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Forum: Lens Clubs 10-24-2017, 07:09 AM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
When I finally decided to give digital cameras a try (after years of film cameras) I chose Pentax because of (like my profile says) . . . its compactness, in-camera SR, price, its interesting history, and to gamble that some company might want to reestablish it as a world-class system (which I think Pentax has). I didn't know anything about Pentax lenses, I just assumed with all that was available I'd be able to satisfy my needs. Today the number one big reason (besides the money already invested in Pentax) is in-camera shake reduction. I also really like Pentax's ergonomics, plus its sensor quality is close enough to the best available for a lot less money than the top Nikon, Canon or Sony.

It's exciting to build a system—I've enjoyed doing that with everything from computers and our music system to even the equipment/supplies I cook with. Yet I know too there's a time to shift the focus from system building to system using. My photo system is far better than I am a photographer, but I really enjoy using it and am looking forward to improving.
Forum: Lens Clubs 10-23-2017, 12:46 PM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
I'm sorry that I deleted my post, I'd hoped to do it before you answered. I was worried it might cause controversy, but your answers to me seem thoughtful. Good luck with your search!
Forum: Lens Clubs 10-22-2017, 03:37 PM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
Well, you noticed I'm sure he did his tests on the K10D. I also owned the Nokton while using ASP-C (K7 and K3), and sold it to use the funds to explore the other quality lenses made for Pentax. By the time I got the K-1 I'd tried all the high-reputation lenses made for Pentax, including several Leitaxed lenses. I either kept or reacquired the ones that most appealed to my tastes (4 Zeiss and 2 Voigtlander lenses).

The two Voigtlanders, the 58 and 90, were the lenses I reacquired for full frame because they showed so much promise on APS-C, especially the 90 SLII version. Both were small, lightweight, and focused even easier than Zeiss lenses, but I wasn't sure about the 58 because on the crop sensor I didn't think it seemed in the same league as Zeiss. I bought both the Nokton and the Zeiss Planar and ran a series of tests, tests that don't match the tests done in the article you referenced. His tests were far more thorough than mine, but at least for shots from f1.4 through f3.5 the Nokton kicked butt. By f4 the Zeiss was very close to equal, and by f5.6 they were clearly equal and pretty much stayed that way through f16, with the Zeiss maybe a hair better with micro contrast. In terms of your question "are they really so different?" . . . I wouldn't say so different, but different in ways that suited my needs.

The Nokton is a lens I use as sort of a short-tele, while 35mm is more "normal" for me. 58mm is more solidly a short tele than 50mm, and perfect for my needs by fitting nicely between my 35mm and 90mm lenses. Also, the Nokton is slightly lighter and more compact, and focused much easier than the Planar I tested it against. Finally, for my lenses 35mm and below, I don't really care much about their performance below f4 because I almost always shoot at f5.6 or above. But I wanted the Nokton to work at all apertures, just as I expect from my 90mm and 135mm lenses. If you look at the test shots I attached below you can see how much better the Nokton resolved at f1.4 than the Zeiss. But I must admit that past f4 they are not, as you suggest, so different, at least resolution wise.

Here's the uncropped shot I used to compare the lenses, though this is at 5.6 by the Nokton:




A crop of that little house way off, just left of center, Nokton at f1.4:




Same crop of a Zeiss shot at f1.4:

Forum: Lens Clubs 10-22-2017, 12:39 PM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
My 2 cents . . . I briefly owned one of those two lenses anyway, the Zeiss Makro 50 (but the Zeiss Planar 50 too). I've also owned a lot of macro lenses at different focal lengths and have decided I don't care for them for general photography. A macro's focal plane is designed to be flat, which isn't the best for portrait photography, and it also doesn't give the most 3D look. This weekend I've been comparing the Zeiss 28 f2 with a couple of other lenses. One thing the 28/2 has is field curvature. If you check the reviews, some people see that as a problem but others (most) see its field curvature as a potential asset and rate the 28/2 highly. Certainly part of the reason for its popularity is because of the Zeiss 28's rich color rendering and overall superb resolution, but people also like how field curvature and close focusing allow for isolating subjects in the foreground (plus, its field curvature is eliminated by f5.6 or 8, which is how most people shoot landscape). Check out Gedeon's portrait (#899) on the previous page to see the 28's field curvature exploited to maximum effect.

Another issue is how macros are sharp. A couple of pages ago (post #881) I referenced this article on acutance. Of course, all macro lenses are designed for very high acutance. However, one thing some of us appreciate are the Zeiss lenses that have a more sloped acutance yet still achieve high resolution, which seems to accentuate micro contrast over razor-like sharpness, and that too contributes to the 3D effect. For that, of the Zeiss lenses I've tried I found the 135 (Leitaxed) is king, followed by the 28 and 85. I've seen the highest acutance in the 21 and 25/2 (after the macros of course), with the Zeiss 35/2 pretty much in between the extremes.

