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08-20-2014, 11:41 PM   #31
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If you are not happy with the kit lens, I would get a 16-45mm from KEH. It's around $200 and I found it to be quite a bit better.

That being said, for small prints, I don't think you will need anything better. If you like shallow depth of field, I would also add 35mm F2.4 to a kit lens. This small prime runs at $140 on amazon, most of the time.

08-21-2014, 06:42 PM   #32
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Good info, Thank you all. Just1MoreDave, 6BQ5 and others mentioned software. I use Windows Photo Gallery to load pics on my computer and do some adjustments and cropping. Just started checking out Faststone...appears to offer more. I will keep RawTherapee in mind. Micromacro mentioned the viewfinder magnifier. Something I should look into as I have 3 other manual focus lens that I may end up keeping.....a Vivitar 200/3.5, a Vivitar 28-85/3.5-4.5 and a Tak Bayonet 135/2.5. All K mount. Got a buyer for the Tak 5 days ago..no payment yet. The other 2 are on EB now. I wanted to have only A type lens and later series. I had a F35-70/3.5-4.5 that micromacro mentioned but dropped it and that was the end of that. Really liked it.
Hey Brooke, pis 1, 2 and 3 are bougainvillea not azaleas. Pretty close. It's tropical and easy to grow. If you get to Miami they are everywhere. Cut a piece of somebody's hedge, root in a pot. However. you must keep it inside for the winter.

Last edited by royden; 08-21-2014 at 06:46 PM. Reason: misspelling
08-21-2014, 08:46 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by royden Quote
Good info, Thank you all. Just1MoreDave, 6BQ5 and others mentioned software. I use Windows Photo Gallery to load pics on my computer and do some adjustments and cropping. Just started checking out Faststone...appears to offer more. I will keep RawTherapee in mind. Micromacro mentioned the viewfinder magnifier. Something I should look into as I have 3 other manual focus lens that I may end up keeping.....a Vivitar 200/3.5, a Vivitar 28-85/3.5-4.5 and a Tak Bayonet 135/2.5. All K mount. Got a buyer for the Tak 5 days ago..no payment yet. The other 2 are on EB now. I wanted to have only A type lens and later series. I had a F35-70/3.5-4.5 that micromacro mentioned but dropped it and that was the end of that. Really liked it.
Hey Brooke, pis 1, 2 and 3 are bougainvillea not azaleas. Pretty close. It's tropical and easy to grow. If you get to Miami they are everywhere. Cut a piece of somebody's hedge, root in a pot. However. you must keep it inside for the winter.
Good software will be of huge help. It's like a darkroom for film and windows photo gallery is like a CVS using expired reagents in a light leaking photo minilab (tongue in cheek of course).

Most people use ligthroom and some times you can buy it for $70. I think it's a worthy investment. Photoshop elements is another good and cheap one. I personally like Capture One more, but it's expensive. Before buying those I used Picasa (free) for years and found it capable enough for many good shots.

Regarding the original question, I took this shot using a kit lens, at 35mm equiv:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/63058-rrstuff/albums/8655-landsca...ture77506.html

This is one of my best shots, but I still ended up upgrading, just because it expands possibilities and is nicer to use. I hung around 3 years with a kit before upgrading to a mid-range zoom.
08-21-2014, 09:06 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
Good software will be of huge help. It's like a darkroom for film and windows photo gallery is like a CVS using expired reagents in a light leaking photo minilab (tongue in cheek of course).

Most people use ligthroom and some times you can buy it for $70. I think it's a worthy investment. Photoshop elements is another good and cheap one. I personally like Capture One more, but it's expensive. Before buying those I used Picasa (free) for years and found it capable enough for many good shots.

