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05-08-2012, 08:36 AM   #1
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Gear shopping list - neither rich nor poor

I currently have the lenses in my signature, so I have focal lengths of 18 -200 covered, with some sort of 'macro' functionality from the Tamron 103a (which I love using, but it's a little awkward as I have bad eysight and the standard focusing screen, plus my PK/A mount is one of those that only works with the lens not fully clicked in place)

However, the more I get into processing my pictures (using darktable, which is awesome - cannot recommend it enough) the more I get a little disappointed that they're not as sharp as I'd like. I also miss the wider apertures I grew up with - I sold a Sigma 35-200mm zoom I worked all summer to pay for when I was a kid, and bought instead a 28mm f2.8 and a 135mm f2.8.

So I've been thinking about getting some more lenses over the next few years. I shoot all sorts - mainly my kid I'll admit, but I love wildlife too.

As the title says, I'm not rich, but this is my only indulgence, so over the next few years I think I would like to add the following to my kit, preferebaly second hand or in the sales because there is no rush. I think this lot, with my K-7 (which I'll replace with whatever the current top-line body is when it breaks but not before) will make a fairly decent 'all bases covered' kit. Thoughts?
  • Giottos MTL9361B aluminium tripod or similar - the best tripod is the one you have with you. My current ones are light, but horrible to use because the contruction is so shoddy. Hopefully I can find one that's a good compromise.
  • DA* 16-50 f2.8 - My 'always on' lens needs to be weather sealed, so there is only one option
  • DFA 100mm Macro WR - it's a shame it has no apeture control, but I find I like doing macro more and more (albeit I can only get to 1:3 with the Tamron) and this one is WR, and apparently amazing. If the Tamron 90mm was WR I'd probably get that instead - and may do anyway and just be careful. Or I could just get a 50mm and a set of bellows, then I'd have a 50mm too, and it'd be a darn sight cheaper.
  • Tamron 70-200 f2.8 Di LD - for my wildllife. Not that long, but at f2.8 I'd be happy to stick a teleconverter on it and use it at f4. 200mm x 1.5 crop x 1.4 TC = 420mm. I don't make a living from this, so that's good enough for me. Some of the Sigma lenses look good, but I don't want to spend tons of cash on something I won't use that much. Maybe as the kid gets older I'll get more time for sitting still waiting for wildlife and I'll get a longer lens, or maybe I'll just sit stiller so it comes closer)
  • Metz Wireless Ring Flash - for use with the DFA 100 - but I'd also like something powerful enough to give light to the foreground in 'normal' use as I love the popping colours of Martin Parr (search for his 'Last Resort' images - I saw these in photography magazine when I was a kid, and I've always loved them)

And, I think that is it.

I'd also like a Q too, to use a digital teleconverter and pocket camera - a Q is streets ahead of my phone camera in terms of quality, and if you were to stick the 70-200 on it, it'd effectively be 350 - 1000, which should just about be enough reach for the tiniest bit of fauna!

Brand new that lot comes in at a bit over 2,000 (not includiung the Q), but hopefully with a bit of eBay and a bit of bargain hunting I can get it for much less. I'd probably also get a couple of flash guns, but those manual ones off eBay will be fine for me - I'm happy to adjust manually.

Any thoughts? There is nothing wider than 16mm/24mm and only one prime (but I suppose a Q would come with a 40mm) but I think this covers things reasonably well.

Of course I need to actually use it more, too. But then don't we all?

