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05-29-2014, 03:14 PM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
That's a high rate, what where the issues you've encountered? The bay generally has a larger selection than the marketplace, though, I am searching now as we speak.
Fungus, mostly. Not everyone knows how to look for it until it's too late. Some sellers are probably ignorant, and others are taking advantage of unknowing buyers. You can do a flashlight test yourself and learn what to look for.

05-29-2014, 03:21 PM   #152
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This is the macro converter I was talking about earlier...

Amazon.com : Raynox DCR-150 Snap-On Macro Lens : Camera Lenses : Camera & Photo
05-29-2014, 04:44 PM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
So a dedicated macro lens is better at getting finer details...hence why it's used to photograph insects and miniscule things and a non macro excels in backgrounds?
Macros can be good with backgrounds too - especially at close-up distances, but they generally don't make the best portrait lenses, for example (even though some people use them for this).

A non-macro such as the 100/2.8s can still get surprisingly close, as for flower shots, but might not work well for small insects.


To over-simplify it (a lot) macros have more emphasis on sharpness while some other lenses may have more emphasis on beauty.
05-29-2014, 05:45 PM   #154
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I'm finding a lot of the 100/2.8's but they're macro versions, can't find a non-macro anywhere! Maybe I'm using incorrect search terminology?

There are so many lens to choose from, it's really hard to not choose all of them! Haha

05-29-2014, 06:29 PM   #155
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
I'm finding a lot of the 100/2.8's but they're macro versions, can't find a non-macro anywhere! Maybe I'm using incorrect search terminology?

There are so many lens to choose from, it's really hard to not choose all of them! Haha
I wouldn't hesitate to get a 100 macro. They are a little sharp for portraiture, but you can always sharpen after the fact if you want. On the other hand, they are sharp for everything. I think 100 macros are more common than 100 non-macros.

05-29-2014, 06:31 PM   #156
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Macros can be good with backgrounds too - especially at close-up distances, but they generally don't make the best portrait lenses, for example (even though some people use them for this).
I happily use a Tammy f2.8 90mm Macro for some portraits.

Nice and sharp across the plane, but maybe that's what you're hinting at ... you see every spot and wrinkle ... PP required!

---------- Post added 05-30-14 at 11:32 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote

There are so many lens to choose from, it's really hard to not choose all of them! Haha
Knew you'd come round to our way of thinking!

LBA so bad your family and friends will have to arrange an intervention.
05-29-2014, 06:53 PM   #157
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Nice and sharp across the plane, but maybe that's what you're hinting at ... you see every spot and wrinkle ... PP required!
Yes, that's what I was thinking. But many other forum members are happy to use macros for portraits too (especially with that lens). So it's still a reasonable option.
05-29-2014, 08:35 PM   #158
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You know I thought using a shorter focal length was ideal for portraits...but nevermind!

The Ideal Focal Length for Portraiture: A Photographer's Experiment

Be right back while my head explodes with all this information.

I was thinking a lens like the DA 35/2.8 would be better than a 100mm.. but it seems lens inbetween 70-10 are prime for portraits

Seems I have a lot to learn...perhaps instead of me looking into new lenses I should learn more about image sharpness, softness, bokeh....CA....maybe just find out what lacks in my lens and make up for that with primes. For example, realize 50-55 isn't great on both my lens and get the Pentax M 50m 1.7 to fill that "gap".

Problem is, I think all my images look great! As long as the composition is okay I'm okay...Maybe I need to be more snobby with my photos.

05-29-2014, 10:06 PM   #159
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You can do worse things than fill gaps in zoom quality with a nice prime!

You've noticed the distortion of the model's nose and chin at short focal lengths.

The 35mm is fine for waist up shots - check the Lens Club thread.

To do the head-and-shoulders, you'd be standing back and cropping, unfortunately, losing pixels.

But the short teles on APS-C ... 50mm, 70mm, 77mm, 85mm ... make them favourite portrait lenses for a lot of people.

The longer lenses can relax the subjects a little more, and give room for external flashes to be set up.

Last edited by clackers; 05-29-2014 at 10:20 PM.
05-29-2014, 11:22 PM   #160
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
Seems I have a lot to learn...perhaps instead of me looking into new lenses I should learn more about image sharpness, softness, bokeh....CA....maybe just find out what lacks in my lens and make up for that with primes. For example, realize 50-55 isn't great on both my lens and get the Pentax M 50m 1.7 to fill that "gap".
No, get one or two primes now (can get inexpensive ones if you like) and use them to help you learn these things. A 135/2.5 and a 50/1.7 would be great for that.


