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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-18-2018, 07:37 PM  
Best "cheap" lens.
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 38
Views: 1,708
I'll play! With others who have already mentioned: 50mm f1.7s; F35-70
I'll add:
SMC PENTAX 45-125mm F4
Auto Mamiya / Sekor 55mm F 1.4
TOKINA SZ-X 80-200mm f4.5-5.6
and especially: SUPER TAKUMAR 150mm F4
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-15-2018, 11:00 AM  
About that "normal" 50mm lens...
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 9
Views: 736
A fascinating article in The Atlantic entitled:
"How the 50-mm Lens Became ‘Normal’ - It’s often called the optic that best approximates human vision, but approximation is relative. An Object Lesson."

It's more of a history lesson describing why the 50mm became 'normal,' but it also reflects on other 'lenses' of perception we use. It does include a Pentax K1000 mention!

Tldr;... Here's the concluding paragraph:
Perhaps the 50-mm communicates an anxiety about whether an individual can understand someone else’s vision. Under the right circumstances, a 50-mm lens does create a perspectival relationship that, more or less, approximates the ways the majority of people see their everyday world. But it’s still relative. Mechanically, it’s relative to the specific apparatus to which the lens is attached. And metaphorically, it’s relative to all the social, emotional, or economic conditions that shape the everyday lives people inhabit. Perhaps we should be skeptical of the whole idea of a shared perspective. Rather, it is the difference between our lenses that leads to a better understanding of how machines, and people, see in the first place.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-07-2018, 09:37 PM  
Fast Action the Old-Fashioned Way (Rokinon 85mm f/1.4)
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 6
Views: 611
Be sure to check out the Catch-in-focus feature of the K-70. I've used this w/ manual lenses to increase my keeper count. (You use manual focus, but the shutter will fire as soon as it gets focus confirmation. Just make sure your lens and camera are calibrated.)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-07-2018, 08:27 AM  
how well do M series lens stand up
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 50
Views: 1,966
I have 3 M series lenses.
= SMC Pentax-M 200mm F4: A fine lens, but I have more fun with the tiny TeleTakumar 200 f5.6
= SMC PENTAX M 75-150 f4: Another nice lens that has character
= SMC PENTAX-M 50mm 1:1.7 : I have an A50 f1.4 that I like a little better, but the M50 f1.7 is like a work of art. It's just a jewel to hold in the hand, an engineering gem that is so solid and smooth. Fun to use, and has its own style.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-19-2018, 08:07 AM  
300mm - 400mm Prime for my k10d suggestions?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 42
Views: 1,387
I have the DA-L 55-300, the Super Takumar 300mm F4, and a FIVE STAR 500mm 1:8 67mm.
I can get better results with the SuperTak 300 than the DAL, but it depends on how well I've been able to focus. I can get more keepers w/ the DAL with its autofocussing.
If it's simply magnification, that cheap, old long tube FiveStar 500mm gets the best results (compared to upsizing from 300mm on the other lenses), but it certainly needs to be tripod mounted.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-27-2018, 08:07 PM  
To Deglass or Not? PKA macro teleconverter
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 21
Views: 3,257
If it's this Kenko 1.4x, you may want to keep it.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-03-2018, 06:07 PM  
Mamiya / Sekor SX 55mm f/1.8 - adapter advice?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 6
Views: 552
Exactly. You'll see on my review of the lens that I needed to cut out a plastic washer from a credit card to make it work properly.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-03-2018, 11:47 AM  
Mamiya / Sekor SX 55mm f/1.8 - adapter advice?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 6
Views: 552
I'm not sure if the M/S SX Mamiya/Sekor has the same issue w/ the pin as my Yashica DS-M 50mm f1.4 lens, but the option I found is the M42 > K mount adaptor with an inner flange. The inner flange presses down the pin without needing to do anything to the lens. Here's the one at Adorama.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-02-2018, 08:04 AM  
Weirdest Lens Ever?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 41
Views: 2,471
Well, this one isn't as weird as that Laowa 24mm macro, but this is an odd one I acquired:
Soligor C/D Dualfocus f3.5/28mm & f3.8/35mm MC
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-28-2018, 10:19 PM  
Filters do you use them & which ones and why & when???
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 38
Views: 1,527
Maybe someone can set me straight... I do not use UV or clear filters. I do use a lens hood. I usually do not use a CPL, but...
I do use a CPL when I'm dealing with water surfaces and want to minimize reflection.
I also use a CPL at the times when I would be wearing polarized sunglasses. I.e., I use it during bright, sunny days, especially in scenes with reflective or light colored surfaces.
Is that a good guide for determining when to use a CPL?
This practice seems to work for me.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-27-2018, 07:47 AM  
Full Frame travel zoom
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 19
Views: 1,098
I'm guessing the DFA 28-105 would be best, but when I can afford a K-1, for travelling around, I've held on to my Tamron 24-135. It won't match up in quality to the 28-105, but it's both wider and longer, so it's handier for travel. There are still copies out there and available.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-16-2018, 03:19 PM  
DA 10-17 FE usage tips/quirks/limitations
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 25
Views: 1,114
