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Forum: Site Suggestions and Help 10-03-2008, 02:31 PM  
September contest
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 11
Views: 1,390
And me.

Matthew
Forum: Photographic Technique 07-03-2008, 01:49 PM  
Differing level of sharpness in the same image
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 12
Views: 3,024
Yes, but it only gives you AF confirm for the centre AF point doesn't it? At least that's how it is on my DL.

In the majority of portraits you want the point of focus to be on the eyes and typical portrait composition doesn't place the eyes right in the middle of the frame.

I'm not saying it's not a useful feature but if you use it for your average headshot you'll get a lot of portraits with the subject's neck in focus and not the eyes.

Matthew
Forum: Photographic Technique 06-27-2008, 06:59 AM  
Fstop Error - New DSLR old Lens
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 9
Views: 2,310
...Though if the lens us being used wide open then you can use Av mode too.

Matthew
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-26-2008, 07:26 AM  
SMC 50mm 1:1.2 questions
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 15
Views: 2,980
Here's a link to some shots from my K 50/1.2. It's a beautifully built lens but not the easiest to use (especially with a pentamirror like my DL uses) at f1.2.

Flickr: MajorMantra's stuff tagged with smcpk50mmf12

I don't actually think the bokeh is all that wonderful. It can be ok, and obviously it's very composition dependant, but it sometimes tends to look 'busy' which is not a desirable quality.

Matthew
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-02-2008, 11:29 AM  
A Half-stop of Over-exposure...
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 7
Views: 1,714
With print film a half stop of over exposure shouldn't cause any problem at all. Negatives are generally very tolerant of over exposure. If it had been slide film you might have had a problem, but you shouldn't with print film.

Matthew
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-26-2008, 02:33 PM  
Downside to K20D
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 28
Views: 6,142
If you stop inspecting your photos at 100% (I know, it's hard) then your insecurities about your lenses will gradually diminish. The problem is that as you increase the pixel count, 100% starts to mean higher and higher effective magnifications which will inevitably reveal the limitations of your glass at some point.

Alternatively, go mad and buy all the Limited lenses to use instead of zooms. It'll take a lifetime for a sensor to make them look bad.

Matthew
Forum: Photographic Technique 05-24-2008, 11:57 AM  
Best suit of lenses for a Indian Wedding !
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 11
Views: 5,883
Don't dismiss zooms outright, dismiss bad zooms. Don't forget that the majority of modern photojournalism (and wedding photography) is done with zooms - good ones are capable of producing outstanding images. That said, the Pentax system's most interesting lenses are its primes - Pentax is one of the only manufacturers doing anything interesting with their fixed-focal length lenses and the Limiteds are just lovely.

It's heresy to say it here, but I think as a commited Pentax shooter I have a right: Pentax would not be my first choice for wedding photography. Given a sufficiently large budget, I think the ideal wedding system would be based around 2 or 3 Nikon D3s. The D3 has the best combination of low light capability and all-out performance on the market - combine usable ISO 6400 with an f2.8 VR zoom and you have a formidable and highly versatile setup.

Matthew
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-24-2008, 05:18 AM  
AF360 cactus v2 k100d problem
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 16
Views: 5,798
My V2s works fine with Pentax and there are plenty of people out there using Cactus triggers with all different Pentax cameras. It's possible that your set is faulty - the QC on these isn't great.

Are you sure you haven't activated some obscure setting on the flash? I'm not sure what could cause this but modern flashes have a whole host of sync modes that could conceivably be the issue. I would suspect a faulty transmitter though since you say it works fine with the test button.

Matthew
Forum: Photographic Technique 05-24-2008, 05:07 AM  
Best suit of lenses for a Indian Wedding !
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 11
Views: 5,883
I'm not an expert, but...

At night I think you would struggle with the relatively small maximum aperture of something like the Tamron. Don't forget that SR increases your ability to hand hold at slow speeds, but it doesn't make your subjects move any slower.

Also, although the 18-250 is generally well regarded (for a super zoom) its rendering pales in comparison with a nice prime or a shorter, more highly optimised zoom. In high pressure photography you really want a lens that doesn't come with too many compromises, making a consumer super zoom a less than ideal choice. The obvious choice in the Pentax system for a standard zoom would be the 16-50/2.8 and you'd probably want a longer zoom as well.