Which leads me to ask, with the FA Limiteds you have do you need a 50mm lens? The three amigos will cover most portrait and landscape situations, but maybe (like me) you are after the Zeiss "look" and want to have that in one lens you hope to use for both portraits and landscape. If I still owned my FA Limiteds and wanted such a lens, then I think I might sell the FA 43 and get the Zeiss 35/2.

Finally, if for sure you are after a FL in the 50ish range, then I would be derelict in duty not to mention a lens I just reviewed here—the Voigtlander 58/1.4. On the K-1 it's turned out to be one of the finest lenses I've ever owned. The downside is how hard it is to find, but every once in awhile somebody sells one. In fact, just yesterday one was for sale on Ebay for $350! I almost bought it to have as a back up, but instead wrote a guy here who's been looking for one for a long time, and he quickly grabbed it.

Good luck.
Forum: Lens Clubs 10-19-2017, 08:39 AM  
Voigtländer LBA - post your pics, notes and thoughts.
Posted By les3547
Replies: 949
Views: 181,584
Took this shot of the sun at the height of the recent Sonoma County fires when smoke darkened the sky. K-1 and Voigtlander 90mm lens:

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-26-2017, 09:25 AM  
How many lenses do you have?
Posted By les3547
Replies: 1,503
Views: 105,473
If I were to choose the best of that group it's the Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 135mm f/2. I had to Leitax one I picked up used from Lens Authority but it's rendering of color, micro contrast, 3D effect, etc. is really something. I mention it because it is relatively undiscovered by Pentaxians.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-25-2017, 11:14 PM  
How many lenses do you have?
Posted By les3547
Replies: 1,503
Views: 105,473
After years of trying out lenses I've kept just six:

• Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8
• Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm f/2
• Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2
• Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4
• Voigtländer Apo-Lanthar SLII 90mm f/3.5
• Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 135mm f/2
Forum: Lens Clubs 09-06-2017, 10:14 AM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
No need to apologize Tas. You may have forgotten that we discussed the 28 and 35 in PM exchanges when I was trying to decide about whether to keep both the 28 and 35. I was sort of saying above that it is not getting easier (definitely keeping the 35 tho).

---------- Post added 09-06-17 at 10:42 AM ----------



I have decided that lens IQ, at least with high end lenses, is a matter of personal taste. Over the last ten years I've tried every DA and FA Limited (sometimes twice), plus more than a few of the * prime lenses and never felt satisfied with any of them. I did like a couple of zoom lenses, but I couldn't figure out why since the zooms weren't as sharp as the Limiteds. The DA 16-85, for example, I preferred to all three of the FA Limiteds I owned at the time. I finally realized that the Limiteds looked "clinical" to me, and that didn't appeal to my tastes, while the softer yet still well-resolved and rich color images from the 16-85 did appeal to me.

I did some research on sharpness and found this great article: "Sharpness, Acutance, and Resolution."



I suspect that high acutance comes at the expense of micro contrast so that one gets ultra-sharp edges like the FA Limiteds give, but which might not appeal to certain tastes when rendered. Zeiss lenses, so my theory goes, seem to have a more "relaxed" edge acutance, yet render colors deeper (coatings obviously affect that too) and retain more micro contrast for the 3D effect. Anyway, I don't think you are blasphemous, but rather just prefer a different "look" than most Pentax lenses offer. I feel the same way. FYI, I found Voigtlander lenses (I've also owned all of them, some twice) somewhere in between Zeiss and Pentax. But the 58 and 90 VII stand out to me. On the K-1 the 58 renders very much like a Zeiss (in fact I owned the Zeiss 50mm for a time and after comparing them far preferred the Voigtlander). And the CV 90 V II is a spectacularly sharp, true APO, close-focus, lightweight wonder that delivers excellent color too (tho it didn't match the Zeiss 85 I compared it to for micro contrast).
Forum: Lens Clubs 09-05-2017, 07:38 PM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
Hey Rob, nice to meet you. I've owned the Zeiss 35 for a few months now (check out my signature). At first I wasn't sure what to make of it, so that's why I said my appreciation has been growing. I agree with you about the 31 Limited. The four Zeiss and two Voigtlander lenses I now shoot with suit my tastes and needs very well.
Forum: Lens Clubs 09-04-2017, 10:09 PM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
The 35/2 and the 28/2 Zeiss lenses are similarly compact. For what I shoot f2 or f2.8 is fine, and I'd rather have a smaller lens than carry around weight for f stops I never use.



