29 January 2008

Stray Cat

Saw this lovely stray cat in the neighbourhood. Very friendly and nice colouration. All shot with a FA 28-70mm f/4 zoom.

28 January 2008

A Few More With The 135mm

Had a chance to walk around and took some of these on a somewhat windy day. Add the narrow depth of field due to the focal length and shooting at very close to the minimum shooting distance and it makes for a challenging time shooting up close. One of the remarkable things I notice is that the colour rendition from the SMC coating is very pleasant.

All images Pentax K100D with Pentax A 135mm f/2.8 handheld.

26 January 2008

Pepe and my 135mm

In my search for a fast, compact short telephoto lens, I recently managed to snag a Pentax A 135mm f/2.8 in excellent condition from an internet acquaintance. Of the different versions of the Pentax 135mm lenses, the A version of the 135mm has languished in the light of less than favourable comments on its performance. In spite of this, I decided to give buy it when this lens appeared for sale as it doesn't show up too often on the used market.

On the face of it, there is a lot of things to like about this lens. The lens is pretty compact at just under 80mm and extends about another 15mm at the closest focusing distance. Another plus is that the front part of the lens doesn't rotate when focused which makes use of a polariser easier. A sliding lens hood is built in but due to the crop factor one can use a deeper hood. Filter size is 52mm.

Although a manual focus lens, the focusing ring is grippy and wide with a well damped throw of about 210 degrees from infinity to the minimum focusing distance of 1.2 metres. This lens has just 4 elements in 4 groups but feels hefty at 340g. Like many of the Pentax A series lenses, the build quality is solid and personally speaking I find the design of the A series very appealing. With the crop factor this lens becomes the equivalent of about a 200mm f/2.8 on traditional 35mm film.

The proof of a lens remains in it's optical quality and with a less than stellar endorsement by some on the internet I decided to take some quick snaps with the lens. Not having a beautiful model with beautiful hair, I decided to try it out on my pet chihuahua figuring that fur might have to do! From the images, the lens is a just tad soft wide open but image quality better stopped down. Distortion isn't an issue. Like images from many lenses, only a touch of sharpening is needed for this lens. The colour rendition is good.

To me this lens is pretty good and compared to the earlier M 135mm f/3.5, the A setting on the aperture ring is a big plus as it allows for full exposure automation and full capture of exif info. Will post more images taken with this lens but so far I like this lens a lot.

13 January 2008

Some Random Images

VXR - Very Transformer like. (FA 50mm f/1.4)

Rear Window Sunset (FA 50mm f/1.4)

Red Pipe (Sigma 90mm f/2.8)

Fast, Cheap & Good

A neighbourhood tabby
Recently I bought another FA 50mm f/1.4. Very nice prime and a lens all Pentax users should get simply because it is the cheapest large aperture lens in the Pentax lineup. Quality wise, Popular Photography ranks it very highly. Quite a versatile lens but some might find that it is a little too narrow due to the crop factor making it into a short tele. The large aperture makes this lens very suitable for nice smooth out of focused backgrounds.

A friend's F430

05 January 2008

Some Shots From A Recent Pentax User Meet

Roots Lensbaby 2.0

Just recently a group of Pentax users from the popular Clubsnap photography forum met at the Singapore Botanic Gardens to catch up with one another and do a little shooting together. It was a great chance to meet up with fellow Pentax users and share photographic tips and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Didn't shoot a lot, perhaps because I was chatting too much!

Right Behind You Voigtlander 125mm

The Family Pet Sigma 400mm

Feeding The Fish DA 16-45mm

Pigeon Perch Sigma 400mm

Lotus Voigtlander 125mm

3 Small Flowers Tokina 70-210mm

Ginger Leaves Lensbaby 2.0

Helliconia Voigtlander 125mm

01 January 2008

Some Recent Shots: Pentax F 35-70mm

I got this lens from a good Pentax buddy some while back. A very compact AF lens that I think gets overlooked because it isn't very fast in terms of lens aperture (f/3.5~f/4.5) and because the zoom range isn't very wide. However it performs very well and I would rate it as one of the better zoom lenses that Pentax has produced. The zoom range is quite useful for candids and the bokeh is decent.

In comparison to another Vivitar AF 35-70mm f/3.5~4.6 that I have, the 2 lenses are about equal in image quality. However the Vivitar is quite a bit bigger, heavier and a little better in build quality. The Pentax uses a 49mm filter thread while the Vivitar uses a 52mm.

Both lenses have a useful macro feature and is engaged by turning the zoom ring beyond the 70mm setting. While not as good as a dedicated macro lens, I have found the macro quality to be quite good for both lenses. All in all they are nice lenses that focus pretty quickly but the Pentax gets used more often because it is much more compact.

The smaller Pentax versus the larger Vivitar 35-70mm zoom.