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11-30-2020, 01:11 AM - 6 Likes   #151
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I have basically phoned in a photo for the 30th, so my on-again, off-again MoNovember is done.

The HD Pentax-D FA* 1:1.4 85mm SDM AW is the latest in the modern star series. Its release was highly anticipated and expectations were extremely high. It has not disappointed.

To start with, there's no getting around its physical presence. It's a big, heavy lens. With its voluminous hood deployed is certainly hard to miss. 82mm filters are beginning to be a new normal, shared with the DFA24-70 and DA*18-28. The concave front element is awesome to behold. Build quality is at the usual exceptional level we have come to expect from the star lenses - tolerances are tight and the focus ring is beautifully smooth. Autofocus is quick, silent, accurate and decisive. Despite its size it is a remarkably pleasant lens to handle, and it balances well on the K-1. I even managed to carry it on a couple of our regular local bush walks.

Image quality is ASTONISHING. It is critically sharp at f/1.4 across the frame. Distortion and vignetting are negligible. Colours are glorious, and fringing is minor and easily correctible. The bokeh is generally very smooth, and with enough highlights can exhibit a subtle swirl which I find most appealing. It absolutely excels with portraits, which should comes as no surprise, but it is perfectly fine for general short telephoto use.

Essentially, the lens is perfect. What was missing in this month's challenge was enthusiasm and artistry on my part. But I'm used to that

See you in December!

11-30-2020, 01:33 AM - 5 Likes   #152
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November has been a very busy month to me and the lack of time was a severe limitation to my photography. Still, I managed to go out and shoot a few times and some shots I'm pretty much happy with. The lens itself - DA 35 Macro Limited - provides great results, although I must say I expected more of a "wow" experience. Very likely the lack of time made it rather ordinary.
Thank you all for the kind comments and critique/suggestions for improvement. The latter is never in excess. Below are some of my faves from this month.











11-30-2020, 01:36 AM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Essentially, the lens is perfect.
From what I've seen this is easy to believe. Wide open performance looks incredible.
11-30-2020, 02:33 AM - 6 Likes   #154
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Well the end of another month and I have had great fun playing in mono with the K-01 and the DA 40mm 2.8 Limited. Not quite as brick like as the original XS version but fairly close. It has been a very interesting experience having such a small package which I could just throw in the bag and have handy at all times. But the bigger surprise was how much I enjoyed focusing on the black and white theme. It takes me back to the old darkroom days with TriX, looking at the world as tones rather than colour helps me focus on shapes and designs, I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the rendering of this slightly longer than "normal" length on the APS-C. The other pleasant surprise was finding how well the Pentax close up lenses S25 and S40 worked with this lens to turn it into a close focusing lens, much better than the 40cm minimum of the lens by itself. I tried a couple of shots on full frame with the K1 , one click and the slight vignetting was dealt with. Overall a fun month, a new job had me not commenting as much as normal and I apologise for this, I also thank all those who left comments on my photos, they were much appreciated
Here are a few on my favourites from the month











11-30-2020, 03:22 AM - 6 Likes   #155
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So, November done, with my new DA 50mm f/1.8.

The lens, much like the other plastic fantastic (DA35/2.4) I love so much, is light, small, sharp, and makes things look nice.

I, much like many other months, am none of those things.

But annnnnyway...

What is there to say? It's a focal length that on APSC gives a field of view that I like - perhaps not love, but like quite a bit. It seems so far that it can be superbly sharp. I really love the rendering/nature of the images sometimes - including to all my people, which makes me happy.

Wide-open is less-than crisp, but by the time you're down to f/4 it's really sharp. I haven't done much experimenting in-between those; strikes me that I should do the dandelion test I often have done. Need some dandelions though...

I'll need to use it more to really come to grips with its strengths and weaknesses, but already I love it.

The month is here.

Faves from the month:

Sullivan to start:


Basket case (B&W) by -Occasionally Focused-

Has to be trolleys...


