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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 Days Ago  
Old lenses and modern senstivities
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 16
Views: 1,132
I do indeed agree that the modern lenses have become spec based monsters to appeal to a 'playing cards' form of one upmanship where one kid (er... photographer) matches his MTF score against the other and distortion % of XXX lens wins that of X lens by 0.1%.

Unfortunately, Pentax did things their own way for a long time with DA limiteds, smallish lenses and really got battered in the market for this. (ie. being seen as inferior by the consumers since all reviews will have show them up as lower spec'ed)


That said, I do believe that often, its the flaws and design trade-offs that give old lenses their character and its up to the photographer to make use of them.
Lower prices wrt modern ones is a bonus too.

Takumar 58/2.4

Spirit of a Young Lady by jenkwang, on Flickr


Takumar 100/2

20150329-DSC01119-1 by jenkwang, on Flickr


CZJ Biotar 75/1.5
Scenes from a wedding by jenkwang, on Flickr
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 Days Ago  
Is there a high quality compact prime around 17-18mm for K1?
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 103
Views: 5,598
20mm - M20/4 is as small as it gets

There is the Laowa 12/2.8 which is smaller than the Irix and Samyang 15/14mm lenses.
Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D – LAOWA Camera Lenses
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 5 Days Ago  
DPR Article on Pixel Shift
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 16
Views: 644
Another site that I often ask folks to abandon (its forums) and just let them loose the Pentax userbase there totally. (not that they really value it anyways)


I do recall the few articles they had about the K1 (and pixel shift) and the underlining tone was always that it was left wanting due to limited use situations and no Adobe support.
This A7RIII is different in what they are saying now :

"Are we impressed?

How could we not be? Landscape, cityscape and architecture photographers will absolutely love this new feature paired with the already excellent sensor in the a7R III - as long as they steer clear of (or clone out) moving objects in the scene. The increase in resolution and decrease in aliasing Pixel Shift brings is obvious in both our studio scene and real world result. It's frankly dramatic in the latter.
Are we impressed? How could we not be? Landscape, cityscape and architecture photographers will love this

There can be obvious artifacts in anything moving though, so that's a potentially significant (albeit expected) caveat for landscapes with motion (water, fast clouds), telephoto shots prone to movement from wind and vibrations, etc. You'll want to use a sturdy tripod with a remote release or self-timer. Furthermore, for now, using Sony's 'Imaging Edge' software is clunky, but once Adobe incorporates support, we can't wait to start shooting landscapes and perhaps tougher subjects in this mode to see how well it copes."
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-11-2017, 10:08 PM  
'Rendering' question of FA 43 Limited
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 30
Views: 1,452
Glad to be of help.

A Pentax camera and some small primes is really a nice setup. :)
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-08-2017, 10:28 PM  
DxO score for Pentax 645Z: 101!
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 117
Views: 8,577
Quoting myself.... :D


See.... I knew that this was coming .... (ie. the Hasselblad X1D review is out with a 102 sensor score).


So to me, STOP giving DXO any relevance by not quoting them nor using them as reference.
KNOW your stuff and trust your own eyes when you judge IQ on your own camera.
If its good enough, its good enough.
There is no need to give DXO any more traffic or relevance to compare this sort of non-distinct difference of "My sensor is 100, yours is 99"
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-08-2017, 12:38 AM  
'Rendering' question of FA 43 Limited
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 30
Views: 1,452
Separation wise, I think the 43ltd is less strong than the FA50/1.4, 77ltd, 31ltd.

I like to use my lenses a bit stopped down (0.3-1 stop to get little bit better bokeh, sharpness and enough DOF)

Here is an example of how the FA31ltd is really something special when it comes to a wide that makes the subject pop, all while stopped down f2.8

20160530-IMGP1429 by jenkwang, on Flickr
The environ of the subject in view to give context, the subject at about half body (ie. not a that up close shot ), but that subject to bkgnd separation is still very apparent.


This one with the 43ltd at about the same f2 or f2.8.

