes it's expensive (but there are lot of good deals second hand at the moment as pros are being herded to mirrorless). However, there is something about the tactile experience of using this camera that is really satisfying. The grip just eats up my fingers, and the dimensions are perfect for my biggish hands. I never once felt encumbered by the heft of the system, even on vigorous bushwalks. Button placement is familiar enough for a K-3 or K-1 user that switching is no problem. The huge top LCD is tilted toward the user, so reading the information is a snap. Then there's the VIEWFINDER! I thought the K-1 was big. Nup. This bad boy makes manual focus so much easier for my ageing eyes. The SLAP/CLACK when you press the shutter release reminds you every time that you have a *real* camera in your hands. I did miss the lack of SR a couple of times - but that only encouraged me to be bit more mindful of technique and the 1/focal length rule. I even broke the tripod out a couple of times.

And don't even get me started on the detail, and the processing latitude in the files. O.M.G.

Lastly, my performance in the challenge. Raf was dubious about my ability to stick it out with the big rig. To him I say PAH!! I did miss one day due to work commitments sapping my enthusiasm for a late night safety, but other wise I looked forward to getting out and doing something every day. Sometimes that something wasn't particularly inspired, but the kit certainly lifted the quality of the photographs, if not the quality of my photography!

Some favourites:



Thank you all for your companionship, kind comments, and inspiring images. Now for Fisheye February!

Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 01-31-2020 at 04:17 PM.
01-31-2020, 04:18 PM - 1 Like   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Thank you all for your companionship, kind comments, and inspiring images
Thank you for the great images, and causing me a great deal of GAS for a 645Z.
01-31-2020, 04:21 PM - 3 Likes   #154
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Thanks Rob. Always happy to enable

01-31-2020, 05:02 PM - 4 Likes   #155
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Well, that was fun. The Pentax 10-17mm fish eye fringes horribly but other than that it is a cracking lens. It isn't straightforward by any means and I do feel that sometimes I didn't do it justice. There are quite a few images I intend to revisit and try and do a better job! Thanks to all but especially to Sandy and Ismo who have spent the month guiding me. I can't begin to say how much I appreciate it. I wasn't going to do the single in next month as I wanted to free myself by using the 18-135mm to try and get the basics right but then I realised, if I am planning on using it all month...... Anyway, to finish, here are my favourites. I can't wait to see what Sandy gets in Fish Eye Feb















01-31-2020, 07:23 PM - 5 Likes   #156
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Yet another month with the Plastic Fantastic; my fourteenth, pretty-much (if I include December 2019 which had six or so days of the fungus-ridden Soligor, and July 2017 - late in which I gave up - on photography, pretty much, and didn't touch my DSLR for quite some time, though I was still shooting daily with my iPhone due to being an obsessional so-and-so...).

The difference, of course, was that this month it was on my spiffy KP, instead of my gradually-munting K-30 (exposure metering was rooted from being dropped, and it had started to develop aperture block failure; oh, and trying to shoot video causes it to freeze). I'm also taking the new camera as a prompt to get myself out of Program mode.

I've found it stunning. The PF really sings on the KP, giving better resolution and clarity than it did on the K-30 - where I was already super-happy with it.

The lens itself... I'll reiterate what I think are the downsides: no aperture ring; no quick-shift focus; no weather-sealing; average-feeling focus ring; perhaps the bokeh at some stopped-down apertures isn't great in some circumstances (busy foliage, for instance). Beyond that though, I can't think of a negative, as the plastic doesn't bother me in the slightest.

The positives... The price is ridiculously low for such a redonkulously good bit of glass; focus is fast and accurate; it's beautifully sharp, and renders things just the way I like it. Anyway, pics tell the story...

This bee .... hell's bells I'm happy with this:


Bumbling Bee by -Occasionally Focused-

My nephew here; I suppose I like the mood and composition most, but the lens did do a great job:


Jetty stairs by -Occasionally Focused-

Together with the KP's panning detection, it does a good pan:


Flying panning by -Occasionally Focused-

This turned out about how I wanted it, with lots of lovely detail:


Driftwood and shells by -Occasionally Focused-

Cats always make a good test of rendering and sharpness:


Rly wat hoomin? by -Occasionally Focused-

As do birds:


Lorikeets at 35 by -Occasionally Focused-

All in all, a satisfying month. I liked most of the pics I posted (which is a win), and learnt from some (perhaps a bigger win).

Onwards to my 30 mm Sigma. Huge, heavy, slow (to focus). It'll be ... different.
01-31-2020, 07:30 PM   #157
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tsuken Quote
fungus-ridden Soligor
I think there's a salve for that.

great images, the panning one is especially noteworthy because it is so sharp, the subject is isolated from the background, with just enough blur to make it dynamic, and good colors as well. When I come to Australia I must see the lorikeets up close and in person, those colors are su
rreal.
01-31-2020, 07:36 PM - 1 Like   #158
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Lastly, my performance in the challenge. Raf was dubious about my ability to stick it out with the big rig. To him I say PAH!!

