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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 Day Ago  
What's your favourite vintage / film-era manual focus lens, and why?
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 52
Views: 1,423
Right now it's my Pentax K50/1.2. I recently purchased this at Map Camera in Tokyo and since then, I've been using it much more than I anticipated (on my K-3II). I did already have a quasi equivalent Revuenon 55/1.2, and that lens performed nicely, but somehow I never warmed to it. I guess 5mm wider makes a difference to me... Also, optically the K50/1.2 is a category above, and I love the feel of it on my camera. It just oozes quality (which the Revuenon didn't either).

Previous most loved film era MF lenses include the Pentax K135/2.5 (but that lost out to the modern MF Samyang 135/2), and earlier still the Pentax A35-105/3.5 (but I didn't use it enough to justify keeping it back in the day when my budget required me to sell stuff to buy new stuff).

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 Days Ago  
Is the 150-450 WORTH it on crop sensor?
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 23
Views: 833
The DFA150-450 is a great wildlife lens on APS-C indeed. Before I got it I used a FA*300/4.5 for wildlife (often on a 1.4x TC), and spent a lot of time wondering whether I should upgrade it to the DA*300/4 or not, mainly for the weather sealing and the extra half stop offered by the DA*. In the end I never did and as such I'm glad I "waited" for the 150-450. I still use the FA*300 at times, esp when packing light.

To me the added value of the 150-450 isn't as much in the extra reach on the long end (esp on the current 24MP bodies that allow considerable cropping). Of course it is part of it, but the ability to zoom wider is more important to me still. Whether this is a point of consideration for you depends on the type of wildlife you're photographing of course. Personally, I did a few safari trips to various African destinations, and found I was often frustrated when larger wildlife got too close to get a properly framed shot at 300mm (or more frequently still at 420mm with the TC). Quickly changing lenses to put on the DA*50-135/2.8 or remove the TC was never a good idea, either because of dust or because I simply didn't have the time for it... Many great wildlife shots are gone in a split second, so I invariably missed these shots. Having the ability to zoom back to 150mm makes an immense difference. Not enough for intermediate landscape shots perhaps (even for images intended for panorama stitching 150mm is quite long), but wide enough for closing in wildlife at least.

Some people would take a second body along with an extra lens to cover for this situation, but so far I never went for/used the second body option. When packing my bag I've mostly preferred putting in an extra lens instead of a second body, esp since that second body was mostly my previous camera which was never as good as my main camera, plus it always had slightly different controls, leading to confusion (and time lost) when going from one camera to the other. And an extra lens opens different creative possibilities (e.g. a large aperture wide lens for nocturnal landscapes under the impressive African night sky). Bottom line: I never used that second body even the few times I had one with me.

OTOH, on my next safari trip I *will* be taking a second K-3II (a recently purchased "cheap" last-in-stock copy) with a standard lens fitted. I bought it mostly as a back-up for my old beaten up K-3II that has had a short episode of technical issues (user error), and because I'm not sure an new K-3II equivalent APS-C body will be available soon enough. But since I have two now anyway, I'll go for the two body solution on the next trip... This will be my first time with two *identical* bodies, which should help me actually use both of them.

hth, Wim
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-04-2018, 12:14 AM  
Astro UWA for K-5 iis, what pick?
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 20
Views: 860
Another vote for the Samyang 16/2!!

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-03-2018, 06:24 AM  
What new lens would you purchase on release?
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 48
Views: 1,108
DA40-80 Limited (same build/style as the DA20-40)

DA*16-50/2.8 (as rumoured(?) with updated optics)

DA*11-18/2.8 (but we know that one's coming for sure)

Oh... and a DFA30-60 Limited (FF version of the DA20-40) might even make me buy the K-1...

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-02-2018, 09:15 AM  
Safari trip lens advice
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 55
Views: 1,848
That is a great moment isn't it? I did a wilderness trail a few years ago in Kruger, SA. This is 3 days hiking with a group of max 8px from a central camping site an hour or two driving from the nearest publicly accessible road. When on top of a kopje I spotted some movement the distance and voiced my believe at seeing a couple of male lions about 400m away, I had my moment of glory when the guide had to reach for his binoculars to confirm my observation. We spent a good half hour watching the three brother lions sneak around the river valley. Moments you never forget.

I understand why you wouldn't want to. We were apprehensive as well our first time. And it's absolutely true that I wouldn't want to do that anywhere either, but there are a few parks in SA and Namibia that are very suitable for self-drive (both countries having an excellent road network and great car rental services), and where self driving allows you to get away from the crowds a bit. OTOH, a lot of national parks rightfully do not allow for it (accessibility and road conditions), and in quite a few countries I wouldn't dare either even if allowed!