Money matters, but so does time, and this will help you learn better.
05-31-2014, 09:33 AM   #161
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Found a great deal on a Pentax A 50/1.7, but another one on a Pentax M 50/1.4...decisions. The 1.4 is obviously faster... but I've heard good things about the 1.7 as well :/.

Would using the 135/2.5 be better than using the 135 length on my 55-300mm?

Takumar 135mm F2.5 Bayonet Reviews - Non-SMC Pentax Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

The review this guy gives includes a comparison of the 55-300mm and while he praises the 135/2.5 takumar....I'm looking at the comparison photos is it me or is the 135/2.5 too over exposed and the 135 length on the 55-300 better quality? I imagine he used the same settings for all (he stated that).
06-01-2014, 01:10 AM   #162
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
Found a great deal on a Pentax A 50/1.7, but another one on a Pentax M 50/1.4...decisions. The 1.4 is obviously faster... but I've heard good things about the 1.7 as well :/.
I've had both - I still have the A50/1.7 - does that help at all?

I thought the image rendering on the M50/1.4 (near wide-open) was kinda beautiful and kinda odd at the same time. Since I got the K50/1.2 at the same time in a kit, it was easy to choose which one to keep. As far as sharpness goes I think the A50/1.7 wins, and the colors are nice too. Sharpness isn't everything, but I think you'll like it as long as it's a good copy (hint: if it takes nice photos at f/2.2 it probably is). I don't think you'll understand the appeal of a fast lens - and how amazing one is as the sun goes down - until you get one. I still remember a local 1 1/2 day desert shooting photo class a few years ago - as the sun went down most people (with zooms, of course) were giving up but I kept getting nice shots with my cheap A50/1.7 lens and "inferior" Pentax camera with its built-in SR. That was one of the first times I really understood how much difference such a lens can make.

While the FA lens series is my favorite because it has almost every lens I could need (and many are still quite amazing), the A series is my favorite based purely on the appearance that generation of glass produces (with the F being almost identical, and close behind it).


Remember that an A lens' Automatic aperture is not only convenient, it also allows you to stop down only 1/3 stop at a time (assuming you set up your camera for 1/3 stop increments, which I believe most of us do). At this stage I think it will help your understanding to be able to do this, and you may also use the lens a little more. But you should get a K or M lens at some point as well, and get used to using "the green button."

Last edited by DSims; 06-01-2014 at 01:31 AM.
06-01-2014, 10:39 AM   #163
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I've had both - I still have the A50/1.7 - does that help at all?

I thought the image rendering on the M50/1.4 (near wide-open) was kinda beautiful and kinda odd at the same time. Since I got the K50/1.2 at the same time in a kit, it was easy to choose which one to keep. As far as sharpness goes I think the A50/1.7 wins, and the colors are nice too. Sharpness isn't everything, but I think you'll like it as long as it's a good copy (hint: if it takes nice photos at f/2.2 it probably is). I don't think you'll understand the appeal of a fast lens - and how amazing one is as the sun goes down - until you get one. I still remember a local 1 1/2 day desert shooting photo class a few years ago - as the sun went down most people (with zooms, of course) were giving up but I kept getting nice shots with my cheap A50/1.7 lens and "inferior" Pentax camera with its built-in SR. That was one of the first times I really understood how much difference such a lens can make.

While the FA lens series is my favorite because it has almost every lens I could need (and many are still quite amazing), the A series is my favorite based purely on the appearance that generation of glass produces (with the F being almost identical, and close behind it).


Remember that an A lens' Automatic aperture is not only convenient, it also allows you to stop down only 1/3 stop at a time (assuming you set up your camera for 1/3 stop increments, which I believe most of us do). At this stage I think it will help your understanding to be able to do this, and you may also use the lens a little more. But you should get a K or M lens at some point as well, and get used to using "the green button."
Is the larger aperture at 1.4 a big difference? I kind of want a lens where I could say go to a concert and get photos in a low light environment. I imagine 1.4 or 1. 7 would be ideal for photos in that kind of environment. For example if I went to a middle school concert and I used the lens wide open.. would i have a decent iso and usable shutter speed that could capture a quality photo for the situation? I sort of feel I should get both the 1.4 and 1.7 because they're cheap and both so highly regarded. If I could find a 1.2 at a cheap price I'd snatch it in a heartbeat.