Great shot, the Zeiss 21 never disappoints.
Forum: Lens Clubs 09-04-2017, 08:07 PM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
Nicely done Tas. My appreciation for the Zeiss 35 has steadily grown over the last couple of months.
Forum: Lens Clubs 08-30-2017, 09:30 PM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
Speaking of 3D pop . . .
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 08-07-2017, 09:49 AM  
Metz Megablitz 26 AF-1 any good?
Posted By les3547
Replies: 19
Views: 2,730
Yeah, I bought one to use with my K-1 soon after asking about it in this thread, and it's been great for all the reasons you say. I seldom use a flash, just for fill really, so a tiny flash that fits in a pocket is perfect for my needs. Seems quite powerful for it's size. BTW, I held on to my old Metz 50 waiting for a software update from Metz for the K-1. When the update finally came for Mac computers, that flash works perfectly now too.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-25-2017, 08:54 AM  
Zeiss 25mm f/2 on Pentax K1
Posted By les3547
Replies: 25
Views: 1,584
The qualities of the Zeiss 25/f2 sound very much like those of the Zeiss 28/f2, except with the Zeiss 28/f2 corners sharpen up before f11—I'd say f5.6 or f8. Does that match your experience Dave (since you have both lenses)?
Forum: Lens Clubs 07-20-2017, 08:00 AM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
Zeiss 135/K-1:




These guys live in a blackberry patch behind our house (in total there's a mom and six babies). When a telephone pole in the middle of the patch was about to be replaced, and I warned the workmen of the skunks, the elder workman motioned to a young trainee and said "your first assignment":

Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 06-23-2017, 08:32 AM  
Moisture Control for Photo Equipment Storage
Posted By les3547
Replies: 12
Views: 1,014
This is just a small tip, but for me it seems to have solved a problem I've had with every Pentax I've owned (K7, K-5, K-3, K-1). The problem was spots appearing on my sensor within a couple of weeks after acquiring a new camera, like they did on my brand new K-1:



We live about 15 miles from the ocean but it's typically 75-80% humidity outside, and in the house it is a very consistent 50% humidity. I have always stored my cameras and lenses zipped up in a backpack, and nowhere near any moisture, yet within two weeks of acquiring a new camera without fail spots would show up on my sensor. If I cleaned it, they'd show up again not very long afterwards. I'd keep all the old silica packets I could find (sent with vitamins, etc.) in my backpack, but it didn't help. I worried my lenses might eventually be affected too, which is a lot harder to fix than a dirty sensor.

A few months ago I bought some silica packets that start out orange, but turn green when they are full of moisture. I cleaned my sensor again, put a silica packet in my bag, and after a week discovered it had turned green. Now I know why old silica packets don't work:



I have been changing out my silica packets every week for several months now, and no spots. The good thing about this type of silica packet is that they can be reused by putting them in the microwave for a few minutes on "defrost" until they turn orange again. This seller on Ebay offers 35 for $12.99 and free shipping.
Forum: Sold Items 05-23-2017, 11:33 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax K-3 Body (Black)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 1
Views: 504
A great deal.
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-15-2017, 07:48 AM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
I think there is an M42 adapter that can get Takumars to fit, but I've not heard of an adapter for K mount. On Ebay for example: M42 Lens to Contax Yashica C/Y

Some of those Takumars have a lot of personality.
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-13-2017, 05:27 PM  
Voigtländer LBA - post your pics, notes and thoughts.
Posted By les3547
Replies: 949
Views: 181,584
Voigtlander 90mm @ 3.5:

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-07-2017, 08:52 PM  
Why Are Third Party Lens Manufactures Dropping Pentax?
Posted By les3547
Replies: 59
Views: 3,559
My optimistic opinion is that the K-1 will start to attract Nikon and Canon APS-C shooters who would like to go FF, but can't afford their brand's FF. A thread here at PF suggests it may already be going on:

For each Pentaxian buying K-1 another Nikon/Canon shooter jumped ship to Pentax

If that continues, then what caused Zeiss and Sigma to pull the plug on Pentax—economics—will be the very same reason they'll consider again issuing K mount.
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-07-2017, 04:59 PM  
Carl Zeiss T* ZK mounts (Distagon, Planar, Makro-Planar)
Posted By les3547
Replies: 964
Views: 90,278
Test shot into the sun Zeiss Distagon 28/2 @ f11:


Forum: Sold Items 05-04-2017, 02:01 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited
Posted By les3547
Replies: 3
Views: 656
PentaxForums.com Marketplace Listing

Item for Sale
Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited

Asking Price
575.00 USD

Item Location
N. California (United States)

Item Description
Pentax FA 31 Limited is the MIJ version, and it is both mechanically and optically in superb condition. I’m selling it at a discount only because of abrasions on the hood and cap. It was on my camera much the time so I think the marks are from taking the lens cap off so much. The rest of the body is in great shape, it’s never been dropped or used in wet or extreme conditions.