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-02-2018, 05:23 AM  
Safari trip lens advice
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 55
Views: 1,848
Safety shots is a good idea indeed! I always take one as well before I start approaching an animal (esp on foot).

The difference is quite important. I've done all varieties multiple times and in varying places.

On foot is absolutely great. It's the best way to feel one with the natural environment in which the safari is happening. However, it's also the only type where animals see you as part of the environment, which means they see you as players in the game of life, either as prey (why you need an armed guard when there are large predators in the ecosystem you are visiting) or as predator (so they will keep their distance). The former means you'll need to obey the guide absolutely, which means walking in single line, the guide heading the line and the guard last in line. There will probably be gestures that the group will agree on etc... The latter means you will probably not see most large animals as close-by as you do from a vehicle. Focus will be more on the smaller life, such as insects and small reptiles, perhaps birds, but certainly tracking (footprints, excrement, ...) and plant life. I love this because of the adventure and the fuller comprehension of the ecosystem this experience provides. In terms of photography, your kit needs to be carry friendly. In my case I manage the DFA150-450 with monopod attached only just. I carry this setup on a blackrapid sport shoulder strap, which just about divides the weight enough to be able to cope on a full day hike. That and a macro(!!) / standard zoom in a small backpack just in case. In retrospect I think the macro (around 100mm) usually got me the most memorable shots. For your reference, I'm 46 and in reasonable shape.

By boat is another joy that's probably the most comfortable (except perhaps for the getting in and out). Esp if it's a boat with no motor (or if the boatman stops the motor frequently), you get the tranquility of the safari on foot without the effort. You can also get closer, because, as from a car, animals don't see you as part of their world that much. Great thing is you can get a lower angle to photograph animals on the shore, which gives a better impression of an animal's size than from the elevated position in a car. Photography from a boat isn't simple though. I found the constant slight movement of a boat to be surprisingly hard to deal with, even when the boatman tries to keep the thing still. Esp when using a monopod there's often a lot of sometimes uncomfortable twisting and turning involved to keep a subject framed for more than a few seconds. Also, beware of motion sickness when you're sensitive to that sort of thing, in which case take relatively long pauses between looking through your long glass. I found boat safaris esp rewarding for bird life! In Africa, the other ultimate treat of a boat safari is Hippos, though the boatman will try to keep his distance as these can get dangerous.

Open vehicle vs closed vehicle... There's various types of open safari vehicles, ones without a top (with or without a shade) and those with just an open roof. I prefer the former since these allow lower shooting angles and you can photograph from the comfort of your seat (or stand slightly up for animals on the other side, though a driver will try to turn around to give all an equally good shot). Make sure you sit in a side seat and preferably as much to the front as possible (=lower position). I don't like open roof that much, because of the more claustrophobic experience and the constant standing up and sitting down. But perhaps the few times I did that, the vehicle was too crowded? In an fully open vehicle you get more flexibility anyway.

And then there is photographing from your own (rented) car on a self drive safari. In case this is a "normal" car (not a high 4x4 safari vehicle), it is lower and better for photography, but lower and harder for game spotting (which you have to do yourself in that scenario). Also sitting behind the steering wheel (I switch places with my wife on alternate days) and photographing is not easy (mind the horn!!) and photographing animals on the other side of the car isn't either. Turning around the car isn't easy either, since in a 2x4 it's best to stay on the sometimes narrow road (contrary to a 4x4). I found this the ideal way to visit Etosha NP in Namibia. In the dry season all animals gather at the many waterholes around the Etosha salt pan, so all you have to do is pick a waterhole, drive there as soon as you can leave camp (sunrise), park the car in a position with a good vantage point and wait... The hardest part is leaving the waterhole to be back in camp before sunset!

hth, Wim
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-01-2018, 01:33 PM  
Safari trip lens advice
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 55
Views: 1,848
Indeed!! Actually, myself, since I learned to take the time to watch the animals first and take pictures after, I'm getting way better pictures. Getting to know the animals lets you anticipate their behaviour, so you'll be able to take the camera in front of your face only then, and freely observe for the rest of the time. More time to enjoy, better pictures and, also worthwhile, fewer pictures to sort through after the trip!! Win win win.

Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-29-2018, 12:03 AM  
DA*11-18/2.8 delay to 2019
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 192
Views: 7,924
Shame... I was looking forward to having this lens by November, when I could have used it. For that trip I'll have to go with my current glass (which covers similar FoV) and wait a bit longer then... I'll still get it when it's released.

