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04-02-2017, 06:13 AM - 3 Likes   #2581
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QuoteOriginally posted by rayallen Quote
Flag blowing in the wind. Colour and mono (processed in PS CC and NIK Silver Efex) versions. K10D and Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.0 DC Macro HSM 013 Contemporary

It's hard to choose between those two, Ray. They are both utterly stunning. I think I'd want to have both of them side by side on my wall as a diptych.


edit:
While I'm here, I might as well post this one from a couple of days ago with the 18-55mm WR.



Last edited by Dartmoor Dave; 04-02-2017 at 06:25 AM. Reason: Added photo
04-02-2017, 10:16 AM - 1 Like   #2582
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
It's hard to choose between those two, Ray. They are both utterly stunning. I think I'd want to have both of them side by side on my wall as a diptych.


edit:
While I'm here, I might as well post this one from a couple of days ago with the 18-55mm WR.
I like it very much Dave, nice work - the little kit lens isn't so bad after all, is it?

A couple from late February, taken on the same evening. K10D and F35-70:


04-02-2017, 01:57 PM   #2583
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
I like it very much Dave, nice work - the little kit lens isn't so bad after all, is it?

A couple from late February, taken on the same evening. K10D and F35-70:
Thanks Paul. Great light in those two shots. The light in the second one is beautifully atmospheric.

Okay, I admit it, the 18-55mm WR isn't too bad. And it lets me take the camera out in weather where I wouldn't risk my Takumars. Although in most shots I'm having to dramatically reduce the contrast and saturation to get them down to the more naturalistic levels I like. I'm going to get a cheap UV filter and lightly sand the glass with a very fine grit paper, which should hopefully lower the contrast and saturation and take the slightly hard edge off the sharpness. I did look into getting the coating removed from the front element, but it doesn't seem possible with modern coatings without causing more problems than it solves.
04-02-2017, 02:53 PM   #2584
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
It's hard to choose between those two, Ray. They are both utterly stunning. I think I'd want to have both of them side by side on my wall as a diptych.


edit:
While I'm here, I might as well post this one from a couple of days ago with the 18-55mm WR.
Thank you for your comments, Dave. You are far too kind.
That is a very pleasant image from the 18-55 WR. I can see you getting a lot of use from that lens.

---------- Post added 03-04-17 at 07:57 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
A couple from late February, taken on the same evening. K10D and F35-70:


I can almost feel the calmness in that second image, Paul. That soft lighting has made it almost monochromatic.

---------- Post added 03-04-17 at 08:04 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Okay, I admit it, the 18-55mm WR isn't too bad. And it lets me take the camera out in weather where I wouldn't risk my Takumars. Although in most shots I'm having to dramatically reduce the contrast and saturation to get them down to the more naturalistic levels I like. I'm going to get a cheap UV filter and lightly sand the glass with a very fine grit paper, which should hopefully lower the contrast and saturation and take the slightly hard edge off the sharpness. I did look into getting the coating removed from the front element, but it doesn't seem possible with modern coatings without causing more problems than it solves.
You crack me up, Dave. Good contrast and saturation are what most people are looking for in a lens. But we all have different tastes and that is a good thing otherwise the world would be such a boring place. And, from what I have seen, there is nothing wrong with your images. So, just keep on processing your images the way you do. You have very nice lighting to play with and you make the most of it.

04-03-2017, 08:41 AM   #2585
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Thanks Paul. Great light in those two shots. The light in the second one is beautifully atmospheric.

Okay, I admit it, the 18-55mm WR isn't too bad. And it lets me take the camera out in weather where I wouldn't risk my Takumars. Although in most shots I'm having to dramatically reduce the contrast and saturation to get them down to the more naturalistic levels I like. I'm going to get a cheap UV filter and lightly sand the glass with a very fine grit paper, which should hopefully lower the contrast and saturation and take the slightly hard edge off the sharpness. I did look into getting the coating removed from the front element, but it doesn't seem possible with modern coatings without causing more problems than it solves.
Wouldn't it be easier to go into the camera menu and dial back the contrast and saturation?

If you still want to sand the glass on a UV filter, try using toothpaste. It is an extremely fine abrasive. I'm not sure, but I think its equivalent to about 5,000 grit sandpaper. I use it to clean the clouded plastic covers on my cars headlights. You can also get up to at least 3,000 grit paper at an autoparts store, or a store specializing in automotive paints.
04-03-2017, 09:47 AM   #2586
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
Wouldn't it be easier to go into the camera menu and dial back the contrast and saturation?

If only it were that easy, but sadly those settings don't have any effect on raw files. And I much prefer to do things optically; I think you really can tell the difference.


I picked up a cheap UV filter and had a go at it, and the results were pretty much what I was hoping for: a useful (to me) reduction in contrast and saturation, and a bit less of a hard edge to the sharpness. But the filter caused a noticeable pink cast, even though it claimed to be a clear UV, so that was no good.

So I sanded the lens's front element instead. Worked like a charm.

(Side note to those who are nervous about touching their lenses with anything less delicate than the wings plucked from a live fairy: modern coatings are a lot tougher than you might imagine. Turns out that it takes 80 grit sandpaper to make any kind of a meaningful mark.)