DSC0413120140214ILCE-7 by jenkwang, on Flickr
I just don't find that the bkgnd smoothly drops off as well, nor does the subject pop as much as compared to the purposely imposed 'flaws' of the 31ltd.
The central sharpness and weaker off-center, the drawing style and strong contrast of the 31ltd just makes the subject stand out more imo.
This is what I feel the designer of the 31ltd had in mind when he talked about using a pictorial assessment of a lens over just a numerical based one.


Now, this is with the humble FA50/1.4 stopped down to f1.8.

20160820-IMGP2770 by jenkwang, on Flickr
Its the reason why I find that the humble 50mm shines on FF.
Highly versatile, and that right combi of FL, fast aperture to give the shallow DOF enough to make subjects pop in many situations.



So in all, the 43ltd on FF to me is great as a portable lens, good 'reportage' style FOV, with some 'normal' like 50mm qualities as well.
For 'pop' and separation using shallow DOF and sharpness/contrast on the subject and sharpness falloff on the off-center, even the FA50 is stronger, imo.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-06-2017, 10:08 PM  
What (feasible) lens is missing from Pentax's lineup?
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 72
Views: 6,452
A symmetrical lens design UWA that is mirror up use only (in LV).
15mm f4.5, the size of which will look like a FA28/2.8 when mounted on the K1 (with part of the lens within the mirror box area).
Certainly a first for a DSLR (but Canon did have such a lens for film)
The lens contacts can transmit the ID to the camera to prevent use if not in mirror up mode.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-06-2017, 07:00 PM  
'Rendering' question of FA 43 Limited
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 30
Views: 1,452
The 43ltd is the more 'technical' of the 3 ltds imo.

Its benefits are small size, rather even sharpness at wider apertures (or 1 stop down) and FL between 35mm and 50mm.
Sharpish 50mm like qualities stopped down.
Probably the weakest amongst the 3 ltds for bokeh and subject separation (flatter field) imo.

That said, I do like it a lot.

20131001-IMGP4530-43 mmPENTAX K-30-1 by jenkwang, on Flickr


10162012_IMGP0040_F022_043_FA43Ltd by jenkwang, on Flickr


20161126-IMGP6469-1 by jenkwang, on Flickr


20141225-DSC07626-2400 by jenkwang, on Flickr
Forum: Pentax Q 11-06-2017, 05:06 PM  
Let's share shots with Q!
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 5,682
Views: 771,983
Thanks guys :)
Forum: Pentax Q 11-06-2017, 06:20 AM  
Let's share shots with Q!
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 5,682
Views: 771,983
Pentax Q7 +08 zoom.

A field of tea by jenkwang, on Flickr
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 10-25-2017, 05:27 AM  
Sony does pixel shift in a7R III
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 37
Views: 1,871
Great!
Everyone will think Sony invented it. :D
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-17-2017, 11:21 PM  
Manual focus lenses with infinity focus issues - anyone else encountering them?
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 8
Views: 496
Same experience here.
I was surprised that my M85/2 was 'way out' on the K1 on reaching infinity, as well as 2 other old lenses being of varying degrees short of infinity.
These had no such issues since K7, K5, K20.

I'd suspect either the 'golden unit' they have in the plant is changed (used to check such tolerances), or the FF is more stringent on this.

Anyway, to be safe, its good to check all lenses before important use with a new camera.
I had all of my affected lenses adjusted.
Forum: Pentax K-1 10-16-2017, 06:06 PM  
New K-1 Owner. Help me build my lens collection:)
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 62
Views: 2,271
My recommendation :

UWA
------
DFA15-30
Irix 15
Samyang 14

Wide
------
K28/3.5
FA31ltd
K24/2.8 (good enough, though it can be better)
FA35/2

Normal
======
FA50/1.4


Short tele
========
FA77ltd


IMHO, for a portrait lens, the 50mm can do the job, more as an environmental portrait lens, the 77ltd would be the better for tighter shots.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-13-2017, 09:18 PM  
DxO score for Pentax 645Z: 101!
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 117
Views: 8,577
The real reason that they are doing this is that they are soon to release the review of a new camera that has a better score than the 645Z.
Remember K5, K3, K1 reviews?
Often the reviews are out just to get them trashed by a camera that is 1.5yr or more newer. :D
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-02-2017, 10:44 PM  
Blind test: Guess the lens (8 x 135mm)
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 30
Views: 1,535
What I could try to tell apart :

So I got some right and many I could not ID down further than 2 choices.