Hope it's a good sign in terms of quality this lens will deliver when ready. Looking at the new 50/1.4, IQ seems to be high on Ricoh's agenda, so I'm all for that!

Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-28-2018, 11:58 PM  
HD DA*11-18/2.8 patent was filed by Ricoh in Japan.
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 64
Views: 4,653
Indeed it does, but I don't want to replace my Sig8-16 with another Sigma. Whereas I'm happy with both the 8-16 and the 180 macro, these are the only Sigma's in a long series that have pleased me. I actually don't want to buy Sigma anymore. Besides, if I upgrade, I want WR/AW and f/2.8 as well. Gotta justify the investment... ;-)

Well, the 11-18 may be even bigger... But as I said, a step-down adapter is OK for me, since I crop square most of the time anyway, which does away with vignetting problems.

Tx! Wim
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-27-2018, 08:32 AM  
HD DA*11-18/2.8 patent was filed by Ricoh in Japan.
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 64
Views: 4,653
Thanks for sharing this!

I'm impatiently waiting for this lens. Whereas I do have UWA covered by many lenses (DA10-17, Sig8-16, Samy10/2.8), none of these take filters. Actually my DA15/4 is the widest available that takes filters (though not practical since my current filters are all 77mm), and my Samy16/2 is the widest that I frequently use filters on. I would like to go wider with filters though (esp long exposures and IR), and this 11-18/2.8 is on my list just for that exactly. Well, that and the f/2.8 (astro) and the WR (outdoor hiking and travel)... I would have to use a step-down adapter to begin with, but that won't take away too much of the FoV I think (=hope), esp since I go for square crops most of the time.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-14-2018, 04:59 AM  
21 mm or 35 mm 'walk around' on aps-c???
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 94
Views: 2,635
In a city I would prefer a 21mm FoV (large buildings, narrow sidewalks). Though I personally have lost my love for my DA21/3.2 since I purchased the DA20-40. I took my DA21 out a few times since and could not warm to it again. Not because of the FoV, but because of the IQ. Perhaps mine is a dudd? Regardless, in a city I find I use my DA20-40 at 20mm most of the time.

In the country side where everything is a bit farther off, however, I would prefer the slightly stricter angle of a 35mm. I prefer my landscapes to be strictly framed and not flattened out. And the macro would allow some nature close-ups like flowers and so. Not insects, too short a working distance for that most of the time.

To each his/her own of course, but the bottom line is that which would qualify best as a walk around depends on the expected subject matter.

I've used my Samyang 135/2 as a walk around lens a few times. Interesting experience... :D

If I woud *have* to pick one focal length for all, I would probably go for something around 24mm. Though, except for older f/2.8 copies, most of these are a bit large.

hth, Wim
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 06-13-2018, 02:33 AM  
DA* 11-18mm f/2.8 is to have a defog option for astrophotography?
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 29
Views: 2,378
I read this as a design choice in the hood bayonet mount to allow some type of external accessory (that's also externally heated) attached, not as an electronic feature of the lens itself. When I look at the hood and the mount however, I don't see anything really different from the hoods/mounts on other premium Pentax lenses. Or am I missing an important bit?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-11-2018, 06:03 AM  
Which Pentax lens will/would be your next purchase? (we need more posts;)
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 88
Views: 2,243
That would be a nice one indeed! Wouldn't have to think twice to buy it either!

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-11-2018, 04:39 AM  
Which Pentax lens will/would be your next purchase? (we need more posts;)
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 88
Views: 2,243
Probably the DA*11-18/2.8. Not that I really *need* it though...

I have the Sigma 8-16, but I could do with a UWA that gathers more light. Though I also have the Samyang 10/2.8 for that, but that doesn't take filters. Of course, I do have the Samyang 16/2 which does, but isn't that wide and isn't WR...

So yes... the DA*11-18/2.8.

Oh, and should Samyang make a T/S lens wider than their 24/3.5, that might come on the list as well. But I think that's very unlikely.

On a longer term, I might get the updates of the DA*16-50/2.8 and DA*50-135/2.8 to replace my two aging screw drive converted copies. That is, if the rumour that claims their imminent replacement holds...

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-11-2018, 02:16 AM  
Fast 50 delimma, old school f1.2 versus DA f1.4
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 46
Views: 1,770
The newer lenses will be much more functional on modern digital bodies, and might be better wide open. However, the dreamy look of a film era fast 50 can have its appeal as well.

