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12-08-2007, 01:31 AM   #1
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Pentax K100D transformed by old lens

I have recently purchased an old Pentax A 28-80 zoom (42-120 effectively on digital I understand) and it has transformed the feel of the camera. I now realise how much I find automatic focussing an irritant in most situations and that manual focussing makes me feel as if I am using my old MX again. And having that manual focussing ring seems liberating. Am I just being an old technophobe or is the quality of the glass superior too the supplied digital lens? When I add that the lens in question cost me a mere 10 from a market stall, my rapture must be plainly evident. This delight has stopped me thinking about upgrading to the K10D for the moment, (though I await the possibility of a 10 million pixel K200D with anticipation.)

By the way, when I use the image stabiliser do I just set it at, say, 55 as a median average, or must I reset it at every new focal length?

CH

12-08-2007, 02:52 AM   #2
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What's wrong with the focusing ring on the 18-55 kit lens? The 28-80 is probably better built but the 18-55 is good enough by most accounts.
12-08-2007, 03:39 AM   #3
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Hmm I have 2 automatic kenses and one old manual. And frankly speaking I have no reason to hate autofocus, it's very accurate, so why complain? Besides, on the kit lens there is that ability to manual focus AFTER it has focused automatically. I find it very handy actually.
12-08-2007, 03:54 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by SupremeMoFo Quote
What's wrong with the focusing ring on the 18-55 kit lens? The 28-80 is probably better built but the 18-55 is good enough by most accounts.
The only real problem with the 18-55 (and many other modern lenses) for manual focus use is the relatively short throw of the focus ring, with something on the order of about 1/4 turn covering everything from minimum focus to infinity. Compare that with older lenses which have a throw of 1/2 to 3/4 and you can see that it is easier to do fine focusing with the older ones, although it is by no means impossible to do it with the newer ones.

12-08-2007, 04:17 AM   #5
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hey chris,
most of my lenses are old manual focus and I set my 35-70mm at 35mm for sr and my 80-200mm at 77mm (there is no 80) unless I have time to change it. Hit menu and up button and it is right there. too long focal length setting will cause blur. ymmv
12-08-2007, 06:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
hey chris,
most of my lenses are old manual focus and I set my 35-70mm at 35mm for sr and my 80-200mm at 77mm (there is no 80) unless I have time to change it. Hit menu and up button and it is right there. too long focal length setting will cause blur. ymmv
Well, for what it's worth the manual says to put in the longest focal length of the zoom. And I know what you mean about manual focusing. It just feels "right", you know? At least for those of us for whom this is our first AF experience. Give me ten grand and I'd be all over an M8 and a little Leica glass...
12-08-2007, 11:02 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by chris hall Quote
Am I just being an old technophobe or is the quality of the glass superior too the supplied digital lens? When I add that the lens in question cost me a mere 10 from a market stall, my rapture must be plainly evident. This delight has stopped me thinking about upgrading to the K10D for the moment, (though I await the possibility of a 10 million pixel K200D with anticipation.)

CH
Chris,

In my opinion the glass in the entry level lenses has slipped. whereas the professional lenses are still using very high quality glass. Possibly even better than the old lenses.
However under the right conditions any new lens will still give you breathtaking results.

I can show you several magazine and calender quality photographs taken with my K100D, and as a result I don't feel the urge to buy a K10 yet.
Some of these were even taken with the 18-55mm kit lens.
Although I am adding film cameras to my collection.
12-08-2007, 11:54 AM   #8
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I understand what you mean and do like using the manual focus lenses from time to time. But i don't have an issue with AF as mine do focus fast and accurate. As for the 'quick shift' it's a great feature and does come in handy plus much faster. The kit lens is a good lens as Stu commented and for the money you cant get anything close.

Mike, talk about the 'throw' of focusing a manual lens. Have you ever tried the 300mm f4 K mount. You can set up the shot around mid day and if the lens is set to near focus, the sun is going down by the time you get it to infinity. That lens has accurate focus ability!! What's that old song? Turn, turn, turn...

12-08-2007, 12:33 PM   #9
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I must admit, creating a sharp composition with a manual lens, gives me just that extra touch of satisfaction. Taking photos on AF is of course OK, but it just doesn't give the same 'joy' as MF.
You learn more from focussing manual. And ! As soon as you get the hang of it, taking into account prices, most old MF-lenses are such a bargain compared to new AF-lenses.
12-08-2007, 01:13 PM   #10
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People, what's wrong with you!?!? Stop blabbing about auto-focus vs manual-focus. Did nobody realise the real important point about Chris's post? He bought a Pentax A zoom for $20!!!!!!!!

Has anyone been to eBay lately? Try finding me an A zoom for anywhere near that price. Jeez, do I have to point everything out around here...?

I'm so jealous of you, Chris!
12-08-2007, 01:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
People, what's wrong with you!?!? Stop blabbing about auto-focus vs manual-focus. Did nobody realise the real important point about Chris's post? He bought a Pentax A zoom for $20!!!!!!!!

Has anyone been to eBay lately? Try finding me an A zoom for anywhere near that price. Jeez, do I have to point everything out around here...?

I'm so jealous of you, Chris!
I'd be a little more impressed if he bought a SMC Pentax 85mm F2 for even $200.00
Sorry, but I got swayed to the dark side of primes a few months back, and just can't look at Zooms the same any more
12-08-2007, 02:59 PM   #12
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I hear ya Stu and as a result my bag is a mixed lot now. But I just got my F SMC 70-210 f4-5.6 back from Pentax (something jammed in the zoom) took awhile but damn that's a pretty sharp lens for a zoom. On a cold day it sure makes life a lot easier both in using AF as well as having to change lenses.

Here's a 50% crop of a shot from today's fresh snowfall (yes the 3rd one this year so far!!)

Name:  Leaf in snow sm.jpg
Views: 943
Size:  87.4 KB

I love primes and they can't be beat for sharpness, colour and bokeh but a good AF zoom can sure make a day of shooting in the winter more fun.
12-08-2007, 03:24 PM   #13
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Very nice picture Peter.

I actually just spoke for a Sigma 24-70 f2.8.
I thought that it would be a good choice for shoots like that snowboarding model I'll be shooting in about a week.
12-08-2007, 03:25 PM   #14
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Here's a quick test of sr from my truck hood engine on crop of shot at 80mm sr set at 200 the blurry one

and one at 80mm set at 77mm the sharper one, heavy crops
hope this helps
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12-08-2007, 05:39 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
People, what's wrong with you!?!? Stop blabbing about auto-focus vs manual-focus. Did nobody realise the real important point about Chris's post? He bought a Pentax A zoom for $20!!!!!!!!

Has anyone been to eBay lately? Try finding me an A zoom for anywhere near that price. Jeez, do I have to point everything out around here...?
Did he get the SMC version or the non-SMC version. By all accounts I have read of the non-SMC version I'd consider he got robbed if he paid $20 for it. If you really want one, you can get one for just the price of postage.
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