1 SMC Pentax 135mm f3.5 - Stronger contrast (suggesting SMC) and the Hex in the oof highlights
6 SMC Pentax 135mm f2.5 - the slight softness at wide open, but still rather good contrast (suggesting SMC) and the most OOF (suggesting the largest f-stop)
5 Pentacon Auto 135mm f2.8 - its was either #6 or #5
7 Takumar 135mm f3.5 or M 135mm f3.5 - a bit of hex in the OOF highlights but I can't remember the specifics of the bokeh otherwise
2,4 Jupiter 11A 135mm f4 - Looking out for the slightly funkier bokeh that Sonnar have wide open (though longer FL have less) and more rounded OOF highlights. as well as lower contrast from the old coatings. In my (weak) defense, I only have the J9 and a Nikkor ltm 135mm though. :D


Zero knowledge on the other lenses.

IMO, its a good showing in this use situation for 1,7,8, incidentally the f3.5 Pentax lenses.
Sharpish for the subject, good non-funky/edgy bokeh, good contrast.
Smallish too as 135mm lenses.
Forum: Post-Processing Articles 10-02-2017, 10:16 PM  
Get "that CCD look" with the K-3 / K-3II and Lightroom
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 101
Views: 6,943
Nice exploration into the process of getting the look.

I've often wondered if what we tend to associate as the 'CCD look' is really just limited dynamic range from the sensors of that time.
I usually find that when I pull in the shadows and highlights so that they clip the edges slightly, the contrast becomes deep and the colors more saturated.
I'd then add a very slight "S" curve.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-28-2017, 06:46 PM  
F 135 f2.8 vs FA 135 f2.8
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 20
Views: 752
Usually, the numbers can be a guide but not the absolute answer.
It can be pulled up or down by just one person who got a lemon or a newbie who got pretty excited and gave 10.

What I used to do after looking at the numbers will be to read the comments in the review, esp the ones with the best and worst scores.
I'd also try to pick out if the reviewer is someone who knows what he's saying/seeing and give weight-age on that.

I doubt the F and FA are any different optically.
I have the FA and its a wonderfully fast focus lens with rich colors and contrasts.
Smallish too for a 135mm and convenient built in hood.
The only weakness is the CA.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-27-2017, 10:36 PM  
Another This vs. That! A* 300/4 vs Tamron (60B) 300/ 2.8
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 16
Views: 1,007
You'd get away with f4 for isolation purposes on a FF imo.

F*300/4.5 (mostly shot at f5.6 iirc) on K1

20170806-IMGP9552 by jenkwang, on Flickr

20170618-IMGP8805-BW by jenkwang, on Flickr
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-27-2017, 04:04 PM  
Samyang 14 vs 16mm
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 7
Views: 471
There is now an official profile in Lightroom, and before that, I used one that was created by other users on the web (for Nikon FF, which is the same imo).


For cityscapes, it can be a problem if one does look out for it, but as shown, its not that apparent to be instantly 'fisheye' :D
For more natural landscapes, I find that the distortion is not relevant at all.

20160529-IMGP1213-BW by jenkwang, on Flickr

Tanah Lot #4 by jenkwang, on Flickr


f2.8 is handy and I feel that its sharp enough centrally.
20150315-DSC09783-2400 by jenkwang, on Flickr

20160710-IMGP2637 by jenkwang, on Flickr
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-27-2017, 03:58 PM  
Dilemma with wide angle lens - Landscape photography
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 25
Views: 1,342
For me its a few combis.

