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03-03-2011, 12:30 PM   #1
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Now to photography

I recently inherited a Pentax K100D and a few older Pentax lenses. I was very surprised to learn that many of these older lenses work fine on this digital camera. So far I have a Pentax 100mm f2.8 macro lens, the kit lens that came with the camera, a Vivitar series 1 f3.5 70-210 zoom macro and a 50 mm f2.0 lens. I also have a 1.7 f series doubler. Seems like the long focal lengths are well covered but I need something shorter for inside. I know very little about photography but I am looking to learn. I like taking pictures of aquarium fish and wildlife. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Wayne

03-03-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by waj8 Quote
I recently inherited a Pentax K100D and a few older Pentax lenses. I was very surprised to learn that many of these older lenses work fine on this digital camera. So far I have a Pentax 100mm f2.8 macro lens, the kit lens that came with the camera, a Vivitar series 1 f3.5 70-210 zoom macro and a 50 mm f2.0 lens. I also have a 1.7 f series doubler. Seems like the long focal lengths are well covered but I need something shorter for inside. I know very little about photography but I am looking to learn. I like taking pictures of aquarium fish and wildlife. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Wayne

Congrats and welcome!

The K100D was/is a very fine camera.

You have some very fine (Pentax prime) lenses there.

If the kit lens is the 18-55 zoom then you are probably all set - because the 18mm short end is the (35mm film) equivalent focal length of 27mm - which is a true wide angle.

Although it is economically priced and supplied with almost all Pentax dSLRs - it is more than adequate (no, it's not the bestest lens in the world) - but for a lot of people it does just fine:

the same combo - the humble 18-55 (Mk 1) at wide-open aperture - 6Mp K100D

ISO400, f/3.5, 1/40sec; 18mm, 6Mp K100D (hopefully EXIF still attached - PhotoBucket can mysteriously drop metadata)
03-03-2011, 01:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by waj8 Quote
I was very surprised to learn that many of these older lenses work fine on this digital camera.
Welcome to the forum, it's just one of the joys of Pentax ownership.
03-03-2011, 02:05 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by waj8 Quote
So far I have a Pentax 100mm f2.8 macro lens, the kit lens that came with the camera, a Vivitar series 1 f3.5 70-210 zoom macro and a 50 mm f2.0 lens. I also have a 1.7 f series doubler. Seems like the long focal lengths are well covered but I need something shorter for inside. ... I like taking pictures of aquarium fish and wildlife.
Good camera, great lenses, except maybe the doubler. The 100mm macro and the Vivitar Series 1 zoom are classics. Your 50/2 is decent, but for indoors shots you'd probably want something faster and maybe wider. An affordable 50/1.4 would make a difference; a 35/2 or faster might be ideal. But your 100 macros should be good for aquaria, and it and the Vivitar for wildlife.

Use what you have a bit, then ask yourself: What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have? The answer(s) may lead you to AF telezoom(s), a fisheye or ultrawide, bellows and tubes with a bunch of enlarger lenses, a fast short zoom, fast primes at 24-35-55-85, almost anything. Welcome to LBA (lens buying addiction). You are doomed.

03-03-2011, 02:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Good camera, great lenses, except maybe the doubler.
Only if you put a bad lens on it.

SMC Pentax-F 1.7x AF Adapter Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database
03-04-2011, 05:24 AM   #6
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I think you have a nice base to begin shooting. Pentax is really about using primes and certainly as you shoot, you will find that there is a particular focal length that you wish you had and can look for at that point. Older lenses are very usable, although you often give up things like autofocus and have to use stop down metering with them.

Don't look to buy new lenses or equipment right away. Shoot for awhile and see where you feel your kit to be lacking. Welcome to the forum!
03-04-2011, 06:03 AM   #7
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That 100mm macro F2.8 might well be your best option to shoot fish in the aquaria. Since it is a macro you will able to make nice close ups of the fishes which normally aren't that big. I suppose you don't have a super sea aquarium with sharks in it.
03-04-2011, 10:28 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by andre-mz5 Quote
That 100mm macro F2.8 might well be your best option to shoot fish in the aquaria. Since it is a macro you will able to make nice close ups of the fishes which normally aren't that big. I suppose you don't have a super sea aquarium with sharks in it.
Yep! That's one great lens!