If you're referring to my pics, the one of the lighthouse was corrected simply using "Enable Profile Corrections" in Lightroom. As you can see on the pic, I had to aim up just a bit, and that created some distortion. If I had been higher and able to shoot level, I might not have needed any. The pic of the Lincoln Memorial also was corrected this way, and I mainly did it because of the straight lines of the steps. (It would have not been very distracting if I had not corrected.) I often do not have to apply correction from 14mm-17mm for landscapes where there are not straight lines as long as I get the horizon level.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-16-2018, 11:58 AM  
DA 10-17 FE usage tips/quirks/limitations
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 25
Views: 1,114
Thanks! I'm impressed you recognized the Aphrodisias site! That's the kind of pic you couldn't get without the 10-17 FE at 10mm. I do have the 8mm Rokinon fisheye which is also fabulous, but it's rather large, so it doesn't travel much.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-16-2018, 09:25 AM  
DA 10-17 FE usage tips/quirks/limitations
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 25
Views: 1,114
I enjoy my 10-17, and I pair it w/ a 16-85 to make a great travel combo with my K-3. As others have noted, it has it limitations (soft edges, fringing), but it is so versatile. That is so small makes it all the easier to bring along. It also encourages me to be more creative. The OP complained about its performance in midday, but I can't complain, and it is capable of some decent sunbursts.
_K3M0256 by Mark Hoffman, on Flickr
IMGP7533-Edit by Mark Hoffman, on Flickr
IMGP8403 by Mark Hoffman, on Flickr
_K3M1579 by Mark Hoffman, on Flickr
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-30-2017, 11:27 AM  
Between the 15 and 70
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 61
Views: 2,594
For street shooting, I like the DA 21 on a body like K-70. It's the focal length I find most useful. But, I also bring along a 40XS. It's so small and gives a bit more zoom when I need it. Both the 21 and 40XS make for a very inconspicuous kit on the K-70 which is also a plus for street shooting.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-13-2017, 09:05 AM  
If you could keep only one, which one and why?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 9
Views: 767
Keep the K24. That is likely the hardest one to find when you want to buy again the ones you're selling! :)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-08-2017, 09:31 AM  
Your perfect 3 lens set for an MX
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 38
Views: 1,661
I can't comment on the wide end, but I think any of the M or A 50mm 1.2/1.4/1.7 are all pretty close. The only thing you might consider is the 40mm pancake if you want something small.
At the long end, I see the good recommendations for 100mm or 135mm lenses, but you may want to consider the S-M-C/Super Takumar 150mm F4. I like it better than any of the 135mm lenses I've tried, and it is remarkably small and lightweight.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-28-2017, 08:18 PM  
Looking for lens recommendations for trip to USA National Parks
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 62
Views: 4,098
My kit to match yours: 16-85, 55-300, 10-17FE, and either the DA 21 or DA 40XS. I'm good to go!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-13-2017, 06:41 PM  
Travel lens kit
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 13
Views: 1,116
Thanks!
I previously used the 18-135 and 10-17FE combo, but in terms of FOV, it left a significant gap between the 17mmFE and the 18mm on the rectilinear. The 16-85 and 10-17FE make a perfect combo in terms of FOV.
I have and like a Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6, but that's such a large lens. The 10-17FE is so much smaller and encourages me to be more creative. (The Sigma 10-20 and the DA 18-135 do make an excellent pair in terms of FOV.)
As for a low-light prime, most of my low-light work is in museums. I used to bring a DA 50 f1.8. Great little lens, but it is just too long for museum work. I then tried the DA 35 f2.4. Still a little too long. Hence the DA 21 f3.2. That was good for museums, and a great street lens too. With the low-light capabilities of the K-3, however, I was able to use the 16-85 most of the time.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-12-2017, 01:59 PM  
Recommended 'Cheap' 200mm or 300mm High Quality MF Lens
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 43
Views: 2,042
I have the TeleTak 200 f5.6 (which is incredibly small), the M 200 f4, and a SuperTak 300 f4. All are nice lenses, reasonably cheap, fun to use, and can do the job, but... I can get consistently better results using my old DAL 55-300.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-11-2017, 11:28 PM  
Travel lens kit
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 13
Views: 1,116
I had a fabulous 3 weeks in Greece in July, but when I returned, some unexpected things kept me stupid busy, and so I'm slow in reporting on my photography experiences. I was part of a group looking at ancient sites in light of mythology and early Christianity. To that end I was mainly documenting locations, and I'm happy with the pictures I was able to get. I'm a little disappointed in myself for not being as 'artistic' and creative with the shots as I would have liked. That is, I believe every site has a story to tell, and good shots are able to capture the spirit of a place without documenting it. Ah, well, I'm still learning...
As for my gear, I was satisfied. The main problem is that somehow for one whole day, I shot with WB in fluorescent. Add a CPL to that, and it produces some weird colors. (I have no idea how it happened, since I always just use AWB.) I shoot in RAW, so it was fixable, at least.
I ended up bring 3 bags.
  • Tenba Discovery Photo/Laptop Messenger which could hold everything. I carried it around a number of times, and the main benefit is that it allowed me to bring 2 bodies (K-3 w/ the 16-85 and the K-30 with the 10-17 FE) and not have to change lenses when I was with the group.

