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Showing all 14 reviews by ivanvernon

Review of: SMC Pentax 67 55-100mm F4.5 by ivanvernon on Thu September 17, 2020 | Rating: 10 View more reviews 

Views: 53461
Reviews: 10
I bought this lens in mint condition from a Japanese ebayer at the bargain price of $299 plus freight and tax, a total of $361. It arrived with correct front and back caps and a clever and quite convenient Pentax focussing handle attached, nice to use as it allows easy support of this hefty lens during focussing. There was no hood, but it accepts the same hood as my P67 90-180mm lens, so I transfer the PH-RBB 95mm hood back and forth between the two lenses. I added a Japan optics 95mm UV filter. Filters of this dimension can get pricey. This lens is a tactile pleasure, well built with nicely damped manual focussing. Sharpness is greater than expected, but you need to stop it down to f 8 or f 11 for the best performance. This lens spans the focal lengths of a stellar listing of P67 lens. Listing the lenses whose focal lengths it can replace is an interesting exercise: 55mm f 4.0, 75mm f 4.5, 75mm f 2.8, 90mm f 2.8, 100mm f 4.0 macro, 105mm f 2.2. Therein lies the problem for even an outstandingly sharp and versatile lens such as the P67 55-100mm. By my reckoning, the 55/4.0 and the 75/2.8 belong in some kind of hypothetical Pentax Lens Hall of Fame, with the 75/4.5, the 90/2.8, the 100/4.0 macro and the 105/2.4 not far behind. The P67 55-100mm cannot exceed or match the quality of this elite half dozen lenses. However, I have all six of these prime lenses, and total cost of acquisition was around $4,000 while the 55-100mm cost only $299. Thus the role of even an outstanding zoom lens such as this one must be carefully considered. It can save lots of lens investment dollars and do so with highly credible performance. It can lighten the load, especially for landscapers, already burdened with heavy cameras and tripods. It can provide the versatility of being able to change focal lengths and improve framing without changing lenses. I am pleased to have it in my lens collection, though no doubt I will continue using the prime lenses within its focal range for the most part.

Review of: SMC Pentax 67 / S-M-C Takumar / Super Takumar 6x7 300mm F4 by ivanvernon on Thu May 7, 2020 | Rating: 6 View more reviews 

Views: 55441
Reviews: 10
This is a useful lens when ultimate sharpness is not the primary goal. Good capture of colors. I will mention that my lens appears to be one of the later versions. It has a nine-leaf aperture, not mentioned in introductory statistics given at beginning of this section.

Review of: SMC Pentax 67 / SMC Pentax-6x7 165mm F4 Leaf Shutter by ivanvernon on Wed June 6, 2018 | Rating: 0 View more reviews 

Views: 43350
Reviews: 8
I am mainly writing to say that you CAN use this great lens in LS mode on the Pentax 645Z or 645D. I used the Pentax brand 67-645 adapter, which as far as I can tell is basically the same as the cheap eBay versions except for much better machining and fit. My flash unit did not have an external connector for the cord that goes between the lens and the flash unit, so I installed one of those voltage safety protector units that fits into the hotshoe; the one I used is called Safe Converter. Then run the cord from lens to the safety protector unit, and next install the flash unit into the hot shoe that is on top of the safety protector. Set the focal plane shutter on the 645Z at 1/8 second, which apparently is the only focal plane shutter speed that coordinates with the LS shutter. I set my little Pentax AF 200T on full and M for manual. Now take the shot. Light output from this little flash is quite adequate with ISO at 200 and aperture at f 8.0. I have not yet tried the setup with a regular flash unit, but in any event settings would have to be on manual so any flash unit should work the same as my little AF 200T. When using the native 75mm LS and 135LS lenses on the 645D or 645Z the camera's display window shows the letters LS to signify that the camera is in LS mode. However, these two cameras do not show the LS letters when using the 67-165mm LS lens with the Pentax P67-:645 adapter, but works nevertheless. Using the P67-165mm LS lens on the 645D/Z is useful because the 165mm focal length is excellent for waist and/or head portraits in bright daytime lighting situations. NOTE: I am coming back to add one point. I can only get the setup to work when using the genuine Pentax brand P67-P645 adapter. Using my other adapter (K&F Concept brand), I am unable to get the lens to function in LS mode. Why this should be true, I do not know since neither adapter establishes any communication between lens and camera.