I do off my hat, sirrah.

And Iím super-glad you stuck it out, as it meant we saw some beautiful photographs.

(And as for the size of the thing, I saw what I think was a Nikon Coolpix P1000 today, which I suspect might dwarf the 645Z. It was huuuuuuuuuuuuge. Bonkers.)

---------- Post added 1st Feb 2020 at 01:37 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Cerebum Quote
Well, that was fun. The Pentax 10-17mm fish eye fringes horribly but other than that it is a cracking lens. It isn't straightforward by any means and I do feel that sometimes I didn't do it justice. There are quite a few images I intend to revisit and try and do a better job! Thanks to all but especially to Sandy and Ismo who have spent the month guiding me. I can't begin to say how much I appreciate it. I wasn't going to do the single in next month as I wanted to free myself by using the 18-135mm to try and get the basics right but then I realised, if I am planning on using it all month...... Anyway, to finish, here are my favourites.

Such a great month!

02-01-2020, 03:12 AM - 1 Like   #159
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tsuken Quote
I do off my hat, sirrah.

And Iím super-glad you stuck it out, as it meant we saw some beautiful photographs.

(And as for the size of the thing, I saw what I think was a Nikon Coolpix P1000 today, which I suspect might dwarf the 645Z. It was huuuuuuuuuuuuge. Bonkers.)

---------- Post added 1st Feb 2020 at 01:37 PM ----------




Such a great month!
I totally agree, a single in without Sandy just feels weird! As for the coolpix P1000, it has all the subtlety of a leaf blower, but is marginally bigger! Its so ugly!

---------- Post added 02-01-20 at 03:15 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Tsuken Quote
Yet another month with the Plastic Fantastic; my fourteenth, pretty-much (if I include December 2019 which had six or so days of the fungus-ridden Soligor, and July 2017 - late in which I gave up - on photography, pretty much, and didn't touch my DSLR for quite some time, though I was still shooting daily with my iPhone due to being an obsessional so-and-so...).

The difference, of course, was that this month it was on my spiffy KP, instead of my gradually-munting K-30 (exposure metering was rooted from being dropped, and it had started to develop aperture block failure; oh, and trying to shoot video causes it to freeze). I'm also taking the new camera as a prompt to get myself out of Program mode.

I've found it stunning. The PF really sings on the KP, giving better resolution and clarity than it did on the K-30 - where I was already super-happy with it.

The lens itself... I'll reiterate what I think are the downsides: no aperture ring; no quick-shift focus; no weather-sealing; average-feeling focus ring; perhaps the bokeh at some stopped-down apertures isn't great in some circumstances (busy foliage, for instance). Beyond that though, I can't think of a negative, as the plastic doesn't bother me in the slightest.

The positives... The price is ridiculously low for such a redonkulously good bit of glass; focus is fast and accurate; it's beautifully sharp, and renders things just the way I like it. Anyway, pics tell the story...

This bee .... hell's bells I'm happy with this:


Bumbling Bee by -Occasionally Focused-

My nephew here; I suppose I like the mood and composition most, but the lens did do a great job:


Jetty stairs by -Occasionally Focused-

Together with the KP's panning detection, it does a good pan:


Flying panning by -Occasionally Focused-

This turned out about how I wanted it, with lots of lovely detail:


Driftwood and shells by -Occasionally Focused-

Cats always make a good test of rendering and sharpness:


Rly wat hoomin? by -Occasionally Focused-

As do birds:


Lorikeets at 35 by -Occasionally Focused-

All in all, a satisfying month. I liked most of the pics I posted (which is a win), and learnt from some (perhaps a bigger win).

Onwards to my 30 mm Sigma. Huge, heavy, slow (to focus). It'll be ... different.
You had a tremendous month those lorikeets were amazing as was your fluffy chum is the sigma slow? Which one is it?
02-01-2020, 03:14 PM   #160
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Single in January 2020

QuoteOriginally posted by Cerebum Quote
I totally agree, a single in without Sandy just feels weird! As for the coolpix P1000, it has all the subtlety of a leaf blower, but is marginally bigger! Its so ugly!

---------- Post added 02-01-20 at 03:15 AM ----------





You had a tremendous month those lorikeets were amazing as was your fluffy chum is the sigma slow? Which one is it?


Slow as in clunky, hunty, slow autofocus. Aperture is really fast: 1.4

Itís the 30 mm f1.4 EX DC

Last edited by Tsuken; 02-01-2020 at 03:23 PM.
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