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Showing all 2 reviews by iCrop

Review of: SMC Pentax-A 70-210mm F4 by iCrop on Fri January 16, 2015 | Rating: 10 View more reviews 

Views: 262347
Reviews: 63
Picked this up on the Bay from a listing by Henry's in Canada for $49 US. It's my "buy of the year" for 2014. This lens works great for catch-in focus shots of hummingbirds. Good minimum focusing distance, bokeh and sharpness. Example below: On K-3, 1/1000s, f14, ISO 1600, ~135mm

Review of: HD Pentax-DA 645 28-45mm F4.5 ED AW SR by iCrop on Thu January 15, 2015 | Rating: 8 View more reviews 

Views: 30668
Reviews: 6
This is a re-post from the Medium Format Forum, after renting the lens. The cost indicated is what B&H wanted at the time. For me, this seems to be the ideal focal length range for landscapes on the 645Z, perhaps a little wider would be better, but this would do. Reading this forum, and people's comments on the size and heft of the lens, didn't prepare me for what I was about to experience. It arrived Wednesday from Lens Rentals in a plain brown box. The box had a foam liner with a hole big enough for a Sigma Bigma, to fit. Inside that was the lens, with hood, inside its pouch. The lens cap looked like it came from a 1990's vintage Pentax lens, but the rest of the lens, and hood, looked new. I put the lens on the 645Z and went out to the yard to take a few quick shots. I find the camera to be very nose heavy with this lens on it. The quick shots revealed the lens to be very sharp, and the new HD coatings do a nice job of reducing lens flare. Shots with the sun in them were very clean. Back-lit Pomegranate Flower (28mm) Since I'm a landscape photographer, and a big part of that is getting the equipment to the locations I want to shoot, I figured a good test would be to hike to a familiar spot. The spot I chose was a place known as "First Water", on the Mount Wilson Trail, in the Angeles National Forest here in Southern California. The hike to First Water is 1.5 miles with a a 980 foot ascent. It's not too bad if you're in reasonable physical health, but additional weight adds to the difficulty. Mt Wilson trail Map Once I got to First Water, I went down to the area I've shot before. I found the lens/camera combination less than enjoyable to use on slippery/unstable ground. It didn't balance well on a tripod. Perhaps the fact that the $5000 lens wasn't mine contributed to my uneasiness. Also, trying to use my Tiffen variable ND filter on this lens, with the hood, is impossible due the the close tolerances of the hood. There's little room to get your fingers in there to screw the filter on, and the hood doesn't have the little filter window some previous Pentax hoods have had. The result was I used the filter without the hood, which caused flare in the images. First Water (28mm) Heading back down the trail (28mm) For me, to be able to use this lens, it would need: a) to be lighter, b) have a tripod collar so it feels better on a tripod, c) have a larger hood with provisions to use my variable ND filter. Also, I'd eliminate the optical stabilization. I don't think it's really that necessary for a focal length of this range, on a 'field camera'. That would also reduce the cost and most likely the weight and size. A Weight Comparison: 645Z and SMCP-A 645 35mm 645Z and SMCP-FA 645 45-85mm 645Z and SMCP-DA 645 28-45mm Wet brick (it was raining out, so a dry brick was not available) Conclusion: I'm glad I rented the DA28-45 before buying one. I enjoy using the 645Z with the A35 and FA45-85, but I just could not find any pleasure in using the DA28-45, mainly because the 645Z becomes so unbalanced with that lens mounted on it. It does take nice photos though. YMMV...

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