The 50mm (I'm guessing you mean the FA 50/1.4?) is a much-loved lens and would certainly come in handy, especially for shots of one or two people.

How many bodies are you buying? As a professional wedding photographer you'd want two as an absolute minimum (probably three or more as bodies will probably need servicing in time and you always need to have at least two for the wedding itself). Equipment failure will not fly as an excuse if you miss critical shots - it's your responsibility to make sure you have sufficient equipment to avoid screw-ups.

There are other smaller items to consider. You may well want a good flash (Pentax AF540FGZ, Metz 48 or 58 AF-1 etc.) and you'll need piles of batteries and memory cards to keep everything up and running. No doubt others will have more suggestions.

Matthew
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-12-2008, 01:46 PM  
Pentax smc F50mm f1.7
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 9
Views: 3,444
Are using the lens with the aperture set to A? If you aren't and your DSLR is the K10D then you are experiencing the stop down metering problem that is unique to that model. (and possibly the K20D, not sure about that)

If that's the problem, simply use the lens set to A and control the aperture electronically and it'll be fine.

Another possibility: does the lens stop down quickly and without hesitation? If the aperture blades were dirty or oily then the iris might be lagging and letting in too much light.

Matthew
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-02-2008, 11:30 AM  
are SMC FA 77mm F1.8 Limited and SMC DA 70mm F2.4 AL in the same league?
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 6
Views: 3,352
As stated above, both are fantastic lenses. If you're trying to decide which one to get it's a matter of weighing up a few things.

If you have any intention at all of shooting film, get the 77. Although I believe the 70 does cover a full frame you can only use it on late film bodies because it lacks an aperture ring.

I don't think the resolution differences are really important since both lenses are such good performers though if you're interested, the photozone.de reviews are quite detailed. I have no hesitation in using my 77 wide open which cannot be said of most lenses, even some quite good ones.

Matthew
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-27-2008, 06:16 AM  
K 50mm f1.2
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 52
Views: 6,403
I'm new too in the sense that I started doing photography seriously with digital but I now shoot film as well. I like 50mm on full frame because it's wide enough to shoot a whole scene from a sensible distance but narrow enough to isolate a single object or person. I also really like the endless variety available in the 50mm focal length. I have 3 Pentax 50s and 2 Leica screw mount ones.

Matthew
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-26-2008, 07:28 PM  
K 50mm f1.2
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 52
Views: 6,403
Interesting, I guess it's no surprise that they made improvements. I suppose it's probably a coating thing.

Maybe I should retract my previous statement. I was making an passing observation but it got a little convoluted. Suffice to say that in response to the OP: it's a lens worth owning - but then most Pentax primes are worth owning!

Matthew
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-26-2008, 06:19 PM  
K 50mm f1.2
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 52
Views: 6,403
It's not worse since you can use the A lens in any manner you please and so the A lens is more versatile. To me though it's not worth paying for the extra A functionality in this case which is why I mentioned this. Bear in mind that the A lens sells for A LOT more money.

In any case, people buy these lenses for their maximum aperture and if you're at f1.2 you can use Av with the K lens if it suits you. My DSLR isn't handy at this moment but doesn't AE-L only stay locked until you take the shot?

Regarding metering, I use an *ist DL which meters perfectly with pre-A lenses. I realize though that if you have a K10D then pre-A glass could be quite frustrating. Btw, does anyone know if the K20D has the same issue with older lenses?

Thanks for the compliment.:) I wish there were a full frame K mount DSLR so I could use my 50/1.2 to its full potential - a normal FOV is so much more useful than a 75mm equivalent. I do use the lens on a film body as well but given the lower hit rate when you're working in near darkness I do prefer to use digital for this kind of photography.

Cheers,
Matthew
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-26-2008, 03:13 PM  
K 50mm f1.2
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 52
Views: 6,403
Here's a link to the samples I've posted from mine. The cat shot is wide open and I think "Andy" may also be, though I'm not sure.:

Flickr: MajorMantra's stuff tagged with smcpk50mmf12

Wide open performance isn't wonderful but it's not terrible either. This is a beautifully built lens and it is well balanced on a DSLR. Most 50s feel a bit small even my DL but the 1.2 feels just right. I paid just $160 for mine (perfect glass, some cosmetic wear) which was an absolute steal.