Review of: SMC Pentax 67 200mm F4 by ivanvernon on Thu April 12, 2018 | Rating: 10 View more reviews 

Views: 70131
Reviews: 11
I really like this lens for every task for which its focal length is appropriate. Its sharpness, image clarity, and color fidelity are very positive features. My favorite use is in birding on the K-3. Here its ease of focus and ability to capture detail has made birding a pleasure, and I am getting results that were impossible on other more traditional telescopic lenses including my old Pentax-M 400mm and even the Pentx-FA* 645 300mm f 4.0. I also like it for landscape use.

Review of: SMC Pentax-A 645 35mm F3.5 by ivanvernon on Fri September 15, 2017 | Rating: 10 View more reviews 

Views: 84279
Reviews: 17
I just received this lens yesterday, so my comments/review must be viewed as tentative even though quite positive. The lens is very well built to the point that handling it is a guilty pleasure.The strongest points thus far relate to image quality. First, the lens as many have noted is quite sharp, I would say at least rivalling if not matching my Pentax-D FA 50mm f 2.8 macro. Second and maybe more important, it offers fantastic color fidelity. The colors are so good that I am not touching them in post except for cropping and correcting for over/under exposure. I will stick my neck out and say it gives the best color fidelity I have experienced in medium format or full-frame photography. I expected the lens to be too wide to use for flower photography, but that was before I realized that on the full-frame K-1 camera, the minimum focal distance is only about four inches, meaning that for most flowers it is possible to fill the frame and then just do minor cropping to even up the margins/borders. I chose the A version over the FA and/or D FA because of price and the fact that I neither need nor use AF for close-up flower photography or for landscape work. For intermediate to long landscape photos, just set the lens to infinity and take photos the rest of the day. I did not plan to get the 35 for a while because of cost--many are listed at $400 up to $700. Keh marked this one ugly and listed it for only $279. The only failing I could find was missing front and back caps,

Review of: SMC Pentax 67 55mm F4 by ivanvernon on Thu August 17, 2017 | Rating: 10 View more reviews 

Views: 86943
Reviews: 10
This is a fantastic lens for my flower photography on the K-1. It is super sharp, rivalling my Pentax-D FA 50mm f 2.8 macro and Pentax-A 645 120mm f 4.0 macro in that department. It is a pleasure to focus manually with its large, well-damped focus ring. I have used normal view finder focussing, watching for the green dot, well as live view. Both work quite well for me with no major focussing problems. This lens can be used on the K-1 or crop sensor K-mount cameras such as the K-3 in manual or aperture priority (Av) modes. I generally select Av, and then adjust exposure up or down using the convenient round wheel on the top right side of the K-1. I have only used the K-1 with this lens in a hand-held context. Taking a tripod throughout the garden in order to set up each shot is not to my liking, but the built-in SR of the K-1 body combined with the k-1's high ISO capability makes hand-held photography a realistic approach. I might just add that using the P67 lens on the full-frame K-1 offers lots of advantages over the native Pentax 67 film camera because of all the advanced features and capabilities of the K-1 as a more modern camera than the Pentax 67 medium-format film camera. The lens seems to be quite flare resistant. Some of the 645 lenses seem flare prone, and careful attention to hooding is necessary. Not so with this lens. I have not yet scouted out a hood to fit it, but it has no flare problems either. . The 55mm 67 lens is a great bargain at less than $200. I recommend it highly for any photography environment in which its focal length is appropriate, and its weight, lack of AF, and limited automatic mode operation are not knock-out factors.