M20/4
FA31ltd
DA77ltd


Samyang 14
K28/3.5
FA50/1.4 (or 77ltd)


There's not much choice but to get the larger 150mm filter and holders if you want to use a ND filter.
Its a large initial cost, but you really only need a 6-stop or 10-stop to start with.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-27-2017, 04:54 AM  
Samyang 14 vs 16mm
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 7
Views: 471
The Samyang 14/2.8 is as good as it gets for a FF f2.8 UWA at 14mm and this type of cost.

Yes, there is distortion, but its usually not very apparent in most shots (and taken care of quite a bit with a lens profile).
Its sharp to the edges at f11/f16.
20170211-IMGP6983-1 by jenkwang, on Flickr


IMGP6891-PS-1 by jenkwang, on Flickr


IMGP2476-CompAdj-1 by jenkwang, on Flickr
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-26-2017, 06:45 PM  
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 or SMC Pentax M 85mm f/2?
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 63
Views: 3,023
If I'd put my finger on it, its the usual few factors.
Focus and subject movement, since the 1st shot was a candid and apparent sharpness due to less contrast in the processing for the 2nd shot.

The FA77ltd is certainly one of the sharpest lenses, performing rather like the older 50mm (ie. FA50/1.4), being centrally very sharp from wide open, and sharpens up nicely all thru to the edges stopped down from f4 onwards.

FA77ltd again..
20160529-IMGP1309 by jenkwang, on Flickr


Portrait of a Porter by jenkwang, on Flickr
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-25-2017, 12:49 AM  
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 or SMC Pentax M 85mm f/2?
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 63
Views: 3,023
IMHO, often, discussion on such lenses are also clouded by the cost and technical aspect of these lenses with less said about the pictorial/usage aspect of them.

Very often, claims about bokeh are just @wide open and very near focus distances.
In many cases, the bokeh will look nice and smooth in the above situation.
But sometimes we need to ask ourselves if this is the only real world use case the lens will operate in.

What about a full body portrait? (will the bokeh hold up?)
Half body shots?
Portability (eg. carry loads of other stuff for the kids; already heavy bag for 1 week trek and villagers portraits in Burma? etc)

This is my personal experience with a lot of the lenses.

FA*85/1.4
A very good lens with a rather good bokeh over most use cases.
Near or further focus distance and bkgnd, the bokeh is generally pleasing. (not all lenses can claim that)
Sharpness is good enough in all cases imo.
Its not a small lens (those new Sigma's are worse), but not something I'd carry on a photo trip.
Its a lens that I'd certainly bring for very specific portrait sessions.

Mayara #4 - Fall by jenkwang, on Flickr

Graziella #2 by jenkwang, on Flickr



M85/2
On paper, its easy to ding this lens.
CA prone (esp wide open), not the sharpest of the 85mm options.
Get one and use it, and its got more of a story to tell.
Almost as small as a 50mm, meaning its highly portable, a very bold drawing style and what I'd call 'rich' colors/contrasts.
Also, a bokeh thats generally ok in many use situations.
f2 or often at f2.8 may seem a flaw, but often, the DOF is enough (esp on FF)

20160124-DSC09498 by jenkwang, on Flickr

20141012-DSC04179-1 by jenkwang, on Flickr

K85/1.8
Actually the claim to fame is more that its uncommon and sharper in the central area at wide apertures. (also less CA than most fast 85)
IMO, this has become passed on to become a claim that its the better lens of the 85mm 'PERIOD'
There is more of a 'swirl' in the bokeh on FF (not really a bad thing depending on tastes)
Rendering near is also what I feel is more standard, unlike the style on the M85.
A good lens if one values central sharpness from f1.8, little CA and a less edgier rendering.
Its also starting to get big as a lens, though still a good size.

Under the shade of solace by jenkwang, on Flickr

DSC0940820140531ILCE-7 by jenkwang, on Flickr


Jupiter 9
Another lens that one will reject if only based on paper merits.
Poor flare resistance, not sharp off center, large copy variations, f2 and not faster.
In use, this is a gem.