I know the a setting was convenient, but I wasn't aware I had more control between f stops and that manual aperture rings have bigger gaps in between. Now I see why the a lens are much higher than the m's, aside from convenience.

The 135/2.5 I got is fully manual so I guess I get to learn what that green button is finally for!
06-02-2014, 06:49 PM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zealex Quote
Is the larger aperture at 1.4 a big difference? I kind of want a lens where I could say go to a concert and get photos in a low light environment. I imagine 1.4 or 1. 7 would be ideal for photos in that kind of environment. For example if I went to a middle school concert and I used the lens wide open.. would i have a decent iso and usable shutter speed that could capture a quality photo for the situation? I sort of feel I should get both the 1.4 and 1.7 because they're cheap and both so highly regarded. If I could find a 1.2 at a cheap price I'd snatch it in a heartbeat.
If you can afford both the M50/1.4 and the A50/1.7 you should probably get both and compare for yourself, since you seem to be interested in the exercise. It will be an informative experience. I believe you'll find the 1.4 is less sharp at the widest comparable apertures (e.g. f/1.7, f/2, f/2.2). But it has its own virtues in the interesting way it renders the images. So you may want to get both and compare, to understand for yourself. This understanding may also help you in the future. I can tell you that if sharpness is mainly what you're after, in order to do better than the A50/1.7 you'll have to go to a more premium lens such as the FA43/1.9 or the DA*55/1.4 (the champ). Even my enchanting K50/1.2 isn't really built for sharpness, per se, but look at how wonderfully it can render smooth backgrounds and slightly soft edges around the young woman on the bed:

K50/1.2: PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model

Even the more expensive (and perhaps technically less flawed) A50/1.2 can't quite match it, despite using an "optically identical" formula (lens element layout).

The M50/1.4 can't match the K50/1.2, but it leans more in that direction, whereas the A50/1.7 leans more towards a sharp subject:

M50/1.4: PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model
A50/1.7: PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model
06-03-2014, 02:18 PM   #165
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
If you can afford both the M50/1.4 and the A50/1.7 you should probably get both and compare for yourself, since you seem to be interested in the exercise. It will be an informative experience. I believe you'll find the 1.4 is less sharp at the widest comparable apertures (e.g. f/1.7, f/2, f/2.2). But it has its own virtues in the interesting way it renders the images. So you may want to get both and compare, to understand for yourself. This understanding may also help you in the future. I can tell you that if sharpness is mainly what you're after, in order to do better than the A50/1.7 you'll have to go to a more premium lens such as the FA43/1.9 or the DA*55/1.4 (the champ). Even my enchanting K50/1.2 isn't really built for sharpness, per se, but look at how wonderfully it can render smooth backgrounds and slightly soft edges around the young woman on the bed:

K50/1.2: PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model

Even the more expensive (and perhaps technically less flawed) A50/1.2 can't quite match it, despite using an "optically identical" formula (lens element layout).

The M50/1.4 can't match the K50/1.2, but it leans more in that direction, whereas the A50/1.7 leans more towards a sharp subject:

M50/1.4: PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model
A50/1.7: PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model
I think I see what you mean regarding the softness and sharpness. It's something I haven't really noticed but I think I am starting too. The lady on the bed has a very "soft" face as you can't really see wrinkles (not that she would have a lot...) and the 1.7 shows individuals with more in-depth facial features.

I definitely like the idea of a more sharp picture, though I can see how a softness could be used in portrait photography. Though, isn't softness regarded as a bad thing? Often times when I'm reading reviews for lens, there's negative comments regarding how soft x lens is at y aperture (usually wide open).

Returning back to sharpness though, considering I mostly used the DA L 55-300m, I've always taken sharpness as normal. Starting playing my tamron 28-200mm and it's a bit soft..and when taking portraits I was wondering why the face didn't seem as detailed as with my 55-300mm! lol

---------- Post added 06-03-14 at 05:34 PM ----------

By the way, how would this work for my camera?

IR Remote Control for Pentax Q K10D K100 K100D K110 645D K 5 K7 K x K R ISTDS2 | eBay

I was looking into release cables and found some cheap knock off IR remotes for my camera on ebay...figured 5 bucks wouldn't hurt and would let me avoid touching my camera when mounted on a tripod to avoid camera shake.

Though, considering they're knock offs I'm a bit skeptical they'd work...ha.
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