No man - but a lot of trolleys by -Occasionally Focused-

I like the detail here


Coins in B&W by -Occasionally Focused-

This gives me a hint of how the lens can behave, and bring out portraits:


Geeks by -Occasionally Focused-

And Sully again:


Sullivan by -Occasionally Focused-
11-30-2020, 02:49 PM - 5 Likes   #156
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SMC Pentax-A 28mm F2

Having used the FA*80-200 last month this focal length was a welcome change. I had intended to use the A28/2 with both the K-1 and the K-3 (a lot of my 20-40 & 18-135 images were at the 28/31 focal lengths) but I was enjoying the versatility of the FOV so much that it remained firmly attached to the K-1.
Like last month this lens was the result of another patient search of various websites and stores - if nothing else than to satisfy idle curiosity - I liked the focal length but already owned the FA31.

Still, wide open, stopped down, or used for things it really shouldnít be (macro!!) - this lens performed well this month and has returned some very pleasing images. The wide aperture also makes it very useful for indoors and dusk/early morning when you donít have a tripod to hand.
Itís sharpest at f5.6 to f8 but most lenses are. If you use it wide open the bokeh is pretty good when filling the frame with the subject.
I did manage to get some flare from the lens early on in the month but I think the hood does a good job when used.

Handling; my copy is smooth to focus (better then the A24 but not like the A50/1.2) and a decent size on the camera whether FF or APSC. Talking of which, on the K-3 you get pretty much the same FOV as the FA43 on FF so whatís not to like :-)

Anyway, this month was a sometimes difficult but definitely enjoyable challenge; I've learned a lot about the lens and a lot about B&W/Mono images. I feel sure that this lens will be staying with me for the near future and probably longer.

A few of my many favourites from the month:















11-30-2020, 02:53 PM - 6 Likes   #157
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What a good month this has been. I was initially a bit dubious about a mono month, but it's been really enjoyable. It will feel odd to not automatically reach for the Silver Efex next month. The Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 90 Macro (52BB) and 2x Teleconverter (01F) combination is sharp, versatile and gives a good macro option. My favourites for the month?





and

11-30-2020, 06:29 PM - 2 Likes   #158
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If one wants to do portraits, or just about anything else, the FA 77mm is THE best lens one can pair with the K-1, at least until one can afford the D-FA 85mm.
When I take my time to do everything properly, this lenses rewards my efforts.
In all seriousness, a photographer who wants a versatile prime at an affordable price, the FA 77mm is a lens everyone should own. I see used copies on PF and I'm tempted to buy another just because the results are so good, and the relatively small form makes it a great walk around lens.

12-01-2020, 06:17 PM - 3 Likes   #159
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End of month review - MoNovember 2020

this month's lens was a Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 24mm f3.5 - a lens I've wanted to buy/try for a while, but could not find a copy with a reasonable price tag ....

this lens was purchased from the Marketplace here on PF and it is great shape aside from the engraved ID number on the side from probably the original owner...

it took a while to find my rhythm with this lens, probably because this month I also was breaking in a new camera for me (Fuji X-T2)....

the Takumar is a great lens - there is some barrel distortion that seems typical of wide angle lenses from this time frame, but nothing horrifying...

the lens' color, clarity, and sharpness are exceptional - I was able to crop down shots for pseudo-macro closeups with no problem... even the bokeh was reasonably pleasing - not always something you find in a wide angle lens...

a Takumar's typical build quality - sublime and precise, in both focus and aperture rings - made this lens a joy to use all month...

how about some shots:












and the rest of the month's shots:

Single in Challenge - November '20 | Flickr


overall - a great lens if you are searching for a wide M42 lens, with great build quality, color, and sharpness - highly recommended....
12-08-2020, 10:24 AM   #160
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I had only fitful participation, unfortunately, but that's kind of how my photography went in November as a whole. I love spring and fall for taking photos due to the dramatic light, but I forget how late fall in Oregon means it's dark by the time I get off work.