05-08-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
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Definitely the D FA 100mm Macro WR

QuoteOriginally posted by Northern Soul Quote
...'macro' functionality from the Tamron 103a (which I love using, but it's a little awkward as I have bad eysight and the standard focusing screen, plus my PK/A mount is one of those that only works with the lens not fully clicked in place)


...
  • DFA 100mm Macro WR - it's a shame it has no apeture control, but I find I like doing macro more and more (albeit I can only get to 1:3 with the Tamron) and this one is WR, and apparently amazing. If the Tamron 90mm was WR I'd probably get that instead - and may do anyway and just be careful. Or I could just get a 50mm and a set of bellows, then I'd have a 50mm too, and it'd be a darn sight cheaper.
  • Metz Wireless Ring Flash - for use with the DFA 100 - but I'd also like something powerful enough to give light to the foreground in 'normal' use as I love the popping colours of Martin Parr (search for his 'Last Resort' images - I saw these in photography magazine when I was a kid, and I've always loved them) ...
Bonjour Northern Soul,

I had a Tamron 90mm before I got the D FA 100 Macro ... to me, the Pentax is better overall plus there's the WR. Yes, no ap ring could be a hold-back, but that hasn't bothered me thus far. If you like you can go read my reviews of both ...

I am thinking about the same Metz, but not sure that it comes witha 49mm adapter for the D FA 100 - cannot remember at the moment. Before trying that route, I'm first going to get a bracket and use my Metz 44 AF-1 in slave and/or with an appropriate cable ... try that combo out and then re-evaluate. The ring is expensive and is really limited in its usage IMHO ... that's my hang-up here.

Question: What did you mean about your PK/A ... I didn't quite understand? I have a 103A (among a lot of another AD-2 glass, 19AH, 23A ...) and if you haven't tried it yet, use "CIF" (Catch-in Focus - C4 n25 on K-5) with the Tamron(s) and the PK/A ... it's a poorman's AF and if you need, you can better tune with "AF Fine Adjustment" for the lens combo ... works for me.

Allez et bon courage, John le Frog
05-08-2012, 09:34 AM   #3
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Bonjour Jean, thank you for your reply.

I see your point with the Metz - perhaps a bracket with two normal flashes on would be better, but I rather like the compactness of the ring unit - but then if it has insufficient power it doesn't matter how convenient it is!

The PK/A adapter on my 103a is worn, so it only lines up with the contacts on the body if it is very slightly before the locked position. I normally mount the lens fully and then press the button and turn it back until I see an aperture displayed on the camera. When it's fully mounted and clicked home there is no communication so the aperture reads as F-- and the metering just seems to guess, as I suppose it would have to. I read about it on here so I presume it's fairly common. It's just annoying that with the 103a you have to jiggle it a bit every time you get it out the bag. CIF works regardless, it's just that you can't control the aperture with the body, or use the meter reliably, without getting it just right.
05-08-2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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De rien ...

QuoteOriginally posted by Northern Soul Quote
Bonjour Jean, thank you for your reply.

I see your point with the Metz - perhaps a bracket with two normal flashes on would be better, but I rather like the compactness of the ring unit - but then if it has insufficient power it doesn't matter how convenient it is!

The PK/A adapter on my 103a is worn ...
Oui, the compactness of the ring is nice and the power is another issue, too ... here's something that I'm considering - just FYI.

LED Makro-Ringlicht f

Dimmbares LED-Ringlicht f

OK for the PK/A - I get it now. I had one of my 2 PK/As doing the same for a moment, but after a Q-tip "dry" clean, all seemed to clear up.

SVP, let me know what you finally decide on the flash/macro and how it works out for you ... I'd appreciate any input.

Merci d'avance, J Frog


Last edited by Jean Poitiers; 05-08-2012 at 10:19 AM.
05-08-2012, 10:13 AM   #5
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Looking at your lenses, you need a prime lens for sure.

Any of those limited lenses will give you unique image than the zoom lenses you already have.
05-08-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
Oui, the compactness of the ring is nice and the power is another issue, too ... here's something that I'm considering - just FYI.

LED Makro-Ringlicht f

Dimmbares LED-Ringlicht f
OOooh... I like those designs for LED ringlights. Keeps the hotshoe open for "extra" off-camera flash power.

BTW, to the OP, I have a DFA 100mm Macro WR. It is a very nice lens and the lack of aperture ring has never been a problem for me (since I don't use bellows for super-macro, I suppose). My only problem is that I don't use it very much... so if you want one, make me an offer!
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