Regarding the original question, I took this shot using a kit lens, at 35mm equiv:
equalized 1sm - rrstuff's Album: Landscapes - PentaxForums.com

This is one of my best shots, but I still ended up upgrading, just because it expands possibilities and is nicer to use. I hung around 3 years with a kit before upgrading to a mid-range zoom.
rrstuff........WoW

08-21-2014, 09:09 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by royden Quote
Hey Brooke, pis 1, 2 and 3 are bougainvillea not azaleas. Pretty close. It's tropical and easy to grow. If you get to Miami they are everywhere. Cut a piece of somebody's hedge, root in a pot. However. you must keep it inside for the winter.
I thought those "azaleas" looked kinda long limbed. Picture 3 explains. Saw some huge, heavily flowered ones at the entrance to Foster Botanical Gardens in Honolulu last Oct.. Midday, brilliant sun and I didn't mange a single image of them worth keeping. Sometimes, it just doesn't work. While there, I did see this guy, much easier in open shade. Tricky though, he tried to sell me car insurance. This was handheld, Tamron 28-75/2.8 at 2.8, 1/320 and ISO 1600 on a K5IIs. I'm guessing my Depth of field was about and inch and a half.

08-22-2014, 03:48 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by old4570 Quote
Hmmm , I just dont know why people like M42 lenses ( Please buy mine )

Honestly , for me personally I find the M42 Dated and not very user friendly ...

There are so many K M or A lenses to chose from , and they have aperture levers .. ( If it sounds like Im not a M42 fan boy = your right )

I have tried M42 , and I found it to be a mistake ...

Im not harshing the image quality these lenses can produce , no .
Im harshing on the user friendliness of these lenses ...

Im a KMA fanboy , well more A than KM , but I wont knock the KM models for not having Auto aperture ...
+ the A models are going up in price and becoming harder to find as Pentaxians realize how good these older lenses are + they work in their digital SLR's ...

If you dont have one , rush out and buy a F1.7 or F2 50mm A , while they are at bargain prices ... As long as you get a clean one , you wont regret the purchase ...

---------- Post added 08-21-14 at 11:14 AM ----------

Just took my own advice , and got me a Pentax A F1.7 50mm ( already have the F2 )
Lol what do you have to sell (M42 lenses). PM me if your serious.

I recommend M42 over K and M lenses as you don't have to get used to two things at once (i.e. green button AND manual focus/ aperture setting) - or is that three things - 'A' lenses are great, but are more expensive by comparison (if that is in issue).

Once you get used to M42 lenses then there is nothing stopping you from getting into K and M lenses (although I would steer towards K lenses as their IQ is on average much better).

Regards

Mark
08-22-2014, 05:21 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by royden Quote
I had a F35-70/3.5-4.5 that micromacro mentioned but dropped it and that was the end of that. Really liked it.
There are plenty of them on ebay, alone, or with Pentax SF1 cameras. Still cheap. I ended up buying them twice because the first one was with acting up focusing. I love that lens for sharpness at any possible way and situation: from close up (near macro) flowers to street pictures.
I'd love to buy F 28mm prime, but it's around $200 on ebay these days. Maybe, I will be lucky to find that lens cheaper one day.

As for mentioned above Lightroom, I bought that last year around black friday for $79 (before a week or two prices were cheaper ). Hated that at the beginning, but now can not imagine being without it.
08-22-2014, 06:10 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
I thought those "azaleas" looked kinda long limbed. Picture 3 explains. Saw some huge, heavily flowered ones at the entrance to Foster Botanical Gardens in Honolulu last Oct.. Midday, brilliant sun and I didn't mange a single image of them worth keeping. Sometimes, it just doesn't work. While there, I did see this guy, much easier in open shade. Tricky though, he tried to sell me car insurance. This was handheld, Tamron 28-75/2.8 at 2.8, 1/320 and ISO 1600 on a K5IIs. I'm guessing my Depth of field was about and inch and a half.
Nice lizard, Showed it to the wife who is deathly scared of them, even pictures. She wont even watch the insurance commercial.. She wants to move back to South Florida...I don't. So I show her every lizard I can. But it's not working.

---------- Post added 08-22-14 at 09:26 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
There are plenty of them on ebay, alone, or with Pentax SF1 cameras. Still cheap. I ended up buying them twice because the first one was with acting up focusing. I love that lens for sharpness at any possible way and situation: from close up (near macro) flowers to street pictures.
I'd love to buy F 28mm prime, but it's around $200 on ebay these days. Maybe, I will be lucky to find that lens cheaper one day.