Someone mentioned the A 1.2. I had one comment about that: although being able to use Av on the camera is generally easier, when you are working in ultra low light it is often not desirable to have the shutter speed changing of its own accord. It may well be better to get an underexposed shot without camera shake that can be pushed in PP, rather than a shaky well exposed one. If you're working at 1/4", 1/8", 1/15" etc. then a stop can make all the difference. Anyway, if you're using the K 50/1.2 wide open then you can still use Av if you want.

Matthew
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-26-2008, 07:50 PM  
another newbie question
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 3
Views: 2,626
Film stored in a freezer can be used a long time after its expiry date. The rate of deterioration at very low temperatures is extremely slow and even stuff stored stored at room temperature is generally good well after its date. If you do a search here or on any film forum I guarantee you will find accounts of people using truly ancient film stock and getting excellent results.

Matthew
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-15-2008, 10:48 AM  
FA lenses don't quick shift focus?
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 7
Views: 3,003
No QS with them either.

Matthew
Forum: Photographic Technique 03-15-2008, 10:38 AM  
Manual focus retouching and Hyperfocal
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 13
Views: 3,175
The kit lens does have Quick Shift focus as others have said. The Limiteds you have named are the FA Limiteds. They do NOT have QS focus. The newer DA Limiteds do.

The kits does have a focus scale, at least mine does. It's on the focus ring. What it lacks is a depth of field scale, so hyperfocal focusing is not practical.

Matthew
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-26-2008, 10:17 AM  
Estate sale lens, 50mm A 1:1.2, I have never seen this lens before.
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 100
Views: 19,849
There really shouldn't be all this confusion since as I think we've established there are NO lenses marked just "1.2". To the best of my knowledge all Pentax lenses have the maximum aperture expressed as a ratio, IE 1:x or 1:x.y.

Anyway, a 50 f1.2 is about twice the size of a 50 f2 so you tend to realize quite quickly.:)

Matthew
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-25-2008, 09:48 AM  
A-50mm f/.1.4. The deal of the week. I think.
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 8
Views: 2,626
Great deal, I was chuffed that I found an A-50/1.7 for that price.

Matthew
Forum: Sold Items 01-21-2008, 05:03 PM  
For Sale - Sold: FS: 43mm Limited black NEW
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 2
Views: 1,710
Sent a PM about a possible trade.:)

Matthew
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 01-11-2008, 06:58 AM  
Hello from a new member...56k Warning
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 13
Views: 1,287
Very nice, I especially like the Mbuna shots. Are the fish yours? I have a tank of them back home in Luxembourg, they are quite remarkable creatures.

Matthew
Forum: Sold Items 01-06-2008, 04:46 PM  
For Sale - Sold: FS: Black FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 5
Views: 2,038
Sent you a pm about a possible trade.

Matthew
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-29-2007, 11:33 AM  
The kit lens feels like a toy...
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 17
Views: 3,964
You're comparing a low-cost zoom to some very good primes, which doesn't make much sense. Good primes will always beat zooms, even expensive ones. For a lens that's almost free when you buy it with a body, the kit lens is great and it looks particularly impressive when you compare it with the equivalent lenses from other brands.

Matthew
Forum: Photographic Technique 12-22-2007, 12:42 PM  
Crop Factor: What's the deal?
Posted By Matthew Allen
Replies: 21
Views: 4,985
I think you're confused about what a crop factor is. The first thing you need to know is that a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens regardless of what it's mounted on. The difference is the field of view.

If you mount the M 50/1.7 on a film body that takes 35mm film, the FOV will be roughly 'normal', IE neither wide nor telephoto. When you mount the same lens on your DSLR (which has a crop factor of ~1.5) the field of view (or the angle of biew if you prefer) will be narrower, you will have a short telephoto lens.

If you use film as a basis for comparison (as most still do) then to work out the effective FOV you multiply by 1.5. This is the part that people get confused about. What it means is that your 50mm lens WHEN MOUNTED ON YOUR K10D will have the same field of view as a 75mm lens mounted on a film body that takes 24x36mm (135 or 35mm) film.

A side issue that confuses people is image circle. New designed-for-digital lenses like the DA series do not generally have a large enough image circle to cover a traditional frame of 35mm film. If you put your 18-55 on a film body you will see severe vignetting, the corners will be completely black.

Matthew

EDIT: And of course someone's beaten me to it. :)
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