I used to have a FA50/1.4, which I loved on my SFXn (film era AF camera), but somehow I used it much less on my DSLRs, and I ended up selling it to fund I don't remember which lens... I did come back to the 50mm focal length however... First I got a Revuenon 55/1.2, but I didn't like the way it renders OOF highlights.

On a recent trip to Japan I got a K50/1.2 which I've used as much as I have used any 50 since going digital over 10 years ago. I guess it took me this long to know what subject matter this type of lens suits best. I'm amazed how good it is when stopped down (though modern glass will probably do marginally better). And of course it's so much more compact than modern digital fast 50s, the film era f/1.4's even more so. MF is easy using LV with focus peaking and I love the feel of the focusing ring. Metering can however be a bit tricky (M mode with green button as a start), so I often go for a bracketed series to make sure to get it right from the "first" time.

Only down side is the fact that it doesn't come with a hood, and most accessory hoods from those days are plastic and flimsy. Which such a big front element, some protection against out of frame bright light sources is recommended. So I got an eBay knock off metal Leica vented curved lens hood, which fits nice, and (to my taste) looks great as well.

I'm sticking with my K50/1.2!

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-11-2018, 01:49 AM  
Poll: You have 2 lenses, primes or zooms?
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 58
Views: 1,938
Definitely two zooms. I absolutely love my primes, and I will always put a prime on my camera when the situation allows, but nothing beats the flexibility of zooms. And since most of my photography is outdoor travel, 75% of which on a yearly 3 or 4 week long trip where I have to pack as light as possible, WR zooms are a must for me. So I would go for one standard zoom and one telezoom. I've never been a fan of ultrazooms, since I found them too much of a compromise.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-08-2018, 08:03 AM  
The one lens you just never "clicked with"
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 64
Views: 2,131
This must be my initial standard zoom setup in the digital era:

- DA16-45/4: my first standard zoom after going digital (got it with my *istDS). Loved the range, but hated the fact that it extended all the way at 16mm. My preferred focal length of 16mm (24mm equiv) was *the* reason why I got it instead of the DA18-55, and this lens was one of the main reasons why I stayed with Pentax at the time. However, my keeping it at the ready at 16mm meant that I was constantly bumping the lens into things. Either that or I was missing too many shots when I had it at 45mm. Actually, this characteristic was the main reason why I replaced it by the DA*16-50/2.8 as soon as possible.

- Sigma EX70-200/2.8: the last pre-DG version I think. I needed a decent telezoom when I went digital (film proved to be too forgiving for my poor old glass), and this was the first I found for a good price. It was big and heavy and focused very inconsistently over its entire zoom range, making it unusable at f/2.8 and f/4 (close focused). I was happy to be able to replace it by the DA*50-135/2.8 as soon as that one came available.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-08-2018, 02:34 AM  
The lens that suprised you the most.
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 99
Views: 3,821
Hard to tell as there are many. So I selected 3.

In the early days when I scouted the internet for old glass, it would have to be the A35-105/3.5. I had heard good stuff about it, but it surprised me nevertheless. The range on APS-C didn't really suit me though, so I didn't keep it. It is *the* lens that I would try to source again should I ever decide to move from APS-C to FF (unlikely at the moment).

More recently the DA20-40 is the one that comes to mind. The Samyangs do as well (esp the 16/2 and the 135/2), but these were not as much of a surprise. I would never have expected to be using the DA20-40 as much as I do. I got it as a light weight back-up in case I got caught in bad whether with only non WR primes in the bag, but I ended up using it much more than my DA21 and FA31. Esp the DA21 has seen hardly any use since (and this was a favourite before).

Finally one I've seen mentioned a few times here as well. The DA10-17 fisheye is a little lens that I keep revisiting. It replaced my Zenitar 16/2.8 when that turned out not to be able to meet my expectations beyond 6MP. I got it cheap second hand, which was OK for what I considered a gimmick lens. However, its 10-17 range provided more flexibility and a wider range of application than I had expected, and over the years I've learned to make use of the fisheye effect in a much more subtle way. Now the DA10-17 more often than not replaces a rectilinear wide in my bag. Though I'm hoping the DA11-18/2.8 might change that again...

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-06-2018, 12:09 AM  
Poll: Primes and Zooms... where do Pentaxians stand in 2018?
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 238
Views: 6,063
I love my primes and whereas I will mostly have a prime on my camera, in that case I will always have at least one other prime in the bag.

If only one lens, it will have to be a zoom though. Before I had the DA20-40 I might have hesitated, but since getting that unique lens there is no doubt in my mind.