  • A Tamrac Velocity 6X: I ended up using this most of all. We did lots of hiking around, and it was very hot, so this lighter weight option was perfect. I can fit the K-3 with the 16-85 (w/ hood), the 10-17FE, the 40XS, spare batteries, etc. It was perfect for my needs.

  • A little fanny pack that I would use for street shooting, usually with the K-30 and DA21 and/or 40XS.

As for cameras and lenses...
  • K-3: ~1500 pics

  • K-30: ~100 pics

  • Galaxy Note 5: ~200 pics

Lenses and focal lengths
  • DA 16-85: 1225 pics
    • 16mm: 476

    • 18mm: 104

    • 21mm: 95

    • 23mm: 74

    • 26mm: 90

    • 28mm: 65

    • 31-39mm: 135

    • 43-48mm: 55

    • 53-60mm: 41

    • 68-75mm: 53

    • 85mm: 56


  • DA 10-17FE: 265 pics
    • 10-11mm: 160

    • 13-15mm: 40

    • 17mm: 65


  • DA 21: 50 pics

  • DA 40XS: 15 pics

  • DAL 55-300: 10 pics (mostly 150-300mm)

As the numbers show the K-3 with 16-85 was a very versatile combination. I had used the DA 18-135 on earlier trips, and my experience suggested that I would use the 16-17mm more than the 86-135mm, and you can see that's true. I love pairing it with the DA 10-17FE which is one of my favorite lenses. The DA 21 and 40XS are so small that it's easy to include them, and I mainly used them for street shots. Part of the reason that there are so few shots with the 55-300 is that I just didn't bother often to carry it around. I probably could have left the DAL 55-300 behind and been fine.

