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03-17-2014, 07:32 AM   #1
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Best way to tackle a manual lens?

Hi all,

I'm quite new to my dslr and have been having a great time figuring things out with your help.
I have a k-x and my lenses so far include:
-SMC pentax FA 50mm f1.7

-Tamron AF 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 SP AD aspherical (IF)

-SMC pentax FA 100mm f3.5 AF Macro

And I just purchased my first manual lens:
-Takumar-A 28mm f2.8

I'm excited to learn how to work with the manual and wondering if you guys have any tips for beginners.

Some extra info: I typically shoot in raw, using aperture priority or manual. I'm still very new to photoshop and the editing process, figuring it out along the way.

Thanks!

03-17-2014, 07:46 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dfeld Quote
I'm excited to learn how to work with the manual and wondering if you guys have any tips for beginners
I actually find manual lenses much easier than auto focus lenses!
No selection of focus points, no hunting for focus in low light, etc... You just turn that wheel until it looks right to you :-)
Of course this can happen to make you miss some shots, if we are talking moving subjects, but for non-moving stuff... I love it!
Just go out there and take as many pictures as you can, learning on the way.

But that's just my view on it, and I am a noob as well... so... ;-)
03-17-2014, 07:48 AM   #3
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Hey there!

There are a couple threads about the technical parts - how to mount an adapter, how to meter with an A lens, etc. So search for those if you need that kind of info.
What I would say is to simple put the aperture ring to A position (you probably have to push a little button on the aperture ring for it to lock into A). Now you have aperture control on your camera and you can use Av mode normally
For something similar to AF you can look at Catch in focus (CiF, focus trapping). Its not true AF, but its close. The distance scales on that lens can also be helpful, especially if you are doing zone focusing (or hyperfocal focusing). Just keep in mind the distance scales are from the sensor to the subject, not the front of the lens to the subject. And the DoF scales are made for full frame film cameras, not for modern day digital sensors with high pixel density - this means if you are using f8, you should do zone focusing as if you selected f5.6.

Edit: Ugh, my post is a jumble of information.. hope its more helpful than confusing
03-17-2014, 07:52 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I would say around the feet. To many broken tackles when you go high...oh wait.

You will want to use a hood with that Takumar. Bayonet Taks were a bargain lens and they lack SMC coatings. The collapsable rubber hoods work well, or a metal hood for "normal" lenses.

03-17-2014, 08:50 AM - 1 Like   #5
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The first tip is to set the focal length on the camera to 28mm for SR to work correctly. Put the lens on the camera, turn the power off and on, and choose 28mm. The camera will remember that focal length until you change it, even if you use one of your AF lenses briefly.

Since the K-x has one e-dial, I like Av mode and a fixed ISO most of the time. Shutter speed follows along, and exposure compensation changes shutter speed. But any mode that makes sense to you is fine.

I like to get a hood and cap that work together with the lens. I just look around in my collection of stuff. I use a metal hood about an inch deep on my F28/2.8, screwed into the 49mm filter threads.

If you haven't done much manual focusing with this camera, I'd practice that first. Just make sure that you can get a subject in focus. At f2.8 and close to a subject, the lens will have a narrow enough depth of field to be sure that what you see in focus in the viewfinder is still in focus in the shot. Focus can't happen in processing.

Pretend you don't have other lenses for a while. You want to get to the point where you see a subject and think "I could use a 28mm lens here". If you don't take this step, the lens just sits around unused. You may see shots that don't look like 28mm shots. Sometimes you can reconsider and make the focal length work. That really makes you feel like a photographer.

The Takumar has 5 aperture blades so it'll make a 10-point star out of bright highlight points like streetlights. I would try portraits just to see how you like the results. The focal length isn't in the classic ideal portrait range, but decide for yourself if this rule is breakable. The lens-camera combination is almost as small and light as you can get, so take the camera to more places. Because it's close to a "normal" focal length, I'd try everything I could think of, to see how it fits that normal prime role. That means taking shots for a stitched panorama, sunsets, using extension tubes, night shots, into the sun, colorful scenes, panning or anything else that occurs.

The A position on the aperture ring means the aperture information is recorded in EXIF, so you don't need to note or remember it. I'd just leave it in A unless you have to move the ring for extension tubes.
03-17-2014, 11:47 AM   #6
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Original Poster
Thanks all!
Silly question-- I've yet to use a lens hood (none of my lenses came with them). Are hoods typically suited to fit only a particular brand/model? From my early searches, I see off-brand models that are relatively flexible and pricey ones that are suited for one lens in particular. Is there something in particular I should be looking for?
03-17-2014, 11:58 AM - 1 Like   #7
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A generic hood is fine. What you want is the longest hood that does not cause vignetting. You can find suitable hoods on eBay for a couple of dollars or so. I like the metal hoods and find the ones designed for 50mm on a full frame work well for a 28mm on my K-5. They usually are described as 'standard', as opposed to wide angle or telephoto.
03-17-2014, 08:44 PM - 1 Like   #8
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My lens is supposed to be the same optical formula as yours with better coatings. I can get flare if I try hard. A hood won't help if the sun is this much in the frame:



I try to balance effectiveness, convenience and price for hoods. Tests with cardboard show I could go a little longer, but it would be a less convenient size. I can use a 49mm pinch cap inside the hood, or a 58mm cap on the end of the hood.



03-18-2014, 05:49 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I would say around the feet. To many broken tackles when you go high...oh wait.

You will want to use a hood with that Takumar. Bayonet Taks were a bargain lens and they lack SMC coatings. The collapsable rubber hoods work well, or a metal hood for "normal" lenses.
Beat me to it, boriscleto! 😂 ...And keep the chin tucked.
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