Includes lens, caps, original paperwork and box, and free USPS Priority Insured shipping to CONUS. Thanks for looking.








Are you the original owner of the item being sold?
Yes

Are you selling or trading this item?
Selling

Item Condition (Key)
Used
Excellent

Shipping Destinations
Continental U.S. Only

Shipping Charge
Included

Shipping Services
USPS Priority Mail, Insured

Accepted Payment Types
PayPal

Return Policy & Additional Details
Return only if not as described.

Please send me a private message if interested in the item!
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-04-2017, 09:58 AM  
Voigtländer LBA - post your pics, notes and thoughts.
Posted By les3547
Replies: 949
Views: 181,584
I'm certain focusing was my problem. I believe those lenses (and the CV 90) are three of the finest lenses ever made. It started with a new prescription for my glasses that I couldn't figure out a way to use with my camera. 90mm and above is too long to tolerate wobble on APS-C (which is what I had then), and focusing on version I of the Voigtlanders is far stiffer than version II, which have buttery smooth action that's even better than the Zeiss lenses IMHO. I absolutely loved the retro look of V I, but with V II I can easily spin the ring around with my index finger, yet it stays put too. Anyway, that stiffness combined with my glasses kept me missing shots, which is why I sold the version I lenses and started trying various AF lenses. The CV 58 I sold because it was a weird FL (for me) on APS-C, but I acquired it again for FF. I've also since learned a way to press the camera to my cheek to hold it near my glasses, so I'm back in business with manual focus lenses. :)

Another reason I gave up the magnificent CV125 was because I seldom shoot macro and I the macro look doesn't appeal to me for wider scenes (just a personal taste thing, I know others really like the look). I went through quite a few macro lenses before I figured that out about myself - I even had the Zeiss 100 makro but gave it up for that reason. Actually, selling the CV 125 to you (which I'd lusted after for years) led to me figuring out that I've been searching for lenses that can recreate the sort of images I used to get with my Leica lenses 35-40 years ago. The Voigtlanders render wonderfully, but also differently than Leica lenses which I thought were sort of "lush", if that makes any sense to say about a lens. I prefer tube lushness to solid state "crispness" (in the upper frequencies) for my music listening as well. For what I'm after, a couple of the Zeiss lenses seem closest.

Of course, none this takes away from the fact that you have managed to put together some of the finest lenses.
Forum: Lens Clubs 05-03-2017, 10:17 PM  
Voigtländer LBA - post your pics, notes and thoughts.
Posted By les3547
Replies: 949
Views: 181,584
Most impressive. I aspired to achieve the whole collection throughout my obsession with Voigtlander. I had them all, some twice (because I'd sold them and later thought better of it), but never all at the same time. I'm glad you like the 125, it is stunning but its stiff focus made it hard for me to use without a tripod, same with the 180 (for me), and even version I of the 90. Right now I have the 90 VII and the 58 Nokton because they are fantastic on the K-1.
Forum: Sold Items 05-03-2017, 10:02 AM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax F* 300 F4.5 ED (IF), Excellent + Condition
Posted By les3547
Replies: 1
Views: 605
PentaxForums.com Marketplace Listing

Item for Sale
Pentax F* 300 F4.5 ED (IF), Excellent + Condition

Asking Price
700.00 USD

Item Location
N. California (United States)

Item Description
I keep changing my mind about selling this lens because it is the best telephoto I've owned. Besides how sharp and contrasty it is, It is compact and lightweight for a 300mm (880g and internally focuses too) and balances the camera so that handheld shots are very possible. However, I simply do not use any FL over 150mm, so it isn't going to get used.

A reviewer here at PF recently wrote of this lens: “There are no pristine versions” but I nonetheless managed to acquire one that’s close because it sat unused by the original owner. The glass is in beautiful condition (no flaws that I can see), and the body is overall excellent plus. What it does have is a small paint chip here and there that I’ve provided examples of. But if you examine details like the overall texture of the body paint or rubber focusing ring, it is difficult to find any wear (well, maybe the bottom of the tripod mount).

The lens works as well as it looks, with AF fast and accurate, aperture ring fully functional, built in hood easily extended and returned, tripod foot attaches solidly.


Priced to sell, sale includes lens, tripod mount, original lens cap, and storage bag. Shipping: $25 for insured Priority Mail USPS shipping in US, actual charges over $25 outside US.












Recent handheld shot:



Are you the original owner of the item being sold?
No

Are you selling or trading this item?
Selling

Item Condition (Key)
Used
Excellent

Shipping Destinations
Worldwide

Shipping Charge
25 for US/Actual cost over $25 Worldwide

Shipping Services
USPS Insured Priority Mail

Accepted Payment Types
PayPal

Return Policy & Additional Details
Final sale unless not as described.

Please send me a private message if interested in the item!
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