All in all, I was satisfied with my gear, and I report here as way of recommending it to others going on similar types of trips.

I haven't had time to process many of the pics, but here are some samples.


Temple of Poseidon at Sounion
by Mark Hoffman, on Flickr

Theater at Oiniadias
by Mark Hoffman, on Flickr

Greco-Roman ship shed (dry dock) for 6 triemes at Oiniadias
by Mark Hoffman, on Flickr

Temple of Zeus at Olympia
by Mark Hoffman, on Flickr
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 08-27-2017, 03:51 PM  
What other Chinon lenses are M42 mount ?
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 24
Views: 1,589
I have the Chinon 45mm f2.8 pancake in K mount which I really like.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-04-2017, 10:20 AM  
Travel lens kit
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 13
Views: 1,116
Thanks. It does sound like we are on the same page! My point and shoot backup is my Samsung Note 5 phone. Decent enough pics, and I can use it to do 1-shot panoramas and videos too.
Ok... Leaving in an hour!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-03-2017, 06:14 PM  
Travel lens kit
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 13
Views: 1,116
  • I'll probably use the 16-85 as much as I can in the museums unless lack of light becomes an issue. Then I can use the DA 21 or 40XS.

  • I went over my pics from the last time I was in a similar type of museum. 52 pics: 36 were in the 18-35mm range, and of those, 2/3rds were in 24-32mm range. (I guessing a HD DA 20-40 would be a nice lens to use in a museum!)

  • 10 pics were 90mm or more, but all but 1 of them were closeups of signage.

Thanks! I think it will be a great trip!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-03-2017, 10:59 AM  
Travel lens kit
Posted By mgvh
Replies: 13
Views: 1,116
I'm going to Greece for 3 weeks! Mostly visiting the ancient sites and museums.
In similar trips in the past, I've taken the DA 18-135 and a Sigma 10-20 f4.5-6 for outdoor stuff. I've usually included the DAL 55-300. It gets used but not a lot since the 18-135 is so versatile. For museum stuff, I've used the DA 35 f2.4.

Since the last time I travelled, I've upgraded, and on this trip I'm not quite as concerned about architectural accuracy (ie, rectilinear) as I am about the artistic qualities. So, this time I'm bringing:
  • DA 16-85: I know my style and I will use those 16-17mm at the wide end more than the 86-135mm at the long end I had w/ the 18-135. Also, my 18-135 was weakest at 18mm end, and the 16-85 does quite well there.

  • DA 10-17 FE: This is one of my favorite lenses. The fisheye allows for some creative play at the wide end. It's nearly rectilinear (or correctable) from 15-17mm. In terms of FOV, 17mm on this lens is just a bit wider than 16mm on the 16-85. I.e., I'm thinking these two make a great pairing.

  • DAL 55-300: This might get more use now since I'll use it for anything past 85mm.

  • DA 21: This will be my street lens and museum lens when I need something faster than the 16-85.

  • DA 40XS: This also will be for street and museum, and since it's so small, it's easy to throw in the bag.

I will be with a group, so I often don't have time to switch lenses, and so I bring 2 bodies (and that also gives me backup). The DA 16-85 will usually be on a K-3, and the DA 10-15 FE will be on a K-30.


This is actually a rather compact kit. The DA 16-85 is noticeably but not terribly bigger than the 18-135. The DA 10-17 is much smaller than the Sigma 10-20.



Weather in Greece in July is sunny, no rain at all, highs in the 90's. I'll report back later.
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