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12-17-2014, 02:37 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Blown away by the color

Thirty years ago I bought my first Pentax camera in Liverpool, England. It was all the money I had saved, but for it I got a second-hand ME with the wonderful M 50mm f1.7 lens. At the time I had access to a darkroom, and so was able to develop and print film mostly Ilford HP5 which I loved and soon acquired a 28mm and a 120mm lens.

Losing access to the darkroom I turned to color film, but was unhappy with the results. With the subsequent decline of film I stopped taking photos for some time, watching with caution my friends who sunk their resources into digital cameras. But when the price of a K-500 dropped to $400 I decided to take the plunge and try it with my much-loved lenses.

The usual confusion getting the camera to recognize the lenses followed, but I started to get results. Quite a struggle to get the exposure right with manual focus, and the 18-55mm zoom was OK but not too exciting. Then I got a 16-45mm zoom from B&H (used, again), mounted it on the body and was blown away with the color on my first few photos.

Since then Ive used the lens for landscape and crowd shots and you can see a couple of results below.

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12-17-2014, 02:48 PM   #2
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Wow, the second shot is really beautiful! Great job!
12-17-2014, 03:20 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your story and photos.

Like you, after 25 years of using a film SLR, I was amazed by what my first DSLR could do.

I haven't lost my sense of awe either. In fact once I started regularly shooting in RAW and post-processing images, I experienced a new round of astonishment - at the detail that can be pulled out, the noise reduction that can be effected, and at the variety of treatments available for the same image. I have DxO Optics Pro and find it easy to use and very effective, especially when the camera and lens combination is supported (K-500+Pentax 16-45 is).

I think you might find that post-processing opens up even more in the world of photography. To take the top photo above as an example, there is a high dynamic range from the dark points on the statue to the brightest parts of the sky. You could quite easily lighten one and darken the other. Software could also reduce the purple fringing on the leaves in the background, and increase the vibrancy of the trees and the sky.

BTW, you might have to deal with one downside of digital cameras. There appears to be a dust spot on the sensor - visible in the sky in the second photo, near the centre. Try non-contact treatment with a blower first, but if that doesn't work you might need to try one of the dry or wet cleaning options.

Last edited by Des; 12-17-2014 at 04:07 PM.
12-17-2014, 03:46 PM   #4
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That's a nice intro Welcome! I think with time you will find out that your primes can yield results that are as good or better. And then you'll probably find out what LBA means...

12-18-2014, 06:59 AM   #5
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The 16-45 is a nice upgrade. I don't use mine frequently, opting for the 18-135 more often, but that 16-45 was a workhorse for me, and rarely missed shots.

I prefer the netural settings for jpg on the cameras, the vivid or more saturated settings always seem too saturated and almost HDR-like. As others mentioned, when you start to shoot RAW you'll see just how powerful these sensors are, underexposed areas can be lifted almost magically.
12-18-2014, 11:42 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum! I love that second picture, thanks for sharing.
12-19-2014, 07:28 AM   #7
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thanks for the comments

thank you all for your kind and useful comments. I should clarify: the first photo was the very first shot I took with the 16-45mm; the second one was after I had some time to get used to it. Des -- that strange spot in the sky is actually a strange spot in the sky. I know, it looks very like a dust spot, but it's not on any other pix before or after. Thanks for all your suggestions and I am happy to be a part of the pentaxian community.
12-19-2014, 09:54 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by martbev Quote
... was blown away with the color on my first few photos.

Since then Ive used the lens for landscape and crowd shots and you can see a couple of results below.
Marvellous colours indeed!

This is one of the big reasons why we love Pentax.

And it's more than just colours - it's also that way Pentax handles contrasts, and micro-contrasts. Just so beautiful.

12-19-2014, 04:16 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by martbev Quote
Des -- that strange spot in the sky is actually a strange spot in the sky. I know, it looks very like a dust spot, but it's not on any other pix before or after.
Good to hear it. I'm sensitive to the issue of dust spots because i took a whole run of photos earlier this year which have them and it took too long for me to notice. They can often be removed in PP, but it is a nuisance.
12-21-2014, 03:58 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forum, enjoy it and your photography in equal amounts.
12-21-2014, 04:14 AM   #11
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Beautiful shots and welcome to the forum. I particularly like the second shot.

Thanks for sharing.
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