03-04-2011, 07:00 PM   #9
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I would think you have good camera equipment for aquarium photography. Lighting would be very important, and you'd have to do some research on that. You seem to be covered for lenses for that application. As long as you can somehow manually focus, which might be a challenge with your 70-210 plus extender, you'd be covered in that regard. Obviously if you do much wildlife you'll wish for a longer/faster lens, but longer/faster gets expensive.

I started with the 16-45mm "kit" lens, and found even it was a little lacking in coverage on the wide side, so you might find that too with what I'm guessing is your 18-55. Or maybe it will be wide enough for you.


Paul
03-05-2011, 05:09 AM   #10
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I tried some some pictures of aquarium fish with and without flash. The 100 mm macro works really well and focus' fast. I am able to somewhat freeze most of the motion of the fish but I can't get enough speed without increasing the ISO. The macro lens is perfect. I have never used a lens like that before.

I tried various things with the flash I have but none of that worked at all. Too much reflection. The light from the aquarium lights worked much better but the color of the pictures is way off. I think the 6500K fluorescent lamps are throwing things off. I figure I am going to have to change the white balance somehow. The aquarium lights are very bright as it has enough light for growing plants. I am thinking if I lift the aquarium hood and bounce the flash off the light fixture reflectors I might get some better results. Not sure what to do. I am going to give it another try tonight.
03-05-2011, 07:33 AM   #11
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Set the iso at 1600 and your aperture at f2.8. You will have some noise, but there is no way that a flash is going to work with that kind of shooting. As far as white balance goes, shoot RAW and get a program (even GIMP will work) that will let you edit and adjust white balance.
03-05-2011, 10:25 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Set the iso at 1600 and your aperture at f2.8. You will have some noise, but there is no way that a flash is going to work with that kind of shooting. As far as white balance goes, shoot RAW and get a program (even GIMP will work) that will let you edit and adjust white balance.
You know the K100D is pretty "smart" -
try the good advice suggested by Rondec above -

but also try setting the K100D to AutoISO with the upper limit to 1600 and AWB
shoot Av but with the lens set at f/2.8
and see what the results are like -
if you don't like the white balance -
then try some of the other white balance settings - like fluorescent?
03-08-2011, 11:53 PM   #13
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You are very lucky to inherit such a fine collection of pentax equipment.
However the k100d being an older camera requires more light. Can you increase the lighting on the fish by other means than a flash such as a flood light. Shooting with a lens wide open at 2.8 and with iso bumped up to 1600 will not give the best results. You don't have to get a photo floodlight any common one will do. The common floodlight will introduce a color cast though, to counter that you can set the white balance to compensate before shooting or else shoot in raw and correct in post processing
03-09-2011, 11:08 AM   #14
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Flourescent lights change colour over a full 1/60s cycle, so if you are only capturing a part of this full cycle you will run into all sorts of colour problems from shot to shot even with a manual white balance setting, and you can also get the colour varying across a single frame. This can be a problem with fish as 1/60s (or a multiple, 1/30s, 1/15s, etc) might be too slow.

A direct on camera flash can be dismal. You mentioned the possibility of bouncing the flash? Do you have an external flash as well? Off camera flash can produce much better results. A couple of my examples, with a brief description of the lighting setup:

16C with 30% Chance of Bubbles | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Archie | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

For a reflector, I just used cheapo white foamcore, which gives a slightly warmer tint to the light it reflects, but nothing noticeably offensive. Reflectors are useful for continuous lighting as well. Something to try if you give the fluorescents another whirl.
03-09-2011, 05:18 PM   #15
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I am not sure if the 100mm Macro can keep up. You might want to send it my way
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