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02-21-2007, 07:18 PM   #1
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I have achieved sharpness

I've got my problems sorted out and now I can take beautiful picture after beautiful picture. As best as I can figure out, the key seems to have been removal of the 18-55mm kit lens and installation of a DA 40mm lens.

I picked up the DA 40 despite a few people mentioning it's not that great of a lens. Well... to my unsophisticated eye, it's terrific. When you can clearly see your fingerprint left on an item you didn't realize was there before taking the picture, it's plenty sharp.



02-21-2007, 07:22 PM   #2
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I don't mind the color rendition, either.

If they would have had the DA 21 in stock, I'd have that right now too. Unfortunately, it won't be in for about a week. They were out of the DA 16-45 too. I don't know if I would have picked up a second zoom. I suspect not. I believe two primes will keep me smitten for a while.

02-21-2007, 07:24 PM   #3
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Every day is a good day when you've got a Pentax and a sweet prime.

02-21-2007, 07:26 PM   #4
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Here's a downtown shot. Every picture that comes out of this thing sparkles.



02-21-2007, 07:29 PM   #5
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Beautiful results, Tom! Glad you're happy now, as you should be.

I wonder, however, if you have a bum copy of the kit lens. I've been pleasantly surprised on occasion (not every time) on the results from my kit lens. I'm sure one of the things they skimp on with any kit lens is the quality control, so it wouldn't surprise me if your copy was just not that good.

Of course, I'm not pretending that my version of the kit lens will match your shots here. The photographer also has a good bit of influence on that as well.
02-21-2007, 07:39 PM   #6
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I may use the 50-200mm zoom and I'm sufficiently pleased with it but, if I were doing it again, I would have bought the K100D body, the DA 40, and the DA 21. That's it. I'd walk around with the DA 21 and use the DA 40 once in a while for beautiful landscape shots and amateur portraits.

If I were to only have the K100D and the DA 40mm with no additional lenses, I'm confident I could be delighted with the camera indefinitely. The best part of this setup is I can take 10 shots and get 10 great images. I have confidence in the system. Before, many of the shots came out pretty gross and I never knew if it was going to work out, or not.

Autofocus is lightning fast with the DA 40. The only time it had trouble focusing is when I was shooting straight into the sun at sunset.

I don't know when my batteries are going to run out but I'm at 10 days and 830 pictures on the current charge of a set of Energizer NiMH 2500 cells. The display shows fully charged right now at 20C and it showed half charge earlier when the camera was outdoors at -10C for a while. How long can the thing go on a charge?

Every one of the pictures above is a JPEG straight out of the camera. The first one is a half resolution crop (but it's just as crisp at full resolution). The rest are scaled to 1/4 resolution. None were sharpened, noise reduced, or processed in any way besides sizing them and re-saving them to JPEG.

This has been an extremely worthwhile exercise. I really appreciate the expertise and willingness to help within this group. I'd like to pass along a heart felt thank you.

02-21-2007, 07:55 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
I wonder, however, if you have a bum copy of the kit lens. I've been pleasantly surprised on occasion (not every time) on the results from my kit lens.
I don't have a clue. I'd speculate you are right about my copy existing slightly below the quality mean average. Perhaps another factor is just not liking it and maybe not giving the lens enough of a chance.

One thing I can tell you is this: I've seen some fantastic shots taken with the kit lens. So much so I'm absolutely confounded to think those shots came from the same lens I have. If I could do that with mine, I would not have this prime now. Perhaps they have better copies of the lens than I do. Certainly, they're far better photographers than I am. I also suspect most of the pictures I'm agape over started as better shots than anything I've ever taken with the kit lens and also have been highly processed outside of the camera. I regularly see noise close to sharp edges that I suspect is an artifact of perhaps a little too much sharpening.

It's rare to see full resolution crops straight from the camera with the kit lens, such as I've been posting recently. I suspect a lot of lenses wouldn't bare up under such pixel peeping.

The very best part of all this is a feeling that I can take good images. If something cool happens or I want a memory of an image, there is a near certainty I will get a good shot of it, as long as I have my camera handy. I didn't have that confidence with the kit lens.

