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05-31-2012, 03:15 PM   #76
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What HockeyDad said. Different lens designs serve different purposes; faster lenses are generally more flexible in usage -- they can be used in more ways than slower lenses. Slower lenses may have great performance and interesting character at bargain prices. I find it fun to have a mix of many types. Especially cheap ones. And those I don't like *do* hit the auction block, when I think they're worth selling. That may take a couple years with some, but I'm in no hurry.

Here are some of my rough comparisons of a cross-section of Fifties (and neighbors):

* K50/1.2 -- exquisite at all apertures and distances, great for both fast and slow shooting.
* FA50/1.4 -- my gotta-get-the-shot lens, the only AF prime I've bothered to buy. So far.
* Super Takumar 50/1.4 -- same optics as the FA, but MF just feels and works differently.
* Yashica ML 50/1.4 -- planar design makes images subtly crisper than the Pentax 50/1.4s.
* SMC-M 50/1.7 -- more wide-open flatfield sharpness than the faster Pentaxi. Beautiful.
* Meyer Oreston / Pentacon Electric 50/1.8 -- close focus, very sharp, nice pop & character.
* Rikenon (M42) and Sears-Cosina (PK-M) 50/2 -- sharp, nice rendering, a little bit vanilla.
* Meyer Domiplan 50/2.8 -- widely derided, it gives an almost Holga-like look to pictures.
* CZJ Tessar 50/2.8 (M42, A/M 5 iris blades) -- decent, sharp, competent but not exciting.
* CZJ Tessar 50/2.8 (Exakta or M42, preset 12 iris blades) -- superb bokeh, with me always.
* EL-Nikkor 50/2.8 -- ultra-sharp enlarger lens for doing close macro work -- can't be beat.
* Industar 50-2 and Meyer Primotar-E 50/3.5 -- wide-open flatfield sharpness -- bargains!
* Macro-Takumar 50/4 (1:1) -- well, what can I say? The best damn little MF macro around.

* Chinon 45/2.8 -- very sharp, nice rendering, a slightly different AOV than 50-55-58mm.
* Kodak Anastigmat 53/3.5 -- fixed-aperture projector lens, very sharp with a 'period' feel.
* Sears-Tomioka 55/1.4 -- rather midway between K50/1.2 - SuperTak 50/1.4. Great bokeh.
* Argus-Chinon 55/1.7; Super Takumar and Petri CC and Mamiya-Sekor and Rikenon 55/1.8
-- a batch of brilliant sharp lenses whose images are fairly similar yet taste subtly different.
* Porst Color Reflex 55/2.8 -- nice pop and rendering, a different character than faster glass.
* Helios-44M 58/2 -- the famed marbled bokeh and great sharpness, popular and still cheap.
* Schneider PC-Cinelux AV 60/2.8 -- fixed-aperture projector lens with Petzval-like qualities.

I omitted quite a few (I have 50 Fifties) but these should indicate that only one ain't enough.

05-31-2012, 03:32 PM - 1 Like   #77
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Considering the OP is new, I don't think he needs to get into a position to worry about the quality of his bokeh or whatever you want to call it. Heck, I find with one lens that the quality varies depending on the depth of field and the distance the parts of the image being blurred are beyond the depth of field. I mentioned in another thread recently, that depth of field is something that isn't magically changed from sharp to not at some magic boundary; others have stated that in this thread. The image is only truly perfectly sharp at the point of focus. Over the depth of field, the reduction in sharpness is slow and at some point the sharpness has reduced enough to be deemed no longer in focus. That point depends on the size of the image, the viewing distance, the lens, the aperture, and even your eyes. Beyond that distance, the image continues to lose sharpness.

As a result, I never worry much about ratings, reviews, etc of a lens's bokeh. I buy my lenses on sharpness, focus quality, etc alone.

To go back to earlier questions. I have to say that in the discussion about buying A lenses vs. K or M. lenses. I really don't think the difference is terribly important. It's a matter of how much of a hassle do you find it to adjust the aperture on the lens vs. on the body. The K5 will meter for either case when you ask it to. You just have to make sure you are in the correct mode when using an M or K lens. I know the sharpness on some A lenses are superior to their M counterparts, but I've not justified the significant price jump that goes with those A lenses.