I feel that the Sonnars are better in the bokeh once they are stopped down 1 stop with the longer Sonnars getting away with it a bit more (eg. 100mm, 105mm, 135mm )
Stopped down f2.8, the J9 has a wonderful even bokeh in most situations.
Centrally sharp to make the subject stand out with that bit of vignette to focus on the central subject even more.

A nice 85mm to get if one can get a good copy at a reasonable price commensurate to other 85mm f1.8/f2.
This is not an all rounder lens as its not critically sharp at the edges stopped down for landscape work.

20160205-DSC09885 by jenkwang, on Flickr

DSC0426220140215ILCE-7-1 by jenkwang, on Flickr

---------- Post added 09-25-2017 at 03:54 PM ----------

FA77ltd
Too much fuss over why not to get one.
As small as a 50mm, as sharp as one too wide open and stopped down.
Rich colors and contrasts.
Comes with AF too and readily available.

20160529-IMGP1297 by jenkwang, on Flickr

20160530-DSC01280 by jenkwang, on Flickr


In summary, all options are rather good.
Best if you have more than one. :D :D
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 09-24-2017, 10:29 PM  
Picking out FF K mount landscape lenses
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 42
Views: 2,638
I have or have access to many wide and UWA since this is a small place and Pentax folks do get to meet up now and then.

My context is with stopped down f8-f11 shooting.

IRIX 15mm is probably as good as it gets now for a Pentax UWA prime with good IQ to the edges, lower distortion and rather good build quality.

Samyang 14 is as good as it gets for a Pentax UWA for the price; Only downside is distortion which is not that big a deal with a lens profile and/or non-cityscapes.
I have shot plenty with this and have 100% samples in the pixel shift threads.

20mm is a missing 'hole' here, for 'good to the edges' quality, but that said, the Pentax options are all smallish and often good enough on the edges.
I'd skip 20mm if I have my 14mm with me though.

24mm is another gap for good to the edges IQ.
The K24/2.8 can be adequate and better than the f3.5 version.
The FA*24/2 is about the same.
The Samyang 24 is said to be good based on some reviews but I don't have first hand info on it.
24mm is the FL that can get the job done most of the time for natural landscapes.
Its too narrow for many cityscapes though.

28mm, the K28/3.5 shines.
M28/3.5 does not compare to it.
DFA28-105, not too bad considering its a zoom.
IMO, 28mm does feel/look like an 'old man's' wide nowadays.
Nowadays, the style is mostly over the top (meaning UWA) and 'conservative wide' at 28mm seems to hark back to older film days.

Personally, I'd usually prefer 14mm, 24mm.
The 14mm for obvious reasons.
The 24mm does stand alone better than a 28mm as well as being a good FL away from 14mm.
For the best IQ I can get, I'd go for the 14mm and K28mm of course.


I don't like lenses like the new Sigma's.
Spec monsters with a size to match.
That major encumbrance to haul around day in day out if on a photo trip.
Add that with another new Sigma 50/1.4 and a UWA (and even a new big/heavy 70-200/2.8) and I'd need a sherpa.
Since its for stopped down landscapes, even a old Takumar 35/3.5 does the job for much less size/weight.
Forum: Pentax K-1 09-23-2017, 05:51 AM  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By pinholecam
Replies: 13,106
Views: 1,130,352

Love is as warm as the Sun by jenkwang, on Flickr
K1+FA*85/1.4


Often, I see threads where folks ask about the viability of Pentax as a wedding camera.
There really is no such thing.
To me, there is only the craft of photography and the specifics to the genre of wedding photography.
Whether one uses the latest TTL/HSS or uses manual, it really does not really matter that much so long as one is accustomed to what he/she uses and have thought out what to do in most situations.

When I was asked to help do the shoot for the couple, I just apply what I have picked up and practiced over the course of time.
I sure had plenty of time practicing shooting my kids. :D
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