Photos to follow when I've been able to get out in better light than we've got today. And remember kids, do NOT try this at home. I do these crazy experiments so you don't have to. Now, can anyone recommend a good psychiatrist?
04-03-2017, 01:00 PM   #2587
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You really did this, I'm quite surprised...

I find that more contrast and sharpness helps a lot with composition, so I doubt I'd ever do something like this. I'm looking forward to seeing the results...
04-03-2017, 02:47 PM   #2588
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
If only it were that easy, but sadly those settings don't have any effect on raw files. And I much prefer to do things optically; I think you really can tell the difference.


I picked up a cheap UV filter and had a go at it, and the results were pretty much what I was hoping for: a useful (to me) reduction in contrast and saturation, and a bit less of a hard edge to the sharpness. But the filter caused a noticeable pink cast, even though it claimed to be a clear UV, so that was no good.

So I sanded the lens's front element instead. Worked like a charm.

(Side note to those who are nervous about touching their lenses with anything less delicate than the wings plucked from a live fairy: modern coatings are a lot tougher than you might imagine. Turns out that it takes 80 grit sandpaper to make any kind of a meaningful mark.)

Photos to follow when I've been able to get out in better light than we've got today. And remember kids, do NOT try this at home. I do these crazy experiments so you don't have to. Now, can anyone recommend a good psychiatrist?
Good grief! I didn't think you were serious. But you were! That is certainly not an experiment I was about to try and I wait nervously to see the results. And if you are happy with how it worked out then I am happy for you.

As I said before...you crack me up, Dave.

04-04-2017, 04:39 AM   #2589
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I know I've made it seem like a deranged act of wanton destruction, but it really wasn't. It was a carefully considered decision. I've got a lot of experience with vintage lenses, and I'm very familiar with different kinds of front element marks and scratches, so my goal was to simulate the effect on contrast and saturation that comes from decades of heavy cleaning marks.

The lens:



A quick test shot from early this morning:



The only processing is to set black and white points. The whole point of this is to get the look I want optically rather than Photoshopically. I reduced it to web size without any sharpening, so it looks softer than it actually is, and I'm very happy with the way the lens's hard edges have been (literally) sanded away.

And anyway, somebody has to provide some comic relief around here.
04-04-2017, 07:20 AM   #2590
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I did not think you are really going to do it either, Dave.

This is one of the most interesting and wild experiments in photography I have ever seen.

I have some personal interest in its outcome, because just couple days ago I realized that historically, for some strange reason, the lenses I tend to favor the most are forcing me to use lens hoods, otherwise they result in extremely low contrast and bad flaring (poor old coatings). Vivitar Komine 28mm was like that and I adored it on my m43 cameras. Currently, Helios 44-2 is like that, and while I am not crazy about it's wobble, 'tactile feel' and manual aperture, it has the rendering I like very much. On the other hand, modern lenses with good coatings tend to leave me cold, even good designs, like venerable Panasonic 20mm pancake - it is good lens indeed, miles better than kit zoom, but it still does not have the 'magic' that SOME old lens with old coatings have. I could never pinpoint what that 'magic' was, it was always just the angle of 'like, or not like". Could it be that subconsciously I tend to prefer old, worn coatings (that come on top of good optical design, of course)?????
04-04-2017, 09:03 AM   #2591
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QuoteOriginally posted by woodenbits Quote
Could it be that subconsciously I tend to prefer old, worn coatings (that come on top of good optical design, of course)?????

That's a really good point. How much of the magic of legacy lenses actually comes from the wear and tear to the glass over the years? I know that my absolute favourite lens, my Super Takumar 20mm, has thousands of tiny, almost microscopic cleaning marks. Would I love it so much without them?
04-04-2017, 09:23 AM   #2592
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For some who may not be quite as "adventurous" as Dave seems to be, a very light coating of vaseline on a clear, digital filter can provide a similar effect.

At one point I know that the filter companies built "soft focus" filters in various levels as well. I am pretty sure I still have a couple of 52mm versions from my Minolta days. The point of those filters was to provide a slightly lower contrast and to reduce sharpness to various degrees. They were commonly sold for portrait work.
04-04-2017, 11:25 AM   #2593
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I considered using the old Vaseline trick but really wanted something permanent, and I'm pretty sure that the stuff dries out and yellows with age. I also spent hours searching filter manufacturers' websites and looking at sample photos with their various diffusers, but they were all too strong for what I wanted. Believe me, I didn't do this thing lightly, and I'm certainly not trying to convince others to do it. Ultimately, it was the best solution I could find to the problem of getting this particular lens to render the landscape around me naturally.
04-04-2017, 11:49 AM   #2594
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You guys got entirely too much time on your hands
04-04-2017, 12:32 PM   #2595
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
I considered using the old Vaseline trick but really wanted something permanent, and I'm pretty sure that the stuff dries out and yellows with age. I also spent hours searching filter manufacturers' websites and looking at sample photos with their various diffusers, but they were all too strong for what I wanted. Believe me, I didn't do this thing lightly, and I'm certainly not trying to convince others to do it. Ultimately, it was the best solution I could find to the problem of getting this particular lens to render the landscape around me naturally.
Dave, if you are especially successful with this project, don't be surprised if people start asking you if they can send you lenses so that you can scratch them up the right way.
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