As for the 3D affects and depth of field. There is a tendency for people to try to exploit a large aperture setting (1.2, 1.4, 1.7, 2) without considering just how narrow the depth of field will be. It isn't easy to see just how narrow the depth of field will be through the view-finder. I think you already remarked just how narrow it would be when you were talking about inches. The key to a 3D look is making sure the object you are focusing on is fully in focus and encompassed by the depth of field. If you are taking a picture of a flower that is 5 inches big from front to back, you need to make sure the depth of field encompasses that 5 inches. You then want other items in the image to be far enough away so that there is a definite contrast between sharp and blurred regions of your photo. It is actually highly subjective and takes practice. I find I am more likely to "accidentally" get a 3D effect than when I try for the 3D effect. It's easy to think too much about what you are doing and if you are trying to do something specific it seems more likely that you are to forget something else important and to be overly critical of your own photos.
05-31-2012, 04:32 PM   #78
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Good points by @emalvick. I have the DA*55 1.4 and it is hard to use at 1.4. One thing I've learned is that stopping down to 2.0 or even more can do much to help nail the focus, while greatly smoothing out the boke- .... uh, I mean, that blurry background effect that we all like to achieve, in moderation.
06-01-2012, 08:14 AM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
Considering the OP is new, I don't think he needs to get into a position to worry about the quality of his bokeh or whatever you want to call it. Heck, I find with one lens that the quality varies depending on the depth of field and the distance the parts of the image being blurred are beyond the depth of field. I mentioned in another thread recently, that depth of field is something that isn't magically changed from sharp to not at some magic boundary; others have stated that in this thread. The image is only truly perfectly sharp at the point of focus. Over the depth of field, the reduction in sharpness is slow and at some point the sharpness has reduced enough to be deemed no longer in focus. That point depends on the size of the image, the viewing distance, the lens, the aperture, and even your eyes. Beyond that distance, the image continues to lose sharpness.

As a result, I never worry much about ratings, reviews, etc of a lens's bokeh. I buy my lenses on sharpness, focus quality, etc alone.
But the way the blur looks is in important aspect for some lenses, certainly the fast ones.
The blur of the DA*55 is for me the reason not to buy it for example.

06-02-2012, 10:00 AM   #80
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Here is my first experiment with my new K-5 using a Rokinon P1.4 lens.

Critique away. Provide tips and advice as needed

Picture is completely untouched.

(I don't know how to do that yet).

This is "as is" from the camera.

Last edited by alamo5000; 06-10-2017 at 07:15 PM.
06-02-2012, 10:32 AM   #81
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With dogs it is very tough to decide on the appropriate aperture. The longer the nose, the smaller the aperture needs to be in order to get the depth of field to extend from the tip of the nose to the eyes. I tend to concentrate on the eyes and let the nose go a little soft if I have to. Ideally, since the dog is somewhat portable, position him/her far enough away from the background that you can select a smaller aperture (like 2.8 or something even smaller) in order to keep both nose and eyes in focus while still getting that subject isolation you're after.

NOTE: Humans are easier because they tend to hold still better and have shorter noses :-)
06-02-2012, 10:41 AM   #82
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Just thought of this example too. Here's one at f/1.4 but I went with a profile so that I could compromise between the eye and the nose. You can see how narrow the DOF was on the carpet but I really wanted the rest of the room to be blurred.


06-02-2012, 11:43 AM   #83
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Try focusing on the eyes, like HD said.

06-02-2012, 11:50 AM   #84
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I was literally just playing around with the camera within the first 5 minutes of owning my first DSLR.

I intentionally focused on her cute little wet nose... you can stil make out her cute little face too...

I was experimenting with the new lens (and camera) to find out truly how shallow the DOF could be...man, that thing is THIN!

At that range the DOF wasn't even enough to cover her nose and eyes both!!! Amazing characteristic of the lens if you ask me...
06-02-2012, 12:42 PM   #85
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Now imagine having a Noctilux f/0.95 on there... Or maybe not. Better for your wallet.

(not to mention it won't work on Pentaxes... sniff sniff)

Last edited by Giklab; 06-02-2012 at 12:43 PM. Reason: spelling mistake
06-02-2012, 01:08 PM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
Now imagine having a Noctilux f/0.95 on there...
I approximate that, DOF-wise anyway. I mount a front-loaded screw-on 1.5x tele adapter (NOT a light-eating rear-mount TC) on my K50/1.2, giving a 75/1.2 optic. DOF is just about the same as the Noctilux, maybe even a bit thinner. Cowabunga!
06-02-2012, 01:43 PM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I approximate that, DOF-wise anyway. I mount a front-loaded screw-on 1.5x tele adapter (NOT a light-eating rear-mount TC) on my K50/1.2, giving a 75/1.2 optic. DOF is just about the same as the Noctilux, maybe even a bit thinner. Cowabunga!
Can you post a shot please?
06-02-2012, 01:48 PM   #88
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As part of the package deal they gave me with my camera they gave me some of those front mounted screw on lenses. I got a 2x and a .45 'wide angle'....

I will play around with them some more but if I put the 2x on my 28mm I will have (28x2 times 1.5 for the crop factor) for 84mm with a 2.8...

if I do it on my 1.4 its possible as well to maybe get some interesting stuff out of those. Initially I didn't really like them but I only snapped 2-3 pics with the 2x...I am not sure how it will effect the final picture if I use either of those screw on the front of your lens things.
06-02-2012, 01:49 PM   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
Can you post a shot please?

What he said.

I want to see.

Thus far those screw on things have been left in the box.
06-03-2012, 05:04 PM   #90
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I am having technical difficulties with [expletive deleted] computer and will post when I can. Sorry for delays.
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