APS-C body plus DA20-40 it will be!

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-04-2018, 05:05 AM  
Thoughts from my first week birding with the 150-450.
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 14
Views: 1,191
Sorry I'm a bit late to this thread. Found it when looking for user reports combining the DFA150-450 with the HD 1.4x TC. I have both, but haven't really tested the combination yet. The few times I took the combo out, either I didn't have enough light or it was too close to noon and the hot air was already simmering too much...

It's really a setup for places with lots of light in the early hours. I took both to South Africa 2.5 years ago, but there also I ended up not using the TC at all because the reach of the DFA150-450 was all I needed. I'm going to Uganda in a few months and might give it another go. We'll be doing some birding there (shoe-billed stork), so perhaps this time the TC will come in handy? Before I leave, I still hope to find out the best performing aperture for the 150-450 + TC... If only I can find the time and subject for some tests...

To the point (the above is not the reason why I'm posting) ... Thing is, I do have a neoprene sleeve by LensCoat on my DFA150-450. I got it because I wanted to use my DFA150-450 on a wilderness trail in South Africa's Kruger NP, which consists of 3 day's walking the bush through at times dense vegetation and up and down rocky slopes. Since I decided to carry the lens + camera on a BlackRapid Sport strap to have it ready at all times (but exposed to bumping it into the environment), I needed some protection on the lens. Next to that, the light coloured fabric also helped keep the lens cool, which was a side benefit. I consider the camouflage texture an unnecessary (and sometimes unfortunate) gimmick BTW. Regardless, the LensCoat did the job great!

As to the sleeve covering the AF buttons. It does so completely, whereas the sliders on the lens are left uncovered, the AF buttons are hidden. The reason is simple, pushing the buttons through the fabric is easy, and they are easily found because they are located on the cardinal points. I like it that way, because I actually use them all the time... I also like it that there are four, because that allows me to reach at least one no matter how I am holding the camera. Unfortunately, for you that means that adding a neoprene sleeve will not help you not pressing the buttons... sorry...

hth, Wim
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 05-27-2018, 10:17 PM  
some kind of SHOW or attractive EVENTS at this years RICOH booth at PHOTOKINA ?
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 10
Views: 1,139
I believe Dutch wildlife photographer Mike Muizenbeltrgh did a presentation/workshop on last Photokina. Possibly along with some other photographers, that I don't remember. I remember Mike because know him from the days he was very active on the DPR forum under the name of mousehill. Participation was on reservation only however.

I do seem to remember other demos on earlier shows that were open to the public, though I never attended one. Seats fill up very fast on these things.

Shoots with models and decors is another thing. I never saw that with Pentax. Not since I started attending about 10 years ago anyway. But there is a trend to do less of this with other brands as well. This struck me two years ago...

Forum: Pentax K-3 03-11-2018, 03:56 AM  
The K-3 line will continue!
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 725
Views: 57,216
I've had a similar experience with my K-3II. Well, it's not actually bricked, but it did refuse operation for about two days after my having foolishly changed lenses without waiting for my great to adapt to a warm humid interior after coming in from the cold... Condensation inside the camera body... Lethal for most electronics, but the Pentax survived. Despite it working perfectly after those two days, I wanted to have it serviced when I got home. I got an offer for about 800!! I refused it, and instead found a new one for 825. So now I have two bodies, and I'm set for sure until the new advanced APS-C comes in 2019...

If I were you I wouldn't hesitate and get a replacement now. Unless you have no photography planned for the rest of the year...

Besides, you never know whether the new one will actually meet your requirements? In case not, you might regret not having bought the camera now that they are still cheap and available.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-08-2018, 01:17 PM  
24mm for K1
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 22
Views: 1,400
Another vote for the Samyang 24/1.4. Beautiful lens, but of course manual focus...
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-02-2018, 08:28 AM  
DA* upgrade this fall ?
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 139
Views: 11,526
Well, I wouldn't mind an upgrade to my first generation DA*16-50/2.8. It has served me well over the years, and is continuing to do so after I did an SDM to screwdrive conversion last year. However, it took a few hits along the way, which means it's slightly decentered now. I know how to work around this, but would prefer not to.

No reason for a replacement for my DA*50-135/2.8 however. It took just as many (or even more) hits as the 16-50 but is still in excellent shape (also converted to screw drive mind you).

Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 03-02-2018, 01:11 AM  
Ricoh Imaging at CP+ 2018
Posted By Ishpuini
Replies: 98
Views: 15,182
Hence you should write two thousand eighteen as 2081? ;)

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