As for mentioned above Lightroom, I bought that last year around black friday for $79 (before a week or two prices were cheaper ). Hated that at the beginning, but now can not imagine being without it.
I got the 35-70 on shopgoodwill.com. You can find deals there. I try to buy only from those close to me. Mail is high from West Coast to me in Georgia. I find that some bidders go crazy some time. I have 2 film bodies that I want to give away......a ZX-50 and a PZ70. They look to be in great shape...no batteries so I don't know if they work.. Any collectors here? PM me.

08-22-2014, 12:26 PM - 1 Like   #39
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Your A50 1.7 is good, stop using it wide open unless you want a super narrow depth of field for artistic purposes. Make sure you see the little green focus confirmation light when focusing. Get a lens hood for it, all the fast 50's seem to benefit from them especially on the wider aperture end.
The rest are less than desirable lenses in my opinion.
Your choices for replacement lenses in your first post sound like better ideas than some of the ancient or variable aperture stuff that was being considered.
It is better to save up and buy a very few good lenses than have a laundry list of "good for the price" lenses.
If you really need a cheap but decent lens for now I found this one for under $100 with a hood to be quite useable:
SMC Pentax-FA 28-70mm F4 AL Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
You can combine that with one of the crappy 70 or 80 to 300ish lenses for a good pair to carry around.

The K20D has poor high ISO compared to even the original K5, but you should have been using at least ISO 400 for the shots you took since you were shooting everything with wide open aperture which destroys image quality on those cheap zooms. I think parts of the bushes were also out of focus due to narrow depth of field but I can't tell at that zoom level.

The K20D underexposes everything, you have to boost the brightness in post processing or everything will always be too dark which kills the colors. This was done to help prevent blown highlights so I would leave it that way rather than bump the exposure compensation in camera to fix it like some do, but you should be aware of it when you take the picture.
Download paint.net for free if you don't have any decent software. Its no photoshop but its free and does most everything really critical.

Though most of my best pics were actually taken with my K20D (I did more shooting back then) the best upgrade I ever did was to replace it with a used K5 for under $400. Worlds better in a ton of ways but mainly freedom to use higher ISO without quality penalties. I would probably go with a K5II (or K5IIs) if I were to do it now though unless money was the primary factor.
08-22-2014, 02:21 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by royden Quote
Do I need new and expensive lens
Yes of course you do... and to use your words also all the "Inexpensive" ones too, otherwise how is you LBA ever going to develop.
08-22-2014, 05:20 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Yes of course you do... and to use your words also all the "Inexpensive" ones too, otherwise how is you LBA ever going to develop.
LOL, I will PM you my pay pal

---------- Post added 08-22-14 at 08:41 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
Your A50 1.7 is good, stop using it wide open unless you want a super narrow depth of field for artistic purposes. Make sure you see the little green focus confirmation light when focusing. Get a lens hood for it, all the fast 50's seem to benefit from them especially on the wider aperture end.
The rest are less than desirable lenses in my opinion.
Your choices for replacement lenses in your first post sound like better ideas than some of the ancient or variable aperture stuff that was being considered.
It is better to save up and buy a very few good lenses than have a laundry list of "good for the price" lenses.
If you really need a cheap but decent lens for now I found this one for under $100 with a hood to be quite useable:
SMC Pentax-FA 28-70mm F4 AL Reviews - FA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
You can combine that with one of the crappy 70 or 80 to 300ish lenses for a good pair to carry around.

The K20D has poor high ISO compared to even the original K5, but you should have been using at least ISO 400 for the shots you took since you were shooting everything with wide open aperture which destroys image quality on those cheap zooms. I think parts of the bushes were also out of focus due to narrow depth of field but I can't tell at that zoom level.

The K20D underexposes everything, you have to boost the brightness in post processing or everything will always be too dark which kills the colors. This was done to help prevent blown highlights so I would leave it that way rather than bump the exposure compensation in camera to fix it like some do, but you should be aware of it when you take the picture.
Download paint.net for free if you don't have any decent software. Its no photoshop but its free and does most everything really critical.

