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Showing all 5 reviews by Designosophy

Review of: Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro by Designosophy on Tue January 25, 2011 | Rating: 8 View more reviews 

Views: 102576
Reviews: 30
After reading the mostly negative reviews here, I felt obliged to offer my perspective, which is a bit different. I received this lens for Christmas, and, based on the price, I expected a flimsy, mediocre-quality lens. But I am very happy with this lens so far. I've actually only had it a week and I've only had the opportunity to do some hand-held shooting, but I am impressed with the results. It's solid and the zoom & focus rings are smooth, though the zoom ring had some tight spots initially that I needed to work out. A lot of lenses out there claim macro with a 1:4 ratio. That's not really macro; it's hardly even close focus. But this lens does a 1:2 ratio, which still isn't macro, but it's reasonably close. And the sharpness, color and contrast are better than any other near-macro lens I have, including a Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm with 1:2 macro and a Tamron SP 60-300mm with 1:1.55 macro. To get the lens into macro mode, you must be in the 200-300mm range. To get it out of macro mode, you must be focused beyond macro distance. Here are two shots I took the day I got the lens at 300mm in the macro mode: [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] I did less post-processing of these images than I have any other images I've shot with my K-x. It was basically a little bit of recovery in the highlights, resize and upload to Flickr. Here are a few more shots for reference, all hand held. You can check the EXIF for details: [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] I realize these are not pro-level photos, but this lens is under $200. I'd say it's a great consumer lens. The sharpness and IQ are comparable to my 18-55mm DAL kit lens, and the Sigma has better contrast. The only better lenses in my humble collection are my Pentax-M 50mm f1.4 and Pentax-A 28mm f2.8. I can't wait to do some tripod shooting with it, probably in the spring.

Review of: Sigma 70-210mm F4-5.6 UC by Designosophy on Sun January 2, 2011 | Rating: 7 View more reviews 

Views: 92089
Reviews: 11
When I purchased this, I confused it with the very similar UCII version, which I'm guessing has better coatings. At the price I paid, this lens is a great value, particularly because of its A setting for use in program modes. It's light and compact only about a half-inch longer than the kit 18-55mm lens, though it is a bit wider in diameter. It looks like it can take a bayonet-type lens hood, and it would benefit from it, since the front element is not recessed much at all and it flares easily. I have not used it extensively, but I enjoy it each time I do. The "macro" setting shouldn't really be called macro. It's barely even close focus with a 1:4.7 magnification at 1.2 meters. Here are a few shots I've taken with it: [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE]
I should mention that the vignetting you see in the above photo was added in Photoshop.
[IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] Edit: I just noticed that my copy of this lens has the Ricoh pin. I never noticed it before, and it has caused me no problems with my K-x. When I compare the location of the Ricoh pin to the location of the autofocus screw on my kit lens, they are not near each other. After doing some research online, I found out that some Ricoh pins aren't pins, but are ball bearings, which do not get stuck. That is the case with this lens.

Review of: Tamron Adaptall-2 SP / Novoflex 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A) by Designosophy on Sun January 2, 2011 | Rating: 9 View more reviews 

Views: 89069
Reviews: 20
I agree with the other positive reviews here. This lens is a very solid performer throughout its range. I bought it largely because of what I read in these reviews, and I'm glad that I did. This lens has an AE setting at f/32, which means that you can use the lens in auto aperture mode if, and only if, you have a Tamron Adaptall-2 P-KA adapter. I do not, so it is a 100% manual lens. This is not a huge downside; the P-K Adaptall adapters are much more common and much less costly than the KA versions, which go for $70-110 on ebay. The macro is very useful and is quite sharp in the center of the field, particularly in the middle of the aperture range, but gets soft around the edges. It can be very difficult to get the lens into Macro mode at first. Here's how I was able to do it, with guidance from other forum members:
  • Take the lens off of the camera if it's on there.
  • Bring the zoom/focus ring to its shortest position, 60mm, 1.9m. In this position, he word "MACRO" on the zoom/focus ring will be about a half-inch offset from the word "MACRO" on the barrel of the lens.
  • You should feel a notch as you turn the ring to this position, where you can push the zoom ring a little bit closer to the aperture ring.
  • Holding the aperture ring, NOT the Adaptall mount, in one hand, push the zoom/focus ring toward the aperture ring while turning it in the direction that would cause the two "MACRO" words to line up. This would be counterclockwise if you were looking at the front of the lens.
  • It might feel like nothing is going to happen, but if you work on it, eventually it will turn and align and you will be in macro mode.
  • At this point, the zoom/focus ring won't turn, but slides out - you can see the macro scale on the barrel.
As others have mentioned, the highest magnification macro setting brings the front of the lens almost in contact with the object, and the field of view is very narrow. Here are a few photos. I know that I have not used this lens to the fullest of its ability. I've just been monkeying around with it. [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] 300mm, f/8 [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] macro mode, probably at 1:3 or 1:4 [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] 300mm, f/5.6 (I think) [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] macro mode [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] macro mode, f/3.8.

Review of: Vivitar Series 1 (Komine) 28-90mm F2.8-3.5 by Designosophy on Sat January 1, 2011 | Rating: 8 View more reviews 

Views: 94457
Reviews: 18
I wanted a lens with appropriate speed and focal length range for indoor use, and this one fits the bill. I used it a lot this past Christmas for candid family photos. Though I like the lens - it feels sturdy, has good color and contrast, and the close-focus is handy, it's not as sharp as I would like, particularly around the edges at wide apertures. And at f/2.8, it's nearly as soft as my JC Penney 28mm f/2.8. Here are some shots: [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE]

Review of: JCPenney 28mm F2.8 by Designosophy on Sat January 1, 2011 | Rating: 7 View more reviews 

Views: 21873
Reviews: 5
Mine says made in Korea, not Japan. I bought this without knowing anything about the lens, but I'm happy with it. It's fast enough for indoor photography, though it's dreamily soft wide open. Stopped down to f/4, it starts getting sharp. Plenty sharp at f/8 or f/11. It's a bit difficult to focus for me - the focus ring has a lot of throw. I've heard this lens referred to as a door stop, but I would say if you're looking for an inexpensive 28mm prime, go for it. Here are some photos taken with it on my K-x. [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE] [IMGWIDE][/IMGWIDE]

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