Review of: SMC Pentax-A 645 55mm F2.8 by ivanvernon on Mon June 26, 2017 | Rating: 9 View more reviews 

Views: 55229
Reviews: 10
I am using on K-1 with cheap Chinese adapter, which is all you need because the expensive adapters provide no more functionality, although I wish my adapter had a tripod socket to allow tripod use with the heavier 645 lenses. This lens was the first of the 645s that I have tried on digital full-frame. I have not even used it on my 645 or 645N. With the adapter, there is no communication with the camera. However, you can use AV (aperture priority) and forget about the green button metering. The reason is that you set the desired aperture on the A ring, and the aperture remains open at this aperture for automatic light metering. I customarily use AV mode and then adjust exposure on the K-1 by using the top dial set to exposure compensation (+/-) as needed. This works well for me and is pretty easy once you get used to it. For focussing, you are focussing using the aperture set at your desired aperture, and with AV mode the camera automatically gives you the correct exposure. It also means that the viewfinder will be pretty dark at smaller apertures, so you may have to focus at a larger aperture and then stop down to take the shot. I have not had to do this yet, but am prepared to do so if necessary. The lens feels great in use. Build quality is awesome, and the lens presents as a permanent piece of equipment. One advantage of using the lens on full-frame instead of native 645 is that is focusses closer than on native 645 film cameras. Focussing scale on lens indicates 18 inches as closest focus, but with the added length of the adapter I am down to what appears to be bout 10 inches. Eight inches closer focus may not seem important, but it is what moves the lens close enough to the subject that it approaches macro status, and this close focus capability really enhances the use of the lens for flowers, my primary photographic area of interest. I would highly recommend the lens to others who want to use it for blossoms. This lens seems to sell on eBay for $150 to $400. I got a real deal at $75 from Keh who marked the lens BGN which means UGLY, but the lens I received would have been ranked excellent by most other vendors of used photographic equipment. There was not a mark on the lens, and the only negative was lack of hood and front and back caps. Tactilely, the lens is a pleasure. It is a little heavier than the cognate 135 lens would be, but still not a burden on the K-1, at least not to me. Focus ring moves easily with the long throw typical of MF lenses in general. I focus through the viewfinder and watch for the green light and audible beep, and focussing this way makes focussing an easy task for me. I hardly ever have missed focus with this lens. The worst aspect of this lens is flare as demonstrated in the first photo I have posted. I suspect that flare problems are increased in some way by use of the adapter and/or use of the lens on a full-frame vs native 645 format. With outside flower photography you usually do not get flare when the lens is pointed downward toward the flower subject. However, the minute you point the lens upward, particularly if your viewfinder picks up some part of the sky, flare results. The after-market hood I am using is not adequate to the task, but I can often eliminate flare by cupping my hand around the top of the lens of by holding my big black cavalry hat above the lens. I wish I could find a big 77mm hood, maybe something like the monster that comer with the 85mm FA f 1.4, but I will probably wind up with one of those smaller metal screw-in hoods, and will add a taped-together black construction paper hood to solve the problem. I will appreciate hearing from anyone who has confronted and solved the flare problem. NOTE: Since the original review, I have solved the flare problem by spray painting the inside of the adapter with black matte paint and adding a cheap screw-in hood. is lens.

Review of: SMC Pentax-A 645 120mm F4 Macro by ivanvernon on Mon June 19, 2017 | Rating: 10 View more reviews 