Having had the experience I did with the kit lens makes me all the more humbled by the amazing pictures attributed to the kit lens I see every day. I would think pretty much all of you have a much better eye for artful composition than I do. It's clear by your pictures. My thing is different. My use for the camera is only partially for pleasure, I also need to be able to take sharp technical pictures to use as illustrations to my writings. I can do that now.

02-21-2007, 08:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom Brown Quote
I've got my problems sorted out and now I can take beautiful picture after beautiful picture. As best as I can figure out, the key seems to have been removal of the 18-55mm kit lens and installation of a DA 40mm lens.

I picked up the DA 40 despite a few people mentioning it's not that great of a lens. Well... to my unsophisticated eye, it's terrific. When you can clearly see your fingerprint left on an item you didn't realize was there before taking the picture, it's plenty sharp.

Tom,

Is this the lens that you bought? That's the listing on Amazon - $306 after the rebate.

And is this the same lens? This is the listing on Adorama - $206 after rebate.

Has one of these sites made a mistake or are they different lenses?

Will


Last edited by WMBP; 02-21-2007 at 08:14 PM. Reason: Added link to Adorama's much lower priced listing
02-21-2007, 08:20 PM   #9
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Amazon is hosing people. Those are the same lens.

I paid $300 CDN and that's the regular retail price.

Did I mention I am over the moon happy with this lens?

Not so long ago, I was burning for a 16-50 star. Now I couldn't care less if it is ever released.
02-21-2007, 08:26 PM   #10
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Tom, glad to see that you are happy with your camera and that you have found a lens that suits what you want to shoot. Your shots do appear noticeably sharper, and yes, I did see the fingerprint on the lens. Thank you for sharing your findings and posting sample pictures.
02-21-2007, 08:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Tom,

Is this the lens that you bought? That's the listing on Amazon - $306 after the rebate.

And is this the same lens? This is the listing on Adorama - $206 after rebate.

Has one of these sites made a mistake or are they different lenses?

Will
I have seen this lens for $258 USD at Henry's, but I don't think the rebate would apply.

Henry's Camera Canada Photo - Video - Digital Camera's

The Adorama price seems right.
02-22-2007, 04:31 AM   #12
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40mm

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom Brown Quote
I've got my problems sorted out and now I can take beautiful picture after beautiful picture. As best as I can figure out, the key seems to have been removal of the 18-55mm kit lens and installation of a DA 40mm lens.

I picked up the DA 40 despite a few people mentioning it's not that great of a lens. Well... to my unsophisticated eye, it's terrific. When you can clearly see your fingerprint left on an item you didn't realize was there before taking the picture, it's plenty sharp.

The Limited 40mm lens is brutally sharp..I love it!
02-22-2007, 05:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
The Limited 40mm lens is brutally sharp..I love it!
I went into my local shop looking for a DA 21 but would have bought the 16-45 based on your recommendation and the brilliant clarity of the shots you've shared.

It turned out, they didn't have the DA 21, or the DA 16-45/4. He only had two lenses in stock. One was a DA 40 and the other a DA 18-55 kit. The shopkeep was bitter about it too. He said he brought in a bunch of K10Ds and customers stripped the shelves of them. Not long afterward, customers bared his shelves of lens inventory too. It sounds like he's going to drop Pentax.

I think one of the things that bugs him most about Pentax is that he's been recommending to people like me to buy Nikon or Canon but we go for Pentax anyway. He did his best to try to get us into a real system but we just wouldn't listen.
02-22-2007, 06:22 AM   #14
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Tom,
I'm glad you have sorted out your problem and are happy with your set up. I do think you got a sub par DA 18-55, but even with an average performing one, it would not be anywhere near the IQ of the 40 limited. The 40 is a very fine lens. The only knock I've heard against it has been that it may not have quite as nice a bokeh as the 31 or 77 limiteds, but it is still plenty nice, and as the diference between really, really good bokeh and great bokeh is subjective anyway.....Enjoy
02-22-2007, 06:25 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom Brown Quote
The shopkeep was bitter about it too. He said he brought in a bunch of K10Ds and customers stripped the shelves of them. Not long afterward, customers bared his shelves of lens inventory too. It sounds like he's going to drop Pentax.
Sounds like a good business to me. He's a fool if he drops it.

Simon
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