Though most of my best pics were actually taken with my K20D (I did more shooting back then) the best upgrade I ever did was to replace it with a used K5 for under $400. Worlds better in a ton of ways but mainly freedom to use higher ISO without quality penalties. I would probably go with a K5II (or K5IIs) if I were to do it now though unless money was the primary factor.
Good stuff. Did you have a F35-70? If so, how did they compare with the FA you mentioned. I've been looking at the K5ll and K5lls but held off as I've heard that your crappy lens will be crappier with the newer models.?????
I'm trying Faststone and will give paint net a looksee. I gonna take some more pics using what I've learned here and post some.
08-22-2014, 09:45 PM   #42
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A wide end of 28mm over 35mm is a blessing you almost can't pass up on APSC though it doesn't seem like all that much numbers wise. The FA series was designed for a full frame camera so they tend to be a bit narrower a field of view overall on these crop bodies than was originally intended.
My old A35-105F3.5 is my best and most used film lens but tends to irritate if I use it as my single walk around lens on APSC because 35mm isn't terribly wide after the crop and I like super wide field of view.

Quality wise I am not sure how the F and FA lenses in question would compare but I believe the fixed F4 aperture FA was originally a step up from the regular lenses but intended as a cheaper alternative to the fantastically expensive F2.8 version of it.
KEH has several for sale used and even the EX+ condition ones are only $65 though I don't know about lens caps or the irritating to find correct 52mm round rubber hood (aftermarket would work). The bargain condition one is even cheaper but don't get the ugly condition one. I paid less off ebay for my lens but it was a fluke auction and cheaper than normal, then bought the hood NOS for the almost what the lens cost, but then I am a lens hood nazi to the point of ridiculous.
You wouldn't believe how much it annoys me that the correct Pentax press on hood for my A35-105 F3.5 is near impossible to find and a small fortune when you do. Its my only lens with an aftermarket hood, but I digress.

As far as the bodies go you would not notice things looking worse with the same lenses between the K20D and K5 or K5II, the main improvements were in areas other than image quality (though that improved too) and covered some really critical things I didn't even know I needed until I experienced the difference.
08-23-2014, 06:40 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
Lol what do you have to sell (M42 lenses). PM me if your serious.

I recommend M42 over K and M lenses as you don't have to get used to two things at once (i.e. green button AND manual focus/ aperture setting) - or is that three things - 'A' lenses are great, but are more expensive by comparison (if that is in issue).

Once you get used to M42 lenses then there is nothing stopping you from getting into K and M lenses (although I would steer towards K lenses as their IQ is on average much better).

Regards

Mark
I was reading Adam's post about using M42/manual K and M lens. You have to use the green button, set aperture and focus. How do you use them. I sometime use the M type in AV but every shot is made at maximum aperture. I manual mode I use the green button, select a f stop etc. I don't have ant screw mounts. What am I missing?
08-23-2014, 06:53 PM   #44
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To use an M type you must ...

1. Set the camera to Manual mode
2. Set Focus mode to M (not AFS or AFS.C)
3. Set the desired ISO speed manually -- do not set to automatic
4. Set the aperture via your lens
5. Focus
6. Press the "Green" button
7. Shoot the pic

I'm pretty sure I got it right.

Also -- make sure you set the camera setup to permit use of a manual lens with no aperture contact.
08-23-2014, 07:44 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripper2860 Quote
To use an M type you must ...

1. Set the camera to Manual mode
2. Set Focus mode to M (not AFS or AFS.C)
3. Set the desired ISO speed manually -- do not set to automatic
4. Set the aperture via your lens
5. Focus
6. Press the "Green" button
7. Shoot the pic

I'm pretty sure I got it right.

Also -- make sure you set the camera setup to permit use of a manual lens with no aperture contact.
Thanks ripper. Are you sure about #2? I would think not as M/K/M42 don't have anything for af screw drive to engage.I may be wrong, I'll try tomorrow. I did not know about #3. I hardly ever use auto ISO.
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