I'm still thinking about how to get enthusiastic about B&W again. The last time I did was in April when I exclusively used the L Monochrome D JPEG style on my Panasonic camera, those results were quite good. But I got rid of that camera, and haven't really clicked with the B&W output in any of my cameras since. I know and enjoy the B&W modes in my GR III, but that camera puts out such good color that I usually want to go that way when I use it.

I should talk myself down from reinvesting in micro four thirds...
12-09-2020, 01:21 AM   #161
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QuoteOriginally posted by AgentL Quote
I'm still thinking about how to get enthusiastic about B&W again.
QuoteOriginally posted by AgentL Quote
I know and enjoy the B&W modes in my GR III, but that camera puts out such good color that I usually want to go that way when I use it.
Well, that's tough
But if you do enjoy the colour (out of the GR III, or in general), why would you go for the 'forced-enthusiasm' with b&w?
Maybe leave it for a w hile and come back to it when you feel like missing it?
Or, try to do something like mono-month (even if it gets tough on the way) and then you will see if you really like it or not.
12-09-2020, 09:50 AM   #162
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chris_K Quote
Well, that's tough
But if you do enjoy the colour (out of the GR III, or in general), why would you go for the 'forced-enthusiasm' with b&w?
Maybe leave it for a w hile and come back to it when you feel like missing it?
Or, try to do something like mono-month (even if it gets tough on the way) and then you will see if you really like it or not.
The last time a digital camera's B&W output really grabbed me was with the GX9 and L Monochrome D. I really like it when I can get a workflow in-camera that gives me results I like. the GR's B&W modes are situational, and can be great, but it's a camera that I "see" in color with when I use. It's a little harder for me to wrap my head around a camera + computer B&W workflow, at least it's harder to get to "see" that way when I'm out shooting. But I want to play with the Fomapan 100 filter in the new Nik software, that could be fun.
12-09-2020, 10:52 AM   #163
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QuoteOriginally posted by AgentL Quote
I really like it when I can get a workflow in-camera that gives me results I like
I get your point. So far I've been shooting in raw almost exclusively but recently I started thinking of the 'sooc' approach. Must be much faster and time is often an important factor.
Good luck with your research; I used to like Fomapan 100 in the film days
12-09-2020, 02:12 PM   #164
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November saw me using, unusually for me, a AF lens, the SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm. These are pretty common and go for very little money, but are surprisingly good. In terms of bang for your buck, I doubt one could do better. It has a close focus ("macro") option engaged by zooming past 70mm where there is a click-stop to prevent you doing it accidentally. The focus ring is pretty small if you want to use MF, and on my example the aperture ring is a little stiff if you take it off A (which I had to when using an extension tube). There were occasional chromatic aberrations but nothing that Lightroom couldn't fix. I didn't have a Lightroom profile to correct distortions, but they were fairly minor. I failed badly at sticking to mono because the Autumn colours at the start of the month were so nice it was a shame to throw them away. Remember I am using a K-3 so the focal length is from "normal" to "shortish telephoto".

This lens will be staying in my collection, and I am currently running a roll of film through a SFXn so it (and my F50/1.7) will see some more use, but not cropped.

The album is here. Some of my better images below (there were a few absolutely terrible ones this month!).


Nov 3: shaggy ink cap par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity


Nov 5: Bride Hall Lane (1) par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity


Nov 16: Ayot (again) par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity


Nov 26: dead tree in the mist par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity


Nov 28: skull ring par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity
12-09-2020, 06:11 PM   #165
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chris_K Quote
I get your point. So far I've been shooting in raw almost exclusively but recently I started thinking of the 'sooc' approach. Must be much faster and time is often an important factor.
Good luck with your research; I used to like Fomapan 100 in the film days
I don't rely on the way JPEGs turn out at the time of shooting; what I like to do with the GR III is shoot RAW and then edit a JPEG afterwards. It's sort of my "developing" routine and is super fast once I've picked out the files I want to edit. Then I share them directly to my phone, and I'm off to the races.
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