Views: 80513
Reviews: 17
I bought this lens from Keh for only $126 including handling. Keh graded it UGLY, but the lens I received was Excellent ++, just missing the caps, but hardly a mark or blemish of any kind--gotta love Keh's grading system. I am primarily a gardener and flower photographer (amateur only). This lens is absolutely fantastic for what I do. I am not sure what the medium format 120mm field of view becomes on the K-1 full-frame camera, but it works for me in the flower garden, no problem. I get fantastically sharp well-rendered photos with loads of color fidelity. I am accustomed to doing fairly minimal post processing (cropping, lightening, adding clarity, etc.) but I am getting an amazing number of photos that cannot be improved upon right out of the box, so to say. As for the macro feature, I do not do a great deal of macro work, but it is nice to have 1:1 macro capabilities right at my finger tips when needed, but the close feature aspect is what is really great for flowers. The sharpness of the lens lets you take a broad general photo, and then crop down to what you want to feature/keep. For some people, the weight of the lens might be a problem, but not for me. I am a fairly big guy, and used to do weddings with a Mamiya RB67 hanging around my neck, so a Pentax K-1 and MF lens is no burden. As for weight on the mount, I think the A120mm macro is okay, but I generally steady the camera with a hand beneath the lens to take some of the load off the mount. Tripod is a nice option for those who have the time, energy, and interest but my cheap Chinese adapter did not come with a mount, so mounting the camera itself would not relieve the strain on the K mount. I focus manually with any lens that conveniently provides that capability, so manual focus is also not a problem. For macro use particularly I suspect that most folks use manual focus even when AF is available. As a macro lens, the 645 120mm/4.0 has a very long throw at the macro end of the line as expected, but a much shorter throw at the distance end of the line. In other words, it is set up for macro work. For landscape or any longer use, it would be nice to have longer throw to the focus ring when turning to the right because you move in and out of focus pretty quickly on the long end. I focus using the viewfinder and looking for the beep and little green light in the viewfinder, but it is easy to turn past it and have to turn back to find it and go back and forth to get it to settle to a solid unblinking focus light. You can try live view focussing but with the weight of the lens and camera that becomes problematic unless you are on tripod where it ought to work pretty well. The worst thing about the lens (when used on Pentax K-1 with adapter) is flare, particularly if lens is pointed upward or includes part of the sky. This big lens captures a lot of light, and light has to have somewhere to go. Check to make sure your adapter has black matte color/coating and texture to eliminate as much extraneous light as possible from bouncing around inside. A good hood would likely eliminate this problem, and I have eliminated it by using a longish black construction paper hood, which of course is an awkward and temporary solution, and sometimes the faux hood falls off right in the middle of a shot. If you are using the lens in a professional context this solution would just look too shoddy but us amateurs really don't care about that. My other solution is to hold my large black cavalry hat above the lens, and that will do the flare-reduction job for anyone who does not find the K-1 and large lens too heavy for one hand operation! I am looking for a longish hood that will not vignette, but I suspect this will be long job, and I expect to go through a few more sheets of construction paper before finding what I need. For most of my work with lens pointed downward or parallel to the ground and not toward the sky there is no flare. As stated, I am using this lens with adapter on K-1, and suspect that the flare problem does not occur when used on native 645 mount, but I have not tried it on my 645 and 645N cameras--well I have tried it but not have sent the film off for development yet. For macro and flower photographers particularly I really recommend this lens for use as an adapted lens on the K-1 if the disadvantages I have mentioned do not bother you. To me the quality of the work it produces and the cost-value equation are excellent. If you can find one for somewhere between $100 and $300, I would say to grab it fast before it goes away.

Review of: SMC Pentax-F 85mm F2.8 Soft by ivanvernon on Sat December 26, 2015 | Rating: 9 View more reviews 

Views: 50445
Reviews: 7
Since I am not skilled in Photo Shopping my work, this lens is great for portraits right out of the camera. I cannot, however, find much use for the level of softness that occurs at f 2.8 up to f 4.0. Stopped down in the 4.0 to 5.8 range, the lens produces portraits in a nice range of softness. The lens is quite acceptably sharp when stopped down to f 8.0 and beyond. Since I have the 77 limited in this same focal length range, the performance of the lens at these f stop levels is not particularly useful to me, but worth noting for those who do tend to use this focal length. I would classify this as a specialty lens, not one that is an essential for every photographer. It will be most useful to amateur photographers who specialize in portraiture. I say amateur, because most professionals will already be using post processing to achieve soft-look portraits. It is at least worth looking t by professionals, however, as it appears to me that the soft focus effect in-camera with this lens is better than what I have seen achieved in post.

Review of: SMC Pentax-M 100mm F4 Macro by ivanvernon on Mon December 21, 2015 | Rating: 9 View more reviews 

Views: 206146
Reviews: 34
This lens appears to produce sharper, clearer images than any other lens in my cabinet, and that includes the legendary Pentax 50 mm f 2.8 macro, the three amigos (31, 42, 77), lots of legacy 50 and 55mms, several 135mms, and more. I shoot lots of flowers and insects, so this lens has been acquired during my off-season. I took a shot of a Lysol cleaning compound bottle across the room, and the type when enlarged is not only readable, but sharper than that some shot with any of my other lenses. I am looking forward to trying it out on bugs and flowers this coming spring and summer. Maybe I will also try it for portraiture before the flower season starts, but it may been a softening filter of some kind to keep from showing warts and all! My copy, purchased on eBay from Japan, appears to be new with no dust or scratches, like it came right out of the box. (Just about everything I buy from Japan is like that.) With its metallic and heavy M build, the lens is a tactile delight with a reassuring heft to it that AF lens nowadays do not have. Aperture ring emits a nice clicking sound and stays firmly in place at your selected settings. Focussing ring has a well-damped long throw, and moving from closest to longest focus at infinity takes you through maybe 340 degrees. We'll have to wait and see how that weight works out for handheld focussing. I like the heavily recessed lens, which obviates any need for a hood, although I have fitted a hood anyway, which may need to be removed in use. The lens is well suited to the K-3, and with this camera and lens you can do lots of resolving! This lens seems to list out on eBay at around $100, and at that price it is an excellent value.

Review of: SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6 by ivanvernon on Sun November 1, 2015 | Rating: 7 View more reviews 

Views: 164002
Reviews: 45
I was pleasantly surprised in using this lens that I thought I was supposed to hate. Perhaps my expectations were so low that anything good about it would have impressed me. I find that the lens is capable of making very good images, plenty good enough for everyday, non-professional use--kid photos, party gatherings, documentation of events, that sort of thing. I am not comparing it to my 31, 43, and 77 limited lenses, of course, or even to better quality zoom lenses. Value is excellent as I only paid a computed $5.00 when I received the lens mounted on a Pentax P-3 film camera for which I paid only $15.00--so $5 for the lens and $10 for the camera. Value is excellent and it makes a good camera cover even if you do not use it to take photos!

Review of: SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 by ivanvernon on Thu July 17, 2014 | Rating: 9 View more reviews 

Views: 818049
Reviews: 236
This is a really great lens #2737694. It is light and produces superb images, quite sharp. My two sharpest 50s are the Pentax D FA 50 mm f 2.8 macro, which may be a little too sharp for some applications and my converted Canon FL 55 mm f 1.2 which is much heavier. I have about a dozen 50 mm lenses, and the M-50 1.7 is one of the best.

Review of: SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye ED [IF] by ivanvernon on Tue December 4, 2012 | Rating: 9 View more reviews 

Views: 277461
Reviews: 99
I really love this lens. It is like owning two great lenses--a fisheye at 10mm and a great wide angle at 17mm. It takes a bit of use to really get good/desired results from this lens. Of course, you can use it as a fun lens, getting all sorts of distorted results with deliberate intent, and I enjoy doing that from time to time. However, it is also a great landscape lens, even at the fisheye end, once you learn how to frame and compose. To get good, normal looking results, you need to avoid placing straight vertical objects at the sides of the frame. You can take photos that look almost normal if you will place long straight objects (roads, railroads, trees, etc.) right in the center of the frame. The lens then renders them straight, and takes in much more of the surrounding landscape than you are accustomed to. For landscapes without vertical objects at extreme left and right of the lens, you get very normal looking results. I say LOOKING results as the lake or body of water you are photographing looks normal, i.e., the shoreline COULD have been as the lens portrayed it, and those observing the image you have created have no frame of reference to see the shoreline as distorted. Trees on the shore at the extreme sides of the frame will appear distorted on close inspection, of course, but are not immediately apparent. The lens renders colors beautifully. It is also very useful for taking closeups of items such as products, giving an almost normal but artfully distorted view. I would love to take this lens to an antique car show! I don't think I would ever give up this lens. I highly recommend it.

Review of: SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F2.8 Macro by ivanvernon on Sat November 3, 2012 | Rating: 10 View more reviews 

Views: 165234
Reviews: 44
An outstandingly sharp lens, captures details that my other good lens do not. For weddings, you need to put a softener filter on the lens or you may capture details of the bride that are not desired. If there is a little pimple that did not get enough makeup, this lens will show it in great detail! This is the best 50 mm I have experienced in film or digital photography. It is a little harder to get good bokeh than with a longer focus lens, but bokeh is good on macro setting. I like the focus lock on macro that lets you manually approach of back off the subject to get the desired focus. It is not as good macro as longer focus macro lens, but excellent in its focal length. I love this lens for low-light, non-flash interior shots of people as well as home interiors. You can keep this lens on your camera all the time unless you need to change for focal length. I find it actually more versatile than my expensive 77mm limited except for portraiture photography, where the 77mm limited is really difficult to surpass. For most photographers, if you have the 50 mm 2.8 macro and the 77 limited, plus a wide angle and a telephoto you are pretty well set for most occasions.

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